Hey guys!

So by the time this post goes up July will be almost over, and before we know it Run Disney will be upon us in Paris! Run Disney events are a great way to get active, while meeting some pretty awesome Disney characters along the way, and that's without even discussing those medals!

If you're used to Run Disney in the states but fancy giving it ago in Paris, you might find things here are slightly different than you're used to, and one of those main differences that can cause issues is the need for a medical certificate.

medical form

Due to a combination of French law and event insurance requirements you will often be required to produce a certificate which shows you are physically fit to participate, this is usually for longer distance events, typically a half or full marathon. The Run Disney races in Paris are no exception to this and for runners who want to take on the half marathon a certificate is required. Once you have signed up for the race you can download a certificate template from the Run Disney website which you can take to your GP and as them to sign, they make wish to see you and check things like your blood pressure and heart rate first before signing, or they may be willing to do so based on your medical records, please note this is typically a private service, so an additional charge may be required.

If you do not wish to use the template, or your GP is unhappy to do so, you can submit a different certificate so long as it meets the following criteria:

  • It has to be translated into French

  • It has to be issued and signed by a doctor, stamped and signed.

  • It has to be delivered less than one year on the day of the race

  • It has to include one of the following sentences; "no contraindication to the practice of running in competition“, or “no contraindication to the practice of Athletics in competition”, “no contraindication to the practice of sport in competition”
Unfortunately, this is where I ran into some difficulty for this year, despite having signed my form with no real questions or issues for 2016 and 2017, this year my medical certificate was rejected by my GP. When i called up to discuss the issue I was told that the specific wording required by Run Disney meant that should anything happen to me when I was competing, the GP who had signed my form would be liable, and though they saw no medical reason why I wasn't fit to run, they didn't want to take on the liability.

medical form 2

And so, panic stations hit in, my GP had been holding on to my form for over 4 weeks when they decided they weren't happy to complete it, the medical certificates need to be submitted online before August 31st in order to be able to race, and I didn't know what other options I had. My GP had suggested I could go down a private route such as going to a Nuffield hospital, however there would probably be a wait for this and there was no guarantee of either the cost, or if they would actually agree to sign the form, so I set about looking for other options.

This is when I came across Sports Medical Certificates, this is a company who specialise in providing certificates for runner, cyclists and swimmers, this is all done online and they have access to a bank of GPs who are able to analyse your information, and where possible sign and provide a certificate for you. The process is fairly easy, you are asked to fill in a 5 section health questionnaire, this is fairly standard information such as your height and weight, if you drink or smoke and how much, a few questions about your families medical history, and lastly some information about your current exercise levels and which event you need the certificate for.

It only took a few minutes to fill in the form and once I got to the end I was asked to make a payment of £65, this is the cost of paying the Dr to sign the form and the cost of producing the certificate, yes this was a bit more than my GP had charged previously but with limited other options available to me, and the clock ticking in the background, I decided to go for it. The process from here was very quick and simple, I was kept updated constantly by E-mail along every step of the process, I was warned I may be asked further questions about some of the answers I had given (I'm probably not the preferred end of the BMI scale and I do take a number of prescription medications right now) but in the end this wasn't required. Within a few hours everything had checked out OK and I had the E-mail to say I had the all clear and my certificate was ready to download. If for any reason they decide they cannot provide you with a certificate, your fee is refunded in full, and they do provide a direct contact to the Dr assigned to your case should you need further info or have questions.

The certificate is provided on a PDF document, which means I can print as many copies as I need, but also I can save a copy to my laptop to keep a back up, and also I could easily upload it straight to the registration portal on the Run Disney website, I'm pleased to say Disney were really hot on this, and after only a few mins of submitting my runners info I had an E-mail back to say my medical cert had been accepted!

So, if like me you've found the path to getting your certificate less than easy, I would highly recommend Sports Medical Certificates, though they weren't the cheapest option out there, they were quick, easy to deal with and did everything I required. It's such a relief to know everything is sorted now and I can get back to training and planning my trip without panicking about not being able to compete.

