DLP Trip Over-View, January 2017, Season Of The Force

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.

Disneyland Paris January Sales Haul

I had never been to DLP during the January sales before so I had high hopes for it, especially as I had heard that they were bringing in a lot of new merchandise this year due to the five year turnover and 25th anniversary. I went armed with extra money so I could go crazy. Myself and my friend Louise arrived the day after the sales started so we managed to avoid the rush. I didn’t fancy having to fight people for items, that’s just not how I roll.

Unfortunately due to my high expectations I was a little disappointed with the sales. Some shops had small stands of sales items and a few had none at all. There were a few things that I had hoped would be in the sales but weren’t but I was paricularly pleased with the clothing items which I hadn’t initially thought about buying but did. I also understand that arriving a day later meant that we had missed out on a few things. I had my eye on the mini figure Yoda Stitch but couldn’t find him when we were there.

It was a good thing that there wasn’t as much as I had thought 1. Because I would just buy a ton of things that I didn’t need 2. I wouldn’t have been able to get it all home. The things that I did find were a real bargain and all in all I was very happy with what I picked up.

Grey Pirates of the Caribbean ride t-shirt had 70% off (originally €21.99). Reduced to €6.59 (I payed €5.27 with my AP). The hoodie was also 70% off (originally €44.99). Reduced to €13.49 (I payed €10.79). These are really comfy items, the hoodie is very cosy.

Pink Cheshire cat sweater 70% off (originally €49.99). Reduced to €14.99 (I payed €11.99). Grey Beast sweater 70% off (originally €49.99). Reduced to €14.99 (I payed €11.99). I love anything Beauty and the Beast and I’m also a fan of Alice in Wonderland so I was so happy when I saw these.

Non clothing items I bought were a park exclusive Minnie Mouse at €5, Cleo at €3, Mickey head necklace at €2, matching bracelet also €2 and a small 2016 tray at €1 (all before AP discount). 

Keep an eye out for my January trip reports.

DLP Trip Over-View, Christmas 2016 Part 3

Wednesday 30th November – We had planned a shopping trip to Val d’Europe so we had a little lye in before heading to breakfast to make sure we were fully recharged for the day ahead. The shopping centre is apparently the biggest in Europe and with it only being a five-minute journey on the metro, it was an ideal location too. I would suggest going there if you are spending a few days in DLP just to stock up on snacks and drinks in the big supermarket there as its so much cheaper than in the parks. Wish we had known about it sooner to be honest.

When we got back to DLP later in the day, we made a point of going to see Goofy’s Jingle Bell Band. It was a real feel good little show, the band were fantastic. I wished I had been able to see it more than once though but we kept missing the times as we’d had other things planned.

Thursday 1st December – This was a character filled day. We started off with Donald, Goofy and Pluto and the Chipmunks in extra magic hours. Then we met Sandy Claws, Scrooge McDuck, Thumper and Miss Bunny, Marie and the Queen of Hearts and Alice. We went to the Princess Pavillion and met Snow White then met Mickey in his house (something I haven’t done for a few years) before having lunch at Toad Hall (another first for me) where I had a nice veggie burger which tasted quite similar to the one in Cafe Hyperion.

We had a ride on the rail road and hung around on Main Street to secure a good spot for Mickey’s Magical Christmas Lights. Unfortunately there was something wrong with stairs/platform and Mickey and Minnie didn’t come out to turn on the lights. It was disappointing but we didn’t let it bother us too much. We did some shopping and I bought a few Christmas gifts for my family and I struggled to get everything in my suitcase that night. We had come to the sad task of having to pack and thinking about the return to reality.

Friday 2nd December – Our last day at DLP was a relaxed one. We stayed in the Disneyland Park taking some last chance photos, looking in the shops to make sure we hadn’t missed any good deals and going on rides. We fit in a few character meets including another visit to Sandy Claws and Ariel at the Princess Pavillion. While Louise, Leanne and Sue went to Hakuna Matata for Hakuna fries, I popped next door to Fuente Del Oro Restaurante to sample their Mexican food as I’d never been there before. It made a change to the same old veggie burger. We caught the parades and the Princess show for the last time and said goodbye to Leanne and Sue who had to go and catch the Eurostar home. Louise and I then passed the remaining time we had by going on Pirates of the Caribbean multiple times before leaving.

