Travel

Finding Neverland (aka Disneyland Paris)

I have magic in my heart and the ‘It’s a small world’ theme song on loop in my head. That’s right guys, I’ve been to Disneyland Paris, and now the post-Disney blues have kicked in.

I was lucky enough to go to Disneyland as a late 21st Birthday present. So in June, 2 friends and I trekked through the tube and zoomed off on the Eurostar for 5 days of food, rides and magic…

I haven’t been to Disneyland since I was about 6, and one of my friends hadn’t been at all! On top of this, they were celebrating their 25th anniversary which led to it being a magical few days.

We stayed in the Sequoia Lodge, one of the Disney hotels, which was very practical for a number of things: extra magic hours; a 10 minute shuttle bus from the Eurostar and a 5 minute walk to the parks. Furthermore, it was the perfect size for the 3 of us!

Seen as we got there so late, we headed first into the Disneyland Park! Just walking under the Disneyland Hotel (it’s an ambition of mine to one day stay there) made the entrance unbelievably beautiful and magical. A lead up to the main event- seeing Sleeping Beauty’s castle. It is stunning. For me, that was when I was immersed in ‘Disneyness’ (Yes, I made that up, it’s real, okay) and never wanted to leave. It made me feel so happy! As I say, you’re never too old for Disney!

I have to say before we went on the trip, we did do some advanced planning in the form of a rough guide. We only did this to make sure we had enough money and did everything we wanted too. I do think the best way to experience it is to go with the flow, and make sure you take everything in as there are so many small details that really make it! In actual fact, we turned into big kids (especially after meeting Darth Vader and Donald Duck- my fave!)and ran around the parks hoping on our favourite rides.

After food (we were starving), it was over to Frontier Land for Indiana Jones, leading to screams and a lost ticket cause of the unexpected loop! Once we were at Disneyland, the days went so quick and I honestly can’t remember it all in order. All I know is that I slept like a log. Every. Single. Night. I usually keep a little travel journal, but I wanted to fully revert back to being a kid. Rather than make this the world’s longest blog post, I thought I’d list the top 10 things and must sees for both parks…
Disneyland Park Top 10:
1. Meeting Donald Duck
2. Being targeted by Darth Vader
3. Winning Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast
4. Hyperspace mountain (was meant to reopen the day after we left)
5. The fireworks
6. THUNDER MOUNTAIN
7. Casey’s corner hot dogs
8. The magic of seeing the castle again
9. The parades
10. Going on the Peter Pan ride for the first time since I was 8

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As is obvious, we alternated between the 2 parks. Much of our time we spent in the Walt Disney Studio Park, basically cause of all the bigger rides. This lead to our first ever ride on the Hollywood Tower of Terror (cue my friend nearly being sick as the doors opened as we were sat on the front and bruising my arm as she gripped that tight). But I loved it, it was the kind of ride I love. As you will find out I’m sure, I love adrenaline filled rides. I definitely regret not getting the photo for it! I have to say, many of the best memories were created on this trip, including the worst photo of me on Aerosmith’s Rock n Roller coaster and approx. 10 billion years of laughing at it.
Top 10:
1. Aerosmith (and the many horrid photos of me on it)
2. The Star Wars
3. Experiencing Tower of Terror for the first time!
4. RC Racer- sitting at the back on the edge was an experience
5. Mickey and the magician
6. Finally going on Ratatouille
7. Experiencing Crush’s coaster
8. Armageddon- v.retro!
9. Behind the magic tour
10. My friend’s continuous facts about Disney- I learnt a lot that week haha!

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The only down side to the trip was one of my favourite rides- Pirates of the Caribbean- was closed for renovation and repairs!:(
I highly recommend staying in a Disney Hotel if you want to immerse yourself in all the magic. You get extra magic hours and every morning there is a character to meet in the hotel. Also, it is so handy if you aren’t a morning person as the walk to the park is sooo short! For me, the fireworks were the main event and every night we went to watch them. They are amazing! The work that goes into the show is tremendous. The only thing is, go early so you can get a good spot on at least one of the nights. We managed to do this on our last night, and it made the whole thing so much better!
I wish I could be back there now instead of prepping for September, but there we go. Definitely go if you get the chance!

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That’s all pals, until next time!

~Vic

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