We're No Cowboys, but We'll Say Howdy to You - A Sept. 2016 DL Paris TR *Complete and New TR Link

Discussion in 'Disneyland Paris Trip Reports Board' started by amazingact21, Jun 6, 2017.

  1. MeghanEmily

    MeghanEmily DIS Veteran

    Apr 21, 2016
    Most people can't even feel the difference because they go SO slowly. I'm just an anomaly, I think. And even people who I've heard of noticing the movement didn't have any problem when they just focused on their food and their families, etc., rather than watching the scenery go by. I'm sure you'll have a great experience there!
  2. cindianne320

    cindianne320 DIS Veteran

    Oct 27, 2010
    Following along! So happy to hear that you are headed to WDW in a month!!! I so wanted to sneak away with my oldest this summer, but flights just weren't cooperating. Instead, I talked DH into a short stay after our cruise next year!

    As for DL Paris- I can't wait to hear more about it! DH has been hinting I should join him in Europe next time he has to go for work, and this would be top of my list! Can't wait to hear more!
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  4. amazingact21

    amazingact21 Upendi

    Nov 6, 2010
    I could see how watching the scenery go by would mess with people's motion. I will make sure to focus on my food and the characters and not Living with the Land!

    Adding on to your cruise is a good compromise!
    You should definitely join your husband the next time he's in Europe. The sheer magnitude of stuff to do here in unbelievable. No matter where your husband has to travel to, you could find tons of stuff to see.
  5. amazingact21

    amazingact21 Upendi

    Nov 6, 2010
    September 15th, 2016 Part 1:

    Today, I am going to take you all on a photographic journey through my family’s first steps onto Disneyland Paris’s Main Street.

    Does anyone remember their first experience seeing the Magic Kingdom? Or the first time they swiped their ticket at the gate? The smells creeping through open doorframes from the nearby restaurants? The sounds of toys being set off in the Emporium?

    Unfortunately, I was only seven years old on my first Walt Disney World vacation. There are bits here and there I can remember from that experience, but walking onto Main St. isn’t one of them. My reaction to Cinderella’s Castle is locked away inside my parent’s memories, just like Landon’s and Evie’s are in mine.

    Lacking a juicy MK story, I was pretty excited to get a second chance at that iconic moment with Sleeping Beauty’s castle in DLP. I woke everyone up at six a.m. and got us all ready to hit up the breakfast buffet downstairs.

    The breakfast was a…learning experience.

    We all walked in and were seated at a table; Alex and I went first to get the kids situated. Our choices were cold cuts, croissants (regular and those of the chocolate variety) cereal, cheese, yogurt, and fresh fruit. None of the food was bad, per say, but we were surprised at the simplicity of it. I guess we were all imagining the value food courts where you could get eggs and Mickey waffles and bacon.

    Hot food.

    We were grateful we hadn’t paid for the meal, at least. And now it’s pointless, because they don’t offer the meal anymore. From what I understand, guests were abusing the system. Loading backpacks full of bread and meats to make sandwiches for later in the day. It’s a shame the acts of some end up punishing the group as a whole, but I can’t blame Disney for putting a stop to it.

    The restaurant was located right next to the back doors of the resort, so when we were all finished with our meal, we headed out. We had brought our park bag with us to save some time, but when I stepped outside and felt how cool it was, I ended up running back to the room to change into pants.

    It was a very gray and dreary morning.

    To save ourselves the trouble later, Alex went ahead and assembled the rain cover on our stroller.


    Our massive double stroller…

    A look over at Newport Bay in the daylight:


    As resort guests, we had Extra Magic hours in Disneyland Paris from 8 a.m. to 10a.m., and because we didn’t know what to expect in terms of crowds, we were headed to the gates at 7:30a.m.

    We need not have worried.

    We had the place to ourselves.


    I can only guess we had stumbled upon a mixture of factors that worked in our favor. It was a Thursday, so practically the middle of the workweek. It was extra hours, and it was raining. I figured all those things combined to make the place seem so empty.

    Because we didn’t encounter any kind of line at the Disney Village security checkpoint nor did we see a lot of other guests milling about at the restaurants. McDonald’s, Starbucks, and Chef Mickey’s had people inside, but other than that…nada.

    The entrance to Disneyland Paris is actually part of the Disneyland Hotel, which meant we were able to see the outside of that gorgeous resort.





    The resort was stunning.

    My mom called it Paris’s Grand Floridian, because it had an air of sophistication about it. We never went inside, but I imagine its interior matched its exterior in beauty and grace.

    Alex and I looked at each other and had the same thought.

