Disneyland Paris Dairies- My Second Visit

Disney Diary

This blog post skips a few years from the last as we revisited Disneyland Paris as a family, I was slightly older but still incredibly excited.

I want to start however the night before we left, this probably goes down as one of those embarrassing life moments but I wasn’t going to let it ruin my holiday. The evening before travelling to Marne la Valee we stayed in a London hotel. It turned out there was a wedding so Mum and Dad did not get much sleep however I can sleep anywhere through anything. It wasn’t until the next morning when I was getting ready in the bathroom that my trouble began. The towel radiator was hot. Sorry I meant HOT. The kind of hot where you bend to put your jeans on and burn a line down your ass. The kind of burn that HURTS to sit down on and guess what, I was sitting on the Eurostar for a couple of hours. Ah well, like I said, I was still excited we were going to Disneyland Paris.

I am a huge fan of character meets and found an absolute love with the parades on this visit. On our last day as mum and dad were finishing dinner I wanted to get up and watch the final parade, I truly think I would still be like that now. As for characters, everyone that we saw I wanted a photo with, sometimes even twice. It wasn’t too busy at the time of year and the characters were happy to stand, chat and take a few photos. It was great that we were never rushed and I only remember there being a queue for the Sulley Meet and Greet.

The stores in Disneyland Paris are something else. They are elegant on the outside and full of glow and warmth inside. On this visit I treated myself to a Minnie Mouse ring that I actually still have, although she is now missing her bow I have kept this in my jewellery box as memorabilia.

Of course we went on the rides and this time, as my sister was older, she was able to go on more too. Crush’s Coaster had opened since our last visit and this quickly became my favourite ride throughout Disneyland Paris, closely followed by the Tower of Terror. My love of the parades was ongoing and I enjoyed watching them every day of our visit. On our last day I even left dinner early so I could catch it before our journey home.

Another memory, that needed some finding, was going to Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. Exactly what it sounds like it was a show full of cowboy hats, horses and stunts. This was a rustic event with food and drink included and a little audience participation which my dad took part in. It was a good way to spend an evening and the stunt show was great. I remember the food being a chicken on the bone and chips combo with beer flowing (not for the young ones of course!) and waitresses coming round to top up or bring more food. I would love to see if this is the same experience 20 years on.

We stayed in a different hotel to our last trip and I must say it was a beautiful hotel. Disney’s Newport Bay Club homed a Donald Duck Meet and Greet, a gift shop and nautical themed decor. It was also overlooking the lake which is positioned in the centre of many of the hotels and was only a short walk to the parks everyday. I would love to try Hotel New York and the Disneyland Hotel however I would definitely stay at Disney’s Newport Bay Club again in the future.

If you haven’t already you can also catch up on Our First Disney Holiday or see how I am planning our next one.

Have you been to any of the Disney Parks or do you plan to one day?

My First Disney Holiday

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It was a family holiday with my mum, dad and sister where we travelled straight into Marne-la-Valle on the Eurostar and stayed in the western themed Hotel Cheyenne. Back at the beginning 2000 I would have been 9 years old and really, looking back I feel I was even younger than that.

I do have a few memories of my own but loved hearing some forgotten ones from my mum and dad and looking through the photos. There are a few things that stood out on the holiday. I was like a kid in a candy shop in all of the stores there and left with a full lanyard of pin badges. I remember that it was fairly cold and it was definitely coat weather. I remember this because my chosen coast was a purple number with fluffy sleeves and collar. I remember this because I managed to get ‘plastic’, runny cheese stuck in the sleeves and somehow later threw up the contents of a jacket potato with cheese. Let’s just say the experience put me off melted cheese for a looong time. Now if I ever saw someone ladling runny cheese onto a potato I’m outta there.

I was tall enough and old enough to go on the rollercoasters on our first visit. The Indiana Jones Temple of Doom as I remember it was a great ride. It was also my first experience on ‘It’s A Small World’ and my mum must have been on it more than a handful of times with my sister being around 4 years old at the time. As much as I enjoyed the rides I think my slightly scared moment was on Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster as I had never been on anything that started that fast before.

We recently watched The Imagineneering Story on Disney+ and I was surprised to see the content about Disneyland Paris. Our first family holiday covered the time when the second park, Hollywood Studios had just opened and I can honestly say that through my young eyes it was nothing but a great experience. Even going years later it was still a wonderfully fun place with the Tower of Terror and my favourite ride in Paris, Crush’s Coaster. I loved this ride so much I was gutted when I went with my now husband and it was closed for renovation.

What memories do you have of your first ever Disney holiday?

Replanning Our Disney Holiday

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If you are new around here you may not be aware that our Walt Disney World Holiday was cancelled due to the current circumstances. We completely agree that safety is of prime importance but I am also looking forward to replanning our Disney holiday and being there in the next year or so, whenever we are able and it is safe to do so.

