A Weekend in Paris

disneylandpark

I should get a trophy for procrastination. I am obviously the queen of it.

Moving on… As the best big sister in the world (yes, I am tooting my own horn because if not me, who else will?), I treated my sister to a weekend in Paris for her 16th birthday, last November. (See really big procrastination in writing about my travels)

I managed to find a decent package deal on British Airways for the two us. My plan included Disneyland Paris, so the hotel I chose was one of the Disney hotels located near to the park. Perks included a free shuttle bus to take us to and from the park. 

Dream Castle Hotel is located just half hour away from the centre of Paris and only 10 minutes away from the parks. 

We arrived at Charles de Gaulle airport and thanks to Prestige Transfer, we arrived at the hotel swiftly. Check in was a breeze, and the staff were very friendly. We had a laugh checking out the different French channels including one that featured naked ladies for whatever reason. 

The next morning, we wandered down for breakfast. Our package included full breakfast, which we took advantage of to the max. It wasn’t just your regular continental breakfast of cereal, toast and juices. There were also cooked food – bacon, sausages, eggs, fried potatoes. There were also pastries, selection of different cured meats, yoghurts, etc. It was so good – y’all know how much I enjoy food. Extremely full, we somehow managed to waddle outside to wait for the shuttle bus to take us to the parks.

I had booked our tickets for Disneyland way in advance thanks to Attraction Tickets Direct. It’s definitely much cheaper to book them online with a website like this, and they arrived quickly in a cute wallet to boot.

tickets

It was my first time using a website like Attraction Tickets Direct, but I’m really glad I did. Their customer service is excellent and they keep you updated on your order. They also have tickets for other attractions and I wish I had used them when I when to New York, but there’s always next time!

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Despite being extremely cold, the sun was shining and it was actually the perfect day to be at Disneyland! There was a slight mishap in which I forgot my wallet back at the hotel and we had to go all the way back, but on the way back to the parks I managed to pick up some cute Minnie Mouse ears.

minniemouse As there are two parks, our first stop was Walt Disney Studios Park. We headed over to the The Twilight Zone: Tower of Terror. Oh. My. God. It truly terrified me for a hot second. We weren’t even on the ride yet, and they managed to creepy me out by having all of us in a old dusty room and

A special moment between a girl and her bear. (It's just my sister, though)

A special moment between a girl and her bear. (It’s just my sister, though)

shutting off the lights. Then a television crackled in the corner and there was an explanation of what had happened in the hotel years ago, and how some guests had disappeared whilst riding an elevator. 

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We were then shuffled to a elevator, seated and told to keep all arms and legs inside. Now, I remember this ride when I visited Disney World in Florida… but, I forgot how it makes your stomach drop out of your butt. My throat was raw from screaming so much, haha!

It was such a good ride, though. The queue was long to wait in, but definitely  worth it. It’s a small pet peeve of mine, that you wait so long in a queue for a ride and the ride itself only lasts about five minutes. But whatever.

We then found ourselves queueing up for Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith, which was amazing amazing amazing. Yes, amazing three times. I love how fast this ride is, and the best bit for me is definitely the music. I’ve always had a soft spot for Aerosmith.

There wasn’t much else we wanted to see at Walt Disney Studio’s, although we were tempted to check out Armageddon, but the queue looked waaaaay too long.

We decided to check out Disneyland Park, which is I absolutely adored. By the end of the visit, I just wanted to turn around and do it all over again.

You first enter through Main Street, USA, which is the best part of Disneyland despite it just being a street. Perhaps because it is so iconic and unique to Disneyland. With it being nearly Christmas, they had already erected a Christmas tree and several winter-y displays were dotted around the park which I loved.

I nearly burst into tears when we approached the Sleeping Beauty castle. I’m just an emotional person, and I’m convinced that I was a princess in my past life. That or a cat – you decide. I love Disney, so much.

We went on several rides in this park, although it was very tiring walking around considering how big the park is. We went on Space Mountain: Mission 2, which was amazing and then decided to break down toward the end of the ride! It was super fast and we were whizzing around, screaming like banshees and then suddenly the ride slowed down and all you hear over the tanoy, in French, is that are some technical difficulties. So, we were stuck there for about 20 minutes before we were manually removed from our seats and made to walk round the back way to get out of the attraction. Fun times, haha. For a second, I thought there were going to make us retrace the ride but thankfully, there was a shortcut.

