Danauk's long awaited return to DLP - day 2 (including a guided tour.)


<font color=green>I would be sitting on the patio
Jun 27, 2003
Tuesday 8th April
The alarm was set for 6:45 and we got up, ready, showered and was having breakfast by 7:20. I thought there would be more people there but there were only 2 other groups there (one of which was from a convention.) Breakfast was good, plenty of pasteries, cereal, cold meats and cheeses, fruit and cooked items. Once we had filled up we were ready to set off for the parks. Now again I had imagined that early entry would be busy. I had been planning the DLP trip at the same time as our trip to Disneyland in the summer. I have been trained from the folkes on the DL board that you must get to the gates at least 30 if not 45 minutes before it opens (EE there starts at 7:00 thank goodness for the 8 hour time difference!) So I was very surprised to find that at 7:45 Disney Village was deserted,

and we were the 1st people at the bag check area.

Soon a few more people appeared and a few minutes before 8:00 we were allowed through. As we were waiting many CM's were arriving for work. Pete and I decided to play and game and try to guess which CM's were characters!

Soon the security opened and we walked to the main entrance. We were the 1st at our gate. So I took a few shots of a completely empty park.

Soon the light on the turn style was green and the 1st people in line burst into the parks. I zoomed over to the bandstand to take some pictures of an empty park.

I found out yesterday that the two people who entered the park the same time as we did were Hildasmuriel and her daughter. I guess it had to be hard core Dissers who get excited about being the 1st in!!

We first of all set off for Fantesyland walking through the castle

There was still no sign of any other people!! So I stopped to take a picture of the inside of the castle, I tried to do this in the past but there is usually someone stood on the balcony.

Then we entered a deserted Fantasyland.

We went on Peter Pan followed by Pinnochio. They were both walk on as there was still no one else there!!

So I took a few more pictures of the empty land

And then we headed over to Discoveryland and I took a few castle pictures on the way.

The work they had been doing on the bridge was now completed

Again Discoveryland seemed deserted, although by now there were a few more people around.

Buzz was having a technical problem so we rode Space Mountain and few times before Buzz opened. Then we rode Buzz a few times too (Pete thought it would be funny to take control of the car spinning so I would loose. His plan failed!)

Then we decided to go and explore the inside of the castle. A few more families were starting to arrive now.

By now it was 9:30 so we decided to head over to the Studios as we wanted to ride Crush. By the time we arrived the gates had opened and there was already a line forming for Crush so we joined it. Whilst Pete waited in line I kept wondering off to take some pictures!!

I love the new Toon Studios area of the park

Soon it was 10:00 and Crush was open. We only waited a further 5 minutes before we were on. I have to say this is probably my new favourite ride!!

Next we headed over to:

However the wait was over an hour and the Fast Pass machines were covered up so we deicded it could wait.

Instead we headed over to the Backlot Tour. Unfortunately for us the Florida one is much better, although I do enjoy Catasprophe Canyon on this version as well.

By now it was 11am and we decided we needed a coffee break so we headed over to Studio 1. Whilst there we did a little shopping and I traded a few pins with the CM's too.

Next we decided to go to Stitch Live. I thought it was a cute show, however it did rely on the people who were picked on to be enthusiastic, some of the people chosen were not so the interaction was a little slow. I did think it was very cleaver though!

By now it was lunch time and we were feeling quite tired and we knew we had a lot of walking to do in the afternoon so we headed back to the room for a break, taking a hot dog with us.

More to come, I have used my quota of pictures for this post!!


<font color=green>Has a seperate pudding stomach<b
Aug 13, 2005
It must have felt great to be first into the park :goodvibes

You must have had the shortest queue for Crush ever :thumbsup2 .It's always really busy (over 45 mins) or not working when we've been :mad:

Looking forward to hearing and seeing more. Your photo's of the castle are really great
  • Danauk

    <font color=green>I would be sitting on the patio
    Jun 27, 2003
    At 1:30 we headed back in to Disneyland Park to go to City Hall ready for our guided tour. At 2:00 we met Christophe our tour guided and headed out into the park. We were the only people taking the tour so we really felt like VIP's!! At this point I have to say if you ever decide to take the tour ask for Christophe, he was amazing. Not only is Disney his job he is a true Disney fan. He knew way more about Disney and other Disney parks than the script for the tour. He was telling us that when Micheal Eistner came to visit he was his VIP guide. This guy really knows his stuff!!:thumbsup2

    So the tour started at the entrance where we learned the supposed reason behind why Paris was chosen as the Euporean Disney location. Legend has it that the Disney family come from France from a village called Ignsey sure mer (a place now known for butter which is why the butter in the higher priced restaurants comes from here.) Over time the family name Igsney changed to Disney. We learned that origionally the Disneyland hotel was to be more like the Grand Floridian at WDW, but the design changed to fit the park entrance and it was painted pink as white would not stand out against the grey sky! This is the same reason the castle is this colour.

