After All Now, This is France! (June 2022)

Kestryl

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 29, 2019
OK, this is my first trip report. I just wanted to log and share all the stuff we did in our big trip to Disneyland Paris Resort back in June, just in case it may help someone with their own planning!

WHO WE ARE

This trip consisted of me and my husband. We live in the US. We’re in our early 30s, no kids. We’re relatively experienced with Disney World as a couple (onsite twice, offsite three times mixed with other activities), and I went a handful of times when I was a kid/teenager. We’ve been to Disneyland (Anaheim) once, back in 2019. As far as international travel, we’ve been to Ireland and UK as a couple. I’ve traveled internationally to Canada, Mexico, Australia, and the Bahamas (cruise). We’re pretty adventurous (though not extreme physically- we’re not climbing Everest), and our vacation policy is along the lines of “we can sleep at home, now is the time to do things.”
 

Kestryl

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 29, 2019
PREMISE

This trip happened in mid-June. We were on a two-week trip to Paris (and the surrounding areas). Of course we had to includeDLP. We spent one night on the airplane over to CDG, then seven nights in the 9th arrondissement of Paris, then four nights at Sequoia Lodge at DLP, then one final night at a hotel by CDG. I’m keeping this trip report focused on DLP, but if you have questions on other aspects of our trip, feel free to ask!

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Kestryl

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 29, 2019
ARRIVAL - THURSDAY

We had flown into Paris a week before going to DLP. We were staying in the 9th arrondissement. The original plan was to take an Uber or taxi to DLP. Estimates had this running 70-90 euros, depending on availability. However, I was also on a FaceBook Paris planning group that had a spate of people talking about how their Ubers were cancelling and they had problems getting rides. We looked into the train system, as we had become pretty comfortable using the metro and other lines out to other locations during our stay. We decided to take the RER A from Auber to Marne-la-Vallee-Chessy, where DLP is located. We each had a full-size suitcase, backpack, and tote (which attached to our suitcases). Rather than lugging our luggage through the metro, we walked the 0.7 miles (1.2 km) to the station. It was a trek, but worth it so we could stop at a market to pick up some snacks.

We bought our tickets at the service counter at the Auber station once we arrived. They were five euros each. Note: if you are from the US, you may have difficulty with the self-service kiosks. We were told they require chip and pin cards, so we stuck to using our debit cards for these. But we bought tickets at the service desks a few times to make sure we got the right tickets. And for all: make sure you keep your ticket on you. We were checked occasionally while coming off the metro or on the train to other cities by officers, and on trips like this had to scan our tickets to exit the platforms. I hear they fine you if it’s the wrong ticket or if you lose yours. Also check if there are any planned strikes or other delay issues.

We grabbed a group of four seats and corralled our luggage to the window so we could block it in. The train was pretty empty. This was a weekday, mid-day, and there was a train running about every 10 minutes. It took about 40 minutes station to station. Marne-la-Valley-Chessy is the last stop on the line. Pretty uneventful.

We got to the station and tried to figure out how to get to the hotel. This was trickier than expected. The train station drops you off right by the security entrance for the resort. But we had luggage and we didn’t know if they would really want to look through our full suitcases (which we would have had to haul through Disney Village). We stumbled around for a while, saw the buses, concluded they probably didn’t want our luggage, ended up near a parking lot, doubled back to the buses, learned we could just get on with luggage, and took the bus to our hotel. So don’t make our mistake- just get the bus.
 

Kestryl

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 29, 2019
THURSDAY - HOTEL

We arrived at the Sequoia Lodge around 2 pm. They had their own security, and we had to have our bags scanned there. Then it was check-in, which was pretty fast. (We saw longer lines later in the trip.) Our intention was to drop the bags off and go to parks, since official check-in is at 4 pm, but our room was ready already. We got our keys (which were also our tickets) and a map of the hotel.

