Not that serious

On my first day doing work experience at a special needs school, I asked the teacher who I would be helping if asthma would upset the kids and if- in the event of an attack- I should take my inhaler in private. The teacher explained to me that the kids see a lot of strange things every day due to the number of conditions in the school and that I didn’t need to worry about upsetting them. Well, that’s what she meant anyway… What she said is quite different, it was a long the lines of

“Oh, no, asthma isn’t that serious. The kids won’t care, they see a lot worse.”

When I was younger, I used to think asthma wasn’t that serious. I would joke about it, forget to take my inhalers to school and even try and get over the attacks on my own sometimes. (DO NOT DO THIS! ALWAYS TAKE YOUR INHALER AS PRESCRIBED BY YOUR DOCTOR.)

I remember my Mum explaining to me that asthma isn’t something that I should take so lightly and that asthma is something that people can die from. I’d never thought about it that way before. I remember thinking “ah, but,won’t die from it. That’ll never happen.” But soon I came to realise that you could die from any asthma attack if a) it’s a particularly bad attack or b) the attack isn’t dealt with properly. I started trying to take a bit more responsibility for it and at work experience, that was my way of saying “I’m responsible for what happens to me”. And having someone who works with disabilities on a daily basis telling me that asthma “isn’t that serious” was very irritating for me.

I am in no way saying that I’m disabled. Asthma, although potentially fatal, is very easy to live with and you can work around it. There’s even ways for you to make it much better. (Excluding “severe asthma” which I am not talking about here because I don’t know a lot about it). However, I stood there in front of her thinking “Oh, they’ve seen worse than someone who is at risk of dying every day, huh?” I knew those kids were in a lot worse situations than me and that they did see some crazy things but I also knew that the things they see are on par with what I go through all the time. An asthma attack isn’t exactly just take your inhaler and 5 seconds later you’re fine, it’s quite often worse than that. I really wanted to teach that lady some respect for what I have to deal with every day but because she’s adult and I was a teenager I didn’t feel like I could.

So, that’s what I’m going to do now. I’m going to teach my readers about asthma and how you can help with someone you know who has it. Just to raise awareness and get rid of the stereotypes you see on your screens.

As I said, with asthma you can pretty much function as a normal human but there are some annoying things on the side that you have to do. You constantly have to make sure that you have inhalers on you. I find this, in the words of Lady Catherine De Burge, “extremely vexing”. Constantly having to know where it is, constantly having to remember how long it’s been since you bought it so you can order a new one and always having to go back to your home because you forgot that it wasn’t in your pocket is sooo irritating! So next time you’re picking up someone with asthma, check with them if they have their inhaler! If you’re thinking ‘but if it’s the device that’s literally keeping you alive then surely you don’t forget it that often?’ then you’re wrong. The amount of times me and my Mum are out and realise we don’t have an inhaler is… a lot.

You may have read the part in that last paragraph about buying inhalers twice. Yes, we have to pay for inhalers. I understand it, I really do. Inhalers are expensive to make and we are using a product. But it is pretty sad to think I have to pay for things that prevent my death and people on the pill don’t have to pay to prevent babies. (But seriously, I have a lot of respect for people who can be bothered to take the pill and I’m sincerely glad that it’s free. I was really bad at it and gave up after a while, so well done!) I’m merely wishing here that a product that is essential in order to live normally is free as long as the consumer is taking the medication correctly.

Another not great thing is the pain. It really hurts to have an asthma attack and just to live with it in general. You’re whole body is working extremely hard to get you better and because it involves your lungs which take up a lot of space in your body, it can affect you a lot. Your throat feels tight, you can’t breathe through your nose, your back hurts so much and sometimes you can’t move for a very long time. It’s sometimes quite scary having an asthma attack and because you’re having difficulty breathing, if you don’t have your inhaler, you can’t easily communicate what you need. That doesn’t happen too often though. Usually you stop, try to slow your breathing, take your inhaler once or twice and it clears up. It can take anywhere from 2 minutes to several hours to get over an attack no matter how big or small it is.

Then there’s general life. Asthmatics can do everything that “normal” people can do. It just might take longer or more hard work than usual. Things like climbing stairs, going on a walk, laughing too hard, allergies, doing any form of exercise, dust, lifting things, weird smells, season changes and going from one temperature to another in a short time are just some of the things that can trigger asthma. Everyone is different, some people only get triggered by one, some -like me- get trigged by them all… Yaaay!

