Disneyland Paris: July 18, 2016.
The last time we were in Paris, we only explored inside the city. This trip, I knew for sure that we had to take the kids to Disneyland Paris. Disney is such a magical place anywhere in the world.
Prior to the trip, I did a bunch of research. I read that July was one of the busiest months. I was hoping the weather would be cooler, but it kept creeping up to the 80s as the days progressed. We went on a Monday because Versailles and the science museum were closed on Mondays. It would be our only day if we wanted to do all three sites. The high was 86 that day so we opted to head to Disney around 3pm. We hired a private driver to and fro because by the time Disney closed, it'd be 11:30 pm and the metro shuts down at 12:30am. It could take about an hour to get back to the city and we didn't want to have to figure things out so late in the night in a city we aren't completely familiar with.
It took an hour to arrive because of some traffic heading out on Rue de Rivoli. IS Prestige is definitely a service I recommend if you need it. It cost us 150 euros for both ways. I believe a taxi would've cost about 100 euros per way. The metro is definitely the least expensive option (from our hotel, we would've only needed to transfer once from the metro to RER A).
From the point the driver dropped us off to the entrance of the park was about a 5 minute walk. We purchased our tickets online a week prior to our trip. They were offering a 2 parks for 1 price deal (although we only made it to the main park).
It was definitely a tad hot upon arrival and we remembered to buy sunscreen before heading there. Olivia napped during the ride and walk to Main Street in the park. As soon as we woke her up, Elsa and Anna were riding by on a horse carriage. We followed them down Main Street and started our Disney adventure.
It cooled down real quick around 6pm. We waited no more than 30 minutes for any ride.
Here's an idea of the wait times:
Snow White - 10 minutes but it is kinda scary. Liv plugged her ears because most of the ride is about the queen making the poisonous Apple and turning into an old lady, running through the dark woods and the dwarves chasing the evil queen.
Pinocchio - 10 minutes and also a bit scary.
Peter Pan - 30 minutes. This was one of our favorite rides. Such a pretty set up! You really feel like you're floating on a boat in the air.
Princess Pavilion - We skipped seeing Ariel and Aurora because it was a 75 minute wait.
Fairytale boat ride - 5 minutes at 630pm.
Casey Jr. Le Petit Train du Cirque - 5 minutes.
Alice's Curious Labyrinth - no wait. It's a maze with the Queen of Heart's castle at the end. You can climb up the castle into the two towers for an amazing view of Sleeping Beauty's castle.
Buzz Lightyear - 20 minutes. This is also one of our favorite rides at Disney World. It's interactive because you get to shoot laser guns.
Space Mountain Mission 2 - no wait at 9:05pm.
Phantom Manor - 5 minutes.
Dumbo the Flying Elephant - 20 minutes at 930pm. Liv and I went on this on our own. The view from this ride is magical. It's located near the back of the castle.
For a late lunch, we ate next door to the Peter Pan ride (Marionette). We ordered the rotisserie chicken meal, the hot dog currywurst meal, a side of chicken nuggets, and two drink. It cost about 34 euros.
We headed back to Main Street around 10pm for a spot near the pavilion to watch the Disney Dreams show that started at 11pm. We didn't want to be further from the castle because leaving the park would've been a task with the crowd. Niti took Olivia to the gift shop to buy a souvenir (aka a princess dress) to remember the trip. My 10 year old is apparently too old for the Disney gift shop . Niti also went to buy some hot dogs because we wanted to make sure the kids had another bite to eat before our drive back to the hotel (which they would probably fall asleep).
The show was spectacular! It was a series of famous Disney songs with scenes being projected onto the castle. Fireworks would light up the sky during parts of each song. I read that the show would end soon after you hear Peter Pan so we left during the show at 11:15pm to beat the crowd.
We scheduled our pick up with IS Prestige at 11:30pm, but he was already there upon our exit with a name card. From there, it was a smooth ride back to the hotel where everyone knocked out!
We had an amazing time. The timing was perfect and the weather was better toward the end of the night. The wait times were short and it's still a different experience from Disney World (Orlando). It was definitely worth it. Now, we're hoping to head to all the Disneys of the world one day.