Christmas is a time where you are usually surrounded by family and eating an endless amount of food.
Even though I decided to live abroad in London in late 2013, with no plans on being home for the next few Christmases; I never imagined that this expat experience would lead me to visiting a Disney theme park on the most festive day of the year in 2014.
My first Christmas abroad was spent in Germany with friends from Australia who lived there; but it felt like a real Christmas even though I was a whole timezone away from Australia. My second Christmas abroad, involved my sister flying over to London and us spending a few days in Paris over the holidays…and led to us deciding on visiting Disneyland Paris on the big day.
Because not all that much was open in Paris on Christmas day and rightfully so; it is a holiday that businesses should be closed.
But Disneyland was open and an interesting choice to say the least.
I also worked for Disney Channel in the UK at the time, so we would have free entry and 30% off anything in the park as part of this work perk.
So we said yes to this option as it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to have; and also, we would be guaranteed food there and wouldn’t have to resort to roaming around Paris looking for places that were open.
So what is Disneyland Paris like on Christmas Day?
First and foremost, it was weird.
The fact the park was even open, but more so; the fact that the park was at a full capacity on this day…it was just like it would be during Summer; except everyone was rugged up and had ear muffs on.
Secondly, it felt like we were in a Disney Christmas film.
As anyone who has ever been to a Disney park can agree, everything is so perfect here: The Main Street, the castle, the exteriors, the details made to look like a fantasy land. But, given it was Christmas, we especially felt like we were part of a film that was too unreal to be true. It was awesome!
Christmas Decorations At Disneyland Paris
The decorations are always insane at Disney parks during holidays, and that made being there on this day pretty incredible.
The castle glistened like a diamond, there was fake snow on the ground, fairy lights on all the trees, a gigantic Christmas tree in the town square and of course hanging Mickey ear decorations all the way along Main st.
It was just as good as being in NYC or London this time of year, and all of the decorations they have displayed. But on a much smaller scale.
Christmas cheer was everywhere here, including in the parades and on rides, like ‘It’s A Small World’, which went to the effort to add Christmas baubles to the trees on display. It was very cute and appreciated.
The rides did have long lines at times, but they weren’t unmanageable and a lot faster than expected. But, the favourites like ‘Pirates Of The Caribbean’ as the photo below shows, was popular on the day. It probably didn’t hurt that the line for this was inside and a lot warmer than many others; though we were lucky it wasn’t freezing cold, with blue skies on the day.
Whilst there was no traditional Christmas dinner for us on this day; Disney do provide that option for visitors.
We focused on having easy meals, as we were too busy going on rides and shopping to really sit down and have a huge sit down meal. The Croque Monsieur was delicious though!
Snow Falling At Disneyland Paris
Ok, so yes snow fell on the evening we were there, with a gorgeous fluttering of snow flakes falling all around us on main street. However, the snow wasn’t entirely real. It was in fact featured in the ‘Frozen’ parade as Elsa and Anna rode along through the crowd. But still, it snowed…and that’s all that matters on Christmas. We got our Winter Wonderland, Nikki.
The photos of the park at night speak for themselves.
It really is a Christmas lovers paradise and being here on this day was truly magical. Crowds and all.
If you have the chance to celebrate Christmas like this, why not? It’s pretty epic!
Festivities and fairytales…sounds perfect, doesn’t it? There’s a little child in each of us, and it comes alive in such situations! Disneyland is as much for adults as it is for children, in different ways, though. Lovely post.
I was so glad when you said that your first thought was that it was weird, because that’s exactly what I was thinking. But it sounds like you had a pretty cool time in the end, and lets face it those are some pretty impressive Christmas lights! Quite a backdrop for the festivities.
Super lucky! I want to do this one year at least.
I’m headed to Disneyland California at Christmastime this week. Love their decorations and this cute article!
How exciting! I love doing interesting things this time of year. Disneyland is always a winner to me 🙂
I never even thought about Disney being open on Christmas day! They know how to decorate for sure!
Wow! It looks so festive – I love all the lights! I haven’t been to Disneyland since I was about 5 years old – so a return trip is definitely overdue.
Thanks Victoria! All the decorations are so beautiful here! You need to go to Disneyland as an adult, it’s so nice! I think you may prefer it now over being 5 haha!