Extra Magic Time at Walt Disney Studios Park!
Let’s be honest, it’s always an early start at Disney – if you wanna make the most of Extra Magic Time & the quieter times in the park – and I am definitely one of those people! I love to be in the parks early in the morning, and late at night…
So it was a 7am alarm to get us ready to leave our room at Santa Fe by 7.40am. We didn’t wanna use the free shuttle buses to the parks as we enjoyed the walk and the weather was gorgeous so wanted to make the most of it.
We’d planned to head straight for the Walt Disney Studios Park this morning, with Extra Magic Time starting at 8.30am. Now you can’t get into this park any earlier than that, but the ticket booths opened at 8am at either park so we wanted to get Craig’s ticket as early as possible and get ourselves in the queue to get into the park asap.
Most people, including us, will head straight for Crushes Coaster, mainly because it’s the newest and busiest ride in that park, and it doesn’t offer fast pass. (Heads up – the single rider line is normally around 60 minutes too). As soon as we were let through the gates, we made a brisk walk…jog… straight for the line for Crushes Coaster… and it was 100% worth it. We were on the ride within 5 minutes. YES!
Crushes Coaster is fun, but I wouldn’t queue 75 minutes to ride it. And after our ride, Craig said exactly the same thing. So we were glad we’d got on it but were satisfied with only riding it that one time.
We used the rest of our Extra Magic Time to ride Tower of Terror – absolutely love that ride! It’s possibly my favourite. It’s the only ride that gets me nervous, love it – and also Rock n Rollercoaster – which we walked straight on. Another great ride, but I have to say I am definitely looking forward to seeing it have its Iron Man refurb!
I couldn’t think of a better way to use our Extra Magic Time and start the morning! The top 3 rides in the park done all within an hour. Perfect.
We then got a fast pass for the Ratatouille ride as soon as they were available. An early morning and a crazy 60-90 minutes, but totally worth it once you’ve got all the main rides done. I couldn’t recommend using your Extra Magic Time more – if you’re staying on Disney Property, or have an AP then make the most of it!
What else to do at Walt Disney Studios Park?
Enjoy the other rides! I finally got to ride to Studio Tram Tour! This is always closed when we normally go in February, I think probably due to the snow. So I was super excited when I saw this was open, even though I really wasn’t sure what we’d even get to see… but it was actually so cool! It started off a bit basic, showing some props from movies, but then we got to see how a special effects set works which was really fun! I’d definitely recommend experiencing this at least once.
Toy Story Land is so cute. I absolutely adore the theming, and it makes me so excited for my next trip to WDW as I haven’t experienced the Toy Story Land there yet! The rides are all for younger kids here in DLP but they’re cute and fun, definitely worth riding if there isn’t a long line (on the basis you’re going as just an adult group). But definitely go into the land, take photos, enjoy the decoration. Its so so fun!
Use the fast pass opportunity to ride some of your fave rides again! We managed to get fast passes for Tower or Terror and Rock n Roller, so we got to ride them both twice that day!
Enjoy the Special Snacks! I’m one of those people who will try and avoid basic snacks that you can get everywhere else when I’m at Disney, because they always have so many cool Disney themed ones! The Walt Disney Studios Park will always have special themed snacks for whatever the season is in that park at the time. It had recently been the Toy Story Play Days just before we arrived so they were still selling some Toy Story Snacks, and they also had some Marvel snacks.
Mickey and the Magician! This is definitely one of my favourite shows at Disneyland Paris. I love it! Unfortunately I don’t have any footage for my vlog or photos as you aren’t supposed to use cameras inside, but trust me when I say it’s worth watching. I’ve never heard anyone say a bad word about it. Kids love it, adults love it. It really is magical. I get goosebumps at least 3 times throughout the show and tear up a little… massive softy I know lol!
We went for the 12.30 show I believe, and we got to the venue about 30-40 minutes before to make sure we got in and got a good spot. The theatre is huge, it can hold tons of people, but we didn’t want to be right near the back.
Top Tip! Don’t be afraid to ask people to move down or make space for you! When we entered the theatre, so many people had sat quite selfishly, leaving one seat between them and the family next to them and stuff. I instantly saw a row at the front (excluding the VIP area) which had 2 spare seats, just not next to each other, so I politely asked the people to move down so we could both fit and they didn’t even hesitate. If you don’t ask you don’t get! So many people must have just walked passed this row because they didn’t wanna ask someone to move down.
Meet Characters! We didn’t actually meet any character today, it wasn’t something that we planned to do much of this trip. However we did see that Sully was out, who’s never been there when I’ve been before! The queue was long once we realised he was out today, but I made a plan to head there another morning of our trip and hope he’s out again!
Some characters at Walt Disney Studios Park use an app called Lineberty for their meet and greets. I’m not particularly a fan of this. I get it saves you from queuing… but its really hard to even get a slot on there.
So lemme briefly explain, the Linebery app opens 15 minutes before the planned meet and greets start. You head on there, select which meet and greet you want, and if there’s still space available then it will tell you where in the queue you are and how long roughly until your turn. It will then send you a notification when its nearly your turn and you need to head to the character.
Some people probably love it, I’m just more of a fan of seeing which characters are out and then queuing to meet them if you fancy it.
Heading back to our fave…
Once we were done with the Studios park, we went straight back over to the Disneyland Park. I just love it so much. Main Street and the Castle are my favourite places to be around on a Disney day.
