It has been two years that my husband and i are planning of bringing the kids to Disneyland Paris. I never thought our plan would push through this summer, but finally, it did!
We haven’t been to any Disneyland, so we really don’t know what to expect. Being “first-timers”, mistakes are inevitable, but i guess we did our best to survive.
If you haven’t been there, here are points to consider to “survive” Disneyland with a bang, especially during summer (based on our experience).
Don’t underestimate the weather forecast
Oh yeah, we checked the weather before leaving Italy! It said it’s gonna be cold. So, i brought with me some light blazers and sweat shirts for the kids. It’s summer anyway. But, Europe’s weather is crazy. When we get to Disneyland, it’s colder than we expected. In the end, we urgently bought sweat shirts (notably I Love Paris souvenirs) because it’s too windy in the morning. Lesson learned, it pays to over pack with sweaters when you’re in Paris, even summer.
Arrive at the gate at least half an hour (or more) before the opening
Expect the long lines at the ticket office, especially during weekends. So either you buy your tickets online in advance, or if you already have ticket reservations and just need to pick-up at the ticket office, be there at least half hour before it opens. We were already there at around 9:00 am. The gate opens at 10:00 am. Just like at the airport, there is an x-ray machine to check the bags, so expect some queues again before finally going inside. We were inside exactly 10 minutes from its opening. Great!
Wear comfortable clothes and shoes
It’s Disneyland Paris, just like i have said above, bring some windbreakers/sweatshirts. A hat can be good, as well as sunglasses, in case the sun is shining too much. Wearing clothes with good zip are brilliant for holding tickets, map, phone or camera. Don’t wear dangling jewelries for safety measure when you take some rides. Don’t wear new shoes (unless you have band-aids for blisters later). It’s always best to bring a small backpack with zips or closed bags, for holding water bottle, spare sweater, poncho or umbrella.
Disneyland is all about lining up, walking and taking the rides. You don’t want to end up loosing your jewelries, having pains on feet with your wedge sandals or heels. Avoid those problems.
Get a map and a program schedules on Info points
First thing to do when you get inside is to get a Disneyland map and a Programme. In order to cover the park in a day, at least knowing the schedules of the shows or parade, you will not miss them. And you can plan where to go first or last.
Expect the crowd
Aside from waiting for hours in long lines, expect the real crowd. You can sometimes be bumped by strollers or kids (of others) will step or run into you. You’re in Disneyland, expect more of kids roaming around. Be extra patient.
No picnics allowed
Technically, picnics are only allowed outside the park, so you can just leave your cooler or foods in your car. You can bring bottled water of course, and some snacks in tiny packages that won’t attract too much attention. There are many restaurants inside the park. A lot of fast foods too, but more expensive!
We ate some hot dogs, burgers and fries for lunch (not McDonald’s at least). Then some pizza for dinner.
Prepare to be frightened!
We underestimated the “Pirates of the Caribbean”. We thought it’s just a normal boat ride down there and will show the pirates getting drunk, the skeletons, treasures as well. But it’s not. The boat goes up and up, and suddenly it goes down quickly like a roller coaster! O.M.G! I am practically screaming my hearts out! I tell you, my little girl was more frightened and she cried. At the end of the ride, it was fun though. Whew! I will never take that ride again. Ever! Hahaha! Same goes for my husband and son, when they take the Indiana Jones & the Temple of Peril ride. “Mamma, it’s frightening!” said my 13-year-old son.
When things get scary, hold on and SCREAM!!!
Charge your gadget or bring power banks
You wouldn’t want to miss capturing videos and photos of everything inside the park. It would be a regret not to get a video of the whole Disney Dreams spectacular light and fountain show before the park closes. When we were there, the show started around 11:00 pm and ended at 11:30 pm.
Don’t expect to have a picture with all the Disney characters and Princesses
Again, expect long hours of waiting in line. If you’re not patient enough, you won’t be able to try some rides or have your kid’s picture taken, together with Disney characters/princesses. Just to meet Mickey Mouse, me and my daughter lined-up and waited for 1 and a half hour! Yet, when she had Mickey’s autograph after i took some photos of them together, my little girl’s smile was just priceless! I know it’s all worth the wait.
Bring your kids at the right age
This is one of the reasons why i hesitated for two years in going here. My little girl was only 4 years old back then when my husband plan to visit Paris. I told him, our daughter’s still small. She may miss the chance to take some rides. Fantasyland focuses on fairy tales and princesses, which obviously dominates the park. So this year, she was six and she can appreciate and understand more of the things going on. Some rides have a height limit, so i would feel sorry for her if we went here two years ago.
Prepare to act like the kids
In Disneyland, you are allowed to loosen up. Being a child-at-heart is the norm. Wonder with your kids. Laugh with them. Sing “Let it Go!” Sit flat-crossed legs on gutters. Scream. You’re tired and it’s tempting to just sit down and avoid the crowd. But, believe it or not, it’s all pure Disney Magic that matters.
At least, once in your life, you can say, “I survived a day in Disneyland!”
Until next! =)