The principal railway station for Disneyland Paris was evacuated after a 'suspicious package' was found inside.

Hundreds of people including families with young children were caught up in the drama shortly after 8pm (6am NZT).

'Marne la Vallée station is being shut down as a precaution,' said a local police source. 'Searches are underway following a warning about a suspicious package.'

Soldiers and police were seen flooding the area, which is around 20 miles from the centre of the French capital.


It follows warnings from terrorist groups including Islamic State and Al-Qaeda that Disneyland is a prime target.

In January a man was arrested in a hotel in the hugely popular leisure complex carrying two handguns, ammunition, and a 'guide to the Koran'.

Bomb disposal experts surrounded his car after the weapons were detected in luggage put through an X-ray machine.

Staff stopped the 28-year-old man before anti-terrorist commandos were scrambled to the scene.

In February the man, a restaurant worker who has not been formally identified, was sentenced to six months wearing an electronic tag for arms possession, after investigators decided not to press terrorism charges.

He was described as a long-time convert to Islam, and insisted to judges sitting in Meaux, the Paris commuter town, that he was carrying the weapons 'because I fear for my safety'.

Now foreign tourists, including thousands from Britain, are shunning leisure attractions such as Disneyland in the wake of continuing terrorist attacks.

Terrorism has played a significant part in plummeting profits and visitor numbers at the attraction, its managers admitted today.

Catherine Powell, the President of Euro Disney, the park's operator, said the April - June turnover of 280 million pounds was down nine per cent on the same time period last year.

Referring to the Paris attacks, and ones in Brussels in March in which 132 people died, Ms Powell said: 'The third quarter was marked by difficult external factors that impacted the Parisian tourist industry.'

Ms Powell said these included 'strikes, unusually severe weather, and great concern in terms of public security following the events of Paris and Brussels.'

Armed patrols have failed to reassure travellers, with Matthias Fekl, the French tourism minister, saying hotels in the Paris area had an occupancy rate of only 32 per cent in the second half of July, compared to 77 per cent last year.

Hotels in Nice suffered a 45 per cent fall in revenue in the two weeks after a July 14th lorry attack in the Riviera city in which 85 died.

Disneyland Paris was among Europe's most-visited tourist destinations, with more than 10 million visitors a year.

France remains under a State of Emergency, which has been regularly extended since the November 13th attacks in Paris that saw 130 people gunned down or killed by suicide bombers.

Many had been enjoying themselves in tourist attractions including the Bataclan music venue, as well as bars and restaurants.