Adventures by Disney forums

Go Back   The DIS Discussion Forums - DISboards.com > Disney Trip Planning Forums > Adventures By Disney
Register Chat FAQ Tickers Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 10-09-2011, 11:08 PM   #1
sayhello
Have Camera, Will Travel
 
sayhello's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 10,400
DISboards Moderator

Trip Report! DIS Exclusive Knights & Lights/Disneyland Paris, Part 3 - LOTS OF PICS!

Day 1 - Buckingham Palace & our Welcome Dinner

So, the next morning was a bit of an early one! I'd slightly mis-calculated when I happily agreed to join several others from the ABD in a pre-tour trip to Buckingham Palace to do the "Royal Day Out". It occurred to me later that I was going to have to *check out* of the Park Plaza County Hall, and get me & myself over to the Chancery Court Hotel in plenty of time to join up with the others & get to Buckingham Palace well in advance of our 10am reservations for the Queen's Gallery! Luckily, Karen, one of the folks who was pre-daying at the Chancery Court offered to let me store my luggage in her room until my room was ready. So all I had to do was get up early enough to get ready, pack up everything, and get a taxi to the new Hotel by 8:30am. Easy, right? :-) (OK, you guys know me better than that by now!)

So, somehow, I actually managed it all! Believe it or not! I even had time to run for some coffee and porridge from Pret a Manger (kristilew, you're right! Great porridge!) When I arrived at the hotel, folks were already congregating in the lobby, and there was Landon (and I'm pretty sure Adam, also!) our Adventure Guides! My luggage was whisked away, to be sent to my room when it was ready. However, when I went to Registration to give them my Passport & other info, it turns out my room was already ready! I ran upstairs to dump some stuff out of my purse, snapped a photo, then ran back downstairs to join the group. I knew everything else would be magically taken care of while I was gone!



Just to get warmed up for the actual ABD (which officially started with the Welcome Dinner that night) the Guides took a photo of our intrepid group, just before we started loading into cabs for the ride to Buckingham Palace. (They had us practicing our Royal waves!)



When we got to the Palace, we joined a pretty long line of folks waiting for the doors to open. As I went looking for somewhere to dispose of my coffee cup, apparently one of the group found out that we were in the wrong line! This line was for entrance for the State Rooms Palace tour, whereas we were starting with our timed entrance to the Queen's Galleries at 10am. That entrance was further down the block. When we got there, we were informed that we could not get in line until our appointed time. So we hung around until 10am.

The current exhibit at the Queen's Galleries was "Dutch Landscapes." and "Treasures from the Royal Collection." There was a great mix of paintings and statues and pottery and furniture.





I really liked this one by Rembrandt. It was a portrait of a man and his wife, but was unusual in that it showed them in a natural sort of moment rather than stiffly posing.



Some people seemed to be a bit underwhelmed by the exhibit, but I enjoyed it!

Next we headed down to the Royal Mews. The Royal Mews is touted as "One of the world's finest working stables". There weren't many horses around, but there were *tons* of carriages being displayed in the stalls. I believe Kevin dubbed it "the Royal Garage".



There were carriages for all sorts of different events, including a very fancy, antique carriage for coronations.







They even had some small children's carriages (I imagine this was the Royal equivalent of those toy cars you can buy at FAO Schwartz for a bazillion dollars!)



After a while, we all re-grouped, and *EVENTUALLY* made our way to the Exit (the signs indicating "Exit ===>" were apparently general directional suggestions, and not actually an indication of where the Exit was).

We attempted to find a spot for lunch before heading to the State Rooms at the Palace for that part of the tour, but there weren't many choices nearby, and we were a large group. It was finally decided that we'd just go ahead and do the tour, as there was a cafe' at the end of the tour that served lunch.



Unfortunately, yet again, no photography was allowed. The Palace is only open for a few months in the summer, when the Queen is not in residence.

We went through several very lushly decorated rooms, which included formal throne rooms and sitting rooms and a whole lot of opulence, as you'd expect. They also had an exhibit set up of the Royal Faberge collection. I guess I was expecting more (I'd seen an exhibition of Faberge items up in Cleveland a few years ago, and it far outshone this collection). The items were nice, but there weren't very many of them, and only a couple of smaller eggs. But it was still neat to see some of the custom items that had actually been made for the Royals.