Fun tidbit: the CMs at the hotel desks and many other locations have pins with flags representing the languages they spoke. The CM who helped us had flags for France, the UK, and Italy, but we saw a huge mix over the course of our trip.

The resort makes you feel like you’re in a national park in the US. It’s kind of like the Wilderness Lodge. We chose this resort partly based on the theming, but mostly based on the price and location. It allowed us to walk to the parks but was much cheaper than Hotel New York and Newport Bay Club, at least for us on our dates. (Disneyland Hotel was closed for renovations- I do know it’s pretty pricey as well.)

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We booked a standard room with one large double bed. The theme was Bambi, and it was really cute with the wall border and large art print on the wall. We were greeted with the quintessential welcome video on the screen. I don’t know why, but I always like those. The room was actually pretty spacious, even compared to US standards. Plus- air conditioning! And the bed was huge! We have a queen at home- this was bigger. Other than the bed, there was a small desk and chair, a dresser, and a tv. (No fridge, but they did have an ice bucket.) The bathroom area was a sink, with a separate area for the shower, toilet, and small bench. The tub felt really tall for some reason- like I had to be careful not to trip while getting out.

This area also contained the room safe. However, the room safe did not work. I went to the front desk to ask about the safe, and they promised someone would come to look at it. We ended up hiding our passports and valuables around the room. We could have used the safe at the front desk. I don’t know why I trusted our hiding spots more than the desk safe, but nothing was stolen. (Not that I mistrusted housekeeping, but I don’t always trust everyone who walks by if the door is open while housekeeping is cleaning.)

Then- off to the parks!
 

Kestryl

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 29, 2019
THURSDAY - TO THE PARKS

We walked to the park, walking along Lac Buena Vista and through Disney Village. Prior to entering Disney Village, we went through a security point. It’s a very easy and pleasant walk. All in all, it took about 15 minutes.

A few words on Disney Village. We did not spend a lot of time here. We ate here twice during the trip (McDonald’s and Earl of Sandwich). We mostly just walked through it. We did stop into some of the stores, though we weren’t super impressed by the merchandise as a whole. There are plans to do a Disney Village overhaul in the next few years, but for now, it wasn’t worth our time to explore.

We decided to head to Disneyland Paris. Our room keys were also our park tickets, and entrance was pretty easy. Wait for gate to close from previous person, scan card, wait for gate to open, enter.

They have these lovely spinning statues in front of the castle. The project is called the Gardens of Wonder. The statues are abstract and represent different characters.

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Star Wars: Hyperspace Mountain: The building for this ride is gorgeous. I think I strapped in too tight the first time- the shoulder restraints kind of hurt. This was better on subsequent rides later in our trip.

Star Tours: I really like Star Tours in the US parks, and this is no different. For those familiar, there’s a part in the US safety video where the robot switches from English into Spanish. Here, the robot switches from French to English. Our first trip was a sequel trilogy theme, and it was in English. The ride got stopped a bit early because a of a kid in the front row crying. The CMs take this very seriously- we witnessed CMs at several attractions pulling aside families with crying kids. So we got to go again- this time in French, with the original trilogy! What a refreshing trip. (I enjoy the sequel trilogy, but it seems like every time we ride Star Tours it’s the sequel.) We went on Star Tours again later in this trip and got prequel scenes, which was a first for us!
 

Kestryl

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 29, 2019
THURSDAY - DINNER AND PARKS CONTINUED

We then had dinner at Plaza Gardens. I had made reservations about a month before leaving. This place seems pretty popular, because I had difficulty finding a reservation initially, but more openings seem to pop up the day before and day of.

