Disneyland Paris Holiday Diaries – Day 2

The alarm went off at 7.30am and we got up and dressed, taking some chocolate croissants with us as we had a character’s breakfast booked for later that morning. At 8.10am we left our hotel via the very handy entrance located beside the exit gates of the Disney park and headed for the entrance gates. I had decided we were going to make the most of Extra Magic Time, as it is now called.

Disneyland Paris holiday diaries blog day 2

There were a few people already in the queue which was for residents of the Disneyland Hotels and made our way into the park to be met by the amazing looking Christmas tree and snowmen in the Town Square outside City Hall. BattleDad had first taken me to Disneyland Paris ten years ago for my 30th birthday and we’d visited in December, but I had forgotten how beautiful and well decorated they make Disney at this time of year.

disneyland paris day 2 - The gorgeous Town Square at Christmas in Disneyland Paris
The amazing Town Square in Disneyland Paris all decorated for Christmas

There weren’t many people already in the park and as we walked down Main Street, the excitement in me was building. I had been looking forward to visiting Disneyland with BattleKid since he was a baby and it was finally happening. We headed towards the castle and got a spot at the rope to take some pictures of it.

disneyland paris day 2 - An excited little boy in front of the spectacular castle in Disneyland Paris
An excited BattleKid in front of the castle

BattleKid was in awe of the castle. I don’t think he fully understood what was going on. We waited patiently for the ropes to be lifted at 8.30 and once they were we made our way into Fantasyland and headed for Peter Pan. In my research before our trip, many people had said Peter Pan was a great ride but should be done in EMT or that you should Fast Pass it as the wait time for it is always long.

The ride wasn’t quite ready when we got there and the cast members suggested we could either wait in line until it opened or come back. As we were only about ten people from the front we elected to wait. We said we’d give it half an hour and if it still wasn’t ready by 9am we’d Fast Pass it later. We didn’t have to wait that long and we were in about the third or fourth boat for the ride.

BattleDad hadn’t been on the ride in 25 years and this was my first time on the ride. BattleDad, having been a member of the opening crew, had ridden the Peter Pan ride before the park had even opened to the public back in 1992. Now we were all sharing that ride together. And it was amazing. Lots of people had said it was a must-do and I can see why now. Flying above the scenes from the film was brilliant. And before we knew it, our first Disney ride together as a family was over.

As we came out of the ride, BattleKid was literally lost for words. Between having his mind blown and not fully understanding what was going on, I think he was having a “WTF just happened” moment and got a bit emotional. He wanted to go back home.

That said, once we mentioned the Dumbo ride, he was all for staying. After Peter Pan we went on the Dumbo ride, the Tea Cups and the Carousel before starting to make our way to Plaza Gardens for our character’s breakfast.

disneyland paris day 2 - A happy boy on the Teacups ride
A happy boy on the Tea Cups ride

Now, I had read on a few of the Disney Facebook groups that the character’s breakfasts were rather chaotic, and I was a bit apprehensive. I had booked two so that we could share one with our friends who had come to Disney as well and one for just ourselves. When we arrived shortly before 9.45 the queue to get in was very long and I thought this was a sign of things to come. However, once we showed the lady on reception both sets of vouchers we were soon seated at our allocated table.

Now, a word of warning. If you are booking a character’s breakfast on top of a normal hotel breakfast, make sure you have two vouchers per person with you. You need BOTH your hotel voucher AND your character’s breakfast supplement voucher in order to gain entry. If you forget either you can gain entry but will have to pay for the breakfast and get a refund when you return with both sets of vouchers. This happened to the couple in front of us and also our friends, whose hotel hadn’t given them the correct information at the time of check-in.

I have to say, the gentleman at the check-in desk in the Disneyland Hotel where we were staying was very efficient. He stapled our vouchers together and fully explained the ramifications of forgetting one or the other. I so think you sometimes pay for what you get.

