Having been lucky enough to visit Disneyland Paris numerous times before, we were desperate for a completely new experience that would make us justify another trip. When we first learned of Center Parcs and Disney working on a joint venture, we knew it was going to be something completely unique and couldn’t wait to try it out!
Villages Nature opened in September 2017, so we visited a little over a year after opening date. The park still feels fresh and new, though with the young foliage still settling in to it’s new surroundings, this place will only get more beautiful with age. It’s eco-friendly ethics are evident but subtle, allowing you to relax totally guilt-free.
We stayed in a Premium 1 Bedroom Apartment overlooking the lake, and can I just take a moment to say “wow”! We don’t often get excited about hotels & apartments, but this was so thoughtfully designed and maintained, we could have lived here very comfortably! Despite us being on the 1st floor with other guests staying above, below, to the left and the right of us, you could not hear a peep out of anyone else! Not a bump, squeak or toilet flush at all! The sound proofing and insulation is second-to-none. The layout is sensible and makes the most out of every inch within the apartment. The kitchen is very well equipped, the decor is tasteful and the place was immaculate. A comfy bed, plenty of storage and a great shower was the icing on the cake. In terms of value for money, this far outweighs any of the other official Disney accommodation, even if you do have to get a public service bus to and from the parks.
Outside of the apartment, we spent most of our time at Villages Nature around the promenade, which is home to a number of shops & dining experiences, a bowling alley, games arcade and an escape room. The supermarket, Franprix, has all of your basics for cooking a meal or preparing breakfast in your apartment, but I’d advise bringing your favourite tea bags & cereal from home as the choice is limited to a few French brands and it’s not cheap! Vapiano is a family-friendly Italian eatery which offers dine in & takeaway pizza, pasta & salads. There is also an organic cafe, bakery, boutique gift shop & a burger stand, so enough to keep you busy for a few evenings.
By far our favourite thing about this resort is the petting zoo come working farm, ‘Ferme Bellevie’, which is every child’s dream. Donkeys, cows, goats, pigs, rabbits, chickens and more horses than you can shake a bale of hay at! The area has been designed to create the best opportunities for animal interaction, and the animals are so sweet natured, they will happily let you pet them whilst they munch on their lunch. Children can also enjoy a horse riding lesson (reservations required) and learn how to care for the animals too. There is a themed indoor play area for the little ones, another restaurant and some cookery classrooms in this area, so again there is plenty to explore here. We got some great pictures too!
Billed as the crowning glory of the entire resort, the Aqualagon is a shining beacon of energy, visible from anywhere around the lake. Admittedly we didn’t have time to experience this on our trip, but a family could easily spend a whole day here without a problem. I guess this means we’ll have to plan another visit…
Some of the other areas which we visited are The Extraordinary Gardens, The Forest Of Legends & The Beach. Admittedly we did feel these areas were more suited to families looking to get involved with the activities in each area. The gardens were beautifully manicured and the themeing around the four elements made for some good photo opportunities.
We loved every minute of our stay here, and I can honestly recommend this resort to anyone! Adults, families, groups, singles, ‘Dis-nerds’, locals… I couldn’t think of anywhere else in the world I could recommend to literally any traveller. If you are thinking about visiting, I wouldn’t hang around – rooms next summer are already selling fast and you DON’T want to miss out!
- If arriving by train and need to use the #47 bus to Villages Nature, purchase a ‘Carnet’ of 10 t+ tickets from the train station to save your family a pretty penny! It costs €2 per person each way to get from Disneyland Paris / Marne La Vallee Station to Villages Nature, however if you buy the ‘Carnet’ of 10 tickets, it’s just €14.90 saving you over 25%! You can buy these at the customer service desk or using one of the self-service machines at Marne La Vallée Station. We always used the machines as they’re easy to use (you can select the language), you can pay cash or card and there is often no queue.
- Download the Villages Nature app before you go for up to date activities, opening times and easy check-in.
- If you’re travelling from the UK, take your must-have beverages & snacks. You won’t find Yorkshire Tea here!
- If you’re visiting Disneyland Paris during your stay, you’re entitled to Extra Magic Time in the parks! You can usually knock out most of the must-do attractions before the park even opens to the general public!
- Give yourself plenty of time to make the most of the facilities. Our biggest regret was not making enough time to use the Aqualagon. There is so much to squeeze in, you need at least 3 nights/4 days here to make the most of it!
- I recommend booking through your local travel agent as they can recommend the best deals, check live availability and give you more useful tools to get the most out of your trip. There isn’t a lot of information online as it’s still quite a new resort, so any insider tricks are always welcome. Also, as an official Disney hotel you can often take advantage of current Disneyland Paris promotions such as ‘free dining’ during your days in the parks!
Have you visited Villages Nature Paris? Do you have any questions or comments? Feel free to comment below – I’d love to hear from you!