DISNEYLAND Paris is celebrating its 25th birthday and boy, do those guys know how to put on a party.
From the traditions of Mickey and Co, to the fairytale drama of Star Wars, this place really has something for everyone.
I visited back in its tender years and while it was enjoyable then, it has grown into an even more exciting, fun and magical experience.
Our three-day adventure began at St Pancras International Station in London, on board one of the newly refurbished Eurostars.
We were whisked in comfort into the centre of the Disneyland Paris resort in under three hours.
Our accommodation was a short walk (or free bus ride) away at the recently renovated 4H Newport Bay Club, one of seven Disney hotels in the area.
After a speedy check-in, we were off to have fun in the parks.
Unlike on my first visit, Disneyland Paris now has two sections — the main Disneyland Park and the Walt Disney Studios Park.
We opted to spend the rest of our first day in the latter and began with the Mickey and the Magician show.
Next came our first ride, themed on the Ratatouille film.
The 3D adventure left my six-year-old Jacob exclaiming: “That was the best ride ever.”
His list of top rides was to increase massively over the weekend.
Toy Story Playland was another favourite area, as well as seeing the Star Wars-based First Order March and at night, the Galactic Celebration show.
Disney has breathed new life into the Star Wars franchise and has put it at the heart of the park — for me, adding a new dimension to its attraction — and it would also be the heart of day two of our trip at the main park.
Wow, what a spectacle.
As you walk in under the impressive Disneyland Hotel, your eyes are taken right up Main Street to the landmark sight of Sleeping Beauty Castle.
Even for two boys — one little, one overgrown — it exudes the magic that Disney is renowned for.
But our immediate focus was on the fantastic new ride, Star Tours: The Adventures Continue. Led by C-3PO, it takes you on a whirlwind 3D journey through various parts of the Star Wars universe.
And with more than 70 mission combinations, we were able to ride four times and see something new every time.
This is Disneyland at its very best — spectacular family experiences put you in the heart of your favourite films.
From the spring it will add even more Star Wars, with the iconic Space Mountain undergoing a Hyperspace makeover.
We also got the chance to rub shoulders with Chewbacca, R2-D2 and Darth Vader for pictures.
While the new attractions steal the headlines, it is not just these that make Disneyland Paris the top tourist destination in Europe.
Autopia, which sits near the Star Wars rides in Discoveryland, Big Thunder and the attractions in Frontierland, plus Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril and Pirates of the Caribbean in Adventureland, hold their own in terms of delivering thrills.
The shows too are great entertainment.
The Starlit Princess Waltz is impressive, if not high on Jacob’s to-do list.
However, the Disney Stars on Parade did grab his attention.
Featuring around 100 performers, all Disney’s best-loved characters and jaw-droppingly impressive floats, the parade is one of the weekend highlights.
Another big “wow” factor is the Disney Illuminations night-time show.
We were lucky enough to be there for a 25th anniversary party, introduced with a live performance by Oscar-winner John Legend, including his rendition of the Beauty And The Beast song.
The illuminations are breathtaking.
Projected on to Sleeping Beauty Castle, Mickey takes the audience through a journey of Disney films that dazzles with waterjets, light effects and fireworks.
On our third and final day we returned to the main park, as there were still a few rides we hadn’t yet been on.
Queues for the big attractions can be very long, so buy a Fastpass.
After a couple more “best ride evers” we boarded the Eurostar back to Blighty.
Our Disneyland Paris experience really was unforgettable.
Disney is the master at this.
In 25 years it has built an all-encompassing, world-class park that delivers memorable family holidays every time.
We can’t wait to return and see how things evolve over the next 25 years.
According to thesun.co.uk