Disneyland Paris AP Mouse Party Review

Its so crazy that one month ago today I was having the maddest day in Disneyland Paris! I’d flown out the night before so I could spend just one day in the parks, and so that I could go to my first ever annual pass holder event, which was to celebrate the 90th birthday of Mickey Mouse himself.

I’ve seen to many of my friends go to these types of events before and I was feeling a mixture of excited, nervous and also just not knowing what to expect completely, and now I’ve done it, what did I think?

Character meets

I think its safe to say that the majority of Disney fans go to these events for the opportunity to meet rare characters, and this definitely showed. Some of the queues were INSANE. DLP had had the good sense to split each queue into two, so that you knew which of the two characters at each location you were going to meet, instead of queuing with the hope of one, and then there being a switch as you get to the front, but it wasn’t very clear in the run up to the event that each meet would be separate. Sure, there were a few meets where I didn’t expect both characters to be together, but when the meets were billed as ‘Nick and Judy’ or ‘Carl and Russell’, a lot of guests were expecting to be meeting with both characters, not one or the other, especially as the queues were so long for most.

The only characters I saw with a minimal wait queue were Clarabelle and Horace, but after I’d spent almost the first hour of the party waiting for Vanellope, I decided that I didn’t want to spend all my party time in lines.

Shows and parades

There were a couple of shows and ‘parades’ on throughout the evening. I use ” in regards to the parades because it was essentially just some dancers and characters dancing down Main Street before going up on the stage, and the song for said parade was REALLY irritating – not everyone shared this view, but several people I was with did and it was so repetitive.. The other stage shows that were on through the evening were honestly a bit take it or leave it. I caught part of one of them and wasn’t massively impressed, especially considering how good the Surprise Mickey show that takes place in the parks during the day is, I just think the bar was set too high for me by that show.

The show that everyone was there for was the one night resurrection of Dreams, the firework and castle projection show that was replaced a few years back, and I must admit that it was GOOD. I’d only seen Dreams maybe 2/3 times back when it was on, so I didn’t have too much of a memory of it, but I enjoyed every minute of it! There was also another castle projection show towards the end of the party which was entirely Mickey themed and that was also amazing.

Rides

A lot of the rides were open to guests during the party, including Big Thunder Mountain, Its a Small World and Star Tours, and from what I heard, none of them had more than a 5 minute wait – probably because so many people were queuing for characters. The only ride I actually managed to fit in was Star Tours, which was a walk on AND there were only 8 people in the whole ride which was so cool.

I think for future parties, I’ll forgo characters in favour of rides because I loved riding a practically empty ride and not having to queue at all for that privilege, plus I found the character meets a little stressful given the number of guests and not-so-great organisation.

Organisation

I went into the party with a fairly open mind and no exact plan for anything that I really wanted to do, so I was fairly chilled for the most part, but there were some places were I thought Disneyland Paris really let guests down, and I feel a little ashamed to say that its not something I would have ever thought about before, had I not been with a friend of mine who was in a wheelchair.

The party was not disability friendly. There was no separate line for wheelchair users, so anyone in a chair had to be pushed up and down through the queue barriers under the Disneyland Hotel before the party, and then be crushed by the mobs of people trying to get into the park and run down Main Street. The lines for characters were also not clearly communicated. In the queue for Vanellope, we were told by one cast member to wait outside the line while he organised an alternative queue space, but meanwhile another queue had been created, and despite us being the first there, other cast members then tried to get us to move the the back of the now-insanely-busy queue. I hate how ignorant I have previously been to these matters, but I hate more how Disneyland Paris do not cater to all abilities.

Aside from this, however, I didn’t think the organisation was too bad. After being let into the park, each guest was handed a programme for the night and a limited edition print as a little gift, and there were cast members lining Main Street USA cheering and high-5ing guests as they walked in, I guess as also a little bit of crowd control!

And as far as I’m aware, everything else went off without a hitch! I had a good night with good friends, and I think I’ve learnt a lot about how to handle these events in the future. I don’t know if I would go to every party they hold but I’d definitely go back for another!

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My Mini Disneyland Paris Haul

Did I even go to a Disney park if I don’t talk about it endlessly while I’m there and then continue talking about it endlessly when I’m back? Oh, and if I don’t post a haul?

Well, I didn’t actually get that much from my trip to Disneyland Paris last week, but I still wanted to share what I bought as I got a couple of things that I’ve never seen in the parks before, and so maybe you haven’t either!

First up, and becoming a strange habit of mine seeing as I’ve never really been interested in them before, I bought two pins: one I think must be a regular design, this simple Steamboat Willie, and the second is a design that was only released about a week before my trip, which is this ADORABLE Winnie the Pooh and Piglet Halloween pin. I’m a sucker for Pooh and he’s in this adorable little pumpkin suit and his honey pot says ‘BOOH’ and I just can’t..

Another little purchase was this Donald Duck spatula – now I’ve got quite a few Disney kitchen utensils, all in the classic Mickey style, but I’ve never seen Donald ones before and you all know I LOVE Donald! Plus now we have a house and only one spatula in it, this seemed like a semi-necessary purchase.

