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Disneyland Paris At Christmas - Ten Things I Missed in 2020

26 November 2020

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Yesterday Disneyland Paris announced they are to remain closed until February. When I read Disney's announcement of the closure it brought tears to my eyes as this time of year is usually when we head to Paris for a Disney break and it's sad that this year we can't. Disneyland Paris at Christmas time has become a little bit of a tradition and I then got more upset thinking of all the things I will miss because we are unable to go. 

Disneyland Paris at Christmas Time


Watching Big and Little J's face when we tell them we are going to Disney that night
John and I are very good at keeping secrets and we manage to make it right up till before the journey to the airport before we tell the boys we are going. We usually get an early evening flight so we always have the suitcases packed and in the car, pick them up from school for a quick change of clothes and head to the airport. Their faces are priceless even though we usually go every year they never know when so are always surprised. 

Arriving At The Hotel
Again we usually keep the hotel a secret until we are almost there. We have stayed in all the hotels over the years except for Cheyenne and I love watching them guess which one we are staying in based on little clues we give them. I love walking through the hotel doors knowing we all wake up in Disney the next day.

Disneyland Paris at Christmas Time

Disneyland Paris at Christmas Time


Walking down Main Street from the Christmas tree to the Castle. 
The Tree and Castle take my breath away every year. Seeing the tree as you enter the Disneyland Park never gets old, it's my favourite. I love walking down Main Street with the castle in the distance, Christmas decorations all around and the Christmas songs playing. It's just the best feeling ever. 

Disneyland Paris at Christmas Time

Disneyland Paris at Christmas Time


Planning Our Days
Christmas time at Disneyland Paris is fairly quiet compared to other times of the year so we usually head there for 3 full days and that is more than enough time to do everything we want to. I don't usually plan the days beforehand however we usually spend a day in each park and then do half a day in each park on the last day. I love watching little J as he gets out the park maps and starts planning where we are heading to first and what rides to go on. 

Our Little Thrillseeker
Although he is only seven little J has been riding some of the bigger rides in theme parks for a few years now as he is very tall for his age so is over the minimum height required. Every year he chooses a new ride and is more than happy to push himself out of his comfort zone. Although a family ride his first thrill coaster at Disneyland Paris was Big Thunder Mountain, then he moved on to Crushes Coaster and last year it was RC. I think this year he would have chose Indiana Jones Coaster or Tower of Terror. Maybe if we get to go next year he will choose both. 

big thunder mountain at night time


Big Thunder Mountain In The Dark
This has been one of our favourite things to do at Disneyland Paris for as long as I can remember. There comes a time in the late evening where Frontierland goes completely quiet. Big Thunder has almost no queue so we keep going round and round riding again and again and it's just one of those small things that we do and it makes us happy.

frozen show at Disneyland Paris


Meeting the Characters in their Christmas clothes
Like all the other seasons the Characters dress in their best for the Christmas season and we love meeting Christmas Winnie, Christmas Stitch and a personal favourite Christmas Jack Skellington. Again the queues are always pretty quiet so we never have a problem meeting them and I find they spend lots of time with the boys than they do at other times in the year. 

disneyland paris christmas parade


Choosing A Christmas Decoration
Our Christmas tree is filled with Disneyland Paris decorations that we have bought over the years. Some have the year on, others don't. It will be really sad not adding a Disneyland Paris Christmas decoration to the tree this year. 

Watching The Tree Lighting Ceremony
Every evening Mickey and Friends gather at the bottom of the huge Christmas tree and put on a show for everyone which ends in the whole of Main Street going dark whilst we then watch the tree light up as Christmas carols play in the background

Spending Time Together
Although we have spent more time together as a family than usual this year it is always nice to spend quality time together especially on holiday away from screens and distractions. It's nice to chat, laugh and watch the boys enjoy the magic of Disney together.

disneyland paris christmas parade


Disneyland Paris is so magical especially at Christmas time and there are so many more things that I will miss but I know it's for the best and I really do hope that everyone stays safe and well. 

