|Trip report: Disneyland Paris Halloween 02.10.2012
||[Oct. 15th, 2012|11:09 am]
16 days 'till Halloween!
Yes I went to Disneyland Paris for their Halloween season, yes I am that sad, no I will NOT be doing it next year, for sure not!
Originally I wasn’t planning on going to Disneyland Paris for this year’s Halloween season as my annual passport (AP) was expiring on October 3rd and I didn’t think I could make it there before that. But it turned out that Bert was home from work that week so he could take me after all. Huzzah for Bert. This was really the last time for the foreseeable future I went, because to be honest I’m sick and tired of the expense that comes with Disneyland Paris, it’s just becoming too stupid expensive and even if I were to go for 2 days by train with an AP, it’d still cost me as much as a 3 day city trip to London or Paris or somewhere else X_x
So I rather save my cash for other things :) That and I’ve been 21 times in my life so far, it’s high time I go explore places I’ve never been to :)
I got up at 2.40am (why I keep on doing this to myself is beyond me) and got dressed (sometimes I regret not being a jeans and shirt kind of girl haha, but not really). Bert got up a little later (because he really was wearing normal cloths and thus didn’t need as much time). After last year Sam and I got a bit of grief over being in costume I had decided to be sneaky about it and wear my Carouskel print skirt (the fabric design is by Rougarie Designs, but it’s not a skirt made by her, I bought the fabric and made it myself) and not too overdone steampunk lolita. Sure enough, they let me in without an issue so that was obviously the right choice. I didn’t want to risk showing up dressed in a Halloween themed outfit like all the other years only to be told I couldn’t enter like that, they’ve really become rather stricter about the way people dress I heard.
We only stopped twice quickly to get more gas and another time to buy a large can of Burn (French Burn is nom, the Belgian one tastes like disgusting cough medicine).
But due to TWO traffic jams along the way we only made it there around 9.20 rather than 8am.
On the upside, as AP holders are allowed to get people in from 9.30 am onwards anyway there was no trouble getting Bert in a little early. Of course I stopped at nearly everything on Main Street to photograph all the new Halloween decorations. I loved how they had decorations specific to each shop and eatery: that was such a nice detail!
Even the oldtimers were decorated, here's the Paddy Wagon!
And if you held your camera right you could get a Halloween view of the castle.
Let’s do a comparison though with Tokyo Disneyland about the front of the castle.
On the left we have Tokyo Disney (photo by iSatoshi). And on the right we have the photo I took that day :)
We still made it into Buzz Lightyear during Extra Magical Hours with no queue at all (it claimed 5 minutes but in reality it was like 2).
After Buzz we wandered to Frontierland. It’s not called Halloweenland this year (it wasn’t last time either) but it was partly dressed up for Halloween nonetheless with new pumpkin people. Here too they were dressed up to suit the shop or restaurant they were outside.
We went straight for Big Thunder Mountain as the park wasn’t crowed and we figured the queue would be short. It said 5 minutes so we went in. In the end it we were in it for 10 minutes but that was fine as it still was a short wait.
I spend most of it taking photos anyway ^^
I love Big Thunder Mountain so much, and with the new seats it actually feels safe to ride. It was high time too, seeing Thunder had become so accident prone the last couple of years with scenery coming down and part of one of the trains derailing. DLP probably realised that the seats were just a bigger incident waiting to happen.
Of course we took some photos in the exit area because there you have a really good view on the Big Thunder Mountain island.
Originally I didn’t want to do Phantom Manor as Bert hates it, but he said we could go in if I wanted anyway. Because we had plenty of time I took some photos of the Halloween décor before wandering to the manor. Only to realise that the Jack Skellington meet & greet had started early.
The Jack Skellington they had was the BEST one I’ve ever met in DLP. Without a shadow of a doubt. If they ever do a live action version of The Nightmare before Christmas they can just not bother with casting and hire this guy. He was speaking English so of course the French just stared at him blankly a lot so the queue moved pretty quickly (it wasn’t long mind). And then it was my turn and I think we kindda made that guy’s day because he finally found someone to go along with his act, it went kindda like this:
Jack: what’s this? “points at umbrella”
Me: it’s an umbrella, want me to open it up?
