Maleficent Adventures

Travelling Around the World

Category: Disneyland Paris Resort (Page 1 of 2)

Disneyland Paris for first timers – Top 9 things you need to know

The first time Holly went to Disneyland Paris was back in 2001, and since then we have gone pretty much every year (or every other year) without fail. Here are some tips and tricks we hope will help first timers enjoy their trip to the parks.

 

  1. Get the showtime listings and a map on arrival
    This is now handily available the Disneyland Paris app and is key for tracking what’s going on; opening hours, magic hours (for those in Disney hotels) and wait times. I’d still recommend picking up a paper copy of the show times at the entrance to the park to save on phone battery and to help visualise locations better.

Be sure to make time for the parades and fireworks, they are award winning and one of the reasons we come back year after year. We went to the Halloween celebrations last year, for the first time; some of the parades, including Goofy’s Skeletoon and Mickey’s tricycle gang were so good, we saw them several times. They’re easy to catch if you know the route and rough timings so make sure you keep in mind where you need to be and at what time.

 

  1. Book a Disney hotel
    Whilst they are slightly more expensive than the surrounding hotels, you do get extra benefits. Magic Hours allow you early access to the parks an hour before anyone else, whilst the rides that are open during this time are limited, it’s perfect if you want that empty Main Street photo or picture in front of Sleeping Beauty’s castle with no one blocking your view. Other benefits include excellent theming (see Hotel Cheyenne’s Toy story themed rooms) and Disney dining plans at reduced rates if you book when the best offers are on.

 

  1. Keep an eye on the Disney deals
    Both through TV advertising and their website Disneyland Paris launch different deals through the year. This could include free dining or a free night stay at your hotel depending on the duration of your trip. Keep an eye on the Disneyland Paris Offers page and Magic Breaks to try to save as much as you can before you go.

 

  1. Plan your travel to Disney ahead of time
    There are plenty of ways to get to Disneyland Paris: plane, train or drive. Some of these options won’t land you at the parks doorstep (e.g. flying/Eurostar to Gare du North), so it is worth thinking about how you are going to get there. Make sure to weigh up the cost of transport against how much your time is worth, for instance a 10-minute train from Charles du Galle to Marne la vallee is 25 Euros each way, whereas a 1hr 30minute train journey was just 7 Euros! If you are on a tight budget then opt for a regular train. If time is money, and you want to maximise your park time then pay the extra!

 

  1. Learn how the FastPass system works
    Don’t be caught out having to wait in hour long queues for rides, getting a FastPass is your way to queue jump into the major attractions. See it all explained here.

If there is a particular ride you know you can’t miss out on, then head there as soon as the park opens (this is highly recommended for Crush’s Coaster).

 

  1. Make time for the little details
    Don’t rush from ride to ride with your face in your phone, make sure to take a look at the amazing theming put in by the Disney Imagineering team. Some of our favourite things can be found by walking through the Arcades either side of Main Street USA. There is so much to look at, and you can view at your leisure whilst sheltering from the weather and avoiding the big crowds on Main Street.

 

  1. Go shopping
    Each store has its own wonders to offer – remember not everything is available in every store! If you see something you like, you might not find it elsewhere (e.g. some of the more niche items can be found in the Thunder Mesa Merchantile). One place to put on your list to visit is Boardwalk Candy Palace on Main Street USA. They have freshly made treats including fudge and cupcakes that change seasonally.

 

  1. Be prepared for all weather
    After all this is France! Be prepared for changing weather conditions. If you are visiting in October – March make sure to bring a coat or a poncho as they are an extra expense in the park. Waterproof, comfortable shoes are a MUST, to see what else we recommend packing click here. Sun cream is essential in the summer months, as well as clothing to keep yourself covered in case you are queuing in the sunshine (there’s nothing worse than a day in Disney with sunburn).

 

  1. Bring an empty water bottle
    There are water fountains at all restroom locations throughout both parks and Disney Village so save yourself some money (and the environment another plastic bottle) and refill your drinks container there.

 

Most importantly, have fun! We love Disneyland Paris and with all the expansions coming up in the next few years we are excited for what the resort is going to become.

Have we missed anything, or do you disagree with our top 9? Get in touch on social we’d love to hear from you.

Top 9 Restaurants in Disneyland Paris

You may be new to the parks, or looking to try something new; so here are our top 9 restaurants in Disneyland Paris Resort.
There are lots of eating establishments around the park, but for this article we have concentrated on table service locations, for much needed respite on a long park day.

1. Walt’s – An American Restaurant – Disneyland Park
This decked out restaurant runs along the top of main street, really making it feel like you’re in someone’s living room (maybe even Walt’s!). Each individual room is themed after a land within the Disneyland Paris park, make sure to have a look around whilst you are waiting for, or after you have finished your meal.

One of our favourites has to be this Cheese burger with fries and Walt’s personal favourite – chilli. The burger is made from a really succulent and well braised piece of beef that just melts in your mouth

 

2. Vapiano – Disney Village
We go on about Vapiano A LOT, but with good reason. We have visited it on our last 2 trips and are yet to be disappointed by our food choices. Italian food at its best, its not super fast but it is always delicious. The restaurants décor creates a lovely calming atmosphere, a nice haven away from the manic quick service counters in the parks.

 

3. Bistrot Chez Rémy – Walt Disney Studios Park
This is probably the best themed eatery in the entire resort. The excellent detailing in this restaurant means that no matter where you sit there is always a treat for the eyes. Not just that but there is also some exquisite French cuisine on offer; particularly the dauphinoise potatoes, steak and of course… their signature ratatouille.

 

4. The Steakhouse – Disney Village
Located towards the back of Disney Village near the lagoon is The Steakhouse. Hidden inside a Chicago warehouse this steak joint is usually easy to get into if the crowds are big in the village. The steak is always en pointe, as you can see pictured below the sides are ample, and they have a great wine list. They also have a number of great choices if you are on a dining plan.

