Chante, C'est Noel!

Disneyland Travel Blog

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Five minutes in the park: shopping - check. Photos taken - check!

We headed straight for the park from the hotel, and as soon as we put our tickets through the turnstiles and were in, I was like a kid at Christmas! OK, as Sylvia commented on my previous entry, the place was hoaching (full of - sorry, hoaching is a good Scottish word!) with kids, but at least in the park most of them were so awestruck they were quiet! To be honest, I don't mind little ones, and in somewhere like Disney you expect them to be a bit hyper - my wee objection was that in the hotel they were literally all running around wild, their parents weren't keeping an eye on them and they were a generally being a bit of a nuisance.

I was determined to get the perfect picture of Sleeping Beauty's Castle at some point this weekend!

Anyway, rant over!

Within five minutes of us getting into the park, I had been shopping and taken photos! I had to buy a pair of black Disney gloves because Mark had decided he was stealing my other ones! It was in the first shop I saw a Christmas Stitch, the cute little blue alien/ experiment 626 from 'Lilo & Stitch'. He was wearing a little Santa jacket and hat, a scarf and had mittens on...I knew at that point one was coming home with me, it was how to buy it and get it back to the hotel without Mark knowing that would be the challenge! And in the end, he needed no persuading - but more on that on the final day!!

We got ourselves park maps for Disneyland and Disney Studios and decided to stay in the main area today. However, the wind was still gusting ferociously, and quite a lot of people were heading for the exits just after lunchtime! Fine thought we - the queues will be shorter! We wandered up Main Street USA, ooh-ed and ah-ed at the amazing Christmas decorations and had a foot long hot dog with cheese at Casey's Corner, which is opposite the Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlour, and the last building on the left as you walkup Main Street towards the Castle.

Two Happy Mouseketeers
These hot dogs were fabulous, and we had another later in the day! They actually became our lunch every day because the queues moved quickly and they filled us up but didn't leave us stuffed!

We were heading for Big Thunder Mountain for our first ride, but when we got near it, the path way to it was roped off, and a park employee told us because the winds were so high, branches were coming off trees so they were closing all paths under trees! Also because of the wind, Big Thunder Mountain wasn't running - big bits of the track are exposed, and they were worried bits of tree would blow onto the track too! Well...what to do!

First up we went to Pirates of the Caribbean. It was an indoor ride so we reckoned it'd be on. Mark's been to Disney in Florida before but said he didn't remember the ride, so it was fun being on with him.

Mark preparing himself for Pirates of the Caribbean (I didn't tell him he'd get wet!)
This was my fifth Disney park experience - I went to Florida in 1989, Paris in 1994, Paris and Florida in 1997, and Paris again in 2000. It was still magical and exciting, and we're both going back to Florida in 2009, but that's a working holiday with a choir from Mark's school, should be a giggle (ahem)! 

Then we went to the Haunted Mansion first because it was inside, so it was definitely running! Most people were going for inside rides, or food, at this point, but the line wasn't too bad - as I said, it was near lunchtime. We made it through the Haunted Mansion in one piece, which is more than can be said the very first time I was on this ride, in Florida in 1989...I was on with my Mum, Dad was in a separate car, and we were going along the section above the Grand Ballroom when something fell into my lap.

Goofy (Mark's favourite character) in the Christmas parade
It felt like a coin and at the end of the ride we found out it was a silver dollar (I think...if not definitely a big silver coin that was legal tender). Mum mentioned it to one of the ride staff, in case anyone could get hurt in the future, and the employee said -- how odd. That section of track has no other track above it so she had no idea where it came from! I was a bit freaked out to say the least, but at least I got to keep the cash!

Anyhoo - from there we started to make our way back towards Main Street to see what rides might be on now the weather had improved. By sheer luck, the Parade was about to start, and we managed to get ourselves a great spot on Main Street to watch it. I managed to squeeze up onto a bench so I got some good photos. The music is so infectious at Disney, and between Yo-Ho, Yo-Ho from Pirates and the Christmas songs and carols Mark was merrily humming and singing under his breath most of the time! The main Christmas song, written especially for Disney was Chante, C'est Noel! and we bought the CD of it and it's always on repeat at home at the festive season - there's six versions of it, one park, one kids, one piano, one brass quintet, one 'dreamy' and one instrumental version.

