Trip to Disneyland Paris (April 2012) - Day 2

So it was our only day in the parks today and we were determined to do as many attractions as we could. We got up at 8am and had breakfast at 8.30am...we went over to the Studios and got there at about 9.30ish. There was a bit of trouble exchanging my avios voucher as apparently they'd never seen one before but soon it was done.

In we went and of course we had a bit of a sprint and went over to Crush's Coaster - I assured Francesca it was worth it. We get on in under 20 minutes which was fantastic...well we would have done if the ride hadn't broken down for about 20 minutes. Anyway 40 minutes later the ride was done - we both loved it. What a wild ride.

Then it was time to go for some more thrill rides - we went over to Toy Soldier's Parachute Drop and used the single rider queue to get on in under 5 minutes. Then it was over to RC Racer which I was dreading.

I am absolutely petrified of this attraction. 10 minutes wait later and i was on. I held on very tightly and it turned out it was a load of fun, I did brace myself to stop myself falling forward and that made it very bearable and actually quite fun.

We walked over to the Tower of Terror and I thought "10 minutes? If we're going to do it...let's do it now before I chicken out."After my experience last April where I almost died with fear, I was very apprehensive about this one. I'd warned Francesca about this one but she was having none of it.

And oh what fun it was! When we dropped the first time, Francesca's hand darted onto my thigh and held on for dead life! It was hilarious. Still petrifying but a lot more fun. I think the trick is not to hold the rails which you can hold on. Always a ride where everyone screams and I think it has become one of my new favourites...not one I'll gone on a million times but much more fun than before. The atmosphere is amazing and this ride shows what all cast members should be like, saying lines such as "your rooms are ready" really adds to the atmosphere. Before you go into the pre-show they say "good evening" even if it is broad daylight and in the pre-show room one cast member stamped loudly in time with the video to scare people. The lady we had on this ride who loaded us was absolutely fantastic. Really played her part! Wish I'd got her name.

All the rides also seemed to have a yellow strap which you pull on now instead of the seatbelt - I noticed this on ToT, Parachute and RC Racer.

We went over to RnR and got a fastpass and then went over to Animagique - which was brilliant as usual. Singing along is the way forward! We went back to Rock n Rollerocaster and...it was down. Wah :(

So off we went to Disneyland Park and grabbed a Fastpass for Big Thunder Mountain. As we were nearby I checked the wait times for "Meet Mickey Mouse" on the iPhone App and it was just 5 minutes, so we speed walked over and got a photo with the mouse himself! My first photo with Mickey after 4 trips! It's a cool concept to have a place where you can meet Mickey throughout the day, though Francesca said he smelled haha. The lighting in there is far from perfect by the way Disney! Luckily the new photo location opens up later this month (May).  The themeing was brilliant for a temporary attraction.

Then we went over to Pirates of the Carribbean which is still the most immersive ride in the park in my opinion. Absolutely brilliant even though a few effects were missing...Fran got scared of the first drop haha as she didn't see it coming.

We then went for some lunch at Au Chalet de la Marionette - chicken , chips, drink and an ice cream for 14e. This is my fave fast food place in Disneyland Paris as the food is decent quality and you do get loads and after that long day so far we needed it.

We went to watch the parade which was great and the new additions such as the fairies at the start are very cool, as well as the horse-drawn carriages. Peter Pan was brilliant as well!

I went over to Casey Jnr which had a 10 minute queue and saw Marie who still remembered me and we hugged across the carriages which was a bit awkward for those guests but it was nice seeing her again. I think went over to Storybook to see the rest of the gang who were there. I stopped Rafa as she was going into the attraction and she said it had been so long and only then did it hit me that yes - it had been 4 months now! WOW!! We had a short conversation where she asked if I was tourist for the day and I said yes and then I said how there were remarkably few people which was great. She said if ever there was anyone I knew at the unload of the attractions to just ask and they'd let me on which was still super nice considering I didn't work for them anymore.

When I reached the grouper Thibaud was loading and he didn't recognise me at first, until I went "bonjour!" and then we had a quick convo as I loaded - of course he alerted the whole ride to the fact I was there and all the other staff said hi which was nice. At the end they were all there to greet me including Marie again and they asked when I'd be back to which I said "hopefully in the summer! if they invite me!" and they said to just keep trying and I'd soon be back. I'd almost forgotten how brilliant the whole team were and that's the reason why working at Disney is so much fun! I bid my farewells and hoped to see them soon! It was a strange feeling being back at my work location as a guest but even more rewarding knowing who works there.

We'd just got Peter Pan's Flight fastpasses and still had a while till the return time so we went on Big Thunder Mountain, Phantom Manor and went over to Space Mountain and got a fastpass for that with the intention of returning later.

So we wanted to use that Rock N Rollercoaster fastpass and went to Walt Disney Studios...through backstage as it's quicker. I may have picked up a backstage magazine along the way ssshhh.... Fran saw one of her friends which I met which was nice as well.

Once in the Studios park we went over to Rock N Rollercoaster to find out that it HAD re-opened, but that it was closed once again. This meant that we got another ride on the Tower of Terror - the cast members were brilliant once again with the exception of one who was very, very rude to an English guest. The ride was scarier than earlier on that day: maybe because we thought we could handle it again and knew what to expect but it just felt rougher and faster.

Then, pain stuck for Francesca as her foot cramped up completely. We took a bit of a break by sitting down on a bench and she said she needed to go back to the hotel for a break. I wasn't going to leave Fran on her own so I went with her and we chilled in the hotel for about 2 hours (note that had we spent this time in the park we could have completed all the other attractions so it really was a very empty day!). This was a welcome break and the little rest really re-energised us. At about 21:00 we left to Disneyland Park again to watch disney dreams. We got there at about 21:25 and got a spot in front of the castle! In the middle of central plaza with a great view of everything. I then went and grabbed a hot dog to eat while we waited - delicious, but 6.40e is a bit steep!!

Dreams was absolutely spectacular, I'd recommend you don't watch videos beforehand to not spoil it as that did spoil it a bit. Also if you have cameras and are at Disneyland for multiple days, put them down the first time you watch it! Watch it the first time without distractions and you'll appreciate it more. I'd also recommend standing further back than I did - right near Casey's Corner seems the perfect place to be. Where I was I missed out of the fountains on the far left. The further back you are there the less you'll see the details in the castle as well, which is better.

Disney Dreams was fantastically designed and definitely what Disneyland Park needed. If only the studios stayed open late too...maybe in a few years.

Then, it was off back to the hotel for a good night's sleep.
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About Giovanni Costa

Radio journalist, newspaper editor, travel writier, tour guide and Disney Cast Member. These are just some of the things Gio has done in the past few years. He loves visiting new destintions, trying new food and wants you to come along for the ride!
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