“The Happiest Place on Earth” is the slogan for Disneyland and last month I was lucky enough to visit the Happiest Place on Earth with my folks; this was the second thing on my mum’s Christmas wish list. I’m not going to lie, I had also wanted to visit Disneyland Paris just so I could buy some Mickey Mouse ears! As we did a day trip to Disneyland Paris from the UK I thought I would share some of my travel tips so you get the most out of your day.
Our nearest airport from home is London Luton and I can safely say a day trip can be done however you will be sleeping on the flight back to the UK! (My folks were definitely sleeping beauties on the return flight!)
Obviously the reason why you are visiting is to have a go on all the rides however this is where you need to have a plan as I personally don’t think it’s possible to go on every ride if doing a day trip from the UK.
Here are the rides that we went on –
Le Carrousel de Lancelot
I love a Carrousel, it brings out my inner child in seconds and I don’t want to get off the darn thing and I forget that I’m meant to share the ride with others. Unfortunately this Carrousel didn’t live up to my expectations mainly as it took over ten minutes for the Health & Safety checks to take place and then we only got three twirls on the Carrousel (lasting no more than 1.5 minutes) which was more than disappointing. You can see I was losing the will to live in the photo below!
Mad Hatter’s Tea Cups
A visit to Disneyland is not complete without a spin on the iconic Disneyland Tea Cups and I can highly recommend this ride. Once again the delays with the Health and Safety checks took up a bit of time.
There is a cute old fashioned train that does the circuit of the park which is great if you have limited mobility or have small children. The loop does take ages unfortunately and once again its down to the health and safety element of the ride – if the check could be faster than this would be a grand ride and would get you around the park easily.
“It’s a Small World”
This was my favourite ride at Disneyland Paris, going around the world in a boat singing at the top of our lungs – bliss! Big apologies to the people that were in our boat, I’m an awful singer. For some reason this was not a popular ride on the day we visited however it’s undercover which when it starts raining would be the perfect ride to jump on.
Dumbo the Flying Elephant
I loved this ride, Mum and I had lots of giggles and almost wet our pants as we were laughing so much. Who doesn’t like a flying elephant?!
The lines for this particular ride were long however it was worth the wait when you consider that the ride lasts more than a few minutes; thank goodness! I didn’t mind queuing for this ride as watching the faces of the kids driving the cars were just hilarious – you could see who were going to be the future speed freaks! This was also great practise for me as I have a UK driving test fast approaching!
Thunder Mesa Riverboat Landing
Our lucky last ride was the boat trip on the lake which was a slow leisurely ride looking over a few rides however for me it was a slightly lacklustre ride.
On the day that we visited a few of the rides were closed and we didn’t get a chance to jump on ever ride due to time restraints so it’s important that you choose carefully the rides that interest you and do some research. Here is a link to the Disneyland Paris website with a list of the rides.
This was my biggest disappointment of the day, I imagined that I would stumble on Mickey and all his friends while at the park however NOT once did we spot one of the Disney Characters and I thought that was the whole point of visiting Disneyland.
There was a parade which we caught part of when we arrived and again when we were leaving the Park where you could see the Characters. My folks have visited Disneyland Paris before and said that there were lots of Characters walking around, just alas not when I was there the week before Christmas.
Gluten Free Food
I’m not going to lie, there wasn’t much on offer that I could find inside the theme park apart from Candy floss (which I did have!) and hot chips. We left the park so that I could find a salad at one of the many restaurants at the entrance.
Disneyland Paris Tickets
I tried to contact Disneyland Paris via twitter to find out if I could purchase tickets within the UK however all I received was silence. I later found out that you can purchase Disneyland Paris tickets from the Disney stores (in Shopping Centres) scattered around the UK.
My other ticket tip is to purchase your tickets either online (as it can be cheaper) or if not at Charles De Gaulle Airport at the Disneyland desk as the discounts offered are approximately €10 cheaper per ticket.
Getting from Charles De Gaulle Airport to Disneyland Paris
You have three options;
1/ Firstly hire a rental car as it’s a short easy drive from the airport and if there is more than two of you it works out a lot cheaper than taking the public transport options and is a lot faster than the following two options!
2/ Take the Disneyland Bus from Terminal 2 at Charles De Gaulle Airport at a cost of €18 pp one way – this takes about an hour depending on traffic however you will get a tour of all the Disney Hotels before actually arriving at Disneyland. Not brilliant if you are only visiting for the day!
3/ Catch the train from the airport to Disneyland – once again there are two options, there is the super fast train that takes 11 minutes from the Airport to Disneyland however costs an arm and a leg. The second option is to take the slower train into Central Paris, then crossing the platform at Chatelet Les Halles Station (super easy to do!) however takes about an hour.
I’m going to suggest using Easyjet if you are visiting for the day as they fly into Terminal 2 at Charles De Gaulle Airport which is where all the Disney connections are so it makes sense if you are short on time to fly with this carrier and they do sell gluten free food onboard!
Let’s be honest, you don’t need to be an accountant to work out that the shopping is going to be expensive. Buy the items at the Disney stores in the UK as you will save a few bucks this way.
We didn’t use this service however we did see a few people using this option and they didn’t actually get on the rides any quicker than us (I imagine this wouldn’t be the case at the height of summer when the park is packed).
Would I go back?
I did have a great day as I got to spend time with my mum and dad however my great day didn’t have anything to do with Disneyland Paris! Half way through the day we were really thinking of leaving Disneyland Paris and heading into Paris as the park was such a disappointment but we gave it a second chance after Lunch (food put us in a happy place NOT Disneyland!) and started to enjoy it a bit more.
I know that there are a lot of issues at this park including a petition that was sent to the Head office of Disney as customers are complaining that the Park is not up to the Disney Standard, which to be honest I have to agree with. You can read the articles here and here
For the price and what is offered I wouldn’t go back! A lot more needs to be offered to bring this park up to scratch as this is DEFINITELY NOT THE HAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH! The Health and Safety checks drove me super crazy!
Have you visited, what were your thoughts on Disneyland Paris? Are all the Disney theme parks the same? Am I the Disney Grinch?