Travels: New Years Eve at Disneyland Paris

Happy New Year y’all!  Give yourself a high five because you made it to another year!  Congratulations!  I hope your festive season was peaceful, happy and full of sugary treats that are ‘bad’ for you. *Eats another Lindor*

I’m pleased to say I had a lovely Christmas but, even more surprising, I also had a great New Years!  Shocking, I know, but absolutely true.  After years of sulking and attitude, I have finally begun to actually enjoy New Years Eve.  When I was younger, I could never understand why we celebrated the end of the year.  Roll back the years and you would see me sitting in the corner, by myself, refusing to participate in celebrations of any kind.  NYE meant it was the end of Christmas which meant it was nearly January which meant we would have to start all over again which ultimately meant it was basically the end of fun . .

. . . I was quite a dramatic child.

However, I’ve gradually become more accepting and this year I was adamant that my family would make the effort to welcome the new year in style.  For NYE 2016 we were going to mark my new tolerance by going on a mature trip.

To Disneyland Paris.

Perfect!

We would be spending New Years Eve and New Years Day at the most magical place in Europe.  However, we would also be visiting at the busiest time of year.  Although we had a fantastic time, there are certainly things we could’ve improved if we ever repeated the experience again.  So I’ve put together my top tips for visiting the happiest place on earth on NYE.

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Stay with Disney

It makes sense to make the most of your time at Disney as there are so many wonderful things to see.  However, a full day at Disney can be incredibly tiring as you’ll probably spend most of the day on your feet.  For this reason, I would strongly recommend staying near the parks.  This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to stay at an expensive Disney hotel. There are plenty of other hotels partnered with Disney that are close to the parks and a fraction of the price!  Our venue of choice was a hotel managed by Vienna House.  The Vienna House brand have two lovely hotels a short drive away from Disney, Dream Castle hotel and Magic Circus hotel.  We stayed at the latter and would happily go back again.  Although the bar/ restaurant is expensive, the hotel is spacious, vibrant and family friendly and has access to a free bus service taking you to the heart of Disney without any fuss.  There are plenty of options to keep the family happy, including air hockey tables and a swimming pool, and the decor is fun yet mature.  It’s definitely worth a look.

Fastpass

Unless you want to queue for up to 90 minutes per ride like I did (Thunder Mountain was calling me) then get into the parks as early as possible and grab hold of as many Fastpass tickets as you can.  We arrived at 11am and thought that was early enough to get the passes.  It wasn’t.  So get up nice and early if you want to make the most of this great deal.  All you have to do is go to the participating attractions for a ticket and return at the time specified.  This way you get to spend your time doing much more exciting things instead of queueing.

Plan favourite attractions

As much as I’m a fan of spontaneity, it’s a good idea to have a short list of the attractions you really want to see.  The parks will be ridiculously busy as soon as they open their doors so make sure to prioritise.

Take a break

Having said my previous point, don’t feel bad if you’re flagging and need to put your feet up somewhere.  There’s a fine line between making the most of the day and pushing yourself to exhaustion so take a break if you need it.  There are lots of restaurants and coffee stands around the parks so you have plenty of opportunities to sit back and relax.

Eat lots in the day 

The closer it gets to midnight the busier the parks become so if you try to get a sit down meal in the evening you’d better be prepared for queues.  You have a much better chance of getting a decent, stress free meal if you have a big lunch and snack in the evening.  We made the mistake of being a little bit too spontaneous and ended up queueing for 75 minutes at Planet Hollywood and the guys behind us had to wait for two hours!  Save yourself the hassle and stock up during the day.

Make time for Mickey

You can’t go to Disneyland without seeing Mickey.  That goes against every Disney moral code.

Dress appropriately 

The temperature in Paris was a chilly -4 C and, thankfully, we’d prepared and were covered up from head to toe.  However, as much as I was toasty walking around Disney, it’s very easy to catch a chill whilst queueing which will make the air feel 10 degrees colder. If you’re planning on making a trip, pack carefully, plan for colder temperatures than the weather forecast says and cover all your extremities.  You’ll thank me for it at midnight.

Have fun

I know I’ve made it it sound like a lot of stress and discomfort but if you get these things right then all you have left to do is have loads of fun.  You’re in the most magical place in the world at the most magical time of the year so make the most of it!

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We had a brilliant time seeing Mickey and I can’t wait to go back!  Let me know if you’ve travelled to Disney around Christmas!

BBx

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