The final buy was this Mickey inspired washbag, which I was drawn to as it can be hung using the little hook at the top, which is perfect for Disney cruises due to relatively little bathroom space! It has a little mirror at the top too, and two storage compartments, both of which can actually be detached as they have velcro fastenings. I also love the little Mickey ears at the top, and the whole thing folds up to a decent sized washbag for travelling with, and is held together with magnetic fastenings.

I may or may not already be planning my next trip back to Disneyland Paris, so watch this space!

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Disneyland Paris Day 4

This post is coming a day late because Friday was such a long day and I needed yesterday to recover, but anyways!

This morning I left Matthew behind in the hotel (he had some work related stuff to sort out, I’m not just a mean person) and headed into the parks for early magic hours, bypassing the big queue of Disney hotel guests by using the designated annual pass holder entrance! As I had limited time before going back to meet Matthew, I decided that I only wanted to queue to meet Donald, and then spent the rest of the time taking advantage of the park being much quieter for taking photos.

At 10am, when the park opened to the rest of the guests, I left to head back to the hotel so that we could finish packing and check out – I had planned to get the shuttle bus but didn’t check the timetables so rather than waiting 25 mins for the next bus I walked back, which did only take 20 minutes so I was pretty impressed with that, plus the weather was lovely!

Once we’d checked out, we headed back to the park with our cases, leaving them at guest storage by the park entrance for the day, and then we went back into the Disneyland park. We started with Pirates of the Caribbean, which was basically a walk on, and then walked through Fantasyland, grabbing lunch at Bella Notte, and then went for one last ride on Star Tours before switching parks and going to Studios.

There, we walked onto Flying Carpets, and then also walked onto Studio Tram Tour before doing Tower of Terror for one last time.

We then decided to spend the rest of the afternoon exploring, as Matthew has never been to any of the Disney hotels, so we walked through Disney Village and did a lap of the lake, stopping to poke around Sequoia Lodge and Newport Bay Club, where we sat and had a drink and a snack in one of the lounges, before finally going back to collect our cases from storage and head back to the airport.

It might be a see ya real soon moment, but now we’re annual pass holders I think soon will probably be very soon, DLP!

Disneyland Paris Day 3

After what I think is possibly the worst nights sleep I’ve had all year, I woke up feeling rough as hell and am definitely coming down with something. Fab. It was also raining here, so we opted for more time in bed and didn’t head into the parks til about midday, stopping off at Disney Village first so that Matthew could buy a hoodie because it was a LOT colder today.

First ride of the day was Star Tours, then Matthew did Hyperspace Mountain (I didn’t feel up to it today) and then we walked into Fantasyland where I met Suzy and Perla. The rain had clearly scared off some people so we then did It’s a Small World and Dumbo with minimal wait times and then wandered through Adventureland and Skull Cove a little before going to Big Thunder Mountain.

Our plan was to get a fastpass for later, but also standby it straight away, but when we got to the fastpass booth a cast member asked if we wanted to play a guessing game, whereby if we won, we would each get a fastpass with no time restriction. Well we actually did win, but not only did he give us the unrestricted fastpass but also an extra fastpass each, so we actually rode BTM twice in a row then, and decided to come back later in the evening to use our final one.

We then decided to switch parks, heading into Studios and doing Crush’s Coaster, but after that we were so hungry we couldn’t queue for anything else, so went back into Disney Village and had dinner at Rainforest Cafe before going back into Disneyland. Despite only being 7pm at this point, most people were heading out of the park rather than in, so it was fairly quiet in there!

We did our last BTM fastpass, then walked the long way round into Discoveryland for a ride on Buzz, and then took up a spot to watch Illuminations just outside of Discoveryland.

Tomorrow we leave in the evening, so we have most of the day in the parks to enjoy before we say ‘see ya real soon!’

Disneyland Paris Day 2

This morning’s plan was to start off at Walt Disney Studios Park, and we arrived just as it was opening, having decided to sleep through magic hours. We headed straight for Crush’s Coaster, which had its typical hour wait but we did it nonetheless – in fact, midway through the queue we had the dreaded break down announcement, but it cleared up quickly and we waited no more than 10 mins more than the displayed wait time!

After Crush, we went to grab fastpasses for Ratatouille, and then decided that was it was well past 11am that we’d skip breakfast, do one more ride and then have lunch. The ride in question was one of my favourites, although it seems massively underrated: RC Racer. I was pretty amazed at how busy the park was, as when we walked by Studio Tram Tour the queue was actually out of its designated area and going down past Tower of Terror!

For lunch I had the Spider-Man burger, which was actually really good and so big I couldn’t finish it, and then we went back to Ratatouille for our fastpass time. After that we had planned to swing by Tower of Terror to grab fastpasses for later on, but after we’d got them we saw the wait time was only 15 mins so decided to standby it there and then. Matthew then went off to do Rock’n’Roller Coaster, which is one I tend to skip these days (that made me sound super old but oh well) and I just sat outside and waited because that only had a 10 minute wait time.

