EU lawmakers' train makes unscheduled stop at Disneyland Paris

AFP - [email protected]
EU lawmakers' train makes unscheduled stop at Disneyland Paris
A general view shows the Sleeping Beauty Castle as Disneyland Paris. (Photo by BERTRAND GUAY / AFP)

European Union lawmakers travelling on a special train from Brussels to the French city of Strasbourg got an unexpected view of Big Thunder Mountain on Monday when they were accidentally sent to Disneyland Paris instead.


The surprise detour of almost 450 km elicited much mirth from the hundreds of MEPs (members of the European Parliament) and aides on board, who each month or so have to make the train trip.

That is because EU law sets Strasbourg as the official seat of the European Parliament even though much parliamentary business is carried out in Brussels.

"'Where magic comes to life' -- will Disney's slogan soon be that of the European Parliament?" tweeted one parliamentary press officer, Emmanuel Foulon, who found himself on the train at the Marne-la-Vallee station near the theme park outside the French capital.

"A Mickey Mouse parliament?" asked the online news website Politico.

Others tweeted that the mistake highlighted the need for the EU lawmakers to just stay in Brussels and stop the regular train journeys, which take nearly four hours, for their monthly four-day plenary sessions in Strasbourg, located in eastern France near the border with Germany.

"Could a new Disneyland be a suitable use for the Strasbourg buildings?" asked Pelle Geertsen, press aide to a Danish MEP, musing on what could happen to them if the European Parliament permanently settled in Brussels.


"And will this inspire a Disney movie?" he asked, suggesting a story about the parliament and a train "that wanted to go on holiday".

The Disneyland Paris stopover was, unfortunately, too short for the MEPs to disembark and indulge in some of the park's rides.

French railway company SNCF told AFP the train was delayed by 45 minutes because of the error. It was eventually shunted back onto the correct high-speed track for Strasbourg.


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