Thursday, 28 June 2018
France trip day 2 - Disneyland Paris
Visiting both parks of Disneyland Paris for the day :)
Is #summerofheroes worth it?
Click and find out :)
Our second, and only full day in France we got up at 6am (like I mentioned we were planning to do in my day 1 post), hit the shower and went down to breakfast before 7am because that day we were going to Disneyland Paris!
The breakfast in the hotel was actually really nice. It was a buffet, and they had a really good variety of food. Heck, I’ve seen much worse breakfasts at far more upscale hotels! They had a ton of fruits, yogurts, cereal, breads, pancakes, cakes, cold cuts, cheeses, pastries. Whatever breakfast cold food you could imagine, they probably had it! The staff was also really friendly, which was a nice change from Paris the previous day.
We got onto the RER earlier than expected, bought return tickets (a little cheaper than those for Paris at €8,30 return) but the nice lady at the register wasn’t able to tell us when exactly the last train back was. Either 11.45pm or midnight. So that was not practical at all (peak season the last one is 1.15am if I’m not mistaken, but I’m not 100% sure of that and it wasn’t peak season in any case).
Our initial plan was to get to Disney Village at 9am and just browse the shops ‘till 10am, because we had an online bought, home printed, day ticket and thus wouldn’t be allowed in the park before 10am anyway.
But we ended up getting there a little sooner, which was good because it meant it wasn’t crowded at security.
DLP security is rather more thorough than the average shop non-security security as they use scanners.
BUT, and here’s the thing, they have ZERO respect for the law. Legally, they are not allowed to separate you from your medication any given time. And yet, my meds HAD to be scanned. Meaning I was separated from them for several minutes. Which wasn’t a big issue now, as the only person in front of me was Bert, but had it been super crowded, it could have been an issue. If my inhaler was in the scanner, and I had an asthma attack (which I get super at random, often completely out of the blue), there would have been hell to pay. And Disney would be in a boatload of trouble because they broke the law.
They also insisted on scanning both my instax film (which clearly states it shouldn’t be scanned) and instax camera, but they were ok with not scanning my DSLR…
So film shooting friends: it’s probably best NOT to take analog cameras to DLP, unless you have film that is scan-proof because these jack-asses have ZERO respect for analog. None, what so ever.
At least they’ve eased up a bit and you only go through one security check anymore, rather than two or three. They’ve set them up in a way where you once you’ve gone in and through one, you can wander the entire area (bar the hotels) without having to go through more security, which is an improvement at least.
Most shops in the Village weren’t opening ‘till 9.30am (and in reality, they don't open on time either), and so we took the time to take some random photos instead.
And afterwards we were just browsing some stores, and I got a few small things at World of Disney.
At 9.50, we decided to go to the Disneyland Park, expecting a bit of a queue to get in. Only to realise that, for some reason or other, they had already opened the gates for everyone, regardless the ticket. No complaints from me really :). We went into City Hall to get my disability pass sorted, and the CM there was super friendly and helpful. So with that card on the way, we wandered to Star Tours and took some photos along the way.
Star Tours was only a 5 minute queue, so we just went in it.
I had heard online you could request an English version, and I did, with two CMs. The first one snapped at me that I needed to ask another CM and that CM snapped at me even more.
Seriously, if you don’t want people to request it, then DO NOT EVEN HAVE THE FEED. Fucktards.
So yeah, we saw it in French. It was still super hilarious, and I really love the upgrade. But it would have been way better in English, but there you go. At least half of the cabin was NOT French speaking, so I don’t even understand why they couldn’t set it to English. But there you go.
Frankly, if you get annoyed by English speakers so much, then why are you working at Disneyland Paris? Food for thought…
These days Star Tours exits into Star Traders, the Star Wars themed shop and not in the Arcade like it used to (the Arcade is gone now if I’m not mistaken), which is an improvement.
I also really like what they did to Star Traders. We had a look around, and I saw a Millennium Falcon tee I liked, but because they still had loads in every size, I decided to come back for it later as I didn’t want to carry it around all day.
After Star Tours and Star Traders we joined the queue to meet Darth Vader, because that was hella short too.
There were some people in front of us with a very sweet little boy. He saw my hamburger Mickey bag, pointed a finger at it, looked at me and nodded hopefully. So I nodded to acknowledge he could touch it. The second he gently poked it, his mum was already on him and kindly told him he shouldn’t be touching other people’s things (A+ parenting!) and then all was well when they realised it was all good. So we talked to them ‘till it was time to meet Vader, because they were such lovely people. It was great to see people actually parenting in DLP, because most just let their offspring run rampant. But these guys were awesome! I hope they had a fantastic stay :).
