It occurred to me today that it’s been a month since we went to Disneyland Paris and I still haven’t posted about it! As such, I’m putting that right – starting now.
On Christmas Day I surprised the girls by announcing we would be heading off to Disneyland Paris the following day! As neither of them had much on a wishlist for Christmas, this was my gift to them (any myself) even though it would be a very brief visit! On Boxing Day we drove down to Birmingham and parked at the train station there. We caught a coach at 6pm, that would head for Dover and catch a ferry over to France.
Normally the coach would have made stops all along the way, picking up other people. However by some miracle everyone got on at Birmingham, so there were no set stops to be taken. Instead the coach driver called at several services along the way and we eventually reached Dover by about midnight. Sadly when we got there, we realised the ferry over to France wasn’t till about 2am so this was a bit of a pain. The girls and I hadn’t slept at all by this point so we headed into Costa to grab some coffee and waste some time, before waiting patiently again on the coach. By the time we got on the ferry (and it was rammed) we were so tired and there was no way to sit. In the end we lay our coats on the floor and just slept there for an hour or so while the ferry crossed over.
When we finally arrived in France it was back on the coach and this time a real attempt to sleep. Megan ended up sleeping in the footwell of hers and Lily’s seats, while Lily spread out over both seats. Luckily for me, I can sleep upright so I just slept in my seat, glad for my ear plugs!
We arrived just outside of Disneyland Paris at about 9am. We stopped at services to freshen up and get some breakfast before finally heading to the park. We seemed to have caught enough sleep not to feel to rough, though a whole day in the park was bound to take its toll. Wrapped up warm we headed in, to enjoy our 12 hours of Disney magic!
The first thing we did was head into Disney Studios. We knew we would ultimately want to spend less time here so it was best to get it out of the way before heading into the main Disney Park. We had a wander around but Megan wasn’t keen to go on much – we did manage the Studio Tram Tour (as it was closed last time we came), the Slinky Dog ride and of course we grabbed FPs for the new Ratatouille ride (but not till 7pm that night!).
After that we headed to Disney Park, where everything was beautifully decorated for Christmas. It was lovely to have gone so close to Christmas and actually feel that bit more festive because we were there. After not long arriving in the park, there was a parade, so we decided to wait and catch this first. Being Christmas it was one we hadn’t seen before and of course it’s also been a few years since we went to DLP anyway. Next up came a trip to the castle and of course obligatory pictures. It was pretty sunny and it was in our eyes, so sadly the pictures weren’t great! After that I was determined to visit Maleficent in dragon form as on previous visits I hadn’t known she was there. I think both the girls were a bit nervous as we headed into the dark but it was really funny when the dragon moved and made everyone jump.
Next we took a wander, looking for somewhere to eat. We bumped into both Jafar and the Genie and we got some pretty great pictures. We stopped for lunch at Restaurant Hakuna Matata. Each of us had something different and luckily we enjoyed it all. Though the price was fairly expensive, we actually didn’t even manage it all so I won’t grumble about the cost. We tucked away drinks for later and then set off around the park again. We headed for rides that had low queue times (30 minutes or less) and also rides we hadn’t done before. We started with Snow White and then Pinocchio, before heading to Phantom Manor (and seeing Jack Skellington as Sandy Claws on the way).
By the time we came out, it was going dark. It was almost time for the next parade and so we found a spot for that and waited. During this time it became properly night time and also cold! After the parade we headed back to the Studios and used our fastpass for Ratatouille. The ride was fantastic and it was definitely worth going back for.
With nothing else to do at the Studios we crossed back over to the Disney Park and to be honest the tired and cold was beginning to wear on us. We stocked up on popcorn, crepes and coffee before heading off to It’s a Small World and finally riding that. With nothing else we wanted to do and with the fireworks an hour away, we wandered in a few shops before we settled down with our coats tightly wrapped around us and waited. To be honest it was a little boring but our feet ached and we were tired, plus we wanted a good view for the ending show. Finally the time came and we thoroughly enjoyed Dreams, followed by the Fireworks. We headed straight back to the coach at this point though, as our journey home would begin.
Once everyone was on the coach, we headed off. I settled the girls in their usual places and we all attempted to sleep. Luckily the girls managed plenty, right up until the ferry. Here I had to wake them for passport control checks but then we were almost straight on to the ferry and it wasn’t so bad. While we were tired still, we didn’t think we’d sleep so we headed for the dining area, getting food and drink. We spent most of the time chatting but at points we did just close our eyes and enjoy the peace, before finally heading back to the coach as the ferry docked.
It was still dark outside and so the girls were encouraged to go back to sleep. I managed a little more sleep too, until it got lighter and I gave up. Instead of stopping several times on the way this time, the coach driver just headed straight back to Birmingham – another advantage to having no one else to drop off. We got back to Birmingham massively ahead of schedule, even with one stop for toilet and breakfast. I had worked out we would be back around 1pm and instead it was about 9am. This was fantastic for us as we headed straight home and were back well before midday. The kids coped extremely well with the tiredness and managed all day without a problem. We did treat ourselves to take away and an early night though but it was such a fun few days that I would definitely consider doing it again!