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Disneyland Paris - 1st full day in the Disneyland Park (Saturday, 26.9.2015) - part 1 - Random thoughts [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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Disneyland Paris - 1st full day in the Disneyland Park (Saturday, 26.9.2015) - part 1 [Oct. 12th, 2015|12:54 pm]
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Trip report part 1.
Trip report part 2 (this one).
Trip report part 3.
Trip report part 4.

Pumpkin lady

It took me a while because I have so many photos, and I'm still not done editing all of them, but I did edit all the photos I need for this post so no better time than the present for another blog post: day 2 of our France trip! :)
That brings us to the entire reason we were going anyway: Dapper Day!
But sadly this day's write up is so long that semagic and livejournal are forcing me to cut it in two, so here's PART ONE! :)

Dapper Day flyer to get you all warmed up for part two :P

Dapper Day

After a bad night's rest in the hotel from hell (aka Villa Bellagio, a word to the wise: do NOT stay there) because we kept on waking up because the room was too cold, we got up at 5.30 to go to Disneyland Paris. We basically got ready as fast as we could, because we really wanted to get out of that hellhole, which wasn't easy due to the lack of proper light XD, but we managed.
The drive to Disneyland Paris was short and uneventful, but we did get pretty much every red light along the way, as these things go. I think it was only a 15 minute drive to Hotel Cheyenne. When we got there, understandably, everything was dark, and I think the guy at the gate (who checks whether you really have reason to be there, which is fair enough) was having a nap (can't blame him!). But he was very friendly and let us in as soon as he saw our reservation :)

When we arrived Bert went to park the car, and I went in already to sort everything out. His plan was to make use of the wifi for as long as possible to game a little (sigh!) before hitting the parks. The lobby was also totally dead, so I rang the little bell and Anna, the very friendly CM popped out to check us in. She said that I could choose, we could either wait 'till 3pm to have a room close-by the main building, or go right into one at the far end, which was ready. Of course I choose the far end one, in the Calamity Jane building :) I was half tempted to ask if we could have one in the Cochies, where I stayed both previous times I stayed at the Cheyenne, but to be honest being able to leave all our stuff in the room before going into the park seemed far more appealing. In hindsight, we shouldn't have spent an hour in the lobby (I was taking photos as Bert was playing League of Angels) and should have gone straight to our room to have an hour long nap, seeing it was only 5 past 6 when I finished check-in. But as hind sight is 20-20, Bert gamed and I took photos and wandered around 'till 6.50. It was kind of cool to take photos in a deserted lobby though.

early morning hotel lobby

early morning hotel lobby

Sign and wooden horse

restaurant before opening for breakfast

We had to move the car to another parking a little further up the road, which was a 2 minute walk from the Calamity Jane building. A couple of rooms had light on, probably of people waking up and getting ready for 7.30 am breakfast and EMH (extra magic hours) in the parks. We had to look around a little for our building, because it was obscured by a big giant tree, oops. But thanks to the map and the fact that the names on the other buildings were visible, we found it pretty easy. We were also on the ground floor, which was a total bonus because we had several bags and carrying them on the stairs would not have been fun XD

Hotel Cheyenne map

We settled in, ate our pre-packed organic croissants that we bought at Auchan the day before, grabbed our stuff for the parks, and went on a walk to the Disneyland Park. We never take the transfer busses to the parks, because in our experience, it generally takes longer to wait for them and be cooped up like sardines in them to just walk. Plus walking is much more pleasant than being stuck in a super full buss anyway (that and I HATE busses, just no if I can avoid them).

The bag check people at the entrance of the Village were really friendly, I asked them if I could just open my bag with meds and they were TOTALLY fine with that. Even said they didn't want to separate people from their meds, not even for a minute. Quite contrary to the guy from the day before, but it at least made the bag check less annoying. Inspite of this huge selfie stick sign (they have them at the entrance to the parks too) we saw a few people using them in the parks during the day (we didn't see the parade or Dreams so I couldn't say how many were using them then), and whilst they weren't told of, they also were not making a nuissance of themselves with them. So maybe CMs just let them be because they weren't bugging anyone at all. Still they shouldn't have taken them in in the first place.

selfie sticks are forbidden


Hotel New Port Bay Club

Originally my plan had been to buy Bert a large coffee at Starbucks, because ironically a large Starbucks coffee (assuming the prices would be the same as Starbucks in Belgium) would be the same price or only slightly more expensive than one of those very small coffees in the Disneyland Park. But it turned out that Starbucks wouldn't open 'till 8am. So we walked to the Park instead.


There was a small crowd already gathered at the gate, and of course, they didn't open 'till about 8.10, which sucked because you know, standing around and waiting for the gate to open is no fun.

