"Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy."
Another year, another visit to my favourite place in the whole entire world. Yep, once again, I grabbed my passport, my Minnie Ears, dusted off the ol' vlogging camera and ran off to Disneyland Paris. And oh boy, it was just a dream. Twenty-eight-degree weather, Halloween decorations making their appearance, sun, beautiful food, the best company, thrilling rides, themed hotels and shopping galore.
Disney will never not be a second home for me. From the beautiful parks to the attractions to the magic that you just can't describe unless you've gone, there's just no other place like it.
This year, I dragged my very patient boyfriend Jack with me to the land of magic. I slowly learnt to love the idea of taking someone with me who's never gone.
I always used to be worried they'd hate it but then you remember that you're in Disneyland and even the coldest of hearts turn a little to mush as soon as you step into the park, catch a glimpse of Mainstreet and the castle and hear the music for the first time.
As far as I'm aware, he loved it. And of course, I bloody adored it too. Three days of non-stop fun, aching feet and juggling too many cameras. As always, thank you so much Disneyland Paris for the most perfect trip... I guess it's time to start planning the next one, right?!
This year, we visited the park from the 17th of September to the 19th. A perfect three-day trip. I would personally love to do more days as we certainly didn't manage to do absolutely everything and would have loved to try more food places but three days is definitely a great place to get a good amount done without becoming too exhausted and achy!
We travelled via Eurostar which after flying twice now and taking the train twice... this is definitely the easiest way! It is so quick, so simple and doesn't have even half the faff of flying. The trains are comfortable, I simply just download a few movies to my iPad and find the journey goes past pretty fast. The same as last year, we got the very first train to Disney and took the very last train back to make the most of our trip. I'm yet to do the direct train to Disney purely because I find the timings never quite fit my trip but the indirect one allows you some leg stretching time and really isn't too difficult.
If you are going via Eurostar, I think it's completely valuable to purchase the Disney Express. For a small charge extra, it allows you to dump your luggage (and have it taken to your hotel!), grab your park tickets and head straight into the magic. No hanging around, no huge lines for check-in at the hotel, straight into the park. It's so worth those extra pennies and it also means that when it's time to head home, you can dump your luggage at your hotel and then pick it up at the station when it's time to leave. More time in the parks = a very happy Abbi.
This year we had the half board meal plan and once again I always find it so completely worth it. I still get disappointed that they do it via nights instead of days so we only had two days worth of vouchers for a three-day trip but it simply means that you don't have to worry about putting money away for dinner or lunch. Super easy, so worth it and amazingly, booking directly with Disney offers you so many deals and usually, a free meal plan is one of them!
Lastly, we stayed in the hotel Cheyenne, the western-themed hotel in one of the new Texas rooms. I've stayed here twice before and found it always ok. The new rooms are lovely, the theming is so spot on and there is Starbucks and more than one plug socket! I do think though that I would have prefered to stay somewhere nearer to the parks; it's a long walk to the hotel and then our actual room was the other side of the area as well. We also had a problem with really noisy neighbours and not being able to get a hold of reception but balanced with the fact you hardly spend any time at your hotel, it was fine for the two nights we stayed. (For the record, I one hundred percent recommend the Sequoia Lodge hotel, it's in a lovely location close to the parks, the theming and decoration is gorgeous and just feels so much nicer in my opinion).
The park is truly gorgeous this time of year. It's so beautifully quiet so it's perfect if you're like me and struggle with crowds. Early Magic Hours guarantees an almost empty park (great if you wish to meet the characters!) and nearly every queue throughout the day was 5-10 minutes long, in fact, the longest queue we had throughout the entire trip was for Rock 'n' Roller coaster and even then, that was only 15 minutes too!
The parade grew on me this year, last year I felt that when I watched it for the first time it was nothing compared to the beauty that was Magic on Parade but hey, it is definitely still completely magic, isn't it? Plus, credit where credit is due, Maleficent is incredible. Oh, and there's snow. What more could you ask for, eh?
Same with Illuminations. It doesn't even compare to Dreams! but it is still as spectacular and jaw-dropping as it was before. I love the addition of Star Wars and the finale always leaves me a little bit emotional. Wait for no sorry, who am I kidding? The whole thing makes me emotional!
This was the first year that I got to ride Big Thunder Mountain and oh my gosh, it was incredible and well worth the three year wait, also so worth doing it with a Fastpass too, we ended up walking straight on which definitely felt good! A definite must do. Pirates of the Carribean is still my favourite and nothing even comes close to how I feel about that ride. Star Tours is incredible (how is it that the queue sometimes feels better than the ride?!) and I'm still sad that I had to say goodbye to Rock 'r' Roller coaster. Can you please change your mind Disney and keep it forever?!
We might not have been there in the official Halloween season (September is a little early really, isn't it?) but that certainly didn't stop Disney putting up the odd Halloween decoration here and there. AND I LIVED FOR IT. I've only ever visited in the Summer seasons and I absolutely adored the orange vibes that slowly started to make their way into the Magic Kingdom. From the Coco theming in Frontierland to the garlands on Main Street, Autumn crept up nice and early in Disney this year and I loved every second.
Of course, they have completely tripled the decorations now and Halloween has certainly made it's way to DLP but I loved getting a little sneak peek...
The Halloween Sneak Peek
Late night Disney Village walks. The Bistro De Remy restaurant was as delicious as I remember it being. The Christmas shop in the castle always gets me seriously excited despite it still being a few months to go. Wandering around Fantasyland (the best land in my opinion!). Peering into all the Mainstreet shops. The music. Riding Pirates of the Carribean ride an unhealthy amount of times because it is still my favourite. Eating lunch and people watching. Seeing children meeting the characters and watching as their face lights up... seeing the adults faces when they meet a character! Everyone's cheers and 'wow' during Illuminations. Cast members who so clearly adore their job and do everything they can to make sure you're having the most magical time you can be. Reflecting on your day as you chill in your hotel room in the evening. Character spotting as you walk around the parks. That feeling when you first see the castle. Riding the Studio Tram Tour and loving it despite the fact it is definitely a bit tired a bit tired nowadays and no one really remembers the films it focuses on. The super tired walk to the hotel in the evening. The atmosphere when you're waiting for the parade or Illuminations to start. The fact that, no matter how often you visit or how many trips you've done, it is still the most magical place on earth.