    “We HAVE to stay here one day.”

    Last time Alex returned from a deployment, we splurged and did a split stay at the Polynesian and Contemporary. I do believe this time around, we’re going to have to splurge again and spend a couple nights at the Disneyland Hotel.

    I mean, c’mon. If you know your chances of visiting the parks are extremely limited (when are we going to venture back over here once we move back to the states) then you have to experience the park’s flagship resort. Can you imagine? Having Disneyland park right outside your back door?!

    Just sit tight, guys, another Disneyland Paris report is coming. I know it.

    There were only about a dozen or so groups in front of us when we walked into the ticketing area.



    We had received our tickets when we checked in at Sequoia Lodge’s front desk and so when 8 o’clock rolled around, getting into the park was as easy as presenting our tickets and walking through the turnstiles.

    It was time!

    Time to see a Main Street for the first time.

    Time to round a corner and get wowed by the castle at the other end of the street.

    Time for a new monumental Disney moment!

    Let’s go!

    Continued in Next Post…
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
  6. amazingact21

    amazingact21 Upendi

    Nov 6, 2010
    Continued from Previous Post:

    The first sight to catch our eyes was the DLP’s version of Town Square.



    I lacked all patience to stay and dwell on the quaint square. A castle was waiting for me!

    My family rounded the corner and got our first look at Paris’s iconic castle:


    And we took a swift peek back to see the Disneyland Hotel from this angle.


    I’ll say it again, could you imagine staying in one of those rooms?!???

    Facing forward again, I walked a little closer and gaped at the building before me.

    It was beautiful.

    Beyond stunning.

    Sure, it wasn’t as tall as Disney World’s and wasn’t as flamboyant or showy, but it was amazing nonetheless.

    The word that kept popping into my mind all throughout the day was
    I could have stood and admired it all day. The grass around the bottom was bright green and the waterfall was a smart touch. All those little elements blended together to really make the castle shine.

    I love this castle, ya’ll.

    Love it, love it, love it.

    I don’t want an angry mob of people to revoke my Disney World loyalty card, but if I had to choose which is the better castle as far as sight alone goes…I’d have to give it to Disneyland Paris. Now, mind you, there are other aspects that I learned about later on that make me think WDW has a better castle OVERALL, but judging it just on looks….Sleeping Beauty takes the cake.

    Hence why this next part of the update is an onslaught of photos of us in front of the landmark.

    Bear with me for a bit:


    Psych! Actually, the first photo is of the Emporium. I love that each park has so many similarities but with their own take on it. It warmed my heart a bit to see the trademark shop of the Magic Kingdom, but it was also neat to notice the differences that made that particular store unique to Paris.

    Okay, NOW on to the slew of group shots.





    Back in February, Alex and I had planned a magical morning of empty Main St. shots in WDW but it ended up not happening and I was pretty upset about it. I have some amazing pictures of Landon from his first Disney trip and the same can’t be said for Evie’s. However, Disneyland Paris more than made up for that deficit.




    Regardless of the gray sky and light drizzle, the kids were having a blast running around on the street. Evie still didn’t have any teeth, and I love that I got her gummy little smile captured on camera.

    They are some of my favorite snapshots from the entire trip.

    Another look back:


    Let’s move closer now, shall we?


    Real quick:


    That’s Space Mountain off to the right.

    How ridiculously cool does it look?

    All right, back to our closer inspection of the castle…



    Alex had to pause here for a second and do a Disney first.


    Consult a map.

    Time to go through!


    It shouldn’t surprise anyone, but the backside was just as amazing as the front.


    Up Next….Let’s Ride some Rides
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
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  7. MeghanEmily

    MeghanEmily DIS Veteran

    Apr 21, 2016
    I'm in the same boat. I went with my grandmother when I was turning 5, and I spent most of the trip running away scared from attractions. I don't remember much other than the particularly traumatizing moments. But fortunately my subsequent trips have gone much better!

    Neat, I don't think I realized that! What a beautiful resort.

    Ok...I'm ready...!!

    Its so pretty! I love the details in this castle. I'd love to see it in person someday! Very cool for you to get your "castle moment" after all that time. :)

    I remember reading about this. These castle photos are so sweet!! Worth the wait :)
  8. missangelalexis

    missangelalexis DIS Veteran

    Apr 27, 2012
    Woah, the skies did look ominous that morning!

    The Disneyland Hotel looks so grand! I was going to say it reminds me of the Grand Floridian as well!

    Like you, I don't have that specific memory of seeing Cinderella's castle for the first time. It's nice that you could have that moment in Paris! And even better that the park was virtually empty! You got some great photos along Main Street.