So I opened it up and he was all: MARVELOUS!
Me: and it looks like those the vampires use too.
Jack: it does! Can it fly?
Me: let’s try!
*Jack throws up umbrella and catches it again*
Jack: no it doesn’t fly.
Me: no that’s Mary Poppin’s umbrella.
Jack: Oh yes I’ve seen her around, she does fly. I think she’s a witch! *shouts at the crowd* MARY POPPINGS IS A WITCH!
Me: she IS!
Jack: have you met my dog Zero yet? *points at the Zero statue on his meet and greet house*
Me *wave at dog* hello Zero!
Jack: he’s a very rude today!
Me: oh well such is life with pets I suppose.
Jack: it is! Shall we pose for a photo (at that point he realised we were taking our time haha).
So we posed for some photos and I asked if we could have another one with Bert in it too, the CM with him was absolutely fine with it so Bert handed her my camera.
Jack, noticing Bert’s beard: You’re a werewolf!
Bert: Yes, I am, and I’m going to attack Christmas town.
So we posed for some more shots and wished each other a happy Halloween and went our merry ways.
Bert and I went into Phantom Manor as that had no queue at all either.
Sadly there were some really obnoxious people from West Flanders in there, giving me insta-shame over being Flemish because they were so rude and low rent. Bert tried to film the ride with his new camera but it was too dark alas. The sound is really good too, bit worthless though as it’s relatively easy to get the ride’s sound tape online haha :)
We forwent wandering around Boot Hill Cemetary as that was the one place that seemed to be crowded
(other than the Molly Brown paddle steamer,
everyone wanted to go on the boat and visit the graveyard that day it seems) and the obnoxious fellow countrymen went in there (and the less I had to be near them the better!). So I took some photos of Big Thunder Mountain
before we went all the way back to Town Square because I wanted to have my picture taken with Goofy Bonbons. Yes it’s a ridiculous name, I didn’t come up with it, it’s actually the official Halloween 2012 Goofy’s name, the program says so. Someone in DLP obviously wasn’t using their brain when they came up with it.
The queue was short, I got to photograph the character train as it came by which was cool and Goofy and the attending CMs were nice. All most excellent :)
I took some more photos on Town Square and then we went to Liberty Arcade. My favourite is Discovery Arcade
on the account of all the steampunk and the retrofuturistic posters, but I figure that since Bert has to drive up and take me even though he’s not that keen on Disney he gets to choose the arcade we wander through :)
Winnie the Pooh was out at Pooh Corner in his Halloween bee costume, also with a short enough queue but we decided to give that a miss in favour of filling our stomachs. The plan was to have food at Cowboy Cookout Barbeque but that’s sadly still only available for character dining.
Of course we gave that a miss and went to the Lucky Nugget Saloon.
First of all, I love the décor, it’s very cool. Them seating you is alright, but I do prefer choosing my own area to sit (because then I can at least see the stage properly).
Ordering at the front desk before you are seated has it’s advantages, but it was fucking slooooooooooooow (2 or 3 people in front of us, 20 minute wait, I mean seriously guys WTF). My experience with these things in DLP is that generally they don’t really work that well most of the time. Then again, queuing when there’s food involved in DLP is generally a bucket load of fail on a stick, regardless of whether they seat you or you just get your food and find a place to sit.
I had the chicken cheeseburger, which would have been fantastic if there hadn’t been rucola in there (who even puts that in a burger? Seriously, who?). I absolutely DISPISE rucola lettuce and thus attempted to pick it all out which was of course impossible and my French fries tasted like cardboard. So that was rather uncool. The brownie was one of those prepacked affairs so I took it home to give to Bert’s granddad.
Bert had the Halloween menu which was a lot nicer (but also about € 5 more expensive, it was €17 if I remember correctly whilst mine was about € 12) than what I had. He also had rucola in his burger but he loves that vile stuff so that was fine. And his curly fries did not taste like cardboard, lucky him. The citrus pie dessert was really nice, albeit so sweet that if you drank coca-cola afterwards that tasted like water (which seems to happen a lot with pies served in DLP actually).