Once seated, Mickey made a beeline for us and his was the first ever signature in BattleKid’s Disney autograph book. Daisy Duck soon followed before we started getting our breakfast from the buffet. And despite the warnings from people on the various Facebook groups, I didn’t find the breakfast too chaotic. In truth, yes, it is busy, and the characters can only spend a few minutes at your table before they have to meet and greet other guests, but that’s really all you need in order to get their signature and a few pictures. As long as your expectations are to get an autograph and a picture or two you won’t be disappointed. You just need to keep in mind that it is a large restaurant, there are lots of tables and other families, and the characters have to try see all of them in the short time that breakfast is on for.

disneyland paris day 2 - Meeting Tigger at breakfast
BattleKid meets Tigger

Breakfast itself was quite nice. There is a good range options from a cold continental breakfast, to cereals, fruit and yogurt, to a hot buffet. There are delicious pastries too, so there is something for everyone. And we never found a section lacking in anything. My only gripe for this breakfast was only one tea and coffee machine was working so it took a while to get our hot drinks.

Shortly after we had eaten our breakfast, the characters switched sides of the room and we got to meet Tigger, Piglet and Eeyore. Each of them signed BattleKid’s autograph book and we got a picture taken with each of them. I think BattleKid enjoyed this breakfast after his mind-blowing morning on the rides.

disneyland paris day 2 - A boy meets Eeyore
Meeting Eeyore

Suitable refuelled, we left the restaurant and decided to stake a claim to a spot for the Christmas parade at 11.50. I checked online where might be the best place to watch it. Our friends’ husband missed it due to a missing bag.

The parade was brilliant and was on for about 15 minutes. One cast member came over to BattleKid and played with his Kylo Ren mask from his costume which we’d dressed him in after breakfast.

disneyland paris day 2 - BattleKid enjoying the Christmas Parade
Enjoying the Christmas Parade

A much-needed toilet break was taken before we wandered through Adventureland and headed towards the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. BattleDad and I have always gone on this ride whenever we visited, and we wanted to go again. So, we took a chance and brought BattleKid with us, talking him through what we were going to see when we got into the boats. This ride is by far my favourite ride and I didn’t want to miss it.

One thing that surprised me was there was barely any queue for the ride. In previous visits we’ve queued for 40 minutes to go on this ride, but we were on within 5 minutes. Handy when doing it with a toddler. He was a bit unsure at first but we pointed out things that we knew would pique his interested and after the ride he said he enjoyed it. I’m not sure if that was true or whether he was saying it after buying himself a pirate’s sword in the shop.

After we’d finished Pirates our friends’ husband rejoined us with the missing bag and we made our way towards Discoveryland. We wanted to tick off the Buzz Lightyear ride and also meet Darth Vader. The Buzz Lightyear ride was first up and BattleKid thoroughly enjoyed this. Again, the queue was not as long as we’d imagined, and we were soon shooting Emporer Zurg’s henchmen with our lasers.

disneyland paris day 2 - Buzz Lightyear ride was a success with the little man!
Getting ready to help Buzz Lightyear

Then, it was time for the one thing BattleDad had said was on his non-negotiable list. A meeting with Darth Vader. We had bought BattleKid a Kylo Ren outfit in Portland and this was why we’d dressed him in it after breakfast. We only had about a 20-minute wait for this meet and greet.

As you enter the waiting area, you are met by an assistant, who I might add was very serious. We had been talking and laughing with the couple in front of us about BattleKid’s outfit and it was frowned upon by the assistant. Lord Vader then came into the room to invite the couple before us onto his bridge and he spotted BattleKid and, despite no words, I think was impressed by him.

We waited our turn before Lord Vader ushered us in. BattleDad got into the first few pictures. Then Lord Vader indicated he wanted a picture with the little man by himself before we got one or two family pictures. It was a very serious affair but one of our best meet and greet pictures from the entire visit came from this visit.

living arrows - BattleKid giving Darth Vader the side eye in Disneyland Paris
Giving Lord Vader a cautious look

While we waited for our friends to come out, the boys went into the Star Wars shop and came out empty-handed. I really thought there would be a bag or two with them. Afterwards, the boys and dads went on the Autopia ride before we decided to head to Annette’s in the Disney Village for dinner. We detoured via our room to layer up some more and grab our hats and gloves as it was getting colder and our intention was to see the Illuminations that night.

disneyland paris day 2 - BattleKid having a five minute breather
Having a five minute breather in our room

We arrived at Annettes about 4pm and were seated straight away. There were plenty of seats available as I think most people were getting ready for the main parade at 5pm in the Disney park. We had a lovely three course meal, all the adults opting for tasty burgers. And while all the food was very tasty, it again came out lukewarm.

