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Old 07-27-2013, 06:57 AM   #1
nirrakel
Earning My Ears
 
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UK Searles do Disneyland Paris! - Completed!

I'm a long-term lurker - first time poster. I spent a year obsessively reading trip reports before we went to Disneyland Paris on the 2nd June 2013. I promised myself I'd write one on my return, and I'm finally getting around to it. The cast is Myself, My DH and my two little boys W (3) and J (5). I have to say I'm the only one that seems to have been infected by Disney mania although we did all have a lovely time.

We're rubbish at taking family photos, and this is the best I've managed. Here I hope the magic of the internet will show you us:



Aren't we a handsome lot?

Last edited by nirrakel; 08-05-2013 at 07:21 AM.
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Old 07-27-2013, 12:38 PM   #2
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Looking forward to reading your trip report! Love trip reports is the next best thing to being there!
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Old 07-27-2013, 12:51 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aliscrapper View Post
Looking forward to reading your trip report! Love trip reports is the next best thing to being there!
Me too! I like to feel like i'm there when reading tr's - I love the dis
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Old 07-27-2013, 01:33 PM   #4
nirrakel
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Hello everyone!

How exciting, I feel like I'm talking to Trip Report royalty, I loved reading your trip reports, I think I'm finally allowed to post photos, hurrah!
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Old 07-27-2013, 01:49 PM   #5
nirrakel
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Day 1 - Cafe Mickey

Prior to arriving at Disneyland Paris we stayed a week at La Croix du Vieux Pont, which was fab for the kids, and very cheap, was about an hour away from the parks, so on D- Day (Ho ho) we drove over to Hotel Cheyenne for about 11am with the intention of checking in, but there were hundreds and hundreds of people with the same idea! The reception was absolutely full with people and bags everywhere. I could feel some of the shine tarnishing on my Disney glow, so we dumped the car in the car park and headed over to Disney Village instead!

I'd pre-booked Café Mickey for lunch and I was so so so excited about my boys meeting the characters. Imagine my reaction when we were being guided to our table, they spotted Eeyore and dived under the nearest table in terror!



We eventually coaxed them out and they got acclimatised to the characters, J got quite excited at meeting Pluto and W cuddled up next to me and we taught him to hold his palm up in a stop signal if he was uncomfortable with the characters getting close! I think the characters had cottoned onto the fact he was scared and were keeping their distance. He began to feel a lot more comfortable and relaxed. In hindsight I guess I'd have been freaked out at suddenly seeing a massive donkey three times the size of me with no pre-warning! Soon we were getting more of the reaction I had been expecting!



At the kids' desperate request I'd nipped into the Disney shop next door and swiftly bought them autograph books and pens. I really hadn't thought they'd be interested in this, and don't lynch me but I thought the autograph idea was a bit naff! However my boys loved their autograph books, and really enjoyed the interaction with the characters.

We shared two pizzas and two order of fries between the four of us, actually one pizza and the fries would have been more than adequate! The meal was very reasonably priced for Disney standards, thinks it was about 48 euros including drinks. We stayed long enough to see all the characters twice and there was lots and lots of interaction, so ended up being a fab start to our Disney trip!

---------
Next update - Checking in to Hotel Cheyenne and the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show
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Old 07-28-2013, 03:14 AM   #6
nirrakel
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Day 1 - Hotel Cheyenne and Dumbo

After Café Mickey we went back to Hotel Cheyenne and the hordes of people had thankfully dispersed! I checked us in whilst DH took the kids for the first of many many browses through Disney shops! W fell in love with Bullseye and was quite distraught when parted from him! But no time for shopping, it was time to check out the hotel!



I loved Hotel Cheyenne, the themeing was just fantastic, we loved wandering around feeling like we were in the Wild West! The room was really nice, we had an amazingly comfortable double bed and the boys just adored the bunk beds. In fact they loved them so much that sometimes when I asked them what they wanted to do in the parks, the answer was, 'Go and play on the bunk beds!'

I forgot to mention earlier that when we went to Café Mickey earlier we'd picked up our tickets for Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, I'd hummed and hawwed a lot about booking this because it's so darned expensive but I really thought the kids would enjoy it. We'd become shareholders back in April so that we could get discounts off things like the show, and restaurant meals and in the shops, I really think we made our money back just in the one visit!!

Anyhow, J hated the idea of the Wild West Show, he was absolutely terrified of them shooting the guns off, like practically sobbing begging me not to make him go - aaargh...do I have the least Disney kids ever?! Anyhow, mother of the year award coming up, I bribed him to go!! I promised him and W a trip to the Disney shop afterwards if they would just give the Wild West Show a go!!

