Wonderful Chaos does DisneyLand

For Christmas, we decided to treat Luca to a trip to Disneyland. Luca is an only child and has more than enough toys so we opted for experiences this year over toys.

We gave Luca his “tickets” as a final present on Christmas day. I had my video camera rolling ready to catch his reaction, but what a disappointing reaction it was. I think he was just too overwhelmed by everything “Christmas”, and he didn’t really understand what was happening.  The closer it got to the holiday though, the more excited he got until eventually, it was time to go.

We had to get up at 3:30am to get to the airport in time for our flight. Luckily Luca was more than happy with his early start and the travelling and airport waiting was really painless. I thought he might sleep on the flight but he was wide awake the whole time, which meant none of us got a little nap on the way there.

We had decided to hire a car as there wasn’t much difference price wise between hiring a car and getting the shuttle to Disney.  What we didn’t realise was that the car rental place was miles away from the gate which we landed at.  Not only that, the next gate along, which is a shortcut, was closed due to an unattended bag.  Cue a massive rush to get to the terminal we needed in time to collect our car.  It was a bit of a nightmare in all honesty as Charles De Gaulle airport is fricking enormous. But we made it. Just.

It’s only a 30 minute drive from the airport to Disney and we arrived at our hotel in no time at all.  I was so glad we had chosen the Hotel Cheyenne.  As we pulled up to the hotel our excitement levels all went up a notch.  It’s the coolest hotel I’ve ever seen.  I loved the western theme and it made the whole trip that little bit extra special. I mean, how often do you get to stay somewhere like this? I honestly felt like a cowgirl the whole time.

With our suitcases dumped in our room and our thermals under our clothes, we headed straight to the parks to grab some lunch.  It was raining by the time we got there but it meant it was so quiet. We went straight to the Studios and bumped into Goofy as we went through the gates.

After our meet & greet we went to grab a quick bite to eat and some coffees.  Poor Luca was really starting to feel the early start too.  With us loaded up on caffeine we decided maybe a sugar kick was what he needed and so we bought him a coca cola (€6.50!!!) and some candyfloss whilst we watched one of the shows. By the time the show had finished the sugar had kicked in and we went out to make the most of the quietness.

We got so much done that first day.  We managed to meet so many characters and have a good explore. I think some of my favourite things happened on that first day, like when we met Woody and watching Luca on the Cars ride.  He thought it was absolutely hilarious.

We also managed to get a pretty awesome spot for the parade that day, although it wasn’t the greatest place for getting photos of the parade.  Ant told me off for moaning about this. He may have had a point in hindsight.

I think his parade face is just the best way to explain Disney, it’s just utterly gobsmacking.

By about 6 pm even the sugary snacks weren’t cutting it anymore so we decided to call it a day.

The next morning we let Luca sleep for as long as he needed whilst Ant went and grabbed us coffee from the Starbucks in the hotel. Once he was awake it was straight back to the parks.

Today was the day we were going to meet Spiderman!!!  It was time for the most important part of Luca’s Disney trip and when we got there he totally overwhelmed.  Meeting his hero was a bit too much and he didn’t really smile, not even for the photos, he was just in awe.

We then queued for nearly 2 hours to meet Moana and all vowed nobody was worth a two-hour wait again.  Luckily it was another quiet day and apart from Moana, we didn’t really queue for anything else. We met a few more characters, like the cheeky Chip & Dale, went on some more rides, mostly the Flying Carpets of Agrabah, and pretended to be a train chuffing its way down Main Street towards the castle.

Then it was time for our first character experience, the character lunch at Inventions in the Disney Hotel. This came highly recommended by so many people and we had a great time. The food was delicious and Ant filled his boots.  The only let down was the characters were rushed off before we’d even finished eating our main course from the buffet.  I think it was because we booked a later sitting but I still think they should have waited for us to finish. That said, we did get some lovely interactions. Luca had a bouncing competition with Tigger, a holiday highlight for me, and Pluto attempted to eat my head. Oh, and Luca refused to give Minnie Mouse a kiss. Because he doesn’t do kisses.

