Disney FanDaze Paris Inaugural Party

 

Disney FanDaze Paris Inaugural Party Parade

Disney FanDaze Paris Inaugural Party Parade

Kuzco the Llama at Disney FanDaze

Kuzco the Llama at Disney FanDaze

RSVP to these three VIP vlogs and check out my experience of the evening direct from the Disney FanDaze Inaugural Party in Paris!

Unfortunately, Kuzco becomes a Llama again, and even though I spend some time taking selfies with Daisy (who seems to enjoy taking them as much as I do?), I do get to chat with Jim Hawkins about planets and his mom’s restaurant… that kind of thing.

Douglas Rickard and Daisy Duck do a selfie

Douglas Rickard and Daisy Duck do a selfie

Douglas Rickard meeting Jim Hawkins at the Disney FanDaze Inaugural Party

Douglas Rickard meeting Jim Hawkins at the Disney FanDaze Inaugural Party

Some might wonder if it’s inhumane for so many people to chase one chipmunk in the video below. (Clarisse doesn’t seem to mind.) And if Disney villain Yzma’s anti-aging routine is so bad, how can she still make these dance moves?! What makes my weekend though is making some new friends, despite some old ones appearing to dodge us as the Paris sun sets!

Finally, and at 2:00 am Disneyland Paris time, an up-close view of almost every rare Disney character imaginable at the Inaugural Party Farewell Parade in the heart of Walt Disney Studios park. Even the most elusive of heroes and villains, like Li Shang and Shan Yu, Robin Hood and Prince John, Hercules and Hades plus Brer Rabbit and Brer Fox jostle each other along the parade route.

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Falling in love with Disneyland Paris

Still up there as the “happiest” day of my life so far, is a 15-hour (and my first ever in any Disney park) day at Disneyland, Anaheim. Splash Mountain had just opened and my 21 year old, friendship bracelet wearing self, and fellow summer camp counselors did everything there, down to the Davy Crocket canoes.

Until last month, for some reason or other, I hadn’t been back to our Disneyland in Europe for 20 years, despite living in London. Walt’s charming park in the California sunshine had set the bar high for me perhaps and I don’t really remember much from a mid-‘90s short day trip to DLP.

How was it then, that on my 2016 visit, with construction ‘reinvent the magic’ refurbishment walls, (in preparation for the 25th Anniversary in 2017) from park entrance, through Main Street station and all over Frontierland, I fell in love with Disneyland Paris for the first time …in forever?

Douglas Rickard on it's a small world

Douglas Rickard on it’s a small world

Green hoardings on one side of the entrance didn’t hamper an immediate rush of birdsong and heavenly, flowering shrub scents from the other, (I’m pretty sure the birds weren’t animatronics). And for me, this was the story that continued throughout the Disneyland Paris park. It’s beautiful. I’m about “show” element too. I was trained in one of the stores in the early ‘90s about “standards,” and I notice the little details everywhere anyway as you might appreciate in one of my montage-heavy Vlogs below, pinpointing corners of Fantasyland.

My travlog (below) through what is, in my opinion, the superior “salute to the children of the world” in all the Disney parks depicts, just one upshot of the ‘reinvent the magic’ refurbishments at Disneyland Paris. It was the likes of tweets, articles and forum posts on this clearly visible investment into not just the park but cast members too, that made me decide Disney Paris is worth a visit.

it's a small world Disneyland Paris 2016

it’s a small world Disneyland Paris 2016

Cottonwood Creek Ranch at Disneyland Paris

Cottonwood Creek Ranch at Disneyland Paris

I now miss being addressed as “monsieur”. Whether they were serving ice cream or thoughtfully ensuring they took enough photos (on my own camera) of me, with one of the characters. That’s the feeling the 100 percent pleasant Disneyland Paris cast members left me with.

Uncle Scrooge with Douglas Rickard at Plaza Gardens Restaurant, Disneyland Paris

Uncle Scrooge with Douglas Rickard at Plaza Gardens Restaurant, Disneyland Paris

Main Street USA Disneyland Paris 2016

Main Street USA Disneyland Paris 2016

Watching other Vloggers, it hit me that of course many have those very precious kind of memories from childhood visits to Disneyland Paris which I never had. Nostalgia for me was the titles of “The Wonderful World Of Disney” tv show and that original castle in Anaheim on a screen. Yet I now feel such affection for a happy place in Paris that I experienced as having an authentic sense of its very own history while honouring everything I believed about and enjoyed at, Walt’s original castle park.