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Unread 12 Jan 19, 10:36 PM  
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Gill H
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Join Date: Jan 08
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A Cowboy Christmas: November 2018. Day 2 - The Good, The Bad and The Wurst

<<Day 1 - Wagons Roll

Jessie the Yodelling Cowgirl writes:

Howdy folks! Now I know what you’re thinkin’ – you read all through yesterday, and our pore weary travellers ain’t even got to the parks yet! Well, don’t you worry none, because today, they hit Disneyland Park, and they sure do hit it hard. Pour yourself a sasparilla and pull up a chair, and let my gal Gill tell y’all about today’s adventures…


My phone alarm went off at 6am and I hauled myself off to the bathroom to enjoy using the lovely little Mickey toiletries. Once showered and dressed, I put the TV on and found BBC World News, and made a cuppa for us both to enjoy before Peter got ready. By 7.30 we were out of the room and walking through an incredibly misty Cheyenne. I guess one of the drawbacks of going to DLP at this time of year is that you rarely see your accommodation in daylight! But this morning it really did feel misty and mysterious, which only added to the atmosphere. We headed down the path towards Disney Village, marvelling at how foggy it was – we could hardly see the Panoramagique balloon, and couldn’t see Newport Bay across the lake at all!






Once we reached the Village we headed straight for New York Style Sandwiches for ‘grab and go’ breakfast. We had free half board with our booking, and had decided that rather than waste time queueing in Café Hyperion for the infamous ‘omelette burger’ breakfast, we’d have it here on the way. I am indebted to the Dibb for tipping us off about getting the grab and go breakfast at this place, as it was probably one of the best decisions of the day to come here!

New York Style Sandwiches is a cosy little cafe, decorated with posters for classic Broadway shows. It was staffed by a cheerful and friendly CM who was happy to serve us, her first customers of the day. Our meal credits entitled us to a hot and cold drink each, so we both chose a latte and a can of apple juice. Also included was a pastry – a croissant for me and a pain au chocolat for Peter – and some bread. But instead of the hard little tasteless roll you get elsewhere with the breakfast, here they served a proper baguette (although my pastry chef husband tells me it’s properly called a baton – duly noted!) We could help ourselves to butter and jam as we wished.



It was so lovely sitting in the little cafe, listening to the music piped in from the Village outside, and relaxing over our very nice breakfast. We were the only customers for quite a while, and now that EMT starts at 8.30 instead of 8.00, we had plenty of time to enjoy our breakfast without rushing. I can’t recommend this place enough for a light breakfast. I know that in a few months DLP is doing away with the ‘grab and go’ option (hooray!) but I think if you don’t have a dining package and don’t want to pay for full buffet breakfast, this place could be a real find for some people. Highly recommended!
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DLP: day trips 2000, 2003; Cheyenne Sep 2009, Feb 2011; Sequoia Lodge June 2008, May 2012; Elysee May 2012, Jan 2013, Sep 2013; Disneyland Hotel Mar 2015, Santa Fe Nov 2016; Newport Bay Sep 2017
WDW: Port Orleans Riverside Dec 10; SSR Nov 14

Edited at 11:02 PM.
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Unread 12 Jan 19, 10:37 PM  
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Gill H
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Even this close, we could hardly see the Disneyland Hotel for fog!



We arrived in Disneyland Park just after 8.30 and were directed through to the main gates instead of the right-hand side as they used to do. It was odd seeing Main Street station without its 25th anniversary decorations, but the Christmas ones which replaced them were superb.



And to add to the festivities, there was a huge Mickey-themed cake statue at the entrance. This represented Main Street, and was one of five put in place for Mickey’s 90th birthday celebrations.



So after a quick look at the cake, we went under the arch and emerged into a thoroughly festive Main Street USA. Ah, we’re home! I do get soppy about Main Street, I just love to watch it wake up in the morning.



There's a castle somewhere, I know there is...



Ah, there it is!



And there were some great character statues too.





Also there was an advent calendar, which apparently opened every day and had freebies for a lucky guest, but we were never there at the right time.

