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Sunday, 16 December 2018

Christmas at Disneyland Paris 2018

I was well and truly exhausted after I did the full range of amazing Christmas entertainment that Disneyland Paris had to offer during my day and a half trip this December- every year I say the same but it is still true- there was even more Christmas entertainment this year than ever before and so many talented musicians, dancers and singers across the shows I saw. This entertainment had lots of tradition and classic Christmas tunes.

Below, in no particular order, are some of the things which I enjoyed during Christmas this year...

Festive Meet and Greets
This year I chose to meet Thumper in his Christmas bow- he was very funny and cheeky as he insisted he took me jingle bell necklace and refused to give it back for a long time! He wore it on his ear and hopped around to make it jingle! Other, perhaps less mischievous, festive meet and greets which we have enjoyed previously and still appeared in the schedules this year included Marie from Aristocats, Jack Skellington dressed at Sandy Claws as well, of course, as the big man himself, Santa. These meet and greets can be better done at beginning or end of the day, I waited an hour for Thumper but Santa had a queue of 1 hr 30- 2 hrs when I asked. Previously been have met him in about 45 minutes towards end of his opening hours. 

Mickey's Magical Christmas Lights
This little show happens by the large tree at the beginning of Main Street and features Mickey, Minnie, singers and Santa and a countdown to the turning on of the beautiful lights on the Christmas tree. Whilst not the most essential part of the Christmas schedule it is fun and enjoyable entertainment to catch. 

The Enchanted Advent Calendar
Everyday the advent calendar by the castle has a little ceremony to open the door and a different young guest is chosen to help to open up the door, arriving with their family by horse drawn tram. Inside the door there is a picture of a treat which can be purchased in the parks. It was fun that Mickey came and joined in opening the door this year too. 

Decorations around the parks
From snow falling at regular intervals on Main Street to the twinkling lights on the castle, the parks are full of magical decorations and Christmas touches...

Even the shop windows are beautifully decorated...

And the horses and vehicles...

The decorations in the Studio Park have a different feel to them, reflecting the decor of the park...

Disney's Christmas Parade
With catchy music and colourful floats and costumes, the Christmas Parade is consistently a great part of the Christmas celebrations. High fives from the dancers and characters add to the fun so it is worth arriving early to get a good view to wave at the characters...

Merry Jolly Jingles
This new show in the Cinemagique Theatre in the Walt Disney Studios Park was a great opportunity to enjoy some classic Christmas entertainment in the warm and dry. The theatre is large so it is possible to fit plenty in to watch the show which features a big band playing classic Christmas songs along with singers and Olaf and Donald encouraging the audience to join in too. 

L'Hiver Gormand - Winter Food Festival
I enjoyed a glass of wine (well plastic cup anyway!) and a goats cheese crepe at the Winter Food Festival in the Ratatouille area of the Walt Disney Studios Park. The stalls all sell a variety of small portions of festive offerings from different European regions. This isn't a cheap option (wine from 5 E, snacks from 5/6 E) as the small portions are amazingly filling so a few are needed or it is best to treat them as a snack. However, it had a nice festive feel and was a lovely alternative to the regular fast food offerings. 

Mickey's Big Band
This high quality production which was first shown during last Christmas in the Disneyland Park returns for a larger set up in the Animagique Theatre in the Walt Disney Studios. The rain and wind suddenly became torrential as I ran for the turnstiles, the theatre was a welcome relief. The show involves very talented musicians and singers preforming a variety of Big Band classic tunes which suit the Christmas vibe very well. With a beautiful class art deco backdrop and stylish costumes for all the cast members including the characters this is a show which is very slick and highly polished. 

 Goofy's Incredible Christmas
This show happens at park closing in the Walt Disney Studios and is my favourite nighttime show at the moment- I would watch it over 'Illuminations' in the Main Park any day. The projections on the Hollywood Tower and surrounding buildings are very clever and make for a very Christmassy end to the day. 

 Disneyland Hotel
No admission to the parks even needed for this experience! The Disneyland Hotel is worth a visit at all times of the year but no less than at Christmas time when there is a real gingerbread house and a large Christmas tree with a toy train set running around the base. The Disney hotels are a great place to soak up some Christmas atmosphere, Sequoia Lodge is another hotel which has a particularly wintry feel with its open fire.

It's A Small World at Christmas
Who can resist a trip to It's A Small World? Well love it or hate it (or somewhere in between) it's very Christmassy in there! Trust me! Lots of added Santa Claus beards, presents and a seasonal sound track- jingle bells mixed with the classic Small World soundtrack makes for a very Christmassy trip around the world. 

A Merry Stitchmas
What says Christmas more than Stitch dressed as Elvis? This fun show has a more contemporary soundtrack (only just!) than the other Christmas shows, it is fun, colourful and with lots of characters- a real crowd pleaser. I only just caught this show on my short trip, however, as it is outdoors so is some what weather dependent and at least two of my attempts to see the show failed due to wind and rain. 

Let's Sing Christmas
This show was a complete curve ball for me, advertised on the schedule as Disney Performing Arts and only showing on the weekend. This was in the Videopolis Theatre and involved a cast of Victorian singers, a very talented choir of children and Mickey, Minnie and Santa Goofy. A great way to provide an extra show at the weekend when the parks can feel packed with extra visitors, this show was fun, the traditional Christmas songs were very well performed and the whole thing was a great end to my short Christmas trip.

Well, I hope you feel as Christmassy as I do now! It was certainly a very busy day and a half trying to fit in all the Disneyland Paris Christmas magic but it was fun and it got me truly in the Christmas spirit. The number of talented singers, musicians and dancers is phenomenal. I think, certainly on the weekend, the shows provide a great option to enjoy Disney during the "most wonderful time of the year". Sing along...

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