Disney Information Station Logo

Go Back   The DIS Discussion Forums - DISboards.com > Global Neighbours > Disneyland Paris Trip Planning & Community Board > Disneyland Paris Trip Reports Board
Find Hotel Specials & DIScounts
 
facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS UpdatesDIS email updates
Register Chat FAQ Tickers Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read





Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 07-11-2009, 10:58 AM   #1
GuardMusic
This is the most excitement we've seen here in quite some time!
 
GuardMusic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Indiana
Posts: 1,030

Americans in (Disneyland) Paris - May 2009 - Day 6 w/photos posted

DLP Review
Americans in (Disneyland) Paris

May 26-June 1, 2009
Cast: Gayle (me)
Kara (BFF)

We’re both from the state of Indiana in the USA. We have taken nearly 20 Disney trips (World & Cruise), but this was a first trip to DLP for both of us.

Day 1 (May 26/27) – Travel from USA to Paris
In order to prevent jet lag, we decided to go to bed and hour earlier and get up an hour earlier the 4 days prior to our departure day; thus, we got up at 2:30am Eastern on departure day. Once we committed to this is quite easy; we’d call each other at the appointed time and talked for at least an hour to make sure we were awake and up!

Flight: 4:40pm on Continental (per Delta frequent flier miles)
Indianapolis to Newark, NJ
Newark, NJ to Charles de Gaulle
We arrived at IND around 2pm, where as usual, we had a fast check-in. We played some card games to spend the time. I also bought 2 bottles of Mt. Dew to take with me, as I knew I’d never find it in Europe, but I’d have to ration it – 1 bottle for Paris & 1 bottle for London!

The flight to Newark was incredibly fast! Arrival at Newark was a circus (as usual). We had to take stairs from the tarmac to the terminal and then back down to the tarmac where a bus took us to the international terminal. It’s a good thing we had a 57 min layover, because we needed just about every minute! We arrived at our packed gate and downed the sandwiches we brought with us. I took my nerve pill because I have a fear of drowning and flying over the Atlantic is problematic. Plus we needed to sleep in order to deal with the jet lag.

I was smashed in a middle seat, but luckily there were two open seats behind us. So Kara moved back to that aisle and I moved to our aisle and both the middle seats were empty. That extra space was a Godsend. We had dinner almost immediately and were surprised to know we’d also get a morning snack. I so like Continental! We also had personal entertainment centers, which was great. I knew I’d be fine when I saw it was loaded with all 5 Harry Potter movies; those would help me go to sleep, as I’ve seen them so many times. The sound quality wasn’t great, even with my noise canceling headphones, so I switched to my iPod. The next thing I knew I could see light coming in around my eyemask and the windows, which meant it was morning and I had actually slept – something I feared wouldn’t happen. Glory be! And we landed about an hour early! So I was quite awake and preparing to face a foreign land.

The indifferent Customs officer was efficient, but didn’t stamp my passport. We wandered around to baggage claim, and miraculously, our bags were the first to arrive! Next we luckily found our way to the VEA-Disneyland Paris bus signs, which as a relief! A few people were there & we only had to wait about 10-15 minutes for the bus. We didn’t pre-purchase bus vouchers, which seemed an annoyance to the driver. The bus was very much like the WDW Magical Express bus, but no one helped with our luggage. The driver never got off the bus. When we arrived we were getting our bags out from under the VEA bus on the driver side. The driver wasn't paying attention and closed the luggage doors. The door suddenly hit my arm, which left a bruise for nearly the entire week!


Sequoia Lodge: As I do on all buses, I fell right asleep. I felt us pull in somewhere and Kara gasped. But I ignored it since I knew it wasn’t our hotel. (Stay tuned in another post about this.) Next we arrived at Sequoia Lodge. It gave a very nice first impression, but as expected, everything is smaller compared to WDW. We had to haul our own bags in – ugh. We met George at the front desk and were relieved that he spoke very good English. (We quickly learned not to ask if people spoke English, as they just looked at us like, “DUH!”).

We were surprised that we had a separate room key, paper park ticket, and even thinner paper “charge” card. Ugh. Then a surprise – not sure if it was because we were from USA or because we were staying 5 nights – but George went in the back and got us the VIP breakfast ticket. (Our 4th “ticket/card” to keep track of – ugh.) However, the VIP ticket was the most valuable thing we had all week!

Luckily our room was also ready. To celebrate, we split a Mickey Head rice krispie treat I had purchased in Florida, brought home to Indiana, and packed all the way to DLP!


We were on the ground level on the Registration side of the hotel and only the 2nd door from the elevator – yeh! However, this is where the joy ended. We’ve stayed at value, moderate, and deluxe hotels at WDW and expected Sequoia Lodge rooms to be most like the values. However, we soon learned they weren’t even nice enough to be considered in the value category.

Room Rant: Where do I start? This was without a doubt the worst Disney room I’ve ever stayed in and one of the worst I’ve been in in awhile. Even with the converter, the outlet in the vanity never worked properly and permanently killed my flat iron the first day. The wallpaper was peeling from the shower walls. Housekeeping would regularly not clean the shower. No wash cloths even exist at DLP. There were only two other outlets in the room – one right next to the front door (stupid) and the other in the far corner. It took us the first two days to realize the outlets were attached to the wall switches – ugh. Of course the TV had limited channels; I had no problem because I don’t mind watching endless hours of Hannah Montana. No joke – 9 out of 10 hours would be Hannah Montana! The mattresses were also of low quality. The WORST part for me was the air conditioning – actually, the lack of. I turned the A/C on full blast, but the room never even came close to being cool. I called maintenance, but they said that’s as cold as it would get. Our only recourse was to open the window (all 3 inches). I have allergies and it was still warm outside, so this didn’t work for me either. Our room was also next to the deck, so a couple of nights it was loud too. I couldn’t wait to get to London the next week! I was so disappointed I didn't take any photos!

After a short rest, we headed to the train station and tried to figure out how to get to Val d’Europe. After a couple of questions we arrived there, took a wrong turn, and the jet lag was really killing us. I nearly bought a fan, but didn’t know how bad the room would be yet and didn’t want to carry it. We ended up having our meal of burgers at Hippopotamus, where we encountered slow and nearly rude “service”. Our meal was $50 and I immediately decided to be incredibly tight with my money, as I didn’t want to go over my trip budget!

We immediately headed back to DLP & decided to get familiar with the park. We found small world and per knowledge of choosing the correct line, were on board in less than 5 minutes – ha!


The areas of it were much denser and significantly brighter & more colorful than WDW.



I think we also investigated Phantom Manor. The queue area was MUCH longer than Haunted Mansion at WDW. We were shocked there was ZERO line. It was mostly like Haunted Mansion, but I liked that the story was obvious and carried through the entire ride. Quite tired, he headed to the hotel. The bus area had zero theming and limited signs. Every single day there were lost people wandering around here, including crossing the drive as busses were coming & going. Seriously?! Did they have a death wish?

Quickly we investigated part of the Village, but it was crowded, so back to the hotel we went.
Cafe Mickey:

We wandered around the hotel, gift shop, restaurants, etc., but it was an early night.

