10 July 2017

Disneyland Paris June 2017 │ Day 2: Aristocats, Baloo & Illuminations

Our first morning in the park was a little bit stressful. Liv and Rach had yet to get actual tickets to gain access to the park so we spent our morning at Donald's Desk trying to print the tickets off. The Cast Members were so lovely and helped us in any way that they could. If you ever do need to print off any tickets then Donald's Desk is the best place to go, they will give you an email address to send your confirmation too (you can go and use the wifi at the Disneyland Hotel) and then they'll print it off for you free of charge. Then you take your printed receipt and scan it at the machine which will print your tickets for you. It is easy if you know what you're doing. 
One of the best feelings in the world is standing at the bottom of Main Street on the first day of your trip (in our case, second) and seeing the Castle. It feels like you've just arrived home and it's the only way I can describe what pure joy feels like. I try to explain this feeling on every trip report that I do, but I never seem to get any better at it. As we walked into the park, Liv took a deep breath, inhaled the sweet scent of popcorn and said 'I can't believe we're actually in Disney,'. 
Balloons floated in the breeze as we watched Chip and Dale skip around in front of the bandstand before linking arms and walking down Main Street USA for the first time. 

As you can see, today was Disneybound day and we chose to bound as the Aristocats. We got some funny looks as we walked around the park but we also got a lot of compliments, I heard so many people say 'Aw look at them, they're the aristocats' as we walked past. Our ears came as a set of three and we bought them from my lovely friend Victoria. She's opening her shop soon and you can browse some of her adorable designs over on Instagram (@earningyourears). 

We were approached by some friendly French girls who asked us to take some photos of them in front of the castle. They were adorable and it was so funny watching them do silly poses. In return, they took some cute photos of us and I cannot get over how sweet we look. It was lovely being able to take photos in front of the Castle in the morning as the park wasn't too busy so we could pose as much as we wanted. 

As we had the perfect lighting conditions, we continued our photoshoot in one of the best photo locations in Disneyland Paris. It's just at the side of the castle and is normally free of crowds so it's easy to snap a quick selfie in front of the iconic Castle. We posed, had cuddles and lots of giggles as we each took photos of one another. However, it doesn't look right having just 2/3 of the Aristocats, does it?

After the girls had been for a ride on Indiana Jones (I opted to hold the bags) we headed over to Hakuna Matata to try and meet Baloo. I've had some of my best interactions in this location, and Baloo did not disappoint. 
I ran up to him, gave him a big hug and told him that he was the family favourite to which he became really shy and pulled me in for another hug. I then told him that it was my Birthday and that because he's my favourite, I thought he'd be the perfect person to come and visit. He started to wave his arms around and the character attendant asked for my name. I told her that my name was Meg and she got the attention of the queue and said 'It's Meg's Birthday and we're all going to sing to her. Ready 1...2...3...'. The whole crowd burst into song as Baloo danced with me and pointed at me every time they mentioned my name. I was a little embarrassed at first but went along with it and it was the one thing that made my birthday trip so special. Also, can we mention the way I'm looking at Baloo? Gals you all need someone who looks at you like that, it's pure love! 
We had a group photo, one last cuddle and then headed over to Discoveryland to join team Buzz Lightyear. 

After we became Space Rangers with Buzz Lightyear and failed to defeat Emporer Zurg, we took a ride on Autopia and you'll be very pleased to know that I didn't dislocate my toe! Then the girls headed over to Space Mountain as it had a relatively short wait time. I'm getting better with rollercoasters considering that they're one of the things I'm most scared of, but if they go upside down or are in the dark then it's a definite no from me. Whilst I waited I caught the last welcome show of the day. I love this show because the songs are so catchy and the character interaction is amazing. I'd been singing the verse 'When you walk down Main Street, Main Street USA...' for the first few hours that we were in the park, so it made me very happy when I saw the Dapper Dan's skip onto the stage singing it. 