Disneyland Hotel


Disneyland Paris ticketDisneyland Paris ticket

Our first stop once we did get inside was City Hall, to get a disability pass. The CM was very friendly and kind, and made sure that I knew where first aid was in case I needed it. Seeing there were very few people in the park, and 90% of those that were seemed to have stormed the Mickey & Minnie and Donald Duck meet and greets, we wandered through Main Street, taking some photos.

Flora's Boutique is ready for Halloween

Castle ahead

Halloween on Main Street USA

The ghostly mechanic

Let's be part of a painting

At Casey's Corner Bert pointed out that considering there were 3 people in the queue, we might as well have our photo taken with Chip and Dale. So we did :)

Meeting Chip and Dale

Me in front of Sleeping Beauty's Castle

Sleeping Beauty's Castle

After that we went straight for Buzz Lightyear :D
Our plan was to go in either two or three times, depending on whether Bert would win two times in a row or not (he nearly always wins).

Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast

Buzz explaining the mission

Of course he did, so we looked around in Constellations

Thor is caught!

and forewent the 3rd go for Fantasyland via the road past Fantasyland Castle Stage and the wishing well that comes out into the Castle Courtyard.

Fantasyland Castle Stage is ready for Halloween

wishing well

Thorny hedge dragon

Halloween is invading the Castle Courtyard

I had wanted to go in the tea cups, but Bert thought it was a little too chilly (should have packed his cardigan, but no) so we went into Peter Pan's Flight instead, which, like Buzz, had a 5 minute queue. Normally I love Peter Pan's Flight, but I found it a disappointment this time. I mean seriously, would it kill them to fix the lighting? It was so dark you could _barely_ make out Big Ben in the flight over London scene, and all the marvelous little details like cars driving etc were utterly invisible. The entire ride was just way too dark, and it went by much faster than I remember too. So that blew.



mural of London

We went back to Discoveryland because I wanted to take photos

Orbitron, Machines Volantes

of Café Hyperion, one of my fave things in the park (by the way, did you know Hyperion is from a Disney movie from the 1970s called "The Island at the Top of the World"?),

Café Hyperion

Café Hyperion

Café Hyperion

It was the first time using my Sprocket Rocket camera, and if the next batch of photos comes out like this too, it'll have been the last time!

sprocket rocket fail

the Nautilus (another fave),

Wall-E and Eve

Robot ♥

and the Star Wars area.


Star Wars area

These are all things that are best photographed during EMH, because there are few people around that can get in your way :)

Les Mystères du Nautilus

It's tradition to pose in front of the Nautilus :)

Me disneybounding as the Cheshire Cat

After that, it was still only 9am, so I decided to treat Bert to a coffee (walking through the Discovery Arcade to go to Cable Car Bake Shop),


Bert is excited for morning coffee

because he hadn't had caffeine yet and normally drinks a really big mug of black coffee in the morning. I wasn't hungry at all and had brought water (because I think French water sold at the parks tastes disgusting) so I got him a little menu with a coffee and muffin. Handy tip: you really have to take a good look at the menu before you order, because the CM taking your order/serving you won't point out that the menu will be cheaper (often several € cheaper) than buying things separately ;)
Cable Car was sort of open. It's to say: you could go inside and have your consumption there, but you had to go to the outside Main Street side booth to order as the inside counter wasn't open yet. But that was ok, the queue was short and moved along fine, and there was still loads of room inside to sit.

nut muffin and coffee


Minnie Mouse balloon is overlooking Main Street

When Bert had been caffeinated we went on to take more photos on the street and look around in some shops.

Halloween on Main Street USA

Halloween on Main Street USA

Halloween on Main Street USA

Halloween on Main Street USA

Lily's Boutique

Minn will read your fortune

Adventurer Mickey shotglasses

I saw which postcards I wanted to buy for my nieces (my plan was to buy as little as possible on the Saturday and shop on Sunday before going home) at the Emporium and took some more photos in the shop.

Inventor tribute stained glass dome

We had fun with the mirrors in the Dapper Dan's barber shop window.

fun with the barber shop window

Liberty Court

Central Plaza fountain

By that time it was nearly 10am and time for the Frontierland rope drop. There was quite the mass of people gathered, and a lot of them were pushing and rude, so I decided to use my disability pass for Thunder rather than sprint to the ride and get stuck in a mob.
It turned out that was a great idea, because we got onto the very first train of the day! I've never gotten onto the very first train on the day. AND Big Thunder Mountain was doing the full trail, which I've never known it to do! Normally we always arrive back on the same track as we started from, but because the full ride was going, we arrived on the opposite one. I was very happy :)
The CM at Thunder's loading area was also super sweet, she complimented me on my Cheshire Cat disneybound, and told us about her cat named Chester, after the character :)

Big Thunder Mountain

I have to admit that I was kinda tempted to go right back in for a second time, but my heart was protesting at the speed, so we went into Phantom Manor instead. FIY, none of these photos were taken with flash. Actually literally none of my photos (bar some the instax ones) were taken with flash, and the ones that were taken wish flash were taken outside.

