Disneyland Paris at Christmas is exactly as you’d imagine; full-on festive cheer, cold and heaps of fun. I’ve made a little vlog of our trip so you can see what it’s like…
We knew we wanted to get away for Christmas Day. My parents are divorced and I have a brother and a sister, who both have their own homes and families. Once you add Jay’s family into the mix it becomes near on impossible to decide who to spend Christmas with. We’ve had a few too many where we’ve tried to split our time equally and ended up spending more time in the car than anywhere else.
We’ve also tried the ‘stay at home’ thing but that just ends up with Jay in the kitchen and me on my lonesome watching rubbish TV, well now I have Nova for company, but you know what I mean.
Above all though, now that I’m older I long for that Christmas sparkle, the anticipation and magical excitement. It’s usually pretty overcast on Christmas Day in the UK. It just doesn’t feel very Christmassy. I want my Christmas Day to be like the movies. Perhaps that’s a tad over the top, but I just miss that Christmas magic.
Nova was 13months old in December, so we decided a snowy ski holiday or a trip to Lapland should wait until he’s a bit older.
Disneyland Paris at Christmas
And so, we found ourselves booking a trip to Disneyland Paris for Christmas. We booked it as a package through the Disneyland Paris website. We got two nights free, paying less than a grand for three nights and four days (spanning 23-26 December), including travel via Eurostar, accommodation at a Disney hotel, breakfast and entrance tickets to the two parks. We thought that was pretty reasonable.
Disneyland at Christmas is undeniable. You can’t hide from the festive cheer. Decorations adorn every window and ledge, fake snow fills the sky, carols belt out from the speakers and the Christmas parades seem to take place every two minutes. The bitter air nips at your cheeks, leaving a rosy glow and the smell of hot chocolate floats in the air. It’s an instant dose of Christmas and you can’t help but smile.
We found that 23 December and Christmas Eve were pretty quiet, at least in comparison to Christmas Day and Boxing Day. With a toddler in tow we went on one-two rides per day. The queues ranged from five minutes to 45 minutes and so Nova enjoyed the Pirates of the Caribbean, Peter Pan, Slinky Dog and a few other rides. We found ourselves joining a queue when he fell asleep to minimise his boredom, but I’ll share my tips in a separate post.
We spent a lot of time watching the various shows in the parks, with my favourite being the Frozen sing-a-long on Christmas Day. So much fun! We bopped to super talented jazz musicians and jiggled in the cold air with the French carollers.
Sadly we didn’t watch the closing parade and shows as 10pm was just too late for our little one. To be honest though, after a full day in the park we were quite happy to retreat to our room.
I’m not sure Nova always understood where we were or what was going on. Sometimes he looked giddy with excitement and other times he just looked bemused. And he nearly always fell asleep just as we got to the park or a parade started!
We ate out at different spots throughout the trip, including a visit to the iconic Planet Hollywood (hello nachos) and the world famous Earl of Sandwich (amazing wedges and of course, hot sandwiches). After a day of exploring the parks the big feasts were just what we needed.
Tex Room at Hotel Cheyenne
We stayed in one of the renovated and newly named Tex rooms at Hotel Cheyenne. It’s a Disney hotel that’s about a 15-minute walk from the park. It’s also the hotel that I stayed in when my Dad took me to Disneyland Paris for the first time, so it felt a little surreal to be taking my own child there. Time really does fly!
The hotel is themed like a wild west, cowboy ranch and the rooms centre around a discreet Toy Story theme. Think dark wood furniture, Woody borders and cow hide spreads. Sadly the beds feel like planks of wood, but I guess they do their job.
Breakfast is a mediocre European buffet in a saloon and on Christmas Day we met Santa Claus in the lobby. There was a roaring fire and a beautiful Christmas tree too, so just like the parks, it had that festive feel to it, just at a quieter pace. I think if we went again we’d pay a bit more to stay at one of the fancier hotels so that we’d be able to order room service once Nova was asleep.
Christmas Day at Disneyland Paris
We spent actual Christmas Day in the main park, going on a few rides and watching various parades. Oh and of course, the Frozen sing-a-long that I mentioned earlier. Much to Jay’s delight! We ate our Christmas Dinner in the Rainforest Café, which was probably the most un-Christmassy thing of the whole trip. Nova and I had pasta, while Jay had a mixed grill. Definitely a bit different to the traditional turkey dinner!
We wore Christmas hats and let ourselves get lost in the magic of Disney. We phoned our loved ones to send our Christmas wishes and then in the evening we snuggled in the bed, wearing our matching Christmas PJs.
We had a great time in Disneyland Paris. It was undoubtedly full of Christmas cheer, which was just what we wanted. It’s also really easy to get to – the Eurostar from London goes straight to the park, so it’s almost like a door to door service. Eurostar check-in is a breeze compared to airport check-in, so it’s ideal for travelling with little ones.
Would we go again? Yes, but perhaps not a few years or maybe if our extended family wanted to join us. It was fun, but I’m still on the hunt for the ultimate Christmas getaway.
Have you been to Disneyland Paris? Would you go for Christmas?