And the last thing is statistics and facts. I’ll do some of the depressing ones and then the cooler ones.

  • Asthma attacks kill 3 people a day.
  • Asthma can affect growth mainly in children. However, the medication for preventing asthma can also affect growth.
  •  The long-term use of steroids has been associated with a risk of reduced bone density in some people.
  • In 2016, 1,370 people died of asthma in the UK.
  • Frequent asthma attacks can sometimes lead to airways becoming scarred or narrower.

Asthmatics aren’t just nerds. Here are some people you may have heard of who have/had asthma:

David Beckham

Bono

Theodore Roosevelt

Alice Cooper

Paula Radcliffe

Bill Clinton

Lindsay Lohan

Pink

If anyone has any questions about asthma, ask! I did consult the official website for asthma so that I got my facts right but most of this is from my own personal experiences and everyone experiences illnesses differently.  However, if you see something that is factually wrong please don’t hesitate to correct me 🙂

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Gingerbread

Last year me and my husband decided to make a gingerbread house. It was to be our first real attempt at creating something together so we had high hopes. However, we did not anticipate the experience and research needed to make one, so all we had was my Mums recipe. No templates, no plan, nothing. Unfortunately after searching for a long time I haven’t found a picture of it but imagine a 300 year old cottage drowned in snow.

I’m actually quite proud of what we accomplished, so it was messy and wonky but we had so much fun and it looked pretty cute. This year, we decided to turn it up a notch, we would not make one, not two but FOUR gingerbread houses AND a church to go with it. We did lots and lots of research and they turned out very lovely!!

Here’s the process, some tips on creating your own, pictures and a cheeky link to our etsy shop where you can buy the templates to make these!

The best piece of advice I can give you is to roll out your dough straight onto baking parchment. Cut a big piece of parchment about the size of your tray and roll the dough straight onto it. it saves you having to pick up the pieces and move them which can end in your pieces being warped or broken.

Next up is to be VERY patient with your rolling. For the best results, leave your dough in a bowl covered with cling film in the fridge over night. This helps the dough to get more compact but even after that, you need to be very patient. The more you practice, the better you get and my husband was able to get a piece of dough rolled in about 5 minutes after some practicing.

When it’s rolled, make sure it’s about the thickness of a £1. For those of you that aren’t Brits, that’s about 4 millimetres.

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Now that you’ve rolled the dough, it’s time to cut it! when cutting, it’s a good idea to have a plan… That may include buying our templates from etsy 😉 But, if you’re feeling creative, you can draw out your own template, just make sure you’ve got all your measurements correct so you can make sound structures. It’s also best to use a long flat knife or dough cutter and cut the straight sides in one swoop instead of dragging a smaller knife through the dough.

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When baking, the dough won’t spread at all, so you can cut them very close together on the baking parchment. They only need 10 minutes to bake at 180°c but it may depend on your recipe. The sure fire way to test if any gingerbread is baked is to press lightly on the dough, it should slowly rise back up. Take it out and leave to cool and they will harden up really well.

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The best icing to use is royal icing. Make sure you whisk it a lot so it gets really firm. You might want to put half into the piping bag and save half as the icing will soften from the heat of your hands after a while.

Please please do not decorate your pieces after assembling, always do it before. It gives you way more control!

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Now you’ve got your pieces, it’s time to assemble them! You should have someone there to help you, have one person hold the pieces and one person assemble. when you think it’s stable, it probably still isn’t so have some cans or other heavy items you can use to stabilise it until you’re very very sure it won’t fall over.

 

Always leave a bit of time before putting the roof on. The structure really needs time to harden before taking on all that weight! And when you’re done, go ahead and cover it with icicles and sweets 🙂

 

We made ours without a base so we could put electric candles inside (please don’t use real ones or lights that produce a lot of heat)

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I hope you have lots of fun creating things at Christmas time! Gingerbread houses take a bit of time, but they are actually relatively easy so just be patient and you’ll come out on top!

(We will add the picture of the Church and other houses when they’re finished 🙂 )

righting a wrong.

Like so many others I still can’t get over what a massive pile of poo “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” was, even a whole year later. It has torn a hole in me. So, to start off National Novel writing month, I’m going to attempt to make it better in my mind by writing down my thoughts on what would make Harry Potter and the Cursed Child a better story.

