Simon Woods

Bella in Disneyland - Al Fresco Holidays

Bella shares with us her magical stories from Disneyland Paris.

Ahhh, Disneyland, where dreams come true. Pah. Blisters, wonky hips, moaning children, dehydration, long queues. Well, maybe it wasn’t that bad. Our story started at about 9:30am in the seemingly endless car park from where we swiftly made our way through all the tunnels and tents, which also seemed endless. Music from all the classic Disney films were playing, although they were drowned out by me and Alex telling our parents off for dancing (seriously though, it was AWFUL!!)

When we eventually reached the park, the rides were only open to those who’d been staying in the Disney Hotels. For once we were too early, I couldn’t believe it! But when 10am came, music began to play and before I knew what was happening everyone – and I MEAN everyone – was running around like maniacs. Alex sprinted off almost as if he fancied himself an Olympic athlete, but it was only to reserve a place in the queue for our favourite ride, Space Mountain Mission 2.

From then on it was great, the queues weren’t too bad actually and for those that were, we managed to get fast passes, which is the official way to basically push to the front of the queue.

The rides I recommend… Space Mountain Mission 2, a fast ride through ‘Space’ with whirling meteors and shooting stars. V. good. Only problem, wear ear protectors. In fact, whole head protectors.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril, a roller coaster situated in an ancient temple (I think). Again, wear ear protectors.

It’s a Small World, possibly the cheesiest ride ever but you are guaranteed to leave with a smile on your face. A gentle water ride travelling round the globe, experiencing different cultures and accompanied by a worryingly (and annoyingly) catchy theme tune. Warning… if you aren’t used to this kind of thing, take a sick bag.

Big Thunder Mountain, another roller coaster, this time you are travelling in an abandoned rail cart through, yep, you guessed it… Big Thunder Mountain! After the extremely long queue this is slightly disappointing but it’s worth checking out.

And in the other park, Walt Disney Studios… The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, this ride is in a tower and is pretty terrifying (I know, who would have guessed?). Before boarding the ride you are told a sinister story from the 1930s, where four guests staying in the hotel (the tower is the hotel by the way) mysteriously disappear on floor 13. Whoooooo, scary… Not to give to much away but you go up and down, up and down, pretty fast. I do not recommend this after having lunch, or after any food in fact. I feel this is a ride where only you can judge to be honest, but after you’ve been on it, you’ll feel great – mostly…

Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, the name says it all really. It’s very like Space Mountain but instead of stars and planets, you experience fantastic lights and very loud rock music. Not one to be missed.

By 5pm, we were all flagging a little, but hope was in sight as we’d reserved a table at Agrabah Café in Adventureland for 6. The meal, an all-you-can eat buffet, was surprisingly nice, lots of Middle Eastern-type dishes to choose from – Alex had five chicken drumsticks and twice as many meatballs. The only let-down for me, a dessert lover, was that I thought the sweets were rubbish.

A couple more hours, a couple more rides on Space Mountain, and the parade began. Again, extremely cheesy but definitely worth staying for. Then the fireworks in front of the castle began. They were fantastic, and although we ended up about 500m from where everything was happening, we still had quite a good view. But next time, I’d want to be nearer the castle.

We left at 11:30pm after a brilliant day. We all slept well that night, although I’m sure I was singing ‘It’s a Small World’ in my dreams…

[Coda from Simon – the park is around half an hour by car from the Paris Est site, and with parking at €15 a day, it works out cheaper than going by public transport. Bella says we left Disneyland at 11:30, but that’s only when we got out of the gates… But even with the walk back to the car park, finding the car, queuing to get out etc, we were in our beds for 12:30]

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