March 12th 2016
It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, just take a day off and spend it in the most magical place on earth, but I was never sure how it would work out and if there’d be enough time to feel like I’d got to experience the magic in just one day. But I did it and here’s my trip report.
I travelled over night by coach from London with a small travel company as they were offering a good deal, this was my first trip driving and my first experience of a ferry and I must say it was much more pleasant than I had expected, admittedly it may be because I wasn’t the one who had to drive!
We arrived in Disneyland at about 9:30 am and collected our park tickets from the coach driver, agreed a time for everyone to get back to the coach at the end of the day and then we were off!
It’s only a short walk to the park from the car park and one we got to the park the queue for bag check was moving swiftly, lots of security about and event mounted police, it was very reassuring without being intimidating. We decided to check out the main Disney park first and the first stop was the annual pass office.
I bought my annual pass through a uk based company called super trips, there are 3 tiers of pass and each tier provides additional benefits including discount on rooms in Disney hotels, restaurant and store discounts, I had purchased the dreams pass which is the highest level and cost £153. Exchanging my voucher for a permenant pass was surprisingly easy, I had to queue for a short time outside the office, and was then invited in by a very pleasant cast member who was able to talk me through the process and provided me with a French-English cheat sheet as all the terminals are in French. There were a few details to fill in, then a webcam photo and that was everything done, my first annual pass was printed and ready to go.
Next stop was back up Main Street to collect my photo pass plus, this is a service where you can store your ride photos and also character meet and greet photos on an app which you can access for 12 months, it is much cheaper than buying photos individually and it is nice to have access to all the photos in one place. An annual pass means you can pick up a photo pass which lasts for 12 months to add photos to, rather than the standard 10 days to add photos, this was €39.99 and bought from the photo store at the top of Main Street that attaches to flora’s boutique.
The first ride of the day was Buzz Lightyear’s space blast, and this was probably my biggest regret of the day. Now hands down this is one of my favourite rides, I say ride but it’s as much a game as it is a ride, despite it being one of my favourites it was a huge regret to do this first, the parks are massively busy on a Saturday and it would seem buzz is popular with everyone! The queue was huge, and the queue to get a fast pass was just as bad! We ended up queuing maybe an hour and 15 but we finally got on the ride and it was everything I remembered and enjoyed!
Next stop was Disney village as we had lunch reservations with the mouse himself, this was my first trip to cafe Mickey so I wasn’t 100% sure what to expect and had heard mixed things about the service and food so was a little aprehensive. We made a quick stop on the way into world of Disney where I picked up a new autograph book and some Mickey ears. We booked in advance for cafe Mickey and this is something I would 100% recommend as they were turning people without reservations away by the time we turned up, we were seated quickly and given a menu and left to make our minds up. There are 2 and 3 course options and drinks are seperate. I went for a 2 course option which was €35.99 which I thought was worth it considering the portion sizes and the character interaction.
I had the mushrooms to start and a pizza as a main and was very happy with both the service was quick and very friendly. When we first arrived the characters were just going in to the back to change over but just a few mins later Mickey, Tigger and Goofy came out and started going round the tables to greet the guests. The atmosphere was very relaxed and the characters made sure they came to all the tables and didn’t rush the guests, the interaction was brilliant, I did have some film of this but unfortunately I lost it just after I got home, a good reason to go again! After the characters had made their way around the tables, and Mickey had delivered some birthday cakes to lucky guests, the characters swapped over again Mickey came back out but was now accompanied by Pluto and Rabbit. Over all we spent about an hour in cafe Mickey, we didn’t feel rushed but at the same time we didn’t have to wait around for any characters, the whole experience was great and I would definitely do it again.
Back to the main park after lunch everything was still very busy but we timed it perfectly to catch Minnie’s little Spring train as it started at the top of Main Street, this short parade is on a few times a day and features Minnie, Daisy and some of her Spring time friends including thumper and miss bunny, our trip happened to fall on a press day which meant Cheshire Cat also appeared on the train as a special guest!
We took a walk down to frontier land next and popped into the pin trading store, this is the place to swap unwanted pins with other collectors, but also the place to buy your limited edition pins and vinylmations, I picked up a spring themed aristocats pin which was released that day, and I was also able to get my hand on one of the limited edition last trip to Endor pins which I was very happy about.
We narrowly missed the next showing of the Forest of Enchantment so took the chance to take a walk around and take in some of the scenery and go and grab a Duffy bear which was top of my to do list. We made it back for the next showing of Forest of Enchantment and I’m so glad we did, this is the new show in the chaparral theatre and is running from Feb until the start of May it features Baloo and King Louie, merrida, rapunzel, Tarzan and Pocahontas and was better than I could have hoped for, the set was incredible and the dancers were just brilliant. I would highly recommend seeing this show if you are able to and hope Disneyland bring this back either in the autum or next spring!
After forest of enchantment we decided to fill our late afternoon and early evening with some rides, this included slinky dog in the studios park and small world, star tours and lancelots carrousel in the main park.
Before dreams we stopped for a quick counter service meal in cafe Hyperion, this is my favourite counter service restaurant as it has plenty of seating and during the day it shows star was clone wars and is now home to the Jedi academy! I also love the steampunk style theming, I had a chicken burger meal, with fries a soft drink and a choice of pudding for €11.99 and the portions are more than generous.
After food all that was left for the evening was Disney dreams, the fireworks show on the castle, this, as always was breathtaking, to get the best view you do need to get there early and hold your spot, but we were stood by plaza gardens and were able to enjoy the show and get caught up in the music!
That marked the end of our Disney day, and what a day it was. I enjoyed every min I spent in the parks and the village and managed to get more done than I thought I might, that said, if I was going to do a day trip again I would try to do a weekday not a weekend as the queues prevented us from getting a lot done.
My other top tips would be to make the most of fast passes where they are available and also to use the DLP map to check wait times before you walk across the park to find a massive wait time at a ride you want to do! If character meets are important to you character dining is a must, it eliminates queue time and at a weekend can be a nice break from the business of the parks. Just be prepared that it will wet your appetite for more, so expect to come home with Disney blues that can only be cured by planning another trip!
I’m going back in May, so hope to try more character dining then! But if you want to know anything about my trip or about the rides shows, parades and parks feel free to ask!
Faith, trust and pixie dust