"Let me enjoy the view!" | 4 days in March 2011
We booked our trip on a special offer during September 2010, We chose to visit from Monday March 21 to Thursday March 24, staying in the Hotel Cheyenne. Following our September 2009 visit to WDW, this was our first Disneyland Paris trip.
This is me (Cheryl) and my boyfriend James on our WDW holiday:
And here follows our Trip Report for Disneyland Paris, March 2011! :yay:
DAY ONE - Monday March 21
Our Eurostar from London St Pancras arrived at Marne La-Vallee Chessy (Parc Disneyland) at about 1:30pm on Monday March 21. We decided not to use the Disney Express baggage service inbound and went straight to lunch at Annette's Diner where we had hot dogs and fries. I have to say, I was disappointed in the service there - we were made to wait by the entrance until a table was clear for us however no Cast Member was around to explain the wait or apologise. Such a shame, not a very good start to our trip and only a taster of the 'laid-back' approach by Paris Cast Members.
By the time we'd relaxed, adjusted and finished our food we headed for the bus to the Hotel Cheyenne. The bus didn't really take that long, which kind of shocked me but I knew the hotels were so close to the parks you could actually work to them so really I shouldn't have been so surprised. Checking in at the Cheyenne was very quick and without any queues, we also managed to get the very decent breakfast slots of 7am everyday - that seems early but we had a choice of 7am, or 10am and we knew we wanted early slots. After dropping our bags in our room we found the walkway from the hotel to the Disney Village and the parks. Our first stop was the main park, Disneyland Park.
The weather was amazing, the sun was shining and it was a very perfect day to be outdoors, so the walk from the Hotel Cheyenne through the Village towards the park was great. One of the first 'attractions' you see on the walk is the ParnoraMagique balloon. There is a similar feature at Downtown Disney in Florida, it's a tethered balloon 'ride' that takes you high into the sky and straight back down again. We never took a ride on it in Florida, and we didn't this time in Paris either - although it would've been a great view on such clear days.
After walking through the Disney Village, where all the shops and restaurants are, we finally got to the park entrance. It looks and feels just like Florida as soon as you walk in.
The castle is beautiful, especially against the bright blue sky! When we'd got over the awe of the place we looked at the current wait times on the rides and they didn't seem too bad at all - it really is a quiet time of year. The first ride we went for was Phantom Manor (the Paris version of the Haunted Mansion). For years I'd been too afraid to ride the Haunted Mansion in Florida and finally gave it a go when James and I visited in September 2009 - we jumped the queue on a special behind the scenes tour of the Magic Kingdom park. It turned out to be pretty fun and not scary at all, so I was happy (although still slightly nervous) about riding the Phantom Manor.
After the Phantom Manor we were happy just walking around Adventureland and Frontierland, appreciating the differences and similarities to Walt Disney World in Florida. We soon ended up in Fantasyland and wandered right to the back where we went on the ride Le Pays des Contes de Fees - it's a really sweet boat ride through mini model 'towns' of well known fairy tales, as told by Disney. We really enjoyed the, obviously, new addition of the Rapunzel tower to the attraction. I also thought the Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast models were great!
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Next, while still in Fantasyland, we saw that there was practically no wait at all for It's a Small World - as one of the lead attractions in the park this really surprised me so we decided to take advantage and jump on! It's such an iconic Disneyland attraction in pretty much every park around the world, so to see it be quite run down and in need of a refurb was quite sad. The movement of the animatronics was slow, stuttered or non existant, there was an open roof so you could see all the beams, metal work and lights and the paint was rubbed off, peeling or faded on a lot of the displays. Definitely not what I expected of such a popular ride, it could definitely use some downtime and TLC!
To complete the full circle of all the 'lands' within the park we ended up in Discoveryland, the home of all things futuristic! The first ride we did here, Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast! By far my favourite ride, it's very much like it's WDW equivilant - apart from a French speaking Buzz! That was actually quite amusing, especially after in Toy Story 3 Buzz is reset to speak Spanish - it reminded me of that. I think we had to queue for about 15 minutes, which isn't too bad and James was really excited to have his first Hidden Mickey pointed out. I'd read and seen pictures of three tiny dots representing stars on the Buzz ride we printed so close together that they resembled a Mickey Mouse head - coincidence? I think not, Disney have hundreds of these little wonders 'hidden' all over their parks. My score on the Buzz Lightyear ride was alright, but I could always do better - maybe I need to ride it again?
The wait on Space Mountain is really short, so James jumped on there while I waited outside. After this we walked back to the main hub in front of the castle and debated some ideas for dinner - we settled on quick service from Casey's Corner. The sun was starting to set so we made our way to the park exit for the walk back through the Village to our hotel. We stopped in a couple of shops to browse the merchandise as we walked through the Village, lots of cute ornaments, pictures and, of course, pins I wanted to buy!
Back at Hotel Cheyenne, we kicked off our shoes to rest our tired feet and relaxed listening to some English radio that was set as a channel on the TV and I worked out our plan of action for our first full day in the Disneyland Park.
DAY TWO - Tuesday March 22
I don't remember what time the alarm went off on Tuesday morning, but it was definitely early because we had a 7am breakfast slot. I was up and in the shower by 6:30am, I'm sure, so that I can wash and dry my hair, then be dressed and ready for 7am. I think we were slightly late for breakfast but only by 10 minutes or so. The breakfast offering was fruit salad, croissant with cheese, ham or (my choice) chocolate spread, pain au chocolat, mini baguettes, toast and cereal. Never would I have so much bread for breakfast, but it doesn't do the French any harm, does it?
