Saturday, 27 October 2018

A Halloween Visit to Disneyland Paris

We're just home from another trip to our favourite place in the world, Disneyland Paris, so I thought I'd share a little post about what we got up to, what Halloween season looks like this year and what our favourite memories from our 5 days there are.

I plan on doing some more structured Disney posts over the coming weeks including a Save Vs Splurge post all about the best ways to save the pennies at Disneyland Paris and what a huge difference it can make, and one all about our Must Sees during your trip...if there's any content you'd like to see or any questions you have, let me know and I'll do my best to help!

This visit was our 6th over all, and our 3rd visit this year since buying our annual passes.
We have always done Monday-Friday trips in the past but this year we decided to change it up a bit...we always find Fridays MUCH busier in the parks than the rest of the week so we thought we'd try a Sunday-Thursday trip instead.

We travelled via Eurostar from Ebbsfleet as we always do (we've flown once but I much prefer the Eurostar as I find it much faster without having to get through baggage claim and without transfers to deal with, plus we love making use of the Disney express luggage service which enables us to drop our bags off at the station when we arrive and have them taken to the hotel for us so that we can go straight into the parks!) and as the Standard Premier was only £20 more we went for that as it meant we got to sit in a quieter carriage and have breakfast provided.

Our Eurostar there was direct, and everything ran really smoothly - it was a pleasant journey and only took around 2 hours, so by 3 pm we were walking through the park gates.

We assumed that the parks would be busy on a Sunday so we headed to Walt Disney studios - our main reason for visiting was to enjoy the Halloween festivities as this is my absolute favourite season at Disneyland Paris, but as we were there from 30th September-4th October it meant we'd arrived in time for the very last day of the Marvel Super Heroes season.

The Marvel season hadn't really appealed to us as, despite the fact that I have 3 little boys, none of them are really interested in super heroes but as we were there it seemed a shame not to have a look at what was going on.

We managed to catch all of the shows taking place including the Guardians Of The Galaxy dance off which was good fun, and the main show Super Heroes United which was honestly amazing!

I hadn't held out much hope for it as, like I say, none of us are at all fussed by the whole super hero thing but the combination of special effects and some pretty amazing acrobatics by the super hero cast really made it entertaining to watch and by the time we left all 3 of the boys were jumping around pretending to be Spider Man - so safe to say, they really enjoyed it!

We were also there just in time for the last day of the food festival so we treated ourselves to some Belgian fries for lunch, before heading in to the main Disneyland Park for a look around.

Much to my surprise given it was a weekend, the park was actually really quiet!

We managed to get on quite a few rides and even walked straight on to Pirates Of The Caribbean with no queue at all, before we made our way to the Infinity Pass Holder area for the evenings Illuminations fireworks show on the castle which - as always - was lovely.

We checked in to our room at Hotel Cheyenne at around 9pm, and ordered a delivery from PizzaFast 77 for a late dinner before collapsing into our beds ready for a full day of fun!

(The boys are wearing their adorable Disney pyjamas from Cool Clobber which arrived on the morning we left just in time, they have such a cute range if you're looking for Disney themed pjs and bits!)

I won't talk through the rest of the week in full detail (but we did film daily vlogs that will be going live on my channel from tomorrow onwards if you're interested), I'll just talk through the highlights.

Halloween season didn't disappoint - the decor around the park was really gorgeous as always, with witches hats and Mickey face pumpkins adorning the lamp posts around Main Street, sparkling Autumnal wreaths and garlands lighting our way, Jolly ghost and ghoul statues dotted around, and some really fabulous displays in Frontierland.

My favourite area this year though was the neon illuminated displays from Coco , which began around the Fuente Del Oro restaurant - they were really lovely, particularly of an evening when all lit up.

The Halloween parade is my favourite thing ever at Disneyland Paris and I was so excited to see it again this year. It's on twice daily for the duration of the season and it's just fabulous! The amazing autumnal colours and costumes are spectacular, and the addition of Mickey's magical Haunted Mansion float this year really added some pizazz to even featured the Bride & Groom from the Haunted Mansion ride along with the ballroom dancing ghosts. The amazing Undead Zombie dancers at the end of the parade were hilarious too!

This year the parade went a step further by pausing at the castle stages, with some of the dancers and characters getting off the floats and making their way to the stages to perform a dance off complete with fireworks and exploding streamers - it really was magical and so much fun!!

We indulged in a few of the Halloween themed snacks and treats on offer during our visit, of course.

Our favourites were the Chocoboo sticks which are ghost shaped marshmallow covered in thick milk chocolate - really yummy and huge too! We got them from Cable Car Bake on Main Street.

We also indulged in a good old Glowtini back at our hotel while the boys had a Poison Apple mocktail from one of the fab green poison apple steins which you get to keep - they loved it!

Another firm favourite of ours at Halloween season is the chance to see the Disney Villains come out to play. This year they returned to the castle stage with their fantastic "Its Good To Be Bad" show which was such good fun to watch, and after the show the villains come out to meet the audience too.

The show features Evil Queen, Cruella De Vil, Gaston, Dr Facillier, Lady Tremaine and The Ugly Step Sisters, Jafar & Maleficent (sometimes replaced by Donald Duck in Maleficent dress up!) and half of them stay out for the meet & greets after the show, alternating each time.

