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April 2017

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The day before school admissions reveal!

*Gulp* The day is almost here. Tomorrow Tuesday 18th April 2017 marks the day we find out C’s school placement. The school his name is down against and the school he will start in September.

Am I excited? Not really, no. C is our last child and him going off to school marks the end of a lot of things. He’s the last ‘baby’ to be at home with me all day – he’s my little buddy and companion and I hate the thought of him being somewhere for 6 hours a day. I like our time together. Whether it’s just having a day at home or enjoying a day out. Come September I will no longer have the ‘child at home’ (except evenings, weekends and holidays obviously) but you know what I mean.

I know everyone says this, but it really only does seem like 5 minutes ago he was born. These past 4.5 years have gone by so fast and I wish I could re-live them all again. I’m not ready for him to go off into the big wide world (ok, that’s a bit extreme I know).

Tomorrow morning, just after 9am I will receive an email, I doubt I’ll sleep much tonight. I, of course, want the email so I know that he’s got into the school we want him to go to and also the school he himself talks about going to.

I do, of course, want the email to come with good news. News that he’s got into the school we want him to go to and also the school he himself talks about going to. Wish us luck.

Who else is waiting on school placement news tomorrow?

Easter 2017

Easter Weekend …. a 4-day break that everyone looks forward to right?

Hmm, not us exactly. We only had the one day as a family to enjoy the ‘Easter Weekend’ Mr S worked all day Friday, most of Saturday and he’s back to work all day today. I worked Friday night (8-midnight) and I will also be working the same tonight too.

But that’s just how it is sometimes, isn’t it? What can you do? We did have a lovely day yesterday though.

L is away with friends for the weekend so we only had C. The weather has been so lovely recently. Saturday afternoon we took C & the dog for a walk along the beach. C had his scooter and scootered along the promenade and we ate ice-creams. Obviously, he wanted to go down to ‘look’ at the sea which 100% resulted in him getting completely soaked and having to sit in just his pants and a t-shirt in the car on the way home … but isn’t that what it’s all about?

Easter 2017

Easter 2017

Easter 2017

Easter 2017

 

Yesterday started the day with a small egg hunt around the house for C. He loved searching out places for those little shiny foil wrapped chocolate eggs. We then spent the morning walking the dog around our local meadows & generally being in the garden enjoying the lovely weather.

We had some family around in the afternoon (my sister, brother in law & nephew) for a BBQ, and of course, I kept the bigger egg hunt for when they were here, especially seeing as it would have been my nephew’s first one. Our garden has to be the best for egg hunts Not just becaise of the size of it but because it has lots of different paths and nooks and crannies just like you would find in the woods. I picked up a super cute Easter Egg hunt pack from Poundland with little cardboard bunny paw prints, arrows and eggs – for a £1 I was amazed at how good it was. I was able to pop them on the grass leading the way to those all important eggs!

Easter 2017

Easter 2017

Easter 2017

Easter 2017

Easter 2017

We still have another week of the Easter holidays so here’s to another week of no routine and days out.

What did you all get up to over the Easter weekend?

 

 

 

 

Booking A Holiday To Disneyland Paris.

Booking a holiday to Disneyland Paris can be overwhelming and sometimes confusing .. especially if you’ve never been before. There are lots of different ways to book, lots of accommodation to choose from, ways of getting to there and different meal options.

Booking your Disneyland Holiday.

There are various different companies you can choose to book with. We chose to book with Disney Holidays direct themselves. Very often they run different offers which could be free meal plans added, a percentage off your holiday, buy a number of nights and get the same again free, children under seven stay and play for free (which would be free hotel and park tickets). If you’re planning on making a booking it’s worth checking back every so often to see if they have added on any special offers.

A few other companies I have heard people using are Magic Breaks & Thomas Cook.  I’m sure there are a few more out there but those are the ones I know of.

Travel Options

 

There are 3 ways to get to Disneyland. We chose to Fly with Easyjet. Again there are plenty of airlines to choose from who all fly to Paris, from all different airports and to 3 airports in Paris within a short distance to Disneyland.

We flew from London Gatwick into Charles De Gaulle airport. The flight time was only 40 minutes, so perfect if you’re travelling with small children.

You can drive yourself and take the Euro tunnel (or otherwise known as the Channel Tunnel). This is perfect if you wanted the freedom to pack as much as you wanted without the worry of luggage allowance. You pick the Euro Tunnel up at Folkestone in Kent which is in the South East of England and you will arrive in Calais in France. You will then need to make the drive to Disneyland which I believe is around 4 hours long. You will go through a few tolls on the way so be prepared and have some Euro’s ready for that. I have read the drive in France is a very pleasant one.

Another option is to take the Eurostar. You can pick the train up at 3 different locations in England – London St Pancreas, Ebbsfleet International & Ashford International. The train arrives literally at the entrance to the Disney Parks where you can then get onto a shuttle bus to your Disney Hotel. The trains offer a direct service and an indirect service averaging anywhere between 2hrs 30min to 4hrs 30mins. You would have to drive to whichever departure station you choose and then park your car in their carpark for the duration of your holiday (a bit like you would do if you travelled from an airport).

Or finally, you can choose to travel via P&O Ferry. You can pick the ferry up in Dover which again is on the South East coast of England and the crossing takes just 90 minutes. You will arrive in Calais and then you would have the 4-hour drive from Calais to Disneyland Paris, just as you would do if you travelled via the Euro Tunnel. Again this has its advantages of having your own car with you and being able to pack as much as you like without the worry of luggage allowance. You would also have your car over there if you fancied doing any sightseeing around Paris.

Airport Transfers

If you have chosen to fly into Paris then you will need to use a  transfer to your hotel. We flew into Charles De Gaulle airport in Pairs but you can also choose to fly into Orly as well.

