31 May 2017

Disney 25th Trip Day 3: Everyday's A Celebration

Today was the day that the whole trip had been building up too, which can only mean one thing. It was finally time to wish Disneyland Paris a very Happy 25th Birthday! 
I'll be honest, we woke up at stupid o'clock to try and be some of the first people in the park and it seems like everyone else had the same idea because when we arrived at the gates, the crowd was immense and growing by the second. I'd expected a big crowd for the official birthday, but nothing prepared me for how many people were waiting to celebrate. There was this electric atmosphere that hit you as soon as you walked into the park, it wasn't like anything I'd ever felt before. It was a mixture of pride, sadness, happiness, laughter and everything in between. Think of every emotion you could ever feel and combine them all together. It was pure magic and lasted for the whole day.

The day involved a lot of sitting around and waiting, so I'm going to apologise in advance for the lack of photos and exciting character meets in this post. I'm sad to say we didn't meet any characters on this particular day unless you can count Seany dressed as a star.

We stepped out on Main Street to the glorious view of the Castle. As we walked into the park, Cast Members were handing out limited edition 25th anniversary badges and I'm going to treasure mine forever. The camera crews were set up at the bottom of Main Street including the official Disneyland Paris crew and various French media. So, we took our place next to them and waited for the festivities to begin. I don't know how they managed to do it, but the celebrations had been kept a secret so no one knew what to expect and that added to the excitement. Disneyland Paris was glowing. That's the only word I can think of to describe it right now. You know when it's your birthday and you feel so fresh and glowy and reading to start the new year? Well, that's how it looked.

Our lovely friends Jade and Nicola (who'd travelled all the way from Manchester for the day!) came to join us as we sang and swayed in time to the music. Then the sound of pixie dust sprinkling echoed down Main Street, the band piped up and the official 25th-anniversary song blared from the speakers. We'd heard this song various times throughout the trip but there was something about hearing it on the official birthday that made it that bit more special. This was the first playing of the song on the day, and after hearing it once every hour, we ended the day knowing every single word and the dance routine.

As we were positioned at the bottom of Main Street, we didn't see as much of the celebrations as we would have hoped, but just listening to the music and the characters speaking had the same impact. I must mention that the moment Cara and I heard Marie say 'Me first! Me First!' and watched the Kittens come bounding down Main Street, we were in tears. The girls and I watched most of the celebrations on the official live stream so that we could keep our front spot as the characters walked past. If you weren't already aware, 100 characters appeared on Main Street on the official birthday and it was something that cannot be put into words. These characters included Joy, Sadness, Hercules, Megara, the Kittens, the Seven Dwarves, the Atlantis cast, Pocahontas, Tarzan, Clopin and so many more. It was rumoured that some of the rare characters had been brought over from Disney parks all over the world, and I'm pretty sure I ran out of cheers to give every rare character I saw. It was unbelievably magical and I'm still completely in awe. If you want to see some footage, I vlogged the whole day which is up on my youtube channel

I think that I cried on and off for 90% of the day, but something that really set me off was the Cast Member Flashmob at the end of the official celebration welcome show. Once again, 'Everyday's A Celebration' echoed done Main Street as the Cast Members paraded past, singing and dancing along to their choreographed routine. When I say Cast Members, I mean that there were hundreds, maybe even thousands. They came from every area of the park, from every profession and they all joined together out of love for their job and for this wonderful company. They emerged from the Castle like excited children and the way I viewed it was that it was their moment to shine. If you're not a parade performer in Disneyland, I think that you get overlooked for the work you do and it was their time to be appreciated for once. When they got to the end of Main Street, Catherine Powell joined them and started to dance with them. This was when the tears started and refused to stop. You never see a manager interacting with their company and their staff like that. It was a beautiful thing. Also still not over the fact that THE Catherine Powell walked past me and said hello. Life goals complete. When they'd finished dancing, the cast members came running past us, dancing in front of us and touching our hands as they got everyone cheering. I'm almost in tears just thinking about it.

Just watching that show on the day, and even thinking about it now, fills me with so much pride. I think that's what made me so emotional. I celebrated the 10th anniversary at Disneyland Paris, so to be there celebrating 15 years later and seeing how much the company has grown and developed brought me to tears.

We were, of course, told that there would be some rare characters meeting on the day but not as rare as we were hoping for. I think they made more of an effort for the official launch rather than the birthday. The three rare characters that were meeting included Max, Clarice and Duffy and Shelly Mae. As we weren't too bothered about meeting these characters, Cara and I headed towards the Castle in search of some food. It was so hard to find somewhere selling food that didn't involve queueing for an hour so instead, we resulted to having one of many photo shoots in front of the Castle with our lovely friend Alizeah. I met this lovely girl briefly at Halloween, so it was lovely to spend some more time with her and admire her rainbow coloured jacket. Aren't her and Cara just style goals?

On our search for food, Cara and I bumped into another one of our friends Rach, who is a cast member. Neither of us has seen her since she started to work for the mouse and it was lovely to have a catch-up and to see her so happy. She's so talented and absolutely killin' it!
As we loved watching the Welcome Show soooo much, we decided to sit and watch it again as this would be the last time that we would see it on this trip. It was so nice to sit with Rach and sing along. I think I love this show more and more every time I watch it and I'm so excited to see it again in June!

