A Date with Monsieur Mickey

dolphingirl47

In Search of the Tag Fairy
Joined
Dec 25, 2007
Day 1

Well, I can confirm that there is actually such a time as 3:30 in the morning. This is the time when my alarm went off that morning. I got up and ready, put the last odds and ends in my luggage and checked again that I had my passport. Then I headed out. I was kind of surprised when I got downstairs shortly before 4:00 and the car was not there yet. The service I use is normally over punctual. However, just after I got there, my phone rang and the dispatcher checked where precisely I was as the driver was somewhere on our street. I gave directions and pretty much as soon as the call was finished, the car pulled up. It was the same driver that usually takes me. We had a smooth run to the airport and even with a couple of detours due to road works; we made it in less than 20 minutes.

When I got to check in, I decided to try the self-service kiosks, but it just printed a coupon stating that I was flying standby and to proceed to the check in desk. There were not many people in line, but the line moved hardly at all. Still, I had plenty of time. At some stage the check in supervisor came over and asked if somebody only flew as far as Paris. Everybody else seemed to be just transiting in Paris. I told her that I was flying only as far as Paris, but was flying standby. She took me over to her computer and printed my boarding pass. It is always a considerable relief when flying standby once you have a seat number. I thanked her and headed through security.

Terminal 3 at Manchester is my least favourite terminal to fly out of. The main reason for this is that security is a complete nightmare. This time round it was great. I was directed to the furthest security checkpoint, but there was no line at all. Things took a little longer as I was flying with just hand luggage and I had my laptop and my cosmetics, but everything went smoothly. I was in the departure lounge by 4:39. That is what I call a result.

I still had plenty of time so decided that some breakfast was called for. I went to Costa Coffee and had a white chocolate and hazelnut finger and a salted caramel cappuccino. I think they forgot to put the syrup in as this just tasted like an ordinary cappuccino, but it still went down really well.



When I had finished my breakfast, I still had 15 minutes until the gate was due to open. I had a look around what few shops there are in terminal 3 and even though it felt I was looking at perfumes forever, by the time I was done, I still had 5 minutes before the gate opened. When the gate number was posted, this was right at the end of the terminal. Fortunately terminal 3 is not big. When I got to the gate, I just had time to snap a quick photo and update my status on Facebook before my row number was called for boarding. This was the quickest and most efficient boarding process I have ever seen. Maybe it was a little bit too efficient as we got backed up going down the stairs to the aircraft and then again getting on the aircraft itself. Still, the whole process was pretty smooth.



I was pretty impressed with the aircraft. Flybe is a low cost carrier, but is a notch above the competition. I have flown with them before, but on their smaller planes. This flight was operated by an Embraer 195 and I could not believe how spacious this plane is both in terms of seat width and legroom. The flight was also nowhere near full.

One of the advantages of terminal 3 is that it is very close to the runway. Eight minutes after our scheduled departure time we were airborne. There was a bit of a nasty crosswind as we were taking off, but once we were above the clouds, it was fine. We were treated to a spectacular sunrise, but unfortunately I had an aisle seat and was not able to take a photo. Apart from a bit of light turbulence shortly after take off and just before we landed in Paris, it was a smooth flight. I kept myself entertained by working on my trip report for September.

We made good time and arrived in Paris within an hour of departing. There we had the opposite extreme from Manchester. The terminal where we were heading is probably as far away from the runway as you can get and because the plane was so small, we were parked quite a distance from the terminal as well and had to get on a bus. This was very well organised though. While we were taxiing in and during the bus ride, I looked out for a familiar tail. I think I must have seen everything but the one I was looking for.

When we got to immigration things changed. They had one single desk open for European passport holders and this appeared to be the biggest group. They had electronic passport gates, but to use those, you apparently have to register. So I had a long wait. Still, this all worked out perfectly. When I was through immigration, I could head straight for the station, as I did not have any luggage to collect. This is a bit of a hike, but I made it in time to get a ticket for the train I had hoped to get. I had decided to take the TGV directly to Marne-la-Vallee/Chessy, which is the train station for Disneyland Paris rather than taking to the commuter trains and dropping off my luggage at the hotel on the way. This is much quicker. The commuter train takes about an hour and a half and involves a change. The TGV takes 10 minutes. So that was a no brainer. About 5 minutes after I got my ticket, the platform for my train was announced and about 10 minutes after this, I was on my way. It was a nice smooth run directly to Disneyland Paris.

