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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

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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

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A Plus Size Perspective -Disneyland Paris Resort. Part Two

Hello Friends!

Welcome back and thank you for joining me again if you are doing so on the back of my last blog post about this topic!

Today’s post will mostly be covering rides. Now, I’m not the biggest fan of rides, I have the ones I love to do (Phantom Manor and ToT are my faves) but rides are not my priority on a Disney Trip. Having said that, I have been going to DLP long enough to know which rides do and do not work for fatties, so let’s hop to it!

Disneyland Park

Town Square/Main Street/The Hub

There are often vehicles and horse drawn carriages available to hop on to take you up and down Main Street. The majority of these vehicles have a step up to get into them and then a wooden benchseating system, I have been on a couple of these and had no issue at all with getting on/off or the seating so I’d say they’re all pretty fat friendly.

Disneyland Railroad is accessible from Town Square and then each and every land throughout the Disneyland Park. There are stairs to the platform in Town Square but there is also a lift if you have mobility issues with staircases. The seats are very comfortable on the train and although it often has long wait times is a cute and comfortable way to travel between lands or do a tour of the park.

Le Chateau de la Belle au Bois Dormant/La Taniere du Dragon

These are both walk though attractions, to see the sleeping beauty story in the stained glass windows you have to go up a small staircase, it isn’t many stairs and they are fairly wide. I can use them no problems.

The dragon is under the castle and has step free access from the side, again this is a walk through attraction. Please be aware that it is very dark, if (like me) you have very light sensitive eyes then you may find in the brighter months you struggle to see for some time while your eyes adjust to the darkness.

Discoveryland

Buzz Lightyear laser blast – The turnstiles for getting into the queue line for this ride are the biggest issue, they are tiny. I am able to do them if I stand on tippytoes and go through sideways – you can ask the CM at the front to let you through the gated entrance though. The ride vehicle is big enough for both me and my partner so there are no issues with that whatsoever.

Orbitron – The rockets on this ride are very small, my sister is a size 16 and her and my niece fitted but she said that the vehicles are very small and I wouldn’t have fit in them. Not such a bad thing as she said all the going round in circles fast made her feel a bit sick anyway 😂

Autopia – The cars on this ride are all perfectly fine for people of size, I had no problems fitting into one when we took my nieces.

Space Mountain – This is a firm no. The coasters which have over the head seatbelts mechanisms in DLP are not designed for people with large chests. I believe that the maximum chest width is 50″ but cannot find anything to support that, it may have just been what I was told. I have also been advised that Plus Size/muscular or wide shouldered men on the taller side may have issues with this ride too.

Star Tours – This is a simulator with chairs and a lap seatbelt. I have no issues at all with fitting on this ride … I just can’t deal with the motion sickness afterwards 😂

Fantasyland

Small World – large boats with bench type seating, they allow you to say how many will be sitting on each bench so I usually make the party split so I feel more comfortable the boat is balanced (that’s just my paranoia though as I have done it with 4 of us in the front row squished in like sardines with no issues too – that’s a story for another time though) This is a ride that you have to step down into and step back out of as well.

Mad Hatters Tea Cups – This is a seated spinning ride, the actual hole that you get into the cup through is really small and a bit of a squeeze but once inside it’s snug but not uncomfortable for me. Handy tip, if going on with a child, hold the middle to prevent them spinning it so much you end up feeling sick 🤣

Carousel – The horses involve a reasonably high step up and you need to be able to hook your leg over the back of the horse, adults do not need to wear the safety straps though (they definitely wouldn’t fit me) if you are worried about the transfer on to the horse there are carriages that you can ride in too.

Alice’s Curious Labyrinth – This is a standard walk around maze, there are some smaller doors you can go through in the maze part but I have never had any issues with any part of this attraction. The end allows you to go up the Queen of Hearts tower, the steps are narrow and steep but the view at the top is amazing. I only tend to do this on less busy days as it can be tricky passing people in the stairwells of the castle when you are larger and there aren’t many crossing points.

Les Voyages des Pinocchio – Wooden bench style ride vehicles with a lap bar that comes down. I fit in these absolutely fine, what I would say as with all of these type rides is if you are going on with a small child the bar will be too high for them so I do not do these kind of rides with my nieces for that reason.

