Disneyland, the magic and us
I think my mum had waited a long time to take a grandchild to Disneyland Paris. So when this moment arrived, the excitement was immense. Sadly she was also taking me, her daughter an annoyingly organised control freak. This control freak however, Proved useful on our visit to the magic kingdom.
We decided to do 5 nights in Disneyland. neither of us wanted to rush and we felt a little extra time would make it feel less manic. It worked.
Due to the train strikes we actually went a day early so had seven days to play. We did not see everything but we saw what we wanted to see.
We booked to stay at the New York hotel on the resort. This was a brilliant location for a toddler, a buggy and two adults who knew their feet were going to be put to the test.
Though tired and due a huge refurb, the hotel was lovely, the indoor and outdoor pool was appreciated, the staff were helpful and the rooms were a great place to rest your oh so very tired head at the end of a noisy day.
Before coming to D L a list was made and I stocked up on things that would make the trip a little less expensive and a lot more easier. I am talking about Disney store sales, pound shops, Primark etc. I am going to do a tip list at the end of this post and go into more detail on this.
We joined a facebook group for brits going to Disneyland. Though it had a few helpful points it was a painful reminder to why I do not use facebook anymore and to be honest made us feel like we needed a degree to go to Disneyland.
It turns out you don't. You need patience, and a little pre planning using their website to work out apt rides, show times, and events. This saves a lot of wondering around time. Though we discovered a lot through wondering and it is amazing what you see with your eyes and not through an app.
You don't go to Disneyland for fine dining or vegetables. Like salt? great because your body is about to eat 50 times your recommended daily amount. Plus side, you will sweat it out and water fountains are dotted around the park for you to fill up.
In hindsight we should have done a meal plan. I have just joined Sugardaddy.com to pay off what we spent on food.
The buffets are expensive but you get a good variety and a good feed. Yes I did a Joey from friends and filled my plate (and handbag) because, well it was pricey.
You will spend 3 euros on a Minnie Mouse macaron (worth it) and find yourself so desperate to give your child fruit that you contemplate spending 5 euros on 5 strawberries on a stick meant to be dipped in chocolate (I resisted)
You will eat chips a lot. You will hate chips at the end of your time. I am struggling to write the word to be honest and am feeling a lot of unwanted potato anger...
I should probably add at this point that I am gluten free. hence the chip hate. My mother is not and she still found a lot of the food to be repetitive and pricey.
I should also do a little shout out to www.vapiano.com and www.fiveguys.com because your salads, chips and milkshakes brought a lot of joy to our mouths whilst we were there.
Now let me talk about the park and the magic because it did not disappoint. I sort of want to shout from the rooftops "I believe in magic" but the 90s goth in me just kicked me a little.
It was magical. The staff were so friendly, my daughter smiled for about 9 hours a day non stop.
Watching her little face as a character waved at her or hugged her. I will never forget that little face.
The rides catered for all, the park was spotless, organised, massive and enchanting.
The shows were amazing. Mickey and the magician was west end worthy and we saw it twice. The first time I felt a bit teary.
All the characters and the parades they did were lovely and so fun. Sure the songs go round your head a few more times than you care for but any of us who are parents are use to a repetitive jingle.
There was enough to never be bored and all the extra bits like searching for coins or the dragon under the castle were lovely little fillers after the shows/meets and greets and rides.
Now the thing that was just amazing was the illuminations show at night. I don't really want to go into it to much and spoil the surprise but let me tell you this, it is worth making your child have a mid afternoon nap and staying up late for. I would have watched it every night if I was not a bit exhausted at the end of the day.
Was it a magic kingdom? yes it was. Would I go back? I would for sure, I may bring a mini fridge with me stacked full of healthier options but yes. This was a trip to remember.
Now I need a holiday...
MY TOP TIPS
1) I bought toys from the Disney store sales to pack and give out throughout the trip. There are a lot of shops dotted everywhere and I saved a lot of money by doing this. She did have pocket money to spend too but this was a purse saver.
2) I bought lots of Disney outfits and bits from local stores and primark. Minnie/Mickey ears and autograph books on eBay.
3) I made a disney bag up for the journey as a surprise and filled it with snacks, colouring in books, stories, card games and a toy. This made the train journey enjoyable and calm.
4) Snacks. BUY THEM ALL. you will need them. They stop queue moaning. They stop hangry meltdowns and they stop you spending 4euros on a fruit pot. I bought lots of breakfast bars and fruit pouches too because we skipped breakfast a few times to get in a queue and then ate whilst in one.
5) Baby wipes. If you can find those mini packs of wipes, buy loads. Your child will get sticky. you will get sticky.
6) Pack a chemist with you because there are no close pharmacies unless you leave the resort. I even bought chicken pox stuff with me just incase.
7) Bring a buggy or hire a buggy. You will need it. Your child who does not usually like their buggy will want one. I even saw adults sitting in them. Say no more.
8) If you are staying in a resort hotel, make the most of the early extra hours pass. This enables you to access the hotel at 8.30am. We did all the major rides, meet and greets then. It was worth it. Also I suggest you press record on your camera, because watching the adults run when the gates open is brilliant/Supermarket sweep like.
9) Bring all weather clothes. Those thin binbag type rain coats are worthy and sensible shoes. Unless blisters are your thing.
10) Remove stick from your bottom and embrace your inner child. It is worth it and you will enjoy yourself.