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Trip Report 1st-4th September (Long!)

Author Topic: Trip Report 1st-4th September (Long!)  (Read 3028 times)

ladydunbroch

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Trip Report 1st-4th September (Long!)
« on: September 20, 2017, 10:36:21 AM »
So, I've had this trip booked since mid-March which for me was an incredibly long time to wait, especially since it was a belated birthday trip for myself! It was just me and my brother who's 17 and loved it far more than I thought he would; so much so we're thinking of making it an annual occasion.

I absolutely love reading TR and how much fun everyone's had so thought I'd write my own, mainly so I could keep reliving my trip when I read it back!

I'll apologise in advance though, I've got my drafts written up and apparently I don't know how to be concise..
« Last Edit: September 20, 2017, 02:26:02 PM by ladydunbroch »

ladydunbroch

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Re: Trip Report 1st-4th September
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2017, 10:36:50 AM »
First Day! Friday 1st September-

Our long, long journey began on the 31st August when we left Cornwall on the coach to London at 21:55; trying to leave the county on the cheap meant an 8 hour bus journey which I naively believed weíd sleep through. We got to Victoria at 6:15 on the 1st though and made our way to St. Pancras well before our Eurostar departure at 10:15. Check in was incredibly quick and painless and we left at exactly the right time to be on our way straight into the magic! Iíd definitely use the Eurostar again it was co convenient to use even though it was a much longer process than flying would have been.

We arrived at Marne La Vallee at 13:55, a whole 10 minutes earlier than planned (!) and hurried over to the Santa Fe to check in before the masses got there off of the shuttle. It took us about 20 minutes to check in which we thought was reasonable, and after making a reservation in La Cantina for later that night, we checked out the hotel room. We managed to draw the short straw however and got put in the furthest possible block away from the parks which proved to be difficult when we were crawling back to the hotel after leaving the park each night.

Because I was way too excited we only stopped for about 10 minutes to freshen up and pack our day bags before heading out to the Studio Park. Iíd decided to spend the whole of the first day there to get as much done as we could to maximise time in the Disneyland Park because that oneís my favourite!

Got there just after 15:30 and saw a few princesses meeting in Front Lot; Tiana was there which means I got to meet my absolute favourite princess even though Iíd been in the park for less than 5 minutes! My trip had already been made so nothing could spoil my mood after that! We wondered through Studio 1 in a giddy haze after this, or at least I did, and got through into the park just in time to see the Star Wars show which was so so good! Weíve decided we want to go back for season of the force even if the only extra is the light show projected against Tower of Terror.

Speaking of which, we went straight to ToT after the show which was a 25 minute wait that went very quickly! The ride is obviously amazing but even more so is the theming, once you get inside to queue thereís so much to look at and the story is perfect; hereís hoping they donít give it a Guardians theme.

Feeling the adrenaline rush we wondered over to Rockiní Roller Coaster to get a fast pass which we used after watching the Incredibles show a bit later on in the evening. The ride I hated, mainly because the harness wasnít as I would have liked, but the Incredibles Challenge was fun to watch for 5 minutes and itís not just kids that can get involved.

Before this we rode Slinky Dog as the wait was only 5 minutes and then we hesitantly checked out Ratatouille as we knew the queue was going to be incredibly long because of the crowd levels. Must be our lucky day though because the single rider was less than 15 minutes! This ride is so well put together and incredibly charming, itís definitely one of my favourite rides over both parks and the 3D feels so real theyíve done an excellent job!

At around 18:45 we tried to get some of the smaller attractions down before we tackled Crushís Coaster so we managed Aladdinís Magic Carpet before the heavens opened and we got caught in a 5 minute shower. This closed the Carís ride so we didnít get a chance to go on that so since the line for Crush was all indoors we made that the last ride of the day. Now, I donít know what I was expecting out of Crush but it exceeded it 10 times over, I think itís quite long for a coaster and the fact that you spin around as youíre going makes this one totally unique for experience. We didnít get to ride it again for the rest of the trip which Iím sad about but its more cause for going back again.

