A Brit's Return to the Magic Kingdom 14 - 17th May 2018

TheStarscream759

Mouseketeer
Joined
Nov 17, 2018
Hi there! Bonjour! Hallo! Bienveune, Wilkommen, Welkom! And any in other language, welcome one and all! I am your host Joseph and this is my very first trip report of any Disney Theme Park that I've done for this very site.

I'm a chipper Brit from South East England, I'm a massive Whovian, adore anything related to Disney, a gamer, a pop cultural reference spewing junkie, the list goes on for me. I as of today last year have done my first solo trip to Disneyland Paris. And I'm looking forward to sharing my experience with you all cuz it's been one heck of a trip.

This isn't my first time going to Disneyland Paris I've been there 3 times before my solo trip and I've since been to Walt Disney World in the interim because there was quite a lot of years when I didn't go to a Disney Theme Park.

It's a trip of new experiences as well as old, joy, laughter and many more so stay tuned everyone.
 
  • TheStarscream759

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 17, 2018
    And if we are ready then we shall begin with:

    Day 1: The Brit's Journey Begins

    I really never thought I’d see the day when I can say I’ve been to Disneyland Paris all on my lonesome but there it is. I’ve pretty much been going there with my family for the last 3 trips or so and I wouldn’t really call ‘em the biggest fans of Disney per say and that meant that seeing as I was with them on those past trips that meant I was restricted and had to do a lot of “stick together” and “don’t wander off” spiels for the majority of it and I couldn’t do a lot in the way of doing things alone. But now that I was doing a solo trip with no sisters, no folks to nag me, I was free to do whatever I like, whenever I like.


    I pretty much got up at 7ish and left for Maidenhead Station and we managed to get to Paddington just fine. I say “we” because my mum was there to see me off. I go through all the security procedures and sooner or later I’m on the Eurostar train on my way to Disneyland Paris. I’ll admit I was nervous about the journey and it was justifiable considering it was only me on that train. But as I was travelling to France, I was seated next to a Welsh family, a man, a woman and their two daughters. Essentially I spend the majority of the journey talking to the dad. And I felt a sense of camaraderie with him and we got along like a house on fire and I talked to him about my past experiences with Disneyland Paris and even Disney World and it turns out he along with his family were going to Disneyland Paris for the first time and it did help me with my nerves.
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    And as a result it made me more excited for the trip I was about to do and I literally did squee with excitement as soon as I saw Hyperspace Mountain coming into view. And it turns out I didn’t need to be nervous at all again with the Welsh family that I was sitting next to me going there for the first time and I was literally passing on my past experiences to them and made my journey a lot more relaxed and enjoyable.


    As soon as the train docked onto the platform, I then said my farewells to my welsh companions and the Welsh man then told me to have a good time on my trip and that was the last I ever saw of them. I then got onto the platform, got my luggage to the Disney Express Service counter which was easy to find and I must say the service itself is very good, they transferred my luggage to and from the Sequoia Lodge with ease, highly recommend this if you don’t want to go through all the faff of checking in, sure it costs extra but it’s certainly worth doing if you want the Disney Express Service.


    Anyways after that I was free to roam the Disneyland Park and I can tell you the moment I walked out of the station doors I literally just celebrated at the fact that I was finally back in Disneyland Paris. I was squeeing, I was doing the running man dance just all manner of things to indicate that I was happy to be back
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    Anyways after that I was free to roam the Disneyland Park and I can tell you the moment I walked out of the station doors I literally just celebrated at the fact that I was finally back in Disneyland Paris. I was squeeing, I was doing the running man dance just all manner of things to indicate that I was happy to be back.


    So I go through security with no problem and then I head straight for the Disneyland Park, past the turnstiles, walked straight to Main Street and then into Fantasyland where I went on the Storybook Canal Books which I must say was a nice little voyage looking at the models that show off a whole host of Disney movies from Aladdin, Little Mermaid, Tangled even scenes from Fantasia which I thought at the time I should just take it nice and steady seeing as I had just arrived and work my way up towards the rides I wanted to go on.
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    Kmap

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Feb 8, 2019
    Looking forward to the next update.