When the show had finished, I had twenty minutes until the girls came off Space Mountain so I walked over to Plaza Gardens to meet my two favourite besties. I'm not going to lie, I was super nervous about going to meet characters on my own but the Cast Members were so lovely and were more than willing to take photos for me. Tigger ran up and pulled me into a hug whilst Eeyore turned away and acted shy to which I said 'Aw Eeyore, I love you too' and we had a big group cuddle. I asked them if they could guess who I'd come dressed and they both did impressions of Marie which made the crowd laugh. We had some cute photos, one last cuddle and then I went back to meet the girls. 

We'd booked a fast pass for Big Thunder Mountain in the morning and by the time the girls got off Space Mountain, it was time to go on the wildest ride in the wilderness (see what I did there?). This was my first time riding it since it had been refurbished so I was very excited to see what improvements had been made; I don't think I've heard a bad review of it yet. When I was younger, this was always the ride that scared me the most however in 2015 I conquered my fear and now it's my most favourite ride in the park. I think I could go round and round and never get bored. 
It was so exhilarating, just feeling the wind blow through my hair as I took my hands off the barrier and screamed as we dipped and dived around Thunder Mesa. The new effects and props and smells just added to the ride and it was well worth the year wait for it to be refurbished. However, they haven't fixed the constant breakdown problem, but I cannot fault this ride. It will forever be my favourite. 

The temperature started to rise as we wandered around Fantasyland. To try and get cool, we went and paid a visit to the dragon underneath the Castle which terrified me. I love going seeing the dragon but I always forget how much it freaks me out, especially when it moves and starts breathing fire. After this, Rach and I made ourselves dizzy on the teacups and I had a small photoshoot in front of the Small World photo location. I was so gutted that it was closed whilst we were there, although I don't think the girls were too bothered. We then took a trip to Neverland on Peter Pan's Flight and as always, I got emotional. It's the most magical ride. 

And then it was time for my current show obsession; the Starlit Princess Waltz. I cannot put into words how much I adore this show. As we were walking past the Fantasyland gates, I heard the beginning of 'I see a Princess' and I just grabbed the girls and we ran straight over to the stage. We got there just in time for when the Princes come out to join the Princesses and just seeing that moment brought me to tears. I'm so obsessed with everything about it; the sparkles, the Princesses, the Princes, the dancing, the twirling, the dresses...what's there not to love!? 

After the Princess show, the girls left to go back to the hotel as it was too warm for them. I opted to stay in the park on my own as I'd paid to be in Disneyland and I wasn't going to sit in a hotel when I could be getting as much magic as possible. They didn't come back into the park for around four hours so I was able to wander around on my own, catch a few shows and get some lovely photography. Disney on your own is actually okay, I'll admit that I missed having someone to share the magic with, but it's nice to be able to do what you want to do when you want to do it. 

When they left, Stars on Parade was about to begin so I took my place on Main Street. I've never watched the parade from Main Street before and although it was very warm, the Castle provided the perfect backdrop for the floats.  As we waited, a wonderful Cast Member got the crowd clapping and dancing and it reminded me of the Disney holidays that I had when I was younger. My parents fondest memories are of the Cast Member's getting everyone excited before the parade. This guy was absolutely loving his job and it made me so happy to see the effect it had on the crowd. 

Then the familiar catchy tune to Stars on Parade sounded from the speakers as the first float glided past. I wasn't too keen on this parade when I first saw it but the more I watch it and listen to the soundtrack, the more I adore it. I'm also pleased to say that the character interaction has improved and the costumes are as beautiful as ever. I'm actually obsessed with the Princess part of the parade, but I think that the Peter Pan float will always be my favourite. 

After the parade, I made my way back to the Castle Stage to get a front row spot for the Princess Show. As we waited, the Cast Member from the parade came over and got the crowd clapping and singing. Then he did one of the cutest things I have ever seen. There was a young girl dressed as Elsa who was jumping up and down everytime the Cast Member started clapping, so he picked her out from the crowd, took her in front of the stage and started to waltz her around like the Princess that she was. My heart felt all fuzzy just watching it. It was pure Disney magic. 

My second viewing of the Princess show was beautiful. Snow White and her Prince actually melt my heart and I am IN LOVE with the colour of Ariel's dress. I got some really lovely photos of the Waltz which I've been posting on my Instagram (@mainstreetmegs) so if you want to have a look at them then head on over there. I know you're probably fed up of me raving on about this show, and I don't know what else I can say to express how much I love it, so I'm just going to leave it there. 

