Disneyland Paris: The resort that survivied

Disney know how to celebrate an anniversary of any kind, let alone a 20th birthday – which it will be celebrating in April.

The key feature of the celebration will be a night-time spectaular parade in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle, and will also feature a new parade beginning in April.

However look back to the mid-Nineties and this celebration looked like it might never happen. This milestone will no doubt be met with mixed emotions, however any regrets that EuroDisney did not reach the original expectations will be outweighed by the fact it has made it to the 20 year mark.

Construction began in 1988 and the 5,000 acre site was open on April 12, 1992, and had gone massivley over budget. Visitor numbers did not meet expectations and after just two years, many wondered if the themepark was heading for bankruptcy.

But EuroDisney was thrown a lifeline in 1994 as banks agreed to restructure the parks debt. This was followed by a name change tp Disneyland Paris, and by the end of the year the park had started to bring in money.

New rides were added, including the the popular Space Mountain in 1995 and to mark the 10th birthday, Walt Disney Studios Park was opened. As the park headed into its 10th year it was going from strength to strength.

The 20th birthday celebrations will see the Disney Dreams show, which will include fireworks, lasers, foutains and a film projected onto the Sleeping Beauty Castle.

To get to across the Channel, a ferry will take you from Diver to Calais in 90 minutes with P&O, with upto 23 crossings a day, then DisneyLand Paris is only a 3 hour drive from Calais.

Walt Disney (www.disneylandparis.com) offers three nights with return crossings for a car and passengers from £276 per adult, £112 per child aged seven to 11 and under sevens free, including accommodation at Hotel Santa Fe and tickets to both Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney Studios

Beach Wheelchairs now offered at holiday resorts

Virgin Holidays is delighted to announce a new complimentary service for their customers – beach wheelchairs. Available in selected hotels in Antigua, Barbados and St Lucia, these specially designed chairs allow customers who have walking difficulties or are wheelchair user’s, easy access onto the beach and into the ocean. These tricked-out chairs come complete with extra chunky beach-friendly wheels, sunshades and storage for beach essentials.


Virgin Holidays employee Nicola Davis, herself a wheelchair user, came up with the idea after visiting the Caribbean on holiday. “I have used beach wheelchairs in Florida for many years and then I travelled to the Caribbean and found out that none of the hotels offered them. I really missed being able to spend time on the beach with my children and realised that many people were missing out on one of the most important parts of a Caribbean holiday.” The chairs were developed in partnership with Aqua Creek Products and have been getting rave reviews from the first customers that have used them, giving a liberating freedom to move around the beautiful Caribbean beaches with ease.


The beach wheelchairs are available to Virgin Holidays guests at the Almond Beach Village, Almond Casuarina and Almond Beach Club in Barbados, St Lucian by Rex, St Lucia and the Jolly Beach in Antigua, and are pre-bookable through the Virgin Holidays Special Assistance Team.


Virgin Holidays award winning Special Assistance team offers a dedicated service for disabled and limited mobility customers. Brochures highlight accommodation which is best suited for wheelchair access and those with reduced mobility can book accessible transfers, adapted vehicle hire and medical equipment hire. The team also provides theme park and excursions accessibility information to help customers plan ahead.


Call us on 0844 557 3998 or email special.assistance@virginholidays.com to find out more.