    9 of us are travelling on 19th May my 4th visit and I can’t wait!
     

    pamcarey

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 21, 2010
    Great start! I am planning my first trip to DLP for May of this year, so I am interested to read about your adventures!
     
  • amazingact21

    Upendi
    Joined
    Nov 6, 2010
    Glad the Eurostar trip was uneventful and the family you sat next to was nice. I've never done the Storybook Canal but it looks fun. A nice relaxing first ride of your trip.
     

    TheStarscream759

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 17, 2018
    Looking forward to the next update.

    9 of us are travelling on 19th May my 4th visit and I can’t wait!
    Excellent! That's what I like to hear I'm still undecided on when I should go but hopefully things turn out well I'll be able to travel this year. For now I've still got my fingers crossed.

    Great start! I am planning my first trip to DLP for May of this year, so I am interested to read about your adventures!
    A first timer huh? Hope everything is to your satisfaction and I wish you luck on your first trip there.

    Glad the Eurostar trip was uneventful and the family you sat next to was nice. I've never done the Storybook Canal but it looks fun. A nice relaxing first ride of your trip.
    Yeah the way how I figured when I was planning on which rides to go on I was thinking let's start off with something you haven't done before which in my case for a first ride was the Storybook Canal Boats and then work towards the rides that I consider my favourites.
     

    TheStarscream759

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 17, 2018
    Continued from the Previous Post

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    After I did this, I then went on Les Voyages de Pinocchio which I hadn’t been on for quite some time and it was just as good as I remembered it. I do think it’s aged a bit better than the Snow White dark ride and if I were given a choice between which would I ride more I’d say Pinocchio cuz it at least doesn’t have dated animatronics in there than Snow White does. Now bear in mind Snow White’s Scary Adventures isn’t necessarily a bad ride but I feel it’s on the dated side.

    Next I went to Alice’s Curious Labyrinth, which is something I had never done before and I think it’s more of a unique thing in that no other Disney theme park has this and it’s just so lovely and it’s a maze based around Alice in Wonderland which has iconic scenes from the film which leads to the castle overlooking the whole of Fantasyland. And I’d certainly recommend this if you love Alice in Wonderland and again it’s got a lovely view from the balcony of the castle. Before that I did stop off at Adventureland very briefly because I had never been down the entrance from Fantasyland to Adventureland and snapped a picture of the pirate ship with Skull Rock beside it.
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    TheStarscream759

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 17, 2018
    Real Life Update: Hey guys, I'm sorry the next update has been taking so long but it's been more a case of I've been busy and real life getting in the way. I promise I'll get this update up soon and hope you guys enjoy it.
     
  • TheStarscream759

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 17, 2018
    Day 1 Part 2: Pirates, Intergalactic Space Travel and…Princesses?
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    After my tour round Wonderland, I headed for Adventureland and went on the ride I was most anxious to go on after not being able to do so because of the new stuff being added to it: Pirates of the Caribbean. One of my favourite rides in any Disney Theme Park and my god was it worth seeing the new stuff. From Barbossa changing into an undead skeleton, the water projections with Davy Jones and Blackbeard as well as Jack Sparrow making numerous appearances in the ride. I had been told before my trip that these changes had been made because someone going on the ride before me despite me not seeing any video footage or photos of said changes I had to take his word for it but by the time my solo trip had arrived, I had move onto other things and completely forgotten what the changes were so I still went in there with a flesh mind not knowing what to expect. And irony is that I really wanted to see said changes but again couldn't go on Pirates on my last trip cuz well of the refurbishments. I gotta tell ya though I went on Pirates of the Caribbean for all it's worth and I must have ridden on it 9 times overall.



