The Lurkyloos Do Disneyland Paris in the Snow! UPDATED 10/18 - How to Get to Paris from Disneyland!

lurkyloo

The Attic was just perfect!
Joined
Aug 24, 2006
Details of Disneyland Paris: Tour of Towers!

Our last morning at Disneyland Paris came with the warmest, sunniest weather we’d had yet, so we spent it running around taking as many photos as we could. Patrick was particularly keen on detail shots, including an inordinate number of spires and turrets, so I’m subtitling this installment “Tour of Towers”!

We got to sleep in till 8am, then we packed up and ambled over to the Castle Club for free breakfast. We arrived late enough that this time the characters were actually there! We got to meet Mickey, Minnie, Pluto and a random penguin (always the best kind of penguin)!

Apparently Mickey was just as thrilled to see us as we were to see him.



…Orrrrrr he was looking past us at Pluto.









Proof that you really can meet characters at breakfast in the Castle Club.





I have no idea what this penguin was doing (stain removal? one-armed pushups?) but it sure was cute!









After breakfast, we decided to really get our money’s worth out of Club Level by giving the concierges a Sisyphean task to accomplish for us. We piled all our souvenirs into a wheelbarrow, pushed them down the hall, dumped them out onto our favorite concierge’s desk, and asked her to make them magically reappear at our house. How much could it possibly cost? How much indeed…

The Disneyland Paris app showed that the Disneyland Railroad AND Alice’s Curious Labyrinth AND Toad Hall were all finally OPEN! So we bounded downstairs to enjoy the heck outta Disneyland Paris for the last couple of hours before we headed to real Paris.













…And then we were FOILED! The Disneyland Railroad was NOT open, despite what the app said.



So closed….





So very closed….











A cast member sweeping up snow said she thought it might be open over in Fantasyland, so off we ran toward the back of the park!








Hiya, Discoveryland! Can’t stop now—we’re trying to catch a train!












The park’s been open 7 minutes, and that guy is bored already?!















I love that this photo has snow drifts AND ginormous icicles in it!







I think this shot might be out of order, but that’s the Fantasyland Train Station in the back. And it is very, very closed.





FOILED AGAIN!

In addition to the train station, Alice’s Curious Labyrinth was ALSO still closed, despite what the app said! These are the most photos Patrick could get of it from the outside.



























And, because Toad Hall doesn’t actually exist and is just a flat backlot-style setpiece that we will never ever be able to go inside, that was still closed too! I don’t even have a photo of the outside, we were that disappointed.

Instead, we went on Peter Pan a few more times…




Patrick has GOT to lay off the acid!!!






This one perfectly captures how I was feeling about our frustrating last few hours in the park…



 

lurkyloo

The Attic was just perfect!
Joined
Aug 24, 2006
At this point we went back to Main Street Station and were told that the Disneyland Railroad *might* be opening soon, so we decided to wait. Patrick wandered around Main Street, U.S.A. taking photos while I melted all the snow around me by stewing over whether we were wasting out last few minutes inside the park.







































After 20 minutes, I just couldn’t take it anymore, and we agreed to spend our remaining time wandering around, soaking up the atmosphere and taking phtos.















No Tour of Towers would be complete without the Eiffel Tower!





























































































 

lurkyloo

The Attic was just perfect!
Joined
Aug 24, 2006














































Patrick loooooved Sir Mickey’s Boutique! The way the beanstalk continues from the outside to the inside is genius!









































At last, it was time to bid Disneyland Paris farewell. As we headed back to the hotel to get our luggage, we got a call from the concierge letting us know how much it was going to cost to ship our souvenirs back to the US. Are you sitting down? Please, go sit down. Even I am sitting down… OK, get ready: €546! On Feb 10, 2018 that was $673!!! To ship $75 worth of tchotchkes!!! Even the shippping prices in Tokyo hadn’t been that high.

Patrick had an alternative solution…


If you can fit it into a Disney post box, they have to ship it for you for free, right?!





Instead, we took this beautifully packed box that the concierge had so lovingly assembled up to Paris with us on the train, so Patrick could carefully dissassemble it that night and integrate our souvenirs into our luggage.

Up Next: How to Get to Real Paris From Disneyland Paris! Plus, a Tour of the Palais Garnier Opera House!
 
