Top 5 Must-Do's At Disneyland Paris

Thursday, 18 February 2016

When visiting any Disney Park for the first time it is such a great feeling knowing exactly what you want to do and see once you get there, as it can be pretty overwhelming at first. Personally, I find that I am able to enjoy myself a lot more if I have done everything that I really wanted to do as soon as I enter the park. That way I am able to relax and take my time doing everything else that the park has to offer, without feeling like I have to rush from land to land. I last visited the park during the Christmas season last December and I knew what characters I wanted to meet before getting there, so I decided to make sure that was the first thing I did. I have thought carefully about the top 5 things that you definitely wouldn't want to miss while at Disneyland Paris and they are in no particular order.

1.Meet the characters ♥ 
For me nothing makes going to Disney more magical than being able to meet your favourite characters and have a picture taken with them. There are a couple of ways in which you are able to do so, by having a character meal or queuing up to meet them in the parks. Three places at Disney where you are able to book a character meal is at Cafe Mickey, Auberge de Cendrillo and Inventions. At Auberge de Cendrillo you will have the opportunity to eat in Cinderella's banquet hall while experiencing some French cuisine. Here you will be able to meet some of the princesses and princes. At Cafe Mickey, which is situated in Disney Village, you will be able to meet Mickey and some of his friends. I had breakfast there back in December and I was able to meet Mickey, Eeyore, Goofy, Chip and Dale, Pluto was also wandering around but I wasn't able to take a picture with him.

Inventions is situated in the Disneyland Paris Hotel, you do not need to be staying at this hotel to enter it. Like Cafe Mickey beloved Disney characters will will wander around, so you are able to take pictures of them. At all of the character meals the characters will come to your table, you do not need to get up and follow them around the restaurant! Make sure you plan and book ahead if character dining is something you are interested in, this is also a better alternative if you have small children who get impatient waiting in long queues. Recently Disneyland made it so you are able to meet new characters, these include Peter Pan and friends, Tiana and friends, Alice and friends and Aladdin and friends. The list goes on of what characters you are able to meet in the parks, all of the information you need can be found in the parks programmes which you can grab as you enter the park or from some of the gift shops. In December I was lucky enough to meet Mickey and Minnie in their Christmas outfits, I also got to meet one of my favourite characters, Marie!

2.Have a cocktail and a crepe in Cafe Fantasia  
When my mom and dad went to Disneyland Paris to celebrate their silver wedding anniversary they stayed in the Disneyland Paris Hotel and something that they told me to do when I visit is to go and have a cocktail in Cafe Fantasia, so of course I did. You do not have be 18 to go into the bar, so children are more than welcome. I had done some research online and saw that they sold Mickey waffles but much to my disappointed they had stopped selling these and switched them out with crepes. As we'd been walking around since 8am that morning because we took advantage of the extra magic hours, it was so lovely to be able to sit down and just relax. Plus I had never been in the Disneyland Paris Hotel, so it was amazing to be able to have a nose around. The wallpaper in the cafe is sheet music and it makes the atmosphere so much more relaxing, I'll 
definitely be going back for another cocktail on my text trip to Disneyland Paris! The cocktails do range from about 18 euros, so just be aware that they are quite pricey before going in! They are definitely worth it though and it is such a lovely experience.

3.Watch Disney Dreams! ♥  
One of my favourite things to do when visiting any Disney Park is to watch the nighttime spectacular and at Disneyland Paris guests are able to watch Sleeping Beauty's Castle come to life with their favourite classic Disney stories. The show revolves around Peter Pan's shadow escaping and the journey he goes through to get it back, as he enters the world of Disney and takes you on a magical journey. Throughout the show Peter speaks in English, whereas Wendy speaks in French, so you will have a pretty good understanding of what is taking place. You can also purchase Mickey ears that light up and dance in time to the show! The fountains in front of the castle also come alive, illuminating and really bringing the show to life. This is a must see and you really do not want to miss it as it really is so magical and you will more than likely shed a few tears throughout. Be sure to check the time of the show in the programme when you enter the park as you will not want to miss it!

4.Take advantage of the extra magic hours and fastpasses ♥ 
One of the advantages of staying in Disney hotel, or if you are an AP holder, is that you are entitled to extra magic hours. This means you are able to enter the park at 8am before the official opening hours and all of the other guests start pouring in. This is a good time to beat the queues and go on the rides that will fill up when the park opens and meet your favourite characters that will be doing meet and greets during this time. Not all rides and restaurants are open during this time, so if you are looking to have breakfast somewhere or ride a certain ride, it will be worth checking to see what is actually open beforehand to avoid disappointment. Disneyland Paris still has the original fastpass system in place, it is a handy free facility which gives you an hour time slot to come back later in the day to ensure that you get on the ride much quicker. You are not able to choose your time or reserve a time slot for loads of rides at once, the fastpass system also is not available for all ride,  so this would also be worth checking before your visit. I highly recommend taking full advantage of the extra magic hours and fastpass system to ensure you make the most out of your trip!

5.Shop in Disney Village ♥ 
What's a trip to Disney without spending a little bit of money? A couple of the shops do sell the same merchandise that can be purchased in the parks but the good thing about Disney Village is that anyone can visit, you do not have to pay to go inside. Not only is Disney Village good for shopping but there are also loads of places to eat, so if you want to get out of the parks for a bit then I suggest heading to Disney Village! It is only a short walk away from the parks and tends to be a little less busy, if you also want to get away from the crowds for a short while. My favourite thing about the village is the World of Disney Store, I could honestly wander around that shop all day and not get bored, there is so much to look at inside. This is always my first port of call when I get to Disney because I always have to buy a new set of Minnie or Mickey ears to wear around the park. Disney Village is usually open later than the parks, so if you are not ready to head back to your hotel then you can hang around, grab a drink and relax! It is also worth checking with your hotel to see if there are any activities or entertainment taking place during your stay. There is also an IMAX cinema, which is useful if you are looking for something more relaxed to do of a night. There is WIFI in some spots in Disney Village but you do have to log in every time you want to use it.

What are your top 5 must-do's at Disneyland Paris? Let me know in the comments!
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