We then decided to head out from Studios, and walked into Disney Village – via World of Disney to buy some pins – and grabbed a Starbucks and a sit down before going into Disneyland. We did Pirates of the Caribbean with a relatively short wait time, and then walked through Fantasyland, and by the time we’d got to It’s a Small World it was only a few minutes until Stars on Parade was due to start. I didn’t get the best spot, but did the trick of waiting by the rope that was still due to close, so I was only one person back and she stayed crouched with her kid so I had a fairly decent view. Still not Magic on Parade though, amirite?

As I saw the parade was ending, we made a run for it before the rest of the crowd left, and took as many back ways as possible to get ourselves back down Main Street and out of the park while the parade will had everyone’s attention! We hopped on our hotel shuttle, but stayed one more stop to get off nearer Val d’Europe, where we then spent a few hours exploring (I’ve never been before!) and finished up buying some bits from the supermarket to take back to our room for dinner, to give out feet a rest from the parks as mine were about to drop off!

We still have two days in the magic so there’s plenty more fun to be had!

Disneyland Paris Day 1

Well gang, it’s been a little while but I am safely back on magical property! It’s been pretty much a year since I was last in Disneyland Paris, and being a fairly spontaneous trip I was super excited to get back, plus this will also be the longest DLP trip I’ve been on since I was a child, if not ever!

We’re staying offsite, so started the morning by getting the bus in, which was pretty exciting for me because I’m so used to walking in through Disney Village, rather than through the gates, so that was cool. We were both getting annual passes, so we had to go to the ticket booth first and then could skip the queue of people waiting for park opening and take advantage of what was left of early magic hours! We did Hyperspace Mountain and Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast, then got to the annual pass office for when it opened at 10am to sort out passes out before getting breakfast at Market House Deli.

Fuelled up, we visited the dragon under the castle before going into Fantasyland and starting off with a teacup ride.

After teacups, we hit Its a Small World, Le Pays des Contes de Fees and Casey Jr Train all pretty much as walk ons, and then walked into Adventureland and queued for Pirates of the Caribbeans, which was surprisingly marked as an hour wait time, although we only waited about half an hour. It was then lunch time, so we went to Restaurant Hakuna Matata for chicken strips.

Right after lunch, we figured it wasn’t the best idea to go straight on a fast ride, but we got fastpass for Bug Thunder Mountain and then decided that as the wait time was 45 minutes we might as well get in line anyway – I’d forgotten how much I like BTM in Paris, so I have no issues at all doing it twice in a day! From there we went back to Fantasyland and queued to meet Mickey Mouse, and then as our little feet are somewhat out of practice from Disney parks, we went to the Disneyland Hotel to have a sit down and a drink in Cafe Fantasia.

Rested and recovered, we were back in the park and on our way back to Big Thunder Mountain for our fastpass slot – annoyingly it was at the same time as Stars on Parade so we’ll save parade for another day! After that, we did Indiana Jones as practically a walk on (does anyone else sometimes forget this ride exists?) and then went back out of the park to wander round the shops in Disney Village, and grabbed an Earl of Sandwich for dinner. We decided to get the shuttle back to our hotel inside of going back for Illuminations as Matthew was developing some pretty nasty blisters and we’ve still got three more days to get everything done, so we’re in no rush to squeeze it all in!

Tomorrow we’ll be starting off in Walt Disney Studios and seeing where the day takes us!

Paris, I’m coming back!

Happy Thursday y’all! (I had to check that it’s actually Thursday because working from home means I have no sense of what day of the week it is!)

I’m in a pretty great mood today because last night Matthew and I booked ourselves a little trip to.. Disneyland Paris! Eeek!

Believe it or not, I actually haven’t stepped foot into a Disney park at all this year, and I honestly have found it much harder than I thought I would – especially after spoiling myself with so many trips over the last few years! Anyway, with Matthew officially starting with easyJet on September 17th, we had wanted to get away on a little trip in the week before then, and had played around with the idea of a couple of places in Europe, then last night he called me up and said he’d found a pretty good deal on 4 nights in Paris, and next thing I knew it was booked!

We’re staying offsite, which I’m actually quite excited about because I haven’t actually stayed offsite before, and as I’m getting an annual pass (yay!), I plan on squeezing in a whole bunch of trips in the next year and doing them as cheaply as possible, I know that offsite is gonna be the way to do it. I’m so psyched to be becoming an AP holder again, especially now I’ll be able to take advantage of Matthew’s staff travel to fly super cheap and go more often than I have done before!

It’ll also be our first trip to Paris together, and believe it or not, only actually our second time in a Disney park together! I haven’t been to Paris in almost a year, and as that was for a RunDisney weekend it wasn’t really a proper park trip, so I can’t wait to just be in the parks with my favourite person and not have to worry about running a half marathon the next morning!

Oh, and did I mention it’s only 25 days away?! I’m so excited!