For our entire stay the Studios Park closed at 8 so we decided to call it a day as weíd both been up for about 36 hours with 3 hours rest between us. We had a quick browse through Disney Village on the way back but didnít have a lot of energy to devote to shopping so we carried on back to La Cantina which is the Santa Feís restaurant.

Quick review: I donít think I would willingly eat here again, it was pretty dirty with food caught between seats and on the floor. I do realise though that itís a big hall with lots of visitors so itís bound to happen. The biggest issue was that the food was cold despite being on heated plates and none of it, besides the chips, was particularly nice. I was hardly in a position to complain however since we were eating on the free dining plan (which I found really good though I wouldnít pay for it). On the plus side the staff were super kind and friendly which is always a welcome sight.

We chilled in the hotel for a little while after this, and Iíd say we got to sleep at around 12 ready to be up the following day at 7! We, or I, was adamant to make the most of EMH now that we were headed into the weekend and queues would be at an all-time high.

ladydunbroch

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Re: Trip Report 1st-4th September (Long!)
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2017, 10:21:11 AM »
Day Two! Saturday 2nd September-

Up at 7 to get ourselves ready for another very long day, we leave just after 7:30 so that we can leisurely walk to the parks. Itís a Disneyland day today! Iíll mention that even though itís early itís a good temperature already; it ended up being a solid 22 degrees all day, we couldnít have asked for nicer weather. Iíd planned to do all the rides that morning and meet and greats the next so we go straight to Fantasyland to get on Peter Panís Flight before the queues start but unfortunately itís still closed and they donít know when itís going to be up and running again.

After a quick stroll around the area, which is my favourite land by far, we decide to go to Discoveryland and get on Buzz as itís completely empty. We get to ride twice and then try out Space Mountain which is also a walk on. I havenít been on the ride for four years yet I can tell itís definitely smoother than it was, the refurbishment was well needed! I know itís a point of contention but personally I love the Star Wars skin, I think it fits in really well. We got some hilarious pictures from all the times we rode over the trip which Iíll treasure! Last up is Orbitron which was only a 10 minute wait, the shortest I saw it the whole trip outside of EMH.

We went back to Fantasyland in the hopes of catching Peter but the line was already 30 minutes! Dumbo was similarly bad so we rode the teacups and the carousel before waiting for the rope to drop at Adventureland. I had heard the rush for Big Thunder Mountain was crazy but I didnít expect people to actually sprint for the queue/fastpass. But obviously I got caught up in the moment and did the same; getting us both fastpasses for 11:00 when the line opened. This was not the best idea on an empty stomach which reminded me we hadnít had breakfast yet!

So since we had the free half board our breakfast was a sweet or savoury counter service option at Cafť Hyperion. I had the savoury which consisted of an omelette burger, pain au chocolat, water or orange juice and a hot chocolate; my brother had the sweet which was exactly the same but with a roll instead of the burger. I didnít have high expectations but oh my goodness was it good. Really tasty and very filling, lasted us until tea at 18:15!

We had quite a leisurely breakfast watching Star Wars Rebels in the Cafť so we took our hot chocolate, which is by far the best Iíve ever had, and waited at the fast pass line at Big Thunder Mountain. We seemed to get there at a good time because everyone turned up then to wait! Once it opened 10 minutes later we walked straight onto the ride and had. The. Best. Time. I wasnít expecting to get a lap and face full of water but it was such a good addition! The ride itself was far quicker than I remember it to be which only made it better and it didnít break down for the entirety of our stay which I was so worried about!

Phantom Manor was next on the list as itís only a stoneís throw from BTM, itís a great ride but I canít wait for the refurbishment to see if they bring the animatronics up to scratch like theyíve done with PotC. I would really recommend following ED92live on twitter if you donít already because it prepared me for the fact that there are regular, unscheduled meets at the Old Mill in Fantasyland at midday so we had a stroll over there and saw Cinderella with her Prince! It was such a lovely meet and only a 20 minute wait, much better than Princess Pavilion.

