Friday, 1 May 2015

Monday Funday - Disneyland, Paris

My husband and I are big kids and we love Disneyland. Having been to the Paris version several times as a child and teenager and saving to hit Florida and California in our early twenties it seemed fitting to have a couple of nights here as part of our Paris mini-moon. As we booked really last minute for a December break all of the Disney Hotels were unfortunately full so we had to make do with The Radisson Blu Hotel @ Disneyland.

The hotel was a surprisingly good alternative to one of the official Disney options. The location is about a 10-15 mins bus ride from Disneyland and buses run from early morning until one hour after the park closing times. You must book your morning free ticket with the hotel concierge and then queue for the return journey. The hotel rooms are clean and spacious and even had English TV Channels (Channel 4 and BBC1) as well as free wifi throughout. There is no safe in the room, which is a little odd and frustrating and we didn't try breakfast but it works out at much cheaper than the Disney alternatives so it's worth giving this place a go.

We got to Disney using the RER A (red line) from Paris in the direction of Marne-La-Vallee for 7.50 EUR each. Trains depart every 15 mins from AUBER station. This hotel is a 13-20 EUR taxi ride from the station depending on traffic. For our return to the airport we took the high speed link from Marne-La-Vallee to Paris CDG Airport, which takes a very quick 10 mins. We also used the Disney left luggage on our final day, which was a reasonable price and very handy being located right next to the park entrance.

We spent one day in the Disney Park and one day in the Disney Studios and both were excellent fun. All of the rides were great and just how we remembered as kids! The decorations for Christmas were super magical and the fake snow around the park was brilliant but the best part was seeing the children's faces light up. The parades were enticing and the fireworks at closing were a great way to end the day.

We did have a few gripes and I don't know whether things have genuinely changed or if maybe we look at things differently with adult eyes. There was quite a big of queue jumping going on and unfortunately the staff were turning a blind eye. Also there were quite a few ride break downs, I think at one point we tried and failed to ride Aerosmith, Peter Pan, Indiana Jones, Pirates of the Caribbean, Toy Story and Thunder Mesa. They were all dealt with as quickly as possible but this wasn't ideal on a busy December day. The toilets were also quite gross at certain times of the day; the cleaners were doing their best but you do wonder why guests treat the property so, so badly.

Disney is also expensive, you are looking at 20-30 EUR for two people to eat a burger, chips and a drink each for lunch. A lot of people were leaving the parks to visit McDonald's and Starbucks in Disney Village as a cheaper alternative. A two day, two park pass works out at £115 per adult to visit as well.

We dined both nights in Disney Village. Once at Planet Hollywood and once at The Rain Forest Cafe. Both were average affairs with the usual things you would expect on the menu and both had large queues of up to an hour if trying to join as the parks were emptying. We also did some shopping in the Disney stores, which provided great enjoyment and some new Christmas decorations for our home!

All in all Disney was great, I do think the park could make some improvements and the prices are high but the magic is still there and if you make the most of your fast pass you won't queue for too long for attractions. If your a big kid or better still have your own little kids to treat then I would still recommend a stay at Disneyland Paris.