  • lurkyloo

    The Attic was just perfect!
    Joined
    Aug 24, 2006
    Toad Hall? I'd love to have an in-park wedding reception, but Im not sure if I would put Toad Hall on the list. The Auberge maybe, Colonel Hathi, Captain Jacks, the restaurants that are really well-themed. Toad Hall really feels as a quick service restaurant, with small rooms.
    Interesting. OK, maybe I'm not as sad we missed it then!

    QUOTE="Karin1984, post: 59933812, member: 416132"]
    If you ever have the chance, go in Spring, April or May. France is just gorgeous this time of year. I've spend many family holidays in the Loire Valley region in the Spring Break and I still remember how beautiful it is when everything is in bloom. The weather is usually good, not a lot of rain.

    For low crowds.
    You do have to look into school holidays, France has 2 weeks in April usually, but it differs which region has their break when. Region C is the Paris region which is the most important to keep an eye on. Less important, but more European countries have a Spring Break in April/May, look for the UK, Germany and Spain as the biggest contributors. They will elevate the crowds a bit, but not to the same extend as France. There are no major France holidays in these periods.[/QUOTE]

    This is great advice—thanks!
     

    Lesley Wake

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 16, 2017
    Aww, it's too bad your visit was hampered by the snow! But you did get some amazing photos! I guess you'll just need to go back in spring/summer! Or maybe even for Halloween-those decorations look superb!

    I do have to say Toad Hall is pretty gorgeous. It is great to walk around, though I would agree, it may not be my favorite place for a wedding. I'm about to get to that part in my trip report, but here are a couple (iPhone) photos I took:
     

    lurkyloo

    The Attic was just perfect!
    Joined
    Aug 24, 2006
    Aww, it's too bad your visit was hampered by the snow! But you did get some amazing photos! I guess you'll just need to go back in spring/summer! Or maybe even for Halloween-those decorations look superb!

    I do have to say Toad Hall is pretty gorgeous. It is great to walk around, though I would agree, it may not be my favorite place for a wedding. I'm about to get to that part in my trip report, but here are a couple (iPhone) photos I took:
    Hey, thanks for the photos! I'll bet Disneyland Paris is gorgeous at Halloween!
     

    DnA2010

    Rope Drop!
    Joined
    Oct 5, 2010
    Jumping on board :)
    It’s taken me a few days to read your report to the end, although a good half of it has been done today as I’m home from work in bed with a head cold.
    I adore planning trips also, so it’s refreshing to read trips of great planners!
    Will add more thoughts when I’m not on my iPad but amazing job as always!
     
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  • knewton64

    - May the luck of the Irish always be with you -
    Joined
    Aug 20, 2008
    OMG!!! ITS YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:goodvibes

    Miss your Breakfast at Tiff's hat.....:thumbsup2:thumbsup2


    Anywho -
    i am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO gonna b reading this TR of yours -::yes::

    FINALLY ----
    gonna b booking the airfare for my Paris adventure n about 4 weeks -
    only down side is DL Paris will b for only ONE FREAKIN DAY -

    SO any tips, pointers and or suggestions from you to me would be greatly appreciated as I promise to keep all legs, hands , arms and feet inside the boat while I am reading your kind reply -popcorn::



    T.T.F.N.
    &
    CHEERS Y'ALL:wave2:
     

    lurkyloo

    The Attic was just perfect!
    Joined
    Aug 24, 2006
    SO any tips, pointers and or suggestions from you to me would be greatly appreciated as I promise to keep all legs, hands , arms and feet inside the boat while I am reading your kind reply -popcorn::
    Hi!!!! Glad to see you!!!

    1. OK, so my first tip is kind of a no-brainer, but if you only have one day, SKIP WALT DISNEY STUDIOS!

    2. Also, do not waste any time with sit-down restaurants, or expect to get any mind-blowing food, period. I would probably eat at Toad Hall, just cuz it was the one shiny thing we never got to see, but I've heard quick-service lines can take forever, so I'd say to eat at off-hours.

    3. Third, definitely see the things we don't have here, like the Alice in Wonderland maze and the Nautilus. But if you can only do one coaster, make it Big Thunder. I hear the Indiana Jones one is a copy of Raging Spirits at Tokyo Disney Sea, and that was nowhere near as good as Paris' Big Thunder.

    4. Please, for me, ride Phantom Manor! I'm still so sad we missed it!

    I will try to get moving on the Paris leg of this trip report so I have some tips for you about that. We did SO much fun stuff there!
     

    knewton64

    - May the luck of the Irish always be with you -
    Joined
    Aug 20, 2008
    Hi!!!! Glad to see you!!!