But first, I have to right some of my own wrongs! I was- and still am- very very ill when writing this and it turns out I got some things wrong :S It doesn’t really change my opinions on it, my brain was just getting really muddled and I’m very grateful that a friend corrected me before more people read this, so thank you and here’s the corrected version 🙂

  1. Get Scorpius out of Slytherin. He doesn’t belong in there. He belongs in either Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw. He’s an amazing character full stop. He doesn’t show the traits to be a Slytherin- ambition and wiles. His Father Draco Malfoy showed it from his first encounter with Harry- he tries to make friends with the most famous wizard of their generation- a smart move if it would’ve worked. Besides, I think most Slytherins (apart from Albus it seems) wouldn’t really want to go on that crazy adventure. In fact, the only thing keeping Scorpius going on this adventure with Albus is his loyalty to his friend. Hufflepuff trait- tick! He also has a father who was very smart and could’ve passed on that gene- Scorpius certainly didn’t show that he wasn’t smart. Possible Ravenclaw trait- tick!
  2. Following on from point 1, at least one of the main characters should be in either Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff. It would be a good homage to these houses to have an important character in at least one of them. We as fans already know a ton about Slytherin and not putting either Albus or Scorpius into Gryffindor kind of made sense even if Albus shows way more Gryffindor traits than Slytherin. And we already know from “19 years later” that he wouldn’t have chosen Slytherin. He was very opposed to the idea of being there. I think it would’ve made way more sense if he chose either Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw because he didn’t like the idea of the other two houses but then again, he doesn’t have many traits to go into Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw… so we’re left with him in Slytherin again. Anyway, I really think it’s time to  let us have a main character in a minority house for once! Let us know the ins and outs of the house common rooms, let us have an idea of what else makes the other houses tick apart from being smart and loyal.
  3. Don’t call it “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.” Just “The Cursed Child” will do. We’ve said goodbye to H.P. It was painful. Don’t make us do it again. Make us fall in love with new characters, don’t distract us with old ones.
  4. Don’t ignore very obvious and set in stone law. It clearly states that Voldemort could not possibly love and was only interested in him and himself alone. He was clearly not interested in creating any heirs and wouldn’t have been satisfied if anyone but himself could be the ruler of the world. Don’t make the main villain in one story go against the core of his very being for your story just because you weren’t imaginative enough to come up with a new one.
  5. Bringing back time turners. I think the one think the original Harry Potter didn’t really need was time travel but JK Rowling did it suuuper well and Prisoner of Azkaban was amazing so oh well. But Cursed Child showed what can happen if you mess around with time. ALL the Time turners were destroyed, lets not make an excuse to go time traveling. However, I do agree with the play. Wizards would totally make time turners again. But I don’t think they would’ve done it in the same way as Cursed Child. For simple fixes a few hours into the past, the device is a fairly innocent one. And if they did make new ones, the screening process for giving them out would be a lot more rigorous and they would have some very heavy and complex protective charms in place to protect them. (Not the type that could be solved by two eleven year olds). Each one would also be in constant supervision to make sure you’re not going back too far, it would be easy for wizards to put enchantments on objects to detect misuse of said object.
  6. The Trolly lady is. Just. A. Trolly. Lady. You know what else could’ve made those two crazy kids stay on the train far more effectively than a crazy robot lady? Enchantments. Harry Potter is not set in a sci-fi universe. It’s magical, there’s witches and wizards. The quidditch pitch has enchantments around it to stop the Snitch from escaping. Hogwarts has enchantments around it to stop muggles from coming in. The triwizard cup had enchantments around it to stop people below a certain age from going near it. I’m pretty sure the Teachers at Hogwarts could’ve figured out how to place enchantments around the train to stop the students from jumping off it.
  7. Lastly, don’t make Hermione the Minister for Magic. There, I said it. It’s not that I don’t think she would be able to do it. I think she’d be perfectly capable and would  have people begging her to take up the position much like Dumbledore. Why wouldn’t they? She’s smart, she’s talented and she understands the wizarding law better than most. But I really don’t think it’s in her character to take on the position. For one thing, she knew that Dumbledore wouldn’t take it on and that must’ve had some impact on her, she really respected Dumbledore and I believe she would’ve thought about why he didn’t take on the role as well. Secondly, I think she would want to spend her time researching and learning more. That’s what Hermione’s passion is after all. Before she started school, she learned all the textbooks off by heart. Learning is very important for her and she knows that if she has an important job like ruling the wizarding community of Britain then she wouldn’t have much time for learning any more.