We queued up pointlessly for Blanch-Neige et les Septs Nains, thinking the description of the ride as scary was so cool. We should have known better. It’s Disney. My sister and I spent the whole ride laughing our heads off at what they consider scary – the old hag holding the poisoned apple and cackling and a few skeletons here and there. The little girl in front of us was genuinely terrified and was staring at us, probably wondering why were laughing so hard.

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View from the top of the tower in Alice’s Curious Labyrinth

Alice’s Curious Labyrinth was a lot of fun, however! Alice in Wonderland is one of my favourite books, and I loved how they made the maze. You spot several of the characters including the Queen of Hearts, and before you enter the maze you can sit in the Mad Hatter’s chair. 

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We also visited Autopia where you can ‘ride’ your own car. It’s funny because they even replicated traffic jams with real traffic lights. Found out that if my sister drove she would have serious road rage, haha.

Towards the end of the evening, we queued up for some delicious crepes and watched the parade. I loved all the floats and my favourites were the Toy Story one and the Lion King one. They also had a Christmas dance featuring Mickey and Minnie Mouse, which was so adorable and cute I nearly puked.

After full exhausting ourselves, and also spending way too much money in the gift shops, we caught the shuttle bus back to the hotel. We ordered room service, these amazing steaks with chips, salad and bread rolls with butter, and then crashed to prepare ourselves for Tour Eiffel the next day.

One thing I absolutely loved when we visited Paris? Free freaking transport. To this day, I still have no idea why transport was free that day, but it saved me about €30 so I can’t really complain. So, on Sunday morning we took the shuttle bus, which took us right outside Marne la VallΓ©e-Chessy Station. After faffing around on the ticket machines and having no clue what we were doing, I asked an attendant how we would get to Tour Eiffel. To my complete and utter surprise she said it was free and that we just needed to take the RER A to Charles de Gaulle – Etoile and then the Metro and then it was a 10 minute walk. 

(Still can’t get over the free transport thing, omg)

Trains in Paris are double deckered, which confused my brain. Whatever, it’s not that big of a deal, Chynna. Relax – everywhere is not going to be the same as London. We made our way to the Eiffel Tower with relative ease, and because it was a Sunday the queues for tickets weren’t too bad. We got a cheaper ticket alternative as we are both under 25, so that was a bonus and I opted to get us both tickets all the way to the top.

The only disadvantage is having to wait for the lift to get to the top, and being squished in with a lot of people in a tiny lift. You could walk, but I’m really not that fit, so that option was thrown completely out the window.

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tower

It was extremely windy once we made it to the top, but the view was amazing. They even have Gustave Eiffel’s much envied apartment on display, and a little booth selling champagne. 

 

atop the very windy tour eiffel. cheesy grins all round ?✨

A photo posted by Chynna Ashley (@chynnashley) on

The Eiffel Tower is definitely something you should go to if you ever get the chance to visit Paris. I had the same feeling I did when I visited the Statue of Liberty, one of awe. Despite having visited the Tower before when I was in year 8, it still took my breath away.

After visiting the Tower, we wandered the grounds for a bit before heading back. I stopped to buy myself a shot glass to add to my collection from one of the stalls, and we also passed a man tending to his bunny rabbits on the side of the road. I have no idea what that was all about.

We ended up back in the Disney Village because it’s still free to enter there, and spent the rest of our money in the big gift shop there. I bought myself a Mickey Mouse mug with the letter C, which I now use at work, a new iPhone case and other little bits and pieces.

We then caught the shuttle bus back to the hotel to find out car waiting for us to take us to the airport!

Our weekend in Paris was amazing. If it weren’t for school and work, I would have had us stay longer so we could have soaked up more sights. Nevertheless, we still had a fun time and I know we’ll be visiting again soon. 

