Disneyland Paris: Magical 30th Anniversary

My first trip back to the magic since travel restrictions were lifted! I’m so excited to share what we got up to in April 2022 at Disneyland Paris. It’s the park’s 30th anniversary and there’s so much going on.

The Eurostar is my favourite way to travel to Paris from London; it’s so easy and comfortable. I would recommend getting there an hour and 15-30 mins before your train as the queues and security checks have been much longer post-Brexit.

We stayed in Disney’s Hotel Cheyenne, which was perfect for our three-night stay. The standard rooms include a double bed and a sofa bed. The amenities are fairly standard, but the design of the room and the hotel overall is really fun, giving you the experience of staying in the Wild West with Toy Story touches. A shot of the room is below (I didn’t get too many photos as we dropped our suitcases off and ran to the parks!). It’s only a 15 minute walk to the parks directly from the hotel.

It was amazing to be back and wandering down Main Street. That first glimpse of the castle – nothing beats it! The springtime flowers and 30th decorations were out in full force, adding even more charm to the sunny afternoon.

Special mention has to go to the incredible 30th shows, especially the new ‘Dream…and Shine Brighter!’ show which takes place in front of the castle four times a day. It’s so fun with a catchy song that will get stuck in your head! Mickey and the gang, as well as plenty of other characters and dancers, celebrate the anniversary in their special costumes. I’d recommend getting a good spot around the stages as the character interactions are so joyful. The Disney Stars on Parade and Illuminations fireworks show are also back!

Fantasyland will forever be my favourite area of the park, as it’s just so photogenic. Most importantly, it also has some great spots for snacks. The Old Mill offers the mini poffertjes (pancakes) with Nutella (photo below) and, of course, the Mickey ice cream. You can also get the pancakes plain, which still makes a great afternoon snack. A solid lunch option is the Pizzeria Bella Notte, home to the famous Mickey-shaped pizza. The macaron in my photo below is from the confectionary store in Main Street – they had so many cute designs and flavours. I made a TikTok of more of my favourite food at Disneyland Paris here.

We went just as they reintroduced character meets with no social distancing – I took great advantage of Pooh bear hugs!

Another first for me at Disneyland Paris: seeing a show! The Lion King: Rhythms of the Pride Lands show also takes place four times a day, and I won’t give too much away but it is a must-see. I’ll be rushing back to see the amazing talent, especially Nala and Scar.

And one final recommendation from me: Bistrot Chez Remy in Walt Disney Studios. We had a lovely meal here and the service was fantastic. You can see a video with more info here, as I didn’t get many photos.

Disneyland Paris are gifting us with so many amazing new shows this year. The Disney D-Light show, a special for the 30th anniversary, is a short drone show just before Illuminations, the evening fireworks. It’s so spectacular and something really unique to Disneyland Paris – don’t miss it!

Disneyland Paris haven’t confirmed when the celebrations for the 30th anniversary are ending, but fingers crossed they add an extra six months like Walt Disney World did for the 50th. Any questions or recommendations for DLP, please comment and thank you for reading!

New Year’s Eve Magic at Disneyland Paris

Spending New Year’s Eve at Disneyland Paris was pretty special, as you can imagine. It was such a different experience for the occasion, with so many memorable things to do. I was ecstatic before I even walked into the park (photo evidence below)!

In this post I’ll share some of my top tips for making the most out of the evening. I’m sure there are many more guides out there, but this is just some of my advice from my trip in 2019. Undoubtedly there will be changes for the next few years but hopefully this helps you plan a little better! You can visit my previous blog post here for more on a trip to Disneyland Paris in December.

Getting in
The New Year’s Eve tickets don’t let you in officially until 5pm. We had a big lunch at a restaurant in nearby Montévrain so we didn’t have to worry about finding dinner later. You can book a special New Year’s Eve dinner at one of the restaurants in Disneyland Paris, but they are pretty expensive. The Christmas market in Disney Village is also worth a wander if you have some spare time!

Whilst the tickets said 5pm, we got in around 4.30pm and the queue was quite big in front of us, so you could potentially get in a while ahead of the stated time.

Quick plan stop
As you arrive, cast members give out guides to the evening with all of the timings. Check what time the smaller shows and activities are on, and plan around the two parades and midnight fireworks. Grab any fast passes you want for the big rides, and make sure they fit your schedule so you don’t miss anything! We swapped some of our fast pass tickets with another group once we realised they clashed with one of the parades. Disneyland Park was open until 2am, excluding Fantasyland, which shut earlier prepare for the fireworks.

When we went, the parades were around 8.30pm and 10.30pm. Unfortunately we didn’t have a great view of one of the parades as people start getting their spots from very early, but it was so fun all the same.

