21 Jun Baggy trousers, Blisters and (no) Cheap Thrills…An honest Mum’s review of Disneyland Paris
5 days later, two stone and our entire life savings lighter.
I’m proud to say I’m nothing if not consistent and had my take off meltdown on the way there.
I HATE FLYING.
Flying makes me confront my mortality.
I eye everyone in the check in with suspicion and become clammy and tearful. Having the girls with me makes it so much worse.
A stewardess once said to me that if you hate to fly you will always hate it, it will never get better but you have to weigh it up against the joy of a holiday, which is what I do every year.
Feet on solid ground and bar one impressive vomit down my chest by the baby, the transfer was speedy and event free.
Our hotel, Newport Bay Club, was immense. It was just huge. Decorated as a New England club house, it was the right mix of class and character.
I realised with horror when unpacking that all of the trousers I had bought for Niamh and just packed without trying on didn’t fit her at all. She was going to have to keep in the ones she travelled in all week. Mum fail.
Poor Niamh and I looked like a pair of street urchins for a full five days, trousers looking dull with dinner patches and vomit splashes on my coat and baby carrier.
Naturally the rides were Neil’s gig, I still hadn’t got over the Flight of Terror.
The manic plunge through 13 floors terrified her. I could hear her crying when he rang me today they had finished.
Sadly that put her off the more adventurous rides for the rest of the week.
Im not sure what she expected!
The queues were pretty big for most things, from rides to meet and greets with characters. My idea of them wandering through Disney Village, interacting with children couldn’t have been more wrong.
We only got one autograph, Goofy, then gave up.
We did meet Mickey after a 45 minute wait in which Esmé tried to make her great Paris escape 132 times.
It all just felt very…..commercial? Very business like and missing some of the magic I thought there would be.
While I’m getting the negatives out of the way, although the food in the hotel was delicious the ‘restaurants’ on site boast a very limited 4 option menu. Great if you love chicken and chips. Not so great if you’d rather a healthier option.
This is not a relaxing holiday. It’s an 18 hour commitment to getting your money’s worth.
By Sunday I felt like I had fractured every bone in my feet and my ankle clicked when I walked.
I missed the aspect of dressing up and going to eat in the evenings. My new shampoo went unopened while my hair turned white with over use of the Batiste.
The castle. I got a big lump in my throat when it came into view and I reverted into a wide eyed 6 year old myself.
The nightly light and firework show was one of the most beautiful things we had ever seen and it was worth going just for that. It was a sight to behold.
True to form I also thought what an amazing target this would be for a terrorist attack, thousands of families crammed into this one place.
I know, I know.
1) Buy some Disney goodies from the supermarket/Primark before going to be able to treat the kiddies whilst avoiding the extortionate gift shops on site.
All too often I found myself quoting Mike Wazowski to Niamh…”put that thing back where it came from, so help meee”
2) Wear comfortable shoes.
Whilst my new pumps will probably become like walking on air, wearing them to the park, brand new, for 5 solid days of walking was not the best way to break them in.
3) Over estimate your anticipated spends.
You won’t be over estimating.
4) Pack for all weathers. Two thirds of my clothes were unsuitable.
5) Use your 8am to 10am magic hours.
This is so that resort guests can use the park before the public.
I however have a husband and a daughter that melt if exposed to first light so we missed this every day.
6) Download the Disneyland Paris app for park info and waiting times.
7) Take a buggy! Niamh used this more than Esmé at the end of an exhausting fun day.
Would I recommend it? Yes. It’s something to do at least once in your lifetime.
I would also recommend planning your holiday there before going. Do an itinerary to make the most of your time.
Lots of the attractions were closed for refurbishment which was disappointing but if I’d have downloaded the app prior to travel I’d have known this.
I’m not sure i would return if I’m honest, it wasn’t what I expected. As much as the quaint fairytale quality of the park was adorable, the business of making money from parents that had already paid a small fortune wasn’t subtle enough for my liking.
I don’t mind being exploited if it’s done cleverly and in a way that feels like I’m getting a good deal.
All in all its always great to spend time as a family, making memories and photographing the precious moments no matter where you are.