So I’ve arrived in Disneyland Paris!
Read the story so far and find out how I got here…
Due to using Disney Express we didn’t need to offload at the hotel, so straight to Disneyland Park we headed!
Our first stop was City Hall. If you have a disability you can get something called a Green Card from here. You need some form of disability proof, I showed my Blue Badge, which sufficed.
A Green Card entitles the bearer and their family/friends priority access onto rides and attractions. Queue jumping as it were. You can only use this pass if you are going on the ride yourself. Family and friends cannot use the Green Card if the person with the disability isn’t taking part in the attraction. This can mean a fair bit of waiting around on my part if the ride is inaccessible to me, as queues can be upto an hour long. I don’t mind this, as we do things I can access in between. Plus it was nice just chilling in the sun with a slushy sometimes!
The first afternoon and evening was spent mostly wandering. There is so much to explore! We did bump into Genie from Aladdin on our strolls through Adventureland. I wonder if he will grant any of my wishes?!
After getting a decent spot for the early evening parade the heavens opened. It rained. And rained. The parade was cancelled, we can’t have Micky Mouse getting wet now can we. No worries though, this was day 1 of 5 and the parade would be on everyday. Also there would be no more rain. Fact. I would get sunburn the rest of the days. Happy fact.
The walk to the hotel doesn’t take long at all. I rather like it. You pass through the Disney Village (full of shops, restaurants, bars and a cinema) and then walk/wheel around the lake.
We stayed in Sequoia Lodge and have done previously. It’s in the perfect location. I love how far away it feels from Disneyland even though it is only a 10-15 minute walk/wheel.
In the middle of a forest, it feels like a different world to the crazy, exciting and shiny world of Disney. Spacious, peaceful and green.
At check in we discovered we wouldn’t be in the main hotel, we were in a little lodge round the corner. At first, wandering there with our cases we thought it was quite a trek, especially for an accessible room where it’s likely the occupant would have mobility issues. The next day though we realised there was a little short cut that quickly got us to Disney Village.
It was also rather nice being a bit separate. There were a few rooms and guests in our lodge but it was much quieter than the busyness of a large hotel.
Booking an accessible room meant that we got an adjoining room too. Mum and I in one room, sister and kids in the other. Lockable door in between!
I was relieved and rather proud to find a hoist in my room, ready to use. The plan had come together.
If you’ve read ‘Disneyland Paris In A Wheelchair (part one) – The Take Off’ you’ll know I have difficulty sleeping on a regular mattress so packed an inflatable camping one with me… well it inflated perfectly fine at home in a trail run. That pump did not want to pump in Paris!
After a lot of huffing and puffing (not from my pathetic lungs) the mattress was up and placed on top of my single bed. Like The Princess and the Pea! (Don’t think that’s a Disney yet?!).
A little terrified to move, as whenever I did it felt like I was on a bouncy castle, one part of me went down and the other flew in the air! I actually slept quite well. For me anyway. It’s a good job I can’t move in my sleep!
On the morning of day 2 we decided to make a bit of a plan. The weather forecast was warm and sunny well into the evening and we wanted to make the most of this.
On the walk through Disney Village we booked a table at The Rainforest Cafe for later that evening. This is one of my favourite places to eat, it’s not a Disney thing, these are located all over the world, London to Dubai.
The food is tasty but nothing too fancy, the wheelchair access is good, spacious with easy to drive under tables. I think it’s somewhere everyone should give a go, especially if you have kids (although I probably loved it more than them!).
You enter through a giant fish tank archway and find yourself in the midst of a rainforest. There are monkeys and elephants, colourful birds hidden in trees. Every twenty minutes or so the place goes darker and a storm hits, there are crackles and an elephant roaring in the distance, do elephants roar? At first the kids are startled but then the excitement grows, their imagination comes to play. I just want to state here that, bar the fish the animals are not real, it’s not a safari. Although they are pretty realistic!
Anyways, back to the planning. So we decided to make the most of the weather and do some character stalking and show watching. You can pick up a weekly schedule from City Hall and other places dotted around the park entrances. We focused on Disneyland park today, thinking tomorrow we shall explore Disney Studios.
There were two shows we aimed to see, and one parade. These were all outdoor attractions.
Every show and parade has specific spaces reserved for people with disabilities (Green Card holders) and 2 members of their group. So unfortunately being a group of 6 we couldn’t always sit together. If you are unsure where any of the access seating is there are always plenty of Disney crew to point you in the right direction.
For the shows everybody sits on the floor so there is no problem seeing if you are unable to stand. However the parade is a different matter! To start with everybody is sitting on the ground, as there is a little time to wait (these things get busy so find your position a good half hour before showtime!), then as soon as the music starts it’s a free for all! Yes you are still in a reserved area but these people stand (those that can) and push in. So if you don’t have a good spot near the front it can be frustrating.
Micky Presents: Happy Anniversary Disneyland Paris
Disney Princess Dance
Disney Stars on Parade, 25th Anniversary
Another perk of the Green Card is bookable character meets. There are characters dotted around both parks all day everyday. As you can imagine the queues for a photo and autograph get crazily long! After all, who doesn’t want to meet legends like these…
With the Green Card instead of queuing you are given the option of booking a time slot and returning later. But be early (you can book from 11am each day for the characters of that day) for this! We did manage to book a couple in advance but also ended up queuing for a few. There are understandably limited time slots, otherwise the regular queuing people would never get a look in! To be honest though I don’t mind the odd queue. I am British!
In between the shows and character meeting we explored some more of the lands and went on some rides. Quite a few of these are actually accessible, and I’ll discuss more later. I’ll leave you today with one of my favourites in Frontierland, one that I could access with my wheels! It’s a great attraction if you fancy a bit of quiet and to take in some of the stunning sights which don’t involve glitter and shine. Disney isn’t all about the sparkle.
Thunder Mesa Riverboat Landing…