The Disneyland Park opened at 8am for Resort hotel guests - that means us! A quick stop back in our room before the walk to the park, we arrived at the gates for about 8:30am. Only a selection of rides and certain areas of the park were open between 8-10am for Resort guests only. Our first stop was for the Buzz Lightyear ride, my score was better than the day before but James still kicked my butt!
A lot of Fantasyland rides were open so we got through those before 10am. First up there was the Peter Pan ride, which is very similar to the WDW version and a lot scarier than I remembered! You sit in a suspended pirate ship vehicle that flys over scenes from the movie, with some very sharp corners and jerky movements - I wasn't a fan! Next up were the Madhatter's Teacups, again another ride replicated from the US parks, then we went on to a ride which is in WDW but I'd never been on it. It was the 'Le Carrousel de Lancelot', the wait was actually really long but not because a lot of people wanted to ride - the loading was slow and the Cast Members have to go round and check that everyone is secure in their belts before the ride can start. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to get on those big horses, they're pretty high off the ground, but I was alright!
There was still quite a wait until the rest of the park opened so we joined a crowd of people waiting at the point where Fantasyland meets Adventureland, everyone was waiting for the 'rope drop'. We planned to head to the Indiana Jones rollercoaster and Thunder Mountain so that James could ride one and then get a Fastpass for the other. We ended up at Indiana Jones first, I sat on a rock near the entrance with the bag while James went on to ride. I was sitting quite happily in the warm morning sunshine, until someone lit up a cigarette behind me. I stood up and moved away, but James had just walked round from the exit to meet me where he'd left me.
Next up was 'Le Passage Enchante d'Aladdin' which was just a walk through attraction with scenes from the movie behind glass windows and a bit disappointing. We moved on to the Fastpass machine for Thunder Mountain but the ride wasn't yet operating and no Fastpasses were being distributed, never mind - we carried on to the Thunder Mesa Riverboat which James had been looking forward to going on. This boat circled the Adventureland area and Thunder Mountain so we got some great pictures.
After the Riverboat we found that Thunder Mountain was now open and Fastpasses were being given out, James got one and we wanted to hitch a ride to Fantasyland via the Railroad but that was operating! Oh well, Fantasyland isn't far to walk, we just really wanted to ride the train. Back in Fantasyland while it was still early we aimed to finish all the rides there before it got too busy. We went on the Pinocchio and Snow White rides before having a fish 'n' chips lunch at Toad Hall. We split one lunch portion between us got extra fries - one portion of fish and chips had two pieces of fish, who eats that much....? It made sense to have one piece each and for me to have the extra fries - saves money and also means we wouldn't eat too much!
After that early lunch it was back to Discoveryland for a showing of Captain EO, we'd just missed a crowd going in so we had to wait quite a while for our viewing. All the waiting was having to stand and my feet were getting pretty cranky, even for lunchtime! Finally it was our turn to watch the Michael Jackson show and I thought it was really great, only the poor quality glasses messed up the 3D effects.
With only being in Disneyland Paris for a few days we wanted to make sure we were able to see everything that we could, which meant it was time for a park hop to watch the Moteurs...Action! Stunt Show at the Walt Disney Studios park. This show clashed with the parade in the same park on all the days we were there, so we couldn't see both on the same day. With the stunt show at 2:15pm, we had to make our way over to the park quite sometime before then to make sure we got a good seat - getting there later means you have to walk high up into the stand or have your party split up. I think the show started late because everyone took their time getting into the stands, but when it did start it was fantastic. Just as amazing as when we saw it in WDW.
We park-hopped back to Disneyland Park to grab some ice cream and a spot for the afternoon parade which was due to start at 5pm. We pitched up opposite the castle and just round the corner from Main Street. It turned out to not be that great of a position because of the sun.
The sun was so bright that everything in my photos came out dark - not so good for a parade filled with colour! Never mind, we did have fun while waiting for the parade to start, lots of little girls in princess dresses running around and these two Mums catching a rest in the children's pushchairs while they're off riding Buzz with the Dads! James took a picture with his phone, but I through I could get away with taking one with my camera, well, I'm just taking a picture of the castle, right?
The parade was only moments from starting and there are always people who have failed to pitch up in advance and of course the kids want to be at the front. Because I'm a grown up I have to let them through and take a step back, away from the spot I'd spent 40 minutes staking out (even if it was a bad spot for photos). My view wasn't that terrible, children are only small, it's the adults that ruin it! But, I have to say, when the parade started it was awesome and I confess that behind my sunglasses were a few tiny tears of emotion when Minnie and Mickey appeared on the first float! It's all about the magic!
The parade was our last Disney thing of the day, we tried to escape through the Discovery Arcade and use the toilets on our way out of the park. At the end of the Arcade the parade was just coming to an end so we ended up seeing a lot of the floats again. Considering the park didn't close until 7pm, I was shocked to see lots of people heading for the exit, like us. We weren't heading back to the hotel, we weren't even going for dinner in the Village - we went to the train station to Val d'Europe. I had pretty achey feet still, so we really weren't there for very long and they only things we bought were food and drink from the Auchan supermarket. If we'd had more time and more money and less achey feet, we would've enjoyed it a lot more!
Back to the train and onto the bus back to the Hotel Cheyenne for much rest and sleep!
great trip report with plenty of photos.....more please!!!
This is great! We are planning to go next March, so I'm enjoying reading your TR. How was the weather? Crowds?
Great report so far. :)
LOL at the photo of the mums in the pushchairs! :lmao:
I only did two days? I feel like I need to finish this, but it was a long time ago now...... :guilty:
It's never too late to finish it!! That's if you can still remember what you did! :rotfl:
Never too late to finish :thumbsup2:goodvibes
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