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Unread 13 Oct 19, 03:54 PM  
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Originally Posted by Gill H View Post
As you don't have a dining plan, I wouldn't bother with breakfast in the hotel. It's nice but stupidly expensive for what you get - unless you would rather have a big breakfast and skip lunch.

If you want breakfast elsewhere, the Village has Earl of Sandwich, Starbucks, McDonald's and my favourite, New York Style Sandwiches which does a croissant/juice/coffee breakfast. Annette's does a hot breakfast but doesn't open early enough if you want to do EMT.

Counter service in DLP is generally glacially slow service for food that is often cold by the time you find a seat, and isn't that great anyway. In particular, avoid Casey's, Cafe Hyperion and in the Studios, Restaurant En Coulisse.

Better options are Au Chalet de la Marionette, Fuente del'Oro, Lucky Nugget (more expensive but you get to sit in and be brought your food, and there's puppet shows and live entertainment). In the Studios you don't really have any other counter service options, but at Christmas the food festival should be on in Place de Remy so you could always get something there.

If you are in the park for 8.30 EMT and stay till after Illuminations, you will probably not want to do much in the evening! We tend to just have dinner and relax in our room. However, there will be live music in Billy Bob's, there's a sports bar if that's your thing, and of course there's always a hotel cocktail crawl...

I have to disagree about the table service restaurants, they are generally pretty good IMO. Yacht Club is nice, or the Steakhouse. We rediscovered King Ludwig's last time and had a really nice flatbread (flammkueche). The buffets can get busy and noisy, but we found La Grange at Billy Bob's was a quieter option and surprisingly good, particularly for desserts.

Buffalo Bill's sometimes has cheaper tickets for the 9.30pm show on DLP's website (check the French version and look for a 'billet malin' offer). The food is not gourmet but it is hot and plentiful, and the show is great fun. Definitely do it. Don't pay extra for front seats though, the view from higher up is just as good.

Fastpass is the old system. Now that Big Thunder is open during EMT, you can usefully get it done then - but for the rest of the day it is still the most popular FP in the park, apart from maybe Peter Pan (which you can do as a walk on during EMT too).

In Studios the only FPs you really need are ToT and Ratatouille - although again, if you go during EMT you can do Ratatouille as a walk on, and there's always single rider.

The biggest queues in Studios are for Crush's Coaster which doesn't have FP (they trialled it but because of the way it loads, it didn't help). Also, make a point of going to the show in the Animagique Theatre. Last year at Christmas it was the Big Band show which they also have in Tokyo, which was one of the best Disney shows I have ever seen.

They also did an evening show in Studio's last year involving Goofy and a letter to Santa. This is done with projections on ToT and was absolutely superb.

In Disneyland Park there will be a Christmas parade several times a day, probably a show at the side of the castle, and also the tree lighting when it gets dark.

For a nice warm up, head to Victoria's Home Style Cafe at the top of Main Street on the right, and have a chocolat viennois. Not just a hot chocolate, it is so rich and creamy!

My biggest tip is take lots of layers! It wasn't stupidly cold when we were there, but if you are out in the park all day, you do feel the cold.

Enjoy. I've done Christmas season in WDW and DLP, and I prefer DLP's version by miles. They really do it well.
Hi Gill! Thank you for this epic post, I really appreciate it and will be bookmarking it, as well as going back and re-reading all your wonderful trip reports. So many great tips here. Thank you! Youre making me very excited.
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Unread 13 Oct 19, 03:57 PM  
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Originally Posted by JayTheDisneyDad View Post
We are going the week before xmas too - 16th-19th Dec.

Crowd prediction calendars tend to be useless for DLP but everyone seems to be saying that this week shouldn't be too busy so fingers crossed!

1) I must admit when I first saw the closure times I was a little disappointed it is so early. But with a 1yr old and a 5yr old it's probably for the best to avoid them falling asleep for the fireworks. Also note the 16th and 17th first went up as 6pm close but is now 7pm..

2) We're going to try Lucky Nugget Saloon for a quick lunch for the kids (they don't eat big at breakfast and last all day like us adults) and a warm up drink for us adults.

4) Despite my comment about it not being too busy hopefully I would always make reservations at Disney... made the mistake of not doing so before and it can get stressful and waste more time hunting for somewhere that will let you in.

6) Don't bother with FP for Buzz.. it's a waste of time and I have often found practically walk on in EMH and towards the end of the night just before the fireworks. FP will be needed for Peter Pan, Space Mountain and Thunder Mountain in Disney park plus Ratatouille and ToT in Studios.

Finally don't forget you'll want to do lots of xmas shopping and the shops on Main Street often stay open at least an hour after park closes so don't waste time in the shops until after the fireworks!
Thank you for the post. Well be there at the same time!

Youre right about the stress of pounding around looking for somewhere to eat. Our WDW trips are planned almost to the minute so I do need to make a rough plan I think, to see where we can fit in a table service meal or two.

Great tip about saving the shopping til later too...Ill try to stay out of the shops up to then...
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Unread 13 Oct 19, 03:58 PM  
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Originally Posted by Gill H View Post
Although I would say if you get in at the beginning of EMT and head straight for Peter Pan, it is a walk on for a good half hour.
Thank you! I think well be headed to Crush along with the masses but I do love a bit of Peter Pan.
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Unread 13 Oct 19, 04:00 PM  
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Originally Posted by Peter H View Post
We have booked buffets before, certainly at Cheyenne and Santa Fe, and it made no difference. It may do for Billy Bobs. If you are adventurous try Agraba Cafe for Middle Eastern style food. This is also a useful choice for Veggies.
I find table service food generally good at DLP. Quick service is hit and miss. Also hit food on buffets tends not to be very hot. Restaurant Hakuna Matata can be annoying as there is no one supervising the queue as there is at Marionette.
The single rider for Crush is almost as long as the stand by.
Thank you Peter. I think the buffet at Billy Bobs definitely ticks the boxes for us so is on the list to investigate.

Thats interesting about the single rider queue for Crush - and a shame as we dont mind doing single rider on occasion.
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Unread 13 Oct 19, 04:03 PM  
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I know one poster has mentioned it but for character meet and greets in The Studios park you will need the Lineberty app and book a space. They alert you when its your turn. Magic Kingdom is still queuing only.
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Unread 13 Oct 19, 04:04 PM  
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Originally Posted by baggers View Post
I know one poster has mentioned it but for character meet and greets in The Studios park you will need the Lineberty app and book a space. They alert you when its your turn. Magic Kingdom is still queuing only.
Thank you. This is why the Dibb is so great as wed never have figured that out.
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