The Mouse in Paris

Today we did something Emma really wanted to do, which was visit Disneyland Paris, officially Disneyland Parc.

Getting here is actually super easy, just take the A line RER train to the end of the line and that’s right at the entrance to Disneyland. There are two Disney parks here, the bog standard Disney and a Walt Disney Studios Park. We just visited the standard one. The trip on the RER takes about 50min. The train is a similar layout with double decker carriages to Sydney trains. It was air conditioned and very clean. As a bonus the “navigo” cards we got yesterday work all the way here so we didn’t have to purchase tickets.

Leaving the train it’s virtually like we are no longer in Europe. It does feel like the middle of California, the only reminder is that announcements are mostly in French and you pay (exorbitantly) in euros for everything.

In many ways we picked the perfect day, it wasn’t too hot, only got to 24c at the most, and with the France vs Belgium game stacks of people left before 8pm.

We had lots of fun and went on some great rides like Indiana Jones “Temple du Peril”, Starwars, space mountain, big thunder mountain and a lame dodgem car ride. Emma loved them all, although I’ve discovered I can’t handle the dark roller coaster rides like I once could. Where I can see ahead it’s not an issue. I’m writing most of this over dinner hotdogs and fries….. (aaarg, the irony of being in the global food capital and eating hotdogs again….). Finishing it off on the ride back to Paris on the train (Good way to pass the 50 minute ride)

Emma now loves rides and was happy to go on as many as she could, a massive change from a few years ago when it was impossible to coax her into a roller coaster. She even mentioned she didn’t want to go home and was sad the day was ending. A successful family day out.

We got a few fast passes which cut down wait times from about an hour to 15 minutes. You can only hold one fast pass at a time, and most of the passes closed operation at 2pm as they had all been allocated for the day. Disney have this really thought out, what do you do when you hold a fast pass and just need to wait (But not in the actual line) ? You visit the stores and buy things!!

The highlight of the day is the light and firework display. It was fantastic. My hot tip for Disney ? Everyone goes to watch the main street parade. Sometimes it can be good, more than often it’s super lame. Use this 1 hour window when people start heading to the centre of the park for the show to get some rides in with smaller queues.

We positioned ourselves as near the park exit as we could so we could bolt to the train as soon as it was over. We missed one by seconds and had to wait 15 min for the next one. I was a little stressed that we would not get on the train with the throng of people, but it was actually fine. We got seats easily and out carriage was mostly empty. It would seem most people either drove, left early, caught busses or stayed in the hotel.

Having the “Navigo” (Paris oyster/opal card) paid dividends too, we just cruised past the people trying to buy paper tickets then stick them into the turnstiles. They have limited turnstiles that take tickets, all of them take the tap and go pass.

I’ve now been to Disney parks 7 times and weather wise this one was perfect. Past times have either been extremely hot (USA – Florida) or extremely cold (Disney Sea – Tokyo). Emma has been to 4 Disney parks herself. Not bad for a 14year old ! As far as transport goes it was also the easiest, even easier than the train in Tokyo for Disney which until now I had thought was the best. Sorry America, but the French have whipped your ass when it comes to organising transport to theme parks.

As for the Coffee? Two words, frickin disgusting. Machine made and I suspect powdered milk. Avoid avoid avoid

Is it worth coming here ? If you love Disney, don’t mind taking a day away from your Europe holiday to do an American thing, Pay a few hundred Euros to stand in queues all day and then pay the same on merchandise and food, then you will totally love it 😂😂 🇺🇸

Shit-Haus Coffee :-

Nice trains :-

Kitchenalia Café

Our day started early with a knock on the door from the apartment manager, she was here to try an fix the internet. It’s virtually unusable in this apartment, I’ve been relying on the SIM card I have in the phone. Thank goodness I have 15g of data, but it means uploading video from last nights ride is not an option.

I’m not really a fan of this part of Paris, it was a last minute compromise given what happened to the one we booked, but I can’t complain to hard, it’s still Paris and only a short ride on the metro from the really nice areas. It’s not that much better here than it is between Gare Du Nord and Gare du Est IMHO

I did grab a Starbucks first thing in case I had the same issue as yesterday, however I need not have worried as I found a rateable coffee (7/10) right near the kitchen shop we visited. This is *the* store to visit in Paris if you are into cooking utensils. After we had looked and shopped here we grabbed coffee next door

Here is the kitchen / cooking store

After here we wandered a bit further away from the Les Halles part of Paris and found some pastry and grocery stores with interesting and wonderful products

It’s amazing the care the French put into displaying and looking after ingredients. It’s no wonder French food is amazing

Tinned Snails, COMPUTER SAYS NO!

