Earlier this year I took my first visit to Disneyland Paris. I’ve been to Disneyworld Florida 3 times before, but somehow the lure of Disneyland Paris or Eurodisney has never really been that strong.
After missing Disneyworld a bit too much, I decided to book my first Disneyland Paris trip. All the tips and tricks I found can be available here if you are wondering, but I wanted this post to be a lot more about my experience.
I was warned by so many people that Disneyland Paris wont be the same as Walt Disenyworld, and that if I went in expecting it to be like WDW I will be disappointed, so thought I would go into detail, the feeling you get when entering the park for the first time.
With my first step out of the ticket barriers and onto main street, I got that tingly ‘i’m finally home’ feeling I get everytime I step foot into a Disney park. I was a bit put off by the bus station, and didn’t get that magical feeling on approach to the Disneyland Park, but once I was on main street all my usual disney feelings came back.
Main street itself was a lot shorter than at WDW, and the castle was a lot smaller, but for me, this didn’t detract from the magical disney feeling I got walking through main street and up to the castle. My boyfriend commented that I seemed like I was running to the castle, but I just wanted to take it all in and see the castle as soon as I got to the park.
I don’t know if everyone saying that I shouldn’t expect to much meant that anything exceeded my expectations, but I feel like I was really undersold the magical disney feeling.
The park itself is a lot smaller than the magic kingdom, but I think that adds a different element to the trip. It isn’t a 2 week intensive holiday, but a mini break where you can get a top up of disney magic, which is exactly what I wanted from the trip.
For this trip I had a full board standard meal plan which came free when booking. I don’t think I would get a meal plan again, unless it was free as it became a bit of a hindrance for such a small trip. I didn’t want to lock into booking anything too far in advance because I didn’t know when I might be hungry, when it might rain etc so I went with just one booking for California Grill.
On the first day I ate at Caseys Corner and got some dodgy looks from the cast memeber serving me who didn’t understand why I wanted a cheaper meal. The food at caseys was lovely, it’s a hot dog and chips, so hard to get wrong. One thing I was really dissapointed with was the rest of the menu. Caseys is known for corn dogs at WDW and I was really looking forward to getting them at DLP but they weren’t on the menu.
For breakfast on both days, Cafe hyperion was the only place that would accept the meal plan. It was a bit of an odd breakfast for a Londoner like me. You could get an egg muffin (vom) i’m actually intolerant to egg in egg form so I did not choose this. Or a roll and jam, both breakfasts came with a croissant and a hot drink and cold drink which I also found odd! I got both and carried around the spare water for a day at the park so it did come in handy.
On the first evening I got myself in a muddle and didn’t realise I had booked California grill for the following day. So in a panic, we ended up eating at Anette’s as it was open late, and we could use our meal voucher against the bill. I wasn’t really that hungry so got 2 starters, and my boyfriend got a burger. All of the food was lovely and I wish I was more hungry as I left quite a bit of the food.
On day two we decided to have a late lunch and chance a buffet restaurant as I hadn’t actually booked anywhere for lunch on either day. At around 2.30 there wasn’t really a queue and a wonderful cast member let us sit by the window on Plaza Gardens.
The buffet at plaza gardens was included in our meal plan, other wise I probably wouldn’t have gone to eat there. The food was fine but even as i’m writing this, there’s nothing I can remember that really stood out and wowed me. In comparison I can still taste the goey cheese of caseys hotdog when I think about it.
While it was a welcome break from the rain, and our seats were lovely, I wouldn’t go back to Plaza Gardens in a hurry. Especially if I had to pay the €35 price point.
That evening we went to California Grill in the disneyland hotel after the fireworks for dinner. I booked the table quite late as I knew I wanted to wait around after the fireworks for a few castle photos. The decor at Calofornia Grill reminded me of a really fancy old lady’s house, everything was lovely and had a little bit of a frou frou french flair. The cast members were so friendly, warm and so helpful when I was asking which wines would pair best with my meal.
