Disneyland Take 2

Two years ago we took the kids to Disneyland Paris. You can read about our trip here. Almost as soon as we were on our way home the kids decided that they wanted to go again. As much as I was pleased that they had obviously enjoyed themselves, it had taken a year of me working 2 jobs to pay for it! So we started a saving pot. The kids did their part by putting in any money they found on the floor (D loves finding money on the floor!) and hubby and I added money as and when we had any spare. We also set up a savings account through our online banking as unfortunately money found on the floor (or “road-kill” as it is sometimes known) wasn’t going to pay for the trip. 


We booked to go away in January again even though we knew it was going to be cold. We ended up going a week earlier than the equivalent time two years ago and it made a big difference. There were a lot of French families there which made me assume that maybe the French schools hadn’t quite gone back to school yet. This made a difference to queuing times. Last time we basically walked onto all the rides with little or no queuing. This time we were queuing from 10-60minutes depending on the ride. I know that in the grand scheme of queue times it isn’t much but when temperatures are close to freezing then it makes a lot of difference. 


We flew this time instead of taking the ferry and I was really surprised by how easy this was. We had transfers to the hotel and it really was very straightforward. Although be warned it takes longer than you think to get through the airport on the way home. By chance we caught an earlier transfer bus to the airport (3hours before our flight) and only made it to the gate 30minutes before the plane was about to leave. 


We stayed at the hotel Chayenne this time and to be honest I didn’t find it as good as the Santa Fe where we stayed last time. This one was a Wild West theme and although D thought it was great I wasn’t particularly impressed. 


Our room had two double beds and they were so uncomfortable I hardly slept. I was so tired by the end of the week I could have cried. This really took the enjoyment out of the holiday for me. I really was pleased to get home to sleep in my own bed. Little Lady was also really looking forward to sleeping in bunk beds again but was obviously disappointed. 


Again we saved money by taking our own food into the park for lunch and we planned tea time carefully making sure that we didn’t overspend our budget. We did have treats though including the most delicious waffle I’ve ever had and a doughnut the size of Little Lady’s head! There’s not much point to scrimping so much that you take the fun out of the holiday. 


The kids have already asked if we can go again and they are very keen to start another savings pot asap. D has asked if we can go to Legoland first and then Disneyland next year. I’m pretty sure we can find some deals for Legoland to go this summer but it may be another two years before we can afford Disneyland again. A friend suggested September as the queues are still short but it’s warmer. It would be nice to go when it’s not as cold. Pictures where I don’t look like a Michelin man would be good too. You can see how cold it is by the icicles in the picture below. This was in the afternoon too when the sun had been on them all day. 


Have you been to Disneyland Paris? When did you go? How did you find it?

Mickey-ing around

Wow well as the title suggests we have been to Disneyland Paris 😀

This was part of hubby’s big birthday celebrations and we have been saving for quite a while for this holiday. If you read this blog regularly you will know that we don’t have a lot of money so in order to afford this holiday I signed up to an agency and have spent a year doing extra shifts, working nights and weekends while hubby was at home with the kids. It was hard work but so worth it.

Before I show you my holiday photos let’s get 2 things clear

1. Paris is cold in January!!!!! I wore leggings under my jeans, a t shirt, a jumper, a hoodie and a coat and I was still cold!!! Rule number one – pack your thermals!!

2. You will do a LOT of walking! And I mean a lot! I am slightly disappointed in myself for not packing a pedometer. I bet I walked 3-4miles everyday if not more! Wear trainers or walking boots. Don’t even think about heels or those shoes you bought last week! Rule number 2 – pack for comfort not fashion!

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We decided to drive and catch the ferry over. Big mistake! Well no actually it wasn’t, more like bad timing. Our first crossing was soooo rough, I couldn’t get up out of my chair. There were people being sick everywhere!! Thankfully it was a late crossing so the kiddies slept on chairs and didn’t notice a thing!

We stayed in the Santa Fe hotel which is the cheapest of all the Disney hotels. But do you know what? It was awesome!! Our room had a Cars theme and as D loves Lightening McQueen and Mater (his fave) he absolutely loved it. Little lady was also impressed by the bunk beds! To be honest if I had known how easily pleased they would be we could have saved a fortune 😉

A friend had very kindly given me 2 sketchbooks. You know the ring bound, hard back type? She advised me to let the kids decorate them and take them to collect autographs in. I am so glad I did. The Disney equivalent were approx 8Euros and were much much smaller. Another bit of advice here. Take a normal pen for the Princesses to use but a Sharpie or other thick pen for the “gloved” characters as they may struggle with a normal, thinner pen.

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If you have girls then let them wear their princess outfits. Little Lady had a few for Christmas as we had asked various family members to buy her some. This helped us as Little Lady didn’t look at the (overpriced) costumes in the shops plus any character who saw the princess costume automatically bowed/curtsied to her. All the staff/ cast members (as they are called) addressed Little Lady as “Princess” which she absolutely loved. It made her feel so special!

Going in January meant that queues for the rides were virtually non-existant. 🙂 The longest we queued for a ride was 10 minutes, although saying that we did queue twice for the Princess Pavilion and the queues there were 45minutes to an hour! It was inside and warm though 😉

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We took food with us to the park in a backpack. We had heard from a lot of people that picnics are not allowed inside the park. We took food, everyday, in bags that were searched, everyday and not one comment was made. There are loads of benches/low walls to sit on to eat your picnic. There are also water fountains so take a bottle and fill it up. We took 3 water bottles with us. One for the kids to share, one for hubby and I, and one with pure undiluted blackcurrant squash in. We then added the squash to the water bottles as and when we needed to.

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We treated ourselves (and the kiddies obviously 😉 ) to a character lunch in Cafe Mickey. At over £90 for the 4 of us it wasn’t cheap but it was worth it. We booked our lunch for 2pm as the cafe closes at 3pm. Hubby and I could chose a starter and a main and the kiddies got starters, mains and a dessert. We hadn’t even had our mains at 3pm and yet we didn’t feel rushed to finish at all. There was 6 characters in total and each one came round to the table and spent time with the kids. They were happy to have photos and sign autographs. D has been terrified of characters for a good few years but he is much better now, despite refusing to look at Spiderman.

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Haha! Yes D is wearing odd socks. Loooooong story!!

However, he really took a shine to Mickey and loved him sitting next to us. He gave him kisses and everything. D was so taken by him, it was lovely.

Would we go again? Yes. Little Lady already has a piggy bank started to save for next time. Personally I want a bit of a break from the extra shifts for a bit before I start again for another holiday. But we’ll see. We all had such a fantastic time. Have you ever been?

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