    1. OK, so my first tip is kind of a no-brainer, but if you only have one day, SKIP WALT DISNEY STUDIOS!

    2. Also, do not waste any time with sit-down restaurants, or expect to get any mind-blowing food, period. I would probably eat at Toad Hall, just cuz it was the one shiny thing we never got to see, but I've heard quick-service lines can take forever, so I'd say to eat at off-hours.

    3. Third, definitely see the things we don't have here, like the Alice in Wonderland maze and the Nautilus. But if you can only do one coaster, make it Big Thunder. I hear the Indiana Jones one is a copy of Raging Spirits at Tokyo Disney Sea, and that was nowhere near as good as Paris' Big Thunder.

    4. Please, for me, ride Phantom Manor! I'm still so sad we missed it!

    I will try to get moving on the Paris leg of this trip report so I have some tips for you about that. We did SO much fun stuff there!

    :goodvibesI’m sipping on margaritas out in the backyard, listening to The pink panther Music .. assembling the LEGO’s archecture “the Eiffel Tower” and in between Rita’s , I’m bouncing to the tunes of your splendid TR....- luv yer writing style -:thumbsup2:thumbsup2
     
  • knewton64

    - May the luck of the Irish always be with you -
    Joined
    Aug 20, 2008
    very impressive picture taking - :smickey:... 1/2 way thru .... u need 2 publish yer TRs cuz you wud give Rick Steve’s guide books a run fer their $....;)



    T.T.F.N.
    &
    Cheers Y’all:goodvibes
     
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    the_princess

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 8, 2006
    I was going to read this trip report but got so cought up in your wedding blog. What a fairytale princess:princess: Now time to read this report :earboy2:
     

    pamcarey

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 21, 2010
    I’ve just read through your entire TR so far over the course of several days, and it’s awesome! I am leaving for a trip to London, Paris, and Disneyland Paris in six weeks, and I’ve gotten so many great tips from your TR! Your writing style is hilarious! Also your hunted mansion bathroom is amazing!
     

    lurkyloo

    The Attic was just perfect!
    Joined
    Aug 24, 2006
    DAY 4: Behind-the-Scenes Set Tour of The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance

    I’m revising Day 4's entry now that I can finally share with you the full story of our visit to the set of Netflix’s The Dark Crystal prequel, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, which was the genesis of The Lurkyloos Do Disneyland Paris in the Snow (So You Don’t Have To) trip report! Not only has the series just debuted on Netflix, but they also put together a fabulous making-of documentary that allows you to see a lot of what we saw that day but were not allowed to photograph.

    *** Because I have too many photos to fit in the original post for this day, I'm adding it here, a little bit out of order, and I will link to this post from the original.***

    Our whole trip—this once-in-a-lifetime tour of London, Disneyland Paris, real Paris and Scotland—came about solely because Netflix gave The Jim Henson Company money to create a prequel to The Dark Crystal. Honestly, Disneyland Paris would otherwise have been the last international Disney park we visited. As I mentioned in the intro post, I was just not that into it. And no trip gets planned around this joint unless I’m into it!

    But, as you’ll see in the documentary, not only did Netflix give Henson the money for a prequel, they insisted that all the characters be puppets—not the originally pitched idea of half puppets and half CG characters. Which meant that Patrick got to spend nine months working at the Jim Henson Creature Shop in Burbank making hands, arms, bodies, neck sleeves and “brains” (foam head inserts) for Podlings and Gelflings! And it meant that we were able to arrange a visit to the massive set of the show, just outside London.

    That morning, we’d arranged another private ride via Blackberry Cars, which was supposed to meet us at 8:45 am but didn’t arrive until 9:15 am, which made me very anxious about reaching the studio out near Slough by 10 am. The driver didn’t apologize, but he did manage to get us there on time via speeding.

    When we arrived at the studio, a really nice fellow named Juan gave us hard hats and chic neon yellow vests and led us through a labyrinth (ba-da-bing!) of key-carded corridors to start our tour with the production areas before eventually making our way to set.

    We entered through the red door at the back of this shot…


    © Netflix
    Jasper is one of Patrick’s building buddies from the Creature Shop who was lucky enough to be sent to the London shop for a few months to help out. You can bet I was asking Patrick why HE didn’t pull this duty!