We had a little bit of time before the show so I was determined we should ride Dumbo because it would be closed the rest of our visit. 45 minutes we waited in the queue, bit of an error in hindsight, also about 30 mins in W needed the toilet so DH had to take him out and then 'excuse me' his way back down the line after, getting lots of death stares from people who thought he was queue jumping, I wouldn't have the bottle to do it, I would just end up queuing again, then one of the kids would need the loo again and we'd be queuing for Dumbo forevermore!! It was nice to ride Dumbo but definitely not worth waiting 45 mins for, I decided 20 mins queueing would be our cut-off from here on in!



-I've run out of time for updating, so more later!
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Old 07-28-2013, 05:42 AM   #7
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Lovely start I love the pics from Cafe Mickey

What a shame you had to queue so much for Dumbo, because it would be closed the rest of your trip. We did that previously, before the days of EMH, and I felt a bit cheated because it was such a short ride. Now we only consider it during EMH.

Look forward to more
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Old 07-28-2013, 05:59 AM   #8
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Loving the start of your trip report! We stayed at the Cheyenne a couple of years' back and loved the theming too.

Glad your little ones began to see Mickey and Co as their friends by the time you left Cafe Mickey.

Looking forward to reading the next instalment!
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Old 07-29-2013, 05:02 AM   #9
nirrakel
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Off to the Wild West!

After Dumbo we headed across for a quick spin on the tea cups, I think it was about a 15 min queue, we queue for about 10 minutes and then this time it's J that needs a wee! Off DH goes back through the queue again, but this time he didn't reappear, I got to the front of the queue a bit disheartened that we wouldn't all get to ride together but then, hurrah spotted J and DH waiting at the exit gate and the lovely CM let them in so they could ride with us, fab! We have a wonderful time spinning!

Then we figured we had just enough time to get the train back round to Main Street and head over to our cowboy show (that J was still quite keen to miss!). We would have had it timed perfectly, but the train was full! Cue the start of our first, and I think only, Disney row - DH has a very very relaxed approach to being on time for things, I however hate hate hate being late for anything, I feel all the hackles on my body rise and I break out in a cold sweat at the very idea. So DH wanted to wait for the next train, I wanted to head out quickly by foot as I thought it'd be quicker, plus we didn't know if the next train would be full again! So, just time for a quick row and then we hot-footed it out to Buffalo Bill's, made it in the nick of time, were swiftly seated and given hats and drinks and then the show started pretty much immediately.

Here's J preparing himself for the 'gunners'



We were about five rows back and could see just fine, but maybe felt a little out of the action - not sure if this was because we had the cheap seats or because we turned up at the time of the show rather than the hour early they stress. <cough> The show absolutely captivated my boys, they loved the cowboys and the characters and asked lots and lots of questions about what was going on, especially the lasso tricks, they've attempted to replicate this lots of times at home! The audience participation was fab, they had us tapping metal bowls with spoons and chanting, my boys were in heaven! I really really liked the food, it was so tasty and filling, I'd expected it to be naff and fully intended to get a sandwich afterwards!! I was pleasantly surprised, it was yummy and there was loads of it actually preferred this dinner to some more expensive options we got later in the trip! We got given 2 chocolate coins at the end which was incredibly precious to my two, such a simple thing but they were so pleased at their treasure from the stagecoach! So show enjoyed (although I'm still not sure it's really worth the money!) we headed to the Disney store to cash in their bribe!

W was reunited with his beloved Bullseye and J chose Woody. I wonder if the cowboy show influenced their choices any!





It was now about half 8 and we were all wide awake and having fun. Now, there'd been extensive discussion in my household about Dreams, I'd heard it was brilliant, I wanted to see it, DH thought the boys couldn't stay up that late and we'd have a terrible next day with stroppy boys if we tried. This resulted in me coming up with an elaborate plan for getting a big lunch on the Monday, a snack dinner and putting them to bed early, I'd borrowed strollers so I could take the sleepy children from the hotel after their nap. As it turned out as the kids were so wide awake we thought we'd just take the opportunity to do Dream tonight, so back into the park we headed!

First off was a ride on Autopia, a ride where they can drive the car is always going to be a big hit with my two, and we even quite enjoy the queuing area where you can watch the race. W was my designated driver and did brilliantly, big traffic jam at the end waiting to get back off which my two found hilarious, and chatted about their traffic jam for quite some time after! At this point we went for a ride on Orbitron, we weren't too sure if this would be too high/scary for W but he loved it but J was scared! W was asking to go back on again he loved it so much!



We now had about half hour before Dreams so went and found a spot beside Buzz and the Annual Passport office. Dreams was amazing, I'm not a big fan of fireworks but this was like nothing I'd ever seen before. It was truly magical, jaw-droppingly awesome. It's the sort of experience you really really want to share with your family and I know I'll always remember it. I'm tearing up just thinking about it. I was very chuffed with the photos I managed to take on my iphone whilst balancing W on my shoulders! I'll share my favourite!



We took our two very sleepy children back for the shuttle bus, had possibly our only really negative experience of Disney at this point. We were one of the first to wait for the bus and the boys waited angelically for about 10 minutes even though they were pretty much falling asleep standing up. The bus rolls up, the doors open and just a mass of humanity started trying to cram itself through the bus doors, as J was at the front waiting I was properly scared for him, either side of him were 40 year old men, not on the slim side, literally elbowing my 5 year old so they could get on the bus before him! Very naughty that adults could forget themselves so badly as to behave like that! Anyhow, bad experience soon forgotten as it was a bendy bus and we got to stand in the bendy bit, fun. Tucked exhausted children in their beloved bunk beds, fell into bed, I'd promised DH we wouldn't get up early because of our late night, but was secretly thinking no one could resist getting up early for Disney!

Last edited by nirrakel; 07-29-2013 at 05:07 AM.
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Old 07-29-2013, 05:45 AM   #10
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A late start!

The lazy lazy Searles snored the morning away!! We slept right through breakfast! By the time we were up, washing, dressed and ready we finally arrived at the park at 10.30! So much for EMH!! W had insisted he wore his cowboy hat today but by the time we got to the park he'd changed his mind so poor Daddy ended up wearing it all day!



We decided to take advantage of Salon Mickey as we'd missed breakfast, I was very excited about this as it's one of the reasons we'd become shareholders! We got to knock on the special door! It's so exciting when it swings open for you, I felt like a proper VIP. My boys were so taken with the CM that opened the door for us that they asked Anna to sign their autograph book! I think she was a bit surprised, she said but I'm not a....a..<pause for thought>....a princess. J said, 'You look like a princess.' Awwww......that's my boy!

The coffee in Salon Mickey was horrible, I'm a coffee addict and snob and it was just undrinkable, like the coffee in all the restaurants and kiosks I tried. There was also none of the amazing pastries I was looking forward to. The kids did enjoy a drink and I think a cookie and it was nice it was free but it wasn't really the sort of place I felt comfortable lingering with little'uns.





We left Salon Mickey and were lucky enough to see the horse drawn carriage arriving so we hopped on for a ride down Main Street.



First stop was 'It's a Small World' J absolutely loved the clock parade as it chimed the hour, he was entranced and when it was finished begged to stay there until it happened again! I suggested maybe we would come back!!

We'd loved IASW when we were here 2 years ago and the kids had begged to ride it many many many times, but this time, although it was sweet and they liked it once was enough. I insisted we went on Buzz's Laser Blast next as I thought the kids would love it, W racked up an amazing score, I was absolutely blown away, I think he got to level 4, I'm hoping he might give me pointers next time. Both boys proclaimed they didn't like this ride because of the dark bit (literally for like a second) and that it was too scary!! Grrr...I was tempted to see if any parents wanted to swap kids!

DH wanted to go on Star Tours and I was also keen. I was in two minds whether it was suitable for the children, in the end I decided because they loved R2D2 and Star Wars Lego so much that we would give it a try. BIG mistake....first warning sign, W was borderline for the height requirement, cue much discussion between CMs as to whether he could go on, they decided he could, but I'm a worrier and that made me a bit anxious. We all get in and fastened and the ride starts, I was trying to pin W in his seat and I could barely keep myself stable, I couldn't enjoy this ride at all I just felt all my bones juddering, my back started aching, my bad knee was twinging and I was terrified my 3 year old was going to go flying - I'm sorry I just hated this, on the flip side DH loved this ride! I hadn't realised what a swift turnaround there was for getting people on and off the simulator, J dropped something, I think it was his water bottle, and we were trying to find it, in the meantime they'd unloaded our group and loaded the next group and the doors started shutting on J as we tried to leave. He was terrified bless him as he'd hated the ride as much as me, and thought he was going to get trapped in the closing door!

Thankfully they had an arcade on the way out, which unfortunately seems to be my boys ideas of a fantastic time! We never actually give them any money but they just love sitting on the motorbike rides and pretending to drive the cars. Anyhow it calmed them down as I think the ride had upset me and the little'uns. It also cheered me up that I nipped to the shop to buy myself the souvenir I'd promised myself the little Yoda Stitch Vinylmation, I love him and he lives on my mantelpiece at home!

As I walked through the doors back to the arcade it started playing the Darth Vader music - love it!