    Once I did Pirates, I went after another favourite ride of mine up in Discoveryland. Yes it was of course Star Tours, classic ride, pretty much been updated into the Adventure Continues incarnation and yes I am a big Star Wars fan, massive fan of the movies so this is a huge must do for me and perhaps my second favourite ride at any Disney Theme Park besides Pirates of the Caribbean. I went Star Tours a total of 7 times on this trip. I rode both this and Pirates twice on all the days apart from the last day where I only rode it once and rode Pirates of the Caribbean three times in that order. Anyways really like the new version of Star Tours, lots of variety of old and new areas from the franchise like: Hoth, Kashyyyk, Naboo, Jakku, Crait and it even has the new location that's going to be a part of the new Star Wars Land over in Walt Disney World at Disney Hollywood Studios.
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    I'll move onto the next thing for now but I do have a lot more to say about my experiences on this ride a bit later as I've said before I do this ride a second time on the first day. I won't say what they are just yet but I will say that I had two good experiences on there and one of them was a bad experience that do spring to mind for me. Otherwise Star Tours is a great ride even if your not the biggest Star Wars fan. So it is with great pleasure that I move onto the next part of this day and the reason I want to Disneyland Paris to see the Pirates and Princesses festival. Essentially what it was is that were two sides Pirates and Princesses and they were competing to see who was the best. You had Mickey leading the Princesses with of course: Snow White, Belle, Jasmine, Rapunzel, Cinderella, Ariel the usual suspects with Moana and Merida joining them as well...huh. And then on the Pirates side you had Peter Pan, Captain Hook, Mr Smee, Wendy and a rare character that almost never does meet and greets at DLP: Jake from the Neverland Pirates and the team was led by Minnie. This was essentially the very first special event that I've ever done at a Disney Theme Park and it was tons of fun. They had some of the lampposts decked out for the occasion at Central Plaza, one side representing Pirates with a bandana and eye patch and the other representing the Princesses with a crown. The main event they did with the parade floats which were really vibrant and colourful, there were a lot of cool stuff that the dancers did particularly the pirates where they were doing somersaults, flips in the air even cartwheels across the street.

    And the music, oh my god, the music was incredible. It was so catchy, seriously once that theme gets stuck in your head it'll be with you all day as I found myself singing along to it when it came over the loudspeakers it's that good of a tune. There were other things for the festival which included The Princess Promenade which was a mini show involving weirdly enough Sofia from Sofia the First and Elena from Elena of Avalor. That one I didn't see in person but from what I saw from the footage of it, it was mainly just a couple of dancers and the two mentioned princesses dancing and twirling around from the Castle to the Town Square. Another show involved Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean about being a pirate in Adventureland by Captain Hook's ship that I also didn't see. I would tell you more about that bit but I'll tell you when we get to a particular bit in Day 2.

    I defiantly had fun doing that festival in particular I would recommend you guys see this event. If you ever get the chance to come to DLP, make this a priority. There was a funny little moment when the main show/parade was wrapping up there were a couple of people that skipped behind the dancers and then shouted: "I am a Princess, I am a Pirate!" in a very giddy way and that led me as well many others that were watching burst out in hysterics because it was just so random and absurd and just came out of nowhere. After that it was now past 3 o'clock where I was so it was time for me to check in at my next destination: The Sequoia Lodge.
     

    Attachments

    pamcarey

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 21, 2010
    I keep hearing great things about the Princess and Pirate Party! I wish it was going to be on during my trip. :(
     

    TheStarscream759

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 17, 2018
    I keep hearing great things about the Princess and Pirate Party! I wish it was going to be on during my trip. :(
    I know right. And it's just finished it's run this year. I wish I could say I've done Halloween or Christmas as my first special event but they haven't. Though I was close to seeing the Halloween season but not quite because it was like mid September during 2006 when I was still in school.
     