Next up: Full day at DLP!
Stay tuned!
Gayle
__________________
Dr. Gayle


Coming Soon: Sept. 2012 Disneyland & 1st Pacific Coast DCL! ~ Nov. 2012 BWV w/ Mom ~ Jan. 2013 Disney Institute with my college students! ~ Mar. 2013 DCL B-Day Fantasy
Nov. 2011 - F&W and MVMCP ~ Jun. 2011 - Saratoga Springs ~ May 2011 - Disneyland Paris ~ Dec. 2010 - BWV/DCL ~ Oct. 2010 - POFQ after conference ~ Mar. 2010 - YC (Conference) ~ Feb. 2010 - AKL Villa & DCL Western Magic ~ May/June 2009 Disneyland Paris & London ~ Dec. 2008 - BCV ~ Jan. 2008 - WL & DCL Western Magic ~ Sept. 2007 - DCL Wonder (Surprise for Mom!) ~ Jan. 2006 - Land (POR) & Sea (Wonder) Cruise - 1st Disney cruise! ~ Dec. 2005 - BCV ~ Nov. 2005 - OKW (conference trip!) ~ Mar. 2005 - AKL (College Program Visit for work) ~ June 2004 - POR/BCV ~ Feb. 2004 - Off ~ May 2003 - CB/BCV ~ Dec. 2000 - Dixie Landings ~ Oct. 2000 - CS (work conference) ~ Dec. 1998 - ASM ~ Feb. 1998 - Dixie Landings ~ Mar. 1997, New Years 1996-97, 1993, 1986, 1984, 1977 - Off

8 night Western DCL-Feb 2010 ~ Western DCL Trip Resort - Jan. 2008! ~ DCL Land/Sea Trip Report - Jan. 2006! ~ Disneyland Paris Trip Report May 2009

Last edited by GuardMusic; 04-18-2011 at 12:51 PM. Reason: title update
GuardMusic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2009, 02:12 PM   #2
ema74
Addicted to everything with Ears
 
ema74's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Macedonian living in London
Posts: 1,983

Oh dear... I hope the rest of your trip was less disappointing than the beginning and you enjoyed yourselves in DLP

We've never been to WDW so really can't compare but I'd love to go one day and then see it myself...

BTW, I love the Mickey shaped cookie :-)
__________________
Ema Jeremy Mia Anya

No trips in planning

June 2006 - Sequoia Lodge, December 2006 - Newport Bay Club, July 2007 - Cheyenne
, April 2008- Sequoia Lodge
December 2008 - Sequoia Lodge July 2009 -Cheyenne
ema74 is offline   Reply With Quote
|
The DIS
Register to remove

Join Date: 1997
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 1,000,000
Old 07-11-2009, 03:01 PM   #3
thelittlemermaid83
My reign will be a super-awesome thing
I will just live in suspense
I'm officially crazy
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 16,937

Oh dear...Sounds like you had a interesting first day. I have always found the beds in DLRP to be the mosr comfortable beds ever.

I'm now hoping the rest of your TR your not going to start comparing WDW to DLRP.
thelittlemermaid83 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2009, 04:11 PM   #4
Lisa_C
Devoted FIANCÉE to Cap'njack.
 
Lisa_C's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Ashford, Kent.
Posts: 1,936

It is all little different to WDW, more in the sense that it's not as big there for the budget isn't there. but I still love it

I LOVE the sky in the Cafe Mickey photo, just how blue does that look

Maybe you should've taken pictures and complained about the room, Disney are usually quite good about sorting out troubles there and then, maybe they would have moved you

Am looking forward to reading the rest of your report, I go next week and all this talk about Disney is making me spin!!
__________________

loving me a Pirate
Lisa_C is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2009, 09:47 AM   #5
scrappinmom
Still Tagless.......
 
scrappinmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Crystal Lake, Il....too far from WDW
Posts: 3,631

I'm so glad to see your trip report on here! I'm in Chicago & will be travling to DLP next April...

I'm sorry to hear of your troubles on your first day.....I haven't booked my hotel yet...but maybe I better put Sequoia out of the running...
__________________
Chris

scrappinmom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2009, 10:09 AM   #6
gemmybear83
I would blame it all on Bob
Awww I love the first day
You could stay behind after your meal and have another drink
 
gemmybear83's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: U.K
Posts: 5,419

Hi - hope the trip gets better?

Sorry you didnt like the hotel - but to be honest European hotels are nowhere near as nice or as good value for money as American hotels - for a start the rooms are always double the size! In a 3* hotel you would never expect your bags to be delivered to your room etc....

Just a couple of things - DLRP does not have a key to the world scheme like WDW, so you right in having the paper tickets, and you probably noticed Hannah Montana on loads of tv channels becasue they show the disney channel in a number of different languages
__________________
gemmybear83 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2009, 05:01 PM   #7
Cyrano

Disney VIP
Anyone for haggis
Aren't we all a cagey lot
 
Cyrano's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: 6,800Km from our happy place
Posts: 31,471
DISboards Moderator

Most visitors from across the pond will find that European hotels are not so well equiped and DLP is no different. Sorry to hear that you had not anticipated this. With a voltage of 230 rather than 110 I wonder if your travel adpter had the protection to stop the double voltage frying your iron.
Hopefully things will improve. Having recently returned from a 1st trip to WDW I hope you truely appreciated the beauty of Disneyland Paris park as IMHO it blows Magic Kingdom away
__________________
Reid

Theme Park Attractions & Strategies board

Twelve highlanders and a bagpipe make a rebellion.
Cyrano is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2009, 05:57 PM   #8
Lisa_C
Devoted FIANCÉE to Cap'njack.
 
Lisa_C's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Ashford, Kent.
Posts: 1,936

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyrano View Post
Most visitors from across the pond will find that European hotels are not so well equiped and DLP is no different. Sorry to hear that you had not anticipated this. With a voltage of 230 rather than 110 I wonder if your travel adpter had the protection to stop the double voltage frying your iron.
Hopefully things will improve. Having recently returned from a 1st trip to WDW I hope you truely appreciated the beauty of Disneyland Paris park as IMHO it blows Magic Kingdom away
I'm with you here - I was budgeting a big trip back to WDW next year, but after such a fabulous time in DLRP, I'm going back there instead!

I also had a problem with the voltage - I had my appliances set on USA still and my hairdryer's motor was running at breakneck speed and nearly burnt out before I realised!
__________________

loving me a Pirate
Lisa_C is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2009, 09:53 PM   #9
GuardMusic
This is the most excitement we've seen here in quite some time!
 
GuardMusic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Indiana
Posts: 1,030

Day 2 - Thurs. May 28, 2009

Day 2 – Thurs., May 28, 2009

Sorry for this crazy delay of over 4 months to finish this! The trip did not end up being a very positive experience and with work, I wasn’t motivated to finish this. I also can’t find my trip notes, so writing the rest of this should be VERY interesting/challenging. Oh Wait! I just remembered we blogged the entire trip – I’m saved!

I believe we changed our schedule. We were to spend this entire day at DLP, but decided to switch with our Friday plan and go into Paris instead. We did this, as we thought there would be less crowds on a Thurs. Also, we were a little anxious about going into the city & wanted to get past that.

