I need a bit of help from the internet and its easier if I write it on here rather than a giant Facebook post!
On Sunday Felix’s Daddy walked into the kitchen whilst I was baking with Felix – we were icing some cakes and all eyes were on the prize of eating the spoils of our cooking.
“Guess what!” He excitedly exclaimed.
“What?” We replied in unison.
“I’ve booked tickets for Disneyland next week!”
The reply was not one he would have expected, nor is it one I am proud of.
“Oh, can I eat my cake now?”
Poor Daddy! He’d just shelled out an arm and a leg for a day out to the place featured in the dreams of every small child (and a lot of Disney Enthusiast adults out there, check out #disneybound for a whole new world of dressing up!) Nobody gave him quite the response he was looking for.
Maybe it’s because we’ve been to Disneyland Paris for a day trip for the last few years. It makes the perfect splash of kiddy frivolity on our otherwise very grown up holiday. We holiday in the amazing Champagne region of France doing all the culture stuff and then, BAM, we make the tiny 1 hour journey along the beautiful smooth French Toll Roads before we hit THE mouse signs. We then give in 100% to the magic. Except the ears. I can’t bring myself to wear the ears.
Now my children are not big fans of people dressed up in costumes, and if a Princess even looked at Felix and dare I say touched him he would run off screaming. Cinderella, you have been warned! Parades, meet and greets aren’t really going to do it for us but we love the rides but there is one part of the magic that always feels a bit missing. We take a picnic for lunch and then have a substandard, overpriced meal in the evening.
You may read that picnics aren’t allowed in the park, thankfully that’s utter cobblers. Unless you bring giant glass bottles, alcohol and set out a blanket on a Mickey Mouse shaped flower bed you’ll be welcome to eat your packed lunch in full view of that big pink castle (cue more ‘bleurgh’ noises at even the mention of Sleeping Beauty and her castle.)
Our first few visits we dined in the Walt Disney Studios burger bar. A lengthy queue and even lengthier chat with a nice chap told me Felix could eat a plain burger (no bun), fries, cherry tomatoes and a bottle of juice. All this for the ‘bargain’ price of €8.99. Now I can’t help but feel this is a bit of a bum deal even if you are only little. Allergies really do suck sometimes. I could spend ages checking with each restaurant but I am desperate for some recommendations of where we are best to eat on a wheat, dairy free, nut sesame and coconut free diet with a little sprinkling of that Disney magic and maybe even some pixie dust.
There is another option at Disneyland Paris if you have allergies. The dreaded Natama allergen free meals. It sounds like a great idea until I discovered they are microwave meals, delivered with the plastic film still intact. Whilst this is safe I’m afraid reviews of the food quality suggest it doesn’t cut the mustard! Take a look at the pictures at the bottom of this blog post they make me feel sad!
On one very soggy visit (yes, this was when Paris flooded last year) we were very keen to escape the weather to dry off and let our toddler escape his rain cover prison and visit a proper restaurant. We chose the Rainforest Café, excited for the spectacular setting and it didn’t disappoint. Imagine a ceiling lit up like a thunderstorm surrounded by wildlife. On the food front our server was a bit vague and referred us to his manager. She advised the best option they could offer would be a plain burger (no bun), plain jacket potato and salad. Two slices of tomato don’t make a salad in my book but what 5 year old is fussed about that part of the meal? It was a sad plate of food but I despaired when we were charged €18 for his meal! Felix on the other hand seemed happy, he drowned the whole thing in ketchup whilst I was distracted helping his baby brother.
I’ve heard the buffet dining restaurants offer a very special experience. Watching kids ‘swapping spoons’ in a buffet has me reaching for our adrenaline pen in a cold sweat. Our visit to a Legoland buffet earlier this year set the bar very high. Our waiter arranged for Felix to have all the safe food cooked to order and delivered to our table. Do any of the Disneyland buffets offer this sort of service to avoid cross contamination?
In my optimistic head a Disney meal is set in a magical location with fabulous theming. The child friendly and Felix safe food delivered by a server who is confident to guide us through the menu. We carry translation cards and my French is ok so we are doing our bit to ease communication. The icing on the cake is not feeling like I’ve been ripped off!
Will I be able to write my next post with Disney top dining tips?
Hit me with your ideas! I am Disney ready – just without those ears……