Easter 2016 at Disneyland Paris

When to go:
This Easter I went to Disneyland Paris (or Euro Disney as it used to be called) with Olly, my brother, sister-in-law, nephews (10 and 3) and niece (7) where we spent four nights at Disney's Newport Bay Club. We arrived Thursday evening and left Monday morning so we had three full days in the two parks, which was more than enough time. Other than Crush's Coaster and the Toy Soldiers Parachute Drop in the Studios, and a few small rides in the main park, we got on most rides - some of the big rides we went on two or three times.

As it wasn't the French school holidays, the park was fairly quiet on Good Friday and only a little busier on Easter Monday; the Studios park was busy all the time. Saturday, as it always tends to be, was very busy in both parks. It's worth checking out when the French school holidays are when planning your trip.

I'm lucky enough to have been to Disneyland Paris quite a bit before, but usually in August when it's really busy - my brother and I went with my parents when the park opened, and I went back with them for the 5th year celebrations (sans my brother). I've also been on a school trip there, and I went one September, a few years after the Walt Disney Studios Park opened. September tends to be a quieter month but it's still warm - if you can go outside school holidays, it's a good month to visit.

Where to stay:
Most of the Disney hotels are located on/near Lake Disney in the Disney Village, about a ten-minute walk from the park entrance. We pretty much just slept at the Newport Bay Club, though we did come back on the last afternoon for a quick swim and sauna. Newport Bay Club is one of the 4* Disney hotels and it really is a lovely hotel - I adored the Cape Cod/Steamboat Willie influences.
Continental breakfast is included, though if you can't get a pass to eat breakfast before 7.15 at your hotel, it's worth asking to get a park breakfast pass to make the most of the Magic Hours. (We did this on all three days we spent in the park, and only ate at the hotel on our final morning - the food and drinks are the same.)

Magic Hours are an excellent reason for staying in a Disney hotel as hotel guests get into the park two hours before it opens to the general public - hurrah! These hours are invaluable to get a lot of rides ticked off, but also if you want to meet the core characters - Minnie, Pluto, Donald Duck, Goofy, Chip and Dale all hang around Main Street when the park opens for hotel guests. Get those autograph books and cameras ready!

How to get there:
We took the Eurostar to Lille Europe, and then the TGV service from Lille Europe to Marne la Vallée-Chessy, which is where the park is (the station is at the Disney Village entrance). There are direct Eurostar trains from St Pancras to Marne la Vallée-Chessy, but these are infrequent and more expensive. It's super easy to change at Lille Europe, so I really recommend going this way if you're travelling from London.

If you are in Paris, you can hop on the RER A train to get to the park, but it's a lot busier as you go through central Paris. If you want to fly, Charles de Gaulle airport is an eight minute train ride away from the park.

Disney Village:
You don't need a park ticket to enter the Disney Village, which is where you'll find the PanoraMagique balloon (below), shops, restaurants, a cinema, other entertainment and Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show (more about this later). It's a great place to pick up missed souvenirs that you didn't get in the park (all what we bought is in the top picture), including Minnie Mouse ears - you *must* wear these all the time!

As we didn't go into the park on our first night, we ate in the Village at the Rainforest Cafe - Olly woke up in the night with horrific food poisoning from his burger, so I would avoid eating there. Despite this bad start to our Easter break, we had a brilliant time and I'll be sharing what we got up to over the next few weeks.

Have you been to Disneyland Paris? x

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