Day Trip to Disneyland Paris

“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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

Disneyland Railroad

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.

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“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.

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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?!

Autopia

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!

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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.

Disney Characters

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Airline

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!

Shopping

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.

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VIP Service

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

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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?

xx

 

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24 Comments

  1. A Southern Gypsy
    January 19, 2014 / 9:12 AM

    I live in Tennessee in the US, and have been to the “real” Disney World more times than I can count. I can’t say for sure that all the Disney parks are or aren’t the same because I’ve never been to any others, but I’ve been told none of them come close to the original. I can believe this though as Disney in Florida is the largest and we have 4 parks instead of 1. Sorry your experience wasn’t amazing, but maybe you can go to the original one day! :) I just happened to go to Disney in the past couple weeks as well and had a pretty crappy trip due to being sick the entire time, but oh well. I love all the travel tips too for making this a day trip. Thanks for linking up to the #SundayTraveler!

    • Kelly Michelle
      January 19, 2014 / 9:22 AM

      Hi!
      Thanks for commenting and yes I agree I think I definitely need to visit the real Disney World in America. There are a number of issues with the Paris park at the moment and you can feel the problems as soon as you enter the park which isn’t good but hopefully they can soon sort it out and bring it back up to scratch. Thanks for the link up.
      Cheers x

  2. Christine
    January 19, 2014 / 10:14 AM

    Thanks for your blog post, really interesting to get your view on things. I’ve felt for a while that I should visit just in case we were depriving our kids (!) but sounds like I needn’t have worried!

    • Kelly Michelle
      January 19, 2014 / 10:31 AM

      Hi Christine, I didn’t feel the Disney Magic to be honest when I visited the park in Paris however I have never heard a bad word uttered about the parks in America, so maybe a visit to the States is required! Thanks for commenting on my post. Cheers Kelly x

  3. January 19, 2014 / 12:33 PM

    Tried to look for those Mickey Mouse ears; you just made me curious, they must be hilarious to wear.
    Sad to hear that the Carrousel didn’t live up to your expectations. What kind of checks they do that take so long.Wondering why Disneyland Paris has the twitter account if they are not able to respond on a question regarding actually the purchase. Imagine if you just asked them How is the weather today? Thanks for linking up to the #SundayTraveler.

    • Kelly Michelle
      January 19, 2014 / 5:46 PM

      Hey! They were walking around checking that everyone had a seat belt on who was using the carrousel and then people were getting sick of waiting so they would hop off the ride and then they would need to do more checks again. It was just a long and tedious process that didn’t need to occur in my honest opinion. My mum has said she was really disappointed with this visit as on her prior visit it was so much nicer, there were Disney characters walking around and the place was just so happy – this time there was just a funny air about the place (if that makes sense); an unease. They have numerous twitter accounts and its difficult to locate the right one, I couldn’t find anything on their website either about buying in the UK via a store (I could be blind though!). I would be still waiting if I asked about the weather! Thanks for the great link up xx

  4. January 19, 2014 / 1:30 PM

    Hmm, shame it was not 100% – but the thought of you two laughing and almost peeing your pants is a great memory to have. I have never been to anything Disney related, I think the crowds would turn me off. I hope that you get to go to the real Mcoy soon! Thanks for linking up with us, I’ll go and pin this now also.

    • Kelly Michelle
      January 19, 2014 / 5:42 PM

      Hey! It was too funny, mum and I always have a great giggle together! It was my first Disney park so if I ever venture over to the States and have a day free then I may have a go at a park there. Thanks so much for letting me link up and your tips for Zagreb are fab – I will definitely be stopping off to have a look around next time xxx

  5. January 19, 2014 / 5:31 PM

    It’s disappointing to hear the park isn’t up to scratch. I don’t think Disneyland Paris is a big priority for me.. I do LOVE Disney, but I am not a ride kinda gal. I did go to Disneyland in Hong Kong and it was fun, but my family bought my ticket for me ;)

    • Kelly Michelle
      January 19, 2014 / 5:40 PM

      Hey Sammy, it was a little however I still had a great day as I got to spend it with my folks which was lovely. I’m with you, I’m not a ride kind of girl either. I think if I was in California then I might take the day out to go to the park there however Paris was a real disappointment. xx

  6. January 19, 2014 / 6:52 PM

    I love amusement parks and this was a lot of fun, thanks for the adventure! I hope that you can also join us and link up for Travel Photo Mondays, the link is live for the entire week

    • Kelly Michelle
      January 19, 2014 / 8:48 PM

      Thanks! Oh my goodness, I will definitely join the travel photo link up in the coming weeks – your photos looks amazing!!!!!!!