We got our photo taken with Vader, and bought one. Because to get a good photo in the inside locations, you need a much better camera than mine and a flash.
Afterwards we walked to Pirates of the Caribbean, because we hadn’t seen the renewed version of that either. And it was only advertised as a 5 minute queue. Which it really was.
I’m not against the remake, but the lighting inside was better before, because picture taking was a big heap of fail.
But I quite enjoyed the movie make-over, even though it wasn’t as moviefied as I thought it would have been. But hey, still fun.
Having done that, we walked through Adventureland (I nearly typed Adventure Time, I blame Bert!) to Frontierland and saw the UP statue.
And decided to come back later to take better photos.
I wanted to get a return note for Big Thunder Mountain, but the new disability passes are a little like fast passes so if I got one for the afternoon, it would mean I couldn’t get one in the Studios, so we decided to do a few more things in Frontierland, and then get one after we had gone to the Studios.
So we went to Spirit Photography first. I really like Spirit Photography, even though it is quite expensive if you don’t have a PhotoPass (in hind sight, I should have gotten one for the day) at €12. It’s an A3 sized photo, and obviously I don’t have an A3 scanner, so I had to photograph the photo poster front and back. I really should find out whether there's a class in my local art school, where I do painting, that has an A3 scanner...
I also like what they’ve done to Phantom Manor during the refurb.
Bert had wanted to go on the riverboat for years, but it was never going when we were there. And I hadn’t been on it since 2008 with Charlotte. So we were going on now, as it was leaving in 5 minutes! The CM at the boat entrance was really friendly and asking me about my hamburger bag and where I got it. So I was telling her how she could get one too via the shopping service I use for Tokyo Disney things (Disney Dream Store from Japan). And then her colleague came and asked about it too, and I was just telling her when Bert had to come drag me off or we’d miss the boat. We had only just got on deck when the girls found us and asked if we wanted to be boat captains, which of course we were happy to accept because hey: something cool to do with awesome people hell yes! Bert was the one that did all the driving, and I hung out with the other girls, and we had an awesome time. They also gave us a coupon for free cold drinks (I must admit I was tempted to ask for a balloon, which was also an option haha) and a special fast pass that would let us go on Thunder whenever we wanted that day, which was just perfect! Seriously, what an amazing experience! We took instax photos together, and we took extra so they could have one each as well :). I actually successfully managed a three people selfie, but one of the girls has it so you’ll just have to take my word for it :).
By that time it was close to 11, and we decided to head over to the Walt Disney Studios Park so we could have lunch at En Coulisse before the Marvel shows would start.
Bert got a superhero menu and I just got some chicken nuggets (which were star shaped, which pleases me) because I wasn’t that hungry. And I had planned to eat ALL the Marvel themed snacks. I did steal several of his cheese fries. Cheese fries should be an option at all counter service places in DLP!
Click here to see the video.
The Guardians of the Galaxy show was just starting when we got to Production Courtyard, so we saw about half of the Dance-Off before we decided to go do something else. We didn’t feel like just sitting around for an hour+ for the next show to start, so we tried Ratatouille instead. The queue was massive, an ongoing issue in the Studios, and we could only get a return time for the time Super Heroes United was going to start.
Why can’t people teach their kids NOT to climb the scenery? If your kids get too overexcited, take them to one of the playgrounds, which have plenty of things they can climb and that are made for it. So we walked around, took some photos and went to have a look at Production Courtyard again.
It looked like we HAD to go in the waiting area for Superheroes United or we’d miss it. Meaning we’d miss the Stark Expo show, which we both really wanted to see. But as Bert is tall, he could just stand up and look at the show from the waiting area as it was on the other side of the square. Which he ended up doing. I didn’t because I just couldn’t stand anymore at that point without fainting. So I just kept sitting on the ground, trying not to shout at the idiots behind me totally unable to manage their spawn.
I get it, you have to wait for something for a long time, it’s annoying. It’s annoying regardless your age. BUT if you are a parent, and you put your child in that situation, you have the responsibility to entertain said child. Which does not mean allowing your offprint to throw things at other people for their entertainment. People surrounding this particular shithead Spanish family, not just me, got pelted with hats and plastic rackets. I shit you not, plastic rackets. I saw the little cretin throwing other things at other people too, and the parents did… NOTHING about it.
