Thanks to all who followed my live TR from DLP and I enjoyed reading your comments. Sorry I only posted two days in the end but it is hard when Dreams ends at 11.20pm and I didn't get back to Hipark until midnight or later. This is the link for my live TR, and I will now post a full one for each day.
So - one adult, staying at Hipark Serris, flying from Southampton to Orly, transfers with Ezyshuttle.
DH took me to Southampton airport at 5am, for 07.10 flight. We are only about 30 mins drive from Soton airport so this is very convenient for me. Even with Eurostar cheaper early tickets, by the time I have added return train fare to London and possible overnight stay in a Travelodge near St Pancras, flying is usually cheaper and definitely easier for me.
John from Ezyshuttle was waiting for me in Arrivals, and we were soon on our way to Hipark. I only had 10kg hand luggage on this trip, which I did find a bit difficult, and no space for souvenir shopping!! Well, that's one way of keeping costs down anyway, but of course I saw things I would have liked to buy. Very quick check in at Hipark, paid 3.30€ local tax, and was in my room by 11am. They don't seem to allocate your room before arrival, and you can't request a particular one in advance, so I just asked for the closest one to Reception. Studio room, the same as I have had previously, room 147. Nice view of the pool from the 1st floor.
Lovely sunny warm day. Caught the shuttle bus to DLP, and there was quite a lot of people heading to the parks from the bus station and car park. Mondays are quite often busy, even during term time. Many seemed to be Spanish so I wondered if a Region in Spain was on school holiday that I had not noticed. Bit of a queue at security checks. Took my usual photos of the Studios entrance and Disneyland Hotel / Park entrance. Stall selling merchandise by Fantasia Gardens. Helium balloons cost 7.50€. I saw Winnie, Mickey , Minnie ones, and transparent Princess ones. A CM told me that the Princess ones are best value for money because they last longer.
Through the park turnstiles, with big silly grin on my face, very happy to be back, and took photos of the Swing into Spring decorations on Main Street Station which look great. Emerged into Town Square ( still grinning, but didn't trip over the kerb this time!) and the 12pm Welcome To Spring show was just starting. Watched it from behind the Bandstand / Gazebo. Really enjoyed this, with the dancers singing and dancing on and around the gazebo, but the wrong side to see them dancing on Main Street. The next show was at 12.15, so very soon. This time I stood on Main Street, facing the gazebo and park entrance, and had a fab view of them dancing to Walking right down the middle of Main Street USA ' song. Excellent! They put circular mats on the ground across Main Street shortly before the parade begins, (instead of a rope), so just behind these is the best place to be. I asked a CM to show me where I could stand, so I would be at the front. His name was Louis, and we had a nice chat.
I then took photos of the topiary figures in Town Square, ( Mary Poppins and Bert), the gazebo flowers and Penguins, and noticed Rapunzel at her M&G location at Casey's Corner, by Liberty Arcade. The queue did not look long, but a CM told me that the line was closed, so that explained it. When I reached Central Plaza I suddenly spotted Donald, Chip & Dale on Castle Lawn, doing a photo shoot. Dashed over there and managed to get some myself before the left. I asked a CM there what it was for, but he didn't know.
The Spring festival flowers and topiary figures on Central Plaza are beautiful - Bambi, Flower, Thumper, Marie, Berliose, Toulouse (Aristocats), three Dalmation puppies, and Simba with Nala (Lion King - Simba means Lion in Swahili). Took photos of these and also Castle Stage decorations then called into the AP Office to get some renewal forms before going to Small World in Fantasyland.
Got chatting to a lady (Scoobydavid) and her DD in the queue line at 2pm, (10 mins) and then joined them on Mad Hatters Teacups ( 5 min) and Snow White ride (5 min). This was their first trip, and I warned her about Snow White being rather scary but her DD (who was a poppet!) was OK. They have now put a warning on the park map by this ride, and it says ' Venture into the dark and scary forest with Snow White). Victor told me that they had done this due to lots of complaints about children being frightened in the ride. Scoobydavid told me that the pony rides are currently open at the Cheyenne.
We then went to Main Street and got good places to watch Welcome to Spring as they had not seen it yet. After this, her DD needed a rest, so I explained that she could go into the DLH lobby or Cafe Fantasia lounge instead of going back to the Cheyenne is she wanted. They planned to watch DMOP later so I also explained about getting a spot on an outside curve kerb in good time for a good view. Said goodbye, and I went into Harringtons to see what pins I could find there. Was very happy to get a Small World 50th Anniversary, Spring one with Bambi, a special edition Ratatouille one, and a new Main Street USA one. I also found the Dreams pin with Olaf that a poster wanted, after much hunting in different shops (8.99€).
