Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Our #MagicBreak Escape To Disneyland Paris (Ad)

The week before Christmas, we were lucky enough to be invited on the Press Trip Of Dreams which saw us spending a long weekend at Les Villages Nature Paris - an idyllic little holiday village just a stones throw from our favourite place in the world - Disneyland Paris!

At the time of agreeing to go on the press trip, we weren't sure if we'd be able to manage a visit to Disney during our stay but to our surprise and delight - we were kindly invited by Magic Breaks to spend the day there. We were gifted with Park Hopper tickets for the day which gave us entrance to both Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios next door.

Although we've visited Disneyland Paris quite a few times over the last couple of years thanks to the annual passes we bought last year (which sadly expired in January so it had been almost a full year since our last visit there), we'd never actually visited during a weekend before so we weren't too sure how busy to expect it to be and how much we'd manage to fit in...I'll be honest, I expected the worst!

But I was pleasantly surprised - of course it was busy, but nowhere near as busy as I'd feared and we managed to squeeze in more than I thought we would.

It goes without saying that  Disneyland Paris is one of THE most magical places to visit, especially with young children in tow, but a visit during the Christmas season when the decorations are up, fairy lights twinkling all around you and the snow falling on Main Street as Christmas music guides you toward Sleeping Beauty's Castle - there is something even more special about it.

And as we took those steps towards the castle on that bright (and thankfully dry!) December morning, a tear fell down my face. The first of many happy tears I would cry that day!

I don't know what it is exactly about Disneyland Paris but whenever I'm there, I find myself becoming completely swept along in the magic of it all - it's almost as though from the moment I set foot inside those gates, the world outside is left behind and all of my worldly worries are left there with it.  And suddenly I'm transported back to childhood - filled with a heady mix of wonder, awe, gratitude and delight at the sights and sounds around me. 

After wandering around for a while to look at the Christmas decor, we decided to come up with a bit of a plan of attack for our Disney day - because let's be honest, if you don't have a plan at Disney then you'll soon find that time has run away with you and you haven't managed to fit in anything you wanted to!

My number one tip for time spent at Disneyland Paris is to decide what your "Must Dos" for the day are, and plan your day around them - for us, our Must Dos were to see the Christmas Parade, meet Jack Skellington in his Santa outfit, take a ride on the newly refurbished Phantom Manor and then we allowed each of the children to choose one ride or experience each - Tyne chose a ride on Big Thunder Mountain, Sailor chose his all time favourite Its A Small World and Noah chose to meet a Princess!

So with our plan in place, we took ourselves off to Frontierland to grab a Fast Pass for Big Thunder.

Fast Passes at Disneyland Paris come as part of your standard park entry ticket but can only be used on certain rides (these will be indicated on the park maps which are free to pick up as you enter the park, or alternatively you can see a list on the app) - to get your Fast Pass you simply scan you park entry tickets at the Fast Pass machines near the ride of your choice, and your tickets are printed with a return time.

So with our lunch time Fast Passes secured, we made the most of our morning in Frontierland by taking that long-awaited ride on Phantom Manor (Well worth the wait! We all loved it!), taking a walk around Boot Hill Cemetery to listen to the heartbeat in the grave, stopping for some Nachos and then crossing another thing off our To Do list by meeting Jack Skellington.

The character meet & greets at Disneyland Paris all run differently at the moment - most of them are straight forward queue systems whereby you join the queue and wait your turn, but some characters use the Lineberty app which operates as a virtual queue.

You can only use the app inside (or near) the parks, and the virtual queue opens 15 minutes before the scheduled character meet times - I popped on to the Lineberty app at 10am to get us a spot, and managed to grab one for 11:30 am.

We came out of the Phantom Manor ride next to Jack's meeting spot at 11:10 though and there was nobody in the line, so I showed our Lineberty ticket to the Cast member and he said we were fine to go in early as there was nobody else there - ideal!

Jack Skellington is always one of my favourite characters to meet as he's one of the few who actually talks - my kids love meeting and engaging with the characters, and as Nightmare Before Christmas is one of their favourite movies they love meeting Jack and were excited to chat to him about Christmas and ask him where Sally was!

After Tyne's turn on Big Thunder Mountain, it was time to grab a spot for the Christmas parade! And time for me to shed yet more tears as the beautiful festive floats drove past us, with dancers and characters waving and blowing kisses. There really is nothing quite like a Disney parade - they are truly magical!

For the rest of the afternoon we filled our time with rides (We managed to go on several rides by utilising our fast passes and going on rides during the evening when it quietened down, which I was quite impressed with!), snacks and - at Noah's request - meeting a Princess!

The only way to meet a Princess at Disneyland Paris outside of the unscheduled pop up meets that occasionally happen in Fantasyland, is at the Princess Pavilion - the queue here is always long, but on the plus side it's indoors so its warm, dry and most people tend to just sit down to wait it out so it can be a nice break from all of the rushing around!

We queued for around 80 minutes, but to Noah's absolute delight we got to meet one of her favourites - Princess Belle! The look on her face made it well worth the queueing time.

We made our way out of Princess Pavillion just as the main Disney Stars On Parade was making its way past us, so we got to watch that as it passed by.

We've seen it a fair few times but it never loses its magic!

After taking a little rest in the Disneyland Hotel (it's located at the park gates and is the perfect place to head to for lovely clean loos, a drink in a nice relaxed setting Noah's case....a snooze on the sofas!), we headed back into the park in time to watch the end of evening fireworks.

A perfect end to the Perfect Disney Day!

If you're thinking about visiting Disneyland Paris, then you'll most likely be feeling a little bit overwhelmed at all of the planning and offers available. I know that I found it all so confusing as a first timer!

I highly recommend taking a look at the amazing deals deals available through Magic Breaks - they are currently offering a FREE family cinema pass, £25 Disney Store Gift Card and FREE Eurostar upgrade to Standard Premier as well as FREE Disney Dining, 20% off and 100 Euro spending money with prices starting from just £199 per person (based on 2 adults and 2 children under 12 sharing a Trapper Tribe Cabin at Disney's Davy Crockett Ranch for 2 nights on selected dates in September 2020. Subject to availability).

To take a look at their current deals, just go to

And don't forget to take a look at my Disney Tips section for tips and info on planning your perfect Disney break as well as reviews of our previous stays.

I really do think that a trip to Disneyland Paris is the most magical family holiday you can take! And I have to admit, Magic Breaks amazing deals are really tempting to book again!

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