Better late than never - Halloween 2012 trip report

Discussion in 'Disneyland Paris Trip Reports Board' started by Vala, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. Vala

    Vala DIS Veteran

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    Chapter 1 (October 30): It’s Halloween-lo-ween


    Well – almost. ;) It certainly looks a little more like Halloween when I finally arrive in the parks, even a little quicker than thought thanks to the train being 5 minutes early and the guys at Ibis Budget being really helpful.

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    I walk past the last showing of the day of the Trick or Treat on the Street show. Good to know where the munkies will be tomorrow. They have new costumes, I need new photos.

    It’s late afternoon, but the villains are supposed to be out still. So a beeline to the castle courtyard it is. The decorations are done really nicely.

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    No one’s in sight yet, so I sit down and wait for the clock to strike… and the villains appear. Frollo’s walking around and signs, but doesn’t stop for a photo. Hmpf.

    Quite a number of characters appear, and unfortunately another walker too… Shan Yu! *happy squee* He blanked me last year when I tried to get my drawing signed, so I chase after him. Due to the number of villains out (and most of them hiding in the covered area of the castle) it is really crowded, and a character in such a large outfit certainly doesn’t help. Eventually I manage to corner him after pretty much running around the length of the courtyard three times and thankfully, this time he signs!

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    I see a crown… and black hair. The Queen of Hearts! Another walker. Aaargh! Thankfully I manage to get the drawing in her line of vision and she stops. And pretends to walk of with the drawing as she wants to keep it. Be my guest, as long as I get my photo please. I get the drawing back, but with signature in French.

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    Not that I mind chasing after characters. But this is getting a bit silly and borderline dangerous. Sounds of small things dropping to the pavement. What’s going on… OMG stampede! Why is everyone running to the small balcony now? Oh wonderful, Frollo has the brilliant idea to start throwing candy from there. I know we all have to die eventually, but I didn’t exactly want to die that way. :headache:

    I flee to the villains in the walkways. Now where’s Facilier? I spotted the hat a minute ago… One of the pushers changes my plans. Thanks to a shove I land on my knees in front of Jafar. Umm… hi there! *tries to smile sweetly and struggles to find drawing* Thankfully Jafar seems to enjoy the day of someone kneeling to show his appreciation and I get a picture and an autograph too.

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    Cruella is next. She loves her drawing, ensures me I can “come back and see her anytime”. She even enlists a photographer for me after my pleas for someone to take a photo are ignored because I am “alone like her.” (You’re not alone now anymore Miss DeVil, you got me. ;)) She finds a nice young gentleman without larger problems and he actually knows how to handle my camera for a change.

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    Now there’s Facilier and guess what… walking around. Oh… screw this. “DOCTOR FACILIER!!!!” (imagine this screeched in my best mad fan girl voice) Mad fan girl voices rarely fail. He stops, grins and comes over to me. Too bad though, it’s the imposter Facilier.

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    Mali! Now how did Malificent sneak through?! *dives in next scrum* Thankfully the drawing works again and I get through rather quickly. Maybe that will teach boyfriend to laugh at me when I spend all weekend at the drawing table.

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    What’s moving over there? Oh cool, the Hag is out! I had such problems finding her last year. She catches sight of her drawing and suddenly I am her new favorite.

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    But now I really should go and hunt for a parade spot, it’s getting really tight, even for the Bella Notte space. I’m heading for the shortcut when I spot a combination of pink and screaming neon green near Auberge. Okay, forget about the parade. That’s Lady Tremaine and the stepsisters! *happy squeal*

    Just when it’s my turn the group splits. The stepsisters are playing a game with the children. That means I only get her Ladyship and Drizella.

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    Anastasia signs, but no picture. My friend from the Cruella scrum has followed me, so we join forces. My French is as bad as his English, but with pointing and lots of sign language we get along just fine. His name is Yohann. The character handler says the Tremaines will be back in 15 minutes. Okay, so let’s wait.

    What’s that moving candy jar over there? Huh? Goofy in his candy outfit? Wasn’t he supposed to be on Main Stree… oh well, parade is running anyway, so let’s go and meet Goofy.

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    The Tremaines take their sweet time to show up. I hang out with a nice family and their adorable daughter in Stitch outfit. Finally they show, and my newfound friend Yohann is back as well. I always have a backup plan, so after having the Tremaines sign my photos from the Disneyland Christmas parade Yohann and I finally both get our group shot with them.

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    To top it off? Gaston is out. The only time Yohann and I are both in the scrum and can’t move. Grrr.

    Yohann goes off to his hotel, from what I understand he’s leaving tomorrow morning. I have some time to kill until my dinner reservation at Inventions, so I head off to Frontierland to take pictures.
     
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  3. Vala

    Vala DIS Veteran

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    Chapter 1: part 2


    Jack Skellington is still out – yay! Unfortunately no Sally.

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    Main Street finally has the piano player back… in ghostly outfit.

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    I toddle back to the exit taking pictures trying to kill enough time to make it to my dinner reservation at Inventions.

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    Now some people know I am a really big advocate for the Invention restaurant. It’s been a while since I have been there for dinner. Unfortunately I have to report that the other reports that dinner is going entirely downhill are totally true.