One of the highlights of this part of the tour was the fact that Princess Kate's wedding dress was on display! Most of us had already purchased our tickets before this was announced. They had the dress set up in the middle of a red ballroom, and people were able to walk around it 360 degrees, and get a good look at the whole thing. It is so much more detailed and beautiful in Real Life than it was on TV and in pictures! Exquisite! They also had her veil, the tiara she borrowed from the Queen, the earrings her parents gave her, a re-creation of her bouquet, and the actual wedding cake from the reception. You could see where they sliced into the bottom layer. It was really cool to have been able to see that, without actually having planned it!

Once we made it through all the State Rooms, we exited the Palace onto a very large patio overlooking the Palace Gardens. They had a large tented area set up with a small cafe that served sandwiches and drinks.



Several people in our group left at this point, and a few of us stayed to have some lunch. I ended up heading to the Tube to catch it back to the Hotel with Michael and Cynthia. I'd actually already met Michael and Cynthia before the trip, as they live relatively near to me. It was a little funny (and a little embarrassing) that when I walked into the lobby of the Chancery Court that morning, I recognized Laurie & Brian, another couple I'd met before, who also live near me. And I recognized Michael. But there was this very dark-haired woman I didn't recognize sitting with him. I looked for Cynthia, and then realized the dark-haired woman was her! (Cut me a break! I'd only met her once, and her hair was significantly lighter then! She said "Oh! I got rid of the highlights!") It was amazing how much different the hair color made her look at first!

Anyways, we headed out, but realized we had to hike all the way through the Palace Gardens to get out! It was a very nice walk (including being routed through the Gift Shop), but it was really unexpected to have to walk *that* far!

And once we finally got to the Exit, we exited out to the very back of the Palace grounds! All there was was a huge brick wall with VERY serious barbed wire & spikes on top of it!



We just started walking in a likely direction, and eventually made it to a more familiar area, and caught the Tube back to our Hotel. It was now time to unpack, clean up, and get ready for our Welcome Dinner.

I took a few more pictures around the room.



The Chancery Court is a beautiful hotel. The entrance way to the hotel is through an arch into a courtyard. There's a formally dressed doorman at the beautiful wooden door, and a spacious lobby. My room was much larger than I was expecting in Europe, with a courtyard view. I was pretty sure I was going to be *very* comfortable here!



While I was unpacking, room service showed up with a very special treat --



We had a little reception first, before dinner. We did all the introductions and Pete spoke briefly. (For those of you reading this who don't know, this ABD was specially organized by Dreams Unlimited Travel, and Pete & Walter and John & Kevin were on the trip with us.) Our Adventure Guides Landon & Adam introduced themselves, along with Fred, who is fairly high up on the ABD ladder, and was going to be coming along on this ABD (as well as helping the Adventure Guides).

Our trip consisted of several couples: John & Micki, Frank & Cathy, Jim & Linda, Mike & Christy, Michael & Cynthia, Brian & Laurie, Mike & De Anna (yes, there were a lot of Mikes!), James & Denise, Pete & Walter and John & Kevin. There was also Karen & her mother, Kaye. And then there was also several solo travelers: Me, Christy (yes, 2 Christy's!), Lori, Jason, Heather and Matt. There were 28 of us, which seemed like a really good number.














After all this, we went into another room for our Dinner, which was a wonderful tribute to British food. There was a station with little paper cones with some excellent fish & chips, Sheperd's pie, Bangers & Mash, etc. There was also some really excellent bread-and-butter pudding with custard. OMG, yummy! I was so going to be in trouble if they kept serving bread pudding!!!

The tables all had different centerpieces, made of various London-themed items such as a double-decker bus, a bear in a Beefeater costume, and Big Ben.



After Landon (with one of the Michaels' help) passed out our first day pins, we socialized for a bit longer. We then adjourned to the hotel bar to talk some more before heading on to our rooms to try & get some sleep before our activity-filled day in London!

Continued in Part 4. -- Day 2 - Around London (Westminster, Buckingham and Harrods).
__________________
Check out my Southwest Splendors Trip Report! (2008). 5 parts, full of pics & details & impressions!
My Taming the Last Frontier ABD Alaska Trip Report! (2009)! 7 parts, pictures, stories, & more impressions!
Also check out my ABD/DCL Mediterranean Magic Trip Report! (2010)
NOW POSTING! My DIS Unplugged London/Paris/Disneyland Paris Trip Report! (2011)
Now posting my Greek Odyssey Trip Report (2013)


Last edited by sayhello; 11-13-2011 at 10:35 PM.
sayhello is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2011, 08:01 AM   #2
kristilew
DIS Veteran
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Coastal NC
Posts: 1,864

Yay! Another day! So glad you liked the Pret's porridge! (I've finally found a make-at-home that comes close - I'll pm you)

Didn't you love seeing the wedding dress? I found the video about it being made fascinating, too. (I sew)

Looks like you had a wonderful group for the ABD. And what a hotel! Thanks for sharing - can't wait to read more!
kristilew is offline   Reply With Quote
|
The DIS
Register to remove

Join Date: 1997
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 1,000,000
Old 10-10-2011, 08:06 AM   #3
tmmalave
Earning My Ears
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 61

Great report sayhello! I have been looking forward to reading about your trip ever since you posted from London!

