Every time Dad was discharged from the hospital in 2013, he would promise my daughter, Baby Girl, that he would bring her to Disneyland Paris one day. Unfortunately, he never got to. In the summer of 2013, we thought we could go on Baby Girl’s birthday, but Dad was hospitalized again and things went from bad to worse for him. Sadly sometimes, even if there’s a will, there’s also no way. Which is why ,we included a trip to Disneyland in our Paris trip. This meant we would spend one less day touring the city of Paris, but for our daughter we were capable of much more. This was also the Husband’s and my first time in Disneyland and we were quite excited to see what it felt like to be in « the happiest place in the world ».
We woke up super early to take the RER A from Paris to Disneyland. It took us less than an hour and it turned out we were a tad bit too early. Turns out, the park opens at 10AM for regular visitors. Guests from Disney hotels can get inside and have fun starting at 8AM. What a great advantage! This is definitely the way to do it the next time.
Because we were early, we couldn’t get past the castle. We did get a glimpse of it and we explored Main Avenue in the meantime.
Here are some landmarks and shops on Main Avenue:
My little girl’s dream was to see this castle for real. I can’t explain how happy I was to make her dreams a reality.
At 10:00AM, we were finally allowed to enter the park and enjoy its entertainment.
Dumbo the Flying Elephant
Peter Pan’s Flight
Mad Hatter’s Tea Cups – I love this one!
Alice’s Curious Labyrinth – the view from the top of the Queen of Hearts’ Castle
If there’s one advice I can give you from our day in Disneyland Paris, it would be to avoid eating lunch at noon time. Try 11 AM or 1:30 PM instead. Two reasons: 1.) avoid the impossible lunch rush and 2.) since everyone is busy eating, queue lines for the rides are shorter at noon. Plus, if you’re like me and got up earlier than usual, you will be hungry earlier. By 11 AM, I was absolutely famished!
There were lots of restaurant choices. Thankfully, we had a map of the park site which had the names of the restaurants, price ranges, specialties, and locations. We didn’t want to break our wallets and we didn’t want to have burgers and sandwiches either. Which is why The Toad Hall Restaurant, with its affordable Fish and Chips specialty, was the perfect answer to our lunch needs.
Fish and Chips – double portion
Extra order of Green Salad
Probably not the best Fish and Chips I’ve ever had or will ever have, but it was a pretty good lunch!
Pirates of the Caribbean– something scary happened to us at this ride. We got stuck halfway into the boat ride with no way out. Apparently, the level of water was low and that’s why we were stuck in the water. We were stranded 20 minutes until a Disney personnel arrived to help us, another 30 minutes before firemen arrived, and another 20 minutes to finally get out of there. Baby Girl was shocked and sad when we were escorted out through the backstage. She thought we were out of Disneyland! A Disneyland Paris customer service agent came to apologize and gave us VIP passes for the rest of the day. When we saw how long it took to wait to enjoy the rides in the afternoon, we realized we were blessed to have VIP passes!
From time to time, we were lucky to run into a princess photoshoot. You can probably recognize Princess Jasmine and Abu.
Phantom Manor – this haunted house was my favorite!
And then it was time to gather together for the famous parade. There was no way we would miss this. Everyone else in the park thought so, too.
After the parade, it was time to hit the rides again.
It’s a Small World – travel around the world in a small boat with the theme song playing in the background
Les Voyages de Pinocchio
Blanche Neige et Les Sept Nains
Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast – this was the last attraction we tried and it turned out to be Baby Girl’s and the Husband’s favorite
At night time, it started getting chilly. We were beyond tired – happy with our day, but very tired. If I hadn’t heard of how spectacular the night show was, I probably would have left.
We were able to see the first part of the night time show. Unfortunately, I knew the last RER train ride going back to the city of Paris was at 12:30AM and I was feeling paranoid about missing our train all throughout the show. I ended up not enjoying the show that much, but we were able to take the train home with no problem. I’m not sure what we would have done if we had missed the train though. I don’t even want to think about it!
So how was our first time in Disneyland? It’s not my happiest place in the world, but we had fun! The little accident in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride was scary at the time, but thinking back I guess I knew we were always safe. Thumbs up to the Disneyland Paris team though for the way they handled the situation.We will definitely be back and perhaps this time, try out one of the Disney hotels. 👍 👍