Disneyland Paris in 1 Day
“Let's dance to the tunes of our childhood songs
Let's live our dreams through our childhood tales
Let's skip through these magical lanes of Disneyland while the child in us comes alive again”
⤖ A Fly That Blogs
I cannot sum up our experience in better words than that! Disneyland was an unplanned stop that we made on our 5 day trip to Paris. Given that this was almost a last-minute inclusion, it reminded us of the saying - “The most beautiful experiences are those that happen unexpectedly”.
Disneyland is accessible by the Regional RER train from Paris. We took our 45-minute journey on RER A from Nation subway station to Gare de Marne la Vallée Chessy. From the moment we stepped off the train and walked towards the entrance of Disneyland we could feel a sense of magic tingling through our body. Yet, it is only when the grand entrance comes into view, with Goofy taking selfies with visitors in our case, that the child in you springs out, establishing the essence of that Disney magic! Just ask the otherwise mature Mr. Fly! With our sticks drawn and props bought, we decided to start with the Walt Disney Studio Park first. With our heads spinning in excitement the obvious first choice was the Crush’s Coaster. Don’t get fooled by the cuteness of that turtle; the ride will have your head spinning in a joyful swirl. The half-an-hour wait in the queue may have you wishing that you had carried some munchies though.
In Disneyland, some level of planning is very important for a successful day. Queues can be long at each ride. But at each ride, you have an option of taking a FastPass. There are machines at each ride which allocate a fixed timed pass, usually later in the day, when you can walk straight into the ride. Keep the Disneyland app handy to keep track of where to go for the rides, pick and choose the ones you would enjoy the most and juggle between taking the FastPass and covering rides early in the day.
Next up was Hollywood Towers! This ride is one of our favourites. It is created with a complete theatrical experience in mind for its guests: the “lobby” alone fashions an old haunted hotel dressed with spider webs, dusty old furniture that could creak any second, abandoned suitcases with layers of dust as if they had been forgotten for several years. You make your way towards asecret passage which leads into a dilapidated boiler room. You are then seated in a service elevator which on command of the lift operator locks itself with a sudden thump that startles its occupants and then launches upward into the darkness until it comes to an abrupt halt! The corroded lift doors unlock themselves next, to expose you to a lengthy hallway inhabited by the dead guests from 1939 who beckon you to join them! The lift does as told. And then, a free fall - several times! Enough words - you have to experience it to feel the thrill.
We also explored a 4D ride into the Ratatouille world, though that was later in the day! It’s cute - sitting in a giant teacup, you get to experience Remy’s world. As tiny acting Remy, we travelled through his delicious recipes and an exciting chase that shrunk and tossed us in alternations while Chef Skinner attempted to catch us. This spot is also home to Bistrot Chez Rémy. Like other themed restaurants at Disneyland, they do not accept walk-ins. So those of you who crave a plate of Rataoulie, make reservations way in advance. In case you didn’t, have no fear as Disneyland has several other dining options - including some good ones as we found out!
Our post lunch engagement was in the second theme park, the Disneyland Park! We were greeted by a joyous parade where Mickey and Minnie danced to their heart's content, Prince Charming flashed his oh so charming smile, Princess Jasmin rode the flying carpet with Aladdin, while Goofy and the others ran around spreading warm hug! In the midst of all these dreamy moments, Mr. Fly added his own touch, christening me as his Princess! Arrrrr…. Yes!
This park is divided into several sub-themed sections - from Aladdin’s world to the Pirates to the Princess castle to Star Wars to Indiana Jones. We went into the world of piracy with the Pirates of Carribean ride along with Captain Jack Sparrow, Captain Barbossa, and their crew of notorious buccaneers. It’s a gentle ride, albeit with Musket fire and explosions filling the air. We also witnessed Captain Barbossa's vengeance when the moonlight showed, transforming him into a terrifying zombie before our very eyes! At one point, you can also see the magnificent view you can get from eating at the Pirate themed restaurant.
We did not have time to cover the marquee Star Wars ride - our big miss - but we hear it’s quite thrilling and recommended. We did cover the magnificent tree house that belonged to the Swiss Family Robinson, running up a series of walkways and climbing uncounted numbers of stairs that intertwined through beautiful rooms, a kitchen and library. Perched on top, we paused for a moment to breathe the fresh air that blew around us, we peeked through a neatly placed telescope, the view of the beautiful island below. It’s a refreshingly rewarding moment amidst the hullabulloo.
We strongly recommend that you stay till park closing, because it saves the best for the last - Disney Illuminations! It was Disneyland Paris’ 25 year anniversary and the crowd justified the excitement. Find a spot you can get a view of the castle from. Once the magical light show begins, the nostalgia laden ride through all Disney movies and characters is stunningly displayed in lights and fireworks (and cannon bursts to honour the Pirates). With oohs and aahs, giggles from little children, warm cuddles among couples and families, we ended this splendid day of childhood memories.
Our final meal of the day was at the Rainforest Cafe. No reservations, though a decent queue. But beautifully decorated like a rainforest, this cafe-restaurant has ample options on the menu for a filling dinner.
After a day of adrenaline and oxytocin, you will need it. We left with the final words of Disneyland ringing well and true in our ears: “Within each of us is a dreamer just waiting to be awakened. We all have the magic to unlock this inner child. But sometimes, the inner child needs an invitation to come out and play.” So rid yourself of rules and expectations for a day, and invite that child out when you visit Disneyland Paris. You deserve it.