Posted in Disney

Top Tips for Disneyland Paris

You’ve saved up, you’ve booked the trip, you’ve bought a Mickey tshirt, your excited! But what more do you need to do? Research! Knowing my top tips for Disneyland Paris will make your trip more enjoyable.

What makes me qualified to advise you… 6 trips in total to the park. On my last trip I spoke to several couples who were relatively bewildered and stressed with their first time Disney experience. Whilst Disney is portrayed to be magical it can also be overwhelming so let me help manage your expectations and give you advice!

15 Top Tips for Disneyland Paris

Top Tips Number 1 – Stay in Disney

First of my top tips -get the most out of your trip and stay in Disney. The magic hours are worth it alone (see below) Disney offer a range of hotels and I’ve stayed in the cheapest Santa Fe most times and Newport Bay once. I keep going back to Santa Fe because, well I’m not in my room… I’m in Disney! If you like me and will spend all your time in the park maybe a higher end hotel is not worth the extra splurge. If your combining a trip to Disney and want to head into Paris no problem you can catch the train right outside the Disney gates anyway!

Top Tip 2 – Two days is not enough

People say you can do Disneyland Paris in two days… I beg to differ. There are two parks – the Magic Kingdoms and Hollywood studios. A day in each in theory would be ideal but honestly to do everything it’s just not possible. The studios is a more manageable size but it has many shows which will see you waiting approximately an hour before they start if it’s busy. The Magic Kingdom definitely requires more than a day to fully absorb all on offer.

In my opinion the perfect time is four days. This will give you time to explore both parks fully and at leisurely pace. You have time to see all the shows, parades and ride your favourites again. Sometimes it’s nice to just be in Disney. We sat off by the castle on our last trip listening to the music playing, people watching and just enjoying the magical feeling of being in there.

Top Tip 3 – Dress comfy!

Okay so I did a whole other blog post about this – what to wear to Disney so it might be worth checking out. But comfy is the name of the game and trainers win the day. I actually wore a long skirt one day as we were going to venture into Paris and I wanted some nice pictures there but we ended up staying in Disney. The skirt was so annoying!! It got caught on a few rides as I exited etc and was so impractical! I went back to the room to change into leggings.

Top tip - wear comfy clothing to Disney

Top Tip 4 – Get the Disneyland Paris app

You can still pick up paper maps at the entrance of the park but Disneyland Paris also has its own app now. It’s definitely worth having as everything you need to know is on there. One of the best things on it is it shows the wait times for rides. We found these to be relatively accurate most the time but there was one time we darted across the park to big thunder mountain as it said 15 minutes only to find in reality it was 50!

Top Tips number 5 – Magic hours are golden, use them!

So your staying in Disney and they tell you about magic hours. This is when all Disney hotel guests are permitted to the park an hour prior to the general public. DO NOT MISS MAGIC HOURS! The trip we’ve just been on we arrived in the park after flying at mid day and it was hell. Over an hour queue for everything!

Head for the popular rides

Fast forward to the second day when we were up and out and in the park for our magic hours and we got on several rides. Do your home work about popular rides and use your magic hours to experience them with little to no queue. Not all rides are open straight away but a good selection are…in Fantasyland Peter Pans flight is a must! Later in the day the queue for that is always in excess of 70 minutes!!

You might be tired come day 2 or 3 and the prospect of hearding your kids to the gate for magic hours might not seem appealing but better this and do several rides then head out later with the crowds and queue endlessly with winging kids anyway. Some days we went back to our hotel for an hour around 2/3pm and had a rest – another bonus of being in Disney accommodation.

Top tip - queue for Buzz Lightyears laser blast early

Top Tip 6 – Single riding saves time

Some of the busier rides have the option of single rider. This is a god send trust me… take Ratatouille for instance… at one point the queue was 140 minutes… single rider 25 minutes. On rides your rarely talking to the person your next to, your enjoying the ride!

By doing single rider you will queue way less and ride much more. You still queue together, ride separate, then you both get off within 5 minutes of each other anyway. Sometimes you end up in the same cart too as one single rider is at the front and one at the back. One thing to mention though I think 7 is the youngest you can do this.

