Tuesday, 8 December 2015

DISNEYLAND! Is it worth it going in the Winter? Tips and Recommendations!

Hey Guys! So last week I was literally having the time of my life in the magical Disneyland Park in Paris. The last time I went to Disney was when I was 9 years old in the summertime and although that was 13 years ago, the magic hasn't faded one bit and it was still blooming amazing (and better) to experience it as an adult! There are definitely pros and cons to going to Disney at Christmas time compared to in the summer so I will talk about that, plus some tips and recommendations for anyone who's planning to go to Disney soon! 

If you can deal with the cold, then go for it! 

- Going at Christmas time obviously means thats it's going to be chilly, and very likely to be wet! Luckily when I went there wasn't a drop of rain and the weather was bearable. I was walking around in a jumper and jacket. You are constantly kept busy and always on the move, so I hope the cold wouldn't affect anyone too much! 

- Queue times were quick ! We realised that we were there just before the French Christmas holidays so all the queue times were between 5-25 minutes per ride (whilst at peak times and in the summer, some of the most popular rides are an hour or more queuing time!) 

- All the Christmas features make the experience twice as exciting! There was a Christmas parade, the decorations are literally everywhere and the shops are full of Christmas merchandise for you to browse and purchase! For anyone who isn't a fan of Christmas then I would honestly recommend that you don't go in this period and maybe the summer time would be more suited. Disneyland has just got me more in the Christmas spirit (but I've got that annoyingly catchy parade music stuck in my head still, gaaah!) 

Literally the only downer I would say about Disney when arriving in the winter period is that we noticed that not all the restaurants and food kiosks were open. There were a couple of occasions where we wanted a bite to eat and we would walk for ages to a food place to find it was closed, which is annoying when all you want to do is sit down and fuel up! 

Travelling via EuroStar is a must! 
I went on the Monday and came back Friday afternoon via the EuroStar. Travelling via train, I think is the best option! Yes it does take about two and a half hours (the carriages are very spacious and comfortable), but the train station is literally right next to Disneyland! On the last day we stored our suitcases in luggage lockers at the station and then spent the last day in the park without needing to carry anything! It cost roughly nine Euros for a locker, but they were massive and we were able to fit all three of our luggage cases inside, plus a few shopping bags. Travelling by air is of course quicker, but then you need to work out how to get from the airport to the hotel. When you travel via the Euro Star, the shuttle buses are right outside the station which go to all the Disney hotels and partnered ones (and they are all free!). 

You don't have to stay in an official Disney Hotel for the ultimate experience

When we were deciding where to stay, we did look up a few of the cheapest Disney Hotels to find that they didn't look that appealing or exciting. Opinions will be mixed on this one, because some people wouldn't mind where they were staying, but on this occasion, this was the first time we were going away with just our Dad and wanted to have a smooth and stress free time. Some of the Disney hotels did look a little dated and overpriced, with very mixed reviews? Thats when we looked at the partnered hotels instead and got a much better deal! We stayed at the Dream Castle Hotel and would say that it ticked all the boxes for our time there and the shuttle buses were every 20 minutes from right outside the hotel. 
One Disney hotel which I stayed in when I was nine years old and would still recommend is the hotel Sequoia Lodge. The buffet breakfast there was incredible but that was thirteen years ago and things may have changed since then! Check out the reviews when it comes to booking any of the hotels but some of the partnered ones are massively cheaper! 

Rides to go on, tips and places to eat! 

This is just my personal preference, but my favourite rides are all the kiddy ones in Fantasyland with all the animatronics that tell a story haha! But I will keep the list varied. 

-In the Peter Pan ride, your carriage is a boat which gets lifted above the floor so it feels like you're soaring over Neverland! 

-The Ratatouliee ride (in the Walt Disney Studios) is probably my all time favourite! The carriage you're in swerves left and right (you're pretending to be the rat) and moves from room to room where 3d clips are played and you're scurrying around in the kitchen! The sounds and vibrations really make you feel rat size and its worth the queue wait! 