You have to be quite quick if you want to meet them, as the crowds gather quickly and there's no queuing system for this - instead the characters pick people out of the crowd themselves so it's really the luck of the draw!

The only ones we were desperate to meet were Lady Tremaine and the step sisters, so we sussed out where they were usually positioned after the show and parked ourselves there ready and waiting for them to come off stage - it worked, and luckily we were picked out of the crowd! It was a great meet with loads of interaction and I was delighted to get some photos with them - that's one of my Disney wishes ticked off my bucket list!

As it's Halloween season, the advertised Meet & Greets included some unusual delights such as Maleficent and Jack Skellington.

Both of these were fantastic for character interaction, although be warned Maleficent can be a little frightening for little ones - Noah almost cried and Sailor refused to go anywhere near her! But my 5 year old son Tyne was absolutely delighted with her, and said she was one of his favourite meets - she was one of mine too!

Jack Skellington is always a fantastic character to meet for interaction - this was the third time we'd met him and he never lets us down, he's always so chatty and despite his ghoulish appearance the boys are never frightened of him as he's so good with children and puts them at ease right away!

This year I'd decided to Disney Bound for the first time (Disney bounding is when adults dress in a style similar to Disney characters, I wrote about it here!) and I'd chosen to wear my Jack Disney Bound that day - he was very complimentary about it and suggested we pose for some photos of just the two of us to show off the outfit! 

As for other character meets, we managed to grab the Queen Of Hearts after the villains show which was fun as we hadn't met her properly before. We also spotted Snow White with quite a small queue doing an unscheduled meet in Fantasyland, much to Noah's delight!

We hadn't planned to do any of the Main Street meets as we've already met most of the characters several times this year, but we did notice no queue at all for Goofy in Studios one day so we made sure to run over and say hello to him!

The character meets in Walt Disney Studios are now done through the Lineberty app and I was a bit nervous about using it. I tried to book a meet with Buzz Lightyear one day from our hotel as the app worked from there, and secured a spot which was supposed to be in an hour - however the time counted down MUCH faster than that and within ten minutes it was time for our meet, when we were still at the hotel! So we had to abandon the Buzz meet for us that day!

I learned my lesson after that and made sure we were in the studios park before trying to book a slot, I managed to secure a slot to meet Buzz the next day (he was the only character in studios we were keen to meet!) and we also got in to meet Minnie in her parisienne outfit too.

The app is a good idea in principle and its nice to have short queues at the character meet, but I do think the app system is a bit problematic especially as the wifi in the park isn't the best and when youre relying on one phone with a dodgy battery life like we gets a bit stressful!

One of our main Must Sees for the trip was Captain Jack Sparrow as my youngest son Sailor is absolutely besotted with him at the moment, and as there were no planned meets for him I was nervous that we wouldn't manage it.

I managed to book us in to Captain Jacks restaurant for dinner but hadn't realised that he only tends to be there over lunch time (between 12-3pm) and our reservation was for 6pm!

I went over to the restaurant on the day to try and switch to a lunch time reservation but all they could give me was 3pm, we took it and arrived feeling that chances of seeing him were low.

As we were seated, we noticed Jack over the other side of the restaurant. We asked our seater if we were likely to see him but the man was quite disinterested and unhelpful, so Jon took matters into his own hands and sneaked off to ask the cast member looking after Jack if there was any chance of him coming to our table as our 3 children were huge fans desperate to see him. The cast member was lovely and said he'd make sure Jack popped over to say hello quickly.

A few moments later, Jack appeared at our table much to Sailor's absolute delight! He chatted with the boys for a good 5 minutes, before offering to pose for individual and group photos with them all - he was fantastic and the boys were absolutely thrilled! And I may have shed a little tear too!

The meal at Captain Jacks wasn't really amazing for the price (I'll do a seperate post on our dining experiences soon!) but it was worth it just to see Captain Jack! Next time I'll be sure to book a lunch time slot.

Other highlights of the trip included being selected to watch the main parade from a special spot right at the front of the route, in a roped off area where just a few people were allowed to watch. We were approached when standing near the castle at around 2 pm by a man in a red coat with a clipboard and given the chance to do this, and we saw other people chosen in the same area on other days so if you want a chance to be chosen for this - try hanging around the castle and smiling at anyone in red with a clipboard!!

All in all we had such a fantastic time once again, infact I think it may have been one of our best visits ever!

If you're thinking about booking a trip to Disneyland Paris, I highly recommend going during Halloween season - I've been for all of the seasons on offer at the moment including Christmas and I still personally think that Halloween is the absolute best time to go!

I'm not too sure when our next visit is going to be, but our annual passes expire at the end of January so ideally I'd like to squeeze in another visit before then! Watch this space!

If you'd like to read more of my Disney posts, take a look below or come back over the next couple of weeks as I have some more coming soon!

A Festive Trip To Disneyland At Christmas

Disneyland Paris at Halloween: 2016

Things To Do In Disneyland Paris for "Boys"

Dining in Disneyland Paris

My Top Tips For Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Paris Tips Part 2

Our Disneyland Paris Diaries

A Snowy Trip To Disneyland Paris

The Festival Of Princesses & Pirates at Disneyland Paris

15 MORE Tips For Visiting Disneyland Paris

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