Here are SIX things I took away from my time at Disneyland.
1. It is nowhere near Paris it may as well be called Disneyland Newcastle.
2. The adverts lie the smiling faces are few and far between. There was more crying, arguing and stern looks than anything else. I felt a lot of this came from the expectation of adults who had come with kids clearly imagining this magical time they were going to have but didn’t factor in the weather, the amount of walking they would need to do, food options and prices, the fact that little Olivia doesn’t want to wear her Mickey ears let alone pose with him. Allow your kids to explore the park and enjoy what it has to offer in their own way!
3. Parents who feel if their son dresses in a princess outfit or chooses the wand over the cars that they will in the words I heard came out of a dad’s mouth “Turn into a bloody poof!” As I watched the scene in disbelief as a child who looked around five years old clutched tightly to a light up spinning Frozen wand and Princess toy crying as his dad tugged it from him explaining how he doesn’t want a gay son only a few steps away at the opposite stand I saw another boy holding with excitement a princess doll and asking his dad if he could have it and his dad replied “Is this all you want?” All the feels for that child’s reaction and dad’s open mindedness.
4. If you love a queue then this is the place for you unfortunately there’s no signal so utilising the time by catching up on emails or watching an episode of your fave Netflix series is out! Instead you will have to play nice with the lovely cutting couple in front of you who appear to be anti baby because every time he makes a noise it provokes a reaction so strong in them that it actually becomes amusing.
5. Food options were dire if it wasn’t a cheese toast, hot dog, pizza or burger you were kinda screwed! I expected better quality food simply due to the reverse the park generates but that was not delivered so if your vegan or vegetarian take a packed lunch!
6. My initial reaction when I walked in was there are more shops than rides.
☆My Disney Tips☆
If you haven’t been before and don’t know what to expect here are a few tips for your consideration.
1. Download the Disneyland Paris app it has a map of the park, tells you what rides, shops and restaurants are open, show times and the wait times for each ride.
2. Be prepared to queue! Average wait times were 30 to 55 minutes. Pack some distractions for the kids and brief them so that they are prepared for the wait.
3. Wear good trainers or walking boots or supportive sandles there is a lot of walking and the last thing you want is aching painful feet.
4. Pack a few lunches! The average cost for a person to eat Burger, chips and have a drink was €18 per person so if you are a family of 4 going to the park from the moment it open to close so you can catch the light show and fireworks you will probably want to eat at least twice. If you are vegan or vegetarian there wasn’t anything there apart from one salad that I saw was for you to eat.
5. Budget. This probably should have been at the top but going to Disney as a family it may be worth setting a budget so that each child has the same amount of money to spend in the gift shop each day which helps them with their money management skills and may reduce arguments. Decide before hand what the budget is for so you may have money for food, money for photos with characters as they may not want photos with the same ones, money for clothes, money for balloons because those bad boys were €10 each.
6. If you want a clear view for the parade you will need to get your spot early people start lining the streets at least 45 minutes before it starts and then will not move not even for a Bubba in a buggy. Be prepared to put kids on shoulders so they can see the show.
7. If travelling with young children remember they are going to get tired so a buggy or trolley is a must so they can rest and take naps. There are buggy parks at each ride which makes life easier.
8. Take a waterproof coat/poncho just in case
9. Manage expectations! Know your family and what triggers them and allow them to experience the place in their own way.