Just a few weekends
ago, I was sitting down snuggled up in a thick jumper curled up in front
of a log fire sipping on a mug of hot chocolate. I could have been at
home as the rain lashed down looking wistfully out the window mumbling
to myself how much I hate the closed season, yet, I wasn’t – I was
in the Sequoia Lodge hotel at Disneyland Paris, ready to go out and
enjoy the park.
grim the off-season seems, remember you’re not alone. Almost every
pastime relies on the seasons, and almost every pastime leaves you out
in the cold for at least a few months in the year. It’s how you make
the most of those miserable few months that makes the difference.
for us theme park enthusiasts, the winters are becoming a lot more
bearable, and I don’t mean just because of the effects of global
warming. British enthusiasts are particularly guilty of hibernating
during the closed season, when nowadays there’s no excuse unless of
course time off is your prerogative.
Paris perhaps showed the world that even in the most miserable weather
you can open a theme park and people will flock to it given enough
Disneyland Paris opened in 1992, the concept of theme park resorts has
taken off. Having done so, it has become a lot easier to open theme
parks during the closed season as with hotels having winter offers,
there is a whole untapped captive audience at your beck and call.
seen Phantasialand and Europa Park in particular follow Disneyland
Paris’ lead, while to a lesser extent parks like Alton Towers and
Pleasure Beach Blackpool have in the past tried opening selectively over
means that you can do a weekend break abroad for as much as a
weekend break at home
to the good people at Ryanair and EasyJet, European theme parks are
easier than ever to get to from the UK, while around Europe railways are
often one of the best ways of getting around, even from country to
you’re desperate to do theme parks during the winter, now there’s
really no excuse. Winter gives many the opportunity to discover new
parks, while often experiencing them at their very best.
longer is the winter dank and miserable, and no longer should you be,
Paris is one of the best winter retreats in the whole of Europe, thanks
in part to the fact it is part of a resort, and also mainly because the
park is so well geared towards inclement weather.
is also a very, very easy park to get to. From the UK, Eurostar run
services from London Waterloo (soon London St. Pancras) via Ashford
International, and assuming that you book into a resort hotel via Disney
themselves, then in theory with bags being taken to the hotel for you,
you could be on Big Thunder Mountain just over two hours after getting
on your Eurostar train in central London.
Eurostar trail makes only the one brief stop in Ashford International,
before heading towards Folkestone, under the channel and through the
rolling French countryside before arriving at Marne la Vallée, which is
right in the centre of the resort.
you don’t book directly through Disney, you’ll have to check into
the hotel yourself, but with six hotels a short shuttle bus ride away
and the park within walking distance, it is hardly likely to put a
downer on your holiday. Continues...