Every now and again on the Great Escapes blog we will be sharing stories from other members of the Great Escapes team about their experiences in Belgium and France. Today we’re featuring a post from Kerry Townsend, Sales Team Leader, about how she fell in love with Disneyland, Paris.
I didn’t have very high expectations of Disneyland Paris – having been lucky enough to twice visit Disney World in Florida and not being a huge fan of bad weather. I really didn’t think it would match my high standards of a great holiday destination. How wrong I was! I’ve now visited 8 times and have my 9th visit booked – it’s safe to say I love it!
Before I had children, my sister and I used to go for the rides. We’re both roller-coaster fans so we used to spend the time literally whizzing around all the big rides (there are quite a lot of them between the 2 parks), often getting off a ride and running around to queue again! My favourite has to be the Tower of Terror in the Studio park – Best. Ride. Ever. Evenings were spent wandering around Disney Village, deliberating where to eat (usually Annette’s Diner as I love American 50’s style diners) and then sampling the local wines, probably a few more than strictly necessary, in the bars.
Now I have 2 Disney-mad children (currently aged 3 and 1) we all go together – children, grandparents, aunts, uncles etc – it really makes for a great family holiday. Of course I still manage to fit in some rollercoaster’s (cut to me running full-pelt towards Tower of Terror at park opening time) but these days I have more of a “family friendly” experience. Experiencing the shows, parades, character meets, ice-skating, smaller rides etc, with my children is an amazing experience. Taking my 3-year old princess-mad daughter to meet Cinderella was an honest to goodness “lump-in-the-throat” moment, never to be forgotten. My daughter begging that we join the back of the queue a second & third time to meet the other princesses wasn’t quite so special, but if that’s what makes her happy…
We also have to get off the It’s a Small World ride & straight back on again – annoyingly the tune then stays in my head all day, but the kids love it, and it sounds cliché but seeing it through their eyes, I love it too. Evenings are now spent having big, noisy buffet dinners in the hotels; they’re great value & the kids love choosing their dinner (and love even more choosing their puddings!), before collapsing into bed for an early night, ready to start it all again the next day.
Even though our visits are now action-packed, I still find time to mooch around the shops & do all my Christmas shopping for the kids. I got a bit over-excited one year and bought myself and the kids matching fleeces; I loved them but hubby was a bit dubious…
The staff are friendly, the food is great, the queues are rarely long, and I’ve never had a bad holiday there.
Even as an adult there’s definitely something special about being in Disneyland, as opposed to a normal theme park. Just a certain something, unexplainable really, that gives me a thrill when I bump into a character, or get a first view of the castle, and gives me a strong urge to skip when entering the Magic Kingdom park.