Alice was also meeting at her spot near the Labyrinth so we grabbed a spot in another short queue. We did exceptionally well for character meets considering how long the ride lines were over the weekend. Alice is one of my brotherís favourite characters so he was having a proper fan moment with our cute interaction. Straight over to Pirates after this, a longer wait than I was expecting but it was amazing. Again the animatronics were super and the ride is so relaxing and great to look at, we went on it loads and were finding something different to look at every time.
 
We then waited for Forest of Enchantment which was in its second to last day of showing! I wonít go into the show because Iíll be here forever and this is already long enough, but itís absolutely stunning and I really hope it comes back next year so I can see it again. I will say that I didnít get to meet Merida because as soon as she came out it started showering for the entire time we were in the queue so she had to leave again!!

Got out in enough time for the Starlit Princess Waltz which was so so good! I watched it online and didnít think Iíd bother watching it in the Park but Iím so glad I did because itís beautiful, the costumes, music and dancing are all exceptional.
The entirety of France must turn up after this because wait times are crazy, the only thing we can get on is Casey Jr which is a 30 minute wait?! By the time we get off we decide to get a good spot for the parade as any other attempts to get on a ride would mean weíd miss it. Personally, I love Stars on Parade the music for me is way better than Magic and it changes with each float! The only, minor, issue for me is that thereís less floats and itís all high up in the air so interactions in this parade are next to none.

Iíd previously booked Billy Bobs for 6:15 so we walk right behind the parade until we get to the main gates to leave for the Village. Considering it was just after the parade it was really quiet in the restaurant and it was a marked improvement on La Cantina. Food was delicious and there was a wide variety, it was really really clean and the staff were positive and friendly. We had a lovely chilled dinner and went back the next night as we were so impressed.
After dinner we did Pirates because it was a walk on, Space Mountain, the teacups again and then we managed to go on Small World which for the first time that day had a short wait (less than 15 minutes).
Disneyland in the dark is even more magical so we were happy to just wander around and soak it all in.. which was interrupted by the Princess Waltz starting. I thought it had been good during the day but lit up and sparkling the stage is even more stunning and regal at night, would highly recommend!

BTM was the last ride of the day, still with a 30 minute wait time, before we sat down for Illuminations just outside the entrance for Frontierland. We got a space on the curb so when we stood up we could see everything, what a show! I never got to see Dreams so thankfully Iíve got nothing to compare it to or I might be disappointed. The end meant the long trek back to the hotel, which happened at a snailís pace due to the sheer crowds of people leaving. Weíd briefly gone through the shops on the way back through the park so I could pick something up and on the CM at the till saw a Tiana pin which I collect and Iíd left my traders in the hotel!! My mission for the next day was to go back and find her.

NCC1701Q

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Re: Trip Report 1st-4th September (Long!)
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2017, 11:29:11 AM »
Loved reading the first 2 days - looking forward to the rest!

loladelorean

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Re: Trip Report 1st-4th September (Long!)
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2017, 11:15:23 AM »
Loving your trip report, you can tell how excited you were! Makes me think of my sister and I on our trips - still just as magical even though our trips now number into the double figures :)
Looking forward to the rest.
Disney Visits
Oct 94 Cheyenne - Oct 00 WDW - April 03 WDW - Sept 06 DLP Day Trip - Sept 09 HNY - Nov 10 HNY - June 11 Sequoia Lodge- June 12 Sequoia Lodge - Sept 12 Cheyenne- Nov 12 Radisson - June 13 Dream Castle - Nov 14 HNY -
 Feb 15 Dream Castle - Sept 15 Tokyo Disney Resort, Sheraton - Oct 15 DLP Day trip - Feb 16 Cheyenne - March 17 Newport Bay - Jan 18 Sequoia Lodge, Aug 18 daytrip

Upcoming: DLH Nov 18 - Hong Kong Disneyland, Explorers Lodge, March 19

ladydunbroch

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Re: Trip Report 1st-4th September (Long!)
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2017, 04:31:30 PM »
Day three! Sunday 4th September-

We were up at 7 again for EMH, there were points during the day where I cursed myself for it, but I was determined to fill the day as much as possible! Heading straight out of the hotel we got our place right in front of the gates and rushed in when they opened; again it was such a lovely day I still feel so lucky we could enjoy ourselves in the sun.

