Yay it's our third week of Disneyland Paris reviews. This week we are going all in on the Parade and the Illuminations show. This will probably be a shorter post this week but worry not I have two more blog posts planned to complete the Disneyland Paris review and they will both be much bigger and more in depth. I just wanted to add in a quick mention for the new Wonder Kids Facebook page. It's only a couple of weeks old and we have loads of great content on there everyday! from arts & crafts based on our huge library of ideas to great recipe's that are ideal for getting the kids into the kitchen. We also had some great fathers day gift ideas just recently and we have loads of great parenting ideas and news from the Wonder Kids digital magazine sourced from around the world. Please do go and take a look, remember to hit that like button.
In week one of my review I talked about arriving at the park and what I felt about the Newport Bay Hotel, you can read it here. Last week I walked through the main park rides and some meet & greets which you can find here.
Lets get on with this weeks review, I'll start with the parade. Now this was one of the biggest hyped things before visiting Disneyland. Almost every advert they put out features the Disney Parade especially with the 25th Anniversary celebrations, a brand new parade was announced. For me personally the parade was one of the dissapointments of our trip, maybe the idea was built up so much in my mind that the reality of it could never match what I had in my head. Now I know I have mentioned a few times that the time we spent there was really hot, the weather was about 34℃ and I do think this is an important thing to consider with the parade.
Disney Tip #5
Watch the parade near It's a Small World for great pictures and you'll know when the last float has been seen and get onto your next ride quicker!
The parade we attended only lasted little over 10 minutes which was disappointing and there was no fire breathing Dragon on the day we watched. Im not sure if both of these were due to the heat? I can understand that the characters can not do a bigger/longer parade in that sort of heat but it's still disappointing. I've included an advert below for Disneyland Paris so you can see what I mean about how hyped the parade is. Saying this though it was one of my daughters favourite parts of the holiday, she loved the parade and even got a hug by the Geenie from Aladdin. Lets get on with some tips for the parade. It starts near the ride It's a Small World and continues down the road, pass the castle, down main street and ends in the town square, so I would recommend getting a space either towards the end of Main Street or near it's a small world. This way you get to see everything and should get some great pictures. We opted to go near it's a small world because once the last float had gone past we can then move straight on to another ride whilst there are loads of people still waiting to see the last float come up main street.
Although I was dissapointed that the parade didn't last very long and really disappointed that there was no fire breathing dragon! the float and characters that were out were spectacular, very well designed, beautifully constructed and the interaction with the characters is superb. Something I only found out on the day was that Disney pick a "Star Family" that get to be included in the parade. They get to sit in a nice car and they start the parade, this would be an amazing experience for any kid, obviously you get out at the end of the parade and can then stay at the end of the route to see the rest of the parade come by. I don't know how this family is chosen or who chooses them, if you know please do let me know in the comments below. Below I have included my video of the parade and the illuminations show too. You'll see exactly what to expect.
The parade starts at 5.30pm and you'll need to get a spot for the parade at least an hour before it starts, believe it or not people do start getting spots even earlier than this. We found a small tree to sit under for some shade and had a great view of the parade. I had heard tales of loads of pushing and shoving to get good spots but this isn't something we experienced at all. We did near the end of the parade have a mother push in a little to get her 18 month old baby near the front which I thought was a little pointless but there was plenty of room. You will also need to get a spot for the illuminations show at least and hour before it starts at the parks closing time. This time varies depending on the day and time of year. Again people start picking spots hours before this show starts and we were very lucky to get a great spot near the castle grounds about an hour before the show started. I loved this show, it was amazing infact I got very little footage of it because I put my phone down and just watched it. The video above came from my mum who managed to film the entire show (sorry about the VVS). One little bug we had was that whilst everyone was waiting for the show to start we were all sat down. Everyone was very happy, chatting, kids playing with toys and gifts they had got that day, some people having a bite to eat and because everyone was sat down we all had a great view of the castle. Unfortunately this was not to last, as soon as the show started the people in front of me stood up, I have no idea why? They where sat as close to the barrier as you could get, there was nothing obstructing their view but because they stood this meant that our entire group had to stand. Now I'm 6'4" tall so if I stand up, everyone behind me has to stand up and move to see. I know this annoyed a lot of people including myself but I had no other choice if I wanted to still see the show. Please people stay seated if you are at the front. One saving grace was that a lovely French family ushered my daughter to the front with them so that she could see everything which I was very thankful for. This show is superb and takes you through loads of Disney classics and favourites with amazing technology. The planning and team that put this show together must be incredible. You can watch the whole show above but maybe you shouldn't and just leave it as a surprise? plus it won't look as good as it does in person.
That's it for this week, make sure you come back next week for an in depth look at some of the shows available around the park and some amazing restaurants. Please do take a couple of minutes to join our mailing list, found to the top right of this page. It's completely free, you can unsubscribe at any point but if you do decide to sign up then I will send you great ideas, games, crafts, recipe's and interesting news articles from time to time. We do not share your details with anybody and I certainly do not spam you with email upon email, it's just every now and then.