Activities
Some of the aforementioned activities you could check out include free face painting, smaller shows like The Royal Sparkling Winter Waltz with the Disney princesses, and a festive sing-along with Mickey, Minnie and Goofy. There are also many character meets with lesser-spotted Disney characters, but these queues can become huge so make sure you factor that in when deciding what to do.

Getting around
Around 5-6pm, the cast members start setting up barriers around the lands to stop non-NYE ticket holders from sticking around. They draw everyone towards Main Street U.S.A. to watch the Illuminations fireworks. It wasn’t very clear at first to us NYE first-timers, but if you showed your wrist band to the cast members monitoring these barriers, you were allowed through to continue going on the rides.

They put the wait times of the rides up to 100 minutes to dissuade non-NYE guests on queueing, but once again if you show your wristband they’ll let you know the real time, which was usually 5 minutes or less! We went on Big Thunder Mountain as Illuminations was going on, and the view was spectacular!

Have you been to Disneyland Paris at New Year’s Eve? Let me know if you have any tips or questions in the comments!

Christmastime at Disneyland Paris

Last July, I received a text from my cousin: “So Paris. When?” Within about 3 hours, we’d booked Disneyland Paris for a few days after Christmas, including New Year’s Eve (thank goodness for book now, pay later). It was undoubtedly the most magical way to spend New Year’s Eve, full of classic Disney moments and surprises.

This will be quite a photo heavy post, as I just have so many to share. The Disney Parks at Christmastime are just the most photogenic! I’ll write about New Year’s Eve below but I’ll also be working on a post about my top tips for NYE at Disneyland Paris, so let me know in the comments if you have any specific questions!

Looking back at these pictures almost a year on makes my heart melt. I’m so grateful we got to go before the chaos that has been 2020. We stayed at the Dream Castle Hotel, just a short free shuttle ride to the parks. Our room for the 3 of us was huge, and included a great view and hearty breakfast (much-needed for those long Disney days). We also took advantage of the relaxing spa and pool to rest our feet!

The daily Disney Stars on Parade

We stayed from the 28th December until 1st January with a 3-day ticket to both parks, Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park, as well as our separate New Year’s Eve ticket. The first couple of days we used to ride as many of the rides as possible, buy all the Christmas decorations we could fit in our bags, and eat many Mickey shaped treats. The Disney Stars parade and night time spectacular, Disney Illuminations, were as joyful as ever!

We also visited the Disneyland Hotel, which you can enter even if you’re not a guest. At Christmastime they have an incredible Gingerbread House and Christmas tree display, which is perfect for photos. The smell is just so nostalgic and Christmassy, I can’t recommend taking some time in your schedule to visit the hotel enough!

There were 2 parades on New Year’s Eve. The first was the Disney New Year’s Eve Parade at 8.30pm, with some special character appearances as well as the usual daily Stars on Parade crew! The second was the Countdown to Fun Street Party at 10.30pm, with tons of characters in their special cars, including the Incredibles and Mushu (two of my highlights)! Most of the rides had really short queues (they lead all non-NYE ticket holders out around 6pm), and there are also smaller special events on throughout the park including free face painting, shows with the Princesses and Mickey and the gang, and meet and greets (the queues for these were gigantic).

Of course, the fireworks at the countdown to midnight were beautiful. They lasted for about 10 minutes, and focused on 2019 releases such as Aladdin, Star Wars and Marvel’s Avengers, as well as some old favourites, with a big finale. Afrojack came out afterwards to DJ until 2am! The rides (except for Fantasyland) were also open until this time, and with the younger kids heading home by then, the rides were practically all walk-on.

Some quick iPhone snaps of the fireworks and Afrojack DJ set – I was too excited!

I’d highly recommend Disneyland Paris for New Year’s Eve – there’s nothing quite like a bit of Disney magic at any time of the year, but especially Christmastime. Look out for my top tips for New Year’s Eve at the Disneyland Park, coming soon, and comment below if you have any questions!

Paris is always a good idea

 

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In November, I hit the big 2-1 and, along with my best friend Tara, escaped to Paris to celebrate!

We stayed in the gorgeous Hotel Des Arts in Montmartre, and spent our four days wandering the city. We visited the classic sights – the Eiffel Tower, the Sacré-Cœur and the Arc De Triomphe, to name a few – as well as discovering smaller streets lined with little cafes and vintage stores. Having dinner al fresco in November was a novelty, too!

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On our last day we visited the beautiful Jardin de Tuileries, and had the best burger I’ve ever had in one of the restaurants. If you visit Paris, this is a must!

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And what would a visit to Paris be without a day trip to Disneyland?! The park was filled with Christmas decorations, and the evening show was a mesmerising display of fireworks and Frozen. We obviously chose the right day to go, as the queues were virtually non-existent (riding Space Mountain over and over again with no wait was a dream!).

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All photographs copyright Alannah Messett.