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.

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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 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 – August 2016, Day 1

After a hideously long journey by Megabus and the Paris metro we finally arrived at our happy place. It was my first time travelling by Megabus and I was initially dreading it, mainly because we were travelling over night and I knew I was an incredibly light sleeper. We boarded our bus at Victoria coach station after a slight delay on their part due to a previously late coach which meant we were late getting to Dover. We missed the Ferry that we were originally supposed to catch so annoyingly had to wait for the 1am Ferry. Already tired and grumpy and already angry about a drunk passenger who decided to sit next to us on the bus and continuously ask myself and my friends personal questions, I wasn’t in a great mood to be waiting around. Luckily we were able to get off the bus for a break and I perked up once I purchased a hot chocolate.

The Ferry crossing was smooth and the time passed quickly. When we got back on the bus, we were able to move seats and we had no more problems. I continued to drift in and out of sleep until we arrived at Bercy in Paris. Still tired and feeling a bit zombie like, we headed for the metro which Louise had bought tickets for in advance. She had used these modes of transport many times before so she was happy for me to leave the booking down to her which I really appreciated. We only had one change on the metro, a straight-forward (40-50 minute) journey if you know what you are doing. Myself and Leanne just followed Louise though.

The fun started as soon as we reached Disneyland and handed our things over to left luggage before entering the gates (funnily enough I felt wide awake despite the lack of sleep). We started off by doing some rides and hunting down a few characters. We kept it very relaxed, there was no rushing from one place to the next which was lovely.

At lunch time we went to Hakuna Matata where I tried the Hakuna fries for the first time. They tasted like southern fried curly fries which I’ve always been a fan of so the Hakuna fries definitely got my vote. Afterwards we did some more wandering then headed over to the studio park where Leanne and I rode on Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster for the first time since it had been worked on and being my favourite ride I was very excited. Unfortunately I came off feeling quite disappointed. It rattled my head around so much that I felt sick. I didn’t know if it was because I was already starting to get a headache and it made me more sensitive but Leanne didn’t have a pleasant experience either. Also, I may have just imagined it but the music didn’t seem to be playing as clearly as it used to. I will have to go back on it when I return just to see if the ride (or myself) was having a bad day.

By this time the heat was becoming unbearable and still felt quite queasy so we decided to grab a cold drink and sit in the queue for Mickey and the Magician. This was another first for me so I was really looking forward to it. We managed to get central seats and had a great view. I don’t want to give too much away if you haven’t seen it but I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed it and can’t wait to see it again when I feel more awake.

We got dinner at Cafe Hyperion in the evening because I love their veggie burger so much. We managed to stay in the park quite late much to my surprise but once we reached the hotel we were ready to flop. We were staying off site at the B&B hotel (easily accessible with the 54 shuttle bus). Facilities were basic with a comfortable bed with what appeared to be a memory foam mattress. Everything was clean and the shower was good although quite low (something for tall people to be aware of). I must have been so exhausted as it normally takes me a while to get to sleep but I was out like a light.

 

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.