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Michelle
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Visiting Disneyland Paris During Halloween Season

7 October 2020

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Happy Halloween Sign at Disneyland Paris
Halloween season is lots of fun and even more special if you are heading to Disneyland Paris. We really enjoyed visiting during Halloween and there are lots of tricks and treats to enjoy at the hotels and the parks to keep you busy. Unfortunately it doesn't look like we will make it to Disneyland Paris this year but if you are then I've gathered some information to make the most of your visit. 

Pumpkin at Disneyland Paris

a couple by a Pumpkin at Disneyland Paris

Pumpkin at Disneyland Paris
Disneyland Park

I'm Walking Right Down The Middle Of Main Street, USA
From the moment you head in to the park you will be greeted with Jack ‘o lanterns as they line the streets while ghoulish ghosts can pop up anywhere to give you a spooky surprise.

Main Street is one of our favourite places to take photographs as it is always decorated perfectly for the Halloween season. There will be lots of Mickey pumpkins, ghosts and ghouls ready to be snapped. 

The decorations and music at Disneyland Paris really add to your whole experience and they do it so well.

Maleficent at Disneyland Paris
Spot A Villain
Halloween brings out the villains and you will definitely spot a few of your favourites. Halloween season is the only time you can spot some of the villains so you won't want to miss them.

Maleficent will be lurking around Sleeping Beauty's Castle so make sure you check out Fantasyland.

If you fancy seeing Captain Hook head to Adventureland and look out for the Jolly Roger.

Rumour has it that Ursula will be making an appearance this year too. We have never met Ursula so this will be on our 'to do' list if we get the chance to visit.

pumpkins at Disneyland Paris

Jack Skellington at Disneyland Paris
Spooky Selfies
Spotting your favourite character in their Halloween costume is such a good feeling. Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy and Goofy will be escorted around the parks throughout the Halloween season ready to snap a selfie with you.

Little boy with Mickey at Disneyland Paris

Mickey and Friends Take To The Stage
Mickey and friends will also we heading to the Fantasyland theatre for some selfies. (I think this will be the Meet Mickey Theatre but will confirm)

Hollywood Studios

Who's Lurking At Hollywood Studios?
From 1 October, Jafar, Cruella de Vil, Captain Hook and other mischievous characters are invading Studio Theater for your goosebump-inducing pleasure. A screamingly good time awaits those courageous enough to spend time in the presence of these rebellious rapscallions.

tower of terror at  Disneyland Paris


The Tower Of Terror
Welcome to the dusty remnants of the once-glamourous Hollywood Tower Hotel. Going up? Hop inside the service elevator and discover the surprises that lie on the upper floors - we’re sure you’ll fall quickly for this old Hotel’s quirky charms. Oh, and make sure you strap in, you never know what can happen in a rickety old lift.

*Due to Covid19 there will be only opportunities to take selfies with the characters at a distance for the safety of staff and guests. The precise times and locations of characters can not be guaranteed.

As well as all the spooky shenanigans you can enjoy all your favourite rides. 

Disney's Halloween Festival is back for 2020 from 26th September till the 1st November. Opening times and ride closures are updated on the Disneyland Paris website under plan your visit so make sure you check that out before your visit so you can plan your days. 

If you found this post useful there are a few ways that you could say thanks and support Playdays and Runways.

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Michelle
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Taking Your Dog On Holiday? Here's Everything You Need To Know | AD

17 June 2020

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Disclosure - This is a paid collaboration
dog paddling in the sea
Your next holiday may be weeks or even months away, but it’s never too soon to start planning the logistics. Between finding accommodations, securing transportation, saving discretionary funds and planning itineraries, many considerations go into planning any trip away from home.

It’s difficult enough to plan for a major holiday when it’s just people involved, but those who bring their pets along have a world of other factors to consider. From how to handle travel to planning for the actual holiday stay, you’ll need to make a variety of additional plans.

To assist with this process, here are the tips and information you need to know when taking your dog on holiday.