When I arrived there, I took a couple of photos to share on Facebook and then headed to the bag check. At Disneyland Paris, they have x-ray machines similar to the ones that they use for hand luggage at airports. This makes so much more sense that somebody poking around the bags with a stick. It actually is also a lot quicker. Soon I was inside and headed over to the ticket booths. The lines for those were quite long, but moved steadily. I was going to get an annual pass. I needed the top tier pass as the other two would be blocked out on my birthday, but even then it was the cheapest option for spending 5 days in the parks. The pass also comes with all kinds of discounts and does give access to Extra Magic Hours. We are hoping to do the inaugural Run Disney event at Disneyland Paris next September so the pass makes sense from this point of view as well.





They have a strange system at Disneyland Paris for annual passes. You have to go to one of the ticket booths first to pay and they give you a temporary pass. You then have to take this inside the park to the Annual Pass Office, which is near the hub at the entrance to Discoveryland. There they will then issue a proper annual pass. I have no problem with this, but there was one small irritation with that system this time round. I had my weekender bag as well as my handbag with me. One of the perks of the Dream annual pass is that you can leave two items of luggage per day free of charge with left luggage just outside the park. That is what I had planned to do. Ideally I wanted to get rid of the weekender before I headed inside the park. So I decided to head over to left luggage to see if they would accept the temporary annual pass. They did not and told me that I would have to pay that day. I did not think much of this and decided that I would take my weekender into the park with me while I got the annual pass sorted out and then drop it off afterwards.

When I got in the park, I stopped for a minute or two to absorb the atmosphere and then headed to the Annual Pass Office via the Discovery Arcade. I had come prepared that this would take a fair while as this can be quite busy and I remember from the previous time I had an annual pass for Disneyland Paris that this is quite a convoluted process. Well, I was positively surprised on both counts. There was a cast member available to assist me straightaway and they have streamlined the process. You used to have to fill out a form and have a photo taken and then sit down until your application was processed. This time round, she just entered my details on the computer, took the photo, handed me the contract the sign and then handed me my annual pass. The whole process lasted about 10 minutes. With my annual pass in hand I headed down Main Street USA. I wanted to get my Photopass sorted as I thought that this was coming in a box and I wanted to put this in my weekender before I dropped it off at left luggage, but the shop that sells the Photopasses on Main Street was still closed. So I headed outside the park to drop off my luggage.

This time round they were only too happy to take my luggage off me. I was issued with a receipt and then I headed back into the park. I took a few photos around the entrance area and then headed towards Main Street. I noticed that the shop that sells the Photopasses was now open. So I decided to go in to sort this out. Photopass+ is still relatively new at Disneyland Paris. They do not have as many photographers out as they have at the American parks, but they are present at most character meet and greets and it also includes a number of attraction photos. Like Memory Maker, you can view the photos pretty much in real time via an app and it is extremely easy to download und share them. There is however no facility to add borders or stickers. Normally Photopass+ is €49.99 and you can add photos for 10 days. However, with my annual pass, it was only €39.99 and it is valid for the whole year. I am sure I will more than get my money’s worth out of this. The annual pass version comes in an envelope rather than a box so there was no problem with me getting this after I had dropped off my luggage.

[

Once I had my Photopass card, I had a quick look around the shop and then headed up Main Street. As I was wandering towards the hub, there was an announcement that the Christmas parade would start in 5 minutes. There were some empty spots near the hub so I decided to stay and watch this. I have never been a big parade person, but my very first Disney parade was the Christmas parade at Disneyland Paris in 1996. At that stage, it was a proper parade with a very catchy theme song “Chante, C’est Noel”. When we went back for the Christmas season in 2007, they still used the song as part of the parade, but they just showed the normal parade with a couple of Christmas floats added at the end. Now they show the normal year round parade in the afternoon, but they have a Christmas mini parade that they show 3 times during the first part during the day. I rather enjoyed this, but unfortunately this no longer features “Chante, C’est Noel” although this is used for other parts of the Christmas festivities.







































When the Christmas parade had passed, I continued to make my way towards the hub. Something caught my eyes. Thumper and Miss Bunny were out just outside the top entrance to the Liberty Arcade. This was too good to pass up. The line moved relatively slowly, but I did not mind. Eventually it was my turn to meet them and that was well worth the wait.