Blanche neige (Snow White) et les sept Naine – Wooden bench style ride vehicles with a lap bar that comes down. I fit in these absolutely fine, what I would say as with all of these type rides is if you are going on with a small child the bar will be too high for them so I do not do these kind of rides with my nieces for that reason.

Peter Pans Flight – The flying boats are suspended from the ceiling, they are a bench style seat once again with a bar across you. I fit in these absolutely fine, what I would say as with all of these type rides is if you are going on with a small child the bar will be too high for them so I do not do these kind of rides with my nieces for that reason.

Dumbo – I have no issue fitting into the elephants for this ride and they still go up and down with my weight

Casey Jnr – I have not ridden this, so I have no idea if I will fit to be honest. The carriages don’t look particularly small though.

Le Pays des Contes de Fèes – These boats have plenty of room, again bench style seats and you do need to be able to step down and out of the boats to access.

Adventureland

Pirates of the Caribbean – The boats are similar in designs and accessibility as small world. They are wide bench style seats which you need to be able to step down into and up out of. Please be aware that it is very dark in the queue area, if (like me) you have very light sensitive eyes then you may find in the brighter months you struggle to see for some time while your eyes adjust to the darkness.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril – This is another rollercoaster with an overhead seatbelt system, so I am unable to do this ride.

La Cabane des Robinsons – The Robinson’s treehouse looks lovely from a distance and I’ve been underneath it, but frankly I do not fancy walking up all those steps to see the top. I’m assured that it’s not too bad as they aren’t steep and that the view is worth it, but it’s not something I can be bothered to do 🙈

Aladdin’s Enchanted Passage – This is a walk through attraction, it’s cute and accessible to everyone.

Frontierland

Big Thunder Mountain – The wildest ride in the wilderness! The seats on this ride are bench style with a pull down bar, myself and my partner fit in this ride together fine, I have even ridden this wearing my huge petticoat underskirt and still fit ok.

Phantom Manor – The doom buggy’s are nice and wide and have a pull down bar which stops no where near your body so this ride has loads of room. It’s also one of my faves 💜

Molly Brown – huge boat that you can wander around or sit on while it floats around the lagoon. No access issues at all.

Walt Disney Studios

Flying Carpets over Agrabah – Ride vehicles are plenty large enough for me, similar to dumbo sizing.

Crush’s Coaster – I haven’t tried this ride as I was advised by the cast member at the front that it was unlikely I would fit in the vehicle and nobody wants to wait as long as the crush’s coaster queue just to not fit at the end of it 😂 . I understand that it is a tight lap bar. My friend is a size 22 and quite tall, she said she struggled with this ride but fit with help from a CM forcing the bar down.

Cars Rallye – The back seat of this ride is larger than the front. I can fit in this if I sit in the back and my nieces sit in the front. This ride makes me feel a bit sick though 😂

Ratatouille – wide bench seats in your rat-mobile I found that I fit easily, bar comes down over you. The CMs usually notice you are larger and don’t add a single rider with you, if they do then I can be a little snug, but not unbearable.

Toy Soldiers Parachute drop – this ride is fine, has a lap belt and a bar that comes down. The bar was tight on my legs and stomach but fitted over me, I didn’t find this comfortable though and wouldn’t do it again.

Slinky Dog – I haven’t actually tried this to know, the vehicles don’t look particularly small though. I would try it but my nieces didn’t want to queue for it so I wasn’t going to do it on my own. 😂

RC Racer – This is an overhead seat belt which I cannot fit in. There is a plus size seat in the front row which has a blue headrest to identify it. This chair is used for anyone who may need more room so you may have to wait longer for it.

Tower of Terror – very narrow turnstiles again like buzz. If you go up in the lift to the right there are less steps once you come out, the lift to the left has a few flights of stairs to walk up to get to your lift. Once on the ride there is a lap belt which fits me with plenty of room to spare … word of warning about TOT it would appear the larger you are the more ‘air’ you get in the drops! I come out of my seat to full extension of the seat belt 😂

Armageddon – This is a walk through attraction so is accessible to all.

