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Old 08-06-2009, 07:44 AM   #1
May have to give the corkboard one a try myself!
Well I took the plunge today
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Cheshire, UK
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The Big Birthday Bash - Day 1

July 22nd - July 31st 2009

Diane (me) - hitting a big 0 whilst away and the main reason for the trip!
DD1 - (25)
DD2 - (almost 24 so we were celebrating her birthday as well whilst there)
DS - (20)

We were due to fly from Manchester Airport at 6:35am, a friend had very kindly offered to drive us to the airport (around 20 minutes away) for half past 4. Now the night before I was out on a staff meal, I'd had a phone call from my doctor just before leaving to say that my blood results were back (very quick as I'd only had them done the day before!) and that once again my potassium was very low, anyhow to cut a long story short as long as I ate bananas whilst I was away she didn't have a problem with me delaying another blood test.
Went out for the night, arriving back in (sober I have to say) around 12:45am, did some last minute tidying/packing and got into bed around 1:15am - alarm set for 3:10am (why did I bother!!) at 2am DD1 appears in my bedroom, switches the light on and just stands there - no idea why she is there and decides she was supposed to get DS up and out she goes! Finally I get up just after 3 to much excitement from the rest of them (I swear they get worse as they get older!!!)
Friend arrives very early (3:45am) so we sit and have a natter and discuss staff meal from night before (where I was surprised with a birthday cake!) finally around 4am we decide we'd better head off, check everything is packed and away we go! I have to admit to being nervous about this, it's the first time I've booked everything seperate, checked in online the day before and also using RS Transports instead of the VEA after mishaps last year.
Still we arrive safe and sound, put the baggage in and head off for Starbucks, I'm getting more and more excited now and can hardly contain myself!
We board the plane at 6:05am and sit there and sit there til around 7:25am, pilot apologies for the delay something to do with security and finally a man and his baby get onboard all smiles - and we take off!

Nice comfortable flight and we land at CDG, down to baggage claims and off on one of their shuttle trains to collect our luggage, all going well and to plan - I'm happy. Check my email from RSTransports again and we need to head to Gate 8 on departures to meet them, concious of the fact that we are now at a later time than organised (9:30), stand and wait for around 5 minutes and then I get a phone call, they will be 15 minute and sure enough a very pleasant man arrives and we are off!!
Arrive at Sequoia Lodge, unload and tip the driver and proceed to check in, no queue and dealt with by a lovely girl who has just started and tells me she is really enjoying her new job. We are given our hotel easy pass which as VIP Breakfast 7:30 - 11am on the back, I ask about daily cards for breakfast and she informs me I won't need them to just go to the front of any queue and show this - great! Collect our park tickets and half board plus vouchers, drop the luggage in the luggage room (room will be ready at 3pm) and seeing as though there is a bus in we hop on and head to the park.

It was like we'd never been away, I can't describe how I feel when I see the Disneyland Hotel, or that first walk down Main Street towards the Castle - my three laugh at me but I will never tire of it!
First stop is Casey's Corner for something to eat, we are all hungry and haven't really eaten since a muffin at Starbucks back at the airport. Suitable refreshed we decide to head for POC (tradition to start here) - the wait time (even though the park is very busy) is only 5 minutes so in we head. We always love this ride, seems we get wetter each time we ride as well! Take a look at the ride photo but this year I'm planning to get the Buzz ride pictures and have told my three exactly where the photo is taken in the hope we get two good ones! Previous years we have them from TOT, POC and BTM. We mooch around the shop and then head back down Main Street to check out the shops there, some good sales on and my daughter picks up a coat for 20 euros (originally priced at 45) and with shareholders discount a nice 17 euros for her! I'm beginning to like this!!
We had previously decided that instead of spending money on lots of drinks and snacks in the park we would head to Auchan in Val D'Europe and stock up there, so we head back to Sequoia Lodge and inquire about the shuttle, 5 euros each return, we decide this is an easier way for us rather than mess around with the train so book it and head off within 15 minutes. Fabulous supermarket and we spent rather longer than we thought in here, got all our goodies and made our way back to the welcome centre to book the return - we knew we were coming back on the Saturday to shop in the outlet village so we hadn't really stocked up too much.
By the time we got back to the hotel it was 3pm, so we went to get our room key, Yellowstone Lodge room 177, I was pleased as this was the lodge we requested and they said they would do their best to place us here, when we last stayed here (in 2006) we liked the quietness of the lodge but the fact it was close to the hotel and a nice walk to the parks. When we got home I found the paperwork from 2006 and realised last time we had stayed in room 178 across the hall! Not one of us realised this whilst we were there.
We arrived at our room and a gentleman was there to let us in! Made sure everything was to our liking and left, we had also been left a large bottle of water, a lovely personalised letter welcoming us and 6 chocolate coins! Have no idea why, only thing we could come up with (with the VIP breakfast pass as well) was the fact that I am a shareholder, it's not something we've had on previous visits.

