Here it is, the first in a series of posts all about my Disneyland Paris experience! I’ve thought long and hard about the best way to do this, I know a lot of you are just interested in a general show and tell, but a lot of you are also in the details too. So, I’ve decided to split it into a few post, The Disneyland Park experience, The Walt Disney Studios Experience, The Disneyland Hotel New York Review, Eating at Disneyland and then a general tips/best bits post. Hopefully, this will cover everything you guys want to see! If there’s anything I’ve missed that you’d like to know, just let me know!
So lets talk about the park in general! We visited from Thursday through Monday, so we got to experience the park quieter, and busier on the weekend. I would definitely try to avoid a weekend trip, because the queue times were dramatically longer for everything, and it was definitely a more stressful experience! I’ve visited the park before, but we’re talking about 14 years ago, and I’ve visited the California park more recently. I’ve never been to the Florida park so I can’t compare it to that! It’s definitely smaller than it’s California counterpart, and there are fewer ‘big thrills’ rides!
The park was decorated for Spring and looked beautiful, especially when the sun made an appearance! I loved all the flowers round the park too, it all felt really beautiful, and like Spring was on it’s way (despite the weather)!
It’s worth pointing out at this point that it was FREEZING. With the exception of the last day, it was bitterly cold. Like, coats, scarves, gloves and hats cold. Like, on one day, my mum wore two pairs of trousers cold. Obviously this is kind of to be expected considering the time of year and destination, but when you’re spending so much time outside it was really quite uncomfortable!
The park itself is quite compact, everything’s quite close together, but you do end up walking miles whilst your there! My legs ached a lot! According to my phone, I was walking around 12k a day, which when you spend most of your time sat at your desk is a LOT. You’ll definitely be wanting comfy shoes, I wore my Vans on the first day, and regretted it, then just stuck to my Nike 6.0s for the rest of the trip!
One of the disappointing things was that a lot of the park was closed whilst we were there. Obviously we knew this was going to be the case before hand, but on the website it just listed a couple of closed rides, when in actuality, a lot of the shops and restaurants were closed too. This was kind of a bummer in two ways, the first that obviously, things were shut. Both Space Mountain and Phantom Manor were closed, which are two of the bigger rides, and two of my favourites, so that was a shame. The second was that because big chunks of the park were shut, it made the rest of the park much busier, and bumped up the weight times for the other rides, so it’s definitely worth checking what’s closed prior to visiting.
Ride times totally varied the entire time we were there. Thunder Mountain (my favourite!) varied from around 20 minutes, right up to 90, which is just madness, whilst the smaller rides generally were between 5 and 20 minutes. Not all the rides have fastpasses, so it’s worth checking which rides do, and you can only have one fastpass at a time, so if you have one, you have to wait until you’ve used that to get another. Kind of annoying but I guess it’s the most fair way to do it! The fastpasses are free, but done on a first come first served basis, a lot of the rides (namely Thunder Mountain and Peter Pans Flight) were out of fastpasses by midday, so definitely get in there early!
DON’T MISS: Thunder Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, Alice’s Curious Labyrinth, Buzz Lightyear’s Laser Blast, Mad Hatter’s Tea Cups.
The park definitely doesn’t have as much character interaction as it’s California counterparts, there were several organised character meet and greets around the park, but none of the characters just strolling down the street stuff! I’m not sure if this was just because it was out of season! There also wasn’t as much music playing around the park, which my mum and I both commented on as a bit of a shame!
The park is undeniably stunning. The attention to detail is positively stunning, everything from the gas lights in the arcade on Main Street, to the ‘barbers shop’ inside one of the stores, to the rooftiles in Fantasyland! It’s easy to spend the day just wondering around soaking up the details. Some of the stuff was a little run down, but there was a lot of maintenance going on whilst we were there. Discoveryland was a bit of a disappointment, most of it was shut and it all looked a little tired, but Fantasyland and Frontierland made up for it!
I somehow missed most of the parades, but I caught the Disney Dreams Lights and Fireworks display twice, and it was honestly breathtaking! Such a magical experience.
Despite the cold and the closures, we had the most amazing time! I don’t think you’d need more than two or three days in this park, unless it was really busy, I think we were there for the perfect amount of time to experience everything!
I honestly can’t thank my parents enough for the best birthday experience ever!