On the 5th December my brother and I went on a day trip to DLP for Christmas Season.
We arrived at the park at about 11am. It had been raining lightly before we had arrived, but when we arrived at the gates, it poured.
On arrival, as well as the rain we were presented with something quite extraordinary. The lines to get in were huge and the lines to get tickets were huge. So we had to stand in the pouring rain as we had to get my brother a ticket (he isn’t an AP holder like me). I had never seen the ticket booths so busy. Even the obscure “Bureau de Donald” was open and had a line!
So eventually we got inside the park, and it was as expected from the crowds outside, very busy.
We headed first to “it’s a small world” Celebration in Fantasyland.
The attraction had been transformed for the holiday season with a special holiday overlay. They used to do it several years back, but it had been gradually phased out. But this year it returned!
I have to say that it had gotten quite the hype, and the line was the biggest I’d ever seen for an IASW attraction, but sadly it didn’t live quite up to my expectations. I had seen pictures of the overlay at Disneyland in California, and was expecting something similar. Most people would be very hard pressed to actually notice the subtle costume changes and additional props. Probably the most obvious thing was the Santa sleigh, reindeer and elf right near the end of the ride. I suspect only a die hard IASW fan could point out all 200 (apparently) costume and prop changes.
We decided to go and meet Mickey Mouse in his Christmas outfit in Town Square, which again took forever - but I was determined to do something that day!
After that it was late-lunch time. Off to the Hyperion in Discoveryland. This was probably the biggest mistake of the day. The lines were enormous, took forever (but everywhere else was crowded too, but I suspect we had picked the worst of the worst here), and when we eventually did get our food, we had trouble getting a seat (in what is probably one of the largest in-park buildings Disney have ever built), and our food was basically just warm.
The rain had eased off by the time we left the Hyperion, and with the huge crowds, and determined still to have a “nice” day, we wandered around taking pictures for a little while, getting some nice shots on Main Street. We also watched Minnie’s Party Train go by. Characters on board this day were Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Chip, Dale, Pluto, Baloo, Hook, Smee, Rafiki, King Louie, Tigger, Eeyore, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum.
We wandered round some more, and took some pictures in Frontierland and visited the Dragon’s Lair.
We then went up to Belle’s Christmas Village where we wandered through the crowds to find some characters. Aurora, Cinderella and Belle were there doing meets. Belle was in her Christmas finest, so I went to meet her. As we approached the CM told us that she was moving. I decided to follow Belle, and chatted to her as she walked away. She told me that they were going to find the Beast (how you lose a 6 foot hairy monster I have no idea). I followed her to the quieter spot round by the Casey Junior, and there was indeed the Beast. As I had been talking to her on her journey, I was given the chance to get my picture first with them both, which I was very happy about.
After we went to wait for the parade, and got hot chocolate in Pizzeria Bella Notte.
The parade was a bit disappointing because it was very late, and it was raining again, and basically it did not make for ideal conditions for taking photographs.
After that, we wandered back to the front of the park, down the festively lit Main Street while the fake snow fell, making the ending to the day a bit more magical than it had been thus far. After a few more picture stops to get the Christmas lights by night, we headed out, after what I have to say, was sadly, a rather annoying and frustrating day in the park.
We also had gotten the time to do a bit of shopping earlier (mainly because attraction lines were so long), and I ended up buying a few things Jon had wanted, and a couple of Christmas pins too.
I am glad I got to meet Christmas Mickey and Christmas Belle; and I am glad I got to see some of the festive decorations and the like, but overall it was cold, wet and VERY crowded day.
Hopefully next year will be better!