16 May 2017

Disney 25th Trip Day 2: Plaza Gardens, Eeyore and King Louie

Welcome to my Day 2 trip report. It was one of the best days of the trip in terms of character meet and greets, so I can't wait to share all the photos and magical memories with you! 
The girls and I woke up super early so that we could make it in for extra magic hours. However, my morning didn't go to plan as my camera battery got stuck in its charger meaning I had no camera to take photos with for the rest of the trip. As it was only our second day, you can understand how frustrated that made me but it didn't dampen my mood and we headed into the park later than planned ready for a morning full of magic. The sun was shining as the castle glistened at the bottom of a bustling Main Street USA. It made a huge difference from our October trip on which we spent our mornings wrapped up warm and trying to get out of the cold. 

I'd booked a character breakfast at Plaza Gardens, so we met our friends Ellie and Sammy and walked over to take our reserved place. If you weren't already aware, the characters have stopped meeting at Cafe Mickey and now meet at Plaza Gardens. If you want to reserve a place for breakfast, you can do it three days before your trip, or anytime afterwards by ringing the Disneyland Paris dining reservations phone number. I decided to disneybound as Eeyore on this particular day, so I was praying that he was going to be in there giving big cuddles to his guests. 

The smell of freshly baked croissants hit me as soon as I walked through the doors. I couldn't wait to delve into the buffet and pile my plate high with all the food. I know I say this a lot, but food always tastes better in Disney. I think they must sprinkle it with a little bit of Pixie Dust because it tastes too good to be made normally. I was really impressed with the staff at Plaza Gardens, we originally reserved a place for four people, but we asked them could they cater for six of us and they were more than willing to help. They put us on a table at the back of the room which was really nice, however, I would've liked to have been in the Conservatory as it was a little bit dark. I think that the layout of the restaurant could have been better, the tables were very close together and the characters struggled to get through, but apart from that, it was a really lovely experience. You definitely get what you pay for and I couldn't fault the food.  I'm going to do a full review on our experience really soon, so keep your eyes peeled for that! 

The first character to come over and say hello was Scrooge. I'd never met him before so I was really excited, and he didn't disappoint. He made a massive fuss of my disneybound and we spoke about how nice the weather was outside. Then he signed my autograph book, we had a big hug and a photo and then I went to fill up my plate with more Nutella pancakes. 

Continuing on with the duck theme, Daisy came strutting over to the table. It's very rare that I get to meet the characters in their classic outfits so this was a real treat. Cara was first in line to meet her and as she was disneybounding as Daisy, it was so cute to see them meeting each other. She made a massive fuss of her and it almost brought me to tears, but this wasn't the only duck Cara met, which you'll find out about later on. When I met Daisy, I told her how lovely she looked and she gave me a little twirl. I aspire to have her level of sass. We had a big hug and a photo, and then she went off to find Donald. 

Would it be a breakfast at Plaza Gardens if you didn't meet the Main Mouse? I think not. 
Believe it or not, this was my first time meeting Mickey in his classic outfit which is something that has been on my Disney bucket list for a while so it was a complete dream come true. He was so cute and couldn't stop giving everyone hugs. Being a true gentleman, he told us all how lovely we looked and made a big fuss over my disneybound. Then we had another big cuddle, I told him how much I loved him and we had this photo taken. It's potentially one of my favourite photos from the trip. 

The characters then swapped over and we were graced with the presence of the One Hundred Acre Wood gang, minus Winnie. Ellie and I were absolutely ecstatic as we had both bounded as characters from this series; me as Eeyore and Ellie as Winnie. Tigger came bouncing over as soon as he saw my Eeyore bow on my dress and gave me a very big cuddle. He let me do a twirl, to which he copied and then Piglet came over, so our interaction was very brief but still adorable. 

Our interaction with Piglet was very rushed and we didn't get to spend a lot of time together. However, Ellie and I managed to get a photo and a cuddle. I would have liked to have spent more time with Piglet, but I will give some more information about what happened on my review. However, our mood wasn't dampened as one of the most magical moments of the trip was about to happen. Can you guess what it is yet?

