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Despite our slightly stumbly trip back from Mcdonalds, we made it back to the hotel in where Part 3 of the trip shall now entail. After a waking alarm at 7am, packing our bags and everything, we headed back to Disney, this time using Peajy Taxis instead of the train. During the 2nd day at the park, we gain a sixth person to our party, Sam [Lightyear93] as one of my sixth form mates was able to join us for the day [who is currently doing a placement in Paris]. He too has a Disney Pass. After failing to get my lovely chocolate croissant due an arrogant Frenchman in front at Mainstreet, I sadly had to settle for a normal bog standard one [though Alex kindly let me have a bite of his] where our first ride of the day would be Pinoccio's Daring Voyage. And what a loverly little dark ride it was. I've always had a soft spot for the Disney film [for some reason]. 7/10 better than the random knock off at Tivoli World. After giving a little whistle while we worked our way in Fantasy Land, we did the Snow White ride which was nearby. This was another exciting little dark ride which I really enjoyed and definitely had a lot more details and effects than what I had watched on POVs from ages ago and was very enjoyable, 7.5/10. I preffered the Snow White ride to the Pinoccio one, because I think it told the film's story just a little better and showed us more key scenes, eventhough the latter is a little higher on my list of favourite Disney films. In terms of all fantasy land dark ride, I would put Snow White first, with Pinoccio closely following second with Peter Pan third and it's A Small World unsurprisingly being fourth. We will take in a few shots of the Castle [because you can never see too much of the castle], before we check in to somewhere much different. We had problems with our hotel earlier one so were directed to this place which definitely looks a grand giant place. This Place sure looks like it hasn't been worked on for quite a while. It was moments later we were sent to the hotel's library where we waited for our rooms to be ready, just as the television suddenly turned on and told us about a strange incident that took place over 70 years, before we got sent to the service lift where we entered and left the Twilight zone. Twillight Tower of Terror is an absolutely fantastic attraction, highly immersive from beginning to end, starting with the creepy worn hotel foyer with the very much in character bell hoppers, the mysteriously themed library room, the eiry boiler plus the ride itself which is packed with some amazing scenes and effects on top of a drop sequence that upstages even Detonator, the weightless you feel is just amazing. I almost lost my Goofy hat my second go too Definitely the best ride at the resort, best drop tower I've done and my favourite dark ride which shoots straight up to number 1 on my dark ride top 10, where the result of the new credits of high quality dark rides on this trip have placed Hex down to 3rd. 11/10 Now on to an even bigger opinion splitter than Saw The Ride, Animagique. Alex hates this, but Peaj loves this, but what would I reckon to it? The show was alright. It was fun, it was cheesy and featured some good old fashion Disney fun with Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and a string of other characters from Disney classics wrapped up in song and dance. It was very interesting how they did all the backdrops and transitions during the show and you can't fault a show that features Mickey in it. 6/10 I would much rather watch this on repeat all day than riding it's a Small World. During our time, we managed to experience Lights Motors Action, which was an absolutely amazing packed action show full of impressive stunts, effects and car chases featuring quite a few Vauxhal Astra cars [Adam's after us]. 7/10 Then It was Cinemagique which was an absolutely magical show, featuring the story of a man who answers his phone during the movie and is then sucked in to a reel of films from the ages including early black and white films, westerns and even Star Wars. There's also a Damsel in distress throughout the action too where both end up together through film. There's even a few touchy moments too including the end of Toy Story 3. 8/10 Next up was Rock N Roller Coaster, a ride which for me was definitely the most coherant to my occupation due to it's theme on being a music studio. Despite it's split opinions on this rides [some love it, others hate it], I really enjoyed this, from the music studio theme to the launch which felt similar to Rita's but far more pleasant. I love the light sequences and inversions on top of the synced audio throughout the ride which feels like a superior and thrilling equivalent to X at Thorpe [where similar statements about both ride's similarities have been made]. This was [and still is] Sam's favourite Disney ride which is no surprise really, however he wasn't too happy to learn that this ride in the future is set to be re themed in to A spider man coaster, when this will happen I don't know but reckon 2018 once the 25 anniversary celebrations start to wear off and focus comes back to improving the park's ride line-up. From a Rock Tour to a Tour Of Rocks, as we went on the Studio Tram Tour ride. It was an ok ride, nothing special really, very mediocre if I'm honest. The canyon effects with the truck was interesting and the London scenes were an ok distraction, but otherwise the ride was mostly forgetable, 3/10. We also did Armageddon later on. The actual main section of the attraction was pretty impressive, where youre very much in the centre of a working film set featuring loads of effects such as things from the side and ceiling moving and falling off plus several moments of fire interactions so close, you almost believe you're going to burn for the slightest of milliseconds. The pre show however ruined this for me as it was so boring and incoherent and one of the few moments in the day I felt underwjelmed. 