Got a slightly sulky teenager? Take them to Disneyland Paris. We spent a fun-filled time there last weekend celebrating Disneyland Paris 20th anniversary and from the moment we arrived by Eurostar at Marne-la-Vallée I promise we didn’t stop laughing the whole time.
We’ve been visiting Disneyland Paris as a family every year since No 1 Son was two, and the reason we go back year after year is because there’s always something new to discover. This time it was me and Harriet, 15, rediscovering the magic. After last year’s Dumbo incident I wasn’t taking any chances and wore very sensible shoes *cough*.
After checking into the lovely Hotel New York we headed straight for the Toy Story Soldiers Parachute Drop – one of our absolute favourite rides, because you feel as though you’re flying through the air. Then it was on to Buzz Lightyear’s Laser Blast, where Harriet scored an impressive 289,000 to my 65,000. She rode Space Mountain with some friends while I held the bags in the sunshine and after that we headed back to the hotel for a well-deserved swim and rest.
That evening we enjoyed dinner with some friends….
before heading off to another of our favourite rides, the Tower of Terror. We were accompanied by one of our favourite Disney PRs (he knows who he is) who assured us that riding Tower of Terror in the dark is even more fun than in the daylight and he was absolutely right. By the time the lift finally stopped we were all hysterical from laughing and shrieking at the same time.
The next day we were up bright and early for a photocall with Pluto before going on Peter Pan’s Dream Flight and It’s a Small World. After lunch we watched the amazing Disney Magic on Parade, then it was back to the hotel to get ready for the big gala dinner in honour of the 20th anniversary.
We all decided to get our faces painted…
…before stuffing ourselves silly with the food, which was delicious.
Then it was time to head to the park for the incredible new night-time show Disney Dreams. Zinedine Zidane *swoon* made a speech before we walked to Sleeping Beauty’s castle for the show.
We stood next to @Wossy and his family who were enjoying a group hug (it was a bit nippy) to watch the spectacular display. The castle was illuminated with scenes from Disney films, the fountains in front danced (I’m not kidding) and there was the most incredible array of fireworks. The whole thing was absolutely breathtaking.
After an interview with Channel 5 (I’m sure this will end up on the cutting-room floor) we had a quick glass of champagne before heading back to our hotel for a nightcap.
The following day we decided to go on as many rides as possible, including Pirates of the Caribbean and Big Thunder Railroad, and had lunch at the very best restaurant in Disneyland Paris, Café Agrabah…
before finishing up once again at our favourite ride of all, Tower of Terror.
The kids would have loved another go on Crush’s Rollercoaster but it was time to head back to London on the Eurostar, exhausted but very happy.
A huge thank you to everyone at Disney for inviting us to be part of the celebrations and for making our weekend so magical.
Getting there: During the 20th Anniversary celebrations at Disneyland Paris for a two-night three-day package including return travel with Eurostar start from £856 for a family of two adults and two children. The price includes return travel with Eurostar, two nights’ accommodation with breakfast at Disney’s Hotel Santa Fe and three day hopper tickets for the parks. For more info see Disneylandparis.com.