Going Back to Disneyland Paris as a Mere Guest – Things I’m Most Looking Forward To

This feels quite strange, being the first time I’ve written about Disneyland Paris for a decade, away from the Disneyland Paris website I used to run, but here I am. Three weeks tomorrow and we depart from London on the Eurostar, for my first time back since last October, and the first family trip since 2017. After going countless times over the past 17 years, can there really much left to get excited about? Well there’s always something to look forward to in life, but being more specific to this article, let’s see what I can come up with.

Visiting as a Mere Guest

This is something I haven’t done for a long time, most of Lucas’ life and all but one of my trips with him. Running a Disneyland Paris website (podcast/social media/YouTube) meant that even during family time, and as much as I tried to keep it to a minimum, there was always that little voice in my head, wondering if I should take a photo for an article, or some video for a tweet. I made sure it didn’t impact family holidays too much, but it was always there. This summer, my time at Disneyland Paris will be spent on purely enjoying what is on offer, with my family. Sure I’ll take the odd photo or video, but there will be no feeling of obligation to do so.

Going Back to Disneyland Paris as a Mere Guest – Things I’m Most Looking Forward To

I’ll Be Spoiler Free

Even when I first visited back in 2002 I searched the internet for information and tips, and needless to say (but I will anyway), every trip since has been with intimate knowledge of everything that will be on offer, especially during the Disneyland Paris website years. I’ve managed to completely separate myself from the Disneyland Paris community since December last year. This has meant unfollowing and muting friends and words on social media accounts, and not once visiting any website associated with Disneyland Paris in any way. As such I have no idea what to expect in the way of new entertainment, other than what I knew before my blackout, that The Jungle Book is involved and there’s a new Lion King show at the new Chaparral Theatre. Both of which could be individual items on this list, but as I am ignorant to any details, they’d be very brief.

Riding Big Thunder Mountain at Night

Having only started travelling on the wildest ride in the wilderness a few years ago, I still get excited at experiencing Big Thunder Mountain. However, more than anything, I’m so looking forward to once again ride it at night, in the dark and with the lights of Disneyland Paris all around. There is nothing quite like it, and not only because of the lights, but also the added sensation of speed, and short queue times right at the end of the night. Lucas and I were chatting last week, and our quest is to be on Big Thunder Mountain whilst Illuminations is showing, in hope that we can see the lasers and fireworks, whilst flying around that great roller coaster.

Riding Big Thunder Mountain at Night

The Reopened Phantom Manor

This has been public knowledge for some years now, and after a long closure and refurbishment, it opened again earlier this year. As to what has changed, I have absolutely no idea. I’m hoping the story has is explained a little better, as hardcore fans may be happy to read up on the many variations of this online once home, there shouldn’t really be any need for that. The last time I visited Disneyland Paris when Phantom Manor was open, I rode it just once, and it left me feeling very underwhelmed. The ride felt old, with lots of frequently broken and non-working parts. I love what they did with Pirates of the Caribbean, so changes of that vain would be very welcome, but I’d go as far as saying they need to do even more than what they did to Jack et al. There were rumours of Fastpass being added, which I still think is utterly pointless for an attraction that rarely has a queue. A character photo location would be a welcome addition, with the characters in Phantom Manor costumes of course. Pretty excited to see what Phantom Manor has to offer, which is not something I’ve felt for quite some years.

A lot is covered by everything new that I don’t know about, which I’ll have more to say about when we return, but the big ones are going without any website work on my mind, and new things to experience that I haven’t read up on, seen videos or photos of. Being there with our good friends Martin, Hayley and Jake from Holiday Hamster will be fantastic too, as will the big steins of beer we’ll have in King Ludwig’s. We have no plans to return anytime soon, with a tour of mainland Europe being talked about for next summer, so we’ll be making the most of every moment. Disneyland Paris again? Yes, but this will be a trip different to all those that came before.

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