  7. kazzakiwi (@kazzakiwi)
    January 19, 2014 / 11:50 PM

    Hey Kelly, I have only been to the hotel there for a convention but I don’t think it lives up at all to Disney in America. Interesting too, gluten and dairy free is AMAZING there in Disney World, I’d recommend you actually consider it as a holiday choice for that reason alone.

  8. January 20, 2014 / 6:01 AM

    We really enjoyed our time at Disneyland Paris last June. The Health and Safety checks are probably on par with what they are in the USA. Perhaps I am just so used to it that it didn’t seem long to me, although that carousel ride is definitely too short. As for the Disney characters, I think that Disney now has them appearing at a specific place where guests have to line up to meet them. These meeting places always seem to be near the “backstage” area, and the characters go “backstage” as soon as the meeting time is over. I’m glad you gave tips on how to do it as a daytrip from the UK in case if the future holds that for us.

  9. January 20, 2014 / 7:51 AM

    Hmm, I have to admit, I don’t have much tolerance for multinational (or even national) brands that don’t live up to their normal standards. I’ve heard people complaining about Legoland Windsor in similar terms. There is very little that would make me want to go to Disneyland Paris (unless I had my nieces with me of course) and if there aren’t any Disney characters, I’d rather stick to Winter Wonderland!

    • Kelly Michelle
      January 20, 2014 / 12:37 PM

      I’m very much like you, I was expecting amazing as it was Disney but reading some other comments on various blogs this morning people are saying “what do you expect, you aren’t in America – you’re in France” but I’m thinking its a global brand and you expect the same service and standards regardless on what country you plonk your theme park. No Disney characters walking around, you could go to the Princess Pavilion however the wait was 90 minutes – and I’m too much of a princess to wait that long! xx

      • kazzakiwi (@kazzakiwi)
        January 20, 2014 / 5:59 PM

        I agree Kelly, especially as parents in Britain take their kids there thinking it’ll be as magical. I have to admit I had the chance for a reduced ticket into the park, but decided to go to Paris instead on the Saturday night and I’m pretty sure it was way more magical.

        • Kelly Michelle
          January 20, 2014 / 8:17 PM

          I think you made the correct magical choice! x

  10. January 20, 2014 / 2:46 PM

    Thank you for your informative and frank review of this attraction – looks like they have a way to go to live up to their brand’s namesake.

    • Kelly Michelle
      January 20, 2014 / 5:30 PM

      Hi Dave, I think they do! x

  11. January 20, 2014 / 6:46 PM

    That’s too bad about Disney Paris! I’ve heard before from some people that it wasn’t very good and not up to par like Disneyworld in the States and that it is ridiculously expensive. Granted all Disneys are but I’d be more mad if it wasn’t as great.

    • Kelly Michelle
      January 20, 2014 / 8:07 PM

      Hey Samantha, I am definitely seeing a visit to a Disneyworld in the States in my crystal ball as getting a lot of feedback on how great it is xx

  12. January 21, 2014 / 6:35 AM

    It’s interesting hearing about Disneyland Paris – I’ve been to both US Disneys quite a bit over the years, and it sounds like they have the same rides, but a different experience.

    What were those health and safety checks? Usually here someone will walk around and click down the bars on a roller coaster, but that’s it.

    • Kelly Michelle
      January 21, 2014 / 7:20 PM

      They were doing so many checks to make sure all the belts where done up, that children were safely in the ride / on the horse even though their parents were holding onto them. Would walk around and around checking, it basically just took the magic of disney away from the day! xx