    TheStarscream759

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 17, 2018
    Day 1 Part 3: Sequoia Lodge, Autopia Speedway and Illuminations

    It was time to head for the hotel that I’d be staying for this trip: The Sequoia Lodge. Now I hadn’t been to the Sequoia Lodge in ages and I remember being there before when I was a kid but it’s a very vague recollection of me staying in that particular hotel but now that the passage of time has past I can now as a young adult say that this is a great hotel to be at. For those of you who don’t know know, as the name implies it’s very forest oriented and my god do they go for broke with it. It has an impressive hotel lobby and it really has that welcoming sort of vibe to it. They have the hotel in a very inviting way and it’s just so amazing to walk through every morning. And again it’s such a great hotel and you’ll see why when I go deeper into the hotel as I go along. Anyway the hotel itself is separated into five different lodges: Yellowstone, Monterrey, Big Sur, Yosemite and Sierra. I ended up staying in the latter lodge of Sierra, there are also rooms that are in the hotel both split into two wings heading to the North and the South of the hotel lobby so as a result it’s quite a big hotel on it’s own.





    Anyways I’m at the bus stop and I pretty much took the bus service to get to the Sequoia Lodge and as people who have been to Disney World will know there’s a bus service to and from the resorts to get to the monorail. And I have also heard that non resorts to Disneyland Paris have buses going to the resort but they are independent from the main service you can find at the resort itself. Now I have nothing against people who stayed in non property hotels but it just seems like a really tedious way to travel, you get up, you have to catch the bus that’s going to he parks and then when the day is over you have to take the same bus you took to get back to your offsite hotel that your staying in. It’s personally not my cup of tea because honestly I prefer being on site and seeing as all the hotels apart from the Davy Crocket Ranch which is far away from the resort and you have to drive by car to get to it are in walking distance from the parks, plus I don’t have to worry about catching buses and I can just go to the parks at my leisure.

    And how many times did I use the bus service? Only once. Yeah once which was ironic because that was just to get to the Sequoia Lodge to check into the hotel itself and all the other times I walked to the parks.

    So anyways I got to the entrance and I had to deal with security and had to be scanned and all that malarkey and to be honest, the guy was a bit rude with me because he was getting annoyed at me for getting the scanning process wrong and to be fair I didn’t know where my arms were meant to go during it so they were all over the place. Luckily the cast member that checked me in was a lot nicer to me, I had arrived in the middle of May meaning the queues wouldn’t be that long so I was almost immediately served. He was really helpful and informative the guy that helped me and I wish I remembered his name though because I did like the comment he made when I was giving him my passport and once he had finished checking that the passport was mine he went: “There we go and there you are in the flesh.” And that did make me chuckle and he did tell me where the luggage room would be and I thanked him for his help quickly got my luggage next door to the entrance and I then pulled my luggage all the way to my room I had to climb a couple of stairs to reach it, I did have a bit of trouble with the keycard and I did have to come up with a system where I just slot the card in nice and slowly and afterward I pretty much got in the room just fine.

    Once I got in I unpacked my stuff, put my clothes on the hangars provided, put my empty luggage to one side and then got watching some TV in the room. One thing I didn’t mention earlier in this report is that oddly enough Disneyland Paris actually inspired to check out Star Wars Rebels and as you already know I’m a big fan of Star Wars and on my trip I discovered that they were showing clips of the first episode as well as a couple of shorts associated with the show when I was wandering around Videopolis before boarding Star Tours for the first time.

    Basically the screens where there showing these clips in a loop first in French and then in English and I even managed to watch a couple of episodes of the show when I was there. It made me a fan of Star Wars Rebels. So much so that when I got back home to the UK I made it my first priority to get myself the DVD boxset for the first series even to the point where I met Taylor Gray, the voice of Ezra Bridger the main protagonist of Rebels at a convention in London.

    I don’t know how they did it but they found a way to have me watch a show I had never heard of, check it out for myself and become invested in it. It’s that good I tell you. I even managed to catch an episode of Gravity Falls while I was at it. Anyways the reason I was watching the telly was more or less for me to chill before I go to my one of my first dining reservations. For tonight I was going to be eating up at Captain Jack’s in Adventureland. Plus it would be my first time going there seeing as I had never dine there before.



    After a bit of me watching the telly in my room I ventured out of my room and went straight back to Disneyland Park and seeing as I had time to kill I went on Pirates again for my second and last go of the day.