*huff huff* I think I covered it. I think that’s it. Did I miss anything out? How would you change it? Do you think of these characters differently? I would love to hear your views on what would make The Cursed Child a way better book!

 

The ULTIMATE GUIDE to Disneyland Paris

Including reviews of EVERYTHING we did, advice and recommended day plans.

 

Overall thoughts:

My husband and I went to Disneyland for the first time in August Half term 2017 for two days and had an incredible time! I’ve seen loads of recent one star reviews on Tripadvisor that are simply baffling. The only reason anyone could possibly hate this magical place is if they don’t plan their trip properly and leave their brains at the turnstiles as they enter the park. So by reading my guide to DLP I really hope you come back from your trip as happy as we were.

The experience we were after is probably different to yours, so although I will go into so. Much. Detail. Go and do research on your own of things you would really like to do. The main differences will probably be that we weren’t too bothered about actually meeting characters and we weren’t all that excited about the Star Wars area in discoveryland. We wanted to have a nice explore, go on some rides and feel some Disney magic that you wouldn’t get in other theme parks.

Advice for getting the best experience:

Firstly, do your research. You’re paying about £100 a ticket, why on earth would you go if you don’t know anything about it? But to be honest, if you’re reading this guide then you are researching, so I don’t need to explain that too much.

One of the main things we learned is to not get too bogged down with your plans. Don’t be afraid to wander from land to land as you find the best waiting times. Most importantly, don’t stick with your original plans if that would mean queueing for too long or joining a queue for a ride that’s broken down (we did see people do this which is just crazy!). Just go with the flow, set yourselves limits and be sensible.

Also, arrive EARLY!! Get there an hour early. If you don’t, you will miss out on getting into the park when it actually opens and therefore miss out on getting the best waiting times for the most popular rides. Yes, you will need to queue to get into the park no matter when you enter. The best thing to do is get the train because it pretty much lands you slap bang in the middle of the two parks. Or get a Taxi or stay near the parks. Just please, please, don’t. Drive. Judging by the bad reviews on Tripadvisor, most of the worst experiences start with “we drove in and got to the entrance at 10am”.

We went for 2 days, for us this was enough. More than that and we would’ve been Dinsey’d-out. What was really worth it was going to Paris for a day in-between. We actually went to Paris the day after our second day in Disneyland as well. This is so nice as you get to see some amazing sights and you have a good break from all the ruckus. To do this, we got a week train ticket which was about 30 euros each (well worth it) and a hotel halfway between Paris and Disneyland. Doing this was perfection!!

I’m not going to put the full guide here because it’s like 15 pages long… So instead I’ll put a set of links here to the other parts of the guide and you can decide which parts to read if you don’t want to read them all 🙂

Answers to questions we had before visiting the park

Day plans based on our thoughts and what we did.

Reviews of the places we ate at

Shortcuts and bad weather walkways (this post isn’t mine, it was just very useful to us so I’m linking it here. Thanks to Laura for writing this! You made our trip much easier!)

Rides and attractions- ratings and thoughts 

 

Rides and attractions at DLP- what to expect

Rides and attractions- ratings and thoughts (contains minor spoilers, I will warn you when a review has a spoiler, don’t worry!)

* = It was awful, don’t do it!

** = You might as well do it

*** = Worth seeing but not worth long queue times

**** = Should be a high priority on your list

***** = A must see attraction.

Something you should know: I am a big wimp when it comes to rides, I don’t like sharp turns or going upside-down so if I like a ride, it doesn’t do any of that 🙂 I will also say if a ride does anything that I found remotely scary in another way.

Pirates of the Caribbean: ***** AAAAAAH I cannot express how perfect this ride was!! Okay so it’s not the most thrilling ride in the world… it does have small moments but it’s no roller coaster. The best bit is obviously the theme. You need about a million eyes to catch everything, even the smell is reminiscent of being out at sea. If you’re familiar with the films you really cannot miss this.