Click here to see the video.
At least the show rocked, so that was good :)
I especially liked the ballet scene. I didn’t like the Spanish brat behind me that kept kicking my chair, even though after I asked his mother (who spoke French and English) to ask him to stop it because it was super annoying (and I have a bad back so it really wasn’t pleasant). I didn’t feel like shouting at them during the show, even though they talked through most of it.
But the show was ace, absolutely! I would really say that you need two days to really do both parks if you want to see and do everything, because of the queue build up in the Studios, even during the off season.
It was actually quite surprising how many children (and I mean kids that are out of kindergarden) and teens were about in the parks, even though it’s the exam period all throughout Europe. Shouldn’t these kids be in school? Disney is great and all but surely an education is more important…
But yeah, as far as the Summer of Heroes of is concerned. I think it's a great initiative. The statues are cool, the themed food and snacks is cool, heck, some of the merch is ace (most of it is very overpriced though, but it's DLP so no one is surprised).
The shows, from what I saw of them, were ace as well. I just feel that the organisation of Marvel Superheroes United, the indoors show, could have been handled a lot better, with minimal efford on DLP's part.
Why not just put a couple of CM's at the entrance, with tickets for each show. Reserve x-amount of tickets for Mastercard holders (who can make a ticket reservation now anyway). Reserve x-amount of disability tickets. And basically hand out the tickets to people as they come. And then people can just show up say 20 minutes before the show, get in their seat and the show can start.
That way no one has to sit there for an hour (or even longer) just to be able to get in to see the show. You don't have masses of annoyed people in an enclosed space. It would work SO much better and it's such a simple solution I don't even understand why DLP doesn't come up with it. And if the excuse is "to save paper". Bullshit, if they _really_ wanted to save on paper they wouldn't print such absolute masses of programs and maps, much of which goes to waste anyway.
But yeah, great idea, there's just some issues that need to be worked out.
Also: IF you want to go and you're not content to just do a few things in each park like we were, you will need two days. One day for the Studios and one day for the Disneyland Park. Especially in summer when there are many more people about.
It was a very hot day, so obviously we wanted to put our free drinks coupons to use. So we went to a drinks stand. The girl there was a student worker, and she explained, very kindly, that she couldn’t accept the coupons at her stand, even though it mentioned we could get drinks with it everywhere bar some non-Disney owned places in the Village such as Starbucks and McMonsanto (McDonalds). She also didn’t have the Baby Groot cup I was after, but she was kind enough to explain where I could get it (pretty much across the square). I did buy a raspberry Groot cookie.
So I wandered across the square to buy a Groot cup whilst Bert waited on the side out of the way other people queuing and such. Eating my cookie. Which was good, not amazing, but good.
Right up to the point where I realised that the eyes were made out of NUTELLA. I fucking HATE Nutella. Nutella is the fucking devil. Not only is it basically a toxic mess pretending to be chocolate paste, the company is rotten to the core, destroying rain forests as a hobby. On general principle. Because they can. I actively BOYCOTT Nutella. Had I known the eyes were made of Nutella, I would NOT have bought it. I threw away the Nutella parts, because god fucking damnit, it is DISGUSTING AF (in case you hadn’t guessed it, there are few food related things I hate as much as I HATE Nutella).
The CM manning that stand saw me, saw I had coupons in my hand and at this point it is important to note I was just still holding them, I hadn’t even managed to say bonjour and she started SCREAMING at me that I couldn’t use them there. I pointed out that I didn’t even want to order drinks, but the coupon clearly didn’t state her stand as an excluded one and she screamed at me some more. Like I was stupid and needed yelling at. So I point blank walked away, sans Groot.
Bert was really pissed off about it, so he marched right up to the information desk. The CM there was super kind, took note of the misconduct of her colleague (even though we didn’t have her name, she could probably find out who was on duty) and had a look at the coupons saying that yes, we should have been able to get drinks at the stands if we wanted to, and she advised to just go to the stand right next to En Coulisse.
Which we did, after we had a look at the shop first. Where I bought pride pins for Lora and Claire. We did try the stand we were pointed to, and a very curt and snippy CM refused to point blank accept the coupons. There was really no reason to be that rude, but at least he wasn’t shouting.
