Inside the flagship Disneyland Hotel in Paris – reimagined with a magical makeover… so the fantasy lives on

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Written By Maya Cantina

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As a former resident of the French capital, where famously glib waiters might slam your croque monsieur down accompanied by an unintelligible grunt, I was intrigued, when, in 1992, Disneyland debuted in Paris.

Within weeks, I’d whisked my daughter, Lili, to the Disneyland Hotel and now, more than 30 years later — and following its two-year renovation — we’re here again, joined by Lili’s children, Bodhi, five, and Cosmo, two.

Arriving at the station, the sight of the palatial pink fairy-tale hotel injects a frisson of excitement into excited wannabe pirates and princesses.

And Disneyland Hotel is still the flagship place to stay.

While Smarties for breakfast is Lili’s prevailing memory, I recall swathes of swagged curtains, ruched blinds and questionable carpets reminiscent of a Cincinnati convention centre, disporting an unashamedly U.S. ethos.

Andrew Harris stays at the flagship Paris Disneyland Hotel, pictured, following its two-year renovation

Today a 12,000-piece Bohemian crystal chandelier dangles from the ceiling of the lobby (pictured), Andrew says

 Today a 12,000-piece Bohemian crystal chandelier dangles from the ceiling of the lobby (pictured), Andrew says

Andrew stays at the hotel with his daughter and her two children. Pictured: The Princely Suite Beauty and the Beast bedroom

Andrew stays at the hotel with his daughter and her two children. Pictured: The Princely Suite Beauty and the Beast bedroom

Today a 12,000-piece Bohemian crystal chandelier dangles above the massive, multi-height reception space, crafted by one of some 200 French and European companies involved in the revamp.

The pool is crowned with a new conservatory, a kids’ club provides nursery services, and stylists at My Royal Dream transform children into Disney characters.

Princesses are everywhere.

The top floors are dedicated to the Castle Club, where 41 rooms and 18 themed suites proffer the ultimate in children’s opulence.

The top floors are dedicated to the Castle Club, pictured above with a view of the park's Sleeping Beauty Castle

The top floors are dedicated to the Castle Club, pictured above with a view of the park’s Sleeping Beauty Castle

The top floors comprise 41 rooms and 18 themed suites. Pictured: The lounge of the hotel's Princely Suite

The top floors comprise 41 rooms and 18 themed suites. Pictured: The lounge of the hotel’s Princely Suite

Andrew recalls 'swagged curtains' and 'ruched blinds' at the hotel from his previous visit. These features are nowhere to be seen in this picture of the new lobby

A glass slipper on display in the Cinderella Signature Suite

LEFT: Andrew recalls ‘swagged curtains’ and ‘ruched blinds’ at the hotel from his previous visit. These features are nowhere to be seen in this picture of the new lobby. RIGHT: A glass slipper on display in the Cinderella Signature Suite

At the Royal Buffet, Bodhi and Cosmo are entranced by Mickey and Minnie, just like their mother had been, while La Table de Lumière, inspired by Versailles’ Hall of Mirrors, where Belle and her prince stopped by our table for a chat, conveyed a notably elevated standard of cuisine.

Inside the park, which, since our first visit, has welcomed 375 million visitors, much was recognisable, including the queues, although purchasing Premier Access to skip them remains an option.

Cosmo’s favourite ride is It’s A Small World, introduced by Uncle Walt himself in 1964. I’m never sure what he’s telling me, but it could’ve been; ‘If it ain’t broke don’t fix it!’.

At La Table de Lumiere restaurant (above) Andrew is greeted by Princess Belle and her prince who 'stop by his table for a chat'

At La Table de Lumiere restaurant (above) Andrew is greeted by Princess Belle and her prince who ‘stop by his table for a chat’ 

Inside the park, much was recognisable including the queues, says Andrew, although purchasing Premier Access to skip them remains an option. Pictured: The Paris Disneyland Hotel's Frozen Signature Suite

Inside the park, much was recognisable including the queues, says Andrew, although purchasing Premier Access to skip them remains an option. Pictured: The Paris Disneyland Hotel’s Frozen Signature Suite

Andrew says Disneyland Paris ¿ and especially the Disneyland Hotel ¿ is a beguiling blend of the best America and France have to offer

Andrew says Disneyland Paris — and especially the Disneyland Hotel — is a beguiling blend of the best America and France have to offer

An entire new park, Walt Disney Studios, appeared in 2002, within which the Marvel Avengers Campus was launched in 2022, with state-of-the-art rides such as Spider-Man W.E.B. Adventure, and Avengers Assemble: Flight Force, requiring the realignment of my internal organs.

Overall, Disneyland Paris — and especially the Disneyland Hotel — is a beguiling blend of the best America and France have to offer.

Vive la difference and pass the Smarties.

TRAVEL FACTS

A one-night stay at Disneyland Paris (disneylandparis.com) is from £449pp, including accommodation at the Disneyland Hotel with two-day park access and return Eurostar (eurostar.com) travel via Lille.

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