Disneyland first started out in Anaheim, California and was based on the imagination of Walt Disney, the creator of Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy and friends. This multi-million dollar enterprise soon expanded its parks and resorts to Orlando, Florida; Hong Kong, China; Tokyo, Japan; and Paris, France. Built in 1992, the Disneyland Paris park cost $ 4.4 billion dollars and is the biggest theme park in all of Europe. Walt Disney Productions say they chose France because of its close proximity to Germany and London, as well as the fact that the Channel Tunnel high-speed rail line was opening in 1993 to bring even more passengers to their gates.
Despite its current success of $ 37.7 million in profit, 86% occupancy and 12 million visitors each year, Euro Disney in Paris got off to a rough start. Initially, the Disney crew believed that Europeans were ready to immerse themselves into a “totally American experience.” After all, the Disney movies sold better in Europe than they did in the U.S., and Hong Kong Disney was outperforming Disneyland in Anaheim. However, they had to make some changes to accommodate a multicultural audience. Now they sell espresso at refreshment stands, wine and beer with lunch and hand out park maps in six different languages. Currently the Disney strategy is to expand beyond the French market to attract other European visitors (40% of all tourists come from France) and to encourage people to stay at the parks and resorts longer, since the average stay is only about 2 days, compared to 4 to 5 in other parks.
Disneyland Resort Paris consists of two parks: Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney Studios Paris. There is also a shopping district called Disney Village. Disneyland Paris is comparable to Orlando’s Magic Kingdom with different “lands,” whereas Walt Disney Studios is more like Orlando’s Hollywood Studios with a movie-making theme. The whole Euro Disney experience is magical, from the sophisticated audio-animatronic robots and the beautifully landscaped grounds to the detailed settings and themed restaurants that borrow from Disney character films. Children are spellbound by the magic of Disney, but there is much for adults to enjoy as well. Sometimes children are too young to really enjoy the experience, so generally, parents should wait until their kids are between seven and twelve. It’s true that some kids as young as two have a perfectly fine time with no tantrums, whining or complaining, although they won’t remember the trip when they’re older.
There are numerous ways to get to Disney hotels in Paris. From Charles de Gaulle International Airport, one can hop aboard a high-speed train from Terminal 2 and arrive in Disney within just 10 minutes. From the Orly Airport, guests will need to take three trains: the Orlyval train to Antony, the RER B train to Chatelet-Les-Halles and the RER A4 train to Marne-la-Vallee Chessy.There are also direct bus routes from either airport for 13 to 17 per person. The best times to visit are on weekdays outside of public holidays and traditional school vacations. The least-crowded months are from September to October and May to June. Since the French weather can be iffy, June will probably offer the most pleasant climate.
There are also special offers during this time, like 3 days for the price of 2 days, including hotel stays. To avoid waiting in lines, hotel guests may enter the Paris parks an hour early and stay an hour late on select days. Also, any visitor can use their admission ticket to pick up “fast passes” for the most popular rides, which allows them to return during a set hour to bypass the long wait times.