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Old 03-19-2013, 07:36 PM   #1
arieliwish
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DD 18th Birthday trip 14 - 17 March 2013

Well we're back after a fantastic weekend away, we stayed at the Disneyland Hotel from Thursday 14th - Sunday 17th for DD 18th birthday on Friday 15th.

Here's a report, hope it's not too long!

Thursday
We flew from Newcastle with Air France/Cityjet at 11.50am and the crew and flight were great. DS gave the air stewardess a note asking for them to
announce DD birthday, which they did and DD got a nice shock! Then the stewardess came over and told us to hang back when we landed for a pic with the pilot Brian! They let her in to the very small cockpit and we got pics of them. The stewardess and lady copilot were Irish, Brian didn't say a lot so
not sure if he was too!

We had booked the DLH and transfers through World Travellers and the lovely driver Jacob was waiting for us when we got through arrivals. The
people carrier and Jacob were perfect, he was pleasant and helpful and a good driver. There was a lot of snow on the ground but it was very
sunny with blue skies, but cold (the same on Friday, but Sat and Sun were cloudy and damp).

Check in at the DLH went smoothly and we were upgraded to
a family room with a small balcony, 3284 which is on the very left if you approach DLH from the Studios. We opened our balcony door at night and
could hear the movie themes playing in the Studios. I had pre booked balloons and brownies and cookies for the room and they didn't disappoint!
The balloons were tied to the tv cabinet, both bed posts, door handles, chairs and lamp! The brownies and cookies were on a slate on the table
and there were 12 brownie triangles and 12 half cookies, along with raspberries, red berries and physalis.

We headed into Disney park and did quite a few rides, using the daily one use fastpass from the hotel on Big Thunder Mountain, as that queue always
mystifies me and feels endless no matter where you start! We ate at Billy Bobs in the Village and were pleasantly surprised by the choice and
quality of the buffet. We got in before the park closed so it wasn't too busy, there was a queue forming as we left.


Friday
Made an early start today (DD 18th birthday) and had a very disappointing breakfast in the Cali Grill. I didn't think the buffet area was
big enough and people were joining the queue when they didn't know what they were queing for, then realising they had queued for the cold
meats and cheese when they actually wanted the cooked food. All the cooked food was cold despite being on the hot counters and there being
plenty available. We'd had a better breakfast for £3.99 in the Toby Carvery near the airport before we left!

We hit the Disney park around half 8 to take advantage of the EMH but were disappointed with the choice of rides open, we hadn't checked
beforehand which ones would be open. We did a few rides but decided it wasn't really worth an early start on the rest of the days.
Late morning we headed to the Studios, and although better than last time we visited (no Toon area then) there are still not many rides that
appeal to us. The kids did RnR and were going in to Motors Action but the queue was massive so we gave it a miss. We did queue for Crush, and
although I knew it wasn't a gentle kids ride I did NOT expect it to be like that! WARNING - if you have small children this is NOT a gentle
Nemo ride, it's like Space Mountain, a roller coaster in the dark. Oh and it spins!! The kids would do it again though!

We headed back to Disney park and one of our favourites, Star Tours. The ride operator Bradley noticed DD's birthday badge sticker (from City
Hall) and asked how old she was and then before he started the ride got everyone inside to sing Happy Birthday to her, in French and English.
At the end of the ride as we were exiting he shouted to her and waved again! We mentioned him on the comments card as he did make her feel special.
We grabbed hot dogs at Caseys Corner and they were lovely but the seating area was virtually impassable and I managed to knock a chair over while
negotiating my way through crammed in tables, chairs and pushchairs.
We had pre booked Inventions for dinner at 7.30pm and were given a table in a little side area near the entrance. There were 6 tables in total so
it made for a nice cosy atmosphere. The characters were excellent and regular visitors and our server Rosaline was very good. The food was nice,
although I didn't think there was a massive choice. I did enjoy the crab claws and giant prawns, and the desserts were nice. We had ordered a
birthday cake and Rosaline brought it in with Minnie which was fantastic! We had a slice of cake each and DD cut most of the rest up and gave it
to the 6 children sitting on the nearby tables. We then had a wander into the shop and saw John Prescott and his wife (no idea why they were
at DLP, but bumped into them another 3 times over the weekend in the hotel!). We were all tired so were in bed just after 11 but DD began to be
violently sick at 2.30am! She had had some crab at dinner so we suspect that however she thinks it could have been one of the chicken strips
from the children's buffet as she was the only one of us who had
them. Anyway, she shouted for me to sit in bathroom with her (18 but still needs Mum when ill!) and we got back into bed around 5am and slept
through til 8am. DH and DS managed to sleep through it all quite well of course!


