Disneyland… the magical, wonderful brainchild of Walt Disney himself is on most 20-somethings bucket lists. It was definitely on mine. My whole life I have loved watching the Disney classics, Ariel the Mermaid, Aladdin and of course, my personal favourite, Beauty and the Beast.
When I was given the opportunity to be a Disney VIP, I thought I was dreaming. ME? An Aussie 22 year old who is straight out of University!? But yes, it is real- dreams do come true.
So what is a Disney VIP? Well pretty much, you get to skip the queue on all the main attractions! A blessing I didn’t think would be as handy as it was. So what was on the agenda for my 2 day adventure? Well for me- Fantasyland was my first stop.
Euro Disney (Disneyland Paris) is separated into 5 worlds. Main St. US- a walk back in American history, Fantasyland- princesses and fairytales galore, Adventureland- squash buckling pirates and monsters, Frontierland- cowboys, indians and old school texas and finally, Discoveryland- a futuristic dream.
With a mid-morning arrival, I checked into Dream Castle Hotel, just 5 minutes drive from Disneyland itself. With shuttles from the airport to the hotel, transit was never so easy and stress was out the window. Once checked in and in my lovely room overlooking the French gardens, I got myself ready with the daily essentials. Backpack/bum bag, water bottle, tickets, ID, Money, Sunglasses and Camera.. That is it! Do not over pack, you will regret the weight after 5 hours of walking!
Heading into the park can be a little hectic, so keep your belongings close by you with thousands of people pushing and shoving it can be a little daunting. Take a breath and get excited- it is a small world after all! Once your tickets are purchased (I would HIGHLY recommend pre-purchasing and printing your eticket, that way you only need to go to the window and get a hard copy ticket without payment and stress!) off you go to exploring the world of Disney.
I headed straight for the Fantasyland rides as I knew as the day went on and the more tired I was, the harder waiting in lines would be. Hitting up the Snow White rode, Alice’s Labyrinth, Sleeping Beauties Castle and Meeting Mickey alone took over four hours, so make sure you don’t underestimate the time it takes to see the park! That was just ONE of five lands! Plus a whole other park to discover! Hungry and hot I ate some lunch, chilled out a little and then headed for the Pirates of the Caribbean area with skull caves and winding tunnels to explore, plus a really cool ride through Tortuga!
Exhausted (after 32 hours of transit and now 5 hours in the park) I headed back to the Hotel for a decent sleep and an early night, as Day 2 was bound to be a big one.
8am wake up, buffet breakfast (with all you can eat Nutella crepes… heaven) I was pumped, well rested and ready to go. The park itself doesn’t open until 9.30am so make sure (unlike me) you don’t get too excited and then stay around waiting for the countdown to open time! Once inside (check out the FASTPASSES on offer- save time and effort and free for everyone- see further below for more details. Trust me- worth it!) I headed for the big five rides as with my VIP all-I-can-do FASTPASS, the wait would only be 10-15 minutes (compared to over an hour!).
Buzz Light-year lazer blast, Big Thunder Mountain, Mad Hatter’s Tea cups, Ratatouille 3d, Peter Pans Fight, It’s a small world… I couldn’t stop laughing, smiling and bouncing up and down with joy. This really is the happiest place on earth.
Off to Walt Disney Studio- the sister park to Disneyland for a few hours and lunch to explore their amusements- I was pleasantly surprised with how awesome it was! Tower of Terror and Rock n Roller Coaster are must-do, plus there are heaps of walk-through attractions too see such as toy story world and monsters inc. Full bellied from a Route 66 diner, I opted to head back to the hotel (now about 3pm) for a decent nap and rest of my sore feet before the final night at Disney.
Don’t be afraid to go back and forth between the two. Days are so long in Summer and the attractions don’t close until 10pm, so it is worth making sure you don’t push your limits too far and just enjoy the day slowly. Go back, have a shower, nap, swim, food…. Whatever makes you happy then catch the shuttle back for the end of night spectaculars.
After dinner, rested and ready to see what I had been waiting for my whole life- the Disney fireworks. Thousands packed back in to see it, so just watch your valuables in the crowds and try your best to get a view from the front! The more direct facing the caste, the better it will be. 10.45 and the crowds buzzing- get yourself ready to stand (and be pushed a little if ina dense area)… the fireworks display and water works is out-of-this world. The perfect end to a perfect 2 days at Disney.
Disneyland Park, 2 day, 2 park passes are just 139 euro per adult.
How Disneyland Paris FASTPASS® Works
1. Use one Disney Park admission ticket for each rider into the FASTPASS machine at the entrance to the attraction.
2. Receive your FASTPASS ticket with your return time, and experience all the fun of the Disney Parks elsewhere while you wait.
3. Return to the attraction at the time indicated on your FASTPASS ticket and board within a matter of minutes via the special FASTPASS entrance.
Accommodation in summer can be found through the Disneyland website- based on personal preference(all hotels are themed!). I highly recommend Dream Castle for a 4-star accommodation with ease of access to Charles de Gaulle, Parks and Train stations!
More information: www.disneylandparis.com
I would like to extend a personal thankyou to Disneyland Paris for my VIP experience!