Confirm Any Travel Requirements

It’s logistically challenging to travel to and from your holiday destination with any dog, especially larger ones. As such, you’ll need to confirm any travel requirements with one or more entities. These include the hire car company (if applicable) and your hotel or similar accommodations. If you are travelling to Europe, verify what procedures are required for your dog to board the ferry or train. This ensures you do not have a last-minute surprise that prevents you or your dog from going on holiday.

Evaluate Your Insurance Options

Whether you’re embarking on a short holiday excursion or travelling halfway around the world, your dog’s health should be a top priority. The last thing you want is for your dog to fall ill while on holiday in an unfamiliar place – but if it happens, being prepared is better than being unprepared. Dog insurance policies may provide some assistance with covering any unexpected healthcare costs for your dog in situations such as these but check what the policy covers, so you are prepared before you set off. Insurance providers such as Everypaw offer access to pet insurance for dogs through a variety of quotes and policy descriptions. A variety of different dog insurance coverage levels and options are available, including cover while abroad on holiday in countries that are a part of the Pet Travel Scheme.

Visit the Vet

Before travelling, you might decide to see a doctor to make sure you are well enough to travel and are up-to-date on any immunisations. Making similar considerations for your dog is only fair. Especially if you are travelling to countries where diseases such as rabies are still prevalent, it’s just sensible to see a vet to verify whether your pet needs any additional protection. Likewise, some countries require proof of immunisation before they will allow any pets to enter.  Make sure you are aware of any immunisation laws if your holiday crosses international lines to avoid any unexpected refusal of entry for your dog. If you are travelling to Europe, you’ll need a valid pet passport for your dog.

Dog sitting in the sun
Determine Vital Dog Items

Before you leave – or even enter the final stages of planning for your trip – it is imperative that you create a list of vital dog items that will be needed during the course of your holiday. Obvious considerations include food and water, along with food bowls. However, what else should you be considering for such a trip?

Any medicines that your dog needs should be filled ahead of your holiday if needed. Make sure the dog’s collar is with you upon departure. If your dog has a bed at home in which to sleep, bringing it along on holiday (assuming it’s feasible) may assist your dog to feel more at home. Additionally, any favourite dog toys, cleaning supplies (such as poo bags) and even photos of your dog in the event he or she gets lost while on holiday are worthwhile considerations.

If your dog is microchipped,  it is recommended to add the address you’re staying at to the database, just in case your pet goes missing while you are on holiday.

Incorporate Pet Routine Into Itinerary 

Dogs generally do well under reliable routines and can be less well behaved when those routines are broken. While everybody’s routine will by definition be disrupted during any holiday experience, keeping as much of your dog’s feeding, bathroom and sleep/walking schedules on a similar schedule compared to home may be preferable for your canine friend.

Remember that throughout your holiday, you may be visiting various locales, eating at restaurants and engaging in other activities where your dog is not allowed (click here to learn about the most dog-friendly countries in Europe). In these circumstances, it is important to plan around these events and ensure you will be able to feed and water your puppy, as well as provide daily exercise and restroom trips. The last thing you want is a dog in your hotel room starving and with nowhere to go poo!

If you incorporate your pet’s itinerary into your own, bring vital items, ensure your pet’s health is up to par and handle any travel concerns beforehand, both you and your pet can have an enjoyable holiday experience. These five sets of concerns can further complicate the planning of any holiday but is a small price to pay when compared to having your four-legged friend along for the journey.

If you found this post useful there are a few ways that you could say thanks and support Playdays and Runways.

Have you visited? Leave us a comment below and let us know about your visit.

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Michelle
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Disney Hotel New York - The Art of Marvel

16 June 2020

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outside Disneyland Marvel Hotel
As a family we have always loved Disney and have visited the parks at least once a year for over 10 years. Over this time we have seen more and more Marvel creeping into the parks and until last year it didn't really interest us until we decided to watch all the Marvel movies in chronological order. We finished with Avengers End Game at the cinema and that night we booked a trip to Disneyland Paris for the Season of The Super Heroes. This week we should have been enjoying a trip to Disneyland Paris celebrating the opening of Disney Hotel New York - The Art of Marvel. Unfortunately due to the closure of the park we haven't been able to visit and also the opening of the new hotel has been postponed. 

