If you follow me on social media you might already know (it’s kinda hard to miss) That we have just been to Disneyland Paris to celebrate our big girl turning 5! We decided ages and ages ago that it was something we wanted to do and originally it was going to be Florida in the summer when Bodie was turning two. However with the flights being absolutely ridiculously expensive because he would be two when we could go we changed our minds and have postponed that trip until he is old enough to get on more things and remember it a little more maybe?!
Anyway…We booked Disney months and months ago, like right back in October or something, but managed to keep it a secret until the day before we flew! We were actually going to try and hold it in even longer, but we just couldn’t wait and had a very early start, which surely would have sparked a few questions.
We had Cinderella record Bets a personalised video message and on the wednesday night when we’d got in from having tea out with Mum & Dad, we said a package had arrived for her. (Some new disney princess pjs) Then I pretended I’d got a message on my phone which was for Bets. The video started and we all watched and starred at her waiting for he reaction! It took right until the end of the video and a little explanation from us for her to get what we were doing, but boy did the excitement kick in then. Both her and Bo were jumping around the house!
I’d secretly packed all the bags and everything was pretty much ready for us to just get up and go. We’d checked our car into the airport so we could just load the car in the evening and then go when we were ready in the morning. Everything went really smoothly including the quickest flight ever! The kiddies were as good as gold the whole way.
When arriving at CDG there’s an M&S food….go in and buy loads!! First tip!
We mistakenly only bought a few bits, but when you’re in Disney there really is no escaping the naff food! Annoyingly I hadn’t really thought too much about this. Yes I took things, but not enough. I have since seen people doing pre packed snack bags for the time there and that is a brilliant idea! Not only is the food there super expensive, it’s also pretty samey! There’s not a great deal of variety and certainly nothing on the lets say ‘healthy’ side!
We took the Disney magic shuttle bus to the resort and I’d definitely do that again. Our bus was super quite, only three families which meant that there was only one drop off before us, so it really didn’t take too long at all! We stayed in the hotel Santa Fe, which is themed on the film Cars. It was fine, nothing spectacular, but our room was ready when we arrived. There were characters doing meet and greet all the time in the reception area and it was only a 15 minute walk into the park. The prices of the other hotels for the time we were there, were just ridiculous and I couldn’t justify spending so much on a room that you are hardly in! If you do want a little more plushness, we have previously stayed at Newport Bay, which from memory was a little nicer. But like I said it really didn’t matter to us.
So once getting settled in the room, and popping the pram up and getting everything out we needed, we headed into the park. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t great that day, but I took our ponchos and Bo had his rain cover so actually it didn’t matter too much. Their little faces as we walked in were just the cutest. The music was playing along the street and I don’t think Bets could quite believe she was there. We stood and waited to meet Pluto before we went to see the castle as there were always two characters right at the top of main street, so we thought whilst it was fairly quite we should wait and see them. We were absolutely blown away with Bodies confidence when meeting them. He knew to wait his turn, so Bets would always hug them first and then he’d run in for a hug and then a high five and the two of them would pose for a picture. It was just the sweetest and over the three days, boy did they become pros at it! It was so funny some of the poses Betsie came up with in the end.
So then it was time to walk down the road and see the castle….We videoed Bet’s reaction and when she finally stopped dancing in the rain and noticed it, she became so so excited! A real princesses castle! We walked down the road talking about who we might see and what rides we would go on. The two of them were just in awe of the whole place, and to be fair so were we! We just loved it!
We managed to spend a good couple of hours walking around and going on the different rides. Luckily because the weather was quite poor and it was a Thursday it wasn’t too busy, so we didn’t have long to wait for each ride and by about 2/3pm we were ready to head back to the room for some down time. Bodie had fallen asleep in his pram and Bets looked like she needed to chill out, so did we to be fair. We had been up since 4am! So we went back and got cosy in the room for an hour or so. It was just what we needed and had planned to then go back into the park in time for the parade and some tea. Thankfully the rain had stopped too!
The parades start at about 5pm and if you have children that aren’t very good at staying still in one place for a while make sure you head well into the park to watch it! I think I worked out that it starts around the back of space land sort of in between there and Its a small world. **TIP** So on the first day not knowing this, we stood at the top of main street and had to wait a good 25minutes for it to reach us, which is pretty killer considering you’ve already been standing there holding your space from the mad foreign people who think they can just push in for like 20-30minutes already! (Yes I nearly had a fight with a man and his empty buggy!!!)
