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Jentasmic! Around the World in Disney Days

26 May

My Jentasmic! column at StudiosCentral.com this week starts on facebook, and travels around the globe:

The other day, I found myself listing the five things I’d immediately spend tons of cash on if I were to hit the lottery big time. Yes, the charitable foundation and the big house were at the top of my list, along with sending my husband to Mongolia (honest, he’s wanted to go there for decades). And, you guessed it, so was a fabulous vacation to all the Disney Parks around the world. (After all, my spouse will be in Mongolia for a while, and the boy and I need to keep ourselves occupied somehow, right?) I’ve been to nine of the Disney Parks already, only missing Tokyo DisneySea and Hong Kong Disneyland, but I’d love to take a leisurely couple months to visit them all sequentially, and also enjoy some of the surrounding areas.

Head on over to read the rest….

Jentasmic: My Top 7 Disney Parks Best Moves

20 Mar
Greeting the day at Disneyland Paris, en route to our Good Morning Fantasyland breakfast

We are shocked! We have Main Street and the Castle all to ourselves!

I’ve written about my biggest mistakes before….but this week’s Jentasmic! column at StudiosCentral.com takes a more optimistic spin, looking at the best moves I’ve ever made related to my Disney Parks trips. Strangely enough, one item actually made it onto both lists:

6) Staying onsite at Disneyland Paris. When writing my “top 5 mistakes list,” I felt that staying onsite had not been worth the trouble and expense, given that my spouse had spent that night solo in a perfectly good Central Paris hotel room, 45 minutes away by train. And I’m still planning to commute from Central Paris on my next Disneyland Paris trip, scheduled for late August of this year (fingers crossed! I hope we can make it happen!). But maybe that early entrance to the park for the included-with-stay Good Morning Fantasyland Breakfast was worth the expense and trouble; after all, we got that fabulous picture of my son in front of Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant, with nary another Guest in sight. And y’all know how I feel about the importance of afternoon breaks when you’re traveling with the under-10 set, right? So I’m starting to believe it was in fact money well spent, especially if it was just a one-time thing.

Living Character Initiative: Remy at Disneyland Paris

9 Jul

This little gem comes from the DLRP Today blog:

Now, I want a Remy character dining experience! But I don’t want him rotating around from table to table, like at Chef Mickey’s…I want him popping out randomly from under your food. A little extra magic on your plate, n’est-ce pas?

No Smoking at Disneyland Paris Parks

14 Mar

DLRP breaks the news that smoking will be banned at Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney Studios, and explains:

But smokers… no need to fret. Because instead, the two parks will follow their US counterparts by introducing airport-style “designated smoking areas” in secluded corners of each land.

This news, first rumoured several months ago, follows the introduction of a complete “smoking ban” throughout most public buildings in France last year, when England notably also joined the rest of the United Kingdom for a similar ban. Disneyland Resort Paris have wasted no time in taking advantage of this new-found French distrust of the smoker, banning smoking throughout all restaurants several years ago and now confirmed, from April this year, to be taking the brave step to outlaw to designated corners the legions of smokers amongst the millions who visit the parks each year.

I have to admit, I didn’t even notice the smoking when I was there, in September 2005. Maybe this is because I’d just gotten used to the smokers all over Paris, or maybe because there were so many other cultural dissimilarities that the smoking just faded into the noise.

Tower of Terror “Crash Landings” in UK

13 Mar

DLRP Today has some great pictures of a marketing installation in the UK’s Leicester Square, as well as the related press release from Disneyland Paris.

Brummies beware! According to new research out today from Disneyland Resort Paris, Birmingham is the twilight zone capital of the UK, recording the highest levels of supernatural phenomena.

The research, which looked at strange happenings and unexplained mysteries across the country, reveals the UK’s ‘capital’ and 13 hotspots for twilight zone activity. Commissioned to celebrate the launch of The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™* – a new attraction at Disneyland Resort Paris, inspired by the 1950s TV series The Twilight Zone® – the research has formed the basis of a spotter’s guide to the UK’s real twilight zones.

