Disney’s Halloween Party 2019: The best yet

Every year the Disneyland Paris Halloween Party is one of the most anticipated events; in 2019 two Halloween parties have been offered for those who can’t necessarily make the 31st October. This innovation allows more of us to experience one of the best events of the year, it’s something that is certainly to be encouraged as Disneyland Paris expands its hard ticket slate. 

But how does the party compare to previous years? 

Disney Villains Parade

The highlight of the night is always this very special Villains parade; it manages to straddle the creepy and fun divide almost perfectly whilst offering toe tappingly catchy music, it provides energy to the night that is the perfect send off. 

All the floats are familiar to guests, from Mickey’s Illusion Manor to Maleficent breathing fire down Main Street, nothing here is out of the ordinary – except the characters featured are mostly the Disney Villains. New this year was the inclusion of Oogie Boogie making both his Disneyland Paris and meet and greet debut. 

The additional dancers and costumes are the perfect side of creepy and fit into the neon theme that the Disney Halloween Party 2019 was going for. 

Captain Jack’s Scary Island

Also returning for 2019 is the Scare Zone on Adventure Isle. Whilst this has been toned down this year (no more chainsaws or severed heads!) it remains a creepy experience as the caves of the Isle are filled with smoke and the crew of the Flying Dutchman roaming the caves. Whilst they don’t jump out and scare, they will walk past you in a creepy fashion. 

The highlight of the scare island was the projections onto Skull Rock. These were really simple but provided such an incredible atmosphere to this part of the park making it one of the highlights of the night overall. 

Fiesta de la terra de los muertos

Over by Cowboy Cookout, a special Latin dance party with Goofy was taking place. The area and music, inspired by the Día de los Muertos, worked really well with good music selections and fantastic dancers.

However, this part of the review would be not complete without a special compliment for Goofy. Goofy was not so much taking photos with guests (although he would pose) but more an integral part of the dance party taking guests aside for a special dance in an atmosphere that become more like a dance off than a party. Just one of those unique and special moments that can only happen at a party such as this. 

Captain Hook’s Pirate Academy 

After it’s success at various Halloween parties and this year’s Pirates and Princesses Annual Pass party, the Pirate Academy is back – minor change, Minnie has set sail for new adventures and we are not trying to join Captain Hook’s crew. This change works overly well as it was never really clear why we were joining Minnie’s team (despite her amazing outfits!). 

This show is full of the best energy in any show I’ve ever seen in any Disney Park. It takes guests on the ultimate dance journey as they learn how to become a pirate. It’s really hard to put into words just how much fun this show is, each time you leave with the biggest grin on your face and I’ll even admit to leaving one show and rejoining straight away the queue to watch again. 

I’d very happily take this in the park every single day of the year, I’d spend all my days watching it! 

Mike Williams DJ

For those who love dancing the night away to big name DJs, the Disneyland Paris Halloween parties also have you covered – on the Saturday 26th October party it was DJ Mike Williams, and on the 31st October it is the turn of Offenbach. 

These parties are not the most Disney of experiences, but in Discoveryland it works extremely well and the music is usually very good and is full of interactive experiences with dancers, bubbles and a wonderful light spectacular. This was the perfect way to close out the night. 

Party Exclusive Snacks 

Exclusive to the Halloween Parties 2019 are two chocolate cake snacks, one shaped to Tower of Terror and the other to Phantom Manor. These are priced at €4.99. 

Taking one bite into this “cake” and the disappointment begins, the cake is nowhere to be seen and I’m eating solid chocolate. The problem here is that Disneyland Paris chocolate is generally speaking awful and I wanted cake. So I kept going and the cake existed, about 3/4 of the way down, but was small, thin, dry and almost stale tasting. What a let down! 

Still, it looked pretty I guess? 10/10 for looks, 1/10 for taste. 

Atmosphere 

Anybody who has read a review here before knows that I love the atmosphere of the hard tickets, indeed the 100 character AP night fell so flat because it missed any sort of atmosphere. But this Halloween night hit it off perfect, from brilliant music choices, to great guest costumes, this night had it all. 

Special mention here has to go to the wonderful castle projections which carried through the neon theme and looked fantastic. Each of the main Disney Villains were included throughout the night and it actually did look like the castle had been covered with neon lights. Fantastic work! 

The best yet?

The Disneyland Paris Halloween party 2019 is not just one one of the best Halloween parties we’ve ever seen at Disneyland Paris, it is one of the best hard tickets we’ve seen full stop. Everything seemed to just work perfectly, from meet and greets to organisation. I came away grinning, wanting to go to the second party and really motivated to come back to another hard ticket event soon. 

This party showed the absolute best of Disneyland Paris, I hope it sets the standard for future nights. 

Toy Story 4 Review – The toys still have it

When rewatching Toy Story 3 in the lead up to seeing Toy Story 4, you have this sense that it was the perfect ending to a wonderful franchise, how could you top that? We had, with those final scenes, a bow being put on top of the franchise when the torch was passed from Andy to Bonnie.

Toy Story 4 doesn’t quite top Toy Story 3, but it does a very good job at telling an emotional story that also feels like a logical next step in this series – and yes, you will need tissues because the ending will break you.

The Toy Story franchise is an odd one in where it sits itself, having been around since 1995 it has found itself grappling with the audience and its adolescence and now young adulthood; and, much like the previous outing, it manages to balance this wonderfully. The plot isn’t overly revolutionary – toys start off happy, something happens, toys go off on an adventure, then the film serves up an emotional kick at the very end. It’s simple and it works.

This new installment introduces interesting new characters with Gaby Gaby as well as Ducky and Bunny (who provide the comedic relief) and Duke Caboom. Of course the star new character of the film is Forky and, whilst I did enjoy watching the character, I do wonder what larger role Forky could have played, it does feel that there is some lost potential. Bo Peep returns, and with it the explanation as to why she was not in Toy Story 3; it is very clear that she is not the same character as she was, and with it she has become a much more developed character with a good deal of depth and the Toy Story franchise is all the better for it.

For all the Pixar fans out there (myself included) keep an eye out for a number of really quite brilliant references and throwbacks to previous films and shorts including Up and Tin Toy. These hit a brilliant sweet spot and fans will really get a kick out of these moments.

The thing that really works for the Toy Story films is the emotional connection we have to the characters, and that is the genius of the original creators of Toy Story: taking inanimate objects that we can all connect to, and giving us an emotional connection to them. Here we are, 24 years on and it still works.

Toy Story 4 is not the best of the Toy Story films (for me, that’s still the original Toy Story) but it does do an excellent job of being a funny, emotional and enjoyable film. These Toy Story films are very likely the closest we have to a perfect film franchise, they don’t skip a beat.

Review: Breakfast with the Disney Princesses

Pastries next to a menu during the Disneyland Paris Princess breakfast at the Auberge de Cendrillon

Who doesn’t want to wake up with breakfast in the heart of Fantasyland with the Disney Princesses? From July 1st 2019 this popular breakfast offering is returning to Disneyland Paris, I had the chance to try it during its Spring 2019 run and it was such a wonderful experience that I’m so glad is making a permanent return to the park.

The food

Upon arriving at the Auberge de Cendrillion in Fantasyland, a friendly Cast Member will take you to your table in the restaurant; already set up on the table are a range of pastries including Croissants, Pain au Chocolat, Breads. These pastries tasted fresh and were a great way to open up the meal.

Pastries next to a menu during the Disneyland Paris Princess breakfast at the Auberge de Cendrillon

At this point you will also be brought your choice of hot drink and fruit juice. These are pretty basic, but fine, they are never going to be the highlight of the meal.

After a few minutes, you will be brought a selection of sweet items including yoghurt, salmon and a few other bits. These felt mostly forgettable in the great scheme of the breakfast, an afterthought and not the most tasty one at that.

A breakfast dish at the Auberge de Cendrillion including an egg, 3 sausages, potatoes and assorted vegetables. The plate is finished with a Mickey Mouse waffle

The main dish is a good mix of eggs, sausages, potatoes and a Mickey waffle. These were all delicious and tasted like the premium offering that this meal is. The potatoes are cooked in butter and taste richer for this, whereas the sausages are the usual veal sausages that you’ll find in the hotel breakfasts. Whilst I enjoyed the Mickey Waffle, and it does make for a good photo, it would have been nice for some form of accompaniment to it, perhaps some maple syrup? Without it, the waffle lacks something.

The Disney Princesses

Whilst a delicious breakfast is one part of the breakfast, you’re really here to meet some of the Disney princesses! At the breakfast 3 princesses will be present – no princes or other characters. Whilst this is not a large number of characters, you never feel rushes in your interactions, it always feels relaxed and that the princess has time for a good conversation.

Aurora posing in a medieval castle looking doorway at the Auberge de Cendrillon at Disneyland Paris

Cast Members will always be walking around to ensure that you get to see each of the 3 as well, you’ll never be caught short. On my visit I had the chance to meet Aurora, Cinderella and Snow White. Getting 3 princesses in quick succession with no wait time can be worth its weight in gold during the peak seasons!

I felt that 3 was the optimum number, I came away feeling both satisfied with my meets but also that I had the chance and opportunity to have a relaxed breakfast meal.

Practical Information

The Princess breakfast at the Auberge de Cendrillion returns on 1st July 2019. Bookings can be taken via your travel agent or via the Disneyland Paris dining line.

The meal is priced at €49 (with annual pass discounts applicable as usual) and is broken into two sittings – 8:30am and 9:45am.

Should you do this meal?

