Monday, 29 May 2017

A Dream Come True

A week ago, Richard (my partner in crime) and I packed our weekend bags and took a trip to Paris, to celebrate three years at university coming to an end. But my main reason for wanting to travel to Paris was to spend a day at Disneyland, something I have wanted to do for a few years now. But as we arrived on Thursday afternoon, we were met with pouring rain and not much of sunlight in sight making us wonder about the likelihood of us actually going to Disneyland. But as Saturday rolled one, the sun was shining f together with a cool breeze, which is the perfect weather if you were to walk around for hours. Something that you have to keep in mind, as the worst thing that can happen is you walking for hours either in pouring rain or a really hot day, hours after hours. 

Getting there from central Paris (in this case Bastille) was pretty easy and the tickets cost around 11€ each and could be purchased in any train or metro station. From Bastille, we got the metro to Gare De Nord and from there we got the train to Marne-la-Vallee, which was the last station on the line. We arrived just before 10 o'clock (opening hour), as we thought it would be a good idea to have an early start and leave at around 6 pm and grab some dinner in Paris instead.  It is was quite overwhelming at the entrance as there was a lot of people queuing, but it only took about 10 minutes getting through security and then we were in! After security, we went to the ticket booth to buy tickets as we decided not to buy them in advance (something I strongly recommend) due to the uncertain weather. So buying them on the same day cost us 79€ for one day-one park, which was 20€ more than you would pay online. Personally, I thought that was a fair price especially knowing that once you got in you did not need to pay anything in addition to the rides, which is quite common for other themes parks I have been to. Our decision to only visit one park instead of two was based on my partner's sister recommendation, who said that we would need at least two full days if we were to do two parks - so we decided to the main one - Disneyland Park (instead of Walt Disney Studios).

The Disneyland Park was everything and more than I envisioned! The first thing I did once we got into the park was to buy Minnie Ears (as you do) which I basically wore for the whole day - and that was when the fun began! After that, we wandered around the cute shops near the entrance before exploring the park with a map in hand. The first and main attraction being the sleeping beauty castle which took my breath away, and the closer you got to the castle the one thing you noticed and what impressed me is how well-made everything is, right down to every single detail - the windows, the decoration, the colours, the characters, just everything! The further we explored the park that more excited and impressed I became! As although I am soon turning 22 years old, I have grown up with Disney,  and I think you never grew out of that magical and fantasy world (at least not me) you knew and loved when you were younger. At times, it even seemed more eager and excited than most kids half my age! 

After exploring the park and getting to know where everything was, we decided to try a few attractions. First the star wars attractions then wandered around to the Thunder Moutain, where we along the way met Chipmunks Chip 'n' Dale and decided to take a picture with them - also because my partner thinks I have chipmunk/squirrel cheeks, so why not. From attractions to attractions and with the heat coming, we decided to stop and grab a bite at the Hakuna Matata restaurant. From there,  we took a few more attractions and by 6:30 pm our magical day came to an end. 

Was it worth it? Every single minute! I had so much more fun that I thought I would have and enjoyed everything about it, and now in the process of planning our second trip to Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios near Christmas time. Below I have included a few tips that might be helpful, and feel free to post any questions you might have!

TIPS for Disneyland 

Food - There were loads of restaurants as well, with different themes and menus to choose from. We personally were so hungry as it was getting hotter, so we decided to go to the 'Hakuna Matata' Restaurant (above), and got ourselves two 'meal 3' which included a drink, a kebab with french fries,  and an ice cream for 13€.  I must admit, the food at the park wasn't the best as it was mostly burgers and kebabs, and what we noticed was that many people brought their own food, drinks, and snacks, which is an option.  

Queuing - The one thing I will say about the rides is, look at the Disneyland map which you can find by the entrance and see if the rides and/or attraction you would like to see or experience have a fast track pass which will save you so much time! Once we got to the Discoveryland area of the park, we wanted to go on one of the rides realised that the waiting hour was over an hour (this is displayed near each attraction entrance to give you an indication of the waiting time). However, what we noticed was that near a few attractions there were 'fast pass' machines where you could scan your ticket and in return, a ticket with a time slot for that particular attraction is given. As an example, we were given a time slot between 12:00-13:30, so in between those hours we could go on the attraction without queuing up! So a good tip is to walk around the park and collect a 'fast pass' ticket for the rides and attraction you want to experiences, and in the meantime, see and do other things around the park. 

If not - Be prepared to queue up! As I mentioned above, there is a few attraction that offers you a 'fast pass' but unfortunately not all of them. For the main and most popular attractions such as the 'Star Wars: Hyperspace Moutain', we had to queue up for an hour. So keep this in mind when going, because for half of the day you will be queueing and there is no way around it. 

Attractions: Our favourite attractions were the Hyperspace Mountain, the Star Tours, the Big Thunder Mountain, and the Mad hatter's Tea Cup! As unfortunately the Indiana Jones and the Pirates of the Carribean were closed due to high demand. 

Weather: Going to Disneyland is very weather dependent! You do not want to be walking around for hours and hours when it's pouring rain, or when it piping hot. But even though the weather was great when we were there, the moment the sun had gone it because quite cold. So if you can, do bring a jumper or a scarf to keep you warm. Nonetheless, bring comfortable shoes that you can walk on the whole day without being in pain! 

Cost: If you are going to Disneyland, what it is going to cost you is all down to you. As I mentioned, you don't pay any additional money to go on rides, but for everything else such as food and merchandise you do. Food prices weren't bad, but the food wasn't worth it in my opinion. As for merchandise, it is up to you. I personally love disney and I thought that I didn't come all the way to  Disneyland Paris to not bring a least a few bits and pieces back with me. So overall, without the tickets, I think I spent approximately £120 between the both of us. That included merchandise, food, pictures with Darth Vader (my partner not me), and train tickets back and forth to Disneyland, which I personally don't think was that bad!


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