Definitely unnecessary but rushing got us first in the queue for meeting Donald whoís another one of my favourites! We managed to even get there before he did. I was wearing my incredibly soft Donald jumper from Primark which he loved, though I bet heís seen it a hundred times, so we got a really cute meet and pictures to take away with us.

It was only 8:10 by the time we got over to Chip and Dale so the line for these guys was incredibly short, they werenít as playful as normal though which I was a little disappointed by, but Iím really happy we got to meet them. Both of us really love doing Character meets and get a real buzz out of it so we made a point of searching for them for the last two days and ended up getting really lucky.

Discoveryland was our haunt of choice for EMH so we tackled Space Mountain and Buzz again, albeit quite slowly as we were already flagging at this point! Thinking breakfast might revitalise us, we did that earlier than the day before, had the same thing and was just as happy with it. After weíd finished here I had to go and buy a new pair of Minnie Ears as the Star Wars ones Iíd made at home fell apart over breakfast! I also needed a booster pack of trading pins because I left mine in the hotel. Again..

Over to Peter Panís flight after this as I was determined to ride before we left, and even though EMH was nearly over there was just a 20 minute wait which I think was as good as we were going to get. The ride is really charming but I couldnít help but be distracted by how jerky it is? I do love it but it could be smoother!

Iím pretty sure we rode the tea cups again before we left to go back to Discoveryland, we hadnít been able to get on Star Tours yet so that was another mission. Thankfully the wait was barely 15 minutes. I canít remember what Star Tours was like before except for the fact that the little blue robot was the pilot instead of C3PO, whoís a terrible pilot! What a bumpy ride we had, in the best possible way of course. The effects and 3D are spectacular, the way everything works together makes you genuinely feel like youíre in a ship, I canít remember all of the scenes but I know on the third one we went into Gungan City.

Weíd been obsessively checking the Parks app which for me had been working really well the entire trip, Iím with Three and got great signal, and saw that Pirates was a 5 minute wait again. These 5 minutes must be the walk through to the ride, which is awesome by the way lots to look at, as we walked straight on again. The CM there thought it would be hilarious to make me jump while we were waiting at the gate!

Iím pretty sure after this we briefly explored the giant rock skull and the surrounding area because I thought I knew where we were going and then got lost.. My brother wanted to go on Indiana Jones but I was unsure hating Rockiní Roller Coaster, he wouldnít go on it without me however so we went to check out the Aladdin meet and greet to see who was there. We arrived to find Genie with about 6 people in a queue so ran straight to the back to wait, here the CM let us know that the queue for Genie stopped about halfway through the line of people, and the others were waiting for Aladdin and Jasmine who were coming out at 11:45! We were hardly going to say no to a 20 minute wait for two of the coolest characters so I left my brother to hold our place while I went to get BTM fastpasses, even with the crowd levels there were still some left and got a return time for 17:15.

Aladdin and Jasmine were wonderful as expected, especially Aladdin, and we had so much fun watching other peopleís meets in front of us as they were all so different. A particularly smooth move was when he couldnít find the genie anywhere so he used magic from the lamp to talk to a little girl in Spanish. Our meet was also lovely with lots of good interaction and hugs!

Straight after this we went to wait for Peter and Wendy and watched Captain Hook and Smee walk by loads for their breaks, took about half an hour for them to get there and then a 15 minute wait on top of that but we were both happy to rest our feet for a bit since weíd sat on the ground. Another great meet, Iíd met Peter before but not Wendy so to meet them at the same time was amazing! Sometime during the wait we decided that weíd have to go back and see Forest of Enchantment again, it was finishing that day and the CM were so emotional even though it was only the second showing! It was really special and you could tell the whole cast were putting their all into every second. I hope I can see it again one day!