This morning began very early especially since Kara awoke at 1am with a migraine – super weird since that’s usually me. Headed down to breakfast and luckily we have VIP seating for our entire stay at Disney so we don’t have to wait to be seated. HA! (Picture the WDW buffets with no ADRs!)

We’ve read in all the books that we can get the Museum Pass at any train station. ALL THE BOOKS ARE WRONG! However, we did succumb to buying the 2-day Paris Visite pass which allowed us to get on and off the trains/metro all day without having to figure out when we needed to buy more tickets or how many we needed – something I’m not sure we would have ever figured out. By the end of the day, Gayle was navigating the train stations like a pro – and Kara was happily following her :-)

We really liked the double-decker train cars. Luckily we had hardly any problems navigating the transition between the train & Metro. Also, luckily our first stop was the Eiffel Tower, which was easy to see (obviously) the few blocks from the metro station.

Actually I believe it definitely took both of us to navigate the train/metro stations, as we had to read all of the signs, trains, etc. First stop today was Tour de Eiffel – or for you Americans the Eiffel Tower. Wow. It is A LOT taller than I even could imagine. We were off of THE PLAN, which I am now simply referring to as an OUTLINE, and were there later than opening. The line for the elevator was crazzzzzy long, so we decided to take the stairs….

That’s all 382 stairs (I would capitalize those numbers if there was a way to do that). We made it, although I think Kara found some muscles in her legs that she didn’t have before. We’ve also discovered that weather.com can’t tell temperature in Celsius – or can’t tell French weather as it was forecasted to be warm and only partly cloudy. As you can see in pictures we had on jackets all day and it was extremely cloudy. We took several pictures though of both the city and the tower.



Next, we walked along the Seine on our way to the Musee D’Orsay. It was much further between metro stops than we expected. Again, we arrived later than we wanted to, but the line moved very quickly.

We finally got our 2 day Museum Passes and then headed in to take care of some basic things like free bathrooms and finding lunch! Actually, we packed lunch from the hotel this morning and just needed a couple of bottles of water and some fruit and chips. After a brief lunch in the upstairs crowded cafe we headed to find the galleries and enjoyed looking at the works of Monet, Manet, Renoir, and others. We can both pick out a Monet from about 20 paces so I think we agree we liked those best.

Actually, my favorites here were the works by Degas, definitely the ballerina in me!



The museum itself is an impressive architectural piece that I could have enjoyed much longer. We left Musee d’Orsay and headed to one of the smaller museums – but definitely one Kara had been looking forward to – Musee Rodin.

Surprisingly, this was both of our favorite stops of the day. It includes a wonderful traditional museum in Rodin’s former home, as well as many works in a stunning garden. Kara shot continuous photos, while I narrated the history of some pieces from the brochure.



If you ever get to Paris you MUST see Musee Rodin. Kara could have probably stayed there just looking at the pieces and the flowers for several more hours, but we managed to see everything we wanted – except Orpheus – which was not installed when we visited. We left Musee Rodin after grabbing a quick drink in the garden café and headed to the Arc de Triomphe.

In case you are wondering why we liked Musee Rodin so much, it contains “The Thinker”, “The Gates of Hell”, and “The Kiss”. Look these up and learn something today! And remarkably, there is a photo (not contained here) of me literally stopping to “smell the roses” in the garden.




When we arrived at the Arc de Triomphe we exited right out of the metro and right in front of it. The structure is HUGE. We met a lot of other tourists there who were all taking photos much like ours. A couple of younger American girls returned the favor of me taking their picture in front of the Arc by taking a few pictures of us as well. As in most places, Kara could have stayed there all day just taking photos of others for them – a favorite activity of Kara’s when she travels. (I, Gayle, am on the right.)



By this time we were more than ready to head “home”. Upon arrival we had supper in Disneyland (at the Silver Spur Steakhouse) and then to our room. The “OUTLINE” was still in flux. However, tomorrow will include at least: The Louvre, Musee Orangerie, Notre Dame, and St. Chappelle.

We both enjoyed our first day in Paris very much and hope you enjoy a few of the photos we took between the two of us. All in all we walked more than 7.5 miles today and we are tired so it’s off to bed for us.
__________________
Dr. Gayle


Coming Soon: Sept. 2012 Disneyland & 1st Pacific Coast DCL! ~ Nov. 2012 BWV w/ Mom ~ Jan. 2013 Disney Institute with my college students! ~ Mar. 2013 DCL B-Day Fantasy
Nov. 2011 - F&W and MVMCP ~ Jun. 2011 - Saratoga Springs ~ May 2011 - Disneyland Paris ~ Dec. 2010 - BWV/DCL ~ Oct. 2010 - POFQ after conference ~ Mar. 2010 - YC (Conference) ~ Feb. 2010 - AKL Villa & DCL Western Magic ~ May/June 2009 Disneyland Paris & London ~ Dec. 2008 - BCV ~ Jan. 2008 - WL & DCL Western Magic ~ Sept. 2007 - DCL Wonder (Surprise for Mom!) ~ Jan. 2006 - Land (POR) & Sea (Wonder) Cruise - 1st Disney cruise! ~ Dec. 2005 - BCV ~ Nov. 2005 - OKW (conference trip!) ~ Mar. 2005 - AKL (College Program Visit for work) ~ June 2004 - POR/BCV ~ Feb. 2004 - Off ~ May 2003 - CB/BCV ~ Dec. 2000 - Dixie Landings ~ Oct. 2000 - CS (work conference) ~ Dec. 1998 - ASM ~ Feb. 1998 - Dixie Landings ~ Mar. 1997, New Years 1996-97, 1993, 1986, 1984, 1977 - Off

8 night Western DCL-Feb 2010 ~ Western DCL Trip Resort - Jan. 2008! ~ DCL Land/Sea Trip Report - Jan. 2006! ~ Disneyland Paris Trip Report May 2009
GuardMusic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2009, 11:56 AM   #10
GuardMusic
This is the most excitement we've seen here in quite some time!
 
GuardMusic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Indiana
Posts: 1,030

Day 3 - Friday, May 29, 2009

Day 3 – Friday, May 29, 2009
Paris Day 2


I posted this last night, but it's no where to be found, so here goes another waste of time.

We’ve switched to a “dialogue” format for the rest of the trip. Enjoy! So, here is our dialogue about our second day in Paris…

Kara: We got moving a little earlier this morning and no real interruptions during the night. Thanks to all who have asked – my headache went away and I feel completely fine now. We had breakfast and grabbed “lunch to go” from the hotel (made cold-cut sandwiches from the breakfast buffet – thanks for the tip Brits!) and then headed to the metro station to catch the train into Paris. We had to make a transfer at one of the major transfer spots this morning – Gare de Lyon. We were also going during what I would actually call rush hour today, and it was Friday, which we’re guessing also added to the busy feeling in the metros. Needless to say, it was a bit more hectic today but once again we navigated with no problems.

Gayle: Perhaps I’ll be narrating a little different take on some things today. First thing this morning presented a big challenge, and it’s called electricity. We’ve struggled the past couple of days to find outlets in our room that work and what combination of converters and adapters to use. We both decided to let our hair go with some natural curl, but every girl needs at least some style control. Yesterday we did get the flat iron working, although not on full power. It got nicknamed “Luke” because it only got lukewarm. Well, this morning bad turned to worse, as Luke is dead. We don’t know if it’s the input or if there’s now a short, but regardless, there was no heated styling tool to be used! As such, you will see no photos of me in today’s post! As for the morning rush hour on the metro? Our airplane seats were more spacious.