    Here’s a nice overview shot of the main costuming room featuring three people who were NOT there the day we visited: executive producer Lisa Henson, Dark Crystal conceptual artist Brian Froud and Dark Crystal puppet sculptor and builder Wendy Froud.


    © Netflix
    However, I will take this opportunity to brag that we have been to a few holiday parties at Lisa Henson’s place and they are AWESOME. One time Debbie Gibson was there singing Christmas carols!

    I also love to point out that Brian and Wendy Froud’s son, who worked with them on the series, was the adorable baby in Labyrinth!


    © Netflix


    The production area is a warren of rooms for every creative department on the show, and Juan made sure we saw EVERYTHING. We saw where they did armatures…


    © Netflix
    …and where they styled the wigs….


    © Netflix
    ….and where they painted the faces….


    © Netflix
    … and where they made Gelfling hands following Patrick’s patented method developed in Burbank!


    © Netflix


    Here are some Podling bodies and brains Patrick built…





    And here are some finished Podlings!


    © Netflix
    You can see some of the neck sleeves Patrick made in this shot.


    © Netflix
    We saw the mold room…


    © Netflix
    …and the paint room…


    © Netflix


    … and the prop room…


    © Netflix
    …and the mech room…


    © Netflix
    …and wherever this was…


    © Netflix
    … plus this place…


    © Netflix


    …and a room where they were building crazy suits of armor that didn’t make it into the documentary! But here are some amazing swords that did…


    © Netflix


    Another room that I sadly cannot find a shot of was filled to the brim with big worms and little worms, creepy breathing creatures with robotic eyes trapped in cages, and other little crazy things that I didn’t know what they were. Most of them turned out to be for The Scientist Skeksis’ laboratory, like this guy…


    © Netflix
    We even saw a Fizzgig, which, never having seen the original Dark Crystal at that point, was the first item to pique my interest in the whole thing (on account of cuteness)!


    © Netflix
    In every room and at every station, all of the craftspeople we met were so kind to us and so enthusiastic as we told and retold the story of our anniversary trip and got all kinds of congratulations. All of the women in the wig room went, “Awwwwwwwwww!” when they heard our story.


    © Netflix


    After that, Juan led us through to the sound stages, where they were shooting what turned out to be scenes from the very first episode!

    Patrick took great delight in surprising all his friends on set who didn’t know he was coming over to England. He got particularly great reactions out of puppet wranglers Jürgen Ferguson and Scott Johnson, whom I’d heard so much about from Patrick over the years but never had the opportunity to meet until all of us flew across The Pond. And when Kevin Clash spotted Patrick, he enveloped both of us in huge hugs—so now I’ve gotten to hug Elmo the puppet AND Elmo’s performer!

    Patrick introduced me to Dave Chapman, who is one of the puppeteers for BB-8, and Warrick Brownlow-Pike, who—in addition to having THE most British name of all time—performs The Chamberlin Skeksis.

    Jürgen and Warrick made it into the documentary, though you can’t see the latter under all that Skeksis!


    © Netflix
    Alice Dinnean—who performs Brea and Maudra Fara, among others—has always been an easy person to talk to at those Henson holiday parties. This time she graciously let me pass several hours chatting with her in between remote-controlling Deet’s eyes and ears for the big scene I’ll show you in a second.

    You can see her performing Deet’s eyes and ears in the back of this shot from the documentary!


    © Netflix
    And here’s what the remote looks like in somebody else’s hands…


    © Netflix
    At lunchtime, the cast and crew headed to the canteen while we staggered around the tiny village of Slough in the cold, looking for a place to eat that had seating and a public restroom—a surprisingly rare combination. They’re big on greasy chip shops in Slough! Eventually we stumbled on Costa, and I’ve never been so happy to see a chain coffee shop in all my life. It was warm, had plenty of seating, served sandwiches and surprisingly good desserts AND had a clean restroom—hooray!

    Then it was back to the studio, back into the vests and hard hats, back through the myriad doors with key-card access and back onto the set. While he was on a break, Warrick cheerfully escorted us on a private tour of both sound stages and introduced us to more puppeteers. I got to meet the legendary Louise Gold, who performed the Gourmand Skesis in the original Dark Crystal and in this prequel AND has done a ton of Muppet stuff over the years.

    Everyone we met kept apologizing that it wasn’t a “big set day,” but we were pretty dang impressed! For one thing, we got to wander around the massive forest set…


    © Netflix



    © Netflix



    © Netflix


    …and get up close to the amazing matte paintings!