Rock and Rollercoaster – This is an overhead safety harness so once again I am unable to ride this rollercoaster because of my chest.

I have found that the cast members are super helpful on the rides, so if you are at all unsure whether you will fit then please ask them and they will advise you accordingly.

Well, that was another long blog post so it looks like there will be a Part Three. I will cover Plus Size shopping at DLP, The Disney Village and Access to shows and parades as well as any other little tidbits I can think of 😊

Thanks so much for sticking with me on this blog and for all the lovely messages on Twitter about the first part – I’m glad people are finding it useful

With Love

Alyssa xx

** This blog is entirely made up of my personal experiences and opinions, you may find that your experience differs from mine as we are all different shapes and sizes. I have been as transparent as I can be about my size and shape but please do contact me if you have any further questions **

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Plus size Disney – All my outfits from my last trip.

Hello Friends!

I am often asked about my outfits both when and I am in the parks and when I get back and post photos. So, I thought it might be a good idea to share my Disney trip wardrobe rundowns in a blog when I get back. (Sorry this one is excessively late)

We arrived on the Friday lunchtime and didn’t actually go into the parks until the evening event. The event we were attending was the Hollywood Tower of Terror 10th anniversary party which was specifically for Annual Passholders. When it was announced that we could attend in 1930s fancy dress, I couldn’t resist! I made myself an off the shoulder floor length navy sequin gown and Mark wore a dinner suit with a mickey bow tie and cummerbund. (A full review of the night is in an earlier blog post)

Saturday was my Pirates day! I knew that the Pirates and Princess season was starting this weekend and decided to support the pirates team with my outfit this day! I made this dress and ears with pirate themed fabric I purchased on eBay

With my pirate (close up of ears)

Easter Sunday is always my fave Disney day of the year, For as long as I can remember Easter Sunday brunch is Alice in Wonderland themed! This means all my fave characters and usually my Cheshire Cat makes an appearance too 😍

This year I decided to wear my Queen if Hearts themed dress from Be Ba Go the interaction from characters was amazing. I had the best day!

Finally on the Monday Mark and I decided to wear our Muppets outfits. My dress and Mark’s shirt were made by the lovely Kaz at Frockasaurus and I made the ears to match myself

I hope you have enjoyed seeing what I wore on my latest trip! What was your fave one?

I will be back tomorrow with part 2 of my Plus Size at DLP blog.

Thanks for Stopping by!

Alyssa xx

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Celebrate STAR WARS WORLD DAY 2018 at Disneyland Paris!

Come celebrate May the 4th at Disneyland Paris with a multitude of surprises in store

#MayThe4thBeWithYou

Star Wars fans have designated the 4th of May as THE official date to celebrate the well-known film saga, thanks to the pertinent play-on-words it evokes. By force of circumstance, the date “May the 4th” inevitably calls to mind the film’s cult phrase: “May the Force be with you”. More than a simple festivity, over the years this date has become truly a wide-spread celebration, made famous for the massive costumed gatherings of die-hard Star Wars fans that take place throughout the world. This year, Disneyland Paris is officially celebrating the 4th of May with a special programme.

THE day to come dressed up in Star Wars™ mode with family or friends

Exceptionally, in order to celebrate #MayThe4thBeWithYou, Disney Parks are allowing guests to come dressed up* as their favourite Star Wars characters. Jedi Masters, young Padawans, Sith or smugglers… you are all invited to wear your best “out-of-this-world” outfit in tribute to the Star Wars™ saga. So dust off your lightsaber and start styling your best Princess Leia hairdo!

* For security reasons, wearing a headdress or mask that completely covers the face is

prohibited for guests 12 years and older.

A special celebration at Discoveryland Theatre

On May the 4th, Disneyland Paris is inviting you to storm in and take over Discoveryland, which will be showcasing the sights and sounds of Star Wars! Head to Discoveryland Theatre where you can meet R2-D2, before taking a seat to see one of five special celebratory shows. Each one of them will be hosted by French Star Wars specialist Patrice Girod and will feature a big Star Wars quiz where there will be numerous prizes to be won. They will conclude revealing behind-the-scene shots from the latest film SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY. The film is released in France on 23 May and will screen at Cannes Film Festival.