Kara: Well Gayle has decided not to advance the story at all so I guess that’s my job today. We arrived at the Louvre via the Palais Royale - Musee de Louvre metro stop which brings you right into the underground entrance of the Louvre. I have to say that while I’ve enjoyed every other museum we went to on the trip, I was completely overwhelmed by the Louvre. As usual, we had pre-determined a plan, and while we did see most of what we wanted to see – it took a lot of turning around and going back and asking for help. Since we were there early – thankfully – we did get to have a nice time in the Salle de Etats where we got to see the Mona Lisa and The Wedding Feast at Cana.




We also spent a great deal of time wandering the Grande Gallerie and the Salon Carre. I have to admit I think our visit was tempered by the fact that neither of us has a good enough background in art to know what we are supposed to appreciate about the paintings and other pieces.

Gayle: Over the past couple of days we’ve also been indecisive on whether or not to go to Versailles. We were very tempted, especially by the recommendations of others at my university office. However, after the miles and miles of walking the past two days and countless pieces of art, homes, palaces, museums, etc., we decided we’re too maxed out on any more “fine art”. In a simple attempt to fill that content gap in our trip, we did visit the Apollo Gallery in the Louvre, which contained the Coronation Crown of Louis XV. As you will see from one of the photos, the room was gilded, ornate, and completely over the top. As far as we can tell, this is very similar to Versailles as a whole.



Kara: We exited the Louvre at the Pyramid and spent some time just relaxing by the fountains and enjoying the view.





We took a BUNCH of photos out here. Gayle even grabbed the Nikon from me and took a few shots. After leaving the Louvre we strolled through Tuileries Garden. This was a beautiful walk – especially since today was warm and sunny. We didn’t take a tremendous amount of pictures in the garden, but did take some at both ends. The gate at the Louvre end was extremely impressive and there were great views of the Eiffel Tower at the other end, where we also took a couple of photos of each other with the tower in the background. Our next stop was Musee de l’Orangerie.

Gayle: Okay. Kara’s forcing me to advance the story…. Musee l’Orangerie was on “The Plan” because it contains Monet’s “Water Lillies”, of which I am a fan. This museum felt much more formal than the others, but was also quite small. There are only two rooms of “Water Lillies”, but you will see from the photo why. I was stunned at the size of these pieces. You typically see prints no larger than 24x36 and expect the piece to actually be that size or smaller, such as the Mona Lisa. But wow. All of the “Water Lillies” were (approximately) no less than 12 ft. long with some likely being twice that size.



Not needing an incredible amount of time here, we were next headed to Notre Dame.



Kara: Notre Dame is situated on Ile de la Cite which is the small island in the middle of the Seine. I really enjoyed strolling around this little island. It seemed to capture what I thought about Paris more than anywhere else we had been before. We arrived at Notre Dame right around 1:00. As we were standing in line waiting to get in, a few folks in front of us met some friends who had just come out of the church and said there was a mass going on. At first I thought this might mean we wouldn’t get in, but apparently they just send in the tourists to move right around the church’s outside area while the mass is said in the center of the church. It was kind of cool to hear mass being said as we were traveling around the church. I’m not sure what I expected here, but Notre Dame wasn’t really it. It was beautiful – especially the stained glass – but I guess it just wasn’t as reverent a location as I had expected.

Gayle: I agree. I couldn’t believe they let tourists in during the Mass. It was truly odd to be “sightseeing” during the Mass. The glass was beautiful (photo below, which I don’t think we were supposed to take – sorry!), and I wish I had a narrative of the stories told with each pane of glass and the sections of the Bible each related to.



Alas, in virtually no time at all we were exiting. The next and final stop for the day was to be St. Chappelle. However, when we arrived, a service was in session, and we were not permitted entrance. At this point, Kara decided we should hop on the “Batobus”, a sightseeing boat cruise. This had always been part of the PLAN, but we were never sure when we might have the opportunity to actually do it.

Kara: We strolled along the Seine from St. Chapelle to catch the Batobus. I really enjoyed seeing all the sidewalk vendors with their art, photos and other wares. We got our tickets and got on the Batobus. The Batobus was a nice relaxing way move around the city. We stopped at the Champs Elysees stop and strolled up the street to the Metro station. We boarded our metro, made all the transfers, and headed back to “home” for a fun dinner. (The one thing Gayle sacrificed was going to the Disney Store here – gasp!)

Gayle: It was a relatively early day, but we were also up late the night prior. Simply getting back to the room and resting for a bit was a luxury we’d not had the prior days. We headed to the Disney Village to Annette’s (50’s-inspired diner) for supper. Between the last two night’s suppers at Disney, we’ve come to truly realize THIS Disney is NOT THE Disney, which we kinda knew from previous research. I could go on with a ton of detailed differences (shortcomings) with this park, but I won’t bore those of you who have no idea what I would be referring to. In short, our dining expectations are certainly not being met. Tomorrow we’ll be staying “home” and spending our first (and really only) full day at Disneyland Paris.

Kara: We’re both looking forward to switching into “vacation” mode tomorrow and resting/relaxing in the park while riding rides. While Gayle’s right that there are a lot of differences in the parks, I do think the Paris park does do a much better job of creating beautiful locations for photos so I’m looking forward to more pictures and playing around with the camera. For now though, we’ll both say good night to all of you as we’re headed off to bed shortly.
__________________
Dr. Gayle


Coming Soon: Sept. 2012 Disneyland & 1st Pacific Coast DCL! ~ Nov. 2012 BWV w/ Mom ~ Jan. 2013 Disney Institute with my college students! ~ Mar. 2013 DCL B-Day Fantasy
Nov. 2011 - F&W and MVMCP ~ Jun. 2011 - Saratoga Springs ~ May 2011 - Disneyland Paris ~ Dec. 2010 - BWV/DCL ~ Oct. 2010 - POFQ after conference ~ Mar. 2010 - YC (Conference) ~ Feb. 2010 - AKL Villa & DCL Western Magic ~ May/June 2009 Disneyland Paris & London ~ Dec. 2008 - BCV ~ Jan. 2008 - WL & DCL Western Magic ~ Sept. 2007 - DCL Wonder (Surprise for Mom!) ~ Jan. 2006 - Land (POR) & Sea (Wonder) Cruise - 1st Disney cruise! ~ Dec. 2005 - BCV ~ Nov. 2005 - OKW (conference trip!) ~ Mar. 2005 - AKL (College Program Visit for work) ~ June 2004 - POR/BCV ~ Feb. 2004 - Off ~ May 2003 - CB/BCV ~ Dec. 2000 - Dixie Landings ~ Oct. 2000 - CS (work conference) ~ Dec. 1998 - ASM ~ Feb. 1998 - Dixie Landings ~ Mar. 1997, New Years 1996-97, 1993, 1986, 1984, 1977 - Off

8 night Western DCL-Feb 2010 ~ Western DCL Trip Resort - Jan. 2008! ~ DCL Land/Sea Trip Report - Jan. 2006! ~ Disneyland Paris Trip Report May 2009
GuardMusic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2009, 12:45 PM   #11
GuardMusic
This is the most excitement we've seen here in quite some time!
 
