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Old 12-18-2012, 08:02 AM   #1
megarasweet
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Have yourself a merry little Christmas... TR


"Have yourself a merry little Christmas, let your heart be light
From now on our troubles will be out of sight..."



THE CAST


Me - Avid planner and Disney princess who refuses to grow up.
Loves thrill rides, Minnie Mouse ears and cocktails. Ariel in my own
mind who loves BTM and singing along to Chante C'est Noel.

DFi - A Disney convert after last December's trip to DLP. Loves
all things Star Wars, Stitch and POTC. Loves good food and nice
meals out. A real sweetie who indulges my inner child.

THE WHEN, WHERE AND HOW

We stayed in HNY from December 10th-14th (my birthday!)
We traveled direct on the Eurostar from St Pancras

THE BREAKDOWN

The weekend before the magic.

Day 1, Part 1 - The Journey.
Day 1, Part 2 - Let the magic commence!
Day 1, Part 3 - Our first evening.

Day 2, Part 1 - EMH, magical as ever!
Day 2, Part 2 - A colourful afternoon.
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Old 12-18-2012, 09:25 AM   #2
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Coming soon.


I hope really soon x
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Old 12-18-2012, 09:34 AM   #3
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In for this!
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:36 AM   #4
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The weekend before the magic!

I finished university on the Friday before the holiday, so that evening I had a little celebration with some close friends. We drank mulled wine, nibbled homemade festive treats (I'd been busy baking all week between finishing off uni work for my final deadlines!) and had a good old catch up. I was treated to a number of Disney themed gifts - my friends know me very well!








On Saturday we traveled up to London. The journey was made somewhat stressful by the fact that it was the last weekend of the Christmas market and there had been a rugby match on, so the station was extremely busy. On our train they'd scrapped all seat reservations, which meant we ended up standing up for nearly two hours whilst looking after a bulky suitcase. When we (finally) got to London there were some rail replacement buses running on our route, but fortunately the journey to the flat wasn't all too stressful. At least we got seats on the tube!

On Sunday we went for a late breakfast at Frankie & Benny's at the O2, which meant we got to have a go on the Emirates Airline! Even though we've been using it whenever we've been in London this year, it's still a novelty. The views are amazing, and there's none of the queuing involved with the London Eye. We both had bacon and syrup pancake stacks with pots of tea. At only £6.50 a head it was such good value.








We spent the rest of the afternoon watching Disney films and generally being lazy. We knew it was going to be very full-on once we were in DLP, so we made the most of not needing to be anywhere or doing anything. We finished our packing and I painted my nails with my red glitter polish. Originally I'd planned on buying a white nail art pen so that I could do little bows or polka dots, but it was one of those things that I just never found the time to do!


We downed a couple of hot chocolates before bed and had an early night in anticipation of our early start. I felt a little like a small child on Christmas eve!

Next up -The journey to DLP!
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Old 12-18-2012, 03:44 PM   #5
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Day 1, part 1 - The Journey.


We woke up at half six in the morning, not so bright eyed and bushy tailed. I'd been very organised the night before and our clothes were all laid out for us in neat piles. We each had a quick shower, threw on some clothes (and some red lipstick in my case!), and after a rushed cup of tea we were on the underground by half seven.

The journey to St Pancras was easier than last year. We only brought the one suitcase between us and took turns hauling it around (although it's fair to say that DFi did most of the hauling!). The underground wasn't heaving, so we were able to take the journey at a leisurely pace. No strained arms and shoulders this time around! It was definitely worth packing light.

We arrived at St Pancras at quarter past eight, and our first stop was Le Pain Quotidien for breakfast. We both ate belgian waffles loaded with fresh fruit, and they really were lovely. DFi drank (very bitter) raspberry lemonade whilst I opted for the safer option of a pot of tea. Everything was really tasty and the atmosphere was lovely and chilled out, so all in all it was a great way to start the day.


With a little time still left to kill before check in opened, we popped into WHSmith to stock up on magazines. Since we'd got the holiday off to a rather unhealthy start last year (munching our way through a whole packet of chocolate chip cookies on the Eurostar), this year I planned ahead and ordered us a pair of far more virtuous Graze boxes. After all, we planned to stuff ourselves at Annette's as soon as we were checked in at HNY!

