If I didn’t bore you on Instastories over half term with our last minute family trip to Eurodisney over October half term and you are thinking about a trip yourselves, this post is for you!
Alex and I have collated some top tips about the journey, the hotel, the experience and the Disney attractions. You will notice from the detail that he has had a profound input! I know if you are considering it – you need hard facts and not just Lucinda’s spiel (oh dear, I am talking in the 3rd person, I must move on)
If you would rather watch than read – have a sneak at this 3 minute video.
So, we left home straight after a large breakfast and drove to Folkestone which is around 2 hours by car. The quickest travel crossing to France is Le Shuttle and it’s also much easier to get to as you don’t have to drive through Dover to the port. The crossings are regular (3 or 4 per hour) and only around 30 minutes journey time until you reach sunny Calais the other side.
The ferry may be more fun if you can spare the time. Shopping, duty free, arcade machines, restaurants, coffee, children’s play area etc… but be prepared for the longer journey and a little bit more sweat.
After your arrival in Calais it is just under 3 hours to the parks and with the GPS it takes you straight to your hotel front door. No navigating French roadsigns and the French motorway system. Just remember to drive on the right hand side of the road! There are lots of yummy French welcome breaks to enjoy a croque monsieur on route and on the tollroads are always clear of traffic.
We left home at 8am and even with the hour time difference we arrived at our hotel by 3pm. Just in time for check in, a cheeky beer and an explore of the hotel.
WHERE TO STAY
On top of the Eurodisney Hotel they are loads of themed hotels which are much cheaper and just a shuttle bus ride to the park entrance.
We stayed at the Explorers Hotel which was 5 minutes by shuttle bus. Explorers was very reasonable (depending on which tripadvisor deal you can get) and we had a lovely themed family room which slept up to 6 people.
The highlight was the water park which for my two boys was just as big a treat as Disney itself!
The bus from the hotel drops you right out the front of Disney Village so you only have a couple minutes to walk before you hit the action. The two parks open at 9.30am and the first ride or show start at 10am.
The earlier you get there the less queues so we would always do the most popular immediately.
There used to be more characters wandering around (4 years ago when we last went) but now they follow a timetable so you can see when and where they will be.
Here they are with Mary Poppins.
Try and do 4 days rather than 2 or 3.
It means you’re not in a panic sweat to complete everything. You can really enjoy the magic and take it all Disneyland has to offer.
It’s also cheaper the more days you go. 4 day passes were not available through our hotel so best to book these on the official site or on the door when you arrive. The sterling price was also cheaper than in Euros.
TOP TIPS FOR A GREAT TRIP
Into the afternoon the queues can sometimes be up to 45 minutes long so fast track passes are a must. Go to the ride and put your fast track ticket in the machine and you will be given an allocated time to come back. Don’t do it too late in the day (after 2pm) unless you want to be given a time slot that may be too late in the day (and you will be in bed!)
There is also an option of baby switch so one of your stands at the side with the baby whilst you go on and then you swap (take the baby) and go on -taking your other kid for another go without having to queue.
The best thing we discovered was Single Rider. If you are prepared to sit on your own, the queue time is really quick, often only 5 minutes.
The parades were a massive highlight and run all the way through the day. The Grand parade which includes all the characters is at 5.30pm and well worth staying for. The Princess parade was on at 1215 which we also loved.
Fireworks are at 10pm during french holidays. 8pm during off peak days. So check this before you go as they were too late for the kids (us) when we went.
For an extra special treat and to meet the characters over dinner the Eurodisney Hotel buffet is brilliant. It is called Inventions.
It is the only place you can meet the characters other than Auberge De Cendrillon (Cinderella) in Fantasyland at the Park. Be prepared quite expensive but so worth it to spend time with the characters without the rush and pushing from other people in the park or the studios.
You have to book in advance (sometimes up to 8 weeks) as it gets booked so quickly. It is difficult to get a good slot and at a sociable time of the day so be savvy and book way before you get there!
FUN RIDES FOR ALL THE FAMILY
Buzz, Small World, Pinochio, Peter Pan
Avoid Snow White (3 year old was petrified!)
FUN SHOWS FOR ALL THE FAMILIES
Animagique, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Stich
The shows are are over in the studios and they are not to be missed. It’s easy to ignore them on the map as they are in French and you have no idea what they actually are but they were my total highlight – especially Animagique.
FUN RIDES FOR THRILL SEEEKERS (ie. my 7 year old)
Hyperspace mountain, Toy Story land, Star Tours, Ratatouille, Finding Nemo, Thunder Mountain
Food is expensive!
I am not particularly fussy and can show down a burger as quick as a hungry trucker but service is slow, queues are long and the food as meh.
I recommend eat a massive breakfast and taking some snack for the queues. If you do want to eat in a restaurant, eat in the Disney Village (where you can actually get a decent coffee – you can’t in the park!)
OTHER TIT BITS
If you don’t have the luxury of 4 days and you are maybe thinking of a long weekend – divide and conquer!
Boys go and one way girls go the other. (don’t hold it against me – if your son wants to go to the Princesses and boys Star Wars – still divide and conquer!)
Height restrictions can be upsetting if you fall short after much excitement, so check on the rides and height restrictions ahead of the day.
Basically it is either 100cm (most rides other than family where all can go) or 120cm (height of a 6 plus year old)
We were pleased to have gone when we did (age 7, 5 and 3) and don’t feel that we need to go again so they can do more.. but time will tell eh. We are rather partial to a theme park.
Is it for you? Do you fancy it or do you think your kids won’t even notice if you don’t do Disney? xxx
Head over to my shop to get ahead of Christmas shopping (or just to treat yourself!)