Disneyland Paris School Journey – June 2019

On Tuesday 11th June, a small but intrepid group of children and staff set off for a big adventure: to Disneyland Paris. Willow Dene is committed to offering appropriate school journeys to all children in Year 5 onwards, and the expansion of our secondary provision meant that we had thought about doing something different. So, for our older children, who have successfully participated in previous school journeys, we decided to try an overseas trip! Disneyland was settled on as an exciting and appropriate destination. In order to test the water and identify what worked well, we made the decision to go small-scale. So it was that three children and an experienced team of school journey staff set off on the mini-bus heading for Folkstone!  

We had a smooth drive to the coast, an efficient crossing ‘sous la manche’ (under the Channel) and a slightly longer drive through France before arriving at ‘Dream Apartments’, our carefully selected accommodation. We spent Tuesday evening unpacking, settling in and getting excited about everything that lay in store…

Wednesday and Thursday were spent in a whirlwind of fun, adrenaline and laughter as we explored both the Disneyland Park and The Disney Studios. A few of the highlights were:

  • meeting Mickey Mouse
  • watching the Disneyland Parade
  • going on exciting (and accessible!) rides like ‘It’s a Small World’ and ‘Aladdin’s Flying Carpet’
  • marvelling at the Disneyland Castle, inside and out
  • failing to pull King Arthur’s sword Excalibur from the stone (hilarious!)
  • experiencing a studio tour full of real-life special effects like fire, explosions and floods
  • sheltering from the most incredible storm in a castle full of princesses
  • choosing presents to take back for our families
  • speaking (and hearing) French!        

After two long and adventure-packed days in the park, it was time to pack up our cases for the drive back to England. Our families had been involved in our antics in real-time via a private feed and we also enjoyed sharing updates via the school’s twitter feed. It was such a success we hope to scale it up for next year. Watch this space!