A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to visit Disneyland Paris. I travelled with a frequent Disneyland visitor who knew all sorts of awesome tips which I'm going to share with you in this travel blog. So if you're planning a trip or you've booked to go keep reading I can’t wait to share everything I learned with you!
Travelling By Eurostar
For this trip, we decided to travel by Eurostar and it was brilliant. You can join the train at Kings Cross St Pancras, Ashford International and Ebbsfleet. It only takes two hours forty minutes and you get off the train in the Disney Village. You really couldn't get any closer to the park there's no transfers or expensive taxi fees to worry about and the kids (and the big kids) get to experience the magic as soon as they step out of the station.
Top Tip 1: If you're travelling from Kings Cross make sure to get there earlier than the ticket states you'll have to pass through security and there’s always a big queue. Also don't pack too much! Trust me you’ll come back with so much shopping you won't need a suitcase full of clothes to go out with.
Top Tip 2: There is only one train home on a Friday and it gets super busy so if you want to avoid massive queues travel on a different day or get to the station super early so you're at the front of the queue at security.
If you're staying at a Disneyland hotel you can take advantage of the Disney Express service, this enables you to drop your bags off at the station and pick them up at your hotel once you've spent a full day in the park. Don’t drag the kids away from the park and past all the fun to check in and drop your bags. All the hotels have 24-hour check in so you can stay until the fireworks have finished.
Top Tip: You’ll get your park tickets along with your luggage tags for this service on the Eurostar. Don’t panic when you don't get anything with your stuff from the travel agent. You will have everything you need by the time you arrive.
Disney’s Hotel Santa Fe
The Hotel Santa Fe is considered the more budget or the Disney hotels. It’s the furthest away from the park, at around a fifteen-minute walk from the Disney Village and 20 minutes from the park entrance.
You might say it's a bit like a travel lodge but as you only use your room for sleeping as you're at the parks all day so why would you need anything more than a clean room to get your head down in? You're supplied with everything you'll need to make your stay comfortable and the staff are friendly and welcoming.
If you have breakfast included you’ll not be disappointed as there is a wide range of food available and it’s all you can eat! So it’s a great way to start the day. Be sure to get in early though as it fills up quickly.
Top Tip 1: Mickey Mouse and/or friends are in the hotel reception every morning so once you’ve had breakfast be sure to stop by an say Hi!
Top Tip 2: There’s no shop in the Village that sells milk for your pre bed time cup of tea, if you pop into Starbucks they'll happily let you buy a cup of cold milk. It’s only a couple of euros and it saves you having to go through security to get to the train station where a shop is located.
The parade is a must see on any Disney trip and is a great excuse to stop and catch your breath with a drink or a snack. Disney really goes all out with their shows and displays so don't miss out be sure to catch it at least once during your stay.
Top Tip 1: Get there at least an hour early you'll want a good spot without people standing in front of you when you're trying to take pictures.
Top Tip 2: Try and choose a location where the castle will be in the background of your image. A good place is outside the popcorn and Ice drinks stand. Sit by one of the bins you'll be less likely to be pushed and shoved!
Top Tip 3: Stay aware people will step over your head without saying excuse me and you will find yourself being squeezed past up until the parade route gets closed off.
Much like the parade, you need to get a good spot at least an hour early I suggest being to the left of the castle near the entrance to adventure land. It gives you a great view of the castle and if you're there early enough you'll have an unobstructed view of the amazing light show.
Top Tip: If you're in the park until it closes Mickey Mouse is at the exit to say goodnight. Be sure to give him a wave!
There is no shortage of places to eat the usual suspects like McDonald's and Five guys can be found in the Disney Village if you're just looking for a quick stop,.The parks are also full of places to eat and they aren't silly expensive, however if you're looking for a sit down restaurant meal I’d suggest the following places:
Chez Remy: If you have a Ratatouille fan on your hands be sure to check out Chez Remy in the Hollywood Studio’s park. The decor makes you feel as small as Remy and the food is delicious! They have a lovely set menu that’ll fill you up and give you lots of energy for another round of park fun.
Top Tip 1: Chez Remy is extremely popular and gets booked up very quickly make sure you book in advance to save disappointment. You can't just walk in you must have a reservation.
Top Tip 2: The tiramisu is out of this world good, make sure you try it. So yummy!
Annette's Dinner is located in the Disney Village. It’s an American diner with roller skating staff and awesome decor.
Top Tip: Have a milkshake with your burger they offer a wide range of delicious flavours.
As I said before you’ll not need a suitcase full of clothes as the park is full of shops with lots and lots of merchandise. You’ll be spoilt for choice and there are new things in the stores daily.
Top Tip 1: Don't buy everything you see take pictures for a wish list and go back if you really can’t live without the item. This will stop impulse purchases that'll just sit in your wardrobe. (This helped me a lot and saved me a lot of euros because I picked out a lot of nice things that I wouldn't actually wear!)
Top Tip 2: Try things on the sizes of the clothes very massively. We ended up taking things back that didn’t fit because we assumed the sizes would be the same as other things we’d brought. We had two items in the same range with the same size tag were completely different cuts which was disappointing because they'd sold out of the bigger size so we came away empty handed.
Character Meet And Greets
Firstly be prepared to queue, queue and queue some more there’s almost always a 20 minute plus wait unless you're extremely lucky and are first in line. It is worth it though for children and adults alike it really feels magical meeting your favourite characters no matter how old you are.
Top Tip: If you're staying at a Disney hotel you can get into the park two hours earlier than the general public, make sure you take advantage of this at least once as different set of characters come out early to have pictures with visitors.
The Photo Plus Card
The photo plus card is a great way to save money at sixty euros it ensures you receive pretty much all of your character pictures digitally to either the Photo Plus app or website. You can download and share all of your pictures online with friends and family.
You're given three cards in your pass pack which means if your group separates you can still use the service even if you're on different sides of the park there’s no limit to the number of times the card can be used, so get your monies worth!
Top Tip 1: This only applies to certain characters you can find a full list in your park map when you arrive.
Top Tip 2: The pictures can take around 20 to 30 minutes to show up in the app don't be alarmed if they don't come through straight away they will be there, sometimes are busy than others so it causes a delay in the service.
Top Tip 3: This works out a lot cheaper than buying single prints from the park. You will save money with this and you'll take away a lot more memories.