    We then headed off to Main Street where we looked at the details in the shops and learned the stories behind the theaming of the shops and the reason why they were there. Many of the store numbers are dates of births either for imagineers, their families, the Disney family or are the addresses of Disney properties, for example Walts restaurant is located at 1401 Flower Street, the same address as Walt Disney Imagineering in Glendale California. We went into Walts and looked at each of the rooms. We also rode down in the elivator which is a copy of the one in Disney's private Club 33 in Main Street Disneyland in California. Christophe was quite impressed that I knew all bout Club 33!! Each store on Main Street has a story behind it and the details that were pointed out were amazing. For example the Kodak shop. The story is that that owner wanted the latest technology to show off. So when he got a new camera he put his old one on the shelf around the shop. All the cameras on display are origional Victorian cameras! Also the lighting in the shop shows the wiring and the lights are different as the owner wanted to show off that he could afford electricity and was showing off the latest lamps he could afford. We also learned that story of Main Street is that it was built by Elias Disney in 1901 which is why there is a small plaque in the pavement by the Gibson Girl icecream parlour that says ED 1901 on it. The whole street is based on the town that Walt grew up in, Marciline, MI.

    From here we headed to Fronteirland and looked at Phamtom manor and learned the story. The family who owened the house owned the mine (BTMRR). The daughter fell in love with one of the mine workers but was not allowed to marry him as they were different classes. One day there was an earthquake and the house was damaged like you see it today. The parents were killed which left the daughter free to marry her beloved. The wedding day arrived but the groom did not turn up and was never seen again. The story through the house is that of the bride waiting in her wedding dress, and she is still waiting there today.

    From here we went to Adventureland. We learned about the problems they had here with the tropical planting in the Parisian climate. Aparently the tropical plants here make this land 2 degrees warmer than any where else in the park!! We walked over to POTC where he explained that when they made the films they used the DLP ride for quite a bit of inspiration. He also said there are no plans to add Captain Jack and Barbosa like they have done at Disneyland! He also explained that the entrance to the ride is the most elaborate of all the Disney parks and that WDW are taking elements of the entrance to the DLP ride to make theirs look better.

    We also learned the story behind one of the shops in Adventureland, the one with the crashed landrover outside of it. The story is that the man driving saw a giraffe and swerved to miss it and crashed his vehicle. The giraffe wasn't hurt but was curious which is why in the shop you can see the giraffee coming in from the side looking out of the door. From Adventureland we walked to Fantasyland looking at the Swiss Family Robbinson tree house on the way. He explained that the leaves were all hand sewn on and it is the only fake plant in the park. To make it like any other plant in the park they gave it a latin name. The name means Every green Disney tree. As we walked to Fantasyland we looked at how the architecture changes and how the stream in Adventureland is fast flowing, then as it passes under the bridge into Fantasyland it completely changes to a smooth flowing stream.

    In Fantasyland we learned how they choose to theme it based on European fairytales. The had to include Dumbo as it was a popular ride, however the ride is surrounded by some water, this is to signify that it is on an island as it is the only ride based on a non European tale.

    We also learned that the Dumbo placed in DLP was actually the one built for Disneyland CA. The California ride needed replacing so they were building a replacement for DL at the same time they were building the one for DLP. The DLP ride was finished first. However the origional ride at DL then broke down so they sent the finished ride that was supposed to go to DLP to DL and then brought the ride that was meant for DL to DLP once it was finished.

    We then walked through the castle to head over to Discoveryland. When going through the castle we looked at some of the details. We learned that the story of the castle is that the castle emerged from the earth. Disney didn't want to base the castle on anything in particular as they knew that Euproeans were more used to castles than Americans. This is why they chose the story that the castle grew out of the rocks in the ground. That is why the left hand side of the castle is rocks and grass that merges into the castle. Also the inside of the castle is supported by trees.

    Once we were in Discoveryland we learned that they choose the name instead of Tomorrowland as it is a tribute to the great explorers and discoverers of the past. We also learned that Space Mountain was origionally going to be named Discovery Mountain which is why the sign above the FP entrance has DM on it. They changed the name at the last minute as they thought guests would be more familiar with the already existing Space Mountain name (although we all know it is nothing like the Space Mountains in the USA!!)