After meeting Thumper and Miss Bunny, I crossed over into Frontierland. This felt kind of strange, almost like a ghost town. Big Thunder Mountain had gone down for an extended maintenance the previous week. The Riverboat, the train station and the Indian Village are also down for refurbishment at the moment. The Chaparral Theatre was closed and was due to reopen on 14th November. As this is low season, most of the restaurants in that area were closed, too. Just the Lucky Nugget Saloon and the Silver Spur Steakhouse were open. Apart from those and a gift shop, there was just a meet and greet area for Merida, who was not out for very long, Jack’s Cemetery, which was the meet and greet area for Jack Skellington and Phantom Manor.



Phantom Manor was a walk on so I decided to do this. I did remember that this is quite different from the Haunted Mansions at the US parks, but this was completely different from how I remembered it. I think they may have changed this around since I last was at Disneyland Paris. I did thoroughly enjoy it.

Once I got off Phantom Manor, I wandered over into Adventureland. I had look around and noticed that my favourite restaurant at Disneyland Paris, Cafe Agrabah was closed. While I was in the area, I had a look around Aladdin’s Enchanted Passage, which consists of a number of dioramas retelling the story of Aladdin. Although that had always been there on my previous visits, this was the first time I decided to check this out. This is quite lovely, but as it is rather dark in there, I did not manage to take any photos.

As I continued to explore Adventureland, I came across Baloo and King Louie, but as they did not have a photographer with them, I decided not to get in line. By then it was well into lunchtime and I decided to get something to eat. The only restaurant that was open in Adventureland that day was Cafe Hakuna Matata. So this had to do. I went with one of the set meals that consisted of lightly spiced chicken strips, seasoned fries, a soft drink and a coconut and pineapple tart. I was not as hungry as I had thought and only had about half of my main course. I wished that I had a Ziploc bag with me. I did not really feel like having my dessert either, but I did not want it to go to waste so I ended up eating it and it was delicious.







After lunch, I then pushed on to Pirates of the Caribbean. This is by far my favourite version of the three that I have done. This already starts with the line that is beautifully themed. They have yet to add the touches from the film to this although I heard this is coming. I much prefer it how it is. Sometimes original is really best. I enjoyed the ride. They also have a ride photo there so once I was done; I had this added to my Photopass card.



I then crossed over into Fantasyland. The lines looked pretty long so I did not do any of the rides there. Its A Small World is currently closed for refurbishment and looks kind of sorry for itself. I did decide to go and see Mickey. They have converted the old Fantasyland Theater into a meet and greet location. This worked out rather well. They used the former stage as a screen on which they showed classic Disney cartoons. They alternately showed them in French and English. I was familiar with most of them and it was quite amusing to watch them in French. Eventually it was my time to meet Mickey and I had a fun interaction.



By the time I was done with Mickey, I started to go downhill rapidly. I had planned to stay in the park for the tree lighting ceremony and Disney Dreams, but I hit a wall. I decided that I would do Buzz Lightyear Laser Blasters and then head for the hotel. This is what I did. I did the right once and did not do particularly well at it. However, this gave me something to improve on for the rest of the trip. I then headed towards the exit. On the way I was treated to a little fountain show in front of the castle that was not on the entertainment guide. This was the first time that trip that I heard “Chante, C’est Noel”. I stayed around until the show was finished and then headed for the exit.





I picked up my weekender and then headed towards the station. Due to some building works, you can only get to the station via Disney Village, but that was not a hardship and at most added a minute or two. Once I got to the station, I got a carnet for the RER as I would be going backwards and forwards between the hotel and the parks every day. Once I got to the platform, I did not have long to wait until the train pulled in and the journey between Marne-la-Vallee/ Chessy and the station opposite the hotel is only about 15 minutes.


When I arrived at the other end, I got very confused. We have stayed at the same hotel during most of our trips to Disneyland Paris and the hotel is diagonally across from the station. This was still the case, but it looked completely different from how I remembered it. Later during the trip we figured out that they built a new entrance to the station, which is around the corner from the old one, and this is why everything looked so different.


Check in was nice and smooth and I was soon in my room. I got myself organised and caught up with things online and then I had a nap. I was woken up by a crying child next door and decided to stay awake to see if I could FaceTime Graham in a little while. We had successfully done this while we were on our respective trips in September, but I did not succeed this time. In the end I gave up and went back to bed.
 

jedijill

Chiefs fan living in Bronco country
Joined
Jan 17, 2005
You are off to a great start! Glad your flight went so smoothly. I love the trains in Paris. So quick! I never saw DLP decorated for Christmas...I think I need to check it out some of these days! The parade looked lovely.