We certainly cannot afford to go on trip like this for a long while, but I hope that someday I will be able to, and reports like yours are really motivating us to make it happen!
tmmalave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2011, 10:30 AM   #4
tufbuf
Disney Addict!
 
tufbuf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 990

The Buckingham pre-tour is a great add-on! Is that only offered in the adults only tour? Wish we had that when we did K&L...
__________________



ABD-2014(Ireland/Scotland),2013(CR),2012(Greece/Alpine Magic),2011 (Peru & Ecuador),2010 (SWS),2009 (CKL),2008 (VI); DCL-2007 (DW 3n),2008 (DM 7n WC),2010 (11n Med),2011 (DD 3n,7n MR,DD 4n),2012 (DFMV 7nWC,5nCan DM,5n DD),2013(3n DD,12n Med DM),2014(DD4n,DF7n NYE),DParis 09/09-WDW (Boardwalk) 12/06-DL (Grand Californian) 09/05-WDW (AK Lodge) 10/04 WDW (Coronado Springs) 06/03-DL 09/00-WDW (All Star Music) 10/98-WDW (Port Orleans) 11/97-DL Jun92
tufbuf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2011, 10:59 AM   #5
sayhello
Have Camera, Will Travel
 
sayhello's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 10,400
DISboards Moderator

Quote:
Originally Posted by kristilew View Post
Yay! Another day! So glad you liked the Pret's porridge! (I've finally found a make-at-home that comes close - I'll pm you)

Didn't you love seeing the wedding dress? I found the video about it being made fascinating, too. (I sew)

Looks like you had a wonderful group for the ABD. And what a hotel! Thanks for sharing - can't wait to read more!
Thanks for the recipe, kristilew!

The wedding dress was just amazing. I loved seeing it from all angles, and the video *was* great. I'm guessing it wasn't quite as crowded as it was when you were there, because I was really able to take my time, and circle back & forth to see all the detail. I do so love that they put it on display. I read that the display raised £8 million for palace renovations and charity.

The hotel was just gorgeous, and I felt so elegant when cabs would turn into to courtyard to drop us off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tmmalave View Post
Great report sayhello! I have been looking forward to reading about your trip ever since you posted from London!

We certainly cannot afford to go on trip like this for a long while, but I hope that someday I will be able to, and reports like yours are really motivating us to make it happen!
Thanks, tmmalave! I really meant to have more of this posted by now, but things have been a little hectic. I'm hoping to post more frequently now!

It's definitely not a cheap trip, but it was very worth it. I hope you enjoy the rest of the Report!

Sayhello
__________________
Check out my Southwest Splendors Trip Report! (2008). 5 parts, full of pics & details & impressions!
My Taming the Last Frontier ABD Alaska Trip Report! (2009)! 7 parts, pictures, stories, & more impressions!
Also check out my ABD/DCL Mediterranean Magic Trip Report! (2010)
NOW POSTING! My DIS Unplugged London/Paris/Disneyland Paris Trip Report! (2011)
Now posting my Greek Odyssey Trip Report (2013)

sayhello is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2011, 11:05 AM   #6
sayhello
Have Camera, Will Travel
 
sayhello's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 10,400
DISboards Moderator

Quote:
Originally Posted by tufbuf View Post
The Buckingham pre-tour is a great add-on! Is that only offered in the adults only tour? Wish we had that when we did K&L...
tufbuf, the Buckingham Palace tour was not offered by ABD. Since this was a DIS-sponsored trip, a lot of us were corresponding with each other on the DISboards for months before the trip. Both I and one of the Christy's were looking at doing this tour prior to the ABD and she suggested the date & time, and a bunch of us jumped on the bandwagon. It did work out perfectly. It's definitely one of the advantages of doing a DIS-sponsored trip, being able to make plans like this before the tour started. We also had some plans we'd come up with for some of our free time, which I'll get into in the next Part.