 

5. Buffalo Bills – Disney Village
This Wild West show has everything – action, excitement and some delicious cowboy cookout. All you can eat! Which is good, because prices can be steep. It is definitely worth a go if you have never been before. The show includes some great stunts and performances as well as audience participation. Beware that people with animal or hay fever allergies will not fare well.

 

6. Rainforest café – Disney Village
Personally, this is Holly’s favourite place to eat. Who doesn’t love eating amongst animals with a tropical thunderstorm going on, and don’t get us started on the famous VOLCANO dessert.

 

7. Auberge de Cendrillon – Disneyland Park
Head through the castle into Fantasyland, and you will see Cinderella’s restaurant on the right hand side. With a beautiful pumpkin carriage outside, providing the perfect photo opportunity for your little princes and princesses. The food here is top notch, and only doesn’t score higher up on the list because we are not fans of character meets. This is a fantastic place to go if you are celebrating a birthday as you get treated like royalty and you might be visited by a princess or two!

 

8. Captain Jack’s – Restaurant des Pirates – Disneyland Park
Newly rebranded from the old ‘Blue Lagoon’ restaurant, Captain Jack’s is located alongside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. With authentic cuisine from all parts of the Caribbean, this is definitely something for those with a more exotic palette. It is the perfect date location as you can get a table by the river and watch the pirates of the Caribbean boats go by. But beware – you may even get a visit from Captain Jack himself!
Note: We have never had good service in this restaurant, the waiters are always overloaded with tables and it really suffers from this as it is hard to get attention when you need it. So, it is worth a visit, but don’t head there with plans to leave early!

 

9. Annette’s Diner – Disney Village
Who doesn’t love burgers and rollerblades? Within this great themed diner, the servers all skate around bringing your shakes straight to your table. The food is fresh and served fast – perfect for a quick lunch in the village before shopping!

Have we missed any restaurants, or do you disagree with our top 9? Get in touch on social we’d love to hear from you.

To Infinity and Beyond Disappointment – My First Disney Annual Pass

Let me begin by saying it isn’t all that bad, but I have been constantly frustrated with my experience so far. I have been thinking about getting an Annual Pass for myself for a while now, and when asked what I wanted for Christmas this year I mentioned it to my (extremely) generous father and he approved the idea! Great, I thought, this is going to be the best year ever!

However, quickly I realised there was little to no information, and what information I did find was contradictory or patchy, so I thought I’d fill in the gaps for anyone else thinking of treating themselves!

 

Buying the Annual Pass

I go to Disneyland Paris every year and I’d done the research as to which Annual Pass would be best for me. I finally settled on the Disney Infinity Pass, it’s main draw was the great discounts it offered: 20% off Disneyland Paris shops and -15% off restaurants.

Great, now I’ve decided what Pass I want, how do I sign up?

From here you have multiple options:

  1. You do it over the phone
  2. You send off an Annual Pass order form
  3. Or you do it when you are in the park

The first thing I want to start with is, DON’T use the order form option. This entails you printing out, filling in and posting a form to France. Before you even start filling in the form, look at the bottom –  payment for the Pass means sending your card details through the postal system… Secure? I think not.

After discovering this, I decided to sort it out over the phone. Much to my dismay, after being on hold for some time the operator said I was unable to do so (this is the opposite to what is stated on the website). This leaves me with the only option: pay at the park.

After a bit more snooping (I like to be organised and wanted to get the Pass sorted before we booked a family trip), I found that I can actually do it online, but only through the French site.

I use Google Chrome as my home web browser, which is great as it has an in-built translation tool. This makes me wonder why the Disney site doesn’t just have an option to convert it to English itself.

 

I’d made it through a good chunk of the booking journey before I came across the following message:

This translates as – “if I sign up on the French site all communication to me will always be in French”.

My French extends to “Bonjour”, “Au Revoir” and “Merci”, so realistically I don’t want all the details sent to me in French. I wanted to doublecheck this so I rang the phone line again (same number) and the operator confirmed I wouldn’t be able to change the language afterwards.

Disney operator: “Why don’t you just do it over the phone?”

Me: “Because I was told I wasn’t able to.”

The time between this and the first phone call (to the same telephone number), was approximately 20-30 minutes earlier…

Disney operator: “Oh you must have got an operator out in the US, they can’t do it over there”.

Correct me if I am wrong in thinking that if I was paying £300+ to buy a product and you can’t do it, you would just transfer me to someone who can? Obviously, I was going around and around in circles but managed to sort it out over the phone and they said it would arrive in the post in the next few weeks.

 

My Pass information arrives

Less than 2 weeks after I applied a very exciting package came through my door.

It was only after I had opened the letter I realised that it wasn’t as magical as I thought it would have been.

All I got was an invoice. Where was the fanfare? Where was the congratulations? Most importantly, where was my Annual Pass?!

What I hadn’t realised was they had sent me a normal paper park pass which had fallen out without my realising as I opened the letter. But what do I do now and where was my shiny Annual Pass I see in so many Instagram photos?

Valid for 1-day 1-park pass

The operator had mentioned that I needed to go to the park within the first 6 months of buying my pass to swop it to the card version. Luckily for me I had planned to go away for my birthday weekend in January.

 

Retrieving my Pass

The first day we arrived at the parks headed to ‘Bureau Passeport Annuel’, which is located in Discoveryland on the left as you enter the land from Main Street USA.

Lights were all on and there was a staff member outside so all was looking good, even better there was no queue inside!  I headed up to the staff member and told them I was there to get my Annual Pass sorted. They asked me to wait in the queue outside in the rain. At this point I am beginning to wonder why I thought an Annual Pass would be a good idea, because so far I was £313 down, and wet. Why couldn’t we wait inside? No idea.

When I was eventually let inside, there were two queues to join but no indication as to which was for what. It wasn’t just me who was struggling, I saw two other families having to ask Cast Members where to go.

I was eventually guided into the right queue and wait for a desk to open up. Because there had been so little information available to me up to this point I had come with a list of questions about what my benefits were and how I claim them.

