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Old 03-18-2013, 12:29 AM   #106
zanzibar138
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Great report and pics thanks. Loving every minute. The difference between the cold snowy day and the following were amazing! The detail and theming in the park looks great. I can't wait!!

You don't get motion sick with swirling? I want to try Crush but worried it will make me feel too ill and spoil the rest of the day? Since WDW in 2008 and proven again in TDL last year, DH discovered he can no longer ride any coaster without getting crook (he who was once the king of coasters and me the chicken) so I'll have to do it by myself.

Looking forward now to reading and seeing HKD!
Disneyland is beautifully themed and detailed. The Studios... not so much. It reminded us a bit of Movieworld. But it was still fun

I usually get motion sickness a lot I took travel sickness pills for the flights, because I get sick if there's any sign of turbulence. I also get car sick. I could even feel it coming on ever so slightly on some of the trains. So I took extra travel sickness pills with me, and actually took them the morning that we were planning to do Crush's Coaster. I was completely fine having taken them.

The second time we did Crush's Coaster was unplanned, and I hadn't taken my pills. I could definitely feel the motion that time, and probably wouldn't have wanted to ride it again straight away (not that I could anyway ), but definitely bearable. If I'd have had my travel sickness pills with me I could have taken one and by the time we'd waited in line, it would be working in time for the actual ride.

If you're going to be riding it yourself though, look out for the single rider line, which could save you a lot of time!
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:12 AM   #107
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Day 17 - Learning the Hard Way

DLP – London – Hong Kong

I apologise in advance. This update will be quite wordy.

We woke up to another cold and dreary morning. Since we weren’t leaving until 11am, we had plenty of time to get our cases packed. We even had time for a last brekky at Paul’s, before going back up to the room for our cases and checking out of the hotel.



We had all studied the train maps the previous night, and knew where we had to go. We all had to catch the RER into the city. My parents were to get off at Gare de Lyon to continue their trip. And I had found out that the airport RER left from Chatelet Les Halles.

We wandered across to the train station and made our way down to the platform. The next train was only about 10 minutes. This was a double decker train, which we thought might be awkward to navigate with our cases. There was a perfect set of seats just by the door, on the same level as the platform and with plenty of room for cases. However, one single guy who was only going 2 stops sat there first. We made our way downstairs and found a group of seating where we could be relatively out of the way, but still close-ish to the door.

It was a bit of a strange train ride, knowing that once my parents got off the train I would not see them until I next visit Perth. All too soon we were approaching Gare de Lyon. I decided I may as well get up too since I had only one more stop. When we pulled up at Gare de Lyon, we all said our goodbyes, and my parents got off the train and waved as it went off again.

Chatelet Les Halles was the next station, so I got off, prepared to search high and low for the right platform for my next train. Turns out, I just had to walk to the other side of the same platform!



Anyway, I was looking at the board, and it looked like the next train coming was the wrong line (the line to the airport branched off halfway along), so I didn’t get on that one. The next one was only going a few more stops, so I gave that one a miss too. Then there was another one for the other line, then another one. I was starting to get concerned, and was thinking I should look for some information to find out when the next train to the airport would be.

As I was standing there with my suitcase looking confused, a very helpful French gentleman came over and informed me that I would be waiting for 2 days, as the airport trains don’t run on the weekend! How had I not found that out??? Anyway, he gave me instructions to catch the next train to the very end of the line, then catch a bus from there to the airport. He said it would be very easy to find, it would be right there when I got off the train.

So without having much else to go on, I jumped on the next train and hoped that he had given me the correct information, and wasn’t just trying to get his kicks by getting poor solo tourists hopelessly lost lol! There wasn’t much else he could have gained by giving me the wrong information, so I felt fairly confident I’d be ok.

As the stations came and went, I followed our progress on the map and thought, if he has given me the wrong information, hopefully I can at least take a taxi to the airport! We passed some… ahem… interesting scenery. Very messy and dirty, little shanty towns here and there – I had no idea there was so much poverty in Paris. We did pass some nice scenery too, there was a National Park type forest, then some nice farmland getting towards the end of the line.

When we got to the end of the line, I got off the train and followed the crowds to the exit. There was a lady there who seemed to be directing people, so I asked her about the bus, just to ease my mind. She pointed in the direction that the crowds were heading to, so I was pretty confident I was still on track.

