DLP Trip Report, June 2016 Day 4

I don’t think I have ever ached so much in my life. The last few days had certainly taken its toll on my body. As I hobbled around the bed I knew I had to make the most of our final day in the parks. My Disneybound of the day was Pocahontas, this was one I had discovered accidentally a few weeks previous when I had originally bought the outfit for a family meal. All I had to do is find a suitable necklace.

This time Leanne was the Queen of Hearts, Jess was Princess Tiana and Louise had decided that she was going to take a break from bounding and concentrate on some photography. Our first meet of the day was Chip and Dale who were very cheeky and kept stealing Jess’s frog Naveen. She was rather pleased that their attention had been diverted away from the ears that she was wearing.

Afterwards we were waiting for rope drop outside Frontierland in preparation for the Tiana and Naveen meet for Jess. There were only a few people there when we arrived so we waited at the front of the rope at one end. A family that were there before us obviously thought they had competition when they clocked Jess’s Disneybound and got all possessive about their positioning. The mother sent her daughters to stand near us at the rope while she remained in the same spot. We didn’t care about being at the front of the queue as long as we were reasonably near the front and not waiting forever.

When the rope dropped you could see that they were desperate to run but the cast members wouldn’t let them. We all eventually made it to where Tiana and Naveen were meeting and they got to the front of the queue smirking as they walked past us. Of course I just turned to Jess and laughed as I couldn’t quite believe how pathetic a grown woman with two kids could be. Unfortunately this kind of rudeness occurs regularly at Disneyland Paris but you just have to accept it as part and parcel. Jess received some lovely interactions with Tiana and Naveen because of her wonderful Disneybound which made it all worth it. Other meets that we managed to squeeze in was the White Rabbit, Smee and Wendy, Geppetto and Pinocchio and Winnie the Pooh.

Before we all had to head off to get our transport home we went to Earl of Sandwich for our last meal together. I wanted their four cheese pizza but apparently you can only order it after 6pm. I personally think they should bring this forward. I’ll certainly be having this on our next trip anyway.

I got to the station to discover that my train had been delayed by 40 minutes which caused me to have a slight panic attack when I realised that it would cause me to miss my connecting train at Lille. When I enquired with the Eurostar staff they told me that when I got to Lille, Eurostar would put me up in a hotel for the night but despite my protests this is the only thing they could do for me which really wasn’t good enough. Eventually I got on a train to Lille and found out that my connecting train to London had been running late too.

Panic over. I was an hour late home but I was glad I didn’t have to stop in Lille overnight on my own. Eurostar definitely need to sort out their issues as I’d been hearing of more delays since. In future I think I’ll be booking direct trains so I don’t have the worry of missing any. Although there were a couple of problems, I still had an amazing trip with my first Disneybounding experience being fantastic. I think everyone should give it a try at some point.

 

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DLP Trip Report, June 2016 Day 3

I could tell that the exhaustion was starting to kick in after dragging myself out of bed. We were a little later to breakfast but we weren’t too bothered by this. My Disneybound for the day was Jafar. I had to at least bound one villain on this trip, and one that I knew I could hopefully meet too. Jess decided to bound as the Queen of Hearts with some awesome custom-made ears. Leanne was Donald duck and Louise was Wall-E. Our first meet during extra magic hours was good old Donald, one for Leanne. I have a special place in my heart for all the classic original characters. Disneyland wouldn’t be Disneyland without them.

It was turning out to be a really hot day so I was grateful I’d dropped off a bag full of essentials at left luggage just before entering the park. Luckily I was prepared for a bit of sun despite initially thinking that the whole trip would be a complete washout with Paris experiencing floods previously. Once I had everything I needed we headed over to Fantasy Land and met the White Rabbit, Queen of Hearts and Alice specifically for Jess and her bound. We then queued for Jafar who was a true gentleman and gave me a kiss on the hand.

We went for a quick pit stop at Cafe de la Brousse to sample the new addition to their menu. The falafel sandwich is proving very popular and sells out quite quickly. It wasn’t too bad, very different to the falafel I normally have but I thought it could have done with a little more dressing to prevent it from being so dry.

The Frozen sing-along was next on our agenda, something that we had been looking forward to. Unfortunately we were near the back of the queue so failed to secure a central seat inside which was bad news for myself not knowing all the words to the songs as the English lyrics appeared on the middle screen and was obscured by a big post. Afterwards, Jess and I went to see if the pineapple whip stall was open in Frontierland just beside the Aladdin meets; and much to our excitement it was. We had kept missing it because the opening and closing times hadn’t been consistent. After having a Dole Whip in WDW Florida last year I was able to compare the two. The ice-cream is definitely not as nice as the dairy-free Dole ice-cream and from what I could make out, the pineapple juice wasn’t as sweet (but that could have just been my taste buds). Overall it was nice but I don’t think I would go out of my way to buy one in the future.

