We have just returned from a trip to Disneyland Paris. We wanted to visit during the Disneyland Paris 30th Birthday Celebrations*. Deciding that the best time to visit this year would be during the school summer holiday. Our visit was exactly two years after returning to Disneyland Paris after its coronavirus closure. This time all of the coronavirus measures had been lifted we only needed to make sure we had proof of our covid vaccinations to enter France. You could also enter with a negative test; children under 12 were exempt from these rules. This trip was our first full experience of visiting Disneyland Paris during the summer holiday. The parks open later and the fireworks show takes place at the park’s closing time. This means there are long days and you need to factor in rest breaks or pool time.
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Our Disneyland Paris Summer Holiday Trip
Where Did We Stay?
There were lots of discussions about where we would stay during this trip. Both Darren and I really want to stay at the Hotel New York*. Darren has never stayed there and we would love to experience the new Marvel updates. But we wanted to stay on-site for three nights and add a stay at Les Villages Nature onto the end of our trip. This made a stay at the Hotel New York out of our budget.
I was happy to stay at the Sequoia Lodge as the Golden Forest rooms really suit our needs. I wanted the children to have some pool time during our trip and I wasn’t sure if the swimming pool would be open during our stay. So we booked our return to the Newport Bay Club*. Adding a character breakfast, hotel breakfasts and a character dinner to our booking.
Did We Book a Meal Plan?
As this trip was booked only a few weeks before our arrival I didn’t add a meal plan* to our package. Booking so late I knew our choice of restaurants would be limited. At twelve Ethan is now classed as an adult I knew finding menus that he would like would be tricky at the table service restaurants. So we decided that we would mostly eat in the counter service restaurants. Our character breakfast and character dinner would be in the Plaza Gardens Restaurant. This is a buffet restaurant which I knew would be a nice break in our day.
I did actually manage to get us a reservation at PYM Kitchen in the new Avengers Campus*. This is the newest buffet restaurant in the Walt Disney Studios park. Giving us the chance to experience something new during our trip. We all got the opportunity to experience the small and large burgers and hot dogs here.
Highlights of our Disneyland Paris Summer Holiday Trip
We Could Cuddle The Characters
The biggest thing for me about returning to Disneyland Paris was that we could cuddle the characters again. Covid brought the introduction of the character selfie spots. We did have lots of fun with these and we actually saw more characters during our trip in 2020 by visiting these selfie spots. But there is nothing better than getting the chance to give Mickey Mouse a cuddle.
We Got The Chance to Watch Amazing Shows
If there is one thing Disneyland Paris knows how to do, it’s how to put on a show. For me, the shows are what make a trip to Disneyland Paris special. During this summer holiday trip, the shows were back on. We got the chance to watch The Lion King: Rhythms of the Pride Lands. This is one I have wanted to see for a while and it did not disappoint. It was just as good as The Lion King show in the West End and we all loved it.
The Disney Junior show had also been re-imagined since our last visit. It is now The Disney Junior Dream Factory. I think I was looking forward to seeing this more than the children. I knew Ethan would love it. It was actually really good and easily a must-see for all ages. It is so much better than the previous Disney Junior show I would be surprised if they don’t update the show in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
The Mickey and the Magician show was also on so we got to watch that again. We first saw the show in May 2019 when we visited Disneyland Paris in the May Half term. If you ever get the chance to see it you must. It is amazing. We still managed to miss seeing Frozen: A Musical Invitation. We have never been able to see that show. But then that gives us a reason to return!
Seeing The 30th Birthday Celebrations
The first time we took Little E to Disneyland Paris it was celebrating its 25th Birthday. I was keen to return to see the 30th Birthday celebrations and I’m so glad we did. We loved the colours used for the 30th decorations. Little E quickly picked up that the 30th logo looked like Mickey’s ears.
We got to watch the Dream and Shine Brighter parade. We only saw it once but it is on at least four times a day. It has such a catchy song and gives you the chance to see some rare characters from Zootropolis and Coco.
We also stayed late one night to watch the Disney D Light drone show. This happens before Disney Illuminations every night.
It was also nice to get the chance to see the Gardens of Wonder. Thirty unique sculptures are placed around the main hub of Disneyland Park. I do hope they think about keeping these in the park.
Visiting Marvel Avengers Campus
The new Marvel Avengers Campus opened in the Walt Disney Studios park a week or so before our visit. With all the queues being reported to get in, I was unsure if it was an area we would be able to visit. But with Ethan’s priority card getting into the area without a long wait was made easier.
We ate at both new restaurants PYM Kitchen and Stark Factory. We also got to experience the new ride Spider-Man W.E.B. Adventure. Avengers Assemble: Flight Force is an overlay of the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith a ride that Ethan did not like. But the Spider-Man ride was so much fun we rode it twice during our time at Disneyland Paris.
I somehow managed to join the virtual queue to meet Spider-Man at the Hero Training Center. We had met Spider-Man before during a trip to Disneyland Paris. But I knew the children would want to meet him if they could. The waiting time inside the Hero Training Center was a bit stressful for Ethan but they both loved their experience meeting Spider-Man.
Meeting the characters at the Plaza Gardens Restaurant was a real highlight during this trip. Apart from meeting Mickey Mouse in Fantasyland, I knew we wouldn’t be able to queue to meet any of the other characters around the parks. We didn’t collect any autographs trip but we did have lots of character cuddles.
We also met some of the rarer characters at these meals. Captain Hook and Mr Smee were there for breakfast. These are two characters that Ethan has never had the chance to meet before. Little E was able to meet them with us on our cruise to Norway.
Star Tours: The Adventures Continue
The children love rides and they have their favourites. It’s a Small World is normally a firm favourite but it was closed during this trip. This trip brought with it a very unexpected favourite. Star Tours was the ride that was continuously being asked for. We went on it three times and every time we had a different adventure. That was a first for us as we normally have the same experience. We also got to experience one of the rides in English. Normally C-3PO narrates the story in French.
Would We Visit Disneyland Paris Again In The Summer Holiday?
To be honest I found this trip quite hard going. A mixture of hot and long days, tired feet and tired children. The swimming pool breaks were needed and very much enjoyed. I didn’t really make much of a plan as I wanted this trip to very much be a go-with-the-flow. We have done long days in Disneyland Paris before. But the closing time was 10 pm and not 11 pm. I think we have decided our next return will be for a winter season event. We would love to visit Disneyland Paris during the Halloween* season. Christmas at Disneyland Paris is also very magical and a fantastic time to visit.
We love sharing our Disneyland Paris adventures on our blog. Make sure you visit our Disneyland Paris Trips and Experiences post to read about all of our adventures there.*