DLRP Tower of Terror Video

28 Nov

DLRP Today has an interesting “premiere” ridethrough video of the Disney Studios Paris version of the Tower of Terror, scheduled to begin soft openings shortly (if it hasn’t already). Nothing surprising to those who’ve ridden ToT at other parks, but the view from the top floor is pretty nice.

(Plus of course if you’re riding it this means you’re near Paris, one of my favorite cities in the world! And there’s just nothing that says “vacation in France” like Rod Serling on a black-and-white TV.)

DLRP Trip Report from Times Online

20 Nov

The Times Online (UK) has a cute Disneyland Paris trip report this week, and man it’s making me wish I could head back there soon! I was amused though to note that the author hated my all-time favorite Disney counter service restaurant worldwide, Cafe Hyperion (which I’d raved about on MouseGuest Weekly podcast #117):

Sadly the Disney magic did not extend to lunch. Our burger and fries in Café Hyperion were the worst we have ever tasted (worse even than Russia). And the coldest. And soggiest. Poor Peggy, who would normally sell her soul for a chip, was bitterly disappointed and I was amazed that the French guests didn’t start a revolution.

Yeah I know, I know, the food is lousy . . . but sweetie, it’s all about watching Chip and Dale cartoons on the big screen, and sitting with life-size fiberglass lions!

Videos: Corbin Bleu Visits Disney Studios Paris

21 Oct

High School Musical star Corbin Bleu visited the Disneyland Resort Paris recently, and DLRP has the videos to prove it. Disney Parks fans will likely appreciate the footage of the Walt Disney Studios Park, especially the afternoon parade and Crush’s Coaster. Bleu fans will of course want to watch both. (And notice the man riding Rockin’ Roller Coaster with Bleu? I believe that may be his dad, who co-starred with him in the Disney Channel movie Jump In!. Can anybody confirm or deny?)

I don’t know how well the High School Musicals translate to a European audience . . . the underlying messages about class and individuality have a distinctly American sensibility, but of course pretty, well-groomed teenagers have universal appeal.

One Step Closer to a Ratatouille Character Meal?

25 Sep

Disneyland Paris now has a Ratatouille-themed buffet restaurant, described in a September 16 post at the DLRP Today blog:

The changes took place literally overnight, with all the previous cafeteria menus being covered with Ratatouille-themed advertisements for the new buffet and various views from inside the kitchen of Gusteau’s, the restaurant featured in the film.

For the launch of the new buffet, Cast Members were given costumes a little similar to those seen at the Disneyland California pre-parade and the Ratatouille Big Cheese Tour, both promotional events in the US. It’s unknown whether this new buffet is part of a deal with Buena Vista International, Disney’s film distrubution arm, similar to the Cars and Ratatouille billboards and posters covering Disney Studio 1.

Hmm, Mr. Broke Hoedown is a huge Ratatouille fan . . . could this be enough to tempt him into another trip to the Disneyland area of France?

When Will Walt Disney World Add Another Park?

2 Aug

Blue Sky Disney has an interesting article today, speculating about roadmaps for new parks at Disney resort areas worldwide. The bottom line? We won’t see additional “gates” at any of the existing resorts for another decade.

Through the latter part of this decade we’ll look forward to shoring up the state-side parks(DCA in particular), Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland will focus on expanding their current offerings before any plans get approved for more fun factories. Think of it as repairing a fleet of cars that have been abused for a decade before you go out and buy a new series of cars. Lots of refurbishment and expansion ahead of us friends…

The most interesting sentence to me:

When [WDW resort hotels] start approaching Disneyland levels (above 90 percent) then you’ll see the executives in Team Disney Burbank start putting those blue sky plans on the front burner.

Um, about that . . . doesn’t seem to me that’s likely anytime soon, especially if you include DVC (there seems to have been a recent glut of Saratoga Springs rooms on the market lately). And hey, Pop Century Legendary Years, anyone? Apparently occupancy rates at WDW haven’t even been high enough to convince Disney to finish building it.

The article has good analysis and interesting speculations. And don’t miss the comment, there’s some good conversation going on there too.

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