    © Netflix
    This wasn’t happening when we were there, but here are a couple shots of the set in action…


    © Netflix

    © Netflix


    We also got to see the exterior passage of the Skesis’ Castle of the Crystal, where a lot of action takes place in the first episode.


    © Netflix
     

    lurkyloo

    The Attic was just perfect!
    Joined
    Aug 24, 2006
    But maybe the coolest part was getting to see them film a series of scenes that made it into the first episode of Age of Resistance: Deet’s encounter with a magical flower that shows her visions of the future, her farewell to her family as she sets out on her quest, and the moment when she ascends from the Caves of Grot to begin her journey.


    © Netflix
    I learned that when a puppet falls off a cliff, they don’t just drop it like a rag doll! The performer’s hand is inside the whole time.


    © Netflix

    © Netflix



    © Netflix



    © Netflix

    © Netflix



    © Netflix


    The coolest part was that puppeteer Beccy Henderson was on the camera crane for this shot! As Deet is lifted up and away from her family, Beccy has to keep performing her while Alice is remote controlling her eyes and ears, so they strapped her into this crazy rig. So far, Patrick has had to puppeteer underwater and from inside a fridge, but not on any cranes yet!


    © Netflix


    The other thing that really impressed me was getting to see the director, Louis Leterrier, in action. He does his own steadycam work, and he spent most of the time we were there dashing around the set getting the shot. His enthusiasm for the project was almost palpable: This is not a film director who’s slumming in TV for a paycheck—he genuinely seems to love the material. Watching him work, I began to feel that Age of Resistance wasn’t going to be a soulless corporate retread or a slavish fanboy re-creation but something new and exciting.

    And, having now seen both the original movie and the series, I gotta say that Leterrier’s shooting style is the best thing to happen to the Dark Crystal universe. Where before the Skesis were lumbering and labored, they have now leapt to life with thrilling menace just from the way he shoots them. The Gelflings are trickier (I dunno if they’ll ever be able to overcome the uncanny valley with faces like those), but they are certainly much more dynamic and watchable in the new series.

    We didn’t get to see this being filmed, but it’s a good example of Leterrier in action!


    © Netflix


    We hung around set until the last possible second before we had to leave to make our dinner reservation in London. Instead of ordering another pricey/dicey car, we walked to the station around the corner and hopped on a nice new train that would have taken us all the way to Paddington Station. However, my Citymapper app alerted us to an upcoming 20-minute delay and showed us where to get off the train early so we could take the Tube instead.

    Dinner was at Bronte, on The Strand, a place I’d picked almost exclusively for its award-winning Mid-Century Glam decor by designer Tom Dixon. This is another instance where I’ll have to show you pro photos so you can see what I mean…


    © Bronte Restaurant

    © Bronte Restaurant



    © Bronte Restaurant

    © Bronte Restaurant

    © Bronte Restaurant

    © Bronte Restaurant
    So this is what it really looks like… at night… straight outta the camera….

























    They stuck us off in the dark back corner of this shot and then basically forgot all about us. It was a half-empty Monday night, but the service was sooooooo distracted (maybe because there’s a mandatory 12.5% service charge, so they don’t have to try?).










    Looks like that lady got ghosted by her server too!


    Our food finally showed up after we flagged down a manager. Amazingly, it was quite good!


    “Funky Fish & Chips”: Haddock, prawn, scallop, soft shell crab & shredded sweet potato



    Satay Chicken Skewers
    I still don’t know if I’d really recommend the place to anyone but design or Tom Dixon lovers. We skipped their pricey, over-fruited dessert menu and walked to M&S Food at Charing Cross Station to get an assortment of British cakes and candies for dessert.

    Then I indulged my fetish for doing laundry on vacation with this AMAZING travel wash bag and these handy detergent sheets (you only need to use half of one in the wash bag) and strung it up all over to dry til the place looked like a Depression-era tenement. Patrick, who laughs in the face of dirty clothes, played with the camera.

    I give you…. ART!



    (I do love Patrick’s new watch and think it qualifies as art because it looks like R2D2!)






    If you're reading in chronological order, CLICK HERE to skip back to DAY 5: The Tower of London, The British Museum + Wonder Woman Filming Locations!
     
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    Cloudy

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 15, 2016
    So glad you posted this update. I am going to London/Paris in 2 weeks. This trip report is fabulous! Thanks so much.
     



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