    Haha love that photo of Alex consulting the map! There's a first!
  9. toony

    toony DIS Veteran

    Apr 20, 2006
    Welcome to Europe! Everything is smaller - especially distances and rooms. :rotfl: BTW....I'm really looking forward to those spacious and comfortable rooms in the Disney resort and our condo in Orlando. :goodvibes

    I'm happy for you guys that Landon hit the 40 inch mark.:thumbsup2

    We tried to get a reservation for Crystal Palace in October, but it didn't work out. We loved it at our first visit.

    I think it's because of the themening. We've stayed there when DD was 6mo old - and that was super convenient, because it was so so close to the entrance and the village. Every time we forgot something or her clothes were completely ruined, we were in our room in a heartbeat. But that was the only advantage. I didn't like the interior very much, it was old and unimaginative. Not cozy at all and not even with a sophisticated "real" New York touch.
    But I don't know how it looks like now - after the renovation.
  10. toony

    toony DIS Veteran

    Apr 20, 2006

    Two cute your two little ones!! :goodvibes
  11. Grumpy's Wife

    Grumpy's Wife Dollar Tree gal here

    Jan 28, 2005
    The castle is stunning. Sorry it's not a pretty day for you but definitely loving the nonexistent crowds.
  12. SarahDisney

    SarahDisney So ... Yeah

    Jul 23, 2014
    I love all of the pictures of you guys in front of the castle. I especially love the ones of Evie and Landon ... they look so happy!

    Looking at the castle, it kinda strikes me as a mix of Disneyland and WDW's castles. The coloring is like Disneyland's, but it's skinnier and taller like WDW's (although clearly smaller than WDW's). Charming definitely seems like a good word to describe it.
  13. afwdwfan

    afwdwfan DIS Dad #460

    Apr 23, 2010
    4 days after I leave... I'm sure that will be plenty of time to restock Via Napoli after the hurt I'm going to put on that place.

    It's one of my favorites too! I really like it a lot. The food is excellent and the characters are fun. There are just so many great restaurants in EPCOT that it is hard to make it a regular meal in the rotation.

    The best news yet!!!!!

    That's odd... is there a big price difference between them?

    I'm with ya on that...

    I was 3 the first time I entered MK at WDW. However, I was 33 when I first stepped on Disneyland's Main Street, so I can totally relate.

    The French... they just don't get in a hurry.

    Sounds like a fantastic idea and very much deserved.

    I've always felt that way just from seeing pictures of it. I just love how it appears to be built into the landscape. It looks like it has been there for ages, while Cinderella castle looks more like it was just plopped into the middle of MK.

    Those are fantastic! And the kids are getting so big!

    Come on Alex! You can do better than that. It's a Disney park, you'll figure it out...

    Fake it till you make it!
  14. Steppesister

    Steppesister DIS Veteran

    Dec 27, 2013
    OH my!! Yes! That hotel does look absolutely amazing!! I would LOVE to stay there someday!

    The castle, too, looks so pretty! Different, and yet Disney. As does Main Street. Total score on the empty park for your do-over on the shots of the kids. You've already made up for your disappointment from the last trip. YAY!

    I think the weather worked in your favor for sure. Nothing empties a park out like rain. I always hope for at least a little. Yepperoo!

    Sad that folks abused the buffet and wrecked it for others. :( Such a shame that people have no shame anymore.
  15. Ms Poppins

    Ms Poppins I'm sure I'm very affected by all this Disney talk

    Mar 14, 2009
    I'm reading along and really enjoying your reactions to DLP - love the photos of Landon and Evie in front of the castle :cutie: EMH and the proximity to the park are what I love about DLP the most, it's so easy to nip between and going back to your hotel doesn't feel like a trek. We usually stay at Hotel New York, so not far away from where you were.

    Looking forward to reading more popcorn::
  16. Dugette

    Dugette DIS Veteran

    Dec 26, 2009
    We're looking at a June 2018 trip and right now the deal is "buy 2, get 2" (on the UK website, at least), so we're seriously considering the Disneyland Hotel. Very tempting. :thumbsup2

    I haven't seen the DLP castle in person, but from the photos I've seen, it seems like a winner. Very impressive!

    So glad you got some photos you love that morning! :goodvibes
  17. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

    Aug 10, 2008
    Absolutely do it if you can. It's incredible!

    I love this!!!