After dinner we headed back into the Disney park and found a spot to watch the Illuminations from. And what a show that was. The combination of music, lights and fireworks was brilliant and once again, the little man’s mind was blown.disneyland paris day 2 - Illuminations at Dinseyland Paris disneyland paris day 2 - Illuminations at Dinseyland Paris

After the show we browsed a few shops before attempting to get ‘The Picture’. We sort of managed it by blocking out some stranglers with a strategically placed BattleKid. To me, it would do as it was cold, and I didn’t want to hang around anymore. We headed for the exit past the fabulous Christmas tree, said goodbye to our friends and headed to our room for a bath to warm up. We were completely satisfied with our day and ticked off so many things from our timetable.disneyland paris day 2 - Getting a picture with an empty Main Street and the Disney castle in the background

BattleKid had been great too, enjoying himself despite being in awe of everything, and also, was quite good not wanting everything he saw in the shops. I really thought we’d have tears over leaving shops without certain things, but he didn’t. He had gotten a pirate’s sword after our ride and he was treated to a Buzz Lightyear interactive doll after the Autopia ride and he seemed happy with them.

We all went to bed exhausted but thoroughly happy with our first family day in Disneyland Paris. Next up was to be Studios!

Cath x

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disneyland paris twitter day 2

Disneyland Paris Holiday Diaries – Day 1

We left our house at 10am, and headed for Faro to pick up our car which had been in for a service. Trying to fit all our bags and BattleKid’s buggy into a Land Rover Evoque was fun. You don’t realise how used to your own boot you become until you don’t have it. We were soon on our way to the airport which is no more than 5 minutes from the garage, destination – our first family holiday to Disneyland Paris.Disneyland Paris Holiday Diaries blog day 1

We checked in, got rid of our bags, headed through security and grabbed a bite to eat before boarding our plane for our departure to Paris Orly at 13.55. Our flight was on time and we left the warm blue skies of Portugal, me more excited than the two boys put together. I had done a lot of planning and was hoping this trip was going to run smoothly and be enjoyed by us all.disneyland paris day 1 - bye bye Portugal

We landed early but had a trek to get to our bags. However, this was where we came up across our first hurdle of the holiday. I had booked the Magic Shuttle bus when I organised our trip back in June. I thought it would be a regular service, but oh no. Due to the delay in getting off the plane, we’d missed the 17.50 bus and the next one wasn’t until 19.00, a 50-minute wait.

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Paris was cold compared to Portugal and I really didn’t fancy waiting around for 50 minutes so we decided to hop into a taxi. This in itself was easy enough but there was a horrendous amount of traffic on the road between Orly and Disneyland and it took us an hour and twenty minutes to travel the 31 miles. It was stop-start traffic almost the entire way to the turnoff for Disneyland. BattleKid ended up falling asleep for the journey and I had a job to wake him at 7pm so that he didn’t sleep too long.

We finally arrived at the stunning Disneyland Hotel just before 8pm. It was amazing to see it all lit up and decorated for Christmas. Our bags were taken from us, to be delivered to our room for us. We checked in and couldn’t have had a more helpful gentleman, who not only gave BattleKid a badge and some balloons, but explained all our vouchers in detail. He even changed our Fast Pass for that day to the next day as the parks were closed and we’d missed out on using the Fast Pass that day. I was not expecting that, and it was so kind of him.

disneyland paris day 1 - the stunning disneyland hotel by night
The stunning Disneyland Hotel

We went up to our room, put our passports and valuables in the safe, and headed out to get some dinner. The Disney Village was open, and we tried to get a table in a few of the restaurants where we could use our meal vouchers, but they were all full. It had been a long shot but there was no harm in trying. It felt strange walking through the Disney Village as the last time we’d been there we were still just a couple. This time we were there as a family of three.

