Apologies in advance – it’s a long one!
After a long, sleepless, night of worrying about forgetting things (and being too excited), I arrived at work at 5am. Thankfully, all the clients were already ready and excited to be heading to Disneyland Paris. By 5.45am, we were on the minibus and heading to Ebbsfleet to catch the Eurostar. Unfortunately, this was not an easy journey and we ended up stuck on the motorway for over 2 hours, due to an accident. We knew we wouldn’t arrive before check in closed so phoned and begged. Amazingly, the Eurostar staff held open the check in for us. They met us at the door and rushed us through security and passport control and onto the train – what a start!
Luckily the train journey was very smooth and uneventful. We arrived at Disneyland at 4.30 and left our luggage at the Disney Express desk. By 5pm we were in the main park just in time to watch the parade. We then collected our disabled passes from City Hall, before heading to Plaza Gardens restaurant to eat. Our clients were much more restrained with the desserts than the staff!
After eating (a little too much) we walked to the disabled viewing area for Illuminations. By this time it was snowing, which added to the magic. The show was as amazing as ever and was the perfect ending to our first few hours in the park.
After we left the park, we were met by my Cast Member friend, who used her staff discount card to let the clients buy tickets for Buffalo Bills Wild West show at a much cheaper price. She also accompanied us to the shops in the Disney Village to let the use her staff discount on all their purchases. It was so kind of her and we were all so very grateful.
Finally, after a very long day, we checked into our rooms at Sequoia Lodge Hotel and collapsed with exhaustion.
We opened the curtains to find that it was still snowing and had begun to settle. Thankfully, we had all gone well prepared for the cold so wrapped up in lots of layers and headed to the parks. The parks in the snow were beautiful.
We had a very enjoyable time, although a few rides were closed, due to the weather. We managed to go on quite a few rides and met lots of characters. One of our client’s ended up having a snowball fight with Captain Hook, much to the amusement of the others.
By teatime, we were happy to leave the parks and head into the warmth at the Wild West Show, the snow had not stopped all day and the temperature had dropped significantly.
We were so surprised, when we arrived, to find that we had been upgraded to front row seats – a little bit of pixie dust! The show was fabulous and included a delicious meal and drinks. A brilliant time was had by all, once it ended we headed back to the hotel where a couple of clients went for a swim before bed.
On waking up and opening the curtains, we wondered if we had woken up in Narnia instead of Disneyland. The snow was very thick and showed no sign of stopping. All the buses to the parks were cancelled and many rides were closed. A bit of snow wasn’t going to stop us though, we wrapped up super warm and enjoyed a beautiful walk to the parks.
We couldn’t believe it when we noticed a man sweeping snow from the top of the hot air balloon. We were fascinated as to how he got up there, and how he got down again!
The first few hours in the main park were a little disappointing. Many of the rides were closed due to ice and snow and the 25th Anniversary show was cancelled. We managed to meet a few characters before deciding to switch parks and head to the Walt Disney Studios as there are a few more indoor attractions there.
Switching parks proved to be a good move, as we had a brilliant afternoon. We met Spiderman and Goofy, who were both fabulous. One client braved the Aerosmith Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster and a couple more went on the Tower of Terror.
We all loved the Stitch Live show and the Ratatouille ride which we went on before eating in the restaurant there.
Bistrot Chez Remy is a Parisian themed Bistro, based on Remy’s restaurant in the Ratatouille film. The decor is amazing and makes you feel like you have been shrunken to the size of a rat.
Everyone was exhausted after eating and we decided to make our way back to the hotel, via the many shops in the Disney Village. There was no wonder we were shattered, I checked my step counter and we had done 18,500 steps in the snow!
We woke up to blue skies and sunshine! This gave everyone a real energy boost and we headed out for our last full day. The morning was spent doing lots of rides, Pirates of the Caribbean and Peter Pans Flight had become favourites so were done several times.
I received a message from a friend telling me that Cinderella and Prince Charming were in the Disneyland Hotel, so we headed there to meet them.
Bad weather had mean’t that the Star Wars shows had been cancelled on previous days. We decided to make the most of the sunshine and went to watch them. We were not disappointed, even the non Star Wars fans amongst us loved them.
As it was our last evening at Disneyland Paris, we decided to watch the Parade one last time. We were going to head to the disabled area but found a perfect spot in front of the castle stage, so stayed there. The interaction we received was brilliant, with lots of characters waving and coming over for hugs.
Our original plan was to eat in the hotel restaurant but nobody had the energy to walk back that far. We decided, instead, to eat at Annette’s Diner. Annette’s is a fabulous 50’s style American Diner. The food is delicious and portions are huge but after doing 19,500 steps, calories were needed.
After eating, we were too tired to walk so caught the shuttle bus back to the hotel ready to pack for going home the next day.
Our last day already, none of us could believe how fast time had gone. We were all up and ready early to try and make the most of our last day. We checked out of the hotel and dropped our luggage off with the Disney Express service – bags all considerably bigger due to all the souvenirs!
While walking to the parks, it started snowing again! The temperature was extremely cold we decided to do as many rides inside as possible. We managed to ride Pirates of the Caribbean, Small World, Buzz Lightyear’s laser blast and Peter Pan’s flight within the first few hours.
We also met one of my Cast Member friends on his way to start work. A couple of the clients had met him on our previous trip so were very pleased to see him. After a quick hug and a photo, we said our goodbyes and made our way down Main Street to leave the park. It was only when I looked at the photo that I realised Tweedle Dee and a Cast Member had decided to join us in the background.
Our last meal before leaving was a very special one. We had booked a Character Meal at Inventions. It meant that our last few hours were spent in beautiful surroundings, eating lovely food while meeting characters – perfect. We even had a lovely view of the snow covered park. What a perfect way to end a lovely trip.
We waved goodbye to the castle and walked to catch the Eurostar home. The weather was certainly a challenge but made the trip very memorable. Not many people get to experience the parks looking so magical.
Please note: I do have written permission to share client photographs.
If anyone has any questions or needs any Disneyland Paris trip advice, I am happy to help.
Tags: carer, disabled, disneyland paris, green pass, Inventions, trip report