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.

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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.

DLP Trip Report – October 2016, Day 1

My friends and I had had this trip booked for months. It was Dapper day weekend so planning had been slightly more intense. On the morning of Friday the 14th of October I made my way to meet Leanne at Ebbsfleet to catch the Eurostar. I normally set off from London St Pancras so I was interested to see what this station was like. Distance was roughly the same and check in was so much more relaxed and not as busy as it normally is at St Pancras. I grabbed a hot chocolate and a cookie once we had reached departures and we just chilled out until our train was called. Thankfully there were no delays and it felt like we reached our destination in no time at all due to our excitement being a distraction.

We arrived at about 3pm and went straight to left luggage to put our bags in and meet Louise who had travelled my mega bus and had already spent a good 8 hours in the park. I hadn’t been to DLP in the Halloween season before but I had experienced it at WDW last year so I was intrigued to see how it differed. I was completely blown away by the decorations and my voice became annoyingly high-pitched and squeaky while I took in the sights for the first time. After I had composed myself we had a wander around until we found our first character meet which was Goofy in his Halloween gear. I love meeting the characters in different outfits and I knew this trip would be full of them. Goofy was a complete gent despite teasing us with sweets.

After travelling, we were quite hungry so we decided to try somewhere that we hadn’t eaten before. I had heard that Au Chalet de la Marionette Restaurant did a nice veggie bagel burger which I’d found out to be true after tasting it. This is a counter service restaurant, reasonably priced and nicely themed (Pinocchio) set in Fantasy Land. It’s one that I would definitely recommend. If you like apple Strudel this is the place to be. After refuelling we were ready to meet Ariel at the Princess Pavillion who remembered us from meeting her twice on our last trip in our disneybound outfits. She was totally adorable.On our list of must see characters was Jack Skellington so we headed of to his designated spot near Phantom Manor. It was my first encounter with him and I found him to be a real charmer. As we were in the area it would be rude not to ride Phantom Manor which was rapidly becoming one of my favourite attractions at DLP.

Time was getting on and we had met up with Rachelle and Stephanie who were joining us for the weekend. There was a big group of us this time. The weather had been turning really miserable so we decided to hit the shops in Main Street to escape it and meet Sarah-Louise. I’d made a mental note of all things that I wanted to buy before leaving on Monday just to make sure I’d have enough money for the rest of the weekend.Despite the weather, we managed to stick around for Dreams before collecting our suitcases and making the conveniently short bus journey to the Kyriad hotel. Another first for me as I hadn’t stayed at this hotel before. I had only heard good things from my friends who had stayed there several times before which suited their budget trips perfectly.

Check-in was painless considering that Jess who had originally booked it hadn’t arrived yet (we had two rooms between us). It had been amusingly decorated to fit in with Disney’s Halloween season. It was nice to see that they had gone to some effort even if it did look like they had raided a pound shop. The room was clean but very basic and the bed (the most important feature in my opinion) was very comfortable.

When Jess and Amy had eventually arrived it was time for me to crash (the next day was going to be busy so I needed all the sleep I could get) but some of the girls hadn’t eaten so the Kyriad staff gave them a number to order pizza which they found very helpful as they didn’t fancy anything from the vending machine. Everyone went to sleep happy.
 

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.

 

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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