Note: Make sure you take photo ID (passport) when picking up your Annual Pass

They didn’t warn me before about this, but luckily I had brought mine. They scanned my passport, I was asked to write down my address, email and phone number as well as asked if I wanted to opt in to information about discounts and event details which would be sent through to me. Obviously, I said yes! Who wouldn’t want to receive discounts and invites to special events?

I was presented with a welcome booklet with all the details about the Infinity Pass, however, once again it was all in French. I wasn’t hard for me to whip out my Google Translate App, all members of staff speak French and English, so how hard is it to translate one simple booklet?!

I tried to go through my list of questions but my server didn’t really understand what I was asking (even though she was trying really hard – I appreciated the effort) so I left it for the day and headed off to meet the rest of my group and to get warm and dry again.

 

Using my Pass

This was the most exciting part, heading into the park to use my Annual Pass for the first time.

This is when I really when I started to get to grips with all the benefits. If you want more details on the current discount you receive with your Annual Pass see the Disneyland Paris website, here I have highlighted a few of my favourites.

With an Annual Pass you get an exclusive entrance at both parks, which is at the far-left hand side.

 

Magic Hours

You have access to the Parks’ Magic Hours and you can take guests in with you.

Note: They must have tickets bought through your Annual Pass.

This was one thing that should have been made clearer, I asked when I picked up my pass if my family could come in early with me and was told yes. It was not until we arrived at the park entrance ready for our magic hour that we were told we were only allowed in with Annual Pass friend tickets.

With the Infinity Pass you can get your friends 1-day park hopper tickets for 35 Euros. This is restricted to 20 a year, and you can only use five per week (Monday-Sunday). If you use all of these up, you can still get -20% off the normal ticket price.

 

PhotoPass+

One of the great features of the Infinity Pass was that we got a free PhotoPass+.  You can pick this up at any photo sales point. I got mine from New Century Notions Flora’s Unique Boutique on Main Street USA.

Any photos taken by the official photographers within the park (during peak months), at character meet and greets and all ride photos can all be added to your card. Simply type the code into their dedicated app or get them to scan your card.

 

Disneyland Paris restaurant discount

This trip we ate very well with meals at The Steakhouse and two of our favourite places to eat in Disneyland: Walt’s and Vapiano. With the Annual Pass we got 15% off all food and drink. Don’t be fooled by what it says online “Disneyland Paris restaurants” means any eating establishment not just those with table service! The only restrictions include alcoholic drinks and only certain locations within the Village accept the discount. These included Annette’s Diner, New York Style Sandwiches, The Steakhouse and Café Mickey (basically all properties owned by DLP themselves).

Don’t miss out on your free “non-alcoholic aperitif” at table-service restaurants. On arrival, present your Annual Pass which will be scanned by your server and returned with a house cocktail right to your seat.

Note: This is only for the Annual Pass holder not their accompanying guests.

 

Disneyland Paris shops discount

Now the biggest discount – souvenirs, just scan the card at the till and 20% will come straight off your bill! This last trip I wasn’t planning on getting a new suitcase but it was a steal! (55.99 Euros instead of 69.99!)

The discount is apparently restricted, and some items are not included, but so far I haven’t bought anything that wasn’t discounted. (This may apply to items on sale?).

 

VIP seating for Disney Illuminations Show and for the Parade

I was interested to find out about the VIP seating, and like the cocktail offer, only the Annual Pass holder can access this benefit.

This is where it gets complicated. You can’t reserve your space on the day, it has to be at least 24 hours in advance. This cannot be done in City Hall, you need to ring the dedicated phone line for Infinity Pass holders (choosing an English or French speaking option) and here they will check to see if there is any space and provide some kind-of of voucher. On the day you take this to city hall where they give you an actual ticket to get you into this area. Yes, it really is this complicated. I didn’t do it this trip because I wanted to share the fireworks and parade experience with my family, but next time I will definitely be trying this out.

 

Free use of guest storage for the day

On our final day in the parks, we had our suitcases as we were staying in Magic Circus and wanted to save time getting to the station later that afternoon. Next to the Disneyland park entrance (right hand side) is a luggage store where you can keep items for a day. With the Pass you can store 3 pieces of luggage for free! As there were four of us, we split the cost of the remaining suitcase, which was only 5€ for the day.

 

Total savings

Arriving back after a great trip to Disneyland Paris I began to think about whether the Annual Pass was worth the money. The simple answer to this is YES. Whilst the overall experience of actually receiving your pass is poor, once you have it you’re good to go and you can’t beat the discount value! We went for 3 days, staying in the Vienna Magic Circus Hotel and between the 4 of us the discount saved paid has off the Pass already.

Whilst we didn’t stay in a Disney hotel this time, as we got such a good deal on a partner hotel (50€pp for 3 nights, including breakfast: hotels.com), next time I plan to stay in a Disney hotel and I’d be interested to see how much of a discount we get on a room only booking.

 

Invitation to special events (film screening, preview events, etc.)

My last complaint is that I was looking forward to getting special offers and communication about my Infinity Pass through from Disneyland Paris. However, after still not receiving any information a month after returning and seeing lots of talk on Twitter and Facebook about a new event many people had just had emailed, I decided to chase this up.

I rang the phone line and they had recorded my email address wrong, and couldn’t resend the communication so I had missed out on this particular event. I look forward to receiving my first one going forward, now that they have hopefully amended my information.

The event in March is celebrating the 10 year anniversary of the Hollywood Tower Hotel.

I felt one part missing from the Annual Pass experience is the magic, feeling special and being treated well. I look forward to the changes I’ve seen in other people post which include special Annual Pass merchandise and pins.

The experience didn’t start off great, but it hasn’t deterred me and I will be looking forward to future trips now that I know much more information.

Would I recommend an Annual Pass to other people? Yes! But I hope this article prevents anyone else from having as stressful time as I did, trying to get to grips with my pass!

Top 9 Things to Do in Disneyland Paris when Pregnant

We had a lovely weekend away with our sister and sister-in-law – who have just announced that they are having a baby! We are both thrilled for them and can’t wait to start the baby’s Disney education!