4/10 [the preshow is that bad]. After this ride we went off to Planet Hollywood as we were all getting really hungry [the tour having not helped] to eat with the stars. Despite containg some pretty decent movie related theming inside, I was a little concerned at how this restaurant would turn out having read some negative reviews on there recently. However luckilly we had a very good meal, the food was much better than expected although in some cases a little smaller than expected, the burger I had there was excellent. The guy serving us was very friendly and a right laugh, asking if all of us were having a lads holiday thing or something and quesitoning why we went Disney, before we explained why, such a fun restaurant. After this, it was time to parade out of the planetarium structure back in to Disneyland Park in time to catch the daily parade [after Peaj did some pintrading]. I didn't take as many pictures as I had originally hoped [probably because I was filming and the weather was pretty miserable at this moment in time].. Absolutely loved the parade, it's a staple activity for any trip to Disney long or short and is such a great sight seeing all the characters from Pinoccio to Frozen and Disney mascots with all the performers looking so happy and enthusiastic [and as one would hope]. I also love the soundtrack too. After this, we paraded back to the Studios and did Crush's Coaster which proved to be the longest wait of the ride at 60 minutes which in the end we just went for [high popularity+ Low Throughput= Forest Fire]. The first queuing section of the ride is a fairly dull cattlepen [least it;s undercover and features the odd bit of theming], but the indoors bit of the queue is much better due to the range of extensive theming and the Seagulls with their famous catchphrase. Whilst Cattlepen's, Low throughputs and long waits don't often indicate great rides, this was actually fantastic. I loved the interactive elements in the ride and spinning of the car on top of the numerous twists and turns throughout the circuit. This is probably my favourite spinning coaster now [topping even fury just], probably helped that Finding Nemo is another film I strongly enjoy. 9/10 [if it weren't for the queue and throughput I might have given it 10]. From one PIxar land to another, we headed to Pixar play land to get a ride on RC Racer. Sam poses with Buzz and Buzz Lightyear, The Rc Racer queue line is very well themed, it's a lot like a giant Scalextric track and builds up the ride quite well. Until you reach the indoor cattlepen, least it's still themed though. Rc Racer was a ride I really enjoyed, I loved the ride when it got to the high points during the ride as it offered a bit of air time each moment it did this, shame it was a bit on the short side, 7/10. We didnt do the parachute drop or slinky dog due to lack of time so moved on to something new. [imghttps://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xtf1/v/t1.0-9/11102662_948259215224775_6943918262360886461_n.jpg?oh=7685b2d40106df07c57ba166da4b4a85&oe=55DE2122&__gda__=1440660089_e78f3cdac430b41c58eece2a8f04b6d0[/img] Off to experience the park's latest addition Ratatouille, when approaching the ride you the attraction's own dedicated courtyard which features beautifully themed facade's to the ride and parisian style paving on top of a very picturesque centrepiece fountain. The queueline like most studios rides starts off rather cattle penny but for some reason feels more bearable queuing than most, maybe due to the atmospheric music, posters and bits of theming that are present in the surrounding areas, but then indoors again it becomes much more interesting due to the heavily themed Parisian rooftop style scenery and the interactive Gusteu who comes to life every few minutes in the queue. Ratatouiee for me is a very good dark. Whilst it doesn't quite top Tower & Pirates for me, it is overall a very fun interactive with lots of different features which work to a degree where it makes you feel like you're completely in the action from the kitchen chase to the exploding champagne bottle. 