Disneyland Paris – the epilogue!

This has been in my drafts for FOREVER – so thought I should finally get around to actually posting it!  We’ve been away twice since then!! #holidayaddicts

So, I’ve blogged about our half term trip to Disneyland Paris, from my proposed behaviour plans in the prologue, to the ‘fun’ in the rain for Day 1, the lunch with Princesses on day 2, the ‘sod Mickey when there’s Messi’ of Day 3, the Snapchat filtering of a world famous painting on Day 4, and an emotional balloon release on Day 5.

But I thought I’d compose some advice on matters learned from our trip (and I will try and be the bigger person than just to say don’t bother with Paris, save up for Florida as they do Disney properly…………..)

Hotel
If you can – stay in the Disneyland Hotel, and if you can – book a Castle Club room.  This means you get characters at breakfast every day

mickey

(the Disney ones – and sometimes the world famous footballer ones too!! #LionelMessi) which reduces the need to queue for them at other times.

messi

The fact that you’re between the parks means you can pop back for a battery recharge (metaphorically and for your phone) during the day.  You also get to enter the Disneyland Park earlier than the general public (although only certain rides are open for these Magic Hours).

The one thing I would say is that having a Castle Club room with a park view is fantastic (we stayed in Walt’s Apartment with a connecting room as there are 6 of us) but it is noisy.  You have a great view of the fireworks from the comfort of your room – but equally little kids may not sleep through it!  Then when the hoardes leave the park it can be quite raucous (and it’s not very ‘Disney’ to shout at them to shut up from your window……..).  Then the Disney music plays until around midnight and starts again at 7am – and for us this had a Halloween ghostly theme (last time it was Christmas music though!)

fireworks

 

Food
We struggled keeping everyone happy (but we do have 4 kids with differing tastes!)

We had an absolutely amazing meal in the California Grill in the Disneyland Hotel – but the kids meals didn’t have fries, which immediately meant child 3 had a meltdown.  The food was beautifully presented and the wine exquisite (but it is really, really expensive!)

Lunch with the Princesses in the park was also excellent in terms of quality (again no French fries) and a great way to get a few more characters off the tick list.

cinderellas

The best all rounder meal, though, was in Chez Remy in Walt Disney Studios – great quality food – INCLUDING FRIES!!!!

cork

Fastpass
If you’re staying in a Castle Club room – and I think most of the Disney Hotels – you get unlimited Fastpasses for all of the rides that offer that facility.  At certain times of the day these are great (generally in the mornings) but at some points, the Fastpass queue can be longer than the regular queues – madness! And not all rides have the Fastpass option.
Sometimes using single rider queues can also be a way to beat the queues if you’re happy not to sit together in a group – I guess this depends on kids ages and such like.

Going into Paris
We paid to do a Disney trip into the centre of Paris.  This involved queuing for a coach at another hotel and driving through really slow traffic to get there.  Once in Paris we were dropped off to reconvene a few hours later.  We couldn’t face the coach trip back and ditched them in favour of the very reasonably priced train (double decker train at that) back to Disneyland Paris.  It was a straighforward, easy train ride – and so much better than hanging about and a coach.

Once in Paris then there are loads of different options for hop on / hop off trips – or even just walking – which we did loads of!

trocadero-jumping

The kids loved seeing some of the historic sites (although I’m not sure Leonardo was expecting teens to put Snapchat filters on the Mona Lisa……..)

the-mona-lisa

I am sure there are loads of other top tips I can offer – so if you think of anything then ask away – but there we go.

We’ve done Disneyland Paris…………….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disneyland Paris – day 3!

Day 3 started with another Messi breakfast (and again we didn’t let the 11 year old get a photo or autograph – and the pressure was starting to build from friends and family back home about what cruel parents we were)!  Thankfully there were characters galore – Gepetto, Pinocchio, Mr Smee, Pluto and the big 2 – Minnie and Mickey Mouse.  All very exciting.

mickeyminnie

Then we magic houred it into the park for the husband and big 2 to do Space Mountain whilst I took the little 2 on Buzz Lightyear.  And here comes whinge 1:

We paid 60 Euros when we arrived for all of the photos from the photographers out and about around the park and for the photos on the rides.  This has proved to be quite a rubbish investment.  In our 3 days thus far we haven’t seen a single photographer out and about!  We’d hoped for a Price family photo in front of the castle, but have had to make do with a rubbish selfie rather than a professional one.  Today on Space Mountain we had a photo taken, and it could be viewed after the ride, but the shop was shut and so it wasn’t possible to get the photo.  All seems a bit rubbish – and miss-sold.

