Obviously, Disneyland Paris is an incredible place. There’s undoubtedly loads to do, but how much of it is suitable for a 4 and 5 year old?
It’s always a concern when going to a theme park. Those height restrictions on some headline rides means that you’re paying to get in but the younger ones won’t get the full benefit.
At the beginning of April, fourteen (!) of us set off from Glasgow to Paris for three days at Disneyland Paris.
A sub-90 minute flight and pre-booked hour long taxi trip found us at Disney’s Sequoia Lodge Hotel. Check in was relatively painless and the security checks were thorough and subsequently left us feeling happy and safe. We dumped our luggage and found that all of the kids had been left a cuddle Remy from Ratatouille on their beds. A nice touch! Then, off to the park!
The walk into the park is a special experience, as this video shows.
The park unfolds before you after you pass through the turnstiles. Into the Main Street, then Sleeping Beauty’s castle towers over the park. The children’s eyes were like saucers.
First thing we went on was the carousel. It was closed for refurbishment the last time we came, so it was lovely to see it up and running and churning out tunes from Mary Poppins. That’s one of the things you’ll notice about the Disneyland Paris park – the music. It’s everywhere and constant throughout the different lands, setting the tone.
So the question remains. There are loads of attractions, but are there enough to merit taking a four and five year old? Or would it be better to wait until they are older?
The answer is that there is loads for young kids to do. A massive amount. Sure, there are a few rides that they’ll be too short for, but the vast majority of stuff will be suitable for them and will blow their minds.
Fantasyland is the old school part of the park. We went on the Mad Hatter’s Tea Cups , Carousel de Lancelot, the Casey Jr train ride and the Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride. We also visited some of the large number of attractions that you sit in and ride through, including Peter Pan (very popular), It’s a Small World, Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs, The Voyages of Pinnochio
Fantasyland is also home to Alice’s Curious Labyrinth and a theatre where you can meet Mickey Mouse himself! We did just that, and I can tell you he’s a very genial fellow.
Discoveryland is the Jules Vernesque futuristic, science fiction area of the park. The children enjoyed the Buzz Lightyear Laser Quest, 50s style Autopia and the amazing 3D Star Tours Star Wars simulation.
It’s true that both Adventureland and Frontierland have more for the bigger kids, but even within those areas, the kids went to the Haunted Mansion, the Pocahontas Playpark and Big Thunder Mountain! That’s also where the live action Frozen performance takes place, which was amazing.
Our trip included tickets for Walt Disney Studios Park next door. This was the home to the very popular Crush’s Coaster (Finding Nemo) and Cars: Race Rally themed after the 2006 Disney/Pixar film Cars.
We visited my favourite ride, the Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy – a motion-based trackless dark ride. It’s stunning!
The movie themed tides continue with the Toy Story Parachute Drop, the Flying Carpets over Agrabar, Slinkydog Zigzag Spin and the brilliant and hilarious Stitch Live! show.
Disney don’t waste any space the park. They raid their massive back catalogue to make sure that every square inch has a Disney theme. It makes for an other-worldly place. From the Wall-E above to the Mickey & Minnie below, random beanstalks, stylised bins to Star Wars ships perched on buildings, it’s incredible.
I haven’t even touched upon the all-star parade, or the stunning castle projection / firework show. You’ll never have a fuller day. Every other building is a shop so you’ll have plenty of choice for bringing goodies back.
There’s a ‘village’ outside the park entrance with loads of restaurants and more shops. From our experience, though, I’d steer clear of the Planet Hollywood restaurant. (Their manager was borderline abusive to us after a waiter advised us we could use vouchers, but they changed their mind when it came to paying the bill!) The Rainforest Cafe was fantastic. A great experience and tasty food too!
As to whether or not a 4 or 5 year old would have a good time. Well, I think I’ve made that clear. Yes!! I’ll let these pictures confirm that.
They are long days at Disney. We took our double buggy which gave the wee ones a chance for a little nap to recharge their batteries.
And the bigger ones were tired out too! It’s an amazing place. We’ll definitely be back.