Oh hey huns, HAPPY SUNDAY. Hope you’re eating Yorkshire puddings and napping in front of the TV because otherwise you’re doing your day wrong.
If you follow me on Instagram (OH HI, I’m @hannahfgale), or you read last week’s post about why twenty-somethings are wetting themselves over Disneyland, then well, you’ll know that spoiler: I went to Disneyland Paris earlier this month.
Can’t lie, it’s the place dreams come true and you need to go there and omg happiness.
Anyway, just in case you have already accidentally on-purpose booked yourself a little trip across the Channel, here are my top tips for visiting…
1. Get the Eurostar. Honestly, it was the easiest, comfiest, most stress-free weekend get away of my life because YEY no airports. It was so nice just to swan up to St Pancras, grab a coffee and a croissant, waltz through passport control and chill out for a couple of hours with minimal wifi and lots of leg room. No delayed take off and no bumpy landing, can I get an amen around here?
2. Book your tickets before you go. They cost 88 euros per grown-up on the door (so, like, about £80?), but you can buy them from £35 from Attraction Tickets Direct – they also have some great multiple day offers. Which means more money for waffles and cuddly toys, right? Plus, they deliver them straight to your door, so there’s no faffing about upon arrival.
3. Ram your suitcase with snacks, because sadly there isn’t any decent convenient stores. We regretted not having a sneaky pack of Pringles or two hidden in our suitcase – although we did later find out there is one shop in the station that’s a *bit* like a Tesco Express. But still, pack a few snacks to munch through whilst chilling in your room because holiday calories don’t count.
4. Get to the parade early. The parade is on at 5 or 5.30pm every night (check your schedule on arrival) and people tend to crowd around and line the streets a little while in advance. If you visit in summer, get yourself an ice cream half an hour earlier and linger, and if you visit in the winter, get yourself a hot chocolate and linger. Zoe from Zoe London recommended the spot just to the right of the castle before It’s A Small World, as a good almost-empty viewing point.
5. The majority of the rides are hidden in warehouse kind of buildings which means you won’t walk around spotting rides you want to go on or hearing people screaming like you would at Thorpe Park or Alton Towers. In fact, we almost missed a few rides because we assumed they were more experience things instead of y’know, actual rides. You haven’t had the Disneyland experience until you’ve ventured on It’s A Small World, Peter Pan’s Flight and Pirates Of The Caribbean.
6. If you can, definitely stay at one of the hotel’s on the Disneyland site – not only because you can get into the parks two hours earlier than other guests but because it makes life SO much easier. Need to stick on another jumper? Take a lie down? Pick up some lip balm? There’s seven official Disney hotels all at different prices and all at less than a 20-minute walk away.
7. DO NOT TAKE A BAG. This is the other reason it’s grand to have a hotel nearby, because there’s nowhere to stash your bag when you go on a ride the way there is at UK theme parks. Which means you kind of just have to try to hold onto them and pray for the best. I’d stick to just your phone, your purse and your ticket and keep them in zipped pockets instead.
8. If you want to meet some characters but aren’t game for all the queuing, I’d highly recommend the character dining experience – you can do either lunch or dinner at the Inventions restaurant located inside the Disneyland Hotel. Although v pricey at 59 euros a head, I’ve never seen a buffet quite like it. THERE WAS CRAB CLAWS. And foie gras. And tarte tatin topped with dragon fruit. Plus we got to meet and take photos with around six or seven different characters including Minnie Mouse and Ariel <3
9. Everyone has access to Fast Pass tickets – just scan your park ticket at the ride you want to go on and it’ll print you off a Fast Pass ticket with an allocated time to come back. Or, if you’re a guest of one of the hotels you can buys a VIP Fast Pass ticket which you can use as often as you like. The thing to note is that around half the rides don’t have fast pass available which means the queues get crazy – these are the ones to visit before the park opens to everyone else or right at the end of the day.
10. Trainers. Wear your comfiest pair of shoes and your comfiest pair of jeans and forget about trying to look sassy for Instagram. It’s easy to clock up about 20,000 steps a day (huzzah! An easy way to burn off those damn tasty Nutella crepes), which will leave you exhausted and with sore tootsies so make sure you come prepared.
11. Disneyland is obviously aimed at families so it’s not the sort of place you get sozzled off your face, not that you’d want to anyway because you’re too busy getting drunk off the pure magic in the air. You’re also pretty knackered after a full day out and about with your sugar and adrenaline levels flying all over the place. But if you do fancy a drink – the saloon in Disney Village is far cheaper than the hotel bars, and only a 5-10 minute walk from all hotels. Cocktails are less than 10 euros and pretty damn dreamy.
What tips have you guys got for my next visit, eh?