RussianRed we surprised ours when we went a few years ago. Told them it was just a stopover on the way back to the ferry from our summer holiday in France. Watching them finally realise where we were going was brilliant.
We had a great time in cafe Mickey. Though our DS1 did hide under the table when captain hook came out!
The food was not great anywhere we ate and very expensive but you just have to accept that is how it is going to be.
We have just returned from 2nd trip, with DS' (7 and 5) stayed at New York Hotel this time but last trip was at Disneyland Hotel, but far the best in so many ways. We also had characters come around during dinner and got loads of picks with the kids. So don't need to bother in the park. We had the same deal with the evening meals but you will still need to book, the concierge was happy to do the bookings for us.
Nice pool so take your bathers.. Good way to burn off some excess energy and take a break in the afternoon.
Be careful with the "Magic Hours" as not all of the rides are open (might want to suss it out before you get up early). Personally I didn't think it was worth it and would have preferred a lie in....
From our 1st trip with kids, 3 years ago can highly recommend the Wild West Mickey Show (food is dire) but fab show and also the Mickey Cafe (we did it for DS1 birthday) was lovely but you will need to book beforehand. We also had dinner at the Newport Hotel restaurant which was nice but it was DH and I only (Nana babysat) but there were kids there from memory... Walts was really good as well but they were only doing dinner in the half term hols (last time we had lunch but it was Dec).
From this trip another really good place to eat is The Blue Lagoon (best food we ate) restaurant. It's quite dark inside but you sit at tables overlooking the Pirates of Carribean ride, kept the kids entertained and we did it after we went on the ride.
We went to Annette's diner and the food was ok but massive servings, so tip for the kids get an adult meal and share it with them. We just asked for an extra plate and they didn't mind. They do great thickshakes as well but again get one to share for the kids as they were too much for our little ones. We did this as the day before we ate out somewhere and the servings were massive that the kids couldn't finish it and it was a waste of money.
We also went to the Rainforest Cafe (can't book) but we went early 5.30ish and only had to wait 5 minutes. Food was not bad, expensive but that's Disney for you. Kids loved the atmosphere though...
Top Tip - go to the Disney store here and buy a few presents before you go. I got some Mickey paper (Amazon) and wrapped them up and we gave them one each day we were there... Stuff in the stores was dear for what it was!! Kids were happy and didn't know the difference.
Also take snacks from here and water bottles. There are water fountains to fill up near the toilets.
We saw Animaque and it was brilliant, The Lilo and Stitch show was fab and also the Disney Cinema show (I think it was called something like that) was also good.
Have a Disneytastic time.... At least I know we don't need to go again for a very long time...
Thank you so much. I have everything organised in my head for evening bookings - we were given a premium half-board upgrade with booking, so meals will be free in the evening, which sounds like good news. Cafe Mickey sounds good too. Think I might be more excited than the kids (who still don't know we're going - am debating whether to spring it on them or eke out a build-up).
We came back on Wednesday. The Buffalo bill show is really good but v expensive. It is 60 euros for adults and 46 euros for children 3 and over. However we decided on the day to try and book for that evening and were told the 9.30pm show was half price as there were lots of tickets remaining. I don't know if that will be the case in July / August or if it is too late for your DCs (mine are a bit older) but it may be worth leaving booking it to see if you can get a deal.
Cafe Mickey was a big hit with my two DCs (aged 7 & 10). I booked before we went as it was DS's birthday and they were turning away anyone without a booking.
I second the recommendation for the Mexican near Big Thunder mountain. I had fajitas which were tasty for fast food. We also had a reasonable pizza in a place near It's a small world (I think it was called something to do with marionettes).
yes went to Annette's for lunch. it's pretty terrible and not very lovely inside. The Rainforest cafe was a big hit, and there was a mexican diner very close to the Thunder Mountain ride which was surprising good food - other than that, it's not easy to eat well - burgers all over the shop.
Thank you! I can remember Buffalo Bill from my trip as a teenager, so it must be good, shall book that one for one of the evenings. Someone mentioned Annette's Diner - either of you familiar with it. Am planning on taking the Maclaren for DD, but shall definitely hire one for DS too.
The Buffallo Bill Wild West Show is FANTASTIC - highlight of the trip for our girls (3 & 5). we also had dinner at hte MIckey Mouse Cafe - awful food but the characters all come over for a chat & a cuddle - you can't get particulalrly good pictures as the place is quite crammed and it's hard to get far back enough without sitting in someone else's plate. The parade in the evening is brilliant. Disney Studios has a couple of good shows that you can sit down in which is a reasonable substitute for an afternoon nap - there's a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse one just after lunch, and then one called Animagic which was very good
Hire a buggy inside the entrance, even if you think your 4.5yo is too old. It's a long way to walk to the stuff at the other end of the park. You should be able to take the buggy back to the hotel room, as long as you return it at the end of the day.
The buggy is useful for staking your place for the evening parade. Someone in your party can stay with the buggy whilst others are free to wander off.
The way we structured our days was to have breakfast at 7, hit the park at 8, doing the more popular rides before the park opened to the public at 10, then doing rides like Casey's train and It's a Small World for an hour. Early lunch at 11-ish, meander back to the hotel for a couple of hours, or over to the Village. Encourages bith children (and you if possible) to nap or have a swim to wake up! Back out mid-afternoon and for the parade, tea time before the parade. Lots of people leave after the parade, so it's a good time to do some more rides before heading back for bath time.
Let your DCs see the fireworks at least once though. They are amazing!
If you get Fast Passes from the Hotel, use them! You jump straight to the front of the queues for one ride per day.
You're in the Disneyland Hotel, so you get early access to the park from 8am, IIRC. Do this. You can whip round the open rides that are suitable for younger children (Dumbo, Carousel,Buzz Lightyear, Tea Cups) and then move on to other stuff when the park opens.
Take advantage of the character encounters in the hotel itself (last year it was outside the breakfast area) as queues for Mickey and Minnie inside the parks can be sizeable.
DH, DS (4.5), DD (2.5) and my parents are all booked in to the Disneyland Hotel for 3 nights at the end of July/beginning of August. We are half board and am aware we should be booking places to eat in advance, but where would you recommend? Also, any other tips would be greatly appreciated! TIA