We have stayed in Hotel New York a few times and were a little gutted when they said it would be closing for refurbishment and turning into a Marvel hotel, however after seeing images online we can't wait to go.



What Can We Expect?

Disney Hotel New York - The Art of Marvel is located just a 10 minute walk from the entrances to the Disneyland Parks. You can head out of the back entrance of the hotel and within a minute or two you are in Disney Village. Disney Village is home to lots of restaurants including Cafe Mickey,  The Rainforest Cafe, Earl of Sandwich and McDonalds. You will also find lots of Walt Disney Shops and a LEGO Shop. If you would rather take the free shuttle to the Disneyland Parks you can head out the front entrance and catch the shuttle which takes 8 minutes approx.

Hotel New York - The Art of Marvel is the first of its kind at Disneyland Paris offering guests a unique experience. The hotel is the only hotel were you can meet Marvel Super Heroes and admire over 300 pieces of Marvel artwork by more than 50 international artists.

boys looking at Hotel Marvel in Disneyland Paris
There are a wide selection of rooms available at The Disney Hotel New York - The Art of Marvel ranging from Superior rooms to Empire State Club Rooms and Suites. Choosing a room will depend on how many guests you are travelling with, your budget and also whether you wish to have breakfast at the hotel included. If you are staying room only, breakfast is only available to those staying in the Empire State Club Rooms and Suites.

We have stayed at Disneyland Paris having breakfast at the hotel and also just room only. Personally having breakfast at the hotel always seems the better option for us. It's the perfect way to start the day, plenty of choice on offer for all guests even little fussy eaters and it means when you head to the parks you can just get on with your day.

Staying in the Empire State Club Rooms and Suites does have other benefits such as fast passes.

hulk statue in Disneyland Paris

Dining at The Disney Hotel New York - The Art of Marvel will be a must with two restaurants to choose from.

The Manhattan Restaurant will offer you a fine dining experience with locally sourced homemade dishes and The Downtown Restaurant will offer a range of Chinese, Italian and American favourites. Both restaurants will accept reservations and I can only assume these will be very popular especially if character dining experiences are announced.

iron man statue in Disneyland Paris

What else can we expect from The Disney Hotel New York - The Art of Marvel?

Super Hero Station - you will be able to meet and greet Marvel Super Heroes at the hotel. This will be very popular especially for those who do not visit during the Season of the Super Heroes.

Swimming Pool and Fitness Centre - including a Sauna and Steam Room, 24 hour Metro Health Club and an Outdoor Fitness Park.

There will also be a Marvel Design Studio - your little heroes can unleash their inner creative genius and learn how to be a Marvel comic-book artist. With a bright interior space influenced by the Marvel Animators Ballpen - where the artists draw, ink and colour the comic books - we're sure they'll feel inspired.

Unfortunately I do not know when The Disney Hotel New York - The Art of Marvel will open it's doors but I definitely know it will be worth the wait.

If you found this post useful there are a few ways that you could say thanks and support Playdays and Runways.

Have you visited? Leave us a comment below and let us know about your visit.

Visit our Out and About Section for lots of travel posts

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Michelle

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Planning A Family Holiday To Puerto Pollensa | AD

8 January 2020

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Disclosure - This is a paid collaboration with Clickstay

Puerto Pollensa
If you are searching for a family friendly holiday destination then I can almost guarantee that someone will mention or recommend Puerto Pollensa. Situated on the Bay of Pollensa, Puerto Pollensa is a small town in Majorca which is extremely popular with holidaymakers each year who are looking for a family holiday.
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Walt Disney World | Hollywood Studios Ride Guide and Spoilers

25 September 2019

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Hollywood Studios entrance
Hollywood Studios was very popular with big and little J on our last trip to Walt Disney World and I think we spent more time there overall than any other park. The new addition of Toy Story Land makes Hollywood Studios very popular so have a read of our ride guide and spoilers to make the most of your day.
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