I don't know if I'm going to be able to put into words how magical meeting Eeyore was, but I'm going to give it my best shot. 
The minute he saw me, he pushed his way through all of the tables and came running over to me. Then he picked me up (literally picked me up, I'm not even joking) and spun me round before giving me the tightest hug I have ever had from any character interaction. I almost burst into tears. I don't think any character is going to beat an Eeyore hug. He spent so much time with me and made the biggest fuss over my disneybound. He showed me his tail, we spoke about how we both matched and I couldn't stop telling him that I loved him. I'd like to thank my friends for snapping some of these adorable photos for me. I don't think there's one photo that I really dislike and as you can tell from the smile on my face, I was overcome with the feeling of pure happiness. I couldn't have started my day in a better way and it was only going to get better. 
I'm very lucky that my lovely friend Ellie actually managed to film some footage of me meeting Eeyore and she kindly put it in her Disney Vlogs. If you'd like to watch it, which I think you should because it will give you all the feels, then I'll link it here

After a very lovely breakfast, and after I'd calmed down from meeting Eeyore, we walked towards the castle to have some photos taken. It sounds vain, doesn't it? But we'd all disneybounded that day so we wanted to document it and get some very aesthetically pleasing photos for our Instagrams and our blogs. I love all of these photos because they remind me of a time that I was at my happiest. I think my Eeyore tsum tsum adds to the cuteness of these photos, and if you'd like to know all the information about my disneybound, I've got an outfit diary post coming up really soon! 

The next thing on our agenda for the day was to watch the Welcome show on Castle Stage. There is only one performance of this show every morning, but you'll have to check the programme for times when you're there as I know that they can change. The girls and I walked over to Castle Stage where we met our lovely friend Jess who had saved us space at the front. Soon, our other friend Grace came to join us and we waited in anticipation for the show to start. If the Princess show was anything to go by, I knew this was going to be spectacular and it exceeded my expectations dramatically.

The Welcome Show takes you on a journey around each of the different lands in the park. We start on Main Street USA with the dancers singing along to one of the catchiest songs ever, and then we go to Frontierland, Adventureland, Discoveryland and finally Fantasyland. As we journey through each of the lands, we are joined by some of our favourite characters who make the experience even more magical. The interaction in this show is one of the best interactions I have ever seen from any Disneyland Paris show and if you sit at the front, you get the perfect view of everything. The Castle provides the perfect backdrop for the show, and the way the include it is phenomenal. The show ends with my favourite song celebrating the 25th Anniversary and a grand finale with Mickey. I'm not going to tell you too much because it's something that you need to go and see for yourself. But all I'm going to say is that it's brilliant!

After being left speechless by the Welcome Show, we had the tough decision of deciding which character we wanted to go and meet first. As it was a disneybound day, we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to go and meet a lot of our favourite characters. As Cara was bounding as Daisy, the first place we had to go was Donald's meet and greet. I would say that he has the prettiest 25th-anniversary meeting location, and he looks so cute in his blue sparkly jacket. The girls and I queued for a while, but what happened next was so worth it. 

Cara went up to Donald first and I have never seen him make a bigger fuss. He couldn't stop hugging her and admiring her outfit and then he got down on one knee and proposed. I swear Cara was almost crying, alike the rest of us, and she accepted the proposal as long as Daisy didn't mind. Just thinking about those two meeting each other puts the biggest smile on my face. Then it was my turn and I gave Donald the biggest hug. As this was only my second time meeting him, I made sure that I took full advantage of spending time speaking to him. We spoke about Cara, I told him to make sure that he looks after her and then I told him how much I loved his outfit. He got really shy and gave me another big cuddle before taking some really cute photos. I was allowed to give him a kiss on the nose, but we had to check it was okay with Cara first. 

Whilst we are on the topic of Donald, I'd like to mention how wonderful the character attendants were. Whilst we were in the queue, a man ran up to Donald and picked him up (literally, no joke) and he was startled by the ordeal (as any cast member would be). The character attendant intervened straight away and the guy was sent away which was a shock because I'd never seen someone treat a character with such a lack of respect before. However, when we met Donald the attendants offered to take photos for us and helped to enhance the interaction by asking Donald questions. They were brilliant. Tuesday was definitely a day of brilliant cast members. 

As Cara tried to compose herself after her engagement to Donald, we walked over to Adventureland to see if we could meet Baloo and King Louie. They were meeting on our first day but we were too late coming into the parks and we didn't get the chance to meet them. I love their meet and greet location because it's out of the way and no one knows it's there which means that the queue is never big. My Dad adores Baloo and King Louie, to be honest, he loves the Jungle Book in general and before I left, he asked me if I did meet Baloo and King Louie, could I tell them that he said hello. 