If you are wanting to have a more upper-end breakfast or meet the Disney Princesses without the wait, then almost certainly yes, you should make time for this. The Princess Breakfast is a truly special experience and will make many faces light up with joy.

It would be nice for the breakfast to have photographers with the characters to add to the Disney PhotoPass+ service, but unfortunately this does not happen – make sure you bring your camera to immortalise those memories!

An empty dining room in a castle-like setting at the Auberge de Cendrillon in Disneyland Paris

Mickey’s Philharmagic Review

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Disney Loves Jazz: Review

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Halloween 2018 – the best Disneyland Paris Halloween yet

Mickey's Illusion Manor during the 2018 Halloween season at Disneyland Paris

Halloween 2018 at Disneyland Paris is the best edition yet, and features shows, characters and more.

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Marvel Signature Dinner: Simply Marvelous

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Soirée Marvel: A not so super party

Soirée Marvel Programme and pin at Disneyland Paris

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Electroland 2018: 2 nights of electrofun

Disneyland Paris Electroland Party

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Marvel Summer of Super Heroes: Review

Marvel Summer of Super Heroes opening at Disneyland Paris

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Hotel New York – The Review!

Stepping into Disney’s Hotel New York is a strange experience, at those doors a strange time warp occurs and you found yourself being plunged directly into 1992. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, there’s a sort of charm about having the opening era of the resort preserved and in pristine condition. But there are also some negatives that come of this, modern life has changed dramatically since 1992 and the hotel has struggled to keep up.

Ahead of its Marvel refurbishment that begins in January 2019, let’s take a look at the hotel as it is right now.

The entrance to the bar at Disney's Hotel New York

Check-In

The check-in procedure at Disney’s Hotel New York matches all the other Disney Hotels on property. The check-in desk is extremely easy to find (it is literally located right next door to the doors) and you will be greeted by friendly Cast Members. The service here does match the 4 keys that it has been granted; check-in is quick, courteous and your luggage (if left with the concierge) will be delivered directly to your room as and when it is ready.

The Rooms

Disney’s Hotel New York is big. Make no mistake about it, it is huge. Finding your room may take a moment, but luckily the signs are very clear and so whilst time consuming, it is no issue. Perhaps my favourite element of the hotel is the elevators, these ooze class and sophistication with jazz music filling the air. It is a pleasure to hop in these for a brief few moments. 

The rooms are large and very spacious, the majority of rooms are set out as two double beds with a small seating area to the side. Included are all the usual amenities for this level of resort: water glasses, tea and coffee facilities, a mini-bar and iron. The dedication to the New York theme throughout the rooms is rather wonderful stretching from apple motifs hidden throughout to the rather gorgeous Empire State Building lamp (that I really wish I could buy).

Empire State Building lamp at Disney's Hotel New York

The beds are rather comfortable, but they do not seem as soft as those in the Newport Bay Club. The issue I had was with the air conditioning, mine did not seem to want to turn out and then once I managed to get it on, I could not turn it off which negatively affected my sleep. I’m sure if I had made a quick call to the reception that help would have been provided quickly.

2 beds in the centre of the room at Disney's Hotel New York

Another negative was the plug socket situation, I could only find one socket in the room and this was located next to the bathroom. Understandably this can be explained by our different needs in 1992, newly refurbished hotels such as Hotel Cheyenne has plenty of plug sockets and so I am extremely confident that this will be fixed in the upcoming refurbishment.

Overall, the rooms in Hotel New York are comfortable and pleasant enough. If you are truly lucky you may get a park view room, and those are truly stunning. 

Breakfast

Disney’s Hotel New York has two restaurants (Parkside Diner and the Manhattan Restaurant), for breakfast both of these are in use. I took my breakfast in the Parkside diner. Once again, I was very impressed by the breakfast spread which included everything from baked beans to croissants and cured hams. All elements were nicely cooked or prepared and service was attentive with Cast Members at each moment making sure that I was happy with my breakfast.

Breakfast at Disney's Hotel New York (a selection from the hot food buffet)

Whilst I did not try it, a room service breakfast was also available. 

Check-Out

With all Disney stays, the check-out procedure was a dream, simply leave your room key in the box next to the hotel entrance and head to the parks to enjoy your final day. Nothing could be simpler. 

If you activated the MagicPass (with a charge Card), your purchases will automatically be debited from your bank card without you needing to do anything.

Hotel New York (outside) at Disneyland Paris

Final Thoughts

Disney’s Hotel New York is a fine hotel that merits its four key status. The New York theme is bold and strong throughout which is to the hotel’s credit. Whilst elements are time- warpish and outdated, these are minor concerns with a full refurbishment coming up.

I would strongly recommend a visit before the January 2019 closure date and experience a piece of Euro Disney history that we will shortly be losing. 


This Hotel stay was provided by Disneyland Paris for the InsidEARS Ready 2018 event. A review was neither requested or agreed with them and all opinions presented within the review are honest and fair.