What was also cool is that they had a band playing on their stage (which is a proper stage as they used to [and maybe still do, I’m not sure] do dinner shows there, I remember as much from back when the park opened in 1992). It was the country band that can often be seen playing around Frontierland but it was good to see them on a proper stage for once instead on that cramped stage in Cowboy Cookout Barbeque or just on the deck of Last Chance Café which wasn’t a proper spot at all.
No longer hungry we went to Fantasyland, passing by another country playing trio of Halloween musicians who were performing at the Legends of the Wild West fort.
On the castle courtyard they were holding The Villains Mix and Mingle and I wanted to see who was out (hoping for Maleficent, Cruella and Facillier as always). Cruella wasn’t out, but the first villain I noticed was …MALEFICENT! I hadn’t seen her out and about anymore since 2006 (I know she’s been around, it’s just that _I_ haven’t had that much luck). And there weren’t many people around waiting to pose with her at all. Possibly because she had a really keen eye and knew exactly who had arrived when and had no qualms about telling people off for skipping ahead. And she demanded people asked politely to pose with her, which some parents did not approve of. I mean honestly, someone forcing the concept of manners on their child, how dare she! I thought it was absolutely fucking brilliant :)
After Maleficent I went to seek out Facilier, who was even less popular. And he turned out to speak Flemish too, which was ace. Queue a lot of confused looks from people around us haha. But he was awesome, the best Facilier I’ve met so far!
The only villains that were positively mobbed were the Tremaines, I suppose it’s because they were less intimidating than Maleficent and better known than Facilier. Because I didn’t feel like joining the mob, we went for a bit of a wander down Fantasyland. When we were near the teacups The Wicked Witch came scrambling by carrying a basket full of apples and with people hot on her trail.
I didn’t really feel like joining that mob either so we went in direction of the labyrinth. Alice and the Mad Hatter were out posing with people at March Hare Refreshments, opposite their fancy meet and greet area (which was a bit odd) but they were mobbed too, so I decided to take photos of stuff in the surroundings.
I did want to go in the labyrinth but Bert pointed out that we were running out of time for Trick or Treat in the street, a show I wanted to check out.
We walked past The Old Mill (nigh impossible to photograph without people in the way when Storybook Land is open, even during low season)
and the Princess Pavilion which had no queue at all (first time I’ve found it that way, normally the queue from hell builds up there). Bert again pointed out that I wanted to see the show, and that he really didn’t feel like facing the princesses to take photos in there. Which was fair enough (plus I always get Sleeping Beauty in blue anyway X_x) so we went on past Small World (never going in that ride if I can avoid it but it looks pretty enough from the outside)
to the Fantasyland Castle Stage (at the side of the castle, right hand side if you stand in front of it).
The stage was, just like last year, all donned up for Halloween, which was cool but that giant Mickey Jack o’ Lantern really would have looked better in front of the castle on Central Plaza in my opinion. I still remember the giant Jack o’ Lantern they had out back in 2005 and 2006 on Central Plaza and that thing was ALL THE AWESOME, even if you photographed it without the castle in the shot. But I digress, the stage looked pretty awesome.
The show itself, well it’s a kid’s show. The opening routine was pretty cool, but everything after was strictly a children’s affair, which is of course ok and it was pretty fun to see regardless, but I got pretty bored with it rather fast. I think we didn’t sit out the “where’s the orange bat” routine.
Crossing the street I quickly hopped into the Bureau Passeports Annuels (which on the side of the street that is part of Discoveryland, rather than Fantasyland like the stage opposite the Bureau) to ask if I could take some photos of their awesome Jules Verne mural. Like the rest of the park the Bureau wasn’t crowded at all and no one working there minded me taking a couple of photos at all ^^
Wandering into Discoveryland again I took more photos of Café Hyperion (STEAMPUNK!). I mean come on, it has a zeppelin build into its architecture, picture taking is mandatory!
Star Tours only had a 5 minute queue, which was super cool. I hate to actually say it, but the ride part really is starting to look old and in need of a refurb. The queue is still fine, but the flight simulation bit is really looking it’s age now. Part of me thinks it’s charming and I do still absolutely love it, but it could do with a fixer upper. That aside I’m not applauding or awaiting the announced 3D refurb. Then I’d rather keep it like it is to be honest.
