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Trip report 18-21st September

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Trip report 18-21st September
« on: September 28, 2017, 11:38:51 AM »
Our report finally.
I went to Disneyland Park (no Studios) for 2 days when I was 12yo, some 17 years ago. I remember bits and pieces, more of the whole park than of the rides themselves. My GF was there 7 years ago and did both parks in just 1 day and doesn't remember much.

Wake up at 3 in the morning all giddy thinking "we're going to Disneyland!!". Get in the plane at 6 am and after an uneventful flight, arrive at 9:10 local time at Orly and get into a taxi that was previously arranged. A bit of traffic and in an hour we arrive at Santa Fe. Disneyland is so close! We got a discount on the taxi fare but paid above what we agreed weeks ago. The situation would bite us in the arse on the way back.
Never mind the taxi, let's do the check-in where they inform us we have to book restaurants for all the meal vouchers (standard half-board). Well, I already did a reservation for Bistrot Chez Remy for Thursday, lucky me. We booked Bill Bob for that night and Agrabah for Wednesday.
We drop the bags, go to Village to buy a bottle of water and droll on some stores before going to the Studios (eating the sandwiches we brought on the way) to do as much rides as possible before the park closes and we have to go to the main park.
We start by fastpassing Ratatouille. We have to wait until mid-afternoon and when walking around the park decide to go to ToT because the line was 10 or 15 minutes. Best decision we did, the CM that greeted us was the best of the whole trip. She was so much in character, enjoying herself by greeting us in a maleficent way. She scared us during the presentation in the library by screaming "La Cinquième Dimension" and stomping on the ground at the same time as the video, revealed to us the elevator was broken right before the door closes and when the doors opened again she made fun of our screams. Lady, I don't know who you are but please keep up that act! An awesome intro to our 1st ride.
After this we went to Moteurs in Action and got lucky, it started to rain when we sitted down. It's an entertaining show, better than I anticipated. We leave and get into RnR Coaster right before the 2nd flash thunder and rain storm of the day. 5 minute wait and a great rollercoaster.
After RnR we still have time to spare before Ratatouille and go to Art of Animation. Pity it's closing down, it needs a refresh but could be kept.
Time for Ratatouille and the worst flash thunderstorm strikes for half an hour. Almost all rides break down and the time for the fastpass passed while we waited for it to reopen and the rain to stop. The ride reopens and the CMs accepted the fastpasses. I got a little bit of motion sickness on the 1st part where we fall from the roff but brushed it away. The ride itself is so great, I understand how it's a favourite. We leave and with an hour to spare, we're discussing if it's worth waiting 40 minutes for Crush or leave for the next day. I approach a couple of CMs to ask something. They heard us discussing our plans and, guess what, they're also portuguese ahah After a bit of chit chat they gave us a readmission pass(!), we go straight for Crush - awesome ride! - and have a lot of time to spare. We do ToT again (no cool CM this time :( ), take a few pics, walk around and it's time for Studios to close and go to the main park.
We do a little window-shopping on Main Street and collapse on a bench in the plaza in front of the castle. We're so tired we don't move for the next hour and a half (we slept 4h, 2h flight, 1h in a car and walking around on nothing but a couple of sandwiches and crackers, we're more tired than we thought) and got to watch Illuminations with no one in front of use (we were behind the Gooffy-Pluto statue). I got a few goosebumps during the show. If Dreams was better, it would have to be something out of this world.

We have an hour to kill before our reservation at Billy Bob so we droll some more in the Village shops. After filling our belly we go to the hotel to finally sleep.

Report on the next days when I have some more free time.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2017, 12:37:37 PM by DC »


