We went on our final Disneyland Paris trip for 2019 from 28th-31st December. 28th was our travel day, so we didn’t visit the parks. I’m not going to bore you with the travel day details but if you do want to know about that, leave me a comment below and I’ll answer any questions you have!
We stayed in the Campanile hotel in Torcy, which is a few towns away from Disneyland Paris. We had planned to use the RER train to get to and from the parks each day. However, there was a public transport strike in France at the time so we had to rely on Uber/private taxi’s. It was pretty expensive but we didn’t let it ruin our trip!
As it was Christmas week – the parks were super busy and it was VERY cold. I wouldn’t recommend visiting during this week if you’re a first-timer/once-in-a-lifetimer. You won’t manage to get everything done due to the sheer number of people in the parks. Luckily, we had already seen most of the Christmas offerings in November so we were able to go with the flow and pick-and-choose a bit more of what we got up to each day.
We were fully prepared for it being very busy and we didn’t let ourselves get wound up about it or it would’ve completely dampened our spirits. We still managed to have an amazing time and I can’t wait to share it all with you. This will be a 3-part series following the 3 full days we spent in the parks.
Make sure you grab a coffee, it’s gonna be a long one!
Extra Magic Time
We got up early and got an Uber to the parks for Extra Magic Time. Over Christmas week, Extra Magic Time started at 8am instead of the usual 8:30am.
As always, we used our Extra Magic Time to go on some of the most popular rides before the queues got too big. We rode Hyperspace Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, Phantom Manor and Pirates of the Caribbean before 9:30am which we thought was really good going for that time of year!
Official Park Opening Until Lunch
Our next stop was a visit to Fantasy Land. The Mad Hatter’s Tea Cups ride was a walk-on, so we did that and then headed round the corner to meet the one and only, Winnie the Pooh. He is so cute and cuddly. We were one of the first in line to meet him so we only had to wait about 5-10 minutes.
After a quick ride on It’s a Small World (must be done once per trip!), we headed back to Frontier Land as we had managed to get a Lineberty slot to meet Jack Skellington.
Jack is one of my favourite speaking characters to meet. He’s always keen to talk about Halloween, Christmas Town and every horrible aspect of his day. We got some great photos.
After Jack, we went to visit Pueblo Trading Post. It’s a pin shop/trading area which is only open on weekends. I love collecting and trading pins, so it was a must-visit. We met a lovely French family outside who had set up their own pin board. They had some beautiful pins and I traded one of mine for this gorgeous Duffy and Stella Lou pin.
Disneyland Paris don’t sell Duffy and Friends pins anymore, so I jumped on the opportunity to add this one to my collection. It’s originally from Hong Kong Disneyland and it’s safe to say that I won’t be trading it!
Inside Pueblo Trading Post they have a full pin board – and you can trade up to 3 pins with any pins on the board. I managed to get 2 Minnie Mouse pins and a Mickey Mouse lolly pin, which I’m delighted with as Mickey and Minnie are my main collections.
Pin trading complete, we ran over to Main Street to watch the Christmas Parade. This is my favourite parade I’ve ever seen at Disneyland Paris – it’s so colourful and there are so many of my favourite rare characters in it! A special mention to Duffy the Disney Bear and Rabbit (Winnie the Pooh) as you don’t get to see them around the parks as much anymore.
Lunch at Fuente del Oro
Fuente del Oro is probably our favourite quick-service restaurant at Disneyland Paris. It sells Mexican food and it’s (albeit loosely) themed around the film, Coco. Portion sizes are huge and we usually find that sharing one meal between the two of us is more than enough for lunch.
We got chicken fajitas, mozzarella sticks, a large Coke and some churros for €17.99. This included our Annual Pass discount which was pretty good value for 2 people.
As we were walking off our lunch, we spotted an unscheduled meet in Adventure Land – Timon from the Lion King! He was a new character for us, and he was super sassy. We only had to wait 5-10 minutes to meet him, as we joined the line as soon as he came out.
After that, we went to Discovery Land to ride Star Tours. The MagiPark app lied to us and told us that it was a 15 minute wait. It definitely wasn’t. Saying that, the queue was worth it as we got to experience the new story sequence which has just been added to coincide with the release of the new Star Wars film.
At this stage, the park got very, very busy. That seemed to be the running theme of the trip. Mornings were very manageable but by about 1pm, every man and his mother arrived and it was CHAOS. If you’re heading over in Christmas week next year, I would recommended doing as much as you can before lunchtime.
To preserve our sanity, we headed to Discovery Land Theatre to watch the 4D show Mickey’s Philharmagic. We’ve watched it 3 times and it’s just as good each time. It’s a great attraction to visit when you need a break and a sit-down, highly recommended!
After that we headed to the Castle Stage to watch the Sparkling Princess Waltz. This is a really beautiful show and perfect for anyone who loves the Disney princesses. The music is just amazing, I hope they keep the waltz beyond the Christmas season.
Next we went back to Fantasy Land to ride Peter Pan’s Flight because we had a Fast Pass. I don’t understand why this ride has such long queues, I would never queue more than 20 minutes for it (at a push!!). Don’t get me wrong, it’s a lovely ride, but it’s definitely not worth queuing for 90 minutes.
We decided we’d had enough of the crowds and headed to Cafe Fantasia in the Disneyland Hotel for a cocktail. I usually get Cle de Sol, which is a champagne-based fruity cocktail. The presentation is stunning and the service in Cafe Fantasia is always excellent. It is pretty pricey but we were treating ourselves!
While we were at Cafe Fantasia, I bumped into the lovely Robert and Duffy – it was a real pleasure to meet them, I love bumping into my online friends in Disneyland! Make sure you check out Robert and Duffy’s blog – his photos brighten a bad day!
Our next stop was dinner at Planet Hollywood in the Disney Village. We had heard mixed reviews of Planet Hollywood but I’m glad we visited. The only thing I will say is that as they don’t take reservations, their seating/table allocation system is a bit of a disaster. We were waiting over 30 mins for a table and when I went up to ask how much longer it’s likely to be, it turns out they had forgotten about us as there were so many people in the holding area!!
Luckily, when we finally got seated, the service improved by 100% and we really enjoyed our meal. We got nachos to share as a starter, which were huge and in hindsight we should’ve just got two mains. The nachos were delicious but it meant that I couldn’t finish my main course, which was Mac and cheese.
After dinner, we decided to give the Disneyland Park one more go. We headed for Indiana Jones: Temple of Peril, which only had a very short wait. This ride is AMAZING in the dark, if you get the opportunity to ride it at night, I would highly recommend as it’s so much scarier!
Finally, we took our spot outside the castle to watch Disney Illuminations, which is the projection and fireworks show at the end of every park day. This was our 3rd time seeing it and it’s just as magical every time. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, but there’s a Lion King section which always brings a tear to my eye.
After Illuminations, we got an Uber back to our hotel, as we were completely exhausted!
I hope you’ve enjoyed Part 1 of this series, keep checking back for Part 2!