Monthly Archives: June 2018

Disneyland Paris Inaugural FANDAZE – Character Madness Exclusive package review

Hello Friends!

Thanks for joining me again to hear my thoughts on the inaugural Fandaze Party and the packages offered as part of it at Disneyland Paris.

In this review, I am going to do a full review of the Character Madness Exclusive Package and what was included in the cost.

The Character Madness Exclusive Package was advertised as

Can you imagine our excitement when we managed to secure one of those coveted 16 places? We were over the moon, as was the lovely lady who booked our package as she couldn’t quite believe we had managed to bag 3 of the places either!

When we asked we were told that the 16 packages were individuals, so our group would only have 13 more people in it to give us the maximum experience possible in our package … but more about that later.

Mark and I decided to allow the other member of our party to enjoy the Santa Fe room we booked as part of the package and we booked a room in the DLH separately on the buy 2 nights get 2 nights free offer which worked out a really good deal.

Checking in

We had a booking for a party of 3 staying at the Santa Fe as part of our package. Early on Saturday morning (pre 7am) one member of our party was able to check us all in and receive the packs for our Fandaze package.

Inside this pack were 3 tickets to collect our package from the dome and 3 tickets to collect our Fandaze photopass from any of the shop locations listed.

This was all very straightforward and hassle free for us.

Collecting our Package

While one member of our party checked in, the rest of us waited in queue early for the 8am opening of the dome to collect our package information. We arrived at just gone 7am and were the first in line, other guests started arriving around 7:20am and a queue formed behind us very quickly after that. The doors didn’t open until around 8:10am and we were then held in a queue inside for a further 15 minutes before we were seen as they were still not ready.

Once inside, only the lead name was required to show ID despite being told the entire party would need to be present. The initial desk we were sent to weren’t aware of our package, we were then sent to a second desk area where we collected our package.

Inside this package was a party map, our lanyard, pin and a card detailing our package meet and greet times and our weekend schedule.

The organisation of the collection of this information was OK, but realistically could have been done at check in at the hotels for people with packages. It wasn’t convenient to take time away from our park enjoyment, or in our case sleep enjoyment as we decided to go early, when all of the information they needed is already provided to check into the hotels.

So, to improve this process next year, I would highly recommend that stand alone tickets are collected from the dome. However, anyone that has spent the extra money on a package should have the convenience of being able to collect their pack at check in.

Fandaze Party Night

The queue system outside the park was good, as Package holders we were given priority entrance … sadly this was entirely pointless! See my previous blog for details.

This was the extent of perks for people with packages on the night aside from our exclusive meet and play that I will come on to shortly. We did not get fast passed any queues or allowed through first because we had packages despite anything that has been reported on social media. We waited in line like everyone else, the entire duration of the party.

Meet and play pre-farewell parade with Disney Fandaze VIP characters

This was at 1am and had a 30 minute time slot, we were so excited! 16 people meant we would have at least a couple of minutes each to get photos and group shots and actually have time to ‘play’ with the characters.

This is where we discovered that it was not 16 people. It was 16 groups, so our expectations of a cozy meet up was actually 37 people scrambling to take photos.

The characters were initially in couples having photos taken, Mark and I didn’t manage to get photos with all the pairs and I shouldn’t imagine all the group did. We did get a couple though.

As the meet was nearing the end they realised they needed to bring all the VIPs together to enable everyone to get a photo with them all. This should have been done from the start and any time left over once everyone had a group shot should have been allocated do individual and couple shots. I do hope that everyone managed to get a group shot like we did

This meet was poorly organised and could have been managed much better. Having said that, I got the shots I wanted and have them to treasure forever so It was a success for me, I just felt like I had to push my way through to get it.

This was the end of our package experience for the actual Fandaze Party, our remaining perks were scheduled for the next day.

Sunday 3rd June 2018

Character encounters with Mickey and Minnie

We had been allocated a 10:30am time slot for this meet, which was a bit of a struggle to get up for after a 3:30am bedtime! We met at the Disney jnr ride and were pleased to see it was a far smaller group this morning.

Once inside we were greeted by the happiest and most enthusiastic group of cast members and photopass photographers, it was amazing!!! We went through and had photos individually and then hung back while everyone else had there’s .. and then left. There was still 15mins left of the set & we were told we could have as many photos as we wanted! So we had group shots and couples and some funny shots and generally just had fun with the main mice!

This encounter was excellent, I really enjoyed it. It was definitely a highlight of the package.

Sunday Brunch with 8 VIPs in exclusive outfits.

Now we love a brunch, if our trip falls over a Sunday we will always do the brunch and have even been known to do a one night stop over for a theme we like. We usually spend the entire 3 hours allowed for brunch at our table to enable maximum engagement with the characters and a leisurely un-rushed meal.