    It looked nothing like the previous brunches I attended. My last dinner at Inventions was in December 2011 and I can not recall as little selection as now. Also a lot of the main courses were labelled as “today’s special” and no one could really tell me what it was. Gives a great impression… “let’s toss all the kitchen had left together, maybe someone will eat it”. Also I was insanely irritated by the fact that after one refill suddenly the fowl (which was being served next to it before) was on the pasta which had been accompanying the beef before. Cross contamination, allergies, anyone cares? No? Thought so. The desserts were basically a set of cakes and a huge stash of hard candy.

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  4. Vala

    Vala DIS Veteran

    Joined:
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    Chapter 1: part 3

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    It gets even worse.

    While Mickey shows up pretty much straight away after I am seated (I barely had time to take the first four photos of the buffet) he remains the only character to come by for over an hour.

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    Well okay… Tigger, Pluto and Dale all walked through the room into the other dining area. Seriously, not impressed. An hour and 15 minutes into the meal I have finally met Pluto too and Genie has walked past. Great, the one rare character I’d really like to see and I am being ignored. Dale goes back for a break. Grrr.

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    An UK family is being seated next to me (restaurant is mainly half full at that point) and the little girl and me already start plotting on how to ambush Dale (who meanwhile came back and went… to the other room) when Dale finally makes an appearance.

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    Goofy shows up after yet another wait and after over two hours Minnie stops too. Don’t tell me they have been hiding in the third room all the time?! :eek:

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    The family decides to leave. Not that I’d blame them. If I wasn’t that stubborn (plus knew Genie and Tigger are still in the other room) I’d probably do the same. Meanwhile some CMs have started shooting me dirty looks. Yes, I know I have been sitting here all evening. But it’s not that the place was full, you don’t need that table! And if you would, maybe getting your characters around on time may be an idea! :headache:

    Genie finally bothers to stop third time he’s coming back from a break:

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    Another 20 minutes later I am being tackled by a very enthusiastic chipmunk named Chip who apparently recognizes me. I should write a “handle with care” sign and hang it around my neck. Meanwhile I suffer from a serious case of pancake overdose. Hugs have become a dangerous thing. *burps*

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    2 hours and 34 minutes after I took my first picture Tigger finally bounces in.

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    Pros of the meal: The enthusiastic chipmunk. Plus I beat the Dreams crowd – they were probably all in bed already by the time I left. I’ll also think twice about eating more pancakes in the future. And also I’ll think twice about another Inventions dinner.

    Cons: Well you read the report, right? ;)
     
  5. Vala

    Vala DIS Veteran

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    Chapter 2 (October 31): This is Halloween! (this time for real)

    Halloween morning. It’s cold and damp and the party is scheduled until 1 AM. For a moment I think twice about making my usual hotel round. But we all know Mr Murphy, right? If I don’t go out now the cowboy munkies will be at Cheyenne for sure.

    It’s not the munkies, but I am greeted with a rather strange sight… Christmas meets Halloween. both decorations up at the same time.

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    I take a picture with Mickey anyway as this Halloween costume is very close to the US park outfit:

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    Sequoia has no interesting characters, but a kind of cute Halloween decoration.

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    Now Hotel New York has this ghoulish thing of display and Devil Donald coming out at 9.30 AM.

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    Oooh bugger. I rush off to Disneyland Hotel and see that Eeyore and Rabbit are out together starting at 10 AM. Hmm… that could just work out.

    Back to Hotel New York it is, and while waiting for Donald I meet Yohann again.

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    Yohann informs me Mickey is in Sequoia at 10 AM in a vampire outfit I haven’t seen yet. Arrrgh!!! Okay, we are talking Halloween, so Sequoia it is. Yohann and I part ways, he’s heading to get the other Mickey at Cheyenne.

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    Still despite all the running I am doing I am missing Rabbit in the end.

    Now that sign is in the lobby of DLH… Halloween Dinner at Founders Club. Sounds intriguing. Must admit I am a bit concerned though... I don't like announcement posters without a price tag. ;) But I am booked for Halloween Brunch at Inventions, and have the party that night anyway. That and I am always a bit worried when a sign doesn't show a price tag.

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    Also there is a Halloween character stop near Inventions in the evening. Hmm… will have to see if I make it there. With all the party crowds I am not sure if I should risk it. The characters are not posted anyway, so it is very risky.

    They are giving out wristbands for the party already. Cool. The program isn’t exactly making me feel enthusiastic though. While I am extremely intrigued about Doctor Facilier’s Carnaval-loween they have pretty much scheduled all events simultaneously, and with one exception the scheduled character stops are only manned for 2 hours maximum as Fantasyland is being closed for Dreams. This does not bode well.

    Goofy is out at his candy machine.

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    In case you are wondering about the hat... he hugged me and it almost fell off. I am that short, yes.

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    I decide to catch the Trick or Treat in the Street show as the chipmunks have new costumes. I've got better photos from other performances (I was standing very much to the side here in order to catch Chip and Dale), so I'll post the better ones later in the report.

    I’ve waited in the right place and get my photos pretty fast, although I am the reason for a more or less slight chipmunk crisis. Dale so doesn’t like it when Chip takes up almost all space on the draing I have them sign and he also adds two hearts. Dale he has to squeeze in as close as possible and adds four hearts. Plus he pretends to hit Chip with the drawing. I am having visions of California Adventure munkies now. (Last year Chip and Dale got into a fight there because Dale got overly excited about a drawing I did. Chip ended up hitting Dale over the head with my folder.)

