Every so often I find that I need a large shot of Disney. It’s an unofficial bucket list dream of mine to visit all the Disney Parks. Complete immersion in the comfort of my childhood (adulthood) favourite films just takes my cares away!
I was 17 before I first went to Disneyland in Anaheim, CA, although the vast majority of my friends have never been at all. Disney is prohibitively distant from New Zealand for a lot of people. When will there be a Disneyland Oz? We can call it D’Oz for short.
While living in the Philippines, Tiernan and I took a quick jump to Japan and visited Tokyo Disney. It was my birthday, a terribly wet day and unbelievably crowded. With that experience still fresh in mind I tacked on a Disney visit to our Parisian Honeymoon.
Our Disney Package
And so I splurged as I have never splurged before and bought a Golden Forest Package online at Disney.com.
Half board was more than sufficient and seems to have shown some foresight on my part; as I was sick, I still was not really eating by the time we go to Disney. Half board meant we had a meal ticket, to be used on lunch or dinner, that could be used at various restaurants throughout Disneyland and the resort. I crunched some quick numbers and over four days it saved us about €300 in onsite meals.
We also got tea time tokens we never used. They would have gotten us a drink and snack between certain hours. Turned out we did not need it because Golden Forest rooms at Sequoia Lodge (a 3 Mickey-Key Head hotel in the resort) get access to a special lounge with unlimited non-alcoholic bevs! Tiernan and I took a tea break in there every evening after coming back from the park.
Hotel bookings come with complimentary additional fast-passes on top of your park ticket. At no point did Tiernan and I have to queue for anything. Tiernan is not a big rides guy so only I went on the coasters. Two rides a day really maxed us out.
The room was huge, too, and the staff were all amazing. I feel compelled to find a downside and for me it was the ambient music they would play every day between 7.30am and about 11pm. I would find myself waking up early with a sense of dread and eventually realised that it was because I hate that music.
Oh! And another thing! Disney hotels also have a surprisingly limited selection of Disney films on their TVs… they do not even need to purchase the rights!
Moving right along!
I referred to our adventure to Tokyo Disney earlier and how it was jam-packed; when I knew we would be visiting Euro Disney I assumed we would have the same problems. Completely opposite experience! Queuing was not an issue, and not just because of the fast passes. I found that Paris in November was nowhere near as crowded as Tokyo in April. I breathed a sigh of relief.
Our trip was planned for two full days and a half day.
I was mostly dead of sick, but we still attacked Frontierland, Adventureland and Fantasyland. We met Merida and Jack Skellington – the latter wishing us a very Merry Christmas. Jack, if you’re reading, it was a great one! The first parade we saw was the Disneyland version of a santa parade. Complete with Father Christmas himself! Somehow Tiernan got me back in the evening to see the light and firework Spectacular.
We took on Discoveryland and browsing every single shop in Mainstreet USA, which we did with the methodical strategy of a lad playing Fallout 4. Only one souvenir was procured on this trip – a tsum stum of Perry the Platypus who now resides on the ‘stuff shelf’ in my room. There isn’t nearly enough merchandise for that guy I’m telling you.
Although feeling recovered slightly I decided to go on the Star Wars themed simulator and brought up everything I had worked for two days to keep down. So my decision making isn’t crash hot. Finally, we ticked off the Disney Magic on Parade at 4.30pm before heading to a steak dinner in the aptly named Steak House.
The final morning was spent at Walt Disney Studios. Hindsight says we should have gone there first. As a Classic Disney fan, Walt Disney Studios was never going to compare.
- Grab a map and tick off the rides as you go. It’s a fun souvenir to look back on with little scribbles and routes.
- Like the point above, it’s all about strategy. I like a good clockwise procession around the park. But if you want to meet Princesses in the pavilion you will need to make a bee line for that to book your time.
- Nap time! I might be 27, not 7, but thank goodness for Nap time! We would Disney ourselves all tuckered out between 9am and 1pm, head back to the hotel for a wee sleep, and then attack the evening with full force in the early evening.