So this post has taken a while for me to put out there as I really didn't know what to focus on. Looking at my Instagram there is no doubt where we have returned from recently, but incase you are unaware or just don't follow my Instagram, Facebook or Twitter then the place I am talking about is Disneyland Paris.
Now if I am honest with myself, I was dreading this trip. Not because it meant spending time with the family (I enjoy that) but because I really didn't think I was going to enjoy it..... I was wrong!
The girls (and by this I include the wife) had been excitedly looking forward to this trip for months, Ashleigh even pulled together a list of Disney films that we HAD to watch before arriving there on the 27th October, we failed miserably at this because there were just so many!
Now back to the actual trip, another reason I wasn't looking forward to this was we were driving to Disneyland early on Friday morning and driving down to the Holiday Inn Express in Folkestone on Thursday night, this was at the end of a very busy working week that see me fly to Scotland for three days!!
I shouldn't have been worried, despite being a little tired, the excitement radiating from Katy and Ash was enough to get me looking forward to the drive down through France to the Park.
We were booked to stay at the Davy Crockett Ranch approx 10 to 15 mins from the actual park, a nice little cabin in the woods big enough for the 5 of us for 3 nights!
So to why I think Dad's love Disneyland too, for starters being the Dad to two girls, who are now in a teenager and one in their early twenties its great to see the girls, the wife and even at moments the Ashleigh's boyfriend crack a smile when they see or met one of the characters..... Charlie you can hate me later for this picture!
On the first days I just snapped pictures of the girls meeting the characters and having their picture taken with them, come the second day I was snapping selfies like the biggest fan boy!
I dont know if it was the happy music always playing wherever you go in the park or the sweet smell that follows you around (do the pump stuff in to the air?), some how we managed to avoid buying any candy floss whilst there as well!
Or was it seeing my girls relive their early childhood or the adrenaline of great rides like the tower of terror or hyperspace mountain!
Walking nearly 30 miles over the 4 days I won't deny that it is tiring work but great fun along the way and for once the moans of "oh Dad not another picture" were kept to a minimum. I also appreciated that now Star Wars is within the Disney family, there was more there I was interested in and very happy having come face to face with Darth Vader.
The main reason for going was to celebrate Katy's 13th Birthday, but I now wish we could go back for Season of the Force which is running from 13th Jan to 25th March next year!
Perhaps we could go for a day trip?????
I have always appreciated a good Disney film but now totally get the whole visiting Disneyland thing, the customer service you get there is unparalleled to anywhere else I have been and the attention to detail is amazing, but my lasting memory is on Katy's birthday, she had a birthday badge and sash on, without fail every member of staff that we came across from security to cleaners to people working on the rides and the characters wished her a "Happy Birthday" this made her feel very special....its a small gesture but one that made a massive difference to her day!
It was expensive but worth every penny we paid! Luckily we got half board free with the deal we booked direct with Disney. Whilst posting pictures etc I had a number of people ask for tips or recommendations for their future visits and whilst there are people out there far more versed to Disneyland Paris these would be mine:
- Plan where and when you are going to eat, you can do this up to two months before you travel so do your research and get them booked in.
- We had meals at the buffet restaurants and if eating at this for lunch or dinner you would only need something light at the alternative meal time
- As for the buffet restaurants I highly recommend Agrabah Café
- Use the Fast Pass, you can use this on certain rides, if there is one you want to go on then it is worth going straight to this ride and getting your fast pass as there is only a certain number each day. These are free with your disneyland tickets and a list of the rides you can use them on is available here
- Photopass+ - We loved this, you get digital copies of selected rides as well as Character photos and saves you purchasing each one at the inflated cost for hard copies, there is a useful app that lets you download them straight to your mobile, perfect for sharing straight to social media!
- Keep to the right - this is just a little tip for when entering Disneyland Paris, as well as the main entrances underneath the hotel you can follow the path to the right to enter where often queues are non existent.
- Arrive early for the Disney Illuminations, we found that people started queuing at least an hour before the 10pm show start time, the bottom of main street will give you a great view but get a spot and stick to it!
If there is anything else I think of I will add to the list above but I thought I would share some pictures of our trip with you below! As you will see from my selfie montage below... Dad's really do love Disneyland too! ha ha