Saturday
We had a later start and had breakfast in Inventions today. This was much better than Cali Grill, much more room and no queues, and the food
was hot! The kids went to reception to change our Sunday brunch booking for Inventions to Plaza Gardens, DD didn't want to risk eating there
again! As DH and I walked to the lifts we heard loud running footsteps behind us - Pluto was tearing down the corridor after us and Mickey
was following with their handler, who took our camera for photos with them! Kids were gobsmacked when we told them!
We had a quieter day as DD was a little delicate still but went around Fantasyland for the gentle rides. I have to say DD and DS didn't
complain once, so I think they secretly loved being on the little rides again! DH slipped getting on the Storybook land boats and the three of us
had to lift him back to his feet. He had a severe stroke just over 9 years ago and has mobility difficulties, and the rides were damp with the
weather. This ride in particular doesn't have any grab rails to help getting on and off. The attendent didn't really help and just asked if he
was okay. On the subject of his mobility we also experienced a few (not many which surprised us) people barging past us as we walked along some
ride walkways, such as star tours, big thunder mountain, etc, mainly the ones with a long walk in. However, there were hardly any proper queue
jumpers compared to our last visit around 5 years ago. The park was very busy today so we were glad to take it easy.

We had lunch in Hakuna Matata and although the food was nice, the service was very slow and the seating area a bit chaotic, and the annoying
man with the incessant drumming really did our heads in! That night we decided to walk into the village for Earl of Sandwich and it was
fab. We all thoroughly enjoyed our sandwiches and would definitely go again. We got soaked walking back to the hotel and the rain was bouncing!
DS went swimming for the last half hour of the pool being open, it's a shame we didn't get time to use the pool more.


Sunday
Another later start with breakfast in Inventions. Again this was very good and hot! We stayed in the main park again and did our favourite rides.
Rain was forecast today but it stayed dry and overcast for most of the day. The park didn't feel as busy as Saturday but did get busy for the
afternoon parades. We took a break in Cafe Hyperion, which had Southampton Uni band playing, and had a coffee and sat at the entrance
to Discovery Arcade and watched the world go by, and rest our now aching feet. I did notice a lot of frazzled kids with shouting parents, obviously
trying to fit everything into their days, which can be very long. We had booked lunch for 2pm in Plaza Gardens and although getting through the
queue outside was a bit difficult, once we were in it was very good. It didn't feel too crowded and the choice and quality of food was excellent.
One point however - there are only two toilet cubicles for the ladies and one for the men, so queues out of both doors. I'd use the loos in the arcade as it would be quicker!
We sat in DLH foyer for half an hour while waiting for the transfer back to CDG for the 20.30 flight home, it was so peaceful and elegant after the hectic pace of the parks.

All the staff we encountered were very nice and helpful, and they seemed to appreciate us trying to speak a little French! Again our driver to the airport was wonderful and helpful and got us to the airport safely on some busy roads.

We had tried unsuccessfully to check in online on Saturday, and were also unsuccessful using the automatic machines in the terminal, they flashed up that we had to use the desk. The lady there was helpful but spent a lot of time on the phone and typing on the computer, to then tell us the flight was
full and we had individual single seats spread over the plane. DS is only 14 and DH has difficulty with communicating, so this was quite stressful.

We got through passport control far easier than Newcastle, and the French staff were so much more friendly. A man took down a zigzag barrier when
he saw DH walking slowly and the border guards were chatting to DS about his visit.