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    I walk past the Small World gates and spy pink. With stripes. Piglet. OMGWTFBBQ. It’s freaking Piglet!!! Unfortunately my tries are cut short when the handler announces the characters are going on a break. Back in half hour she says. Okay… let’s try the Princess Pavillion then.

    When the CM lets me in I spy Cinderella and Tiana. Tiana on my first try?! Is this my lucky day? The CM turns around and tells me that normally people don’t get to choose who to meet unless they cry. Okay honey… so you want a dare? Or is this supposed to be some sort of joke? Years ago a very nice kid named Sarah has actually taught me the art of how to cry on command, and yeah, I have mastered it quite well. I don’t like using it and I normally don’t, but this is an emergency. So the idiot gets some tears, complete with medium sized temper tantrum. And I get Tiana. I get rid of my jacket and my pin lanyard to show off my shiny new “Real Girls love Frogs” shirt.

    I walk around the corner. Tiana spies me, gets this huge grin on her face and happily tells me: “Well YOU know who I am.” Wonder what that noise was? That was my heart breaking, breaking into tiny little shreds. As genuinely happy as she is sounding now: This is nothing a character should ever have to say to anyone. :guilty:

    She’s very sweet and enthusiastic and obviously overjoyed that I like the movie. I show off the back of the shirt – “surreal girl prefer alligators”. She laughs and asks me what I like best about Louis. Well he’s cute and cuddly and a great musician and contrary to Naveen unmarried. More questions? ;) Tiana laughs and asks if I will be at the Halloween Soiree. Yes I will and yes, I have heard about the show and absolutely plan on watching it. Her response? “Louis should be there.” Thank god I had put the backpack and the camera down at her insistence before. That would have been some expensive trash created if I had dropped everything. WHAT?!?! “Louis should be there.” Must not get nervous breakdown in front of a princess. Must not get nervous breakdown in front of a princess. Louis. Here. Picture. With me. Waaaah!!!

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    I am not quite sure what I blabber, but I somehow make it around the corner before I start tearing up. Last thing I hear is Tiana saying “she’s adorable.”

    Thank god the “half hour” means a French half hour. So no Piglet out at Small World, I have a minute to sit down to try and regain my composure.

    I notice a line in front of Bella Notte. A line? In Paris? Is Bella Notte open for a change and the line is out of the door? I trod over to investigate and find… Mulan. In Ping outfit. Standing in front of Bella Notte. With a very small line because a lot of people obviously don’t know who she is. *squeals and runs for end of line*

    It’s almost my turn when I hear someone close by yelling: “Look, it’s Pocahontas!” Pocahon.. this really IS my lucky day. Well so I thought until I turned around and found this person pointing at Mulan. Ouch.

    It’s my turn. I bow in front of Mulan and tell her: “It is such an honor to meet the great noble warrior Ping.” I call tell her jaw is about to drop. Probably shouldn’t surprise me after that little Pocahontas incident.

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    She signs “Mulan” and Piglet is still not there. So I join the line again to get my Mulan drawing signed, this time to find a French person completely ignoring the line and walking up to Mulan asking her where the bathroom is. :headache:

    Mulan laughs, we take another photo and I get my drawing signed too.

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    I sit down again and finally… Piglet and Eeyore appear.

    No clue why on earth I ended up seeing Eeyore first… but I finally manage to cover my ever-elusive little Piglet!

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    Checking out the villains area Ratcliffe is out – taking pictures, but not signing. *sighs*

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    I meet Cruella and Facilier again. Facilier gets the next wrong name too: “Look, Shan Yu!” :headache: I mean, I don’t expect everyone to know all Disney characters. But do you have to share your lack of knowledge with the whole park and the character too because you are yelling at the top of your lungs?
     
  6. Vala

    Vala DIS Veteran

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    Chapter 2: part 2

    Cruella actually picks me out of the crowd after I lend my sharpie to a kid. Seriously, who sends their kid in this mess without giving them a pen? So sometimes being nice pays off after all.

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    I decide to go back for Trick or Treat on the Street. After a little chaos I finally manage to meet Daisy.

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    Shan Yu is out again at the castle (this time for real), but this time not signing and also favoring people that push in.

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    Mali is also around.

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    Ratcliffe is back too and this time I get my autograph.

    A ride on Small World later I go back to the Princess Pavillion to meet Aurora.

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    As the party is on today I decide to have real dinner for a change. Bella Notte is open indeed, but the line is not out of the door. Shouldn’t surprise me looking at my meal… that lasagne was indeed a bit crispy.

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    Some random Bella Notte shots:

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    I check out my pictures and notice that the Chip picture from Trick or Treat didn’t come out quite so well, so I ran back for the last performance to catch myself some munkies.

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    Back at the Villains area no Gaston, but Jafar and Hook are out and Frollo is finally taking pictures.

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    I try for the Tremaines again and am again being ignored in favour of people pushing in. But at least Drizella spots me and insists on signing my shirt. She gets her mom and Anastasia to join as well thankfully
     
  7. Vala

    Vala DIS Veteran

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    Chapter 2: part 3


    My usual parade spot is still free 20 minutes before. Now where do all those people disappear to? *scratches head* Unfortunately no announcement that the parade is coming around the other way today, so my spot is not the best. Arrgh!