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DLP: day trips 2000, 2003; Cheyenne Sep 2009, Feb 2011; Sequoia Lodge June 2008, May 2012; Elysee May 2012, Jan 2013, Sep 2013; Disneyland Hotel Mar 2015, Santa Fe Nov 2016; Newport Bay Sep 2017
WDW: Port Orleans Riverside Dec 10; SSR Nov 14

Edited at 10:43 PM.
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Unread 12 Jan 19, 10:44 PM  
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Gill H
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We arrived in Disneyland Park just after 8.30 and were directed through to the main gates instead of the right-hand side as they used to do. It was odd seeing Main Street station without its 25th anniversary decorations, but the Christmas ones which replaced them were superb. And to add to the festivities, there was a huge Mickey-themed cake statue at the entrance. This represented Main Street, and was one of five put in place for Mickey’s 90th birthday celebrations. So after a quick look at the cake, we went under the arch and emerged into a thoroughly festive Main Street USA. Ah, we’re home! I do get soppy about Main Street, I just love to watch it wake up in the morning.

We couldn’t linger too long though, as we wanted to take advantage of EMT and hit the Fantasyland rides. Peter Pan, as usual, was first on our list with a five minute wait. I still haven’t got over how much better this looks after its refurb. No dramatic changes, but everything is so much brighter and cleaner, and the mechanism runs smoother too – no more having to brace myself as we fly out of the window!

Next was Dumbo, which again had a 5 minute wait. This is one of those rides I will never queue long for (except when we went with our friends and their children, which necessitated a 45 minute wait on a cold February morning!) However, if I can get it with a minimal wait I do love to do it. Apart from the fact you’re flying in an elephant, it is so lovely to get those views of Fantasyland!

Then it was on to the Teacups, which as usual was a walk on. I’m never sure why this doesn’t get that busy, it’s a great ride, and looks even better now it’s had a wash and brush up recently.

We had debated doing the Princess Pavilion if it was quiet. This is something we’ve never done, but then we’ve never seen it without a huge queue outside. We knew it was open during EMT and didn’t see anyone outside, so we went over to have a look at the wait time. Even with no-one outside, it was showing as 75 minutes. Sorry, but the princesses will have to do without me – that’s more than I wait for anyone!

Instead we went on the carousel, which again had no queue. As usual I looked for the chariot to ride in, as I find it tricky to get on the horses. I was lucky this time, and shared a chariot with two friendly Belgian ladies. I drew on my rusty school French and we managed to have a little chat about the fact that none of us liked climbing on the horses and would much rather sit regally in a chariot!

Having completed all the Fantasyland rides that were open during EMT, we moved on to Discoveryland, and our old favourite, Buzz Lightyear. It’s a standing joke that Peter always beats me on this, but today the little green aliens must have been on my side. My score was 14400 and Peter’s was 13500. OK, so still not exactly galactic heroes, but a win is a win!

Since Peter didn’t fancy Hyperspace Mountain so soon after breakfast, we were pretty much done with Discoveryland for the moment, and decided to head over to Frontierland for park opening. Although it wasn’t quite 10am, there was no rope at the entrance to Frontierland as there has been previously, and everyone was heading to the big draw – Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Peter decided against joining the queue which was waiting for the ride to open, and instead we got a FP on each of our tickets, for 10.55-11.25 that morning.

Our beloved Phantom Manor was of course closed. I really hope the long refurb is worth the wait – if they do as good a job as they’ve done with POTC then I’ll be happy. On the plus side though, the foggy weather made the house look amazing, straight out of a horror film. In fact we heard a woman behind us say to her friend ‘Is that the Addams Family house?’ I can understand why she thought that, although as far as I know that’s one franchise Disney don’t own – at the moment anyway!

Meanwhile, although we couldn’t go on the ride, we did at least have the option of meeting Jack Skellington in his ‘Sandy Claws’ outfit. We know that character meets take ages at DLP even with a short queue, but there were only a few families ahead of us and we decided Jack would be a good character to meet.