I opted for a set menu, and my boyfriend went for a starter and a main. Both around €90 but we were able to use our meal voucher against the cost.
I have only ever eaten at one other disney table service restaurant and that was Cinderella’s Royal Table at WDW. The food then was beautiful and I can say that the food at california grill exceeded all my expectations. My steak was cooked perfectly.
I went to disneyland paris in March and while there were minimal queues for most rides, a few rides weren’t open. This included all of the rides in fronteirland such as big thunder mountain and the haunted mansion.
Walt disney studios park
I’m going to cover the rides off park by park to hopefully make it easier to follow.
I was so excited to try out crushs coaster as I’ve heard so many amazing things from other bloggers like Brogan. When I first rode it, I wasn’t overly impressed- quite disappointed actually. A day later I went on again as there wasn’t a queue and I don’t know why but it was a lot more thrilling. The ride twisted and turned a lot more than before and I loved it!
Both the tower of terror and rockin rollercoaster were almost identical to the WDW versions, hollywood studios is one of my favourite parks and these rides are why. When I said the parks were quiet I meant it, on day two we used extra magic time to go to the studios and rode the rockin rollercoaster completely empty because we asked to be at the front. You can see my insta stories on the day.
If I didn’t know the ride sequence of TOT then I would have thought the ride was the same, but after going on the hollywood studios one on a 10 drop, anything less is a bit meh. If you don’t know what I mean, watch this video.
The ratatouille ride in studios was one i’d looked forward to after hearing so many things and despite giving me motion sickness (all simulation 3D rides do) i’m glad I got to experience it as it really is amazing.
OK GUYS here’s where I got on my favourite rode of the whole trip! The RC racer ride in toy story land which for 2 days I thought was a kids ride is actually terrifying. I wanted to go on the parachute ride but due to winds it was closed for the three days I was there; by chance the RC racer had no queue so I went and gave it a go and OHMYGOD seriously, nobody warned my how thrilling it was.
Back to the main Disneyland park, I knew I wanted to try hyperspace mountain as i’ve seen so many videos about how it’s the best ride and it did not disappoint. Like i said earlier, there weren’t really any queues and for around 3 hours the longest we waited for a rode was 10 minutes.
The first time we rode the music was synced with each twist and turn and I completely saw why everyone raves about this space mountain. On a few occasions the music either didn’t play, or wasn’t synced up so I’d 100% recommend going on it a few times to get the full experience.
The Indiana Jones ride was also a massive hit for me. It wasn’t really on my must do list but with no queue we walked on and it was one of the best rollercoasters i’ve been on. I think the paris park caters for slightly older guests with a few more thrill rides than magic kingdom, this being one of them.
Other than these rides everything was kinda the same or closed because it was out of season. I’m going back in September so hopefully i’ll get to try out all the rides I missed out on.
There’s no doubt that disney know how to put on a good fireworks display and illuminations did not disappoint in any way. Yes the songs were in french but it didn’t take away any of the magic I felt watching the projections and seeing the sky lit up.
We got a little spot outside caseys corner with chairs and a table with some planters in front of us. There were a few people who got into the planters to watch the fireworks, but as there was a lot of room it didn’t get in the way of my view.
One thing I did notice though, is that the fireworks weren’t as big, loud or high as at disneyworld, which is completely understandable as it’s close to where people live vs disneyworld which has acres of land.
And finally the hotel. I stayed at hotel Cheyenne as it was the most affordable one and I was trying to do the trip on a budget. This was my first time staying at a disney hotel anywhere in the world and I was so impressed. The theming of the hotel was done so well, with the whole complex looking like an old western. I only wish the weather was a little better so I could have explored the area more.
The hotel had a restaurant, a starbucks (which I often frequented) and a little shop in the main reception so had everything I could have needed. One
I was a bit worried when i booked the hotel that it would be quite far from the parks, but the shuttle bus cane every 5-10 mins and took less than 5 minutes to the park so I would definitely recommend it if you are looking for an on-site budget option.