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Re: Trip report 18-21st September
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2017, 04:33:58 PM »
We can't get up earlier and arrive at the park for EMH at 8:30. There's no line for Buzz so we do that. Great fun and, if Disney thinks of retheming it, I can see it being turned into an Avengers Academy thing. We grab breakfast at Hyperion (what a slow queue...), went to Nautilus, Hyperspace Mountain and Star Tours.
I remember a few things from the Space Mountain 2 time and this retheming works great on the ride itself but not on the waiting areas. The steampunk-like architecture and decoration is still there and conflicts with the rest. I quite like that area steampunk vibe and think it's sad seeing it go bit by bit as I grew up reading Jules Verne and have fond memories of that area.
The idea of doing Star Tours right after Hyperspace wasn't great. I got a lot of motion sickness during Star Tours due to the 3D effects. I don't get sickness watching 3D movies nor using Occulus or other 3D apparel but this one in particular was strong. I loved the ride as a kid but this time couldn't enjoy it not only because of the motion sickness but also the particular mission we got. I was hopping for something from the original trilogy and got crap from Ep.I: pod racer segment + trade federation blockade which was nice but nothing much.
Since we're on a SW roll, let's end it with a meetup with Darth Vader for the sickness to pass while waiting. The only way to describe it is WOW! He's so tall and menacing I was babbling during the whole thing.
Time for Fantasyland now by going to one of my GFs favorite rides, It's a small world. We passed Gepetto and Pinoquio on the way but didn't want to waste time on the line with so much yet to see.
The long line for Winnie and friends dissuaded us, Les pays de contes des fées was closed for a clean-up so we had to go to Casey Jr. I don't remember riding it when I was a kid but it brought a lot of memories of the numerous times I saw Dumbo in a beaten up VHS.
Somewhere along the way we got a fastpass to Peter Pan and, while waiting, rode Snow White and Pinoquio. I forgot to look out for the witch on one of the windows and Pinoqquio broke down while we were in line. Fire Rescue was present but didn’t take long for the ride to open again. At Peter Pan’s fastpass line I saw a CM with a tattoo that looked like the Deathly Hollows symbol and started talking with him. It was a celtic tattoo but we talked a bit and he introduced me to another CM who was a big fan. We didn’t talked much because our ride had arrived.
Mad Hatters teacup and Alice's labyrinth were next with a cool meetup with Alice when we got out. She must have just arrived because the line was very short. My GF had a Cheesire bag and we had a nice talk with Alice who, can't understand why, looked at everywhere but the phone in all the photos the CMs took. Short attention span? 
Next was Meet Mickey Mouse, also a great meetup but in the end, a bit of the magic was broken when I realized there were several doors just like the one we got out of. It dawned on me they had several rooms with various Mickeys. It's a small detail but it could be corrected in the same they try not to have 2 of the same character near one another.
We went down to Fantasia Gelati to have crepes and ice-cream and sat down to wait for the parade. My GF went to see Princesses Waltz while I reserved a spot. I think I enjoyed the parade more now than as a kid because I don't remember anything from the 2 parades I watched back then (electric parade and the main one). My mother says even Snow White came to me, brought me to the parade for a bit to dance with her and I don't remember anything! I wish something like that happened this time.
Right after the parade, we went to Adventureland and on the way Le Pays des Contes de Fées was open. Only when I was riding it, I remembered seeing the scenes when I was a kid.
Entering Adventureland, PotC had a small line so we did that one. I remembered bits and pieces from this one and could identify where they did the changes. After this, we got lost around skull island looking for the way to the rope bridge but it closed for refurbishment. NExt was Swiss family treehouse, the Aladdin part of Adventureland, then the fort in Frontierland, again Adventureland because we missed Passage Enchanté d'Aladdin and Illuminations was almost starting. Since we had already seen it the previous day, we went down Main Street seeing all the stores, decorations, merchandise, sometimes seeing bits of the show and waited for Mickey to say goodbye. We went to Earl of Sandwich to eat something and then I went to fill a big cup of Lego at Lego store before going to the hotel.
Half of our stay went by and we did almost everything we wanted. 2 more days to go.

« Last Edit: October 03, 2017, 02:58:23 PM by DC »


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Re: Trip report 18-21st September
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2017, 11:38:21 PM »
Thank you for sharing! Waiting for the rest :)


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Re: Trip report 18-21st September
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2017, 02:31:01 PM »
Thank you for your patience. I had to rewrite a bit of the report (it's in italic) because I was confusing some of the rides we did on the 2nd day. As time goes by I confuse what rides we did in each day.

