Kerr's Corner

Kerr's Corner is a regular feature in East Antrim and Newtownabbey editions of The Wizard. David Kerr would like to hear your memories of life in your own area. Maybe you'll trigger some thoughts for a future column. kerrscorner@ulsteronline.org.uk

Friday, July 07, 2006

Disneyland Park & Walt Disney Studios Park

John Field visits Disneyland Paris

TOWARDS the end of last year, four of us – two adults and two children – visited Disneyland Paris. We stayed at the three star My Travel’s Explorers Hotel. We travelled in the late afternoon from Aldergrove to Charles de Gaulle airport on the outskirts of Paris. This only took ninety minutes. From CdG airport we jumped onto the modern air-conditioned coach to Disneyland – a 45 minute journey.

After checking in at the Explorers Hotel we spent the evening mostly relaxing in the restaurant/bar area. On the first full day of our holiday we decided to visit the main Disneyland Park. It was absolutely amazing. We had just never come across anything like this before - there’s almost too much to see and do. In the evening we visited the Disney Village. This is a vast area situated in the heart of the Disney resort. It’s full of shops, themed restaurants, bars, a nightclub and a multiscreen cinema. Like all of Disney, there was a fantastic family atmosphere.

The next day we travelled into central Paris itself. Here we spent most of the day visiting the Eiffel Tower and travelling up and down the River Seinne on a tour boat.

We’d decided to set aside the fourth day – Wednesday – to visit he Walt Disney Studios Park. The main idea of the Walt Disney Studios Park is to give a ‘behind the scenes’ account of how films are produced. Sadly our brief five-day trip to Disneyland Paris was now over. Like most great holidays it’d flown in. We were absolutely gutted to be leaving so soon.

We spent our last morning with another visit to the Disney Village as there were some last minute presents to get. We were also interested in how the village would look during the day time – the last time we were there was during the evening Halloween celebrations. As expected it was much quieter and less frantic during the day. Actually this come as a bit of a relief as we were able to take our time and browse through the shops at our leisure.

So what were our overall impressions of Disney? On the plus side we thought that everything went very smoothly. Travelling from Charles de Gaulle airport to our hotel was easy. The Disney pick-up point at the airport is well marked. Checking-in at the Explorers Hotel was also painless. The staff there were very friendly and efficient. They all spoke English very well. At the hotel, everything seemed to run like clockwork - from breakfast time to transport (to and from Disneyland Park, Walt Disney Studios Park and the Disney Village) everything was well catered for. Our only criticism of the hotel was when we visited its swimming pool for an early morning dip. The pool was a bit cooler than we were expecting and we were disappointed in that half of the showers weren’t working – but luckily we were coming out whilst most people were coming in. We also thought that a few mirrors in the changing rooms wouldn’t have gone amiss.

The rides and exhibits in the various Disney parks couldn’t be faulted. However, you’ll need to watch your spending – food and drink tended to be a bit on the expensive side. You’ll need to budget for at least £100 a day. The Disney Park itself could have done with more sign posting and toilets, but apart from that there were no major complaints. Despite the costs incurred at Disney, we found that bargains could be had if you checked out all the shops in the Disney Village. (Those interested in any form of merchandising would do well to study Disney’s methods – about the only thing they don’t sell is a shroud!!)

All in all, it was a fantastic holiday – and we’d like to get back some time in the very near future. For more information check out: www.disneylandparis.com

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