When we walked round the corner and saw that Louie was meeting, we jumped straight in the queue. I was so excited because I'd never met Louie before and he was very high on my character meeting list. Sometimes when I meet characters, I'm pretty normal and the interaction is great. However, when I'm really excited to meet a character, and I mean overly excited, I tend to say silly things that get me into silly situations. As you can probably tell from the photos above, my meet with King Louie wasn't the standard character interaction. 

I was the first to go up to him and he pointed out my outfit. I asked if he knew who I was to which he responded with an impression of Eeyore; he began to walk gloomily around the meet and greet area which made us all laugh. He did a character impression for every single one of us; a sassy walk for Cara as Daisy and a Marie impression for Grace. Then I just happened to tell King Louie that he sings one of my favourite songs. I do not know why I told him this, but then the best thing happened. He started to roll his hands and I thought we were having a dance so I copied his action. It wasn't until the character attendant told me that he wanted me to sing that I realised I'd got myself in a little bit of a situation. I looked at the girls and they were all prepared, Grace even had her camera out to vlog the whole thing and I can't wait to see the footage. So, I started to sing. 
'Oooooh ooh bee doo I wanna be like yoooooou'
And we danced together for a good five minutes. These photos are some of my favourites, and I can tell you that the Jungle V.I.P. is definitely the King of the Swingers because that monkey can dance. King Louie is now up there with one of my favourite meets ever and I cannot believe that I sang to him. 

But the magic didn't stop there. Ohhhh no. When walking through Adventureland, away from King Louie's meeting location, we saw Jafar walking over to Agrabah. As he is such a significant figure of a high class, I took it upon myself to do a curtsey as he walked past me, not that I ever expected him to take notice of me because they never normally do. But no, it went the complete opposite way. Do you see that little pink bow that Jafar has his arm around? That's me. He kissed my hand as I bowed and then put his arm around me and walked me through Agrabah with him. Jafar is the Villain that scares me the most, so I was a little scared but I think he loves me so I'm not too frightened anymore. The spot where this happened with Jafar is the exact same place where Pluto came bounding up to me and hugged me the day before. It's the happiest spot on earth. 

All the adorable character interactions had us hyped, so we thought we'd calm down a bit by taking a walk up the Robinsons Tree House. This attraction has been at Disneyland Paris for as long as I can remember, but I've never been on it. There's always been something better to do, but as it only had a 10-minute wait, we thought we'd go for it. Do you guys ever do that? When you're in Disney and you're struggling to find something to do, you queue for the ride with the smallest wait time? 

It's not the most thrilling attraction, and I wouldn't rush to do it again but we did manage to get some really cute pictures of Adventureland and of the Castle. I'd recommend climbing the stairs just for the view because it's breathtaking. Oh yeah, there's a lot of stairs. And I mean a lot. It was like a workout, especially because it was so warm but we powered through. I ended up walking slowly down the stairs because they were those stairs that have gaps in the middle so you can see underneath you and that kind of thing freaks me out because I always think I'm going to either fall or lose my shoe. Does anyone else get this?

The next meet of the day came from the not so lovely Darth Vader. We met our friend Laura and queued for around 20 minutes to meet him, which isn't a bad queueing time as he's quite popular at the moment. This was my first time back in Discoveryland after the dislocated toe incident and I'm pleased to inform you that there were no injuries on this visit. 
Now, I have a confession to make. I've never seen Star Wars. I don't know why I've never seen it because my Mum loves it, but I am so desperate to find out what the hype is about. However, meeting Darth looked like fun and it was. I just want to take this moment to say how amazing the new Star Wars stuff is in Discoveryland. They've really upped their game and the refurb was so worth it. 

The Darth meet was actually hilarious, even though I was petrified (he was sooooo tall!). I don't want to spoil the magic for you guys, but Darth is an automated voice which was very clear when we were in the middle of talking to him about joining the dark side and he'd interrupt with a random sentence and then say 'proceed'. Either way, Laura told Darth that she thought his grandson was really fit, we had some photos taken where we all tried (and failed) to look intimidating and then I headed over to CafĂ© Hyperion to go to the toilet. 