Feeling rather peckish by now, and I noticed a few people waiting outside Casey's Corner counter service resto. Saw a sign saying it opened at 4pm, in a few minutes, so decided to have my very first Casey's hot dog! (well, as far as I remember). Giant hot dog with cheese and crispy onions 7.69€, minus Fantasy AP discount, 6.92€. Well, it looked fine, filled me up nicely, but as some of you know I have lost my sense of smell and taste after being very poorly recently, and it hasn't returned yet. So I am afraid that words like Delicious and Yummy will not feature in my TR this time! I can't even smell the perfume in the DLH lobby, which is very sad! It was very pleasant sitting outside Casey's in the sunshine, under the red & white umbrellas. I was glad I was there at 4pm as it got busy very quickly.
I walked to Frontierland for Phantom Manor ( 5 min) and spotted something I didn't remember seeing before - a swinging cowboy boot! Ghostly heads in the mirrors over the Doom Buggies not working.
Pottered around taking photos before watching Magic On Parade from Town Square. I chatted to a family next to me whilst we were waiting, and also saw Scoobydavid and her DD again there. The parade began in Fantasyland at 5.30pm so didn't reach Town Square for about 25 mins. I had a great spot for video with the dancers and floats coming towards me. ( on the corner facing the Emporium, with City Hall to my left, in front of Main Street Station ).
Crowds of people were following the parade to the park entrance to exit for the Village and hotels for dinner at 6pm, so I went to check the queue times on the Information Board by Central Plaza.
Pirates OTC 10 min
Phantom manor 5 min
Small world 5 min
Peter Pans flight 30 min
Star tours 30 min
Space mountain 5 min
Buzz laser blast 30 min
I went to Blue Lagoon restaurant to ask them about booking for birthday cake & cocktails without a meal, and they said this was possible at less busy times, like 3pm - 5pm. I asked if the restaurant was full at the moment and they said yes. I was going to go on Pirates OTC (20 mins) but I could see the line was outside the cave tunnel, so suspected it would be longer. I don't like queueing in POTC very dark cave tunnel section when it is full of people - I find it rather claustrophobic, so gave that a miss.
I wasn't very hungry by 7pm but could do with something (no room for my usual snacks in hand luggage!) so tried Hakuna Matata (closed), Colonel Hathis (closed), Fuente Del Oro (closed), Last Chance Cafe (closed). I think Cowboy Cookout was also closed. Very poor when the park is open until 11pm and people are wanting to eat. I saw many going up to restaurant doors, finding them closed, and looking fed up. Lucky Nugget was open but this is a fixed price 3 choice menu with dessert and more than I needed. (you can't make ADR for Lucky Nugget). I ended up going back to Main Street and eating in Market House Deli, which was nice and quiet at 7.15pm, and I got a table by Main Street window so I could people watch at the same time. Had a bruchetta with cheese, spinach and tomato, which should be 6.99€ but my receipt says vegetable sandwich for 6.39€ (minus Fantasy discount) so I paid 5.75€. It used to be 6.89€ so prices have increased. See previous menu photo.
No queue for Pirates OTC at 8pm - walked straight on. Two pirates are missing! The ones by the donkey singing Yo Ho. Donkey isn't hee-hawing either. Swinging Pirate not swinging. Humph. Still a very good ride though. Went on Peter Pan at 8.20 (10min) then Lancelot's Carousel ( 5 min but they took a while checking safety belts.) The little boy next to me on the outside horse could barely touch the foot rests, but he was allowed to ride without parent holding him or having to move to a smaller horse on the inside.
Forum poster JanieHowell text me, and we arranged to meet in front of the Castle for Dreams. I got a place on the kerb around 9.30pm, and she arrived with her DS about 30 mins later. The kerb was full by then, but they sat behind me, and then managed to move forward when some other people moved. So we chatted for an hour before Dreams about lots of things, and it turns out she grew up living near my home, and went to the same senior school as my DS2! Her parents still live here, so we may meet again when she comes to visit them. Small World indeed!
Loved watching Dreams again, lovely warm perfect evening, and everyone stayed sitting until a boy in front of us stood up and started jumping up and down during the show. He was in front of Janie and her DS, so I tapped the parents on the back and gestured for him to sit. ( not English). Luckily they told him to stay sitting so problem solved.
Said goodbye to Janie and DS after Dreams, got my bag with waterproofs from Guest Baggage desk, and walked to the bus station for the Peps 50 bus to Hipark, Adagio and Hotel Elysee. Got there at 11.45 and realised the last bus had gone! Silly me for not checking the timetable earlier. When I stayed there last summer when Dreams was at 11pm the last 50 bus went at 00.15 so I didn't think. Ah well, at least I didn't have tired children with me as some people did, and trying to find taxis. Luckily I had walked from Hipark to DLP on my last trip one morning, so I knew the way. Bit dark and lonely, but only 3 roads and I am told it is a safe area. It takes about 20 mins, so similar distance as to the Cheyenne and Santa Fe hotels. Got to hotel at 00.25.
Day 2 to follow.