|The Princess Pavillion in Disneyland Resort Paris, a review
||[Oct. 7th, 2011|10:59 pm]
On October 8th 2011 the Princess Pavillion in Fantasyland is officially opening its doors. They’re located next to the exit of It’s a Small World, where the French Télecom around the world set-up used to be.
Let me start by saying that if you are NOT honest to god and truly a Princess fan or a hardcore character hunting, you’re better off staying away from this place as far as humanly possible.
My friend Sam and I are both annual passport holders of a Dream AP, and we were lucky enough to be in the park on the second preview day, which was organised for people with that kind of AP. So curiosity got the best of us (and mainly of me because I can never resist new things to photograph at Disney parks) and we decided to pop in and see what it’s like.
The set-up is beautiful. No doubt about it. The décor is gorgeous, there’s faux stain glass window imagery of all the princess castles and light-up displays of things like Aurora’s tiara, Snow White’s apple, Ariel’s seashell etc. You know those cool led lights that range in colours? The items are like that.
If those are representative of the Princesses we can expect then the possibilities for royal ladies to meet with would be Snow White, Belle, Aurora, Jasmin, Cinderella and Rapunzel.
It’s all beautifully done, just a tad hard to photograph, even with an SLR, due to the lighting in the place but other than that, no complaints at all.
When you’ve gone through that entrance hall you need to go up a sort of slope. We were in that for about half an hour I think, surrounded by hysterically screaming little children (most of them were toddlers or barely older). Some of the parents were doing a good job actually parenting but the vast majority just let their kids at it, allowing them to smash their fists into the lamps near the grounds set into the wall (which thankfully have re-enforced plastic covers), smash food into the carpet and the lamps or kick at whatever they could kick at set-up wise. Needless to say Sam and I muttered darkly and I had to hold my tongue several times not to tell parents exactly what I thought of them and their lack of respect.
When you reach the top of that slope and you’re next, you will be greeted by a CM at a little standing desk like they have at the more upscale restaurants in the park. We talked about the CM there for about 5 minutes, and she agreed it was a right shame so many people had no respect, and she seemed pretty sure a lot of the décor sadly wouldn’t last or wouldn’t stay nice long. You are also not allowed to eat or drink in the area, but she knows that even when the signs arrive it’ll be impossible to enforce as people will just ignore it like they do throughout the entire park.
The meet and greet area works as followed. There’s a mock fantasy forest set-up, and they have two little round-ish areas in there. Each has a princess. First you are directed to the first princess by a CM and you can pose with her. And then there’s the second, which you are also directed to by a CM. In our case we first met Aurora in her blue dress and then Belle.
There’s a park photographer present. The photography set-up is impressive to say the least, as they have the entire flash gear build into the area. The photographer will take your photo and give you notes with a number on them that allows you to go buy your photo later should you so desire.
And it gets more impressive as you leave. There’s a series of flat screen tvs on one side and a shop on the other. Basically it’s like on ride photography but better. Your photos are displayed on large format (without the stupid numbers all over the photo) so you can see them immediately and just turn to the other side of the hall and buy them if you like.
Sublime system, very well done. This is also the entrance area for disabled people, and as added bonus, the area should be wheelchair accessible (at least from what I remember and saw it seemed to be, it may not be but I think it is). Due to the fact that meetings are controlled by the CMs (as you are directed to them and everything is queued) the area shouldn’t clog up too terribly I should think, although I imagine it may get pretty crowded at peak season.
The only downside I see to it is that the lighting is sorted out so it is perfect for the Disney photographer. Your own camera is likely not going to produce the same kind of result quality wise. And for the love of pete, turn on your flash. I had my SLR set on no flash and it was not the way forward. Just so you know and don’t make the same mistake I did.
But like I said, if you LOVE Disney Princesses I would advice doing the Pavillion. Just make sure to be there about 20-10 minutes before it opens so you can avoid being in the queue for prolonged times.
If you’re not especially bothered about Princesses, I wouldn’t bother with the Pavillion either and use the time for other things instead.
You can see more photos in this set on flickr.