Our two loved every second of the parade, well almost every second, maybe not the part with the gigantic mechanical dragion which breathes fire and has some scary man dressed as like a human crow behind it. That bit Bodie didn’t stop talking about for the whole three days, poor boy! The music, the dancing it was all super special and watching the videos back is just super cute. Betsies face when the princesses come round is just ace! I’d say the parade lasted about 20 minutes in total and then it’s like a mad rush of people leaving the park to get to the restaurants or to go back in onto the rides. We decided to stay in the park that day as we’d only just gone back in, so we found a little pizza place and grabbed some tea! (They were actually really nice) After a few more rides and walking around the different areas we decided to head back home. Unbeknown to us the illuminations were just about to start and randomly we’d got ourselves in a really good spot to watch them. They were amazing and I think they started about 7pm! The castle is lit up with scenes from movies and the fireworks come out and bang to music, it was amazing and lasted forever! I considered videoing the whole thing until it went over 5 minutes and there was no sign of it stopping! Ha
The park then closes so you join the masses leaving and walk back to the rooms. Like I said we’d worked out that our room was only a 15 minute walk back and it was actually a really nice quite walk once you’d come out the main areas. I’d also say if you’re not going to the restaurants (which are juts ridiculously busy) you loose most of the crowds then. We didn’t fancy eating in any of them as we’d heard such mixed reviews about everywhere. So we were happy with our pizzas and a few snacks we had picked up along the way.
The kiddies both slept super. Bets was in a bunk bed, which of course she loved and Bo slept in a travel cot next to me. It wasn’t the comfiest bed we had slept in, but after a long day and a nice hot bath I think the four of us would have slept anywhere!
Friday 26th January – Big girls birthday!!
We woke up feeling refreshed, wishing our beautiful big girl a very very happy birthday!! We then sat and planned what she would buy whilst in Disney for her birthday treats. She was so so excited bless her. We had breakfast and prepared some snacks. There isn’t a great choice for breakfast but the little bread rolls, with some ham or nutella in were perfect for rolling up and popping in the bag for a snack in the park. **TIP**
It was a much colder day, but a dry one which was a bonus, so we wondered in with no rushing as we weren’t planning on leaving the park at any point and we were going to do the two parks!
Oooh I should also mention…whilst stood at the parade we got chatting to one of the marshalls, who told us becasue we were celebrating Betsie’s birthday that we should go to City hall and get her a birthday badge and a phone call with Mickey! Well that little paper badge that she wore for the whole weekend got us some real special treatment! **TIP**
So after picking up the birthday badge, we headed into Walt Disney Studios, a whole other world full of exciting things! We thought we’d try and get on as many rides as we could that Bo could go on before he needed his sleep. We went on the cars ride, headed into Toy story land (something along those lines) and went on the slinky ride. Met Moana (from a distance, the que was ridiculous) and saw Buzz. By that point Bo was shattered and dropped off in his pram, so Daddy was going to take Bets on the Tower of Terror, which is my Favourite ride. Whilst discussing the 55 minute que time and me wandering around with Bo, the very kind gentlemen who was manning fast track, noticed her badge! This is where we clocked onto the birthday fast track **TIP** He jumped them straight to the front of fast track. Unfortunately Bets found the whole build up to the ride a little bit scary, which I’d completely forgotten about. So ended up not going on it and coming out a little shaken up bless her. But we had now worked out how to jump all the queues!! (so naughty)
I thought that maybe going on Crushers coaster would help, not knowing what was inside…But she likes rollercoasters! They birthday fast tracked us so we didn’t have to wait too long at all and on we went. It was fine at the start, but it’s a little bit like a cat and mouse one, or spin ball whizzer if you’ve ever been to Alton Towers, but in the dark! Well she wasn’t too sure about it at all. She had to close her eyes the whole time (2minutes) and hold my hand whilst I made happy noises at her! She wasn’t scared but just not sure about it. Poor kid. We then decided it was time to go back into the main park and see some characters and princesses.
Bo woke up after a good 2.5hours sleep, so he was refreshed and ready to run around. We had a lovely day going on everything together and generally just spending quality time together like that. We really haven’t done that in so long, you know without anyone else around you, just the four of us! We treated Bets to a faceprint and an Aurora Doll and we’d also bought her a crown the day before, so she looked like a super birthday Princess!
At around 3pm we went to meet the real Aurora. Daddy took Bo on its a small world, because he loved it and also into some shops to buy something for Bo too. He came out with a giant Buzz lightyear which was the most ridiculous thing to carry around! The que to meet Aurora was pretty long, but Bets met a sweet little girl in the que, which was great as they totally entertained themselves, and we were in the warm for 45mins!