    Now I had thought initially that you had at your reservation on the dot and they wouldn’t let me in before but I was so wrong cuz after I went on Pirates of the Caribbean I went straight into Captain Jack’s about 5-7 minutes before my allotted time they let me a couple minutes early and I was then led to my table pretty quickly.

    First of, Captain Jack’s is a very well themed restaurant and obviously because it’s Pirates of the Caribbean it’s just feels so appropriate seeing as the restaurant is next door to the attraction itself. It’s just so stunning to be in and you even get to see riders in the boats on the ride itself as your eating. Which I thought was a pretty cool thing to see and I was actually seated overlooking the boats as they passed by.

    And it was also a golden opportunity to use the Half Board Plus vouchers that I had with me throughout the entire trip and yes I did use one of them for my meal and I thought that I would have to pay after the meals which I found out during the trip that I had a package deal that whatever meal I have, be it, breakfast, lunch or dinner and whichever restaurant I'm at I'm able to use the corresponding voucher and much to my surprise I didn't have to buy a thing. All my reservations later on in the trip meant that I can just use them to my advantage. I didn't use all the vouchers because I had loads left over once I returned to the UK but it was nice, it was a pleasant surprise for me at the very least.

    So anyway my server comes to me, takes my voucher and I then order the Quinoa salad with a Spicy Cashew nutfor starters, the Mahi Mahi Fish Steak and the Island styled Rice Pudding with Mango Puree. I gotta say my server was just entertaining to watch he actually scared the living delights out of a couple of American guests who I was sitting either side of and I remember just laughing when that happened because they were so engrossed in there conversation and then the cast member just comes along and makes them jump. He was even amusing to a kid who was looking at his tablet with his mum and dad and he just poking his head down and just peering at the kid's tablet wondering what he was watching.

    Onto the meals themselves: The Quinoa Salad. This was one actually surprised me I thought I wasn't get much out of it but I ended up liking a lot. It looks like it's meaty but it's not it's nice and sweet on the inside. It had some sauce around the rim of the plate and it really does add to it. I enjoyed this so much more than what I actually had as a main which was the Mahi Mahi Fish Steak.






    Speaking of which the Mahi Mahi Fish Steak I personally thought it was okay but maybe a bit chunky for my liking I did manage to eat a majority of it but I give up on it after a while and maybe it was just me but I think once again the starter was a bit better than the main in my opinion anyway.



    Last but not certainly least the Rice Pudding with Mango Puree. I'm not the biggest fan on Mango Puree but mmm it was gorgeous absolutely gorgeous. What it was it had the sauce around it with a bit of vanilla ice cream and to top all of, a 25th Anniversary chocolate chip at the top. I wasn't sure I liked Captain Jack's because I'm not usually a guy who eats fish food but hey I managed just fine and I enjoyed my time there as well as the food. It definitely was worth going to and I might consider going back there in a future trip. After dinner I headed out of Adventureland and then back through Fantasyland and decided to go back to Discoveryland to go on Star Tours again. Before I could reach Discoveryland I saw a bit of the Pirates and Princesses main show this time it was the pirates units going down Fantasyland. And the music? Still catchy. Just listen if you don't believe me.
    And I'm not kidding I was actually singing along partway to Discoveryland and dancing to it. That's a mighty ear worm for ya. Anyways remember that little thing I couldn't reveal earlier about stuff happening to me on Star Tours? Well this is one of three instances and they all happened on ride. I basically get onboard my Starspeeder, everything's all normal but then I get an alternative beginning sequence and I'm stopped by Kylo Ren and the computer goes through the guests to select which one would be the spy in this case selecting who would be the spy for the Resistance. And which guest did the computer pick? ME! Yes yours truly was picked to be a spy! And it caught me completely by surprise and I was shocked to see myself displayed onscreen and then I was looking both ways I turn to my right there's a guest looking at me and then I look to my right there's a guest and he's looking at me, I turn to my left there's another guest looking at me, I dare not look back at everyone else cuz they are now looking in my direction and no doubt every guest was wanting to know what my reaction to all this was. Internally I was going in my head: "Oh my god have I been picked? I have been picked! I am the spy!" and then in an instant I immediately put two and two together and then in my head I'm going: "Oh my god, I AM the spy for the resistance!" and realising what the implications were meant by that so I look forward and then I then let out a nervous laugh and almost immediately everyone just burst out laughing. And it all happened in the span of 3-5 seconds. Probably one of the highlights of me going on Star Tours.

