The plan was simple, get to Paris explore the city. Go to places like Montmartre, explore the Latin Quater, take iconic pictures at Palais Royal and even take that seemingly thoughtful picture in Museè d’Orsay. I had it all planned out. Then my sister and I got to Gare du Nord and that plan went out of the window! We found ourselves navigating our way to Marne-la-Vallée Chessy, also known as Disneyland.
This was probably the most spontaneous trip I have taken. We didn’t have park tickets, I didn’t even know how to get us there but with every part of the new plan coming into place, we both got really excited and couldn’t wait to get to the land of fairytales. When we finally got to Marne-la-Vallée, we joined the hundreds of people that were going to the Disneyland Park. I expected to be greeted by the famous castle which I have seen in countless photos but instead the first building I saw was this beautiful mansion. For a moment, I thought we were in the wrong place, little did I know that this was the entrance to another world.
We paid for our tickets and made our way through. We got ourselves a map, because, like any place you go to, you need to know where you are and we started exploring. I loved the town centre. It was just like any town centre, bustling with activity, the centre of the community. There was a train as well, but we looked at how long it would take and 45min was a bit too much. Little did we know that this was the standard waiting time 😕 for any activity.
As we walked along the Parade route, I saw it, sparkling from afar. Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. I found myself smiling like I'd just won the lottery, but there was something special being in that place in that moment. There were a lot of people with Minnie Mouse ears and they were posing for pictures with friends and loved ones. I saw many children in costumes living the movies and the shows they have been watching. It was beautiful. Now I understand the Disney adverts, you know the ones where the parents surprise their children with a trip to Disneyland. Yeah, all I could see were people who were happy. You couldn’t rain on their parade even if you wanted to.
We made our way to the Pirates of the Caribbean ride which was one of the safe ones I thought we could try. (You’ll know with my fear of heights, everything I do is baby steps.) We waited the standard 45min and we got our turn to go in. The sounds and the things that you see is so realistic, you’ll feel like you were a part of the movie. After our adreneline rush, we headed out in search of some sustenance. We decided to go for a light lunch in the hope that if we were to try another ride we wouldn’t see the contents of our stomach coming back. Only we didn’t manage to try another ride as we were running out of time.
We continued exploring the park seeing the other areas which they had and finally ended our journey with a ferry ride around a make belief canyon which made me feel like I was in the wild west. When that was all done, we went to the final part of the trip. The Parade.
The Parade is really the highlight of the experience at Disney. As you walk around and experience the different rides and activities you may not see all of the Disney characters. But at the Parade, they all come out and there was music and dancing and it’s genuinely a happy time. By the time we got to the Parade route, everyone was waiting and some were even sitting. They got the best view. After a little wait, the Parade started. There was something magical about this moment, everyone was dancing and cheering and everyone wanted to capture the moment. Being in that place at that particular moment, it made me feel like a little girl again. I felt like the characters had come out of the story books that I used to read when I was younger and were right there in front of me. It really was the kind of magic that only Disney could deliver.
So determined to go to Disneyland ? Here are some tips to make your experience better
- Book your ticket online and in advance. There are a lot of ways to ensure that you don’t pay when you get there. The Disney website does advertise deals and you can even use your Avios points to bag yourself a ticket. And you also get to start your Disney experience quickly
- Stay for more than a day. I didn’t realise this but there are two parks here at Disney. There’s Disneyland with the classical Disney characters and Walt Disney with the more modern Disney. We were only there for less than a day and we only managed one park. Or you can do one, and then another at another time.
- Have a look at the park rides and decide which ones to go for first. Due to popularity as you can expect, the queues for rides are ridiculously long and you can wait for up to an hour before you can have your turn. That being said, it’s easy to run out of time and then lose out on going on the rides that you really want. So plan.
- Let your inner child free and enjoy the journey that Disney will take you on.
Till next time