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Old 02-18-2013, 05:07 PM   #1
mrbadger
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The Badger Family's trip to DLP - Feb 2013

Hi

As promised here is a day by day trip report on out recent trip

Mr Badger (41)
Mrs Badger (Undisclosed)
Miss Badger (5 3/4)

After a 1 night/2 day trip part of the way through a French holiday last year (stayed at the Cheyenne) we decided to come back for a longer trip in the Feb half term this year - so at some point in the middle of last year I started making plans. We booked 4 days/5 nights in a premium cabin at the DCR (so we could stay up after Miss Badger had gone to bed and not have to eat out for every meal) on the 2 nights free offer last summer and went from there.

Travel was a combination of EuroTunnel and BadgerWagen
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Old 02-18-2013, 05:14 PM   #2
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Day -1

The Saturday consisted of a drive down to kent from Badger HQ (South Oxfordshire) and the afternoon sightseeing in Canterbury (Mrs Badger used to live there), tea and then staying in the EuroTunnel Premier Inn ready for our 6.20am crossing in the morning

The Premier Inn was fine (exactly as I expected) and cheap - however the car parking was a bit rubbish and given the equivalent (Ibis) on the French side was only slightly more expensive I wonder if getting a late crossing and stopping on the French side might have been a better plan. This would have made for a more relaxed start the next day
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Old 02-18-2013, 05:29 PM   #3
mrbadger
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Day 0

After a crack of dawn start we headed to the EuroTunnel terminal for a 6.20 am crossing - the crossing is pretty boring but it's quick and I dislike ferries when it's rough. We could also use tesco vouchers to keep the cost down.

Upon arrival in France we headed down to Nausicaa at Boulogne which is a huge Aquarium and well worth a visit, this kept us entertained until around 2pm when we set off on the next stage of the journey. Travelling on a Sunday meant that the motorways were pretty empty, it only really got busy after CDG.

I'd booked us in at the Novotel at Collegien, which is one stop further towards Paris than Bussy St Georges and is meant to be the nearest 4* hotel to DLP. It's pretty nice inside (by far the best of the places we stayed) but is on an industrial estate which means it's not the most attractive area and you really do need a car so i wouldn't advise it if you're not driving.

The hotel restaurant looked ok if pricey - But there was a DelArte (Pizza/Pasta) and a Buffalo Grill within walking distance and as it was starting to snow we opted for the Buffalo Grill (I had planned to drive to a nearby Hippo but didn't fancy it). Had never been to a BG before and it was fine - all full of burgers we returned ready for our first Disney Day on the Monday
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Old 02-20-2013, 02:42 PM   #4
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Day 1

We set off at around 7 am - there was still snow on the side of the roads but luckily the roads were clear - the satnav did take us down some narrow roads though so it wasn't the best drive. Arrived at the DCR reception at arounf 7.15 and went in, walked out with our tickets ready in about 5 minutes - our Cabin wouldn't be ready until 3pm so the plan was to have the morning and early afternoon @ Disney, pick up shopping at Auchan and head back - possibly going back in from Dreams.

Apart from the initial roundabout getting into Disney (it was very busy every time we used it) from the DCR is a piece of cake and the car parks were never that busy on any of the days - however the moving walkways rarely seemed to be working and when there were the direction did seem random, with a small person this can add quite a walk before you get to the park, especially in the cold.

Anyway we got into the park for around 8.10 and headed for Fantasyland where we did Dumbo (twice), the Teacups and the Carrousel, with these out of the way we headed over to Discoveryland to do Buzz Lightyear (Miss Badgers fave ride).

One of Miss Badger's friends from School was also visiting on the monday and although we thought it would be nice to meet up hadn't been holding out much hope, luckily we met the friend's brother and Dad heading towards Space Mountain and managed to track Miss Badger's Friend/Mum down at Dumbo which caused much excitement.

While they went onto the teacups Istarted setting up our phones for roaming data - if you get an O2 PAYG sim the £2/day gets you around 25MB/day which is enough for a little light browsing and using the DLP app. The app seemed eratic (it uses gps which seems unecessary) about showing wait times, but it was good for checking show times as the language is listed.

After the teacups the girls decided they wanted to go to see a princess so joined the pp queue while I went and got BBWWS tickets and worked out where Salon Mickey/DLH were. I arrived back in time to meet them leaving - Miss Badger had met Tianna - and had her first signature in the autograph book.

We them mooched off past the closed small world , having seem tigger/eyeore coming past and recieving a high five from tweedle-dum or tweedle-dee, down to Autopia and had a 20 min queue. Mrs Badger decided after queuing that she didn't want to do it so I pointed out where to go with her camera and we worked out which lane we would be in. I love the styling of the ride but Miss Badger wanted to drive so i just got to operate the accelerator and if you let the rails guide you it's not that pleasant. I should have done the steering

After that we headed over to Frontierland (an omission from our last trip) and has a look round, checked out BTM and decided Miss Badger and I would try it later in the week - then into the Silver Spur for lunch.
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Old 02-20-2013, 03:11 PM   #5
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Day 1 Continued

I'd already booked the Silver Spur the week before which was a good thing as although the place was at best half full it was a case of reservation or you're not getting in.

You do have to ask for the express menu specifically (Express menu please is the magic term) and trying to keep hold of both sets of menus (in case we wanted to mix and match) seems to be a bit tricky. The express menu has changed since the last photo as it's now either ravioli or a meat skewer and a baked potato with chilli. I had the skewer which was ok and Mrs Badger had the Ravioli which was declared to be nice. Miss Badger had the childrens menu but barely touched any of it - which was the first sign of her oncoming illness as she barely ate anything all week

A band came out part of the way through the meal and played some appropriate music which I thought was an excellent touch and really added to the atmosphere.

The Cafe gourmand consists of a creme caramel with a chocolate coin, a half a chocolate bombe/mouse thing and a scoop of coffee ice cream on biscuit - the ice cream was the best of the three but all were nice.

After paying the bill we had a ride on the riverboat (I was dissapointed it didn't have proper paddles though) and decided to cut our losses for the day as Miss Badger was flagging after several early starts. We headed for Auchan, although working out where to park was a bit tricky as it's unclear where the shops are and working out how to get fuel was also a challenge. Miss Badger just crashed out in her car seat for the whole thing.

We then headed back to DCR and went to our cabin - it's as described but the cooking equipment is a bit lacking (no sharp knives or chopping board) and the bedrooms/bathrooms are all a bit compact - although perfectly usable. Unfortunately I did feel the distance from the parks, and once back there is an interia to driving back in. Combined with Miss Badger's illness this meant we only did one late night and didn't see dreams (again)
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Old 02-21-2013, 03:58 AM   #6
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How was kids menu in Siver spur? And your overall impression with this restaurant?
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Old 02-21-2013, 02:05 PM   #7
mrbadger
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The kids meal was some kind of cheese cube thing, a choice of pasta, burger or chicken I think and either fruit salad or ice cream. Miss Badger chose the pasta, which was a filled tortillini in a tomato sauce and the bit I had was nice but I think she was expecting normal pasta.

The starter and main got ignored but looked OK, although the starter was a bit odd.

Its a very nice dining room, much nicer than I had expected - I had expected wooden floors and a more rough and ready cowboy feel (I suspect the CS place near the main frontierland entrance is more like this). The band were a good feature (including a washboard player) and it was a pleasant place to eat lunch. It is well integrated into frontierland from a theming POV and as we left the paddle boat was coming in which was kind of cool.

Of the three places (walts, auberge, silver spur) we ate it was my least favorite, but that was down to the food being only OK rather than great as it was at the other two. It was certainly the most casual of the three and had a good sense of fun to it. It's also a cheaper option than most of the other ts places
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Old 02-21-2013, 02:13 PM   #8
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thanks for the review. When my kids hear pasta, they do think of normal pasta and I doubt I could make them eat tortellini because it's not pasta I have Silver spur on my "visit" list, still not sure if we should do it.
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Old 02-25-2013, 02:33 PM   #9
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Day 2

We let Miss Badger have a lie in on Day 2 after the early starts so we started the day by rolling into Salon Mickey at around 9.30ish. There was another family in there who left shortly after us so we had the place to ourselves to enjoy a cookie/pastry and hot drink and use the fancy toilets. It's nice that you can see out through the window (through the opaque blind) at the people arriving for EMH and they have no idea you are in there.

After our refreshments (neither of the other 2 wanted their treats so we took them with us, very naughty) we headed off to Frontierland where we had decided Big Thunder Mountain was the order of the day - we got there at about 10 and the timer showed 15 mins wait time so Miss Badger and I joined the queue. It was all going well but the queue goes round a long way inside and it took us about 40 mins to actually get on the ride. Miss Badger declared she was going to scream and asked me I was as well - yep. Well we did but it's so noisy you can't hear yourself It was a fun but although Miss Badger did enjoy it she did say she didn't want to ride it again - I think she's a little bit small at the moment but was really pleased she tried it.

Mrs Badger had sat over near Phantom Manor with her camera taking photos of every group that came down waiting for us to appear - she took 18 photos before we appeared.