DLP Trip Over-View, Christmas 2016 Part 1

When booking an eight-day trip to Disneyland Paris for the Christmas season, myself and Louise jumped into it with a ‘let’s just do it’ attitude regardless of whether we would be able to afford it or not. When we found out that Jess and Rachel were planning to be there from the Friday to the Sunday and then Leanne and her mum were staying from the Monday to the Friday, we decided to book from Friday to Friday so that we could spend time with everyone.

Eight days is the longest I’ve ever stayed at DLP for. Luckily we were able to budget it all quite well and even had some money left over at the end (which I plan to use during our next trip). Our chosen mode of transport for this trip was Ouibus which I found considerably more comfortable than the megabus, well as comfortable as it could be I guess (I still had lack of sleep). Instead of crossing on the ferry, we went via the Euro tunnel so we were able to stay on the coach and attempt to sleep. It’s cheap and I don’t think I would have been able to do as many DLP trips this year as I have done if I had to pay out Eurostar prices each time.

Due of the length of time I had spent there, this time I won’t be doing individual trip reports and will be doing it in parts with a few days in each post. Some days may be more detailed than others.

Friday 25th November – We arrived at DLP around 8am after getting the metro from the coach station in Paris. This gave us enough time to get changed, store our luggage and wander around the Disneyland hotel lobby to admire the gingerbread house (which surprisingly was made out of real gingerbread) and decorations before heading to Cafe Mickey for breakfast. This was a first for me. I thought that it was a great place for character dining but the food was standard and the queues can get quite long making it hard to work your way around and sit down without your food getting cold in the process. I don’t know about lunch and dinner but they’ll definitely have to up their food game if they are getting rid of the characters next year. We met Chip and Dale, Eeyore, Mickey, Goofy and Pluto all while I was Disneybounding as Mickey and Louise as Minnie.

Jess and Rachel wasn’t joining us until the evening so myself and Louise watched the Christmas Parade, met Baloo, Alice and the White Rabbit and Scrooge McDuck, went on some rides and browsed the shops before making our way over to Hotel Cheyenne for a pin trading event. I didn’t quite know what I was expecting to see but it was so big we didn’t know where to start, so we had a quick look around before making a swift exit. We felt a little bit out-of-place, it was obviously  for hard-core traders and as a newbie collector I was very overwhelmed. We walked back to the Disney Village wondering what had just happened and shared our experiences with Jess and Rachel when we met them at Earl of Sandwich for dinner.

Saturday 26th November – A comfortable night was had by all at the Kyriad hotel and a decent breakfast was consumed before catching the shuttle bus to the park for the last part of Extra Magic Hours. We met Donald, Goofy and Pluto and the Chipmunks in that time. As we walked towards Small World we bumped into Pearla and Suzy (the mice from cinderella) doing a random  meet. This made me so happy as I’d never met them before.

We strolled over to the Walt Disney Studio park and went straight into Art of Disney Animation to wait for the Moana (named Vaiana in France) meet to begin. We were there a good 45 minutes before she was due to appear to secure a good spot in the queue. While waiting she came out to take part in a special event and was happy to pose for a few photos by herself. As soon as we had finished we went to meet Mickey and Minnie in their Christmas gear. They looked adorable. I love meeting them in different outfits.

Back over at the Disneyland Park we bumped into Grace , Sophie and Samar while waiting for Disney Princesses: A Royal Invitation. It’s always nice to see familiar faces. Unfortunately Sam had to rush off but we were able to have a quick catch up with Grace and Sophie before going our separate ways. The Princess show itself was pleasant if not a little cheesy but it was a nice addition and I bet it went down well with the children. I had my eyes on Belle and Beast in human form most of the time being my favourite couple.

DLP Trip Report – October 2016, Day 4

After having a much needed decent nights sleep I was feeling so much better. I couldn’t believe that I had spent my last night feeling so sick, I was more concerned that poor Leanne had to put up with me like that. These things happen I suppose and I wanted to make up for it on our final morning. Breakfast was just what I needed after not being able to eat much the night before. I had hash browns, beans, omlet, mushrooms and a croissant washed down with a glass of orange juice.

