PDA

View Full Version : Any Tips On Making This Trip Lee Stressful?


marymungomidge
09-29-2007, 03:15 AM
Hi all, this is my 1st time posting here so please be nice to me!! I'm travelling to DLP for Bonfire Night as a 60th birthday treat for my dad. My OH hates theme parks, crowds, Disney etc so he has opted to stay home which means I will be in sole charge of 4 kids ages 13,12, 6 and 2. We are travelling with my parents, brother, SIL and their 2 kids by coach (Leger) and staying at Explorer for 3 nights. Just starting to get a bit stressed as I've never travelled with kids without OH before and although there will be other adults like my mum and dad around, it will still come down to me to control / organise kids etc. I thought I'd post on here for any tips from all the experts Disney travellers on here. My main concerns are the coach journey, keeping kids occupied and calm, has anyone travelled on Leger and know the approximate travel times from the South East England area. Leger won't give us any pick up times etc til 10 days before travel. Also, food as my 4 are all quite picky eaters ( 1 veggie, and the youngest is at the 'terrible 2's' stage of refusing food because of its looks, colour etc). Do you think I'll get away with taking my own snacks, food supplies in case I can't find suitable things for them all to eat? Can anyone tell me what the hire pushchairs are like as I will take a folding buggy for the 2 year old but am concerned the 6 year old will be too tired to walk especially on the Bonfire Night display ( they normally all got to bed at 7pm when at home, so not used to late nights). The older 2 kids are very helpful and will help carrying luggage etc but they have picked up on my stress about the trip and now not looking forward to it as much as now worrying about how we'll cope without daddy! All tips, etc would be gratefully received. I'm sure I'll have loads more questions over the next 5 weeks. Thanks.

Cyrano
09-29-2007, 05:04 AM
Hi marymungomidge and welcome to DLP DIS board :wave2:
We are a friendly bunch here so please join in on any other thread or if you have a number of questions then just start a new thread for each :goodvibes

If you have not had a look yet, DLP posting rules are here (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1477038), DIS posting guidelines can be found here (http://www.wdwinfo.com/guidelines.htm) and details regarding help on signatures here (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=976007)

Can't help with Leger sorry but like any travelling with kids I'd make sure you have plently of distractions - Gameboys or the like, books, colouring in etc

For the 2 year old I would have initially suggested your own buggy but like you we have an older child who is happier/better at standing on the back "boogy board" so the hired stroller suits us :)

You'll definitely be able to take your own snacks into the park, but I'm not so sure about restaurants. Mind you a few of the counter service restaurants have tables outside so I guess if some have bought food you'll be fine with those that are eating their own :goodvibes

jillrobinson
09-29-2007, 09:14 AM
Hi there marymungomidge
We went with Leger coach in March and going again in Nov. You can have a look at my report in Trip Reports - March 07 Jill & DS's (I think I called it), I'm pretty sure I mentioned the journey in it. I'm just about to go out but will get back to you with more details later on or if there's anything specific you want to know, pop it on here. :goodvibes

Oops almost forgot - Welcome to DIS ;)

Ware Bears
09-29-2007, 05:42 PM
Hi marymungomidge, welcome to the DIS! :welcome:

jillrobinson
09-29-2007, 06:22 PM
The Ferry Crossing with Leger is at 3.15 pm from what I gather from others who've been with Leger it doesn't seem to vary much. The coaches start arriving at the Coach Interchange from about 12.30 onwards, this gives time for all of them to arrive and for the luggage transfer to take place.
The coach that picks you up won't necessarily be the one that takes you to DLRP. You'll be allocated a coach for the trip to the port and another from the port to the resort. On the first coach you are not allocated seats, why I don't know ? and on the 2nd one you are ???

We left Cwmbran in South Wales at 6.30am, with only 2 more pickups after we joined it was a pleasant journey, we had a one hour stop on the way, apparently we were due to have another but a couple on board our coach had some bad news and were heading to Dover as quickly as possible to get a taxi back home, hence we arrived at the Coach Interchange very early. There is a restaurant here and a small shop but very little else, although there was some building work going on, so who knows.

