Disneyland Paris Inaugural FANDAZE – Character Madness Exclusive package review
Thanks for joining me again to hear my thoughts on the inaugural Fandaze Party and the packages offered as part of it at Disneyland Paris.
In this review, I am going to do a full review of the Character Madness Exclusive Package and what was included in the cost.
The Character Madness Exclusive Package was advertised as
Can you imagine our excitement when we managed to secure one of those coveted 16 places? We were over the moon, as was the lovely lady who booked our package as she couldn’t quite believe we had managed to bag 3 of the places either!
When we asked we were told that the 16 packages were individuals, so our group would only have 13 more people in it to give us the maximum experience possible in our package … but more about that later.
Mark and I decided to allow the other member of our party to enjoy the Santa Fe room we booked as part of the package and we booked a room in the DLH separately on the buy 2 nights get 2 nights free offer which worked out a really good deal.
We had a booking for a party of 3 staying at the Santa Fe as part of our package. Early on Saturday morning (pre 7am) one member of our party was able to check us all in and receive the packs for our Fandaze package.
Inside this pack were 3 tickets to collect our package from the dome and 3 tickets to collect our Fandaze photopass from any of the shop locations listed.
This was all very straightforward and hassle free for us.
Collecting our Package
While one member of our party checked in, the rest of us waited in queue early for the 8am opening of the dome to collect our package information. We arrived at just gone 7am and were the first in line, other guests started arriving around 7:20am and a queue formed behind us very quickly after that. The doors didn’t open until around 8:10am and we were then held in a queue inside for a further 15 minutes before we were seen as they were still not ready.
Once inside, only the lead name was required to show ID despite being told the entire party would need to be present. The initial desk we were sent to weren’t aware of our package, we were then sent to a second desk area where we collected our package.
Inside this package was a party map, our lanyard, pin and a card detailing our package meet and greet times and our weekend schedule.
The organisation of the collection of this information was OK, but realistically could have been done at check in at the hotels for people with packages. It wasn’t convenient to take time away from our park enjoyment, or in our case sleep enjoyment as we decided to go early, when all of the information they needed is already provided to check into the hotels.
So, to improve this process next year, I would highly recommend that stand alone tickets are collected from the dome. However, anyone that has spent the extra money on a package should have the convenience of being able to collect their pack at check in.
Fandaze Party Night
The queue system outside the park was good, as Package holders we were given priority entrance … sadly this was entirely pointless! See my previous blog for details.
This was the extent of perks for people with packages on the night aside from our exclusive meet and play that I will come on to shortly. We did not get fast passed any queues or allowed through first because we had packages despite anything that has been reported on social media. We waited in line like everyone else, the entire duration of the party.
Meet and play pre-farewell parade with Disney Fandaze VIP characters
This was at 1am and had a 30 minute time slot, we were so excited! 16 people meant we would have at least a couple of minutes each to get photos and group shots and actually have time to ‘play’ with the characters.
This is where we discovered that it was not 16 people. It was 16 groups, so our expectations of a cozy meet up was actually 37 people scrambling to take photos.
The characters were initially in couples having photos taken, Mark and I didn’t manage to get photos with all the pairs and I shouldn’t imagine all the group did. We did get a couple though.
As the meet was nearing the end they realised they needed to bring all the VIPs together to enable everyone to get a photo with them all. This should have been done from the start and any time left over once everyone had a group shot should have been allocated do individual and couple shots. I do hope that everyone managed to get a group shot like we did
This meet was poorly organised and could have been managed much better. Having said that, I got the shots I wanted and have them to treasure forever so It was a success for me, I just felt like I had to push my way through to get it.
This was the end of our package experience for the actual Fandaze Party, our remaining perks were scheduled for the next day.
Sunday 3rd June 2018
Character encounters with Mickey and Minnie
We had been allocated a 10:30am time slot for this meet, which was a bit of a struggle to get up for after a 3:30am bedtime! We met at the Disney jnr ride and were pleased to see it was a far smaller group this morning.
Once inside we were greeted by the happiest and most enthusiastic group of cast members and photopass photographers, it was amazing!!! We went through and had photos individually and then hung back while everyone else had there’s .. and then left. There was still 15mins left of the set & we were told we could have as many photos as we wanted! So we had group shots and couples and some funny shots and generally just had fun with the main mice!
This encounter was excellent, I really enjoyed it. It was definitely a highlight of the package.
Sunday Brunch with 8 VIPs in exclusive outfits.
Now we love a brunch, if our trip falls over a Sunday we will always do the brunch and have even been known to do a one night stop over for a theme we like. We usually spend the entire 3 hours allowed for brunch at our table to enable maximum engagement with the characters and a leisurely un-rushed meal.
When we saw that we only had a 2 hour allocation for brunch before our next meeting we had concerns as that really only left us 1 hour and 45 mins to get everything done.
Brunch for the event was in the California Grill. We were sat in wine room at the top, right next to the doors through to inventions. There were 4 tables in our room.
Fortunately we were a group of 3 so were allocated a table for 4. If you were a table for 2, you were paired up with strangers for your meal as there weren’t enough 2 person tables. This wouldn’t bother me, but other guests were voicing that it made them uncomfortable.
The brunch was for both exclusive and premium character madness packages. Everyone was seated at the same time, despite the fact that the exclusive packages had to leave before the end to get to their next appointment. Exclusive packages should have been priority seating to allow enough time to meet all the characters and eat enough food.
The food was not to the usual standard I expect at inventions brunch. It was being carried through from the normal restaurant and was at most warm when we got to it. The selection wasn’t as wide as the counter space was far smaller and in all was just a disappointment. It’s the first time I’ve come out of a brunch feeling like I hadn’t had enough to eat due to the lack of time and selection.
During the first 40 minutes we didn’t see a single character, after speaking to an ACC it turned out that they didn’t know that there were guests in the room we were in. This meant that we started to get them coming to us, sometimes in quick succession so we got some combination photos.
Sadly Mickey didn’t make it to us before we had to leave, so this was the best photo I could get of him.
Considering the amount we paid for our package, it shouldn’t have been like this. The characters should have been easily accessible to us all during the brunch, especially considering the limited time we had allocated to meet them all before our next appointment.
Private encounter with 2 special VIP characters
We ran over from inventions to studios for our next meet. We entered the room to be greeted by the same photo pass photographer and ACC group we had in the morning meet and that made it even better!! We had SO much fun!
The same as the morning meet, people were coming in, having photos and leaving, so we hung around until the end again to get lots and lots of amazing shots!!
This encounter was really amazing. Meeting Ortensia in her first ever park appearance and Oswald who has only been to DLP a handful of times was truly special. So thank you to Fandaze for giving us that privilege.
I loved everything that we got to do as part of our package and do think it was worth the money. There are things I would change and improvements that could have been made, but I will talk about that more in a future blog.
Would I do Fandaze again? Yes, I’m a heartbeat. Would I do the same package again? That very much depends on whether changes are made. If Characters Fandaze outfits remain the same and if the brunch isn’t extended then possibly not, but I’d have to look into it when the information is released.
My next blog will be my thoughts on how Disneyland Paris could improve Fandaze and what I would do differently.
Lots of Love