If you read my October trip reports then you'll recall my friend Mitch organising a parade meet up for everyone in the Disney community. This trip was no different and at 4:00 pm we headed over to Small World to get a place for Parade. As we were right at the front, I was curious to see if the atmosphere would be different. I wouldn't say that the interaction is as good as Magic On Parade but being at the front allowed me to appreciate the detail that had gone into both the costumes and the floats. I loved everything about the meetup and being able to spend time with some of my best friends in the happiest place on earth was a dream come true. After the parade had finished, we spent our time dancing along to the music before walking through Fantasyland together and having another group photo taken in front of the Small World photo location. It's one of my favourite photos ever and I love every single person on it. 

As you can tell, we'd done a lot of walking and in my case, a lot of singing and dancing, so it was safe to say that the hunger and need for energy were hitting us hard. So where did we end up, I hear you ask? Colonel Hathi's. Again. But I was not complaining, in fact, I was more than ready to devour another stick of garlic bread. I will never get bored of that restaurant, it's my favourite! Marie came to join us and she spent the rest of the evening with us which was lovely because I loved spending time with her. When we left Paris on our last day, it felt weird not having her with us. She became part of our crew and I love her so much. 

As we'd been meeting characters all day, we decided that we'd spend the night going on rides. First on our list was Phantom Manor. We queued for around 20 minutes, took a selfie in front of the main doors and looked out over Frontierland. Phantom provides the perfect view of the land and the perfect photo opportunity for some pretty photos of the sunset. I love Phantom so much, and the Cast Members who work there are the best. I've always said that if I could work on any attraction in Disneyland Paris then it would be Phantom because I think you'd have such a laugh. Cara and I sat together, scaring each other silly by making each other jump and pointing things out. I swear that ride gets darker and scarier every time I go on it. 

When we came out of the haunted mansion, Marie gave us a tour of the graveyard. I was never aware that this existed so it was really interesting to walk around and find out about the characters on which Frontierland was based on. If you don't already know the story of Phantom Manor then I think you should go and read up about it because it puts Thunder Mesa into perspective and it's really interesting. As we walked around the graveyard, we were able to listen to a heart beating in a grave and watch the sunset over Big Thunder Mountain which was beautiful. I really loved walking around the park with Marie because she's full of fun facts and information. I learned so much from her! 

We then made our way back over to Fantasyland where we went on a trip to Neverland with Peter Pan. As you all know, Peter Pan's Flight is my ultimate favourite ride in Disneyland Paris and I had to make sure that it was the one thing I did whilst I was there. It gets more magical and beautiful every time I go on it and I love everything about it. Since they've updated the ride, the colours are more vivid are the attention to detail is spectacular. I can't wait to be back on it really soon! 

After this, we walked through Fantasyland for a while and took in the atmosphere. I've said this before, but Fantasyland always looks so beautiful at dusk. I think it's because everything lights up and sparkles and it looks like it's been sprinkled with Pixie Dust. The Mad Hatter's teacups looked so pretty as we were walking past. It's so aesthetically pleasing, don't you think? 

It was getting late, so we decided that our final ride of the day would be Star Tours. We walked back over to Discoveryland and I was so excited because this would be my first time on Star Tours since it had been updated. It's always been one of my favourite rides so I was curious to see if the update had made it any better. We walked straight onto the ride and were given some very fancy glasses by the best Cast Member called Mike. We got speaking to him in the queue for the ride where he took a shine to Cara and her disneybound. We didn't think much of it and took our seats in the simulator waiting for the ride to begin. As Mike did his safety checks and told the guests about exits and belts, he did the most hilarious thing. As he was explaining, he did it in three different languages; French, English and Quack. Yep, Quack. He did a Donald impression for Cara just so that she could understand what he was saying, and much to Cara's satisfaction, he had everyone on the ride in stitches laughing. He is what makes Cast Members so great and I absolutely loved him. So Mike, if you happen to be reading this, you're a great guy! To top the ride off, he made Cara rebel spy. It was the best experience I've ever had on Star Tours and the new update is amazingly good! 

After a very fun packed and tiring day, it was time to head out of the park ready for a busy day on Wednesday. We were up at 4:00 am to be some of the first people in for the 25th-anniversary celebrations and wanted an early night so that we were ready for all the emotions and the magic. We walked down a bustling Main Street as people started to get their places for Disney Illuminations, and the shop lights twinkled in the night sky. We left the park, went to Annette's Diner and then Marie spent some time with us in our hotel room before heading home. 

I hope you've enjoyed reading all about my adventures and I can't wait to share all the things that happened on the 25th birthday with you!

Lots of Love,
Meg
xox








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