Disneyland Paris


I am firstly going to apologise that this may be a pretty lengthy post and probably pretty photo heavy. If you follow my blog, you'll know that my boyfriend bought me a trip to Disneyland last year for my Birthday in April and I'd always wanted to go when it was all decorated for Christmas.  So we booked it for December and most of last year was spent working really hard on my anxiety so that I could go.  There were little hiccups along the way and things that caused me anxiety whilst there, but it went better than I ever could have imagined and gave me a huge amount of confidence in my battle against the demon that is anxiety.

We stayed in the Newport Bay Hotel as it looked lovely and was only a short walk to the park.  I wanted to stay in one of the park hotels, as one of my biggest struggles with anxiety is public transport and I didn't want to have to be getting shuttle buses to and from the park each day.  I'm sure everyone that goes to Disneyland dreams of staying at the Disneyland Hotel, but we just couldn't justify the price.  Newport Bay was really nice though and I remember just thinking "wow" when we drove up to it when we arrived.  It is all nautical themed and just looked stunning all decked out for Christmas.  We paid a little extra for a Christmas themed room, which was a lovely touch and we even got a couple of presents left in the room too.

When it comes to the parks I have to admit that the Disneyland Park was my favourite and I absolutely loved the Fantasyland area.  I am a Disney Princess at heart and walking around Fantasyland was just like stepping into a Disney movie, it was so pretty.  I even got to meet Snow White, my all time favourite Disney Princess!  Before we went I have to admit that I wasn't so sure about the meet and greets with the characters, I thought they were more for children, and to be honest the thought of it before we went gave me crippling anxiety.  Would it be awkward?  What would I say?  How would I act?  My mind raced with different scenarios.  But once we were there and I had started to settle in slightly and see more and more characters around the park, I really wanted to meet them.  I still found it slightly awkward and didn't really say much, just a quick hello, hug and a picture and that was it.  I am really glad I pushed myself out of my comfort zone to do this though because one of my happiest memories from the whole trip was meeting Snow White.  I remember just standing there thinking how beautiful she looked and my inner child came out.  I was so excited to be standing in front of her, and if you suffer from anxiety you'll know that excitement is a foreign emotion when all situations fill you with dread and fear.  To actually be feeling excited about something, for the first time in as long as I can remember, I had to hold back the tears.  It was there and then in that moment that I actually realised how far I'd come with my anxiety and actually felt proud of myself for battling every step along the way to actually get to experience that moment.  It is a moment that I will never forget!

Now don't get me wrong, even though the Disneyland Park was my favourite, the Walt Disney Studios are still well worth a visit.  When it came to going to Disneyland one of my biggest fears was the rides.  I had no idea how I was going to get through them with my anxiety... standing in queues, feeling trapped on rides, being surrounded by strangers, not knowing what to expect, being unable to escape... all things that trigger my panic attacks.  Thankfully with a letter from my doctor, I was able to get an orange pass which meant I was able to get a time to return to the ride and we would be allowed straight on so I didn't have to stand in the queues, as the longer I would stand there waiting the longer I would have for my anxiety to build and to change my mind about going on the ride.  As I wanted to use this trip to battle my anxiety and push my boundaries though I only used this pass for the longer queues.  I'm glad I found the courage to go on some of the rides because they were really good, Ratatouille being my favourite, but if I was only able to watch the parades and shows I wouldn't have felt like I missed out.  The parades and shows were hands down my favourite, they were just incredible.  They also gave me something to focus on when it came to my anxiety, whether it be a particular song, character or just focusing on the lights rather than what was going on around me and not having to focus on all the people.  This was one of the main ways I managed my anxiety and stopped it from turning into full blown panic attacks and being able to find a quieter spot when things got a bit too much made the trip a lot more manageable.  It's amazing what putting all your focus into one thing, such as memorising the words to a song or picking out particular colours in the lights, can do to ease your anxiety.

As much as I wish I could sit here and say that the entire trip was perfect, I just can't.  That however is something I have come to accept living with anxiety, nothing is ever going to be perfect, but it can still be a victory in my battle.  One part of the trip that I didn't see as a complete victory but I thought was worth a mention was Buffalo Bill's Wild West show.  For a bit of background, that morning I had tried to be a little too brave (as the trip so far was going so well) and agreed to go on the Rock 'n' Roller coaster with my boyfriend.  Well let's just say it was my worst nightmare, it was fast, it was dark and I couldn't wait for it to be over.  I spent the entire ride with my eyes squeezed shut, tears streaming down my face, holding on as tight as I could and my heart feeling like it was going to beat out of my chest.  I just remember praying for it to be over and stepping off with every inch of my body shaking.  I think it was just a step too far for my anxiety and it really knocked me up for the rest of the day.  We had Buffalo Bill's booked for that night though and I was determined not to miss it.  The problem is when my anxiety is bad it just consumes me and no matter how hard I try I just can't shake it.  As hard as I tried I just couldn't focus on the show as much as I would've liked and really struggled to eat the incredible meal we were given during the show.  I mean just look at that dessert!  I only managed a couple of bites but it tasted amazing and I wish I could've eaten more.  If you get the opportunity to go it is definitely worth the money, I just wish I could've enjoyed it a little more.

I don't want to end this post on a downer, so even though I did struggle with my anxiety it was the trip of a lifetime and I'm glad I was finally able to say yes to it.  If you suffer from anxiety I know how hard it is to say yes to things like this, but trust me you won't regret it!  There are ways to mange you're anxiety there and the staff in City Hall were really good at telling us where the less crowded places would be for the illuminations and parades.  It was very cold standing and waiting for them at this time of year but was worth it for how magical Disneyland looks at Christmas, especially when it's all lit up at night.

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  1. Disney is a truly magical place!


  2. oh i've never been to disney land, it all just looks so wonderful though!



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