Are you guys running? How did you get your medical forms signed? Drop me a comment I'd love to be able to share all the options!

Hoodsie xx
Hi guys!

You know, there's something funny about films, Disney films included. Though they can be watched and enjoyed time and time again, and thanks to technology that means not just at home but on the go to, there's something extra special about watching them on the silver screen.

I love the cinema, I love the excitement of going to see a new film, the idea of sharing it with other like-minded people, the popcorn, the snacks, he'll even the adverts all make up part of the unique experience!

Now here's the thing, as much as I love Disney, and I joke sometimes that I live and breathe it, but maybe that's not too far from the truth! There are however still some films I just haven't seen, Disney has such a huge back catalogue to work through, and there have been times in my life where Disney lost that spark with me. The main time this happened was during that tween transition, where suddenly you're meant to be too cool for the things you liked before and there's so many new things to get involved in and new friends to impress!

During this time Disney was obviously still releasing movies, so it's no surprise there were a few I missed along the way, and this post is about continuing to catch up with these lost movies!

On Friday July 20th I finally watched The Emperor's New Groove, and what better way to do that, than on the silver screen?! Lucky for me there's a great little cinema in London that understands the best way to watch movies is on the big screen and has special screenings of fan favourite films to give people a chance to relive that experience. The Prince Charles Cinema is the only independent cinema in London's west end, better than that it is a repertory cinema, or revival house, meaning every week it screens classic films alongside new films. The cinema has 2 screens, a larger one downstairs and a smaller one upstairs, our screening was upstairs and the slightly more intimate feel of the smaller screen made it feel really special.

The screening was at 9 pm and tickets were £10 for non-members, I thought this was a really fair price for the event and especially as it was a one off with limited seating I was more than happy to pay this! As for the screening time, though 9pm worked fine for me and my friends, it would make it difficult for people with children if they wanted to attend too, we didn't get back till around midnight so it would have been far too late if I'd had wanted to take my niece.

The cinema was lovely, as I said before this screening was in the smaller upstairs screen which I believe has around 100 seats, they're tiered leather seats and were really comfortable. We were a group of 14 so we made sure we were there early so we could grab seats together, we decided to go as 2 groups of 7 one row in front of the other so we were more compact. One of our friends had a suitcase with her which we weren't allowed to take into the screen but the staff were really helpful in finding somewhere for her to store it during the film and were prompt in returning it after.

As we went for food before the film I didn't end up buying any snacks or drinks from the cinema, but every member of staff I did come into contact with at the cinema was polite, happy, friendly and helpful, a real credit to the company!

As for the film, if you haven't seen it before the Emperors New Groove is the story of a young emperor who is selfish and entitled, when his ex royal advisor tries to kill him to to take his place on the throne he is accidentally turned into a Llama. He begins a journey back home with an unexpected friend and learns a few lessons along the way about trusting other people and thinking not just of himself.

The film was brilliant, I loved it, and though part of me wishes I hadn't waited so long to see it, watching it with my friends and in a room full of fans was an amazing way to experience it. The film has the perfect mix of pure comedy moments and witty one liners but also more heartfelt moments and an important message to take away. I can certainly understand why characters like Kuzco, Kronk and Yzma are so popular with Disney fans, their characters are both unique and hilarious and I hope I get the chance to meet some of them soon!

Overall I had a great experience at the Prince Charles Cinema and would highly recommend this as a venue to watch screenings of your favourite films. I will be keeping an eye on their website to see what else they're showing and hopefully I'll be able to share some other Disney classics with my friends there soon!

Were you at the screening? Have you visited the Prince Charles before? Would you visit now? Drop me a comment!

Hoodsie xx
Hi guys!

Really excited to say I got the chance at the weekend to go and see Incredibles 2, so I thought I would take the chance to share my thoughts on the film with you all, I hope you enjoy it. I was lucky enough to catch it on the super screen at Cineworld in Leicester Square, this was my first time in a super screen and if the experience is an option for you, I would highly recommend it!

