10 Reasons to Love Disneyland Paris

This week Disneyland Paris officially turned 25, and while I wasn’t able to be there to celebrate, and probably won’t be going back now until September now I won’t be renewing my annual pass, I do still have a lot of love for this park.

Being one of the incredibly lucky people to have visited all 6 Disney parks, I’m often asked to rate and rank my favourites, which is something I find especially difficult, and it makes me a little bit sad that in the grand scheme of things, DLP tends to fall lower down in the rankings, but there are so many things about this park to love, and here’s just a handful!

1. It has the prettiest castle

You’d have to be blind to not appreciate how beautiful Le Chateau de la Belle au bois Dormant is. Its so unique compared to other park castles, and its just as pretty on the inside as it is on the outside!

2. It has some amazing unique rides

There’s a reason Ratatouille and Crush’s Coaster always have ridiculous queues, but even some of the more common rides have their own variations, like Phantom Manor having a different backstory to the classic Haunted Mansion, and while it may be under refurb now, even Space Mountain had its own little twist.

3. Its full of so many hidden gems

A little while back I wrote about some of the places I’d never noticed before, and that’s because the whole park is packed with little magically places that you can occasionally overlook, meaning that it always feels like you’re discovering something new!

4. The food is so good

Bistrot Chez Remy is possibly one of the best themed restaurants in any Disney park, and its not the only good place to grab a bite! I also love stopping off on Main Street to buy fudge to take home with me.

5. They do seasons so well

Spring is my all time favourite season at DLP, but any time there’s a season to be celebrated, they really go to town with the cutest outfits and park decorations and parades to make your trip even more special!

6. Extra Magic Hours are always full of magic

From my experience, I’ve always been really lucky to visit during times when EMHs are lovely and quiet, meaning the queues are short and the character experiences are always great.

7. Its never too hot

Unlike the other parks, Paris is subject to lovely reasonable summer temperatures. Yes, it means it can be a little cooler at times, but it means you don’t have to face 30C+ scorching lines

8. Its your local park

Ok so this is for my UK and European readers only I guess, but you’ve gotta take a little bit of pride in the fact that this is our ‘home’ park.

9. The characters are always so fun

I don’t think I’ve ever had anything less than a great interaction with any characters in DLP, and I love that even the characters on parade find time to interact with as many of the guests as possible.

10. Its only getting better

With the work that went into preparation for the 25th anniversary, plus upcoming changes, I think we’re only going to see the park grow in beauty and magic, and I look forward to seeing it reaching its full potential as an incredible park here in Europe.

Bonus: Its always full of amazing people

I’ve been so lucky to meet and hang out with a bunch of wonderful people and friends while in DLP, and make magical memories with them, and I can’t wait for more!

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Places I Never Knew Existed in Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Paris

In the last 18 months, I’ve been to Disneyland Paris 4 times, and there’s nothing I’ve loved more on the last few visits than just exploring the little nooks and crannies. There’s been a lot of refurbishment within the last year, so almost every time I’ve been, there’s been some sort of scaffolding somewhere, but somehow on my visit last month, I discovered a bunch of places that in the previous 3 trips have never registered before!

Toad Hall Restaurant

Admittedly, I think I often skip past the back part of Fantasyland between Peter Pan’s Flight and Curious Labyrinth, but to not notice a WHOLE restaurant feels like quite an oversight on my part! It looks so cute as well, definitely one to try on my next trip.

La Chaumière des Sept Nains

Ok, I knew this shop existed because its right there in the middle of Fantasyland, but I’d never been inside before, and it has the whole Snow White cottage inside it! I only went in to escape the bitter cold, but I was so happy to discover this little gem!

La Confiserie des Trois Fées

Another place that I’ve probably walked past 100+ times, but aside from the little hanging sign outside, I never actually knew there was anything inside. Its a cute little sweet shop with adorable stained glass windows!

La Boutique du Château

I’m probably always too busy looking up inside the castle to notice the Christmas shop on the right hand side..

Toilets

This probably sounds like the weirdest thing to say, but I hardly ever notice toilets in DLP. Besides the ones by Phantom Manor and the one by Pinocchio’s in Fantasyland, I’ve never really spotted any others! Now I know there’s the ones by Bella Notte, and the ones by the entrance of Frontierland, but they don’t really stick out!

Am I the only one who’s never noticed some of these things?

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To the Court of Miracles

Esmeralda Disneybound

Esmeralda Disneybound
Esmeralda Disneybound

So this was possibly the coldest outfit shoot of my life, it was about -3C out and I had to take my coat and hat off and get these photos taken as quickly as possible haha!

The Hunchback of Notre Dame was one of my favourite Disney films as a child, and probably still is. I loved Esmeralda, and I remember having a doll and a full playset which I adored, and something that upsets me a little is how forgotten this film is, and especially how it isn’t featured in Disneyland Paris, despite Paris being the setting of the movie.

So I decided to honour one of my favourite characters in the form of a Disneybound. It was a spontaneous sewing project that turned into an outfit – a half-circle skirt, with the addition of a tie-round sash, and I had to hand sew the yellow trim which was a nightmare, but I’m so happy with the results, and despite spending the whole day with my coat done up firmly so no one else could appreciate my efforts, at least I’ve got it to wear again now!

Are you a Hunchback fan?

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Disney’s Newport Bay Club Hotel

Disneyland Paris Newport Bay Club

There is something about nautical inspired hotels that just does it for me. In Walt Disney World, I’m obsessed with Beach Club Resort, and its a total dream for me to stay there one day. At Disneyland Paris, Newport Bay has always had my heart, and last weekend I finally got to stay there for the first time since I was a toddler!

I had intended to save money and stay at Santa Fe or Cheyenne, but when I phoned to book they didn’t have availability for my dates, and with thanks to my annual pass discount, I managed to snag 2 nights at Newport Bay for 60% off the usual rate – WIN!

Disneyland Paris Newport Bay Club

Disneyland Paris Newport Bay Club

Disneyland Paris Newport Bay Club

The hotel is enormous, and I’ve never really properly appreciated the size until I was stood in front of it. Following the recent refurb of the hotel, everything was so pristine and pretty! I had a standard room, which had two of the cutest double beds I’ve ever seen, complete with not so hidden Mickeys and nautical cushions, and I loved the wallpaper with the adorable porthole designs, and all the furniture was designed to look like trunks. I also squealed just a little when I looked out the window and could see over the lake.

Disneyland Paris Newport Bay Club

The hotel also has its own gift shop, located just off the reception area, and two restaurants on the ground floor. I had breakfast included, which was a buffet of both hot and cold breakfast items. While I didn’t use it, the indoor pool was open, located by the side of the lake, and understandably, the outdoor pool wasn’t! What I did use, however, was the fitness centre. It was fairly small, but there was plenty of equipment available, and its open 24hrs, so I could go down first thing in the morning before breakfast, and I had the place to myself! Its also got lovely big windows, and also looks out over the lake.

I had a lovely stay here, and the staff were wonderful! If my trip had been longer, I’d definitely have spent more time exploring the hotel and testing the facilities, but I guess that means I’ll just have to stay there again..

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Disneyland Paris Day 2

Disneyland Paris selfie

Now I’m not normally one to toot my own horn, but I absolutely bossed extra magic hours this morning! One of the first people into the park, first in line for Chip and Dale, then got though Pluto, Goofy and Pooh within half an hour and they were all adorable.After wandering Main Street and Fantasyland for a bit, I stopped off in Market House Deli to warm back up, then as I was heading back towards the castle, I saw a lady in a Meeko hat, so obviously I had to check every shop on Main Street to see if I could find it. With no luck, I figured it would probably be in Adventureland, so I got into the queue for Meet Mickey in the run up to 10am. Well the queue said 10 mins, but it was at least half an hour waiting before I got to hang with the boss.

At that point, I ducked out of the parks for a little bit and went back to the hotel to do some work for a little project I’ve got coming up, before heading back to the Disneyland Hotel to meet up with Mitch. There were a few characters in the lobby, so we hung out there for a bit, and then went to meet Pluto and Goofy in Frontierland. Pluto was extra excited to see us which was so lovely!

Next we headed into the Studios to hunt more characters, but really just ended up people watching for a little while, then a quick photo with some Stormtroopers before we started queuing for Moana!!!

Moana

Moana was everything I wanted her to be, it was so perfect. We talked about Pua and Samoa and wayfinding and had the biggest hug and I felt so happy! We then wandered back into the Disneyland park, where I grabbed a few sweet treats before settling down for Magic On Parade.

Post-parade we stopped in Discovery Arcade for some warmth and a sit down, then I left the group and headed over to Frontierland to meet up with Nancy from Le Ears, and she managed to sneak me into her Fastpass for Big Thunder Mountain. HOLY DISNEY that ride was worth the long refurb! It was so long and so good!! It was also freezing as it was dark out and I couldn’t feel my face but the ride well and truly made up for it!

Disneyland Paris Tower of Terror

I had the tough decision between Dreams and Star Wars Galactic Celebration for the evening show I could see, but given that I’ve seen Dreams loads, I opted for Star Wars, after inhaling an Earl of Sandwich. Studios was practically empty, so I was really happy I decided to go as it was so much less stressful than trying to watch Dreams on a crowded Main Street. I loved the show – it felt a little disjointed at times but I was watching the French version so I may not have understood the flow. The graphics were awesome and I loved having the characters on stage as well for a little extra touch! It was also so much easier to extricate myself from the park at the end, rather than being herded like cattle out of DLP.

It’s been a really wonderful weekend, and I’m so happy I came out and got to see so many lovely people. Now to get another early-ish night before flying home in the morning and straight onto a late shift at work!

Disneyland Paris Day 1

Bonjour! Today has been such a long day, but it’s been worth it! I was up at 4.30am to get to the airport, and after minor delays to my flight, followed by waiting for the Magical Shuttle in -5C temperatures, I was finally on my way to the parks.

Disneyland Park Paris

Despite being early, my room was ready when I arrived at Newport Bay so I ran straight up to my room – which is beautiful and looks over the lake! – dumped my stuff and skipped into the parks, where quite promptly I bumped into Cara and the gang. They offered for me to hang out with them for a bit, but as soon as I found out that Mitch and, more importantly, Donald were in the lobby of the Disneyland Hotel, that’s exactly where I was headed.

image

After some character meets and hanging out with friends, my stomach was growling due to lack of any form of lunch, so I headed back into the parks solo, got some food on Main Street and watched the Frozen Royal Welcome, before starting an epic trek of photo taking through the park.

Yes, those are icicles on Skull Rock. It is that cold.

Yes, those are icicles on Skull Rock. It is that cold.

I met back up with Mitch behind the castle for some outfit photos he promised to take for me, then we waited outside Auberge to see what princesses would come out, and hit the jackpot with Belle, Aurora and Cinderella and Charming, got photos with them and then nabbed a spot for Magic on Parade.

Parade was extra special, having not only Belle and human beast walking behind the princess float, but also Aladdin and Jasmine and Ariel and Eric! We were all totally amazed and excited and it made the whole day feel more magical. After the parade, Mitch and I run our little frozen feet over to meet Mickey before it closed.

image

A quick dinner at Hakuna Matata, and my tiredness was really setting in, so I headed out of the park, and back to the hotel via World of Disney. Just gonna chill out for a little bit, then get an early night ready for a full park day tomorrow!

My DLP Weekend Bucket List

So SURPRISE! I’m going to Disneyland Paris this weekend!

Le Chateau de la Belle au Bois Dormant

It was all very spur of the moment; my friend Nancy from California is coming to Paris for a few weeks and she’ll be in the parks that weekend, so I’m so excited to get to see her as its been over a year! There’s also going to be a load of people I know in the parks over the same weekend, so it all kinda fell into place!

And while it’s just a short weekend visit, there are a few things that I’m hoping to do, and here they are:

  • Explore Newport Bay Club – I had every intention of saving money and staying at Santa Fe, but Disney couldn’t fit me in over my dates, so I sorta upgraded myself to Newport Bay.. I haven’t stayed there since I was a kid and its such a pretty hotel I can’t wait to be there!
  • Meet Moana – I just HAVE to meet this beautiful new princess!! Its no secret how much I fell in love with everything about the movie, and seeing her will be an absolute dream!
  • Enjoy Season of the Force – I’m really excited for all the Star Wars stuff that’s going on at the moment, including the Galactic Celebration show in Walt Disney Studios!
  • Outfit shoots – is it really a Disney trip if I haven’t planned outfits?! I’ve got two Disneybounds that I’m really looking forward to wearing and taking photos in the parks so I can feature them on here in the next few weeks.
  • Hanging out with beautiful people – as well as seeing Nancy, I can’t wait to hang out with some amazing people who I know will be around, like the beautiful Amy and Cara, and also the fabulous Mitch!
  • Playing with my camera and new lens – I’m using this trip as a way to test run my new telescopic lens for my Sony A5000 so I know its good enough to take to Florida with me next month!
  • Eating Mickey shaped food – cos if you don’t do that, are you even in Disney?
  • Ride Big Thunder Mountain – after its been closed FOREVVVEERRRR, BTM has finally reopened, and while I imagine the queues will be ridiculous, I’m hoping to be able to get to ride it once over the weekend!
  • Surround myself in magic – I’m just really looking forward to being back in the parks for a few days and having as much fun as I can!

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