Paris part two: Disneyland ears, beers and cheers

Ooh you know you’ve been sprinkled with Uncle Walt’s magic when you end up wearing Minnie Mouse ears (say “cheers”).

On Friday we made our maiden voyage to Disneyland Paris. OK, so I would have loved to spend my two precious days in that heavenly city up to my neck in boutique shopping and sophisticated dining, but when you’ve got small people in tow, it’s hardly fair. And if I’m honest, I loved every minute…

Arriving at the famous castle: I didn’t realise how easy it is to get to Disneyland from the centre of Paris. We took a direct train from Les Halles (7.5 Euro each) and were at the gates of the park within an hour – a great option if you’re priced out of the on-site hotels or want to combine your visit with a city break
As discussed, I wore a yellow, lace panel sundress from Topshop – good job too as it was boiling hot and clear blue skies all day
In case you didn’t know, Disneyland Paris is celebrating it’s 20th year (that makes me feel old!)
First stop, Buzz Lightyear’s Laser Blast (I was just as into this ride as the kids – so much fun)
El was certainly dressed for this occasion
The park was packed and the queues were long, but not as long as UK theme parks (longest was 65 minutes) and the (free) fastpass system on the most popular rides is excellent: Clocking C-3PO in the Star Tours queue was a nice moment
Try as they might, they could not shift that sword
So many of the little girls are dressed up as princesses – many of the costumes are bought on site
High temperatures did not seem to temper sales
And if the kids don’t want to dress up, there are many other retail opportunities (at every turn)
Our first parade of the day: The 20th anniversary train carries a “celebrity” cargo  
The A List (what on earth has Minnie been up to??)
Next door to the main park, at Walt Disney Studios, we caught a fantastic stunt show on the back lot
I’ll admit to having a tear in my eye when the *actual* Lightning McQueen made an appearance
The highlight, natch, was the Toy Story Playland with Toy Story themed rides
The Slinky ride was a bit slow, but it looked super cute and little kids love it
Trying out the scream-o-meter (a la Monsters Inc)
Posing with Pixar’s finest
As the sun sets over the castle huge throngs gathered for the main parade and fireworks
We escaped the crowds by heading to the Disney Village, a complex of bars, restaurants, shops and cinemas
Of all the places to line dance…we enjoyed live country music, ice cold beers and chili con carne (too many beans but a more affordable menu than most) at Billy Bob’s Texan-inspired steakhouse
There are Disney shops EVERYWHERE – during our final browse, I forced Matt into the hat (we’d seen a dad parading around the park in one earlier, and I was dying to get one on my man’s bonce)
And I modelled Minnie’s must-have (?) ears at the end of a fantastic day out – again! Again!

Written by Johanna Payton