    This is where our 2 hours tour ended and we were given tour pins. We had a great time. Christophe was amazing. As well as learning about DLP we chatted about other Disney parks and our love of WDW. He also said that they do have tentative plans for future attractions which might include a Splash Mountain (although this depends on the success of the one in Tokyo which they are trialing a warmer water system on for winter months) plus there are tentative plans for a Soarin over Europe, but this will more likely go into the Studios park. He did say though that now the current big new attractions are completed (ToT, Crush and Stitch) they would probably be soon announcing their next big project. Although no one knows exactly what it will be.

    Once the tour was over we decided to do Star Tours as we were in that area. The we grabbed an ice cream which we ate whilst watching the parade. We then did a little more shopping and pin trading before heading back to the room for a rest and to get ready for dinner. On the way back we called in to the shop in the Disneyland hotel as I wanted to get the From Sketch to Reality book and I know they sold it here. Pete also bought a really cool light up snow globe that has all the villains on. They all light up green and their eyes glow orange!! Oh and I bought a few more pins and did some more pin trading!

    That night we ate at the Manhatten restaurant. The menu has changed to Italian but the restaurant still looked the same. My meal was nice, I had tomato soup to start and Pete had beef salad, both were very good. Then I had a chicken dish which was really nice. Pete had the risotto which he said was really blande and he really should have sent back. He said it had no seasoning and tasted as if it had been made with plain water and not stock. We were still quite full from the ice cream earlier so decided against a desert. By 9pm we were shattered so went back to the room to go to bed. I think all the walking and the fact I had been awake for 20 hours the day before with only 4 hours of sleep before that had finally caught up on me!!


    it made me feel like i was the queen....
    Apr 19, 2007
    That's so interesting i bet you had a great time.
    And wonderful pictures of the park still asleep, i love them thanks for sharing :goodvibes


    <font color=magenta>I'm a really really scaredy sc
    Jan 23, 2007
    Thanks for all the wonderful detail. I shall now surprise dtr with that fact about Dumbo (she has read from Sketchbook to Reality and thinks she knows it all. ;) )

    The tour sounds fantastic.


    Mar 3, 2008
    Super report! LOVE the detail pictures and the empty park (looked like you wer alone before opening). I showed my DH and even he was oohing and ahhhhing over the castle details. Nice tour report...what fun!
  • Dianetigger

    <font color=peach>May have to give the corkboard o
    Oct 21, 2005
    Fabulous report and pictures, that tour sounds brilliant, wonder if my three would be interested (something else to think about!)


    <font color=green>Founder member of the DJP<br><fo
    Jun 2, 2007
    Brilliant detailed report and some fab photos, great facts from the tour too.


    <font color=deeppink>The Queen Bee<br><font color=
    Mar 2, 2008
    OOoo!! Lovely photos!! Must have felt odd seeing the park all empty in the morning!!

    Bob xoxox


    Feb 10, 2008
    What alot of fascinating information. there was so much info here I had to read it twice :goodvibes

    Sometimes I just love walking around the park and taking in all the detail. My future walks will never be the same.
    Great trip report
  • britchic4

    <font color=green>There's often a piano player in
    Jan 25, 2008
    How fantastic to see such an empty park! And the details from your tour are amazing. I would love to do that in October.


    Feb 27, 2008
    Wow! That was an awesome report. Do you have to book that tour in advance? I would like to do it as well. Is there a day 3 coming up? thsnkd for sharing all the info...:flower3:


    <font color=green>Curse this time difference!<br><
    Sep 17, 2004
    That report sounds great! I looked at that book but ended up with the Imagineering one instead - which is also fantastic!


    Was told off for sliding down the bannister at SL
    Jul 15, 2004
    The tour sounds really interesting, thanks for sharing:goodvibes Great photos:thumbsup2

    JC Butterfly

    DIS Veteran
    Oct 8, 1999
    I am really interested in taking a tour when we go (and would be a bonus to have Christophe, he sounds fantastic!)

    How far in advance did you sign up for your tour?

    Did you phone in? Email? Who/How did you contact?

    Do you know if this tour is offered every day in English? Or only certain days and times? Any info you have would be appreciated!

    Otherwise, fantastic report!


    <font color=green>I would be sitting on the patio
    Jun 27, 2003
    We booked thr tour a month in advance. All the details on how to book are in the Very Useful Info sticky at the top of this board. I booked via email with the VIP team and was given a choice of start times for the tour. They did the tour in English ever day. I think as we were 1st to book the time we chose they made the English tour for other guests. The VIP team were really good, they emailed a few days before we went to reconfirm both our tours. If you book I would ask for Christophe as he was amazing.


    DIS Veteran
    Oct 23, 2004
    Another fantastic day. I've read all the report except for the tour as we are planning this in the summer :)

    IDo you know if this tour is offered every day in English? Or only certain days and times? Any info you have would be appreciated!
    All the details are listed in The Very Useful Info sticky :thumbsup2


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