Jill in CO
 
  • dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    You are off to a great start! Glad your flight went so smoothly. I love the trains in Paris. So quick! I never saw DLP decorated for Christmas...I think I need to check it out some of these days! The parade looked lovely.

    Jill in CO
    The trains are good fun. Even the commuter trains have been modernised since the last time we were there and are quite flash.

    I am on the other extreme of the spectrum. All, but one of my visits to Disneyland Paris were when the parks were decorated for Christmas. They do the holidays really well. For me Paris is just a hop, skip and jump and a welcome opportunity to get a little Mouse in my life. I can't believe that I had not been for so long. However, if I had further to come, I would give the parks a wide berth until summer 2017. Especially the Disneyland Park is a giant building site at the moment and this will be even worse next year.

    Subbing in! Will be back to read!
    Welcome.

    Corinna
     

    jedijill

    Chiefs fan living in Bronco country
    Joined
    Jan 17, 2005
    The trains are good fun. Even the commuter trains have been modernised since the last time we were there and are quite flash.

    I am on the other extreme of the spectrum. All, but one of my visits to Disneyland Paris were when the parks were decorated for Christmas. They do the holidays really well. For me Paris is just a hop, skip and jump and a welcome opportunity to get a little Mouse in my life. I can't believe that I had not been for so long. However, if I had further to come, I would give the parks a wide berth until summer 2017. Especially the Disneyland Park is a giant building site at the moment and this will be even worse next year.


    Corinna
    That's really good to know. 2016 is booked up with my trip to Australia but I have a free ticket on Lufthansa burning a hole in my FF account so I can see a trip to Europe in my near future!

    Jill in CO
     

    franandaj

    I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!
    Joined
    Nov 15, 2009
    All caught up but I am confused with sone terminology. What does I an "I got a carnet for the RER mean?"

    I imagine I will have more questions but we plan to stay on site for convenience for Fran. So this probably won't apply.
     

    jedijill

    Chiefs fan living in Bronco country
    Joined
    Jan 17, 2005
    All caught up but I am confused with sone terminology. What does I an "I got a carnet for the RER mean?"

    I imagine I will have more questions but we plan to stay on site for convenience for Fran. So this probably won't apply.
    Carnet is a ticket and RER is the train.

    Jill in CO
     
  • tennisfan

    Was told off for sliding down the bannister at SL
    Moderator
    Joined
    Jul 15, 2004
    Busy first day, I love the park when its Christmas. I do wish they bring back the older Christmas parade with the reindeer and Chante, C’est Noel.

    Look forward to the rest :)
     

    dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    2016 is booked up with my trip to Australia but I have a free ticket on Lufthansa burning a hole in my FF account so I can see a trip to Europe in my near future!
    You have to keep me posted. I would love to finally meet up and now that my love for Disneyland Paris has been rekindled, I will need very little excuse to go back.

    What does I an "I got a carnet for the RER mean?"
    RER is the commuter train system in Paris. A carnet is 10 identical tickets. Traditionally they were sold in little books, but now they are individual tickets. Not only are they convenient in that you don't have to get a ticket every time you travel, but they are also slightly discounted. A single ticket from where we like to stay to Disneyland Paris is €4.05. The carnet is €32.40.

    I imagine I will have more questions
    Feel free to ask. I am happy to help.

    we plan to stay on site for convenience for Fran.
    Any ideas yet which hotel you would like to stay in?

    Carnet is a ticket and RER is the train.
    Thanks.

    I'm here :) must come back to read, sneaking online at work.
    Welcome.

    I love the park when its Christmas.
    Welcome. Me, too.

    I do wish they bring back the older Christmas parade with the reindeer and Chante, C’est Noel.
    Oh, that would be fantastic. I was totally in awe of this. I wonder why they stopped it.

    Look forward to the rest :)
    I try to update my trip reports on Thursdays and Sundays.

    Corinna
     

    Pinkocto

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2011
    Great start, the travel portion sounded quite smooth aside from immigration.

    The 10 minute train definitely sounded like a better option, but too bad they wouldn't take your bag the first time around. That is so strange how they do the annual pass...

    Love the parade pictures.

    You got a lot done, especially for being up at 3:30.

    I have never seen Thumper or Miss Bunny, what fun.

    I like hearing about the differences between all the parks.
     
  • KNovacovschi

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 30, 2007
    Thank you for sharing this and cannot wait to read more. We are going to DLP for the first time in Sept 2016. We go to WDW ever year and am excited to see the differences between the parks.
     

    Flossbolna

    Sea days are just so relaxing!
    Joined
    Sep 8, 2006
    I am here!! So much looking forward to read about your Christmas experience at DLP!

