When I get an idea into my head there’s no stopping me. So one day I woke up and I said to Danny “let’s take Evie to Disneyland!” And I didn’t stop until I found a deal within our budget! I’m a bit like that, a dog with a bone, I wasn’t going to give up. We ended up booking directly through the Disneyland Paris website when they had an offer on which was for 25% off your hotel and park tickets plus the half board food package for free so it was a pretty good deal! I think we paid around £550 for 3 nights stay in the Cheyenne Hotel, access to both parks for 4 days and vouchers for breakfast and lunch or dinner. The hotel was ‘2 keys’ on the Disneyland website but in all honesty it was bloody brilliant! The Cheyenne has a large reception with a bar, a restaurant, a gift shop and a Starbucks and then all the room are in separate buildings which are all Wild West themed.
I think they’ve recently renovated the rooms so they were fresh, clean and Toy Story themed which is what sparked Evie’s new found love for Woody! I have stayed in the Newport Bay hotel previously on a school trip and although it’s a great hotel I wouldn’t personally pay the extra money (thanks Mum and Dad!) to stay there over the Cheyenne! I’ve also stayed in the hotels just outside of the park (Vienna House Dream Castle and Vienna House Magic Circus) and I would say it’s definitely worth staying at a Disney hotel if your budget can stretch to that because the access to the park from 08:30 – 10:00 before it opens to the public is invaluable especially if you’re taking a toddler! We managed to get on every ride Evie wanted to go on without hardly any queue times.
When you book direct on the Disneyland Paris website you can also add on any extras to your package so we booked the magic shuttle bus to pick us up from the airport (not realising last departure time was 7:45pm when we landed at 8:30pm!!!!) and also to take us back to the airport. Minus the massive cock up which is probably my fault for not reading the small print I think it’s good value for money and we paid €80 for the 3 of us for the return trip. I researched this before booking and couldn’t find a transfer that was cheaper than that and bare in mind we had to fork out €92 euros for a taxi to do the 30 minute journey!! We also added on the character breakfast which I can’t recommend enough, I think it’s the main part of the trip that was truly ‘magical’ as cheesy at it sounds!
In my opinion it’s the best way to meet some of the characters in a relaxed setting without having to queue. They visit every table and make a really big fuss of the kids which is just amazing and so lovely to see! These are the moments which Evie still talks about now a week after returning and if I could go back I would have booked the princess breakfast too (I don’t think I did at the time because I remember thinking it was pricey). We also happened to be in the right place at the right time and saw the queue for Woody which was relatively small so we only had to wait about 10 minutes! That’s the one good thing about taking a young toddler, they don’t really have a tick list of who they want to meet!
The main thing that I didn’t anticipate is just how much Evie would sleep whilst we were there! Because she’s not a pram sleeper at home at all I just didn’t really think about it! But it’s a sensory overload for them and obviously there’s so much for them to take in and so much walking going on that she slept in her pram every 3/4 hours! Because it was so cold when we were there, even with 4 layers on you can still feel the bitter chill, she often asked to get in the pram just so she could snuggle up in the footmuff bless her! I said to Danny I can’t even imagine going with a 3 year old and not taking a pram as you just do so much walking!
Be warned nothing is reasonably priced. I think you kind of expect that when you go though don’t you!? The best thing we did was have the half board meal package on our booking! Because Evie is under 3 she is still classed as an infant so we didn’t have to pay for her park tickets or for her food. Because ‘technically’ our booking covered 4 days (but we landed late Wednesday evening and flew home early Saturday morning) when we got there our food package allowed 3 breakfasts (including the character breakfast), and 6 sittings of lunch or dinner so we only ended up having to pay for one meal when we were there which was great (but still cost us €50 for some burgers and a kids ice cream hahahaha!)
Even with two full days in the park there’s still shows, parades and rides we missed out on. But because Evie slept so much during the day me and Danny were able to take it in turns to go on the rollercoasters too which was an added bonus! It was so quiet in Walt Disney studios the queue time for Rock n Roller Coaster was 5 minutes!!! Two things I would definitely make sure you don’t miss out on is the evening parade at 5pm (it’s seriously amazing!) and also the fireworks outside the castle at 8pm. Both are so so magical!! Our trip started off on a bad foot with one thing after another going wrong coupled with a toddler who was seriously lacking some decent sleep on the first full day I really did start to wonder if I’d made a huge mistake and brought her to Disney too young. However after a power nap in the pram and a hot chocolate we all picked ourselves up and the rest is history. Despite the rocky start I’d do it all again because it really did feel like ‘the happiest place on earth’.