Attraction Review: Disneyland Paris Christmas, Part Two

If you haven't already, check out Part One here!

After filling our bellies with overpriced steak, we decided to geek out for a bit and stare longingly at Big Thunder Mountain which was just about to reopen after a year long refurb. We had a major geek moment when we entered Frontierland to the loud clacking of the train racing around Thunder Mesa, but sadly it was just teasing us with a test run. The island looks fab though, vibrant and like it has a new lease of life! Gutted they haven't made the splashdown work again (or at least, it wasn't on for this testing).

We had planned to take a tour of Phantom Manor next but there was a 'problem with the ghosts' and it had ceased operation for the time being. Never fear, to Adventureland we go! But not before finally tracking down one of the Beast hat and snood combos for Conor who had all but given up hope of finding one. They're SO fab, I really hope they continue bringing out more of these because they're just amazing.

After Discoveryland, Adventureland is definitely the next land best visited after darkness. It adds an extra layer of mystery and discovery to the place, especially when you're wandering through the caverns or across a rickety rope bridge. Everything is lit fantastically and even the dreadful Indiana Jones et le Temple du PĂ©ril manages to look awesome when lit by firelight. Anyway, I'm gushing, we took a trip to the Caribbean next which apparently had a 40 minute queue. Again, if we queued anything near that it definitely didn't feel that way. Pirates is always an awesome ride and the Paris version is definitely one of my favourites. Sad to see that some of the animatronics are still missing but here's hoping the 25th anniversary will see to that.

Before making our way back down Main Street U.S.A. for the magical Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony we tried our luck again with Phantom Manor and yay, it was back open and the 45 minute queue we'd been faced with previously was now walk on. Excellent! Apparently this hasn't had any closures for updates but it definitely felt fresher than the last time I rode it. Everything seemed brighter and better lit, and the final Frontierland ghost town section was spectacular! I love that Disney take the time to really look after even their older rides and keep them ticking along. So many parks let their older attractions gather dust and slowly fall into disrepair, sad really.

So it turns out every other person in the park was now squished into the end of Main Street U.S.A. to gather around for the magical Christmas Tree Lighting. We had a bit of faff with deciding where to stand as we had no idea which way the characters would be facing, but some swift sneaking through the crowd meant we ended up being front and centre. It begins quite magically with Mickey and Minnie singing carols with everyone, culminating in Father Christmas rocking up and getting everyone to do a countdown before BOOM! Vulgar flashing Christmas Tree! I felt like the actual lighting of the tree was a bit gaudy and could have been done with more elegance and taste, but there we go maybe I'm just being fussy.

We had a bit of time to kill before Disney Dreams of Christmas, so the plan was to hit up Space Mountain a few times because hey, it's bound to be walk on at this time of night right? Wrong. 50 minutes?! We figured they'd gone down to one or two train operations as we were approaching the end of the night so opted for a ride on Autopia instead - an attraction I've never actually ridden at Disneyland Paris. It was actually quite fab zipping around all the neon lights, if not a bit nippy around the ears due to the fact that actual ice mist had now descended on the whole park. Again, looks really cool and atmospheric in real life but makes it hard to take good pics!

We headed to Casey's to inhale a few hotdogs before taking our place at the VIP spot for Dreams (cheers Michael!). Did I mention the fog? Yeah, you couldn't even make out the top of the castle so I was intrigued to see how the projections and fireworks would look in this. Turns out, not too bad, although I am glad I've seen it before because some of the images were a little distorted. The fog gave the fireworks a kind of muted glow which actually looked really cool!

We held back and browsed some of the tat to give the crowds a chance to disperse before heading back to bed ready for our second day at the Walt Disney Studios!

Talk later xoxo,