When Europe started to get struck by Covid-19 in February, Disneyland Paris had to close its doors to guests in March. Canceling my 40th Birthday trip along with the closure. Never in my wildest dreams would I expect that we would be visiting a Disney park anytime soon, let alone this year! We kept an eye on the announcements for the reopening of Disneyland Paris after the coronavirus closure. It looked like they were doing an amazing job with the safety precautions* and were still keeping the magic alive. We decided to book a last-minute trip which would also include our first time driving to Disneyland Paris.
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What Covid-19 Safety Measures Does Disneyland Paris Have In Place?
Disneyland Paris* is implementing a phased reopening and is slowly opening up different hotels and restaurants at different times. This is helping to reduce the attendance numbers and they have also capped these numbers. This means you have to pre-book the days you wish to visit the parks. If you are staying at a Disney Hotel you don’t have to do this.
Physical distancing must be adhered too. They have placed markings on the floors of queuing areas to help guide you. As well as adding perspex walls in the queue lines. There is hand sanitizer placed all around the Disney resort. As well as on all entrances and exits of the rides.
If you are over 11 years old face masks and coverings must be worn at all times when in the parks and the hotels. This means the only time you can remove them is in your hotel room or when you stop to eat and drink. Our visit took place during a mini-heatwave but we still managed to cope with the face masks.
Buffet restaurants are no longer self-service. They still have the all you can eat option but meals are now pre-plated. You pick the plates of food you want from a paper menu which also shows images for reference.
Are There Any Parades, Shows, Or Characters At Disneyland Paris After The Coronavirus Shutdown?
To stop large gatherings or crowds Disney Stars on Parade and Disney Illuminations have been cancelled for the time being. The shows that take place in the Walt Disney Studios Park are also on hold at the moment. They have been replaced by Character Selfie Spots.
What Are Character Selfie Spots?
At the moment with social distancing in place you can no longer cuddle your favourite characters. To make up for this you can meet the characters at special selfie spots. There are lots of rare characters out and about which makes character hunting lots of fun.
Extra Magical Character Moments
Every morning the characters welcome you into the parks from the train station balcony or the balconies of Studio 1. They dance along to the perfect song welcoming you back to the Disney magic.
Around Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, you may spot Princess Aurora herself along with Prince Phillip. You might also find Snow White with her Prince or one of the Seven Dwarfs.
The characters are also there to say goodbye to you at the end of each day. And if you’re very lucky there might be a small character cavalcade to spot during your day.
Did We Love Our Visit To Disneyland Paris After The Coronavirus Closure?
Of course, the Disneyland Paris experience won’t be the same as it has been in the past. Things have had to change for the resort to be able to reopen. This didn’t make us enjoy our stay any less. The parks are quieter which is such a bonus. We could never normally visit in the summer months, and the magic was still there.
Staying At Disney’s Newport Bay Club
During our visit to Disneyland Paris, there were only two hotels open. Disney’s Hotel Cheyenne* or Disney’s Newport Bay Club*. It would have been cheaper for us to book the Hotel Cheyenne but we wanted to have the Disney Meal Plan PLUS*. This would mean that we could eat at the table service restaurants in the parks. Ethan also loves his pancakes for breakfast which I don’t believe are available with the Hotel Cheyenne buffet breakfast.
This wasn’t our first time staying at the Newport Bay Club. We had stayed here during my 30th Birthday trip when I was 33 weeks pregnant with Ethan. The hotel underwent a huge renovation just over four years ago so it was nice to see the difference. With nautical theming, Ethan declared it was like being on a Disney Cruise Ship.
The hotel was lovely and clean with lots of hand sanitizer stations available. Everyone was very helpful and possibly glad to have the visitors back. The only thing that we did notice was the walk back from the parks. This might have been because we were spoilt during our Christmas visit as we stayed at the Disneyland Hotel then. But the walk did feel longer than our previous Sequoia Lodge stays. I don’t think the excessive heat helped.
The New Disney Character Welcome
I absolutely love the new Disney character welcome. I think the song is perfect for what we have been through so far this year. It is the perfect song to welcome you back and remind you the magic never went away. You might have caught me singing and dancing down Main Street. After I had a little cry of course!
The Character Selfie Spots
We had so much fun visiting the Character Selfie Spots. We got to meet characters we would never normally get the chance to see. There was still so much interaction and you weren’t rushed. It was actually quite exciting when you spotted a rare character without a queue. If you visit Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party in Walt Disney World you can easily wait for over two hours to meet a rare character!
Trying New Disney Restaurants
We had three vouchers to use for our table service meals. We booked Bistrot Chez Rémy, Captain Jack’s – Restaurant des Pirates, and The Lucky Nugget Saloon.
Bistrot Chez Rémy
We had an amazing meal at Christmas when we ate here. This time the steak wasn’t as nice. This could possibly be that we were on the Premium plan at Christmas and this time it was the Plus menu. So we were a little underwhelmed this time. We still came out bursting at the seams!
Captain Jack’s – Restaurant des Pirates
I love the theming in Captain Jack’s and always wanted to eat there but the menu always put me off. I’m not a fish person. We decided to give it a try this time as it was in the park and we didn’t want to eat at a buffet restaurant. It also had pasta for the kids. The meal here was amazing. I did give Darren the prawns in my curry but we all really loved this meal. All of us also tried something new and enjoyed it too.
The Lucky Nugget Saloon
The Lucky Nugget Saloon is the new character meal experience. It is an expensive option and I had to top up our vouchers here with 66 euros. This isn’t like the character meals of the past. The characters don’t come around to the table to meet you. Instead, they put a little show on the stage. A bit like dining at Rapunzel’s Royal Table on the Disney Magic. We were sat right next to the stage and it was like our own personal show. The children loved it and the food was amazing.
We are so glad that we booked our last-minute stay. If you are planning on visiting Disneyland Paris after the coronavirus shutdown we highly recommend it if you are regular Disney visitors. If it is your first and only one-time visit you might want to wait a little while longer to experience even more Disney Magic.
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.