As always, the queue moved very slowly – not least because there was a separate queue with a party of disabled children and adults, which you can’t really gripe about! So there was plenty of time to chat with the family in front. They were a British couple with a little girl, and like us they were staying at the Cheyenne. They were new to DLP and we were able to pass on lots of tips (in particular that if they wanted to ride BTMR, a Fastpass was going to be essential). They said they probably would get round to it, as they wouldn’t need to stop for lunch, having made up a load of sandwiches at breakfast. Oh dear, I hope my face didn’t betray my feelings on this one. Apart from the fact that carrying around lukewarm ham and cheese is a good way to get an upset stomach, I really don’t see why people think this is acceptable. Not to mention the fact that it’s the reason why they now charge for breakfast instead of including it in the price!

Anyway, I managed to stop myself from giving them a lecture, and hastily changed the subject. Before long it was their turn to meet Jack, and he was great with all of them, particularly the little girl. We then had to wait a bit longer because two girls from the disabled queue were next. Jack was an absolute joy with these two and it was such fun to watch. He wanted to know if they were having a really horrible time, and fortunately they were evidently big fans and understood what he was on about!

Finally we got to meet him, and he was great fun. We addressed him as Sandy Claws and asked if he was ready for Christmas. After a quick chat and a pose for a picture, we waved him goodbye and moved on.



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DLP: day trips 2000, 2003; Cheyenne Sep 2009, Feb 2011; Sequoia Lodge June 2008, May 2012; Elysee May 2012, Jan 2013, Sep 2013; Disneyland Hotel Mar 2015, Santa Fe Nov 2016; Newport Bay Sep 2017
WDW: Port Orleans Riverside Dec 10; SSR Nov 14
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Unread 12 Jan 19, 10:47 PM  
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Gill H
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By now it was nearly time for Peter’s FP (yes, we’d been a good 45 minutes even in a very small queue). So we moved on to BTMR. Peter gave me his video camera, phone and wallet for safe keeping, and I said I’d go and have a look round the shops on Main Street and he could come and find me after his second ride. Can you see the flaw in this plan, readers? Yep – Peter’s phone was sitting snugly in my handbag, and without a definite location and time to meet, we could spend ages missing each other. I realised just too late!

So I figured the best plan was to wait at the exit and meet Peter coming off his first time round. Which, considering he’d got a Fastpass, seemed to take ages. There was plenty of opportunity to watch the large numbers of people who strolled happily in through the exit. I know it’s the disabled entrance (which doesn’t seem very well planned, as going against the flow of the crowds coming out must be a pretty stressful experience). And yes, I know ‘not all disabilities are visible’ but I think a lot of people just assumed this was actually the way in! Surely a case for a helpful CM to be stationed right at the exit?

Anyway, eventually Peter came off the ride and I managed to flag him down. I told him I’d check out the Frontierland shops while he went round again, and he could meet me in there. Which, about 10 minutes later, he did. We had a quick look round at all the Christmas merchandise, but didn’t buy anything for the moment. But we did decide the next thing on the agenda should be a nice hot drink to warm us up.

One problem with going to DLP in the winter is that a lot of places which just sell drinks don’t have indoor seating. If we wanted to have a hot drink and sit down in the warm, it would take a bit of planning. Nowhere in Frontierland was open yet, and so we headed to Main Street. Normally Cable Car Bakery would have been a good option, but it was closed today, as was Gibson Girl. So Market House Deli was the only choice currently open on Main Street. (We didn’t even bother looking at Casey’s, where the queues were already out of the door.) Inside Market House Deli there was only one till open, and as always the queue moved agonisingly slowly. I always wonder why they put the hot food so far back from the till – it can easily be 20 minutes from picking up your croque monsieur to actually getting to eat it, and that’s if you can find a seat.

Fortunately today all we wanted was a hot chocolate, and a long, long time later that’s what we got. Sadly the famous ‘chocolat viennois’ seems to have largely disappeared from DLP and most places now serve what is rather clumsily called a ‘boisson lactée cacaotée’ or ‘milk chocolate drink’. If you ask for hot chocolate, that’s what you get. It’s straight out of a machine, and while it’s OK, it’s nothing special. Still, right now it was what we needed. However, our hopes of somewhere to sit were dashed, since as usual people with no food were hogging all the tables. We were about to take our drinks out to the arcade and sit there, but just then we heard the Christmas parade music and our plans changed!