When we saw that we only had a 2 hour allocation for brunch before our next meeting we had concerns as that really only left us 1 hour and 45 mins to get everything done.

Brunch for the event was in the California Grill. We were sat in wine room at the top, right next to the doors through to inventions. There were 4 tables in our room.

Fortunately we were a group of 3 so were allocated a table for 4. If you were a table for 2, you were paired up with strangers for your meal as there weren’t enough 2 person tables. This wouldn’t bother me, but other guests were voicing that it made them uncomfortable.

The brunch was for both exclusive and premium character madness packages. Everyone was seated at the same time, despite the fact that the exclusive packages had to leave before the end to get to their next appointment. Exclusive packages should have been priority seating to allow enough time to meet all the characters and eat enough food.

The food was not to the usual standard I expect at inventions brunch. It was being carried through from the normal restaurant and was at most warm when we got to it. The selection wasn’t as wide as the counter space was far smaller and in all was just a disappointment. It’s the first time I’ve come out of a brunch feeling like I hadn’t had enough to eat due to the lack of time and selection.

During the first 40 minutes we didn’t see a single character, after speaking to an ACC it turned out that they didn’t know that there were guests in the room we were in. This meant that we started to get them coming to us, sometimes in quick succession so we got some combination photos.

Sadly Mickey didn’t make it to us before we had to leave, so this was the best photo I could get of him.

Considering the amount we paid for our package, it shouldn’t have been like this. The characters should have been easily accessible to us all during the brunch, especially considering the limited time we had allocated to meet them all before our next appointment.

Private encounter with 2 special VIP characters

We ran over from inventions to studios for our next meet. We entered the room to be greeted by the same photo pass photographer and ACC group we had in the morning meet and that made it even better!! We had SO much fun!

The same as the morning meet, people were coming in, having photos and leaving, so we hung around until the end again to get lots and lots of amazing shots!!

This encounter was really amazing. Meeting Ortensia in her first ever park appearance and Oswald who has only been to DLP a handful of times was truly special. So thank you to Fandaze for giving us that privilege.

I loved everything that we got to do as part of our package and do think it was worth the money. There are things I would change and improvements that could have been made, but I will talk about that more in a future blog.

Would I do Fandaze again? Yes, I’m a heartbeat. Would I do the same package again? That very much depends on whether changes are made. If Characters Fandaze outfits remain the same and if the brunch isn’t extended then possibly not, but I’d have to look into it when the information is released.

My next blog will be my thoughts on how Disneyland Paris could improve Fandaze and what I would do differently.

Lots of Love

Alyssa xx

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Disneyland Paris Inaugural FANDAZE Party 2nd June 2018 – Review

Hello Friends!

Thanks for joining me again to hear my thoughts on the inaugural Fandaze Party at Disneyland Paris.

In this post, I am going to do a review of my evening at the event. I will be doing a more in detail blog of our full package in the very near future.

So, let’s talk about everything Fandaze …

First, let me share my expectations going in to this event. Realistically, I thought that I’d possibly meet 3/4 characters, see all the shows and parades and do our package meet and greet during the party. This was based purely on the fact that we knew NOTHING going in to the event. We didn’t know how long the parades and shows were, we didn’t know the amount of guests attending, how many panels were booked etc … so I was conservative in my expectations and this faired me well.

I hate to start my review of the evening on a negative, but for me, the worst part of the night was getting into he event. We met our friends at 5pm at the Fantasia gardens entrance to Fandaze, our queues were sorted by package, green/orange passholders and non package snake lines. We were obviously near the front as we had arrived so early. This part of the process was fine and ran smoothly.

Once inside the front of Studio One we were held at the door to the Studio One hanger. The plan was obviously that we would watch these strange men with cameras for faces walk around .. but everyone just wanted to get to their priority location! The doors opened to Studio One for us to all be herded down to the Stage to watch the opening ceremony.

It soon became evident that people had other priorities and a queue formed on the right for people (mostly) wanting to go for pins and character locations first. This was a shambles. Everyone was held there in a massive scrum until the show finished then a small gateway to the left was opened and everyone herded through it, it was quite a tussle and as it went past the Kuzko queue that filled up super quickly, we initially joined it but then saw Roger Rabbit roaming and decided that we would rather meet him.

The free sets were only stopping briefly to grab photos and unfortunately the CM who took our photos didn’t do the best job, but we met him and that was something Mark had definitely wanted to do so was a big tick off our character list!

We walked past heroes and villains alley at this early point in the evening and the queue was very long. We had taken the decision before the event to likely avoid this experience as the fact it was multiple meets in a small area made us think it would likely be a bit chaotic, turns out we made the right decision.