We paid before we sat down. Breakfast and dinner at Plaza Gardens are character dining experiences. This is a buffet experience. But warning to US travelers- it’s only one drink, no refills, and we had to chase down someone to get water. We learned later that the reviews we read that mentioned free refills were outdated. We truly liked the food. There was a large assortment- pumpkin soup, mussels, Mickey-shaped potatoes, salad, charcuterie options, salmon, some kind of lamb stew, rotisserie chicken, bread, steak… And I ate so many desserts. (Seven macarons alone!) We saw Donald, Mickey, Goofy, Eeyore, and Tigger. Donald was the biggest win for me- I love, love, love that Disneyland Paris commercial, and Donald doesn’t have a regular meeting place. There is no specific set of characters- it seems like every review I’ve read has had a different set.

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Indiana Jones et le Temple du Peril (and the Temple of Peril): This is an outdoor coaster. The queue for this is a lot of fun- you wind though a base camp outside the “temple” before getting on the ride. The seats are uncomfortable, and we were jostled quite a bit. It feels old. Out of all coasters at a Disney park, this feels the least themed. Still, we didn’t hate it.
We walked around the Pirates of the Caribbean area by the Pirate Galleon. The galleon was closed, but we were able to explore Skull Rock and take in different views from there.

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Pirates of the Caribbean: This has really nice touches. There’s a swinging pirate. I’ve heard this doesn’t always work, but it ran on every time we rode! And there are a pair of dueling pirate animatronics in the town scenes. The skeleton scenes come near the end of the rides, versus the beginning like in the US parks. I think I actually prefer this, though it does make the final Jack Sparrow team a bit jarring. There is less Jack Sparrow in this version- only two animatronics.

Annoying note- We went on Pirates multiple times, and twice there was someone with their cell phone flashlight on. We’ve never had this happen on the Pirates rides in the US, other than someone not realizing their camera flash was on. One was a woman recording, and she would do quick snippets. The other was a man with a kid, and it seemed like he was using it to comfort his kid. The man would swing it around, including in the eyes of his passengers. A ride operator made an announcement to turn off the light, which he did… for a minute. Absolute rudeness. It shouldn’t have to be said, but don’t do this. If you can’t record without a light, don’t record. If yourkid can’t ride something without you shining a flashlight into the eyes of other riders, do not have your kid ride.
 

Kestryl

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 29, 2019
THURSDAY - END OF DAY

Phantom Manor: aka the Paris version of Haunted Mansion. This takes place in in Frontierland and has a Western theme to it. This feels like a darker take on Haunted Mansion. (And indeed, we did see a Cast Member pull away a family that had a terrified child before they could board.) The storyline involves a “Phantom” killing off suitors of the “bride.” The best part: Vincent Price does the narration! (Vincent Price is Rattigan from The Great Mouse Detective and provided the monologue in “Thriller.”) Look, the original Ghost Host by Paul Frees is great, but this is Vincent Price. If I could get the original Haunted Mansion ride with Vincent Price, that mash-up ride would be the best version.

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Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin: I cannot tell the difference between these versions (Paris vs. Anaheim vs. Orlando.) This version has French. That’s about it, I think. There is a fun delight in hearing an excited kid exclaim, “Buzz l’Eclair!”
At this point, we ran over to Star Traders so I could buy a porg plush. I love porgs. I realize this is the same porg plush offered elsewhere, but I couldn’t help it!

Orbitron: aka Astro Orbiter. I like the style of this one- it’s retro-futuristic Jules Verne, like the rest of the land. This was actually the inspiration for the current Astro Orbiter in Anaheim. That said, it’s also at ground-level. I like the elevated version at Magic Kingdom more, just for the added height. We intentionally timed this so we were on this ride for part of the fireworks, and I think that really helped make this more magical.

At this point, it was past 11 pm, and so we headed back to the hotel. We walked down the Discovery Arcade to avoid crowds. This was very uncrowded and was a great wait to avoid the Main Street crowds. Plus it’s just so lovely at night with the way it’s lit up.