We also thought an article about what to expect when you’re expecting in Disneyland would be useful for any other prospective mothers out there that have a trip coming up and might be worried!

 

  1. Get your access pass
    This is a must, as soon as you’ve entered the park head to City Hall (or Studio Services), where they can give you the latest information on what is suitable to do whilst in Disneyland. They can also answer any questions or concerns you may have.
    They provided a list of rides suitable, as well as an Easy Access Card which allowed us to wait in virtual queues saving the mum-to-be from standing for long periods of time.

How it works: If we arrived at Buzz Lightyear at 12:00, and the current queue time was 40 minutes, we would be issued 12:40 as a time to return. If the queue time is less than 10 minutes you are allowed straight in.

Note: You need to have some kind of proof in order to get this pass. Our sister-in-law used her maternity exemption card issued to her by the NHS.

Sitting room in city hall – mothers can have a quiet sit down, lots of seating throughout the parks

 

  1. Ride some rides!
    Whilst you can’t go on Big Thunder Mountain, you can still go on It’s a Small World so it’s not all bad news! For a paper copy of appropriate rides head to City Hall or alternatively download the Disneyland Paris App where you can filter: “Suitable for Expectant Mothers”

Rachel’s favourite ride is Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast, which fortunately was on the pre-approved ride list! We probably went on it 6 times over the 3 days…!

 

  1. Hop on the train!
    Take is easy by taking a trip around the park on the Disneyland Railroad. The good thing about the train is you can stay on for as long as you want, and avoid any adverse weather that might be occurring.

 

  1. Eat some good food!
    There are lots of really good eateries around the parks, in the hotels and Disney Village so don’t let them go to waste! For great theming try Toad Hall in Fantasyland, The Golden Nugget in Frontierland and Walt’s on Main Street USA. Our new favourite is Vapiano, an Italian located near the entrance of Disney Village with fresh, fast food at not bad prices for Disneyland!

The Golden Nugget – Frontierland

Hakuna Matata – Adventureland

Pineapple Upside Down at Walts – Main Street USA

 

  1. Drink some tasty drinks!
    Whether it is a Sweet Main Street cocktail at Walts, a slush puppy at Sequoia Lodge or a limited edition 25th Anniversary non-alcoholic cocktail you’ll find lots of options throughout the resort.

Sweet Main Street at Walts

 

  1. Take it easy!

When some people think of Disney they think of rushing around but even with so much to see there is something to be said about taking it leisurely. Take the time whilst you are around the park – one of my favourite things is to walk down Main Street and to look at all the windows both at and above eye level.
Another great feature (perfect for pregnant ladies) is scattered throughout the park are lots of benches and covered areas e.g. Arcades on Main Street USA so you’ll be able to take a quiet moment to relax.

 

  1. Experience the Shows

Currently the Studio park is better to head to for shows with two big theatres Animaque and Cinemaque, as well as Stitch Live! and Art of Animation. Obviously, we have to mention the amazing night time shows which Disney produce. On our latest trip, it was the Season of the Force and the projection mapping on the legendary Tower of Terror was incredible.

 

  1. Take a drawing class

This hidden gem is housed within Art of Animation where you can watch two films on animation and the process of developing a character. Once you have left the final theatre, on your left hand side there is a drawing class set up. Each class gives you the opportunity to draw a different character, which they announce at the start of the class. Characters rotate, so you can come back at any time to do a different one, ideal for when the rest of the party want to go on a thrill ride.

 

  1. Meet some characters
    Disney is teeming with characters at designated meet-and-greets but if you are lucky you can interect with them as they wonder the park! We watched poor Captain Jack Sparrow’s minder have his handful as he was lurking in the caves in Adventureland!

Overall, we found the staff very helpful and knowledgeable making the trip painless and easy. Being able to do virtual queuing meant no long periods of standing up which kept our mother-to-be’s energy levels up and was able to manage whole days in the park (don’t worry we didn’t drag her round everywhere!). We would like to give a big shout out to Rachel our sister-in-law for allowing us to share this magical occasion with her, we can’t wait to be the best Disney Aunties ever!

 

Top 9 Things to do in Disneyland Paris For Grown-ups

As a family, we have gone to the Disney Parks since we were little, and each trip has been different. During our trip in October we put together our #Top9 things for grown-ups to do in Disneyland Paris Resort:

 

  1. Scream on the rollercoasters

Not all rides are suitable for small children – so this is our time to shine. Get your adrenalin fix on some of the most imaginative rides in the world, our favourites include the Tower of Terror and the newly updated Big Thunder Mountain.

 

  1. Dine well

Being in Disneyland Paris doesn’t mean you need to eat only burgers and fast food. Two places we would recommend is Bistrot Chez Rémy in Walt Disney Studio Park and the newly opened Vapiano in the Disney Village, an exciting diffrent approach to fast service Italian food.

 

  1. Take a tour

Head to City Hall and book on one of the tours around the parks. Get a behind the scene look at some of the attractions, learn about the theming and all the hidden Disney gems waiting to be found.

 

  1. Try the speciality drinks

Each bar has a signature drink, during our last trip we went to several bars throughout the resort. We really enjoyed the glowtini available at most hotel bars and the Redwood lounge and bar in the Sequoia Lodge had some unique choices using sap liqueur.

 

  1. Go shopping

Disney Village is the main shopping district, perfect for picking up gifts and park unique merchandise. We love going into The Disney Gallery; Holly is currently collecting the old-style attraction posters, which can regularly be found here. You’re a grown up responsible for your own finances – go treat yourself.

 

  1. Ride the rides during parades and fireworks

Disney fireworks are amazing, but if you are staying for more than one day, take advantage of empty lands and queues. Big Thunder Mountain becomes much less crowded once everyone takes their places for the fireworks, so we take advantage and ride till we die. We also did some evening shopping on Main Street USA during the fireworks on one of our evenings. The shops were empty, and it was so relaxed, much nicer than the usual exit from the park frenzy.