- Pirates of the Caribbean in Adventureland is always an epic ride! More animitronics but you're bobbing on water and your boat does shoot downhill at times to make it more exciting (nothing scary, but you need to hold on!) 

- The Haunted Mansion in Frontierland is more amusing than scary, in my opinion. Kids under ten years of age may have a crazy imagination so I wouldn't recommend it for that age group in case it scares them too much. Apart from that, your cart moves from room to room with holograms and mirrors. At one point it looks like there is a monster holding onto the back of your cart chair. 

- The only land I didn't get to visit was Discoveryland, but that's only because a lot of the attractions looked more suited to children and it was very sci-fi themed. 

- The stunt car show in the Walt Disney Studios is worth a visit even if you aren't a fan of cars! Very action packed and entertaining. 

- The Wild West Show is also worth going to but not if you suffer from asthma or if you get wheezy lungs! The sand dust goes everywhere and I remember when I went as a kid that I struggled to breathe properly for a couple of hours afterwards. 

- Spotting your favourite Disney character can be a bit hit and miss. Sometimes you might spot a character outside posing for autographs and photographs, but you never know where and when they will be. Mickey and Minnie mouse seemed to be posing for photographs in the Walt Disney Studios most days and there is a building in Fantasyland where you can queue up to meet Mickey (its free of charge!). 

-As for meeting your favourite Princess, there is a building in Fantasyland called the Princess Pavillion where you can queue up to meet one. You have to book and there is a fee, but unfortunately there is no guarantee you will meet your favourite princess as they pick characters at random. As long as you don't mind who you will meet, it's definitely worth it and a fun experience! 

- Cafe Mickey is also known to be a hot spot for the Disney characters but this place does get booked very quickly so make a reservation to avoid disappointment! 

- I would say the Disney park is busiest Friday to Sunday and in the late afternoon to evening. It's recommended that you make a reservation if you want to eat at a restaurant in the Disney park as it gets busy due to the evening Christmas parade and the castle fireworks display. Both the parade and castle fireworks display you HAVE TO SEE!! They both made the trip really worthwhile. 

- As for eating, most places ranged from 20 - 30 euros per meal. Of course you can always eat at the hotel instead, but I would definitely recommend Hollywood USA if you like American food and there is an amazing buffet by the castle which was roughly 30 euros each. We did also go to a fish restaurant called the Blue Lagoon in Adventureland, but felt like it was overpriced and the food didn't meet the expectations. But if you love to eat fish, then you might still love this place, and it looks out onto the inside of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. 

Fly over London in 'Peter Pan's Flight' Photo from Disneyland website 

(Photo from www.paradisefoundaround.com)

Would highly recommend eating here! (photo from Pinterest)

I could literally waffle on about Disney for ages but the only way you will truly find out what this place is like is if you actually go there! You will have an amazing time whatever time of year you go! I know some places abroad are cheaper than Disney, but I honestly felt that this was one of the best holidays I've been on (better than Dubai!) and nothing can compare to this amazing place. The days are long, but it really took my mind off reality for the week and I'm on a mission to go back there next year but want to take the boyfriend! You really feel like you are away from work and responsibilites and it is lovely to be surrounded by childhood memories. 

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  1. I went to Disneyland Paris in September with my boyfriend & it was honestly the most amazing holiday. I've never been at Christmas time though so will have to look into this for next year.

    Pirates of the Caribbean & The Haunted Mansion are my ultimate favourite rides - but Ratatouille was amazing too..

    Ahh it makes me so excited reading this post.. I could waffle on for ages! I definitely need to look at booking to go again in 2016.



  2. Basically it is worth visiting it any day of the year. But during winter, especially in the snowy days it might feel not so comfortable and the fun might not be as during the summer days.

  3. Disneyland is definitely somewhere where I would love to visit and is on my places to travel to list <3

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