    Not only did I get picked to be the spy but I also went to Jakku, Crait and even got the Batuu the new planet that's gonna be a part of Galaxy's Edge at Disneyland as well as Disney Hollywood Studios in Disney World. So that was cool to have there.
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    Once I left Star Tours I decided to go on another ride that I had never been on before: Autopia. I've heard things about the ones in the American parks not being very good. I have to say I was in that queue for quite some time because it just moved quite slow and as a result I kept on hearing the English and French spiels for the ride over and over again. And it did get boring after a while but I eventually got in the car and I gotta say it's pretty rough. I thought you would be able to control the car smoothly but it's not, it's a lot of hard work and I did feel it was a bit bumpy at times and I felt like the car was slipping and sliding a lot of the time and it didn't look I could control it most of the time. Overall I wouldn't really say it's a ride I'll keep coming back to, it was just OK for me.

    Once I was done with the Speedway I then did the last thing of the day which was to see Illuminations which is pretty much the big firework show for Disneyland Paris. And as we all know Disney theme parks are known for their firework shows and the Disneyland Park at DLP is no exception to the rule. Before the show I took a nice little picture of the castle all lit up. The castle looks so beautiful on it's own but at night it's even more spectacular when it's glowing with the whole of Main Street once again lit up. IMG_20180514_213941.jpeg

    I found myself a spot in between Fantasyland and Discoveryland and sat to the left side of the castle where the castle stage was. Illumiations as a fireworks show has projections put onto the castle, it had scenes from The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Finding Nemo, Frozen. Though I have to admit though there were a few odd choices that being Star Wars The Force Awakens was being represented as well as Pirates of the Caribbean and the live action remake of Beauty and the Beast. I have no idea why they relied on live action properties for this one and honestly they just choose the live action Beauty and the Beast when the show first came in 2017 because the film was being released there and honestly it's the worst of the movies being represented it's just like they stuck some stock footage of the film and put it into Illuimations.

    Some people will say that Disney Dreams was better than Illuimations and I honestly don't mind if there opinion is that they like it better than this one but I still honestly get chills from listening to the soundtrack of Illuminations especially the beginning it's just so good.

    It's a nice little fireworks show but I won't say it's better than Wishes so there's that. Seeing as Illuminations only starts when it's near to park closing, it was already past 10PM so naturally everyone including me left the Disneyland Park as soon as Illuminations was finished. I honestly didn't do much afterwards I may have done a bit of browsing in Disney Village and then I returned to my room for the night. By the way before I end Day 1 for this trip report I just wanted to show you guys what my room actually looked like. And here it is.
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    As you can see it's very Bambi themed and in my opinion I think it fits the whole aesthetic of the Sequoia Lodge of it being forest themed very well there. I initially didn't want to take any pics of the room because I felt they would be boring but my mum was very insistent on me taking pictures of the room cuz she really wanted to see it. And then I went: "Okay I'll do that." And there we go, that's my first day of my trip report, wrapped up. I'm going to probably take a break from this TR and then maybe work on the stuff for Day 2 but I trust you there's a lot going on the second day so stayed tuned.
     

    pamcarey

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 21, 2010
    Great update! I’m glad to hear that you lived Sequoia Lodge as I will be there in 3 days!
     

    TheStarscream759

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 17, 2018
    Sorry this update has taken so long but it's more of a case life getting in the way and me just needing a breaking from writing this up. I'll hopefully get this update up soon.
     



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