I don’t know about you guys but I am of the opinion that New Years is massively overrated, it’s just another night, right? Well after 10 years of doing nothing we decided to treat ourselves this year and booked New Years in Disneyland Paris. And to make it extra special booked the Disneyland Hotel. This is the stunning pink hotel that is based at the entrance to the park and could not have been any better located for access to the park. The only place I have stayed which beats it for a location was in California when we stayed at the Grand Californian Hotel which has its own entrance into one of the parks.
We actually started our trip on the 29th December when we got the train to London in anticipation of getting on the Eurostar the following morning from St Pancras. This gave us a perfect opportunity to visit the newly opened Lego Store in Leicester Square, we arrived with only about an hour ’til close at 9pm but still had to queue outside before we were allowed in. The queue wasn’t too bad, it was only about 20 minutes and it was worth the wait.
The store is fantastic, although super busy. The shelves were mostly empty but we didn’t go in there to buy anything so that didn’t really bother me, there is so much to see in the store. There are some fantastic sculptures in there like the Big Ben and the tube train, also make sure to check out the mural above the staircase as this is fantastic. The night was finished off with a Shake Shack burger and a look at the Christmas lights on Regent Street, the perfect start to our trip.
We had an early start to the day in order to catch the Eurostar to Marne-La-Vallée, the train was busy as we expected but when you buy a ticket on the Eurostar you are guaranteed a seat. We also booked the Disney Express for ease when we arrived. Basically what this means is that someone comes along the train to find you in your seats and gives you luggage tags, park tickets and any vouchers you may also have included as part of your package. This made things so much easier, it means that as you get off the train in France you drop your luggage at the train station then head straight into the park so you get full use of all the park days included in the hotel package. Your bags later get dropped off at the hotel and left in your room, how helpful is that? There is a small fee for this service but trust me, it’s worth it for how much easier it makes the start of your holiday.
The first park we decided to go visit was Walt Disney Studios Park, we decided on this one as the following day was New Year’s Eve and we would be spending this in the Disneyland Park. We have been to Disneyland Paris before so hit the ground running with heading straight to our favourite rides. Since the last time we went through there is a new app which was incredibly useful to see ride wait times and we used this quite a lot. Our favourite rides in this park include Crush’s Coaster, RC Racer, Rock ‘n’ Roller and the Twilight Tower of Terror. One new area since we last visited was the Ratatouille area and the new ride there which my husband was looking forward to riding, mostly so that he could check out the technology behind it. The ride was good fun, the premise of it is that you are shrunk to the size of a rat and go in a kitchen, it’s very clever and does mess with your head a fair bit. I enjoyed the little extra touches like the smell of certain foods as you passed them on the ride like oranges.
One thing that stuck with us all through the holiday was how cold it was in Paris, of course we expected this and wrapped up warm and took some hand warmers with us but even so, it took some adjusting to the cold temperatures. It barely got above zero degrees, most days it was in the minus temperatures and on our last day it even snowed! A lot of the water features in the park actually froze in the cold, including fountains with running water like the globe outside It’s A Small World.
We ate the first night in Annette’s Diner, we had some meal vouchers that we got as part of the package we booked. This place was busy so we had to queue, which doesn’t sound too bad right? But there is no inside area to queue, you are stood outside in sub-zero temperatures waiting for over 30 minutes. There isn’t much you can do about this, all the restaurants were equally busy due to the fact it was New Year, but thankfully the wait was worth it. The food was fantastic, especially the chocolate cake with cream and crème anglaise. We then went back to the hotel and checked in, our room was beautiful, it had a large bed, a large bathroom and a separate sofa area with French doors out onto a private patio area.
The next morning was an early start, we knew the park would be busy and after a filling breakfast at the hotel we headed out to be one of the first in the park. At this point it was still dark and there was an eerie fog that just added to the magical feel of the place. Stood at the top of Main Street you could barely make out Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. Not many rides were open this early in the morning so we just had a walk around and took in the sights of a quiet and beautiful park until Frontierland opened at which point we sprinted with around 50 other people to get to Big Thunder Mountain, however we only picked up Fastpass tickets here, our first ride was destined to be Indiana Jones. This is located at the furthest point from the park entrance which meant we got to ride it 3 times with no queue before we went over to use our Fastpass. Next on the hit list was Phantom Manor followed by Space Mountain and Buzz Lightyear before we went back to the hotel for a break and to warm up. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a lot of photos while in the parks, mainly due to how cold it was, there was no way I was getting my bare hands out and I don’t trust myself holding my phone securely while wearing gloves.
We went back into the park a bit later in the night ready for the fireworks at midnight and to eat some food. We ended up eating in the Cowboy Cookout Barbecue after being turned away from one of the other quick service restaurants as they were too full. We spent hours leading up to midnight riding as many indoor rides as possible due to how cold it was, this included It’s A Small World and Pirates of the Caribbean, in fact we rode Pirates several times due to its warmth. It was by far the warmest place in the park due it’s Caribbean theming, in fact towards the end of the night people were just sat down in the queue corridors to get the warmth with no intention to ride.
The fireworks over the castle at midnight were perfect, in fact everything about this New Year celebration was perfect, I was in the happiest place on earth with my best friend, what more could a girl ask for?
Our last two days were spent at both parks again going on all our favourite rides and seeing some of the shows such as Mickey and the Magician which was fantastic, also cinèMagique and the Pixar Shorts Film Festival. We also took advantage of the bar in our hotel and had a slightly delayed champagne cocktail (or 2 or 3) to see in the New Year. I had such a magical time in Disney despite the cold and the fact that it snowed on our last day really added to the magic feeling, I got proper Disney blues as we left the park to go get the Eurostar back. Again we used the Disney Express service so our bags were taken to the train station where we just had to collect them before going through passport control.
I am so lucky in life to have my best friend who shares my Disney craziness with me. I had the best start to 2017 and can’t wait to see what it brings me. I have already booked my next holiday, 7 days in an adults-only resort in Crete in July and I can’t chuffing wait.