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Old 10-17-2008, 09:28 AM   #1
tripodjw
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Tripodjw does Paris - Day 5 (plus 6 and 7 travelling home) (Long and picture heavy)

Pretrip report here http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1960054
Day 1 report here http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1978973
Day 2 report here http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1979514
Day 3 report here http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1982592
Day 4 report here http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1984407

Day 5

We got up early (again!) as we had Cafe Mickey reservations for 8am. DH had decided the night before that was what he wanted to do on his birthday (I’d given him a choice of Cafe Mickey, room service or normal hotel breakfast).

DH opened his cards and the few pressies i had with me for him. He got his Buzz blaster and i’d bought him a Grumpy figure as a joke. I also gave him an IOU for an autobiography of his favourite rugby player (it was only published the day before while we were away so i had it preordered and hoped for it to be there when we got home). He also agreed that i’d owe him another present and he’d decide what he wanted (in the end he chose a coat).

After the birthday stuff, we packed up the daybag and went off to Cafe Mickey. No characters were in attendance when we arrived so we set about collecting the food and settled in to wait for them. We got to see Friar tuck, prince John, Mickey, Gepetto and Goofy. Gepetto was cool – he spotted DH’s birthday badge and gave him a huge hug. I also took a shining to the light fittings – some good old hidden Mickeys.







Breakfast was fun but it was over quick and it was pretty busy (as it always is in Cafe Mickey) so we didn’t hang around too long. We managed the best part of an hour of EMH during which i spotted another Fresh paint sign that i’ll get printed up for hom



The Halloween decs were almost complete by now and the big old pumpkins were now out on the grass outside city hall and the castle. We spent ages trying to work out if they were real or not (it was later confirmed by the tour guide that they were real – the product of good French farming he said .

DH wanted to spend the morning doing the souvenir shopping, so after EMH we visited all the shops we had spotted things in we wanted to get and took them back to the hotel (any excuse to get another cuppa). We bought a variety of bits and bobs but the biggest expenditure was a Mickey and Pluto Christmas sled figurine. And DH bought me a Little Green Man. Our alien baby. Ever since I keep calling DH Mr Potato Head and doing the LGM “Daddy” to him, and asking if he wants his angry eyes.

We had funny timed meal reservations for today and with the tour at 2pm, we grabbed a drink and a snack at the hotel before heading back and visiting frontierland again. I took a shine to the “Big Thunder Photographer” signs, so took photos of those



And then we went to the labyrinth, just because we’d not yet been there. Everytime i go in the labyrinth it seems to be full of teenagers climbing through the hedges and damaging stuff. I don’t know why it’s very frustrating. But we still had some fun laughing at DH’s lack of sense of direction and wondering about the Caterpillar and whether he was really smoking something dodgy.





After having a sing-around-the-world of little people we headed down the discovery arcade to get a drink and pop to the bathroom before the tour.

We arrived at city hall a little early, and another family arrived too. We waited for our guide – who was a little late as he was dealing with a complaint from another family (who seemed really really ticked off about something).

Anyway, the tour eventually got started and it was great. We started by the Disneyland Hotel and walked up Main street and did an anti-clockwise tour from discoveryland to frontierland to try and avoid the parade.

The guide was v nice and we all got on well. It turned out the dad from the other family was an inventor and i work with inventors in my job (I’m a Patent attorney and had noticed for the first time that the Lawyer window on main street said patents). And the guide had the same camera as me, so we chatted about lenses a bit too.



I won’t tell too much of the tour, in case people want to take it. The guide had lots of interesting facts most of which I personally knew (but I am obsessive about Disney parks in general) but some of which I didn’t, and i’m guessing most people wouldn’t know a great deal of those facts. Now I know why the Pink Palace is Pink and why the castle is Pink with Blue roof-tiles. Lips are sealed though, unless there’s too many requests for it to be divulged.

We got to go and wander around Walts while it was closed so could see all of the rooms with nobody else there – which was nice.

It was also really cool to see a Star Tours simulator working from the viewing room (I never realised how much it moves – especially how far it tips back for light speed). I thoroughly enjoyed the tour and would recommend it – plus you get a special pin. I’m planning on doing the studios tour next visit.

So after the tour it was time for Character Tea Party so we hotfooted it over to Pizza Planet. I’ve written my opinion on the tea party elsewhere and that can be found

http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...6&postcount=17

But suffice to say I wasn’t impressed generally but especially as they hadn’t told me that the birthday tea party had been separated and put in the lucky nugget instead.

With the disappointing tea over with, we decided to head back to the hotel to have a lie down before showering and changing for dinner at California Grill. We got back to the hotel and they’d given us new throws on the beds with Mickey heads on them. Cool. Shame they don’t sell those in the shop, as i would have bought one.




Dinner at California Grill was lovely, as always. It isn’t on a par with Napa Rose (in DL California) or Victoria and Albert’s (at WDW) but is still a really really nice restaurant. We got seated next to the window overlooking the park and the station and castle lights were still on. Beautiful.


(not so good a picture – didn’t have the right lens with me and couldn’t really set up the tripod in the middle of the restaurant)

Dinner was super, I especially enjoyed the Tuna tempura starter, and DH enjoyed his cheese plate (he loves his cheese). During dinner, we could hear Halloween music and the lights kept changing on the castle and on Main street. It seems they were having a dry run for the nighttime Halloween show. So even though we missed Halloween, we still kind of saw the show.