Back at the hotel, we realized the safe was still not fixed, so I called down to the front. Maintenance apparently forgot to check. They sent someone about an hour later (12:30 am, I think), who took a look and said it was just totally broken and there wasn’t anything they could do. Something about it may take a month to get parts in? I realize it was small thing, but it was still annoying. We used our hiding spots for the rest of the trip.
 

knewton64

- May the luck of the Irish always be with you -
Joined
Aug 20, 2008
Following ----- :goodvibes
Luv yer TR!!


T.T.F.N.:smickey:
 
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Kestryl

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 29, 2019
FRIDAY - WELCOME TO WDS

Since we spent yesterday at Disneyland Park, we start off with Walt Disney Studios! Because we were staying onsite, we had early entry for an hour in both parks each day. This was called Extra Magic Time.

We initially planned to go on Crush’s Coaster… but yeah, that didn’t happen. We got in line and realized it hadn’t moved at all. Surprise, it’s broken! Turns out it does that a lot. So we bailed.

Twilight Zone Tower of Terror: Full disclosure, I am one of those people who likes Mission: Breakout in Anaheim more than Tower of Terror in Orlando. I just like the fun thrill of Mission Breakout. This uses the three-shaft version like Anaheim, but it’s styled like the Tower of Terror in Orlando. There are multiple sequences. (We rode it a second time later on our trip and had a different sequence.) One relatively major change from Orlando: they really focus on the little girl character who disappeared, and she’s trying to help you get out. I LOVE the end scene- it’s the little girl singing the Twilight Zone theme. It’s the best part, and I think this alone makes it better than the Orlando version.
 

Kestryl

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 29, 2019
FRIDAY - BACK TO DISNEYLAND PARIS

We then popped over to Disneyland Paris to have breakfast at Plaza Gardens. Yes, the same place we had dinner before! It seemed like they had two separate seating times. No Donald this time, but we did get some special, unique characters. Breakfast was the standard fair- Mickey waffles, fruit, that sort of thing. I was missing the ice cream machine that Crystal Palace has. If I had to pick breakfast or dinner, I would pick dinner. Our characters this time were Geppetto, Pinocchio, Tigger, Rabbit, and Smee.
We also got the chance to meet Max near the front of Disneyland Paris. We’ve never met him and made a special point do this meet-and-greet.

Next up, Dream… and Shine Brighter! This is meant to be a daytime parade with a show stop in front of the castle. It’s part of their 30th celebration. The theme song is “Ready for the Ride,” and is mixed with “Un Monde Qui S’Illimine.” If you haven’t heard these, stop, and go listen to them now! I am obsessed with these songs. They sometimes do parade-only mode, which they did now due to the heat. It was pretty high energy, even with the heat. We resolved to try to catch the show part later.

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We then went through the castle: Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant. The castle features Sleeping Beauty themed stained glass and statues. DLP has a lot of little walkthroughs like this. There is also a “dungeon” area with a dragon that breathes smoke! Don’t miss it.

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Kestryl

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 29, 2019
FRIDAY - DISNEYLAND PARIS CONT.

Storybook Land Canal Boats: Unlike the Disneyland Anaheim version, this does not feature a cast member narrator. They also have some different scenes, including, somewhat bizarrely, the Emerald City and castle from Return to Oz. It was a nice calming ride. Also, we saw baby ducks! Which was perfect for me, given the Disneyland Paris duck commercial.

Casey Jr.: So I haven’t been on the Casey Jr. ride at Disneyland Anaheim. I was expecting a train ride. This is not a train ride, it’s a roller coaster! A family friendly/kid coaster, but still a coaster! I was very surprised by how fast this went. We actually ended up on the caboose facing backwards, and that was really fun. If you get a chance, I recommend it. You get an interesting viewpoint, especially as you swing by the Storybook Canal views.

Blanche Neige et les Sept Nains (aka Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs): This is very close to the 1983 Disneyland (Anaheim) version, from before they lightened it up for the current Enchanted Wish configuration. They have the evil trees and log alligators! I have a soft spot for Snow White and I’m still mad they removed her dark ride from Magic Kingdom, so this was a highlight ride for me.
 

