Christmas in Paris

Right, a lot of people have asked, where did you stay? How much did it cost? How did you travel around? Did you take Eurostar or fly? So in this blog I will explain everything so if you decided to go yourself you can get some tips.

First of all I thought about spending Christmas in Disneyland a year in advance. I took the boys to Disney on Ice last Christmas Eve and thought it would be amazing to spend a day in Disneyland Paris so from January 2016 I knew that is what I was going to do. Originally I was only going to spend one day in Disneyland and the other day exploring Paris but the lady who I was travelling with hadn’t been before and wanted to spend two days in the the park instead of one so we went for an extra day.

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In front of the Disneyland Paris Hotel

Hotel

I went to Disneyland Paris when I was about 14 and stayed in the Disneyland Paris hotel and to be honest I don’t even remember it. I remember the corridor and the food and briefly remember characters in the hotel but that is about it. When I took Ahaziah for his birthday we stayed in Kyriad it was a 3 star Disney hotel with a free shuttle to and from the park. The hotel was clean and comfortable and just what we needed for our trip. I booked a hotel and Eurostar deal with Eurostar.

This time we stayed in Kyriad Marne- La- Vallee Torcy it was 3 stops away from Disneyland Paris on train. The room was a bit on the small side but it was clean and comfortable and all we needed for a quick break during Christmas. When I travel I hardly spend any time in the hotel especially for somewhere like Disneyland. So as long as the bathroom and the beds are clean thats all I need. The train station was a 5 min walk from the hotel. There is a massive shopping centre and supermarket 5 mins walk from the hotel. On the first day we went to the supermarket and brought water and snacks so we didn’t have to spend extortionate prices in the park. We also would go to the shopping centre in the mornings for breakfast.

When I book short breaks away I usually use booking.com and use the book now pay later option. That way I know the hotel is secure and I have time to save for it. I book this hotel in January and for 3 nights it cost £209 including city tax.

Eurostar or Flights

Some people say flying into Paris is inconvenient especially if you have children and to be honest it is not that bad. We flew this time because it was cheaper than the Eurostar. Bear in mind if you want to travel by Eurostar it only goes straight into the park on particular days. If you take the Eurostar it takes you straight to Marne- La- Vallee Chessy train station which is a 2 minute walk from the park. So if you plan to go to the park on the same day plan in advance where you will leave your luggage.

We flew from London Heathrow into Charles de Gaulle. We booked the flights in March and it cost £220 for 1 adult 2 children. I usually use sky scanner to find cheap flights and I think this was a good deal. When coming out the station there are tourist guides who will sell train cards, skip the queue Eiffel Tower tickets and other excursions avoid them at all cost! The lady who was helping us did advice us to get tickets from the train station as it would be cheaper. Our hotel, Disneyland Paris and the airport were is zone 5. Paris is in zone 1 so we would need a travel card zones 1-5 for 4 days. The price they were charging was 70 or 90 euros for 1 adult. At that point I had already decided there was no way I was getting Ahaziah a ticket.

We walked towards the train station. It was a 15 minute walk away and they charged 25 euros for 5 days zones 1-5 bargin! We had to take photos in a Photo Booth which did take up a lot of time so if you do plan to get a travel card you can save time by bringing your own passport photo. Ahaziah enjoyed having his own travel card and was able to use it independently with ease. The train journey took under 1 hour and had 1 change.

Disneyland Park Tickets

Its always a good idea to shop around at the time of booking to ensure the best deal for your party. The websites I would recommend is Travel Republic , Attraction- Tickets and 365 Tickets. This year we used 365 tickets as it had the best deal. We got 3 days 2 parks for the price of 2.

Travelling around Paris

Travelling around Paris is very easy and simple. You can get a travel card or daily metro cards for single use depending on how much travelling you decide to do. Most of the stations are accessible for wheelchairs or buggy. Majority stations have escalators or lifts.Travelling around Paris is very similar to travelling around London. You can’t get lost. I love using public transport in other countries and cities, it is the most cost effective and you get to see so much.

Excursions 

Louvre Museum

We went into Paris for the the morning, we went to Galeries Lafayette then after we headed to the Louvere Museum. We didn’t go inside because the boys wasn’t interested plus re really wanted to see it at night. However, the journey into Paris takes under 1 hour and we didn’t think it would be fair on the children. Whenever I see pictures I always see one so I was surprised to see so many pyramids.

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Eiffel Tower 1st floor

 

Eiffel Tower

I have seen the Eiffel Tower during the day so I really wanted to see it at night. I was so surprised that there was no queue. When I went for my birthday during the day I queued for at least 2 hours so I was surprised to go straight through, especially as it was raining. The Eiffel Tower has an Ice rink inside it during Christmas so if you visit and its not raining I can imagine it being an amazing experience. Bucket List adventure right there.