After going on a few rides we decided to escape the heat in Cafe Fantasia at the Disneyland hotel. The girls had some alcoholic beverages but being a non drinker I chose a mocktail from the children’s drinks menu. We all got a light up Tinkerbell for our glasses because they looked so pretty.

We then caught the parade and went on some more rides. The days trip would not have been complete without visiting Discoveryland for Louise’s Disneybound photo with Wall-E and Eve. While we were in the area we stopped for dinner at Cafe Hyperion where they do a good veggie burger. I will definitely be returning here on future trips. Again, we headed back to the Princess Pavillion before it closed and this time we met the lovely Snow White.

A fabulous day was topped off with a spot of shopping and watching Dreams which always manages to make me a little emotional and gives me goosebumps, especially the tangled scene with ‘I see the Light’ playing.

 

 

 

DLP Trip Report, June 2016 Day 2

A comfortable nights sleep was had by all so no complaints about the beds. We were all up by 6am getting our Disneybounds ready. It was my first time Disneybounding so I was excited for the day ahead. My chosen bound for the day was Mary Poppins and with Jess being Bert, it was the perfect collaboration. Louise chose to be Anna and Leanne was Ariel.

During our continental breakfast we discussed our plans for extra magic hours. It’s always good to have a game plan. While going through security we were stopped by one of the guards who voiced his concerns about our outfits. He was worried that we would be mistaken for the real Burt and Mary to which Jess replied ‘do you think I look like a man?’ but he just ignored her comment. He then went on to say that he will let us through but we will only be turned away at the parks.

We had nothing to worry about because they gladly let us in through the main entrance without any questions and we received so many lovely compliments from cast members and the public alike. It became a real conversation starter and we made so many people smile.

We sneaked in a few character meets to start with including Goofy and Pluto who insisted I dance with them and Mickey and Minnie who were just adorable. We then hopped on one of the vehicles that takes you along Main Street USA and up to the castle which I hadn’t done before. Next on our agenda was the Wonderland characters. We met the Queen of Hearts who was extremely bossy but she didn’t fail to make me laugh.

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By this time we had hoped that Burt and Mary may have appeared so we went to find out. They were nowhere to be seen so we waited on one of the benches near the band stand to rest our legs. We had clocked up a fair few miles in the last couple of days and was starting to feel it.

Eventually Mary emerged without Burt. We got our photos but asked the character attendant if Burt would be out at all but he told us that he wouldn’t be. It was just our luck as we had been monitoring their meets online and discovered that most days they were out together, occasionally with the penguins which would have made an amazing photo. But we weren’t going to let it get to us, it just meant that we had to get Burt’s attention during the parade.

Before heading over to the studio park to see who was out we stopped for ice cream at Gibson Girl. We found Aladdin and Jasmine walking around. It was lucky we caught them as they were walking so fast. Woody was over in Toon Town so we couldn’t pass up a photo with him, plus he gives good hugs.
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After not having much luck with characters in the studio park we went back to the Disneyland park for a late lunch in Belle Notte. We chose the Mickey pizza from the children’s menu because it had to be done. With that I got a small bag of cherry tomatoes and a small pot of ice cream (choice of ice cream or yoghurt).

We secured a spot on the parade route about 45 minutes before it started. We like to get there early so we’ve got the best view for photos. When the parade started we received some great interactions from the characters with us being in our Disneybound outfits. They were all very impressed with us, especially Burt who we managed to catch the attention of. He made a right fuss of us calling us beautiful before posing for a selfie with Jess. I got a high five from Tigger and Anna gestured to Louise that she join her on the float. It was all very funny and we loved it.

After the parade we went for something sweet at the Boardwalk Candy Palace where I purchased a chocolate Mickey meringue which I highly recommend. We went on some rides to pass the time (including our daily dose of Phantom Manor and Pirates of the Caribbean) before attempting the Princess Pavillion queue. It was a 60 minute wait which was doable. We found that the later you leave it, the shorter the wait. We got in half an hour before it closed and met Merida. She loved our outfits and got us to do a pose that reflected the characters that we were bounding as. We finished the evening off with Dinner at Earl of sandwich again and reminisced about how great the day was.
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DLP Trip Report, June 2016 Day 1

My day started by making my way to the Eurostar at St Pancras extra early to sort out an issue with my tickets. As I was packing the night before I realised they had put the wrong return date on them. I was annoyed at myself for not checking my tickets properly when booking and equally annoyed at the lady who took my booking as having remembered I had to repeat the date several times to her as she checked the availability. To correct the mistake it cost me an extra £45 on top of the £130 I originally paid. As you can imagine I wasn’t impressed but that will teach me to be more observant in the future.