Phantom Manor

Join the spooks for tea?

fun with mirrors


Oh Melany, why you so vain?

With a visit to Boot Hill Cemetary too of course.

Boot Hill Cemetary

Miner's grave


On the magicforum there had been people saying that the river would already be dredged, which it wasn't, but the paddle steamer was still not going, even though it was moored. I have no idea why it wasn't doing trips, but it blew, because Bert and I have been wanting to go on for years, and whenever we are in the park, it's just lying there and not actually moving. Le sigh.

Thunder Mesa Riverboat Landing

Anyway, back onto Phantom Manor. That ride SERIOUSLY needs a refurb. For real. I am not even joking. I love Phantom Manor, I love the concept, the back story, the whole lot, but again: not in near pitch black darkness. I know it's a dark ride, but there's dark and too dark to make things out.
Fix it Disney!

Bert in front of Phantom Manor

Of course I had to take photos of the Halloween decor in Frontierland,

Halloween in Frontierland

Halloween in Frontierland

Halloween in Frontierland

Halloween in Frontierland

Halloween in Frontierland

and check out the merch. Of course.

Unimpressed by Facilier's hat

Halloween merchandise

Halloween merchandise

Halloween merchandise

I was tempted to buy a Duffy backpack, but I already have a small Duffy bag from Tokyo Disney Sea that I love yet barely ever use, so I decided against it.

Duffy backpacks

My friends Dan and Jon, who are always super sweet and happy to pick stuff up for me when they go to a Disney park, had asked me to look out for 4 limited edition pins they liked and Halloween plushies. Sadly there were no plushies, but I did find 3 out of 4 pins at Peublo Trading Company, which made me very, very happy because I could help them out for a change :)

Maleficent ♥ Autumn too

Chip and Dale are ringleaders

I did consider getting the Maleficent pin for myself too, but I know that in the end it'll just end in the binder with pins and I won't pay attention to it anyway. I did get a Darth Vader pin though, because every May 4th I am frustrated about the lack of cool Star Wars gear. No more! :)

The queue for the Merida meet and greet was already swelling, and we though it was going to start quite soon, so we got in (because it wasn't that long at all), but then we found out it was still 45 minutes 'till the meet and greet would star, which meant I'd have to stand for at least an hour in total, which wasn't going to work out at all without me keeling over. Seeing I was also getting hungry, we went back out and to Cowboy Cookout Barbeque, pretty much accross the street, instead. Figuring we'd come out before the meet and greet ended and use my disability pass (I only use it when the queus are too long, I just go in short enough queues like everyone else).
When we were waiting for our meal, Babs suddenly appeared, turned out that they had wanted to eat at Fuente del Oro, which was closed (unlisted of course), for refurbs, so they had popped into Cowboy Cookout instead. They got in just in time too, because right behind them a massive queue of hungry people had started to form. Because we got our food first, we went and grabbed a long table (seeing we were 6 in total) so we could all sit together. We had actually had to wait quite long to get our food (because I had asked my chicken to be without BBQ sauce as I didn't trust it because of allergies and Bert had a vegetarian burger, which standard comes with added wait) so it didn't take long at all for the others to flomp down at the table.
It was really nice to run into our friends :)
We were going to have dinner together anyway (thank you Babs for making that reservation!) but it was fun to have some added hang out time :)

Bert wants food!

chicken and potato wedges

Vegetarian burger

When we finished our meal, we went back over to Merida, where the meet and greet was going on longer than the listed time apparently, and a kind CM gave us a return ticket for 1am. So we went for a walk around Adventureland/Adventure Isle. We did consider Pirates of the Caribbean for a moment, but it would cut close to 1am and Bert wasn't at all keen (he doesn't much like the ride), so instead we walked around some more :)
We didn't have time to explore the entire Isle of course, but we did go for a nice walk.
On the way we saw several characters out, and their attendants had gotten people to queue, which is awesome, because it's much better than the general mobbing you normally see. Hopefully queuing for all characters is something they'll keep on enforcing.
We saw Abu and Genie, King Louie and Captain Hook. I was tempted to meet Hook just so I could show my eldest niece (who is totally into Peter Pan and Jake and the Neverland Pirates right now) the photo, but again: time constraints kept me from it.


The Jolly Roger and Skull Rock

Adventure Isle map detail

It was all worth it though, because the Merida meet and greet was awesome! She was super interactive and also very in character. She made sure to take her time with every guest, and ask about their adventures. She was saying how she was chasing her brothers earlier, but lost them somewhere around the castle. So I suggested she look in the dragon's cavern, and she said that it was just them to go and hide there, and that she was brave enough to get them out. She also showed us how good she was getting at shooting her bow.
Really, one of the best meet and greets so far!

Meeting Merida

Trip report part 1.
Trip report part 2 (this one).
Trip report part 3.
Trip report part 4.