Disneyland is known as the ‘Happiest place on earth’ and I got to experience this first hand this month as I spent 3 days in Disneyland Paris.
Our Journey started in the early hours of the morning as we flew with Air France into Charles de Gaulle airport. We then met our taxi transfer who took us to the Newport Bay Club which would be our base for our duration there.
Pulling up to the 4* hotel was simply breathtaking at the size of the luxurious coastal themed hotel. The 1920’s themed hotel was amazing everything from the rooms, the service and the standard of hygiene there wasn’t a speck of dust in sight.
We were quickly taken to collect our essentials for our trip including our park passes, fast passes, lanyards and photo passes. After a long morning we then got the great news that we had arrived early so we got to go run around the park for an hour! I can’t express how much the fast passes helped, Disney is busy all year round so the fast passes are life savers.
Another tip if you don’t want to buy the fast passes is some of the rides have single riders so if you don’t mind sitting beside a stranger then it will save you a lot of time.
Something that’s definitely worth the extra money is the Disney Photopass. If you download the photopass app you can get any photo that’s taken of you in Disney and the hotels including the rollercoaster pictures and any of the Disney characters you encounter during your stay. It works out around €75 but you’ll gain memories that’ll last a lifetime.
We went to see Buffalo Bills Wild West Show that evening. Have a sit down meal while you witness how the west was won in a live arena show. A perfect option if your child loves cowboys/cowgirls!
Once the show was over we made our way back to the Disneyland Park to see the Disney Illuminations show on sleeping beautys castle and the only word I have for it is WOW! It doesn’t matter how old you are, every single person will enjoy the 20 minute show, and trust me don’t wait until your last night to see it because chances are you’ll want to see it again.
Our next morning started with a Disney character breakfast. Something that is definitely worth doing as a magic extra. There are two different restaurants that offer this breakfast. The plaza gardens is the first where you get an American Style buffet with Mickey and friends or you can go for the Auberge de Cedrillon and dine with Disney Princesses. This was the one I got to experience and was lucky enough to meet Cinderella, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty. If your little one loves the Disney Princesses then this is a must on your trip!
After breakfast we went to visit our first hotel: Les Villages Nature Paris. This resort is around a 15 minute drive from the park but there are public busses going multiple times which cost around €1 per journey, its perfect if you’re looking for somewhere a bit quieter than the hotels itself. It has the most beautiful pool both indoor and outdoor filled with slides for the kids. It has plenty of activities and workshops for everyone including bowling, escape rooms, kids club, pony ride, chocolate workshop and the list goes on!
Once we finished the hotel visit we headed the Universal Studios to go see Frozen: A Musical Invitation. As it had only opened the day we arrived we were one of the first people to see it! A immersive interactive show where you get to see Elsa, Ana, Olaf, Sven and Kristoff. Something I really enjoyed about it is that it had the perfect balance between French and English so everybody could understand. Afterwards you also get a chance to meet Olaf!
That evening countries from all over the world including Israel, and South Africa gathered together for a Gala Dinner where we enjoyed a buffet dinner while having performances from each of the seasons for 2020, followed by a DJ where we danced the night away.
We were up early the next morning for our hotel visits, the Sequoia Lodge being the first. Located just to the right of the Newport Bay, the cosy mountain retreat themed hotel was nothing short of brilliant. Around a 10 minute walk to the parks this hotel in my opinion is where you’ll get your best value for money. It’s also very wheelchair accessible. The rooms are spacious and the theme of the hotel is kept throughout.
After the Sequoia we made our way to the Cheyenne, a wild west themed hotel. In my opinion this hotel has the best theme. You feel like you’re on set in a western movie and for a 2* hotel the standard of the hotel is very very good. It is a little bit further out so just to note you probably won’t want to walk home from the parks as you’ll be too exhausted from all the fun but there are plenty of shuttle busses running for free throughout the day that’ll take you less than 5 minutes to get to the park/hotel.
After a quick visit we made our way to the Disneyland Hotel. A lot of kids dream about staying in a castle and Disney aim to make your dreams come through! The detail in the hotel is amazing throughout including the wallpaper, door handles and wardrobe doors. The Christmas decorations take it up to a whole new level, there’s a massive real gingerbread house sitting in the lobby area along with a train going around a Christmas tree.
One of my favourite things I saw on my trip is the ‘become a Disney princess for a day’. You can book this in the Disneyland hotel and the children can book to get dressed up as a princess for the day, we could see the worker putting glitter onto a little girls hair with a magic wand.
Keep an eye on Hotel New York as its reopening next summer. Another one of Disney’s 4* hotels and it looks like its going to be amazing! This hotel will reopen as ‘Disney’s Hotel New York: The art of Marvel’.
We finished our trip with some free time which was mostly spent shopping. After we shopped for the afternoon we got the magic shuttle back to the airport.
There’s something for everyone at Disney, and once you get there you’ll be living like a little child and having the best time EVER!
How to get there
- Multiple airlines flying from Dublin to Charles de Gaulle
- You can also fly direct from Cork airport
- Beauvais airport is another option when flying to Paris. The flights can come in cheaper but you are over 2 hours away from Disneyland. You can get to Disney from Beauvais by train and bus but on occasion you may end up travelling to Charles de Gaulle to then get the train to Disneyland
When to go
The best time to go really depends on what theme you’d like to see in Disney.
Throughout the year there are different seasons in Disney, for example if you’re a Star Wars fan then I’d suggest going when the Star Wars season is on. If your looking for the best value Jan/Feb is probably the best time but I’d suggest keeping an eye on our social media pages – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and website for the best deals as Disney often have special offers such as FREE Half Board meal plans, 30% off hotels etc. At the moment there is an offer of Free meal plans & €100 spending money in Disney!
Disney Themes 2020
- 11th Jan – 3rd May – Frozen Celebration – on the 24th, 27th and 29th there will also be a special event ‘Magic over the Lake: Disney Edition’ so if you’re a Frozen fan then definitely look into going around this time!
- 11th Jan – 15th March – Legends of the Force – A Star Wars Celebration
- March – June 2020 – Marvel Season of Super Heroes
- June – September 2020 – Lion King & Jungle Festival
- There’s also Disney’s Halloween Festival taking place in fall of 2020 & of course the Disney ‘s Enchanted Christmas: A Very Merry ChrisMouse staring the middle of November