Characters and Princesses (Disneyland Paris 2019-Day 3)

IMG_4160.jpegJuly 4 

We had pre-booked a character breakfast buffet when we first booked the tickets, figuring our second full day would be the best time. And now it was here. Of course, it was an 8:15am reservation, which meant getting up at 7. When your kid isn’t a morning person, though, this is easier said than done. But we did it. It took some cajoling, some threats, a bit of mom and dad frustrations, but in the end, we got there and were shown to our seats.

The restaurant was divided in two halves, and we saw Tigger, Eeyore, and Piglet in the other half. Our half had our old friend Mickey Mouse, Donald, and, thankfully, the ever elusive Daisy Duck.

The characters all came around, giving every table time to take pictures and the handlers were certainly on top of things, making sure no one was missed. The character groups swapped so we ended up meeting all six characters and Monki was in heaven. Of course, like she had when she met Mickey the day before, she just wants to tell them all stories of how she went on the up and down ride or went on the boats or whatever is on her mind at the time – she talks to everyone and they all listened attentively for 30 seconds and then we got our pictures and they were on to the next table.

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The food, on the other hand, was crap. It was so bad Rasa actually spit out the crepe she had gotten. It just felt like the old location restaurants we used to rant about when I lived in LA – you know the place on the pier where the food is crap, but you’re paying for the view so you still go? Same thing. Used to be that Disney fast food, even though it wasn’t great, was still good. Not so much here.

All told, Breakfast was about an hour, so it was 9:20 and we were already in the park. Figured we might as well take advantage of the “magic time” and go on Peter Pan. At that time, the wait was only a half hour, and the line was mostly outside, so we were in good shape. Also, since we were in the park proper, come 9:45 I could try and actually get into the  linberty system to make a reservation to see Minnie Mouse. the timing was close, as we were closing in on the front of the queue. I was prepared to send the girls on the ride and wait just so I could hit the button fast enough to book the spot.

Success! Just before we go onto the flying pirate boat I was able to get us a time to meet Minnie Mouse! Then I tried to get us into the Buzz Lightyear queue, but that was a no go since you can only have one reservation at a time. And since the line fills up in a matter of minutes, there’s no way to see both characters in a single day. Stupid, stupid system.

Our reservation time, though, was not long hence, so once we got back from Neverland, we had to quickly hop over to the other park and show our reservation to the gatekeepers. We were good! But we did watch them have to try and explain to countless others that “no, they couldn’t get in line without a reservation and no, they couldn’t get a reservation without the app.” As I’ve said, even the people working at Disney agree the system is bad.

Before we got up to our turn, Monki decided she wanted her princess dress. When my folks were here a few months back, they brought Monki a blue dress with a portrait of Elsa from Frozen on it. This was her princess dress and it slid easily on and off over her regular clothes. She wore it the second time we saw Mickey Mouse and at various other times, but now, seeing Minnie, was definitely a princess dress moment!

It was great! Monki was so excited! and for once, the Photopass photographer was right there for some great moments! Yesterday, when we saw Mickey, there had been a big discussion over the number of fingers Mickey had and how many Monki has. So when she met Minnie, Monki spent a bit of time counting fingers and trying to reconcile five vs four! It took a while for us to get out of there, since Minnie kept holding on to Monki and, for her part, Monki was good with that. Look, I know all parents say this about their kids, but whatever “it” is, our kid certainly has it. She attracts attention and positive treatment everywhere she goes.

Eventually, though, it was time to move on. Since we were so close to the Parachute ride, Monki asked if we could ride that again. Of course we could. I went off and grabbed some fast passes for Ratatouille, which was nearby, and then met Rasa and Monki who were already in line.

By the time we made it to the front of the queue, Rasa decided that her time in the Toy Soldier corps was fulfilled yesterday and let Monki and me do this one by ourselves. We had a blast, and I even got Monki to lift her arms in the air a couple of times. Yes, the ride is fun, but even more fun is watching her face light up as the ride goes up and down.

Afterwards, we were going to get ice cream but got stopped by getting in line to see Bert and Mary and the penguins from Mary Poppins. Again, we were near the back of the line but this time they did it right and ended the line behind the last person, not in front of them. Also, behind us, there was a kid cosplaying as one of the ride attendants from Tower of Terror. Really wish I’d gotten a picture!

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After that meet and greet (and oh boy was someone excited about meeting 6′ penguins! – the real people, not as much) we went to ride Ratatouille. Monki was okay, squeaking like a mouse as we explained what was going to happen while we were in line, but the ride itself, she didn’t like it so much. She did like wearing the 3D glasses though!

As we were leaving, I tried to get back into the Linberty system to get spots for the afternoon session to see Buzz. The slots filled up in under 2 minutes. Have I mentioned how stupid the system is?

