Paris 2021 – Day 1+2 – Flight and Disneyland

Day 1 – Arrival

Originally our flight was meant to be at around midday, but good ol’ British Airways decided to cancel the flight to save money, and squish everyone onto the 3pm flight – we thought we might be able to still get some holiday in on the first day, but unfortunately after arriving at Paris CDG airport, we realised that we had done absolutely no research into how to get to the hotel, and spent ages trying to work out how to buy tickets to get into the city, I was also feeling really rough, i’m not entirely sure what was up (dehydration maybe?) but I just felt nauseous and slightly dizzy. Google failed us when we needed it most and ended up incorrectly telling us there was no connecting trains from Gare Du Nord station to our hotel, and so we ended up having to walk ages with heavy baggage as well.

By the time we got to the hotel, checked in etc, it was half 8 or so – I got worried that everything would shut soon and so we just went to a nearby Vietnamese place for some Pho – I figured the bone broth would help sort me out, though I was barely managing to keep the food down, it was cheap at least.

French Travel Tip:
You can buy single tickets from any station from the automated machine, they have euro5 language support and cost 1.90eur each. Travelling to/from the airport is about 10eur
There is a 1 week travelcard which you can get which cost us about 30eur, but you need to have a photo attached, the big stations like the airport will have a photobooth but it’ll cost 6eur to use. We did get scanned and checked once during our 5 day stay, so you can risk not getting the photo but it could get wild if you don’t play your foreigner card well enough if you get spot checked.

Day 2 – Disneyland Paris

Thankfully feeling better in the morning, we set off to the outskirts of Paris for Disneyland, where we were greeted by a gigantic queue for metal detectors and Covid vaccination pass checks, masks were mandatory making it not really the most magical place on earth, but at least we felt safe.

If you’ve been to disneyland you more or less know what to expect, it was Cordelia’s first time so all very magical for her, we were welcomed into the park by Mickey/Goofy/pluto dancing away on the balcony as we entered and then headed for the rides. Most of the queues weren’t too bad, maybe 15-20mins on average but they all felt like we were making steady progress in line, I guess going during bad weather/winter is less popular – we did have to deal with spatterings of rain but the ride queues were mostly covered so whenever the rain would kick up we’d just go for a ride.

We hit up all the big rides, and I have to say the rides are more intense than I expected, maybe i’m just getting old.
– Big Thunder Mountain – 5/5 – Nice and long, little bit of story, good intensity curve
– Indiana Jones et le Temple du PĂ©ril – 3/5 – Short and sharp, very intense and whiplash prone and/but over super quick
– Star Tours – 1/5 – Just a big 3d glasses simulator ride thing, didn’t enjoy at all
– Pirates of the Caribbean – 4/5 – Big boat ride with emphasis on story/puppets rather than thrill, it was all in french so I have no fucking clue what was happening but the animatronics were neat and it was a nice break
– Hyperspace Mountain – 5/5 – I’ve been on the original but this was better, it’s an indoor dark accelerator rollercoaster, and then there are tons of star wars projections/lazers/neon inside as you barrel roll around in the dark, it’s intense but the restraints are modern so you don’t rattle around too much.
– Phantom Manor – 3/5 – It’s alright, some neat visual tricks at play as you go around this ghost house.

Lunch was an absolute nightmare unfortunately, we didn’t have the foresight to grab any packed food and so had to eat in the park, everyone else seemingly had the same plan. The queue for food took ages and barely moved so it just felt awful, eventually we did get our food and to our surprise the prices were quite reasonable and it was decently tasty at least, so at least there was a happy ending.

As light began to dim, we went to watch the winter parade, which was really nice – loads of dancers with lit up costumes, floats, characters and (fake) snow, felt very magical, and was followed up by ‘turning on’ the christmas lights making everything super sparkly.
It started to rain a little more in the evening, which was trash but also kind of nice for some creative photography with all the light bouncing off the water on the floor.

Eventually it was time to leave (park closes at 7), whilst busy at the station it seemed that nobody else had bought the same travel card that we had, because the queues for the ticket machines were stacked but the actual platform was pretty quiet. We headed back for the hotel and eventually decided on a place to eat – a place called La Refuge just outside the station. The food was really good, they even had an english menu, which is apparently a rarity in Paris (I really thought they’d cater more to tourists, but apparently not), we had a little ‘best hits’ of French food, French Onion Soup, (they still specifically call it french onion soup, even when in france, which seems a bit odd, we don’t call F&C ‘british fish and chips on our menus), Escargot in garlic butter (snails), Confit Canard (Duck) and Creme Brulee for dessert, all good shit.