Kestryl

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 29, 2019
FRIDAY - MORE WDS

Then it was back to WDS. We attempted to ride Cars Road Trip, but they were shut down for mechanical issues.

Ratatouille: We have not been to the version at EPCOT. The indoor queue was adorable and the ride itself was cute. They mixed the French/English really well. I think one of the big differences between the EPCOT version and the DLP version is that when you unload from the DLP version, you get a view of the restaurant.

We attempted to go on Cars Road Trip again, and we even got seated on a tram, but they had another issue and had us all get off. We were able to choose from other rides to get a skip-the-line pass. (Not Crush’s Coaster, unfortunately.) We picked RC Racer.

RC Racer: This is a half-pope “coaster” with a single cart. The line gets long quickly, so the skip-the-line ticket from our earlier issues were well worth it. We got more air than I expected!

We had an early dinner at Chez Remy’s. I know this is going to sound sacrilegious, but… I wasn’t super impressed. The theming was fun, but the food was somewhat forgettable. Each came with a side of ratatouille. It was stew style, not the sliced version. Honestly… my sliced version is better. Sorry, Remy!

Slinky Dog Zigzag Spin: Just a cute little “caterpillar” style ride. The wait was short, so we figured we’d knock it out while we were nearby.

Crush’s Coaster: We saw this was a wait of an hour, which was the lowest wait we had seen. The outdoor queue was brutal. The indoor loading area is themed well- of course they have the seagulls. The set scenes in the “slower” parts of the ride were somewhat relaxing- more like a typical dark ride. The rest was a whirlwind spinning adventure. It’s a lot of fun! I get why the wait is so long! They have a spinning “model” at the front of the queue that shows off the spinning nature, and you can see a bit of the track outside to help decide if this is something you can stand.
 

Kestryl

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 29, 2019
FRIDAY - FIREWORKS DRAMA!

Then, back to Disneyland Paris. We grabbed some popcorn and staked out a spot for the fireworks… three hours before the show. Yes, this was probably excessive. But I wanted to make sure we had an excellent spot, just once. We weren’t the first people. We were a few rows back from the front of the hub watching area. Us early arrivers developed a pretty good comradery with each other and the cast members nearby. We all sat down and were mindful of saving space for anyone who ran to go to the bathroom or grab a snack. The cast members told us we would stay seated in this area to allow better views for all of us and everyone behind us.

(FYI, not sure if I’ve mentioned this, but the popcorn buckets were cute but generic. Nothing super interesting like what I see advertised from the Asia parks. What a bummer!)

But we ended up with a bit of drama like 45 minutes before the show started. Keep in mind that at this point, we had been there for two hours, some of the people around us longer. The group at the very front was pretty big- like 12 people- and had a blanket out and was sitting right at the line marking the boundary between the off-limits section and our section. This wasn’t a case of one person holding a large spot- they all set up there, and just took turns in pairs going to the bathroom and what not. Cast members were turning away people from the blocked off area in front of the castle. One of the adults from the front group had taken two kids to the bathroom. Per our standard, we left that small area blank- we knew they were coming back.

A family of dad, mom, and two kids tried to get in through the no-go-boundary area but were turned away. So they came from behind and started pushing their way forward. The dad told his two girls to go up to the front- never mind that it was clear that there was no room to really walk through, let alone a spot for four to sit or stand. The girls literally stepped on people to get to the front, and then stood right at the front in the small spot left by those who had gone to bathroom. One of the adults of that front group gestured for the girls to step back, because his kids were coming back, and others were trying to explain that we had all been there for hours.