Our previously planned trip included:

• Disney tickets for 14 days

• Staying off site near Universal

We were just about to book Universal Tickets before everything closed and were unsure of what may or may not be cancelled for a while.

Since Walt Disney World stated its temporary closure and then our holiday provider cancelled our holiday altogether we have been adding, changing and researching what we can’t miss and what we would love to experience on our future Florida holiday.

We have changed our plans slightly for when we rebook and this now includes staying on site in a Disney hotel. My main decision sway-ers on this were,

• Disney Magic even when you go to bed

• Extra Magic Hours

• Booking reservations and FastPass sooner

• Transport will be easier to get into the parks

• Dining plan availability

With all this in mind we decided that the price difference would be worth the extras that are available through staying on site.

I have located a few prices with different companies but due to our previous holiday provider we are unable to rebook just yet. This gives me plenty of time to find the best price offering the best package.

Once we have the holiday booked we shall keep you updated as to finalising plans and making restaurant reservations along with what FastPass is the most popular and what snacks we need to be sampling.

I am very much looking forward to the whole process and this time (without any disasters please) enjoying our Walt Disney World holiday.

Are you planning a Disney holiday?

I’m here in the comments or over on Instagram @lorenjessica_

Derbyshire Dog Walks – Monsal Dale

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A little disclaimer before we start. Everyone’s first priority right now (and always) is to STAY SAFE. Practice social distancing and self isolate where required. In this post I am simply remembering a favourite walk that we have done on previous visits to Derbyshire.

We all, of course, have our favourite locations when taking the pooch on a day out. Sometimes we change it up and go somewhere different and then others we’ll want to know exactly what we are up against. Monsal Dale is that go to, long walk, out in the open for us. It has everything from open green space to water which we can’t keep Mia out of and a little uphill section. The route is even in a good spot for a drink or bite to eat after too. There is plenty of parking at the top of the route and we always tend to use this and walk down.

There are a couple of steep hills on the walk and I am not a fan of going downhill but I would say for me, it is worth it every time. My favourite spot along the trail is probably right at the end of the route in the field below the viaduct.

On one previous walk we were able to get right up to the weir and take a couple of photos. On our last day out here it was fenced off and you could not get near it. I am completely guessing but I take it this could be for safety purposes to stop silly people walking along the rocks to get a photo for the ‘gram, just a thought. There are some beautiful spots on route, as there is with most of Derbyshire, and the large viaduct and the weir are just a couple of them.

Mia, our chocolate labrador, also loves splashing around in the water here. She is a complete water dog and we haven’t the heart to stop her, even if it does mean a wet car on the way home.

The route ends by going up a fairly steep hill back to the car park (and food!) and this is where Mia also manages to make us laugh. The hill is on a bank with a slight tilt to one side which carries on down the hill. If she stops and you shout her name she always manages to look at us with her head tilted in the same way of the banking.

The trail can sometimes be a little muddy so we mainly wear our walking boots and take some extra shoes in the car. We have also been known to stop in Monsal Dale and open up a few snacks along with a flask of tea.

Is there anywhere you love to walk in Derbyshire?

Having Our Cancelled Disney Holiday At Home

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Today we should have been enjoying the rides and meeting characters at Walt Disney World. Like many people at this time our holiday has been cancelled for the health of hundreds. Instead of this time passing by I have decided for the next two weeks, as that would have been our holiday length, that I will carry on the Disney vibes ay home.

Our days will be filled with films on Disney+ and as much Disney style food as I can make at home in the UK with essential shopping trips, that’s the tricky one. Also I am still trying to figure out how to build a rollercoaster on the garden (don’t worry I’m only half joking).

Yesterday we kicked our ‘holiday’ off by watching Inside Out, closely followed by Riley’s First Date. We had never seen it before and the other half said it had become one of his favourites. I also posted this picture on Instagram to start the journey over there too so come and join me if you can!

So keep your eyes peeled and get in touch if your Disney holiday has also been delayed. We are definitely still going once able and with a little more saving time and planning we will hopefully be able to make our visit even better!

Planning Our Next Trip – To Where?

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I’ll start this post by saying our ‘next trip’ would have been Walt Disney World Florida and I have written plenty about that here. It is unfortunate that we can’t go as planned but we aren’t the only ones and it is for the best at this time. That does not stop us from planning our future Disney trip and plenty of others that we would love to do too.

For the last two years we have enjoyed a Winter holiday with our friends and their adorable cockapoo, Ares. At first we spent our time in Yurts in the Lake District with the second in a hotel in the Cotswolds. These breaks (as they would with dogs) are largely spent on walks or in dog friendly pubs. As the world might be back travelling come Autumn/Winter a dog friendly break will be more than welcome. I would love to see Scotland or even get on the channel tunnel and head to France depending on when and cost.

