EuroDisney Magic: 18 Best Bits for Toddlers and Babies

20170913_173130.jpgThe trip we planned for so long finally happened! I feel that it proves that we have come a long way as parents. We are less nervous and able to deal with the meltdowns if they happen.

I want to describe Euro Disney without cliché. I can’t. It is magical, enchanting and a dream. That is just how it is.20170909_101116

I could blog about our little holiday to Euro Disney all day and probably could bore everyone so I am picking the highlights for families bringing toddlers and small children. It might help someone out there bringing small kids to this paradise.

  1. Mickey and the Magician. 20170909_103929This was far and away my personal favourite attraction in the whole park. Lasting about 35 minutes, it is a full stage show with all the glitz and tricks of a Broadway show. The wait wasn’t long and we sat in the front row. The concept is that Mickey is working for a magician (ring a bell?)and is left alone to clean up. He longs to be able to do magic- and it isn’t long until we are all swept in his wonderful journey. We are treated to several hits from the films, actual characters on stage and it is thrilling for a Disney lover. Tale as Old as Time, Be Our Guest, You Ain’t Never Had a Friend Like Me, all feature but my mind was blown by the marvellous rendition of Rafiki’s Circle of Life. If you have seen the Broadway show, you will remember the ingenious staging of the birds and animals from The Lion King and this show gives you all that. My little ones were amazed. They are so small that they fully believed these were actual animals and even were shying away from the she-lion. Betsy fell off her chair when Olaf appeared on stage. She screeched in joy and had to be held back from hopping the stage like a tweenage Belieber. Finally when Elsa herself arrived and belted out Let it Go, it was Gigi’s turn to fall from her chair, as she had been balancing on the proverbial edge of her seat. Too spellbound to cry she stood up and yelped in joy when Elsa started to ‘do the magic’. ‘Look Mammy! She’s doing the magic, she’s doing the magic!’. Gigi was sold and in an oblivion of wonder. This is what it all about. These were no special effects to her. She was watching real, honest to goodness magic. We left the theatre on a high. All four of us. Mr Paper and I caught eyes several times in the show, almost tearful watching our children’s joy.bitmoji-20170821103046.png
  2. Lunch with the Princesses at L’Auberge Cendrillon. 

    Princesses are true celebrities of the park and you will get not to speak to one without queuing for a long time in the Pavillion or paying for the ‘back stage pass’. 20170909_101336We spent the money. We went for the four course lunch and let the celebrities come to us. Our little ones will never be fully aware that this wasn’t just a regular restaurant but we will have the pictures forever.

    Having Belle, Tiana, Aurora and Cinderella arrive to your table as you eat is not an everyday experience and worth every penny.20170913_182624(0)-1 I will review the lunch fully again for those who want it. Let me know! Who can deny dessert in the shape of Cinderella’s slipper? So cute.

  3. Rencontre avec Mickey Mouse. 20170909_101233.jpgMickey Mouse holds court in a large theatre at the back of the Magic Kingdom and there is a lengthy queue to meet Disney royalty such as Mr Mouse. However it is indoors and with entertainment as a large screen shows old cartoons constantly on a loop as you wait. Mickey Mouse is a great guy and gives every child their deserved attention. Mickey had an Irish assistant on this occasion (a Dublin girl) which made it even nicer for us Irish folk! Watching one year old Betsy hug Mickey Mouse and kiss his nose will never leave my memory. Enchanting.
  4. Charachter Meet and Greets: Minnie, Moana, Snow White Daisy, Alice and Goofy.

    We met Goofy at our hotel and Mickey was also a regular there too. All Disney hotels will have their own meet n’ greets with not very long waits. Characters have their regular spots and are their on a daily timetable. The queues are lengthy but one of us could talk a walk with the girls and return to the other in their place with no problem, as others are understanding when surrounded by Disney magic. Minnie Mouse was a highlight for the girls, but I loved Alice. 20170817_141945-1-1.jpgI am still quoting her advice to my ladies ‘Drink lots of tea as I do- I drink lots of Positivi-tea’. 