My heart melted the minute she saw her! It was just the sweetest moment. The look in Betsie’s eyes was put gold and a memory I will always remember. You could just tell that she was in complete amazement that she was meeting a real princess for her birthday! I hope she’ll remember it like I will. Aurora took a really long time chatting to her about all the things she was going to do and had done already. She noticed her birthday badge and wished her a very happy birthday and they cuddled and smiled for a photo! Just so so magical for a little princess who was 5!
That night we decided to get a quick tea (mcdonalds) and walk back to the room for a play and chill before we went to bed. We all had nice long baths and then snuggled into bed ready for a long day the next day.
Saturday 27th January – So we were leaving today but not until about 4pm, annoyingly you have to be out the room at 11am, so we sort of had to half pack as we needed the pram for the morning, but were using the pram bag as a sort of suitcase. Luckily they had a great luggage storage, so we just chucked everything in there and walked into the park for the morning. We felt pretty satisfied that we had been on everything more than once, so we let Bets pick her favourites to go on, but made a big deal of seeing as many characters as we could! You end up waiting in the queues so long, that it’s quite hard to choose who to wait for. We had a go round on the train, to make sure we hadn’t missed anything, which was good fun in it’s self. Bo loves a train! We came to the final stop which was really close to where the Mickey mouse meet and greet was and we all agreed we couldn’t come and not meet Mickey! Thankfully again his meet and greet was in a cinema type building, so it was super cosy and outside was blumin’ freezing, so warming up was a good option.
It was actually really great inside. The queue was about 45minutes long, but they were playing old Mickey movies inside on a big screen, so that kept the kiddies entertained the whole time, plus some of the sandwich snacks we had prepared at breakfast! It really didn’t feel too long at all. Mickey was amazing and spent a good amount of time with us, doing high fives and cuddling and a number of different pictures with us all. I love how special each and every character makes the experience feel, you’re not rushed at all.
We grabbed some lunch, Bo went to sleep and we headed off to find more characters! We did both parks again, and just before leaving Walt Disney Bo woke up, which was perfect for him to have a run around before we made the journey home!
The disney shuttle buses pretty much come every hour, but they ask you to leave like 2 hours to get to the airport, so with the hour before added on you end up getting there a good three hours before. We also had a very good airport experience, everything just went so smoothly. There were no queues, waiting or problems we just sauntered through! Curtis says that’s just how I travel. Ha
Charles de Gaulle is a really nice airport too. Lots of lovely shops and places to play. We found our gate right near a little area full of old games machines. Bets found a friend (standard) and for a couple of hours they all ran around playing! It was brilliant. We fed Bo just before boarding and then jumped on the plane first. (travelling with Babies is just brilliant because you get to skip the queues…AGAIN! hahaha) Smooth easy flight, that was until the landing!! It seemed to be a little windy that night in Manchester and with us getting a few meters from the ground, we had to take off again. I’ve never ever had to do that on a plane before, but boy was it bouncing! The second time round, the pilot hit it with some speed and we managed to get down a little smoother, but I don’t think many people on the flight enjoyed it. Thankfully it doesn’t bother me at all.
So that’s pretty much our summary of the three day trip to Disney land Paris! Something we’d 100% do again and again! We loved it, the kids loved it, it was one of the best little holidays we’ve done!
Here are some of my tips I have written about summarised for you…
1: City hall birthday badge – Not only is it cute for the kids, you might be lucky enough to get some special treatment if you’re cheeky enough to ask 🙂 (No proof was needed)
2: City Hall birthday phone call with Mickey.
3: Take snack packs….and lots of them!!! They don’t seem to take any food off you when you go through the scanners so get those bags loaded!
4: Expensive hotels aren’t a must – you just don’t spend enough time in them.
5: Pre book restaurants – If you want to do the restaurants 100% pre book them. The queues for waiting after were horrible!
6: Stand well in the park for the parade – The second day we stood in front of the castle and this was so so much better.
7: Make snacks at breakfast
8: Take your own water bottles and fill them right up at breakfast. They have all the different drinks machines, so if you have flasks take them, get your hot drinks too, milk for the kids the lot. The water in the parks was about £2.50 a bottle and we didn’t even think to just reuse those bottles!!
9: Stop in M&S food at CDG for all the yummy treats you can think of!
10: Use the disney magic shuttle bus! It was quick and easy.
11: Use the parent Pass – So if you are with a baby who can’t go on the ride but you both want to go on with the other child. Ask at the exit for a parent pass and you switch over but go straight to the front of the queue. You can only imagine how much time we saved using that and the birthday fast track.
I think thats about it…If you want to ask me any questions about Disney or need any other info please don’t hesitate to get in touch!!