We unpacked and then promptly fell asleep til around half past 5, frantic freshening up and we head out to the village to eat at Annettes. We have a fabulous meal (sorry if we took photographs they are still on DD1's camera) Rock nRoll burgers, nachos, garlic bread, drinks (cherry cokes) sundae and I had the pancake burger for dessert - absolutely gorgeous but DD2 had to share it as I was stuffed! The waitress told us our half board plus vouchers were worth 104 euros and consquently we didn't have anything to pay. Whilst we were in Annette's it absolutely poured down so we lingered a while until it had stopped and headed into the park just as the parade was finishing.
DD1 and I headed for Phantom Manor, the other two are just not keen on this and decided to do some shopping in Frontierland with instructions not to buy without the shareholder card!
As always DD1 and I enjoyed PM and headed back to find the other two who had found plenty to buy but decided to leave it for another day (trouble with this is they forget where they have seen certain things and it takes us ages to find them again!), BTM was showing a 20 minute wait (shortest time we saw then on all 10 days) so we joined the queue, very enjoyable and the water that used to drip down was now a full blown waterfall at the edges so we got wet! Must admit it does add to the excitement of the ride, will always be a great favourite of mine but by the end of the holiday another ride was very close to taking over!!
By this time everyone was really tired, I was struggling with total lack of any sleep the night before and I know that when I'd got back the others hadn't had much sleep either and my friends rendition of Happy Birthday at half past 12 in the morning hadn't gone down too well! So we decided to walk back to the hotel, grab showers and baths and rest up for EMH the next morning.
Trips: May 1993: Davy Crockett Ranch - July 2003: Sante Fe - July 2005: Explorers - July 2006: Sequoia Lodge - July 2008: Newport Bay - July 2009: Sequoia Lodge

Last edited by Dianetigger; 08-06-2009 at 10:39 AM. Reason: Needed to add the dates!
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Old 08-06-2009, 10:36 AM   #2
There must be more than this provincial life
The other side of me is all pink and girly and princesses
tourguidebarbie to stargatebarbie
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Great start Diane loving the VIP treatment
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Old 08-06-2009, 12:22 PM   #3
Was told off for sliding down the banister at the SL
South Africa or California for me
Popped to the Boots
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Great start & you were lucky with the VIP treatment

DLRP - Hotel Cheyenne, October, 1994, DLRP - Hotel New York, October, 1998, DLRP - Hotel New York, June, 1999, DLRP - Sequoia Lodge, October, 1999, DLRP - Hotel New York, October, 2000, DLRP - Sequoia Lodge, October, 2001, Walt Disney Studios preview, February, 2002, DLRP - Hotel Cheyenne, August, 2002, New York City, Easter 2004, DLRP - Hotel New York, August, 2004, DLRP - Day trip, November, 2004, DLRP - Day trip, September, 2005, DLRP - Sequoia Lodge, Easter 2007, DLRP - Kyriad, June 2007 DLRP - Sequoia Lodge, June 2009 DLRP - Day trip, November 2009 New York City, February 2010 DLRP - Disneyland Hotel, June 2010 DLRP - Sequoia Lodge, September 2010 Stratosphere Hotel, Las Vegas, October 2010 DLRP - Day trip, January 2011, DLRP - Sequoia Lodge, August 2011, DLRP - Day trip, January 2012, DLRP - Sequoia Lodge, June 2012, DLRP - Santa Fe, November 2012,
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Old 08-07-2009, 05:38 AM   #4
I would blame it all on Bob
Awww I love the first day
You could stay behind after your meal and have another drink
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Lovely start to your trip, and loving the VIP treatment!

Arent shareholders cards great!
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Old 08-08-2009, 01:06 PM   #5
Join Date: Jul 2009
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Great report, I can imagine you WERE exhausted! I'm wondering already what the ride was that (nearly) took over 1st position from BTM. BTM used to be my favorite as well, but since my visit last week, I also have a new one
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Old 08-08-2009, 02:01 PM   #6
A Small World

I always like to give a little royal wave whilst Im up there
Not even looking at it til I get some housework done
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Originally Posted by Suzanne1979 View Post
Great report, I can imagine you WERE exhausted! I'm wondering already what the ride was that (nearly) took over 1st position from BTM. BTM used to be my favorite as well, but since my visit last week, I also have a new one
i think I can guess what it was Diane - Im afraid though I wasnt as brave as you to give it a go so BTM is still number 1 for me
WDW - Christmas 1991 -Off site; WDW - Christmas 1992 -Off site; WDW - Summer 1996 - All Stars; WDW - Summer 2003 -All Stars; DLP - Easter 2006- Santa Fe; DLP- Easter 2007 - Santa Fe + Explorers; DLP - Summer 2007 - Holiday Inn; DLP - Christmas 2007 -DCR; DLP - Easter 2008 - Cheyenne; DLP Summer 2008 Explorers + Sequoia Lodge; Nov 09 DDs surprise birthday trip- Kyriad; Feb2009 Disneyland Hotel; Easter 09 Kyriad; Summer 09 Newport Bay; Oct 10- DL ; Dec 11 - DL: Dec 12 DL; Dec 13 - DLP SL, Dec 14 - DLP DLH

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Old 08-25-2009, 07:48 AM   #7
Ware Bears

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Great first day ~ what a lovely birthday surprise the VIP stuff is.
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