|Snow is made out of soap and bubbles!
||[Nov. 15th, 2011|10:50 am]
On Armistice Day (November 11th) Bert, Sam and I went to Disneyland Paris for the day. We wanted to see the Christmas season, which unlike Halloween, thankfully had not been diminished to the point of “not worth the bother”.
Sam had crashed at Bert and I’s the night before and we got up at 3am to leave a little after 4.
Some silly photos I took in the car:
After an uneventful drive (due to it being a holiday in Belgium and France there was little traffic) we arrived there around 8.30 am.
Sam and I have annual passports, which allow us use of the Extra Magical Hours, but Bert doesn’t, so he is in theory not allowed into the park before 10am (only people with an AP, shareholders or those that stay in a Disney (partner) hotel get to profit of EMH). Most CMs allow AP holders to take a guest in earlier though but this time we had no such luck. The CM was really friendly mind and she was just doing her job. Bert figured that we could just go sit around in the comfy lobby of the Disneyland Hotel and wait for two hours but I suddenly had a bit of a realisation and gave that a go. Sam is a shareholder and thus has access to Salon Mickey (the Shareholder Lounge) right next to Guest Relations (where you have to buy tickets with AP/shareholder discount). So I asked the CM at the entrance whether we were allowed to go in there and she was all: oh yes of course you can! You can get him a ticket right now with shareholder discount!
Indeed ladies and gentlemen, you get to bring guests along during EMH if you are a shareholder. So of course we did that. Poor Bert thought he was going to get a free coffee and croissant in Salon Mickey, imagine his disappointment when he realised we were going straight into the park. I did feel guilty about that I admit (I did offer to buy him coffee and something to eat at Cable Car/Cookie Corner but he declined in favour of Space Mountain).
There were barely any people in the park so I profited of the occasion to take a bunch of photos whilst we walked
The queue for Space Mountain was listed as 5 minutes, so I queued with Sam and Bert
and left via the non riders exit to take photos whilst they went on the ride.
After Space Mountain we went into Buzz, and realised that crowds were steadily growing. It was still only about a 10 minute wait though, thankfully.
Sam was in a car on his own and he still got a way bigger score than Bert and I put together, as I had predicted :)
We decided to go see how bad the queue had build up for Peter Pan’s Flight over in Fantasyland, but it was broken down. The nice CM did give me a return ticket for the afternoon in case it’d be open then. Sam didn’t felt like going in the teacups because we won’t allow him to turn them at mach 5 speed and the only other ride that was open in Fantasyland was Dumbo (which none of us wanted to do).
So we decided to go back over Main Street and go have a look in the Emporium because it wasn't crowded at all at the time whilst waiting for the meet and greets with Christmas characters to start at 10 am.
I bought a Minnie Mouse ornament for our tree (which we’ll set up next month and it’s not the one from the above photo), the other of the baby girl's 1st Christmas series for the tree of Bert’s grandparents (his nan had asked for it) and one of the special Christmas cards for Bert’s nan (which she had also asked for).
I had a look at the Christmas headwear for my friend Babs but didn’t see what she wanted. When I asked a CM about it I was told that the one she wanted was Tokyo Disney and Hong Kong Disney seasonal merchandise so I decided I’d text her later as it was time to pay and leave for the meet and greets.
Santa Goofy had started earlier but the queue was luckily still alright so we went in it.
Pictures from the queue, for in the queue one takes photos:
And then Sam and I had our photos taken with Goofy when it was our turn :)
The meet and greet area where Mickey and Duffy were supposed to meet still had the regular Mickey Mouse (who is generally around during EMH) going on past 10 am. I think that they didn’t end up coming out before 10.30 when we were already queuing there.
Their queue claimed it was an hour long, but that had more to do with the length than actual numbers as it seemed far longer than it was due to the massive amount of pushchairs in it. I swear one length of it was composed of just four families which just made it look far worse than it was, which was a good thing of course.
