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No doubt a destination near the top of many children's (and adult's) wish lists, a holiday at Disneyland Paris is a magical experience no child will ever forget. Even the older and more cynical of us will be won over by the fantastic array of things to do.

Why go?

Disneyland Paris is bursting at the seams with things to do with its combination of a thrilling theme park, Film Studios Park and Disney Village. But where should you start?

The main theme park is split into five distinct areas.

Main Street USA is a romanticised impression of small town living in 1900s America. Victorian stores, horse drawn carriages and the Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlour all contribute to the charm of this All-American fantasy. The Discovery Arcade teaches children how some of the 20th century's greatest inventions work. Horse-drawn streetcars run through the town all day, alternatively hopping on the steam train at Main Street Station will take you along the Disneyland Railroad and into your next land. Fantasyland, as the name suggests, is the place where all the famous fairy tales and classic children's stories are. Children can admire Sleeping Beauty's Castle or get lost in Alice's Curious Labyrinth maze. Rides include Dumbo the Flying Elephant and The Mad Hatter's Tea Cups.

Frontierland takes visitors back to the legends of the Wild West, featuring the Pocahontas Indian Village or the chance to test your aim in the Rustler Roundup Shootin' Gallery. The Phantom Manor haunted mansion will give children a fright before a wild train ride down Big Thunder Mountain or relaxing on the Mark Twain Paddleboat cruise.

Adventureland ups the action with the runaway wagon of the Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril ride. Or you could hop on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride that first inspired the multi-million pound film franchise.

Discoveryland is the futuristic home of Buzz Lightyear and Space Mountain. This unpredictable, space-obsessed land brings in everyone from Darth Vadar to Michael Jackson.

Walt Disney Studios Park lets you get behind the scenes of Disney cinema and television, with thrilling attractions and spectacular shows. The Toon Studio shows the secrets of Disney's animators and how they created some of the 20th centuries most recognised animated characters. The Cars Race Rally puts kids aboard Flash McQueen for a virtual race across America's highways. The Art of Disney Animation section teaches tricks of the trade with interactive animation displays to help you create your own works of art.
The Armageddon Special Effects unveils the secrets of cinematic production and special effects before throwing you into the centre of a major disaster movie.

The Flying Carpets ride takes families on a magical ride with Aladdin's genie, while the music of rock band Aerosmith accompanies you on the Rock 'n' Roller coaster, a lightning fast, stomach turning ride.

The Production Courtyard takes you through the costume and make-up side of production, and you can visit recreations of sets. Rides include The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and Studio Tram Tour: Behind the Magic, which throws your tram into the centre of a simulated earthquake.

The Walt Disney Studios Park is also your place to meet all your favourite Disney characters. Micky Mouse, Donald Duck and Buzz Lightyear will pose for photos and sign autographs; there are also a number of meet-ups where kids can sit for meal time with their favourite characters.

At regular times throughout the day and night spectacular parades march through the park, featuring large-scale floats and Disney characters waving for the crowds. The park also has its own Sports Bar, IMAX Cinema, or the chance to take a flight above Lake Disney on one of the largest hot air balloons in the world.

Away from the rides and attractions visitors are invited to take on one of the man fitness trails, tee off on the golf course, or relax in the Celestia Spa. The Disney Village has lots to offer for day and evening entertainment as well as lots of shopping boutiques and eateries.

And if it all gets a bit too much then hop on the train to Paris and enjoy some world class museums, galleries and sightseeing with the world famous Eiffel Tower.

When to go?

Disneyland Paris operates year round, giving you plenty of flexibility to plan your holiday. Read on to find out the best time to visit for you…

The Parisian weather is pleasant in spring with balmy temperatures of around 16°C in April. During the summer, temperatures can reach a sizzling 25°C.

However, if you are planning a winter visit, you’ll need to wrap up warm as you can expect temperatures of around 6°C during the day. But there is always plenty to see and do, with Christmas time in particular turning the park into a Winter Wonderland.

What's on?

There are all sorts of enchanting events and festivals taking place at Disneyland throughout the year. Which one will you be part of?

Disney’s Halloween Festival: On selected days throughout Halloween, Disneyland Paris falls under a spooky spell. Head to Mainstreet, USA to see a selection of smiley ghosts and peculiar pumpkins, meet and mingle with Disney Villains throughout the park, and pay a visit to Jack and Sally’s Cemetery.

Mickey’s Magical Fireworks and Bonfire: Let your Bonfire Night go off with a bang this year as you celebrate with Mickey and friends amid spectacular fireworks and music. Held on selected days in October, superb special effects ensure this is a night to remember.

St David’s Welsh Festival: Join Mickey and Minnie as they don Welsh costumes and celebrate St David’s Day on selected days in March. Tantalise your taste buds with a food and drink market and enjoy face painting, music and a spectacular fireworks show.

St Patrick’s Day: Enjoy the luck of the Irish when you celebrate St Patrick’s Day at Disneyland Paris. Dance and sing to traditional Irish music, see Sleeping Beauty’s Castle transformed into spectacular colours, and finish off the celebrations with a fireworks finale.

What to do?

Whether you want to find things to do for tiny tots or grown up families, are looking for a relaxing holiday or something more active, Disneyland Paris has it all…

Babies and toddlers: Little ones will be enchanted when they visit the magical lands and all their favourite characters at Disneyland Paris. ‘It’s a small world’ in Fantasyland will give the family a trip around the world as dolls from across the globe sing and dance. Kids over the age of one will love rides such as Dumbo the flying elephant and Casey Jr.- le Petit Train du Cirque.

Kids and teens: Older kids and teens will enjoy big thrills on rides such as Space Mountain Mission 2, the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril. Older children will also enjoy heading to Discoveryland where they can take part in Buzz Lightyear’s Laser Blast.

Grown up families: Grown up families can carry on the fun at the end of the day in the Disney Village where there is a cinema, shopping, restaurants, live entertainment and shows.

Romance: Loved up couples could consider spending a romantic Christmas at Disneyland Paris when the park gets transformed into a magical winter wonderland.  And while you’re in the city of love, enjoy exploring Paris and seeing sights such as the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, art galleries and museums.

Relaxing: The Celestia Spa at Disneyland Hotel will allow you to wind down and rest your legs after an exciting day in the park. Alternatively, head into the city and take a relaxing cruise down the river Seine where you will be able to take in the beautiful city from the river.

Active types: If spending a day on thrilling rides hasn’t exhausted you, many of the Disney Hotels offer activities such as swimming, tennis and fitness centres. One even offers ice skating! Adventurous types may want to try out ‘Davy Crockett’s Adventure’ where you can take part in a treetop challenge of trapezes, rope bridges and swings at the ‘Davy Crockett Ranch’.

Free and cheap: Spend a day wandering around the beautiful streets of Paris and soak up the atmosphere of the stunning city. Many of the museums and monuments offer free entry on selected days throughout the year.