We tried to ask the gate staff about our seats but quickly realised there were around 6 people who hadn't been given any seats at all, so we
probably should be thankful! They had overbooked the flight hoping some wouldn't turn up, but everyone had. I have heard that this happens but
have never seen it. It was quite distressing to see women with children crying and older people stressing about getting home. They were offered standby for the 10pm flight or hotel and fly the next day.

Once we got on the plane everyone realised that virtually every group had been split up. Our seats were 3B 4E 8B 11E. I couldn't see many single
travellers so wondered why we had been given middle seats (3+3 seating), and soon found that many families had checked in before us and were
given seat A+C, D+F, with the middle seats allocated later to people like us. I think the system must have had a glitch as there was no logic to
splitting very small children from their parents. I moved into the window seat to allow a mum and 8 year old son to sit together, and her husband
and 6 year old daughter had a woman in the next row move to the opposite window seat to let them be together. I have emailed Air France to complain
but haven't had a reply yet.

Again the flight was fine and we landed on time to sleet in Newcastle.

So all in all we had a great time, the cast members we encountered were lovely and reminded us more of the WDW staff than the DLP ones we have
experienced in the past. The DLH hotel surpassed all our expectations but I suspect we've been spoiled for any other hotels for the future! Wish we were still there!

I can post some pics when I upload them.

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2000 Nov DLP Newport Bay Club - DH, DD 5, DS 2
2004 Aug 29 -Sep 12 WDW Offsite Clarion Universal - DH, DD 9, DS 6 2005 Sep 13-27 WDW CBR - DH, DD 10, DS 7 2006 Oct 22-26 DLP Newport Bay Club - DH, DD 11, DS 8, + 12 family and friends!! 2013 March 14 - 17 DLP DLH - DD 18th Birthday trip - DH, DD 18, DS 14 2013 Aug 25 -Sep 8 WDW OKW - DH, DD 18, DS 15
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Old 03-20-2013, 05:03 AM   #2
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Welcome back, glad you had a great time but what a shame DD was ill, on her birthday of all days.

We stayed at the DLH for my 50th a couple of years ago and I was the same, thought it would spoil us for the next time, however we stayed at the Newport Bay last summer and we loved it there, the CMs were all lovely and just as attentive.

Would love to see some photos.
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Old 03-20-2013, 05:35 AM   #3
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What a fantastic place to spend a special birthday
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:40 AM   #4
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Lovely trip report, what a shame your DD was ill on her birthday.
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Old 03-20-2013, 06:03 PM   #5
arieliwish
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As DD wasn't sick until 2.30am it was really the day after her birthday, so that's not too bad! Lol!

It was a very magical stay though!

I aim to get the photo's on the laptop by the weekend so will post a few on here.

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2000 Nov DLP Newport Bay Club - DH, DD 5, DS 2
2004 Aug 29 -Sep 12 WDW Offsite Clarion Universal - DH, DD 9, DS 6 2005 Sep 13-27 WDW CBR - DH, DD 10, DS 7 2006 Oct 22-26 DLP Newport Bay Club - DH, DD 11, DS 8, + 12 family and friends!! 2013 March 14 - 17 DLP DLH - DD 18th Birthday trip - DH, DD 18, DS 14 2013 Aug 25 -Sep 8 WDW OKW - DH, DD 18, DS 15
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Old 03-23-2013, 10:10 AM   #6
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Sounds like a fantastic birthday trip....sorry to hear about dd illness. Very worrying to hear about air France splitting up families...what a nightmare if you were travelling with young children!
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Old 03-23-2013, 08:03 PM   #7
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Great TR. Your poor DD, shellfish causes the nastiest sickness. The CM on Star Tours sounds lovely. Its great when they make a fuss!
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Old 03-26-2013, 06:41 PM   #8
arieliwish
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Pics on next post!

