Wednesday, 8th July 2015

4 Brand NEW Frozen Summer Fun Original Videos Are Here!

Disneyland Paris Frozen Summer Fun videos

DLP Guide has been to enjoy all the sights, sounds and songs (well, mostly one well-known song) of Frozen Summer Fun at Disneyland Paris — during the hottest week of the year it should be said — and here are the first results!

Four brand new, original Frozen Summer Fun videos now await your viewing, all filmed and presented in 1080p HD at 50fps with 5.1 channel sound.

You can watch them below, on our Video pages or directly on our YouTube channel.

If you haven’t already, do also Subscribe to our YouTube channel for more brand new Disneyland Paris videos coming shortly, covering various non-Frozen attractions!

Wednesday, 3rd June 2015

10 Photos to Make You Want to Drop Everything and Visit Disneyland Paris Now

Sleeping Beauty Castle fireworks at Disneyland Paris

Have more pictures of Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant than your own home? Visiting Mickey and Minnie more frequently than your actual relatives? You’d best not look at the next ten photos — each one will make you want to drop everything and book another Disneyland Paris trip right now.

Some of the photos Disneyland Paris provides to the press are pretty standard: Main Street, U.S.A. on a sunny day, children meeting characters. Not these: these are the special ones, the ones in some cases only Disney could capture, where just a single glance takes you there to that moment of sheer delight in the park, experiencing it for yourself.

1. Main Street Station on a perfect morning

Main Street Station, Disneyland Park entrance at Disneyland Paris

You look up as you pass through the turnstiles. The morning sun glows across Main Street Station, the promise of Disneyland Park and the day ahead teases through the tunnels below.

2. Rivers of the Far West on a hot afternoon

Rivers of the Far West in Frontierland at Disneyland Paris

Sheltering beneath the luscious green trees with a well-deserved ice cream, the water laps against the ochre rocks and the flags of the riverboats flutter in the breeze as Big Thunder Mountain railroad clatters around the track.

3. Star Tours with a Star Wars sky

Star Tours in Discoveryland at Disneyland Paris

Occasionally and unexpectedly, the eastern sky above Discoveryland does wondrous things. You might see the moon above Space Mountain during the day, or perhaps those pink clouds above Star Tours, calling you to the moon of Endor…

4. Disneyland Railroad on a damp autumn day

Disneyland Railroad Frontierland Depot at Disneyland Paris

It’s a quiet day, there’s drizzle in the air, the sparse walkways are dotted only with plastic ponchos, but there’s still magic to be found. Follow the tap-tap of the Frontierland Depot telegraph and enjoy an entire Disneyland Railroad compartment to yourself as you recite the classic commentary, word for word. “Where the rivers still run free, and anyone’s dream can turn to gold…”

5. Your eyes adjusting to La Tanière du Dragon

La Taniére du Dragon in Fantasyland at Disneyland Paris

Blinking into the cave’s entrance, at first it just seems to be darkness. Then you hear the roar. As you get closer and dare to linger longer, your eyes adjust to see the full scale of the spiny, twisting dragon’s body. Good thing it’s chained up.

6. La Place de Rémy after a Parisian rainstorm

Ratatouille in La Place de Rémy at Walt Disney Studios Park, Disneyland Paris

Gusteau beckons you from the rooftops, his bright neon lights glistening off the damp cobblestones of La Place de Rémy. There’s a wild, unique ride waiting inside those walls. Fancy a taste of Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy, followed by a side of Bistrot Chez Rémy?

7. The Columbiad Cannon launching into Space Mountain

Space Mountain in Discoveryland at Disneyland Paris

Even on your hundredth ride, even with the spoil-sport countdown added with Mission 2, that 1.5G uphill launch never fails to leave you open-mouthed as you fly in a blur up the side of Space Mountain. Blink and you’ll miss an incredible view over Discoveryland.

8. A sleepy afternoon at Hotel Cheyenne

Disney's Hotel Cheyenne at Disneyland Paris

On a warm afternoon, the far-flung reaches of Disney’s Hotel Cheyenne and Disney’s Hotel Santa Fe have a wonderfully sleepy atmosphere. Temporarily forgotten by the hoards of visitors spending their day in the park, walking back for a quick afternoon nap gives a new appreciation that you never get rushing off to your first ride in the morning.

9. The night lighting up Main Street, U.S.A.

Main Street, U.S.A. at night at Disneyland Paris

Ever since the dancing “popcorn” lights of Main Street, U.S.A. first lit up Disneyland at Anaheim, California in 1955, the brief half-hour where twilight falls has been a magical moment for Disney parks. Catch it when the lights are lit but the night hasn’t fully darkened the deep blue sky for the most ethereal views of the magic kingdom.

10. Disney Dreams! blowing you away (for the 50th time)

Disney Dreams! at Disneyland Paris

Every night, all year round, Disney Dreams! can be guaranteed to be the “goodnight kiss” that blows you away. You feel like you could see that show-stopping, throw-everything-into-the-sky-at-once finale a million more times and still not quite take it in. But you can keep trying, right?

Saturday, 30th May 2015

First Frozen Summer Fun programme: Sing-along showtimes

Disneyland Paris Frozen Summer Fun entertainment programme

The first Frozen Summer Fun park programme has been published by Disneyland Paris, giving showtimes for the first week of new Frozen events in Disneyland Park.

From the official launch day on Monday 1st June through to Friday, Frozen Sing-along will be presented in French at 12:45, 14:45, 17:45 and in English at 13:45, 16:45 and 18:45. This high-tech stage production at The Chaparral Theater in Frontierland will be increased to an impressive twelve shows per day at weekends, and twelve daily in July and August, according to the earlier press release.

Meanwhile, the mini cavalcade Frozen: A Royal Welcome, with Queen Elsa and Princess Anna, will be presented at 16:15, 20:15 and 21:15. Perhaps much later in the day than expected for a “welcome” procession, all but the first outing will take place after the sisters’ appearance in Disney Magic on Parade! at 17:30.

And don’t forget, from today at park closing time Disney Dreams! features a new Frozen scene, replacing the Brave scene introduced in 2013.

Saturday, 30th May 2015

Experience Enhancement Plan attraction closure dates change already

Disneyland Paris Experience Enhancement Plan attraction closure dates

No sooner has the pixie dust settled on the announcement of a major programme of attraction refurbishments, Disneyland Paris has already changed the schedule. Dubbed the Experience Enhancement Plan on the UK website, the new updated list of closures sees several works slipping to later dates and some disappearing altogether.

La Cabane des Robinson has moved from this August to January 2016, ending September 2016, while Star Tours has changed from a definite 1st March 2016 to a rougher “late February 2016” — a date worth marking as surely the last time on Earth we’ll get to take the original 1987 trip to the moon of Endor, and practically confirming the updated 3D sequel will open in 2017.

An important addition is Thunder Mesa Riverboat Landing. Yes, it’s sadly hardly unusual to see this Frontierland attraction closed for long periods, but its closure here parallel to Big Thunder Mountain is said to include a complete draining of the Rivers of the Far West, a sight seen perhaps only once (perhaps never?) before in the park’s history.

Meanwhile, it seems the exciting and long-rumoured thought of a revamped or replaced Animagique show can be forgotten for now, at least, as this Walt Disney Studios Park attraction disappears from the schedule.

Original schedule:

Disneyland Paris Experience Enhancement Plan

New schedule:

Disneyland Paris Experience Enhancement Plan

Intriguingly, the new image has “v6” in its filename while its predecessor was “v5”. We can only wonder what versions 1-4 looked like…

Definite dates for these closures will likely only be confirmed at the usual schedule of two to three months in advance, so keep checking back for further updates if you need to know specifics.

• Find all the upcoming Experience Enhancement Plan dates plus regular monthly lists on our Closures & Refurbishments page

Wednesday, 27th May 2015

5 Favourite Disneyland Paris Counter Service Restaurants for Fast & Fun Food

Colonel Hathi's Pizza Outpost, Adventureland, Disneyland Paris restaurant

Remember when Disneyland Paris was synonymous only with unhealthy fast food, hand-in-hand with McDonald’s, a side of fries with everything?

And then came the salads. Years of distancing itself from salt, sugar and the golden arches later, not to mention a concerted push towards Meal Plans and better-quality buffet restaurants has left the resort’s “Counter Service” fast food restaurants feeling overlooked — not least by management. Many menus still show a desperate lack of imagination, variety, and crucially, value for money.

But don’t lose your appetite: there are still a special few Counter Service places where an unusual menu option shines through, or the atmosphere is good as a Table Service, or you actually feel it was money well spent. A quick bit of Twitter research tells us everyone has their favourite spot.

Let’s spread the word about these fan-favourites with a list of the five best Disneyland Paris counter service restaurants plus their good and bad points, and perhaps, one day, we’ll be able to count to ten…

5. Cowboy Cookout Barbecue

Cowboy Cookout Barbecue, Frontierland, Disneyland Paris restaurant

Set in an enormous barn on the Cottonwood Creek Ranch edge of Frontierland, Cowboy Cookout Barbecue both benefits and suffers from its impressive size. While toe-tapping live western music can be a great bonus on many afternoons, the relatively open interior and close tables is best for those who want a bustling, convivial atmosphere over their lunch rather than a quiet sit down.

That said, the almost endless, wide serving counters are a pleasant break from the park’s many cramped ordering areas and outdoor seating amongst the trees is a delight in summer. Tex-Mex smoked meats make the hearty menu seem a little more like “real” food, but also useless for vegetarians.

Good points: Fast service, live music, lively atmosphere

Bad points: Can feel like the entire park is eating there, poor vegetarian choices

4. Cable Car Bake Shop

Cable Car Bake Shop, Main Street USA, Disneyland Paris restaurant

The moment you discover the bustling atmosphere of Cable Car Bake Shop, feeling somewhat hidden mid-way up the street, and take a seat in its comfy and quaint booths, you’re well on your way to falling in love with Main Street, U.S.A.

What could easily be noted only as “an alternative Market House Deli“, serving basically the same sandwich menu items, is somehow so much more charming. Pictures and models on the walls present a tribute to turn-of-the-century horse-drawn trolleys and the sweet smell of the adjoining Cookie Kitchen permeates your senses, while those all-important booths are the perfect place for a lively group discussion about your next attraction, or a quiet snuggle on a cold Christmas day.

Good points: Great seating, atmosphere transports you to another time

Bad points: Limited food choices, may have to circle for booth seats

3. Colonel Hathi’s Pizza Outpost

Colonel Hathi's Pizza Outpost, Adventureland, Disneyland Paris restaurant

What once was, briefly, the elegant and lushly themed Explorers Club restaurant now serves Italian pizza and pasta with a menu identical to Pizzeria Bella Notte in Fantasyland. But if you can choose, go for Colonel Hathi’s Pizza Outpost every time. Nestled in the exciting jungle of Adventureland with its own Jungle Book music loop, the benefits of a former Table Service venue are plain to see: intimate booth seating, large outdoor terraces and a fantastic centrepiece with the branches of a tree stretching up into the rafters — even if the Enchanted Tiki Room-inspired experience of animatronic birds above isn’t what it could be.

Likewise, the simplistic menu can seem to waste such a stunning venue. A choice of just two pizzas are tasty enough, but the standard pasta with a dollop of — again, one of two — sauces in a cardboard box feels dreary and the lasagne is thoroughly uninspiring. It wouldn’t take much to at least offer a different pizza topping, would it?

Good points: Unbeatable setting, feel-good atmosphere, tasty pizzas

Bad points: Lacking menu variety, poor quality pasta choices

2. Restaurant Hakuna Matata / Fuente del Oro Restaurante

Restaurant Hakuna Matata, Adventureland, Disneyland Paris restaurant
Fuente del Oro Restaurante, Frontierland, Disneyland Paris restaurant

It’s a tough call between the Lion King-based eaterie and its Frontierland neighbour (the two share backstage areas despite being in separate lands), with both offering perhaps the most “different” Disneyland Paris counter service options. At Restaurant Hakuna Matata, the vaguely African theme serves spiced chicken and kebabs, with the delicious “Hakuna fries” being a particular fan favourite. Meanwhile if Mexican food is more your thing, Fuente del Oro Restaurante has tasty “Mexican rice” and a great variety of taquitos, tacos and fajitas that are more fun and feel more filling than a burger bun any day.

