Alright, let’s start from the very top. Travel. I always book the Eurostar, but normally from St Pancras. This time I decided to take a risk and see what it would be like going from Ebbsfleet. I’d had a little look on maps and see it was only about a 35 minute drive from our house, plus the parking seemed really cheap – so went for it!
It literally did take us 35 minutes to get there, the journey was easy (don’t get me wrong at certain times of day I’m sure it could be a killer) and we parked up real easy too. I’d pre-paid for the parking and it was only £20 for the 3 nights.. bargain!
The walk from the car park to the station is estimated at around 7-10 minutes, I think it took us about 5 mins. The station was quiet, we did arrive quite a bit before our train, but we literally just walked through security to the other side. They suggest you arrive at least 45 minutes before your train but I think we were there about 90 mins before. We saw a bit of a queue forming once we were through, so I’d consider getting there pretty early every time just to avoid the crowds.
Unfortunately our train was slightly delayed (25 mins), but once it was there we headed down to the platform and stood in the correct zone for our coach number. (they have an easy to read diagram before you head down to the platform to find your zone).
I was curious to see how much luggage space was still available once getting on after most people are on from London, and honestly it wasn’t too bad! If we had smaller cases they would have fit on the luggage racks by the door, but there was tons of space above our seats so we stuck them above our heads. We were a little disappointed with the train we had as it was a very old one (no usb ports, etc) but it got got us there just fine!
Once we arrived at Marne-la-Vallee aka Disneyland Paris, it took us 3 minutes to get off the train (we may have been ready by the door with our cases just before the train pulled in ha!), drop our bags off at the Disney Express counter and get outta there! Great timing!
If you aren’t aware what Disney Express is… it’s an extra you can pay for with your booking if you book directly through Disney where a cast member will find you on the train with your documents, luggage tags, room key/park tickets, etc. You there go to the Disney Express counter in the station (which is upstairs) and they’ll take your cases for you so you can head straight to the park. Your cases will then be ready for you to pick up from your Disney hotel once you head over there to check in.
We made it!
Seeing as I was entering the parks on an Annual Pass, the first thing we needed to do was sort a ticket out for Craig.
We’d decided that we were gonna head straight for the Disneyland Park for the remainder of the day as it didn’t close until 11pm. We had every intention of staying for Illuminations, but that plan changed as the day went on.
If you have an Infinity annual pass and are bringing a friend or family member, you get 20 “privilege tickets” included. These reduce the 1 day park hopper ticket to 39 euros. You can use a maximum of 5 in a week. This is what we purchased for Craig. It was super easy, you can go to any ticket counter at either park and show your annual pass to purchase.
We were in! and it was only about 2.40pm! We still had so much of the day to enjoy… but the first thing we needed to do was eat! We had a slowish walk down Main Street and took a look at the castle, and went straight for Colonel Hathi’s Pizza Outpost. On our way round there we walked passed Big Thunder Mountain and couldn’t believe our luck when we saw fast passes still available.. we grabbed one of those and it was for 7.20pm.
For our food, we each got a basic three cheese pizza, garlic baguette and bottle of water. Once we scoffed that down we were ready to explore!
Rides, Rides & Snacks
After riding the Indiana Jones ride and Pirates of the Caribbean (with really low wait times) we decided to head over to Discovery Land.
We were super surprised how low the queue times were for rides considering it was a Sunday afternoon, a warm day and the first day of The Lion King and Jungle Festival.
We managed to bag 2 more fast passes, one for Buzz Lightyear and another for Star Tours. We had a little bit of time to kill before we could ride those so we looked in some shops and met Darth Vader. I dunno about you guys, but I always find meeting characters like that a little awkward. They’re mean to you, you have a photo and then you leave. It’s a little strange lol. At least with the other characters you can give them a hug, be all cute & stuff with them. This was also the first time Craig had done a proper character meet, and he found it a little awkward too. Never mind, it was funny ha!
Star Tours is a ride that ALWAYS makes me feel sick. I do sometimes suffer from motion sickness with certain rides. But I always go on it because I love Star Wars… and boy am I glad I did it this time. It was the best scenario we’ve ever had on this ride. It was awesome.
Snack time before riding the Buzz ride. I had the BEST Mickey shaped cookie I have ever had. It was a double shortbread cookie filled with Nutella, with icing on one side making it more Mickey looking. Absolutely delicious.
I lost on Buzz. I was not happy. I normally always win those kinda games. This was something I knew we’d be riding a few more times on our trip, so I needed to up my game for sure lol.
It’s safe to say I totally forgot about losing Buzz as soon as we rode BTM. I love it so much. Definitely my fave ride at Disneyland Paris. It’s so fun!
We ended our time in the park by riding Phantom Manor, which I hadn’t been on before, but I love Haunted Mansion in WDW. It only had a 5 minute queue, and it was great. I love the theming of it and just find certain aspects of it so clever. Great ride.
Dinner in Disney Village
We decided to head to Disney Village for Dinner, a look around the shops and then head to our hotel to get settled there.
We had dinner at La Grange in Billy Bobs Saloon. This is one of my favourite buffets at Disneyland Paris. Its a Tex Mex theme, with Nachos, Fajitas, Ribs, Chicken Wings, Pasta, Salad, etc. We were lucky enough to get a table without pre-booking and ate ourselves full. It was delicious.
It was then time to get lost in World of Disney, obviously purchase a couple of bits, and have a look around the other shops in Disney Village as we were heading towards Santa Fe.
The walk to Santa Fe was really easy, you pretty much walk passed Sequoia Lodge and into the Santa Fe grounds. It was a really pretty walk so we knew that with the good weather we wouldn’t bother taking the shuttle bus at all whilst we were there.
We found the reception, grabbed our bags and got our rooms numbers. The process is honestly so simple, especially if you’ve done Disney Express. We were pretty pooped so didn’t even explore the lobby area at all, we just made our way to our block and room.
It felt like Santa Fe had more blocks than Sequoia Lodge, but I could be wrong.
We were in block 33, room 340 on the 3rd floor. There was a lift so we jumped in that with our suitcases. The room was very basic, but completely fine for what we needed it for… sleeping and showering. The only thing I would say is that it was really hot in the room and there wasn’t any AC.. But with the windows open we managed to get a bit of a breeze flowing.
I’m gonna give you guys a a full review on our room at Santa Fe real soon!
By this point it was close to 11.30pm, we had showers and put ourselves to bed so we’d be ready for an early start for extra magic time in the Walt Disney Studios Park.
I’ll be talking all about Day 2 next week! So make sure you sign up to get email notifications. In the meantime, check out my vlog on our travel and time in the park on day 1!
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