9/10 We entered the shop which like most at Disney is heavily themed plus featuring plenty of merchandise along the way too.It was also here Alex learned his disappointment on how he could've bought his Ratatouille hat for a cheaper price. The Studios Park had now closed for the day and from this moment onwards, I slowly got more of a feeling that the end was nearing, my magical trip to Disney was much nearer to the end. After this we went back to the main park and did another ride on Buzz Lightyear, Sam beat by quite a margin and Peaj dressed as Buzz with the mask and startled quite a few people in the ride's exit. Then we did it's a small world again [the horror] and in the process we had just missed our last chance at getting rides on Casey Jr & The Canal Boats as it was no 8pm. As we planned to leave the park around 9pm [before the crowds rounded up for another viewing of Dreams], we had around just an hour left to experience the magic of Disney and so it was decided we would experience two park staples once more, Pirates & Big Thunder. Pirates was amazing as ever [despite getting the slight stacking thing towards the end again] whilst despite appearing to have capacity problems as just one station was being used, Big Thunder was an excellent end to the trip featuring it's amazing layout in the twilight. Once our ride one Big Thunder was up, so was the Disney magic as it was time to prepare for the long journey back home. After slowly walking through the now lit streets of Main street for the last time this trip, Tom & I shopped around for merchandise in World Of Disney whilst Peaj and the others got food from the earl to eat just before our trip home. The World Of Disney shop is a massive place with loads of merchandise where I spent a good 90 euro or so on things to buy. One thing I have realised since going to Disney is unlike the uk parks, the big gift shops don't sell all the park merchandise so sadly I'll have to get a tower of terror and Rock N roller t-shirt on another visit. And once out of the shop, I said farewells to Sam who left just before us to get a train back to Paris and then reunited with Peaj & co. to eat my last Disney meal, an Earl Of Sandwich which was absolutely delicious and prepped me well for the long journey back. After final loo breaks and filling petrol up at the park's petrol station, we all headed off in the car watching Disneyland Paris slowly vanish and disappear in to the darkness with the smallest of tear in my eyes as the magic was over and we drove back to Calais ready to return to the real world. How Does Disneyland Paris Compare to everything in the UK so far? The park is amazing, it features heavy immersive theming, a great selection of rides, lots of shows and entertainment and decent park hours. Whilst the park has it's fair share of faults, the main park is in the middle of a parkwide refurbishment with scaffolding and closed attractions everywhere and the Studios seems to be an extreme of rides that are excellent such as Tower or poor such as Trams & Armageddon, I hate to admit it but the place wipes the floor with most of the uk offering. The overall magic of disney full of characters, theming and interaction verses the secondary full of rundown, mediocre themed and over kill of cattlepens can't be compared to what's just over the english channel.Then again, Disney has a much bigger budget for about everything, has the privilege of owning much more land and having much less hassling building issues such as landscape and noise pollution due to it's area. The uk themeparks however still win for me in the following categories though: Park Wifi Park Toilets They're easier to get to [mostly] So until my hopeful return here in September, I say Goodbye and head in to the sunlight of the real world once more.
Once Upon A Time, in a land of Merlin empire lived a Creaky Themepark Fanatic who had a life long dream to visit Disneyland Paris. Living under the curse for 21 years, many attempts to break the spell in 2014 were unleashed, but none prevailed. However many months later in to 2015, The Creek encountered Buzz Lightyear & Remy who cooked together a magic plan. Joined by a Mickey Taking Sorcerer. And The Spell Was Broken!!! Matt Creek had made it to Disneyland Paris. Transformed back to his normal Creaky Disney Self, he was about to enter a world full of magic and one that was immune to horrendous staggered opening hours, budget cuts, Fastrack sales, One Train operations and very run down areas. The Car Train which takes you from England to France, the beginner of the magic. We stayed at the Aparthotels in Val'D Europe during our stay which was very cheap and nice to stay in too [ a bit like having your own little apartment really]. Day 1 After a few hours sleep and croissants for breakfast, it was off to the most magical place in Europe [although it;s probably second after Europa]. The Val'D Europe Shopping centre, a predrink to all the magic. The platform for the train that takes you to Disney. And for One Euro Seventy, that really is rather magic. Matt Creek wears a Mickey Mouse shirt [and socks], to prepare himself for the magic A Double Decker train. What is this magic? And with a few moments like that, you arrive at the gates as if by magic. The surroundings of the Disney Village, we will experience that magic later And it is here where we find the real magic starts to work it's way in, OMG WE HAVE ARRIVED AT DISNEYLAND PARIS, I REPEAT WE HAVE ARRIVED AT DISNEYLAND PARIS!!!!! Spring theming at the entrance to the park. It's touches like this which make the surroundings even more magical Main Street USA, the theming and attention to detail is just magic. This theming is magic, But it is this view here