Family Abroad

Our Daughter’s Birthday at Disneyland Paris


Everyone needs a little magic in their life, big or small, young or maybe not so young, we all still have that little kid inside of us. Disneyland Paris reminded us of that spark bringing back the joy of being young at heart.

Paris may be known as the city of lights, but it was Disneyland Paris that brought the light and smiles to our Bethany’s face. It was her 9th birthday and what could be more perfect than celebrating it with the family at Disneyland Paris. It is a place where dreams come true and it did not disappoint, for any of us!

The McClure Family at DisneyLand Paris

Bethany’s Birthday Badge

We all deserve to feel special and here at Disneyland Paris, they make everyone’s birthday a day they will truly never forget. It all began with a birthday badge making a child feel honored and elite. That they are recognized for the day. She proudly displayed her birthday badge with her name proclaiming it was her special day. Be sure it is where staff and the fairy-tale characters can see it so your birthday child doesn’t miss out on what magic lays ahead for them.

Walking Down Mainstreet

Entering Mainstreet Disneyland transported us to a scene from one of Disney’s classic movies, you are in a portal to a whole new fictional world and it delights all your senses. You can’t help but smile and be happy. Looking around you see everyone’s faces in amazement and eyes of wonder. When we went it was the Christmas season so it took Disneyland Paris to a whole new level of enchantment. The streets were decorated with garland and lights serenading us with the sounds of Christmas. The spirit was captivating.

We came across a barbershop of the day’s past in the park. Strange you might think, an operational barbershop in Disneyland. But there is a reason behind this randomness, Walt Disney’s dad was a barber at one time and therefore you will find them throughout Disney Parks.

As we walked the brick road lined with stores that looked like those of yesteryear, Sleeping Beauty’s castle stood tall, 141 feet tall to be exact. Pinks, blues, and gold adorned the most visited castle in all of Europe and here we stood walking towards its fairy-tale charm. Bethany was a princess for the day as she danced in her dress outside the majestic castle, reliving all of her favorite movie memories like Cinderella at the ball. It is a day for a child to have all their wishes come true, young knights and princesses, living out the tales of their imagination as their castle awaits them.

FAMILY TIP: Google Maps or another map type app will be your best friend. First, I dropped a pin at the location of the house where we stayed so that I could easily get both directions back to the house and to determine how long it would take me to walk back to the house. Most, if not all, of the places listed in this article are listed on the app, so navigating the park is easy (it even has all of the park’s paths). So, use technology to explore nature!

Bethany in front of the Castle at DisneyLand Paris

Disneyland’s Christmas Parade

Mickey’s Dazzling Christmas Parade lives up to its name dazzling us all. All your favorite characters entertain the crowds, the decorated floats are adorned in all the colors of the rainbow, and with Christmas, the spirit was even more festive.

The size of the parade floats are outstanding and the details that go into each one of them are memorizing. Snow White, Goofy, Minnie Mouse, Cinderella, fairies and all the cast of the charming movies waved and danced.

When the characters see the birthday badge, they make a special effort to wish the child a happy birthday whether coming by as they dance along or up above as they ride and wave past.

It was Belle’s birthday greeting to our Bethany that brought her tears with pure emotion and happiness. It was one of the best gifts from the park, to make a little girl feel so special having her favorite princess wish her a Happy Birthday.

Bethany Crying Tears of Joy! Princess Belle Told Her “Happy Birthday”!

Birthday Perks

There are so many special moments that Disneyland Paris has for those celebrating their birthday. The birthday button is one of the biggest having that distinction for all the loveable characters to see wishing children the best and happiest birthday making them feel like a star.  They are even treated to a one-of-a-kind personal phone call at the park, from none other than one of the most famous and loved characters, Mickey Mouse himself. The child is called to the phone and receives their own personalized direct call honoring their day.