GuardMusic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Indiana
Posts: 1,030

Day 4 - Sat. May 30, 2009

Saturday, May 30, 2009
Day 4 - 1st full day at DLP

Gayle: It was so warm yesterday, we knew it would be a “shorts day” today. We felt really lucky about this, as we didn’t expect it to get this warm here, so we just added shorts to our bags a day or two before the trip! :-) Now, on with the day…

Every day at Disneyland Paris (DLP) has Extra Magic Hours (EMH). This means guests of the resort hotels gain access to the park two hours prior to the opening to the public. (See, you WILL learn things about Disney whether you want to or not!) So we were up early to breakfast and at the front gate just prior to 8am. This is something we also do at Walt Disney World (WDW) in FL, but this was different. First, there were NO other people on our bus, which would NEVER happen at WDW. When we arrived at the gate there were only about 10 other people waiting with us; again, this would never happen at WDW. It felt very weird.

Kara: We have a regular path we take when we enter a park – go around the castle and back to Dumbo. We stopped several times to take pictures of Sleeping Beauty Castle – a couple of them were really good. Then it was off to Dumbo. We didn’t have to wait in the queue and our flight had several empty elephants. Very odd. While we were back in this part of the park we also rode Peter Pan’s Flight and the Tea Cups. Only two of the four lands at the Disneyland Park were open, so after this we headed over to ride Space Mountain and Buzz Lightyear. Gayle doesn’t care much for roller coasters so I rode Space Mountain on my own. I don’t like really big roller coasters, but most of the Disney Park coasters are great for me. However, this version of Space Mountain shook me like crazy. It was still a decent adrenaline rush and good for a little screaming – but nowhere near as fun as some of the other stuff we rode a bit later.



NO line for Dumbo!




US portion of small world:


2nd floor of Castle = beautiful:





Gayle:
Yeh, at the Magic Kingdom in FL, there are a limited number of rides open during EMH, and a list of them is provided. No such list was provided here, which made for a bit of backtracking when learning something wasn’t yet open. Grrr. Speaking of… “it’s a small world” was closed during EMH; that simply goes against all things Disney. If the park is open, the small world MUST be open! While Kara was on Space Mountain, I went on Buzz Lightyear. It’s easier to score points here, as you can lift the laser gun out of the ride vehicle. Kara & I then met up to go on Buzz together. However, just as we were nearing the front of the line we noticed they were no longer loading people into the vehicles. Hmmm. Then the ride stopped. Uh oh. Then the music stopped and all the lights came on. This is virtually the Disney equivalent to the “blue screen of death”. Luckily we were given Fast Passes to return at a later time. Fast Passes allow you to come back at a later time and enter a shorter (usually nil) line. There is always a designated hour or so of return time, but since we endured a ride breakdown, we could return any time we wanted. And this allowed us to get a second Fast Pass for another ride (Star Tours) during this time, which is something you also usually can’t do.

Kara: Since we had ridden everything that was open we walked over to Frontierland so we could be there when it opened at 10. On our way we stopped in the Castle. Gayle took several photos inside the Castle of the stained glass windows. When we left the castle we headed to Frontierland. Apparently this park allows anyone into the park before it opens – it’s just that only people with resort IDs can get into the two open lands. So, we joined a pretty large mob of people at the entry to Frontierland. When Frontierland opened we headed straight to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (BTMR) – which is one of my favorites. Apparently it is also everyone else’s as we experienced a ride-entry mosh pit at the entrance to the ride. We finally got into the queue and waited only about 10 minutes in line before we got on the ride. Gayle actually rides this one with me, although she hung on – to me – the entire time. In my opinion BTMR here was much better than any other ride thus far and it’s better than BTMR in Disney World. Very fun!

After this, we went over and rode Pinocchio – a ride they don’t have at Disney World. After this we went back and rode the storybook boat ride which included miniature versions of many of the Disney stories. It was cute. We finished out our time at this park with our Fast Pass to Buzz Lightyear. Gayle kicked my butt!

Gayle: To be fair, I hang on for dear life on BTMR because I’m always afraid I’ll fly out. (It stems from a scary experience at Kings Island many, many years ago.) By this time we headed out of Disneyland and were off to Disney Studios. First, to reach the front gate of the Disneyland Park you have to go through the Disneyland Hotel. That’s really weird compared to WDW. I actually don’t think I’d like staying there because all of the people coming & going all day (& night). The other thing is the front gate of Studios is only about 75-100 yards from the Disneyland Park & Hotel. That is REALLY weird. In FL NOTHING is close enough to see!



As we were entering the Studios people were having their photos taken with a 1970s/80s? model of a black Cadillac stretch limo. That seemed odd. Do they not have limos over here? The funniest thing was the limo had an Ohio license plate on the front! HA!

Kara: We headed through Studio 1 – this big rectangular building right inside the Studios. There are restaurants and shops inside. We exited into the park, which is what I call Studios in miniature. Everything is right there. We planned to take in the two shows today so we could do the other attractions we wanted to do tomorrow. So, first we watched Animagique which is a Disney character shows featuring black light effects. There were songs from several Disney feature films. Then we headed over to the other show – Cinemagique. This one was a little more odd. A guy in the audience (an actor) got pulled into the screen and then they took him through several classic movies. It was funny, but not really what I expect from Disney.

Gayle: Yeh, Animagique and Cinemagique were really just adaptations of Mickey’s PhilharMagic, Journey of the Little Mermaid, The Great Movie Ride, etc. from FL. I guess this is smart on Disney’s part. Why should they recreate the wheel, when most Europeans won’t be visiting WDW? I guess if the regular visitors here like them, then so be it, but they certainly weren’t what we were expecting.

Next is the start of a little preview for tomorrow. We left the park to check out the laundry facilities at one of the other hotels. In a previous blog I described the basic differences between our hotel and its inspiration in FL. Laundry facilities here are available only at the lowest-level/basic hotel. In FL the equivalents would be the All-Stars or Pop Century. This is Disney’s version of a motel vs. hotel. In FL, they are definitely the nicest motels available and fully Disney themed. Here they have Hotel Santa Fe (New Mexico themed) and Cheyenne Hotel (Wyoming themed). Very imaginative, eh? We went to Hotel Santa Fe, the motel we briefly saw upon our initial arrival. Our eyes literally bugged out. How in the world is the Disney name associated with this place?! Kara described it as a horrible “Motel 6”, but even better – one of those abandoned motels they investigate on CSI! LOL! On the way to the laundry we saw a crashed flying saucer. Yeh – no kidding – I’m now calling it Area 51. That’s just sad. We eventually found the laundry, but are still unsure if we can actually get them to work &/or clean our clothes, so stay tuned to the update tomorrow.