In the end we managed to get a table in Planet Hollywood before 9pm and opted to just have mains before heading back to get some sleep. Now, Planet Hollywood was chaotic. We were seated within 10 minutes of our arrival and our waiter took our order quickly, but it was very loud and when our meal finally arrived it was lukewarm at best. It was as if it had been sitting ready to be brought to us for quite a while. The food tasted fine, albeit presented a little strangely but none of our dishes were hot.

My lasagne was brought out and I initially thought I’d been given the wrong meal as it certainly didn’t look like lasagne. It tasted lovely but just looked strange. BattleDad had a burger, and again, while it tasted fine it was a little too cool for his liking. After paying up we headed back to our hotel and got one or two pictures of it all lit up before heading to our room for pj’s and bed.

disneyland paris day 1 - BattleKid outside the disneyland hotel where we were staying
A wrapped up BattleKid

Surprisingly BattleKid went to sleep shortly after 10pm, as did we parents. We were planning to be up early to make the most of our first day in Disneyland Paris as a family.

Join me tomorrow when I fill you in on our first full day in Disneyland Paris as a threesome!

Cath x

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disneyland paris holiday diaries twitter day 1

Brecon Mountain Railway – Brilliant for Train Fans

So, you’ve got a train-mad little boy, a nice sunny day in South Wales and nothing planned of a Saturday morning. What do you do? You visit the Brecon Mountain Railway of course.

brecon mountain railway

The Brecon Mountain Railway is situated just a few minutes from Merthyr Tydfil and is a railway with a steam engine to thrill the hearts of any train fan. It is also located just 15 minutes from our South Wales home and was somewhere we had been meaning to visit but hadn’t until last year.

Running from Pant to Torpantau, the Brecon Mountain railway follows part of the original route of the Brecon and Merthyr Railway which closed in 1964. It takes you into the Brecon Beacons, through Pontsticill and along the full length of the Taf Fechan Reservoir before climbing up to Torpantau high in the Brecon Beacons.

On the day we visited the Brecon Mountain Railway, we drove to the Pant Station, parked up and bought our tickets in the office before making our way to the platform. We passed the locomotive running shed and workshop on the way to the platform and the smell was lovely. Grease, oil and engine smells. There is also a model railway as you approached the platform which BattleKid loved.brecon mountain railway - photo collage

brecon mountain railway - photo collage

We waited patiently for our train, boarded and handed the conductor our tickets. The train left Pant Station and started its journey through the stunning Brecon Beacons towards Torpantau. We saw the peaks of Pen-y-Fan and the Pontsticill Reservoir.

brecon mountain railway - BattleKid holding his train ticket ready for the inspector
BattleKid holding his train ticket ready for the inspector

Although it had been sunny when we left Pant, the clouds got thicker as we ascended towards Torpantau. We alighted the steam train and a certain little boy wasn’t too sure about the steam coming from the engine.brecon mountain railway - photo collage

The engine spends a few minutes changing around before everyone gets back on for the journey back to Pontsticill. There, you have 25 or 30 minutes to enjoy the views, have a refreshment in the small café or spend some at the playground, as we did. You can even spend longer there if you want to, and get a different train back. We chose not to.

brecon mountain railway - BattleKid enjoying the views of the Welsh Valleys

BattleKid enjoying the views of the Welsh Valleys

brecon mountain railway - photo collage

Back at Pant Station, we visited the traditional sweet shop and bought some rhubarb and custards for BattleDad, his favourites, before heading home. Although we had only been at the Brecon Mountain Railway for less than 2 hours, it was a fun filled 2 hours. BattleKid thoroughly enjoyed his ride on the steam engine and his time at the playground.