We got outside to the bus, and it was just about full! I squeezed on with my suitcase, and thought I was going to have to stand in the aisle. Wrong there! I had to stand right in the doorway! I nearly hand to stand on my case to get out of the way of the doors closing. On the plus side, I had a perfect view out of the front window for the approx 15-20 minute journey, and got to listen to the driver’s French R&B radio station.



When we finally reached the airport, I got off the bus and I breathed a little sigh of relief. However, my relief was short-lived when I realised that we weren’t there yet! We still had to catch the little shuttle train to the terminals.



(A couple of weeks later, my parents would advise me that they were planning to catch the TGV direct from DLP to the airport, which would take about 10 minutes! I nearly fell off my chair – how did I NOT KNOW THAT? I could have spent the whole morning at Disneyland and had a nice quick, convenient trip to the airport!)

I finally arrived at Terminal 2, but I had no idea which section I needed. I asked an official looking lady, and she said 2E, which was about a 10 minute walk to the end of the terminal. Off I went up to Terminal 2E. When I finally arrived there, I could not find any sign of my flight, or the airline (British Airways). I walked the whole length of the section looking for information, and ended up asking one of Air France staff where I might find the British Airways check in. The answer was 2B, about a 20 minute walk to the other end of the terminal!

Luckily it did end up being in Terminal 2B, but it was in a weird poky little office-thing downstairs. Still, I was pleased to have checked in, and decided to head straight through security/immigration to find my boarding gate. I looked at the departures board and it said gate 58, which I finally found right down the other end. Starting to see why Charles de Gaulle gets a bit of a bad rap lol!

It was the weirdest thing ever, but I was dying for an ice-cream! I even wandered across to section C trying to find one, but without any luck. I had to settle for a chocolate dairy snack (like a Yogo) from a cafeteria type place right near my gate.



After that I thought I’d go and sit at my gate, and tried the free wi-fi. You can only get 15 minutes at a time, but it was enough to check in on facebook so that my parents would know I made it ok, and check for messages from DH. There weren’t many people in the area, and soon it was past my boarding time. No one seemed to be moving. I decided since it seemed to be delayed I may as well have a bathroom stop. When I came back there was still no movement. Suddenly it dawned on me that I should check the gate number.

Uh oh! (Well, my reaction was stronger than that, but I can’t put my exact wording on this family friendly website lol!) I was at the wrong gate! I actually needed gate 56, which luckily wasn’t too far away. By this time boarding time would nearly be closing, so I ran! I needn’t have bothered. There was still a queue when I got there and I had to wait for another 5 minutes. I wasn’t even the last one either, but definitely in the last few.

We had to take a bus to the plane, and of course there was a bus there waiting for us. Once the last of us were on, off we went to the plane. There was another bus in front of us which stopped first and let all its passengers out, who went to board the plane. We had to wait until that line had died down a bit before we were allowed off. Then I finally got on that darned plane!

Approx 45 minutes later we were landing in London. It was one of those flights where you pretty much start landing as soon as you’ve taken off, which as an Aussie, I am still fairly unfamiliar with lol! It was a fairly uneventful flight, and we got a packet of chips and a drink to keep us going. I kept myself amused watching the journey map.

I actually quite liked Heathrow airport, just from an international transfer point of view. I only had a couple of hours. I checked out some of the shops, and was tempted to get a London souvenir, but felt like a bit of an imposter, so didn’t in the end.



I still felt like ice-cream, and managed to find a place there that sold frozen yoghurt, which was a step up from chocolate Yogo, but still didn’t completely satisfy my craving. I think it was because I had all my warm clothes on still, and was feeling a bit hot.

Finally my gate number appeared on the screen. I would have to catch the shuttle train to the boarding gate. There was a big sign up saying to only catch the train when you were ready to board – as there would be no shops or eateries at the gate. There wasn’t that long to go, so I caught the train and found a good seat at the window. While I was waiting I tried out the free wi-fi and watched the sunset.



Before long it was time to board. I was happy to find that I was in the second row after premium economy. But unhappy to find that I had neither a window or aisle seat. Unfortunately the plane was full to the brim, and there ended up being a stranger on either side of me. All thoughts of getting any sleep were dashed, but I thought I’d pick out a few movies and make the best of it.

We were of course served dinner not long after take off. I forget what it was now, and felt a bit self-conscious about taking pictures given my position. I soon forgot about my predicament watching the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. But, just as the Pevensie children were about to meet Aslan, my screen went all fuzzy and covered in lines. I thought it may be the movie, so I tried a different one with the same outcome. Then I tried a different channel, turned it off and on again, anything I could think of that might help. I could just make out the picture if I squinted hard enough, but it wasn’t going to do me for the next 9 hours.

I called the flight attendant, and she said she would re-start it for me, but that it would take about 10 minutes. I said that would be fine, I just want it to work! Unfortunately, it didn’t. When it came back on, it was all fuzzy again, and I couldn’t even see well enough to select anything on the touchscreen. She tried again, with no luck.

I was getting a bit panicky by this stage. I was 1 ½ hours into an 11 hour flight, I wouldn’t sleep, and my entertainment system wasn’t working? I explained my situation to the flight attendant. Unfortunately, since the flight was chocka-block, there was nothing she could do. All I had in my bag was a small Sudoku book. It would be my only friend for the next 9 hours. It was a long flight. Which reminds me, I am planning to write them about my experience lol!
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:18 AM   #108
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OK, read all the way through it! You had some great times, we are not fans of snow and cold weather so we will definitely be avoiding February. We won't be going outside France, though I love Austria, it's one of my favorite destinations! We want to focus on a small area, we might hit the Loire valley for the non Disney part of the trip.

It was weird to see a Disney park with snow in it. You gave me some good ideas for Paris. How long were you at DLP? 4 days? I'm thinking that we would need probably one more day than what you did. Fran is thinking she could go without her scooter if we get back to the gym soon and have some time to build up her muscles. You and your family are in much better shape than we are so you can move much more quickly. We would stay on property with DVC points so we would avoid the bus/train rides.

I loved your pictures of the entrance and to see how the DL hotel really does line the entrance to DLP. It also looks like a lot of the attractions that are the "same" as DLR or WDW are actually "different". That's really cool. We'll need to try them all, just like we had to try all the WDW ones at first to see how they compared to DL.

That was great to do all the "attractions" first and then come back and do the shows. We would probably break it up from a stamina perspective, but to work everything in is important. This only makes me realize there is a lot of homework to do before we consider going.

This only came up because I was feeling deprived that we haven't set out 2014 vacation schedule. With DVC you need to be on top on things. We realized that Paris needs more research than a 2014 can take so we put it in 2015. So we still have to set 2014!

Thanks for your help! Great report and pictures!
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:50 AM   #109
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OK, read all the way through it! You had some great times, we are not fans of snow and cold weather so we will definitely be avoiding February. We won't be going outside France, though I love Austria, it's one of my favorite destinations! We want to focus on a small area, we might hit the Loire valley for the non Disney part of the trip.

It was weird to see a Disney park with snow in it. You gave me some good ideas for Paris. How long were you at DLP? 4 days? I'm thinking that we would need probably one more day than what you did. Fran is thinking she could go without her scooter if we get back to the gym soon and have some time to build up her muscles. You and your family are in much better shape than we are so you can move much more quickly. We would stay on property with DVC points so we would avoid the bus/train rides.

I loved your pictures of the entrance and to see how the DL hotel really does line the entrance to DLP. It also looks like a lot of the attractions that are the "same" as DLR or WDW are actually "different". That's really cool. We'll need to try them all, just like we had to try all the WDW ones at first to see how they compared to DL.

That was great to do all the "attractions" first and then come back and do the shows. We would probably break it up from a stamina perspective, but to work everything in is important. This only makes me realize there is a lot of homework to do before we consider going.

This only came up because I was feeling deprived that we haven't set out 2014 vacation schedule. With DVC you need to be on top on things. We realized that Paris needs more research than a 2014 can take so we put it in 2015. So we still have to set 2014!