After we had finished breakfast we went to have a look at the mini farm that the hotel has on the premises. Being trained in animal management myself I often worry about the conditions in which animals are kept but I could see that they were well cared for with clean, spacious enclosures and plenty of food. There were rabbits, Guinea pigs, a donkey, goats, a Shetland Pony, Alpacas and sheep.

Once we’d said goodbye to the animals (yes, I talk to any kind of animal as if they are human including fish) we had to collect our suitcases and make our way to the park on the shuttle-bus. We had planned to take some last minute photos of the Halloween decorations. We were able to see all the little details that we hadn’t noticed previously as we took our time. They really do go all out for the Halloween season adding ghostly sound effects to accompany the ghouls that were distributed down Main Street.

We queued for Stitch about half an hour in advance of him arriving, there were only a few people in front of us so we weren’t waiting too long once it got started at 10am. Stitch was a real pleasure to watch, his mischievous ways had me laughing at everyone’s meet with him. In fact after that meet I had discovered a new found love for Stitch. We moved directly on to Marie who we waited quite a while for. This didn’t bother us in the slightest as we hadn’t had anything planned for afterwards. Both Stitch and Marie were new meets for me. I love meeting new characters. Marie was just adorable.

We went for a wander through Adventure Land where we discovered King Louie was meeting and the queue was almost non-existant. We grabbed our oportunity as I had never met him before. I was chuffed that in a short space of time I had managed to meet three new characters. The big kid in me was squealing inside with excitement. Oh the little things!

There were only two things left to do. One was lunch and the other was shopping. We stopped off at Market House Deli for food. I hadn’t eaten there before but a couple of days previous I had popped in to get a takeaway hot chocolate and noticed that they did a lovely looking Brioche so I was dying to go back and try it. I also picked up a cute Halloween cupcake which caught my eye while I was queuing to pay. Unfortunately the queue/service was quite slow so by the time I had paid, my Brioche was practically cold. However I still enjoyed it but I think it would have been nicer hot. Some last minute shopping was had before heading to the station to catch the Eurostar. I think I managed to buy a few pins which I normally do on every trip.

This was yet another memorable trip. Halloween season has got to be my favourite so far despite not experiencing Spring properly yet (which I have heard all sorts of good things about).

DLP Trip Report – October 2016, Day 3

Today was a lot more chilled out as we didn’t have fancy dresses and a ton of makeup to apply. Our focus was on character meets and whatever rides we could fit in. Extra Magic hours was in the Studio park so the first ride we headed to was Tower of Terror. The last couple of times I had been I’d avoided it. It’s not one of my favourite’s as I’m not that keen on drop rides and it’s something I have to be in the mood for as I suffer from back and neck problems which also bring on migraines. Fortunately I was feeling stronger than I normally would and I didn’t want to miss out on doing it as a big group. I love the theming of TOT but I don’t mind missing out on it occasionally.

The next ride we went on was Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster which is normally my favourite ride but after it left me feeling nausious last time I went on it I was affraid that I may have to find a new favourite ride. Unfortunately I had my worst fear confirmed, it jerked my head so much that I came off feeling a little dizzy. I don’t know if it’s because I’m becoming extra sensitive or they did something to the ride when altering it back in the summer. Either way I was left disappointed.

We strolled over to the the main park once we knew it was open. It was going to be another scortcher of a day and I had chosen to wear black. I was all Halloweened up in my Jack Skellington skirt, ready for my second meet with him. The skirt proved to be a good choice as he loved it. He allowed me to take some Skelfie’s (as he called it) and we all had a group photo. As we were in the area it would have been rude not to drop in on the manor. We then moved directly on to meet Disney royalty Mickey and Minnie in their Halloween costumes. They looked adorable infront of their fun back-drop. We had entertainment in the form of a brass band while we queued which I couldn’t help humming along to.

After we’d said our goodbyes to Mickey and Minnie we went to Frontierland station to catch the train to Fantasy land. This is something I hadn’t done since my first trip to DLP nearly five years ago. I don’t think I had ever realised that you pass over Pirates of the Caribbean and you can see into the cave. It goes to show that there’s always something new to see and experience. We stopped for a waffle before attemping the scrum that was the villains meet at the ‘It’s good to be bad’ show. Our research payed off and we managed to meet the old hag and the Tremains who had me in stitches. They really immersed themselves into their character roles and played them extremely well. They were definitely my favourites from the weekend, I could have stood and watched them for ages.