Things to note if visiting the Brecon Mountain Railway

  • There are 3 or 4 train journeys a day, depending on the time of year. There were three the day we visited.
  • Adult tickets cost £14, children cost £7 (up to 15 years of age), and seniors cost £12.50 return. Under 3’s are free.
  • There is ample parking at the Pant Station and it is free.
  • The Brecon Mountain Railway is mostly wheelchair and buggy friendly, although wheelchairs are limited to manual ones and cannot leave the train at Torpantau Station.
  • There are toilets at both Pant and Pontsticill Station and baby changing facilities.
  • There is a tea room at both Pant and Pontsticill Stations.
  • There is a gift shop at Pant, while the Steam Museum (which is free) is located at Pontsticill Station.
  • A children’s playground is located at Pontsticill Station, which we can highly recommend for young children.
  • The Brecon Mountain Railway also holds special days throughout the year such as for Easter, Mother’s and Father’s Day. They also hold Santa Special Trains throughout the month of December.
  • Trains run non-stop to Torpantau and return to Pontsticill for 25 or 30 minutes. Passengers are allowed to stay longer at Pontsticill and get a different train back to Pant station.
  • For timetables and up-to-date news, it is best to check the Brecon Mountain Railway website.

brecon mountain railway- BattleKid enjoying the playground of the BRM

We thoroughly enjoyed our few hours on the Brecon Mountain Railway and would highly recommend it for families as a day out in South Wales. It would particularly appeal to Thomas fans and fans of trains in general.

Cath x

*I was not asked to write this review.

brecon mountain railway brecon mountain railway

 

 

Last-minute Tips for Visiting Disneyland Paris as a Family

As you read this post, we are on our way to Disneyland Paris, finally! It has been six months in the planning. Everything from where we should stay to where to eat, it’s been read, reread and read again. As you’ll know by now, I have had help from the blogging community during the last few months. They’ve helped with the initial stages of planning our first family visit to Disneyland Paris. They’ve told us the best places for food at Disneyland Paris, and they’ve also told me which are the best rides for under 5’s, essential when you are travelling with a nearly 4-year-old. But in the last few weeks I’ve been asking them what are their last-minute tips for visiting Disneyland Paris as a family.Last-minute Tips for Visiting Disneyland Paris

BattleDad and I have visited Disneyland Paris twice before, 5 and 10 years ago. You see, if you aren’t aware by now, BattleDad was part of the opening crew in 1992 when Euro Disney (as it was called then) opened. He spent a year living in Paris, working as a Cast Member at Disneyland Paris. The last two visits we made coincided with his 15 and 20-year anniversary of being part of the opening crew. And this year he (and Disney) celebrate 25 years!

However, our last two visits were as a couple and we spent our day trips to Disneyland very much fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants. We went on about three rides, ate at the worst places we could have picked because we didn’t book anywhere ahead of our visits, and apart from getting some lovely bits in the shops, they weren’t visits you’d write home about. This time we have BattleKid in tow and this holiday is all about him. BattleDad will be interested in seeing the Star Wars rides and seeing if there are any memorabilia we should get, apart from the mugs we always buy. But other than that, we want to get the most out of Disneyland for BattleKid as we can.

I have a rough itinerary planned out and I am fully prepared to change that, but I wanted to know if anyone had any last-minute tips for visiting Disneyland Paris. So, as always, I turned to the blogging community and here’s what I learned.

Last-minute tips for visiting Disneyland Paris as a family

Jemma from Have Kids Will Travel gave me an awesome tip.

Make sure you use the baby swap facility where one parent goes on the ride (whilst the other waits by the exit with a non-riding child), and then the other parent gets to go pretty much straight on the ride. Was fab when used with the Fast Pass.

Now, this is brilliant. Although we expect BattleKid to want to go on most rides, there may be one or two he won’t, so this will allow BattleDad and I to go on those rides one after the other without having to queue again. I checked with Jemma if it can be used with a nearly 4-year old, and she said yes, for any ride they can’t go on themselves, or one they don’t want to. Genius!

Beth from Twinderelmo said not to forget our autograph books as they are expensive in the park.

Also take your own pens as the characters don’t carry their own!

I bought a packet of cheap pens in my last shopping trip and popped them in my bag in readiness for our trip. Although the autograph book I bought BattleKid has one, it’s no harm to keep that and use ones I don’t mind losing or sharing with other families.