The duration spent on the Eurostar itself passed really quickly and by the time I had read a couple of chapters of my book, listened to some Disney tunes, posted some updates on social media and ate some snacks I had arrived at Marne La Vallee, Chessy (at 2pm paris time). My first priority was to place my Minnie ears on my head before meeting my friends (who had all used different modes of transport to get to DLP) in the lobby of the Disneyland hotel. We had chosen this location in case we were lucky enough to catch some princesses as they had been reportedly seen in this area on previous days around the same time. Unfortunately we were lucked out on this occasion.

My friend Leanne kindly took my suitcase to left luggage for me because without an annual pass it would have cost me €9. After that we went to pay for my dream annual pass at the gate which cost me €200 with my friend Jess’ discount (this got me €20 off) and went straight to the Bureau Passeport Annuel in the Disneyland park with my temporary pass to exchange it for my actual annual pass with my photo on which they took while I was standing at the desk. I signed the contract and was given an information pack which is lovely but it’s all written in French. I’m sure I’d be able to find the translation online somewhere though.

Next on the agenda was food. My friends who had been many more times than me in the past were experienced enough to do Disneyland on a budget so don’t always eat at the themed restaurants unless it’s a treat. We decided on a quick snack at ‘Last Chance Cafe’ where I had a basket of fries using the discount on my annual pass for the first time. Jess had the sweetcorn soup and Leanne swears by their chicken nuggets which I am unable to comment on as I am Vegetarian. Louise had a cheesy hotdog from ‘Casey’s Corner’ which she devoured in seconds. I had never seen someone eat a hotdog that fast in my life.

We hadn’t planned on doing anything too strenuous on our first day as we were quite tired from travelling so we had a mooch around, then we went on Phantom manor which is Jess’ favourite ride and according to her must be done everyday and possibly more than once which I had no objections with. After popping into some of the shops along Main Street USA we decided to head to the hotel with my suitcase to check in and freshen up.

We were staying on site at Sequoia Lodge, just a short walking distance away from the parks. The rooms were Bambi themed which caused much excitement between us and we reached for our phones simultaneously to snap away at the decor.

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Next on the agenda was a visit to the studio park where we went on Crush’s Coaster and wandered round the shop. Leanne and Jess went on Tower of Terror while myself and Louise sat it out. I have been on it before but if given the choice I’d rather give it a miss as it’s my least favourite ride in this park. I love the atmosphere and the CM’s banter but I’m not that keen on drop rides. I might do it on one of my next trips though.

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Later on we were reunited with Earl of Sandwich in the Disney Village, somewhere that I have enjoyed on previous trips, you just can’t beat their hot sandwiches. I had the Caprese which I added avocado to, a little tip that Jess suggested (you can add any extra for a fee). Earl is great for convenience and is reasonably priced. Before returning to the hotel we had a browse around the shops, I was particularly impressed with the life-size models in the Lego shop.

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The only thing we found disappointing was the customer service in ‘The Disney Gallery’ shop they were rather rude when we enquired about the Cogsworth’s which we were all eager to purchase on our trip. We knew that they had recently been in stock but they refused to confirm this (at the end of our trip, when we got home we saw that someone had successfully purchased one and said that they had 8 more in stock. We were so angry). However, all in all our experiences were mainly good.

The Countdown Begins

It’s been nearly 3 years since my last trip to Disneyland Paris and 4 years since I first experienced the DLP magic. Last year I visited Walt Disney World, Florida, but nothing beats the convenience of the Paris parks with them being just a few hours away on the Eurostar. That is my preferred mode of transport as I’m a nervous flyer.

I was a little late on the uptake when it came to visiting DLP. I was never taken as a child despite how much I wanted to go. At the age of 32 (only 20 years after the park first opened) I found a bunch of friends that would be willing to go with me. After that first visit I was hooked. Now I’m making up for all the years I missed out on the most magical place on earth.

In just one week I will be returning to DLP with a whole new bunch of friends who know a great deal about the parks and character meets, so I’m guaranteed to get a lot out of any future trips. I’m hoping that there will be a few of them too, seeing as I will be purchasing an annual pass.

During my trip I will be Disneybounding for the first time. This is something that I have wanted to do for a while. I have 3 bounds which are now complete (it hasn’t been easy). They were chosen at random and for no particular reason, and those are Mary Poppins, Jafar from Aladdin and Pocahontas.

My bounds will be featured in my trip reports so don’t forget to follow me if you want to see photos.