It wasn’t long before the others had to leave so we had a wander around taking photos with the pumpkin people. Myself and Leanne were staying an extra night which gave us much needed time to fit in more characters that I hadn’t met. Before most of the girls left us we went to meet Daisy in her Halloween costume. Everyone was reluctant to leave as we were all having such a good time together.

We had a little bit of time left with Louise before she had to make her way home so we went to find Captain Hook as Leanne was Disneybounding as Peter Pan. Hook wasn’t impressed with my skirt as it wasn’t his face I had on it. How very self centered! We then went on Pirates of the Caribbean for the fourth or fifth time this trip. It’s one of our main go to rides.

After Louise left I was starting to feel very ill. A migrain had taken hold and I couldn’t shake it. This made for a very bad evening. I couldn’t eat half of the food I had ordered at Rain Forrest Cafe which left me sad as I actually liked it. I had been there twice before and hated the food so I didn’t know if I wanted to go in on this occasion but as it was so busy else-where this was pretty much our only option. Afterwards we got the bus back to the hotel and had an early night so that we could get up early the next day.

DLP Trip Report – October 2016, Day 2 Fall Dapper Day

We were up bright and early preparing for the day ahead before making our way down to breakfast and meeting some more friends. Scott, Kate and Jessica were joining us for my first Dapper day. Breakfast was filling and enjoyable, just what I needed to start the day. The weather forecast was looking good too, a huge contrast from the day before. I had visions of us looking like drowned rats in our lovely dresses. I was dapper bounding as Minnie Mouse, it was only natural as I was there with the majority of the Disneybound UK admin team who were also Disneybounding on Dapper day.

When all 11 of us arrived at the Park, extra magic hours was almost over but we managed to get a meet in with Goofy and Pluto before then. We hadn’t planned on meeting many characters on Dapper day because we had scheduled meet ups to attend. I didn’t really know what to expect but I decided to just go with the flow. The first meet up that we attended was located in Adventure Isle. Unfortunately it all seemed a little chaotic due to the size of the group and how busy the park was getting, however we had time to admire everyone’s outfits and gather for various sets of photos before swiftly moving off.

Not really knowing what to do to pass the time between the next meet-up, we wandered around and stumbled upon Maleficent, her queue wasn’t too long so we decided to wait. I was in and out of that photo like a flash, I didn’t want to out-stay my welcome in case she put a spell on me. She already looked like she had a mood on and I didn’t want to make it any worse.Also in-between Dapper day meets we watched the Villains show ‘It’s good to be bad’ to try to work out a plan of action to get Jess a photo with Dr. Facilier as she was dapper bounding as him. We managed it on our second attempt and she had such an amazing character interaction with him. Now we had an idea of how best to meet the characters during the show we were going to head there the next day and try and meet more villains. I have never known something so stressful though, it was basically a scrum and you were lucky if the characters picked you.We stopped to refuel on Hakuna Fries for lunch before our joint Disneybound UK and Disneybound France meet that was scheduled to take part at Phantom Manor. Unfortunately we had to scrap that plan when we saw that the queue was backed up right to the gates and the surrounding area was bustling. I don’t think I’d ever seen it like that before. We had to try to make the most of it and just grab a corner where we could take more photos.

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Most of the Disneybound UK admin team

By now I was starting to wonder if Dapper day was really worth it. The park was over-crowded and it all seemed a little unorganised despite the release of the meet times prior to the event. There was a lot of standing about waiting for nothing in particular but I loved the fact that we could dress up and go all out for the day. I had always wanted to wear a 50’s style dress and this was the perfect occasion. We all felt fabulous and important as strangers stopped us for photos.

My favourite meet of all was at the carousel in Fantasy Land. There was enough Dapper day attendees to do two rotations. Everyone was very excited and it was more atmospheric. We all gave a big cheer at the end of the ride and then went off to ride the teacups which was a little difficult in such a big puffy dress. The weather had shaped up to be glorious, something I hadn’t expected in the middle of October.Hopefully one day Dapper day in Disneyland Paris will become nearly as big as california and WDW with an Expo or evening meet/party. It seems to be growing all the time so we will see what future years will bring. All in all I had a lovely day and I’m currently looking forward to Spring Dapper Day.