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    Of course no photo report would be complete without a certain someone... ;)

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    However, I am pretty sure Tiana did watch out for me as promised and did indeed spot me going from the photos. Also looks like she really may have told Naveen. What do you think? I don't think I ever earned a wink from a character before. :D

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    Ice cream may not be the best idea considering it is freezing, but I need the sugar rush. So Gibson Girl it is.

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    People are pouring in for the party already, so I abandon the idea of checking out DLH and set up camp for Dreams in the Handicapped Area. Remember me saying it was quite bad there for Bastille Day? This time that beat it. Pushing and shoving and three people (of course “carers”) stepping in front of the area where the CMs finally told me to sit. Why do you ask? They want to film. And have completely abandoned the child they are supposed to “care” for.

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    My one lone shot from Dreams that doesn't have too many heads in the picture:

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    To be continued with chapter 2.5: The Halloween Soiree
     
  8. Vala

    Vala DIS Veteran

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    Chapter 2.5 (October 31, Halloween Party): Trick or Treat on the Street!

    Characters don’t come out before party start at 8.30 PM. I battle the crowds to Frontierland and go on Phantom Manor, where I promptly get stuck. Wasn’t last year warning enough? Apparently I am way too forgiving.

    I am out on time to realize that the characters on the Hub are the Trick or Treat on the Street characters. Fabulous. Could have saved myself some bruises.

    No random ones in Frontierland and none in Adventureland. Fantasyland without success too, with the exception of some party visitors misbehaving… I don't mind if you show your affection to each other in public, but this was definitely past the "get a room guys!" level. I obviously should have got a hint that “age appropriate” and “not hiding the face” is a matter of definition after I had seen three werewolves with face masks and the fifth killer clown before! :rolleyes:

    I get to the castle courtyard and find it swarming with people. Ouch. This is bad. Heck, I am giving up my Louis photo here – the first performance on the Molly Brown is running parallel. I hold out until the characters appear. When trying to get to the Evil Queen disaster hits. Some idiot pirate pushes me back that hard that I lose balance. Thankfully this gets me Gaston's attention. Gaston kindly insists on a photo and signs too.

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    The Evil Queen seems to have noticed, at least I get my photo quite quickly and she signs as well.

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    Screw that. Meanwhile the courtyard is full of people almost standing shoulder to shoulder. If I am going to die I am not going to pass away in Disneyland Paris. No character is worth that risk.

    I search for random characters without success. There’s some street performers out. Does that count as C for effort? Well maybe, if they hadn’t put them near the Big Thunder Mountain queue area which is one of the most crowded areas of the park. One of the stilt walkers sets a French woman in so much panic that she runs and ends up ripping the camera bag from my shoulder! :headache: Thankfully the camera survives the fall.

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    When I make it to Thunder Mesa landing the show is still running. But no Louis. *whimpers* At least it’s the real Facilier performing, the very cool one.

    I squeeze through the loading dock. Naveen and Tiana are joining the dancers in handing out candy. Let me get this straight – you could have set up a photo location there or something or do some sort of meet and instead you have your characters hand out freaking candy?! At least I manage to get Naveen to sign my frog drawing, and both Tiana and he sign their wedding drawing. I also get a photo with both. I guess that’s something.

    Off to Discoveryland for “Stitch’s Alien Halloween Party” – the “place where all the aliens meet.” I guess the aliens are all invisible or the dry ice fog is hiding them… all I see is those dancers and skate artists that were out for the anniversary. I want my Angel!!! *whines*

    After a spin on Buzz – I am doing rides. Houston, we have a problem. This is a serious situation! I NEVER do rides! – I brave the castle courtyard again. Just in time to see Hades coming out. I can’t exactly tell you what hit me (I have met him for crying out loud!), but I jump into the melee. He’s walking around. Hades. In that costume. In this mob. They also send Shan Yu out. :sad2: Predictably every single character is mobbed. The characters can barely move because so many people are there. Hades isn’t signing. After another push I manage to do some sort of bow and pretend to present the drawing I am holding as a sacrifice. Hades is pleased, I get my picture.

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    I decide against trying to check out Fantasyland again, I’ve had my share of excitement for today. After another fruitless expedition to Discoveryland I decide to check out my pictures… and find the ones with Naveen and Tiana missing. What on earth did this person do to my camera, I saw the flash go off!! Panic. :eek: I run back to Frontierland – works easier now as people are already setting up camp for Fantillusion. Thank god I don’t really like that parade.

    I make it to Frontierland just in time for the show to end. Naveen laughs when seeing me again and of course Tiana runs off, so no double picture this time. But I get single pictures with them and also a picture with the cool Facilier.

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    Phew. Crisis averted. But no characters in Adventureland. No Jack Sparrow despite him being on the schedule. I am brave and go on Phantom Manor again before the next Princess and the Frog show starts. I’ve already met Jack Skellington and as no Sally is around I admit I couldn’t be bothered again.

    Yes, I set up camp early. I wanted a good spot for pictures. CMs were actually trying to send us away as “the last ever Fantillusion” was about to come on. No thank you, contrary to some people I know what I am doing and I want to be here!