Coral from Way Too Much Luggage says to wear comfy shoes as there is a lot of walking to do. She also said don’t worry about a stroller if your little one doesn’t use one at home as it will make life for your stay easier. The walking shoes and trainers are packed, and we have actually elected to bring BattleKid’s stroller, just in case. We will probably use it on our first day and see how he gets on. If he doesn’t need it, then we’ll leave it in our hotel room for subsequent days.

I was going to bring a bike lock, and lock our buggy to the railing at the ride entrance as suggested by Coral, but Laura from We Forgot The Sperm said this is against park rules and your buggy can be removed. She advises to lock the wheels together instead.

Laura also advised to buy the Photo Pass as they got over 100 pictures in 5 days and each picture in the park would have cost €15 each in the park. Well, I’m glad I added it to our booking as I was unsure about it. Plus, I’ve since read that it’s cheaper to buy before you go. We paid £45 at the time of making our booking, but to buy it in the park will cost you €69.99 (£62.40, at the time of writing). That said, if you were to want to buy just 4-5 pictures, you’d cover the cost of the Photo Pass. Worth thinking about!

Jade from Mummies Waiting, who is also at Disneyland Paris at the same time as us, is a seasoned visitor to Disneyland with her little ones and had these tips for me.

  • Prepare your kids ahead of time by watching Disney vlogs so they get a feel for how busy it’s going to be.
  • Don’t pack too much stuff. Be aware there has been pick-pocketing going on and stealing from rooms (even safes). Lock valuables in your case, and bicycle lock that to your bed.
  • If you like to prepare, bring snacks and squeezy juice to refill your drinks bottles.
  • You can write down what parades and shows are on and when. Then print that as a pocket size card.

Jade even has a rough timetable prepared for their visit and I took inspiration from her and did the same. I also listed out rides in areas we definitely want to do and Meets and Greets in each area too.

Sophie from Sophobsessed said to download the App as it’s so useful. Thanks Sophie, done!

Nat from Awaybies had a few good tips. Firstly, following on from Coral’s advise (Way Too Much Luggage), wear comfortable shoes. She also said to bring your own costumes as they are eye wateringly expensive in the park. We have that covered as it was mentioned in my planning post. We have a Buzz Lightyear costume, a Lightning McQueen outfit and a Kylo Ren one for BattleKid. Jemma (Have Kids Will Travel) also said costumes can get your kids onto the ride of that costume without queuing so that could come in useful!

Nat also suggested bringing some souvenirs in advance and I have one or two items for BattleKid for his “Disney” pack. And we have our autograph book too.

Emily from Twin Mummy and Daddy said her biggest tip is to plan your days. Decide what Meet and Greets you want to do, what rides and what shows. Decide what areas of the park you really want to visit too. She also suggested downloading the app for live wait times, meet and greet times and show times.

Last-minute tips for visiting Disneyland Paris – The Eateries

While I did a post dedicated to the best places for a meal at Disneyland Paris, a few bloggers told me their must-do places for meals. Anna from Squats Make Mama Sassy said Café Mickey is a must while Kate from Five Little Stars said to remember that Café Mickey is no longer a character dining restaurant and she prefers eating at the Rainforest Café or Planet Hollywood in the Village instead.

Caroline from Mum’s Misbehaving said to go for meals early. When it gets busy

You cannot get served and can queue for an hour and a half. It was soul destroying with my 3-year-old who was starving.

She also said Café Mickey is a must and also recommended Buffalo Bill’s Show. We have all our meals bar two already booked so hopefully we won’t have to experience long waits. But we may try Café Mickey for one of those meals if it isn’t too busy!

Booking your meals ahead was also a tip from Coral of Way Too Much Luggage. Emily from Twin Mummy and Daddy also suggested booking meals ahead of your arrival.

Jade from Mummies Waiting also advised booking ahead and I’m happy to say we’ve all but two meals booked. We don’t have lunch or dinner planned for our first day in the park as we have the Characters Breakfast booked for the 9.45am seating. We figured we’d get a late lunch or early dinner, depending on when everyone is getting hungry and just go to one of the walk-in places, most likely in the village around parade time. Hopefully they won’t be too busy then. After that, all meals are booked for specific times!

Victoria from Starlight and Stories said to check your order at any quick service restaurants BEFORE leaving the counter, especially during the lead up to the parades.