If you didn't know already, this is the long awaited sequel to the 2004 "The Incredibles" which was written and directed by Brad Bird and was the 6th feature length Pixar film. Finally 14 years after the release of the original it's time for fans to catch up with the Parr family again for another super sized adventure to save the day!

movie poster

The film follows the Parr family, dad Bob is Mr Incredible, mum Helen is Elastigirl and they have 3 children, Violet, Dash and Jack Jack. The first movie saw the family leave their day to day lives behind and return to the world of supers when they were unexpectedly needed to help save the day! What surprised me most about the sequel was that it started right from where the first one left off, so if you haven't watched it already, or it's been a while since your last viewing, I'd advise you to watch it again to jog your memory!

Following a less than successful attempt at saving the city from the Underminer super are back in the shadows and illegal, the Parr family are staying in a motel and have just 2 weeks to find a way to get back on their feet and live a life without their super suits. Things aren't looking all too great when Elastigirl gets a call from Devtech founders the Deavor siblings with a plan to get supers back on track, all they need is a poster child, and they want Elastigirl! Of course this is an offer that's too good to refuse, so despite feeling a little jealous Mr Incredible takes on the role of stay at home dad while Mrs Incredible fights to save the supers.

jack jack

Being a stay at home dad isn't easy at the best of times, but add in a teenage crush gone wrong for Violet, and Jack Jack's new found powers and things go from bad to worse for Mr Incredible as he tries to hold it all together. Meanwhile Mrs Incredible has found a new foe in Screenslaver who is set to ruin all her work to bring the supers back! With fan favourites Edna Mode and Frozone making their return can The Incredibles save the day again and restore the supers to their former glory?

Overall I really enjoyed this movie, in fact, I would go as far as saying I probably enjoyed it more than the first, not an easy task! The plot was fast paced and I really felt like it didn't have much filler, I wasn't waiting for things to warm up or get started and I was pretty much glued to the action for the entire film. The plot I enjoyed for the most part, but did find it to be a little bit predictable in places, which was a shame, everyone loves a good plot twist.


There were a few new characters in the film including a new group of supers, personally I felt the character development here was honestly quite weak. Yes I do understand these weren't pivotal characters, however I felt they were in the film enough to warrant a little extra time giving them some depth and meaning, Voyd was probably the only of the additional supers that I felt had any motivation or purpose and this was a shame.

I particularly enjoyed the scenes featuring Edna Mode, but I was a little disappointed that she didn't get more screen time, she is clearly very popular with the fan community and features on a lot of the advertising and merchandise for the film so I was expecting her to play a bigger role. If nothing else going forward I would love to see Edna feature in an animated short, or perhaps a short web series with Jack Jack as I feel there's a lot more to explore within this relationship!


Will we see the Parr family again? I don't know if there are currently any plans for a 3rd Incredibles film, however I would say if Brad Bird and his team feel like there are still stories about the family to be told, given the quality of this latest offering, I wouldn't be against it. The film managed to feel fresh, while also feeling nostalgic, watching it in the cinema it didn't feel like 14 years since our favourite family of heroes were last on the silver screen, it didn't feel forced and it didn't feel like a cheap production that was just made to ride of the success of its predecessor. As a sequel I would rate Incredibles 2 as being in a similar league to the Toy Story trilogy, famed for not having a weak link, unlike many of the "direct to home movie" Disney sequels of the mid 90s and early naughties.

Now it wouldn't be fair to end this review without touching on the animated short, Bao, which is screened at the start of the film. Directed by Domee Shee, Bao is the story of a Chinese-Canadian mother who is suffering from empty nest syndrome, while making hand made dumplings one comes alive and this helps her to work through her issues. Now I am a huge fan of some of the recent Pixar shorts, in particular Inner workings and Lou really stuck with me, I'm happy to say Bao is no different. the short is thought provoking, tells an excellent story despite having little to no dialogue and is beautifully animated. I'm always in awe of the way such a short animation can hold the audience and this was no different. The story takes an interesting and unexpected twist about 2/3 of the way through, though I'll leave you to find out how for yourselves, but stick with it because it's a beautiful story with a really important and touching message.