Big thunder mountain: ***** If it wasn’t for Pirates, this would be my favourite ride in the park. It’s thrilling without being scary, the theme is great and the views it gives you of the park are incredible. Also, it’s much longer than loads of other roller coasters I’ve been on (but to be honest, this is true of every ride at DLP apart from the kids rides).

Hollywood Tower of Terror: ***** So I was really nervous to go on this ride but honestly, it’s delightful! Obviously if you don’t like drop rides, don’t go because that’s literally all it does. However, the ride technically isn’t a drop ride as it actually pulls you down faster than gravity which sounds scary but isn’t. This effect lifts you from your seat giving you a completely different ride experience from drop rides and although the drops were high they didn’t feel long because of this. The story is really good and the feeling it gives you is very pleasant. It left me giggling with delight all the way through and wanting to go back on… which we did!

Ratatouille: My husband’s rating: ***** My rating: **** The only reason I rated this lower than my husband is because Ratatouille is his favourite disney movie (drawing with Tangled- he has good taste!) and I didn’t like the actual ride as much as him. This ride is all about perspective as you’re shrunk down to the size of a rat and have an experience similar to what happened to Remy throughout the movie. I found some bits a teeny tiny bit scary but felt very safe the whole time, the ride is really smooth due to it being trackless and the visuals are absolutely stunning. It’s also good to have so much “interaction” with the characters as you’re kind-of being taken through the ride by them. My husband hugely enjoyed this ride and said he would give it 6 or seven stars if he could!

Seeing Maleficent: **** So if you didn’t know, something that it exclusive to DLP is that you can go under the castle and see Maleficent in her dragon form. It’s really cool to see and very unique.

Swiss Family Robinson tree house: **** This is a great little bonus if you’ve seen the film. (We watched the film especially so we would get the references and I would recommend this). It’s also open for a long time and incredibly beautiful in the dark.

Crush’s coaster: **** Duuuude, how could you not love a ride that has Crush in it? This ride has a great queue line, beautiful introduction, and a thrilling middle and end. I found that it was just at my limit as it was quite dark for the scarier parts which I didn’t really appreciate. But it really feels like you’re going down the e.a.c. and was very smooth and pretty overall.

Buzz Lightyear’s laser blast: ***.5 (couldn’t decide between 3 and 4 stars) A great ride for big kids, really nice interaction throughout the ride. The scenes it takes you through are very well done. The reason why it’s got 3 stars is because neither of us found it as interesting and cool as some of the other rides. Also the ride kept on stopping whilst we were on it which I know is usually unavoidable in a theme park and probably won’t happen to you but it did down-grade the experience somewhat.

Peter Pan: *** Peter pan’s ride was the biggest -and pretty much only- disappointment we had. The theme is lovely and very well executed, but we didn’t think it deserved all the hype it gets from other guests. The ride itself felt bumpy, jerky and uncomfortable. Considering that you’re meant to be flying in a ship, it didn’t make any sense to us why Disney wouldn’t update it to be a smoother ride for a more immersive experience. The other downside was the length, compared to the other rides it was pretty short and for a 40+ minute waiting time (it broke down whilst we were waiting in the queue) it just didn’t feel very worth it in the end.

Aladdin’s passage: *** If you did have to wait for this, it wouldn’t be worth it but you pretty much never have to wait which is nice. I actually really loved this, it’s a short walk-through with moving displays depicting different scenes from Aladdin’s story. It was just really nice to have a break from being in the hot sun and looking at interesting displays of one of our favourite Disney movies.

Studio Tram tour: *** THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS. A good word for the tram tour would be “dated”. It looked like it hadn’t changed since it was first made. Something about that had an odd sort of charm to it though. Also really interesting if you like the ins and outs of how some bits of movies are put together and like to see props from movies.Elisabeth’s warning for wimps going on the Studio Tram tour:

I might’ve been fine on Tower of Terror, I definitely wasn’t fine on this! The tram tour rocks you back and forth at one point and is quite disconcerting of you don’t like surprises. It feels like you’re going to get tipped off the road and I cried the whole time and was very shaken up!

Pirate beach and galleon: *** This was a nice thing to do for a bit of fun but it wasn’t overwhelming. It was just cool to be actually in a story instead of looking at it.

Sleeping Beauty’s castle interior: *** I feel like me and my husband would’ve enjoyed this a lot more had we seen Sleeping beauty recently. It takes you through the story with pretty pictures of certain scenes and was nice but not overly interesting.

