With 5 days to go before I return to Disneyland Paris, here are my 5 Things to do When You’re Waiting for Disneyland
- Be Organised!
It sounds obvious, right? If you’re travelling overseas, then obviously you need to make sure you have your passport organised and maybe even some foreign currency. Then there’s your insurance policy (and EHIC/ E111 if applicable), MAKE SURE YOU GET INSURANCE. Nowadays we can manage to store all our hotel details on our phones digitally, but I recommend you print yours off. While you’re doing this, consider scanning your passport just in case. If it does do a magic trick and disappear, it will be quicker to replace.
Research the exchange rate, too. I will be spending Euros that were bought in Summer 2016, but also my Monzo card. Monzo don’t charge fees for spending in a different currency so I can use the Mastercard website to see the approximate rate that I will be charged. At the time of writing, every 1 Euro spent, will cost me 89p. Don’t forget to tell your bank you’re going overseas even if you aren’t planning to use your debit card. I say this because the idea of using a UK debit card abroad (and being charged for the pleasure!) is something I’d never do, but if you get stuck or have an emergency, it’s better safe than sorry.
I’m finished being sensible now. Sort of…
- Start planning!
Okay, I said I was finished being sensible, but this is the best way to get the most out of your trip. It is totally possible to do Disneyland Paris in just two days; it’s what we managed in November last year (with a bonus day to do things a second time and shop!).
If you’re vegan (like me) or have any other dietary requirements, read some blog posts, or even look at the menus online.
It may also be worth making some dinner reservations, as the best places fill up pretty quick and leaving things to chance can backfire!
So, what rides are you going to go on? I’ve already decided that I will ride Crush’s Coaster as many times as I can, likewise Hyperspace Mountain. Make a list, then you know where to head to join the queue as soon as the park opens.
What about characters? We missed a few characters last time, and we decided not to do the Princess Pavilion, which we will certainly be visiting this time! (I think the 2-hour wait time will be nice around 2 pm when the sun will be at its hottest, don’t you?).
Then think shows and parades. You will want to see them all, trust me. All in one day, or spread across your full trip? What night are you doing the Illuminations (formerly Dreams)?
Okay, have you got a list? Read over it, make a mental sketch of it in your mind. Now, chuck it into the recycling bin.
One of the best things you can do for a trip to Disneyland is to create a rough plan in your mind of what you’re going to do. One of the other best things you can do is to chuck it in the bin and not stick to a schedule. Over-planning has the potential to put a dampener on holidays, and you miss things. At Disneyland, things happen in the moment. We saw a Princess show and a Frozen parade we hadn’t planned for last time!
The only thing I’d really say have set in stone, is the night you go for the Illuminations/ fireworks. You may want to set off later that day or take that day slower. In summer, this will be a 14+ hour day and if you have young children especially, I recommend ‘nap time’. I recommend napping for everyone, actually. Napping is brilliant!
Now is also the time to consider whether you want to buy the PhotoPass+. I’m going to be trying it out for the first time this trip (I’ll be getting the annual one), so I’ll feedback if I think it’s worth the money, but have a look at what added extras you might fancy.
- Go shopping!
Don’t go wild, because you will want to do that at the parks, but…
Things in Disneyland are expensive. They can be incredibly expensive if you’re not careful too. A T-Shirt bought in the parks could cost you 25 Euros. A T-Shirt bought at Asda or Primark could cost you £5. Both are Disney T-Shirts.
Check out my Disneyland Paris shopping list here for more information on what I recommend you buy out of the parks.
Travelling with young children? Hit the Poundshop, B&M, Home Bargains etc. to see what Disney related treats you can find. A great tip when doing Disneyland with small ones is to pre-buy your souvenirs. Every morning your little one could wake up to a new top, hat, sunglasses, toy that you’ve purchased at budget-friendly prices. This will keep your children out of the shops, and you can then let them maybe even purchase a special treat at the end of the trip.
- Time to get packing!
I will put a packing list together which will be up on the day I fly (19/07/2017), as that will be more comprehensive (and I also have nowhere near started packing!)
Before you can pack, make sure you have the right bag (if you’re flying) and be aware of:
- Your luggage allowance (10kgs for me!)
- Any restrictions. Especially batteries if you’re taking a lot of tech with you.
In readiness for packing, I have a cardboard box that says: “Things for Disneyland” on it that I just keep chucking things into. I think there are a few T-Shirts, water bottle thingies, and my spare battery for my camera. It’s not the most exciting box in the world.
Under get packing, I place the option of “choose your holiday book”. Many people won’t read on a trip to Disney, and that’s okay! I like a book on the plane and a book to have with me when I’m travelling alone (because you have to do something in the queues on your own!) My book of choice this time will be The Art of Not Breathing. I’ll have to let you know how I get on with that one!
If you’re not planning to read, it’s also worth downloading some films onto your phone/ tablet/ laptop via Netflix or Disneylife (or whichever streaming service you use, these two are my favourites). If you have little ones, a Disney film back in the hotel will make leaving the park when it’s still light – but they’re evidently ready to drop – a tiny bit easier, and reduces the chance of a total meltdown. As an adult, I know I may either finish my book quickly (okay, I’ll have my Kindle for a back-up) but also be too tired to read some nights, or maybe just not want to.
- Finally, prepare to HAVE FUN!
If you haven’t been to Disneyland before, or maybe not since you were a child, then prepare to have the time of your life!
You will cry. Multiple times, you will cry! They will be happy tears, but when you hear the music, or see that one character that you just adore so much, prepare for the floodgates.
Well, this was a very long post! I hope it has lots of useful information for you. All that is left to say is: