Toy Story Playland – Official Opening Date


Signs in the car park at Disneyland Paris show the opening date of this expansion of the Walt Disney Studios as August 17th 2010. Expect soft openings to start a few weeks before this date meaning that DLP should have this ready to play some part of the busy summer period.

Another major plus of having this attraction ready sooner rather than later is the imminent release of Disney Pixar’s Toy Story 3.

With the change of Buzz Lightyear’s Pizza Planet in the Disneyland Park from a counter service restaurant into an all you can eat buffet the resort certainly seems to be relying on TS3 to be a big hit with audiences across Europe.

Another wonderful shot that I found online come courtesy of Forum ThemeParks and shows the construction of Toy Story Playland from the air.

Disneyland Paris release 2010 Halloween Logo


Disneyland Paris have recently released the first bits of information about the 2010 Halloween Celebration.

This is the new logo which heavily incorporates the current logo for the New Generation Festival.

Halloween 2010 will run from October 2nd to November 1st 2010. More details will be slowly leaked over the coming weeks and months.

Disneyland Paris – Beginners Guide to Staying off-site – Part Two; Park Tickets


Ok so you’ve made the decision to try Disneyland Paris staying off-site…you’ve arranged your travel and now we need a way of getting access to the parks.
Normally with your package you’d have park hopper tickets for the length of your stay, these can be bought at the gates, in-advance online or even in Disney Stores in the UK and in Paris.
1 day, 1 park ticket – Adult €53 Child €45
1 day, park hopper – Adult €67 Child €57
2 day park hopper – Adult €118 Child €99
3 day park hopper – Adult €129 Child €110
4 day park hopper – Adult €156 Child €132
As you can tell by the above prices, Disneyland Paris (as with all other Disney Resorts) wants you to buy a ticket for multiple days. An awful lot of people look at the one day park ticket and times that by the number of days and take that as their ticket price for their trip, this is common but incorrect mistake. Looking at the prices of these tickets is enough to send shivers down your spine and make sure that the wallet is as far away from the PC as possible. There is, however, another way…in-fact for an off-site trip, there is a better way.
Annual Passes…there are three different types of annual pass, depending on your budget and your needs, you need to select the best one for you. There are no child prices for annual passes, they are the same cost no matter what age you are (obviously as with park tickets, under 3’s are free)

Dream Annual Pass
€189 per person. The top annual pass, the most prestigious, the one with the most benefits…can you tell this is the one I have J This ticket allows you access to the park for 365 days. The other benefits are: 50% reduction on Halloween and other special party night tickets, 10% off in restaurants, 20% off shopping, 35% off Disney Hotel bookings, free parking at the main car-park, 20% off of one day tickets for friends and family, 15% off of Buffalo Bills Wild West Show, entrance to the park for Extra Magic Hours, free aparetif at table service restaurants, Free use once each day of Stroller & Wheelchair Rental, Pet Care Kennels and park Luggage Storage, 10% at Golf Disneyland Paris on green fees, restaurant and boutique and 10% off of Disney Stores in France.
Fantasy Annual Pass
€139 per person. This is the middle of the road annual pass, it allows 335 days access to the park, unfortunately you can’t pick those 335 days there are set in stone blackout days for each year and these will be listed later. The other benefits of this pass are: 25% reduction on Halloween and other special party night tickets, 10% off in restaurants, 10% off shopping, 25% off Disney Hotel bookings, free parking at the main car-park, 10% off of one day tickets for friends and family and 15% off of Buffalo Bills Wild West Show.
Francillian Annual Pass
€99 per person. This is the basic pass, it is also, despite the name, available to everyone. This pass allows you access to the park for 300 days a year meaning that for 65 days you won’t be allowed in. The other two major disadvantages of this pass are that you have to pay for car-parking (either €12 per day or €24 for the year) and that you are not allowed access to the park for the two days following purchase of your pass, for example you arrive on Monday and buy your Francillian Annual Pass, you would be allowed into the park on the Monday but Tuesday and Wednesday you will be denied access. This means that it still is really a pass for local people. The other benefits of this pass are: 25% reduction on Halloween and other special party night tickets, 10% off in restaurants and you can add parking to this annual pass for €24 per year.

Annual Pass Blackout dates
As discussed above there are certain dates during the year that both Francillian and/or Fantasy pass holders are not allowed access to the parks. The dates for 2010 are listed below:

Francillian Annual Pass

  • January

    1st only

  • April

    3rd and 4th

  • May

    1st and 2nd; 8th; 13th to 16th; 22nd to 24th

  • June

    12th, 13th, 19th, 20th, 26th and 27th

  • July

    3rd and 4th; 10th to 14th

  • August

    9th to 13th; 28th and 29th

  • September

    4th, 5th, 11th, 12th, 18th, 19th, 25th and 26th

  • October

    25th to 31st

  • November

    1st to 3rd

  • December

    4th, 5th, 18th and 29th; 25th to 31st

Fantasy Annual Pass

  • January

    1st only

  • April

    4th only

  • May

    15th and 23rd

  • July

    3rd, 4th, 10th and 11th

  • September

    18th, 19th, 25th and 26th

  • October

    27th to 31st

  • November

    1st to 3rd

  • December

    18th to 22nd

So…now you have chosen your pass…it’s on to where you are going to stay.

Disneyland Paris – Beginners Guide to Staying off-site – Part One; Travelling


Ok, so you’ve made the decision to try Disneyland Paris staying off-site…first things first…we need a way of getting there.
For the full off-site experience you are really going to need a car, so let’s start with that.
Two ways of crossing the channel to France, Ferry this is the slowest way of crossing the channel, but certainly the most fun, and Eurotunnel:
1) P&O Ferries – Probably the go-to ferry company, literally everyone knows this company and it’s the one that most travel agents use, for this reason I personally wouldn’t. Prices seem to be very high during reasonable travelling hours; the ferries always seem to be packed with no-where to sit unless you pay for priority boarding.

2) Seafrance – Quite possibly the second major player in the cross-channel ferry department. Always been happy with the ferry but very disappointed with the price from Seafrance.

3) Norfolkline – My personal choice, ok they go to Dunkerque and it adds half an hour to your crossing but I’ve never paid more than £40 return with them, always travelling at weekends, occasionally on bank holidays and always at 10am from Dover and 10pm from Dunkerque. No foot passengers or coach companies are allowed to use the Norfolkline ferries which mean that there is always plenty of room to sit and spread out on them.
4) Eurotunnel – The other way of crossing the channel and by far the quickest, less than half an hour and you are on the French motorways. The Eurotunnel can be very expensive so always book well in advance and remember that you can use those precious Tesco Clubcard points to pay for the crossing.
Flying and the Eurostar are the two another ways of crossing to France, obviously these two options are going to leave you car-less when you arrive in France unless you rent one there which is going to limit the off-site places that you can stay at. For this reason alone I wouldn’t recommend crossing this way, simply as relying on the French public transport system if you can’t speak the language and during the rush hours could lead to a very un-enjoyable holiday.
So we have our crossing sorted…next we need to find a way of gaining access to the Disneyland Paris Resort!

Disneyland Paris – Beginners Guide to staying off-site


Everyone knows that Disneyland Paris trips are not cheap…especially during the peak travel times however there are way’s of making the whole trip slightly cheaper. I’ve put together a beginners guide to staying off-site and saving a little bit of money, so sit back and enjoy the next few posts.

First up…travelling to Disneyland Paris

Chessington World of Adventures Trip Report


chessingtonOn Friday the wifey and I decided that we would visit Chessington World of Adventures on Saturday 22nd Agust 2009. We pre-bought one ticket for her through her work link with the Merlin Group for £20 and we planned to use our Nectar points for a ticket for myself (4,300 points per Adult ticket).

We left home at around 8:30 for the hour drive to Chessington World of Adventures aiming to be there in time to buy tickets and make rope-drop at 10:00am (I later discovered that visitors to the nearby Holiday Inn Chessington can enter the park from 9:30am…although I’m not sure it’s worth thr £100 per night!)

