Where dreams come true?│A Disneyland Paris trip review

A few days ago we returned from our first ever trip to Disneyland Paris. I have started writing about our holiday a few times since we returned but found that all the logistical, organisational type information was getting lost amongst telling you what a lovely time we had. Therefore, I'm going to run the risk of boring you stupid and split this into more than one post. Alrighty then, let's do the fun "trip report" first (you can find details of what and how we booked here.)

I had told the kids we were going to Disneyland beforehand, no elaborate "reveal" here, but I'd wanted to prepare them. I actually wasn't sure how they would react to the characters and costumes so showed them a few photos and videos I'd found online so they could see what the characters look like, and that there was no need to be afraid of them. I think this really paid off as they were so confident at the "meet and greets" we did.

After a slight delay on the Eurostar we arrived at Disneyland mid-afternoon on Wednesday. We had paid for Disney Express so just dropped our bags at the check point in the station and went straight to the parks. Charlotte was so excited the first time she spotted the castle.

Just in the first few hours we went underneath the castle to see the dragon who lives there, went upstairs to look at the stained glass windows, had a go on the carousel, went on It's a Small World multiple times, bought Minnie Mouse ears, generally got our bearings, and just caught the Disney Stars parade - although from quite far back.

Thursday was potentially our most productive day in terms of what we managed to get done, although it didn't start particularly well. We had queued for about 20minutes to meet Minnie Mouse in her blue 25th Anniversary dress when a Crew Member told us that Minnie would be leaving in around half an hour to be replaced by Marie from The Aristocats - a film Charlotte had never seen. Looking at the queue we knew we wouldn't make it to the front in that time, so decided to drop out and head to Frontierland where Minnie and Mickey are all day. We arrived in the queue around 10.40am, the VIPs came at 11am, and we got our photos about 50minutes after that. The kids queued beautifully, all things considered, and it was worth it for Charlotte to get that cuddle from Minnie.

The rest of the day went pretty smoothly and, after a quick cuddle with Daisy Duck, was mostly spent taking two unimpressed toddlers on Pirates of the Caribbean, and then in Fantasyland.
It was also the day we'd decided to stay a little late to see the Illuminations. It was really lovely to see the fireworks and both kids enjoyed it.

Then came the day I'd been a bit unsure about.  I'd ummmed and ahhhed about booking a table for a Princess Lunch. It was quite pricey for the 4 of us, but would guarantee that Charlotte would get to meet some of her favourite Disney princesses. Really last minute I threw caution to the wind and just booked it. My word, was it worth every penny. I would have paid twice what I did just to see Charlotte's face when she saw Cinderella come around the corner.

The food was good and the character interaction was excellent.

Even Benjamin came over all bashful when Sleeping Beauty chatted to him.

We decided to check out Walt Disney Studios in the afternoon. This park is far smaller, and the kids were too little to go on most of the rides, but Charlotte managed the Slinky Dog Zig Zag Spin ride about 5 times in a row!

Saturday was quite a different experience to our previous days. Obviously it was a weekend, and boy was it busy. The weather was incredible, but probably a bit too hot to be doing theme park queues with toddlers. Especially as I had packed for October in Paris and we didn't have any summer clothes or sunhats. I have to say, it really put me off the idea of going during school holidays. I just think the queues would be unbearable with littlies. Having said that, we had a good day. We had a character breakfast in the morning so got to meet a few characters, even if it was a bit rushed.

We also made use of our FastPasses to get onto Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast and Stu went on Star Tours.

On our final day, Sunday, our Eurostar home wasn't until just before 5pm so we had until around 3.30pm before we needed to head to the station. All Charlotte wanted to do was go back on Small World, the Tea Cups, and the Slinky Dog ride in Walt Disney Studios. The studios were much busier than the previous day and Slinky Dog broke down a couple of times so we didn't manage to do that, but two out of three isn't bad. Benjamin also got a go on the carousel, which he was overjoyed at.

This is the first holiday we've been on where Charlotte has said the words "I don't want to go home. Why do we have to go back?". There were a couple of stresses and annoyances for me (I'll go into those on the next post) but on the whole we had a fantastic time.  The holiday wasn't particularly relaxing but it was just so magical for the two of them. I was worried Benjamin wouldn't appreciate it but he absolutely loved the characters and parades. I definitely think we'd go back in the future, but maybe when the children are tall enough to go on some of the bigger rides with me!