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Disneyland Paris - One day in wonderland



"If you dream it, you can do it" - Walt Disney.  

*Disneyland in Paris 
   The castle visible in the beginning of Disney's movies has always been a little dream for me. And even though I've never been a princess type, Disney's stories has been close to my heard - that's why for example I came as a tiger from Winnie the Pooh for the children's costume party in my school. I remember countless hours that I've spent on reading and watching my favorite titles. My fondness to those characters still stays with me until this day, but I'm getting lost in all those new stories signed by Disney. I have a feeling that through all those years they somehow lost they unique style, which is still not a problem for them to release great movies from time to time. 
        The Disneyland itself always perceived by me as something unachievable until I visited it in high-school for the first time. I was writing back then about their famous parade (read here), recipe for the sugar apples (here) and ideas for the Disney themed gifts (here). The whole fairy tale area stole my heart, so during my newest trip to Paris I suggested going there with Marion and R., who has never been there before. And even though we had good intentions, we had to face some adversities on our way. So how to start planning a Disneyland trip, to make it efficiently? Walt Disney once said "If you dream it, you can do it". So read more and I hope I will help you with your doubts. Or that I will encourage you to come there. 


Disneyland - our trip 
We came to Paris in February, so it wasn't the best time considering the weather. Last time I've been in Disneyland during summertime and I must say that it was more beautiful and greener back then. But it had some disadvantages, because the lines were much longer. Except of possibility of having a bad weather (which didn't happen luckily), we had some benefits connected to travelling off-season. We didn't have to worry about crowds of tourists in the city centre of Paris nor in Disneyland. After the terrorist attacks in Paris, many people lost interest in travelling there. By trying not to focus on the dark scenarious, we decided to continue with our travel, and we didn't regret even for a while.
Tickets to Disneyland
Disneyland in Paris is usually open from 10:00-20:00 in case of the normal park (there are also Extra Magic Hours from 8:00-10:00). Walt Disney Studios is open a little bit shorter from 10:00-18:00. The normal park offers main attractions and famous castle. Disney Studios allows you to take a ride with better rollercoasters and see the studios from the inside. After two visits in Disneyland (both took place in the main park) I recommend focusing yourself on one of them, because you won't have time for seeing everything either way. 
Booking of the tickets and payments you can make online through their official webpage, and prices there are usually lower than in other stores with tickets. According to your needs you can choose 1 day sightseeing or few days - it's worth mentioning that the price of the ticket include all attractions visible on the map and you don't need to pay extra (except of food if you need, services for kids such as painting faces or souvenirs from the stores). During my first visit one ticket allowed to enter only to one park, but there are discounts allowing you to see two parks for the same price. We noticed that it's available sometimes while having internet bookings.

 Ticket prices 
It's good to keep in mind that their website may show different prices for the tickets, depending on your localization. By switching from Poland to France you can see a discount that I mentioned, available for everybody, no matter of the country in the ID. The difference is visible, so it's good to remember about it. When we made the booking, ticket MINI in discount allowed to enter two parks. I think that their sneaky practice of changing the prices is slightly unfair. 
When it comes to our booking, we had problems with payment - it didn't work even though we used few cards. We managed to use other option from the store Fnac - we made our reservation online and we picked the tickets next day in the store (it's needed to show ID). Similar with Disneyland page booking, it's better to make it a day before, print the reservation and change it into ticket after arriving to the place.
French localization offers: 
  • Ticket MAGIC (1 day, 1 park) for adults 59EUR, kids 52EUR
  • Ticket MAGIC (1 day, 2 parks) adults 74EUR, kids 67EUR
  • Ticket MINI (1 day, 1 park) adults 47EUR, kids 40EUR (which we used) - sometimes it's available with internet booking discount (1day, 2 parks) and the price stays the same.
  • Ticket MINI (1 day, 2 parks) adults 62EUR, kids 55EUR. 

Tourist attractions in Disneyland (themed parks)
 Most of all Disneyland it's a beautiful place, where you can find many decorations and unique details. Main point is the castle of the sleeping beauty, to which you can enter - and what's interesting, not many people know that you can see the basement too, where you will meet a dragon. Except of that, it's good to grab a map of the whole place, and that will ease you finding rollercoasters, toilets, or places to eat something. Main park offers many rollercoasters and other rides connected to Pirates of Carribean, Peter Pan, Alice in the Wonderland and many others. You can enter the haunted house (not too scary), cruises open in the summer in the small lakes, ride a car and my favorite: shooting aliens with Buzz Astral and Space Mountain rollercoaster which is INSANELY fast. In the park you will find couple of places to meet and greet Mickey Mouse, and take a picture with him (it's enough to just hand them your camera to not buy the ones from them), and in the other parts of the park you can meet different characters from time to time. During the day you can spot smaller parades (mostly during sumer), and in the evening there's a closing parade which I recommend to see, because it's my favorite element. Excepf of all of it in Disneyland you can just enjoy the toys which you are allowed to try, have walks, have fun with rollercoasters and most of all spend a good time in a magical atmosphere. It's good to come during the opening hours and stay until the end. You won't regret.

 
Toys and food in Disneyland 
I don't hide that if you're planning to make shopping in Disneyland, you need to prepare a large amount of money. It's just unprofitable. I mean the things which are available in the other stores. However of course, it happens that we may find something worth taking and then I see no reason of stopping ourselves. R. bought his friend a great mug with Captain America, and I the last time found a nice keychain and pins. 
The advantage is that most of the toys you can try out by playing, so you can check them out and then buy in other places. 
The huge disadvantage is food, mostly fast-food in incredibly high prices. Even the black burger from Lord Vader didn't convince me to take it. It's good to think of our own picnic set - we just took sandwiches. :-)  
 

Hotel and transportation 
In the area there's the most famous pink hotel. The park also offers other localizations with shuttle included in the ticket's price. But those are expensive options as for the average tourist. Instead of that I recommend to stay in the city (cheap student hostel it's F1), and get to the Disneyland's parks by city train (a ticket costs around 7EUR one way). Everything is marked well and the final stop is located just by the park, so there's no chance of getting lost. Ticket for the way back can be bought in the machine right after stepping out of the train (it's fastest option in comparison to waiting in the line). I recommend to do it right a way, because after the last parade there are many people waiting for the same train as we do.

 Nawiedzony dom. /
Haunted house



Fast pass in Disneyland 
 There is something called fast-pass and it's just makes your standing in lines faster. It's good to remember about it and good to use. At some of the attractions (most of all Buzz Astral) there are printing machines, where you can get your fast-passes. It's for free! You only need to put your ticket there and it will print you hours where you can come to a certain place and walk through a fast lane. You save your waiting time that you can spend on something more interesting. Fast passes are working no matter of the ticket type.

I hope I encouraged you a bit to visit this place. And if you've already been there, feel free to share your experience! :-)

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