  5. Sleeping Beauty’s Castle.20170817_112920.jpg You see it as soon as you walk down Main Street and you are in enthralled. It is beautful. Lights sparkle all day and waterfalls add to the delight. It won’t let you down.

    You can shop inside the castle (this includes a gorgeous Christmas shop) and upstairs is a a pretty Sleeping Beauty pictorial walkabout. Nice for little ones. Nice for Mammies too.

  6. The Flying Teacups. These are as wonderful as you expect. My girls loved the thrill of the spinning about. The queue depends on the time you get there. We waited  10 minutes on a wet day (under over) just after lunch. No bother. Totally worth it.
  7. Flying Carpets. Another simple and fun ride with an Aladdin  theme. We managed to get a five minute queue but then heavy rain for the actual spin but it was a great excuse to shop for dry clothes. I had my eye on a Grumpy Dwarf t-shirt…
  8. Steamship Cruise. My husband laughed at my enthusiasm on this staid pleasure cruise trip as I was in convulsions of joy and he reckons ‘well it is hardly a thrill seeker’. It is a pleasant saunter on water all round the Utah valley mock up island. 20170818_141322.jpgYou can watch Big Thunder as it rumbles through the mountain and then you glide past the atmospheric Haunted House. I was in raptures on this steamer straight out of Huckleberry Finn or even Show Boat which I know isn’t even Disney.

    I did warble a few bars of Old Man River. Times like these, I have no sense of embarrassment.

  9. Disney Juniors Show. The obvious one for toddlers, this live interactive show features Jake the Pirate, The Little Einsteins and Winnie with friends. There are others too from the Disney Channel and our screen generation will be in kinks of joy. We were hoping for Sofia the First but unfortunately she missed our show. Boo! The queue is in a large room with a screen and disco lights, where our youngest danced and danced. A great release for toddler energy and before the show even started!  This is a lovely show but I highly recommend you don’t chose it instead of Mickey and the Magician. This is a beautiful show whereas Disney Juniors is only fun. Go to both if you can.
  10. Stitch Live. Huge fun. 20170818_153440-1Another interactive show with some good tricks. Stitch is onscreen but technology allows him go talk to the audience and respond appropriately. He is hysterical. Gigi was enraptured and laughed throughout.
  11. Star Wars.20170818_161719-1.jpg There is a live Star Wars outdoor event staged regularly as you pass through the Disney Studios Park. 20170824_214017.jpgIt is a draw for the Star Wars lovers and the music of course is exciting. The girls hadn’t a clue what it was all about but they watched as we drank coffee from a nearby van. Stormtroopers may not be very child friendly, but it is a fun exhibition if you are passing by.
  12. The Princess Waltz.

     The crowd gathers for this early and all sit about waiting for the show to begin. We fell upon it and just settled for a break from waking. A few crowd members got a little feral over seats but otherwise it is lovely. Don’t panic over queues and crowds. Get a drink, popcorn,  sit and wait. It will be lovely. You get to see at least every Princess and Prince.

    Our Pavillion Princess.

    It was our only time to see (much loved in our house )Ariel and Rapunzel so if you have a princess fan, catch the show in case you don’t get to meet the favourite Princess at the Pavillion or a lunch. It will be on the programme. Don’t get caught up in the seat/ groundspace wars!

  13. The Daily Parade.

     Everyone talks about the parade and for good reason. It is pretty spectacular to have such an exhibition take place every day. It is proof of the amazing power of Disney that such an event can flawless occur with such massive crowds watching.

  14. The 25 year Celebration Show.

    Seeing as we wandered about the park aimlessly and without a programme for the first days, we tended to sit down any time we saw a crowd gather and this was one of the results. This is a one-off show for this year only taking place outdoors next to the Castle. It is charachter filled and musical,  full of fun and joy.