We then found a small mall with all sorts of cool shops

There was one with steel letters on display. Of course I let my inner 13 year old out to play a little, bit unfortunately Sharon’s outer teacher took over and made my display slightly more high brow before we left

We are now also the proud owners of the French equivalent of Opal/Oyster cards. It took quite a bit to navigate the French bureaucracy, find someone who spoke English and get some photos printed, but we did it, we have them and no need now for paper tickets. Vive Le France 🇫🇷!! Vive la révolution 🇫🇷 🧀🥐🍷!!!!

After a rest we went up to Montmartre for dinner in a great little restaurant. Of course the food was amazing

Fraternité Café

Our first full day and first coffees in Paris ! We got into Paris really late last night due to some cancellations and delays with the EuroStar. When we got into Paris we went straight to the hotel and got some sleep. Due to the way Eurostar costs work, a trip in on Saturday morning was way more expensive than getting in late on Friday night. As I’d already booked the apartment to start of Saturday, we just stayed in a hotel close to Gare du Nord station.

Gare do Nord is probably in the shittiest part of central Paris. It has two major train stations right next to each other, Gare du Nord and Gare du Est (North and East station). Something about major rail stations globally, they always seem to be in seedy locations. Not unlike staying right next to Central in Sydney. There are lots of cheap hotels and hostels here, but the one we had was really nice. We were right on the top floor, basically an attic conversion.

After checking out in the late morning we headed across the road to the nearest Boulangerie to get something for breakfast. It was probably the crappiest bakery in the crappiest are of Paris but the croissants were still excellent. I’ve had way worse coffees here in Paris, at least this one was hand made and not just a button push machinejobbie. I’ll give it a 6/10

My bother and sister in law were in Paris this week and we caught up with them before they had to get their train to Brussels for their flight home to Australia.


Julie and Sharon had a look in Diptyque which is apparently a famous candle shop. I guess selling lumps of nice smelly wax you essentially set on fire for €65 each they would want to be pretty well known and very good. They did have a nice chair for bored husbands to sit on…

Shane and Julie showed us a Boulangerie they discovered which sell the best croissants in Paris, as judged this year. They are only one euro and they are spectacular.


We had a wander through the Pantheon where you can see tombs of some of the French greats such as Voltaire, Rousseau, Victor Hugo, Émile Zola, Jean Moulin, Louis Braille and Marie Curie, Alexandre Dumas. Quite often not the entire body is kept here. There are urns with hearts and other body parts buried elsewhere. A little odd


We had lunch at a little cafe opposite the Luxembourg gardens. I had one of the most delicious club sandwiches I’d ever had. Emma had a gigantic salad and Sharon had a croque monsieur. Shane and Julie shared a sandwich.


By this time I had to leave to get the keys to the apartment. It’s not the original one we booked, before we arrived a previous guest had an accident, caused a fire and the apartment was gutted. Maybe they bought one of those €65 candles……

This one was found at short notice. It’s Ok but small. At least it has a lift. Our accomodation last time in Paris was just amazing, unfortunately we will always compare to paris stays to that one.


After checking in, I headed back to the hotel we had overnight to pick up our luggage. Even though we decided to travel light the bags seem to have multiplied during the stay in London and navigating the metro with them (plus some of today’s shoe and bag shopping) was going to be difficult so an Uber Van was organised.

Headed out late for dinner, which is where I’m typing up most of this waiting for our meal at a Brasserie on Rue De Rome in the 8th only a few min walk down from our apartment. It’s 9.30pm at night but it’s as light at it in at 6pm in summer at home.


Some more pics from today


Eurostar or Jetstar ?

Our first bad experience with the Eurostar today. Thankfully we were on the last train out of London and we didn’t get the full Jetstar treatment with our train being cancelled. That happened to one or two earlier today due to some signalling issues on the tracks in France. Luckily we only copped a delayed departure and far-queues from hell trying to get though immigration and into the departure lounge

Love the British and their orderly queuing, a few queue jumpers got caught, publicly shamed and sent to the end of the line.

A few trains departed with out catering. Luckily it’s only 2hrs to Paris. Thankfully even though it took forever to get through our train was only 40 minutes late. I was also somewhat surprised we had a spare seat next to us given the earlier cancelled trains.

The Eurostar people even helped load our luggage. Not long after departure I’m reminded of all the things I love about the Eurostar, comfortable seats with legroom, it’s fast and you get a great view.

At the end of the day, the Eurostar wasn’t Jetstar.

Sharon brought these delicious strawberries to nibble on during the trip. They were perfect, sweet all the way through. At home we sometimes get strawberries with a slightly tart taste, not these ones.

We have finally made it to Paris. We get our apartment tomorrow. For the night we are in this corner room on the 6th floor of a hotel right between Gare Du Nord and Gare Du Est stations. More pics of that tomorrow.

It does have a lift but I love these stairs