Disneyland Paris, Marne-la-Vallée. Métro: to Nation (lines 2 and 6) and then RER A to Marne-la-Vallée. Price: £51 adult, £45 child over 3.
Okay, so Disneyland is probably not the best example of traditional Parisian culture and sits about a million miles away from the patisseries, boutiques and elegant landmarks that the city is more likely to be associated with, but with over 15 million visitors yearly making it the most visited attraction in Europe, Mickey’s plastic playground is not to be ignored! The fact that it boasts some of the most detailed, exhilarating and admittedly magical rides and sets in the world should also make it a must-do for anyone with some extra time to spare in Paris, especially for families with young children. Opened in 1992, Disneyland Paris is split into two adjacent parks that you can visit separately or on one ticket, although the duo option probably provides the best value for money and ensures that you won’t miss out on any of the fantastic rides on offer.
Disneyland Park evokes the sugary fairytale fantasies of all the much loved Disney films, with the pink spires of Sleeping Beauty’s castle rising above the centre of the park and painstaking recreations of the American Main Street, Wild Western Frontierland, tropical Adventureland, futuristic Frontierland and the magical kingdom of Fantasyland spreading out from the foot of the castle. Each part of the park caters for a different audience and there is something for all age groups, from the saccharine classic It’s A Small World to the breathtaking twists and turns in the dark of Space Mountain. Favourites such as the Haunted Mansion, Runaway Train and Indiana Jones: The Temple of Doom can all be found here, and the unmissable daily parades bring all the classic characters from the films to life with the opportunity for younger children to get involved with the dancing!
Walt Disney Studios Park is aimed at a more adult audience, with thrill rides including the Aerosmith-themed Rock and Rollercoaster, spine-tingling Twilight Tower of Terror and new ride Crush’s Coaster. You can also get a glimpse at how Hollywood creates hit productions, with behind the scenes tours and recreations showcasting set design and special effects in front of your eyes. The Disneyland complex also has a variety of restaurants and souvenir shops to keep everyone satisfied. The on-site hotels are probably only for Disney nuts who can handle more than one day of singing puppets, vertigo-inducing coasters and relentless high spirits, but as a day trip Disneyland Paris is a feel-good slice of American consumerism that will leave you exhausted yet strangely uplifted.