With full tummies, we went on lots more rides and explored the park until it was time for the Illuminations that night.

Luca convinced us he needed a flashing, spinning Buzz Light-year for the Illuminations and on his way to find a spot to watch them he was too distracted by his new toy and managed to fall off a curb and land in the biggest puddle you’ve ever seen. Bearing in mind it was about 3° by this point, he was absolutely freezing and we thought we would have to rush back to the hotel before he froze. But my big brave boy stripped off to his thermals which somehow he managed to keep dry. I gave him my big fluffy socks to put on and pull up to his knees and we snuggled on a bench whilst Ant went to find a hand dryer to dry his jeans, socks and shoes.

After successfully getting Luca dry and redressed, I held the fort (our bench) and the boys went to buy hot chocolate and fresh popcorn to keep us extra toasty warm whilst we waited. Luckily the show was worth the cold wait.

I think Luca’s face says it all.

After another busy, and exhausting day we went and grabbed food to take back to our room with us as we had an early start the next day.   We were going for the character breakfast at Plaza Gardens.

This is definitely worth spending money on if you ever go to Disney.  The buffet selection was HUGE and all really yummy too. We filled our boots and I even took some extra bits, like fruit, for Luca to snack on during the day.

We met so many characters at the breakfast.  The interactions weren’t quite as good as they were at Inventions but there were lots more people to make their way around.  Having said that it didn’t feel quite as rushed and they came to the table a few times.  Ant did have to dash out to buy another autograph book half way through his breakfast as Luca filled his first.  Luca was convinced he was going to miss out on some of their signatures so Ant was forced to ditch his eggs and run.

We don’t have a picture of meeting Mickey here though as Luca gave him the cold shoulder.  He was far too busy eating Nutella. Poor Mickey.

After breakfast we went straight out to the rides we hadn’t managed to get on and the ones Luca was desperate to do again, like Buzz Light-year Lazer Blast.  It was still the magic hours so we wanted to make the most of the calm.  The magic hours are where if you are a resident of a Disney hotel, you get extra hours in the park before the general public.  They are an excellent idea but we found out that actually, not everything is open so it didn’t really get us on much extra.

We then decided it was only fair for Ant to enjoy himself too and do all the Star Wars bits. We met Darth Vader and did the Star Tours ride. This was another ride which Luca really liked but we had to get a Fast Pass for it as by this point the parks were heaving so we only did it once.

It was absolutely chucking it down by this point, and Luca just couldn’t be arsed with all the queuing and the hustle and bustle of the main park.  We headed back to the studios to try and catch some more of the shows and stay dry instead of battling the crowds. On the way, we bumped into Stitch hiding down a side alley which was a lovely surprise and he made Luca really laugh when he forced him to carry his book on his head.  Then we stumbled upon Captain Hook too, another one of my favourites.

It was really busy in the studios as well and so Luca decided he wanted to go into the art studio to do a drawing class. It was a lovely break from the chaos outside and we stayed for two of the classes.  We drew Stitch and the dragon from Mulan which I can never remember the name of! I’m going to buy some frames for them and put them up in Luca’s room as a memento of our trip.

It was then time to head back to the hotel for a little rest and outfit change to prepare ourselves for Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.

This was so much fun, we all had the best night. If you book anything when you go to Disney this should be the one. It’s not a cheap treat but it was worth every penny. According to Ant, the food was yummy, I didn’t eat much as I forgot to order the vegetarian option. The beer was flowing and the fun never stopped. We spent the whole time, ‘ye-ha’ing, foot stamping and cheering as loudly as we could for our team to win the challenges. Ant even got picked to join in one part of the show. We all left with huge grins on our faces. It was the perfect way to end our holiday.

The next morning was our last day and we had enough time for a few hours in the park. Luca just wasn’t feeling it though so we had our breakfast and went to the shops.

As someone who isn’t really into Disney I wasn’t sure how much I was going to enjoy it but honestly, it was just amazing.  We made so many memories together, we laughed a lot and had so much fun there.  It really is the place dreams are made of.  It was the best Christmas present we could have given Luca, and ourselves.  But now we need another holiday, just to get over this one.

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