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Unread 2 Jan 19, 03:04 PM  
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Pumba75
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Bonne Anne from DLP! Bonjour 2019

Hello

Well this is a nice surprise to be venturing into the Disneyland Paris part of the forum! We've recently returned and thought I would do a brief over view of our time there. Lots of highs and minimal niggles.

I'm Mrs P/Melissa and I share my husbands account on here. We are a family of 4 who love holidays and of course Disney! Previous introductions about us can be found in our reports to Florida & California, which can be found in our signature below.

We first went to Disneyland Paris 11 years ago. I can't believe the girls were 4 & 1 back then and now they are 15 & 12! We kept talking about returning and after juggling dates and annual leave around, found a good deal for 2 nights and 3 days with Disney direct over New Year, staying at Santa Fe with half board included.



We've never had a 3 month countdown before and with life being its usual busy self, time sped by and we realised we had done minimal planning which isn't normally like us. With 24hours to go we re-read the paperwork properly and our dining plan included table service buffet restaurants not quick service as we originally thought. Which stated booking in advance was required! Big oooops.

A quick phone call to Disney enabled us to book a buffet at Plaza Gardens for 4.30pm on the 30th December but stated they had no other availability. On the 31st we were told we could only use our dining credit for lunch as they were charging 89 + pp for dinner. Errrm no thanks Disney. We decided to "go with the flow" which for the first time worked out really well!

Premier Inn
We stayed at the Premier Inn (French Connection in Ashford) the night before as we were setting off very early via the Eurotunnel. Booked for a bargain price of 23. Can't go wrong with that! You know what you get and it extends the holiday a little longer and it was only a 15 minute drive to the terminal.

We also ate at the restaurant as we had been sent an email for 40% off. Food was great and service excellent.



Eurotunnel
Eurotunnel was straight forward and took us less than 3 hours to/from Disney. Staff on the train were particularly smiley, happy, waving and wishing everyone a happy new year on the way back, as each car was loaded on. Disney give them a job! There was a toll road which cost 22 each way.

Santa Fe
Santa Fe worked out to be a great base. This is where we stayed previously. Great theming, comfortable beds, staff friendly, buses frequent and walk was approx 10/15 minute to the parks. We worked out we were only in the room for approx 16 hours to sleep and use the bathroom!







Disneyland
Simply put. We had a brilliant time!



I had forgotten how pretty the castle was and forgot about the dragon underneath.









Some of our favourite rides...


Discoveryland



* Hyperspace Mountain - girls favourite

* Buzz Lightyear

* Mickey's Philarmagic


Fantasyland



* Peter Pan's Flight - we all really enjoyed this version

* Alice's Labryinth maze

* Never made it onto It's a small world, as it frequently had a 70 minute wait!


Adventureland



* Indiana Jones - preferred doing this at night at the front. Great use of a Fastpass (get Fastpasses early on as they go fairly quickly and are the old paper type)

* Pirates of the Caribbean - we all said this was our favourite by far, compared to Florida & California


Frontierland



* Big Thunder Mountain - loved this. Faster, longer and more intense

* Sadly Phantom Manor was closed


Walt Disney Studio Park
We really loved it here. It's small but thought the theming was great and was nice to experience new rides.







* Crush's Coaster
* RC Racer
* Toy Soldiers Parachute Drop
* Ratatouille. Used fastpass
* Slinky Dog Zigzag Spin
* Flying Carpets
* Armageddon - not keen!
* Rock n Rollercoaster - felt more rickety (or I may just be getting old!)
* Tower of Terror - cast members were brilliant
* Moteurs Action stunt show - great to see again

Just to add - the majority of wait times were 60+ minutes but we never waited as long as they said (except for Crush). We utilised the old paper Fastpass and got into the parks early.




New Years Eve
On New Years Eve, unlike Florida, you have to purchase an extra party ticket to gain entrance to Disneyland after 6pm. This would've cost us just under 300 for the 4 of us. Didn't feel a different parade and fireworks were worth the extra cost. We decided against this and opted to go to the Walt Disney Studios Park next door instead. This worked out well with a festive character show, a DJ dance party and a projection show onto Tower of Tower.



Disclaimer - we didn't make it to midnight in the park! The crowds were starting to intensify and we had done everything we wanted to do. We went back to the hotel where the girls promptly fell asleep and we could then hear the fireworks at midnight in the distance. I'm a home bod and love being in my PJ's so this was perfect for us! Our plan was to be up early anyway...

At the end of the day my step count was 31,518!


New Years Day
This was a perfect way to start the new year. We were up and out to utilise the extra magic hours which commenced at 8.30am. General admission was at 10am. There were hardly any people in the park. We were able to walk on all the rides we wanted and got so much done as the sun (behind the clouds!) was still rising. Happy memories.



Food
This was the one part that was a tad confusing. Our confirmation letter from Disney was then different to what the cast member who checked us in said - breakfast at the hotel was not included and we would have to pay extra for this. We did this once for convenience. We paid 28 for the 4 of us. The buffet was ok but not on par with a Premier Inn breakfast!

We were also informed we could only get breakfast from Cafe Hyperion. We asked about New York Style Sandwiches (Disney Village) after reading about it on the dibb but were told no. We tried it anyway and yes you can! Thank you dibbers. We were the only ones in here and included a pastry, baguette with jam and a hot and cold drink.



She also said no drinks were included but on our cards (tickets/room key) we had 4 drinks credits per day from vending machines in the hotel. The hot chocolate was actually nice and sweet.

We thought it was only the Americans who can't spell Graeme?!?!



Next time he thought he would go with Jim. What could go wrong with that?!?!



Recently Paris have just started doing Mickey Waffles. We had to queue for a long time at the Studio Catering Co (Walt Disney Studio). It cost 5.19. It was ok but nothing like the ones we have in Florida (especially at The Wave). The lady who was serving was very miserable and kept having a go at her colleague. It was all a tad awkward yet weirdly comical.



An all you can eat buffet lunch/dinner and 1 drink pp was included with our dining plan. We really enjoyed our time at Plaza Gardens (Disneyland) which was the only restaurant we had managed to book. Lots of food to choose from which was fresh and tasty. Included salads, meats, cheese, rice, chicken, salmon, pasta, pizza and much more. Better than we expected and reminded me of Crystal Palace.





Really difficult to take a photograph of a buffet and a buffet on a plate, but this was my favourite plate!



We were told on the phone and at check in they had no further reservations. On a whim and with our "go with the flow" attitude we went into Restaurant Des Stars (Walt Disney Studios Park) at 12noon on 31st December and asked if they had any availability and they did! Felt more like a modern canteen but again the food was really good. The buffet was similar to the day before. The soup and mussels were really tasty and an ice cream and sweet table were also available.





We also purchased and shared a tuna and Philly cheesesteak from Earl of Sandwich in the Disney village. Delicious.



Parades
Disney always know how to put on a parade!

Mickeys 90th Party & Cupcake celebration



Disney Stars on Parade



Disney's Christmas Parade





Niggles...
A few minutes before the fireworks started, this happened! Really?!?! We spoke to the Dad but he implied he couldn't understand English or our non verbal communication!



There were a fair amount of people who didn't have any concept of personal space in the lines and we noticed some people smoking but cast members were quickly advising where the allocated places were. It was very very busy but we went expecting that so our expectations were realistic.

Wifi. What wifi?! Really struggled with this in the parks, which was annoying when trying to connect to the Disney app for information, but the hotel wifi was fine.




Happy moments
And just like that, our lovely long weekend was over.

There were lots of these



And some of these



Final walk down the arcade



Last glimpse of the tree & castle




Mickey's 90th birthday cakes




Before finally saying...



Thanks for reading! Any questions feel free to ask.

M x

Edited at 10:25 PM.
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Unread 2 Jan 19, 04:51 PM  
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HappyPanda
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I'm glad you had a great time - it seems like you managed to fit a lot in give you went at one of the busiest time of year!

It's so frustrating when people put their kids on their shoulders to watch the fireworks - it's just plan rude imo. I always just carried my Daughter so she was at the same height as me which is much more acceptable.
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Unread 2 Jan 19, 05:48 PM  
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Hels80
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Ahh looks like you had a great time. Can't believe how quiet it was on New Year's morning.

We went a few years ago for New Year, before they started the extra ticket you pay for. It was so rammed. Lovely atmosphere though and the parks looked so pretty.
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Unread 2 Jan 19, 06:12 PM  
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DevonPumpkin
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You managed to get so much done even with a short trip! I'm surprised how quiet extra magic hours were but I suppose most people were feeling the affects of the night before
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Unread 2 Jan 19, 11:33 PM  
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Pumba75
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Originally Posted by HappyPanda View Post
I'm glad you had a great time - it seems like you managed to fit a lot in give you went at one of the busiest time of year!

It's so frustrating when people put their kids on their shoulders to watch the fireworks - it's just plan rude imo. I always just carried my Daughter so she was at the same height as me which is much more acceptable.
Thanks. Yes we did. Totally agree.

Originally Posted by Hels80 View Post
Ahh looks like you had a great time. Can't believe how quiet it was on New Year's morning.

We went a few years ago for New Year, before they started the extra ticket you pay for. It was so rammed. Lovely atmosphere though and the parks looked so pretty.
Thanks. Yes we thought the same.

Originally Posted by DevonPumpkin View Post
You managed to get so much done even with a short trip! I'm surprised how quiet extra magic hours were but I suppose most people were feeling the affects of the night before
Thanks. That was the method in our madness. And it worked!

M x
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Unread 2 Jan 19, 11:45 PM  
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Beth_Disney
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We went to DLP on New Years Day too. Looks like you had a fab day. The weather was amazing wasnt it? I loved the Christmas parade.

Unfortunately I also struggled to see the fireworks/projection due to children on shoulders and phones in the air. I prefer to just watch and take an occasional still photo (not that they ever come out great) but so many people were filming which meant phones stayed in the air throughout
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Unread 3 Jan 19, 05:43 PM  
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2017dream
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Looks like you had a fab time ...

We are thinking of going next year and are unsure whether to go a couple of days before and NYE or NYE and a few days after ...was the whole of NYD less busy or just EMH ?
What were queue times like, have been before so not like it's our only time but would like to get on a few things
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Unread 3 Jan 19, 11:11 PM  
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Sounds like a lovely trip. We are going in May, first visit for 7 years, so Im excited to see different things and experience rides we werent able to try before.

Id love to visit a Disney park for the Christmas season. Over NY sounds like a great time to choose. The park looks so pretty.
Thanks for sharing
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