In the queue you can read Duffy’s story (the abbreviated version at least). It had only been there for about a week when we were there and already people had scribbled on the books with biro. Seriously some people have _no_ respect.
I had brought along my Duffy bag and noticed three things.
1. I wasn’t the only one with a plush Duffy, but I probably was the only one with a Japanese one as the others were clearly all bought in the park (they have turned the Storybook Store on Main Street into the Duffy store, I bet it won't be long before everyone actually calls it that).
2. I was the only one with a really cute looking Duffy. Mine has this adorably cute round face, the ones sold in Paris all had more elongated sort of squished faces. I bet they send all the manky ones abroad and keep all the good ones for Japan. That or their manufacturer for Paris needs to start doing their job properly.
3. People that had a Duffy with them got far more time with the characters than others, I suppose its just another clever way to push the merchandise really.
Duffy seems happy to meet my Duffy :)
I got about 4 times the interaction time as Sam, simply because I had Duffy with me (and wore my bear hat, which they all thought was brilliant. Both the accompanying CMs, Mickey and Duffy thought it was genius. I'm not excluding the possibility that they thought it was a Mickey Mouse hat from a foreign park because they look a teeny bit alike.).
As you can see, Sam did not agree with the sentiment about the bear hat :)
After meeting the characters we went into the Liberty Arcade to get lunch at Casey’s Corner because Sam had started hyping about it and Bert was all: “I’m going to just humour him and tease Hilde by eating there instead of Cowboy Cookout BBQ or Fuente del Oro”. Just so we're all on the same proverbial page: Cowboy Cookout Barbeque and Fuente del Oro (both in Frontierland) are FAR superiour places to eat.
Shockingly enough we didn’t have to wait 45 minutes with hardly any people in front of us (although it still took too long really) and they didn’t get a single order wrong this time. Must be a first. Mind you, the cheese was dubious at best and the fries tasted of cardboard and were lukewarm. So not worth the € 10 for lunch, urgh. At least Bert now realises that Casey’s is a BAD idea and our stomachs were no longer growling so yeah, not a total loss :)
We did consider having our photo taken with Winnie the Pooh in his brand new Scottish plaid Christmas outfit but in the end we just didn’t like him enough to want to bother. So we went to get a return ticket for Big Thunder Mountain and then to Adventureland for one for Pirates of the Caribbean before we went on our way to Santa.
The queue for Santa was ridiculous so I had to use my handicapped pass. When we were waiting in the handicapped area we noticed they had three elves running around on and around the stage of Woody’s Roundup (where the Santa meet and greet happens in the barn house). They were really fun to watch, but most people seemed to be avoiding them like the proverbial plague. I have no clue why because they were awesome! It was mostly children that went up to them, and I saw several ask them for autographs. I was going to do that for Dan and Jon but I forgot to take a biro, whoops. Sorry guys! Typical me really, I don't forget to take the notebook I always take to DLP but I forget something to write.
Santa was really funny and we bantered with him for a while before going back outside.
I asked a CM standing there whether I could have a photo taken with the elf on the stage (I didn't see the other two at the time) and he said I just had to ask him. So I did and suddenly another elf came out from the side buildings too :) They were really fun to interact with and I think they add a lot character to the season and provide a lot of good entertainment for people standing in the queue to meet Santa Claus.
On the way to Santa I had noticed that the Pueblo Trading Post was open and seeing none of us had been in that shop before and we had time we decided to pop in and have a look. Turns out they only open it on special days and right before Pin Trading event days. They only sell pins and Vinylmation there, including series that are no longer available in the rest of the park. There were a couple of hard core pin collectors there and one had a huge heap of pins! It was insane. Several had loads of trolleys of pins too (they actually sell pin folders, carry cases and special trolleys in that shop too). The owner of this huge stack of pins had even more pins than the ones out on the table! I asked him if I could take this photo and he was fine with it :)
One of the CMs working there complimented me on my piano bag (lots of people did that day) and my Duffy and we spend about half an hour talking. He wasn't surprised at all my bag came from Japan haha. Turns out he was really into vintage and things from the 50ties and he seemed really quite pleased to have people to talk to about it (Bert, Sam and I also quite like vintage stuff).
