Our first full day in the parks was completely packed from morning until night. I never go particularly ‘easy’ in Disney, and I wouldn’t call it a relaxing holiday but that’s all part of the fun.
With that in mind, we were up at 8am, ready to get to breakfast at the hotel and get to the parks for 10am when they opened. Unfortunately, we weren’t overly impressed by the breakfast at Kyriad, and since we were paying extra for it as it wasn’t included with our room, we didn’t go back for the next two mornings.
We decided to start this morning in the Studios to meet Moana – who was an exclusive for Disneyland Paris at the time. The Cast Members opened the gates for the park at around 9:30, so we got straight in when we arrived at 9:45, and the queue was already building. I think everyone knew to queue early for Moana, so it was quite a long wait. She started meeting at 10am, and we saw her at around 11am. So, even though we got in the queue before the park officially opened, we were still waiting over an hour. I didn’t mind waiting before anything in the park opened though, as we weren’t missing out on doing anything while waiting.
The meet with Moana was wonderful, and she spent so much time with us as a group that it’s really difficult to complain about the wait time. We got some really great photos and definitely made us of the Photopass we had bought the day before.
After Moana, we decided to hang around and do some rides in the Studios, including Tower of Terror and Rock’n’Roller Coaster. At the moment, I’m definitely feeling that the Studios park is lacking something, as much as I love it there, so I’m really hoping over the next couple of years with the takeover by TWDC, we see some improvements.
We then headed back into the main park for the afternoon for lunch and more attractions. We rode Small World before deciding to go to Gepetto’s restaurant for lunch, as it was supposed to be quick to grab a pizza, eat it and go. However, the restaurant was much busier than we were expecting and unfortunately the restaurant seemed to be running quite slow and so it took us nearly an hour and a half to get lunch in the end. It was slightly frustrating, as it was eating into our limited park time, but when something like that happens you just have to roll with it and enjoy what you can.
After lunch time, we headed over to the castle, to stand in the ‘secret princess spot’ (not so secret anymore!) We watched the princess show from back here so that when the prince and princesses came off, we had the opportunity to talk a little with them. Ariel and Eric both said they loved my Little Mermaid ears, which absolutely made my day. It’s the little interactions like that – not an official meet and greet, just casual – that really makes my time in the Disney parks feel even more magical.
We watched the parade again, of course, and every time I’ve seen Stars on Parade I have loved it. I didn’t think anything could top Magic on Parade, but the sheer volume of the floats, the brilliant dancing and of course that dragon completely makes it. Singing along with my best friends to the Disney parade is one of my absolute favourite things to do.
We made use of the quieter time between parade and Illuminations to get some more rides done. We went on Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, and got in the queue for Big Thunder Mountain before, of course, it broke down. Instead of waiting an unknown amount of time for it to get up and running again, we decided that we would grab a Fastpass for it first thing the next day, so we would definitely get at least one ride on the wildest ride in the wilderness.
We decided that this would be the night we got a front row seat for the fireworks. We always try and do this at least once in a trip, because there is truly nothing like sitting directly in front of the castle staring up at the fireworks while your favourite songs play in the background. Honestly, that Little Mermaid scene gets to me every time.
After Illuminations, and taking some night time pictures on Main Street, we headed to McDonalds for food before waiting for the shuttle back to the hotel. It seemed to take a long time to come, but it may have felt longer just because of how cold and tired we were. We finally fell into bed at around midnight, ready for another busy, full day the next day.