We arrived shortly after 9:30 and were very surprised to be in the fist ten rows of the South car park. We had come prepared for there to be long waits for all the attractions however we decided to go ahead with Chessington World of Adventures as they also have a Zoo and a SeaLife Centre which we had planned to do if the rides were too busy.

Dragons-FuryWe picked up tickets without too much hassle (I would advise pre-booking tickets as there was no wait at the collection booth but a 10 minute wait to buy tickets) and after queueing for a while we were through the ticket barriers. Now I found this very odd…a theme park who is appealing to the family groups had just ONE turnstile for buggies to go through and 19 others. We were then held by the Dragon’s Fury Rollercoaster while we awaited 10:00am and while waiting here we made the first purchase of the day…a re-fillable Coke mug for £4.99 which could be re-filled as much as required during that trip.

9751303 After the 10:00 rope drop the first ride of the day was Dragon Falls…due to the height restriction of 90cm it was just myself and Kacee who rode this. It was rather a good ride and Kacee thoroughly enjoyed his first ever log flume ride.  He did get a little scared when the large drop came up but by the time we hit the bottom he was giggling so he must have liked it. You didn’t really get that wet sat in the front of the boat, especially with just myself and Kacee in the boat…a few people behind us got soaked though so I guess it all depends.

Next we rushed over to Tomb Blaster.DSC04691 This one was a fmaily ride which would have allowed mackyln to ride with us but he had fallen asleep so I let Ellie take Kacee on this ride. Tomb Blaster is an interactive laser-shooting attraction themed as an adventure into a historic tomb, with many large audio animattronic effects such mummies, scarab beetles and a giant snake. Overall opinion was that the ride was quite good but also quite scary for little ones and Ellie was surprised that this considered a family ride. Kacee quite enjoyed it although the guns were a lot heavier than those on Buzz Lightyears Lazer Blasters in Disneyland Paris and he wasn’t really able to hole the gun or shoot very well.

Next up for Kacee and Ellie (I was feeding a screaming Macklyn) was Flying Jumbos, a kind of Dumbo rip off. This had the longest queue of the day so far with a 5 minute wait for the ride. Kacee was very impressed with this one although he kept saying “It’s elephants but not Dumbo” with a very confused look on his face which I thought was very cute. Ellie then took over the feeding while I took Kacee onto Toadie’s Crazy Cars.

1I’m sorry but this has to be the worst ride I have ever been on in my entire life. I know that I have been spoilt with Disneyland Paris and that theming is the major differece between a place like Chessington World of Adventures and Disneyland Paris but this was dreadfull. There was a handfull of small plastic animals spread throughout the ride, most of which needed a good clean and a lick of paint…however the worst was to come. Just before you go through the ‘barn’ scene you drive past Badger…who only has half a face! Yes that’s correct…half of his face is missing! With a little TLC this ride could have been acceptable but for now it’s the worst ride in the park by far, this may have been reflected in the 10 minute wait while just opposite Tiny Truckers had a 40 minute wait.

This is where (for those of you who follow me on Twitter you’ll already know of this) the day was neraly spoilt. I won’t go into much detail but Kacee ended up falling into a Pond in Toytown. Chessington were quite good and bought him a hoody and a t-shirt to wear while they dried out his other clothes in a tumble dryer. They also gave us two exit passes as a way of apologising.

2After this little drama we made our way over towards Hocus Pocus Hall to eat our picnic. Thankfully the weather had kept lovely and warm…right up until we sat down to eat lunch and the heavens opened. We decided that this would be a good time to ride the Bubbleworks and headed over towards Transylvania to check out the wait time. This ride was posting a 45 minute wait although judging by the grumbles of people walking past it was closer to an hour. We decided that the boy’s would really like this ride and used one of our precious exit passes to bypass the entire queue.

