Sunday, 12 January 2020

A Guide to Celebrating Your Birthday as an Adult at Disneyland Paris

Celebrating Your Birthday as an Adult at Disneyland Paris
The excitement, the thrill and nostalgia of celebrating your birthday at Disneyland Paris is inescapable, whether you're a child or an adult. And I couldn't resist making the famed amusement park the premise for my big 3-0. Yes, a far cry from the usual 'Dirty Thirty' alcohol-induced extravaganzas - but I really wanted to be doing something I completely loved (roller-coasters) with people I absolutely loved (my family) before I left them for a year to venture abroad. We opted for a three day, two night stay at Disneyland Paris, which perfectly sandwiched my birthday - the day I celebrated doing 30 laps around the sun. An added bonus of having a birthday in December meant I also got to soak up the magical Christmas atmosphere, making for a short getaway that I'll remember for years to come.

Having not yet attended Walt Disneyland Resort in Florida and Disneyland Park in California, I, by no means, am an expert when it comes to all things Disneyland. But if you're hoping to celebrate a birthday at Disneyland Paris, particularly over Christmas time - whether you're young or getting on a bit - here are a few tips, tricks and personal anecdotes from yours truly which will make things just a touch bit smoother for you. 

1. Disneyland Paris is expensive. And Disneyland Paris regularly run deals across the year. Some better than others. We eyed up a great 25% off winter package deal. It included our two-night stay at Disney's Newport Bay Club, half-board dining (breakfast and either lunch or dinner), extra Magic Hours, and Fast Track for some of the most epic rides. Sounded incredible. But after rushing to book it before the deal expired, we noticed they had begun the same deal again - but with 35% off! Just a touch frustrating! So just a heads up, don’t feel pressurised by the deadline dates for deals. They have a plethora of hotel rooms that need filing up and as a result, are regularly discounting prices heavily.

Celebrating Your Birthday as an Adult at Disneyland Paris
Our view from Disney's Newport Bay Club 
2. This next pointer is the complete opposite of my first point (Sorry not sorry). Spend more money! This is merely for your comfort and enjoyment. We were keen on saving money on the airfare and Eurostar to Paris and therefore decided to drive through the night (and via EuroTunnel) to get to Disneyland Paris and hit the park straight away. While we did save plenty of time and money, none of us slept a wink. That made for a less than ideal first day, as we could only muster up the energy to watch Mickey's Christmas Big Band show and the Stunt show at Universal Studios. We were all delirious by the time we hit the sack. I would suggest splashing out on a hotel room for an extra night to get your full eight hours of sleep before hitting the parks the next morning with wide-eyed adrenaline.

Celebrating Your Birthday as an Adult at Disneyland Paris
I LOVE rollercoasters, I promise! 
3. Now focusing solely on birthdays! One thing you should know is that Disneyland Paris doesn't do birthday badges anymore. I know, bummer! In years past you could have collected a badge at City Hall on Main Street, and I was intending to do just that and wear it loud and proudly. If you want to be extra like I did, bring your own badge and continue the fun anyways!

Celebrating Your Birthday as an Adult at Disneyland Paris
The Waheed siblings do Disneyland Paris 
4. This is very important. Please remember to pre-book yourself a restaurant for your birthday two months in advance, as that is when the dining reservations open. Die-hard Disneyland Paris fanatics literally ring up the SECOND they can to book the best places. Thinking it was no big deal, we waited a week and annoyingly the only dinner option available for Disneyland Paris' Plaza Gardens Restaurant was for 5.30pm (which ended up working out perfectly in the end). But if your heart is set on a particular restaurant at a particular time, call up as soon as you can. We didn't book a restaurant for the other night and spent nearly an hour walking from restaurant to restaurant for a place to eat before one place finally took pity on us. 

Celebrating Your Birthday as an Adult at Disneyland Paris
Birthday Meal
5. Watch the famous fireworks and illuminations show at the Sleeping Beauty Castle on Main Street on your birthday. It is honestly super special and occurs every night at the Park's closing - which is usually 10pm. Yes, the hour before is somewhat annoying and stressful as crowds gather to find themselves a perfect spot. With half an hour left till the fireworks, the whole of Main Street was shoulder-to-shoulder packed. But saying all that, no matter where you stand you will probably have a good spot, as it's just a case of looking up. There are also many guides out there from Disneyland Paris fanatics which point out an array of ‘secret’ spots to watch the fireworks for an incredible view. We ended up finding a good spot relatively near the front - and while a very tall man held his camera high up for most of the show - I managed to look past it and absolutely enjoyed my last birthday hurrah!

Celebrating Your Birthday as an Adult at Disneyland Paris
An amazing way to end your birthday! 


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