Bert offered to buy me a pin, but I declined because whilst I do like them, I’m not really that much of a collector and I didn’t see on I _really_ wanted. Don’t get me wrong, I’m always super happy when someone gets me a pin, it’s just that I don’t go crazy overboard about them :)
I took some photos instead :D
When it was time we went to Thunder, which was awesome as always :)
We then went to Peter Pan’s Flight ^__^
And to Pirates, which was also fun, especially since I DIDN’T get wet for a change! Huzzah! I was a bit worried about that because for years I’ve gotten all kinds of wet (from a little wet to thoroughly soaked) but I stayed dry, huzzah!
We had a look around in Le Coffre du Capitaine (the shop next to Pirates) but none of us bought anything. We did notice this drunken kitty statue in the rafters though. I’m not sure whether it’s new or something we just hadn’t noticed before.
The website had claimed Small World was closed, but Sam’s Disneyland Paris application on his smart phone claimed it was open. So we went to have a look, walking through Belle’s Christmas Village.
I stopped at one of the stands to get a bretzel to share with Bert and a candy cane for Sam and oh my lord that took forever (with only one person in front of me you know just how tragic that was).
Much to my pleasure Small World was indeed closed. The Princess pavilion next doors was open but a 75 minute wait. So instead we decided it would be a better idea to use the handicapped entrance before I’d feint in the queue before we even got inside the building (it was that long).
Because we went in through the exit we could see which princesses were available from the photos on the wall. We thought it was going to be Ariel and Aurora in her blue dress but we only met Aurora (who was super nice). So first we thought we only got to meet one princess due to the disability pass (which would have been absolutely fine because without the pass I’d never get to meet any when queues are long so I’m perfectly happy to just get one. Better than none at all!) but then I noticed the other area was roped off and they simply only had one princess out. Sam discovered that sometimes they have Jasmine and Mulan out too, so I’m pretty sure that from now one we’re going to be checking out the pavilion every time as he would love to meet them.
We did ponder going to Star Tours, but the queue for that was super long, even the fast pass queue (which is also the disability queue) was ridiculous so we gave that a miss. We got a return ticket for Phantom Manor for 4 pm, which was a bit borderline as we wanted to leave early as Sam had to work the next day and I was getting really tired.
After that we went to bring our Duffy contest slips to the AP office. There was a huge queue outside and the 6 CMs standing around at the entrance wouldn’t let us get in and said they’d put them in the right box for us. Here’s to hoping they actually did that. Babs, I handed in yours, but if they didn’t put it in the entry box then it’s not my fault. Just so you know!
We had gotten coupons for free hot drinks, so we went to get those at Cable Car Bake Shop. Sam gave us his because he can’t drink hot chocolate (he’s lactose intolerant) and doesn’t like the tea they have at Disney and doesn’t drink coffee. So he bought orange juice and Bert and I got two coffees, tea, a blackberry muffin and a lemon muffin.
It was so crowded we ended up having to sit at a table outside of Main Street Deli. By that time it was getting really quite late and we still had to go look at photos in Main Street Photography, check out the Duffy merch in the Storybook Store, pick up stuff for Babs (who I had texted during lunch at Casey’s) and Sam still wanted to check out Disney Village and I wanted to have a look at the Christmas tree and gingerbread house in the Disneyland Hotel.
Turned out none of our Santa Goofy photos were available, and we got loads of photos of other families for some of the codes we had. Very weird. In the end I bought a photo with Aurora and one with Mickey and Duffy. I do hope those families had some photos of their own on their own cameras!