So that's it for Incredibles 2, I really really enjoyed the film, and though I'm not sure I'd want to wait 14 years for another installment, I'm really glad Pixar decided to bring the Parr family back. I laughed, I cried and I was absolutely glued to the screen and what more could you ask for? I loved it so much I'm already booked to go back and see it again and that's just about the best praise I can give!

Have you seen Incredibles 2? Did you enjoy it, and what would you like to see next? Drop me a comment!

Hoodsie xx
Hey guys!

Since I first visited Disneyland Paris in 2010 one thing that has always stumped people most is that though I love visiting theme parks, I've always had a genuine fear of rides. Sure the smaller attractions like Small world, Casey Jr and Dumbo have never caused me any issues, but it was a long time before rides like Big Thunder Mountain were ever an option for me.

So where did it start? Well there's two things I think contributed to my irrational fear of coasters, something I'm still working on now to be completely honest with you. The first was that as children, theme parks weren't every really on the agenda, I don't think I've ever been to Alton Towers or Drayton Manor, I didn't visit Legoland until I was 8 or 9 and for Thorpe park and Chessington I was an adult by the time of my first visit to each. I don't think as kids me and my sister ever really had a huge interest in rides, at least not that I can remember, I think I've seen maybe one old family photo of my sister on one of those kids Caterpillar coasters, and I couldn't even have told you when or where that was taken! Now please don't get me wrong, this isn't a woe is me or a sob story kind of post! My sister and I both had amazing childhoods, we did plenty of other things, and had a lot more than a lot of the other kids we knew, it's just for us, theme parks and roller coasters were never a big thing.

The second thing that probably explains my fear of coasters was my first real coaster experience. The first theme park I have any real memory of going to is Legoland Windsor, it was probably 1997/1998 and I was on a trip with my local Brownie group (I know, you didn't see that coming did you). I don't remember a huge amount about the trip, except for one ride, the Dragon roller coaster. Truth be told I don't remember all too much about the ride, other than hating it and feeling terrified from start to finish. And from then for about 13 years, big rides were off the cards. I did revisit Legoland in either 2000 or 2001 but I knew my limits in terms of rides and I stuck to them! I think the most frustrating thing about all of it, is that I just didn't really have any friends or family that were interested in going on rides enough to help me nip the fear in the bud. The longer it went on the worse the fear got, and as a teenager, I pretty much avoided theme parks altogether so that I didn't have to admit I was too scared to ride anything.

Flash forward to 2010 and the time had come for me to finally visit Disneyland Paris, it was something I could only have dreamed of as a kid, I booked a trip with 2 of my closest friends and off we went on our french adventure. I was so excited for everything the park had to offer, and I never could have imagined how quickly I would fall in love with the place, but even then there was a niggling thought in the back of my mind that I wasn't sure how I'd cope with some of the rides.

Now the nice thing about Disney parks, is they're family friendly, this means even if you're not into big rides chances are you're still going to find things you can do and enjoy at your own pace. Perhaps this is why I fell in love with the place almost immediately! for once I felt like I could enjoy a theme park, without my fears holding me back, but of course, there were still lots of things I couldn't do. Out of our group of 3, 2 of us weren't really ride people and at times this did make things a little difficult. Though rides like Space Mountain do have a single rider queue, others like Big Thunder Mountain don't, and it can be a long wait by yourself! We managed as best as we could during the trip, and I made sure my friend Ant did get to go on the bigger rides without feeling guilty about leaving us behind, it was his holiday too and I wasn't going to hold him back, but I could tell these were things he really wanted to share with people, and that did make me feel a little bit bad.

It wasn't actually until my 3rd trip in 2014 when my friends finally encouraged me to start trying some more adventurous attractions, this ended up being the first trip where I tried both Big Thunder Mountain and Crush's Coaster. We had gone the first week of December that year, and due to the bitterly colder temperatures the park was really quiet, we used this to our advantage and I quickly realised the longer I had to queue, the more likely I was to talk myself out of riding. I can't say I remember particularly hating either ride, which was a huge surprise at the time, but I certainly wasn't compelled to ride them again.