Lines get really long, and it’s really frustrating to get outside and realise you only have half your order.

This is a great tip. Victoria has, unfortunately, been caught out many times.

Last-minute tips for visiting Disneyland Paris – Other Blog Posts to Read

As well as all these great tips, many bloggers have written full posts with hints and tips to enjoying Disneyland Paris with kids.

One of the first Disneyland Paris posts I read back in the summer was the 30 Awesome Disneyland Paris Tips and Tricks by Kellie of My Little Babog. She had so many good tips for us when we were starting our planning and I was still referring to it recently.

Emma from Our Fairytale Adventure has a great post with Tips for Visiting Disneyland Pairs with Toddlers. She covers everything from getting your Fast Pass ticket early, to watching out for the scam artists looking to “use” your phone to find lost loved ones, to getting your spot for the parade EARLY.

Kate from Five Little Stars is a regular Disneyland Paris visitor and has a whole Disney series on her blog.

Joanna from The Knights Tribe has a blog post Top Tips for Disneyland Paris. The tips I gleamed from her were to bring a small first aid pack with Calpol, plasters, wet wipes and antihistamines in it. She also said to make sure you find time to just soak up the atmosphere as Disney is a magical place.

Nat from Awaybies has a comprehensive Disneyland Paris Review and Top Tips post on her blog which is definitely worth reading.

And Emily from Twin Mummy and Daddy has some great posts about Disneyland Paris including one about booking your trip to Disneyland, a review of the Disneyland Hotel if you’re considering it, a great packing list guide and also a quick tips post.

Other posts you might find useful if you are thinking of booking a trip to Disneyland Paris include one by Kara of Are We Nearly There Yet, who has a great post for saving money when you are booking a holiday to Disneyland Paris.Last-minute Tips for Visiting Disneyland Paris

So there you have it, last-minute tips for visiting Disneyland Paris. As mentioned I’ve read tons of posts about visiting Disneyland Paris but there is nothing like getting tips from those who have been. All that’s left to say is keep your eyes peeled on the blog for our Disneyland Holiday Diaries and all the Disney related posts I will no doubt be writing following our trip.

Have you been to Disneyland Paris as a family? Have you got any tips you’d like to share?

Cath x

Last-minute Tips for Visiting Disneyland Paris

Last-minute Tips for Visiting Disneyland Paris

The Grassholm Lodge at Bluestone – A Lodge for 8

As you’ll know, we were kindly invited to have a mid-week stay at Bluestone and we stayed in a Grassholm Lodge. This lodge sleeps eight and is very comfortable. All lodges at Bluestone have the look of a log cabin and never fail to impress me. We’ve stayed in a variety of lodges but this was our first time staying in a Grassholm lodge at Bluestone.Grassholm lodge at bluestone

What’s in a Grassholm Lodge at Bluestone?

The Grassholm Lodge has four bedrooms, three bathrooms, an open-plan living room, diner and kitchen. It has everything a large family or group of friends might need for a home-away-from-home stay at Bluestone.

Grassholm lodge at bluestone
Our buggy parked outside our Grassholm Lodge of 24 Knight’s Rest, Bluestone

As you enter the lodge, you enter into a large entrance hall which leads into a small hallway. Off this is a double or twin bedroom (whichever you need) and a large family wet room which has both a bath and shower in it. This short hallway then leads you to the open plan living room, dining room and kitchen. There were two two-seaters and one large three-seater leather sofas, a coffee table and TV unit with TV in the living room area. The dining area had a large wooden table with eight chairs, and a baby’s highchair as we had an infant with us.

Grassholm lodge at bluestone - living room
The living room of the Grassholm Lodge

The open plan kitchen aside the dining area is large, with plenty of space in it. There is everything you need for a comfortable stay in the kitchen from a kettle and toaster, to microwave, dishwasher and full cooking facilities. Included is  cutlery and crockery for eight and enough pots, pans and serving dishes to feed a large family or group of friends. There is also a fridge and freezer for those planning on bringing their own food to eat/cook.