And to finish the celebrations the best way, Chewbacca, the world-famous Wookiee will also be making exceptional appearances on his way out of Discoveryland Theatre, to give you the chance to take a few photos by his side, before he leaves on another mission…

Polish off your Star Wars look at the specialised makeup stand

The makeup teams at Disneyland Paris will be on hand to provide you with professional makeup in the style of your favourite characters!

Dare to face Darth Vader

Once you’ve finished completing your Star Wars look, come face-to-face with the formidable Darth Vader and immortalise this moment at Star Port!

Experience thrilling sensations…

Throughout this special day, you will of course be able to experience the park attractions specially dedicated to the George Lucas saga:

Star Tours: The Adventures Continue

New experiences, new destinations, new characters, new technologies… The attraction’s latest version strikes back, with an original, exciting, 3D intergalactic journey… Epic. As a recent addition, it even features a new adventure on the planet Crait, one of the locations from the film Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain

For the 25th anniversary of Disneyland Paris, Star Wars took over one of the park’s mythical space attractions, offering a unique experience: Space Mountain thus became “Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain”. As part of this new adventure, guests at Disneyland Park take flight through a ground-breaking atmosphere to meet up with the famous Rebel Alliance and experience an epic, sensation-packed expedition – a totally immersive experience into the world of Star Wars, to the sound of the original soundtrack composed by John Williams.

Bonus: FASTPASS for fans in costume

Come dressed up as your favourite Star Wars characters and you could win VIP FASTPASS tickets for these attractions!

Eat like a Jedi

The Café Hyperion in Discoveryland will be offering an ideal meal for Star Wars fans with its Jedi Burger and themed dessert based on the films! The Force will also be strong with the snacks sold outside in Discoveryland. Get your popcorn in a collectible Star Wars bucket in the form of a TIE fighter, or have a refreshing drink served in a Chewbacca or Stormtrooper mug.

Stock up on souvenirs from a galaxy far, far away

Surrounded by décor taken straight out of a Star Destroyer, the Force will be with you while you wander through the Star Traders shop where you can find a whole host of clothing and sports accessories based on the Star Wars theme. The very first products created for the release of SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY will be available and you will also find a set of collector pins created especially for this special day.

Enjoy an epic night-time show

As the sun goes down, head to the foot of the Castle to enjoy Disney Illuminations. This original show, inaugurated for the 25th Anniversary of Disneyland Paris, includes sound and light shows, video projections, water fountains and fireworks that will take your breath away. You will be guided through a multitude of adventures – in a galaxy far, far away – featuring the Millennium Falcon, TIE Fighters, Stormtroopers and more. The Force is with you at Disney Illuminations, with a sequence of live action shots to delight all Star Wars fans.

And soon to be seen on the big screen SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY

SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY throws viewers into a series of twists and turns at the speed of light, dragging them into the dangerous criminal underworld, where new unfailing friendships are forged and where the hidden past secrets of one of our most memorable Star Wars™ heroes will be revealed.Han Solo meets his faithful co-pilot Chewbacca for the first time and comes face-to-face with the notorious crook Lando Calrissian. Together and against all odds, they launch themselves into a hopeless mission which will forever cement the charismatic personality of the smuggler who has since conquered the hearts of viewers.

THE FILM WILL BE SHOWN AS PART OF THE OFFICIAL SELECTION (OUT OF COMPETITION) AT THE 2018 CANNES FILM FESTIVAL

A Plus Size Perspective – Disneyland Paris Resort. Part One

Hey Friends!

I have been intending to do this post for some time and it wasn’t until I sat down to write it that I realised that I would need to break it down into a few blogs!

Going to any Theme Park as a Plus Size person can be a daunting prospect, I know before I came to DLP for the first time I spent ages googling to see what I could find out about rides, walking distances, waiting lines and anything else I could think of that might pose a problem for me. There really wasn’t very much information. I’m hoping to help with that here on my little blog.

A bit about me

In case you’re wondering what qualifies me to speak on this subject, I’ll let you know a few things about me. I’m just over 5ft 6″ tall, am a size 32/34 top half and a size 26/28 bottom half so am very much more top heavy in my Plus Sizeness. I would qualify as a ‘super fat’ within the given names we have for ourselves in the Plus Size community and have always been in that scale since visiting Disneyland Paris. My fitness isn’t amazing, although that’s something I’m working to improve. I have attended the parks whilst recovering from DVT so can advise in a ‘less mobile’ capacity too.