2016 was the next time I would ride BTM again, this time it was on a 2 day flying visit in between Christmas and new year with my good friends Steven and his wife Tarryn. They were so supportive, the queue was a bit longer than I would have wanted, and I was very very nervous, but they did their best to distract me and keep me calm, and it really really helped. It had been 2 years since I'd ridden it last, and I was definitely as scared this time, I really wasn't sure what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised how well it went.

The real turn around though for my love/hate relationship with BTM came in 2017, flanked by an army of Disney pals this would be the year I really got to grips with riding Big Thunder, where possible I would always try to get a fast pass or hit it at rope drop or at quiet times as I found the longer I queued the worse I felt. I quickly learnt trying to hold Duffy on the ride wasn't going to work either as I was probably just as scared of losing him as I was of the ride in general. The final thing I found really helped me was ear plugs, I don't have any real sensory issues that I know about but loud noises are always something I haven't got on with too well. The track on Big Thunder is really loud, I think 90% of it is by design, but personally I found it really off putting, and if something as simple as foam ear plugs was going to make the experience better for me then that's how I'm going to approach it!

With Big Thunder under my belt and getting easier with every trip it wasn't long before I was being encouraged to take the next step, it was time to face possibly my biggest coaster fear - loops! My first trip in 2018 was in April with my niece, for weeks before hand the guys had all been trying to talk me into riding Hyper Space Mountain with them, and though I wasn't convinced, I wasn't 100% totally against it either. Well I hate to disappoint you, but I bottled it. I don't know why, I guess it was just easier than facing my fear, but for once, something was different about me not doing it. After I came home I just felt really cross with myself for not trying, as much as I was scared beyond words, and hated the idea of doing it, I was mad at myself for not giving it a go and I think that's when I knew I was ready.

By a stroke of luck Sophie and I ended up back in Disneyland Paris just a few weeks later for the Insidears event, and I knew it was make or break time as far as riding Hyperspace Mountain was concerned. On our way into the parks that morning a family were leaving to go home and stopped us and gave us their hotel fast passes, these are paper vouchers which allow you to use the fast pass line on a ride of your choosing during that day, any time other than between 1 and 4 pm, they are giving to guests staying in any of the club level rooms. This was a huge help, as I've already said, queuing for a ride I'm already nervous about, tends to give me way too much time to over think things and panic when I don't need to, riding single rider wasn't an option either, so we were banking on being able to get a fast pass, or hoping the queues weren't too bad later on in the day.

It took me most of the day to decide I wanted to use our fast passes to try HSM and it certainly wasn't plain sailing. We got into the fast pass queue, and as we were making our way through the queue we came to the point where the coaster breaks just before the end. I don't know if its the metal walls, or the fact that the building is mostly a big hollow shell, or if it was a combination of the two but the noise seemed really loud. I was pretty shook up by this and really didn't want to try it any more, but with a lot of encouragement (and a little emotional blackmail) Sophie encouraged me to at least stick out the queue. Well As you can see below, I not only stuck out the queue but I made it onto the ride too! The sensation of the loop was something I find really difficult to explain, I was definitely aware I was upside down, but it didn't feel the way I had expected either. I can't say I enjoyed the experience, but I'd done it and I was so happy and proud, of course the next thing we did was got a celebratory Waffle and the attraction pin!

So its now July and I am happy to say I've ridden HSM another 2 times since then, most recently last weekend where I managed to keep my eyes open the whole way round! This was another big step for me and it was a real game changer, the effects inside the ride are so cool, they really added to the experience and somehow the movements seemed less extreme with my eyes open! Not only that but I've ridden Crush's coaster twice this year now as well and I'm starting to really enjoy it!

So where next? Well I hope to be able to ride Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril before the end of 2018, the ride is much shorter than Hyperspace, but being outside in the light and being able to see the track poses a new challenge for me. If I can do it though, I'll finally be able to say I've ridden every current attraction in Disneyland Park, and that seems like a goal worth having. Looking further ahead, I'm planning to visit WDW in Florida for the first time in 2019, and it would be so incredible to be able to leave saying I rode everything I wanted and had no regrets, so Expedition Everest is up there as a future goal!