The dad of the of the group trying to squeeze in went OFF. Cursing, shouting, threatening to fight the group up front. He has two KIDS, they should be UP FRONT, how DARE we not give up our spots, they paid a lot of MONEY to be here. Like, bro… we all paid to be here, we showed up early, where are we supposed to go if we give up spots, some of these people you’re yelling at also have kids… Come on. Anyways, a cast member intervened and directed the family that they’ll have to go back. The dad started yelling at the cast member to allow his kids to stand in the blocked off area. Security started walking over, and it finally hit the dad that they should really exit the area. Tense.

(Good thing I had popcorn.)
 

Kestryl

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 29, 2019
FRIDAY - FIREWORKS

Disney Illuminations: THE FIREWORKS. OK, actually, let metalk about the mini show before the fireworks. There’s a mini show called Disney D-Light, which is a drone light show that debuted for the 30th anniversary. The music pairs “Un Monde Qui S’Illumine” with Disney movie themes, and part way through the show, these drones behind the castle light up to form the Mickey head/30 logo. (Whoever came up with that design is a dang genius. It’s so simple but lands so well.) The fountains in front of the castle are going, and the castle gets lit up, and the drones move around the back to form twinkling stars and the logo, and there’s spinning and movement and it’s just so MAGICAL.

And then… they transition to Disney Illuminations a few minutes later. Projections, fountains, fireworks… it’s a celebration of some Disney films including Cinderella, Lion King, Littler Mermaid, Finding Nemo, Pirates of the Caribbean, Beauty and the Beast (but the live action version for some reason), Star Wars, and Frozen. Some of the middle scenes felt very marketing-heavy and done in a way where something could be pulled out and replaced with a new scene. But I did like that the Frozen section was entirely in French. And the beginning and ending scenes (backed by “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes”) were fantastic.

Honestly, the fireworks were great, but that Disney D-Light show… that made me emotional. It’s right up there with Happily Ever After.

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Also, we got to SIT during the show! Amazing. This did appear to be a front area privilege and may vary based on the CMs- and, of course, the people in front of you.

Anyways, we took our time leaving. Went the park empties out as people rush back to the train station, it’s nice to linger a bit and take in the nightly glow.
 

Kestryl

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 29, 2019
SATURDAY - A DECENT START

So, to preface this day, I’ll say that Saturday was rough for us. Paris was getting hit with a heatwave. The weather up until this point had been low 90s. This is doable for us- we’re used to heat in the US parks. But on this particular day, it would hit 100 degrees. I don’t get the impression that DLP was built to deal with that. The AC struggled, the rides struggled, people struggled.

Before we started our day, we met up with Pluto at our hotel (Sequoia Lodge). I’m not sure if every hotel offers meet and greet, but ours did in the mornings. Newport Bay Club offers them in the later in the afternoon/early evening. The characters rotate out, and it’s a surprise on any given day. Sequoia Lodge had Pluto for our morning, but we saw Goofy during the trip. I’ve seen people post photos here with Mickey and Donald, but that seems much rarer. It was a quick way to start our day with some fun.

Then it was back to Disneyland Paris.
Dumbo: I mean… Dumbo is Dumbo! There’s not really much to add here. There’s only one, so the wait is longer than the Orlando version, but c’mon- it’s Dumbo, you have to ride it.

Pinocchio’s Daring Journey: I know Anaheim has a version of this, but we never went on it. Oh, we tried! But it broke down every time we were in line. The closest we got was getting seated, but then it broke, so off we went. So this felt like a “finally!” moment. It was… weird? I mean, when you sit down and think about the Pleasure Island stuff, it’s kind of terrifying. Though I don’t think anything could match the darkness of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.

We watched the Dream… and Shine Brighter! parade again. Given the heat, this show was in parade-mode. Understandable.

Lion King: Rhythms of the Pride Lands: I had heard this was a “not to miss” experience, and I didn’t quite believe it. Festival of the Lion King at Animal Kingdom is great, but I’m perfectly fine skipping it. Well, I have to admit it, do not miss this show! It’s basically a shorter modified version of the musical. No puppets, but elaborate costumes. And they include songs like “He Lives In You” and “Shadowland.” We got in line an hour before the first show of the day and easily got in, but they really packed in the theater and I assume people were cut off and had to wait for the next show. You can pay for guaranteed seats. Also, the air conditioning was FANTASTIC, which was great given the heat of the day.
 

