Birthday Celebrations

One of my nieces recently celebrated her 5th birthday. Instead of having a traditional birthday party at home, mum and dad thought it a much better idea to venture across the Channel and indulge in the magic of Disney at Disneyland Resort Paris, before she grows out of the level of excitement she currently has about it. Kindly, they let me go along too!

With Eurostar now having recovered from it’s pre-Christmas snow foibles, we let the train take the strain and bundled off early on a February morning towards central London. Parenting these days seems to imply a need to take vast amounts of stuff where-ever you go, children requiring even more bits and gadgets than cameras! We were, therefore, very thankful that there was a route via lift from the Tube platforms to the station concourse at St Pancras. Our arrival was, sadly, before the Neuhaus chocolate shop had opened, but that was probably a good thing as I fear we would’ve come away several pounds lighter in pocket and several pounds heavier in weight had we had a pitstop! Instead, we could marvel at the stunning refurbishment of St Pancras station… now as awe inspiring inside as out.

Obviously I had my camera with me, and surprisingly that meant I was stopped going through security for a bag search, thrusting me into unwanted limelight with the security folk. The chap doing the search blamed the lens, informing me that it was the “crystals” in it! I’m not quite so sure about that myself (it’s survived airport check-ins ok) but I wasn’t about to argue.

The Disney Express train was swift and delivered us directly to the station at the Park. We’d booked one of the hotels at the Park and there was even a luggage drop-off in the station, all very civilised. That left us free to head straight to Disneyland itself.

First on my niece’s list of things to do was get a Minnie Mouse balloon. Fortunately we didn’t have to wait long to find a stall, they were in ample supply, and a few Euros later she had a big grin and was clutching it as tightly as she could.

We bagged a few rides before joining the line-up for the closing parade of the day. Up until that point I was just in theme-park mode, but I really quite enjoyed the parade, the child in me rising accordingly with the magic, even if it was artificial and the same day after day. It’s all a bit strange given it’s essentially just a carnival parade, but however Disney do it, the wonder and excitement was there for adults and children alike… It must’ve been something in the air… that or the hypnotic music that I then couldn’t get out of my head for the rest of the day!

The first day set the scene for the rest of the days, cold but bearable for February, busy but not too busy so letting us do most of what we wanted without having to wait for hours in queues, dry with some winter sun poking through the clouds every so often.

My niece was a bit of a trouper and did remarkably well, though was clearly ready to sleep by the end of each day. She wasn’t that fussed about having her photo taken with the characters, being content to barge through any other children and parents to almost rugby tackle the characters to the ground as she dived in to give them a hug, before moving on to the next one and doing the same, but only if they were characters that she liked! The only time she was slower was when some characters appeared in one of the restaurants in the evening, obviously tired out by then.

Anyway, here’s a flavour of it all. Planning for her 6th birthday is already underway, but how can you beat Disney for kids!?

Mickey and Minnie Mouse

Unmistaking Disney

It's a small world

Waving to the parade

Disney parade

End of the day

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    All images copyright Browell Photography.