Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Short Breaks

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Short Breaks

Article excerpt

It's Carnival time!

If you want to banish those winter blues and fancy getting up close and personal with your favourite Disney characters ( apparently this appeals to kids, too ( then the solution's near at hand.

It's easy to forget just how close Disneyland Resort Paris is ( and just how much fun it's possible to have, even over a chilly February weekend.

Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport is only an hour and a half's flight from Durham Tees Valley and from there it's a 45-minute coach ride to Europe's biggest theme park.

After checking in at the Hotel New York, it's off to the parks themselves, past the hotel's ice rink and through the shops and eateries of the Disney Village.

Even at this time of year, the crowds are sizeable, so it's well worth planning ahead, with queues for the most popular rides noticeably shorter later in the day.

Although the layout of the main Disneyland Park remains essentially the same, there are signs of constant development, with a revamped Space Mountain offering extra thrills and spills and the Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast due to open on April 8.

Space Mountain:Mission 2 in Discoveryland is a great covered ride, now with more by way of visual effects as you are hurled through asteroid belts, comets and a supernova to the very edges of space ( and, in common with some of the other rollercoasters, you can pick up a picture of yourself "enjoying" the experience at the end.

At the opposite corner of the park, in Adventureland, is Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril ( set in authentic looking jungle ruins, the rollercoaster no longer performs a backwards loop-the-loop, but is still not for the faint-hearted.

As you wander around this scrupulously clean land of make-believe, it's never long before you bump into one of Disney's legendary creations, with kids queuing to have their picture taken with Snow White or grab an autograph from the likes of Micky and Minnie, Goofy and Donald Duck.

Carnival season offers another chance to see the characters in action, with lively parades centred on Carnival Square and Main Street. …

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