This is what I look like in my happy place

Before you go

The first question I think you need to ask yourself when booking a trip to Disney is where do you want to stay?

A day on your feet in a Disney park is no laughing matter, especially when you are larger than the average person. So where you stay and the distance you have to travel at the end of a long park day, with painful Disney feet, is something to seriously consider.

When you decide to book Disneyland Paris you will see that there are six ‘on site’ Disneyland Paris hotels to choose from as well as many ‘partner hotels’ which are near the resort.

The Disneyland Hotel is the closest (and most expensive) of all the hotels. It’s the beautiful pink building that makes up the entrance to the parks and is by far the most convenient of all the hotels.

To get from the parks to any other hotel is initially an uphill walk through fantasy gardens into the Disney village. Once in the village you can turn left and exit towards the train station where there are bus stops to take you to all of the other on site hotels, as well as many of the partner hotels. Should you choose to walk to your onsite hotel, you go through the village and out to the right hand side of the lake to go to;

The Newport Bay Club, this is approximately a slow 15 min walk from the park. The hotel has been recently refurbished and for design and comfort is the nicest hotel after the DLH in my opinion.

You turn to the left hand side of the lake to go to;

Hotel New York, this is approximately a slow 10 min walk from the park. This hotel is a business centre so is not to everyone’s taste, it is being refurbished later in 2018 though and will have a Marvel theme

Sequoia Lodge, this is approximately a slow 15 min walk from the park. This hotel appears to be a family favourite. It has a wooden lodge design and a lovely bar with a huge open fire.

Cheyenne (Cowboy/Toy Story Themed) and Santa Fe (Mexicans/Cars Themed) are also available to walk to, but as I have never done it I cannot tell you how long it would take me. I have always caught the on site bus when staying at these hotels, both of which are the budget options for Disneyland Paris.

All of the on site Disney hotels have disabled access, disabled/adapted rooms and the buses are wheelchair accessible. I have had no issues with any of the beds in the on site hotels, they are adequately sized and comfortable. They all have over bath shower facilities with those annoying shower curtains that stick to you. The baths are small, I doubt I would fit comfortably laying down but have never tried, all of the baths have handles to help with access though. Overall, they are easy to access and adequately sized as a shower facility, again I have had no issues with the bathrooms or toilet facilities in the on site hotels.

In the Parks

Accessibility

I hate that the first thing I have to list is a negative thing, but the very first obstacle you will encounter as a Plus Size visitor to DLP are the access turnstiles. Now, the ones at the entrance to the park aren’t to narrow, I can fit through them sideways without issue. There is an alternative to the turnstiles though as there is a door in the middle of each set of turnstiles, some cast members will notice and offer you to go through, others you may need to ask, but I’ve never found it a problem.

While we are on turnstiles, you will notice that they are a continuous nightmare throughout the parks. Access to some rides is via turnstile, these turnstiles are smaller than the ones at the entrance to the parks. I can fit through them on tippytoes sideways but it’s a bit of a squeeze. You can ask the CM if you can go through the access gates instead if you are worried you won’t fit.

Turnstile bruises are something you accept as a Disneyland Paris fan, my legs are always bruised after a trip!

Getting around

Be prepared to walk for miles and miles on an average day at a Disney Park. Disneyland Paris’s two parks are relatively flat so you won’t be trekking up and down hills or steps constantly but even flat walking can take its toll when you are a plus sized person.

Should you struggle with the walking, you are able to hire a wheelchair at Disneyland Paris, if you have an infinity Annual Pass this is a free service, you just have to pay a deposit which is returned to you. There is a daily fee if you do not have an annual pass though and the seats on the wheelchairs are quite small, if you may need a chair to assist you during your trip, I would advise bringing your own.

Disneyland Paris do not have a relationship with a company offering mobility scooters, there are some which will bring one to your hotel for you to use though this site seems to the be the one that most people use. Please be aware that they do not offer mobility scooters for anyone over the weight of 18 stones, so you may need to bring your own. Also, mobility scooters cannot be left unattended so if they need charging during the day, you will be required to stay with the device as it charges.

