It's magic time

Disney Travel Blog

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Disneyland Hotel

The first time we went to Eurodisney, near Paris (France), it was just one month after the opening 15 years ago. That's right, May 1992. Our firstborn was only 4 years old. It couldn't have been more lovely or magical. From the moment we entered through the beautiful gates under the Disneyland Hotel it was like walking into wonderland, a dream. That feeling of awe never left us, even after 7 more return trips.
This Christmas it was a request of our children, now 19 and 15 years old. They didn't have to ask me twice. The moment they mentioned it, we booked. Knowing the parc and what we wanted to see, three days seemed enough. The trip started at 05.00 in the morning on December 26th. The attractions open at 10.00 in the morning and being the second day of Christmas, that left the road all to us during the whole 532 kilometers drive.

Disney Studios
We arrived 09.45 sharp at the Viena Dream Castle Hotel, just outside the resort. A driving record!
We're here!
We had planned to leave our suitcases at the hotel and take the bus to enter the parc at opening time. But the hotel had a wonderful surprise for us: one of the rooms was already ready! More surprisingly: I didn't remember booking a suite! The kids were very lucky! After some refreshments we went to the hotel entrance to wait for the bus. The bus arrives every 15 minutes and it takes 10 minutes to take you to the RER-station (train station) in front of the Disney Parc, Disney Village and Disney Studios. Tough choice if you don't know where you're going! But we knew....  Space Mountain! As ever just walking into Main Street makes you feel giddy.
It's a small small world.
The Christmas decorations, the huge, (and I mean huge!), Christmas tree on the plaza, ooooh look, there's Mickey! And look, Goofy! The shops with their beautiful decorated windows. In Disneyland it's all in the detail. But, hurry...no time to waste, the rollercoasters are waiting...only 15 minutes waiting time? Let's go! That first ride is always so good! Screaming your lungs out, laughing, just pure fun. And it's what keeps the parc attractive. Fifteen years ago we ran for the Dombo ride and the Peter Pan attraction. Now we're visiting all the stuff we couldn't visit back then.
Tower of Terror
In Disneyland there is something to do for everyone, no matter the age. And you can't help it, you'll find yourself smiling, humming the tune of a small world all day long.
You're not going in there?
That first day we went to a lot of the rides and shows. The system of fast passes is excellent. With your entrance ticket, you'll get a fast pass ticket on some of the most popular rides. The ticket tells you what time you may return for a shorter (much, much shorter) entry line. It'll always give you half a hour in which you may enter the attraction of your choice. It takes some planning, but it saves time. Aerosmith rollercoaster in Disney Studio is still our favourite. But the Tower of Terror that just opened December 2007 makes a very good second. Standing in front of the Twilight Zone Hollywood Hotel we were in awe. Every few minutes or so high up in that mysterious building some doors slid open, through which we heard screaming like we never heard.
Oh yes we are!
'You're not going in there, are you?' my husband asked, indeed he never accompanies us in any ride except Small world. Oh....you bet we are!!!
Don't eat at the parc
In the afternoon the parc was getting more crowded and we went back to the hotel. We were totally wasted and couldn't care less about the swimmingpool or sauna. We all took a nap and a shower before deciding it was burgertime! And yes, that means Annette's Diner in Disney Village. Now be warned: the food in Disney Land is horrible. I mean, if you're hungry, go for the French sandwiches in Main Street or the crepes and waffles at the stalls in the Parcs. But every restaurant at the parc serves the same menu, the burgers and fries are of a terrible quality and the prices they ask are outrageous.
At nights it's even more awesome
But at Annette's Diner, the first corner of Disney Village coming from the RER station, the quality is a bit less horrifying. And the milkshakes are to die for! Some waiters will serve on rollerskates and if you're lucky the ones without will stand on the bar to sing a musical medley. The waiting line starts around 07.30 pm, so we made sure we had our diner before that.
Disney's night out
After the burgers we crossed the center plaza to enter Disneyland.  And we were struck dumb....we had totally forgotten how beautiful Disneyland can be at night time. It truly is the most magical place that can be. I was just taking a picture of the Christmas tree when all lights went out. All the way across Main Street we saw a spotlight appear in front of the Castle of Sleeping Beauty.
Lightshow in Mainstreet
On a stage Mickey and Minny made a grand entrance in their Christmas outfits. Alongside Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Belle and Snowwhite with their Princes they celebrated the 15th Birthday of Disneyland. What a wonderful surprise. Already making our way through the crowd for a visit to the Haunted Mansion we couldn't do anything else but look on, mesmerized. They were inviting Tinkerbell to light up the parc! Tinkerbell....all the way up at the upmost point of the Castle! And for sure, a lightshow was running from the Castle, making the lights dance up and down the whole of Main Street untill the Christmas Tree was lit up again. It was the most magical show we'd ever seen. The parc was open till 22.00 hours, so we took our time to visit some more attractions and just strolling and enjoying.
I just love the Bad Guys!

Nemo's Crush Coaster
Next day, after an excellent breakfast, we entered Disney Studio at 10.00 to visit Nemo's Crush Coaster, another ride that opened December 2007. The previous day this ride had a waiting line for over 75 minutes. Whole day long the line didn't get any shorter and no fast passes for this one! So...just be there at 10.00 we thought. Much did we know. It seems the gates open at 09.00, so you can get in line for the attractions that open at 10.00. One hour later! What??!? One hour waiting in the cold, just so you can take a ride with Squirt? No way! But what the heck. The kids took their places and I went of to get some fast passes for the Tower of Terror and Aerosmith Rollercoaster. Yeah indeed.
Here we go!
...again! And you know what? It was worth every minute of the 45 we'd had to wait. We had so much fun listening to the two seagulls laughing at us, and Squirt talking that we didn't notice the time!
Goodbye Disney
The last day we decided to revisit some of our favourite rides, while my husband would take care of the check out, luggage and car. He told us he would pick us up in front of the RER station at 14.00 pm. The moment we stepped out of the bus, we noticed the difference. The crowd was enormous! No, this couldn't be. It looked like the whole population of France had decided to spend the last Friday of 2007 at Disneyland. Waiting lines were running into hours and the fast passes couldn't be used before 14.30. And this was 10.
Studios
00 in the morning! Suddenly we realised how lucky we've been. Except for Nemo's ride, we never had to wait longer than twenty minutes. And we certainly didn't have to be afraid to loose each other in the crowd! After assuring ourself it was indeed impossible to enjoy another ride without loosing that magical feeling we'd had the last two days, we said our goodbyes to the parc. Ladies and gentlemen working at the Disneyland Parcs and Resort: Thank you so much for a magical time!

ms_travelr says:
That the fun part about Disneyland, you can be a kid all over again. When I was growing up, we went every 3 years to Florida to visit relatives, then a week to Disneyworld and Sea World. I loved family vacations. Glad you had a fun time.
Posted on: Mar 17, 2008
wforrester says:
It is a strange thing, but it doesnt matter how old you are the minute you walk into Disneyland anywhere in the world that feeling of magic just takes over. It is interesting that Space Mountain was your first choice it was ours as well!
Posted on: Jan 18, 2008
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Disneyland Hotel
Disneyland Hotel
Disney Studios
Disney Studios
Its a small small world.
It's a small small world.
Youre not going in there?
You're not going in there?
Oh yes we are!
Oh yes we are!
At nights its even more awesome
At nights it's even more awesome
Lightshow in Mainstreet
Lightshow in Mainstreet
I just love the Bad Guys!
I just love the Bad Guys!
Here we go!
Here we go!
Studios
Studios
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Disney
photo by: aggieaggie