It was then time to do a lot of waiting about, and consequently get very very sunburnt. The weather was glorious all day, which of course had its perks as it meant sitting down to wait for the Cavalcade was a lot easier. However, the pain of the sunburn the following day was not fun.

We spent the next 3-4 hours watching the two Cavalcades and the parade. As we waited for the first Cavalcade, there was one particular Cast Member who got the whole crowd cheering, singing and dancing. I've seen him on previous trips and he's one of the only Cast Members to wear a Mickey glove on his hand. At one point, he picked a young girl from the crowd who was dressed as a Princess and waltzed her down Main Street. Again, I cried. It was so beautiful to see. Every Cast Member on that day was a pure joy and a credit to the company.

The Cavalcade was a repeat of what we saw in the morning; 100 characters dancing down Main Street as the 25th-anniversary song played. It wasn't as emotional as the morning, and the interaction wasn't very good, but being able to experience something so rare and magical with my best friends is something I'll remember for the rest of my life

The day would not have been complete without some photoshoots in front of the Castle. We wanted to make sure that we captured the day perfectly, and as the majority of people were dressed in blue and silver, we matched with the theme. Whilst we waited for the parades and cavalcades, we danced and twirled down Main Street. We also got some adorable shots of us looking at the castle and I tried (and failed) to perfect my Princess pose. 

Photos were one of the only ways that we could commemorate the day, so in true Disney style, we bought a Minnie Mouse balloon and set up our own photoshoot in front of the Castle. This was where I met our lovely friend Denise who is another Cast Member. She is the kindest, most beautiful girl and the company are very lucky to have her. Although the wind wasn't really on our side, and it took us all of our time to get the balloon under control, we finally got some perfect blogger shots. These are some of my favourite photos of the day.

When we'd finished our photo shoot, we headed back over to the Princess stage to catch the final show we would watch on this trip. I was very emotional and it's the one show I associate the most with the trip and it still gives me all the feels.

After the Princess show, we found a young girl and gave the balloon to her. We had no more use for it and the smile on her face when she realised that she was keeping the balloon was the sunshine on a cloudy day. Not that the day was cloudy of course.

The queue for Alice in Wonderland's Labyrinth was very small so we thought that it would be the perfect opportunity to escape to Wonderland. I hadn't explored the attraction since it had been refurbished and it's safe to say that the improvements are brilliant. The colours are so vivid, the music is louder and the maze is just as hard to find your way around. We crawled under arches, squeezed through tiny doors and walked down many blocked pathways before reaching the Castle. People think that this attraction is quick and only takes five minutes, but let me tell you, finding your way around that thing is not easy. And when you're stopping for various photo opportunities, it's even harder. If you do get the chance, I recommend going to the top of the Castle and standing on the balcony because the views are breathtaking. It's one of my favourite things to do and it's definitely overlooked and underappreciated by guests.

If you watched my bucket list video that I made on my YouTube channel, then you'll know that I really wanted to go and take some photos in front of the 25th photo locations, specifically the carousel. We spent the rest of the evening going to find them and having some adorable photos taken. As you can probably tell, my Princess pose has not been perfected, but I'm working on it!
After this, we went for our final ride on It's a Small World and then headed over to café Hyperion for some food. There was so much going on that I don't think we ate all day. You were in a situation where you didn't want to go and do anything because you were scared of missing something big.

We watched our final Illuminations show, not necessarily because we wanted to but more because we wanted to see if they would do anything special for the official birthday. Sadly they didn't and we were stuck with the same Illuminations that we saw on our first night. I'm still not a fan and if anything I disliked it more the second time. I really think that they should bring Dreams back and I still don't understand why they didn't do anything special for the official birthday, but there's nothing we can do about it now I suppose.

It's tradition that I'm one of the last people on Main Street at some point on my trip and what better way to say one final goodbye to the park, and one final Happy Birthday, than to sit on the warm bricks of Main Street USA surrounded by pixie dust, sparkling lights and everyone that I love. Grant bought some small signs from one of the boutiques and once again we had a photo shoot. I've always wanted the perfect photo on Main Street at night and now I finally have it.
We asked a lovely lady to take a photo on Grant's phone for us, and then she asked if she could take one on her phone too because she said that we were just too cute for her not too. It made our day.

As we exited the park, I was overcome with sadness but so much pride. Disneyland Paris had done amazingly well and as a slowed down version of the anniversary song played softly, I turned to look at the castle and smiled. There's no place in the world I feel more at home. The whole Disney gang stayed up to thank us for celebrating with them and waved to us as we walked out. I can not believe the things I experienced on this day. They are memories I will hold close to my heart forever.

As we left the park we saw a lovely shining star walking towards us. That shining star came in the form of Seany B and if you read this blog post for anything, then read it for this photo. Disneyland Paris' motto for the anniversary was 'time to sparkle' and Seany definitely made sure that he was sparkling on Main Street. In his own words 'I look like a novelty condom'. 

I hope you've enjoyed reading, and if you want to check out my vlog of the day then it's up on my YouTube channel. I cannot wait to share our final day of adventures with you!

Did you watch the celebrations live?

Lots of Love,

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