We escaped from there ASAP and headed back to Sequoia Lodge. Very soon we were back at Disneyland for a quiet dinner of… BBQ chicken & steak fries at Cowboy Cookout Barbecue. Frighteningly, this was one of the best meals we’ve had so far. We tried to stroll the very busy shops and shockingly, didn’t buy a single thing. Usually I blow my budget exponentially in the shops at WDW. It’s like a whole other dimension here. I have my “World of Disney” and let’s just say DLP doesn’t really fit in my world. We did however grab some yummy chocolaty treats at the Bake Shop before heading home for the night.



And P.S.: We were reading a menu the other night that listed cheesecake made with, not cream cheese, but “Philadelphia Cheese”. Do they make cheese in Philly? Guess something got lost in translation!
__________________
Dr. Gayle


Coming Soon: Sept. 2012 Disneyland & 1st Pacific Coast DCL! ~ Nov. 2012 BWV w/ Mom ~ Jan. 2013 Disney Institute with my college students! ~ Mar. 2013 DCL B-Day Fantasy
Nov. 2011 - F&W and MVMCP ~ Jun. 2011 - Saratoga Springs ~ May 2011 - Disneyland Paris ~ Dec. 2010 - BWV/DCL ~ Oct. 2010 - POFQ after conference ~ Mar. 2010 - YC (Conference) ~ Feb. 2010 - AKL Villa & DCL Western Magic ~ May/June 2009 Disneyland Paris & London ~ Dec. 2008 - BCV ~ Jan. 2008 - WL & DCL Western Magic ~ Sept. 2007 - DCL Wonder (Surprise for Mom!) ~ Jan. 2006 - Land (POR) & Sea (Wonder) Cruise - 1st Disney cruise! ~ Dec. 2005 - BCV ~ Nov. 2005 - OKW (conference trip!) ~ Mar. 2005 - AKL (College Program Visit for work) ~ June 2004 - POR/BCV ~ Feb. 2004 - Off ~ May 2003 - CB/BCV ~ Dec. 2000 - Dixie Landings ~ Oct. 2000 - CS (work conference) ~ Dec. 1998 - ASM ~ Feb. 1998 - Dixie Landings ~ Mar. 1997, New Years 1996-97, 1993, 1986, 1984, 1977 - Off

8 night Western DCL-Feb 2010 ~ Western DCL Trip Resort - Jan. 2008! ~ DCL Land/Sea Trip Report - Jan. 2006! ~ Disneyland Paris Trip Report May 2009
GuardMusic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2009, 12:46 PM   #12
disney_princess_85
Liked the sky effect
If we feel like having pop tarts for breakfast we can
 
disney_princess_85's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Manchester, UK
Posts: 5,760

Looks like you had a great time in Paris.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GuardMusic View Post
I could go on with a ton of detailed differences (shortcomings) with this park, but I won’t bore those of you who have no idea what I would be referring to.
I realise this report has been copied from your blog, but seeing as you're now posting it here, where there are many DLP 'experts', I for one would love to know your opinions. It's interesting to see things from an American's perspective, as not many of you guys get to make it to DLP.
__________________
January 2002- Disneyland Paris, Sequoia Lodge, October 2007- Disneyland Paris, Newport Bay Club, May 2008- Walt Disney World, Pop Century/Universal Studios, Royal Pacific Resort, January 2009- Disneyland Paris, Holiday Inn, March 2009- Disneyland Paris, Sequoia Lodge, May 2009- Disneyland Paris, Magic Circus, September 2009- Walt Disney World, Coronado Springs/Universal Studios, Hard Rock Hotel Club Level, November 2009- Disneyland Paris, Hotel Cheyenne, February 2010- Disneyland Paris, Magic Circus, May 2010- Disneyland Paris, Magic Circus, August-September 2010- Walt Disney World, Saratoga Springs/Universal Studios, Royal Pacific Resort Club Level, October 2010- Disneyland Paris, Magic Circus, December 2010-January 2011- Disneyland Paris, Magic Circus, September 2011- Walt Disney World, POFQ/Disney Dream/Walt Disney World, Saratoga Springs, October 2012- Walt Disney World, Pop Century/Disney Dream/Walt Disney World, Wilderness Lodge, February 2013- Disneyland Paris, Hotel Cheyenne, October 2013- Walt Disney World, Old Key West, Animal Kingdom Lodge, May 2014- Disneyland, Paradise Pier



Lauren
disney_princess_85 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2009, 12:53 PM   #13
GuardMusic
This is the most excitement we've seen here in quite some time!
 
GuardMusic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Indiana
Posts: 1,030

Day 5 - May 31, 2009

Sunday, May 31, 2009
Day 5 – 2nd full day at DLP


Hi everyone. This is Kara - writing the post while Gayle is working on packing up as we are getting ready to transfer to London tomorrow. The packing is stymied a bit by the fact that most of our clothes are still wet from the laundry adventure today - but I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me start at the beginning.

We slept a bit later this morning since we didn't need to get to a park until 10 a.m. local time. We went to breakfast here in the hotel like normal - completely excited about our VIP Breakfast Pass, as we got to buzz right past the entire line and go right into breakfast. There is no variety at the breakfast here, but it is tasty enough and filling and we make lunch out of it as well to pack into the park. Grab a bottle of water and you're good to go.

Our plan today was to take in the two or three things we wanted to see at Disney Studios park. We got there around 9:30 and were already well behind the many, many other people who arrived before us.



We headed to our most anticipated stop which was Crush's Coaster - a wild, spinning, coaster like ride on the East Australian Current!! We'd both heard the ride was great. We got in the queue and waited for the park to open. As soon as the park opened they opened the queue area up for us to enter and the "wait time" sign immediately changed to 80 minutes. We checked our watches and headed on in. We got through the exterior queue and entered the building with what appeared just a short additional wait at approximately 45 minutes in. At that moment the ride shut down, and we started to have Buzz Lightyear flashbacks from yesterday. We were on the stair steps going up into the queue area, so we sat down and waited. The lights came back on - never a good sign in a Disney ride - but we kept waiting. We were gonna ride this ride!! After about 20 - 25 minutes the ride came back on. The announcement was in French but we figured it out from all the clapping that it must be good news.



We boarded the ride about 15 minutes later - so we now really had waited the 80 minutes. Gayle had been a bit nervous before the ride. She is commenting to me now, that she was filled with fear, and had her eyes closed. However, I gave her my advice that the goal of coasters like these is to let out all your pent up frustration, hostility, and anger in your screams and giddy joys of laughter as you go careening through the darkness. What do you know - she took my advice. She kept her eyes open and screamed and giggled! And, she just said I should tell you it is her most favorite Disney ride ever (and they better move it to Orlando - now)!

After such a great ride - and since the Sunday crowds were crazy & Kara wasn’t feeling well - we decided that we had had enough of the Studio. Plus, we still had laundry to do.

So, back to our resort (Sequoia Lodge) where we both packed up our backpacks with our dirty clothes and laundry supplies. We both laughed that other than the dorm our first year together at Ball State University we had never done laundry together in a Laundromat type of place - we always had washers and dryers in our apartments and both of us have had washers and dryers in our houses.

