What now feels like forever ago, I got a message from a friend asking if I’d like to be a part of the plans for a big group trip to Disneyland and obviously my immediate answer was a massive YES.
We left St Pancras on the 7:01 Eurostar on Wednesday the 16th and finally made it to Disneyland around midday, luckily we were able to go straight into our hotel rooms at the Newport Bay Hotel to drop off our bags and freshen up, then we were straight into the parks!
We stopped at one of the shops in Disney Village en route to the parks because I felt a burning need to have Disney ears, I felt like I wouldn’t be ready to embrace the parks until then. Having seen these sequin ones I was in love and got them straight away.
Approaching the entrance to Disneyland there’s a palpable excitement in the air, you can feel how happy everyone is to be there and I absolutely loved that. We got into the parks, and immediately were elated. Minutes after we arrived the Minnie’s Little Spring Train began and we were loving life, and as we were watching and the parade had started turning into Main Street Sam and Rebecca tagged on to the back of it so naturally we all joined in! So we then danced our way down Main Street, it was the most perfect entrance to Disneyland.
Our first ride of the day was Star Tours, as it was the last day of it before it began refurbishment! There wasn’t too big a queue considering it was the final rides, and I wasn’t too sure what to expect from it. Sam told me it was a simulator ride but it was definitely the scariest simulator I’ve ever been on! I feel it was a great ride to start the trip off with as I’m not the biggest fan of rollercoasters so it kind of warmed me up to them. Straight after we went on Space Mountain. I remember going on this ride as a kid and being absolutely terrified, it’s probably the ride that’s put me off rides for life! I knew I had to brave it though and try it again. Now I’ve done it again as an adult I can safely say I’d like to not go on it ever again…
As we’d spent half the day travelling and hadn’t really had a lunch we stopped by the Videopolis Theatre as we had afternoon snack vouchers to use. After a little sit down, the most amazing donut we were back out into Disney and heading towards Adventureland! Our first ride here was Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril, and as I’ve mentioned I’m not a massive rollercoaster person so this was a bit terrifying for me! As you can see in this photo I’m at the back sort of ready to poo my pants haha! I did enjoy it though, and it felt a bit tamer after Space Mountain… We then went on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride which I loved, it was so fun! A couple of little scary drops but definitely not as terrifying.
Dinner on our first day was booked pretty early but I’m glad it was as we’d been up so early in the morning! We were eating at Cafe Mickey so we could meet some characters without having to queue. We met Tigger, Goofy, Pluto and Mickey and had a lot of fun in this restaurant. It was just such a fun experience and we had a great time.
After dinner we headed back into the main park ready for Dreams! I was so excited for this, the last time I came to Disneyland was when I was 5 or 6? All I can really remember is being terrified of Space Mountain, the Electrical Parade and vague memories of the hotel as we were in the Disneyland Hotel I’m sure, Dreams didn’t exist yet! Also I bloody love fireworks so I was READY for this spectacle.
Alas, Disney Dreams did not disappoint. It’s such a clever production, the way they pair the visuals with the sounds, the water, fireworks and lasers, I was in awe. It truly is magical.
Before heading back to the hotel we stopped by some of the shops on Main Street and at World of Disney and I managed to refrain from spending all my money! We then got back to the hotel and absolutely collapsed, it felt like the longest and most fun-filled day.
Day two began with breakfast at the hotel in their Yacht Club (I loved the entire theme of the hotel, and the consistency of it!) – it was a simple continental breakfast but filled us up well and prepared us for the day. We went into the park early at around 8am as we had the extra Magic Hours. We used these on the Pinocchio ride which was a sweet one to start off the day, followed by Dumbo which I remember adoring as a kid, the Tea Cups (a classic) and then the Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast ride! I loved this ride, I have a competitive streak and I knew Sam was a bit rubbish at this game so I was determined to at least get a higher score than her ;) I managed to get 35,000something so as a first attempt I was very proud.
We joined a very small queue to meet Thumper and Miss Bunny and had a very cute interaction with them, and we also saw them meet a little girl who I believe was there with the Make a Wish foundation and that made me so emotional, but she looked so happy to be in Disney that it made my heart swell.