Alice’s curious labyrinth: *** This was a fun and whimsical walk through/maze. I say walkthrough/maze… you can’t reeaally get lost in it. Everything looks fresh and pretty and the castle at the end is also quite interesting.

Phantom Manor: *** THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS. If you’re afraid of getting serious spooks on this ride, don’t be. Nothing jumps out at you and the ride doesn’t do anything crazy. It’s just a tour of scenes from a kind-of story with general halloweeny things like cobwebs, ghosts and skellingtons. The effects and visuals are very well done though and I enjoyed it as I love spooky things.

Thunder Mesa: *** Just a very pleasant, slow boat ride. It does have little things that you can’t see if you don’t go on which gives the experience some added value. The boat itself also looks lovely!

Hyperspace mountain: *** Unfortunately for me, this space mountain is the only one in any disney park that goes upside down so I didn’t ride. My husband did however, he said that it would’ve been quite good had it been in any other park but as it was in Disneyland, it failed in comparison to the other rides in terms of theming. If you’re only going on it for Star wars, don’t. You don’t see many Star Wars characters or things, it’s just ships shooting and some stars here and there. Also not the most comfortable of rides.

Rock ‘n’ Roller coaster: *** This ride goes upside down so I didn’t ride but my husband did. Again, he said that in any other park it would’ve been good but because it didn’t have a strong theme it’s just not as good as the other rides. This was your typical launch coaster experience, in the dark with aerosmith music playing. Also not the most comfortable of rides.

Le pays des contes de fées: *** This was delightful, the only reason it’s got 3 stars was that it’s not extremely interesting. It’s just very serene and you get to see some things that you wouldn’t see on Casey Junior. It’s was nice to see some scenes from lesser known Disney movies and very refreshing to not see any Frozen things for once! Also, there are some scenes that are just from fairy tales that weren’t made into films which was lovely and surprising.

Carouselle: ** I went on this at night which was just magical. The music on this ride is fantastic, playing traditional carouselle covers of disney princess songs. It made me feel very warm inside! But it’s a maximum of 3 minutes long which is sad as when you get on you feel like you’re more or less getting straight off again… so, if it’s got a short queue, do it but if it’s a long wait, just watch it from the railings and listen to the lovely music.

Mad hatters tea cups: ** This is also beautiful at night, all the lanterns are lit and the mirrored ceiling gives it a really nice look. Sadly, this ride is about the same length of the carouselle or shorter so again isn’t worth long waits.

Les Mysteres: ** We didn’t have any clue what this was about so we weren’t very interested. However, if you know the background I think you’d have much more appreciation for it. It was just nice for us to get out of the heat and look at good displays.

 

You may have noticed that nothing we went on has a one star review. I find this extremely impressive even for Disney. We thought that everything had a good place and was entertaining and worth it in some way. To be honest, I think this is one of the only parks that I’ve thought that literally everything was worth doing to props to you Disney!

food at DLP- what we experienced

All the food we ate was great. We might’ve been lucky but I don’t think so as we went to four different places and they were all of a good price, quality and the staff were either just doing their jobs or going above the line of duty which usually is strange for french waiters as their culture dictates giving you space above doting on your every need. They were also very patient with you ordering your food and helpful if you don’t speak any french. The atmosphere and servers were way way better than most fast food restaurants you get in England. (Also, we did get all the unhealthy options as we were treating ourselves but there are quite good healthier options as well such as side salads and fruit cups)

Agrabah *** (Adventureland) -The theme is amazing and the food is incredible. Yes, it’s expensive but I would say it’s worth it and so would my husband. The food has great variety and is of a high quality, if you’ve got VERY fussy eaters there is little choice as it’s mainly “oriental” food. Also great because of the all you can eat aspect. I wouldn’t go back again but that’s only because if I was lucky enough to visit DLP again, I would want to pay the same and experience a different theme. A bonus here is if you’re VERY lucky a character from the film may come and visit the restaurant. However, be aware that this is rare and if you’re in a different part of the restaurant you might not even realise they’re there. They didn’t come in when we were there. The service was also friendly and patient here and I got another ears compliment!

