Disneyland Paris might only be a hop, skip and jump across the water but, just because it isn’t in the USA, doesn’t mean that it lacks any of the original Disney excitement and attractions. In fact, there are two sections in the Paris Park that are dedicated to American themes. Both offer a cultural and historical insight into different aspects of American life and are major highlights of Disneyland Paris. School trips here benefit from the combination of an enlightening educational experience and a relaxing fun-filled time outside the classroom. |
Main Street, USA
Bringing small town America to life, the realistic backdrop of vintage horse drawn carts, gas lit streets and ‘olde worlde’ shop fronts takes students right back in time to 20th twentieth-century America.
Your group will love the idea of going on a horse drawn carriage ride, or if not, they can hop aboard a chauffeur driven vehicle or even an old-fashioned fire engine. The Discovery Arcade showcases some incredible inventions of the 19th century and children will no doubt be enthralled by what they find here. Historical artwork and old photos are displayed in the Liberty Arcade, offering older school children an insight into the history of the Statue of Liberty.
When visiting Disneyland Paris, school trips should definitely include one of the daytime parades and this themed area has a particularly magical one. Colourful costumes and fascinating floats depicting cultural life of twentieth-century America make their way through the paved streets, exciting and enthralling youngsters.
If you plan to take in the park at night, there is a wonderful night-time illumination show. Before heading to the show, you can take your group to ‘An American Restaurant’, a spectacular eatery inspired by the life of Walt Disney. Every room is dedicated to a classic Disney era. Otherwise, ‘Victoria’s Home-style Restaurant’ is a great experience, especially for students interested in history. Cast-iron ovens are used to cook the food and the setting has been designed to mimic an old Victorian boarding house.
There is something hugely exiting about the Wild West and Frontierland. Between sailing the rivers of the Far West and climbing Thunder Mountain, your students can have a go at being a real cowboy or girl and even try their hand at shooting.
Thrilling rides await in this adventurous land. Sweeping down Thunder Mountain through an old dilapidated mining town while dynamite explodes all around is a definite highlight, while the spooky experience at Phantom Manor will have your students wanting to queue up for another go.
For a more relaxing ride, the nineteenth-century paddleboats at Thunder Mesa Riverboat Landing are perfect. Exploring the caves of the Rivers of the Far West, this is a wonderful opportunity for some educational discussion.
The Cowboy Cookout Barbeque is a rather fitting spot to take the group for some food. Enjoy tasty barbeque fare while dancing the night away to classic country beats.
There is so much on offer to school groups, apart from the thrills and spills, in Disneyland Paris. School trips can be daunting to organise but if you are looking to plan a visit you should definitely contact a reputable educational travel tour operator before booking. Let the experts do the legwork for you so that you can concentrate on drumming up interest and tailoring your trip to make it the most memorable educational experience it can be.
Disneyland Paris might be in Europe, but there is no doubt that the American themed areas of the park transport anyone that visits right back to those exciting times in this continent’s history that should never be forgotten.
John Gardiner is the Managing Director of The School Travel Company, a tour operator specialising in educational travel for school and youth groups. Whether you’re planning Disneyland Paris school trips, Iceland geography trips or trekking expeditions to India, you can trust both the educational and economic value of their itineraries, whether ready-made or specifically designed to suit the needs of your group.
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