We had a look in Star Traders, the shop next door after the ride before we went back on our way to the Nautilus.
vampy have a photo of Michael Jackson's hat :)
I love Mystères du Nautilus, I really do. But I HATE it when it fills up with rude morons. There isn’t that much room to move, pushing about your friends into others and shoving your kids in the camera of front of people obviously taking a photo is not cool. And shouting like maniacs is unnecessary too, as is pulling at everything in sight. So I didn’t quite enjoy it as much as usual and barely supressed the need to tell them off. The only reason I didn’t is that my Spanish isn’t good enough to be able to X_x
After Nautilus and haven taken a bazillion photos more, we went back to Central Plaza to see the The Fabulous Hallo-Swing Orchestra.
They’re not really a swing band, they mostly play Latin, which I’m not that keen on and Bert likes it even less so we left after about 2 songs and half to go to Adventureland as we hadn’t been there yet.
I was pleasantly surprised to see that the Jolly Roger (Captain Hook’s pirate ship) had been refurbed. Well I knew they were working on it of course, I just didn’t know it was completely fixed up.
Here is a before and after picture (on the left before, on the right after)
A lot of wild speculations had been doing the rounds: that it would become a different ship entirely. A lot of people said it’d become The Black Pearl, which I always thought made no sense because you know, it’s mored next to Skull Rock, which is definitely a Peter Pan thing. In the end they just gave it a darker colour sceme, making it even harder to photograph if the light isn’t exactly right X_x
I like how it looks, I think it’ll take some getting used to, because I quite liked how the old look was so nice and colourful and befitting of the Jolly Roger of the animated movie. But this is ok too ^^ But I think that I was so pleasantly surprised to see the Jolly Roger again that most colour scemes would have been ok by me haha.
And of course we went into Pirates of the Caribbean :)
We popped into Le Coffre du Capitain, the shop next to Pirates as the ride exits into there anyway :)
They had Halloween stuff too, as always :) But the light was pretty rubbish. I have nicer photos from Halloween plushies at a stall we passed by (that wasn't all of the Halloween merch they had, it was just the only things I photographed) :)
Finding Agrabah market (also known as the Aladdin meet and greet) empty I couldn't resist.
After wandering in Adventureland it was really time to start leaving for home (it’s a 4-5 hour drive depending on traffic and it was already 4pm ish) so we went to Disney Village.
We hadn’t been in the new World of Disney Store yet but I had heard from a few people that they were underwhelmed by it. And surely I feel the same way. It IS a pretty store, I like how it’s quite spacious (I’m sure it’ll still clog up during peak season but now it was nearly empty so moving about was easy) and they had a nice assortment of things on sale, but it was just more of the same really.
I had expected it to have more Disney Store things (like what you see on the Disney Store online shops) but no, very little.
I also feel that because of that spiffy new flagship store they’re not really paying attention to the rest of the shops anymore, they seemed a bit sad and treated like an unwanted stepchild really. Some were still ok, but most just seemed badly stocked and stuff. Like they didn’t have to do an effort on them anymore now that the new store is there. They still had plenty of Christmas things, so I bought Bert's nan a Minnie Mouse ornament (as is tradition) which made her very happy :)
And then we left for home.
Driving home thankfully happened without traffic jams, which was awesome. And I shocked myself with the amount of photos I had taken (nearly 800, that’s probably the most I’ve ever taken at DLP, ever!). Of course a LOT of photos got deleted because sometimes I photographed something several times from a slightly different angle figuring out that I’d just choose what I liked best at home). At first I was all: how the heck did this happen? But when writing this trip report I realise just how much time I spend photographing all the things. Well I love taking photos and there were a lot of new things to photograph, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it! :)
All my photos are here.
And for those interested in these things, my outfit from that day:
Tailcoat: my own design, made it myself
Faux fur collar: H&M
brown top: EDC
Black top: EDC
Skirt: made it myself with Rougearie designs fabric I bought online
Bag: vintage, present from my sister
Hip bag: Eastpak
Pocket watch bag: my own design, made it myself (pocket watch by Fossil)
Stockings: We Love Colors
Spats: my own design, made them myself
Accessories: handmade, vintage, Fossil, Theo, Poorman's Gold, Prague Goldsmith Street, Abaxion, Moon Raven Designs, Asos