 

  1. Bar crawl through the resort

The Disneyland Paris Resort isn’t as big as you would think! The Disney Village is full of great bars and each hotel has a bar worth visiting, so discover more on foot.
Don’t worry we’ve already done the legwork, see our route.

  

  1. Rock your accessories

Dressing up is not just for kids. However, you are not able to wear full costume within the parks, except at the Halloween ticketed event. A neat way around this is you can go Disney bounding (e.g. theming your clothing around a character), or simply accessorise! There are plenty of items you can buy in high street shops that can ‘Disneyfy’ your style. This trip Lucy handmade ears and personalised them for each of us. These were a hit, and we were showered with complements, including impressed cast members (which meant a lot – as they must see it all). This spurred her on to open a shop to share the magic with you all.

These ears are reversible!

 

  1. Take time to enjoy hotel facilities

Take full advantage of all that is available where you are staying. Within the Disneyland Paris hotel there are spa facilities and most hotels in the resort have a swimming pool. Be sure to rest your feet after long days in the park.

Disneyland Paris Bar Crawl

This was the first Disneyland-style park to serve alcohol when it was added to table service menus in 1993, because guests expected it as part of the “French experience”. You can even pick up a bottle of beer with your hotdog at Casey’s Corner! Never-the-less, keeping up the Disney tradition (see drink around the world at EPCOT), we have formulated a fool proof plan to tick off seeing what the other hotels have to offer, a bit of a rest whilst the parks are busiest in the afternoon and sample the signature cocktails along the way!

During our trip in October we wanted to take it more leisurely and also view some of the hotels we had never stayed in before. We thought we’d put together this route to highlight all the great bars around the resort, each has a unique cocktail so be sure to scour the menu for what’s different in each place.

Our trail starts from the Parks, through the Village, around all the Disney hotels and back to the Village ready for you to dance the night away!

Have a fun morning in the parks, but when the crowds start to grow, escape and relax in these lovely bars.

First stop:

  1. Sports Bar – Disney Village

Always a good place to grab a quick drink and snack to set you up for the day. There are always plenty of tables outside and European football is always being shown – if you have a fan in your midst.

Recommended drink: Grimbergen d’Abbaye blonde (Belgian lager)

 

Next: Head along the lake to Newport Bay Hotel.

  1. Captain’s Quarters – Disney’s Newport Bay Club

Just down the corridor from the reception, Captain’s Quarter is a cosy bar which faces down onto the Lake which is a perfect accompaniment to the relaxing atmosphere.

Recommended drink: Black Pearl

 

Next: Head round the side of the lake towards Sequoia Lodge.

  1. Redwood Bar and Lounge – Disney’s Sequoia Lodge

In keeping with the hotel, the Redwood bar is based on a Californian ski lodge, complete with a huge central fire which, when lit, just adds to the cosy ambience. The bar really is breath taking, and absolutely reminded Lucy of her trip to Mammoth Lakes (CA).

Recommended drink: Alba

 

Next: Now wind your way down the scenic pathway, keep the “river” on your left and head to Santa Fe.

  1. Rio Grande Bar – Disney’s Hotel Santa Fe

Although this Route 66/Cars theme is simple it still hits the spot, nice enough to stop to put your feed up and take a break.

Recommended drink: Sweet Velvet

 

Next: Head across the bridge to the wild west and Hotel Cheyenne.

  1. Red Garter Saloon – Disney’s Hotel Cheyenne

Hotel Cheyenne, themed like a wild west town, is home the beautiful Red Garter Saloon. Whilst we were there Cheyenne was experiencing some renovation, so the full experience wasn’t there but the bar seemed cosy and perfect for a tipple.

Recommended drink: Cheyenne

 

Next: Keeping the “river” to your left, continue back towards Disney Village to New York.

  1. New York City Bar – Disney’s Hotel New York

As the name here suggests, this is themed like a New York city bar! Cosy chairs and friendly bar staff welcome you here. This was the first place we went for a drink on our first night as we had heard good things, and we were not disappointed.

Recommended drink: Glowtini and the 25th anniversary special drink – lumière de l’étoile.

 

Next: Head back to the Village.

  1. Billy Bob’s Country Western Saloon – Disney Village

Disney Village is home to a few bars but we believe Billy Bob’s has the best theming. With live country music performers most evenings and indoor and outdoor seating it makes for a party!

Recommended drink: Kronenberg 1664

 

Next: Head to the Disneyland park entrance and hop inside the Disneyland Hotel. Up the main central staircase and along the corridor and you’ll find yourself at Café Fantasia.

  1. Café Fantasia – Disneyland Hotel

With pictures depicting scenes from Fantasia on the walls, this bar just oozes elegance and class. Whilst we were there for Halloween there they had an incredible violinist and pianist playing “This is Halloween” from Nightmare Before Christmas along with other wonderful classical Disney tunes. It was really lovely, and although this bar is closest to the park it felt very removed from the hustle and bustle.

Recommended drink: Signature Gin and Tonic – especially with a grapefruit tonic.

 

Next: Exit through the lobby to the Disneyland park entrance; this is the final stop hopefully you’ve made it this far!

  1. Head back into the park for fireworks

You could even pick up a beer at Casey’s if you’re still standing!

This is something we will definitely do again as it was really great way of exploring the resort which isn’t actually big as you would think. The longest walk we had was between Sequoia Lodge and Santa Fe, but we welcomed a nice cool breeze and a relaxing stroll.

Plus everywhere gives you snacks! Free peanuts and olives for everyone!

Top 9 Rides Disneyland Paris Resort

This list is obviously our opinion, and we are slightly sensitive to being thrown upside down too much. Rides like Space Mountain (Or Hyperspace Mountain) and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith did not make the cut because when we exit those rides we have to sit down for 20 minutes afterwards. Maybe we’re getting too old – but we think it’s because of the bone rattling qualities of these rides, they are not smooth. Don’t get us wrong, we enjoy thrill rides (note: The Hulk (Islands of Adventure, Florida) and Air (Alton Towers)), but we enjoy something a bit smoother on the old cranium.