So that's my coaster story to date, I hope it was interesting and perhaps if you're like me and the bigger rides scare you, I hope I've maybe encouraged you to step outside your comfort zone a little. For all you thrill seekers out there, what should I be looking to try next, and what are you WDW must do rides?

Hoodsie xx
Hey Guys!

Some of you may be aware that this year Disneyland Paris have started hosting annual pass holder soirees in the Walt Disney studios park, the events are hard ticketed and give fans a chance to experience the park through themed parties with attractions and character meets during the night as well as other surprises. Last weekend, July 7th, I attended the 2nd annual pass holder soiree which was Marvel themed and I wanted to share my thoughts and experiences of the night with you all.

Now if you've read other reviews of events I've done you'll probably have seen me say similar before but, this is only a review of my personal experience, I cannot speak for others in what they saw or experienced or how they found the night in terms of value and organisation. I was not paid to attend the event, I was not asked to review the events, and any opinions expressed are solely my own and do not represent Disneyland Paris in any way.

The Marvel soiree was first announced on April 7th shortly after the first annual pass holder night which was a Tower of Terror anniversary party. Initially, we were given very little information, the graphic was one of the standard Spider-man ones which was also being used to promote the Summer of Super-Heroes campaign and the only other real information was the price which was €39. The event this time was for both Infinity pass holder and Magic Plus holders too with the addition of up to 2 guests per pass holder, the tickets went on sale on April 19th, so guests had just under 2 weeks notice of the event before ticket sales. Tickets were limited at 4000 and these did end up selling out, sales closed on June 18th, I was slightly concerned that 4000 guests felt like it could be a lot, but actually on the night it never really felt too busy anywhere that I personally experienced, this was a really good ticket level and I would be happy to have up to 4000 at future events.

Originally I wasn't going to attend the event, having already visited in April May and June and having trips planned for September and November I wasn't sure I could justify the cost of another stay so close together. However, in early June we decided it could be quite a fun event and as a few friends were already going to be there we decided we would do it if we could make it work on a budget. We ended up driving over the morning of the party and home the day after, and we booked an off-site hotel to bring down the cost, my only regret of doing it this way was there just wasn't enough time to experience all of the Marvel offerings in our 24 hours in the parks!

The event started at 8:30pm though I think we arrived slightly later than that as we popped back to freshen up at the hotel first! Getting in was pretty straightforward, there was a short queue but it moved pretty quickly, this is where I saw my first disappointment of the evening. In Fantasia gardens 2 quests who were in costume, one as Captain America, had taken it upon themselves to sign autographs for other guests, a lot of whom were young children! This is totally unacceptable, it is against Disneyland Paris rules and allowing this to happen sets up a dangerous precedent for other events where costumes are permitted, I have no shame in saying I alerted a cast member to what was going on. I didn't stick around long enough to see if/how it was dealt with, but I'm glad I spoke up!

That aside, once we got our tickets checked the night truly started in fantastic fashion! As we were heading towards the studios gates there were cast members with tote bags, we assumed this would be where we picked up our programs for the evening but were surprised to get not just this incredibly detailed metallic program in presentation wallet, but this Marvel AP Soirée pin as well! These were given to all guests as they entered for no additional cost! This was an amazing perk and I'm truly really shocked and grateful for what we received!

We got into the park and made our way through Frontlot and through studio one as there wasn't really anything going on in either of these areas. I'm not sure if it was a case of us arriving slightly later, or if guest flow had learnt lessons from FanDaze, but this was running much smoother and they had opened up all the doors to studio one to aid guest flow which really helped! As we came out of studio one we could see there was already quite a queue at the scare floor, which meant characters from Monsters Inc would almost definitely be out. If you're not familiar with Disneyland Paris, the scare floor situation is one of my personal pet peeves, despite having a full scare floor set up with Boo's door as a perfect photo location which is out of the way and doesn't disrupt guest flow, Sulley is hardly ever out, and if he is it's usually the day after we've gone home! So despite the Monsters inc guys having nothing to do with Marvel, the character hunter part of me knew we needed to go over and meet them! As we headed over we saw the lovely Mitchell who warned us that Buzz and Woody were meeting in Toy Story Playland and would be swapping shortly with Bullseye and Jessie!

