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Before you go
- If you are booking into Disney’s own hotels (which we thought were worth it) the best options seem to be The New York (10 minutes’ walk to park) or the Disneyland hotel (right next to the gate, lovely reception and restaurant, but about £1000 more expensive, not sure it is worth the premium). New York hotel is a bit dated, but you’ll spend no time there other than eating breakfast.
- Add half board or premium half board when you book. This gives you food vouchers that can be used in any of the park restaurants for lunch or (as we did) for dinner). Well worth it, as it keeps the costs manageable. The difference between these two options is you will get a restricted set menu on half board, and the full menu for premium half board…. However, most of what we chose ended up being on both so half board probably better for less money. That said, if you want to eat in the Disneyland hotel, go for premium, as otherwise you will have to pay extra. This was a nice evening, with an amazing buffet, lots of characters around (loads of seafood) so probably makes it worth it.
- The one absolute must is you book in for dinner at Café Mickey before you go, and as early as possible. It gets booked up months in advance, so do it when you book the holiday. It is a must because you meet loads of characters in a relaxed environment where they aren’t in a rush. This also takes the pressure of you queuing to see them in the park.
- I’d recommend booking all of you evening meal reservation before you travel, as the top choice restaurants will be full when you get there.
- The Princesses lunch is a must for the girls. The adults get a lovely 3 course meal, the children get to meet the Princesses. Really well done activity.
- Take a guide book, as the tips will no doubt come in handy.
- It is probably best to avoid the summer holidays, as it was busy in a week where France was still at school, so it would be significantly worse, and probably too hot to enjoy a full day.
Once you are there
- For the more popular rides, there is a fast pass system. If you head there first thing, you can get a fast pass ticket for a set time. You then can return in a half hour window, and queue for 15 mins instead of an hour!
- Eating in the restaurants in the park with the half board worked well for us, as the food is actually really good, and you can also go on a few of the popular rides later on with little or no queues. We ate in the steak house near Thunder Mountain which was excellent, and the Blue Lagoon restaurant next to Pirates of the Caribbean, which was also really good.
- The main parade at starts at about 5.45. A good spot we found which didn’t involve that much waiting in advance was outside the post office (customer services) to the west of the first round about as you go in. This is obviously a must at least once.
- There was a second parade around 2.15-2.30 whilst we were there. This was less busy, and just as good as the main parade. By standing on the roundabout looking towards the castle you’ll get a great view, and potentially be approached by some of the characters too.
- The fireworks display starts at about 10 I think. Really worth getting a spot where you can see the castle top to bottom, and straight on… somewhere near the roundabout in front of it is fine, and you will have a much better view of the affects that are projected onto it.
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