Grassholm lodge at bluestone - kitchen and dining areas
The dining area and kitchen of the Grassholm Lodge

Upstairs there are three additional large bedrooms, one double with an ensuite bathroom and two bedrooms which can either be twin or double bedrooms. There is also a family bathroom with bath and shower upstairs.

Grassholm lodge at bluestone - bedrooms
The four bedrooms of the Grassholm Lodge
Grassholm lodge at bluestone - bathrooms
The bathrooms of the Grassholm Lodge

Outside there is a patio area with picnic benches for times you might want to enjoy the fresh, Pembrokeshire air.

Grassholm lodge at bluestone - outside space
The outside of a Grassholm Lodge at Bluestone

My thoughts on the Grassholm Lodge at Bluestone

This lodge is quite similar in layout to the St. David’s Lodge, which we’ve stayed in once before, minus the playroom. It is large and extremely comfortable. It has everything you need for a comfortable stay. To be perfectly honest, we didn’t miss the playroom as the living room is big enough for two boys to build a train track across. In the living room, the sofas are comfortable and the TV was used once to entertain the boys while us mums visited the spa.

Entertaining and eating-wise, the dining table has eight chairs and has plenty of room for eating at. The kitchen is well equipped and has everything you need for cooking and feeding a large group.

In the bedrooms, there is ample room with chest of drawers and wardrobes for clothes, and all had plenty of room for a travel cot. The beds are comfortable. Two single beds pushed together make a large double bed. I did this in the room BattleKid and I were sharing and we had loads of room to sleep on. That didn’t stop a stray arm or leg making its way across the divide though.

The bathrooms were large too and never felt cramped. My only gripe with the bathrooms is the wet room. I used the shower in it once and despite the underfloor heating being on, it was still soaked hours after I had finished my shower. This wasn’t ideal as the floor remained slippery. With two young boys, one of whom is newly toilet trained, this bathroom, located on the ground floor, is the easiest to access with two toddlers. Needless to say, it was the only shower taken in that bathroom. I contacted Bluestone about this and they have reassured me it is something they are aware of and will be addressing in such lodges before the end of the year.

Also, on our last morning we ran out of hot water. We did stagger our showers during our stay but on the last day, all four adults wanted a shower before travelling home, particularly BattleDad and I as we were travelling by car and plane.

However, after one member of our party had a very long shower, there was no hot water left for the rest of us. BattleDad had a lukewarm shower, while myself and another member of the party had to have cold showers. I mentioned this to Bluestone and they have let me know that the immersion heater holds 200 litres of hot water and if it runs out, it shouldn’t take longer than one hour to regain a hot temperature. I didn’t realise 200 litres of water could be used in 40 minutes, but you learn something new every day. So just be aware that if there are many adults wanting showers one after the other, you need to have quick showers.

One thing we spotted that wasn’t in any of the lodges previously, was a new eco-thermostat for the heating. This clever technology keeps the lodge at your desired temperature, meaning you don’t need to adjust the setting on any of the radiators. You can turn them off if you desire, but it is recommended you don’t. It also detects when there is no one in the lodge and turns the heating off in order to conserve energy. How clever is that!

The Grassholm lodge at Bluestone is the perfect place for a large family or group of friends to enjoy a stay in this brilliant resort. While it has enough beds for up to eight people, there is room in each of the rooms to hold a travel cot. So, if a large group of friends with babies wanted to share a lodge, the Grassholm has enough room for eight adults and four babies! It is large, comfortable and has everything you need. We had plenty of towels for everyone and didn’t want for anything. Well, apart from more blue skies but you can’t do anything about the weather.Grassholm lodge at bluestone

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay in the Grassholm Lodge and will definitely look into booking it for future breaks at Bluestone with friends or family. Unfortunately it was late when we arrived, so all my pictures are from that evening before our full party descended on the lodge. If you’d like to see inside in greater detail, hit play on the video below!

Have you stayed at Bluestone before? If so, what lodge style was your accommodation?

Cath x

*We received a complimentary mid-week stay in a Grassholm Lodge at Bluestone in return for this review. However, as always, these are my own honest opinions and thoughts about the lodge.

Grassholm lodge at bluestone

Grassholm lodge at bluestone