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Old 12-20-2011, 07:31 AM   #1
megarasweet
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Christmas, a birthday, and one very big question... Now with a taste of London!



A quick back story; Grant and I decided to go on this trip whilst celebrating our
third anniversary in May this year. We agreed on going at Christmas so that we
could celebrate my birthday and have something to look forward to through our
first few months of university. We booked our four night stay at Hotel New York
a few weeks later once we'd saved up the deposit, and finally booked our
Eurostar tickets in August.

Parts

Day 1 Part 1 - The Journey
Day 1 Part 2 - First Impressions
Day 1 Part 3 - Fantillusion

Day 2 Part 1 - EMH
Day 2 Part 2 - Blue Lagoon
Day 2 Part 3 - Taking on Studios

Day 3 Part 1 - The Proposal!
Day 3 Part 2 - Fantasyland
Day 3 Part 3 - Once Upon A Dream
Day 3 Part 4 - Inventions

Day 4 Part 1 - A Sleepy EMH
Day 4 Part 2 - Walts
Day 4 Part 3 - Our Last Evening

Day 5 Part 1 - Our Last EMH
Day 5 Part 2 - Moteurs... Action!
Day 5 Part 3 - Goodbye (For Now!)

Days 6 & 7 - A Weekend In London!
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Old 12-20-2011, 08:08 AM   #2
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Day 1 - Part 1

Day 1 - Part 1

Having driven from my house in Bath up to London the night before, we woke up at half six in the guest bedroom of my dad's flat. Compared to our current student digs (Grant is transferring next year and we're looking to rent a slightly nicer one bedroom place together) his flat is lovely, and after stealing a couple of turns in the amazing shower we were both in good spirits, despite the early start. We finished our packing, downed a cup of tea, and were on the underground by half seven.

Our route to St Pancras coincided with my dad's route to work until we reached London Bridge where we said our goodbyes. Heaving our suitcases on and off the trains left us both with strained arms and shoulders, however it felt good to be well on time for the Eurostar.

We arrived at St Pancras at just gone half eight and were very pleased to find the Eurostar terminal well sign posted. We collected our tickets before admiring the Lego Christmas tree; it wasn't as impressive once we noticed the guy lines, but it was interesting nonetheless.



We got some breakfast at Le Pain Quotidien; Grant had a blueberry muffin and I had a praline pastry of some kind. The food was lovely, however neither of us enjoyed our iced tea - far too bitter! Once we'd paid up, we headed to WHSmith to buy some magazines and drinks for the Eurostar. Check in and customs were so much easier than at an airport, and by half nine we were relaxing in the lounge with a coffee. I'd never fly to Disneyland again, Eurostar is so much more straight forward.

The journey itself was uneventful. We read, listened to Christmas songs and nibbled our way through half a packet of chocolate chip cookies. We arrived at Marne la Valle Chessy at around two in the afternoon. Navigating our way out of the station and to Hotel New York was easy enough and by twenty past we were checked in. We were told that our room would be ready by three.

In living memory I've only ever stayed at Disneyland Hotel so I was worried that Hotel New York just wouldn't measure up. However my lower expectations served me well and the lobby was a very pleasant surprise - I loved the atmosphere and that lovely vanilla smell! The big-band Christmas songs were also a really nice touch, it all felt very cosy and festive.



Next up - Grant's first impressions of Disney Village and a quick lunch at Annette's!
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Old 12-20-2011, 10:01 AM   #3
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Yay part 1 has got me fixed
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Old 12-20-2011, 02:30 PM   #4
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Day 1 - Part 2

Day 1 - Part 2

I hadn't eaten at Annette's since 1997, and my only vague memory was that of waitresses dancing on a counter. My mum and I have wanted to go there on both of our most recent trips, but have always been outvoted by the rest of the family in favour of Planet Hollywood.

By now Grant and I were both very hungry, and after hearing that the portions there are both generous and good value (for Disney at least!) it seemed ideal. We loved the theming both outside and in, however our initial experience was dampened by a standoffish hostess who seemed to be having a nervous breakdown over the rather short queue. We weren't given any idea of how long we'd be waiting, or even offered a menu. The only time she communicated was a brief grunt after ten minutes or so to indicate that our table was ready - the only reason that we hadn't left at this point was the amazing smell!

Other than the hostess, the rest of the service was friendly and speedy. Before too long we were facing two impressive burgers; onion for me, blue cheese for Grant. Both were delicious and we felt like we'd got great value for our money. I also indulged in my first coke float for over a decade.

