I Went To Disneyland Paris – Here’s What I thought!

walt disney studios entrance

Guess who’s back from Disneyland Paris and deep in the post-Disney Blues? To relive the magic, here’s a review of my trip to Disneyland Paris!

Get ready for a trip to the happiest place on earth!

Disney’s Santa Fe Hotel

Santa Fe hotel picture from the front
I got to Disneyland Paris at around 8:30 am and headed straight for the hotel. I was staying at Disney’s Santa Fe hotel (massive Cars fan here!) and honestly, it was amazing! You can drop your bags off if you arrive before check-in, which is what we did. Opposite the reception area is a baggage drop-off, they take your bags and give you a cute Cars-themed card to return to them when you pick your bags up.

The reception often holds character meets – Pluto was there when we arrived! It has its own gift shop, bar and restaurant plus a Starbucks. But the absolute BEST part of the hotel was that it played Life is a Highway in the main area… which is the best song in the Cars movie.

I got a text when our room was ready and we headed back to check in and found our room. We were staying in the Mater block and I was buzzing! The room had so many little Cars details dotted around and it was just so much fun. I especially loved the cone-shaped mirror, the Mater painting and the bathroom – seems random but it had a racer-esque mirror, the racer shower curtains and a Cars tissue box! How cool is that?!

That’s not all, there are vending machines in each block, as well as lifts and outdoor stairs for you to get to each floor.  Disneyland Paris has a free shuttle bus system, with buses running every 12 minutes to the main park, making it super easy to get to and from the park and hotel. It’s literally a 3-minute bus journey from the hotel to the parks! I would highly recommend it.

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Psstt… My Top Tip

disneyland Paris hotel view from the front
Take advantage of the magic hour if you are staying at a Disney hotel. Not only is it quiet enough for you to get the perfect castle picture, but you can go on so many rides with minimal wait times and meet your favourite characters too!

I only waited 30 minutes to meet Winnie the Pooh on my birthday (which sounds like a lot, but it’s Winnie the Pooh, so the wait is normally much longer!). And I can safely say this was one of the highlights of my birthday and entire trip!

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All the Rides

star tours entrance
So, my favourite ride on this trip was Star Tours (we went on the ride a few times!). Every time we went on the ride we came out with massive smiles on our faces, with the fun storylines and high-tech technology it really felt like we were flying through space. The best part was that they have a few different storylines and each time we got to experience a new one!! It’s such a fun ride and definitely worth checking out.

We also love the Pirates of the Caribbean Ride (a classic, I know), Indiana Jones The Temple of Peril, Phantom Manor, Ratatouille (obviously a MUST ride if you are at Disneyland Paris), Crushes Coaster and the Cars ride (that seems like it’s for small children but let me tell you we went on that ride 2x in a row because of how fun it was!).

Also a little embarrassed to admit that we also went on it’s a small world like 3x. But it’s a classic so can you blame me?

Because of the magic hour, we managed to walk straight on to the Cars ride and the Ratatouille one. Crushes Coaster is definitely one of the most popular rides at Disneyland Paris with the queue times reaching 90+ minutes – imagine our surprise when we wanted to go on Crushes Coaster during the magic hour but found the wait time to be 80 minutes!!

We did end up buying a Premier Access ticket for Crushes Coaster which cost us €18 each (so about £15.38). It was 10000% worth it!! 

Oh, and I definitely recommend going on Dumbo’s ride and the Carousel when the sun is setting, you get such a pretty view of fantasyland – it’s truly magical.

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Meeting My Favourite Characters

girl hugging Winnie the Pooh
Disney isn’t just about the rides, it’s about the magic and what’s more magical than meeting your favourite characters? They really go above and beyond to make every interaction magical, memorable, and so much fun. We met Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum (who are absolutely HILARIOUS), Tigger, Eeyore, Winnie the Pooh and the legend himself, Mickey Mouse.

We even went for a character dining experience at the Plaza Gardens, we met so many characters like Mickey, Tigger and Eeyore (again) plus Goofy, Pluto and Minnie. I would 100% recommend the character dining experience!

