One family’s once-in-a-lifetime trip to Disneyland Paris almost ended in disaster after multiple obstacles left their Disney dream in tatters.
Disneyland Paris, like the Walt Disney World Resort in the United States, is currently celebrating a momentous occasion. Disney Parks opened the former Euro Disneyland Park in 1992 and this year marks its 30th anniversary. From the new Disney Illuminations Disney D-light drone pre-show over Sleeping Beauty Castle to the Dream… and Shine Brighter! cavalcade, Disneyland Park is amid the festivities.
While Disneyland Paris’ 30th anniversary is attracting Guests from far and wide, one family almost didn’t make it.
Zuleika Pilling from Brighton, in England, United Kingdom, had her vacation to Disneyland Paris derailed after her daughter’s passport failed to arrive in time, potentially leaving the family almost £3,000 (approx. $3,600) out of pocket.
Pilling told the Mail Online:
“Unfortunately it looks like it’s not going to happen because of our country’s passport system. Mickey Mouse could certainly provide a better service than their people working from home.”
The mother-of-two described how she had had to make additional payments of over £300 (approx. $355) to tackle the passport dilemma, a cost incurred on top of the already spent £2,300 (approx. $2,700) for the four-night vacation to Disneyland Paris. Pilling, who was also traveling with her partner told of the stress and constant obstacles she encountered, including “dozens of calls” and “radio silence”, trying to make her family’s dreams come true.
“It’s been a disaster from start to finish. They keep saying to me they can’t do this and they can’t do that because they’re working from home. It’s ridiculous.”
The trip was meant to be a surprise for the family after Pilling’s children passed their recent exams:
“It was a surprise. My kids are teenage adrenaline junkies. They like rides but my daughter hasn’t been able to do them because she had brain surgery three years ago. She has finally been given the go ahead since Christmas. It was supposed to be a real double whammy celebration trip. They went to Disneyland about 10 years ago and loved it so much they always wanted to go back.”
She went on to detail how the nature of her dealings with the Passport Office took its toll:
“They just say I have to wait for the upgrade team to call me. It sounds pretty shambolic. They seem all over the place and on top of that I am getting charged to call them.”
“I just can’t believe it. Why can’t someone know what’s going on and speak to me? Why don’t they have the right systems? If you are working from home you should have the right databases in your homes. It’s been two and a half years since Covid surely they should be a little bit more up and running now. It’s been very frustrating. I’ve no idea what we’re going to do. I’m all a bit lost. We are supposed to be going on holiday on Monday and I’ve had just nothing, nothing, nothing. I’m hearing it’s a very common theme. It’s quite shocking that they are getting away with this.”
HM Passport Office has been suffering an intense backlog of passport applications with more than five million Brits encountering delays, and three million applications being processed between March and May.
After the painstaking few months Ms. Pilling and her family have been through, the Daily Mail intervened on the family’s behalf with the Passport Office stating that her daughter’s passport would be available to collect in London on July 16, two days ahead of their booked trip to Disneyland Paris via the popular Eurostar train service.
Disneyland Paris is a hugely popular destination for European visitors. Found in the heart of France, the Disney Resort boasts two theme parks — Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park — and Disney Village, with a variety of hotels including Disney’s Hotel New York — The Art of Marvel, Disney’s Newport Bay Club Hotel, Disney’s Hotel Cheyenne, and the soon-to-be-reopened Disneyland Hotel.
The Disney Resort will next see Avengers Campus open — just the second after the one inside Disney California Adventure at Disneyland Resort — with the Marvel-themed land at the theme park playing home to characters like Captain America and Captain Marvel, and new attractions like Spider-Man W.E.B. Adventure and the newly recycled Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Avengers Assemble: Flight Force.
The new rides will join the already robust roster of rides at Disneyland Paris including Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain and the Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril attraction, which is part of the Disney Premier Access service.
Have you ever had a derailed Disney Park experience? Let us know in the comments down below!