If only we could be planning a trip to Disneyland everyday.
For Emma’s 40th birthday I spent absolutely ages planning a trip to Disneyland as a surprise. In fairness mostly because saving took lots of planning itself. Planning a trip to Disneyland was stressful and fun at the same time. It is actually the first-ever time I have booked up anything like this. So I thought I’d share with you my guide to planning a Disneyland trip, as not having a clue is so daunting!
Not a post for you? No worries. How about reading how to start a blog, here.
Why I suggest fully planning a trip to Disneyland Paris before actually getting there? Well if you are like me for one. You will want your trip to be the best possible trip ever. I spent ages planning my trip, reading Disney bloggers and watching vlogs of others trips because I wanted ours to be perfect, and although I know you can’t plan everything, and it might not go to plan the way you are hoping it too, I got so many good ideas that really payed off whilst we were away.
How I booked our Disneyland tickets…
I looked around a few places including the local travel agents and online travel agents before deciding that booking through magic breaks was the best option for booking our little holiday to DLP. Whilst saving up for the trip I checked their website periodically, as deals so change regularly. I actually booked the trip 1 week before presenting Emma with the gift for her birthday on the 12th December. Booking the trip through Magic Breaks was so simple, and there package options are so varied there really is something for everyone.
What was included in our plan…
When I booked through magic breaks we were opting into a plan including the travel, hotel (2 night stay) and a half board meal plan. The half board meal plan entitled us to breakfast and dinner in the parks.
How we actually traveled…
Originally I planned for us to travel by car. But I wish I hadn’t selected this option at all. Magic breaks allowed us to change our booking so that we could get the Eurostar train from ashford straight to the Disneyland Paris parks itself. Which worked out the best way of travelling. If you take a car you also are faced with a 3 hour drive to DLP, which is wasting precious park time! I definitely would advice the train and would want to travel this way in the future.
What would I advise if your getting a train to DLP?
Ensure you are there with plenty of time to spare! And have all your documents ready to be shown. Oh and a small suitcase with wheels is a life saver.
Honestly though. Getting to the train station early was so lucky! We hadn’t even seen that our train had been cancelled we were so lucky that we were there early enough that we could change and get an earlier than planned train, adding a bit of an underground train experience (fun when you don’t speak any french). It was really unexpected so i always felt lucky because otherwise we would have missed so much of our park time that we had planned.
Where we slept the night before?
We decided to stay in a hotel the night before our travel to Disney so we didn’t need to take a long drive before getting the train. We stayed in a holiday inn. Which we tend to go for as we always book through booking.com and pay a reasonable price!
Where we stayed at DLP…
We stayed at the Disney Santa Fe hotel, which is an official Disney hotel. The hotel is brilliant. The Santa Fe hotel is based around the cars movie. And all the rooms are cars themed.
How to get from the hotel to the parks?
Firstly your not going to be far from the parks. A shuttle bus does run from your hotel to the park entrance every 20 minutes. Alternatively you can walk depending where your hotel is. I believe most are about a 10/15 minute walk.
Why I would suggest a Disney hotel room?
If you stay in a Disney hotel you also have the opportunity to enter the parks early for magic time. Actually a full hour of extra magic time. You are automatically given a Fast pass so you spend less times in ques as you reserve a time slot to go back!
Priority reservation is also given to Disneyland hotel goers, making it easier too choose where you dine in the parks also. We absolutely loved Billy Bob’s Country Western Saloon.
Checking into the hotel…
I thought I’d mention this because when your off to Disney I know how exciting the experience is and how you want to spend as much time in the actual parks as possible. When you finally arrive at the Disney hotel, your filled with excitement and raring to go! Don’t worry because even if your rooms aren’t ready the hotels have a baggage locker type set up meaning you can drop your bags with them. Collect your park ticket and head straight into the parks!
Love staying organised, read my tips on staying organised with anything, here.
Would I go back in winter again?
Hell yes! It was even snowing when we went, and it just added to the magic.
The park itself even seemed fairly quiet. And I have got to say the staff were amazing at clearing the snow from around the park.
Although staying in a Disney hotel meant we had been given fast passes to the rides I didn’t need to use this pass at all. The longest I qued for a ride was around 25 minutes, which was for the Peter Pan ride. Most rides were around a 10 minute queuing time. Obviously this varies throughout the day and time of your stay.
Where I got tips for planning a trip to Disneyland?
I made sure I did a lot of research on how to make the most of our Disney trip before we went. Including searching Pinterest and YouTube. YouTube videos were awesome to watch because you get more of a visual idea on what you are doing.
It’s definitely worth doing yourself. As I found it so helpful to get tips and ideas from all different prospectives. One of the best things I discovered was a post about the golden eggs of DLP. For example. If you go to the left of the castle you will find the Dragon underneath in his cave.
Want to read something different? How about our recent trip to the sunflower farm, here.
Do you need the DLP app?
You don’t have to download this but I personally would. I found the app so helpful whilst we were away. We used the app as a map around the parks as well as being able to check the live queuing times for the rides! The app is free so to be honest there is no reason why you can’t have it on your phone during your stay, as it could come in handy to help get as much out of your day as possible.
What would I advise you pack for your DLP holiday?
- Comfy trainers – you are going to be doing a lot of walking.
- Your favourite Disney outfits!
- Your phone camera/small camera. I choose not to take my DSLR as carrying it around and on the rides. I felt it was safer at home.
- A lanyard card holder like this one, here. Brilliant to carry your important bits like your ticket.
- A water bottle (this was my one) there our water refill points around the parks, or if you ask the crew members they will help you find some.
if your wanting to spend money at Disneyland know now that it is not a cheap place. We took £800 euros and still ended up spending on our debit cards, the fee wasn’t too bad but still. There was so much to spend money on. We did come back with a lot of souvenirs. Oh and food and. Drink in the park is also pricey.
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