Cowboy cookout barbecue ** (Frontier L.) -If you get a chance, go down during lunch when the band is playing because we didn’t and we thought the atmosphere would’ve been lot’s better if we did! The food was the best “cheap food” option I’ve ever had at a theme park. We had the Chicken with wedges, a brownie and orange juice with an extra beignet on the side. The wedges were the best wedges we both have ever had- in and out of a park. The chicken was also really well cooked and seasoned. We didn’t eat the brownie straight away but that turned out to be a good thing as it had gotten nice and gooey in the heat, haha! The Beignet was massive and tasted alright but I didn’t think it was worth the price. Orange juice is very nice as well. I want to give a special shout out to the lady that served us here, she was smiley, happy, patient and just absolutely delightful and helpful. She even complimented the mickey ears I was wearing. Her service didn’t seem fake at all, she didn’t stop smiling after she served us and she wasn’t over the top.

Restaurant des coulisse * (Front Lot- studios) -Try and get the seat overlooking the “street”. We were queue jumped and were quite annoyed at missing that opportunity!! The food is very similar to that of McDonalds. We both got a Chicken burger with fries, a brookie and orange juice. Again, the Chicken burger and fries were extremely similar to McDonald’s but the brookie was really enjoyable and unique. Again, the orange juice was the same as the other fast food places and very nice.

Colonel Hathi’s Pizza outpost * (Adventureland) – We only went here because we wanted something different than a burger and wanted to go somewhere with a theme we liked. The music here is delightful and from the film (just without words) and the theme is very nice with jungle vines and other displays throughout. We got the three cheese pizza with garlic bread, mini ice cream and orange juice. The Pizza was comparable with very good shop-bought pizza. The garlic bread was just your average-joe garlic bread and the mini ice cream was very enjoyable but again, isn’t unique to disneyland. The orange juice was the same as the other places. The only thing I thought was a nice disney touch to this meal was that the Pizza was in a star shape, haha! If you can, try to get a seat on the terrace for a very nice atmosphere. Bonus: some of the green chairs have cushioned bottoms and are really comfortable!

Overall, the restaurants were of a higher standard than I expected, especially when put against the other parks we’ve eaten at. The only downfall were the snack items. I was already coming in with a not so great outlook on Disneyland Paris snacks as they didn’t seem as fun, unique and numerous as the other Disney parks around the world. However, it was a bigger disappointment than I’d expected. I had two simple snacks that I wanted to try that I thought they’d have: blue popcorn especially for the 25th anniversary and something Mickey shaped. The blue popcorn I saw on a youtube video so I was quite sad when I didn’t see it at any of the popcorn stands. And you’d think that any Disneyland would have something Mickey shaped that wasn’t sold out or completely naff but no. The only mickey shaped thing we saw were chocolate coated apples with marshmallows on top which I thought wasn’t worth it seeing as I could easily re-create this at home.

As I say though, the restaurants are really quite nice. But the food overall was a little disappointing considering you’re a 20 minute train ride to one of the biggest foodie cities of all time.

recommended plan for the best 2 days at DLP

This is our day plan of Disneyland Paris edited to what we did in the parks and what we thought of each thing. Some of it is in a different order than what we actually did due to rides having technical issues or long queuing times. You should note that every time it says “meet character” here, we didn’t actually meet them, we just stared awkwardly and took pictures of them between seeing other guests. I go into these experiences more in my questions and answers post.

* = Worth seeing if you’ve got spare time

** = Very good, worth seeing

*** = Must see

Day 1:

9:00am Queue to get tickets- make sure you exchange anything you have for actual tickets which is what we had to do as we only had a pre-paid voucher. If you’re unsure, it’s always better to ask to avoid any disappointment when queuing to get in.

10:00am Enter Walt disney studios park- we were lucky in that the whole park and all the rides opened at 9:30. This also happened at Disneyland but anything that hadn’t been opened for early magic hours  was shut until 10. However, it is still worth it to wait at the short cut 1 entrance to Frontierland for half an hour to get to Big Thunder mountain (day 2).

 

Head over to Toon studio

                                                     Popular ride: Crush’s coaster *** Go straight there, don’t look back, don’t get distracted! Some people run… don’t do that. If you don’t go here first you’ll end up waiting for over an hour at all times of the day without fail.