Rides We Loved

We took to the rides and one of our absolute favorites was Hyperspace Mountain. Known as the scariest ride in the park Bethany braved the dark and loops declaring she is a “roller coaster, adrenaline, junkie”! Landing at the top of our list was exploring the cursed ruins of Indian Jones and the Temple of Peril surviving its rickety runaway wagon. Family-friendly Big Thunder Mountain was another coaster ride we loved taking us on twists and turns of the mine as we flew past realistic scenes and through mountain tunnels with stalactites hanging down upon us.

Hyperspace Mountain Roller Coaster at DisneyLand Paris

We had a blast at Buzz Lightyear, literally as we shot at targets and competed. Riding the doom buggies through the haunted Phantom Manor took us into its cryptic realm with dancing skeletons and ghosts dying to meet us. Pirates of the Caribbean ventures you into the waters of larger-than-life scenes as if you have stepped through the cinema screens. Disneyland Paris spares no expense.

Bringing our adrenaline back down we let the birthday girl take to the wheel to test out her professional driving skills. What better way to celebrate your birthday than with a little road trip. Don’t worry, it was just the autotopia, but she did have the time of her life imaging what life on the road would be like in her future years. I don’t know who had more fun Bethany or Edith as they rode ahead leaving us behind in their dust.

Special Lunch at the Plaza Garden Restaurant

You definitely build up an appetite exploring and enjoying the park all day and opted for a buffet-style lunch at Disneyland Paris’s Plaza Garden Restaurant. Birthday festivities didn’t take a break just because we were sitting to rest. The park had a Mickey Mouse Birthday Cake for our birthday girl at lunch while the entire restaurant broke out in song singing Happy Birthday. With the biggest smile on Bethany’s face, you can see and feel the delight a child experiences.  She even exclaimed “I am so happy mom” as she leaned in her beside her. To hear a child’s sincerity and rawness, there is no price one can put on that. It really is all their dreams come true for the most fairytale-like day they could ever imagine and will truly remember for the rest of their life.

Bethany’s Mickey Mouse Birthday Cake

The desserts at Disneyland Paris are works of art, they almost look too good to eat, but of course, we didn’t let them go to waste savoring every bite. The food in the park is just as spectacular as the park itself. We treated ourselves all day long to savory deserts adorned with Mickey Mouse ears, no detail is left undone at the park from sweet to salty.

Disneyland at Night

As night falls the park shines bright with thousands upon thousands of lights. The castle shines brightly all lit up glowing in its beauty. With it being the holiday season, the park was bursting with twinkling lights and lit-up trees and all the Christmas cheer you could ever want. Typically, they have fireworks but unfortunately due to the pandemic they did not have any while we were visiting.

Shooting Fireworks at DisneyLand Paris

How to Get to Disneyland Paris

Getting to and from Disneyland Paris was a fun adventure in itself and it wasn’t complicated. The train station is Marne-la-Vallée/Chessy and from there was only a short 2-minute walk

Be Careful of Pickpockets

it is always important to be aware of your surroundings. Having been in Paris a month we had become quite familiar with riding the train during our time abroad here. However, this last ride left us with some lasting memories and a good reminder to never let your guard down. While inside the train Edith was separated from the family. As she tried to rejoin us thinking nothing of it, she made efforts to move around the small group. However, as she did, they moved with her, and eventually, she broke through the distraction. As Edith looked down, she noticed her bag that was usually securely clasped shut was no longer closed and her wallet was gone. Luckily, they were still close by and Edith immediately asked if they took her wallet, oddly enough he opened his jacket, and out it fell and she was able to recover it before it was too late. Although there was a bit of a hiccup at the end of our night, it didn’t overshadow the events of the amazing day.

Sign on the Train from Paris to DisneyLand Paris

The Magic of Disneyland

Disneyland Paris lets children simply just be children. It allows them to relish in the innocence of happiness, seeing all of their beloved characters come to life right before their eyes. Watching their imagination and pure joy is an honor and privilege to be a part of and is contagious. As a parent that is one of the most rewarding things to witness, their heart happy and in the end, Disneyland Paris made all of our hearts feel the magic of happiness. It was the best present anyone could ever ask for, we all felt like we celebrated our birthday that day!

The McClure Family in front of the Sleeping Beauty Castle!


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