Formerly Aux Epices Enchantées, before the 1995 animated blockbuster, the Adventureland restaurant has more capacity and a far less frenetic serving area, while Fuente del Oro always feels the brunt of mid-day crowds for Big Thunder Mountain opposite (not helped by a terribly cramped counter and too little covered seating) — but might be worth it for those fajitas.

Good points: Unique menus, good value, well-located

Bad points: Fuente gets horribly busy, Hakuna too often closed on quieter days

1. Earl of Sandwich

Earl of Sandwich, Disney Village, Disneyland Paris restaurant

That’s right, one of — if not the — best counter service restaurant at Disneyland Paris has nothing to do with Disney. The external Earl of Sandwich chain opened this well thought-out venue at one end of Disney Village in 2011, bringing its signature hot sandwiches to Paris with prices better than or at least equal Disney’s own, lesser-quality (and far less imaginative) cold sandwiches. Recent menu changes have seen the restaurant try a wider variety of salads, wraps and pizza slices to get more all-day trade, but it’s the sandwiches we keep coming back for — not least because there’s so many to choose from, you rarely get bored.

Ordering is also a delight, with a fast-moving queue and helpful numbered menu items leading you to receive an innovative buzzer to pick up your freshly-prepared food. The British theme is light and indeed barely noticeable, made up for by a surprisingly stunning view over Lake Disney from the first floor which feels befitting of a far more expensive restaurant. On all counts — choice, service and value for money — we’re still waiting for Disney to take note with its own counter service restaurants, four years on.

Good points: Endless menu options, best value in the resort, great first floor view

Bad points: A long walk from the parks, prices are creeping up

Honourable mentions…

Toad Hall Restaurant has a gorgeous cartoon British manor house interior and delicious fish and chips, but otherwise lacks indoor seating capacity and food variety, with an alternative chicken burger menu option which feels like a cop-out (why not something like filled baked potatoes, or a classic savoury pie?).

Although ostensibly a Table Service venue, don’t ignore The Lucky Nugget Saloon, which after some years as a character buffet restaurant has settled into an enjoyable place between basic counter service and something more.

You’ll pay a little more, but you get a sumptuous western saloon interior set around a traditional stage, often presenting live music. It’s about as close as Disneyland Paris have got to a “Nando’s” or pub style of basic casual dining.

Best avoided…

The whole of Walt Disney Studios Park could sadly be listed here with its disappointing counter service options, but instead let’s say Au Chalet de la Marionnette – a vast and very traditional fast food restaurant so big it actually spans two lands, with a frenetic Fantasyland section and a darker, but still noisy, Adventureland area both inspired by Pinocchio’s adventures.

That Bavarian Hot Dog might look tempting but, along with the burgers and chicken nuggets, it all just adds up to a so-so experience that will likely only make you want to get out as soon as possible.

Do you agree? Share your Disneyland Paris Counter Service dining tips below!

Pictures: Photos Magiques

Tuesday, 26th May 2015

Calendar hours, dates and closures updated & ‘Experience Enhancement Plan’ confirmed!

Big Thunder Mountain at Disneyland Paris

Whether you’re planning to visit Disneyland Paris in September 2015 or September 2016, we’ve got some major Calendar updates on every page to help you plan your trip as far ahead as possible.

The most interesting update, whether you’re planning a visit soon or not, will be Attraction Closures — here we’ve added the rough attraction closure dates for the Disneyland Paris “Experience Enhancement Plan”, just officially announced, which will see some of the most popular attractions refreshed between now and 2017. So if there’s an attraction you really don’t want to miss, you can plan ahead — or indeed, plan to visit when it’s re-opened and looking sparkling new!

Disneyland Paris Experience Enhancement Plan

Note that these “Further Ahead” dates are only given on a rough quarterly basis. Continue to consult the detailed monthly closure lists, up to three months ahead, for the precise dates. (For example, Space Mountain: Mission 2 was listed “until August” but should actually re-open on 25th July 2015).

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