Disneyland Paris Trip Report - Day 1 Travel Day

I recently went to Disneyland Paris (DLP) for a few days, which I really enjoyed.  Here's Day 1 of my trip report.  

We travelled down to London a couple of nights before heading to DLP and stayed for 2 nights in the Premier Inn St Pancras, which is just across the road from St Pancras Train Station where the Eurostar departs.  This location was really convenient, the rooms were basic but nice and the staff friendly and helpful.  We were unfortunately given a room which was the furthest away from the lifts so we had a bit of a trek with the suitcases.  This became a reoccurring theme on this holiday for some reason. I thought this one was bad until I got to DLP but more about that later. 

W
e didn't have to get up too early the morning we were travelling to Paris, so I think we were up around 8am.  The Eurostar was due to depart at 10.14am so we headed over to St Pancras around 8.40am.  Check in didn't open until 9am so I wondered over to M&S for some food while my sister waited with the cases.  Of course while I was in the queue at M&S, check in opened earlier than expected but never mind there weren't that many people at check in yet.  Going through security was fairly straight forward and painless and we even got lucky as they were just opening the self serve passport check, so we were filtered over to that queue.  There were only a couple of people in front of us although of course they were the ones that had problems getting through.   Other than getting pulled aside for a security pat down it was fairly quick to get through.  I'm not sure why but me or my sister are always picked for a pat down at security we must have guilty faces or something. 

It was about 30 minutes till boarding started so we just read our books and chilled.  It seemed to go pretty fast as we were soon boarding.  We had decided to travel Standard Premier for a bit more room and there weren't many people at all in our carriage.  I read and snoozed a bit on the way there.  It takes just under 3 hours to get to DLP which isn't bad.  Breakfast was a bit disappointing as it was a cold croissant with some jam and butter.  A random bread roll (which was rock hard) and it was all served in a brown paper bag.  I'm not knocking that bit as it saves using unnecessary plates etc.  The food was nothing special though so I was glad that I had bought something from M&S before we travelled.  The trip was uneventful and I barely noticed going into the tunnel to be honest.  The conductor then said we were approaching DLP but made a mistake as we were only stopping at the airport although we didn't pick anyone up so possibly it was just a train in front of us or something that meant we had to slow down.  Anyway we were soon at DLP and off the Eurostar.

We had booked the Disney Express for £28 so we could leave our luggage at the station and go straight into the park.  This meant we could then pick up our luggage when we went to check in at the hotel.    We managed to miss the arrow to the Disney Express drop off, although I think it was more that the arrow was a bit misleading, definitely not me not understanding instructions as the arrow seemed to point straight ahead not up the stairs.  We dropped off our cases,  I managed to forget to put the tags on and then in my rush to put them on I broke one - yes I was that unorganised person that is annoying at the front of the queue, I kinda thought there would be a queue so I would have time to do everything when I got there, never mind.  It was really quick and simple though as I forgot to mention that although we booked directly with Eurostar not Disney for travel they did give us a pack on the train with our park tickets and tags for the Disney Express so we just needed to drop our bags off and then we were free to go straight into the parks.  I can't recommend this service enough it saves so much time instead of having to go to the hotel and checking in first.  It's £28 per booking so the more of you there are the less it costs.  By about 3pm we were in the Disneyland Park.
Disneyland Paris Trip Report
Disneyland Paris Trip Report
Disneyland Paris Trip Report
Disneyland Paris Trip Report
Disneyland Paris Trip Report
Disneyland Paris Trip Report
There was barely anyone at the turnstiles so we went straight through.  As it was our first time doing Christmas at Disney we stopped and took some pictures of the tree and then headed to Thunder Mountain.  This is my fave ride and of course it was down and there were no fastpasses (FPs) either,  Oh well.  We decided to head to Haunted Mansion and  as we were walking over we saw that there was a train stuck on Thunder Mountain and people were being evacuated.  I've never seen that before, but I must say that I think Thunder Mountain broke down everyday that we were there as far as I could tell and we got to experience the evacuation ourselves one of the days we were there.  I have never seen a ride evacuated so often they really seem to be having problems with it. 
Disneyland Paris Trip Report
Disneyland Paris Trip Report
Outside the front of a Mexican restaurant
We went to Haunted Mansion next and it was a walk on.  The doors were open by the time we got to them, so we were straight in.  We managed to find out which door to stand next to for the quickest entry into the other rooms,  so we were at the front of the queue, not that it matters as the queue moves so quickly.  One ride down and minimal waiting time, I was hoping this would hold up for the whole holiday.  Sadly it didn't and we couldn't get wifi in the parks so we struggled to access the app to find out waiting times which was a bit of a shame.  We headed to Pirates of the Caribbean next, was our luck going to hold with queue times, that would be a NO.  There was a 20 minute queue posted but never mind we had just got there so we weren't all queued out yet.  It felt like we queued over 20 minute tbh. In general DLP do tend to post waiting times that seem reasonable but the majority of time I would say the wait was slightly longer, not like in Orlando which seems the other way around.  I must admit I think I like this ride more than the one in Orlando not sure what it is but I definitely prefer it.  There's 2 decent drops on the ride (does Orlando have 2 I can't remember).  
Disneyland Paris Trip Report
Disneyland Paris Trip Report
We decided to check out Fantasyland next, we had no plans on what we wanted to do there we just wanted to check it out.  We got a FP for Peter Pan which was about 3 hours away and then rode Snow White.  Then we decided to try a ride we had never been on before either here or at WDW,The Carousel as it was posting a 10 minute wait time.  There weren't many people in front of us and a set of riders had just got on but they are so slow checking everyone that it takes way longer than the actual ride itself which goes around 4 times in total, which is more than enough for me.  We had a laugh on this and both got to ride the bigger horses on the outside as we would have looked massive on the tiny ones.