Bert suggested we just walk to Backlot to go to the restaurant there, because he was really thirsty. We had a look at the other stands on the way to see if they sold Baby Groot, but none did. So he said that he’d just go to the stand and buy it for me so I could still get it. I think he just wanted to tell the CM her conduct was not ok to be fair.
Anyway, at Blockbuster Café Bert joined the queue and I quickly asked the CM whether he’d accept the coupons or not. He looked at them briefly and said “yeah no problem”. So we queued. And then he got massively confused when it was our turn to pay, had to ask a colleague, who had to ask another colleague and phew, it was fine! So yeah, IF you get a coupon for free drinks, or free whatever, use them in a counter service restaurant in the park you got them, save yourself the hassle.
I can tell you this, on the off chance that we actually stay on site again, we will NOT be taking a meal plan, this has put us completely off anything involving a coupon in DLP. But yeah, we got drinks, sat down for a bit, enjoyed our drinks, and wandered off to the other park again.
Yeah I turned mine into a vase.
When we were walking back to leave the park, we noticed that another CM was manning the stand that sold the Baby Groot cups, so I went and bought one from her. She was very nice, unlike her colleague who believes customer service means you should scream at people for no reason at all.
At the Place des Fréres Lumières, pretty much just before the entrance/exit, we saw dieselpunk Goofy (he’s not called that, but he wears a dieselpunk outfit) was out, so we joined the queue as I like having my photo taken with Goofy and I love dieselpunk. I had actually wanted to get a photo with him for years, and this was the first time I found him out.
In hindsight, because of the sun being so bright, I should probably have bought a photo because I had a coupon where I could get one for €10 and it would have been a lot nicer as the photographer had a special flash. Should have gotten a photo pass. But usually the light is nice and we are fine doing photos on our camera, so it’s not worth the money, so that’s why I didn’t have one.
Anyway, back to the Disneyland Park we went!
Just in time for the parade. And I found a spot right by the street thanks to a super nice British guy called James who was happy to share his spot with me (James, seriously, I hope I wasn’t in your way too much taking photos, if I was, I am really sorry! Thank you again for sharing with me!!!).
This random dad asked if his kid could stand in front of me, note how he arrived even later than us and his kid had been annoying and grousing already, so I said it was fine, on the condition he wouldn’t bother me taking photos (kids standing still is fine, I can look over them and take photos over their head, but if they’re fidgety and moving around and waving whilst I'm taking photos they're just a camera hazard). And the guy was ANNOYED AF. Sucks to be you dude, if you want to be sure of a spot right by the curb, get there well in time and go sit down on the damn curb. Usually we always do that, but we lost track of time in the Studios, that’s entirely on us. I took many parade photos though!
And some instax ones.
I also took one of the Rapunzel carriage that I gave to James :).
Least I could do because he put up with me (thanks again dude, you ROCK!) :). That’s what I love at Disney, encountering kind people like him. Having seen all the steampunk goodness on parade
we went back to Frontierland to ride Big Thunder Mountain.
But not before taking photos at Fuente del Oro.
Before the refurb, BTM used to be one of my all-time favourite rides. And I still love it. But shit man, I legit thought I was going to die at a few times. I had to take a serious sit down, and if I had had a worse day, it would have been a trip straight to the EU. New faster, sharper Thunder does NOT agree with me, alas! No more Thunder for me :(. Which is massively sad but there you go.
Because we hadn’t in the morning, we went to take photos of the cool character statues in Adventureland
before walking to Fantasyland. It was much quieter in the Disneyland Park, so we went into Alice’s Curious Labyrinth. It was so nice to see it refurbished with fresh paint, that was much needed.
For once it wasn’t too crowded to go up on the Queen of Hearts castle and take photos from there. Bert realised that I was getting a fever, probably because my heart was more upset from Thunder than we thought,
so we walked to Fantasia Gelato to have a sit down and ice cream. But as that was closed,
and I remembered the milkshake posts about Victoria’s Home Style Cooking from ED92’s twitter, so I decided we should go there. €10 for a milkshake remains ridiculous in my eyes, BUT you can also have home-made ice tea for €5, which is much, much closer to what you’d pay for a home-made ice tea in a café anyway. Bert was right though that I needed to sit down to stave off first aid. Why Thunder, why?! You were so glorious before!
As we were right by Discoveryland, we went for outfit shots outside Nautilus, a park tradition
to be followed by a visit to Nautilus.