Walking around the park there are plenty of benches, tables and chairs for you to rest on should you need to, It is also allowed to sit on the pavements when waiting for parades and shows. Queue lines often don’t have anywhere to sit/rest/lean, these are the times I feel the fatigue the most. Standing still can put a lot of pressure on your feet and joints as a Plus Size person, in some instances you may be able to sit off to the side and join your party nearer the front of the queue, however, many rides will not allow this. If you have a physical condition which hinders you standing for a long Period then you may apply for a disability pass which will allow you to be given a return time equivalent to the time you would have waited in the queue. You will need a Dr’s letter to be considered for one of these passes.

To prevent you getting blog reading fatigue I am going to stop this part of the blog here! The next parts of the blog will cover; the accessibility of rides at Disneyland Paris, show and parade access, plus size shopping at DLP and the Disney Village.

I hope you have found this section useful and come back for future instalments!

With Love

Alyssa xxx

** This blog is entirely made up of my personal experiences and opinions, you may find that your experience differs from mine as we are all different shapes and sizes. I have been as transparent as I can be about my size and shape but please do contact me if you have any further questions **

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Pirates and Princesses – My thoughts on DLP Spring season 2018

Are you a Princess? Are you a Pirate?

Be prepared to make that choice a lot during the Spring season at Disneyland Paris this year!

Festival of Pirates and Princesses runs from 31st March until the 31st May 2018. I was lucky enough to experience the opening weekend of this lively new season so thought I’d give you all a run down of my thoughts!

Let’s run through a day in the Pirate and Princess schedule …

So, What’s new?

  • The Pirates vs Princess Parade/Show “Disney Pirate or Princess – Make your choice” which runs 4 times per day.
  • The Princess Promenade with Elena of Avalor and Sophia the First which runs 4 times per day.
  • Hoist the flag Mateys with Captain Jack Sparrow which runs 6 times per day.

The not so new …

  • Mickey presents – Happy Anniversary Disneyland Paris which runs twice a day
  • Meet and Greets with characters throughout the Park and various locations
  • Disney Stars on Parade which runs daily at 5pm and
  • Disney Illuminations Which is at park closing daily.

Positives

  • The Spring Season is back with gusto at Disneyland Paris!! A fully interactive day packed full of fun, colour, music and entertainment is what you can expect from this season if you are attending . The atmosphere throughout the park when so many shows are happening during the day is electric, with the entire parade route being used as well as the castle stage and the hub – there is always something to see.
  • ‘Disney Pirate or Princess – Make your choice’ – WHAT A SHOW! This parade has everything you could want from a Disney show; Beautiful colourful floats, Princesses, Pirates, Mermaid Ariel 💜, dance routines, live singing, acrobatics, audience interaction, amazing costumes, Prince Mickey, Pirate Minnie … it is AMAZING. There are three key places to watch this parade. Each team stop and perform a brief show on the way into the Hub, the team heading down from Small World stop at the castle stage and the team heading up from Town Square stop on Main Street. The team in each location alternates each show. The floats then head into the hub where the teams then do dance routines on the stages. Please be aware, whilst the centre of the hub is an amazing viewpoint for all the stages, you cannot get out of the hub until the parade has moved on. This show/parade was by far my highlight of the season, I could easily watch all 4 shows every day and see something different each time.
  • The Princess Promenade is cute, it confuses me slightly why they are not included in the parade as Jake the pirate has been incorporated into the pirates section of the show, but their dance through the park is well received and the younger children seemed to really enjoy seeing them out as they are rarer characters that are aimed at the younger audience.
  • I personally loved that despite having so many shows throughout the day in the theme of the season, they have still kept 2 showings of the Happy Anniversary show. I love this show on the castle stage and even though I’ve seen it many time I still watched it this trip because I love it!
  • Seasonal treats have been released, one of my friends sampled the Princess cupcake and said it was delicious, there is also a Pirates version. Other seasonal releases include the Cinderella carriage popcorn bucket, a Princess candy apple and Princess vs Pirate ice cream cones! I do love themed treats!