    My best friend would be all over that meet with the two bunnies!! :thumbsup2 I think they are a bit of a DLP speciality, aren't they? I don't remember them being out two years ago when we were there for Christmas.

    I had never thought about how empty Frontierland would be without Big Thunder Mountain! That will be a strange experience. But I am so glad that they put so much effort into it to get it all right. I can't wait for 2017, the park should be spectacular and I think we will end up with APs for that year again...
     

    dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    Great start, the travel portion sounded quite smooth aside from immigration.
    I was surprised how smooth it went. I think when flying standby, at the crack of dawn (or even before) is definitely the way to go.

    The 10 minute train definitely sounded like a better option,
    It makes life so easy and literally lands your right in the middle of the Disneyland Paris resort.

    but too bad they wouldn't take your bag the first time around.
    I could not understand this at all. After all, I had already paid.

    That is so strange how they do the annual pass...
    It definitely is strange. This is so much easier at the US parks.

    Love the parade pictures.
    There are more to come.

    I have never seen Thumper or Miss Bunny, what fun.
    I could not believe my luck. I had heard that they are usually out during their spring festival, but I did not expect them as part of the holiday season.

    Thank you for sharing this and cannot wait to read more.
    Welcome on board.

    We are going to DLP for the first time in Sept 2016.
    Are you going to be there for the inaugural half marathon weekend? I am hoping to be and more to the point run my first ever 5K.

    Disneyland Paris is currently going through a major refurbishment programme ahead of their 25th anniversary in 2017. Big Thunder Mountain, Thunder Mesa Riverboat Landing, Star Tours and the Studio Tram Tour will definitely we closed. Others like the train stations and Adventure Isle/ La Cabane des Robinsons may or may not be open by the time you get there.

    We go to WDW ever year and am excited to see the differences between the parks.
    It is going to be very different. There are a number of similarities between Disneyland and Disneyland Paris, but even that is a difference like night and day.

    Corinna
     

    dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    I am here!!
    Hi :wave:

    So much looking forward to read about your Christmas experience at DLP!
    Hopefully I have this wrapped up before we go on our pre-Christmas trip

    I think they are a bit of a DLP speciality, aren't they?
    I did not know that. I had read that occasionally they are out during the Spring Festival, but I was not under the impression that this was a regular thing. However, while I was there, they were out every morning.

    I don't remember them being out two years ago when we were there for Christmas.
    I have never seen them before either and with one exception, I was almost there during the Christmas season.

    I can't wait for 2017, the park should be spectacular and I think we will end up with APs for that year again...
    I am rather looking forward to this, too. We see how this year goes, but if I feel like I am getting my money's worth out of it this year, I may just renew at the end of the year.

    Corinna
     

    PrincessInOz

    Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!
    Joined
    Feb 8, 2010
    What a great start to the day!
    Shame about having to go back and forth with the weekender but at least you got there in the end.

    Love the parade.
     

    KNovacovschi

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 30, 2007
    Are you going to be there for the inaugural half marathon weekend? I am hoping to be and more to the point run my first ever 5K.

    Disneyland Paris is currently going through a major refurbishment programme ahead of their 25th anniversary in 2017. Big Thunder Mountain, Thunder Mesa Riverboat Landing, Star Tours and the Studio Tram Tour will definitely we closed. Others like the train stations and Adventure Isle/ La Cabane des Robinsons may or may not be open by the time you get there.



    It is going to be very different. There are a number of similarities between Disneyland and Disneyland Paris, but even that is a difference like night and day.

    Corinna
    I'm not to sure what weekend that is. We were originally going to go on Sept 29/30 however I think we may wait until Oct 3/4 as most things in Paris are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, so we want to use the Thursday and Friday for sight seeing. My DH has been before as he has cousins that live in Paris. Hopefully those rides will be open but if not that's ok, I just want to experience DLP. :)

    I just looked up on the DLP website and the only rides that will affect us will be Big Thunder and Star Tours as those are a couple of our favorites in WDW.
     
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    dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    I'm not to sure what weekend that is.
    The half marathon weekend starts on September 23rd. Your ticker is only one day out from what mine would be if I was ready to add it to my signature so I figured we may be there at the same time.

    We were originally going to go on Sept 29/30 however I think we may wait until Oct 3/4 as most things in Paris are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, so we want to use the Thursday and Friday for sight seeing.
    That sounds like a plan. I am used to a lot of stuff being closed on a Monday in continental Europe, but two days surprises me.