At this point, the heat was getting to us so we decided to go back to the hotel for a little bit and rest. Plus, we had to take care of some things in relation to Monki’s digestive health – this is a regular thing we’ve been dealing with, but it needed to happen and this seemed the best time to do it. So on the way back to the room we made a quick pass through a gift shop to pick up some treats to distract her, a toy Dalmatian seemed like it would do the trick.

It did! She loved it and after we took care of her little issue she was having fun playing. Unfortunately, during the course of all this, the duvet cover on her bed got a little dirty. No problem. We cleaned up what we could and called to have it replaced, leaving it in a ball on the bed as we headed back out to the park for ice cream.

The path we originally wanted to take to get to the good ice cream place (across from Small World) was blocked off in preparation for a parade later that afternoon so we had to walk the long way. This path took us past the Buzz Lightyear ride – if we couldn’t get pictures with him, at least we could get pictures on his ride, right? The line was long so we grabbed fast passes for several hours hence.

We got to our ice cream place and I got in line while Rasa and Monki got a table. The line was incredibly slow and the people working seemed a bit out of their depth. Look, I get it, it’s a fast paced environment and the pressure is on, but having to write down “3 scoops, choc, vanilla, strawberry” and then have to check it between scoops seemed a little ridiculous. The Irish couple in front of me figured it was just a French thing.

I finally got our frozen treats, just in time for the Disney Stars on Parade which had blocked our path earlier to actually start. We were in a prime location so I put Monki on my shoulders and stood on the short brick wall lining the ice cream parlor patio area. She was able to see everything and absolutely loved it, waving and clapping and dancing for twenty minutes. My neck still hurts but so worth it!

At this point, I wanted to ride a few big people rides and get a picture with Darth Vader

Gotta love Star Wars cookies!

wearing a CCBaltics T-shirt so we decided to split up for an hour or so, meeting up again for our Buzz Lightyear fast passes.

With that agreed on, I headed off for my Darth Vader encounter. It’s a fun little thing, you have to wait and then Vader himself comes out to meet you and brings you in for the photos, with a lot of dialogue about rebel activity and joining the dark side, etc. We did the photos, and they came out nice, but then I wanted to do a Red Nosed Bandits shot and was told no way…at least not with the official Photopass camera. She would, however, take the shot with my camera if I wanted. I did.

Then, just because I had time, I also rode Star Tours, which is now the same as in the Anaheim Disneyland…except in French, which is just weird. I came off the ride and texted Rasa that I was on my way to meet her.

IMG_20190704_185623.jpegWhile I had been doing my thing, Rasa and Monki had gone off to ride Small World again, but it was closed due to a technical issue, so instead, Rasa beat the crowds and made it to the Casey Jr. Railroad, which Monki just loved. Next to the parachute ride, this one was her favorite. They also rode Le Pays des Contes de Fées, which is storybook land – a boat ride through miniature landscapes, which Monki found boring, and the Tea Cups, and Carousel again.

They were just on the Carousel when I texted that I was done and coming to meet them. So while I was waiting at the meeting place, Rasa thought that my comment meant I was coming there to them. It took a few minutes to realize our miscommunication but IMG_20190704_201045.jpegwe figured it out and headed into the Buzz Lightyear ride. Again, the dark and noise kinda freaked out the little girl, but I think she had fun in the end. Of course, the ride pictures weren’t working (they’ve been fixed since).

By now, it was dinner time. We really wanted something other than burgers so I stopped in at a restaurant and asked if anyone knew anything about the meal plans and what was on it and what wasn’t. Found a delightful young lady whose name tag read “Lois” who was able to answer all my questions. So when I said “Thank you, Lois,” her immediate response was “Sophie.”

“My name is Sophie – name tag is wrong.”
“Of course it is!”

We both laughed and I thanked Sophie and headed off to find the pasta restaurant she had suggested. It was right next door to our ice cream place and yes, you guessed it, by now it was closed for the day. We were tired and hungry so we headed out of the park, knowing there was a restaurant in Disney Village we could grab a bite at. But we stopped to get McDonald’s fries for the little one first, then headed over to New York Sandwiches. Turns out they were actually a pizza/pasta place and we had pizza, salad and an amazing chocolate mousse cake for dessert. When the manager asked how it was, we told him it was the best food we’d had at the park (truth) and said we should come back the next night (we did – spoilers). He also noticed Monki didn’t have any of our cake, so he brought her an ice cream of her own.

Now, though, it was definitely time to hit the hay. Back to the room where they hadn’t actually replaced our soiled duvet cover, just turned it over and remade the bed. So I called back. Miscommunication – they thought I meant the sheet. No problem, they’d send another one now. And they did. They brought a sheet, not a duvet cover. While I was puzzling and shaking my head at this, another knock on the door, and the same guy was there with a new duvet…still no clean cover.

Ah well…we’ll leave it for them to figure out when they make up the room tomorrow.

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