The Vault

Back From Disneyland Paris – Did I Complete My 10 Quests?

You may remember that before I went to Disneyland Paris last Wednesday, I wrote an article detailing 10 things I wanted to do this time, many that I hadn’t done before. You can read in detail what they were here, but now to see how I did…

Ratatouille and Place de Rémy

I rode Ratatouille L’Attraction twice on the Thursday and was blown away. I’ll do a full review at a later date, but as someone who’s most technically advanced ride to date is Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast, this was something else. The whole area is gorgeous, and has to be seen to be believed. So much detail and exquisite imagineering – it’s an absolute credit to Disneyland Paris and has set a new level of excellence in the resort.

Disney’s Enchanted Christmas 2014

We got there just in time to see the Christmas Parade – well, we actually had 10 minutes to spare after I insisted on a sprint through Disney Village and into Parc Disneyland. I loved the cavalcade last year, as it was called before it was promoted to parade status with the removal of Magic on Parade for the Christmas season, and this year with an extra float it’s even better. The Cast Members were on top form, having lots of interaction with us guests, and the new costumes are brilliant, especially the gingerbread Mickey men and the Christmas tree dancers.

Magical Christmas Wishes also debuted last year and is far superior than the lighting ceremony that preceded it. The fact that it can be seen from any angle, and even half way down Main Street, U.S.A. is enough of a reason to love it on its own. Throw in the fantastic music, commentary and lights on the new from last year tree, and it really is a fantastic few minutes of Christmas magic. Disney Dreams! of Christmas on the other hand has decreased in quality, for me anyway. It has gone from a Christmas show to a Frozen show. I can understand why they have done this given the popularity of the film, but it didn’t feel very Christmassy.

The decorations look fantastic, though statue Minnie in Central Plaza needs some winter clothes like her friends. The music is always top notch and every time it snows, especially during Magical Christmas Wishes, Main Street, U.S.A. becomes almost impossibly even more amazing and filled with an incredible festive atmosphere.


Slow Motion Video

I failed here. It rarely crossed my mind, and when it did it was either too cold to even think about taking my gloves off and messing around with a camera, or just not the right time or place. Next time.


Hidden Treasures

While we never found Michael Jackson’s stone, because we never looked for it, we did see a whole lot more. This was mainly due to the guided tour we were given at the end of our last day. It was the perfect way to end the trip and I spent 90 minutes discovering many things I either didn’t know, or in a few cases had forgotten about. I had never before known the story behind La Girafe Curieuse in Adventureland for example, and what a charming tale it is. The tour benefited from being given by a fantastic Cast Member who as well as adding extra magic to our holiday, is now a friend.


Eat In A New Restaurant

The plan was to go to Walt’s on the Thursday and Silver Spur Steakhouse on the Friday, but yours truly had an upset stomach and that didn’t end up happening. Instead it was Plaza Gardens both days, which maybe wasn’t the most adventurous use of our Half Board Plus vouchers, but I’m a bit fussy and like to see what I’m eating when the old stomach is on the dodgy side. I also like my food with as few added extras as possible, which some may say as boring, but I like to think it’s avoiding unnecessary fruit invasions and sweet flavours where they shouldn’t be! Anyway, that out of the way, the food was really good and I got to pile my plate with lots of vegetables, which seem somewhat absent in most eateries.


Long Exposure Photography

Would it not have been a good idea to check how to use my camera before leaving for Disneyland Paris? Of course, and in the evening light of Fantasyland I could only get the camera to a shutter speed of 2 seconds, even though it has a maximum shutter speed of 30 seconds. I managed a couple, but the best has to be when I had the camera on a tripod on a bin, and a woman came over to use said bin. Fail!


Meet One Character

This is where this article turns into an episode of Tales of the Unexpected, as I met not 1 but 4 characters! Two of them were at the same time in Anna and Elsa, yes, the same Anna and Elsa who meet people in the Princess Pavilion, and it was my first time in there too. I didn’t only meet some characters, but I enjoyed it to the point where I would look to do it again, as long as the queues are not too long. I came away from meeting the Frozen girls saying I get it, and then it got even more surreal in the afternoon with Woody.


Zoom In!

I must admit I didn’t use to it’s fullest potential, but I did snap the snails that are climbing one of the spires of the Castle and got some pretty nice close up photos during the parade. I didn’t make it up the Robinson Family Treeehouse which would have been a great place for zooming – another thing for next time. Lots of photo posts are on the way, so that’s something else to look forward to.


Studio Tram Tour At Night

This was a really daft idea as it just kept getting colder, and though it wasn’t that dark when we started, it was quite so when we the ride ended, both in the sky and in my heart! It was far too cold to hold the camera for any extended time, but I did manage to get a two minute clip of Catastrophe Canyon in the darkening evening, until I hid the camera out of the way of the engineered rain. This attraction needs a serious overhaul, and soon.

Husband and Wife Time

Of course we did miss our son, and talked about him often, but it was nice sitting into the night hours next to a roaring fire in Sequoia Lodge, sipping a drink. The tour wouldn’t have happened with him there either, as facts and secrets that fascinate me, aren’t so appealing to a six year old.

We did panic when it looked like we might miss the connecting Eurostar train from Lille and end up staying in France for an extra night, but that’s another story for another time.

It was a great trip and brilliant to discover and experience so many new things after going so many times previously. Luckily I had a Disneyland Paris fan Christmas lunch and meet up in London this past Sunday to stop post Disney depression kicking in too quickly. Just another example of how Disney and Disneyland Paris has brought people together.