263165429_413f9c4eedThe Bubbleworks takes you upon a tour of a soap factory. Similar to the previous version, you can see the several stages of the production, from the initial idea to the development and experiments. The ride was previously based around an over-the-top fizzy pop factory run by the zany Professor Burp. It is now themed as a tour through a fantastical soap factory under the management of Imperial Leather. In the factory are machines such as the Rub-A-Dub Reactor and the laughing gas cylinders. You actually get quite wet on this ride and going down the drop I really had to hold onto Macklyn! I’m not really sure why this ride is such a big hit. It’s previous incarnation was much much better…it comes across as just a big advert for Imperial Leather which I guess is the point of it for them. I feel that refurbishing this back to it’s original form would be much better in terms of theming and the story.

After riding the Bubbleworks and trying to eat our lunch we headed off around the Zoo part of Chessington World of Adventures. First stop was the Trail of the Kings where you pass a variety of animals. We saw Asiatic Lions, Gorilla’s, Persian Leopards and Sumatran Tigers on this trail. Nest we checked out the Sealion Bay, unfortunatly we had missed the show but the Sealion’s were out and playing in the water, I’m fascinated by most sea creatures and could have stood here all day however Kacee wanted to go and see the Peguins which are another firm favorate of mine.  After this we headed over to the Children’s Zoo where the kiddies get to pet Goats and Pigs while the walk around. Kacee loved this right up until the moment a piggie ‘oinked’ at him and scared him.

We then headed over to the Sea Life Centre at Chessington World of Adventures and explored this for a while. It looks like a temporary structure and really doesn’t fit in with the rest of the park but I have been assured that this is a permanent thing and that the Merlin Group are aiming to have a Sealife Centre at all of thier theme parks in the very near future. This was simply amazing. Kacee especially loved the Nemo and Dory fish and loved looking at the sharks in the tunnel. This honestly was the highlight of the day.

safari1By now Kacee was really starting to tire so we decided to use our final exit pass. Kacee had been really wanting to go on the Safari Skyway and with the wait showing at around 40 minutes we decided that this would be an excellent place to use our last pass. This is a monrail around a large part of the Zoo and gives a great bird’s eye view of lots of the park along with a very cheesy commentary and very bad Australian accent. Kacee loved this and was very much wide awake when we left so we headed over to Toytown to the Ribena Berry Bouncers. This ride is rather odd in so much as you have to have an adult with you if you are under 1.1m tall however each bouncer can only take two adults but 4 children. Needless to say we got halfway through the queue and I asked the attendant if Kacee could ride alone seeing as there was already an adult on the bouncer (the last 4 had gone up half empty and we had been waiting for over 10 minutes) The CM said that this would be ok so Kacee ended up riding his first ever ride on his own (ie without either Ellie and I) I’m guessing by the fact that he was giggling from start to finish that he really liked this ride!

It was approaching 5:00pm now and with the park closing at 6:00pm I wanted to make a move shortly to avoid the traffic leaving the park. We saw that there was virtually no wait at a Ferris Wheel in the park (I’ve tried looking for the name but it doesn’t appear to exist at all!) this was a great way to end the day with a ride altogether and looking out over the park. The weather was so nice and the sky so clear that you could actually see the sights of London such as Canary Wharf, Big Ben and even the London Eye. With that there was time for a quick toilet break and to re-fill our drink cup for the way home (and the 9th time that day) and it was back home to Gillingham via McDonalds for dinner.

We had a great time at Chessington World of Adventures. It wasn’t as busy as we had thought it was going to be. The longest queue time was 45 minutes and, espcially early morning, a lot of the rides were 5-10 minutes all day long. The theming at Chessington is obviously not up to the same standards as at Disneyland Paris however I get the feeling that the park really could be a great little park with a little TLC. I think we liked this park as much as Legoland, although I’d like to go back to Legoland and tour the park properly rather than as part of a large group.


Disneyland Paris – continued improvements or just commercial greed?


I always try to avoid posting other people’s work but this piece just struck a chord with me. The following link is to another blog site called Wax On, Wax Off written by Steve.