Wednesday 22 March 2017

Christmas at Eurodisney

Hello lovely readers, 

It's been a couple of months since our family vacation, and upon our return life resumed immediately! Whenever I travel abroad with the kids I am exhausted beyond belief and usually feel like I need a timeout to regain some stamina. It feels like it's been more than 6 months since we got back when it just been 3!

So when life gets crazy, I pop over to my happy snaps and I relive all the memories, the funny, the enjoyable and even the frustrating moments. 
My first post covers our time at Euro Disney, Paris.
After a packed flight via Heathrow, we had a short transit in an airport crowded with festive travellers. Everywhere I looked families were travelling with kids, it was so different from my last festive trip in 2010/2011. It sure seems as if there are more and more people travelling with kids over the Christmas period, despite the cold winter.
Our first experience of Euro Disney was only a day trip, after New Year's and without kids. It was cold, but really so much fun and the park wasn't even very full. It was so magical we planned to bring the boys back when our youngest could appreciate and participate in all the rides and activities (i.e taller than 1,3m which is the requirement for the really hair raising rides).

We set off to Disney for three days, with our sons aged 13, 16 and 17, lodged at one of the hotels just outside the village. We stayed at the Radisson Blu, which is a shuttle ride away from the park. Due to work travel arrangements I had to move our trip to over Christmas and New Year and discovered too late that this period would be extremely busy; and thus all the Disneyland and Disney Village hotels were fully booked (which is where one would preferably stay). Having said that, it was pretty easy commuting with the shuttle, as long as you were pretty clear on the shuttle times. The hotel was comfortable, with all the required amenities and a very good breakfast spread. Our rooms were also quite spacious (which is a new experience in Europe).
My initial thoughts were that Disneyland would not be full as it was winter and our previous experience post New Years was leisurely with few queues. It was unfortunately not the case, it was jam packed, from the minute the parks opened until after it closed at 10pm.
Families with young kids were milling about in the 2 degree weather, unfazed by the occasional drizzles. Christmas music, Mickey and Co, fairy lights and a huge Christmas tree all contributed to the ever present festive feel and magic. The Christmas parade was enchanting and the Mickey tree lighting ceremony so delightful!

Things to remember when visiting Disneyland Paris

  • When choosing accommodation, try as far as possible to stay at a Disneyland or Disney Village hotel, as listed on their website. Your access to the parks will be free for the duration of the stay.
  • If you have not managed to book into a Disney hotel, one would need to buy tickets to access the parks. There are two parks, and it is usually cost effective to obtain tickets prior to your visit on the website as these are discounted compared to tickets you purchase on the day. It also makes entry quick and easy, without having to queue to purchase a pass.
  • There are certain rides which always have hectic waiting times, Hollywood Tower of Terror is one, and we opted to use a fast pass on this ride. Best to decide early in the morning which rides to fast pass as you are only allowed to fast pass tickets at one time. 
  • We chose to stay at the parks for meals, however their are also many themed restaurants available outside of the parks in Disney Village.
  • Depending on the age of your children, your experiences will vary, however there will be a host of activities for adults, teenagers and young children alike.
  • When you arrive at the park be sure to grab a programme of events to determine which shows, parades, photo opportunities you would like to see. The parks are really big, and it may take some time navigating your way between parks. 
  • Be prepared for the overwhelm of quaint little retail shops grabbing the kids attention. You will most probably be badgered for soft toys, caramel corn, figurines, princess costumes and just anything sporting their favourite Disney character.
  • Because the park is open for the entire day, way past bedtime for younger kids, it would be a good idea to have nap time at the hotel (hopefully you're staying on the park) and return refreshed with little ones to watch shows, experience the rides and take in all the magic.
  • The older kids are more inclined towards thrilling rides, and even the parades and shopping!

Ciao for now, 
RuBe xoxo

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