where it really is truly Magic. Creek In The Magic The attention to detail in Main Street is just superb and just amazing. Pictures can't justify how great the setting and the build up to the castle in distance is superb. It's an even better park entrance view to Towers Street which in comparison to the vibrant Main Street looks like a worn out town during the recession. Magic More Magic The attention to detail in that Castle is magic!!! Another view as if by magic! Discovery Land, this area is lacking the magic more from the rest of the park at the moment. This is because Space Mountain is currently closed part of a long refurbishment. And with the covered scaffolding, elements of the different facades have magically disappeared. Videopolis whilst closed is looking fresh as if given a lick of paint by magic. And now it's off to do our first magical ride of the day, Star Tours. And here's an arcade after the ride. Least it's more magical than the one in Oblivion. Star Tours was an amazing first ride. The queue line was heavily themed with different spaceship crafts and characters from Star Wars and built up to the attraction rather nicely. The ride itself [was just as good as you went around in a spaceship like craft passing different scenes and settings from the Star Wars films and it really did feel as if you were flying. Rating 8/10. Inside The Magic Buzz Lightyear Laser Blasters, this ride has a magic throughput It's just as magical from the outside Some people don't think this ride is magical, but I can't find a mark anywhere Even The Shop Is Magical Buzz Lightyear Laser Blasters was a ride I really enjoyed. It didn't beat Star Tours in terms of my favourites but I did like the ride very much. I don't know why it receives haters because it is really a good ride and much better than Laser Raiders & Tomb Blaster [at least in it's current state]. 7/10 More Spring theming. It's just magic More Magic The Lion King. It's like I'm reliving my child hood, the magic Words can't express this magic A mysterious magical structure lies in the distance Which even a big green fence cannot destroy this magic It's magic I tell you The reason why Disney beat Merlin is because things like this are often magically well kept The Big Magic Thunder Mountain No Matter where you look at it from, it's completely magic There's so many photos taken from the trip, If I were to comment on all them, there would be a shortage on Magic. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is an absolutely amazing ride. The high quality immersive theming [which is present at most of Disneyland Paris] makes this ride look visually stunning. But what makes the ride from good to great is the fun impressive layout on this ride, from the exciting dive undrground at the start and the end of the ride to it's interaction with other ride trains and plenty of fun twists, turns and hills on the way. Big Thunder is now officially my favourite family coaster and so far best ride at Disney. 10/10 Phantom Manor, this place is full of dark magical things Just make sure you don't use your flash on inside, otherwise you will receive a magical complaint from staff Phantom Manor was another good ride. Not my top favourite, but I still really enjoyed it. I love rides with a dark, spooky and Gothic style theme and this ride falls in there nicely. I liked all the effects they used such as the hollow dancers and singing heads amongst other things. 7.5/10 The most magical thing about this chandelier is it's still standing and hasn't been been removed and left empty like a certain park ;] Now for a magical relaxing break. Am I the only one to think that this rock used to be more magical? The views of Big Thunder you get from Thunder Messa are truly magical Thunder Messa is a loverly little boat ride that takes you on a relaxing journey on the rivers of Frontier Land. it's such a relaxing ride to do and escape from the crowds [if there's any] and with the light green colour of the river, heavy level of trees and big thunder nearby, it feels like a nice gentle boat ride in America during the early 1900's. Even the walkways in disney are magic [and not mishmash tarmaced paths]. And That ends Part 1 of my trip report, part 2 coming round shortly full of rough boulders, Caves that you can get lost in for 15 minutes and much more Mickey taking.
With closed season no more than 3 weeks in and the blues, I was in major need of a major themepark kick to keep me going during this bleak season. Seeing as many are off (or even been already) to Disney Land Paris , something which for me is sadly not an option (at least at the moment (roll on 2015)). Apart from Winter Wonderland & the midway attractions (places I'll hopefully get to see next month), there was one other option left. Legoland Christmas event. Arriving just after 12:30pm (as a full day here isn't really required), my party and I headed towards the Hill Train area where after checking our tickets in the mostly unrecognisable Sweet shop building, we boarded the Hill Train where the overly enthusiastic station master helped us move the train with some magic words down to the wonderland that lay below! Above is the map of the park and what was open during the day. 14 attractions were opened up to guests including Laser