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    They projected Facilier on BTM - sorry this is such a crap shot, I either had the choice of getting the mountain clear or the image.

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    Hmm… what to do now… in prior years they always did a character cavalcade at the end of the event. But we still have almost 2 hours today, and despite the sugar boost I do not feel like staying at all.

    I decide to check out the Queen of Hearts thing on the schedule for the sake of a friend of mine who loves Wonderland. It’s actually billed as a meet and greet although it is named “Queen of Hearts Cavalcade.”

    Turns out this is not a meet and greet at all – the Queen is conducting some sort of a band. On the only open walkway in Fantasyland. Brilliant idea guys – not! :sad2:

    Of course taking pictures is almost impossible due to the bad lighting in the area and the Queen tells everyone off that uses flash. (I guess that counts as some sort of “greeting”, does it?) Makes sense considering the stilt walkers of course – but maybe the whole thing could have happened elsewhere?

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    Teacups in deserted Fantasyland:

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    I’ve had it and leave. At least this will save me taxi cost, I have no problem catching a RER train.

    I never caught anything of Goofy’s “Shake your bones” which was on the castle stage, sorry.

    Result of the night: six pictures with three of them being characters that were out throughout the day anyway and 4 packs of candy. At least it turns out in the hotel that the blood on my jacket isn’t mine after all.
     
  9. Vala

    Vala DIS Veteran

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    Chapter 3 (November 1): Angel(s)

    At least I was in bed early enough to make my 7 AM hotel character wake up call without problems. Cheyenne has… Devil Donald. *groans* Yeah, geez, thank you – rub it in a little more that I missed out on Rabbit to meet Donald elsewhere, will you? The costume may be slightly different though, or maybe this was just the bad light.

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    All other hotels have the usual Mickey/Minnie/Pluto combination with nothing exciting coming out, so I’m trodding over to the park to take the last pictures of the Halloween decoration before it’s being torn down.

    Not that I would have needed to worry… they just added the Christmas decoration for now. :rolleyes:

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    I hop back to the DLH to check on the lobby characters and find Pinocchio who really likes his drawing.

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    It starts drizzling. Weather forecast is right for once? Color me stunned.

    Frollo is out

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    and I get another picture.

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    Gideon is only out at 11 according to the CM, so I head over for the princesses.

    Meanwhile it’s raining bad.

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    It’s Cinderella and Aurora and I get to meet Aurora again. Okay, I can live with that, there wasn’t a photopass photographer around last time.

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    Heading back for the castle Gideon is out and has already been backed in a corner because all villains are hiding from the rain again. I mean, I generally like the courtyard idea, and it is set up really nice. However as the night before proved: as soon as the crowds increase this is the mother of all bad ideas, especially if the weather gets bad. And let’s face it, rain is not unheard of in France at this time of the year!

    I eventually make it through the mob and get my picture.

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    The rain has temporarily stopped. That means I stop for the character train

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    and score the munks trifecta – Clarice, Dale and Chip, all in one go. Quite proud of myself.

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    I go on Buzz and Small World before realizing I haven’t met Pooh in his Halloween outfit yet. Hey, I haven’t drawn him in that bumblebee outfit for nothing. ;)

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    A visit to the Studios checking if any characters are out is another blank. Only the set meet and greets But at least I meet Buzz and he’s in good mood.

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    Now is this impressive hat hair or what? ;)

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  10. Vala

    Vala DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Messages:
    2,498
    Chapter 3: Part 2

    And now it’s time for the Halloween brunch. I will admit that I was one step before cancelling. No, actually closer than that. Yes, the dinner was that bad. And the brunch is really pricey with 74 Euro. But it is Halloween and I had been looking forward to this for weeks. Plus it’s raining. So let’s try.

    The restaurant is definitely more busy than I expected. I get a different seat this time, across from the dessert buffet.

    The CM is just showing me my table and I turn to sit down and drop my stuff when I see something at the entrance of the other dining room which I learned to hate so much two days before. It’s fluffy and pink and it’s wearing a Halloween costume and it’s holding the hand of something fluffy dark blue that’s also wearing a Halloween costume. Stitch and Angel. In Halloween costumes. OH. MY. GOD.

    Next thing I consciously know is the CM looking at me really worried asking if I was okay. Oops. Have I squealed? Screamed? Pretty sure I haven’t done a happy dance as the area is too cramped for that, but everything else I can’t vouch for. :dance3: I sheepishly tell her sorry, Angel and Stitch are my favorite characters and I got excited.

    The CM gets me to sit down and I find out we get a complimentary glass of champagne. Probably not the best idea to add alcohol to
    my already hyper state, but hey, it’s free and there are no witnesses (at least that I know about), sooo… :rolleyes1

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    Stitch and Angel make it to my table at the same time Mickey, Donald, Daisy and Minnie arrive too. Character heaven. Apparently some others are just as excited as me about Stitch and Angel, so I actually get to meet Daisy first (I just knew I could have saved myself the bruises - she, Donald and the mouses are all wearing their Trick and Treat in the Street costumes!) before taking a picture with Stitch. I ask him for a photo together with Angel, but he somehow slips away, so I get Angel on her own.