Thanks for your help! Great report and pictures!
First of all, congratulations on getting all the way through I'm glad my report is helpful to people

We arrived at DLP on the Monday, and left on the Saturday. We only had a couple of hours on the Monday though, and didn't go in at all on the Saturday. We were in no rush, didn't ever go in for opening, and only stayed until closing twice. We also spent a bit of time outside the parks at Disney Village, and shopping in Val d'Europe where our hotel was. Also, in winter the park hours are reduced.

If you stayed on Disney property (ideally at the DLH ), you'd be able to spend a lot more time in the parks than we did (it would be so easy to have a little rest back at the hotel in the afternoon before going back for closing), especially if you went at a time of year with more extended hours.

Having said that, there were HEAPS of attractions closed while we were there, so we didn't have to fit them in. The list included the train, Molly Brown paddle steamer, POTC, Snow White, and the tram tour in the Studios. I could have stayed for another week, and my parents actually did go back to Val d'Europe for their last few days, and spent more time at DLP. Mum got to have a ride on the paddle steamer in the end, and they went up in Panoramagique (the tethered balloon in Disney Village).

The show were all great, and well worth seeing. It would be a good way to do it using them as a break between rides. And definitely worth doing all the rides that are 'the same' because as you saw some are pretty different. POTC is pretty good over there too by all accounts.

The Loire Valley would be a lovely non-Disney destination. My parents had a week in a little village there after I left, and loved it.

If you have any more specific questions, just yell and I'll do my best to answer My parents are thinking of going back to France for a couple of months in 2016 for their long service leave, so I might be planning another trip and will be trying to keep on top of things
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:05 AM   #110
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Another great and amusing update. I must remember that I can catch the TGV from DLP to the airport. Definitely seems like a much more civilised way to get there....than waiting 2 days for a train to come along.


Hope you got some entertainment on that plane!!!
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Old 03-18-2013, 05:16 AM   #111
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Another great and amusing update. I must remember that I can catch the TGV from DLP to the airport. Definitely seems like a much more civilised way to get there....than waiting 2 days for a train to come along.


Hope you got some entertainment on that plane!!!
Yes, definitely remember the TGV Much better than my option!

And no, I did not get any entertainment on the plane After reminding myself about it though I did send a complaint to British Airways. I know there was nothing they could do, but I wanted to let them know how important the entertainment system is to some people, and suggest that maybe they come up with a backup plan lol!
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Old 03-18-2013, 05:23 AM   #112
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Yes, definitely remember the TGV Much better than my option!

And no, I did not get any entertainment on the plane After reminding myself about it though I did send a complaint to British Airways. I know there was nothing they could do, but I wanted to let them know how important the entertainment system is to some people, and suggest that maybe they come up with a backup plan lol!
In the age of iPads, there really is no excuse, is there?
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Old 03-18-2013, 05:44 AM   #113
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In the age of iPads, there really is no excuse, is there?
That's what I thought!
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:25 AM   #114
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Great way to finish at DLP with some awesome wait times. 9 hours without IFE? Eek!
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Old 03-18-2013, 06:56 PM   #115
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Great way to finish at DLP with some awesome wait times. 9 hours without IFE? Eek!
Yeah it was great after the rest of the week with such long wait times!

Yes, it was a VERY long flight


Speaking of which, I got a reply back from BA already! For my inconvenience they have offered a 50 pound voucher. It's very good of them and I'm especially impressed with the speed of their reply, but it's unfortunate that I won't have a use for a BA voucher any time soon
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Old 03-18-2013, 07:36 PM   #116
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Day 18 - Happy Anniversary to Me!

Hong Kong

When I left you I was halfway to Hong Kong on a flight with no entertainment. Things did not improve from there. I ended up dozing off for a couple of hours, but after having played Sudoku for the last 6 hours, I was dreaming in numbers lol! Anyway, we did finally land and it was the quickest I’ve ever leapt up!

Made it through immigration with no issues, then lined up to get my suitcase. It wasn’t super quick, but not among the last ones either. I had to ask if I was supposed to declare the Swiss army knives in my suitcase, but the customs people said it was ok. Then it was just a matter of finding the train and getting my ticket.

It was easy to find, and soon enough I was at the ticket machine wondering how it worked lol! Eventually I got my ticket and boarded the train that had just pulled up. The train was practically empty, and I had no problem stashing my luggage or getting a seat.