Check in was easy as ever, and soon enough we were sat in departures with an espresso. I made the most of the free wifi by checking my emails and tying up a few loose ends before we left. We witnessed a little boy being told he was going to DLP and doing a celebratory dance. It was the cutest thing, and I pretty much melted into a puddle on the floor. DFi said that when we have kids we'll have to do the same - I was grateful as ever to know that we were on the same wavelength!


We were called to board and were in a very peaceful end coach. We felt prematurely smug, reveling in the fact that there were no obnoxiously large and/or noisy families nearby, and we had more than enough room for our luggage. We settled down for the journey, snacks on hands, reading material at the ready, Christmas/Disney playlist plugged into our ears.


Unfortunately, the peace ended at Ebbsfleet. Large families piled on and luggage racks began to overflow. I was more grateful than ever that we'd opted to only bring the one suitcase between us, and that we'd had first access to the racks. I began getting deja vu at the number of announcements made reminding people not to store buggies in the luggage racks...

Finally we arrived at DLP, and headed straight for the HNY shuttle. Before we knew it we were stood in that peaceful, vanilla scented lobby. I took a moment to remind myself to breath! There was no queue at check in, and we were told that our room would be ready at three (no surprises there). They handed over our park tickets and 7am breakfast slot passes, and once our luggage was safely checked in we were off to Annette's!




Next up - Some old favourites!
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Old 12-19-2012, 05:11 AM   #6
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Coming soon.


I hope really soon x
Two installments are up! Hopefully I'll get at least another part up today

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In for this!
Yay!
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Old 12-19-2012, 09:07 AM   #7
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Great start looking forward to some Disney updates x
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Old 12-19-2012, 10:12 AM   #8
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Day 1, part 2 - Let the magic commence!

Annette's was busier than our last lunchtime visit, however as we'd sussed last time, the busier the restaurant, the quicker the service. We were seated within ten minutes, although we didn't get a booth this time (boo!).

We ordered two coke floats, an onion burger for me, and a blue cheese burger for DFi. The server seemed confused by the notion of a coke float, first bringing us standard Coke, then Coke Light, until we eventually pointed out 'coke floats' on the menu. Even then he looked confused, but the important thing was that we got them eventually (and they were lovely)!

The food arrived and was as satisfying as ever. Big portions, juicy burgers and hot, crispy fries. Two thumbs up for Annette's! Neither of us had room for desserts, but that was hardly an issue - we wanted to get into the parks!








Despite the fact that I do now love HNY, I always got that pang of longing when we walked up to DLH! It's such a pretty building. I reminded myself that we would be eating there on Wednesday evening, so I'd have a chance to nosy around and check out the Christmas decorations. I couldn't wait to see the candy Christmas tree and the gingerbread house!






We took our time wandering down Main Street, admiring it in all of it's festive splendor. I really loved the garlands strung across the street - they looked so much better in real life than they had in photos! I'd been listening to the Main Street Christmas Loop on Youtube in the weeks coming up to the holiday to keep me going, but it was so different hearing it in real life! It's such a magical part of the park, especially at Christmas.






Our plan had been to get BTM FPs, but the machines weren't running (thumbs down, BTM!). Fortunately it was only showing 25 minutes, so we hopped into the queue. This was where I began to notice one of the more grisly running themes of our trip; women wearing grotesque, real fur coats. I can tell my faux fur from my real fur, and every time it just made me feel sick to my stomach. Back in the UK I really appreciated how rare it is to see real fur coats nowadays. It's so unnecessary in this day and age.

Anyway, we ended up queuing for half an hour, but for BTM it was worth it, especially since the sun was putting in an appearance. Coming off, it only seemed right to take a spin on Phantom Manor. Having sussed the right places to stand in the lobby and the lift, we were amongst the first seated in their doom buggies.

PM ticked off our to-do list for today, we headed to Adventureland for our other favourite ride - POTC! It was only showing 5 minutes so we pretty much walked on.

Our three favourite rides done, we took a trip to Fantasyland. We dipped in and out of a few shops, assessing the merchandise on offer this year (I treated myself to a pair of sturdy sequin ears, wanting to save my glitter ones for less questionable weather!), before taking a customary spin on the teacups.








Since we were both beginning to lag a little, we decided to head back to HNY to check out our room. Unfortunately, the check-in queue was huge, so we decided to wait until after Dreams. Instead we took a break on one of the benches beside the lake to rest our feet before tackling the parks again.