Top Tip 7 – Dining tips for Disneyland Paris

Where to start with top tips for dining… hmmm. Okay food in Disney is often hard work. Firstly plan and book your evening meal or you will end up eating fast food options. Bistro Chez Remi is hugely popular (see photo below) and any character dining too. But you need to book just somewhere if you want to eat something substantial.

Despite several Disney trips we really messed up this last time… on the last day we had no meal booked and put eating off in favour of fun! By 8:45pm we were starving and pretty much all the restaurants in the park shut bar a few dining options on Main Street. Nightmare! We queued 50 minutes for a hotdog and fries at Casey corner. Arrghhhhh

Dining plans… yes or no?

With reference to dining plans I’m very on the fence about these. Often they are added as ‘free’ but I would never pay separately for them. Why? They just aren’t convenient. Your tied into certain restaurants along with certain choices, not good with fussy kids! However dining in Disney does not come cheap so they may be a good option for some.

Breakfast in the hotel is the best choice if you can make it prior to magic hours. Deciding to get breakfast in the parks on a dining plan will see you stood in a huge queue and unless you want a total carb fest, avoid. Buffet restaurants are the best option for evening meal because then you have lots of choice (yep handy for when your kid decides they don’t like something!)

Book Bistro Chez Remi in advance

Dining in the Disney Village

The Disney Village offers lots of dining options too and the food is better than in Disney I would say. The village gets busy at peak dining times. Rainforest cafe remains a firm favourite with families but you can be waiting a while for a table. Bonus is they don’t take bookings so you stand a chance of getting in if you don’t mind the wait. My son has always loved it in there… especially when the pretend storm hits, it’s a cool option for kids and the food is a reasonable standard.

Top Tip 8 – Don’t miss out on character dining

Character dining is a must and you can do it in the Disney village or in the parks. We’ve always chosen to do the breakfast.. I love dining in Plaza Gardens right by the castle in Magic Kingdom. The breakfast is buffet style with plenty on offer for all tastes. Whilst you get your morning fill 5 characters will come around the restaurant to interact with you and pose for pictures.

No trip to Disney is complete without character interaction… it doesn’t matter how old you are despite saying you won’t you inevitably will find yourself hugging a character. Queues in the park to meet characters are long. For Mickey Mouse and the princesses you can expect to queue over an hour. Character dining eliminates this and it’s totally worth the cost and maximising your time.

Top tip - book character dining

Top Tip 9 – When and where to shop

Disney have merchandise nailed and I am a sucker for wanting to buy it! Your kids will want stuff inevitably so maybe set a budget per child. Princess dresses don’t come cheap most are priced over €50. If your savvy buy one at home to bring. Dependent on when you go a coat may be essential therefore covering the expensive dress you just bought! I’ve just been in April and most days were still coat wearing weather.

Mainstreet USA shopping

You will find shops through out Disney but the main place to shop is Main Street USA. I love browsing the stores here but there is so much stuff and it’s easy to loose each other if it’s busy as one store often connects into another. Shops on Main Street are open after the park closes for one hour. If your on a short trip save your shopping until then but be aware it’s VERY busy at this time. Just to mention if you are staying in a Disney and make purchases before 3pm you can send them to be collected at your hotel- perfect!

Disney Village shopping

Aside from in the parks you can also shop outside in the Disney Village. This is open late and most people take advantage of that and shop after park hours so that’s when it is busy. In the day it’s relatively quite and nice for a browse if you can spare the time. Much of what you will see is the same as in the parks though anyway. I LOVE the Disney gallery – be sure to check it out.

Shopping in Disney

Top Tips number 10 – Watch the parade it’s magical!

Nothing will make you feel more Disney like than the parade. But get your spot early! You will see people starting to sit down on the kerbs of the parade route at least an hour before. It’s worth the wait! Choose a spot and rest those feet! It’s advisable to get a drink and snack prior to sitting down away from the parade route… queues get silly long for things like popcorn on Main Street at this time. Just to note, if you have already seen the parade then it is a great time to get on rides as queues can drop down a little whilst it is on.

Where to watch

You will get a great view of the parade from anywhere as long as you get there early. But my advice would be to get on a corner then people don’t crane there necks to see what’s coming. Also be careful where the sun is… you want it behind you so it’s not in your eyes. If you can face the castle too that’s a magical bonus!