Sayhello
__________________
Check out my Southwest Splendors Trip Report! (2008). 5 parts, full of pics & details & impressions!
My Taming the Last Frontier ABD Alaska Trip Report! (2009)! 7 parts, pictures, stories, & more impressions!
Also check out my ABD/DCL Mediterranean Magic Trip Report! (2010)
NOW POSTING! My DIS Unplugged London/Paris/Disneyland Paris Trip Report! (2011)
Now posting my Greek Odyssey Trip Report (2013)


Last edited by sayhello; 10-10-2011 at 11:13 AM.
sayhello is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2011, 11:14 AM   #7
WeLoveABD
DIS Veteran
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: San Diego
Posts: 720

Sayhello--great report, as always! Looking forward to the days to follow--we really loved that hotel (so much so that we stayed there for a couple of prenights before the Baltic cruise with Disney). It is so convenient to the British Museum, to St. Pauls, to the tube....and there was (and may still be) a small fruit stand just to the right of the hotel as you exit, where we got the kids fresh fruit for lunch before hiking around.
__________________
ABD: Scotland (2014), Greece (06/12), Peru (08/11), Germany (12/09), Knights & Lights (12/08), China (06/08), Italy (06/07). DCL: 7 night Alaska Cruise Disney Wonder (7/13), 5 night Xmas Cruise Disney Dream (12/12), 12 night Baltic Disney Magic (06/10), 10-Night Mediterranean Cruise Barcelona, Disney Magic (06/07) Mexican Riveria Cruise Disney Magic (06/05), 7-Night Caribbean Cruise Disney Magic (05/02), 7-Night Vacation Pkg : 4-Night resort and 3-Night cruise Port Canaveral, Florida Disney Magic (05/99). Hong Kong Disneyland (2008), Paris Disneyland (2008), WDW a few and Disneyland 100+; D23 Charter Member. And completely unbiased!
WeLoveABD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2011, 11:45 AM   #8
carolinadj
Mouseketeer
 
carolinadj's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 211

Yay!

So excited to see Part III! I will be checking every day for Part IV
__________________

A member of DVC since the first year!
carolinadj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2011, 01:41 PM   #9
sayhello
Have Camera, Will Travel
 
sayhello's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 10,400
DISboards Moderator

Quote:
Originally Posted by WeLoveABD View Post
Sayhello--great report, as always! Looking forward to the days to follow--we really loved that hotel (so much so that we stayed there for a couple of prenights before the Baltic cruise with Disney). It is so convenient to the British Museum, to St. Pauls, to the tube....and there was (and may still be) a small fruit stand just to the right of the hotel as you exit, where we got the kids fresh fruit for lunch before hiking around.
Thanks, WeLoveABD! I'm hoping the rest gets posted much more quickly than Part 3! The hotel was beautiful! What an excellent place & location. I guess I never headed out to the right from the hotel, only left (where the Pret a Manger was). Fortunately, they had fruit, also, but I'm sure it wasn't as fresh as a fruit stand!

Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinadj View Post
So excited to see Part III! I will be checking every day for Part IV
Glad you're enjoying the trip report, carolinadj. Part 4 should be up soon! No pressure here!

Sayhello
__________________
Check out my Southwest Splendors Trip Report! (2008). 5 parts, full of pics & details & impressions!
My Taming the Last Frontier ABD Alaska Trip Report! (2009)! 7 parts, pictures, stories, & more impressions!
Also check out my ABD/DCL Mediterranean Magic Trip Report! (2010)
NOW POSTING! My DIS Unplugged London/Paris/Disneyland Paris Trip Report! (2011)
Now posting my Greek Odyssey Trip Report (2013)

sayhello is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2011, 01:58 PM   #10
tufbuf
Disney Addict!
 
tufbuf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 990

Maybe you should write a note or two to ABD and consider including it in the tour! LOL!!! It looked great, something to think about when we do go back to London.

