So we went to Disneyland Paris end of May/start of June 2016.
A number of things manifested this one quite quickly. The main one was that Rachel has just finished nearly a decade on the wards as a Clinical Midwife, and we wanted to celebrate the end of disrupted weekends, nights shifts and general return to normal family life as she now works as Research Midwife which has normal office hours. So what better way than in a half-term holiday in one of the world’s biggest family orientated resorts. It also dovetailed nicely into the fact that after visiting in 2012 for 3 days (with much of the first day being taken up with travel) we wanted to go there again when the kids were bigger, but not too big, and for slightly longer trip of five days.
I’m going to tell this one mainly through pictures and bullet points, because by gum we squeezed a lot into those five days!
Click on any of the images for a larger image in a slideshow.
Friday (Blazing Sun)
- Up at 3:30 to catch a 6:30 flight from Manchester Airport, which was busy because of Air Traffic controllers strike the day before.
- Managed breakfast at the pub at Terminal 3 and was shocked to find J W Lees was listed as a craft beer, and people were drinking like it was an evening out (which confused me no end due to lack of sleep).
- The very comfortable big taxi which zoomed us through lovely french country side (unlike in 2012 were we were all split up on a big crowded bus that took for ever through motorways).
- Arriving at the Sequoia Lodge Hotel (surrounded by trees and modeled on a Californian Hunting Lodge) where we were staying before going out to the parks (Disney Studio + Fantasy Land) until we could get in our room at 3:30.
- Had a great time at Disney Studio with a lovely veggie burger lunch at a Dinner in a Van tucked away.
- Revisit the main parts of the main Disneyland park that we visited in 2012 (Main Street + Fantasy Land) when the kids were too little to do much else.
- Seeing the Spring Parade, which was lovely but far too energetic.
- Being beyond tired but having so much fun we all didn’t mind.
- A nice relaxing swim with all the family at the hotel’s awesome pool.
- In the evening we had a buffet* tea at the hotel which was awesome.
Saturday (Sunny to Hot and Muggy)
- The first breakfast which was another awesome all you can eat buffet*. Bowls of olives, cheese and pureed garlic! Kids ate mainly chocolate (i.e. pain au chocolate, choc cereal, toast with nutella).
- Legostore in the Disney Village. More lego than the mind can take in.
- Meeting Micky and the rest of the gang for lunch at Innovations resturant in the Walt Disney Hotel. Being hot sweaty tourist in the poshest hotels, and the staff making us feel very welcome regardless. Kids had a great time meeting the characters. Henry a bit over enuthasatic (see Goofygate in photos)
- More rides and wandering round the park (my mind becomes a blur here).
- Finally getting Henry a Lightsabre, which he’s wanted for ages. it was one of the very groovy build your own ones , which I’ve not seen over here, and are cheaper than the premade ones and double the size. WINNING! 🙂
- Tea at the hotel again, but it was nice just to get back and eat!
Sunday (Rain on and off)
- The ran starting to come down and me not having a coat!
- Going on the Ratatouille ride, which was a big funky 3D experience. The newest and most modern ride.
- The Earl of Sandwich fast food restaurant, actually owned by descendants of the original Earl of Sandwich (see photo of posh people below). Really quite good for the ‘British fast food place”
- While Rach sleeps in the afternoon taking the kids for a swim 🙂
- Afternoon snack at the Colonial Trading Post, and having the weird one of hearing brass band music. It was like being in at home!
- Pirates of the Caribbean Ride. “Yo ho, yo ho, a pirates life for me!”
- Late Tea at the Plaza Gardens a big 19th Century French themed all you can eat buffet* . Probably one of the nicest places to eat (despite being one of the cheapest).
- The light show at 10-11, which was the most fantastic thing ever. Took no photos, completely pointless to even try to capture it.
Monday (Rain all day)
- Heading off on my own after breakfast to book Henry into the Jedi Academy Show and completely failing because all the places sold out at 9:00 when the early birds from the hotel got there before the gates opened to the General Public at 10:00.
- Getting to walk round the Nautilus from 20000 Leagues Under the Sea in Discovery Land.
- Lunch at King Ludwig’s Castle. Probably the worst food and customer service of any of the food outlets, but by god the most bonkers surroundings!
- Backstage tour, which starts really quiet and then takes you onto a special effects stage – where the fun really starts 😉
- Getting to see the Jedi Academy Show as we sheltered it the building that houses it while having afternoon snack. Young padwan’s using the force to lift R2D2 and defeat Darth Vadar and Stormtrooper pals.
- Seeing the rain come down and being transported across time and space to Disneyland Manchester, where you can go on any ride you want without any ques as long as you don’t mind getting soaked to the skin. Which is what we did 🙂
- Doing the shopping arcades on main street. Rachel and Evie bought the first of many Disneyland Pins (metal badges) to keep and swop with the cast members.
- Tea at the New York Dinner at the Rockafella hotel. We did this in 2012 and while it was all you can eat buffet* (American style) it was very quiet and relaxed. We even got to chat to another British family which was nice.
Tuesday (Overcast with rain)
- A quite mooch around the village buying some last miniute souvenirs and more pins since Rach’s US contacts on Farcebook had come back with their bulk orders 🙂
- Didn’t attempt to go on any rides, because we had done the last of them the previous day.
- Having our last lunch at the Rainforest Cafe, which is an animatronic delight.
- Another most excellent ride back to the airport via a Transfer taxi. The kids even got to watch the new Lion King movie (which was cool because they were so tired).
- Getting home at a reasonable time, unpacking the car and going to bed before Zombiefication hit in!
*You’d think with all these all you can eat buffets (which we all took advantage of) and mention of regular big meals at the restaurants I would have put on loads of weight? Absolutely not, when we averaged 8-10 miles of walking a day (Rachel had Fit Bit on) and went swimming with the kids everyday. I found I had actually lost seven pounds when I had got home! On holiday we are not sit on the beach types!
Make an attempt to speak French. The cast members (which is what they call all the staff from dancers to restaurant staff) really appreciate it and you really make their day. Even my awful school boy French worked a treat. We got extra special points because our Henry is a rather huggy boy and at home we’ve told him he has to ask before hugging. So Rachel taught him the French for “Please can I have a hug?” which charmed the staff up no end 🙂