Of course, I still wanted to get the Millennium Falcon tee I saw in the morning, which I did! I got it in a medium, but in hind sight, to wear it properly oversized I should have gotten it in a large, oh well. I might actually get another one at some point and cut this one up into a top, because that would be super cool, too. It doesn’t have rolled up sleeves btw, I did that to it myself because I like that better. Yeah, I am a little too Millennium Falcon obsessed, I also have the Millennium Falcon Operations Manual bag coming my way from Amazon as that was the cheapest option to order it (it better be good or I’m never buying another thing from Bioworld ever again!).
There was also a photobooth, where you could do a sort of selfie for €2, which I did. Even though the quality of the machine wasn’t very good at all. I just can’t resist these things! The super kind CM at the cash register went to find me a one of those little cardboard maps they give you when you buy a photo with a character or an on ride photo so my photo would stay nice. That was super nice of him, much appreciated.
At that point, it really was time to have dinner so we went to Hyperion so I could have the Jedi burger menu.
Sadly, the queue did NOT move. Despite me trying to get Bert to switch to a faster queue, he wanted to stay in that one, so it meant we spend at least 20 minutes longer waiting for our food. I swear I was about to faint!
And OF COURSE there was another idiot parent there. This woman was there with two of her girlfriends and her little girl. The girl was annoying AF to the point where she was running around HITTING other people. She hit me once and I just GLARED at the mother, who didn’t even apologise!
She didn’t even tell off her mutt of a brat until she started kicking her, and then the kid of course started bawling crocodile tears for getting told off, slapped her mother again, and it wasn’t ‘till one of the friends told her off that she RAN AWAY. And they didn’t even go after her, heck, they didn’t even pay attention to her! She could have run out and they wouldn’t even have noticed. They switched queues though so I stopped paying attention to that particular unfolding drama of parenting fail because the girls in front of me rehearsing a history presentation were saying things that were FAR more interesting. History FTW. Sadly, they also moved to the faster queue. Next time, I will do the exact same thing.
Whilst the Superhero menu is definitely worth the money, the Jedi menu isn’t really in my opinion. The food (not just the Jedi menu, the same could be said for Bert’s dinner) was barely warm enough and already seriously cooling down when we started eating. There was far too much rocket salad on the burger, making it overpower the entire flavor, meaning I had to pick it out.
And the dessert was just a brownie baked in a muffin shape with a big tuft of overly sugary, vaguely pistachio flavoured stuff on top. The superhero cupcakes in the Studios looked WAY more appetizing. I wish I had had one of those instead of the Groot cookie with the foul Nutella eyes.
When we got out of Hyperion it started to get really dusky outside. Which just goes to show how long we spent in there trying to get served. Here’s a handy hint DLP, do NOT allow people that have no clue to man registers in your busiest restaurants, it is a BAD, BAD plan!
I also feel that people who start deciding what they want when it’s their turn to order, than rather when they are in the queue like they should, should be made to queue all over again so they don’t hold things up unnecessary.
We could have stayed for Illuminations and the fireworks, but when we bought return tickets at the Champs-sur-Marne RER station, they told us the last train back would be either at 11.45 or midnight. Which meant that we’d first have to sit there waiting for ages, and then we’d be stuck in a mega crowd of which a lot of people would also have to get onto the RER. And that was just a kind of stress we didn’t feel like dealing with.
Instead of waiting around and possibly getting horribly stuck and stressing about getting our train back,
we decided to head back to the Village to check a few more shops and buy a few more small things.
The RER we got back wasn’t very crowded at all, so that was good and chill. It’s a shame we had to miss Illuminations yet again, but the reality is that without knowing when the last time really was, we just didn’t want to risk it.
But hey, we got to do nearly everything we wanted to do (everything with the exception of Illuminations) and then some other things, so that was good :). We had a fun day and that’s all that matters!
I know that I bitch and moan about idiots a lot, but in the end of the day I don’t let them get to me. I just feel that it’s not an honest trip report if I don't mention the idiots all together, so I just talk about my day: good stuff and bad.
Disneyland Paris haul.
Minus the t-shirt which I chucked in the bag with dirty laundry as soon as I got into the room and so I forgot to add it to the haul pile when I took the photo the next morning, oops!
Day 1 of our trip, when we went to Paris All the Disneyland Paris photos so far. I’m also editing the next edition of BCM so I’m adding more photos when I can. (FIY, there's nothing wrong with the site, if you have McAfee and it gives a warning, it's just McAfee overreacting over nothing).
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