Thursday, 23 November 2017

A Magical Festive Trip To Disneyland Paris

Last week myself, Jon and our 3 super excited little boys headed off for a 5 day trip to my favourite place in the world...Disneyland Paris!

Although it was our third visit having been previously for Halloween season last year and in January this year, it was our first experience of their Magical Christmas season...something I was really excited about as if there's one thing I love as much as I love's Christmas!

We arrived on 12th November, the official start of the Christmas season at Disneyland, and right away I realised that we hadn't quite taken into account how much busier that would make the seems everybody wanted to come to experience the launch of the season too!

On our previous visits we've made sure we've chosen very quiet times and as a result we've only had 5 -15 minutes long queues for rides and character meets, and have been able to get a spot for the parade 10 minutes before it starts...but not this time! This time it was MUCH busier with most rides having around a 30 minute queue and the parade spots filling up a good half hour before the start time.

I know these are not "busy" wait times by Disney standards and if you're used to visiting during school holidays or weekends you'll wonder why I wasn't jumping for joy at a mere half hour wait, but to us...with our previous experiences of the was crazy busy!

But we were determined not to let it spoil things and set about it having a magical time anyway!

We stayed at the Hotel Cheyenne...this was our third Disney hotel experience, we've previously stayed at the Santa Fe and the Sequoia Lodge and I'm pleased to say that Cheyenne turned out to be our favourite so far. The theming of the room in its Toy Story cowboy style was fantastic, and the Wild West Town look of the whole area was really effective too. Everything felt clean and it was a nice walking distance from the Disney village of around 10 minutes (There were regular shuttle buses outside too but we prefer to walk).

During our time we managed to do pretty much everything we wanted of our favourite things to do is Character meet & greets, and although the wait times were long we managed to meet everybody on our list!

I wasn't sure that Tyne would manage to meet Captain Jack Sparrow this time like he wanted to as he wasn't listed as an official meet and greet in the programme, but we were lucky enough to bump into him during our first hour in the park and we were the only ones there so Tyne got to have a chat with him and have his photo taken which was great!

I was really keen to meet Thumper as he's one of my favourite characters and he's only ever out at Christmas...we waited around 25 minutes to meet him and Miss Bunny but it was worth it, they were so entertaining and the kids loved them!

Jack Skellington was another great character to meet...we've met him before at Halloween but meeting him in his Christmas outfit was really fun, and he's always really good to interact with.

A stand out favourite was also Darth Vader...which is surprising given that I have no interest in Star Wars at all, but he was just so good and so believable...he has his own meet station Starport in Discoveryland and the queues were quite short, around 10 minutes or so.

We also booked to have lunch at Auberge De Cendrillon which is the Princess restaurant in Fantasyland...I'll do a separate review of our lunch for those interested but we were so pleased with it, although the food was a little bit fussy... particularly for the boys tastes...the interaction with the Princesses was worth the price anyway! We met Rapunzel, Cinderella, Snow White, Belle and Aurora and all of them were fantastic with the boys...nothing felt rushed at all, they really took their time chatting to each child and posing for was one of the highlights of our trip.

Another highlight was Buffalo Bills Wild West Show...this was something we booked last minute and I really only did it because I felt bad that Noah and Sailor (the Princess fans!) were getting lunch with the Princesses, but there was nothing special for Tyne to do...he's getting more interested in cowboys these days so it seemed a good choice for him.

I knew that the food was western themed and that there were going to be animals running around while we ate which is something I'm just not keen on at all, so I didn't expect to enjoy myself...but I was so pleasantly surprised! The whole show was SO entertaining, all 5 of us absolutely loved it...we laughed so hard and were in awe of the tricks the cowboys were performing, the horses were just fantastic to watch too. It was such an entertaining show and the food was actually pretty good! I'm so glad we booked to see it.

For the rest of our meals we ate quick service and although the lines were very long, we do find the best value money at the quick service restaurants...Toad Hall's Double Fish & Chips easily feeds two  people, the pizza meal at Colonel Hathi's does too and the Jedi Burgers at Cafe Hyperion were absolutely delicious!! I would travel back there now to eat one!

I'll be doing a separate post about snacks to try at Disneyland Paris soon!

As for the rides, we managed to do almost everything at least a couple of times...Haunted Mansion, Peter Pans Flight, Madhatters Tea Cups, Alice's Curious Labyrinth, Dumbo, Flying Carpets, Casey Jnr, Story Boats, Ratatouille, Cars...I even went on Thunder Mountain! I absolutely hated it but least I tried it! My 4 year old however loves it, and went on four or five times!

The only things we didn't manage to do that we wanted to were Star Tours (we had planned to ride it on the last day but it was closed) and Its A Small World (it was closed for refurb all week and reopened on our last day but the lines were ridiculously long!)

The Christmas decorations were really spectacular, and the Christmas themed shows and performances that we saw were amazing too - the Christmas parade in particular was really lovely and brought a tear to my eye.

The regular daily parade still ran each day too which also was our first time seeing the new parade with the Dragon and was really something to behold! The whole parade was truly magical.

And the final highlight of our trip was a rather special experience that Disneyland arranged for Noah as an apology for the Princess drama...

He got to have a private meet & greet with Queen Elsa and Princess Anna themselves!

After a VIP viewing of the Frozen Sing A Long show, we were taken on to the stage to meet Noah's heros...this was an amazing thing for Disneyland to do for him as Meet & Greets with Elsa & Anna don't take place at all at Disneyland Paris, so it really was a one off opportunity for Noah to meet them...he was absolutely delighted, and it's all he's talked about since!

It was the perfect end to a really wonderful wonderful in fact that Jon & I are talking once again about buying annual passes so that we can return to the magic more often in 2018! I can't help myself...Disneyland Paris really is my happy place!

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