  15. Character Walk Abouts: Part of the wonder of the park is the fact you could walk into a character on a walkabout just about anywhere. These are flybys- you won’t get a chat with them but spotting them is cool. Watching Peter Pan and Wendy skip hand and hand through a sidedoor, getting to wave at Winnie, Eeyore and Piglet or a quick photo of Captain Hook and Smee is just fabulous. The girls spotted them too. Chip n Dale, Goofy, Mickey- they are all wandering about. Princesses won’t be spotted like this. They are kept on a strict celebrity status timetable. 20170819_163755The only ones you may see walking about are with their gaurd and cloaked as they move to and from their Pavillion! Very Beyonce. It just adds enigma.
  16. Alice’s Curious Labyrinth. 

    Considering I don’t think the Disney ‘Alice’ movie is very good for children (stoned caterpillars, genocide of baby oysters, random threats of decapitation), I loved this area so much. I  must explain. I love the colour of the movie.  I am fascinated by the characters. I just found it very dark as a child. Wonderland was not awe inspiring.20170817_134847 It was more horrifying. At Euro Disney, I still wouldn’t miss the maze. We didn’t need to queue at all, even though I did see large queues forming quite often. Just timing I guess. It is lovely- just don’t wait, come back when it is quieter. This is not one bit horrifying, just bright and lovely.

  17. It’s a Small World. 20170913_172537.jpgOh the insanity of this place! You really do enter the mind of Willy Wonka or the horrible funpark in Pinocchio- it is more scary than cheery but definitely shouldn’t be missed for this very reason. Kids will love it. I really want my twenty five year old sister to travel through this puppet laden mania as she would freak out. It the music combined with the waterway passages and the exhibits from a potential King novel that makes this madness fun. It is like being on Willy Wonka’s boat travelling on the chocolate river. A side effect from acid possibly. Unfortunately we had a bad experience as the lights went on our our trip and we didn’t see most of it. Imagine: travelling through through the crazed mind of this creator’s vision, you can hear the music and only see occasional flashing images of the manic caricatures around you…thank God my small children weren’t afraid.  After a ninety minute queue, we were very disappointed not to be accommodated by the staff and given another turn. We were angrily turfed out and shouted at in a very Anti-Disney style that it wasn’t their fault. So it was a scary and dark world after all. I still think my little ones loved the boat. Even though it was a bit of a house of horrors for some, it is a best bit for little ones.
  18. Mary Poppins’ Carousel.20170913_203658-1Who doesn’t love a Carousel?  Those gold and pink, purple and silver hobby horses that like sitting into a time machine. I don’t believe the Carousel is specifically Mary Poppins themed but I chose it to be. I adored this movie, especially the scene where the horses leave their stations and take their passengers away on a journey. The seats have belts for toddlers and if you feel safer holding your child and standing on the Carousel, you can. I held Betsy and she was thrilled by it all.

There are many, many parts of the park that will appeal to your smallies. I was concerned about sleeping arrangements, transport in the park, food- everything. It was all no problem. In fact, it was pretty wonderful. I promise a basic tips post to follow and will leave you with an image of what a day in Disney will do for your precious ones.

Goodnight Disney Sisters.

Longlisted Loveliness in the V by Very Blog Awards 2017

Once again, I am humbled and happy to be longlisted for these Irish blog recognitions, V by Very Blog Awards. I read many of the bloggers’ work that has won or been nominated before and it is a little cosy hug of pleasure to know that my writing might be enjoyed by someone else as I have enjoyed theirs. My vanity has been tickled!bitmoji-20170902100006

I didn’t begin to blog for awards. I am not a blogger that is making money from my efforts as much as I admire those who can and do. I have been a Boolino friend (getting books to review occasionally) and I am sent the odd yoghurt voucher but that is it and that is fine. I don’t want my blogging to become hard work. I want to be a teacher by professional and writer by passion.