Whilst you're off the coach all the luggage is taken off the first coach and loaded back onto your new coach. Then when all the luggage is boarded you are allowed on your new coach and it joins the queue of traffic waiting to board the ferry. You remain on the coach and are allowed off I assume when boarding has finished completely. The ferry has restaurants, shops etc and the journey lasts approximately 1 and a half hours, so with the hour time difference you arrive at Calais around 5.45pm. Then theoretically it is about a 3 and a half hour journey to DLRP.

At the resort the drop offs are NPB, SL, Cheyenne, Santa Fe, Holiday Inn & Explorers in that order I think, reversed when the coach picks you up again. One of the drivers came into the hotel to check us in, but I said there was no need, because I knew the drill, I assume that's their standard procedure. Leger have an office at Sequoia Lodge and gave us a time when they would be available there if there were any problems. While I think of it they left a message on the telephone to change our departure time, so if you return to your room and there's a light flashing on the phone, best check the message.

Coach facilities: Hot and cold drinks onboard for a very small charge, including 8 packs of bottled water, much cheaper than you will be able to buy in the park, well worth getting a couple of these off the driver.
Toilet: No problems on the way to Dover, but coach 2's loo was out of action from overuse on the first part of it's journey, apparently this doesn't happen often but if you have a lot of children on the coach and too many loo flushes the water runs out. This wasn't a problem for us, a) my kids were 8 and 12 b) the driver made plenty of toilet stops on the way down through France, I suspect though that this added to our journey time and along with an RTA around CDG airport which also slowed us down, we didn't actually arrive at our hotel until 11.00 and we were first off. What surprised me more though was that the loo was still out of action on the way back home, obviously they don't have the facilities to empty and refill the tanks at the resort.
Entertaining the kidsThere were quite lot of young children on the coaches and they all seemed to cope really well with the journey. There was a movie shown which broke up the journey from Calais down, although there are only a couple of screens on the coach and no headphone facilities, so in all honesty you couldn't hear it anyway.
I took travel board games which they didn't use, comics, books and of course the good old Nintendo DS's. You are allowed one piece of hand luggage each on the coach, I took my DLRP holdall, so that I could fit everything in one bag thinking it would be easier, however it was too big to go onto the coach and I ended up leaving some stuff in my dad's car, packing the food and drinks I'd taken for the journey into the luggage hold and using carrier bags the driver found for me to put our bits in, so my advice would be let everyone take their own backpack onto the coach.
Luggage This is the best bit of the coach holiday, at your departure point the drivers, there are 2, will load your luggage into the coach, you don't have to touch it again until you arrive at the hotel, my advice get the suitcases with wheels they're so much easier than trying to carry cases, when you have children and the 13 and 12 year olds will be able to help out with them.
Passport Control/Customs We had a PC officer get onto the coach at Calais and it was a case of hold your passport by your face, she was literally minutes going around the coach and that was it.
BuggiesIf you are thinking of hiring one and the buggy board on the back is perfect for a 6 year old, my DS used it last year when we hired one for my niece who was 3 then, bare in mind that you can't take them out of the parks. If it's the evening you're worried about then I would say you will be better off with your own buggy for the 2 year old and is there any chance you could beg or borrow a buggy board for it ? Or even have a 2nd buggy back at the hotel that someone could go and get just for the evening ? The shuttle buses to and from the hotel are very frequent and I think it's a 10/15minutes journey.
FoodOf course you can take your own food, I always take Cereal bars, Mars Bars, Croissants and Brioches, (yes my husband did mention something about "taking sand to the Arabs"), Crisps/snacks, my own kettle, Coffee and Teabags, although I think you have these anyway at the Explorers and Sugar free Squash, if you're kids drink it, you won't find it over there. There is a very large choice of restaurants at the resort, both counter and table service and lots of snack outlets, selling hot drinks, snacks, popcorn, foot long hot dogs etc. There is even a website which tells you about every restaurant and it's menu and prices. I don't drink the water anymore, we did 1st and
2nd time but then last year we all had a tummy upset, since then I've stuck to bottled.

Overall it's a long journey, the excitement though keeps you going on the way there and on the way back it didn't seem too bad but I think that was because we were all completely shattered and slept most of way.

I know how you feel re: leaving your husband at home , when we went it was the first time I'd taken the kids on holiday on my own let alone out of the country, but it was a piece of cake, Leger have a really good set up, which is why I decided to do it all over again in November, albeit my sister and 5 year old niece are coming with us too. My suggestion is stop worrying I promise you'll be surprised at how easy everything is. If you have any more questions at all don't be afraid to ask and remember for most of us on here the planning is half of the fun. :goodvibes

Demonica
10-01-2007, 07:30 AM
Hello

I took a little one on a plane to California a couple of years ago so understand the concern about keeping kids busy! I think the older ones should be fine with headphones/books etc but this is the sort of stuff I'd pack in my hand luggage:-

-Snacks (raisins, choccy buttons, fiddly things that take longer to eat)
-Straw drinks
-Magazine for each child
-Sticker books (often in cheap bookshops for about 99p each)
-Travel games for the oldest kids
-Car bingo (draw basic things for the kids to look out for, road signs, sheep, bridge, green car, motorbike, tesco lorry etc, first to cross them all off wins a prize)
-Travel magnadoodle/scribbler (seen them in ELC)
-Memory games (like In My Suitase I Would Pack... but can vary it to At Disneyland I Will...)
- Roadside alphabet (A -aeroplane, B -bakery etc)

Ask your parents if you can take turns sitting with the younger children so you can grab the odd 20mins to yourself.

Please do everything you can to relax and enjoy your holiday. Keep lists of games you could play.

This site has menus for the restaurants - http://www.dlpfoodguide.com/index.php

Go through it and jot down anywhere you can all eat.

Bit of organisation now will help you destress and enjoy yourself :)

marymungomidge
10-03-2007, 06:44 AM
Thanks to everyone who replied, especially for the Leger timings for the ferry etc. It has helped us talk to the kids about what to expect as the older ones had assumed that if we were leaving in the morning, we'd be there for late afternoon and had been planning on a swimming trip to the Explorer hotel pool. Obviously if we're not going to arrive til late evening, then that will be a complete no-no! The kids have started writing lists of snack type foods that we can take, as I'm going to try and keep clothing etc to a minimum ( only want to take 2 cases between the 5 of us). One other question, although I'm sure I'll have more as the time gets nearer, is how safe are pushchairs in the park. I had thought about leaving the buggy near to a ride whilst we all went on it, and just keeping a small bag with me containing valuables etc. I wouldn't dream of leaving a pushchair outside a shop in this country as it would be stolen immediately but not sure if the same rules would apply in DLP. If I took a cycle padlock do you think I'd be better off locking it to a fence/railing etc before we all go on a ride? many thanks again to all who post on this forum as I've been reading through all the threads to get some idea of what to expect.

jillrobinson
10-03-2007, 11:57 AM
I think you'll have less trouble with your own buggy than you will with the hire ones. I had never had to cause to use one until we took my niece last year and what a nightmare, I lost track of the amount of times we came off a ride and the buggy'd gone. :mad:
I know you can just go back to the hire shop and get another, but that is not the point and I don't expect to have to spend the day walking up and down Main Street getting replacements. OK Rant over.

I have never heard anyone mention getting their own taken, but you could take a padlock, I have seen others pushchairs either padlocked together or to railings.:)

pyebibby
10-03-2007, 04:43 PM
Hi I am going next April with my 4 children and leaving DH at home also.

Regarding pushchairs We have always taken own pushchair and buggy board and left outside rides, shows etc with no problems,we even leave rucksack, coats and drinks on it, my eldest is usually sent to run and collect it when we get off! We never bothered with padlocking.