DuhNNEY LaaaaaaaaHND

Disney Land Paris

In December 2012 Collin (the boyfriend) and I spoilt ourselves with a European almost Christmas.  From the 8th till the 24th we ate snow in Sweden, frolicked at Disney land in Paris, and warmed ourselves with gluhwein in a German medieval Christmas market.  I hope we were the envy of many because it was blooming expensive and massively awesome.

As much as I look so forward to repetitively informing you on every detail of our over seas experience, I’ll leave that to dinners with our parents, and focus here on Disney Land Paris – where you have to go!!

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Collin, who is 5 in his head

My official title is Her Royal Derpiness Bron The-list-maker Stawbe, and it’s all rather suspiciously accurate.  In preparation for this trip, Google drive was my best friend, nothing went unlisted, and no list went unchecked.  As magical as a spontaneous back packer’s wandering through europe sounds, consider that whatever you haven’t planned before you board you will have to worry about once you’re there (in your precious and pricey holiday time).  Before you even pack your bags, plan plan plan:

  • Browse disneylandparis.com extensively and clue yourself up on any deals, combos, or promotions they have running.  There’s always something so dig deep.
  • Book your tickets online months in advance.  You’re likely to get a better price, and enjoy the anticipation more.  Then remember to
  • Print your tickets and keep them safe with your flight tickets
  • Book for 3 or 4 days.  When we first booked our tickets, I though we were spoiling ourselves with 2 days tickets, but once there we realized if we really wanted to experience Disney Land we’d have to be there at least 3 days.
  • Consider staying in the Disney hotels.  They’re most likely outside of your accommodation budget, but heads up, if you’re staying in the park’s hotels you get to enter the park before its officially open and we managed several rides before the gates were even open.  We also loved the hotel itself, which was setup in a cowboy theme as an entire western town. So maybe consider shifting some of your entertainment budget into this accommodation.  Also look out for the 3 nights for the price of 2 specials.
  • Download the Disney Land Paris App. This was incredibly helpful and we became entirely dependent on it.  Assign one of yourselves as the navi and keep the app at hand.  We could use it to track each other around the parks (hello parents!?) and keep an eye on queue lengths and show times. But remember before you head to Disney to
  • Arrange a French sim card. This you can do in France, but do yourself a favor and google this before hand, we had a hard time finding a service provider that would work in our phones, and didn’t need us to be living there. We did in the end though, so roaming is not essential.
  • Use this map to book accommodation in Paris.  It was very difficult to figure out where to book our stay, and we initially booked a hotel based on it’s location on Paris’ street map.  Beeeg mistake.  As tourists you’ll inevitably be using what’s called the RER (trains), and you pay for how many zones you have to travel through to get somewhere.  Thus beware, your hotel could look on google maps like it’s right near the places you want to be, but you might have to fork out extra cash getting to train intersections that cross in different zones.  All very helpful to know before hand. Don’t be daunted, just do your homework.
  • Perhaps pack an extra phone battery or booster.  The parks are open from early till late and your smart phones will suffer.  Don’t risk missing those evening pics because you’ve had your gps, camera, 3g, Disney app etc running all day.  Collin and I allocated different tasks between our phones and downloaded battery saving apps.

…and then you can enjoy.

Once we were all set, complete with Bron-lists, maps, apps and cameras, we had an absolutely ridiculously incredible time.  Everything was worth it, and every moment was as magical as Disney promised us throughout our childhood.

2We avoided queues by going on week days during Paris’ school term, and with little hassle ran straight through to Space Mountain, the Haunted Mansion, Le Petit Choo Choo (Collin insisted), and of course as many Disney princesses as we could find (because one day I will show this to my children and tell them I know Belle personally, we’re tight).

 

 

We took a few days to do every ride, and take every photo, and dedicated one day just to catching every show and parade and quantifying Collin’s duck noise (it’s a thing, he’s one of them, don’t judge, we all have our people we belong to, Collin’s just aren’t people).

You’re allowed to take food and drink into Disney Land, so we made a ritual of stopping at a store at our station in the morning and grabbing a pack of six croissants, cheese slices and a few bottles of cool drink, but we did brave the costs of a hot chocolate and a Nutella Crêpe (do it!) every morning.

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Cinderella’s Castle – where I tried to hide away and live forever.  Dragons got involved, it was all very unfair.

No matter how worn out, cold, wet, or hungry we were, every night at Disney land was worth sticking around till the last minutes for possibly the most romantic, magical, disney moment of our lives.  I have never seen that many lights, fire, lasers, fountains, fireworks and memorable disney scenes all in one moment… it was terribly dreamy, soppy and cheesy and Collin and I totally revelled in it.

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Knights & Princesses

My 21st Birthday

This was my opportunity to immerse myself and everyone I loved into the fantasy world of knights, princesses, bravery, dresses, candle lit feasts and dancing.  It was also my first real opportunity to engage in my eager and creatively frustrated skills in events coordination.  Huzzah – success!

My enticing, thematic, personalized invites...it was not to be resisted

I enticed my guests to join in the festivities with thematic, personalized invitations which I printed as Jumbo photographs and to this day I happen upon them on the occasional relative or friend’s fridge. This is occurring less and less, but I’ll consider letting it slide, on account of it being 5 years ago and such.

In all honesty though, I can highly recommend taking the extra hour or two to personalize your invites. Nothing like seeing your name printed in high gloss to urge on the obligations.

What I loved most about my party, besides the fact that I was the utmost center of attention, and besides my dearest Duncan friend singing me my favorite song, and also besides my own personal Templar Knight of a Collin saying wonderful and true things about me in front of everyone else that I love and some that I also envied (righteous moments like these keep us going), what I loved most was how much everyone contributed to make it happen.

895_53711895629_8220_nFrom decor:

  • Candle sticks pre-melted over bottles
  • fairy lights
  • hessian table cloths
  • tables and chairs arranged in a horse shoe format
  • a conveniently medieval feeling venue with stone walls, a stair case, and chandeliers
  • mass amounts of tea light candles
  • a burning fire place – or in our death by summer in South African December case, a fire place decorated with tea lights on the logs of wood – a very pretty solution by a darling Kirsty friend
  • walls hung with (well designed) banners, medieval weaponry, and of course, a family crest – which should be made with love by your benevolent father (thank you Daddy ^^,)

To dessert:

  • manageable ice cream scoops with (I really can’t remember but would’ve been as good as) sticky chocolate pudding
  • precursor-ed by trays of medieval styled appetizers (which I quickly learnt can never be enough and was rescued by my heroic Mom and her friends who managed to flesh out the food in the moment of crisis)
  • in turn precursor-ed by a welcoming tot of sherry
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my troop of victims

Favors were flying in from any friend or family who could spare them, and some who couldn’t. A friend of a friend made me a dress, a troop of hard working victims helped set up and clean up, and everyone made a genuine effort to suit up to theme.  A community made event guarantees success – if success for you is enjoying yourself utterly and thoroughly.  You cannot not enjoy an evening you were involved in the making of.

And one cannot forget or excuse that one smart arsed Jenna friend who rocks up as the dead princess. ^_-

myself & Jenna as Princess Di

myself & Jenna as Princess Di