Travel Diaries: Disneyland do’s and don’t’s

There’s a couple of things you don’t necessarily think you’re going to do for the first time as an adult. Disneyland would usually be one of them, but there I was, at 24 :p I actually even wrote an entire list of ways to prepare myself, that’s how nervous I was about going there. Why? I don’t know. Because now here’s a next list with some of my Disneyland do’s and don’t’s!

Do

Bring your own snacks and drinks.

Let’s be real, Disneyland Paris is known for many things, but it’s healthy lunch options isn’t necessarily one of them. As we went to Disneyland by car, we made sure to take extra snacks (fruit, drinks, etc.) just in case we were ever hungry.

Now, obviously, there’s food all around Disneyland. But if you’re like me and my bff, in that you actually get cranky if you have only junkfood? I would advise you to make sure you bring some snacks… Everything we could find was either a) burgers, b) popcorn, c) hotdogs or d) about €35 for one plate of food which – sorry – we just weren’t going to do.

Don’t

Feel like you need to do all the attractions.

Part of me (and my two companions as well :p ) wanted to make sure I got the “full” experience. But here’s the thing: some of those things, arriving there, just weren’t really worth the effort? I mean, sure, the haunted house was quite fun, as were the rollercoasters. But that doesn’t necessarily mean I would happily wait in line for over an hour just to go on those rides. This was my first time in Disneyland – I wanted to have fun, not stare at the back of the guy in front of me for 59 minutes!

Do

Get nostalgic.

In my case, that meant going on the “It’s a Small World”-ride. I’d seen it on tv-shows since I was about 2 so that was 100% something I wanted to do. Same goes for the parade, by the way, and the Peter Pan ride. The best thing? My two companions were 100% with me on the “let’s just do this”-campaign. So we actually, three 24 year-olds, went on all those kids rides… And we loved it. You know how on puzzles they often say “for children from 9 to 99”? Well, we took that to hard and adapted it to Disney – definite recommendation!

Don’t

Let your fears stop you. Fun fact: I had been, in all my life, on exactly two attractions that did a 360° turn. Ever. And one of those, I absolutely hated, and the other was over so quickly I didn’t even really realize it happened?

Here’s the thing: I’m terrified of hights. Sure, I’m getting better – a couple of years ago, I couldn’t even stand on a chair without being scared I would fall off. That’s actually combined with a complete lack of balance, so things that go upside down aren’t usually the best for me. Also, I wear glasses – which means either I can’t see what’s going on around me (which is terrifying in and of itself) or I have to hope my glasses miraculously don’t fall off of my face. So, yeah, rollercoasters? Not necessarily my thing.

The bf and the bff, however? They wanted to do almost nothing but roller coasters. So I joined them. Quite terrifed the first time we went on the Space Mountain attraction (which is now called the Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain, but whatever). Slightly excited the second time we did that attraction. And by the time we arrived at the Studios? Well, let’s just say that neither the Rock ‘n Roller Coaster (which goes fast and is loud but oh my was it fun!) nor the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (which does that “drop” thing where you think you might die and someone in our lot actually started hyperventilating from it but oh my was it fun) can scare me anymore!

Do

Plan ahead.

What fast passes do you want? What attractions are you going to head for first thing? Do you want to see the parade? Do you want to take advantage of the fact that everybody else is watching the parade, so the waiting lines are shorter? Are we going to split up or stay together for everything?

Our general tactic was quite simple: the things that had the longest waiting line, we hit first thing in the morning. If we really liked them? We got a fast pass. We each got to “determine” which of the attractions was our favorite and, as such, we wanted to do again. And, of course, whatever happened: we would conclude the second and last day at the big Disney store.

Now, let’s be real – even with that planning we were all still a) hungry, b) tired, and c) soaked by rain from time to time (France in September, what did we expect). But honestly? I absolutely loved my first time at Disneyland. I really liked the rides, I loved the sight of Main Street as the sun was setting, I love the giant Thumper we’ve now had sitting on our sofa for almost a year. I definitely didn’t experience Disneyland the way I would have if I’d gone as a kid. In its own way, though? I might have enjoyed it a bit more 🙂

-Saar