TIPS:

  • If you’re planning to make Disneyland Paris a priority in your trip, then look for hotels near to the parks. Most hotels near the park have a free shuttle bus that will take you there and back.
  • For ease, look into booking a private transfer between your hotel and the airport. This is especially good if you’re arriving into the country at night.
  • Paris have a ticket especially if you’re under 26, which you can use on the weekends for cheaper travel. Ticket jeunes week-end will need to be purchased on both days, Saturday and Sunday, and start from €3.65 for zones 1 – 3. You can ask the ticket office for more information.
  • Aim to get to the Eiffel Tower early if you are buying your tickets on the day. Weekends tend be less busy, but if you can book your ticket in advance to avoid queues.
  • Get a travel card, so you’re not carrying around big bundles of cash with you. Travel cards will not charge you to use the card abroad unlike your debit or credit card. I use WeSwap, but you can pick one up at the Post Office as well

8 Comments

  1. January 25, 2016 / 10:35 pm

    Look at you with being an awesome sister and taking your sister to Disneyland Paris! I love the Disney hotels because they’re all theme oriented :D. I like how Disney tries to make your experience worthwhile by giving the full package. It’s the price I would pay :).

    The Tower of Terror is awesome!!!! We should go to Disneyland when you come over ;). I love the ride because of the up and down motion from the elevator.

    Main Street is perfect to be in the beginning of Disneyland – makes you feel welcomed :D. Space Mountain is an awesome ride too!!!! The interest thing about Autopia (or at least here) is that the cars uses real gas :O.

    Good to hear that you enjoyed your time there! :D. Free shuttles are the best!!

    Thanks for the tips! I want to go to Disneyland Paris someday :D.

  2. January 25, 2016 / 10:43 pm

    Aww, what an amazing experience you provided for your sister! I personally think that everyone should experience Disneyland/Disney World at least once in their life. It’s so fun and the memories are lasting. I went twice when I was a kid and I can’t wait to experience that as husband/wife and eventually family.

    It sounds like you got such a great deal on everything too! It’s really hard to find offers that are that inclusive.

    I’m glad you both enjoyed your vacation!

  3. January 26, 2016 / 1:31 pm

    Oh yeah you definitely deserve an award for best sister EVER! That was so cool of you.

    I love Disneyland and I love Paris. I’m really glad you had a good time and now I want to go back SO badly!

  4. January 28, 2016 / 4:16 am

    That’s really nice of you to treat your sister to a trip to Paris! Your time at Disneyland sounds really fun. I haven’t been to a Disney park in so long. Love the Minnie Mouse ears you got!

    I love roller coasters, but oh man, I can’t handle the vertical drop ones. I’ve never been on the Tower of Terror! That sucks that you were stuck on a ride for a while though. A roller coaster is probably not something you want to have technical difficulties with, haha. Also, the Alice maze looks really cool!

    Aahh such a lovely view from the Eiffel Tower. I’d like to go and see that one day πŸ™‚ I’m glad you had a great trip!

  5. January 28, 2016 / 4:37 pm

    Paris looks so amazing. It’s great that you took your sister there. I’d love to go to Disney. I’ve never been anywhere out of the UK though so it would take a lot of planning.

    Omg I hate big rides. I’m the one who’s nearly in tears on the teacups haha. Don’t think I could do some of the ones you did.

    Glad to hear you had a great time!

  6. January 30, 2016 / 1:57 pm

    Fun trip! That’s so sweet of you to treat your sister! I wish you were my sister πŸ˜€

    Looks like you two had a wonderful time! I would have totally gone crazy in France for their patisseries and boulangeries! Mmmm. Love me some French-style treats πŸ˜€

    Disneyland/World is something I’ve yet to experience. I been to Universal Studios, but I really hope to make it to one of the Disney places soon! I should have went to Tokyo Disneyland the last time I was in Tokyo, but I didn’t felt like then. Now, seeing your photos make me wish I had! XD

    Thanks for sharing your trip and photos!

  7. February 3, 2016 / 12:46 am

    That looks so awesome! I swear one day, I’ll go to one of the Disney theme parks, but I gotta stop being so poor πŸ™

  8. February 8, 2016 / 11:49 am

    I’m going to Disneyland Paris in June, it should be good – I am usually not a fan of theme parks but I am hoping to approach this more open-minded. The tips sound really helpful as well, so thank you so much for sharing them. πŸ™‚

    As someone who lives in a city where public transport is really expensive, I probably would have been excited about the free public transport as well! The only thing I am not super keen on is actually going up the Eiffel Tower, I think you can go halfway or not all the way up to the top? I feel like I’d just be happy with a photo down the bottom, but if you say the views are amazing maybe I will have to give it some thought. πŸ™‚

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