If we are not able to safely travel until next year then we will definitely be thinking about rebooking our Florida holiday. This will depend on Disney’s most popular times, (we wouldn’t want to pick a highly popular date) holidays available at work and how much flights and hotels will be in the new year.

Travelling in Derbyshire

I already know my husband really wants to get back to the Lake District. He’s a walking kinda guy and misses the great outdoors after a while. Before we drop a lot of money on a bigger holiday we may have to plan a weekend break up in the Lakes to involve plenty of walks, fresh air and good food. 

This also goes for the Peak District. We are lucky enough to live within a couple of hours drive of the Peak District so this will be a day trip for us, most likely on the motorbike as it will need a run after being stood for so long. 

That is it for now. From the above we have possible trip ideas for a day, a weekend, a week and a fortnight. When all this is over we will hopefully be healthy and in a position to travel again to one (or all) of the options above.

Do you have any travel wish lists?

What I’ve Learnt From Walking Holidays

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Pack that backpack. Humans and dogs alike need supplies over the course of the day, especially on walking holidays. If it is warm or a cool day we end up carrying drinks such as a flask of tea, a cold drink and water for Mia. This can get very heavy so I tend to carry mine while my other half carries his and Mia’s.

Invest in some good shoes. We have a pair of walking boots each (well my husband has a few) and plenty of thick walking socks. On one of our Snowdon walks we saw people heading up and down in trainers or sandals and I would not trust my ankles on terrain like that in any weather.

Planning for the weather. We are in the UK after all. Sometimes if we feel like the weather may take a turn whilst on our walk we’ll pack our rain coats, if it’s going to be worse we’re packing our waterproof trousers. There has been a few occasions we have had to walk in damp trousers and it isn’t comfortable.

Lake Windermere, Lake District Dog Walks

Plan the route. And try not to get lost. There are plenty of times we have managed to find ourselves ‘off the beaten track’. My favourite (so far at least) was the time my husband convinced me that going up a bank was a shortcut. It was very steep uphill, he and Mia had gone ahead and as I scrambled to the top I found myself face to face with a cow. It was a terrifying moment and it took me a minute to realise that the cow was on the other side of a short wall.

Aira Force National Trust Lake District Troutbeck Dog Walks
Aira Force National Trust Lake District Dog Walks

Planning the route doesn’t just mean we won’t get lost. It also means that you know what to expect. On our holiday with friends in The Cotswolds we ventured off on a walk and found the route to be a dead end. We were lucky that we could take a detour, walk back for a few hundred metres and change direction (and that we are pretty relaxed with minimal expectations) but if not it would have been a very short walk for two very energetic dogs.

Take a look around. There is a lot to be seen when out and about and a main point of a walking holiday is to see the sights. Stopping to get the flask out and tuck into that packed lunch is one of my favourite things to do.

Have you been on any walking holidays or dog friendly stays?

The Viaduct, Chee Dale walk, Derbyshire

Walks in Derbyshire – Chee Dale

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I love a walk in Derbyshire and the Chee Dale route has to be one of my top 5. It links to Monsal Trail and went walking this route we did go up to the trail for an ice cream. We soon headed back down to the path though as the Chee Dale walk was quieter and more dog friendly for what we wanted on such a super hot day.

The path is scenic throughout and even on the first bridge I was already snapping my camera and taking photos. From a section of the viaduct to the dogs walking and enjoying the water there was literally photo inspiration at every turn and as it was the height of summer there were plenty of plants thriving.

This also meant that there were plenty of plants thriving. In the way that they were kind of taking over the path and we were brushing past them. Now I am not a big fan of plants brushing past my legs (hello nettle stings and ticks people!) but I managed it there and back and even tucking in for people and their pooches to pass on the narrow paths.

Mia, Chocolate Labrador at Chee Dale Derbsyhire

We walked down by the river for most of the day and the dogs loved dipping in and out along the route. There were plenty of other dogs out too enjoying a walk and a swim on the bank holiday.

The popular stepping stones are along the Chee Dale route and we loved this section of the walk. The whole route we did have to be careful as it is next to water which can make paths slippery and the stepping stones were no different. We hadn’t gone quiet dressed for the event so took extra care that we didn’t end up as wet as the dogs and we made it to the other side. I must say there is only one set and we were being closely followed. From the other side there was a point where walkers were coming from the opposite direction and this did make it tricky for a minute as the stones aren’t that wide.

Me and a friend crossing the stepping stones in Chee Dale, Derbyshire
Chee Dale, Derbyshire

I would definitely do this walk again in the future and potentially see some more of the route and what surrounds it.

What is your favourite route to walk, in Derbyshire or elsewhere?

