Tag: Disneyland Hotel

Road Trip to France

Trip to Disneyland Paris, France

It was my first road trip to Europe, driving from Port of Dover in Uk to Port of Calais in France, and then heading to Paris, Disneyland.

I now realise that it would have been maybe easier and less stressful to go by the Eurostar train from London to Paris and it stops right outside the Disney Village. Very convenient.

This is something I learnt when I researched and booked my trip to Disneyland. To be honest I was not aware of the train that transports vehicles. I thought there were only 3 ways of getting to France from Uk. One is flying there. The second one is taking the Eurostar train from london. And the third option is to take the  ferry from Dover Port to Calais. You can take your car/motorbike etc on the ferry.

Little did I know that I could take my car on the train, called Le Shuttle. This is at Dover Port, just at a different entrance to the ferry.

The cost would have ended up being slightly more expensive, but with less stress.

I ended up taking up car insurance to drive in Europe, breakdown cover in Europe, paid for the Eurotunnel train, fuel for the car and all those added up, slightly cheaper than the Eurostar tickets.

However, despite the stress of worrying about the car being ok ( I have been having problems with the wheel ) the road trip was worth it. Now the husband has a list of European countries he wants to drive to.

Driving to Disneyland gave us more flexiblity to manage our time, to get down wherever we wanted, to explore anything on the way and we love road trips anyway. We got to see the landscape of France. At times I would forget I was in France, the greenery is the same everywhere, but then I was reminded of where I was when I saw something like this.

This is the moment we get into France territory, while still on Uk land,  where they check the passports. It was pretty straightforward, and quick although there was a queue forming for one of the earliest Eurotunnel train to France.

This is me driving my car into the train itself.

Inside the train

We reached France in 30 minutes and once on land, the exit is onto the motorway, which is easy for me as I am used to driving on the right hand side of the road while in France it is on the left hand side.

No worries at this instant as being on the motorway is handy, not having to deal with oncoming traffic.

One thing to remember is to overtake on the left, and move back to the right lane. I was very impressed with the way people use the left lane only to overtake and straight away move back to the right hand side lane. The overtaking lane was empty except for the occasional overtaker. No one hogs the overtaking lane.

Imagine the excitement bubbling in the car. The excitement started once we got out of the tunnel and once we hit the motorway in France, it died down a bit until we started seeing directions to the park.

Are we there yet?

In England, when I go for road trips or long journeys, I always end up going thru Drive Thru at a Burger King, McDonalds and always stop at service stations.

In France I could not help noticing that there was no fast food outlet, and no service stops either. I noticed a stop by park, with trees and benches, very nice.

Halfway there, we stopped for some food and rest when we found somewhere.

This is Calais Port, where we had to try the French Burger King, especially after a 3-4 hours drive from Paris.

My stay at Disneyland Hotel

 

TravelLatte

Disneyland Hotel, Paris

Disneyland Paris’  25th Anniversary

The hotel I stayed in is right at the entrance of the park. One of the huge benefits of staying in the 5 star luxurious hotel was that after watching the fireworks at 11pm, I got to walk to the exit, and went up straight to my room. With two tired, slightly grumpy children, it was a huge bonus.

The hotel is everything you imagine it to be. It is beautiful, with Disney features all over the place. Everything screams Disney.

There is the huge staircase, where little girls in princess’ outfits were being photographed. Needless to say, I had one of those too, for myself and for my daughter; my daughter in her princess dress and one of me in my long summer dress, the nearest I got to a princess dress.

Our classic room had the same wardrobe as in Beauty and the Beast, well, according to the children. I would not have been surprised if it started singing and talking. That would have been the icing on the cake.

The staff are like everyone elsewhere, some are super nice, friendly and helpful and the rest are grumpy and behave like they really do not want to be there. Booking shows was complicated, well booking it was easy but what followed was complicated.

At the entrance, the valet staff bring all the luggage in and they were one of the happiest, friendliest people around. The excitement of entering the hotel starts with them, sharing their happiness with us.

There are a few restaurants and shops within the hotel. There is also characters meet and greet outside the restaurants in the morning and the evening.

We would spend a few hours in the park before heading back to the hotel for a rest and shower. I reserved two restaurants within the hotel, Inventions and California Grill to eat at in the evenings, as it was so convenient to just leave the room and walk 5 minutes to the restaurants.

In the morning, we ate at Inventions where there was a a character meet and greet everyday. Something to get the children excited.

It was warm and sunny on all the days, so we gave the indoor heated pool a miss.

Disneyland Paris – France

I did it. I went to France.

I have lived in England for over 18 years and yet this was the first time I was going to France. I have visited other countries but somehow, I kept flying over France and kept postponing my trip there.

Cote D’Azure, Nice, Paris and other pretty places are on my wish list, but this time, it was off to Disneyland first.

The children were old enough to remember this trip and young enough to still like Disney stuff. Well, we are never too old to go to Disneyland.

I get it now, why they all say that you become a child again at this magical place. I did indeed become a kid again, especially when you have never been to somewhere like Disneyland when you were a child.

Dare I say I was more excited than the children and I cannot forget the look on other diners’ face, wondering if I was ok, when Mickey came to meet us. I was literally jumping up and down with a huge grin. I never thought someone in a Mickey costume could bring out the kid in me.

Now that I have done this, I do not want to go to DisneyWorld in America just yet.

I came home with very good memories, but I also captured the good and the bad.

I remember looking at the options of visiting the park a few years ago, and I could not decide what was the best one.

Do I drive, fly or take a train to Paris? How long to stay for? Are 2 days enough, 3 days? Which hotel to stay in? How long does it take to get from the hotel to the park?

All these questions and no answers. I simply could not decide. The children were small at that time, so I was not sure if it would a great idea to stay in a hotel far from the park, but also staying near was more expensive.

In the end I went to a travel agent which came highly recommended. I had done my research online and decided which hotel to go for, one in the village which fitted in my budget.  To my surprise, for the same price I was offered a deal which did not go over my budget and which included the Disneyland Hotel.

I stayed for 3 nights and 4 days, which was all the time I needed there. I could not have done another day of Disneyland. I also ended up driving there, from England.  So it was a 2 in 1, a road trip to France, and a trip to Disneyland.

Read more about my little adventure –