Whilst I am in whinge mode (some would say I’ve been firmly in that mode for 42 years?!) – smoking!  People wander round the parks cigarettes – traditional and e cigs – in hand.  Theoretically there are smoking areas and the rest of the park is non smoking, but this rule does not appear to be applied at all. It truly is gross, compounded by the fact it would appear many more Europeans than Brits smoke *based on no research whatsoever, just the gut feeling I’ve got from our travels!!

Our concierge had booked lunch for us at Planet Hollywood (it seemed safer to book, as Rainforest Cafe was turn up and wait – and the only prerequisite from the kids was it was a restaurant with chips!!) But we were early and so went on Panoramamagique – a tethered balloon ride that takes you 100m up above the park.  On a clear day you can see the centre of Paris and the Eiffel Tower – but it wasn’t a clear day!  However, it did give you a feeling of the scale of the parks and the huge number of beds the hotels in the surrounding areas must provide.  The autumnal colours of the trees were also amazing.  Half of the kids were scared, the other half were trying to rock the balloon to scare them further – you’ve got to love siblings!

We popped in to the Lego shop then, which the 4 year old was excited about as the boy she loves from school is a big Lego fan – so we took her photo in front of the Toy Story characters made out of Lego to send to him!!

lego

Planet Hollywood was the same as Planet Hollywood the world over (although disappointingly no zucchini fries on the menu here!) – but the decor right down to the loos, is the same no matter which branch your in.  Anyway – there were chips, so the kids were happy.

The back to the hotel for a power nap (for Daddy anyway!) and we got to see some of the Halloween parade from our balcony.  At afternoon tea the 11 year old’s dreams came true and we let him ask Lionel Messi for a photo (when he wasn’t with his kids) – sod Mickey, this was the highlight of his holiday – possibly life to date (he had a photo with Arjen Robben last New Year’s Eve, so is doing pretty well for world famous footballers on holiday recently – apparently only Ronaldo or David Beckham will top this #pressure)!

messi

 

We headed off to the Buffalo Bill Wild West show in the evening.  You are divided into 4 teams – this time we were blue (last time we came 6 years ago we were green and after kicking around the house for the best part of 5 years, we’ve only just chucked out the hats!!)  It’s a great horse / buffalo / bison show (cue rubbish joke – what’s the difference between and buffalo and a bison???  You can’t wash your hands in a bison
(this is better if you’re from the Black Country (West Midlands rather than being racist in any way) as bison sounds more like basin then!!)

wild-west-show

My highlight is that you are told your meal deal includes a soft drink – and they offer beer to the adults #beerisasoftdrinkinFrance!! The horse show is great (and I remembered to take an antihistamine this time!!) and the children enjoyed it loads.  The ‘highlight’ was Daddy being a volunteer – so he got to go down into the arena and go in a coach and then be tied up with a woman from Liverpool (standard night out?!)

tied-up

The 6 year old was hysterical the entire time thinking Daddy was actually going to be hijacked – but in true Disney style the bad guys were defeated and all was well – phew! Quick visit to the ‘World of Disney’ en route back (shockingly badly staffed again – Paris really is the antithesis of Orlando) and then back to the hotel room for turn down chocolates, room service wine and potentially the fireworks for a third consecutive night (re-setting them each day must be a task)

Tomorrow is Disney free (yay!) as we’re off in to Paris for the day to see the sites.  I’ve never done the proper tourist thing in Paris – I did a quick driving tour once with a Deloitte partner when I was considering a transfer to the Paris office (I told him I could only come if I had red wine on tap, as it’s the only way my French is any good – it did not seem that this was impossible!  I was also a bit of a Princess and told him to slow down whilst speeding through the underpasses #PrincessDianareference!) so I am looking forward to seeing all the sites / sights – it should also minise the chance of characters being punched, and improve the quality of food on offer. #winwin