Welcome to Day 4 of our March 2020 Disneyland Paris trip report series! This is the day where we really started to notice the impact of COVID-19 at Disneyland Paris.
The night before, we had seen some rumours on Twitter that all outdoor entertainment was now cancelled and by the time we woke up on day 4, the news had been confirmed by Disneyland Paris themselves. So that meant no Star Wars shows in Studios, no Stars on Parade and no Illuminations.
Obviously, we had to scrap our plans to watch Star Wars: A Galactic Celebration again (RIP – amazing show, gone before its time) and we weren’t going to be able to watch Illuminations at all. As we’re annual pass holders, we’ve seen Illuminations plenty of times so it didn’t ruin our trip. However, I felt awful for people on their first trip who missed a huge part of the Disneyland Paris experience.
They also reduced capacity in the theatres but if I’m honest, we didn’t really notice this at the time.
I don’t want this post to be negative (because it wasn’t all negative), but it was important to me that I write up these trip reports honestly and as we experienced them.
As always, we made sure we were at the parks for 8:30. We managed SO many rides because the parks were really empty. I think locals had been put off by the COVID-19 situation.
We rode Star Tours, Hyperspace Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain (twice!) and then Phantom Manor – all before 10:00am! Then it was time to rush off to Main Street to visit Pluto. We meet Pluto on every trip, he’s a guaranteed silly meet and it was just what we needed!
Then it was a quick dash to the Aladdin meet and greet area to meet Jafar (*new character klaxon!*). He was terrifying and as you can see from the photo, he tried to put me in a headlock. I LOVE when characters are exactly as you imagined them, even the scary ones!
We then walked over to Fantasy Land – I wanted to meet Winnie the Pooh. He’s very special to me and a real childhood favourite so a cuddle from him would likely have fixed all my worries. We were in the line for about 10 minutes when a Cast Member came out and said that Pooh wasn’t coming. I thought this was really strange as usually if a character is unavailable for any reason, they’ll send out another character from that “world” like Tigger, Eeyore etc. But this didn’t happen, the line dispersed and I was very, very stressed. No-one seemed to know what was going on.
Anyway, we decided to go back over to Adventure Land and ride Indiana Jones because we had planned to do that next. On our way back round – I heard someone calling my name (it was Laura @disneylaura_tink ) ! It came to light while I was talking to all of these wonderful folk that ALL of the characters had been pulled from the park. My anxiety was spiralling at this stage. Were they closing the parks? Has something happened? Again, nobody seemed to know anything which made it all worse!
I’m SO, SO happy that all my Instagram friends appeared at this point in the day. Chatting to them all was the perfect distraction from all the uncertainty and everyone was as lovely in person as they are online.
I’ve said this before, but meeting friends from the online Disney community in real life is my FAVOURITE. So please, please if you see me and Amy wandering around the parks, come and say hello!
ANYWAY – thankfully all the characters came back (I think there had been some sort of emergency meeting) and we all went to the Jungle Book meet and greet together. It was brilliant craic and it was really special to have that experience with my friends!
King Louie was a new character for us too!
Amy and I went to Earl of Sandwich in the Disney Village for lunch. This is a really good option for a cheap meal on-site. I got the Chipotle Chicken Avocado sandwich with a drink and a brownie for roughly €12.00 .
Amy got sandwich, a drink and some crisps for the same price.
I took a bit of time over lunch to chill out and then I was ready to tackle the rest of the day.
We decided to visit the Studios to ride our beloved Tower of Terror and Ratatouille again. We also rode Parachute Drop, as it was down the day before. I don’t think I’ve ever been on a Disneyland Paris trip where Parachute Drop HASN’T been down.
The plan was to do another animation class but while we were in the line, I saw on Twitter that the one and only MINNIE MOUSE was meeting in Frontier Land. If you remember from Day 2, we were told that she probably wouldn’t be meeting this week and I was devastated. So obviously when I saw that she was meeting, we dropped everything and moved faster than I have ever moved in my life.
I’m so glad that we did. It sounds cheesy and cringe but it was almost as if she KNEW I was having a wobbly day. Minnie went completely above and beyond and it was my favourite meet of the whole trip. We were dancing and twirling about and she tried to count how many Minnie’s were on my skirt. Honestly, love her the very most.
After that, we met Stitch again (Amy got a Lineberty ticket first thing in the morning) and went back to the Studios to catch the last showing of Mickey and the Magician for the day. There are really no words for how amazing this show is. The cast are so talented, there’s no wonder they keep bringing it back year after year!
We did a bit of shopping on Main Street (haul coming soon!) and then headed to the Sequoia Lodge hotel for some drinks. I love that you can visit all the hotels on property and use their bars even if you’re not staying there. The Redwood Bar at the Sequoia Lodge is beautiful and I imagine it’s amazing in the winter when the big open fire is burning. We will definitely go back on our next trip.
Neither of us fancied a big dinner so we grabbed a McDonald’s from the Disney Village and brought it back to our room at the Cheyenne.
Overall, we did manage to have a good day but it was easily one of the strangest I’ve had in Disneyland Paris. I really hope that I never have to associate the words “stress” and “anxiety” with Disneyland Paris ever again. It’s my favourite place in the whole world and when I think of Disneyland Paris, I want to think about happy memories and fun future trips.
Luckily in Day 5, once the initial panic, stress and disorganisation had subsided – we had the best Disney day EVER for characters meets (20 in one day!!). Make sure you check back next week for our final day – The One With All The Characters.
If you haven’t checked out days 1, 2 and 3 yet, here they are!