Whilst I’m fortunate enough to go to Disneyland Paris a few times a year (ever since I was little!) I’ve never actually been during the festive period – and I’m not quite sure why?! Well, I’ve been to Disneyworld Orlando during Christmas, but never in my favourite; Paris. It’s my favourite place to visit, combined by my favourite time of the year – and this Christmas it was the perfect time to experience the Christmas magic of Disneyland Paris! I was actually very kindly invited by Disney so one of my best pals Laura and I jumped at the chance, packed our bags and booked our flights!
We did a Saturday to Tuesday stay which I always think is the perfect amount of time. The first day for travel and exploring Disney Village (the free-entry magical shopping and food destination), the second day for a day in the parks, the third day for another day in the parks, and the final day for having a lie in, final Disney purchases at Disney Village and the journey home. I just want to say, we had the absolute best time – thank you SO much to Disney for the two day passes and the VIP fast passes! See the fun video montage of our stay here!
I thought I’d answer a few questions I would want to ask someone if I planned on a Christmas at Disneyland Paris trip;
Was it busy?
It wasn’t any busier than I’ve experienced it before – the Sunday was pretty normal, and then the Monday (being during school time) was really pleasantly calm! I will say however, the main park closes at different times each day, and with the firework show ‘Disney Dreams Of Christmas’ starting at closing time (either 7pm or 9pm) – that made a huge difference to the crowds in the evenings. We watched the fireworks both evenings and on the Sunday when it started at 9pm, there were a lot fewer people then there were on the Monday evening when it started at 7pm – probably because parents didn’t want their kids staying up late so they attended the 7pm showing! I always like to stand towards the front of Main Street to watch the show, and then as soon as it ends exit through the shops!
Did the cold weather ruin things / were rides closed?
Okay, it was extremely cold – but nope! No ruining at all! No rides were closed due to the weather, either. I always like to buy Winter warmers from Disneyland anyway and I had my Disney mittens, ear muffs, and everything else I could get my hands on! It’s a good excuse to make some purchases! Last time I went I bought some Disney wellies which were perfect! Make sure you look at the Disney Boutique in the Disney Village for accessories! Basically, wrap up warm, and buy lot’s of hot chocolates! Whilst the first day at the parks was cold with a white sky, the second day was the perfect Winter chill with blue skies – ideal!
Any Christmas specials / perks?
Besides being beautifully decorated throughout – there were loads of Christmas things! Things that aren’t usually there! Every little thing looked as if it had been tapped by a magic wand to make it look festive – the attention to detail was incredible. Decorations and Christmas trees everywhere – you definitely won’t forget it’s Christmas time! In Disney Village; they also had Christmas market style stalls which I loved – with lot’s of different things to buy. My fave stands ofc were the pretzels, doughnuts, waffles and just all the food. They also had mulled wine and chestnuts roasting so it smelt festive AF! Back to the parks – characters dressed up, festive themed treats in the bakery, Christmas music playing, the Disney Dreams of Christmas fireworks, meet and greets with Santa, a Christmas parade, snow down Main Street, and so much more! If you’re spending Christmas Eve or even Christmas Day at Disneyland Paris; there are wonderful dinners and entertainment to have on the big day!
For the past few Disney trips I’ve stayed in Disney partner hotels. There are a few different options but they are a lot cheaper than the official Disney hotels, but still have hints of Disney throughout the hotels, as well as the free use of the Disney shuttle to and from the park running every 10 minutes. The hotel we stayed at this time – and one of my personal faves – was the Dream Castle Hotel. On the shuttle it takes about 10 mins and just like magic, you’re at the main entrance of Disney Village and Disneyland! The reason I love this hotel in particular is because it’s exteriors are beautiful, interiors are lovely, the breakfast is to die for (think huge breakfast buffet of every food you could imagine – full english, cheeses, nutella, crepes, fruit, French bread, pastries – everything!) and I’ve always had the most wonderful experiences there. Besides, it’s pink and very aesthetically pleasing (think castle vibes!) The short shuttle journey meant we could easily return to the hotel for extra layers!
I can’t even tell you how magical it was upon entering for the first time on this particular trip. To see Disneyland dressed like Christmas was something I’ll never forget! Christmas music was playing, realistic snow was falling, and hot chocolate was calling our names! Just amazing. Also; the hot chocolate throughout the parks (which is delish btw) was always served in a usual takeaway cup, but with a straw – something I now insist on having whilst drinking hot chocolate! Such fun! We arrived at opening time on both days to ensure a full days experience! We rode all the rides we wanted (I think literally all, with the exception of a few), saw everything we wished to see, explored the shops in detail, caught the Christmas parade – it really was the perfect amount of time! Two full days at the parks, and two half days at Disney Village either side, with the other half for travel. It was the best. My all time favourite ride still has to be The Tower Of Terror – I LOVE IT. YES. AGAIN. Luckily Laura loved it too! *back in the queue we go… thanks VIP passes!* (though standard free fast passes can be obtained for select rides by anyone!) – and also in Walt Disney’s Studio park (I just call this the ‘other’ park as opposed to the main one lol) is Crush’s Coaster – a ride that never has a line shorter than 60 minutes – this time I was determined to experience it! I never have as it doesn’t have a fast pass option – and we’ve never chosen to wait that long. We actually waited until 10 minutes before the Studios park closed (18:00 on this particular day) and the line was only 25 minutes! Okay so… it’s now one of my FAVES! It’s so much fun and I was just smiling from ear to ear!
RE meals and food, as mentioned there are treats everywhere. We actually filled up every morning on the breakfast buffet so usually we weren’t hungry for lunch (okay, we may have had a giant pretzel to keep us going… and a doughnut) but I don’t typically eat meals in the parks. It’s a super short walk (wherever you are) back to Disney Village where, in my opinion, has a lot better food options! My faves being Annette’s Diner, Planet Hollywood, The Rainforest Cafe, and King Ludwigs Castle – or, the Saloon should you want a drink! McDonalds and Starbucks are also a common go-to in Disney Village! I do however very much enjoy two eateries in the main park – Pizza Planet, located in Discoveryland near Space Mountain (though I do believe it’s currently closed?!) where you can indulge in a buffet of pizza, pasta and all things sweet too! I also like Casey’s Corner which can be found on Main Street – think fast food, chips, hot dogs etc! Sometimes that’s just what you fancy! And of course as mentioned, stalls throughout, as well as little cafe’s for a hot chocolate and a muffin, or treats from the Boardwalk Candy Palace (aka sweet shop and bakery) that has the best fudge, cookies and baked goods EVER.
Basically; it was the most magical Disney trip I’ve ever experienced – and if you’re a lover of all things Christmas and Disney and cliche festivities – it’s just perfect! Just watch my video (you may ask why I’ve done a short blog post as well, and the reason is; I had so many photos I wanted to share!) and you’ll see just how magical it was; though nothing beats the atmosphere or captures the truly magic feeling of being there in person. I definitely want to book for next year!
Have you every been to Disneyland Paris at Christmas?