There are three options to choose from when it comes to transfers. There is the Magic Shuttle, which is what we picked. The transfer takes anywhere from around 30 minutes to an hour depending on how many hotels it stops at before your one. The coaches are fully air-conditioned and offer free wi-fi.

TGV – This is a high-speed train that will take you to the entrance to Disney in around 10 minutes. Once you arrive at the station you will then need to get on a hotel shuttle bus from outside the Disney Parks.

Trainline – this train can be picked up in the centre of the airport just like the TGV, but this train will take you roughly and hour & 11 minutes.

Private Transfer – There are lots of different companies offering private transfers – the best way to look into these is to join a Disneyland facebook group. Lots of people have some good recommendations for you on there.

Disneyland Hotels

Disneyland has six on-site hotels. They all offer free shuttle buses running to and from the hotel to the parks and some of the hotels are within walking distance of the parks. Staying in one of the Disneyland hotels offer many benefits. Extra magic hours is where hotels guests have an extra two hours per day to use the parks before they open to the general public. This is a perfect time to get on some rides or do some meet and greets before the queues get big. The characters will pop along to the hotels at various times of the day – usually in the hotel lobby’s, and you can have the luxury of having your shopping delivered to your hotel room if you purchase anything in the parks without the worry of carrying it around for the rest of the day.

Disneyland Hotel (5-star rating) –  The Disneyland hotel is situated right at the gates to the Disneyland Park. In certain room and suites, you can actually have a view over main street looking down to Sleeping Beauties castle. With its beautiful victorian decor and turrets, it can’t help but blow you away when you see it.

Disney’s Hotel New York (4-star rating) – This New York themed hotel is around 10 minutes walk to the parks, or a quick ride on the shuttle bus. It over looks the beautiful lake and has one of the biggest pools out of all the hotels in Disney. It’s also only a couple of minutes walk to the Disney village.

Disney’s Newport Bay Club (4-star rating) – This nautical-themed hotel was renovated in 2016. This hotel over looks the other side of the lake and is only a few minutes walk to the Disney Village. A walk to the parks from the Newport Bay Club is around 15 minutes.

Disney’s Sequoia Lodge (3-star rating) – This hotel gives you the feel of staying somewhere in a mountain retreat. A walk to the parks from here will take you around 15 minutes, but again for a quicker option, you can use the free shuttle buses.

Disney’s Hotel Cheyenne (2-star rating) –  Themed like a Wild West town, they have newly refurbished rooms featuring Toy Story. This hotel is a little further from the Disney Parks and will take around 20 minutes to walk, but again like all the hotels, there is the shuttle service. Thos hotel doesn’t have a swimming pool.

Disney’s Hotel Santa Fe (2-star rating) – This is where we chose to stay – it’s themed around the film ‘Cars’ which C really loved. Despite it only being a 2 star we were very surprised at how good the quality was. It was clean and comfortable and had all the amenities you would need. We had two double beds, furniture to use for our clothes, a TV, safe, free wi-fi, a kettle, a bathroom with towels changed daily if we required, a bath & shower with complimentary cosmetics. We spent very little time in the rooms as it was because we wanted to maximise our time in the parks, I can honestly say I don’t think I would bother with a higher rating hotel on any future visits purely because the Santa Fe had everything we could want. Their restaurant was also really nice too (more about that in another post). The Santa Fe doesn’t have a swimming pool but I don’t think we would have found time for a swim anyway! The Santa Fe is also around a 20-minute walk to the parks.

Disney’s Davy Crockett Ranch – This is the only self-catering option on the Disney Site – they don’t have a shuttle service and it is about a 15-minute drive to the parks so you will need to have your own transport. The accommodation is log cabins with the amenities you will need for a self-catering holiday. It’s also perfect for larger families who don’t want to share the one hotel room. There is a swimming pool on site too.

You can find out more about each hotel on the Disney page.

Shuttle Buses

I did touch on the subject of the shuttle buses in the hotel section but … every hotel on the Disney site offers a free shuttle bus service to and from the parks (all hotels except the Disneyland Hotel & Disney’s Davy Crockett Ranch) The buses run every 12 minutes between 06.30am & 11.00pm. During the peak times (park opening and closing) the buses can get very busy so be prepared and you may have to stand too.

Meal Plans

As of March 2017, the meal plans have changed. Seeing as we went in February we had slightly different meal plans. The Disney website explains all the different meal plans they have to offer so check it out for all the information. You can choose what plan will best suit your party.

Character Dining

Booking a holiday to Disneyland Paris

Disney offers various options to have an extra special meal alongside the Disney Characters coming to your table for personal one to one interaction. You can choose a breakfast, lunch or dinner option and they offer these special mealtimes in three of their restaurants.

Auberge de Cendrillon – This restaurant is situated inside the main Disneyland park. It’s not far from the castle and themed like a fairytale. If you dine here you will most likely be greeted by the prince and princesses.

Inventions – This buffet style restaurant overlooks Main Street in the Disneyland Park. Meet Mickey Mouse and friends at your table except for breakfast time.

Booking a holiday to Disneyland Paris

Plaza Gardens – This restaurant is located just off the end of Main Street. It only became a character dining restaurant inMach 2017 and they only have the characters join you for breakfast. This is a great way to start the day meeting Mickey Mouse and his friends as you tuck into your first meal of the day before you head off for a day of adventure.

Booking a holiday to Disneyland Paris

So, I hope some of this has been of some help to you if you are looking to book a holiday to Disneyland Paris. There is so much to think about and it can sometimes be daunting especially if it’s your first time. However many times you’ve been though you’ll have an absolutely magical time and I can’t wait to return again some day.