    Corinna
     

    dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    Day 2

    I had every intention to be at Walt Disney Studios for Extra Magic Hours that morning, which started at 8:00. Unfortunately as I was so tired the previous evening I had forgotten to set the alarm and it was nearly 9:00 by the time I woke up. I got up and ready and still decided to head for Walt Disney Studios that day knowing that I could always go back for Extra Magic Hours the next day. I got ready in super quick time and once I got to the station, I did not have long to wait until my train came.



    When I arrived at Disneyland Paris, it looked like half of humankind had the same idea. I don’t think I have ever seen so many people in one place as the masses that were queuing up for bag check that day. I wondered what was going on. I had noticed that Disneyland would be open until 20:00 that day even though on the day before and the day after it was only open until 19:00, but did not really worry about this. However, when I saw those masses I decided to check if there was anything special going on that I had not been aware of. It turned out that it was a public holiday in France that day. Well, I only had a limited number of days so I had to make the best out of this. It did not take too long to get through bag check and they had actually set up a tent where there is normally a gate with temporary turnstiles. So it did not take long to get into the park either. Mickey and Minnie were out in the entrance area in their Christmas finery, but they had a huge queue so I decided to come back later and head inside the park. I stopped by the Partners statue and took a photo and then headed towards the right of the park. Most of this area was not there when I last visited Walt Disney Studios in 2007. So I was rather curious about this.





    When I came to the area between Animagique and The Art of Animation, I spotted that Pluto and Goofy were out in their Christmas finery. The line did not look too long so I decided to get in it. Unfortunately the line moved very slowly partly because Goofy and Pluto kept wandering off. Still, I was in no particular rush. Eventually I did get my photo. I carried on towards Toon Studio. On the way, I took a photo of the building that houses Crush’s Coaster. I tried this ride once in 2007 and I was absolutely terrified. I would rather ride Tower of Terror than doing this ride again and this means a lot for me. I have some Facebook friends that feel the same way that I do about Crush’s Coaster so I decided to share a photo on Facebook.






    With this mischief taken care of, I moved on. I was tempted to ride Cars Quatre Roues Rallye, but the posted waiting time was 30 minutes, which is rather a lot for this ride. So I decided to pass for now and check back later. I then decided to go and check out Toy Story Playland, which had not been there when I last visited Walt Disney Studios. This is very bright and cheerful with three rides and a number of photo opportunities. I think Disneyland Paris are really missing a trick there. They have a number of photo opportunities that are designed like sets. However, they do not have a Photopass photographer with them. I think this would be a really nice addition. I decided to check out the rides in this area. I noticed that Toy Soldier Parachute Drop has a single rider line and the waiting time for this was only 15 minutes. I thought that this would be very similar to the Jumping Jellyfish ride at California Adventure, which I do quite like. However, this turned out to be much scarier and features a brief moment of weightlessness on each cycle. I was glad when I was back on solid ground and ride has firmly gone on the “never again” list.















    I had originally planned to try out some of the other rides in that area, but I was done being adventurous for the day. Instead I headed over to the Ratatouille Mini Land. This was actually my main motivation for returning to Disneyland Paris after all those years. I love the film and wanted to see what they have done with this. I have to say they did a wonderful job with this. Even though in terms of area, this is not all that big, it is wonderfully immersive. It really feels like you are inside the film. There is only one ride in this area, but this is a stunner. I would even go as far that this is one of the best rides I have ever been on. It is trackless 3D ride and the ride vehicles look like rats. Essentially the idea is that you are shrunk down to the size of a rat. For the first part of the ride, it feels like you are being chased by the humans in the kitchen. Then the perspective changes as the rats take over the kitchen. It is really rather clever and a lot of fun. As you get off the ride, you can see through the windows of Bistrot chez Remy, the table service restaurant in this area. The best thing about this ride is the single rider line. When I rode it that morning, the standby line was 90 minutes and the single rider line was only 15 minutes. Each ride vehicle is for 6 people so more often than not they need single riders to make up the numbers. This is a great bonus for people travelling solo.













    When I got off the ride, I had a quick look in the shop and used the bathroom. I then decided to head over to the other side of the park. On this side of the park are the thrill rides plus some shows and the backlot tour. On the way, I noticed thatBuzz Lightyear was out and did not have much of a line so I got in line for a photo. This did not take long at all and I was soon on my way again. I stopped briefly at one of the kiosks to get myself a bottle of Coke and then I carried on walking.

     


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