It is a little pricy… it was around €80 (around £68.37) per person and that’s not including drinks. But it’s definitely worth booking as the whole experience was so much fun. My face hurt from smiling so much that evening! Just be aware that booking opens up to 2 months before the date you are planning to go and the slots go pretty quickly. (You can book using the Disneyland Paris app). 

Oh and keep an eye out for my review of the character dining experience! 

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Parades and Fireworks

sleeping beauty castle and a parade float
Disneyland Paris’ new parade A Million Splashes of Colour parade was really good. We got a really good spot by the stage (another top tip, stand by the stages – you get the best view of the characters and the best interactions). The outfits were super cute, the decorations around the stage were beautiful and I loved the whole dance. It definitely did what it set out to do – brighten up winter. I caught myself singing the song throughout the whole day! 

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see the new Electrical Sky Parade drone show. I think because it was cloudy they couldn’t do the drone part of the show, so we saw the projections on the castle instead. It was really good but we didn’t get the full experience so I was a little gutted. The fireworks show did make up for it though – they are always so magical, aren’t they?

 

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Disneyland Food

Mickey Mouse shaped sandwich, hot chocolate, pain au chocolate
Now for the best bit – the food! We are definitely more of the ‘let’s try everything at Disney’ kind of people, so we just had loads of small meals and snacks throughout the day. That being said, we did opt for 1 sit-down meal a day. We went to the Silver Spur Steakhouse, Plaza Gardens and The Lucky Nugget.

I’m actually vegetarian and found that there were a decent amount of options for me to choose from. A highlight for me was the Silver Spur Steakhouse! It felt like we had been transported to Texas and we were loving it! I had a red bean soup for starters and Beyond Meat sausage and meatball skewers with rice for a main. It was actually really good, I was surprised by how nice the meat alternative tasted. My friend had a steak and really enjoyed it!

The Plaza Gardens is a buffet restaurant with a range of delicious foods to choose from, including a Mickey-shaped potato waffle and nuggets. There were a few vegetarian options but I honestly just kept getting the same thing. The desserts at the Plaza Gardens are where it’s at though. They were absolutely delicious and rich but not sickly sweet. Not to mention all Mickey-themed. You have to try the desserts at Plaza Gardens!

Snacks

Now, a trip to Disneyland Paris wouldn’t be complete without stopping at the Pizzeria Bella Notte. From their iconic Mickey Mouse-shaped pizza to delicious pasta, it’s well worth the visit. But the real star of the show was their garlic bread (you have to trust me on that) – it’s stunning.

We also got Grogu and Groot cookies as well as a Donald Duck chocolate mousse and beignets – safe to say I was buzzing!! But you can’t come to Disneyland Paris without getting some popcorn! We definitely consumed way too much popcorn – but Disneyland popcorn is something else and really, is there such thing as too much popcorn?

Safe to say, we loved trying loads of different foods, and have already planned a list of places for us to eat at next time we go.

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Final Thoughts

cinderella statue
Disney sounds like a full-on day, but some of my favourite moments were just us sitting on a bench or strolling around the park and taking in the whole experience. Every little detail is crafted to provide maximum magic and for the time that you are there, it feels like you’ve been transported to another world.

No trip would be complete without souvenirs! I managed to get a cute Disneyland Paris Sweatshirt, 2 mugs and a Ratatouille magnet. Oh and I almost forgot, if you are staying at a Disney Hotel, they can actually drop off anything you bought at the park to the hotel you’re staying at! For free!! You just have to collect it from the hotel gift shop when you get back!

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buzz lightyear statue

I absolutely loved my trip to Disneyland Paris and am excited to go again (yes, I’ve already started planning my next trip!). So, there you have it, my review of Disneyland Paris 2024! Writing this, definitely helped with my post-Disney blues and it’s already made me excited for my next trip.

We have loads more Disneyland Paris blogs for you to read if you are looking for your next Disney fix. This includes My Planning Process, What’s New for 2024, a list of best rides for kids and so much more!