Sam also got a Mickey and Duffy one and a Santa one. We ordered together because that was cheaper than both ordering two separately (the more photos you buy, the cheaper it ends up being per photo). The CM was super nice and put them in two different maps anyway so we each had a sturdy map protecting our photos :)
The Storybook Store was half filled with Duffys in all kinds of sizes (all bigger than mine) and little outfits for him. There were a couple that already wore an outfit but mostly it was “naked” Duffys so to speak. They also had this adorable little book (in English!) with Duffy’s story for € 6,99. I jokingly told Bert it was the same price as most pins and that if the offer of a pin still stood I'd prefer the Duffy book. He said he was happy to get it for me but that I had to go pay it with his money to get the AP discount ^__^ Turns out there is no AP discount on books, Disney movie DVDs and soundtrack CDs. Of course Bert complained on general principle about that :) (which is so typical for him).
We exited the park right near the Disneyland Hotel entrance, which was handy as we wanted to go in there. And lo and behold it looked super pretty for Christmas as usual.
They have KEY ornaments in the tree, how awesome is that! I want some of those for my tree (which is far smaller of course, although I think that with our super high ceilings we MIGHT get a tree like that in our place, of course we'd have absolutely no room left to get up the stairs so we're not inclined to put that to the test haha).
And after that it was shopping time in Disney Village. Which Sam took his sweet time for so it was like 6 when we finally left. He had this HUGE bag, I kid you not, it was like half his size! Bert kept on asking where the bag had dragged Sam off to every time we lost sight of him. I just bought some more postcards for Bert’s nan as she loves those.
Some photos I took at the Village.
They also had the stage back up, decorated with huge Christmas baubles. I didn’t take a photo of that though as several sets of retard parents were letting their children climb all over the décor (which, for the record, you’re not supposed to climb on). They obviously haven’t realised that being a parent actually requires them to do some proper parenting.
They also had some stalls out selling roast chestnuts, hot drinks and fruit dipped in chocolate :)
On the road home we stopped at a Shell service station so I could buy a can of Burn and Sam a bottle of something to drink. They didn’t have the big cans so I got a small can of Burn and tried a big can of Rockstar because it was on sale and my friends Ishii, Shinya and Jeremy always hype about it. And seriously it does NOTHING. It tastes alright but I don’t want to pour that amount of caffeine and taurine into my system just for the flavour. Next time I’ll just buy coffee at the Village Starbucks before leaving, that’ll keep me awake way better (and it'll be just as expensive I imagine)! So yeah, don’t get Rockstar!
I’m glad to see that DLP’s Christmas season is still going full force, especially after the Halloween fiasco of earlier this Autumn :)
The only downside is that it gets _really_ crowded, so be prepared for that if you’re going. I wouldn’t recommend it for people that aren’t really into special seasons at the park simply because of the crowdedness. If you’re not crazy about Christmas you’d be better off going in the low season another time of the year because queues will be _much_ shorter. Of course the 11th was a holiday followed by a Saturday so that did no favours at all in the terms of crowd size.
Mind you we had fun and managed to do almost everything we wanted and that’s all that matters :)
But if I miss out on Nautilus _again_ next time I’m going I’ll be mighty cross!
At least I took pictures of it :D
All my photos of the trip, way more than posted in this trip report, can be found here :)
And as usual I played scavenger hunt again too. I didn't manage to get a photo of the castle lit up for Christmas as we had to leave before that happened sadly so I'm missing one photo :(
Obligatory outfit shot (I could not resist posing there with my Duffy in front of the Duffy filled Christmas tree that also had key ornaments in it):
Hat: H&M Kids
Holly clip on the hat: my own design, made it myself
Gingerbread man brooch on the cowl: Lintje
Aviator jacket: H&M
Duffy bag: Tokyo Disney Sea
Muffler: New Look
Piano bag: Angelic Pretty
Hip bag: Zara Kids
Key & ribbon skirt: made by me
Black underskirt: made by me
Petticoat: Dear Celine
Ski socks: Decathlon
Spats: my own design, made them myself