After we regrouped we headed into Phantom Manor, the queue was nice and short but the first couple of sections are no good for small children as they just couldn't see anything as the first couple of rooms were rammed with people. The stretching room is pretty cool as you don't feel yourself moving and the ride is fun - it was warm and indoors.

After a hot drink and sit down we joined the queue to meet Pooh, which moved so slowly, but we perseved and eventually got our second signature. We found that the seating areas for all the cafes were rammed, I guess they are more set up for summertime. I had planned in a lot of hot drink stops to warm us up but in the end there was nowhere to sit which kind of scuppered that plan.
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Old 02-26-2013, 02:52 PM   #10
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Day 2 Continued

Miss Badger was starting to flag by now so we ditched our Buzz Lightyear Fastpasses and headed over to the studios on the grounds that they had things to do indoors out of the cold.

First up Art of Animation interactive bit, this provided a fair amount of button pressing fun without being too busy, but other people obviously had the same idea. The wall of animation cels in lighboxes is delightful and the zeotrope is good low tech fun.

After doing everything we headed ourside for the Cars and Stars parade, and even turning up 5 mins before the start we managed to get a decent enough view - I prefered it in some ways to the main parade as it felt less stage managed and spontaneous. Sulley and Remy/Emile were especially good - causing problems for their drivers

Once that was over we quickly zipped over to Stitch Live which I quite fancied, but Miss/Mrs badger were sceptical about - The whole pre show stuff is pretty dreary but the show itself is really good (in both technical and fun terms). I can report that both of them enjoyed it - another successful choice.

A quick stop for a burger for Miss Badger/drinks at En Coulisse (which i really can't recommend - the food was ok, but it was just not that enjoyable, everything imagined about fast food at DLP)

Then into Animagique, we saw this last time and really enjoyed it- simple but very visually striking. We arrived just before they started so were at the front so could see some of the performers. Worth sitting as far back as you can for the best effect.

And with the the afternoon was gone, and off to the Wild West Show.
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Old 02-26-2013, 03:48 PM   #11
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Sounds like you had fun in the studios and out of the cold!
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Old 03-04-2013, 02:09 PM   #12
mrbadger
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Something I missed out was we met Pluto and Minnie over in the Toon stuidio bit - Pluto had a queue/minder and Minnie seemed to be managing ok without. Worth a look if you are over in the Studios as much quieter than Disneyland.

Pluto in particular was a star with some quality goofing about,holding up autograph books to his eye level to sign and dealing very well with Miss Badger putting her hands in his mouth .

Miss Badger also declared that it was just someone in a suit, which caused much hillarity with the parents of the group in front of us and I hushed her down before we were thrown out

Goofy was also hanging about over near the back of Cinemagique but had to head off before we got to see him, but again it was a well organized Meet/greet with a minder
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Old 03-04-2013, 02:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbadger View Post

Pluto in particular was a star with some quality goofing about,holding up autograph books to his eye level to sign and dealing very well with Miss Badger putting her hands in his mouth .

Miss Badger also declared that it was just someone in a suit,
which caused much hillarity with the parents of the group in front of us and I hushed her down before we were thrown out
it is not - Pluto is real and has magic tunnels all over DLP !
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Old 03-04-2013, 02:43 PM   #14
mrbadger
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And then we were off to the Wild West Show - Mrs Badger is Asthmatic so we had to fill in a form before they let us in, but once that was done we were off - Blue Moon ranch for us. Everyone very happy with the hats - although I did end up wearing all three for a while.

A quick meet/greet with Mickey was a nice start (slightly chaotic but the minder kept it on track), but then it was milling about for a while - even though we arrived in good time it was pretty busy, no real chance to sit down or get to the bar. Given the amount of space a few more tables/chairs would make sense.

After a while we went in - pretty decent seats, a third of the way along and the row behind the pricey seats. Pretty much any seat in the place would give a good view though.

Overall we really enjoyed the show, the food is much better than I was expecting given some of the reviews I had read - There was nothing there to complain about, and the cornbread was particularly nice. Drink refills also kept coming round was. I did find the food a bit distracting as ended up missing bits of the show as it arrived. The plate/cutlery banging is really fun and Miss Badger enjoyed that bit very much.

Not sure what to say about the show itself, as it was really a treat for Mrs Badger - the stuff with horses were cool (of which there is a lot) but the rest is a bit cheesy (still fun though) and i'm not sure if it really needs the Disney characters as I can't see what they add. Miss Badger managed to fall asleep for a while - really don't know how she did that ...

Overall Mrs Badger was very happy. I managed to loose two of the hats on the way out and was happy that the waiters sorted me out with another couple before I left

Another long and cold walk back to the car and back to the ranch
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Old 03-05-2013, 08:08 AM   #15
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Enjoying your trip report!
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