Kestryl

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 29, 2019
SATURDAY - A ROUGH MIDDLE

We then attempted to ride Big Thunder Mountain. We waited an hour and then it broke down. They did not make an announcement- word got passed back from the front, which was very frustrating. We had a dining reservation for Captain Jack’s, so we had to jump out and head to that. Later on, we had heard that this was because of the heat. Indeed, a lot of rides really struggled that day. There seemed to be more closures than normal.

Which leads me to our planned late lunch (2 pm) at Captain Jack’s. I had noticed on the app that Pirates of the Caribbean had been closed all day, but I hadn’t thought anything of it given the other ride closures going on. Now keep in mind that we have had this reservation for at least a month, the reservation was done through the app, and we were staying onsite, so they had my contact information. We showed up to the restaurant at 1:45 pm, and… closed. No notice, nothing. We were told we could go to Plaza Gardens or Agrabah Cafe. We already had been to Plaza Gardens, so we went to Agrabah’s, though I wasn’t thrilled. We had Agrabah’s booked for Sunday, and we didn’t want to eat there twice, so that meant we lost our plans for the next day. We headed to Agrabah Cafe. Because of the issue with Captain Jack’s, Agrabah Cafe was overwhelmed. (I assume Plaza Gardens was as well.) We ended up waiting until just past 3 pm to sit down and eat. It wasn’t my proudest time- it was a hundred degrees out, I was hungry, and I was pretty cranky at the whole situation. It’s a good thing we didn’t have to interact with any cast members, since I was not in a great mood.

That said, I highly recommend Agrabah Café. The original “building” was a bazaar with smaller shops. A few years later they were merged into the restaurant, so it now hows a kind of labyrinth, organic feel. I would say that is has some Aladdin influences, but overall the restaurant is its own thing. It’s absolutely beautiful. Everything is colorful and detailed. I cannot overemphasize how gorgeous this restaurant is. We sat in one of the “alley” style rooms. The food is described as Moroccan and Middle Eastern. And it’s a buffet! There are some more adventurous items, and some more standard items. I can’t pretend to know everything I ate- I like to sample, so I tried a bit of most everything. Hummus, couscous, rice, veggies in different sauces, lots of meat options, potatoes, chickpeas, salads… Everything was excellent. And there were lots of dessert options- fruit, pastries, pudding- I recommend baklava. I am not vegetarian, but Agrabah Café seemed to have a lot of options. (They may be vegan, but I’m unsure on what is in the sauces.)

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At this point, we bailed. It was too hot, many of the rides were broken down, the rest of the rides had ridiculous waits, so we decided our time was better spent back at the hotel.

Before we headed back, we hit up the World of Disney store. We didn’t see a ton of merchandise we were interested in. Oddly, they had a pretty large “United States of America” merchandise section. We were pretty surprised by it. It was like they were prepping for the Fourth of July.

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We got back to the hotel. Our original intention was to go swimming. We swung by the pool to see how long the wait would be. Someone in the back of the line said they were told they could wait one to two hours. Pass. We opted to take a nap in our air-conditioned hotel room and drink some cider we had bought earlier in the trip.
 

Kestryl

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 29, 2019
SATURDAY - A BETTER END?

A few hours later, we headed back to the parks. First we hit up Newport Bay Club for their character meet and greet. Today was Mickey, decked out in sailing gear. I’ve seen photos of Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy. But again, it’s random, and you won’t know who you get until they come out.

Peter Pan’s Flight: A classic, of course. The ride vehicles here actually have two rows, which I think keeps the wait lower that the US parks.

Pirates was open again from whatever issue they had earlier, and it had a short 10 minute wait, so we hit up that, and we watched the ducks that have claimed the surrounding area as their own.