Well, this totally changed our plans, both Sophie and I have met Sulley before, whereas Bullseye has been a big dream meet for me for a while now, and I missed him at both last years Run Disney and at Fandaze, so off we went to see if we could find him. The thing I love about having these events in the Studios park, is its compact size, everything is easy and quick to get to and there are lots of places to cut through, so if you're at the wrong end of the park when somethings going on it's pretty easy to get there quickly. We got to Toy Story Playland and Buzz and Woody were still meeting with a very short queue, we jumped in any way to make sure we had our spot for the change over, but the queue ended up moving so quickly that it was our turn before the change, we decided to let a few of the families behind us go first as we didn't mind missing Woody and Buzz in order to ensure we met Bullseye! When Bullseye came out we were 2nd in the queue, and having waited so long to get a chance at meeting him I'm happy to say it was pretty much a perfect meet, he loved my custom ears that had a portrait of him on and he was really fun and enthusiastic, I'm so glad he was out and super grateful for the tip-off!

After Bullseye we went back to the scare floor to try and get our monsters, not long after joining the queue a Cast Member called Emma came and let us know the characters would be swapping out soon back to Sulley and Boo, we were torn between doing this first or going to see Frozone in the art of animation, Emma told us Frozone would be quicker and I'm glad we took her advice as although the queue looked massive from outside, it moved really quickly! We met Frozone and then jumped back in the queue for Sulley and Boo and managed to meet them before their next switchover, which meant we'd ticked off 4 really rare characters, and 3 that were totally new to us, off in record time!

We realised by this point it was probably time to get some Marvel into our "Marvel Soiree" so headed to back lot where Black Widow was meeting in the Blockbuster Cafe, we'd met Captain America earlier in the day, and we'd already heard the queue for Thor and Loki was about 2 hours, so Black Widow was the best option for us. When we got round to the queue we realised it was going to be way longer than the half hour her sets were lasting, so decided we'd give it a miss, we're hoping to do the Marvel dinner in September anyway. However this was the one point of our night that turned a little sour, and I can't with any conscience just gloss over it.

During the event guests with Green or Orange passes weren't able to get a return time that prevented them needing to queue, this was a decision made by Disney and I couldn't possibly claim to know all the ins and outs of how or why this was decided. I was under the impression that they were going to be able to have their carer queue for them, and then join them once they were at the front, it would appear this didn't happen, though as I don't require one and wasn't attending with anyone that needed one I couldn't confirm what the conversations around this were. What I am aware of however is that there was some chain of events at the Black Widow meet where a guest with Epilepsy was left seriously unwell due to not being able to use their Access pass. This is of course not only totally unacceptable but actually quite worrying! I was not involved with the incident though I knew of the guest involved, I do hope Disneyland Paris listen to the concerns of these guests, investigate properly and implement the necessary changes to make sure this doesn't ever happen again!

After deciding to skip Black Widow we managed to ride Cars which was a walk-on, met Genie and Abu, then went back to the scare floor in time for George Sanderson and Mike. We then rode crushes coaster which couldn't have been more than a 10 min queue, this was something I was looking forward to most about the party, it's a ride I only realised I enjoy so much when I rode it during FanDaze weekend with David. The ride always has a huge wait though, even in extra magic time it quickly reaches 50+ mins, so being able to get on it with such a short wait is a huge perk of these limited number parties!

After Crush I did Slinky dog which was also a walk-on, while the guys all braved RC racer, I queued for a quick photo with Buzz and Woody who were brilliant and in a really fun mood, the thing that surprised me most was when the CM with them said they'd like a picture just with Duffy! Of course, we said yes, and I love how it turned out. It was just time for one more meet so we went back to the flying carpets where Jasmine and the Sultan were due to come out for their last set of the evening. The queue went quickly and I loved being able to see Sultan again, Jasmine was also lovely and it was a great way to finish the night.