 

  1. Big Thunder Mountain

‘The wildest ride in the wilderness’: Big Thunder Mountain is one of our favourite rides in any park. It was closed for quite a while for renovation, and our last trip was the first time we had experienced it’s new form. The Paris version is definitely the best, it is the only one to go underwater – using the same technology as the Euro tunnel. So glad it got the upgrade we experienced at the California resort, the updated graphics and much needed polish has definitely improved the experience.

 

  1. Ratatouille: The Adventure

This is one of the newest rides within the Walt Disney Studio Park, shrinking you down to the size of a mouse to explore Remy’s restaurant kitchen. This is definitely a 4D ride, with all the sights and smells really enhancing this experience.

 

  1. The Twilight Zone Tower Of Terror

Check into this Hollywood hotel and enter the Twilight Zone to discover what happened on that night in 1939. This is another ride that never gets boring, there are a few different scenarios to keep you guessing when the drop happens.
Top tip: Make sure you redo the ride after sunset to see both parks lit up at night, it’s beautiful!

 

  1. Crush’s Coaster

Ride the East Australian Current on Crush’s shell as you explore the wide open ocean. This thrill ride used to be the best thing about the Studios park, it is so immersive and beautiful and yet still keeps you terrified and clinging to your seat. It’s only flaw is the queuing system – so head there first if you want to ride it without waiting 90 minutes!

 

  1. Star Tours: The Adventures Continue

Updated in March 2017, this ride got a facelift including the introduction of 3D technology and the addition of extra scenes now Disney own the rights to Star Wars. There are 70 different missions, so no two rides should be the same. Our mother took it upon herself to test this riding it three times in a row – and every version was different (including the five times she rode it total over the weekend).

 

  1. Phantom Manor

999 happy haunts welcome you to this haunted house, take a journey to the underworld and discover the story behind the jilted bride of this grand mansion. Despite riding this countless times, we still are weary and will never opt to be the single rider if the group number is uneven! It’s great for resting weary feet, and the queue is never very long so it’s the perfect ride when everything else in Frontierland is packed. What would make it perfect is a Nightmare Before Christmas makeover like the California version gets, giving it a little revival and love!

 

  1. Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast

Earn your Star Commander Rank by helping to defend Sector 9 from the evil Emperor Zeug. This is great for target practise and never gets old, because of the competition element it gives. Take on the rest of your group with a head to head, make it interesting and say winner buys the next round of snacks! Whilst our heart lies with Toy Story Midway Mania – this will satisfy our needs… for now.

  

  1. Le Carrousel de Lancelot

Because who doesn’t love a carousel? Adding a touch of old-worldy class, we love this ride. Each horse comes from old working carousels, and are beautifully decorated. For an extra thrill climb on top of one of the big horses on the outside, it can get quite high!

 

  1. Pirates of the Caribbean

 

Also recently renovated, this ride is always worth a go. The new effects are great and we particularly the new addition of feminism – the Red Head is now a pirate – well done Disney. Excellent theming throughout the queue also keeps you occupied in case you have to wait.

Is there anything we have missed? Reach out on social and let us know!

 

Top 9 Snacks in Disneyland Paris

We really slaved away on this one, arduously trying anything we could get our mitts on. It is worth noting that some of these will only be available during the 25th anniversary celebrations, and some were special Halloween snacks so may not be available year-round. However, get them whilst they’re good!

We’ve had a few disagreements about this so we are actually going to do two lists, everyone’s tastes are different and everyone’s opinions are valid.

Holly’s list: 

  1. Cookies and Cream Bat Cupcake – Boardwalk Candy Palace

I ate this on the plane back home, a nice little treat to ease the Disney blues. Good ratio of icing to cake which was soft, nice to go out on a high.

 

  1. Frozen Marshmallow Lollypop – Frozen Kiosk by Chaparral Theatre

White chocolate dripped marshmallow on a stick, simple, delicious and gone. I almost managed to eat the whole thing before Lucy noticed!

 

  1. Cactus Sugar Cookie – Fuente del Oro Restaurante

Perfect with the Mexican/Day of the Dead theme. This biscuit was light and fluffy, easy to eat one or two or three….

 

  1. Triple chocolate fudge – Boardwalk Candy Palace

Freshly made each day, the Boardwalk Candy Palace has so many different flavours of fudge to choose from. My favourite of the flavours I tried was the triple chocolate, it wasn’t too rich and I didn’t get bored of the flavour. This is definitely on my list to of must have park treats for our next visit.

 

  1. Churros – Fuente del Oro Restaurante

I’m a big fan of churros, and now with my new-found love of anything cinnamon – this was perfect for me. Light and fluffy inside and crispy on the outside; the generous portion is enough to share (but still manageable if you don’t want to).

 

  1. Princess Leia Meringue – Boardwalk Candy Palace

How can you not enjoy a Star Wars themed treat? These are few and far between in Disneyland and it was out of this world ?.

 

  1. Halloween Pumpkin Cupcake – Boardwalk Candy Palace

Garnished with a hidden mickey, this cupcake was a perfect Halloween treat. The frosting had a slight orange taste, but the design alone gets it in my #top9.

 

  1. Roasted chestnuts – 25th Anniversary stalls in the Disney Village

Normally found at Christmas markets, I was very excited to see them in the village. I purchased the smaller size, and it was huge! Which means there was, more than enough to share (especially important when they say they don’t want any when you asked before buying, and they start tucking in anyway).

 

  1. Chocolate donut – Cable Car Bake Shop

I couldn’t finish my list without putting a donut on. I love donuts, I can’t get enough of donuts. Everyone should get this donut. Did I say donut enough?

 

Lucy’s List: 

  1. Mickey Star Nutella biscuit – Cable Car Bake Shop

I really didn’t expect this one to be as marvellous as it was. The biscuit was beautiful, and if you’re a big fan of Nutella you’re going to LOVE this.