Sign on Monsal Trail, Derbyshire

Walks in Derbyshire – Monsal Trail

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Before we continue with this post I would like to state I hope everyone is staying safe and adhering to the current government guidelines. This post is merely to recount my tales and for entertainment purposes.

Monsal Trail surely has to be one of the most popular walks in Derbyshire. It is a simple route, hopefully I will never need a map for this one, is a lovely flat path thanks to its history of being an old railway, and the character is still aplenty. Oh and there is plenty of places to eat along the way. I will always think of food, ya know, in case you’ve eaten the picnic before you’ve even set off.

We have walked along Monsal Trail more times than I can remember. If we haven’t walked along it we have parked up outside Hassop Station and stopped for breakfast before going onto somewhere else. Side note: Hassop Station do an excellent breakfast range and have a fantastic selection of books and artwork in the shop attached. There is also bike hire here and on a sunny day becomes quite busy. There are a few car parks along this route and we tend to either park at the cafe or down into Bakewell.

As mentioned the route does still hold a lot of character and this comes in the form of tunnels, some quite long and dark for a time, that have the names in signage across the top. The route also has plaques and boards stating the history of certain parts and I remember one explaining how a pulley system was used on the line.

I distinctly remember the time before last that we walked along Monsal Trail was one of the hottest bank holidays in Britain. It was a beautiful day spent with friends and our dogs walking and talking. We were lucky to start the route away from the sun down on Millers Dale and did not notice how warm it was until we veered off course onto Monsal Trail. We stopped for an ice cream and loo break at The Refreshment Room and then headed back down to where there was cool water for the dogs and plenty of shade for both them and us humans.

Labrador Mia and my husband walking along Monsal Trail near Chee Tor Tunnel

We will walk along Monsal Trail many more times yet and I cant wait to explore more sections on the route.

Where is your favourite walk in Derbyshire?

Desserts I’d Love to Eat in Disney and a Disclaimer

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With the latest news being a massive blow to the population it’s hard to know what to say. Many people’s cases are different right now and I’ve been reading messages all week on Instagram posts about how many families won’t be visiting Disney parks in the near future. Family holidays that have been planned for years, birthdays that are now going to be spent at home and special once-in-a-lifetime trips having to be postponed. It’s all very sad to read about but on the other hand a holiday that won’t be going ahead at the original time planned is nothing compared to the health of many and Disney have done what they feel best. We have our trip planned in a few weeks time and the park will hopefully have re-opened by then, if not we hope to be able to reschedule another date. It’s up in the air for many Disney-goers at the minute and I hope that everyone who had planned a trip within the next couple of weeks manage to rearrange. For now keeping my chin up and looking at the positives of ‘if it helps one person stay healthy’ is helping me and keeping the worry and uncertainty at bay.

So if you want to continue reading I am allowing myself to look forward to our Disney trip whether it happens as originally scheduled or whether it happens at a later date. I’m thinking of all the things I want to do whilst I’m there and that begins with what I’d like to eat.

Making Disney chocolate dessert shapes
Making Disney shaped chocolate treats

I mean, I’m going to try all the food in Disney World but there’s a few that made the blog post. You will be able to see from this list that I also have a big sweet tooth and I can be thankful we are staying for two weeks as I am not sure I’d be able to squeeze all of these into any less time.

The Grey Stuff – I am a big Beauty and the Beast fan so as soon as I heard that Disney serve this in their Be Our Guest restaurant I simply needed to go. I am planning for a breakfast or lunch there and this will definitely be planned for dessert.

Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich – oh hi dessert heaven, didn’t see you there. Cookies, tick. Ice cream, tick. It is literally all one would require from a dessert and apart from the fact it gives my bottom teeth sensitivity tingles just from the idea of biting into it I can’t wait. I’ve heard rumour this also comes with a peanut butter option *already drooling*.

Blue Milk – not entirely a dessert but it’s on the list. Now this means something entirely different to me. Growing up in Britain ‘blue milk’ translates to Whole Milk, the same going for ‘green milk’ it isn’t green like in Disney, its semi-skimmed. I really don’t know what to expect with this one but I want to try it all the same.

Carrot cake cookie sandwich – This was recommended by a friend who said that we must try it. I do love a slice of carrot cake so this will surely be a winner.

Mickey Waffle – I know what a waffle tastes like. I can probably guess what a Mickey waffles tastes like but I am still going to try that Mickey waffle because I am in Walt Disney World, simple.

Beignets – another of my favourite Disney films (yes I could say that about every one but I won’t) is The Princess and the Frog. I love the music, the story and I am hoping I will love the inspired food too.

Are there any sweet treats I should add? Let me know.

And if you want to chat/get excited for whenever your trip may be or may be rescheduled for/or to let out some worries then either pop a comment or get in touch on Instagram.

Until next time,

L x