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    The mouses somehow get away, but really, I couldn’t care less at the moment. I even leave my Angel autographs at another table by accident.

    The food is really a lot better than at the dinner, and all decorations are top notch too.

    Starters:

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    Seafood:

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    I barely make it through having a look at desserts and get some starters when I have to run back as the mouses are coming back, and they have the munkies in tow! Yay!!!

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  11. Vala

    Vala DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
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    2,498
    Chapter 3: part 3

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    Donald comes back around the corner as soon as I ran back to my table and dropped the plate off.

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    When the Mouses and the munks arrive in my area I finally see villains coming in too! :cheer2:

    Hook squeezes through, but I manage to corner the munkies together plus Mickey and Minnie solo and Jafar.

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    As soon as I had sit down again Goofy in his skeleton costume shows up. In case someone wonders: no, I do not do character meals for food reasons. ;)

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    Frollo is back already, looks like he is suffering from the usual problem of no one recognizing him. But the picture we take is really nice.

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    A CM appears and drops of a gift: a Park 10 vinylmation. Okay, so at least they are really trying to make the whole thing worth it.

    I get a text message from someone I had planned to meet the next day asking if I am at the brunch. I text back I am and where I am sitting.

    I go for a quick run for the main dishes and notice Pinocchio is out. Now that is random.

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    After I met Ratcliffe

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    I not only spot Prince John going on a break – now this is getting really, really good – but also the text recipient comes to my table. We say hello and after a bit of chatting he gets the okay for me to join him and his friends. Now that is nice, I really don't get to meet characters with like minded people that often. (I love my boyfriend, but he only puts up with the characters because I like them so much.)

    We munch and chat. The others mentions apparently Koda, Kenai were out and Pain and Panic and Philoctetes were at the other end of the scrum I fled from. Okay. Now I am miffed. Also Stitch and Angel were out in Discoveryland all day. What? Did I seriously manage to walk around there during their break every time? :o Plus Also it's mentioned the characters were on the train in pirate outfits for Halloween. You mean the train that I skipped yesterday because I thought I had seen all characters? *sighs*

    Stitch visits again.

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    No Prince John. Oh well.

    We're off to the Magical Moment and thankfully... there's Prince John, along with some other villains and Frontierland Minnie, Mickey and Goofy who I had also missed in the parks.
     
  12. Vala

    Vala DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Messages:
    2,498
    Chapter 3: part 4


    Prince John’s a walker too, but I finally realize I can try the same that worked with Jafar, curtsey and fall on my knee, directly in front of the reception. Yes, I am kneeling in front of a furry thing wearing a crown. And the issue is? pirate: I get my picture, that’s what counts.

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    I get to tag along with the group for the rest of the day. We watch the parade and do a couple of rides, then go and see Dreams.

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    Sorry this part is not so photo heavy, but I tend to forget about photos when I am in nice company, and I most definitely was that day.
     
  13. CassieReynart

    CassieReynart Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Messages:
    137
    Great TR thanks for posting!! So many characters. I definately have to try and get there for Halloween in 2013.
    As an adult, do you have any problems getting to the characters? When me and my OH went in September, it was lovely and quiet but we were overlooked so many times, we had to scrum for Clarice on 5 occasions before she picked us! The characters also hardly stopped places like cafe mickey etc. Is Inventions worth it if you've never been before - just the once? We are off again in Feb for my birthday and valentines, hoping to see some rare characters. xx
     
  14. Vala

    Vala DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Messages:
    2,498
    It is definitely more complicated to see characters as a solo adult, yes. I'm rarely skipped thankfully. But I'm very bouncy and excited, I guess it is hard to ignore me. LOL But yes, it does happen too often that kids pushing in get favored. One character even asked me to wait because they were told to take kids first. Really nice feeling, you're standing there for 20 minutes and then a kid who pushes in (or gets pushed by his parents) still gets to go first. *sighs* Last year it even happened to me once that I was skipped in one of the hotel meet and greets - the CM told me those were only for kids. I was fuming. Thankfully Mickey witnessed the whole thing and came right over. Clarice is normally really good at picking people though, it surprises me to hear you were skipped so often.

    If a character skips you in the restaurant grab a cast member/manager whatever and if no one is around I personally am not above yelling "Tigger, you skipped me!" My poor DBF was mortified when I did that. ;)

    If you've never been yes, Inventions is definitely worth it. A large reason for my negative dinner review is that I have basically seen the dinner go downhill in the last year or so. If you've never been you'll still enjoy it, especially because Inventions is the place for more rare characters now. Cafe Mickey mostly has the Fab 5 and Pooh characters nowadays it seems.

    If it fits your schedule, they usually do a special Valentine's Brunch at Inventions which always gets top reviews. Valentine's Day normally brings some great rare characters like the Rescuers and others at the parks too.
     
  15. Vala

    Vala DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Messages:
    2,498
    Chapter 4 (November 2): It’s raining on Prom Night

    Well it wasn’t prom night, but while it is clear when I leave the hotel the rain sure starts coming down hard soon. Great, of course NOW I have the camera with me.

    Cheyenne has got rid of the Halloween decoration already, the Christmas stuff is out.

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    Also the characters seem back to normal. Mickey and Minnie in farmer attire. I decide to wait it out for Mickey. Which was a good decision as I finally find a Pascal cast pin in the Cheyenne store.