Feeling full and happy, we headed for the main park!

We got our first glimpse of Disneyland Hotel and I felt (just a little) pining!





I loved watching Grant's face as he took everything in for the first time; DLH, Main Street, the castle... It was exactly as I'd hoped! The castle looked lovely after it's refurb. We sidled down Main Street taking it all in, and with the Dance Express music playing I instantly felt in the Disney spirit! With the help of some momentary sunshine, Grant came away with a great first impression of DLP.





I was hoping to make Grant's first ride Big Thunder Mountain, however the park had other plans as it was closed all afternoon. Although this was disappointing, we simply moved onto Pirates of The Caribbean. Grant was impressed by the queuing area alone, commenting on how clever the lighting was. When we sailed past Blue Lagoon I pointed out that we had a reservation for lunch tomorrow and we shared a moment of excitement.

By the time we were back at Main Street people were lining the streets for OUADP, so we joined them. I felt choked up the moment the 'Just Like We Dreamed It' started playing, and Grant was impressed by the sheer level of it all. When Chante C'est Noel started playing I couldn't stop smiling - I was in full Disney dream mode.







We darted over to Discoveryland as the parade drew to a close and managed to walk onto Buzz. Grant beat me, as he continued to do every day, but I enjoyed it all the same.



Next up was It's A Small World. I was intent on getting Grant on it before the day was up, and whilst it isn't my favourite ride I do enjoy the Christmas overlay. When we came out Grant gave me a blank look that read, "What just happened?"

Whenever I visit DLP with my family, hotdogs at Casey's before Fantillusion is a firm tradition. We decided to honour this (and our rumbling stomachs) with two hotdogs, a brioche, a brownie, and a couple of hot chocolates. Nothing quite compares to sitting on Main Street, bundled up against the cold with a hot chocolate in your hands - and DLP hot chocolate really is the best I've ever had!



Once we'd finished everything, we staked out a small place on the pavement just down from Casey's to watch Princess Aurora's Christmas Wish and Fantillusion. I don't usually watch any shows, but I really enjoyed this one. The music was really festive and the castle looked spectacular as it flashed between pink, blue and green. I'm not sure whether I prefer the castle decorations this year or not, but either way it was nice to see something different!





Next up - A nice big slice of Fantillusion spam.
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Old 12-21-2011, 07:36 AM   #5
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Loving your TR and photos so far, can't wait for more!
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Old 12-21-2011, 11:26 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinks_1989 View Post
Yay part 1 has got me fixed
I'm so glad! I hope you enjoy the rest of the TR.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarah28 View Post
Loving your TR and photos so far, can't wait for more!
Thank you so much, I'll hopefully be updating soon!
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Old 12-21-2011, 03:14 PM   #7
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loving the report, thanks!!!!
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Old 12-21-2011, 03:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by megarasweet View Post
I'm so glad! I hope you enjoy the rest of the TR.

I sure did! I so want a brioche now though lol!
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Old 12-21-2011, 06:08 PM   #9
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Thanks for sharing!

Recognised you immediately after seeing your photos as we were there the same time (well it was your hair I recognised actually )
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Old 12-22-2011, 08:15 AM   #10
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Day 1 - Part 3

Day 1 - Part 3

Fantillusion is my favourite parade, and after the talk of it being cancelled for this Christmas season I was so happy that it was still running. We'd staked out a spot between Casey's and the hub stage, and I was ready and waiting with my camera.

When the music started up I felt choked up again, it's one of those pieces of music that really gets to me.





When Chip and Dale walked past, one of them noticed my camera and posed delightfully for me.



Tinkerbell was another one who noticed my camera, and posed for me for about ten seconds - There's a lot to be said for having a big SLR!











Annoyingly we were stuck between two different sets of changes, however we still had a fairly good view from behind.























When the parade finished we followed it up Main Street and out of the park. Beside us there was a little girl one her dad's shoulders calling, "Minnie, I love you! Wait for me, Minnie!" - It had both of us smiling all the way back to the hotel.

Back at the hotel we were given our room keys within minutes. Finding our way there was easy enough, and I was pleased to find that our room wasn't far below those in DLH; we still had an amazingly comfy bed, we still had double sinks, and I even had a dressing table (something my family have never had at DLH!). I adored the teal Mickey quilt, I wish I could have bought one to take home!