Negatives

  • Hoist the flags mateys … well, I’m not sure if it was opening weekend teething issues but what a shambles. There is limited access for viewing each show and frankly what you do see isn’t worth the bun fight to get a spot in my opinion. However, this was my only disappointment of the season.

In summary …

I went into this season expecting to hate it because it was replacing my beloved Swing into Spring, but was pleasantly surprised how much I actually loved it.

For me, Pirates and Princesses is taking Spring back to where it was a few years ago in DLP, a vibrant engaging season which keeps you entertained throughout the park all day long.

Bravo to the wonderful entertainment team who make these shows so high energy and engaging. It’s impossible to cast compliment the entire show/parade crew and performers but they are the guys that provide the magic of bringing the season to life.

Keep up the good work DLP, if the Marvel Summer Of Super Heroes is a patch on this season then we have lots of magic to look forward to!

Much Love

Alyssa xx

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Exciting new packages from Disneyland Paris – available from Today!

Signature Collection

New, limited-edition Disneyland Paris packages

Disneyland Paris, Europe’s leading tourist destination, is launching the Signature Collection: a range of limited-edition packages to give every guest the ability to choose and personalize their own experience in the way best-suited to their expectations.

Signature Collection packages are creating a spectacular experience packed with memorable moments, whether it’s an immersive adventure in the Marvel universe or a celebration for a special occasion. Those packages include accommodation in a Disney Hotel, Disney Park tickets and other premium and unique themed experiences.

SIGNATURE MARVEL PACKAGE

First of all, a dive into the Marvel universe!  The Signature Marvel Package invites guests to experience incredible moments. This limited-edition packet is available for arrivals from 10 June to 30 September 2018 during the Marvel Summer of Super Heroes.

The Signature Marvel Package1 includes:

– A stay at one of the seven Disney® Hotels

– Disney® Park tickets

Plus these extras:

– An American-style buffet dinner with Captain America, Thor and Black Widow

– An exclusive encounter with Spider-Man

– A €60 gift card to spend at Disney® Parks and World of Disney stores. It’s the perfect opportunity to find a Marvel Super Hero costume!

– A Disney PhotoPassTM+ to capture every epic moment

The Signature Marvel Package is an opportunity to experience even more of what Disneyland Paris has to offer during the new Marvel Summer of Super Heroes season, which promises interactive adventures for everyone who visits.

Available for sale from 06 March 2018 through 29 September 2018 inclusive, for arrivals between 10 June and 30 September 2018.

SIGNATURE CELEBRATION PACKAGE

Need inspiration for an anniversary celebration or another significant occasion? Disneyland® Paris will make this special day completely unforgettable. To make this unique moment even more amazing, two exceptional guests, Mickey, Minnie and Goofy, will make a special appearance. During our 25th Anniversary celebration, we’re adding a touch of magic with Disneylicious treats and goodies galore.

The limited-edition Signature Celebration Package1 includes:

– A stay at one of the seven Disney® Hotels

– Disney® Park tickets

And to make this Signature Celebration visit a unique experience:

– A fabulous teatime with Disney characters who will celebrate this very special moment at the Lucky Nugget Saloon

– A one-day VIP FASTPASS® that gives unlimited access to our most popular attractions

– A gift bag full of Disney goodies

– A Disney PhotoPassTM+ to capture every memorable moment

Available for sale from 06 March 2018 through 29 September 2018 inclusive, for arrivals between 10 June and 30 September 2018.

Exciting times at Disneyland Paris!! Official Press Release!

NEWS: Disney Announces Transformative Multi-Year Expansion for Disneyland Paris

PARIS, February 27, 2018 – Today, Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company Robert A. Iger announced plans for a 2 billion euro, multi-year expansion for Disneyland Paris alongside French President Emmanuel Macron at the Palais de l’Elysée in Paris. The new development will include a transformation of the Walt Disney Studios Park, adding three new areas that are based on Marvel, Frozen and Star Wars, along with multiple new attractions and live entertainment experiences.

The expansion plan is one of the most ambitious development projects at Disneyland Paris since its opening in 1992 and underscores the Company’s commitment to the long-term success of the resort as Disney’s brand beacon in Europe.