As it was St. Patrick’s Day there were many other different celebrations happening around the park! We knew Mickey and Minnie were dressed for the occasion for a meet and greet so we thought we’d head over there to see if we could meet them. The queue was so long we thought it wasn’t worth joining to spend two hours waiting, and instead got our faces painted!
We then headed on over to the Walt Disney Studios! We had a nosey in at the Art of Animation – it’s so fascinating to see how they began with the animation and how it’s developed over time, I don’t think many realise how much effort had to be put into making the old animated films. Most of the group wanted to go on Tower of Terror after but Josh and I were very against that, so decided to try our luck at the Ratatouille ride. The main queue was 45 minutes long but the single rider queue was 5 minutes long so we basically strolled on through straight onto the ride – and ended up sat in the same car anyway with Josh right behind me! We got two rooms into the ride and it promptly broke down on us haha! We were stuck there for a short while and they eventually had to turn the lights on and escort us out due to technical issues, we were given free fast passes to come back later and to be honest we weren’t too fussed – we were too busy laughing at the fact it had happened to us! Gutted for those who had queued that whole time though.
We figured the others would be a while in the queue and on the ride so we ventured into the Toy Story Playland! This was such a cute little area, and I liked how it was a bit cramped and messy like a toybox actually would be, I feel like some people could see this as somewhat haphazard but it merged well contextually with the films! We observed the Parachute Drop ride and decided to face our fears and give it a go. Again we tried the single rider queue and ended up sat facing each other but with a very minimal wait! It was much more terrifying than it looked, but I’m proud of us for doing it.
Lunch was already booked at Chez Remy and Sam had hyped up the steak here a LOT so we were all quite excited for that. I loved this restaurant, it literally felt like you were in the film and the attention to detail was amazing. The steak was basically life changing, it’s one of the things I miss most about Disneyland. I had the chocolate mousse for dessert and that too, I need in my life again. Truly scrumptious.
Following lunch we thought we’d give the Ratatouille ride a try again and we all went in as single riders rather than queuing, this time we had a 5 or so minute wait but thankfully the ride didn’t break down! It was such a cool ride and I’m really glad we managed to get on it.
We wanted to catch the Forest of Enchantment Show at the Chaparral Theatre so we headed back via Main Street to catch that. I really enjoyed the show, my favourite part had to be the Tarzan section – the guy playing Tarzan was so skilled it was amazing! After the show we had some time to kill before Dreams so we had a browse through more of the shops on Main Street! I loved just how old America it felt like, and the attention to detail everywhere was astounding. The music especially was my favourite thing about being on Main Street, it added such a magical touch. We then got our space to watch Dreams and once again I was absolutely enthralled with it – I doubt you could ever get bored of watching it. There were added fireworks beforehand for St. Patrick’s Day too!
Our final day in Disney (tear) started off with breakfast at the Plaza Gardens Restaurant. We would’ve had breakfast at the hotel but they were full, however it was really nice to have breakfast somewhere else! We then made our way to the Studio’s and first up was a trip on Crush’s Coaster. I love Finding Nemo so thought I’d really enjoy this ride but it was much scarier than I thought it would be! Considering the amount of children in the queue I was shocked. To counteract this, Josh and I went on the Slinky Dog ride while the others went on RC Racer, my heart couldn’t handle more stressful rides. We went on Ratatouille again while the rest of the group went on Tower of Terror and then, saving the best ’til last – we finally went on It’s A Small World. This was our final ride of the trip and it’s the one I remember most from my childhood, it was so cute to go back on it!
We stopped off at the Videopolis Theatre for lunch before we had to go, and we tried the Darth Vader black burger! It was so odd, tasted mostly like a normal burger but the texture was definitely a bit different. Our one last stop in the park was the Disneyland Hotel to give it a sniff – sounds weird but Sam and Rebecca were adamant that it’s got a specific smell and all my nose picked up was cleaning product haha! It’s a gorgeous hotel though.
Then it was hometime! We got the metro back to Gare du Nord and then it was the Eurostar back to London. I am so glad we had this trip, it truly was magical and I miss it so much. Hopefully it won’t be too long until I’m back in the magical Disneyland Paris. ✨