Top tip - for a perfect parade view

Top Tips no. 11 – Don’t miss the fireworks!

Nobody does fireworks like Disney… it will forever ruin your firework expectations. I’ve seen them so many times and they still bring tears to my eyes. You can view them from anywhere in front of the castle right down Main Street. They project images on the castle and also on fountains that come up either side. Then of course they have the lasers and fireworks.

The best view

I find the best view to be standing behind a flower bed in front of the castle. You don’t want to be too close but not too far. Further down the street you will struggle to see the fountains. Standing behind a flower bed ensures that if someone puts a kid on there shoulders your view isn’t totally ruined as there is space between you.

Top Tip 12 – Advice on taking the perfect photos

When I come home from Disney I always get asked the same question… “why is it so quiet?” It’s hard to get perfect photos in Disney when it’s busy but not impossible. I would advise on one morning of your trip being there for magic hours and heading straight to the castle to get a picture with less people in. As soon as the gates open to the general public you can kiss goodbye to castle pic you dreams of. But also be clever with your angles too… sometimes you can still get a great photo when it’s busy if you experiment.

Take castle photos first thing

Top Tips no. 13 – Don’t get bored in queues

Queuing is tiring and boring and just because your in Disney that doesn’t change. You need to be prepared for this with kids. In this day and age with smart phones and iPads it’s easier than ever to pass the time. But do you really want your kid absorbed in a screen in Disney? I’m not saying don’t do it but use it sparingly.

Games I love still are rock, paper, scissors I spy, games where you describe a character and the other person guesses who it is. We also played an alphabet game where we had to both think of a Disney character for each letter! That was a good one and really got us racking our brains.

Top Tips no. 14 – You will need a portable charger

One full charge on your phone will no way last you a day in Disney. Between taking pictures, videos and your kids rinsing your battery playing games you will need a portable charger. My portable charger would supply two full charges which was handy. Don’t forget to charge it up in the hotel room though as well as your phone between uses… something I didn’t do one night, doh!

Last Top Tip 15 – Take a refillable water bottle

Drinks are over priced in Disneyland Paris and water is no exception. On our recent trip I had a slight meltdown when I all I wanted was a bottle of water and queues were mega everywhere!! Take a refillable bottle as the water is totally safe to drink in Paris and it will save you a fortune and you won’t get caught short like I did yelling “all I want is a bloody drink!!”

Final words…

So I hope my top tips for Disneyland Paris make your trip more enjoyable. Remember it’s going to be busy so you just need to embrace that, so do what you can and don’t forget to just enjoy being there too. Disney done right is a truly magical experience and you will always look back on it with a smile.

Character photos make the best memories

Do you have another tip or two? Let me know any Disneyland Paris tips you think I’ve missed! Got a blog post about Disney? post the link to yours in the comments as I would love to read it.

Rachael 🙂 x

Book the trip of your dreams right here – www.disneylandparis.com

Posted in Disney, Holiday Happiness

What to Wear to Disney!

If you’ve booked a trip to see the worlds most famous mouse I bet you’ve googled what to wear to Disney?! Planning and packing outfits is almost as much fun as going. With several trips to both Paris and Florida under my belt as well as a Disney cruise I am a real Disney kid… if I’ve not got a trip booked I’m planning one in my head. I simply can not resist the magic of it all and embracing my inner child… after all I am a pretend grown up ha ha!

What I wear to Disney!

I love fashion, I love Disney and as I’m heading there tomorrow I thought what a great time to share Disney outfits with you guys… so if you’ve been wondering what to wear on your trip of a lifetime perhaps I can be a of a little help. Now my looks here are ones I am considering for Disneyland Paris. Warmer climates may require less clothes, shorts instead of jeans or joggers, ditch the jackets! Just to mention as well Mickey is my favourite so my looks are inspired by him. Anyway I hope I provide you with some inspiration…

Outfit 1.

What to wear to Disney

ALWAYS choose comfy footwear for Disney… trainers or converse rule! Classic Minnie ears will forever be a firm favourite of mine. Teamed with a cute Mickey Crop top and ripped jeans. The shirt can be worn open or tied round my waist when too hot, win win!