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    Sequoia Lodge has Ranger Goofy in a new costume, at least I haven't met him in that one.

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    Breakfast at Earl of Sandwich:

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    Meanwhile it’s raining rather heavy every now and then, so I try to take more photos of Main Street before the Christmas decorations take over completely. I didn’t really expect miracles as to transform the parks completely over night, but really? This is seriously weird.

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    It starts raining again during the Trick or Treat performance and the show is stopped during Goofy’s segment. *sighs*

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  16. Vala

    Vala DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Messages:
    2,498
    Chapter 4: part 2

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    Back to the Pavillion and it is Aurora and Cinderella. I ask nicely as it’s a different CM this time and am allowed to see Cinderella.

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    It’s pouring now. Most villains are hiding in the castle again. Because of the bad weather the whole walkway is even more cramped than usual. What possessed them to send the Queen of Hearts, Frollo and Jafar with their costumes that take so much room out NOW? :faint:

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    Gaston is smart and hiding in another area.

    I ask him for a picture and apparently am a little too friendly. I’m being told off. “Don’t bow before me. I’m not a prince. I’m a real man.” Oh, so you want to play? I smile back sweetly and tell him: “well you could be the first prince that is a real man.” He laughs, tells me: “I like your attitude” and promptly pulls me in for a semi-hug when the CM snaps our picture.

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    (Yes, I squealed. How could you tell? :hyper:)

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    Meanwhile the skies have opened.

    I toddle back to Auberge.

    The person in front of me is being sent away. I state my name and purpose and the CM calls for the manager. Manager appears. Umm… whatever I did, I’m sorry I did it. :eek: Manager shows up and tells me that they got worried when I didn’t show the day before. Umm… you mean the reservation I cancelled when the Halloween brunch was announced? Not Auberge too! I mean, I am used to my reservations disappearing at Cafe Mickey, but now Auberge as well??? I’m also being told that they are full, but if I don’t mind waiting until 2 PM maybe they could squeeze me in. Sure, works for me.

    I go for a quick check up of the villains again and find Cruella and Facilier – Facilier has wisely set up his spot on the stairs leading to the Sleeping Beauty walk through. He hears me cursing at another pusher and goes: "I hear an Irish accent." No, not quite. ;) First time ever I am being identified as Irish actually, usually it's Australian or Texan.

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    The rain and the crowd gets way too bad, so I decide to take the CMs up on their offer and wait in the lobby of Auberge. Walking in there I find a nice surprise. Lady Tremaine and the stepsisters are hiding and waiting out the rain! Lady Tremaine is delighted to see me and engages in vivid conversation with me.

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    The pictures of the children coming in are sometimes priceless. One little Rapunzel recognizes the Lady immediately and withdraws behind her mommy’s legs right away.

    I’m being seated after merely 10 minutes. The trio decides to join me and roams in the dining area for a bit.

    Snow White arrives at my table even before I have my cocktail, and it’s a good one for once. (Snow I mean, not the cocktail. ;))

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    Cocktail, appetizer and starter arrive before the first mouse makes it, I came in right at switch over.

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    I get my main course along with the appearance of the first mouse.

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    The other mouse follows soon. Said mouse is in extremely good mood and starts some sort of breakdance when Philip comes back with Aurora.

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  17. Vala

    Vala DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Messages:
    2,498
    Chapter 4: part 3


    Note to self: eat slower. I have my dessert already and am still missing half of the cast.

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    Cinderella shows up next:

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    Philip and Aurora are ready to leave again. Rats. Wait, did I yell that loud? Oops. I think I did, Philip seems to have noticed my panic and steers Aurora my way. *tries to look innocent* Philip is a really chatty one and definitely one of the better looking princes I've met.

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    I go on Buzz again and kill some time taking pictures until it’s time to meet with the guys from yesterday for Magical Moment.

    Magical Moment does have standard cast with Pluto, munkies, Goofy, Mickey and Minnie and Gepetto.

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    The skies open again, so we end up hiding in Videopolis for a while until the weather clears up enough so we can take more pictures.

    The pin board is out at Harringtons, but unfortunately it’s the non-impressive one. We end up doing some trades, but nothing too spectacular.

    But Jack and Sally are out together, so we make a quick dash there. Sorry, no photos yet, those are on a different camera.

    Some picture taking:

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    In the end we decide on Lucky Nugget for dinner. The place does have a sizeable line again, although now you pay at the table and not before eating. Déjà vu anyone?

    I decide on the Halloween menu and we end up getting cold burgers. Charming. At least we’re getting new replacements when we complain. Still they have no soda (the free refills were one of the reasons we went there) and all you get is a bottle of water or an orange juice. Hmpf.

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    (The burger tasted nice - but the food temperature has always been an issue for me at Lucky Nugget. Actually it was the reason why I hadn't been in over a year.)

    Halloween Dessert - which I swapped one of the guys for a sundae that wasn't too impressive - so unimpressive I actually forgot to take a picture:

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    We do some pin trading in World of Disney and the Disney Store before going back to the hotel to figure out a larger multi trade we were talking about online. I'll spare you the details of "like the size of your stash? I'm quite happy with the size of mine." ;)

    That concludes day 4. Day 5 should be up tonight or tomorrow.
     