We overslept and arrived at the park a bit before 10am. We thought of going to the railroad, arrived at the station, waited and waited and couldn't understand why they didn't let all the people waiting to board. Finally we see an almost empty train departure and the CMs inform us - an already long line of people - we had to wait a further 25 mints for the next one. What the heck?! It was almost empty! There was plenty of time to let a few dozen more people into the train and instead they made us wait and see it depart! We left the station pissed-off at those stupid CMs, got into the horse-pulled tram and entered Frontierland to get fastpasses for BTM (time-slot it gave us was near 7pm!!) and ride Phantom Manor. It was awesome and just like I remembered. Next was the Cinderella Castle and the dragon's cave. It's way better than I remembered, especially the shops decoration. Unfortunately, due to Halloween preparations, the 2nd floor of the castle was closed.
Since the only land we didn't explore properly was Frontierland, we went to main street again to finally get on the train (this time they let us board) and entered Frontierland through the Thunder Mesa railroad station. I don't remember where I read the recommendation that the best way to enter Frontierland is through the train station but I can vouch for it. Main Street station has newspaper articles praising the train as a way to explore the wild west and then do the whole trip in such a cool train through the Grand Canyon diorama, Rio Grande landscape, arrive at the station and enter that whole area is really great! Some Halloween decorations were up which made it even more special.
We found Merida with a very short line so we chatted and took pictures with her (she was the best!), went all the way to the shooting gallery and then back to explore a small part of Adventureland we hadn't seen yet. Chip and Dale had a big line so we went further inside Adventureland and found Rafiki! Either he had just arrived or due to the spot being very hidden, we had almost no one in front of us. The CMs were great, they got our phones for photos, told us Rafiki wanted to hear a song from Lion King in our language, we sang Hakuna Matata but didn't knew they were secretly recording us with our own phones :D . It was a great surprise finding that video afterwards.
We finished exploring the area around Pizza Outpost and Hakuna Matata, saw Baloo, looked out for the Coke post but almost missed it. Was it supposed to have anything special to it? I read somewhere one should try opening it but the only box that could be opened had a padlock.
It was finally time for BTM. My GF didn't ride it the last time she was there and when I was in Disney 17 years ago only rode it 1 time due to lack of fastpass(?) while the others I managed to ride twice. I had high expectations and the ride was better and more thrilling than I remembered. Did they change something on the ride? I remember a tunnel going up where they use explosives and a rock moves towards us as if it was going to crush us. Or was it Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril? (closed the whole week we were there :( ).
The boat was arriving so we rode on that and, while exploring the boat, I found an hidden Mickey on the Captain's cabin! It was made by placing a big spoon between 2 smaller ones, the only hidden mickey I found during our stay.

Since the ride into Frontierland was so cool, we thought of doing the remaining trip by train. We went back to Thunder Mesa station and ran when we saw the train waiting. I think the train was about to leave but they let us in (see Main Street CMs? That's being thoughtful). The rest of it isn't as fun but seeing inside the PotC while riding the train was a cool detail. We exited in Main Street (Discoveryland station was closed) and since we had time to kill before our Agrabah reservation, we went to Autopia. The ride itself is sort of fun but the wait... There's a billboard at the entrance of Discoveryland which says waiting times for the rides and between seeing it and getting to the ride itself, the time increase in 5mints. It should be a warning. We waited some 30minutes I think (1st it said 10 then 15 minutes) with those f*cking instructions on how to operate the cars repeating every 5 seconds. It was driving us nuts! I could almost recite it by the end of the day.
Time for lunch in Agrabah. The restaurant is SO cool! That whole decoration imitating the streets is awesome (the food is also nice). I asked my GF why she insisted in having lunch here and she said it was a hunch. Nice hunch, we'll definitely come back to eat here next time.
After lunch we head back to Studios for the last show of the day of Mickey and the Magicians. Such a beautiful and well made show.
Back to the park to use and abuse faspass. We did BTM (I think we got it in the morning, can't remember exactly when), then did Hyperspace Mountain and Star Tours. Again I got a LOT of motion sickness but this time I was prepared for when it gets worse (light-speed jump). Again with the boring pod-racer segment but the next one was siege to Coruscant which reminded me of the beloved Clone Wars series. If I come back I'll have to do this ride without doing Hyperspace Mountain to check if the motion sickness is 100% due to the 3D effects.
The sun was setting, ropes were in place for Illuminations so we wandered around seeing the park at dawn. Some places are really beautiful like the Teacups, the entrance to Adventureland. Everyone was waiting for Illuminations so we rode again Peter Pan, Pirates and tried to go to BTM but it was too late, it was already closed.
We saw a bit of the show and left early to avoid the masses to buy gifts and have dinner at Earl of Sandwich.