When my children were born, life changed. There were all sorts of magical changes and many difficult ones. Who I am changed or who I perceived myself to be. It soon became apparent that I needed to take a handle on this quickly or I would be swamped under.bitmoji-20170902015449

This is where blogging came in. I have been writing all my life. I wanted to publish my first ‘book’ when I was four. College allowed me a miraculous capacity for creativity but then you hit real life-wow. Isn’t it hard to get yourself off the ground? I had found myself reading and reading Family Friendly HQ. Their posts were so apt and timely,  I felt as if they were mind readers. One fine day when I may have had a slightly less than blurry mind and a bit of a brainwave, I decided to try blogging.  I had been taught how in college. I had Internet access. I could use my phone.  I also could do something productive creatively in those moments when the babies slept rather than mop the floor. Again. I mean I was killing it in domestic productivity already.bitmoji-20170902045323.png

I was pretty new to this virtual society that I now love and was very rose-cheeked to reach the short list. I had no other expectations but I will say that getting that far did make me value my blogging a little more. Littlewoods Ireland Blog Awards Parenting Blog Shortlist…thank you for choosing us!  is a post about last year’s selection.

Getting named in two categories is even more exciting as I don’t feel as if I am niche enough to be exclusively one or another. I started this blog as a parent blogger dealing with motherhood and what it brought to the fore in my world.

I mean, I went from this to chaos. I needed a new outlet.

The blog brings me a chance to explore my identity outside mothering and this included lifestyle elements, travelling, eating, reading, theatre and film largely I mainly write from the angle of a mother and teacher.

So to conclude,  I am going to list the the benefits of blogging for those of you reading who may want to give it a go bit are unsure.  What do I get out of blogging? Here I go…bitmoji-20170902092051

  1. My Own Style. I can dress this blogger anyway I like. As you see, today I am a white rabbit. I can be me without leaving the house. It is a marvellous place to ‘find your voice’. You don’t need to be a wonderful writer.  You don’t even need to write. You can be purely pictorial. You get to choose.
  2. Express Yourself. I get to say what I want to. It doesn’t mean anyone needs to listen/ read but I can rant, laugh, race and review at will. Any time of day or night. You don’t feel silenced anymore. You don’t feel like you have nothing interesting to say outside of baby led weaning, babygros and burping. Not everyone is interested these topics, I soon realised, just when my brain started to limit itself to just the 3 B’s.

    Why are you looking so bored? These are the most beautiful baby pictures EVER. There any only 150, nearly there…
  3. Flexibility lives somewhere in my world now. I blog from a phone app. No more wasted time. I wait on a doctor’s office- I blog. I cannot sleep- I blog. I take a bath- I blog. You don’t need to overthink that last one.bitmoji-20170905014546
  4. No Pressure. I don’t have to produce to a deadline unless I challenge myself to. bitmoji-20170902020046I can hit that Publish button any time I choose. I can save titles, ideas and dip in and out. No one us expecting anything from me.
  5. Identity. Blogging had brought ‘me’ back. I am mothering, teaching keeping house and still being myself. bitmoji-20170902020215Life suddenly included me again.

So thank you blogging and bloggers. I have already won my awards in many ways. I link to several groups such as #bigpinklink and #fortheloveofBLOG and recently had the fortunate pleasure to be involved with Big Up Your Blog. Several people have been kind enough to grant me the blog hug that is The Liebster Award. I once read Family Friendly HQ but now I write articles for Family Friendly HQ! I have written several reviews for Boolino. As for for folk out there who think they should blog and are uncertain, I say go for it. Nothing to lose and everything to gain. It is a beautiful world out here in Blogosphere. bitmoji-20170902044855.png

Shotgun Wedding

I just went back to work. I work in a school and we have to return after our lovely long holidays. This is not unusual and is my annual event, which I have alluded to before in The Fear and A World of Pure Imagination. I found it tough returning after maternity leave, as is natural. I always quite enjoy the beginning of the year’s creative process too. This term was different again however. This term my school has amalgamated with another school and we were moving site (from our school, all boys) to the other school in the process (all girls) merging to form a co-educational school. We were leaving our home ground and moving into their stomping ground as it were. There has been much debate, talk, tension, excitement, anger and joy over the whole arrangement. It has been challenging, as they say, and there has been two years of this Great Unknown.

