Spruced up but keeps its old-school charm

reviewed by Jennifer Hamerman

The Jardin d’Acclimatation had long been an MLP favourite. We loved its old-fashioned charm and its simplicity compared with Disneyland. It was always a great standby for old-school, family fun.

So we waited anxiously throughout the €60million renovation undertaken by LVMH (the owners of the Fondation Louis Vuitton museum inside the Jardin d’Acclimatation). Would the Jardin lose its charm and become a bit too slick and well, too ….Louis Vuitton?

We needn’t have worried. The revamped park is tastefully done. There are 17 new rides joining the existing 25. The theme is “steampunk” spirit with a third-millennium take and science fiction and fantasy mixed in. It still feels like the good old Jardin d’Acclimatation, just noticeable cleaner and spruced up with some better rides.

“the old shabbiness has gone yet they retained the charm”

The new rides are great. They have moved the park closer into real theme park territory. It is still really only a venue for Primary and Nursery aged kids. There would not be much here to interest teens. But the newer rides are definitely enough of a thrill for older Primary kids.

Photo by Jennifer Hamerman

Another improvement was how lovely all the staff were! Did they go on a secret training camp while the renovation was going on?! They were sweet and friendly and took their time chatting with the kids as they boarded the rides.

It has sometimes been called (rather unkindly) ‘a poor man’s Disney’.

If we are honest, we can’t quite see how they spent the full €60m! The new rides were great but we couldn’t quite see that much money’s worth. But, on the upside, the old shabbiness has gone yet they retain the charm, which is a big achievement.

Photo by Alexandra Azzarello

It has sometimes been called (rather unkindly) “a poor man’s Disney”.  We never felt that way at MLP, loving the Jardin for its simplicity.  And we also take issue that it’s a poor man’s anything!  A day here is not cheap.  Yes, the entrance fee is very low, just €5  to get in.  But once you’re in, you need to buy attraction tickets for each ride and most of the best rides are classed as ‘two tickets’. Attraction tickets are €2 90 each for one individual ticket, but the more you buy, the cheaper it gets.  A book of 50 tickets costs €90 So you can save a bit of money if you’ll be a regular visitor by buying a lot of tickets to use

Photo courtesy of Jardin d’Acclimatation

It’s a special place. Our group felt a bit sentimental watching our 9-year olds, who seem to grow up so fast, just running around delighted with all the innocent fun of the place. They were so in the zone, they even got on a carousel, something some of them hadn’t done in years. The revamped Jardin d’Acclimatation has really cemented its place as a classic part of Parisian childhood.

Love MLP

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