We also walked through the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse area, called La Cabane Des Robinson. The treehouse itself was closed, but the surrounding area and Adventure Isle were open to explore. There are multiple ways to access this area, and, again, shows how the Paris parks are superior in these immersion settings. The walkable attractions at Paris really set the parks apart. This feels pretty spooky as well. There are tunnels and caves to get lost in and a suspension bridge. This may have been due to the time of the day, but it was very empty as well. We could go several minutes without seeing anyone.

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Another ride on Phantom Manor- practically a walk-on at this point.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad: Because it was so close to park closing and this was listed at 20 minutes, we decided to give it a chance. It was darker out, and it gave the attraction this really neat sunset look. This ride is almost entirely on an island! You load from the “mainland” and travel through tunnels to the island and back. I think this version is better than either of the US parks versions.

It being later, we left the park and headed to the McDonald’s for a light, late snack. I wish we wouldn’t have. They had an issue the payment system crashing right as we were ordering. They couldn’t take cash for processing reasons, apparently. They said it would be back in 10 minutes… then another 10 minutes… no, wait, just a bit longer… meanwhile they’re tossing food that’s been sitting there too long… and 40 minutes later they finally took orders. We should have left at the first warning. There’s not much open that late. By the time we had waited 20 minutes, we realized we wouldn’t make it to anywhere else in time, so we were stuck. This was just mid-level McDonald’s. (We actually had McDonald’s in Paris on a later-night whim, and it was possibly the best McDonald’s I’ve ever had.) So if there are payment issues, just leave. It’s not worth it.
 

Kestryl

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 29, 2019
SUNDAY - DREAM… AND SHINE BRIGHTER!

New day, slightly cooler. We headed to Walt Disney Studios to hit up the rides we hadn’t gotten on yet. Mickey was waving to people from the entrance building.

Toy Soldiers Parachute Drop: We hit this up first thing. Based on the previous days, the wait on this ride just got worse and worse as time went on. We realized that it was because the loading method was SO SLOW. It’s similar to the Jumpin’ Jellyfish from California Adventure.

Then we tried to ride Cars Road Trip… Nope, still broken. Does this ride ever work? So it was back to Disneyland Paris with the strict intention to catch the Dream… and Shine Brighter! show.

Lancelot Carousel: It’s a carousel! Nothing too different.

Now the show. We got to the area about 30 minutes before so we could stake out a good spot right along the lines. Much of the area gets blocked off for the movement that happens during the show, and we wanted to make sure we were right up on the line.

Dream… and Shine Brighter! OH MY GOSH. The parade version is great, with lots of high energy and fantastic themes. But the show. THE SHOW. This is such a kinetic, chaotic, over-the-top energy display. It is AMAZING. There are so many characters- Mickey, Minnie, Daisy, Donald, Pluto, Goofy, Chip Dale, Clarice (!), Tiana, Miguel, Woody, Jessie, Peter Pan, Genie, Alice, Mad Hatter, Joy, Rapunzel, Judy and Nick… And then there is a whole host of dancers decked out in pink and blue for the 30th. OK, so there are four stages in the area in front of the castle. The parade floats fill in the “road” around the stages, and the characters transition from float to stage to stage to float to stage… The floats rotate through the area and stop periodically to allow the characters and dancers on and off. The music is high energy, with lots of Disney hits mashed up together, including a few songs that tend not to be heard that often (“Topsy Turvy” and “Out There” from Hunchback, “The Unbirthday Song” from Alice). And then the finale adds pyrotechnics and bubbles. THERE IS SO MUCH GOING ON. So not only is this a CAN’T MISS show, I absolutely, fully, 100% recommend you see this as many times as your schedule allows. (Assuming it comes back, that is. I think at this point they’re transitioning to holiday shows.) It is hands down the BEST parade/day show I have seen.

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