Disney FanDaze Inaugural Party, the biggest event of the year finally happened. It was full of heightened emotions, both up and down. Here’s my take on the most anticipated party with a Classic Package.
When the packages were released in January, there was no mention on a release of standalone tickets. If this event happens again, I will be waiting for standalone tickets instead of the package. At the time the package seemed the only way to attend this event. I decided to go for the Classic Package as it was the cheapest one. All it entailed was your PhotoPass+ for the event (at the time we were told you could only use this specific pass for photos), your hard ticket to the event itself and a stay in an onsite Hotel. Choosing Golden Forest in Sequoia seemed like the only perk of this package. I wish it had more options. Some of the packages got priority entrance to the event which, would have been a nice little bonus for the Classic.
The good thing about choosing this package, however, was when they announced the panels and the Gala dinner two weeks before the event. Some package holders didn’t have the option of adding these on which, was rather frustrating. With the Classic Package, I felt lucky that I could add on the Imagineering Panel and the Catherine Powell talk was open to Infinity Holders. Being an Infinity Pass holder, I could attend the Gala on the Friday evening if I wanted also. I felt I had a bit more freedom. I would also have liked the option to attend Brunch by paying extra.
Sequoia Golden Forest
The excitement was starting to build for the main event in the evening and, it was time to check in and grab our package and panel tickets from the FanDaze Dome in the Village. The Golden Forest rooms aren’t too different to standard. It was nice being in the main building again as we didn’t have far to walk. The rooms were like a sauna though (please fix the aircon). The only differences were the fridge and kettle etc, the decor was slightly different too. We also got access to priority check-in and the Golden Forest Lounge. This was a nice perk as we received free drinks and snacks. After enjoying the lounge, we then headed to the park for the big event.
Disney FanDaze Inaugural Party
It was time to start walking to the Studios. The party we had waited months for with much anticipation was just moments away from us. We joined the queue to get in and they started to let us into the Front Lot, this was a bad idea. Everyone rushed to get in for the pins but, they hadn’t opened Studio 1’s doors yet so it was a standstill. When they finally opened the doors, we all were held up to watch the Opening Ceremony. I was going to watch this anyway but I didn’t like the crowd levels it built by not letting anyone pass. Once the opening ceremony finished, everyone ran to their character meets which caused a bit of chaos. I knew I wasn’t going to make my characters at the start because my first panel of the evening was starting straight after. You can read about my Catherine Powell experience here.
I also decided to buy a ticket to the Tom Fitzgerald panel which did not disappoint. We got given a huge secret for the Phantom Manor refurb and I cannot wait for this attraction to reopen again. It was also amazing to meet him after and we each receive a signed poster.
— Stepherella (@StephRosPhoto) June 2, 2018
During the evening there were scheduled meets and a few random pop up meets. I loved these as I managed to get a few more done without the long queues. I ticked off a goal meet of mine which was the Aristocat kittens! Also Phineas and Ferb and my first ever character I met at Disneyland Paris Br’er Fox. It was also great to meet a couple of the VIP’s in their outfits including Mickey and Daisy.
If the conferences were during the day, I would have met a lot more. But, I am pleased I attended these as it also meant I had a little break from the chaos outside too. Meg and Phill were my top priority meet and I’m so glad I met them. My meet with Meg and Phill however, felt a little rushed and I felt some guests had more time than others. I think they could have been a bit more strict with the rules. I was taking two photos of them both together and was told to hurry up when people had great interactions which I don’t think is fair. Overall, the Cast Members did an incredible job of making sure everyone had a great time.
The entertainment was incredible. It felt very nostalgic for me with the Ducktales Parade and the highly anticipated Max Live. This was the highlight for me. I waited until the very end to watch it after meeting Max and Goofy which was my favourite meet of the night. They were so fun and full of energy even at midnight. Max was ready to sing 1 2 1 and my childhood dream came true of witnessing this live. I was blown away by all the characters and songs included. My favourites being Zootopia and they even snuck in Hakuna Matata.
Hoping this show comes back, it felt like a once in a lifetime opportunity. I didn’t take many photos and just enjoyed it. The Studios could use parades and shows like this permanently. They were a great feature and left us all beaming. It was a great end to the night.
I only caught a glimpse of the Ducktales parade but it was very energetic. I also want a pair of those dungarees!
The Big Send-off
The big send off was the FanDaze Farewell Parade. This included all of the characters that were meetable during FanDaze and there were a lot! It was nice to see them all as I didn’t get round to most of them. This felt like the 12th of April again but this time with lots more interaction which I managed to get on video. It was the perfect way to send off this magical day.
Improvements For Future FanDaze Events
Overall I had a fantastic experience given that we knew very little about it or what to expect. I think as I didn’t set my expectations high, I thoroughly enjoyed the whole evening and it definitely set the expectations high for the next one. I will say however, there were a few moments where I think could be improved on.
Heroes and Villains Alley
I was really looking forward to this experience. With the chance of characters roaming around including Hercules and Hades, this seemed like the place to be for the evening. This, however, did not happen. Each time we would get near it, the queue was a nightmare. If you waited in the queue it was going to be around 2 hours to get in. At least the Cast Members pre-warned us to avoid the disappointment of missing other things. It was still sad not to be able to try. From what I saw the characters weren’t even roaming. They had stations instead and hearing there were no PhotoPass Photographers in there for decent photos either.
This experience was the lowest for me because I wanted the Big Hero 6 characters and Hercules ones too, but no chance of getting close. I think next time this should be looked upon and improved. Maybe instead of an alley, just have them roaming around just like the Aristocats or maybe in one of the buildings instead.
Are you a fan of Oswald and Ortensia? Because then FanDaze merch is for you. I am not a big fan at all so I didn’t purchase much of it. Only the extremely popular Ears which I managed to grab on the Friday when they were released early. I am so glad I managed to get them then as I believe there wasn’t enough stock on the night. It would have been great to of seen some Powerline merch as it is very 90’s and sums up the whole evening. I really enjoyed the Powerline posters they had and it would have been a fantastic souvenir.
I would have also liked to of seen some Mickey and VIP items too. The pins were a fail. There wasn’t enough produced for the number of people there and I get they are limited but there should have been more than 400 sold. Again, I would have loved some Mickey-themed ones too to give more variety than Oswald. Let’s not forget it all started with a mouse!
I didn’t find enough time to eat, and with an event on until 2:30 am, it was hard to find food. I am pleased that there were carts open but still don’t think there was enough time or options to eat. Also, €6 for a Cupcake?!
One more thing I want t0 comment on is those Paparazzi cameramen. Great idea but not thought out well. They were too “in your face” and I had a few occasions with them making my anxiety being set off because I didn’t know which way they were going to go in such busy crowds near the opening.
The evening went smoother than I ever thought it would. Being very anxious about this event with very little information given prior, I gave all my trust to Disney to throw us a party we would never forget and they totally did that. I hope to attend the next FanDaze event and hopefully, improvements will be made to make it even better.
Thank you Disneyland Paris!