 

  1. Mint Chocolate fudge – Boardwalk Candy Palace

All fudge at Disneyland is pretty spectacular, but the mint chocolate one really is the ka-buiznezz.

 

  1. Cactus biscuit – Fuente del Oro Restaurante

Bought on a whim, having been stood waiting to place my order for a while staring at the biscuit adverts. This was actually really good, the biscuit is like a sugar cookie, green icing was pretty standard but wedged between the two was a surprising (and uneven) layer of white chocolate – which was what made it perfect!

 

  1. Chocolate donut – Cable Car Bake Shop

We were questing for the 25th Anniversary celebration donuts at Cable car when we had to settle for these. They were great, just a really tasty fresh donut (and definitely not frozen like the ones at, ironically, the Frozen cart).

 

  1. 25thcelebration red toffee apple/ pomme d’amour – Stand by Sir Mickey’s Boutique

Since visiting Disneyland Resort in California, I have been obsessed with their ‘Candy Apples’ and was very excited to see them appear at Paris. However, they aren’t caramel apples but the generic European toffee apples. The difference being American candy apples are a rather decadent caramel topped with chocolate whereas we just have a hard sugar casing to ours. Nevertheless, it was still tasty and therefore made the list! Also the decoration was very pretty.

 

  1. Halloween Pumpkin cupcake – Boardwalk Candy Palace

Seasonal treat which was very tasty, I really liked this one because I thought the icing had an orange/pumpkin flavour and was more marshmallow-y than the cookies and cream cupcake. Despite what I had previously heard about Disneyland Paris cupcakes, it was well baked, fresh and moist.

 

  1. Churros – Fuente del Oro

The first churro I have ever had – that I enjoyed. Not at all a greasy mess, these tiny churro loops were very tasty and really complimented the Mexican food we had at Fuento del Oro. These were also an impulse buy because mum wanted a hot drink – so we got them cheaper as part of the ‘Delicious Treat’ deal.

 

  1. Frozen Marshmallow lollypop – Frozen hut by Chaparral Theatre

This did exactly what it said on the tin, strawberry marshmallow covered in white chocolate – what’s not to like? Nothing. Simple and delicious.

 

  1. White glazed 25thanniversary donut with Nutella filling – Frozen hut by Chaparral Theatre

This is bottom of the list because it was quite dry, and cold – which leads me to believe it was frozen and thawed out (this was a morning purchase). Definitely not as soft and fresh as the chocolate donut from Cable car, but the nutella filling was great so I can see how nice it would have been if you’d managed to get a fresh one.

 

Snacks we tried that were disappointing:

A couple of the items where dry and cold (potentially frozen and defrosted), like the 25th Anniversary donuts.

The Frozen chocolate cake lollypop with coconut white chocolate topping was confusing and none of us really took to it. Eating off the coconut white chocolate was pretty tasty, but the cake inside was flavourless and dry.

I was very excited to try a Jack Skellington chocolate apple (again, hoping for a caramel apple reunion) however this was just a green apple covered in a thin layer of white chocolate. At the very least put a layer of toffee in there! This at best, is instagrammable, not delicious.

We hope you snack lowdown, did we miss any? Reach out on social and tell us your favorite Disneyland Paris snack is!

9 Top Tips When Packing For A Disneyland Paris Break

  1. Pack comfortable shoes (and a spare pair!)
    Each Disneyland Paris park is around 20 km2 and you’ll easily do 15,000 steps a day. If you aren’t used to walking this much it will be tough on your feet. Be sure to take lots of breaks and make sure you have practical shoes. We swear by Sketchers as their memory form soles are heaven on your feet – like squishy clouds! A couple of extra pairs of socks wouldn’t go amiss either.

  1. Make sure you have enough t-shirts
    This might seem a little over cautious, but with lots of walking and the interchangeable weather conditions in Paris, you’ll be glad you have a spare back at your hotel to change into.

  1. A camera and its charger
    Disneyland Paris is so picturesque you’ll want to snap endless photos to remember your magical holiday by. With Sleeping Beauty’s gorgeous castle, Big Thunder Mountain, the Hollywood Tower Hotel and endless unique character opportunities you won’t want to forget these memories!
    Note: FitBit/Fitness tracker chargers, laptop cables, tablet chargers – all essential!

  1. Prepare for all weathers
    Let’s be real, Disneyland Paris isn’t blessed with the climate California is, the weather can be beautiful but it can also be unpredictable. Check the forecast before your trip but prepare for every eventuality by packing a rain mac and some sun cream. This would be an excellent time to remember a poncho from a past visit – feeling smug I remembered mine!

  1. Disney merchandise
    Don’t forget your purchases from your last visit! If you’re like us, you’ll have an extensive collection of Disney merchandise such as pyjamas, t-shirts and hats. Lots of stores including H&M and Primark stock reasonably priced Disney clothing, so for those of us on a budget this is the perfect way to show your Disney side whilst saving your pennies!

  1. Backpack for the park
    You can take your bag on the rides so don’t worry about storing it. Get a comfortable bag which you don’t mind carrying all day, with compartments for easy access to tickets and money as these are what you will need most in the parks.

  1. Don’t forget your plug adaptor
    The last thing you need is to be stuck not being able to charge your camera or worse, phone! How will you let everyone know you’re at Disneyland? If you are from within the EU (with the exceptions of UK and Ireland) your plugs will work fine. For the rest of us (and guests travelling from USA), you can pick up a cheap EU travel adaptor at most supermarkets or pharmacies. If you do forget to pack an adaptor or charger most hotel shops stock them, however they will come at a premium.

  1. Leave room for souvenirs
    Probably the most important point, leave room for souvenirs! Holly always comes home with a new jigsaw and the latest pins whilst Lucy invests in more practical items such as kitchenware… and candy apples. Don’t miss out as they could be gone before you get a chance to come back.

