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Gwendolyn 07-06-2010 01:36 PM

Gwendolyn is going home!!! Trip-report 7th-10th of July
Tomorrow DS(almost 4) and I will go to Disneyland Paris. It'll be the first time we will sleep there since Merlijn was a baby (june 2007).

My husband and my oldest son Burton are at scoutscamp so they won't join the fun. But that means more time for mommy and Merlijn to spend together :)

So this is Merlijn. Since he is turning 4 in 3 weeks and will go to kindergarten after summerbreak, he had a farewell party at his pre-school.

And this is me next to Merlijn at our favorite Chinese restaurant in the Hague (the town next door ;) )

We will stay in Disney's Hotel Santa Fé which is greatly themed in a route66 theme, expecially the town Santa Fé. But you will find a crashed flying saucer somewhere and brokendown cars and roadkill carcasses etc.
I just love this hotel, and its the cheapest of the bunch too. We got this hotel with a 40% discount.

I decided to go with the Half Board vouchers. So we can have dinners on a discount. The discount was even higher than with our Shareholders Pass, so we wanted to go with it.
First I went with the Standard vouchers, which allows you to eat a full meal (appetiser, entrée, dessert and drink) at 8 restaurants in the parcs. Including my all-time favourite Agrabah Café.
But I really really want to eat at a couple of other restaurants too, so I decided to upgrade the vouchers to Plus.

For the first time ever I've decided not to wing it with the meals so I actually made dining reservations. :hehe:
Tomorrow at 14:00 we will eat at the Blue Lagoon restaurant which is actually situated inside the Pirates of the Carribean ride.

Thursday we will eat at Walt's An American Restaurant on Mainstreet

And later we will have high tea at Lucky Nugget Saloon with Disney Characters. We will celebrate Merlijns birthday there. I'm really curious how he will react.

Friday we will watch the Buffalo Bill's Wild west dinner show with Mickey and friends. It is not in the meal plan (at least not in the one we have) but we got 18% discount because we booked a package instead of room-only. We will be seated first category. That mean we will have a pillow under our bums, have nacho's during the show and tea with sweets afterwards. We will see if its worth the extra 12 euro's to sit first category :)

Saturday we will have early lunch at Lucky Nugget Saloon It's a character buffet all tex-mex. Not my type of food, but I like the characters being there.

Things to see:
Disney's Fantillusion Parade
Disney's Enchanted Fireworks
Panoramagique; Disney's first hot air balloon that allows you to view the area at 100 meters height :D

It will be the first time that Merlijn will go into Big Thunder Mountain, he had to grow another 1cm last year.

We will return home Saturday in the late afternoon: we will head back to Paris by RER and take the Thalys train back home.

I hope I can trick my dad to pick us up from Rotterdam station, because we will be really really tired.

Thats my pre-trippie for now :) Wait a couple of days for the real trip-report :goodvibes

EDIT: I've edited this post to make the TR better readable and to have only my own pictures in this TR.

Day 1 part 1: To Disney or not to Disney? That's the question.
Day 1 part 2: Welcome to New Mexico
Day 1 part 3: We are going to Disneyland!!!
Day 1 part 4: Yo ho, yo ho, a pirates life for me!
Day 1 part 5: What a pleasant surprise!
Day 1 part 6: I know you I've walked with you
Day 1 part 7: Once Upon a Dream
Day 1 part 8: Let's go to Thunder Mesa
Day 1 part 9: Mickey and friends, and more friends, and even more friends, and...
Day 1 part 10: Let there be light!
Day 1 part 11: Enchanting
Day 2 part 1: Goodmorning Disneyland!
Day 2 part 2: Hello Fantasyland!
Day 2 part 3: It's a Small World After All
Day 2 part 4: Aye Pirates!
Day 2 part 5: Back to Thunder Mesa
Day 2 part 6: More views from Mark Twain
Day 2 part 7: Jules Verne land
Day 2 part 8: A Disastrous lunch

heaven2dc 07-06-2010 01:44 PM

What an exciting trip!! I am so happy you and your son will be enjoying together time :woohoo: I love reading about Disneyland Paris trips (it is SO different than WDW - maybe some day I will be able to visit:cloud9:)

Hope you have an awesome Magical trip!

Gwendolyn 07-12-2010 05:08 AM

Soooo I am back. This trip report is going to be really really picture heavy. So it can take a while to load.

So this is me on the night before we would leave to Disneyland. I was totally prepared for the Urugay-the Netherlands football match. Which ofcourse we won :D

Bummer, we became second in the World Champion ship.

After the Netherlands won the match againt Uruguay, I did some last packing. And I went to bed. Merlijn was really nervous, so he wasnt able to sleep so far, so I took him into my bed.
At 4AM my alarm went off. After snoozing it once :blush: I just out of my bed, got dressed and had difficulties waking up Merlijn. Even telling him that we were actually going to Disney didn't help :scared1:

At 4:30AM we left the house, got a great view at the rising sun over the Hague (the town next to mine)

Oh and this is the pile of luggage we were bringing:

And a picture of us in the newly renovated elevator in our appartment building:

We were got an one and a half hour early train to Rotterdam, but the train ran over a jumper. May he rest in peace... :scared1:

So we were delayed for an hour till the train personnel let us leave the train at Delft only 45 minutes till te departure of the Thalys to Paris from Rotterdam station. Totally in panic I called my dad, who came to my rescue, ven though it was 6:10 AM when I called him. He got at Delft at 6:40AM and my train would leave Rotterdam just 18 minutes later!!!

My dad drove as fast as it was safely possible and helped Merlijn and me to get to the train. We arrived on the Thalys platform at Rotterdam station 2 minutes late. But thank God the train was still there, and the Thalys personnel allowed me to board the train to Paris Nord.

It took a while before the stress was gone. But we were on our way to Paris Nord. And I was happy and felt blessed. I feel sorry for the person who really thought the world was better without him. I'm sure he will be missed.

Afterwards I heard that it took the whole day to clear the tracks of his remains. :afraid:

Here is a picture of Merlijn and me in the Thalys train:

And a picture of Merlijn in his stroller (which he normally never uses anymore)
at Paris Nord station in front of the amazing looking Thalys.

And Paris Nord station:

The RER is some sort of Metro (underground/subway), but then different. Since they also got a train system that they call metro and that is underground for 100%. RER also goes above ground when needed.

At Paris Nord we took RER B to Chatelet Les Halles and then RER A to Marne-La-Vallée-Chessy, which is the name of the Disneyland Resort Paris train station.

Here is the station of Marne-La-Vallée-Chessy:

I kissed the ground as soon as I walked out the station. Looking around me I saw the Pink Palace (Disneyland Hotel which functions as the magical entrans to Disneyland Parc) and the gates to Walt Disney Studio's parc and ofcourse Disney Village which is the younger and smaller version of DownTown Disney. And I saw the Santa Fé bus coming up (the bus to our hotel Santa Fé where we would stay for the following 3 nights) so I ran for it :) Here are some pics:

And I was finally there. The place of my dreams, my home. I was there and I felt like the happiest and luckiest girl in the world :cloud9:

Gwendolyn 07-12-2010 07:41 AM

Welcome to New Mexico
When arrived at Hotel Santa Fé at 11:15 Pluto was in the lobby. Noone was lining up to have their photo made with Pluto, so I took Merlijn to meet Pluto. Merlijn was very very impressed by Pluto's appearance and was a bit scared. Pluto was really nice to Merlijn, patted on his back without being pushy.
Ofcourse I wanted to have my picture taken with my favourite Disney dog:

After having my picture taken with Pluto, Merlijn went watching Jetix on TV while I was waiting in the check-in queue. In about 10 minutes I got to a dutch speaking castmember. And she told me that I got a VIP-treatment :) That means getting in one of the better rooms and have presents waiting as soon as my room was ready. And I didnt need to get a breakfast pass for breakfast, so I could eat which ever time I choose to eat.
She also gave me a pass to eat breakfast at Plaza Gardens restaurant for the following morning at 8:15AM.
She also gave me the tickets to the parcs and Buffalo Bill's Wild West dinnershow and our halfboard Plus vouchers. She also changed my ADR for Lucky Nugget on saturday to 2pm, I initially booked it for noon, but since we were leaving Disney at 4:30pm it seemed like a better time.
The castmember was really nice. I'm sorry that I forgot to note her name:

Since we had our lunch reservations for Blue Lagoon at 2pm, we decided to walk to the parcs. First we dropped of our luggage at the baggagery and then we strolled through the hotel area. I really love the set up of the hotel. It consists of smaller buildings with minimum of 8 rooms and some bigger buildings with more than 100 rooms.
And the theming is Route66 expecially New Mexico. So you will find RL cars parked, lots of desert like grounds, appropiate vegetation, lots of indian and mexican stuff and some really cool relics :)

Here are some random Santa Fé pictures:

The end of the water trail, with the entrance to the hotel area and the reception and baggagery in the back:

Panoramagique in Disney Village in the back :)

Beginning of the water trail: in the railing next to the steps.

Uhoh a chrashed Flying saucer:

And after a stroll along the Rio Grande river we finally see Disney Village:

otwidalepda 07-12-2010 02:03 PM

Sounding good up to now. Just hope I am not being too rude but how do you get the VIP rooms and does it cost too much extra?

Looking forward for the rest of the TR.

Gwendolyn 07-12-2010 02:18 PM

Dunno, I think they just love me ;)
When I reserved my room I mentioned that I was a Shareholders Club member and that I've been visiting Disneyland Paris regularly for 14 years. Maybe that helped.

Gwendolyn 07-12-2010 02:19 PM

We are going to Disneyland!!!
We finally got into Disneyland Parc and was so happy to see the most beautifull Disney castle of all. <3

I've made some films for the Disneyland Paris newbies :) I hope you will enjoy them.

Entrance Square:

Town Square:

Mainstreet USA:

Central Plaza:

My sons name Merlijn is the dutch version of the name Merlin, so I had to make this picture of Merlin the wizard in the shop window.

Here is a different angle shot of the castle:

If you stand on the bridge going to the castle and you look to your right, you will have this gorgious view:

__disneygirl 07-12-2010 02:30 PM

Hi there! Thanks so much for this report - I LOVE reading about Disneyland Paris trips. It's crazy that I can know so much about Disney World and so little about DLP! I love the crashed flying saucer at the hotel!!

I can't wait to hear about the rest of your trip.

Gwendolyn 07-12-2010 04:03 PM

Yo ho yo ho a pirates life for me!
We really had a slow walk. I really wanted to soak up the atmosphere. I was going to be here for 4 day. Yay!

Finally close to 2PM we arrived at the Blue Lagoon restaurant, which is really special. It's actually located INSIDE the Pirates of the Caribean ride.
The whole restaurant including the food got a Caribean theme, lots of fish and coconut. Pasta for people who are affraid to try something new, and beef for the meatatarians :D

This is Merlijn at the fountain in front of the entrance to Blue Lagoon.

Sorry for this bad picture, but I wanted to show you the barrels of rum close to the entrance inside of Blue Lagoon.

Kids and teens menu at the Blue Lagoon:

Merlijn choose the fish with haricôt verts. And fresh fruits as a desert. His starter was taken away for a moment because they forgot to leave out the items that contain milk (mozerella and the dressing) but he got a bowl full of cherry tomatoes later.

The Halfboard Plus menu:

You can have 1 starter + 1 entrée + 1 dessert + non-alcoholic drink

starter choices:
* Shrimp cocktail with curry vinaigrette
* Exotic salad with Mango vinaigrette (with shrimps, papaya, pineapple and palm hearts)
* tomato tatar with rocketsalad and curry vinaigrette

entrée choices:
* caribean chickencolumbo, coconut, pilaf rice and raisins
* mahi mahi (fish) with herbs, mashed potatoes with lemon and vegetables
* cruble of sweetned vegetables, kurkuma, rocket salad, sundried tomatoes.

desert choices:
* crème brûlée with vanilla
* coupe with hazelnut, bitter chocolate icecream and chocolate sauce.
* Bermuda triangle with passion fruit, and almond milk sorbet.

So I went with the exotic salad with Mango vinaigrette (with shrimps, papaya, pineapple and palm hearts), which tasted absolutely delicious:

then I got the mahi mahi (fish) with herbs, mashed potatoes with lemon and vegetables. The mashed potatoes were actually mashed with coconut milk instead of cowmilk and it got coconut flakes inside, which tasted amazing. I'm going to mash my potatoes that way from now on.
The veggies we nothing special but tasted really well.

As a desert I chose the Bermuda triangle with passion fruit, and almond milk sorbet.
The Bermuda triangle was actually passionfruit cheesecake with an almondcake bottom. Wonderfull combination. The little ball on top was actually white chocolate. The blue sauce was Blue Curaçao and the whole thing was decorated with almond crumbs.
This is possibly my most favourite dessert ever!

This already was one of my favourite restaurants in Disneyland Paris, but it was good te be reminded why it was on my list of favourites :D

Here are some random photo's of the Blue Lagoon restaurant:

See the Pirates of the Caribean boat between the leaves?

And our fabulous server:

After our lunch we went into the Pirates of the Caribean ride. The light was pretty bright outside, since we left a pretty dark restaurant. But I managed to make some amazing photo's of the area:

And our ride picture. Merlijn was holding his arms over his head because he is affraid to get water on his head. He doesn't mind getting water over the rest of his body though :lol:

After Pirates of the Caribean we did some shopping: Merlijn got a Pirates of the Caribean flag, a new cap for Merlijn since his old one got to small (he didn't want to wear it during our trip though, only his Holland cap due to the Fifa world cup going on back then). And there was a discount on a Nightmare before christmas coulouring thingy with the condition that I had to purchase 20 euro's of merchandise to get it for 10 euro's. Well fine by moi :)

Here is a picture of Merlijn waving his new Pirates of the Caribean flag. You see the pink palace (Hotel Disneyland) and Fantasia gardens in the back.

It'sASmallWorld 07-13-2010 05:25 AM

What a wonderful trip report and you have a gorgeous little boy there! I can't wait to read the rest, post soon!:)

All7OfUs 07-13-2010 06:06 AM

Good afternoon, Gwendolyn!!

My name is liesa, and I was attracted to your TR because our NGO headquarters is in the Hague, and I have many Dutch friends!

I love your TR so far! Especially the Blue Lagoon portion! I was a CM for a while at the Blue Bayou in California, and I loved seeing the PoTC everyday :goodvibes

Yikes! A jumper! I"m so sorry you had to put up with that sort of stress while trying to get to your nice vacation.

The Santa Fe looks very much like where I went to school in Arizona. Nice!!

Gwendolyn 07-13-2010 06:46 AM

thank you all for your kind remarks :D

Liesa, its so cool that the HQ of your job is in the Hague. I live in a town "next door" so if you are around you are more than welcome to visit my home, maybe join us for dinner?

I'm glad you think Santa Fé's theming is correct :)

Over here at Disneyland Paris it's all a bit themed as the typical stereo type of things we Europeans think of when we think of the USA.

So cowboys, indians, seqouias, sailors, New York, Davy Crockett. :goodvibes

Gwendolyn 07-13-2010 06:48 AM

What a pleasant surprise :D
We went back to the hotel to pick up our room keys.

This is a photo of the hotel Santa Fé reception area I made back then at 4:15PM:

We picked up our luggage and went to the appartment building. To my pleasant surprise it was one of the buildings next to the watertrail, and I actually photographed it before.

Remember this picture? The left window was actually the window of our room:

When we came into our room, we found this waiting for us:

In the box was a tea and coffee set.

We were given a newly renovated room. So instead of the old landscape pictures on the wall we got Cars. Which fits the theme perfectly. The room looked really good and clean. I was really happy :)

Here are some pictures of the room:

Free water kettle:

Some bathroom pictures:

Hotel Santa Fé area map:

I let Merlijn rest and play in the room a little bit, eat a chocolate spread sandwich, before heading back to the parcs.

Gwendolyn 07-13-2010 09:08 AM

I know you, I've walked with you...
Once upon a Dream..... parade. :goodvibes We arrived just in time in the parcs to see that one. It now features Princess Tiana too.

Gwendolyn 07-13-2010 09:09 AM

Once upon a dream

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