Raiders, Spinning Spider and The Dragons Apprentice [amongst others]. There was also an elves workshop and Santas grotto for kids and several shops and restaurants also open too. Heading first to the Egyptian area and taking a ride the shooting ride Laser Raiders then Scarab Bouncers, we had now entered the park wonderland, however there wasn't too much to see greatly apart from the tree as it wasn't dark yet and the weather wasn't great. Several Caroulsel rides followed And a ride on the Big Wheel. Followed by numerous other attractions and the like, before having a sit down festive meal at the Knights Table. The food was pretty nice here, whilst certainly not the best it was still good quality. They even had some Christmas music playing inside which had it not been clashing with another nearby P.A system playing another somg wouldve made the perfect Christmas dinner atmosphere. And here's the castle area, which was home to the Grotto which was located around the pathway near the bug Dragon. Sadly the ride wasn't opened for the event. After doing a few more rides, my party and I took the train back to the top for some Christmas shopping in the Big Shop, wander through the Star Wars Walkthrough and claiming our free drink (given with the ticket) which was a needed relief before heading back down to the main park again where it was getting dark and really came to life with its beutiful lighting. And here is some of the many views of the Christmas lights you can see, and this is before we've even got in to the main park too. Snd this was the furthest point of the park accessible as Lego City and places beyond were off access during this event, infact theres a few bits of work going on in the area and the train's carriages were all missing. '241111_852667978117233_7606062392746846913_o' to? - See more at: http://s798.photobucket.com/user/mattthemepark/media/Facebook/Legoland%20Christmas%202014/241111_852667978117233_7606062392746846913_o.jpg.html? "]http://s798.photobucket.com/user/mattthemepark/media/Facebook/Legoland%20Christmas%202014/241111_852667978117233_7606062392746846913_o.jpg.html] But if you think this section of the park looks great at night, just wait until you enter the Castle area! The area is just so magical at night. If it had any more magic, it could almost be Disneyland. The park was really quiet when I went. So quiet not just could you get on a ride without queuing, but quite often have it to yourself [which was very often the case when I was here that day]. I also managed to ride Dragons Apprentice 3 times without even having to queue up and all by myself. I received 7 laps each time I rode meaning [Yes that's right], I got an impressive 21 laps on the ride without even leaving my seat, which is something you definitely couldn't do in main season, even on the quietest of days [which of course there are few]. Due to all the festive magic, we all stayed right until the end of the event which closed at 6pm. After taking the incline on the Brickmas Express back to the Beginning [which is the only way in and out of the park on these events], we headed towards the exit seeing yet more loverly park christmas lights. And we shall end this update on a Buzz [because he is Disney[. So, what were my thoughts? Legoland have done a fantastic job this year decorating the park in magic lights and making it look all festive and beautiful, not to mention all the christmassy atmosphere and getting a decent chunk of the park up and running to guests which is far better the previous years where only the shops are open [with perhaps just one ride too]. We had a great day out which due to the atmosphere and lack of guests felt far more relaxing than a normal day at Legoland which is something I thought I would never say. Staff there were absolutely fantastic and really helpful and not just were there no queues for pretty much everything but quite often we would get whole rides to ourselves and be the only ones on there, which was such a fantastic experience plus also getting night rides on just about everything [which you could never do during the main season even during fireworks]. This was such a good event and definitely kept the closed season blues at bay and hopefully one day we will see the return of a near full lineup at the park for christmas events [like back in the early days 99-2000]. All I could ask for more to make this event the perfect trip would be for the big Dragon to be open and perhaps a show. The Big Question- Is it worth the money? The answer to this question is Yes! Whilst at first glance, paying almost £19 for pass holders to get in to the park during the winter season to only experience around a quarter of it's attractions does sound quite steep and expensive, the park offers quite a lot to guests. This includes, 1 14 rides and attractions open 2 Free hot drink 3/ beautiful park lights and atmosphere 4/ night rides 5/ no queues to any rides [you have them to yourself] 6/ much more relaxed day 6/ no queue when leaving the park 7/ park discounts 8/ festive activities So if you fancy any other theme park based activities this closed festive season [apart from Winter Wonderland etc.] and can't go across sea to the likes of Euro Disney. I would recommend visiting Legoland for it's Christmas event.