So overall I had a brilliant time at my first Annual passholder's Soiree, the park didn't feel packed, the queues moved well, for the most part, every cast member I met was really happy and friendly and helpful. I managed to meet 12 characters, 5 of which I'd never been able to meet before, and I got on 3 rides with no more than 10-15 mins queue time total for all of them! But I do have some things about the evening I'd like to address.

Firstly and probably most importantly, this was meant to be a Marvel night, and although I was incredibly happy with the non-Marvel things on offer, a lot of people bought tickets and made the trip especially for the Marvel theme. The thing that made this all the more frustrating for me is having seen the live stream of the Marvel press weekend just a few weeks earlier we saw members of the invited press/celebrities and social media influencers get to meet characters like Black Panther, who wasn't out on the night. Characters like Gamora and Star Lord are also present at Disneyland Paris, so it was a real shame to know these characters are there but cannot be met, especially when it is a special night with a specific focus on Marvel.

Secondly out of the 3 marvel themed shows being performed throughout the season, only one - the "Guardians of the Galaxy Awesome Dance Off" was being performed on the night, and even then it only had one showing. This meant that at an event specifically themed to celebrate the world of Marvel inside Disneyland Paris, there was actually less Marvel entertainment on than on a normal day. Studio theater was instead used to hold a conference which ran 3 times during the evening, I decided not to attend as the subject matter didn't grab me enough, but from what I've heard this was little more than a showreel of existing Marvel attractions with little information on how they were developed or what we might see in the future. I can understand from this perspective why Marvel fans were upset, at times it just felt like a Summer Annual Passholders evening, with Marvel tacked on as an afterthought.

In the run-up to the event further details came out about what guests could expect from some of there favourite rides, with both Rock n Roller and Tower of Terror set to receive a heroic twist the fan community went into meltdown! Would we finally get something to rival Mission Breakout? Well, the official release notes certainly made it seem that way, with a direct reference to the collector's fortress and Rocket Raccoon it didn't seem all too far-fetched. I didn't ride Tower of Terror during the evening, it's a ride that still terrifies me to the core, but from what I understand, other than a projection mapping on the front of the tower, there were no additional guardians touches, and further to that the ride actually went with no sound, no intro video, and for some the shutters didn't even open at the top. Another huge blow to Marvel fans who were ready for so much, and got so little in return!

The other thing that disappointed me on the night was the lack of Photo Pass photographers. I am a huge advocate for Photo Pass+, I truly believe in the product and it is something I frequently recommend to guests. As an Infinity passholder one of the perks is that my annual pass price includes an annual Photo Pass+, as this event was specifically for Infinity and Magic Plus holders and their guests I don't think it would be unreasonable to assume that a large percentage of those in attendance would own a PhotoPass+. So imagine my surprise when it transpires that it is only the Marvel character spots that have photographers present! FanDaze and RunDisney have both proved that Disneyland Paris does have the staff available and can get this right, so why at an event with such well themed meets with rare characters against good backdrops were there no photographers? I'm genuinely disappointed by this and would like to be able to have a discussion with Disneyland Paris at some point to understand their challenges around Photopass and also put forward my views as a guest as to what I'd like to see from this service going forward.

Overall I really enjoyed the night, I feel like the event was organized well on the whole in terms of guest flow, the spread of locations and generally in terms of numbers and queue sizes. I cannot however help but feel this event was totally mislabeled. This wasn't a Marvel evening, or at least it wasn't the dedicated Marvel evening it was being sold as! I loved the extra touches and as you can see I didn't really end up doing anything Marvel that evening, and although that was fine for me, I can 100% appreciate why fans who travelled specifically for a one-off marvel experience feel let down so badly. Going forward I'm not sure if we'll see such specifically themed nights, or if the scope will become broader, but Disney really need to look at how they name these events and what ratio of themed content they are able to provide for the future if they want to avoid many of the unhappy guests I encountered on the night!

Did you go to the soiree? What did you think and would you go again? Drop me a comment I'd love to know your thoughts!

Hoodsie xx