Disneyland Paris is somewhere I have wanted to go for years. Being a huge Disney fan, I couldn’t not go there. Taking the kids to one of the most magical places was, truly, amazing. Seeing their little faces light up at the characters and their smiles on the rides, is something I will never forget, even if they do. They are still little and I know we will go back again and again.
I want to start this post with a huge Thank You to my Mum. She booked and paid for us all to go to Disneyland and have the amazing experience we did. I owe a lot to my Mum. She really is the best Mum ever.
I’m going to try and break this post down into sections. It might be a long one, so grab a coffee and read on.
Ok, so, we had a bit of a bad start to this trip. We got on the plane and took off.
About 5-10 minutes in, Simon noticed that we hadn’t gone up very high and he could still see the airport. Having never flown before (and me not flying for a while) we thought maybe the plane just had to turn and face the right way. Then the announcement came. The pilot told us that we had to reland as there was a small technical fault with the plane. Cue my anxiety. It was nothing major, just the autopilot and the navigation wasn’t working. Obviously, they need that to be working so they know where to go.
We relanded and, pretty much, got straight back on to a different plane. This one was smoother and we managed to get all the way to Paris. Dominic loved every second of it. It was his first time on a plane too. He gave a running commentary of everything he could see.
Our Disneyland Hotel
We stayed at the Hotel Santa Fe, which is the Cars themed one. It was really nice. The kids loved jumping on the beds and the TV had Disney Junior on that they could watch while we got sorted. The restaurant at the hotel was lovely but I will go into that later on in the post. There was a character there every morning at around 8 am. We didn’t realise this until about day 3.
There are 2 parks at Disneyland Paris, the main park and Disney studios park.
We explored the studio park first as this is where all the Marvel stuff was. There were a few bits we didn’t look round this time that I want to do next time. We did a couple of the rides in this park on the first day, but we were all really tired so didn’t do much haha. We did go back and watch some of the shows throughout the week though.
The main park was the place to be though. Loads of rides and character meet and greets. It’s also the home to the main attraction….the Castle. I think this was what I was most excited to see. It lived up to my expectations and is beautiful. You can go inside, have a look round and see the view from the balcony.
Both parks require a lot of walking around and you will definitely need a map to find your way.
We saw quite a few shows while we were there. The first one was Mickey and the Magician. I loved this one and it was probably my favourite. They sing songs from various Disney films and there is some magic involved in it too. The kids loved it as much as I did.
We then saw the stunt show. this was amazing and I was on edge the whole time. They do it like a film set and show you how some of the stunts are done.
The marvel shows were the highlight for Dominic. They had a couple of outdoor ones on the production court stage and one in the little theatre there. They had some comedy elements to them and a lot of action. I’m not sure how long they will be running as this summer is the Marvel Superhero Summer.
The parade was also a highlight. Lots of dancers and songs. I would say definitely get there early and try to sit on a curb somewhere so you can see. It’s only about 10/15 minutes long but, again, the kids loved it and it was very magical.
Meeting the characters was something that I really wanted the kids to do. I don’t think they really knew who most of them were though haha. I need to get them to watch more Disney films. We met Minnie and Mickey on day 2 and managed to get a fast track for Mickey. We then did the character breakfast on Wednesday which I totally recommend. They had 6 characters come round and they just come to your table, sign autographs and take photos. It was just an easier way to meet some of them without having to queue for ages. We were quite lucky with a few of them and not having to wait too long but, I would suggest if there’s someone you definitely want to meet, find out the times and get there early.
Everywhere we went to eat, the food was really good. We had breakfast included at the hotel and that was an all you can eat buffet. This suited us well as we could have a big breakfast and then just snack through the day until our evening meal. We also ate at the restaurant one evening. This was, again, buffet style. The food was so good we all ate loads. Planet Hollywood was my favourite though. I had a lasagne but it was a bit different as the pasta had been curled around the filling and covered in a breadcrumb coating. It was delicious. I would go back to Disneyland just for that to be honest haha. We also ate at the Rainforest Cafe. Another really nice meal but the kids didn’t like the little thunderstorm they do in there.
Around the park, there are little food stalls where you can get biscuits, ice cream and other little treats.
Shops are dotted around everywhere, but the main ones are down Main Street. They line either side and are all connected in some way. We went to a few of them and got some little bits. Over near where the restaurants are mainly situated, there are a couple of big Disney stores, a fashion store and a lego shop. I think we went in all of these ones and had a look round. There are some shops I didn’t dare take the kids in for fear of them breaking something. Loads of ornaments and glass work that I just couldn’t bring myself to look at. I know I would have wanted to get it all haha.
Some information they don’t tell you that we found out are:
Your Disney Hotel key cards can be used to fast-track a couple of rides. I think you can do 3 rides on them. Just go to the specific fast-track rides, scan your card and get a time slot. Then you can just get to the ride for that time and go straight on. I think you can also book these at City Hall but I’m not sure. I know my brother used his but we didn’t end up using ours in the end.
There is an app you can use to prebook a few things like meet and greets. It’s called Lineberty and helped my brother book some meet and greets. You have to be in the park where it’s happening and be really quick as they go fast. As you can see, my brother used these features and we didn’t. I’m not sure why we didn’t haha. We will be using them next time we go though.
Characters come to the hotel. Like I mentioned before, we didn’t know this until we saw goofy at our hotel one morning. This would be an easier way to meet the characters as well as the breakfast we did.
I’ve already mentioned Lineberty and would recommend getting it before going to Disneyland.
Magiparc is an app my sister in law had. I couldn’t get it on my android phone so I’m not sure if its just an apple one but it was very good with showing wait times and restaurant information.
I downloaded quite a few of the Disneyland apps that show wait times as well. These were helpful as it’s also a map of the parks.
You can download the Disney photo pass app too. We didn’t really use this as we took our own photos. It could be useful though if You know you want to buy a few of the professional pictures.
A lot of the apps I have are similar, so I would recommend checking a few out and seeing which one you like best.
Here are some more random photos that we took.
So, that was our first trip to Disneyland Paris. I am already planning the next one and really want to stay at the main Disneyland Hotel. I would also love to go to Disneyworld in Florida one day, but that will definitely be when the kids are a lot older haha.
P.P.S I apologise for how random the photos are! I could’t get them to sit where I wanted them haha.