Travel

Disneyland at Eighteen

My best friend Molly and I have talked about going to Disneyland for years. We visited for a short few hours around two years ago with our school but we wanted more. Usually people think of Disneyland as a place for kids, but two weeks ago, Molly and I packed up our suitcases and headed to France for a trip of dreams.

Travel.

We flew out on Wednesday the 15th of February at 6am. The flight from Manchester to Charles de Gaulle was only about an hour and fifteen minutes, with a twenty-five minute taxi at the other end. As two teenagers who have only had airport experiences with knowledgeable in tow, we were slightly worried about navigating the airport alone, but luckily it went down with no kinks. Our flight was pretty smooth, I managed to sleep just about the whole duration – I was suffering from a 24 hour sickness bug and was running on about 45 minutes sleep! The only issue we experience was a shut down of French Border Control when we arrived. An unattended bag had been found and so the area had to be cleared and the bomb squad called. Trying to understand French is hard enough for me, but when there’s what felt like a thousand people surrounding you, it’s hard to process a language you haven’t actively spoke or head in two years. We decided that following the crowd would be a better idea. After being held in a large room for around an hour, we finally made it through border control, and then we had the struggle of finding our bags that arrived about 2 hours before we had, so we had to wander round various carrousels trying to locate our very plain black suitcases. Finally with our bags, we made our way to the Magic Shuttle to complete our journey to Disneyland.

Hotel.

Disneyland Paris boasts an excellent selection of hotels for all types of guests. Many factors, such as price and distance from the park led to us choosing the Disney’s Hotel New York for our stay. It’s decorated with a 1930s art deco theme that sweeps from the lobby right through to the rooms. Upon arriving at around noon on Wednesday, we checked in and left our bags with back check, and returned at 3pm to receive our room keys. Our room, albeit far from the hotel’s entrance, was a grand size with plenty of room for all our bags and shopping. The bathroom was complete with twin sinks and a shower bath. There was also plenty of various sizes of mirrors so we had no worries of trying to squeeze both our makeup bags around the same sink. Despite the rooms relatively large size, it was extremely warm and cosy, making a brilliant little home for the five days of our stay.

Dining.

Throughout our stay we dined at various different styles of restaurants. Our holiday package included free Full Board Plus tickets, meaning we ate at some pretty lavish restaurants, which was definitely more healthy than the weekend of chicken tenders and chips my mum had expected. We ate at table service restaurants, such as The Steakhouse, The Yacht Club and Bistrot Chez Remy, and also dined at buffets such as the Plaza Gardens and Parkside Diner. By Sunday, we were all fancy-restauranted out so we decided to return to something slightly more our style, and paid for our lunch at the Pizzeria Bella Notte, where we purchased a pizza, garlic bread, ice cream and drink each for just fifteen euros.

Parks and Attractions.

Disneyland automatically turned me back into a five year old so as soon as I saw that castle I was beyond excited for It’s Small Word. For our first day we focused on the light easy going rides, so we stayed in Fantasyland for most the day and visited attractions such as the aforementioned “It’s a Small World”, the Mad Hatter’s Tea Cups and Alice’s Curious Labyrinth.  That night we saw the firework show from in front of the castle and I was just as amazed by the lights and music as I was when I was four.

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On Thursday we visited more of the Disneyland Park, experiencing thrills on Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril and heartbreak when we found out that both Pirates of the Caribbean (our favourite ride) and Space Mountain were shut for refurbishment. We battled it out on Buzz Light Laser Blast and as expected, I lost. That afternoon we watched the parade and I freaked out at seeing all the princesses whilst Molly looked on in embarrassment. As the rain started, we ran to Big Thunder Mountain and didn’t the rain drops pelting our faces stop us from enjoying the ride.

We saved the Walt Disney Studios park for Friday, visiting attractions such as Armageddon, and the Action Stunt Show  Spectacular, which was intense and amazing and enjoyed at lot more by my 18 year old self, than 4 year old me who would cry at any kind of loud noise. Timing was on our side when we ended up on the front row of Rock N Rollercoaster, meaning we could see every twist and turn of the track even in the dark room.

We saved our shopping time for Saturday morning as we headed in to Paris on Saturday afternoon. On Sunday we queued for around an hour and a half to experience the thrilling drop of the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, something which was definitely worth the wait.

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an extremely low quality picture of our time on the Tower of Terror.

Before we left on Sunday afternoon, we took flight on the PanoraMagique, a hot air balloon outside our hotel which is suspended above the lake. The views were incredible and you could see for miles. It was a wonderful end to our amazing trip.

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If I learnt one thing on this trip, it’s that Disneyland is for everyone at every age, always.

Love, Georgie xo

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