“We’re very excited about the future of Disneyland Paris and continue to invest in its long-term success,” said Robert A. Iger, chairman and chief executive officer of The Walt Disney Company. “The resort is already the leading tourist destination in Europe, and the transformative expansion we announced today will add even more of our beloved characters and unparalleled storytelling to create new lands, attractions and entertainment that further elevate the guest experience and drive new opportunities for tourism in this dynamic region.”

The new areas will infuse some of Disney’s most popular stories and characters into this unique destination, building upon the success of the resort’s 25th Anniversary celebration and continuing to enhance the guest experience for millions of Europeans.

With over 320 million visits since 1992 and representing 6.2 percent of France’s tourism income, Disneyland Paris has played a key leadership role in tourism for the region. The resort continues to be a powerful driver of economic and social development with over 16,000 employees representing 100 nationalities. This investment will help make the region even more dynamic and appealing and open up more opportunities for French and European citizens in the tourism industry.

The multi-year development will roll out in phases beginning in 2021, significantly expanding the Walt Disney Studios Park. In addition to the three new areas, the creative vision includes a new lake, which will be the focal point for entertainment experiences and will also connect each of the new park areas.

In the spring of 2017, Disneyland Paris kicked off its 25th Anniversary celebration including new entertainment and experiences for guests. The resort also completed a two-year refurbishment program, updating and renovating many of the classic attractions in the parks, as well as opening multiple new entertainment shows such as Mickey and the Magician, which won a 2017 International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions theme park industry award for “Best Theatrical Production.” Additionally, several major renovations took place at the resort’s hotels including Disney’s Newport Bay Club, which is now a four-star hotel.

Just this month, Disneyland Paris announced plans for a new Marvel-themed attraction that will be coming to the Walt Disney Studios, part of the new Marvel area development. In 2020, the resort will open Disney’s Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel, a reimagining of Disney’s Hotel New York that will showcase the inspiring worlds of Iron Man, The Avengers, and Spider-Man, among others. And this summer, the Marvel Summer of Super Heroes seasonal event will take place at Disneyland Paris, where guests can meet their favourite heroes and experience new live entertainment.

DLP – Exclusive interview with Sylvie Massara re: Hotel New York Re-imagination!

Official press release from Disneyland Paris.

Just a few days ago, Bob Chapek, Chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, announced the “reimagination” of the Disney’s Hotel New York into a new Marvel-themed Hotel. Today, we’re thrilled to share new details of the rooms in a conversation with Sylvie Massara (Artistic Director at Walt Disney Imagineering Creative Paris).

Can you explain the concept of the future Disney’s Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel to us?

When it re-opens, the Disney’s Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel will evoke the contemporary sophistication of the city that was the birthplace of the Marvel Super Heroes, and the scriptwriters and artists who created them. So the renovation of Disney’s Hotel New York is based on an environment inspired by the luxurious and contemporary buildings of Manhattan! The refined and cosmopolitan interior decor will evoke the neighbourhoods of the Avengers and will display “The Art of Marvel” in public spaces. “Comic art” posters, sketches, videos, storyboards, sculptures and costumes are the many examples of the Art of Marvel that will be included in the hotel’s overall decor, just like a contemporary art gallery in Chelsea.

What inspired you in your new designs for the bedrooms?

The hotel has 476 standard rooms, 65 executive, 15 themed suites, 8 “standard” suites and 2 presidential suites. The interior decor of the bedrooms will be inspired by the urban contemporary and sophisticated style of Tony Stark, with a range of colours and finishes evoking Iron Man! The themed suites will be inspired by the world of Spider-Man and the Avengers, whilst the “standard” and presidential suites will have a more neutral decor in order to welcome our Convention clientele. As in the rooms, limited editions of the Art of Marvel will decorate the hotel’s walls, as if they were exhibited in an art gallery.

Apart from the design, are there any details that you would like to share with us relating to improving the comfort of the rooms and suites?

Apart from evoking the Marvel Super Heroes, the rooms and suites will provide larger flat-screens hidden behind a mirror, all the necessary European connections and sockets, along with a brighter bathroom with a bath or shower.

Are you excited about the new hotel design?

Alyssa xx