Before the trip, Grant had treated me to a few little plushies and a pair of slippers, which happily filled our room.









Once settled we had a quick scout of the hotel, stopping off at the shop to buy a few bottles of still tropical Fanta. I wish they sold it in the UK!

By now we were both knackered, so we went back to our room, had a bath, and went to bed early in anticipation of our 7am breakfast slot.

Next up - Our first experience of EMH!
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Old 12-22-2011, 09:24 AM   #11
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Other great update YAY! X
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Old 12-22-2011, 09:40 AM   #12
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Thanks for sharing!

Recognised you immediately after seeing your photos as we were there the same time (well it was your hair I recognised actually )
How strange! My friends often comment on how easy I am to spot in a crowd because of my hair.

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Other great update YAY! X
Thanks! I'm glad you're enjoying it.
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Old 12-22-2011, 11:53 AM   #13
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Your fantillusion photos are great! and I am loving that quilt cover too, such a lovely colour
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DLRP: Oct 2005 (Halloween trip!): Santa Fe • May 2006: Santa Fe • February 2007: Santa Fe • December 2007 (Christmas trip!): Santa Fe • October 2008 (Halloween trip!): offsite
• February 2010: offsite • November 2010 (Christmas trip!): offsite • February 2012: offsite • June 2012: offsite • October 2012 (Halloween trip!): offsite • June 2012: offsite • July 2013: offsite • April 2014: Magic Circus
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Old 12-23-2011, 08:19 AM   #14
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Looking at all your pics and reading your report is making me veeery excited to go!! Fantillusion looks amazing, so colourful, and your photos are brill
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Old 12-23-2011, 03:08 PM   #15
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Day 2 - Part 1

Day 2 - Part 1

By some miracle we were up by half six and seated in the Manhattan restaurant for breakfast by seven. When I visit DLP with my family we always end up having lie ins, and since this was my first trip paid for entirely out of my own pocket I was determined to make the most of it. We asked for the earliest breakfast slot in hope that it would force us out of bed and into the park for EMH. It ended up working perfectly.

Breakfast wasn't quite the spectacle that it is at DLH, but there was still a nice selection and we appreciated the hot options. We indulged in cold meats, cheeses, bacon, sausages, eggs, potatoes, pastries, fruit and yogurt - the hot chocolate always went down well too! We left feeling full and satisfied.

When we were done, we went back up to our room to pile on the extra layers. We managed to get into the park by quarter past eight.







We were amazed by how quiet it was, and after taking a few photos of a silent Main Street we headed down to Fantasyland. It was almost deserted, so we explored the castle thoroughly and took a few rides on the teacups and carousel (the dark rides were still closed).







After putting a few abandoned photo points to good use, we headed over to Discoveryland for our second ride on Buzz. Grant didn't beat me by such a big margain, however I have a feeling that he was just being nice! In Constellations I tried on a few of the Minnie hats that I'd been seeing around the park, but wasn't convinced. I decided to leave any shopping until later.



Next up was Space Mountain. I hadn't ridden since 2006, and Grant had never been on a roller coaster which goes upside down, so we were both pretty nervous. The last time I rode it, I hadn't known to push my head right back and ended up with blood blisters behind my ears. Needless to say, this time I secured my head firmly, and although the ride was rattly it wasn't nearly as uncomfortable as I remembered it. We both enjoyed it, although it still rates below BTM and Indiana Jones.

Buzz was still a walk on, so we had another go whilst it was still quiet. We went to see if Star Tours was open, but it wasn't until ten. Nevertheless Grant was still excited by the X Wing.



We still had some time before rope drop, so we went to Fantasyland to see if the dark rides had opened. They had, so we did Pinocchio and Peter Pan (we both prefer Peter Pan!).

It was nearly ten by now, so we headed over to the Frontierland entrance for rope drop. With a bit of quick walking we managed to get on the first BTM train of the day. I was so happy that it was open today, and there was something very satisfying about being on the first public ride! Grant really enjoyed it, although by now it was raining quite heavily. We vowed to get fast passes when the rain had eased off.

We tried Phantom Manor but it wasn't open yet. The rain was only getting heavier, so we decided to head back to the hotel via the shops and Main Street. Grant found a pin which embodied two of his favourite things; Star Wars and Stitch.

Both soaked through, we headed back to the hotel for hot showers before our lunch reservation at Blue Lagoon!

Next up - The first of many Glowtinis!
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