The Jungle Book Jive Parade was getting ready to start as we entered the park, so we grabbed a spot on the curb of Main Street to sit and watch it. We were aware this might not have been the best spot to see this specific parade, but we were definitely going to have the chance to see it again so we were happy to watch from here this time round.
The Jungle Book Jive… This was the special parade that was put on 4 times a day for The Lion King and Jungle Festival. Well I think it may be my favourite parade so far. I absolutely loved it, and so did Craig. It was magical, fun, entertaining… just brilliant.
Now a heads up for you guys that are heading to DLP for The Lion King and Jungle Festival, the best place to watch this parade from is the Central Plaza. So in front of the castle where you have the 4 little stages in the middle, stay in the middle of those! From that spot you’ll get to see all the characters involved in this performance, and the atmosphere was great!
We wanted to hang about Main Street to watch the daily Disney on Stars Parade, but I needed to grab some food quickly first. My absolute favourite quick service restaurant in the Disneyland Park is Hakuna Matata. I could eat it every day of my trip. I just get the basic chicken strips and fries, but its delicious. They stuck it in a takeaway box for me and we went straight back to Main Street to get a spot for the parade. Oh, and I also managed to grab my Lion King Popcorn Bucket too, as I’d missed out the day before!
Stars on Parade is a great parade. It has some really unique floats and the music is fun and catchy. Lots of characters and dancers are involved and their interaction with the audience makes it so fun. This is normally only once a day at 5.30pm. But I’d advise getting your spot for it about an hour before. Because it’s only shown once a day it tends to get really busy. I like to watch it from Main Street, but everyone has different preferences. Good to try a few different areas and see whats best for you! It starts by Its a Small World and ends at the start of Main Street.
Fantasyland is my favourite area at Disneyland Paris. It takes me back to my childhood. The rides are cute and fun, the decoration and theming is just beautiful. I love spending a lot of time here.
The first ride I was going to drag Craig on was of course, Its a Small World. Do any adults actually enjoy this ride? Probably not ha! But it was my favourite ride when I went to Disneyland Paris as a 2/3 year old, so I always have to ride it at least once on every trip. Just for old times sake!
We got our spot for the Fireworks and Projection show, Illuminations, 60 minutes before it was starting. This starts at park closing, which was 11pm while we were there. 45 minutes before it was starting it was getting much busier, people trying to get their spots to sit and wait.
Now, if you want a good spot, and you’ve got there early enough to get that spot, do not let other people try and take it from you… because they will. We had so many people trying to push in front of us and the families around us, barging their way to the front, through loads of people that had been there for ages to save that spot. But we held our ground and told them to move, or didn’t let them through. Honestly this is my most unenjoyable hour at Disneyland Paris. I hate having to defend my space! It sounds ridiculous, I know right, how bad can it be? BAD is the answer. Anyway, as long as you’re prepared, it’s alright.
Now, unfortunately, this was the first time that I’ve had a bad experience not only before, but during the show. It was busy, but it wasn’t as busy as it is in Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World on Christmas Day and New Years Eve… I’ve learnt from past experiences of watching Illuminations where I like to stand for the show, and it gives you a clear view of the castle if people stick to the rules in terms of where they can and can’t stand.
Well… People were standing on railings that go around garden areas and the stages in Central Plaza, people then climbed over the railings to stand on the stages (that are strictly for cast members and characters during parades and shows). It got bad to the point where a man was standing on the stage with his child on his shoulders. There were a group of us shouting at people to move.
The show is 20 minutes long, and it took 10 minutes for a cast member to come and remove these people from a cast member only area. However, they didn’t ask the people standing on railings to get down. So our sight was still restricted more than it should have been. Unfortunately the cast member didn’t think it would be an idea to keep an eye on this area for the rest of the show, and as soon as he left they got back onto the stage again.
We still enjoyed some of the show.. I’ve seen it multiple times, but this was Craig’s first time seeing it. He liked it, but our experience from slightly ruined from these selfish people and I gotta say it, useless cast members.
Our plan was to stick around for a bit after the show, let the crowds die down before making our way back to our hotel. This is normally one of my favourite times of day in the Parks. I absolutely love the night shows and fireworks/projections, and I love being by the castle and on Main Street at night when its quiet. But instead of enjoying that time, we decided to go to Guest Services inside City Hall and complain about the experience we just had. I won’t go into all the details, but lets just say they weren’t helpful in the slightest & I have followed up by sending an email in which I am still waiting for a reply.
We were annoyed for a while, but by the time we got back to our hotel we had chilled out, and remembered how much we enjoyed the rest of our day. The last couple hours were just a little blip, on what was still going to be an amazing trip. We didn’t want to let it ruin the rest of our time there so we decided to forget about it, and deal with it once we were home 🙂
Trips to Disney aren’t always going to be perfect but they can be close. Things won’t always go your way. But just try and remember the good times, and that people aren’t perfect. You will still have an amazing time.
If you’d like to check out my vlog of Day 2 at DLP then please click the link below to watch. If you like the video, please head over to my You Tube Channel – absoluterachel – and hit the subscribe button. I’d be forever grateful.
Next week you can find out what we did on Day 3! It definitely includes a lot of time at the Disneyland Park, and a lot more of The Lion King and Jungle Festival!