At the Mad Hatter's Tea Party
I absolutely love it, and sing away all December long!

By the time the parade finished it was starting to get dark, so we wandered around a bit, I took more photos, and we walked through the castle, bought the CD (and a few other bits and pieces - I came back with so much Disney paraphernalia, mostly Stitch) and entered Fantasyland. We'd already been to Adventureland (Pirates) and Frontierland (Haunted Mansion), so we were racking up the lands on day 1! We hopped onto the Mad Hatter's Teacup ride because the queue was short, and much to Mark's dismay, I spun and spun and spun that cup! He did look a tad peaky afterward, and I felt a bit sorry for him! We had a go on Lancelot's Enchanted Carousel (at Mark's insistence may I add!) and decided to go back towards Main Street USA for the Fantillusion parade.

Lester Piggot he's not!
We had another foot long and cheese (told you they were good) and secured ourselves a spot on the kerbside to watch the parade. We enjoyed a yummy mug of hot chocolate and when the park lights were extinguished and the plinky plunky music of the electric parade started (anyone's who's seen the electric parade will know what I mean) I'll be honest - I felt like a child again! Mark had a big cheesy grin on his face too and it was then we said if we have kids we'll DEFINITELY have to bring them to Disney, in summer and at Christmas, because it's two totally different experiences. However, we agreed - no kids at Disney until they're about five or six years old - any younger, and they have to be in buggies/ pushchairs/ strollers and that's a nuisance for parents and all the other people whose ankles you run the buggy up (speaking from experience, I had bruises), and to be honest, I think when children are that young they don't really appreciate it.
The front of Sleeping Beauty's Castle!
We went to Florida when I was seven and the was amazing - I was old enough to be OK on the flight, but not too old there was no magic. So yes, 5 or 6 is perfect Disney age!

Anyway...the Fantillusion parade was utterly magical: the music was fantastic and the costumes totally incredible. After the parade passed by, we made our way to the exit to hop on a bus before the park closed and EVERYONE was trying to get back to their hotels.

And we were so excited to see what tomorrow would bring!

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Five minutes in the park: shopping…
Five minutes in the park: shoppin…
I was determined to get the perfec…
I was determined to get the perfe…
Two Happy Mouseketeers
Two Happy Mouseketeers
Mark preparing himself for Pirates…
Mark preparing himself for Pirate…
Goofy (Marks favourite character)…
Goofy (Mark's favourite character…
At the Mad Hatters Tea Party
At the Mad Hatter's Tea Party
Lester Piggot hes not!
Lester Piggot he's not!
The front of Sleeping Beautys Cas…
The front of Sleeping Beauty's Ca…
Cinderella and Prince Charming
Cinderella and Prince Charming
Mickeys Fantillusion Parade
Mickey's Fantillusion Parade
A HUGE Christmas tree (which was r…
A HUGE Christmas tree (which was …
The Mark Twai
The Mark Twai
Happy but SO cold!
Happy but SO cold!
Big Thunder Mountain - shut in hig…
Big Thunder Mountain - shut in hi…
The Parade Dancers
The Parade Dancers
Goofy, Mickey, Chip & Dale/ Tic et…
Goofy, Mickey, Chip & Dale/ Tic e…
Jasmine and Aladdin
Jasmine and Aladdin
Beauty and the Beast
Beauty and the Beast
Lumiere and Cogsworth
Lumiere and Cogsworth
Bert and Mary Poppins (Step In Tim…
Bert and Mary Poppins (Step In Ti…
Ho Ho Ho...he didnt look our way!
Ho Ho Ho...he didn't look our way!
My Prince Charming
My Prince Charming
Inside the shop at Sleeping Beauty…
Inside the shop at Sleeping Beaut…
Yaay, its me and Stitch!
Yaay, it's me and Stitch!
Oooh, its Mark in the morning...o…
Oooh, it's Mark in the morning...…
A Cross-Eyed Chesire Cat
A Cross-Eyed Chesire Cat
The Back of Sleeping Beautys Cast…
The Back of Sleeping Beauty's Cas…
Main Street USA at night
Main Street USA at night
Disneyland
photo by: scarlettwitch