WE CAME HE THOR ...THEY CON­QUERED

STACEY DUT­TON and son are won over by a slew of su­per he­roes at Dis­ney­land Paris’s new at­trac­tion

Western Mail - - GETAWAY -

MARVEL’S finest de­scended from a he­li­copter in true su­per hero style from the skies above Dis­ney­land Paris. For my five-year-old son, Tyler, the big screen had come to life in spec­tac­u­lar fash­ion as Iron Man, Thor and the rest of the cast dropped into the park.

He looked on in as­ton­ish­ment, the me­mory of meet­ing his Marvel he­roes im­printed on his mind for­ever.

Marvel’s Sum­mer of Su­per He­roes, Dis­ney’s lat­est big-bud­get at­trac­tion, was off to an in­cred­i­ble start – and for the chil­dren it was just the be­gin­ning.

Cre­ated to com­mem­o­rate Dis­ney­land Paris’ 25th An­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions, Iron Man, Cap­tain Amer­ica, Thor, Black Widow, Star-Lord, Gamora and Spider-Man will all be at Walt Dis­ney Studios Park for the next few months as part of a sea­son of unique events, with shows and in­ter­ac­tive ex­pe­ri­ences of epic pro­por­tions.

Fam­i­lies will be able to book var­i­ous pack­ages over the sum­mer to visit the new at­trac­tions the park has to of­fer and we were lucky enough to give them a test drive.

We got to see first­hand the worlds of our favourite films and comics, en­joy plenty of spe­cial ef­fects and take a look at the ex­clu­sive toys and mer­chan­dise that are sure to be a hit with kids who visit the park.

Among the new ad­di­tions, the Marvel: Su­per He­roes United show brings to­gether Iron Man and co for a live per­for­mance at the park’s Stu­dio The­atre. Just walk­ing through its en­trance hall is im­pres­sive; laser-lit with comic book im­ages spread across the ceil­ings, it set the scene per­fectly.

Played out on a huge 400m² stage with one of the big­gest LED screens in Europe, plus in­cred­i­ble spe­cial ef­fects and drones, the show fol­lows the Avengers do­ing bat­tle with evil vil­lain Thanos.

Not im­mune to pester power, I bought Tyler some Iron Man Gaunt­let Gloves, and he was soon wav­ing his arms ready to show his metal-clad hero what he’s got. The show is just 20 min­utes long, but packed with plenty of gasp-in­duc­ing mo­ments.

Su­per­hero fans also have the chance to join in a dance-off with the Guardians of the Gal­axy in the Pro­duc­tion Court­yard. As songs from the 1970s and 80s we know and love from Peter Quill’s playlist blast out, he and the fear­some Gamora spin, shake, step and slide onto the dance floor.

Star-Lord even of­fered Tyler a hand to go up on stage in front of the crowd and, while he ini­tially went into a starstruck panic, he still loved ev­ery minute of be­ing able to bust a few moves with char­ac­ters he’d only pre­vi­ously seen on his TV screen at home.

Another new event is the Stark Expo in which Tony Stark in­vites you to wit­ness his lat­est rev­o­lu­tion­ary in­ven­tion – an ‘Arc Re­ac­tor’ that gen­er­ates green en­ergy. How­ever, Thor’s fear­some half-brother Loki will try to use it as an op­por­tu­nity for a power grab. Thank­fully, Black Widow, Spi­der­Man and the God of Thun­der him­self are nearby to foil his plans. All this ac­tion-packed drama un­folds sev­eral times a day at the foot of the Hol­ly­wood Tower Ho­tel.

We stayed in the Dis­ney­land Ho­tel at the foot of the park gates. It is def­i­nitely worth pay­ing ex­tra for this ho­tel for the full Dis­ney ex­pe­ri­ence. Ex­pect noth­ing less than lux­ury ev­ery­where if you stay here, from the high ceil­ings, to the glis­ten­ing chan­de­liers and staff clad in mag­i­cal king­dom-wor­thy uni­form. The ho­tel re­cep­tion is an ex­pe­ri­ence in it­self, a place where chil­dren’s eyes light up with ev­ery wave and high-five from Mickey, Min­nie, Don­ald and pals as the Dis­ney favourites walk about greet­ing ex­cited guests.

Rooms of­fer pic­turesque views onto the Dis­ney­land grounds, where se­cret gar­dens and re­lax­ation ar­eas await, of­fer­ing a break from the mad­ness of the park.

Played out on a huge 400m² stage with one of the big­gest LED screens in Europe... the show fol­lows the Avengers do­ing bat­tle with the evil vil­lain Thanos

As you would ex­pect, the whole com­plex is a mag­i­cal place. Not only do beloved Dis­ney char­ac­ters ap­pear through­out the park – but there are end­less rows of restau­rants, toy shops, cof­fee shops and bak­eries all lead­ing to the iconic Sleep­ing Beauty cas­tle on the fa­mous Main Street.

The street also hosts the fa­mous must-see pa­rade with Dis­ney’s finest princesses, princes and other favourites all per­form­ing to the park crowds who gather ev­ery day.

But make sure you get there as early as you can to bag a good spot.

For thrill seek­ers there are plenty of rides to be found in the parks’ three lands: Ad­ven­ture­land, Fron­tier­land, Dis­cov­ery­land.

There is some­thing for all ages and it is easy enough to get around on the park’s trains, buses and horse-drawn street cars. There are also many op­por­tu­ni­ties to get all the In­sta­gram-wor­thy pic­tures you need, with plenty of char­ac­ter stat­ues to pose with.

Pack­ing for the jour­ney home, Tyler was ea­ger to know when we could come back again. We’ll have to have our own Marvel se­quel.

Any­one need a lift? Spec­tac­u­lar mo­ments are packed into the 20-minute show

Avengers like Iron Man are ev­ery­where your kids look

Fan­tas­tic live ac­tion spe­cial ef­fects help make the Marvel: Su­per He­roes United show one to re­mem­ber

Left: A huge video screen adds to the drama as vil­lain Thanos makes an ap­pear­ance Right: A photo op with Black Pan­ther

Star-Lord and Gamora lead­ing the dance-off

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