1 day to go :(
« Last Edit: October 03, 2017, 02:58:48 PM by DC »


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Re: Trip report 18-21st September
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2017, 03:06:24 PM »
Again we overslept (we looked like zombies by now, DLP tired us a lot) and I was in a rush to arrive a bit early for surprise Breakfast with characters. My GF wasn't expecting it but easily guessed when she saw the post outside Plaza Gardens announcing the breakfast times. At first we got Piglet, Tiger and Eyeore and, while I like them, I was a bit bummed. I don't relate much to Winnie the Pooh and in an hour we only saw 3 characters but then Scrooge, Mickey and Daisy showed up! The characters were brilliant and posed with us for a lot of photos. Since we were at the end of the first row of tables, we didn't have to wait much nor it was the caos in the other rows with kids standing up and characters not knowing where to turn to. In the end it was a fun experience.

We had to leave around the middle of the afternoon and only only a couple of things left to do.
We checked out the Halloween decorations they put up the previous night and went to Phanton Manor. I'm friends with the artist that drew the Marvel comics based on Haunted Mansion so we went to Phantom Manor to take a few pictures of me reading his book with the Manor behind me. He loved the pictures we posted on Facebook.
Next we went to Spider-Man meetup and he was so cool. He did all the poses I wanted to do with him imitating some famous Spider-Man comics (by this time you realize I'm a comicbook nerd, right?  ), was extremely nice and friendly just like the character. One of the best characters we met.
We went to ToT's store to look for some pins for us and gifts to bring and did a long route to Bristot chez Rémy to pass the time. We saw the Evil Queen who was the best character we saw all of these days. She was so much in character! There wasn't a line, she was selecting people and making disgusted faces while interacting with the guests, especially if they were dressed as princesses. She didn't select us but nonetheless we had a blast seeing how she acted with little girls dressed as Snow White.
Sully was nearby but the line was very long. He was nice enought to pose for us when we were trying to get a picture of him alone.
We got fastpasses for Ratattoulie before arriving at Bristot in time for our reservation. We had a lovely lunch and managed to enjoy it despite having stuffed ouselves at breakfast. The restaurant is really nice, the waiters were also very nice (we found one Portuguese when we asked one if she could take us a picture). We left the restaurant to ride Ratatoullie and this time I didn’t get much motion sickness because the car didn’t lean. This time I got to feel the water when Remy wipes with the mop which previously I didn’t felt. We got out of the ride in time to see a band and some dancers perform near the fountain. One of them took my GF and danced for a while while I filmed.
We had some time to kill and decided to go to Armageddon since it’s rumored to be closed in the near future. Boy, was it boring! First the CM made us wait a long time to gather enough people. Then the introduction was veeeeery long and unnecessary with the CM apologizing for not speaking anything but French (wut? That was a first) and while he tried his best to get everyone in the mood, he OVER-hyped the ride by trying too much for too long and we were getting impatient. We had a couple of hours left before leaving and this CM was wasting our time. Then the special effects part was a mess. The CMs shouting trough megaphones in French plus the computer and the Russian guy, with all that noise I couldn’t make anything out of it. And it ended fast. That was it? We wasted almost an hour for this?! I could think of a million better ways to spend an hour at DLP. This ride can’t get trashed any faster! While we had some time left, we were so disappointed and pissed off that we didn’t want to try the Studio Tram, the only ride in our to-do list that we hadn’t tried yet, fearing it would be a similar waste of time with the wait + the ride itself. Not waiting to do another ride stressing about how much time we had left, we decided it was finally time to think about heading back to the hotel to collect our luggage.
We passed by the Queen of Hearts, the Rabbit and Goofy producer on the way out and went back again to the main park to see how much the torns had grown overnight and say goodbye to the castle.
We head back to the hotel to pick our luggage and get on the shuttle to the airport.

