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 4!

Actually we can drop the Disneyland today – as it was a trip out to Paris for us.

We’d arranged the trip through Disney and had to traipse across to another hotel after breakfast to be picked up on a coach.  Which was late (and we had to wait right by some very smelly, noisy building work – nice!)  The coach dropped us in the centre of Paris where we were given our tickets for the Hop On, Hope Off Big Bus.  We’d also bought tickets for The Louvre from our on coach guide (22 Euros, when it turned out they only cost 15 Euros there – but it did mean we bypassed the big queue, so I guess we can forgive him the mark up!!)  We ended up walking down to the Louvre rather than wait for the bus – and of course, once we were in there we headed for the star attraction – the Mona Lisa.

the-louvre

It’s quite a trek – and we saw lots of willies and boobs on statues and paintings on the way there, much to the children’s amusement!  We had to wait quite a while to get to the front, but did in the end – and then obviously the teenager had to apply Snapchat filters to possibly the most famous painting in the entire world……..

the-mona-lisa

Then we walked a bit more to pick up a bus – but it was along the banks of the Seine, so felt quite exciting!!  The kids all enjoyed ‘helping’ with the map reading!

map-reading

But one of the roads was shut – seemingly for no reason – but it was causing loads of traffic chaos.  There was LOTS of car horn hooting – like that was going to make any difference?!  After being stationary for about 15 minutes we decided to get off to walk some more.  The kids were not quite as keen as we were – and piggy backs / shoulder rides had to be done (I think those steps should count double on my Fitbit?!)

We then found another bus stop and got back on the route up to the Trocadero – the views down over the Eiffel Tower were amazing – and all the standard stupid poses were done by the kids as well as most other visitors!!

trocadero-jumping

Nutella crepes provided some much needed energy to carry on with the bus tour.  It took us down to the tower itself (the teenager moaned it was not shiny – somewhat reminiscent of her father moaning about the Golden Gate bridge not being golden and the Sydney Opera house looking dirty not bright white!)  We had to wait for about 20 minutes to get through security – you can’t get in without a bag search and metal detector – and there are armed police / soldiers everywhere.  We planned to go up (despite it being foggy) but didn’t think the kids would cope with the steps (and having had jelly legs after climbing Sydney Harbour Bridge I suspect I would have struggled too!!) but the queue for the lifts was about 2 hours, so we decided not to bother and do it another time (as I’m writing this I’m stressing that I said the same about the World Trade Center in New York in late 2000……)  At this point we had 90 minutes before we needed to meet the coach home (and suspected the coach out of Paris at 6pm would not be fun!) so decided to get the train back to the park after the next leg of the Big Bus.

It was less than 8 Euros for an adult, and half for the kids – and we got to go on a double decker train which was very exciting. It only took 45 minutes to get back to the train station at Disney Village – so we were back before we’d even have got on the coach in Paris.  If we ever come again (IF!) then I would definitely consider hopping on the train and going into Paris unaccompanied. #bigandbrave

As it was about time for an early tea we headed to the Rainforest Café before the hoardes (as you can’t book).  Kids were happy with nuggets and chips – adults food was very very disappointing – but hey ho!

Then back to the hotel to chill out and pack for travelling home tomorrow night.  So absolutely no Disney parks done at all today!