We went to the Hotel Santa Fe (motel 6/CSI crime scene hotel), bought our tokens at the gift shop to do laundry and then headed down to building 33 (right next to the Area 51 flying saucer - & at the complete opposite end of the “resort”). Yesterday when we had done our laundry reconnaissance, the laundry room had been open. However, the door was locked today. So, luckily there was a phone on the wall and we called housekeeping. They said they would send someone right over. Another phone call and about 15 more minutes later someone who spoke no English came over to unlock the door. He tried to explain to us what we finally decided was that if we both left the door would lock again, and we communicated to him that at least one of us would stay the entire time.



Gayle: Okay! I'm here. Even with my BFF, I can't give up total control and would hate to be misinterpretted! First, let's get one thing straight. In the two years I lived in DeHority Complex at BSU, I never, ever did a load of laundry! In fact, other than one time at a condo in FL, I've never done laundry on vacation; what a waste of good time! As far as Crush's Coaster, that is THE BEST ride EVER! Alright, back to our story already in progress.

Kara: We finished the laundry, but a single dryer token bought only 20 minutes of heat so we only got the clothes warm - not really dry. We put the clothes back into our duffles - now folded and wet - and headed back to the bus stop. We took the bus back to the train station and then caught our bus back to our hotel. We got back the hotel and started unloading clothes out of our bag using the six hangers and every other surface in the room - including the handle that allows the window to open (which my shorts are still dangling from). We called housekeeping for more hangers and began to put the iron we'd ordered earlier in the week to work ironing some of the moisture out of our clothes.

When we arrived back at the hotel earlier, Gayle had also made a reservation at the restaurant here in the hotel, Beaver Creek Tavern. We had done a bit of planning on meals prior to arrival and thought we'd be eating up at Val d'Europe where food was supposed to be less expensive. However, we found that food here at the park and resort really wasn't terribly expensive in comparison to food at Val d'Europe and even in comparison to food in the States. We took our time ironing and blow-drying our clothes and then headed down to dinner at Beaver Creek Tavern here in the hotel. The food was good, although nothing special.

After dinner we went to the hotel gift shops to finally get stamps for all of the post cards. Gayle had gone just ahead of me and had bought her stamps ahead of me. She tried to warn me about the fact that these were stamps that you had to lick (unlike self-adhesive USA stamps) and you had to be careful not to choke. Unfortunately, the third stamp stuck to my tongue a bit more and there was a little bit of laughter as I recounted the "I was afraid I was going to choke on a stamp" a couple of times in the store.

I've also set a new record here at Disneyland Paris - I spent more at the parks/resort than Gayle. I am a HUGE Pluto fan! He's by far my favorite Disney character. The American parks seem to have something against Pluto, but here he is well featured in individual plush animals and other items. So, I loaded up. I need to be flying home with a kennel rather than a duffel bag for all these stuffed animals.

We're back in the room now and getting ready to head off to bed before we take our train to Lille and then board the EuroStar for a trip through the Chunnel to London tomorrow. We're headed off to Westminster Abbey and then have reservations for a sunset flight on the London Eye.

Gayle: A decent night's sleep has not been part of this trip, and I'm really starting to drag. Hopefully the air conditioning at our London hotel will be better? So tomorrow we change cities, countries, time zones, and currency. Oh boy, here we go again....
__________________
Dr. Gayle


Coming Soon: Sept. 2012 Disneyland & 1st Pacific Coast DCL! ~ Nov. 2012 BWV w/ Mom ~ Jan. 2013 Disney Institute with my college students! ~ Mar. 2013 DCL B-Day Fantasy
Nov. 2011 - F&W and MVMCP ~ Jun. 2011 - Saratoga Springs ~ May 2011 - Disneyland Paris ~ Dec. 2010 - BWV/DCL ~ Oct. 2010 - POFQ after conference ~ Mar. 2010 - YC (Conference) ~ Feb. 2010 - AKL Villa & DCL Western Magic ~ May/June 2009 Disneyland Paris & London ~ Dec. 2008 - BCV ~ Jan. 2008 - WL & DCL Western Magic ~ Sept. 2007 - DCL Wonder (Surprise for Mom!) ~ Jan. 2006 - Land (POR) & Sea (Wonder) Cruise - 1st Disney cruise! ~ Dec. 2005 - BCV ~ Nov. 2005 - OKW (conference trip!) ~ Mar. 2005 - AKL (College Program Visit for work) ~ June 2004 - POR/BCV ~ Feb. 2004 - Off ~ May 2003 - CB/BCV ~ Dec. 2000 - Dixie Landings ~ Oct. 2000 - CS (work conference) ~ Dec. 1998 - ASM ~ Feb. 1998 - Dixie Landings ~ Mar. 1997, New Years 1996-97, 1993, 1986, 1984, 1977 - Off

8 night Western DCL-Feb 2010 ~ Western DCL Trip Resort - Jan. 2008! ~ DCL Land/Sea Trip Report - Jan. 2006! ~ Disneyland Paris Trip Report May 2009
GuardMusic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2009, 01:09 PM   #14
GuardMusic
This is the most excitement we've seen here in quite some time!
 
GuardMusic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Indiana
Posts: 1,030

Day 6 - June 1, 2009

Monday, June 1, 2009
Day 6 – Departure from DLP & France


Good day & Cheerio!

It’s Kara starting off again tonight as we take turns using the blow dryer. We’ve had a full day and are ready to get a bit of rest before we hit the streets of London again tomorrow.

We had breakfast as usual at Sequoia Lodge in Paris and then went back to our room to do a final check that we had all of our things and then headed off to the train station at Disney (Marne-le-Valle Chessy). Yesterday we walked to and from the parks using the walkway along the lake at the resort complex. Because the buses were continuously slow during our visit we decided we’d just walk with our backpacks and duffels. It was not a bad walk, and we arrived at the train station about an hour in advance of our train – apparently far too early by European standards. We waited until our TGV train arrived and then boarded bound for Lille, France.



When we had booked our train tickets several weeks ago, Gayle and I “agreed” (or rather I suggested and she apparently rolled her eyes at me via our phone call) that we would get the “low” first class tickets (versus economy/coach) for our train rides today. That gave us a served meal on the Eurostar and first class seating on both trains. Apparently until today Gayle had thought I was nuts for booking this extra luxury, even though it was a very affordable luxury, but I’ll let you tell her if it was a good decision or not, while I go take a turn with the blow dryer.


Gayle:
(From above, it’s also important to know Kara was going to try to call home at 9am this morning. 9am Paris time. To which I reminded her it was only 3am at home and calling at this time probably wasn’t a good idea!) So, we’re at the train and this issue of the 1st class tix, eh? Yep, Kara definitely made the right call on this one. It was like 1st class on an airplane, except there was more room, no security, no waiting, no re-circulated air, a huge window… I think you get the picture. In fact, on the TGV train from Disney to Lille, France there were only about 5 others in our entire train car, including the cutest little dog who took a nap in the aisle!



We were both really excited about the EuroStar simply for the class of service and of course, the speed. One of the best things today was the UK Border Control officer; it was SO nice to finally hear a non-French accent! Literally seconds after pulling out of the station they were taking our drink and lunch choices. We received a nice lunch with salad, entrée, dessert, bread, and “beverages”!


The only annoyance was the constant pressure changes from passing other trains, going through tunnels, and of course, being under/in the English Channel. Very soon we arrived at St. Pancras Station where the real adventure began.


