Last weekend (20th-22nd Jan) we took a flying visit to Disneyland Paris. I have to admit that it didn’t turn out to be our best trip there, but considering it was raining the last two times and freezing cold the times before that, I suppose I shouldn’t have expected much. In all honesty, the trip itself was enjoyable for many reasons – one, that I got to spend time with the girls – two, that I finally got to stay in a Disney hotel and – three, my best friend Amy and her daughter were there at the same time as us. Aside from that though, there was a bit of an epiphany moment where I realised I had been trying to fill a hole that Florida had left, ever since we visited two years ago. I also realised that DLP is unfortunately not that replacement for us. Anyway I’ll save all that for another time and just fill you in briefly on our trip.
For the two nights we were away, we stayed in Hotel Santa Fe. It’s the cheapest of the Disney Hotels, having paid only £100 for 2 nights (no park passes included, but using discount from my annual pass) but actually it was pretty great. The whole hotel complex is themed around the movie Cars and we actually had our room in the row belonging to Lightning McQueen.
On our first day, the girls had decided to Disney Bound as Rapunzel and Flynn. Lily was Rapunzel and Megan was Flynn. This was actually my favourite of their two outfits for the weekend, but I definitely loved both. Lily’s “Best Day Ever” t-shirt was one she had already, so she only needed a pair of purple jeans and a new cardigan. Megan on the other hand needed all new bits, but I didn’t mind as I knew she’d get wear out of some of it. We did have a dilemma with the trousers though and ended up purchasing a boys pair from Tesco, the day before we left home.
On our first day in DLP, we spent the whole time in the main Disneyland park. We sorted out annual passes, went on loads of rides, bought Mickey shaped food (believe it or not, we’d never done that before), had our pictures taken in front of the castle (a firm tradition) and watched the parade. Of course we ate dinner, browsed shops and all the other things you’re supposed to do. Sadly, though we had intended to watch Dreams, it was definitely far too cold and we ended up heading back to the hotel early.
The next morning we got up and had breakfast in the hotel (this was included in the price). We also stashed a few croissants and pain au chocolat for a cheeky light lunch later. We got up early and headed into the park for EMH (Early Magic Hours) as this is something we have never been able to do before. It was amazing to be in the park while it was so quiet but I have to admit it may have been partly to blame for me not enjoying much of this day as I started out so cold and never really thawed!
During EMH we managed to meet both Stitch and Chip ‘n’ Dale. The girls were dressed as Mickey and Minnie for their Disney Bounding this day (which seemed to go down well with the character, plus Olivia was Daisy Duck which was so sweet) but sadly it was so cold that you never really got to see much of their outfits.
At 10am we headed over to the Studios as there were a few things we wanted to do there and this was our last day. We queued for Crusher Coaster for over an hour, only to end up feeling sick – and then got FPs for Ratatouille (our favourite ride by far) but not till 4pm that afternoon. We tried to meet Moana at 11.30am but her queue was already closed so we made an effort to waste time elsewhere. We went to the Armageddon special effects show, browsed the shops, ate lunch and saw the Art of Animation theatre show. After that it was time for a second wave of Moana queues so I joined the line while the girls played on the machines in the Animation building.
The queue for Moana seemed to take forever and even took a break right before it was our turn. However the girls seemed pleased to meet her as it was a character we hadn’t been able to meet before (being that she’s new and all). It was also the only time the girls actually got to show off their Mickey and Minnie Disney Bound so I was pleased to get a picture of that.
Finally it was time to ride Ratatouille so we headed over to that. The queue still took a while even on fastpass but it was worth it as always. After that we decided it was time to eat and ended up heading back to the other park and to Hakuna Matata as the girls had enjoyed it when we’d eaten there previously. We then did a little last minute shopping and headed back to the hotel.
As well as eating something Mickey shaped, drinking a Glowtini was also on my list of things I’d like to do, so with the girls in tow, Amy and I headed to the hotel bar and treated ourselves to a drink. It was actually really nice (I had red and Amy had blue) but it was expensive for what you get. The ice cube is funky though and at least you get to take it with you. After about an hour in the bar, we all headed back to our rooms and got an early night. I packed first as we were heading off early.
In the morning, we went for breakfast and then met up with Amy and Olivia to head to the park. We did a little more last minute shopping (for pins) and then said our goodbyes as they had one more day and we were heading home. Everything went perfectly to plan – catching the train, checking in for the plane, the flight etc. We were making great time for getting home — until I hit a barrier in the airport car park and completely broke my car. After a very long wait, a slow journey home and arriving back about 5 hours later than planned, we finally made it home. Sadly the last part put very much a dampener on the weekend for me and definitely made me think hard about whether or not our trips to DLP were worth it or not!
Overall though, it was a good weekend away, if not a little rushed. I truly wish it hadn’t been so cold as I know we all would have enjoyed it so much more.