After dinner, we went and had a wander around outside the Disneyland Hotel and outside the gates for the studios. We had the tripod with us again and took some long exposures of all the twinkly lights.











After a while doing this, it was getting quite late and pretty cold, and i’m sure the security guys were watching us closely – though they didn’t stop us heading to the studios gates, so we called it a night and went back to the hotel for our last night.

More pics from Day 5 on flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/tripodj...360427/detail/

Day 6/7 – the voyage home

Pretty much Saturday and Sunday were planned for getting home. As there’s not a lot to tell i’ll lump it in here.

We got up on Saturday and packed everything. It was about 8.30am by the time we’d done so thought we’d pop into for an hour of EMH before leaving to start the shopping expedition up to the ports.

We didn’t do a lot in the park, Buzz, Space Mountain, the normal EMH stuff. But as we walked under the castle we noticed that the Sleeping beauty walkthrough was open. And guess what i hadn’t bothered to bring the flipping camera. Nerggg, after spending every day checking back in case it had reopened so i could take my pictures, I was really frustrated. Though the annoyance didn’t last long as it was time to go and I wanted to pop into the bakery and get Mickey Brioche for eating later on in the car. It was getting noticeably busier than it had been the rest of the week (Saturday and the 1st day of halloween season) so it was time to go.

So after getting the brioche we headed back to the hotel and packed up the car and checked out.

After a great week we were on our way home. Leaving the Park we couldn’t help but notice the huge queues of cars to get in. In the end the queue along the motorway was 6 miles – all the way back to the A4/A104 junction at Torcy. I kept saying i’m glad i’m not going today and especially glad i’m not one of them in the queue. I reckon some won’t have been through the gates for another 2 hrs nearly.

We stopped at a number of supermarkets to up the food and booze count, and by the time we got to Calais we had a pretty full car. We stayed overnight at the Holiday Inn near the tunnel in Calais and got a lunchtime chunnel back to the UK on the Sunday. After which it was the long drive back up the motorways home.

I love going away, especially to Disney, but there’s always something nice about coming home to your own house, belongings and most of all your own bed.

A great trip overall, and now I’m done with the TR’s I’ll have to start planning our next vacation. I hear Hong Kong is nice in springtime.
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Last edited by Cyrano; 10-17-2008 at 03:52 PM.
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Old 10-17-2008, 10:46 AM   #2
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i really fancy going on the tour, can you remember how much it was?
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Old 10-17-2008, 11:36 AM   #3
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What a great way for your DH to celebrate his birthday. I would love to do the tour, but with 2 young children, I don't think it would be appreciated. Maybe I can sneak off by myself next week & do it! Your night time photos are amazing.
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Old 10-17-2008, 12:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vas View Post
i really fancy going on the tour, can you remember how much it was?
I would be interested to know this too!

Bob xoxoxox
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Old 10-17-2008, 12:52 PM   #5
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Great TR!!!!! Looove your night time photos!!!!

Will definitely be sneaking out after dark in January to take some similar!!
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Old 10-17-2008, 02:41 PM   #6
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Loved this tr

Thanks ever so much for sharing
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Old 10-17-2008, 03:10 PM   #7
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Wow fantastic pictures!!!
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Old 10-17-2008, 03:59 PM   #8
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Another great report and photos Especially loved the doormouse as I tried videoing this but the battery run out at just the wrong time


Quote:
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i really fancy going on the tour, can you remember how much it was?
Link to this in The Very Useful Info thread
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Old 10-17-2008, 04:32 PM   #9
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Have loved your TRs and your fab photos
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Old 10-17-2008, 05:07 PM   #10
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Hope you don't mind me asking - but what setting did you use on your camera for your night time shots. I have a DSLR camera and can't wait to use it in The parks.
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Old 10-19-2008, 01:37 PM   #11
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Thanks all, been away over the weekend. Responses to the various q's/comments...

Tour was 12 Euros as it was with a shareholder discount. 15 Euros full price. As Reid said more about tours in FAQS.

The family that did the tour at the same time had 3 young kids, two were in pushchairs, and they all seemed to enjoy it (though the littlest one at about 18months slept a lot of the tour). Don't discount doing the tour with little kids.

Camera settings for the night photos were on manual along the lines of ISO 200, aperture f/8. Then i took a series of pics with different shutter speeds, usually around 1 second was best. Obviously with the long shutter speed the camera has to stationary, like on a tripod or perched on a flat object such as a bin (Disney bins handily have flat tops).

I also used a remote to reduce camera shake too.
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Old 10-19-2008, 03:30 PM   #12
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Great report with fantastic photos
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Old 11-01-2008, 04:43 PM   #13
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I've really enjoyed reading your reports and your photos are out of this world.

I'm so glad you managed to do the tour in the end. How lovely to be able to wander round Walt's. Our tour guide didn't take us in there (obviously because it was open ) and although I have had a cursory look round the different rooms when we've dined there, you can't really have a proper look at all the pictures and artefacts without getting in the way of the other diners and CMs trying to serve their food!

I'd definitely recommend the Studios tour too. In fact, we enjoyed it more than the main park one.

Happy planning for your next trip!!
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