View Full Version : Waltzing Matilda's 1st trip to DLP - Day 1

12-03-2008, 04:56 PM
Well we are back from our first trip to DLP. I was going to rush on here and start my trip report but I was still feeling slightly negative about some things and I didn't want it to influence my TR too much.

Here is the cast for this TR:

Moi, Eloise, 35 years old, 'Disbot since 2005', love WDW almost as much as my family, excited to try a new Disney park. Here's a photo of me from my last WDW trip (i'm not the adorable yellow bear!)


Dh, Phil, 43 years old, likes Disney, loves Florida, isn't as excited about this trip but that's because he's doing all the driving - couldn't be helped, was free thanks to Tesco!

DD, Matilda, turned 1 year old during this trip, cute adorable little angel who loves Mickey Mouse, Pooh Bear and Darby.

Here's a photo of my babies outside the Pinocchio ride which strangely was our first ride, not sure why, we just ended up in front of it!


We got up really early on Wednesday the 26th and managed to stuff our car with the gazillion bags we had to take with us - travelling with a baby is a very bulky endeavour - and we set off for Folkestone at 7.45am. We live off the M25 so were anticipating a journey of about 1 hour but it took us less than an hour and we sang Disney and Christmas songs on the way there which was lots of fun (when I say 'we' I mean the royal 'we' which in effect is just me :lmao: )

I had never been on Eurotunnel before and was very impressed by the whole thing. We had a nice breakfast in the main building and before my last sip of coffee they were calling our cars to go through. Now, although I was really excited I don't think I had given much thought to how the Eurotunnel thing was going to work. This would be a good time to add how i'm slightly claustraphobic...needless to say I spent about 10 minutes doing deep breathing exercises once we started moving and did manage to relax about half way into the journey. Was incredibly relieved to reach France :yay:

I'd read on here that the journey would take about 3 hours and it was exactly 3 hours for us. It was very straightforward, we didn't have a Sat Nav (i'm the Sat Nav ;) ). Nobody had told us that part of our drive would entail driving under what can only be described as a RUNWAY at Charles de Gaulle and we both screamed as a gigantic plane went right past us :rotfl2: It was pretty funny after we got over the shock.

Anyhoo, soon after that we saw our first sign for 'Les Parcs'. Matilda, who was born with Disney radar, started saying 'Mickey' bless her :cloud9:

We finally arrived at the Santa Fe and we loved the entrance bit with Clint Eastwood.


Check in was straightforward, I loved the Christmas decorations with the Santa Fe theme:


We went straight to our room so we could get going to the Park. Now here is where we hit our first snag which really kinda ruined the day for us. The room we were assigned was just awful. It was dark, very little light, freezing cold, TV would not work and two of the lamps didnt' even have bulbs in them. Now i'm not a very demanding person at all. But I was really not impressed with this. So I rang reception and they said they would get someone to come have a look and fix everything right away. So we started unpacking and waited for someone to come. After one hour when no one had arrived we rang back and were told they weren't sure what happened but to come back to reception and we could have another room if we wanted. So we wasted the first hour unpacking and waiting for nothing, had to quickly re-pack everything and go back to reception. The guy at reception just looked at me and said 'these things happen', no apology, nothing. Not very Disney'ish but we let it go as at this point we had a very cranky baby and we just wanted to get settled in.

We got our new room and requested a kettle (for a 30 euro deposit) and everything was fine with the room thank goodness. But because of the mess at the beginning we wasted almost two hours and the main park was closing in an hour. It seemed a waste to use a 1 day park hopper for such a short amount of time in the park (most of which i'd have to spend in the Annual Passport Office for my own pass) so we ended up just hanging around the resort that evening.

Here are some photos of the resort:

Trading Post gift shop:




La Cantina restaurant:





Some of the food served that evening:


To the left was the fajita station, in the middle was a huge bowl of egg fried rice, chili and some bolognese sauce. To the right were the meats, some large pork ribs, BBQ chicken legs and thighs and some other meat I cannot remember but it was in a thick sauce so I wasn't too keen on it.


This was one of the salad tables.

This is my plate of food. As you can see, I love egg fried rice and olives ;)


It was ok, I was too full for dessert but Phil said the desserts were good, he certainly didn't leave any on his plate!

I thought the selection was ok but quite basic and for 23 euros per person with one soft drink included it was very expensive for what it was. I would definitely not recommend this restaurant not because it was horrible but because you'd get better value eating at Planet Hollywood or even Plaza Gardens which was about the same price but higher quality. And if you don't like meat on the bone (like Phil) you will find your selections a bit limited.

After dinner we decided we'd earned a nice drink and children seemed welcome at the bar (plus Matilda was almost asleep in the pushchair after a long travelling day for her) so we stopped in - it was very relaxing.

Rio Grande Bar


We saw a guy set up for a music set but in the hour we were there he never played anything.


Never mind, the drinks were great! Phil had a couple of lagers and I had a delicious Pina Colada and a shot of Tequila, yummy :thumbsup2
After this we decided to have a look in the gift shop, bought a couple of things and went back to our room. Matilda was already asleep so we sat in the VERY comfy beds and watched The Suite life of Zach and Cody. We hadn't seen it before but it became a fast favourite with us :laughing: . We slept really well and I made sure we had our wake up call for the morning, I didn't want to miss a SINGLE MINUTE tomorrow. Night night!!

12-03-2008, 05:02 PM
awww im sorry you didnt get off to a great start. i cant wait to read about your first day in the parks. and your little girl is so so cute!!!

12-03-2008, 05:04 PM
arr.. shame about the start, we were really lucky with sante fe... very rude to say "these things happen" i would not have been chuffed with that at all!!

i hope the days got better!!

12-03-2008, 05:20 PM
Shame about the room hun.

Looking forward to day 2.

12-04-2008, 01:40 AM
We had similar bulb problems & encountered some rude CMs so can sympathise!

12-06-2008, 03:04 AM
Matilda is just lovely!:goodvibes I have 3 girls, so I know all about Zac, Cody, London, Maddie and the gang!:rotfl:

12-06-2008, 07:04 AM
Thanks for reading guys. Yes, it did get better. I think that a large part of it really had to do with our attitude and just being able to let things go and not sweat the small stuff. Yes, it is very annoying when a CM is not helpful or is surly etc but the key is to just block it out and not let them spoil your trip.

Many of you did tell me this and warned me to look past this but it still took a little while to get used to. Having said this I also think that lots of CM's were very nice and sweet to Matilda and that the bitter cold had a lot to do with everyone's attitudes, including ours (I can say this now that's its been over a week and I can look back with a clear head!). I knew it would be cold in November but not Arctic cold like it was, the wind chills were just awful, it was like being in Canada all over again.

Next time we're going in September ;)

Verity Chambers
12-06-2008, 07:36 AM
Haha. We started watching Suite life in WDW in the summer and it#s now a regular on our TV at home along with Hannah Montana and Wizard's of Waverley Place!!!! Looking forward to hearing lots more about your trip, especially Matilda's birthday!

12-07-2008, 03:51 AM
what a shame about the room. Your dd is just so cute :) great photos

12-07-2008, 05:26 AM
Shame about your 1st room. Great photos though:goodvibes

02-07-2009, 02:14 AM
Shame about the negative attitude, but well done for not letting it get you down. Matilda has grown so much. :goodvibes

Sara. :)

Ware Bears
02-22-2009, 05:25 PM
Shame about the wasted time on switching rooms :sad2:

I can't believe how Matilda has grown, it seems only yesterday you were announcing her birth! :goodvibes

02-24-2009, 04:50 PM
I can't believe how Matilda has grown, it seems only yesterday you were announcing her birth! :goodvibes

When you don't have kids you always hear people saying 'don't they grow fast' and I used to roll my eyes etc thinking it was just one of those things people say! But its so true!!!! My baby isn't a baby anymore, she'll be 15 months this week :cloud9:

03-17-2009, 10:21 AM
I'm sorry that your holiday didn't get off to the best start and to be honest I'm surprised at what you found at the Santa Fe. I have stayed there three times and never had a problem with any of the rooms. I hope that the rest of the trip goes without a hitch!