Last edited by nirrakel; 07-29-2013 at 06:08 AM.
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Old 07-29-2013, 07:19 AM   #11
nirrakel
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Agrobah Cafe and the Studios

Today had been blazing hot, the weather back in England and for our first week in France had been rainy and cold and all of a sudden summer had hit with a vengance. We were all starting to wilt despite all the water we were drinking. I'd booked Agorbah Cafe and this such a welcome cool oasis. It was just wonderful to walk in to the cool shadows and it was so peaceful! I went to Morrocco earlier this year and it really did remind me of there. The hour or so we spent in the Agrobah cafe was one of my favourite bits of our trip. The food was amazing, I mean, I'd visit Disneyland Paris again just to go there! I don't know how many kebabs I made but they were sooo tasty, and the fresh vegetable salad with the red peppers was amazing.

I also discovered that J loves couscous, he was eating huge heaps of it, along with lots of lovely fresh fruit and cucumber. My boys are such picky eaters that this was really heartwarming to see! I think W managed to find sausages and pitta bread so he was delighted too! I can't rememeber when I've ever had such an enjoyable lunch!

J was a bit obsessed with the Slinky Dog ride since he'd seen the picture on the map, so we headed to the Studios after lunch. We just love the Studios, I don't know why but it just makes me happy being in there! We dutifully rode Slinky, W loved it, begging to go again, J didn't like it. In retrospect, writing this, I'm coming to the conclusion J isn't a big fan of rides!! We went on the spinning Cars ride next, think we all enjoyed this, but again, 2 years ago they were begging to go on again and again, this time they weren't bothered and once seemed to be enough.

We grabbed an icecream and sat by the side of the road to watch the 'Stars in their Cars' parade. The boys loved this, and as it went past surged to their feet and we followed the parade, they thought this was amazing, following the parade became their favourite thing to do! Afterwards we wandered around looking at the characters, we hadn't quite worked out what you did in the scrums so we didn't actually meet any of them at this point, we just looked and waved.



I think we went to see Stitch after this, I love the Stitch show, I think it's just hilarious, the boys also loved it.

Think we had a last go on the spinny Cars and then headed into the Village to the shops. DH had promised the boys presents as they had been so good! J eventually chose a flying Buzz toy, that was kind of like a remote control helicopter on a wire, only it was Buzz Lightyear. He was very enthusiastic in the shop, but I think it's been played with a total of 5 times since we got home - not recommended. J took forever to choose something, I think he picked up nearly everything Cars or Pirates or Toy Story or Star Wars related (a lot!) Meanwhile W spent the entire time pulling around a massive Lightning McQueen pull-along suitcase! This was expensive, I think about 45 Euros, and a lot more than DH intended to spend but W was adorable and DH is a soft touch! This is still one of W's most prized possessions, he stores all his art work in here and pulls it around the house!

We were hungry after all this shopping so decided to try out Annette's Diner, I'd been really enthusiastic eating here but felt it was a bit of a letdown. Nice fries but I didn't like the burgers. The dancing on the counter and servers on rollerskates was a nice touch.





I was feeling a bit rough from too much sun by this point, so maybe that's why I felt Annette's was a bit of a letdown, DH took the kids off to play at the Cheyenne whilst I had a shower and a bit of kid-free time! Unfortunately the Fort was cordoned off but there was a big open area with a stage and they had a great time on there.



Left to my own devices in the room I couldn't stop thinking about Inventions. I'd been really really tempted to go there but discounted it because of the expense. We'd loved Café Mickey but Minnie hadn't been there and J is just in love with Minnie, mega mouse-crush. Anyhow, let's blame it on heat-stroke but there was a button on my hotel phone for restaurant reservations, and I found myself pressing it and booking us in for Inventions on the Tuesday night, oops! Broke it gently to my DH when he got back with the boys and thankfully he was in the holiday spirit and was all for it!

Another late night, but a very enjoyable day was had by all!
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Old 07-29-2013, 08:33 AM   #12
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Really enjoying reading your trip report. I've got just over 6 weeks til my trip and time is moving real slow; so half hour absorbed in your trip report has me in Mickey land - Yay!!!

So glad your boys loved the Cowboy show. Love the photo of Daddy wearing W's cowboy hat - such a precious moment captured in time of Daddy and son.

The buses are a nightmare and you are dead right how disgusting it is with grown people pushing over little ones to get on the bus.

Looking forward to the next instalment!
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Old 07-29-2013, 08:44 AM   #13
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Another great day!

We love Stitch Live too - in fact if DH or I are having a tough day we just find it on youtube and watch it and suddenly the world feels like a better place!

We were really tempted to do Agrabah for our trip but literally run out of days to fit in all the restaurants we wanted to do; but if it is open for our December trip sounds like a place we need to try. Was Agrabah open thoroughout your stay or was it just open certain days?? Thanks
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Old 07-29-2013, 08:47 AM   #14
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Following along!
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Old 07-29-2013, 10:03 AM   #15
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Great that your boys loved Buffalo Bills And how cute that your ds told the CM in Salon Mickey that she looked like a princess...awwww...

Looking forward to more
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