  1. First Aid Kit
    The last thing you need is for your day to be ruined by a blister or a headache, take care of yourselves and your family by packing essentials such as: lip balm, plasters (normal and blister), ibuprofen, paracetamol, cold sore patches (a must for our family), rehydration sachets (in case of stomach bug – but also great in case you become dehydrated after a hot day in the parks) and tiger balm (to soothe aches after a long park day – also great for insect bites).

Honourable mention: Whilst we don’t have children we do have an adorable niece. A good idea (and one we are going to put into practise for our family trip to Orlando in May) is to purchase your child an outfit before you arrive. You can find preowned Disney princess dresses on eBay for a fraction of the price or even kit your kid out in Primarks finest. This way you are sure to make them feel special with their own outfit, but again is a great way to save money (some outfits in the parks can cost 80 Euros all in!)

We hope you find this useful, and enjoy your holiday – and don’t pack anyone by accident!

Five things Disneyland Paris has learned and five things it can learn from the US parks

What you may not know is that Disneyland Paris, much like Disneyland Tokyo, isn’t solely owned by the Walt Disney company. In its early days, Disney sold shares to investors in order to keep the park afloat during difficult times. This year the Walt Disney company increased its ownership of Disneyland Paris to 85.7% and they are starting to push more money and changes into the park

The Ratatouille ride, which opened in 2014, is a prime example of how more investment and attention to evolving these parks can draw in more visitors. As a mark of how successful this ride has been, early this year at D23, it was announced that the Ratatouille ride is coming to EPCOT world showcase.

 

With Disney investing and developing more in Disneyland Paris we can already start to reap the benefits. Here are five things that have already been actioned:

  1. Disneyland Paris Food Festival
    This September, Disneyland Paris hosted Le Rendez-vous Gourmand de Disneyland Paris, a two-week food festival held within the Walt Disney Studios park. The festival showcased food and drink from 6 different regions of France similar to the Food and Wine Festival, held in EPCOT each year.
  2. Electroland
    Probably one of the first time a hard-ticketed event has been seen at Disneyland Paris; Electroland, a concert at the base of Hollywood Tower Hotel in Walt Disney Studios, took place in July 2017. The concert had a whole host of world famous DJs including Steve Aoki, alongside a stunning projection on the Hollywood Tower Hotel.

    Photo Credit: Electroland Facebook

  3. RunDisney
    Now on its second year, RunDisney hosts a 5K, 10K and half marathon event in September. Participants get a chance to run through the Disneyland Paris parks, an exhilarating Disney experience.
  4. Updates to the Disneyland Paris App
    This might not sound like the most exciting update, but for those of us who have experienced the ease of being able to see what rides are open, wait times and parade show times at the touch of a button in the US parks cannot wait to have this at our disposal in Paris. It still isn’t as sophisticated as the US App, where you can make dinner reservations or book FastPass time slots, but hopefully that will soon follow.
  5. Star Wars: Season of the Force
    Star Wars has been slowly creeping into the park since the first (or 8th) film was released. Firstly with the update of Star Tours, rebranding of Space Mountain to Hyperspace Mountain, Jedi training sessions and character meet ups. Now it has its own special event: Season of the Force takes place between January and March each year and includes: an evening show projected onto the Hollywood Tower, an action-packed live show, the first order march, more character interactions and additional scenes in the Illuminations night time spectacular.

 

We have visited Walt Disney World several times and within the last two years have both been to Disneyland in California. They offer so much more than Disneyland Paris as they have been around such much longer and are much more of an institution to America. Here are the 5 Things we would like to see come from the US Disney Parks to Disneyland Paris:

  1. More hard ticketed events
    These events provide unique opportunities, often exploring the parks after normal closure times. Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, is an afterhours trick or treating event in the Magic Kingdom and Disneyland. As well as being allowed to dress up as your favourite character whilst gorging yourself silly on free candy, you can also enjoy stunning night time shows, a ghostly parade and the best firework display we have ever seen (ever!)

    Other hard ticket events include: Mickeys Merry Christmas, a Christmas celebration including all you can eat cookies, hot chocolate, eggnog, snow cones and spiced apple cider depending on where in the park you are; and Fireworks dessert Party providing unique sweet treats with prime viewing areas for the evenings fireworks.
  1. Food variety
    We often find when the parks are busy it is difficult to find food which isn’t fast. The US parks have really upped their culinary game, with EPCOT’s Food and Wine Festival each year showcasing the best food from countries around the word, and its newest land, Pandora, has shown us the amazing food items you can create that can still be completely on theme with the land they reside in. We often visit DLP out of season, and find again food choices to be limited because half of the outlets close.
  2. Immersive hotel experiences
    Announced at D23 earlier this year Disney are opening a Star Wars hotel in Walt Disney World Florida by the Hollywood Studios. This will provide a unique cosplay live-in experience you can’t experience anywhere else. It was also revealed that Disneyland Paris’ Hotel New York in getting a reskin, turning into the Worlds First Marvel Hotel, but we’d like to see more effort put in rather than just a superficial design overhaul. It sounds as though it will be more of a façade showcasing props and costumes from Marvel movies, rather than a whole new exciting place to explore.
  3. New Lands
    The question on most people’s mind is – will Disneyland Paris be getting a Star Wars land? In both of the US parks construction is underway for a 2021 opening but will this come to Europe? Or will there be an extension on one of the current lands? New fantasyland at Walt Disney World is a great example of this. Over time here they have updated the area to include a new eateries (Be Our Guest and Gaston’s Tavern), rides (Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid and Enchanted Tales with Belle) and the Story Book Circus.

    Be Our Guest Restaurant

  1. More diverse characters in the park
    We’d like to see some of the newer Intellectual Properties (IPs) come to the park. Seeing Mickey and the gang is always good but we’d love to see them shake it up a bit – although since the 25th Anniversary celebrations commensed we have seen a whole range of characters including Moana, Max (Goofy’s son) and the gang from Emperor’s New Groove, we hope they keep this up!

We hope some of these changes are just around the corner, if Mickeys Not-So-Scary Halloween Party came to Paris we would booking our flights and tickets without hesitation (like when they announced the inaugural runDisney half marathon weekend!).

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