(Ah! Iíd forgot to put into my report for the Saturday that at the end of FoE, Iíd sat on the end of the row because I knew the characters would be going up and down the aisles. Tarzan came down our side and pulled my mickey ears off of my head and put them on my face, such a funny unexpected interaction!)

We had to rush but got a good space for Mickey Presents Happy Anniversary Disneyland Paris which again, was amazing. Honestly the quality of the shows theyíre putting on is top class, although I felt terrible for the dancers in the heat I couldnít imagine how hard it is to keep up all that choreography. The musicís very catchy and Iíve found myself humming it every so often even now!

I think it was around 3-ish we decided to go back into the Studios Park, mainly to see the Star Wars show again and see if any more characters were out in front lot. No such luck there and as soon as we got through Studio 1 we were greeted with massive crowds, there was absolutely no way we were getting back onto Crushís Coaster which we loved so much last time. This, paired with how tired and achy I was prompted me to get crabby for a little while, Iím not proud of it now but I just wanted to go on some rides!

We got to watch Star Wars, or I didnít really I was nodding off, and got into the Single Rider queue of the Parachute Drop which was a lot better than I was expecting? It was actually quite high and while it obviously pales in comparison to ToT I really liked it. We went on Slinky Dog afterwards and also checked out Ratatouille, single rider was only 15 minutes again! I canít remember whereabouts but we got ToT done again somewhere in between that which defo woke me up.

I did my first ever pin trade at the Ratatouille sweet shop though! I used one of the boosters from the pack I got earlier in the day to get an Ariel gem; itís definitely fake but I really really like it still so itís in my steadily growing Princess collection. We went back to Billy Bobís for dinner at 6 again, very quiet, clean and good food again, although we mainly ate a mountain of chicken nuggets as anything else was just too much effort.

Back into the main park for the last few hours, walked onto Pirates again and as we were coming out there was another flash shower. It only lasted a little while but was drizzly for the rest of the evening. We went on some more rides in Fantasyland and back on Space Mountain, the rest of that evening was a bit of a blur really. We couldnít make it right to the end of the day and weíd consoled ourselves with the fact that we could have a good nightís rest in preparation for the final day on the Monday. We left at 9, an hour before park closing and managed to see the CM from the night before in the same shop, I could have cried with joy because I got my Tiana pin!! As well as a lovely Aurora one. It took us a while to get back to the room, hobbling because of our aches and pains; but we managed it and slept so well

ladydunbroch

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Re: Trip Report 1st-4th September (Long!)
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2017, 02:29:10 PM »
Last day :(  Monday 4th September-

I got up a little earlier that day as I couldnít be bothered to pack the night before and picked up a Starbucks before checking out of the hotel; took mere seconds to do so we were swiftly on our way to spend our last day in the park! Weíd brought our luggage with us to keep in the guest storage just next to the DLH entrance, but had a slight panic when the CM at the gate told us they didnít know if it was open or not!! Thankfully it was so we sorted that out, only 5 euros for small luggage which I thought was a really reasonable sacrifice so that we could spend more time in the park at the end of the day.

Our first stop of the day was Goofy and Pluto as their line was so long the day before, we had another really cute meet and the 25th Anniversary outfits are so so lovely! Itís nice to look back at my pictures and see that I got to meet main characters in ďĒĒlimited editionĒĒĒ clothes. Afterwards we did Buzz and Space Mountain for the hundredth time, we got to sit at the front though this time which made it a thousand times better somehow?? In the queue I also had a funny chat with a CM who liked the look of my Cinderella handbag so he borrowed it and was parading up and down the platform, itís not just the characters who make your day!

Breakfast was getting earlier and earlier so we had this around 8:45, only one section was open when we got there which meant that the queues were ridiculous, but while we were waiting the next line over opened so we jumped in to be second in the queue. Jedi Academy had finished the day before and I think the Videopolis theatre is undergoing a refurbishment now so there were curtains up everywhere and Rebels wasnít on  We took half of our breakfast to eat on the go as we were really full of energy that morning. Dumbo finally had a good wait time at 10 minutes so we had our hot chocolates in the queue; I love this ride and the views it gives of Fantasyland.