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River Seine Cruise

We went on a boat along river Seine at night, it was amazing! We used Bateaux Parisians cruise company. The boats run every 30 minutes. The boats are beautiful, there is an open deck upstairs where I was able to get this shot of the boys next to the Eiffel Tower. The cruise provided a commentary in different languages so I was able to hear the history of each landmark in English. Everything looks beautiful at night. We saw the ferris wheel lit up in the colours of the French flag. The Eiffel Tower sparkles on the hour for 5 minutes and looks very pretty.

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In front of the Eiffel Tower

 

Arc de Triomphe 

Sight seeing in Paris. The buildings are so big and beautiful. We saw this monument by chance as we got out the station when we were heading to the Eiffel Tower. It was on our list to do if we had time and initially we wanted to go to the the top. We decided to just walk around it instead.

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Galeries Lafayette 

Is a large department store in Paris. At Christmas they decorate there stores with animation in works of art. Along with Christmas trees and lights the shop windows put on an amazing show featuring animated figures and magical decor. Ahaziah really enjoyed looking at the interactive displays. It is a Parisian tradition to do so it was interesting to participate.

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Galeries Lafayette

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Cafe Mickey

Cafe Mickey

We wanted to visit Cafe Mickey on Christmas eve and have breakfast with the characters as a pre Christmas treat. I tried to book it in advance but they only take reservations over the phone so we decided to risk it and book when we got there. On the first day we went to the park we went to make a reservation they didn’t have any availability for Christmas eve so we decided to go the day before. Cafe Mickey has a set menu and the food is not the greatest but it is an experience definitely worth doing. The boys created so much memories in here. When we came for Ahaziah’s birthday he had his dinner here, all the characters made a fuss over him and sang to him which bringing out his cake. It is definitely a magical experience.

 

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Every time Micaiah sees a picture of Tigga he says “That tiger was jumping on the table”. The characters stayed in character and was very interactive with the children. Tigga was bouncing over the tables and chairs, it was funny.

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Mickey Mouse

Oh hey Mickey! The star of the show. I was a little bit upset that Minnie was not there this time. I feel like Minnie and Mickey are a pair and should come out together. You wouldn’t have Donald without Daisy would you?

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Eeyore

Eeyore was really in character, he was walking around with the world on his shoulders so sad and hopeless. He did keep himself in character because it would be strange to see him running from table to table.

 

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Pluto

Cheeky Pluto, he kept putting our ears in our faces so we couldn’t take a good photo. Micaiah keeps telling me Pluto rubbed him whiskers on his cheek.

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Goofy

Goofy kept going behind people and scaring them. He was very funny.

Disneyland Paris

Character Meet and Greet

The queues to meet the characters are not that long, 10- 20 minutes. They do go on breaks but they usually come back with 5 minutes. If you  have an autograph book they will sign it for you. We didn’t bring an autograph book this year because last time we didn’t see much characters so I didn’t think it was worth it but it would have been. They take official Disneyland Paris photos of you along with taking pictures with your own camera.

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Woody

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The boys will not stop stroking there chin like Jafar was. They loved him.

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Buzz Lightyear

 

Disney Park

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One of my highlights of Disneyland. The Christmas Disney Dreams is amazing! The fireworks, the water, the lasers projected onto sleeping beauty’s castle. You cannot go to disneyland and not stay for disney dreams. It is on everyday make sure you see it!

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Toy Story Parachute drop

 

There are plenty of rides for Micaiah to go on. With our tickets it included fast pass which we didn’t get a chance to use but it is a great way to plan an effective day at disney. You can use fast pass for popular rides and get 30 min slots to return to ride. You can only get 1 fast pass every hour. Queue times reduces drastically when the park is due to close so we would go to Walt Disney Studios 1 hour or so before closing and wait 15 minutes max for one ride.

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The decor at Christmas is beautiful. It looks amazing during the day and breath taking at night. Everything is so magical.

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Disney Parade

The Disney Parade is another highlight of Disneyland. You get to see all your famous disney characters as they come round on the float they wave and smile at you. At Christmas they have the normal parade plus they have a Christmas parade which is on twice a day. It is amazing! It blew my expectations away. All the characters floats have christmas decor and the characters have christmas attire. Santa, Gingerbread men, Reindeers and Elf’s also have a float.

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Sleeping Beauty’s Castle all lit up

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Sleeping Beauty castle during the day

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Christmas Decor in Disney Park

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Christmas decor in Disney Village

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Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse

Overall we had a brilliant time in Paris during Christmas. It was a nice cheap and cheerful trip. There was so much to do and see and we managed to do so much. I heard there is a Lapland in Paris so I’m sure we will be back soon. Christmas in Paris, you have been good to us! Until next time….

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