Experience the Magic: Eurodisney 2012

Sleeping Beauty's CastleWe’ve always wanted to take my daughter to Disneyland but we’re not currently in a position to do so. She is nearly 5 so is at the perfect age, old enough to remember it, but still young enough to experience the magic. So, when Auto Trader offered us a trip to Eurodisney outside of Paris we jumped at the chance.

The Journey

The journey was fairly easy. A Subaru Forester was delivered to us on the Thursday night. We drove to Folkestone to catch the Eurotunnel; the crossing was only 35 minutes, followed by a 3 hour drive on the other side. However, the motorways in France are so much better than here in the UK and so are the services.

I know very little about cars and am not a petrol head so can’t say a lot about the car except it was comfortable, easy to drive, much quieter than our own diesel Passat, excellent fuel mileage, loads of room in the boot and we even had enough room for ‘Yellow Bear’. According to my husband ‘it made the journey relaxing’. It had a rather odd locking system, but we eventually worked it out.

The park wasn’t brilliantly sign posted but I’d purchased France maps for my Sat Nav, which proved invaluable!


We stayed in the Hotel Cheyenne which is a Western Themed hotel, which is one of the Disney Hotels. The bonus of staying at one of the Disney Hotels, you get 2 hours in the park in the morning before everyone else. Bliss! Plus, each morning the Disney Characters come to the hotel to meet the kids and take photos, which allows you to avoid the huge queues to see them in the park.

Getting around Eurodisney is a breeze they lay on buses which run ever few minutes all day to run you to and from the Park and only take about 5 minutes. So you can always pop back to the hotel if you need a bit of a break, which we did!

The Park

Now for the Park, it was truly magical! There are rides for everyone. Yes, the queues are a long but to avoid some of the queues you can use the Fast Pass system which is free. Basically visit the ride, take a ticket then come back at your allotted time. Our daughter’s favourite rides were the Flying Elephants, Peter Pan’s Flight and It’s a Small World which we did several times. I still have that song in my head! One of our highlights was the Parade. Do make sure you see one while you’re there.

I have to admit, as slightly older parents it was absolutely knackering. I felt like I’d run a marathon but it was worth every minute. It wasn’t about us it was all about her. As you can see by the video, she had the time of her life and hopefully will remember it in years to come.

Disclosure: The entire trip was courtesy of Autotrader who have been uniting people with their dream cars for over 35 years. We can’t thank them enough for making our daughter’s dream come true.

Autotrader are currently running a fabulous competition where each week someone wins an ultimate driving experience.  Simple spin the wheel on the Dream Machine. #MyCarStory

Refuelling Tip

Have you ever pulled up at the pump to refuel and then realise the tank is on the other side?  Or is it just me?

Look what I found….


I bet you’re shaking your head but do remember that this comes from a woman, who has been in the UK for 12 years but still, usually when it’s dark, jumps into the passenger seat by mistake to find the steering wheel is missing!

Is Car Insurance Sexist?

I’m just trying to work out in my head how I feel about car insurers no longer being able to quote based on gender.  When it was first proposed, my initial thought was that it seemed fair that quotes shouldn’t be based on gender and did seem sexist.  Why should someone receive a discount just because they’re female, even if men are statistically more likely to be involved in accidents?   But what does this mean for men who are safe drivers with clean driving records and what about women with less than gleaming driving records?  I personally feel that car insurance quotes should be based on your driving history.

However, now that European judges have outlawed the setting of car insurance premiums based on gender which goes into effect in December 2012; there is a good chance that my own insurance will go up by about 25%.   I wouldn’t mind if the savings were equalised between men and women drivers, but I predict that in fact we will all be paying more.  It’s going to cost insurance companies to implement this and I predict these costs will be passed onto us.

Our car insurance is already increasing at ridiculous rate.  I can’t remember exactly, but our quote this year was astronomically higher than last year and we haven’t made any claims.  A single male friend of mine in his 30s, saw his insurance go from £300 to £1800 and he hadn’t made any claims.  When we enquired with the company their response was that, due to the economy (recession), there has been a huge increase in the number of claims.  This doesn’t make sense to me.  Why should I be paying more, when I haven’t made any claims?  Shouldn’t those with poor driving records be footing the bill?  In the end, we did shop around and moved our car insurance.

What do you think? Could this result in more uninsured motorists on the road?  Are you prepared to install a blackbox in your car? What about ageism as young people pay an extortionate amount for car insurance?    Would love to hear your thoughts?

*Sponsored by Tesco




How to Drive in the Snow!

I’m by no means an expert on driving in the snow.  However, I’m Canadian and started driving at 16 (23 years ago) so I have a few years driving in treacherous weather.  I once called the AA and they said they’d get to me in 3 days!  This post is tempting fate and I’m sure I’ll end up pranging the car in the next few days so you can all point and laugh.

The thought of driving in the snow here in the UK doesn’t faze me, it’s the other people that, frankly, terrify me.  I’m often surprised when schools are closed and people can’t make it to work.  I know it’s not fair to compare Canada to the UK as you don’t have the infrastructure in place for a few days of snow but these short periods of weather seem to be getting longer and longer every year.

“Too many motorists simply jump in their cars on chilly mornings and treat adverse weather conditions as an inconvenience. The reality is that without proper preparation and a change in driving style, the consequences of snow and ice can be fatal.” from the BBC.

So, here are a few of my own tips to keep you a bit safer.

1.)    If you’re not confident or the thought of driving in the snow makes your blood pressure race then for the love of god walk away from the car, go back inside and make yourself a nice warm cuppa.  If you’re a nervous driver you won’t be able to react in time and will end up doing something stupid.  No journey is worth it.

2.)    DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT use your brakes unless you absolutely have to.  Yes, this means that you have to drive at Grandma Speed but at least you’ll be able to stop when you need to.  If you are driving a manual use your gears.  If it is an automatic transmission then use the lower gears…those are denoted by the D1 and D2 on the column shift.

3.)    Do not speed

4.)    Just because you have a 4X4 it doesn’t mean you’re invincible so slow the f*ck down.  I don’t know how many times in Canada I’ve driven (smugly) past SUVs in the ditch in my little town car.

5.)    This one is actually in the road code, but most people seem to have forgotten.  If you are coming down a hill (icy or not) the person coming up the hill has the right of way.  If the person coming up the hill has to stop on an icy slope the laws of physics makes it nearly impossible for them to get going again.  If you are coming down the hill and unable to stop then you’re going to fast!

6.)    Use second gear when pulling out from a stop; it will prevent the wheels from spinning.

7.)    Try not to change gears when going up a hill.

8.)    If the worst happens and you start to skid, take your foot off the accelerator, DO NOT brake and steer in the direction of the skid.

Hope you have a safe journey!