We rushed back out to Main Street just in time to see the parade coming past. We decided not to bother taking photos or film as we intended seeing it another time – but alas (spoiler!) we never made it. Still, it was great to see the parade. It’s really grown since the days of the tiny ‘Christmas cavalcade’ they used to have, but I think my favourite characters are still the airmen in their toy planes, complete with Allo Allo-style moustaches! I could have done without the fake snow (aka ‘snope’) as I prefer my hot chocolate minus soap bubbles and was having trouble keeping them out! But nevertheless it was a really lovely parade and we were glad we got to see it.

Once the parade was over we decided it was time for lunch. In all our visits, we’ve never managed to get to Restaurant Hakuna Matata as it’s always been closed, but we knew today it was open so headed over there. When we got in, however, it was utter chaos. Rather than being a relaxing location Timon and Pumbaa might hang out in, it looked like the wildebeest stampede had got there before us. There were no CMs on hand to manage the queues, and everyone was just milling around, pushing in front of others, with no queue visible at all. After a few frustrating minutes attempting to impose a little order on our surroundings, we decided to leave it and go elsewhere. We did manage to flag down a CM and explain that we weren’t happy with the lack of a queueing system, but while she was very apologetic, she said there was nothing she could do apart from tell her supervisor. Sort it out, DLP!

So instead we decided to try somewhere else, stopping off for a quick visit to POTC to see the Pirates on the way. This ride is just so good, I’m always amazed the queues are so short. The wait time jumped from 10 minutes to 20 just as we joined the queue, and indeed it’s actually the first time I’ve stood still for any length of time once inside. But it does manage queues very well, and soon we were on our boat and shouting ‘Bon Appetit!’ to the diners at Captain Jack’s restaurant. We really love this ride (even though I always tense up before the drop, and then wonder why I bothered!) The new elements have taken this ride to a whole other level, and while I know the ‘redhead’ storyline is not universally loved, the redhead herself is superbly done, and the Captain Barbossa section is really effective.
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DLP: day trips 2000, 2003; Cheyenne Sep 2009, Feb 2011; Sequoia Lodge June 2008, May 2012; Elysee May 2012, Jan 2013, Sep 2013; Disneyland Hotel Mar 2015, Santa Fe Nov 2016; Newport Bay Sep 2017
WDW: Port Orleans Riverside Dec 10; SSR Nov 14
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Unread 12 Jan 19, 10:48 PM  
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Gill H
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After our pirate voyage we headed to Au Chalet de la Marionnette, otherwise known as Pinocchio’s place. We’ve only been in here once before and that was for a cup of coffee in the early morning, so this was our first encounter with their queuing system. And what a revelation it was! As you walked through the restaurant you were met by a CM who directed you to a particular queue – just like the ‘groupers’ at rides who tell you which number gate to stand at. It worked brilliantly and ensured that all the queues were easily visible and manageable – something I have never before seen in a DLP counter service restaurant. Please, please, DLP, roll this out to all the other counter service restaurants immediately!

I had heard that this place served German bratwurst sausages and Bavarian hot dogs, rather than the anaemic-looking ones you get at Casey’s. So Peter ordered ‘Menu 3’ - an ‘authentic bratwurst’ which came with fries, a Coke and a yoghurt. I ordered ‘Menu 1’ – a ‘Bavarian hot dog with currywurst sauce’ with fries and a Coke. We soon found a table and settled down to enjoy our meal.





Peter really enjoyed his bratwurst and a share of my bun. My Bavarian hot dog was excellent, and the currywurst sauce wasn’t too curry-ish, just nicely tangy. We shared the yoghurt, and all in all we felt this had been a very good lunch. However, as we got up to leave, I noticed there was currywurst sauce on my coat sleeve, so I popped into the nearest toilets and washed it off. Or at least I thought I had… (dum dum duuuuum!)

