Monday, 28 January 2019

Our Disneyland Paris Diaries

Last week, we headed back to Disneyland Paris.

It was our 7th visit there since October 2016 when we first set foot inside the park after years of daydreaming about it, and - just like every other trip we've taken there - it was amazing!

People often ask me if I get bored visiting the same place 3 or 4 times per year, but I never do and neither do the boys - there alway seems to be more to see and do there, and with so many different seasons going on there is always a new element to each visit.

I thought I'd share with you a look at how we filled our time there this visit in the form of a Disneyland Paris Diary.


We travelled to Disneyland Paris by Eurostar which we boarded at Ebbsfleet. This is our favourite way to travel there as it seems the most inexpensive and convenient option for us. We flew there once but we thought it was much more expensive and it limited our luggage allowance too much for our liking.

So now we make the 4 hour journey to Ebbsfleet from Devon by car the day before, and stay overnight in a Holiday Inn which is just a 12 minute drive from Ebbsfleet station. We book it early and it usually only costs £60 or so for the night, and includes breakfast.

Having once missed our train when we tried to travel to Ebbsfleet on the day, it's worth the extra cost for the peace of mind it gives us to be so close to the station! Parking at Ebbsfleet isn't too expensive either, more reasonable than we've found airport parking to be at least!

So we stayed over at the Holiday Inn on Saturday night, and got the first Eurostar from Ebbsfleet on the Sunday morning just after 9 am.

At this time of year, there are no direct Eurostar journeys to Disneyland Paris unfortunately so we had to change to a TGV train at Lille but it was very straight forward.

We arrived at Disneyland Paris just after 2pm local time which meant our journey took 4 hours in total - we always use the Disney Express luggage service which enables us to drop our luggage off at the train station, and have it taken for us to our hotel. Which means we can go straight into the parks and start enjoying ourselves!


So we set foot in to Disneyland Park just after 2pm, and we decided to just have a wander around and take it easy as we expected the park to be super busy given that it was a weekend.

Much to our surprise, it was actually pretty quiet! We watched the Princess & Pirates Parade which the boys really love, and then as we were wandering around the park we noticed that the Genie was doing meet & greets with hardly any queue at all!

Genie was on my wish list of characters to meet this trip, so we jumped in the queue - there were only 2 people in front of us so within moments we'd met him and got our photos taken...perfect!

After that, Tyne had a go on Pirates Of The Caribbean with Jon as there was a 5 minute wait time and we spent the rest of the day walking around, taking in the sites and letting the boys play and run off some steam after travelling.

We headed in to the Disneyland Hotel to warm up at the end of the evening, and wait for our dinner reservation at Inventions buffet restaurant.

Inventions is a character dining restaurant and although it's pricey, it's worth every penny as the food is always really good with plenty of choice and the character interaction there has been fantastic every time we've been.

There are usually 5 or 6 characters there, but this time there were 8 - including Mr Smee who we'd never met before! There was also Captain Hook, Goofy, Pluto, Gepetto, Eeyore, Tigger & of course Mickey Mouse. The boys had a great time playing with the characters, and after a short walk back to our hotel at Newport Bay they crashed out for the night!


We had high hopes of making it in to the parks for Extra Magic Hours but after the previous days travelling, everyone was too exhausted - so we had a lie in instead!

We headed in to the park around lunch time, and headed straight for Frontierland to find Mickey Mouse in his new Phantom Manor outfit! Disneyland do these exclusive Meet & Greets in special edition outfits every now and then, and I was determined to get a photo with Mickey in this costume - the meet & greet was outside of Phantom Manor itself which is currently closed for refurbishment  - this inconspicuous location seemed to keep the crowds away so it was a really small queue with only 4 or 5 people in front of us. Ideal!

After we met Mickey, we had a go on some rides - Tyne went on his favourite Thunder Mountain with Jon, and I got a fastpass for my favourite - Peter Pans Flight which I went on with Sailor. Noah decided during this trip that he doesn't like rides that was fun!!

He did still like Its A Small World though luckily, so we all had a ride on that before heading to central plaza to watch the Princess Vs Pirates Dance Off Battle which was just as brilliant as I remembered!

We were booked in for dinner that evening at our hotel, in their buffet restaurant Cape Cod - I wasn't sure what to expect from it but it was really good! The selection was great, the boys absolutely stuffed themselves silly - I've never seen them eat so much! And Jon & I really enjoyed it too - definitely one of the best meals we've had at Disneyland Paris, and quite reasonably priced too.


