As my birthday present, my lovely boyfriend took me to Disneyland Paris. I’ve been to Disney World twice and love everything about it. So you can probably imagine my excitement when I found out not only am I going to a Disney park again but I’m going with my boyfriend which makes it ten times more magical for me. When we arrived it started snowing, quite a lot. It was something that I definitely was not expecting nor prepared for but it definitely added to the experience haha! Me being me, I wanted to make sure that no time was wasted and that we had some what of a plan. Here are a few tips that I picked up on the way which is handy to know!
Be ready for the weather! All I can say is to constantly be checking the weather before you go so you have an idea of what sort of clothing to bring. I was some what prepared for the cold hence the hat and gloves but I was not ready for the snow in my heeled boots. R.I.P my beloved boots. If you are going in the colder seasons, I think the key is to layer up. When waiting around for the rides, especially if the queue is long you’ll be outside for quite a bit. As you are standing still you’ll soon start to feel the cold because you aren’t moving. Not even kidding, Eli and I would be almost jogging on the spot. People were giving us odd looks to be acting so energetic but it really did help to warm us up haha.
So whether you need hats and gloves, or suncream and sunglasses, make sure you are prepared!
If you are feeling hardcore Disney and you want to join in and wear Minnie ears then 100% do it. Majority of people walking round are wearing them and it also adds to the excitement. But, the Minnie and Mickey ears inside the park are priced at around €15!!! So if you are not too sure whether you want to spend that money on a pair of ears, you could buy yours in advance like we did on eBay for £2.50 each. A lot cheaper I know.
If you are staying in one of the parks hotels, then you get a ticket for ‘Extra Magic Hours’. This basically means that you can enter the park between 8am – 9.30am which is a high advantage because the park opens at 10am to the public. During these ‘Extra Magic Hours’ there isn’t many people around so it’s quite a good time to get your pictures of the castle. Unfortunately though, Fantasy Land is the only section containing rides which opens during the extra magic hours. All the other sections open at 10am. But that isn’t all too bad because you have the Peter Pan ride, Tea cups, the Maze and also a few others!
Sounds stupid but bring a bag, whether that is a cross body or a rucksack. It is extremely useful to have something that you can chuck everything into. Also make sure it is a bag that can you can do up because on some rides you have to put your bag by your feet and if you go upside down you don’t want anything to fall out!
Plan and schedule. Make sure you get a booklet with all the times and locations for the characters. This way it is a lot easier to plan your day and you can stick in that area to make sure you aren’t waiting in line for a long time to get your picture. Queues grow pretty quick so if you do get there a bit later, be prepared to wait. Or in some cases, you may even get turned away due to the character’s time running out. The character takes lead and will do several different poses with each person, but if you want to do a specific pose for the picture, then let the character know and lead the way.
When it comes to food there is A LOT of places to choose from. You have several different restaurants in each area which are related to that theme. If you get the app, or even online, you can research what restaurants they have with what food and can roughly plan out which ones you want to go to. This way, when it comes to lunch you won’t be wasting time walking around trying to figure out where to go. I would also try to eat lunch out of the prime times. So either at 11 or about 2. We saw a few people bring their own sandwiches which is a good idea because you can eat them anywhere and any when, and you save money! If you do download the Disneyland app, you can filter out the restaurants in price order which is really helpful if you don’t want to spend a bomb on food!
Bring drinks and snacks with you. I know I’m stating the obvious but it really does help in desperate times. There is water fountains dotted around the parks so it is super easy to top up bottles all the time. Like I mentioned before, sometimes people bring their own sandwiches. But there is loads of snacky places if you want a hit of sudden sugar. You will be surrounded by popcorn, doughnuts, muffins, ice cream and fizzy drinks. I lived off the star doughnut which only costs €3.59 if I remember rightly. For the size of it, it is definitely worth the money considering a round normal sized doughnut cost the same price. On the subject of the star doughnut, I might as well just let you know that they do two different versions of it. They do a plain star doughnut covered in a icing sugar dusting or they do it in a brioche with an apricot filling.
The Disney Village is really good if you want to escape a bit from the parks. They have quite a few restaurants to choose from, all offering different food. They have a massive McDonalds (which is packed ALL the time), Five Guys, an italian, american diner and many more. Shockingly, in McDonalds they didn’t have a chocolate milkshake (absolutely gutted as I live for the chocolate milkshakes there) nor a few other things so beware that the menu is a little bit different. We decided to go to Starbucks to get some hot drinks, and I am not lying when I say my hot chocolate cost me five euros. Five fecking euros. If I’m being completely honest, I actually preferred the parks hot chocolate due to it being more chocolatey and sweeter and it was a lot cheaper. Quite a few cafes do a deal where you get can a hot drink and a cake for a really good price. So I recommend don’t go to Starbucks unless you want to be ripped off.
There is a hell of lot of shops in the parks and in the Disney Village. I would advise to go there in the evenings before it shuts because normally most people have left by then so it isn’t too busy and also because then you don’t have to carry it around with you all day (Unless you are staying in one of the Disney Hotel’s because you can get your shopping sent up to your room so it saves you carrying it!). You’ve got a whole load of stuff you can buy, e.g key rings, toys, clothes and even cutlery. Try not to lose your mind in there because it can get overwhelming.
The parade is everyday and it is a great chance to see all of the characters if you aren’t too keen to queue and get an individual picture with them. If you get a leaflet it tells you what time the parade starts so make sure you get there a good 30-45 minutes before hand so you can get a good spot otherwise you’ll be stuck behind loads of people. If you want to be really savvy, on the leaflet you will have a map of the whole park and it actually marks out the route that the parade takes. So you could go near where the parade starts so your pretty much the first ones to see it and then once its passed you, majority of the other people will still be waiting for it to come around. In that time, you can leave knowing that you’ve seen the parade and go on rides as the queue time will be shorter!