When I left you last time, we’d gone back to our hotel, the Newport Bay, to have a bit of a break, a swim and a tidy up before heading back into the parks later in the afternoon. Since we’d had an early start to make the most of our morning Extra Magic Hours, this is definitely something I’d recommend doing – all-day Disney is exhausting!
I got a little more dressed up since we were planning on getting a meal in the parks or Disney Village, but as you’ll see later that was a bit of a mission for us. If you want to see more of this outfit, head over to Rebel Angel.
First up, we headed to Walt Disney Studios Park which is the smaller of the two. It’s basically a smaller version of WDW’s Hollywood Studios, being home to the infamous Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster.
We spent a while admiring the Sorcerer Mickey and Fantasia statues in the entryway then snapped a few pictures with Walt’s iconic Partners Statue when we’d gone through the Studios building. We then had a bit of a reminiscence while looking at the Earffel Tower which was once so iconic in Florida, then followed that up with another nostalgic favourite from Florida that no longer exists there: Backlot Tour. This was an old favourite of Ben’s so he was excited to do it, but he wasn’t all that impressed when he realised it was a lot shorter – the city scene is quite cool though!
Unfortunately, Ben absolutely despises Tower of Terror after I terrified him on it in Florida a few years ago, so that was a no-go for him. We agreed that I’d go on it alone if the queue was 20 minutes or below since I didn’t want to leave him wandering by himself for too long. We spotted the queue was down to 15 minutes, so I headed there quickly, but just as I was about to pass under the entrance, it jumped back up to 30 minutes so I decided not to go for it.
Instead, we made a quick stop at Armageddon then headed to Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster – because this park is so small, you can go back and forth between the attractions and not have to walk a long way! There seem to be a lot of “unfortunately”s in this part (we actually had an awesome time, I swear!), but our Coaster missed its countdown and we sat at the launch part with the Aerosmith music blaring in our ears but not moving. We looked back and forth at each other, started to wonder aloud if they were going to pull us back into the loading area, then BOOM! All of a sudden, we were off! It was a really weird ride as the music had already played so we spun through the ride in total silence aside from the noise of the coaster on the tracks and the occasional scream – definitely a new way to experience it!
I was desperate to do Crush’s Coaster as this was a favourite of mine from when I’d visited with my friends in 2013 but had been closed when I went with my friends in 2014. The queue was huge though – over 60 minutes, if I remember correctly, when most queues were 40 minutes absolute maximum (it was a good time to go!) – so we decided to do one that was new to us both: Ratatouille.
The Paris area was opened since my last visit, so I was really excited to see it and very impressed. It definitely added something to this park which has definitely been a little bit disappointing compared to the main park in the past. It’s recently been announced that Epcot is planning to launch their own version of the Ratatouille ride in their France pavilion. It’s wonderful to see Ratatouille making an impact in the parks – did you know that Remy is actually number 20 on this list of baby names inspired by Disney? – especially in its country of origin.
Anyway, we hadn’t looked up what the Ratatouille ride would be like before getting into the queue as we like to be surprised, and surprised we were! The ride vehicles are trackless and shaped like little mice (or rats, I guess, based on the film!) – 3 set off in convoy together but swap places throughout the ride, sometimes one is ahead of another, later behind, scurrying beneath giant furniture and kitchen implements. The use of 4D and the gorgeous queue area among the rooftops of Paris just add to the brilliance of this – kids and adults alike seem to love it!
This park was soon to close, so we decided to head back into Disneyland Park. Our plan for the evening was to get something to eat and explore the park by evening, possibly watching the fireworks if we felt like it – the next evening we wanted to make sure to watch the fireworks after a meal at Walt’s (will post about that soon!), so that wasn’t our priority this day.
We managed to get back to Disneyland Park at the perfect time, right as the parade was coming down Main Street. Since it wasn’t too busy, we managed to get a spot just where the floats exist at the side of Main Street with a very good view as they rounded the corner and left. I was really surprised to see my favourite part from Florida’s Festival of Fantasy, the dragon, included in this parade.
We then took in some more sights of the park while the sun was setting, checking out the 25th Anniversary decorations, then decided to grab some food. Now the mission began: I’d planned for us to eat at Lucky Nugget as I’ve enjoyed meals there on both previous trips – it’s got pretty good food and fun entertainment. Unfortunately, we got to Lucky Nugget and found the doors shut and locked – it was closed, despite the app saying it was open! Apparently it had closed about 15 minutes earlier, at 5pm from what we could tell.
Nevermind, we thought, we’ll go somewhere else. And so began our trip around the park searching for food in vain…every quick service restaurant in the park except one was closed! It seems like during the off-season, they close most of the in-park restaurants except for table service earlier on, then people tend to either head out to Disney Village or book into table service instead. Because we hadn’t booked table service, we were pretty certain we wouldn’t get into any of these, and we’d wanted to eat in the park that evening as we’d already eaten in Disney Village. We trekked around Every. Single. Restaurant in the park before finally hitting on Cafe Hyperion which was selling burgers and chips. I can’t say I really recommend this as an evening meal, especially when we’d planned for more of a sit-down meal, so that was a shame.
We decided to do a few more rides (a few more times on Buzz!), but with a long time to wait till the evening entertainment started and having walked around the whole park looking for food, we were pretty worn out so headed back through Disney Village in the early evening, stopping to grab some macaroons at McDonalds of all places before heading back for an earlier night! The macaroons were awesome by the way – I hate to say this because they were from a fast food outlet, but they were probably the tastiest macaroons I’ve had!
And don’t worry, there are a lot less “unfortunately”s in my next day at Disney!