    Glad you were able to make up for that lack of empty photos at WDW with these at DLP. I'm sure Evie will love hearing the stories and seeing the photos when she grows up!
  18. amazingact21

    amazingact21 Upendi

    Nov 6, 2010
    Oh gosh, I am sorry to hear Disney scared you when you were five! I'm sort of afraid Evie will react like that when she's Landon's age. She's a very shy girl, and I just hope the plush characters aren't too much for her over the next few years.

    Disneyland Paris's castle is gorgeous; I wish every Disney fan could have the opportunity to see it at least once.

    Unfortunately, rainy weather is kind of par for the course here in Europe. We're actually having an exceptionally dry summer, and seeing those rainy skies makes me miss that cool weather! What I wouldn't give for some clouds right about now...

    What amused me even more about the map situation is that we had to hunt down and find the English version! I was so used to everything being in English in the States, that having to get the foreign map really reminded me how far away we were from WDW.

    The rooms in Orlando will seem quite large, I'm sure. I've grown accustomed to everything now, but there was definitely a learning curve those first 6 months after we moved here.

    Oh, I'm sorry to hear you couldn't get a reservation. Check back on the MDE page once you get closer to your trip; people are always changing or cancelling dining reservations last minute. I know there have been 2, maybe 3, times I have been able to snag an O'hana dinner a week or less out. You never know...

    Yes, I could see the theming playing a big factor into Sequoia's popularity. It does seem the warmest and most inviting.
  19. amazingact21

    amazingact21 Upendi

    Nov 6, 2010
    I loved how empty the park was that morning!
    I know DLP has suffered from low attendance, but there's a part of me that hopes the crowds still stay low now that the Walt Disney company bought it outright. It was such a rare treat, to have Main Street practically to ourselves!

    I've only ever seen pictures of DL's castle, but I definitely get what you're saying. They kind of took the best characteristics of both castles and blended them together.

    Good to know. I always try and eat at Via Napoli, so that tends to eliminate any other Epcot restaurant, but my mom and I figured we'd squeeze in this one. My friend from here swears by the Mac N Cheese at Garden Grill, and any character interaction will be a win in Landon's book. (Although, right now his one mission is to meet Anna and Else. He doesn't even watch Frozen and yet he won't ever stop talking about what he'll say to them if he got the chance...)

    No price difference between the three resorts. But someone else mentioned that the theming in Sequoia is much better than New York, and I can see that being the case. Most people want the resort that gives off the best "Disney vibe."

    Europeans in general. This basically holds true everywhere.
    Festivals/events tend to start at ten in the morning and go until ten/eleven at night. Because of the kids, Alex and I usually get to places at opening, and we have the place to ourselves! Then, when we go to leave at 1 or 2 o'clock, the parking garages are packed. No rush over here...

    The castle does blend in really well with its surroundings...

    I have to laugh, because I look at the photos from this trip and think, "Man, the kids were so little back then!" I guess because for so long I was going on trips every 4-5 months, it's surprising to see them from 9 months back.

    Alex probably could have found his way if everything was in English, but he had that going against him. Plus, easy souvenir.
  20. amazingact21

    amazingact21 Upendi

    Nov 6, 2010
    It was fun as WDW veterans to see a new park and look at the comparisons and differences. I thought I would spend a lot of time comparing it to WDW, and while I did, I also found myself appreciating the "new" experience. It was refreshing, seeing a theme park that I hadn't been to a dozen times but that still carried that Disney touch.

    Over here, if you wait for it to stop raining, you'll never do anything. My kids had spent the summer becoming pros at working around the wet weather. Good rain jackets and they were happy as could be.

    Thanks for following along!
    As a WDW vet, I was shocked at how close the resorts were to the parks. With two little kids, it was a dream! I imagine the walk from New York is even better than the trek to Sequoia.

    I saw that deal. It's a really good one!
    If you don't think you'll return to DLP, then I'd splurge for the Disneyland Hotel, but that's just me. Although, any of the other three "deluxes" will still put you in a great spot.

    I can't even imagine what staying at the Disneyland Hotel was like. I remember reading about your switch to there and kept thinking, "Yep, that's the way to do it." I'm so glad you guys were able to get the opportunity to stay at the resort.
  21. MeghanEmily

    MeghanEmily DIS Veteran

    Apr 21, 2016
    Hopefully Evie will do much better than I did! At least she'll have her fabulous big brother to pave the way. The biggest issue with my trip was that I was with my cousin who was my age and particularly whiny, but what one of us did, the other also did. So most of the time I think he started the crying and I just jumped on board. I was also taken there by my grandmother who babied and spoiled me. Likely if I'd been with my mother who had a more tough-love approach, I would have felt just fine. I went back with just my mom and step father when I was six and did really well, so there's hope :)

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