We then went around to Toon Studios. My priorities for the night were Rescue Rangers and Talespin and Mark was excited to meet Darkwing and Launchpad. We joined the end of the queue for Max and Goofy knowing that we were likely to get near the front for the change over. We queued for around 20 minutes and met Darkwing and Launchpad – which was amazing! They loved seeing themselves on my dress and were super interactive even in the short time we had 😊

We then crossed over into the next queue and joined the end for Talespin characters, this queue was not long, had we paid more attention we could have met them sooner as people were letting other pass as they were waiting for Rescue Rangers – if we hadn’t been having such fun chatting with friends then we prob would have only queued for 5 mins! That’s ok though, we were having fun! In total we probably waited 20mins for Rescue Rangers and this meet was again incredible! I had the characters on my dress and once again had fab engagement!

We re-joined the queue for Talespin and again probably waited 20 minutes or so to meet them. This might have been my fave meet of the night, they were so much fun! Dancing and playing before the guests came in and then engaging with us all in a super fun way. I loved this meet! 💜

We then headed to get a parade spot for dance your ducktails, on the way we bumped into the lovely Catherine Powell who was absolutely delightful. I am so honoured and flattered at the compliments she gave me on my ears and my dress and was shocked that she wanted to have photos taken with me. This was such a highlight of my evening.

Dance your ducktails … what an incredible show!! High energy, fun, colourful, exciting and duck filled. I LOVED it. Is anyone else feeling the need to make themselves nephews dungerees? 😍

The Max show was the next stop for us and what a show stopper it was! Now, I’ll be honestly, I’ve not seen the goofy movie, so when the first song started I was concerned that I wouldn’t know the songs and the show might be wasted on me … but once other characters started joining Max/Powerline the show came to life for me 😊 The production of this show was incredible, the outfits, the choreography, the characters, the water and fire effects … it was all AMAZING!

Now was the start of the next sets, it was obvious that some of the park had cleared out by this point as it felt a lot less crowded. We decided to go meet some big hero 6 characters as we hadn’t seen them before and it’s a film we both love. We joined the Wasabi queue line just before it opened and were the first guests to meet him.

We then crossed next door into the Fred line and waited the 30mins until his set, in this time Mark went and met Honey Lemon and took photos with several of the meet the Robinson’s characters who were roaming near our queue-line. The queues were once again really friendly and nice with everyone chatting and letting each other back in after popping to see the roaming characters with no issues. We then headed to join the queue for GoGo and probably waited about 15 minutes in her queue.

After this it was nearly time to dance with the Ducktales guys again! We got our spot and Mark ran off to meet Clara Cluck as she had NO QUEUE. This was also the case with Lady Yaya so they were additional last min bonus meets.

This time for the parade I had established the moves and was boogying away which got amazing interaction from the dancers and made it so much more fun than watching from behind a camera. Apparently I appeared on the live stream at one point so I can’t wait to watch that back and cringe 😂 I would LOVE for this parade to be added to one of the season as it is so high energy and awesome. I was blown away.

We then had an appointment as part of the package that we purchased, I don’t want to go into this too much as I will cover it fully in my next post but this photo should tell you how incredible it was …

Following this meet it was time to get a slot for parade, we decided to walk down past rock n rollercoaster to a quieter part of the park to catch the parade on the end of its route. What fun the parade was, the array of characters was reminiscent of the 25th anniversary and it actually allowed us to interact with so many characters that we hadn’t had the chance to meet which was incredible! It’s the closest I’ve got to Sully ever .. though I’ve still not touched him😂 I got hugs from Peter Pan and so many high 5s and quick poses for photos on front of me It really was amazing! A special shout-out has to go to the main mouse who was incredible in the car and pulled some awesome poses for us!

That was our experience of the night and I am super super happy with it.

Were there some organisational fails on the night? Yes. However, due to the decisions we made and the characters we wanted to meet, this did not impact us and therefore our experience was incredible. I understand that doesn’t take away from the disappointment of those who did experience these organisational fails, but hopefully DLP will learn from these and make improvements/remove the failed elements next time.

Unfortunately due to some spiteful comments I have received on social media I feel the need to clarify the following. Myself and Mark paid for our exclusive package ourselves, in full. We did not receive any perks outside of those listed in our package, which we paid for. We waited fairly in lines like every other guest and were not fast passed any queues.

Would I book again? In a heartbeat. Would I book the same package? Possibly not, but I’ll cover than in my next blog post.

This event was groundbreaking for DLP and for me personally, a huge success and highly enjoyable experience. It is exciting that as fans we are being offered such exclusive and privileged opportunities – a character worldwide debut at DISNEYLAND PARIS?! That’s phenomenal stuff! Teething problems are to be expected, long queues for certain experiences were to be expected and there will always be people who are unhappy in any situation, I just hope that the majority of people had a positive experience like we did.

I’m writing this in the car on the way home with the Fandaze blues 😭

Lots of Love

Alyssaxx

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,