On a roll now for new rides so decided to have a go on Dumbo which was also showing 10 minutes.  We had never done this one before as we were worried as it goes around and up and down that we would feel a little travel sick.  I think poor Dumbo struggled a bit with 2 adults in the carriage so it took a while to get the carriage to the top so we decided to stay at the top for the whole ride.  We didn't want to chance going up and down as it might have broken the poor thing.      
Disneyland Paris Trip Report

Disneyland Paris Trip Report
Disneyland Paris Trip Report
We were behind the large tree just before the lighthouse

After that ride we decided to go out of the park and find some food and check into the Newport Bay Hotel.  We ate at the Earl of Sandwich and while it was nice it wasn't as good as the one in Orlando as they were a bit stingy with the topping.    We also called into Starbucks for some pastries for breakfast in the morning.  We did struggle to get them to understand my name so ended up as Laa on the cup.  We also didn't get the pastries we ordered but the ones they gave us looked really nice so I didn't bother trying to sort it out.  We then went to check in.  There wasn't much of a queue so that was done pretty quickly.  I wasn't really sure where to pick up the bags from the Disney Express as the person serving just said the luggage room so we decided to wander to the room and get rid of everything we had on us and come back for the bags.  We were going to regret that soon enough.    Big mistake HUGE.  I thought we were as far away as it was possible to be at the Premier Inn but this was ridiculous.   I definitely didn't think we would be unlucky enough to be as far away again and to be fair we weren't, we were actually further away.  It felt like miles.  Every time we turned a corner there was another long corridor and we had another trek.    I once counted the steps and it was 329 from the lift to the room, after a long day at a Disney Park that is not what you want.  It was closer to Sequoia Lodge then it was to reception (we could see we were next to that hotel when we looked out of the window).  Not an ideal start at this hotel but other than that the room was nice.    After having a little rest we trekked back down to reception for the luggage.  I wish you could get it delivered but I couldn't see a number or anything to request it.  I wish I had a pedometer for this holiday just to see how many steps I walked in 4 days.  Anyway back down to reception and we found where to pick up the luggage which was outside and managed to spot our luggage straight away.  I forgot to mention that the handle on my case had broken for some reason on the Eurostar and now it wouldn't extend so I had to either carry it or crouch down to drag it.    Even though it was a smaller case it was still really heavy, it felt like I'd packed for an Orlando holiday rather than DLP.    
Disneyland Paris Trip Report
Anyway all settled in now it was back to the parks.  We went to use our FP at Peter Pan.  This is a good use of a fast pass as you get right to the front of the queue and they have 2 carriages loading at once one for the FP line and one for the standby line. I can't remember the order we rode them in but we managed to ride Thunder Mountain which was back up and running.  I don't know if it was because it was in the dark but this felt more intense then Orlando.  The queue wasn't too bad for this so we only waited 10 minutes.  Haunted Mansion no queue again, we rode Buzz Lightyear 3 times and then looked around the shops.  We saw them lighting the Christmas tree up at the bottom of main street with Mickey, Minnie and Father Christmas singing Christmas songs which was very weird in November.  We went to one of the food places on Main Street and had some food which included a Croque Monsieur which was very very nice.  Then it was time for the show on the castle.  It was very cold by now but we stuck it out and luckily it wasn't raining.    It was a good show and we had a good view from the side.   Let it Go in French sounds great.  Once that ended it was a free for all getting out of the parks not sure why but don't think I've ever experienced that even at Orlando.    The amount of prams and wheelchairs that ran into my legs was unreal.  I do get it's difficult with them but you don't have to ram it into me on purpose I'll try and move out of the way if I can but don't just come at me. 
Disneyland Paris Trip Report
We finally managed to get out and went for a wander in the World of Disney Shop which was obviously busy as well with the parks closing.   I really wanted to buy one of the baby Groots above. We got some of those giant liquorice sticks for €5 at one of the little food huts  and then headed back to the hotel.  The hotel was mental and the queue for the lifts was hideous with everyone pushing and shoving.  I've never seen anything like it.  Newport Bay is a nice hotel but I'm getting the feeling it's a bit big for me and I prefer Sequoia Lodge but that's just my initial impression and Sequoia Lodge was not without it's faults when I stayed there.    Anyway eventually taking the approach if you cant beat em join em we got into the lifts and back to our room. 

That's day 1 over and done with and it felt like we achieved more than I expected to with us only getting there in the afternoon.  Lots of steps walked and plenty of exercise.  My legs were really feeling it.    A number of people annoyed the hell out of me on this day but hey ho it's Disney so that makes it better just need to rise above it.  Onto Day 2.  

Oh I forgot to mention one major disappointment It's a Small World was down for a refurb how am I going to manage without that song in my head the whole time😉.

Check out my DLP shopping haul here.

 Leigh

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