The man walking down the aisle in the last photo is my DH! He had stalked me through the airport and just plonked himself down next to me on the train. I was about to point out to him that there were plenty of seats available (hint hint) when I realised who he was! He had decided to surprise me for our first anniversary (which was today).

Once I got over my initial shock at seeing DH, the train ride was a good opportunity to catch up. He filled me in on what had been happening at home, and I filled him in on my holiday so far. Soon we were approaching Tsing Yi, and DH had to go and collect his luggage from the next carriage.

It was fairly easy to find our way to the Tung Chung train line – we just followed the signs. We used the escalators, but there were lifts as well. I told DH I’d promised to take photos, but I just took them going along, so they’re a bit blurry!















After another short journey we got into Sunny Bay station. It was an easy change of platform here, and soon we saw the little Mickey train coming into the station. From there it was just a short dash to HKDL!











We decided to walk to the hotel, rather than take the shuttle bus. I was a bit sick of sitting around on transportation, and was enjoying the warmth lol! It also meant that we would walk right past the entrance to Disneyland on the Disney themed path with Disney music piped in!







It was about a 20 minute walk to the hotel, and I was glad to see it! DH minded the bags while I checked in. There was no line at all. I was so excited about his big surprise that I told the CMs all about it lol! There were two CMs there, it looked like was being trained.





Checked in and with room key in hand, we made our way up to the 8th floor. We found our room, which was towards the end of the corridor, and hurried in to check out the room. It was definitely smaller and less luxurious than the HKDL Hotel, which was to be expected. It was still a decent size room and bathroom though, clean and nicely presented, and with a park view as requested (and paid for!).









I was pretty keen to have a shower and get changed (I was still wearing my thermal jeans, and my legs had just about melted away lol!).

Continued in next post...
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Old 03-18-2013, 07:42 PM   #117
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Day 18 - Happy Anniversary to Me!

Continued...

Just as I was getting ready for the shower, there was a knock at the door, so I quickly jumped in the bathroom and DH answered the door. It was an anniversary gift for us! And yes, those are anniversary buttons!



We had thought it would be nice to go to Walt’s for dinner, but by the time we were ready, it was getting a bit late, and I wanted to be back up at the room by 8pm in time to watch the fireworks (since that was the whole reason for getting the park view room). So we decided to try Café Mickey. I managed to convince DH to wear his anniversary button. We wandered down and were seated straight away.



We ordered drinks and hit the buffet. The waiter wished us a happy birthday lol! It was to become a regular occurrence throughout our time in HK.









We finally got our drinks (wouldn’t want to be thirsty on arrival).





Then a CM came and got us for photos with Mickey. The official photo was really nice, but I felt bad about spending more money buying it when we had the photos on my camera. However, seeing how it turned out later, I decided that the next time we had official photos I would buy one!



After our photo session, we hit the desserts!







While we were eating, Mickey went to bed.



Soon it was time for us to go back to our room too.







We tuned the TV to channel 39 (where the fireworks music was piped through), and turned off the lights in preparation for the show. We were just ready when the fireworks started.













We had a great view from our room and it was very enjoyable watching the fireworks in our pyjamas ready for bed (we both had red eye flights the night before).
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:42 PM   #118
maryr1oz
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Absolutely loving your report

So nice to see the pics of DLP in the snow

DH and i got the TGV from DLP to CDG - the train trip was easy, but it was still fiddly with having to get the mini-train, change levels, seek out desks etc

Cannot wait to hear about Hong Kong Disneyland!!
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Old 03-19-2013, 12:43 AM   #119
zanzibar138
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maryr1oz View Post
Absolutely loving your report

So nice to see the pics of DLP in the snow

DH and i got the TGV from DLP to CDG - the train trip was easy, but it was still fiddly with having to get the mini-train, change levels, seek out desks etc

Cannot wait to hear about Hong Kong Disneyland!!
Well it makes me feel a little bit better to hear that the TGV was still a little bit fiddly

I was so glad I got to see DLP in the snow - it was just beautiful, totally worth becoming a walking ice-block for the afternoon
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Old 03-19-2013, 02:45 AM   #120
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Great view of the fireworks from your room.

Glad to see it really was a Happy Anniversary to you and your DH. What a lovely surprise that was.
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