Next we decided to go on my favourite ride, It’s a Small World. We were queueing behind a family which included a young boy in a Spiderman costume, with a face like thunder – he obviously wanted to be anywhere other than on this ride! As usual the queue moved quickly and we were soon embarking on the ‘happiest cruise that ever sailed’. It was fun to spot the little Christmassy touches that had been added to many characters, and of course the other seasonal variations such as the Hannukah decorations for the Israel section. And even young Mr Spidey had a smile on his face by the end (maybe because it was the end!)

We headed on towards the castle stage, as there was about 10 minutes to the next ‘Merry Stitchmas’ show. Actually I prefer the French title for this one ‘Un Noel FantaStitch’ (a pun on ‘Fantastique’ – the French do love their wordplay!) We went up the stairs and leaned against the railings, which is a great view and you’re guaranteed no-one is in front of you.

So, how can I describe the Stitchmas show? Well, it’s a decent enough show, packed with fun dance routines and poppy versions of favourite Christmas songs. Minnie’s rendition of ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ is a highlight, complete with red pompoms. It also features a life-size music box, with a sweet little song led by Goofy that goes “Incredible, unforgettable, give a turn, wind it up and wow…”. Is this an original song? I’m sure I know it from somewhere but I haven’t been able to find any mention of it outside the show. I really like it! It’s followed by John Denver’s quirky song ‘The Marvelous Toy’ (“it went zip when it moved and bop when it stopped, and whirr when it stood still…” if your memory goes back that far).

But enough of that, I hear you cry, what about Stitch? Indeed. Stitch is shoehorned into the show, turning up, trying to help, getting it wrong and dashing off again. He gets do an Elvis impression and mistake a surfboard for a sleigh, before eventually turning up dressed as Santa. I wish DLP had taken a look at the ‘Totally Tomorrowland Christmas Show’ in WDW, where Stitch is used in a similar way but has an important role in the story.

Anyway, despite Stitch being a guest in his own show, we did enjoy it, and came away feeling properly festive. That is, until I realised that the infamous currywurst sauce was still decorating bits of my coat, and even some of Peter’s too! I think there must have been some sauce on the table when we sat down, because there was far too much for it to have come just from my hot dog. So we nipped into the loos in Videopolis and gave our coats a thorough cleaning to make sure we got every bit of sauce off.
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DLP: day trips 2000, 2003; Cheyenne Sep 2009, Feb 2011; Sequoia Lodge June 2008, May 2012; Elysee May 2012, Jan 2013, Sep 2013; Disneyland Hotel Mar 2015, Santa Fe Nov 2016; Newport Bay Sep 2017
WDW: Port Orleans Riverside Dec 10; SSR Nov 14
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Unread 12 Jan 19, 10:49 PM  
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Gill H
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This done, we grabbed a Fastpass for Peter at Star Tours, and went to see the newly installed Philharmagic show – or as it’s called here, ‘Mickey and his Philharmagic Orchestra’. This has taken up residence in the old ‘Honey I Shrunk The Audience’ theatre in Discoveryland, which was later used for ‘Captain Eo’ and then for a succession of film previews, before hosting the Pixar short film festival. It’s nice to see it being used for a proper show again, and it’s certainly the first time we’ve seen a queue outside that theatre in many a year.

Discoveryland is an odd place to put this show. Yes, it’s an empty theatre and is already set up for some 4D effects. But apart from a video on the screens, there was zero theming in the pre-show area and nothing has changed in the theatre itself. That said, it was still a great show. The usual mix of French and English which DLP likes to use was no problem here, as we all knew the songs anyway. And the audience were clearly wowed by the 4D effects (though there were no smells in this version). However, the biggest disappointment is that they haven’t altered the theatre for the show’s ending. Spoiler alert in case you haven’t seen the show… at the end, Donald is blown out of a tuba and goes flying over our heads – and when you turn round, you can see Donald sticking out of a hole in the wall. Well, several people in the audience at DLP were obviously expecting this, because they turned round and … nothing. I don’t know if this is going to be a permanent home for this show – it feels like a stopgap while they figure out what to do. Still, it’s nice to see the show again, particularly now we don’t have the Animagique show in Studios any more.

Coming out of the theatre, we noticed that the standby queue for Star Tours was only 15 minutes, so Peter decided to do it there and then, rather than come back later and use his Fastpass. This left me looking for someone to give the Fastpass to. Always an interesting quest at DLP, due to the mixture of languages. Not to mention, I needed to find a party of one to give it to – not easy. But before long an American man in a Miami Dolphins shirt walked up to the Fastpass machine, so I offered him the unwanted FP and he accepted with a “Thank you ma’am!”

This done, I headed into Videopolis to warm up and get us some hot drinks. Again, I was caught by the lack of indoor venues selling drinks only – as usual, Café Hyperion had long queues that moved incredibly slowly, and everyone seemed to be buying enough BB8 burgers to feed a whole troop of young padawans.

As I’m originally from Wales, my ears tend to prick up when I hear someone who sounds like they come from the proper side of the Severn Bridge (ahem). And the guy behind me was as broad Newport as you can get. I grew up in Cwmbran, just down the road from there (and if you want to know about Cwmbran, Goldie Lookin’ Chain’s ‘Fresh Prince of Cwmbran’ tells you all you need to know. Check it out, but not while the kids are watching!) So of course I got chatting to him and his family while I waited in the queue. As it turned out, they were staying in the Cheyenne and had arrived on Thursday just as we had, in torrential rain. They had come on a coach trip with a group, and it was their first time at DLP. And yes, he was the second person this trip who proudly boasted about making up sandwiches at breakfast for later. Oh well.

Meanwhile, Peter had arrived from his Star Tours voyage, and between us we managed to pass on a few tips to the guy from Newport – in particular about EMT and Fastpass, neither of which he knew about. We should charge, really we should. And then we got talking about the app, and how to look up wait times…

Ladies and gentlemen, prepare yourselves for the best Disney Epic Fail in this trippie. Not the only one, by all means, but you’ll have to wait till tomorrow to hear about my very own Epic Fail. It’s still not as funny as this one though. Are you ready?

So the guy got out his phone to look on the app. His friend had recommended it to him, and he’d downloaded it, but he was a bit confused because he couldn’t seem to find some of the rides he’d been on.

Drum roll please…

He had the WDW app. He’d been looking at it for ages on the coach journey, and it hadn’t dawned on him that DLP seemed to be lacking such features as Epcot, Animal Kingdom or Blizzard Beach.

Fortunately we managed to show him the right app, although by then we were just about to be served at the till, and we didn’t speak to him after that as he was sitting with his family. I do hope he isn’t still wandering around trying to find the Carousel of Progress.
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DLP: day trips 2000, 2003; Cheyenne Sep 2009, Feb 2011; Sequoia Lodge June 2008, May 2012; Elysee May 2012, Jan 2013, Sep 2013; Disneyland Hotel Mar 2015, Santa Fe Nov 2016; Newport Bay Sep 2017
WDW: Port Orleans Riverside Dec 10; SSR Nov 14
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Unread 12 Jan 19, 10:50 PM  
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Gill H
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Anyway, we eventually came away with a couple of coffees, which we downed quickly and then headed down Main Street. The plan was to skip the parade, as we’d seen it several times before, to leave Disneyland Park for the evening, and go over to Studios where we’d watch the new show ‘Goofy’s Incredible Christmas’. However, just as we got to Town Square, we heard music, and noticed there was a small crowd beginning to line the street. It was 4.45 so a little early for the parade – but then we remembered, there was a pre-parade of the ‘Cupcake Girls’ for Mickey’s 90th birthday celebrations. So we decided, hey, we’re here and there’s a great spot available. Let’s watch the parade!

Next to us was a lovely family from North Wales (yes, it really was the Welsh Invasion at DLP – they were in the Cheyenne too!) Their little girl was really excited about seeing her favourite characters. On the other side of us was a Spanish family who had arrived just too late for a really good view, so we offered to let their small son stand in front of us, and he was thrilled.