  18. Vala

    Vala DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Messages:
    2,498
    Chapter 5 (November 3): The rain rain rain came down down down

    It’s pouring. Again. I leave my pin bags in storage, won't be many traders out today anyway.

    Cheyenne has no one exciting, no Pascal on the lanyards either.

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    Quote the Raven nevermore!

    Sequoia offers a surprise though… Witch Minnie in a totally different costume. Now where did they dig that out? :o

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    Earl of Sandwich is closed. No breakfast for me, boo! When I try to leave World of Disney the storm hits, and badly at that. I flee to Disneyland Hotel.

    Donald and Daisy are in the lobby. I quickly go and meet Daisy

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    before heading for the photo stop. Again the usual suspects, but Donald and Daisy are coming up together soon. As the rain is still coming down I get some candy in the store and plop myself on a sofa to wait. At least in here I am safe and warm – better than possibly drowning outside!

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    The rain does let up a bit after that and I go to check out the castle stage again. At that point for some reason I was convinced that I didn’t have a picture with Minnie in her Halloween costume yet.

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    The guys stop by to catch the band that’s supposed to be playing before the show, but the performance is cancelled due to the weather. However, Trick or Treat ends up happening.

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    In case you haven’t noticed: Yes, I do really like the chipmunks. ;)

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    Despite the pushing I eventually get through to Minnie.

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  19. Vala

    Vala DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Messages:
    2,498
    Chapter 5: Part 2

    While walking to the Pavillion I spot Facilier being a gentleman.

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    At the Pavillion it is Tiana and Cinderella. This time I get Tiana, no tears needed. It’s the one I met in July and surprisingly enough she remembers me.

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    The skies do look a little clearer, but again no Stars N Cars characters out in the Studios. Hmpf.

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    Back to the Pavillion…

    Surprise! It’s Rapunzel!

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    The sun has actually come out. SUN. Hello stranger. :flower3:

    I’ve carried the camera with me all day, so I may as well go and check out Stars N Cars. The Disney Star meeting in the backlot is a very cheerful Pluto.

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    Stars N Cars shots:

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  20. Vala

    Vala DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Messages:
    2,498
    Chapter 5: part 3


    The Magical Moment does again have rather standard cast:

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    Poor Donald and Daisy are more or less ignored, so I quickly get a shot with the one and only Duck:

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    I’m having dinner with the guys at Silver Spur. One of the reasons for that being that the piano player has taken refugee from the rain in there.

    We wander around taking pictures

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    until it’s time.

    Silver Spur also has the Halloween decoration still up

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    and some quite intriguing chairs.

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    I’m not really in the mood for Starters, but the Sheriff’s Menu offers the choice of a dessert I definitely want with a main I am considering combined with an appetizer I don’t really care about, and it’s cheaper. So… Sheriff’s Menu it is.

    The piano player comes in soonish and even comes to our table to take pictures with us when we’re the only ones in the restaurant loudly clapping upon his entrance.

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    My starter… Red Bean Far West soup.

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    It was okay, a little on the peppery side. It was quite creamy. The more traditional recipe for German bean soup is more in the direction of a stew. Maybe that’s what threw me off.

    Service was almost too fast for our likings. They took an unfinished starter away while he person eating was snapping pictures of the piano player and brought out the main not even 2 minutes later.

    My main – the ravioli.

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    I know, I know. I am in a steakhouse. How can I possibly eat ravioli? The reason for that is that the French understanding of “well done” and my understanding of “well done” are at least three worlds apart.

    The ravioli were tasty and I liked the dish overall. What really threw me off was that the vegetables were more the salad type and cold. I was expecting some ratatouille style, but at least thought they’d be warm.

    The Dreams Pass cocktail:

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    And heaven on a plate, aka Thunder Mesa Cheesecake:

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    After that we go and do some more pin trading in World of Disney and Disney Store. They must be hiding all Cast Member pins in there now. :upsidedow

    At the hotel I bid good bye to the guys, they’re going home tomorrow.
     
  21. Vala

    Vala DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Messages:
    2,498
    Chapter 6 (November 4): Sunday with a flu

    Well not quite a flu or even the flu, but I definitely got a sore throat now. Guess all the rain is taking its toll.

    No exciting characters at the first stops of my hotel route,

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    so I stop for an extended breakfast at Earl of Sandwich. I have the Royal Brunch booked at 1 PM and I need to hold in there.

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    A quick stop over at the Village later I own a new Tiana shirt… in size XL. I am fitting into a French XL shirt! :faint:

    DLH also doesn’t have exciting characters at the meet and greet, but… White Rabbit and Friar Tuck are in the lobby! Cue very bouncy Vala.

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    Christmas is drawing closer...

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    I meet a French guy also taking character pictures who’s also solo. His English is worse than Yohann’s, but with a little more flailing of arms added in we get along just fine.

    We decide to team up and go and meet the villains – Shan Yu and Ratcliffe for starters.

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    Ratcliffe tries to teach some kids how to pull the sword from the stone and fails.

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    Unfortunately no Piglet out at Small World today, so we go to check out the Trick or Treat show again. This time they have the band appearing first. My new friend seems to have misunderstood my intentions with the small camera for characters and is incredibly amused when I pull the large one out for show pictures.

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