Outfit 2.

Disney outfit and Nike air

How cute is this t-shirt dress? (It’s folded under for the photo, it’s not that short in real life, thankfully) Throw on a cute denim jacket and why not add some Disney badges? team with some high top trainers and your good to go! I will totally be wearing frilly socks with this too,  yep… you are never too old for those! 😉

Outfit 3.

Dressing for Disney

You can’t beat a simple joggers and hoodie combo… I will be wearing a tee under this too incase I get warm. A small backpack is perfect to carry a few belongings round with you, keep those hands free! Note the cap too… not a Disney one unfortunately as I might pick one up in the park. Caps are great when you’ve had a few days there and you can’t be bothered washing your hair! Rock that cap girl!

Outfit 4.

Disney vans

A sweatshirt and joggers combo… had to get the ears in again ha ha! Check out the trainers, they are my favourite EVER… covered in Disney princesses from Vans (some time ago now) A princess tee with these trainers would have been perfect… Etsy have loads of cool ones but I left it too late to order, boooo! Order at least a month prior to leaving.

Outfit 5.

Disney wear

What to wear to Disney? Leggings… seriously though in my opinion there is nothing comfier than leggings! These Mickey face leggings are a few years old now but I still adore them. A little too loud you may think but trust me that’s not a thing in Disney. Be confident and go for bold prints but keep the other half of your outfit plain. What’s round the neck? A Disney pin trading lanyard of course!

Outfit 6.

Mickey ears and Disney converse

Ohhh I LOVE this one! I already had these converse so finding Mickey ears to match was perfect. There are literally hundreds of them to choose from online… it’s totally a booming business. It’s a good job I already had the shoes or I would have struggled to pick! Look on Etsy and choose some ears first to work your outfit around. Denim skirts are super trendy and comfy for a girly Disney look.

Outfit 7.

Disney outfit inspo

Want to do Disney but more subtly why not accessorise with a simple Mickey scarf? I picked this up in the Disney Village and I love wearing it at home too. The uber cute purse is from Cath Kidston, they are constantly releasing Disney themed items these days. Boots instead of trainers here but they are comfy, well worn ones… NEVER do new shoes to Disney. I would probably wear a leather jacket with this too.

Outfit 8.

Chic Disney looks

A more sophisticated Disney look that I love! Isn’t this the most adorable Mickey shirt ever?! Best worn with jeans and the red bag ties in nicely with Mickeys shorts! Sunglasses are always a good idea… sunglasses make you look fabulous! Hide those Disney bags with them… What bags? Trust me… if you do Disney properly you come back shattered.

Where to shop for Disney! (UK)

Seriously there is no shortage of Disney apparel on the high street and online these days. You will be spoilt for choice! Here’s some of my favourite shopping spots for it…

Primark – The super value high street store is full of Disney stuff these days. Definitely your first port of call. You will be sure to find lots of clothing relating to the latest film release as well as other bits and stuff for the home too.

Forever 21 – One of my favourite stores ever! There’s always some Disney stuff lurking in here. Last year I got a fabulous Mickey swimsuit ever from this store! Be sure to check it out online too as there’s often more on offer.

Zara – Quite often do Disney pieces. The denim Minnie skirt above I picked up in Zara a few years ago now. I have also seen them do jeans and denim shorts with Mickey on.

Cath Kidston – The latest collection is Bambi inspired. But previous ones have featured the likes of Mickey, Snow White and Alice in Wonderland. We all know Cath Kidstons style and collaborated with Disney it’s uber cute!

Boohoo – There’s always Disney things lurking on online at Boohoo and great value too! Both the t-shirt dress above and the red hoodie came from there. I love a bit of Boohoo and Disney!

ASOS – Another online winner! Plenty of Disney style on here, sometimes pricey for more designer items. Obviously ASOS features other brands so it a great all round one to look at. Disney vans can be bought on here… quite often they go in the sale too. I’ve totally got my eye on some more!

So there we have it… what to wear to Disney! Were there any looks you loved? Now it’s time to get back to packing my case but what will I wear in the end? Make sure you stick around to see what I get up to in Disney and my what made it to my final wardrobe!

Rachael 🙂 x