Meanwhile the chilly weather and darkening skies were perhaps not the best atmosphere for a parade, but that didn’t stop one of the CMs from doing his best to spread some Disney sunshine. He was running back and forth along the parade route, geeing up the crowds and getting us all to do a Mexican wave. He was so funny and really got us all ready to cheer the Cupcake Girls. Who arrived just a few moments later, to the sound of ‘Are you ready to party?’, Mickey’s birthday song. Now OK, I know some people are a bit underwhelmed by the Cupcake Girls. But their costumes are quite imaginative, incorporating some of the iconic features of the land they represent. I was particularly impressed by the Discoveryland girl whose costume bore a strong resemblance to Orbitron. Not an easy look to pull off, but she managed it!





The pre-parade was brief but fun, and then within a few minutes we started to hear the ‘Lost in the Magic’ song that heralds the parade. As I said, we’ve seen this a few times, but this was the first time we’ve ever watched it at dusk. Somehow it seemed extra special to be watching a Disney parade in the (almost) dark. It’s still impressive – though I wish the poor princesses near the end didn’t have to walk! Poor Aurora, it’s her castle and even she has to hoof it. Still, after that sleep she probably needs the exercise.
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DLP: day trips 2000, 2003; Cheyenne Sep 2009, Feb 2011; Sequoia Lodge June 2008, May 2012; Elysee May 2012, Jan 2013, Sep 2013; Disneyland Hotel Mar 2015, Santa Fe Nov 2016; Newport Bay Sep 2017
WDW: Port Orleans Riverside Dec 10; SSR Nov 14
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Unread 12 Jan 19, 10:51 PM  
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Gill H
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Guidebook Reviews: 24
After the parade, we decided to change our plans. It had been a long day, and we had packed a lot in. We were cold and tired, and the idea of relaxing over a meal in a nice warm restaurant was a lot more appealing than schlepping over to Studios and jostling for a decent spot to see the show. So we looked at the times guide, and figured we could manage to fit in watching the tree lighting at Disneyland Park and then the Goofy show in Studios tomorrow evening. (Remember this – it will be important later!)

So we left the park, and decided to see if we could get into La Grange at Billy Bob’s any earlier than our 7pm reservation. When we arrived there it was just coming up to 6pm and Billy Bob’s wasn’t even open, so we joined the small group of people sitting near the door and waited. A few moments later a CM came to unlock the door and was quite happy to let us eat there straight away. It’s not as if there were huge queues, and they didn’t seem to be expecting large crowds. One bonus of being in France is that the French eat at 8pm and the Spanish don’t even think about it until at least 9.30pm, so us early-bird Brits often have our pick of the tables. And sure enough, at this point everyone in the restaurant was a Brit.

We were soon sorted with drinks and shown round the buffet. It was our first time eating here, and we were pleasantly surprised by the amount and variety of food on offer. Being Tex-Mex, of course you had ribs, barbecue chicken, a make-your-own fajitas counter and so on.










But there were also plenty of cold meats and salads...







And (being in France) a good cheese selection.



Then there was a surprisingly good range of desserts!







It was definitely a step up from the buffets at Cheyenne and Santa Fe, and I would say it’s probably the best value for a standard dining plan voucher that DLP has to offer. Unfortunately we were too early for any live music, but I’m sure we’ll be back another time.

While we were eating, I found the email confirming our original 7pm reservation, and clicked on the link to cancel it. We’d used the online reservation system that DLP are trialling on the Dutch site, and it had been very easy to make the booking, and even easier to cancel it. Let’s hope they roll this system out to the other countries’ websites soon.
__________________
Queen of Team Wimp
DLP: day trips 2000, 2003; Cheyenne Sep 2009, Feb 2011; Sequoia Lodge June 2008, May 2012; Elysee May 2012, Jan 2013, Sep 2013; Disneyland Hotel Mar 2015, Santa Fe Nov 2016; Newport Bay Sep 2017
WDW: Port Orleans Riverside Dec 10; SSR Nov 14

Edited at 10:58 PM.
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