Today we finally made it into the park for Extra Magic Hours - although only for the last half hour of it but better than nothing, right!

We used our time to go on some of the rides in fantasyland while the queues were low. We went on Dumbo which was a walk on with no queue at all, and then Mad Hatters Teacups which was a walk on too - there was nobody queueing at all so we got to ride it again and again until after 3 turns in a row we felt a bit dizzy and decided to get off!

We headed in to Alice's Curious Labyrinth and while we were in there, it started to snow pretty heavily - and within an hour or so, Disneyland was covered in deep deep deep deep snooooow! (Get it?!)

We stuck it out for a little while, went on Its A Small World but the snow soon got too much for us so we headed in to Princess Pavilion to warm up.

Unfortunately, it was a bit TOO warm in there and after an hour of queuing I started to feel a bit unwell and Noah started to have an epic meltdown the moment we reached the front of the queue - resulting in him screaming at poor Princess Aurora! Not exactly magical!

We decided to head off out of the park after that (after stopping for 10 minutes so that the boys could indulge in a snowball fight, which they absolutely LOVED!) and back to the hotel for a rest. That afternoon we made use of the pool at the hotel, which was actually really good fun and the perfect way to spend a snow day at Disney!


I was a bit worried about what Wednesday would be like after all of the snow we had on Tuesday, but to my delight I found that the paths in the village and the parks were all lovely and clear...and the best part of all, was that the weather forecast and the previous days snow kept the crowds away!

ALL of the rides in both parks were between 5 and 15 minutes queues for the whole day, even Thunder Mountain and Peter pans Flight which usually have super long queues! The Disney village was like a ghost town - it was the quietest I have ever seen Disneyland Paris!

We decided to spend the day at Disney Studios, and as we headed inside we noticed that the Stormtroopers were walking around so we headed over to meet them much to Tyne's delight! Then it was time for the Star Wars shows - the Imperial March and the main show itself, we got a spot right in the front to watch them. I'm not a Star Wars fan but even I get wrapped up in it all at Disney, they do it so well!

After the shows we went over to the Chewbacca meet & greet and again we were the second people in the queue so had hardly any wait time at all - the meet was fantastic, Chewie was SO brilliant with the boys - I expected them to be scared of him but he  knelt down to cuddle them and put them at ease right away!

After that we decided to go on some rides. Ratatouille was a walk on so we went on that twice, and then headed to the toy story area to go on Slinky Dog and Toy Soldiers Parachute Drop. We tried to watch the Disney Junior Live show but unfortunately they cancelled it half way through due to technical problems which was disappointing as the boys had been enjoying it, but never mind - we had a go on Flying Carpets and then headed inside to have some Wookie Cookies (Delicious!) and hot chocolate.

Then it was time for the end of the night Star Wars Firework show, which we watched from the VIP Infinity pass area - it was a really good show.

We went for dinner at Five Guys, and then headed back to the hotel for an early night ready for our last day at Disney!


We checked out of the hotel at 11 am, and thanks to the Disney Express service we could leave our luggage with the hotel to transfer to the train station for us - which meant we had 5 and a half hours to enjoy in the parks before it was time to leave.

Each of the boys got to choose one last thing to do, and all of them chose a ride - Noah chose Slinky Dog so we headed in to Studios first to do that, and then Sailor chose Ratatouille. As we went around to go on it, we noticed that Emil & Remy were doing a meet and greet outside it so we jumped in the queue and got to do a last meet & greet with them which was really good fun!

We then had our go on Ratatouille before heading in to the main Disneyland park for Tyne's choice of last ride, Pirates Of The Caribbean (we also had a go on Thunder Mountain one last time too!).

We had lunch at Pizzeria Bella Notte, before watching the main parade from the Infinity pass area. I just about had time to grab a Mickey Waffle from Victorias and some sweets from the candy shop on Main Street before it was time to head home.

Despite having 5 days in the park, the holiday went by in a flash and we were all so sad to leave.

But we had a fantastic time and managed to meet some characters we'd never met before, and fit plenty of fun in! I wasn't a fan of being at Disney in the snow last year but this year I enjoyed it much more - possibly because we'd gone far more prepared with ski suits, wellies and ponchos as well as lots of layers! Or possibly because it had been forecast this time so Disney were more prepared for it, and handled it really well.

I'm no fan of snow at home, but there really is something magical about it at Disneyland Paris <3

Until next time Disney...hopefully we'll see you again soon!

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