This report doesn't end here, no. The best is yet to come ahah

Remember back on day 1 where the taxi we took charged more than we anticipated? Apparently there was a misunderstanding between what I had said and what they understood as being the rate for the 2 trips. During these days we exchanged messages with the person who booked us (a family friend), told them we wouldn't use them if the price was the same and avoided making a fuss over it as to not creat animities. We ended up having to rely on Magical Shuttle who wasn't that much magical. The lady driver didn't want to speak a word of English and explained us everything in very fast french (I understand basic french if you don't speak fast), the payment machine apparently didn't want to process my payment so, on the next stop her manager showed up to collect the payment. Incredible how the manager spoke perfect English. Bad contrast with the excelent way CMs interact with you inside the parks, always apologizing if something is not the way you like.
The shuttle dropped us on Orly's west terminal and we had to go the south terminal (or vice-versa, can't remember and it's not important). Again, "nice" french lady didn't say anything and we found out we were on the wrong terminal and had to sort ourselves out to find how to get to the other one. We arrived and saw the damn shuttle on the terminal... Really? I wanted to avoid RS transport because of the mixed reviews but I guess next time it's the one I'm choosing. No shuttle and no friends recommendations.
Security seized my toothpaste because it was above the 100ml limit (funny how on our way to Paris no one noticed it) and finally arrived to our gate with lots of time to spare but the adventure wasn't over yet!!
We flew Transavia to Paris and back. Both times the plane was full but the first time, as far as we saw, they didn't send anyone's luggage to the hold.
This time they started tagging everyone's luggage that they thought was above the size garateed to go on the cabin. If it wasn't stressful enough dealing with magical shuttle, finding out the terminal, having security go through your stuff to find illegal toothpaste, now we had to take out everything that was fragile out of our bags (A to Z book, Lego sets, Christmas ornaments) only to realized one of our bags was actually the size to go on the cabin. We confronted them with the decision, the lady wasn't trusting when we said it was her colleague who tagged the bag and went to check with her. Really lady, you don't have eyes to see a tag in a bag that fits in those stupid things to check luggage size? She appologized, removed the tag and we had to sort the bags again.
A group in front of us was being a bit rude with the crew and when they finally pass the gate, one of the crew members calls one of them saying his luggage was going to the hold after all. He told her her colleague said it was ok, colleague was called (again, they don't trust what anyone tells them), colleague explained she didn't saw that particular bag and that it had to go to the hold. Right when the crew member turns around, the guy's GF goes to her in a meancing way (he had to pull her). The crew member noticed it, told her she wasn't going to board. SUCH FUN and we hadn't even boarded the plan!!
The crew member complained to the pilot, he came out, apologized and told them everything was ok. When we were on the sleeve (is that the term?), the crew member and a security guy come over, barks with the girls group and escourts them out.
Back inside the plane they were the last ones to board. They weren't kicked out after all and from what we could hear, the crew member just wanted an apologize and scare them a bit it seems. There isn't a single flight I take that doesn't have a funny story to tell. We arrived and the Disney withdrawal simpstons only started on the next day.

We checked the program and realized we missed some shows we wanted to see but I don’t mind. We have rides to do, restaurants to check and things to do next time. I think we have been bitten by the Disney bug because we enjoyed it so much, we're thinking of going back either next year or the next, probably in Halloween or Christmas season.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2017, 11:34:08 AM by DC »


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Re: Trip report 18-21st September
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2017, 11:36:33 AM »
I did some changes to the day 4 report. I had forgotten all about the Armageddon experience. They are retheming up ToT and leaving that crap?! I couldn’t disagree more with DLP’s priorities…  >:(


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Re: Trip report 18-21st September
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2017, 10:36:37 PM »
Nice trip report. Think we will be giving Armageddon a miss again from what you experienced lol

How much was your taxi? We are thinking of getting a taxi as well. Only 3 passengers


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Re: Trip report 18-21st September
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2017, 10:12:28 AM »
Armagedon would be kind of worth it if it had a fast entry. Not worth waiting + long introduction.
We got some traffic and came up to 90€ one way  >:( . Give RS Transport a try so that you can get 80€ round trip.