Had a bit of a wonder before going on the teacups again, at this point my brother was too excited about meeting Darth Vader to hang around any longer so we head over to Starport at 9:40.. but not before we caught Suzy and Perla having an impromptu meet near the Parade starting gate! I only met Suzy as we were on our Star Wars mission but she was one of my favourite interactions, she also really loved my Cinderella bag and we had a good long chat about her.

We got into a good spot in the Vader queue but he ended up being half an hour late! Surely it shouldnít take that long to put on a helmet and cape.. We werenít entirely sure but I think the issue was with the Photopass as we didnít have one in with us when we met him. The meet was loads of fun, he was actually really scary when we were waiting in that little room but ended up being very complimentary telling me I was strong with the force! You could tell the parks were quieter on that day because at 11 the queue for Star Tours was a walk on; we had another excellent ride across space, this time Chewbacca landed on the front window halfway through which scared everyone half to death.

Time for Small World again after this, and as we were in a very character meet mood we looked at the queue for Winnie the Pooh but it was so long already! Hopefully next time I can get a chance. Since we were in the area we did Casey Jr and the Storybook boats; I actually really liked this one even though I thought I wouldnít. On the off chance we checked the Old Mill at 11:45, the umbrella was up and there was a couple waiting at the front of the line so we took that as a good sign and took our place second in the queue; my brother waited as I grabbed some snacks, which were delicious!

12 rolled around and out came Aurora! We were a smidge disappointed that Prince Phillip wasnít also there but she was so lovely and kind, we had what might have been one of our longest interactions with a character and got some incredibly sweet photos from it. Saw the happy Anniversary show again afterwards which I love to pieces although it was incredibly hot at this point, lovely change from the cold weather we were having in England but boy did my scalp burn. Got over to the single rider at Space Mountain for our last ride of the trip then!

Checked out the dragon underneath the castle, did a little shopping before we got on Pirates again and as we got off I had a notification from ED92 saying that Gaston was out in castle courtyard! Sprinted off the ride and even though it was only 15 minutes ago, he had already left  It was a shame but we walked through Fantasyland again as we were still searching for characters, and came across the White Rabbit and Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. The queue was short, ended up a 25 minute wait in total but the meet. Was. So. Funny. Tweedle Dee saw my bag and was jumping up and down as I took it off to give it to him, he walked off with it into the corner before Tweedle Dum wore it himself and strutted up and down like he was on a catwalk. They were being so silly after that and the poor White Rabbit just stood there tapping his watch; when we eventually got around to the picture Tweedle Dee kept pretending to pick his nose and wiping it on our faces which was really fun.

It was at this point we actually went into the castle to explore since we hadnít at any point on this trip! I cannot express how much I love the interior of the castle, especially the stained glass windows theyíre just absolutely stunning. We finished exploring about the same time the Princess Starlight Waltz began which reminded me of something I was desperate to do; wait for the princes and princesses at Auberge! We got loads of interaction here, even saw Suzy and Perla again, and a high five from Flynn which was the proverbial icing on the cake!

We didnít really do much after this besides walking around in a bit of a funk because we had to leave. As we enjoyed it so much we decided to have a hot chocolate and one of the lovely star shaped beignets as we sat on Main Street and soaked up the atmosphere for the last time.

Our Eurostar was scheduled to leave at 6:15 so we left the park at around 5 to get our bags, this was quite a bit earlier than Iíd planned seeing as the train is right on the doorstop but we made the right choice as once weíd gone through security and looked back across the station, the queue was horrifically long. We got straight on the Eurostar and waited in our seats for take-off and I was snivelling the whole way home!

Throughout the last day I was thinking desperately about coming back for Christmas and between then and now, Iíve booked up for the last week of November! Iím now looking forward to my first solo trip back at the Santa Fe in 47 days!!

Side note; I hope I got them all in but we managed to meet 20 characters over the four days which I think is huge considering the crowd level! Weíre still super pleased with ourselves we managed to fit it all in.