It was the hottest point in the day so it was too warm to sit and wait for another Princess show. Instead, I ventured back into Fantasyland and had some photography time; some for my blog and some for Instagram. I also took a ride on Snow White and attempted to get into Alice's Curious Labyrinth but it was closed. As you know, I go to Disney quite a lot so I've pretty much done everything that there is to do, and sometimes it's so nice to just walk around and take in the atmosphere. I also had some food in Hakuna Matata and although it doesn't beat Colonel Hathi's, it was still yummy.

As the temperature started to cool, I went to explore the very tropical Adventureland. One thing that I missed on this trip was Pirates of the Caribbean. It re-opens in July and I cannot wait to see what improvements have been made, but for now, Skull Rock was as close as I was going to get to feeling like a pirate. I didn't realise how scary and dark Skull Rock actually is, I walked in to explore the cave and it took me a good 10 minutes to find my way out. However, I think it's one of the hidden gems of Disneyland Paris and it's so cool that you can actually venture inside. 

One of my fondest memories of my Disney trips as a child is going along a rickety bridge with my grandparents. I've looked for this bridge on every single trip but I've never been able to find it, however on my little adventure, I found the iconic bridge. It was exactly as I remembered and a lot more rickety than I was expecting. But the view from up there was beautiful and I felt like a proper jungle ranger when I was walking across, I imagine that's how the celebrities feel when they walk across the bridge on I'm a celebrity. 

As you can tell, I took a lot of photos whilst I was walking around so I climbed to the top of the Robinsons tree house to get some more shots. I'd recommend doing this when the weather has cooled down as it's a lot of steps to climb in the sweltering heat but the view is so rewarding when you get to the top. It's the perfect place to get some beautiful shots of the Castle and again, it's another hidden gem of Disneyland Paris which always has a short wait time. 

When the girls text me to tell me that they were on their way back to the park, I went down to Fantasyland train station to meet them. However, only Rach returned. Liv had lost her park ticket and had gone back to the hotel to see if she could find it. This was the first time anything like this had ever happened so I didn't know what to do. Whilst Liv went looking for her ticket, Rach convinced me that conquering my fear of Indiana Jones with friends was the best idea, and so we walked straight on the ride. I screamed the whole way around, closed my eyes and hated it when we went in a loop. I'll never be doing it again. In return for my bravery, Rach conquered her fear of the Haunted Mansion, but not without a few tears when the ride broke down. 

Once Rach had calmed down, we went back to the Station to meet Liv. The ticket wasn't at the hotel and nothing had been handed in so she went to Guest Services who were more than happy to help her. She explained the situation, took her ticket reservation and the Cast Members handled the situation so well. It was a long process as the new ticket had to be confirmed by various managers, but by the time we got to Liv, she was back in the park and had a brand new ticket. We walked back down Main Street to go and get our spot for Illuminations but not before stopping to knock at the Cast Member door to see if there were any jobs going. No one answered. 
When we got to Central Plaza everyone was sat down and that's how everyone stayed for the whole show. We arrived 40 minutes before Illuminations started and got very close to the castle. We passed the time by playing cards and various games of Heads Up before the sprinkle of pixie dust sounded and Main Street fell into darkness. Illuminations was beautiful. As you know I was very disappointed with it in April but I think that watching it close up, sat down and without people with kids on their shoulders made it a more positive experience. It deserves more credit than it gets. Of course, it's never going to be Dreams, but it's still beautiful and the perfect way to end a Disney day full of magic. 

As we left the park, Mickey Mouse stood on Fantasyland Station to wave goodbye to his guests. I absolutely love this addition to the 25th celebrations as I think it prolongs the magic as you're on your journey home. However, our journey home wasn't the best. The shuttle buses were full and people were very aggressive. I got split up from Liv and Rach only for their bus to break down so I got back to the hotel before they did. We then settled into bed to be up early for a fun packed day in the Studios.

Lots of Love,


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