If you are looking for full on American style family fun but donít fancy forking over £2000 for aeroplane tickets, look no further than Euro Disney. There is no other theme park in Europe that comes close to emulating successful the American theme park formula.
Disneyland Paris, as the park is now known, has had quite a bumpy ride for most its 13 years of operation. Construction began in 1988 on a site 32 km east of Paris and continued without interruption until Opening Day, 12th April 1992. As you may remember, the French were fervently opposed to the park because they felt that their culture would be compromised. Some went so far as to vandalise the cables powering the road signs so that the route would not be signposted.
Time did not soften the resentment. The French stayed away en masse, enough to amount to a boycott. Admission charges and food and drink prices were criticised as being far too high. The park made some concessions on prices and people started to come again.
It appears however, that the initial novelty of Disneyland Paris has worn off. Park attendance over the last two years has dwindled, which has caused a severe financial crisis. Even as late as last year, the company was so cash-strapped it was nearly forced to file for bankruptcy. Some fancy financing was arranged and the park remained open.
This picture of Disneyland Paris is a bit dire but it need not all be doom and gloom. Now is an excellent time to visit the park because there are plenty of good deals available, particularly if you are planning a family holiday. It is often a good idea to investigate package deals, as there are many hidden expenses that you donít initially account for when making your own arrangements.
The best thing about smallish crowds is that you will never have to wait to board a ride, or struggle to find a seat at show. Queuing up is a major problem in American amusement parks with patrons sometimes waiting up to three hours for a four-minute ride.
Although the park is in France, all staff are able to communicate in English. Evening entertainment shows are presented in both French and English.
So, if you fancy a good bit of American entertainment on the cheap, bundle up the kids for a weekend at Disneyland Paris.