Days out diary - child friendly and family activities

Family days out Baby Elephant at Twycross Zoo Family days out Legoland Windosor Family days out childrens farm Family days out children friendly narrow guage railways Family days out rowing boats on Derwent Water Family days out London area Family days out Thomas land and children railways

Disney Character Minnie with Baby

We took our baby daughter to Disneyland Paris during September 2005. Whilst the park is intended for children it surprised me how non-baby friendly it was.

We drove to Disneyland from the Keycamp camping and caravan site. They do run a coach service from the site, but out of season this was at an inconvenient time. I was also disappointed to see that they would still charge for us to take our baby on the coach, even though she is only a few weeks old.

For anyone using GPS the co-ordinates are: 48°52.05 2°47.02

It took a good couple of hours to drive to disneyland, where we parked in the main car park. We then made our way to the ticket booths and the entrance. As we came up to the disney village there was a post office (although it wasn't open on the first day when we arrived), we did use it to post our postcards back to the UK whilst hopping between parks. We then joined one of the queues to buy tickets. We had already tried to buy tickets on the ferry, but found that they only sold single park tickets whereas we wanted park hopper tickets. Although it would have still cost the same for 2 single park tickets as for the 2day hopper tickets we bought, we only spent half a day in the Studios so the hopper ticket was much better.

They allowed us to pass through the side of the turnstiles as we had a pushchair. Most of the areas were accessible by pushchair, excluding the rides where there was normally a collection of pushchairs next to the entrance. If you didn't take your own pushchair there were some available to hire, but from the ones we saw they would have been completely unsuitable for a small baby. The child would need to be able to sit-up unaided to use one of the hire pushchairs.

One of the things that Disneyland Paris advertises is that it has a baby care facility in each of the parks. With only one in each park we never found that we were near to one when we needed to change or feed our baby. We did not therefore actually see any of these facilities. We did however use a lot of the so called baby changing areas in the normal toilets. In most cases this was just a table top service that was available, but the one in the male toilets in the Disney Village was badly positioned blocking the only available hand dryers. Whilst I was changing my baby other people were reaching over the top with dripping wet hands to get to the hand towels, an awful facility for a site that is supposed to be children friendly.

The rest of the facilities were OK, and the characters were very responsive to seeing such a young baby (see photo with Minnie above).

The restaurants in the parks were all accessible, but we had problems with some of those in the Disney Village. On the first night we went to Planet Hollywood. We didn't notice the lift when we first entered, but as she was awake we took her up the stairs. Later found that there was a lift which did mean we could take our baby back down without waking her. The one negative aspect about Planet Hollywood is that we had requested a non-smoking table. Whilst the table was in a non-smoking area there was a smoking table right next to where we were sitting. Not very nice when you are trying to keep your baby in a smoke free atmosphere.

We tried another restaurant on the second night, which was offering Mexican / Southern American style food. The restaurant was on a higher floor with a very long staircase. Despite there being a lift they would not let us use it, so we left.

In the end we went to Cafe Mickey which was one of the best things we did. A great restaurant serving good food with a visit from several of the disney characters. They were also able to cope with us needing to have the pushchair at the side of the table, something that some restaurants do not like.

We enjoyed the holiday and are planning to go back when our baby is a bit older, but I was disappointed that the park was not more baby friendly.

Also see:

Another trip to Disneyland Paris with a child and baby staying at a Disneyland Hotel

Holiday with a Baby, Center Parcs Sherwood Forest Nottingham UK

Another Keycamp holiday at Duinrell Wassennar in Holland