Next up - Our first evening...
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Old 12-20-2012, 03:30 AM   #9
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Yay, you've started

Looks like your trip got off to a great start, what could be better than a yummy lunch, followed by your favourite attractions !

Keep it coming

PS - I am very jealous of how good you look at 6:30am !!!
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Old 12-22-2012, 05:55 AM   #10
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Quote:
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Great start looking forward to some Disney updates x
Thank you! Hopefully I'll get another update up today

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Yay, you've started

Looks like your trip got off to a great start, what could be better than a yummy lunch, followed by your favourite attractions !

Keep it coming

PS - I am very jealous of how good you look at 6:30am !!!
Haha, thank you! It really was a good way to get the holiday started
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Old 12-22-2012, 01:45 PM   #11
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I love your TR so far, sounds like a great start to the holiday.
We're going for a day on Boxing day and I will stuff my face with Annette's. Fact.
Also: love those sequin ears on you, looks lovely.
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Old 12-26-2012, 02:35 PM   #12
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Great TR and amazing photos. after taking a look at what you had at Annette's made me so hungry in a second. Can't wait to grab one of these on our trip.
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Old 12-27-2012, 05:55 PM   #13
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I'm really loving this trip report! It's making me all excited for my trip!
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:26 AM   #14
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Day 1, part 3 - Our first evening.

We headed back into the park just in time for the tree lighting ceremony. This was something I'd never had much time or taste for on previous visits, but this year it was short, sweet and magical. I thoroughly enjoyed it every time. The combination of Chante C'est Noel and the snow on Main Street got me all choked up, and I knew at that point that I was fully caught up in the Disney magic.




We were starting to get really hungry by this point, so we decided to grab hotdogs at Casey's (our first night tradition!). I staked out a table outside whilst DFi queued for the food, and as Dreams drew nearer it really began to fill up (thank goodness we'd decided to split up! We wouldn't have stood a chance if we'd both queued). We were approached by an older English woman who was struggling to stand, asking if she could have one of our spare seats. Naturally we welcomed her, however she progressed to thank us by chain smoking whilst we tried to eat. It was disgusting, and made worse by the fact that DFi suffers from asthma that gets easily aggravated by smoke. In hindsight I wish I'd said something, but it's harder in the moment!


We finished our food far quicker than we'd originally planned, and instead of staying at our table for Dreams as we'd originally planned we decided to move closer to the action, leaving Mrs Chimney at the table. Maybe it was fate, as I'm now glad that my first experience of Dreams was from a closer, more central position. It's such a breathtaking display, it moved me to tears every time.

After Dreams we filtered out of the park, and quick stepped over to HNY hoping to beat any post-Dreams queues at reception. We were handed our keys straight away, and headed up to the third floor to see our room.

We'd sent an email the week before mentioning that it was my birthday and that we were celebrating the anniversary of our engagement, asking if it were possible for us to have a park view room - and it worked! Our room was far bigger than last year, right in the corner of the top floor with two huge windows. We had a sweeping view of DLH, the Christmas tree, the castle and Space Mountain. I think I might have squealed out loud with delight! We moved the chairs to the window and took in the view with a drink before heading into the village.








We ambled through the shops, seeing what new merchandise was on offer this year. I must admit, I wasn't hugely impressed. There wasn't anything all that exciting for the 20th Anniversary, and anything we did like was hugely overpriced. However, DFi did treat me to a ring as a birthday present. It's still sitting prettily alongside my engagement ring! I joked that only when we've bought a ring for every finger will I have had enough birthday trips to DLP!

Sorry about the photo spam, but this is a very pretty shop...
















We weren't quite ready to call it a night, so we decided to give the Sports Bar a try - and what a good call it was! The prices were so reasonable, and the drinks were generous. Neither of us were feeling like alcoholic drinks, so Grant stuck to Coke Light whilst I tried a 'Fuzzy Candy' non-alcoholic cocktail. I know they're meant for children, but I was on holiday and fancying a colourful drink! It was very sickly, but that's how I like my drinks.


Bill paid, we headed back to the hotel for the night. We unpacked a little, had hot bubble baths and watched a little tv before turning the lights out at just gone eleven in anticipation of our 7am breakfast slot.

Next up - Our first EMH!
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Old 01-05-2013, 04:07 PM   #15
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oh oh oh, what photos. where is that shop?????? And those ears.. oh I want one. How much are they??????

and the cocktail? Sports bar good for kids?
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