Today we finally reached that unknown. We fell down the rabbit hole. 6bc71eb8904335ce7f6bb2e3deea6c27We crossed the paths from the old to the new.  It felt so different to what I had imagined as these events so often are.

Today was meetings all day, information and dates and details. An amazing amount done and to take in. Our new management were most certainly informing us and today was the proof of a phenomenonal amount of groundwork having been undertaken.

For the staff, this is a quirky day. Many of us didn’t know where the toilets were. The exits. The cups. The spoons.

I can liken the feeling to being at a wedding that may not have come about in the most conventional sense.ShotgunWedding.jpgAn amalgamation. A joining.  A One spoonful of the wrong ingredient and you could have a powerful explosion…

Here is a list of reasons how an enforced amalgamation of two schools is like a shotgun wedding.54382846

  1. Final Farewells. We had spent so much time saying out farewells to the past. This movement from the old life to a new was much like the tranformation of single to married life, as one of my colleagues actually talked about. fotb-kay-and-dadI was emotional leaving the old building, old home if you will, but I had said my goodbyes and was ready for this new life, much like a bride on a wedding day.
  2. Food

    We were fed, as all good weddings will do. Basic physiological needs were met by management with good old pastries for teabreak and a curry for lunch. Keep people fed, warm and safe and they will be able to fix the rest themselves. I fell on that 11 am Danish like a famished wedding guest to the obligatory bread rolls.

  3. Disorientation. 
    A filtered image of my daughter in Alice’s Curious Labyrinth sums it up pretty well.

    We were unused to the surroundings. At least, our side was. Again like the groom’s family, coming a journey, we were the ones at a loss. Where is this kept? I don’t know that way. How does this work? The bride’s family has the knowledge. The knowledge is power, or so it feels. By the end of the wedding, we will get our bearings. Just in time to Rock the Boat.

  4. Apparel. bulldog-2489829_640We were all in our best school gear after a long holiday in casuals and sportswear. Much like a wedding, there was pulling at collars and awkwardness in heels. Nails were gelled. Lipstick applied. Not a sign of a yoga pant. Shuffling about in M&S best but dying to get home and out on the pj’s. 
  5. Outward Expressions.e71b7ad06b30e45d24aece97e6bc9f87--fake-smile-funny-posts There was a lot of jollity and smiles, not overally false ‘face might crack with the strain of faking it’ ones I would say, but nervous and maybe even shy. There was a definite sense of ‘on our best behaviours’ about the whole thing. No one was going to be the one to cause any hassle. At least not until the toasts (to continue an analagy).
  6. Acceptance. There was an immense sense of relief almost. I can imagine there being a type of relief at a wedding that people have pressurised. Much like a forced wedding, we did not choose this path. We were brought together by an external factor and had no choice. Making the best of things is our only choice. Today is the first day I felt an acceptance in the room. We were coming to that stage of the grieving process. We were ready to move on and work with the consequences. The jigsaws might actually be completed.pieces-of-the-puzzle-592798_640
  7. Speeches.  wedding-speeches-2245545_640.jpgThe day was definitely like listening to wedding speeches, all day. Speeches that are a little bit awkward at as an ex may be mentioned unwittingly or a reference to the scandal that got us here in the first place causes raised eyebrows. A ‘don’t mention the war’ mentality. IDV5cjf.gifA lot was said, but those things needed to be said. This was the time I really felt like I was at a tense wedding, only I desperately needed the glass of wine a wedding would bring and not just my water
  8. Hope. I left feeling for hopeful for the future of the school and I think a lot of people leave a wedding feeling the same optimism for a newly married couple, whatever brought the marriage together. bridal-636018_640.jpg

Quite an unusual first day back to work! Hope our hangover stays away and we make it happily to the first anniversary where we will celebrate with a lot of paperwork. Anniversary one is paper, right? Let us deal with day one of the marriage first. A new beginning.


Picture Credits:






Media cache

a href=”” rel=”nofollow” title=”Bringing up Georgia”>Bringing up Georgia

a href=”” rel=”nofollow” title=”This Mum’s Life”>This Mum's Life