Fast passes needed: Ratatouille the adventure *** (we did single rider, really worth it if you can’t get a fastpass)

Mickey and the Magician*** (lasts 20mins)

 

Head over to Backlot

Fast Pass needed: Rock ’N’ Roller coaster * (this is my husband’s rating as I hate rides that go upside down.)

Meet Spiderman*

 

Go to Production courtyard

Fast Passes: Twilight zone Hollywood tower of terror *** (to be honest, you don’t usually need a fastpass for this because the wait time doesn’t usually go above 30 mins)

Meet Captain Jack (or friends) ** (we didn’t actually go and see him at all but I know I would’ve enjoyed to at least see him from a distance)

Studio Tram Tour * (see rides reviews for a warning about this ride.)

3pm consider leaving Walt Disney studios park

 

Enter Disneyland!

Do anything that either has good waiting times or is something you really want to see. (Just in case you miss it on day 2.) We went on and saw: Pirates of the Caribbean, Peter Pan’s ride, The Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse, the Pirate area in adventureland, the castle and underneath and just had a general explore.

An hour before the parade head over to where you want to stand for it. The best position is on the corner just before the finish (near Fantasyland).

5:30pm Parade *** We LOVED the parade!!! Really worth going twice, the second day we got a front row view!

Explore round the park.

 

Suggestion- A night ride on the Carousel **– quite short but very magical! Only really worth it if 20 mins or under waiting time.

10pm Head down in front of the castle for the lights show

Suggestion- sit on a bench and when the show starts stand on the bench! We didn’t do this but apparently it’s allowed (stated by a guest online). We were lucky, on this day everyone stayed sat down so we all got a good view.

11pm (Park close, this happens at different times depending on when you go in the year) Light show *** DO THIS TWICE! It’s soooo beautiful and you may get better seats or a different view the second day.

If you leave with the crowds, you may get a chance to wave at Mickey who might be standing on the balcony of the Hotel. If you stay where you are until most of the guests leave you can get really good pictures of the castle at night but may miss Mickey. We did both!

 

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Day 2

9:00 am get tickets and queue at entrance

10:00 am enter Disneyland!

Head over to Frontierland and get to Big thunder mountain as fast as possible, get on or get fast passes. We did this and waited about 10 minutes! You WILL NOT get on if you go ANY later than the park opening… Unless you want to wait for over an hour!!! (See shortcut number 1 in shortcuts section)

 

Frontierland

Fast Passes needed: Big thunder mountain ***

Forest of enchantment musical adventure (20mins) ** (we did this in the afternoon- check the times)

Phantom Manor **

Thunder Mesa River Boat **

Meet Woody * on the way to the train station

If you can get the train from here to Fantasyland, it’s lovely and there’s a cool surprise at the end!

 

Fantasyland

Sleeping beauty’s castle *** and see maleficent *** (For good pictures of you and the castle with no one else in shot go to the left of the castle, there’s a photo op point that’s usually empty)

Alice’s curious labyrinth **

Le pays des contes de fées **

Carousel **  (at night is best)

Popular rides: Peter pan ride *

Mad hatters tea cups * (In the evening it might be five minutes wait. If so, then it’s worth it!)

Meet Queen of Hearts *

Discoveryland

Fastpass needed: Buzzlightyear **

Les Mysteres under sea tour *

Fast Passes Needed: Hyperspace mountain * (This is my husband’s rating as I hate rides that go upside down.)

 

Adventureland

Popular rides:  Pirates of the Caribbean ***

Swiss family treehouse (worth visiting again when it’s dark, sooo pretty!)***

Pirate beach and pirate galleon! **

Aladdin’s passage **

Meet Peter Pan (and/or friends) *

Meet Aladdin (or friends)*

 

An hour before the parade head over to where you want to stand for it. The best position is on the corner just before the finish. (near Fantasyland)

5:30pm Parade *** (your time may be different)

After the Parade, we headed back to the Studio park to do two of our favourite rides: Tower of Terror and Ratatouille. We entered back into Disneyland at around 7:30 and explored Main street.

 

Suggestion- climb the castle in the evening light. -We didn’t do this but apparently you get a lovely view of the park. We thought the Swiss family Robinson tree house was better for a pretty sight in the dark.

10pm Head in front of the castle for light show

Suggestion- sit on a bench and when the show starts stand on the bench! -We didn’t do this but apparently it’s allowed. (stated by a guest online)

11pm- Light show ***