There was a good deal of debate before Paris was chosen. The Disney brand had been established decades ago on both coasts of the USA and everyone knew their cartoons and characters. The decision to expand overseas led the company to open in Japan and consider a move to Europe.
There were several options considered. In California and Florida there was an ideal climate; no real winter. The best climate in Europe was in the Mediterranean region but logistically a site further north would be closer to the main population of Western Europe, so the final decision was Paris.
There were some doubters and others who felt that Disney was somehow counter to the French culture. Their protests did not succeed and the Park was duly designed and built.
Twenty years and counting
It has been open now since the early 1990s and has become the most popular tourist attraction on the continent. It is a holiday in itself and by 2017 it is contracted to have over 18,000 hotel beds for its visitors.
It is unlikely that anyone getting Disneyland Paris tickets can do the Park justice; there is just so much to see and do but some people based in Paris itself go along as an afterthought and haven’t too much time. Those who decide to take the family for a few days can go online and see what there is to see, and get their tickets in advance. It is certainly worthwhile though it does not mean that there won’t be queues at the various attractions. The refreshment establishments budget for serving 14,000 people every hour!
There are excellent rail links in and out of the centre of Paris and down to Strasbourg while the Eurostar from St.Pancras is an excellent way to travel from the UK. Anyone staying in one of the hotels can get a free shuttle service to and from the park each day.
What to see
It depends on how long a family are staying as to where the priorities might lie for what to see. There are a number of attractions that Disney itself says are the most popular including a musical trip around the world on a boat; ‘It’s a Small World’ and ‘The Pirates of the Caribbean’ using the theme of the popular Johnny Depp films.
There is plenty of advice available and it may be worth thinking about arriving early to particular favourites before the crowds build up.
All the famous characters are there to meet; ageless and just as popular with the youngsters of today as they were decades ago. While the majority of people have their main holiday through the summer months, there really is no seasonal restriction on visiting the park. Many of the main attractions are indoors anyway so a winter trip may be just the thing to brighten the gloom of short days and poor temperatures. There may be fewer people around and there are some advantages in that. Summer or winter, the park is open and ready to welcome everyone.