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2000 Nov DLP Newport Bay Club - DH, DD 5, DS 2
2004 Aug 29 -Sep 12 WDW Offsite Clarion Universal - DH, DD 9, DS 6 2005 Sep 13-27 WDW CBR - DH, DD 10, DS 7 2006 Oct 22-26 DLP Newport Bay Club - DH, DD 11, DS 8, + 12 family and friends!! 2013 March 14 - 17 DLP DLH - DD 18th Birthday trip - DH, DD 18, DS 14 2013 Aug 25 -Sep 8 WDW OKW - DH, DD 18, DS 15

Last edited by arieliwish; 03-26-2013 at 06:49 PM. Reason: Found out how to get pics on!
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Old 03-26-2013, 06:48 PM   #9
arieliwish
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Scrub the last post, I've found how to get the pics on here:

Birthday brownies and cookies in our room:



Balloons:



Freezing but sunny:



Crepes:



Minnie with birthday cake:



Birthday cake:



Disneyland Hotel, waiting to leave:



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2000 Nov DLP Newport Bay Club - DH, DD 5, DS 2
2004 Aug 29 -Sep 12 WDW Offsite Clarion Universal - DH, DD 9, DS 6 2005 Sep 13-27 WDW CBR - DH, DD 10, DS 7 2006 Oct 22-26 DLP Newport Bay Club - DH, DD 11, DS 8, + 12 family and friends!! 2013 March 14 - 17 DLP DLH - DD 18th Birthday trip - DH, DD 18, DS 14 2013 Aug 25 -Sep 8 WDW OKW - DH, DD 18, DS 15
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Old 03-26-2013, 06:58 PM   #10
arieliwish
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A few more:

Cityjet crew:



Balcony:



Breakfast pancakes:



Mickey!



Minnie!



Donald:

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2000 Nov DLP Newport Bay Club - DH, DD 5, DS 2
2004 Aug 29 -Sep 12 WDW Offsite Clarion Universal - DH, DD 9, DS 6 2005 Sep 13-27 WDW CBR - DH, DD 10, DS 7 2006 Oct 22-26 DLP Newport Bay Club - DH, DD 11, DS 8, + 12 family and friends!! 2013 March 14 - 17 DLP DLH - DD 18th Birthday trip - DH, DD 18, DS 14 2013 Aug 25 -Sep 8 WDW OKW - DH, DD 18, DS 15
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:15 AM   #11
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Lovely trip report and love the photos too

Your hotel room looks lovely with the extras, just a shame about your dd being ill

I had a wee laugh about you saying no-one complained about being in Fantasyland and on the smaller rides....my eldest two are the same, they seem to enjoy that more than the thrill rides. I suppose we're all just big kids at heart.

Thanks for posting, enjoyed reading your about your lovely trip
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Old 04-04-2013, 10:47 PM   #12
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Great trip except for DD getting sick that one night...
Where can I get info on the shuttle service you used _World Travellers. I cant seem to find info.
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Old 04-06-2013, 05:03 PM   #13
arieliwish
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Sorry for the delay, been away from laptop for a few days.

We booked DLH and the transfers through World Travellers. The info on the transfer company from the invoice is as follows:

Paris VIP Limo
Office telelphone (0033) 1574 25801

I called the office before we travelled to ask the driver not to mention the name of the hotel on the journey as it was a surprise for DD. The girl I spoke to was lovely, as were both our drivers. I think they do some kind of shared shuttle service but ours was a private transfer and cost around £100 - £120 return for 4 of us, which I didn't think was too bad, we used RS in 2006 and I think it was around £80 then.

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2000 Nov DLP Newport Bay Club - DH, DD 5, DS 2
2004 Aug 29 -Sep 12 WDW Offsite Clarion Universal - DH, DD 9, DS 6 2005 Sep 13-27 WDW CBR - DH, DD 10, DS 7 2006 Oct 22-26 DLP Newport Bay Club - DH, DD 11, DS 8, + 12 family and friends!! 2013 March 14 - 17 DLP DLH - DD 18th Birthday trip - DH, DD 18, DS 14 2013 Aug 25 -Sep 8 WDW OKW - DH, DD 18, DS 15
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Old 04-06-2013, 10:29 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arieliwish View Post
sorry for the delay, been away from laptop for a few days.

We booked dlh and the transfers through world travellers. The info on the transfer company from the invoice is as follows:

Paris vip limo
office telelphone (0033) 1574 25801


thank you for the info!!!
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