We also liked the hotel. I think it has the best bed ever!!
__________________



ABD-2014(Ireland/Scotland),2013(CR),2012(Greece/Alpine Magic),2011 (Peru & Ecuador),2010 (SWS),2009 (CKL),2008 (VI); DCL-2007 (DW 3n),2008 (DM 7n WC),2010 (11n Med),2011 (DD 3n,7n MR,DD 4n),2012 (DFMV 7nWC,5nCan DM,5n DD),2013(3n DD,12n Med DM),2014(DD4n,DF7n NYE),DParis 09/09-WDW (Boardwalk) 12/06-DL (Grand Californian) 09/05-WDW (AK Lodge) 10/04 WDW (Coronado Springs) 06/03-DL 09/00-WDW (All Star Music) 10/98-WDW (Port Orleans) 11/97-DL Jun92
tufbuf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2011, 02:03 PM   #11
Mndisneygirl
DIS Veteran
 
Mndisneygirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 7,359

I am so enjoying your report!!! Great pictures! I bet you're really glad you went early and were able to do some "extra" things!! Not that the ABD trip wouldn't be enough, but it's always nice to do something you've wanted to do that's not part of the package.
Now that I've listened to the Podcast review, it's so cool to see it through your photos. Thanks for sharing, and I'm looking foward to the next part (now that I know how to find them!).
Mndisneygirl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2011, 03:50 PM   #12
sayhello
Have Camera, Will Travel
 
sayhello's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 10,400
DISboards Moderator

Quote:
Originally Posted by tufbuf View Post
Maybe you should write a note or two to ABD and consider including it in the tour! LOL!!! It looked great, something to think about when we do go back to London.

We also liked the hotel. I think it has the best bed ever!!
I suppose it couldn't hurt to make the suggestion!

The beds in that hotel were great. A lot of times, I've found the mattresses in posh hotels to be mushy, which is horrid for my back. These were very comfortable to me!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mndisneygirl View Post
I am so enjoying your report!!! Great pictures! I bet you're really glad you went early and were able to do some "extra" things!! Not that the ABD trip wouldn't be enough, but it's always nice to do something you've wanted to do that's not part of the package.
Now that I've listened to the Podcast review, it's so cool to see it through your photos. Thanks for sharing, and I'm looking foward to the next part (now that I know how to find them!).
Thanks, Mndisneygirl! I was glad to get in some extra things, plus get past the jet lag before the ABD started! I'm glad you're enjoying the Trip Report. Hopefully Part 4 will be up soon!

Sayhello
__________________
Check out my Southwest Splendors Trip Report! (2008). 5 parts, full of pics & details & impressions!
My Taming the Last Frontier ABD Alaska Trip Report! (2009)! 7 parts, pictures, stories, & more impressions!
Also check out my ABD/DCL Mediterranean Magic Trip Report! (2010)
NOW POSTING! My DIS Unplugged London/Paris/Disneyland Paris Trip Report! (2011)
Now posting my Greek Odyssey Trip Report (2013)

sayhello is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2011, 02:18 PM   #13
BriarRosie
Creator of Tag Fairy Haiku:
Clap your hands loudly
Bounce until your rear is sore
Tags shall be granted
Official DIS TF Haiku author!
 
BriarRosie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Chicago
Posts: 11,165

I would have loved doing the pre-stay touring like you did, but as you know, I couldn't schedule time off on month end. It would have been nice to get Buckingham Palace out of the way early on for sure. It just means that I have to go back to London to do the Eye.

I'm looking forward to reading the rest of this.
__________________
BriarRosie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2011, 04:23 PM   #14
sayhello
Have Camera, Will Travel
 
sayhello's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 10,400
DISboards Moderator

Quote:
Originally Posted by BriarRosie View Post
I would have loved doing the pre-stay touring like you did, but as you know, I couldn't schedule time off on month end. It would have been nice to get Buckingham Palace out of the way early on for sure. It just means that I have to go back to London to do the Eye.

I'm looking forward to reading the rest of this.
Yes, early days would have been nice, but we're just glad you were able to make it! So sad, you'll just have to go back!!!

Next installment should be up today or tomorrow, I hope!

Sayhello
__________________
Check out my Southwest Splendors Trip Report! (2008). 5 parts, full of pics & details & impressions!
My Taming the Last Frontier ABD Alaska Trip Report! (2009)! 7 parts, pictures, stories, & more impressions!
Also check out my ABD/DCL Mediterranean Magic Trip Report! (2010)
NOW POSTING! My DIS Unplugged London/Paris/Disneyland Paris Trip Report! (2011)
Now posting my Greek Odyssey Trip Report (2013)

sayhello is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2011, 12:56 PM   #15
Disneygrl36
Happy DVC member!!!!
 
Disneygrl36's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 4,367

Loving your trip report so far! I soooo wanted to go on this trip but couldn't talk DH into it. I am drooling over all your pictures. Can't wait to read more about your incredible adventure!
__________________
Disneygrl36 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS Updates
GET OUR DIS UPDATES DELIVERED BY EMAIL



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:48 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Copyright © 1997-2014, Werner Technologies, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

You Rated this Thread: