Halloween Parade

I mentioned in a previous post about how much I adored the parade over Halloween, so I dug out an old video I took from October 2016 to show you all!

I’ve also put a few screenshots of the same parade because I just love it a lot guys. Honestly, Halloween was the most magical experience I’ve had in Disneyland and I couldn’t recommend that season more for guests!

 

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Tips for Character Meets

I haven’t met as many characters as I would have liked to in DLP, but the ones I have met have all been fantastic! So here are a few tips for getting the most out of your character interactions

(No pictures in this post because I don’t have my laptop at the moment but I’ll be able to find some at a later point)

Using your Extra Magic Hours

If you are an AP holder or staying in a Disneyland Hotel you are able to get into the park from 8am onwards, a whole 2 hours before the park opens to other guests. During this, the park is so much quieter and the Mainstreet Characters are usually out dotted around their usual meeting spots. One morning we arrived at Disney at 7:30am and were one of the first guests inside the park at 8am. Stitch, Chip and Dale, and Pluto were all on Mainstreet as soon as we got in and there were no lines for any of them. We were able to walk straight up to Stitch for autographs and photos and because of this, we got to spend a lot more time interacting with him.

A few days later I got to see Pluto during EMH, and while I was taking a picture with him, Sunday Clothes from Hello Dolly was playing through the speakers, and he grabbed my hand and started dancing with me. It was honestly the purest moment I’ve ever had, it was just so lovely!

Character Dining

Now I’ve never been on a character dining because I usually blow my budget on other things, but I’ve had plenty of friends go to character dinning and their photos have been great. There is the character breakfast, Auberge de Cendrillon with the princesses, and Inventions that often has a range of themed character dinners. Generally, the way they work is they have a series of characters who move around the room meeting guests as they eat, allowing you to take pictures, get autographs, have a chat, etc. They’re an expensive option but if characters are your main focus they can be totally worth it.

Pins

I am totally obsessed with pins. Typically I’ll wear 2 lanyards covered in pins – one for trading and one for all my favourites/pins I bought in the park. Having pins related to your characters is wonderful because usually they notice them and point them out.

Face characters will usually talk to you about your pins. Moana talked about all her friends on my lanyard, and Jack Sparrow asked were they my treasure and even the CM taking pictures started talking to us about them.

Outfits

Disney bounding is such a huge trend in the Disney parks, in America more so than Paris but even at that, it’s a great way to dress up as your favourite character and characters will love anything on your outfit that is related to them or one of their friends. If you can’t Disney bound, then a Disney themed t-shirt or jacket is a great conversation topic. Meeting Jack Skellington for the first time, I had a jacket with his face on it, which I actually found on sale in the World of Disney in the Village. It was a great way to interact with him, as face characters can often be a little more intimidating to chat to, especially if you don’t know what to say to them!

Autograph Books

These are a great memory maker and a constant reminder of your trips to the parks – I have two complete autograph books from my trips to WDW when I was 6 and 8 and I met so many good characters that I don’t even remember!

You can buy autograph books inside the parks themselves; I tend to use a notebook I have on hand at home (I collect notebooks from museums whenever I can get to one), or it’s pretty easy to find custom-made autograph books on places like Etsy; all you need after that is a bunch of different coloured sharpies or pens and you’re good to go!

Just Embrace It

The last thing I would absolutely just embrace the magic that Disney has to offer and roll with the whole situation. Like I said, interacting with characters can be scary sometimes, especially because you’re either having a one-sided conversation with fur characters or the fear of not knowing what to say to face characters.

The great thing is that most of the face characters are great at keeping up a conversation and thinking of great things to say to you. Make the most of every character moment you have; give them a hug and have a chat and say silly things and take a photo with them! Don’t worry about feeling silly either because to be honest characters are some of the best moments I’ve ever had in Disney and I can never get enough of them!

Meeting Moana

I’ve had some great character meets in Disneyland Paris in the past, but my all time favourite had to be meeting Moana in the Studios. Moana will return to her spot at the Art of Animation from July 1st and she’s not to be missed by anyone.

It was possibly the longest line we ever had for a character meet too. She’s only there twice per day (I think it was 11 am and again at 3 pm but don’t quote me on that!) – we arrived at about 10:30 am and the line was already pretty long and closed just before 11. From then on, we waited for about an hour and a half before we reached the top of the queue. Since there were two of us we split up line duty every now and then, so one of us could go take a walk or have a look in the etc.

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I laughed at this for a solid 15 minutes

By the time we reached the top of the line I was literally dancing on the spot! Moana has been one of my favourite Disney films of late and I was just too excited to cope.

Our conversation with her was so lovely! She was really chatting and engaging and took so much time with each guest (which is probably why the line was so slow – she had full blown conversations with everyone). She asked us where we were from and directions on how a Wayfinder would get there, which was really cute and in character. Then she noticed the few Moana pins on my lanyard and had a look at them all, telling me to hide them in case I ever ran into Tamatoa.

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After that we took our photos – there is a photopass option available for Moana, but I just had a CM take a few pictures on my phone. When we said goodbye she also talked about how we should never feed rocks to HeiHei because he was on a diet and I couldn’t stop laughing.

Belle is currently in the Art of Animation until June 31st, but Moana is back after then and she is definitely a character you should meet!

Have fun!

Top Park Tips

These are just a few of my favourite tips and tricks inside the parks; things I’ve been told by friends or little things I’ve discovered myself along the way!

Secret Passages

Well, they’re not really secret passages, more like little shortcuts that make getting from place to place a little quicker. The main two connect Mainstreet to Frontierland and Discoverland to Fantasyland. If you come out of Liberty Arcade bank left and there is a small covered walkway that takes you out at the Lucky Nugget. Similarly, between Star Tours and the Videopolis in Discoveryland, there is another walkway that takes you near Small world – this one isn’t always open, but is useful if you’re trying to get around the park and avoid busy areas.

Fast Passes

This is a given, get your fast passes for your favourite rides early. Rides like Peter Pan’s Flight, Big Thunder Mountain, Tower of Terror, Ratatouille etc can get very busy throughout the day, so to save you queuing longer than you should, go get your fast passes first. Each guest is allowed 1 Fast Past per person at a time. It can also help getting to your favourite must do ride as soon as it opens, although sometimes this is everyone’s plan so the wait time may be longer than stated, but never as long as peak time.

Wait Time Apps

These literally saved my life on every trip, because it meant we could check wait times for one ride at one side of the park, whilst we were elsewhere. DLP have their own app for this, but my recommendation is MagiApps which also has a graph which shows you how busy each ride has been earlier in the day. There are also wait time stations dotted throughout the parks, but as with the apps, these can change quickly once people figure out which rides have the smallest wait times. Plus, the apps save you from going back and forth to rides which may be too busy

Parade Spots

Now, this is a tricky one. Because everyone has their own favourite locations for watching the parade. I discovered my favourite spot from a CM friend who recommended it to me. Outside Pizza Bella Note there are two small turrets beside the castle, now if you stay anywhere near them, I’ve found it to be a fantastic spot for parade interactions and photographs. The parade either starts or finished just beside Small World, and it tends to be one of the more quieter areas of the route – I know many people who want to get pictures of the castle or Mainstreet in the background of their parade pictures. But I’ve always had a fantastic viewing of the parade every time I’ve stayed here.

Make the Most of Hotel Perks

If you’re staying on site, make the most of your Extra Magic Hours – this allows you to get into the park two hours before the park opens, allowing you to get some rides and character meets done before it gets too busy. If you are buying anything, you can also get these items sent to your hotel if done before 3pm (which saves you carrying them around all day).

Choose the LEFT Queue Line

This is a really weird tip I discovered, but it turned out to be so true and I basically tell everyone about this. When you’re on a ride where the queue splits into two (BTM, Pirates and a few others) KEEP LEFT! I still don’t know why, but most people’s natural response is to follow right, which makes the left queue so much shorter. I’ve been able to cut 20 minutes from Big Thunder Mountain before from doing this, and it’ll save you so much time.

 

That’s all I have for the moment, although I hope to make another few of these soon!

Hope these helped!

Halloween at DLP

September 2016 marked the first of 3 trips to Disneyland in the space of 4 months; I was studying abroad in Germany for a semester and the fact it was so much cheaper to travel was too good an opportunity to miss.

Getting to Paris by bus was fun. It was an 8-hour FlixBus that left Heidelberg at 10 pm, and arrived in Paris, Port Malliot at 6:30 am. It was then about an hour on the metro from there to the parks.

Halloween was my FAVOURITE time in the park. I just loved the cute atmosphere and spooky aesthetic of the park. Mainstreet U.S.A. is covered with these cartoon ghosts that are absolutely adorable and great for photograph opportunity. Frontierland is also decorated in like a harvest season style theme, with little spooky elements on your way to Phantom Manor.

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Everything just had such an adorable, cute vibe about it. Thunder Mountain was still closed at this point, however, which was my only let down. But everything else was just phenomenal!

Possibly my favourite moment of the weekend was meeting Jack Skellington. It was a huge surprise too because I didn’t realise he would be out for Halloween and Christmas, so I was freaking out. Has to be one of my best character interactions by far – we talked about my Jack coat, and my pins, and our Halloween plans and costume ideas. It was honestly so cool.

The stage at the side of the castle also has a Halloween Villan’s themed show, which was hilarious and phenomenal, and it also gave you a chance to meet the characters off stage after the show, which was a first for me considering you usually can’t with, say, one of the princess performances. So, we met Judge Claude Frollo from Hunchback of Notre Dame, which was magical considering my love for Hunchback.

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I’d totally recommend Halloween for any trip to Disneyland Paris. The festivities start around mid-September, and last until a few days after Halloween; it’s only a few days after that when the Christmas decorations start going up! My recommendation is to visit late-September, as the closer you are to Halloween, you’re hitting that area where schools are off for the mid-term break, and the park really does increase in popularity.

Until next time!! x

Introductions!

Hi there!

Welcome to my new Disneyland Paris blog! I’ve been meaning to make a Disney related thing for ages now, but now it’s summer and I have a few trips planned I thought ‘may as well’.

I’m Caroline! I’m 21 and I live in Belfast, Northern Ireland! (introductions out of the way ahaha)

 

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Judge Claude Frollo – One of the coolest characters I’ve met!

 

What I basically want to do with this blog is take you through some of my recent trips, a bunch of tips and tricks I’ve picked up over the last few years, reviews of my favourite rides and restaurants, and different bits and bobs about my upcoming trip in September!

Meanwhile, watch this space! Because I am hoping to put up content on the regular!

Have fun! xx