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Old 09-11-2012, 07:24 AM   #16
smallpig
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: London
Posts: 297

An extremely late TR!

Hi everyone

It has been a long time since our April/May trip and since I was hanging out on the Dis. This summer has been pretty busy with lots of good things but now the summer and London 2012 are over and it's time to get back to thinking Disney thoughts!

But before I dive in to next trip planning - a few highlights from our last trip that might be interesting/useful if you are planning to do similar things. Sorry if the pics are a bit big, I'm not sure how to resize on here?

Transport

Eurostar from St Pancras via Lille -great as usual. Having now gone via Lille twice and Gare du Nord once, I'd pick Lille if prices and times allow. Much nicer to swap platforms on to the spacious TGV than get new train tickets and faff around with changing in busy Paris. BUT please don't be put off changing in Paris, that's fine too - just Lille is the better of the two for us!

On the way back the Lille train was delayed by about half an hour which was a tad annoying.

Hotel Elysee Val d'europe


We've always stayed offsite with our APs, but decided to upgrade from the Ibis this time and stay in a slightly more hotel like hotel.

Here's our room -


The rooms are pretty big, with a double and single beds, big bathroom and lots of cupboard space. Very clean and comfy.

But the best thing -


Look- you can see Disney from the window! We could actually see the fireworks at the end of Dreams on the night we didn't go to the show.

Breakfast at the hotel was fairly chaotic and basic, but fine to get some tea, coffee and carbs in you before a busy day.

We got the free shuttle on the first day, but it took longer than the RER! But it's free and if it happens to be leaving when you are then a nice option.

Firsts for us-


Visiting the DLH



Thanks to the Dis I knew you could just pop into the DLH for a wander and a drink. I think this was on the Saturday when it was really busy in the parks, and quite warm. The DLH was a lovely peaceful way to spend an hour in relative calm and...



sample some Mickey waffles! Yum! Pretty pricey but a nice experience. We also generally wandered around the hotel (used their luxury loos!) and pretended we were rich!

Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show

I had done this as a kid but couldn't remember much - we loved it!


We booked through one of the deals Carrie_Cat posted. I'd say we'd struggle to justify going again at full price, but as a one off it's great. Food wasn't amazing but was plentiful and I loved that it was entertainment from start to finish! There was a girl obviously on her hen do dressed as minnie who was chosen to go in the wagon thing at the end - what an awesome hen do idea!

Agrabah Cafe

Sad to say this wasn't a highlight. We'd been really looking forward to this as it had always been closed on previous trips, but (DON'T READ ON IF YOU ARE EATING!)... a poor kid was sick right in front of the buffet and they just didn't clear it up for AGES. I am completely squeamish about sick (not sure how this will work if I ever have kids..) and just ruined it for me. Plus the staff were obviously run off their feet, were pretty grumpy at each other and the customers and so generally a thumbs down.


Otherwise I thought I'd just share some of our findings, must dos and hints -

*Eat early! Eat in the village around the time of the parade if you can, shorter queues for the likes of Annette's and quieter parks when everyone else is eating pre dreams
* Don't forget your fastpasses! So many people just didn't seem to understand how these work - we managed to do our fave long wait rides (SM, BTM, RnR etc) with hardly any queues just with some clever FP use. And remember, it's possible to have two FPs at once so if you pick up a BTM FP at 11 with a return time of 6pm, you can get another one two hours later (I think!).
*Embrace the rain! We went on Indy twice and BTM with no wait (on a day of 60 min + queues) by braving the dinner time rain!
*If there are two dreams shows - see the first one then go on the rides while everyone watches the second! We went on SM with no wait and then Buzz two or three times in a row one evening.
*Take time out - especially when hot and busy and you have a long day, just go sit somewhere quiet (like the DLH) and calm down!
* Don't forget your free drinks - check your lunch receipts for the afternoon free drink offer - every euro counts..

Finally - some more random pics:

Lunch at Colonel Hathi's - our fave counter service...


Lovely sunny day



Ducklings in Frontierland (by the station)- aww!


Double rainbow over Discoveryland


And last of all, Dreams...
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Back to the magic - DLP 25 - 27 September

Trip reports

No TR but Orlando and WDW - Feb/March 13

June 2011: Very hot summer trip report

October 2011 Halloween trip

April 2012
We just can't stay away...
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