(Sorry I have no London photos here, as I’m too frustrated to upload them to an online source right now.)

Each of us brought a rolling duffle and rolling backpack. Luckily there were “lifts” (elevators) at this station, so all was well, minus the significant crowds. We stood in line for a Tube (subway) ticket to one of the stops nearest our hotel. (We probably should have just used our pounds in the self-serve kiosks instead.) Got tickets and were off to the Tube!

But when we arrived at Westminster Station, life started to get a little mean. There were two sets of stairs (up) from the platform to the main station level. (Umm, hello? It said this station was handicap accessible! Apparently that was only if you were transferring lines!) There was no lift, so dragging our bags was, well, an exhausting drag. We finally make it outside and no kidding, there are another couple sets of steps to traverse. Huffing & puffing, I proclaimed, “I love America!” (as we try to be a 100% accessible country with ramps & elevators everywhere!)

Over the bridge and through hordes of people, we finally make it to our home for the next 5 nights: the Marriott County Hall. This hotel sits right on the Thames, over the bridge from Big Ben, and immediately behind the London Eye. This is where I wanted to stay since my previous visit here in 2000. Check-in was seamless (even through the registration clerk was not friendly) and our room is divine. It’s a good thing we’re doing the trip in this order, Paris then London, because our room here has everything the Disney one didn’t. (I could go on and on about this, but will spare you.)

Once we recovered from our baggage Olympics, we set out to get the lay of the land and find dinner. We walked around Parliament and Westminster Abbey on our way to supper at The Abbey. This is a bar/restaurant we found on the Net. It was so much more, as it had class and sophistication. It was one of the nicest bars I’ve ever been to and would happily return. We had our requisite 1st night in London fish & chips and then stopped at a convenience store for a few snacks for breakfasts, etc.

Too soon it was time to head out, as we had pre-reserved tickets for the London Eye. Wow. No picture ever allows you to truly understand the scale of this massive ferris wheel. In fact, I started to get a big anxious, but as they say here, it turned out to be “brilliant”! We then investigated the area behind the hotel and stumbled upon a lovely Italian café/restaurant, which we plan to visit later this week, as well as the back entrance to the hotel.

For London it’s incredibly warm, nearing 80 degrees. Gratefully our room air conditioner is more than up to the task, unlike what we endured at Disney. So at least for me, I’m planning on my first good night’s sleep of the entire trip tonight. With that, I’m off – wondering if I will read any of my book before I drift off to dreamland in the cushy and cool bed.

Tomorrow? Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park, Kensington Palace, and much more, including… Harrods! (I think my credit card just screamed.)

I'll stop the trip report here for now. Let me know if you're intereted in the London portion of our trip!
Gayle
__________________
Dr. Gayle


Coming Soon: Sept. 2012 Disneyland & 1st Pacific Coast DCL! ~ Nov. 2012 BWV w/ Mom ~ Jan. 2013 Disney Institute with my college students! ~ Mar. 2013 DCL B-Day Fantasy
Nov. 2011 - F&W and MVMCP ~ Jun. 2011 - Saratoga Springs ~ May 2011 - Disneyland Paris ~ Dec. 2010 - BWV/DCL ~ Oct. 2010 - POFQ after conference ~ Mar. 2010 - YC (Conference) ~ Feb. 2010 - AKL Villa & DCL Western Magic ~ May/June 2009 Disneyland Paris & London ~ Dec. 2008 - BCV ~ Jan. 2008 - WL & DCL Western Magic ~ Sept. 2007 - DCL Wonder (Surprise for Mom!) ~ Jan. 2006 - Land (POR) & Sea (Wonder) Cruise - 1st Disney cruise! ~ Dec. 2005 - BCV ~ Nov. 2005 - OKW (conference trip!) ~ Mar. 2005 - AKL (College Program Visit for work) ~ June 2004 - POR/BCV ~ Feb. 2004 - Off ~ May 2003 - CB/BCV ~ Dec. 2000 - Dixie Landings ~ Oct. 2000 - CS (work conference) ~ Dec. 1998 - ASM ~ Feb. 1998 - Dixie Landings ~ Mar. 1997, New Years 1996-97, 1993, 1986, 1984, 1977 - Off

8 night Western DCL-Feb 2010 ~ Western DCL Trip Resort - Jan. 2008! ~ DCL Land/Sea Trip Report - Jan. 2006! ~ Disneyland Paris Trip Report May 2009
GuardMusic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2009, 02:00 PM   #15
disney_princess_85
Liked the sky effect
If we feel like having pop tarts for breakfast we can
 
disney_princess_85's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Manchester, UK
Posts: 5,760

Quote:
Originally Posted by GuardMusic View Post
As we were entering the Studios people were having their photos taken with a 1970s/80s? model of a black Cadillac stretch limo. That seemed odd. Do they not have limos over here?
I'm pretty sure they have limos in France. I believe it's supposed to represent movie stars arriving for premieres.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GuardMusic View Post
One of the best things today was the UK Border Control officer; it was SO nice to finally hear a non-French accent!
I'd be a little careful of comments like this- the boards are used by people of various nationalities and this could be construed as quite offensive.
__________________
January 2002- Disneyland Paris, Sequoia Lodge, October 2007- Disneyland Paris, Newport Bay Club, May 2008- Walt Disney World, Pop Century/Universal Studios, Royal Pacific Resort, January 2009- Disneyland Paris, Holiday Inn, March 2009- Disneyland Paris, Sequoia Lodge, May 2009- Disneyland Paris, Magic Circus, September 2009- Walt Disney World, Coronado Springs/Universal Studios, Hard Rock Hotel Club Level, November 2009- Disneyland Paris, Hotel Cheyenne, February 2010- Disneyland Paris, Magic Circus, May 2010- Disneyland Paris, Magic Circus, August-September 2010- Walt Disney World, Saratoga Springs/Universal Studios, Royal Pacific Resort Club Level, October 2010- Disneyland Paris, Magic Circus, December 2010-January 2011- Disneyland Paris, Magic Circus, September 2011- Walt Disney World, POFQ/Disney Dream/Walt Disney World, Saratoga Springs, October 2012- Walt Disney World, Pop Century/Disney Dream/Walt Disney World, Wilderness Lodge, February 2013- Disneyland Paris, Hotel Cheyenne, October 2013- Walt Disney World, Old Key West, Animal Kingdom Lodge, May 2014- Disneyland, Paradise Pier



Lauren

Last edited by disney_princess_85; 11-21-2009 at 02:08 PM.
disney_princess_85 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Oct 3, 2009 Wester Carribean Tiggerfan14 Disney Cruise Meets 3221 09-03-2010 02:05 AM
August 1st 2009 - Eastern 8/1/2009 The Eastern Caribbean Castaways MrsJobba1 Disney Cruise Meets 921 09-28-2009 06:50 PM
A Very British Trip Report - May 2009 - Day 15 Kevin Stringer UK Trip Reports Board 22 07-13-2009 10:06 AM
American Girl Question WDWorBUST Budget Board 5 07-11-2009 02:02 PM

facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS Updates
GET OUR DIS UPDATES DELIVERED BY EMAIL



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:49 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Copyright © 1997-2014, Werner Technologies, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

You Rated this Thread: