As the saying goes, ‘start as you mean to go on’, so what better way to start the new year than with a trip to Disneyland Paris. This trip was packed with new experiences which I’m going to highlight in this post. The main reason for this particular trip was to catch the January sales (which I covered in a previous post) and opening day of ‘Season of the Force’.
Myself and my friend Louise had booked a two night stay at Sante Fe which I hadn’t stayed in since my first trip five years ago. It was clean, cosy and comfortable with the added bonus of it being on site and a convenient distance to the Disney Village and parks which meant we didn’t have to wait for a bus, we could just walk to and from the parks with ease. Although being one of the furthest hotels it’s still a nice stroll along the river.
We arrived fairly early on Thursday the 12th so we started looking around some of the shops before heading for breakfast at Annettes Diner. We had never eaten breakfast here before so we were intrigued despite hearing mixed reviews. I always like to try things for myself before forming an opinion and I was pleasantly surprised. The food wasn’t amazing but it was good. Being vegetarian I was able to order my breakfast without the sausage and bacon but there wasn’t any substitutes and obviously the price was still the same but that didn’t bother me as what I had was quite adequate and I still went away feeling full. I had little potato cubes with beans, tomato and scrambled egg which looked questionable but tasted quite creamy. On the side we had a slice of toast each and pancakes with maple syrup. It also comes with a hot drink and a glass of orange juice.
I was able to fulfill a couple of things on my to do list during this trip. One was to meet Captain Jack Sparrow and the other was to ride Big Thunder Mountain for the first time since it’s refurb. Both didn’t disappoint. Although I enjoyed BTM, I am looking forward to riding it again when in gets warmer. Snow in the face at a considerable speed wasn’t my idea of fun. As always I met a variety of other characters during the trip, Aladdin and Jasmine stood out the most for me, especially Aladdin’s interaction… he gave good hugs and got us to do a few poses for the camera. I will definitely be looking out for him in future.
We decided to book a nice meal one evening. Hunters Grill at Sequoia Lodge was our restaurant of choice. It was another first for us and one that I had absolutely no regrets about, in fact it has become my favourite restaurant so far. With the benefit of it being a short distance from our hotel which worked out to be a good move because the weather that evening was miserable. Hunters grill is a buffet restaurant with a fabulous choice of food for both meat eaters and vegetarians. The environment was warm and cosy with a nice atmosphere. I would recommend this place to anyone and I can’t wait to eventually go back.
One of the best things about this trip was meeting up with a bunch of friends for ‘Season of the Force’ who were all as equally excited for it. We were all together at the Walt Disney Studio Park for opening day on Saturday the 14th to witness something special. At various intervals there were Storm Troopers on patrol in the courtyard but interactions were limited. On occasions they would stop and choose people to have photos with (it helps if you are wearing something Star Wars related). I only managed to grab a quick selfie whilst they were on the move.
I loved the march of the first order, an army of Storm Troopers lead by Captain Phasma in a military style march at the front of the stage in preparation for the show. I do love a Storm Trooper but I geeked out when I saw eight of them all at once. Shortly afterwards the drama unfolded on the stage with an explosion of Star Wars characters including Darth Vader, Kylo ren and Chewbacca.
In the evening we watched the much anticipated projection show on the Hollywood Tower Hotel which I found to be quite emotional due to the recent passing of Carrie Fisher. I was beyond impressed with this special effects show accompanied by live actors on stage. DLP had obviously worked really hard to get this perfect. The only thing I would have loved to have seen was Star Wars character meet and greets. That would have been the icing on the cake but I can’t grumble. I was there with great company and I had a good time so that’s all that matters.