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Old 03-13-2013, 09:12 PM   #76
zanzibar138
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Day 12 - Walking in a Winter Wonderland

Continued...

We were looking for more inside stuff to do, so we headed towards the castle. I looked for the dragon, but it was closed (not sure if it was due to the weather). I just LOVED the castle in Paris. I loved how interactive it is, that you can go out on the balcony, and that the castle walls are extended into Fantasyland.





Since there was no dragon today, we headed to the castle walk-through. The drawbridge was starting to get slippery from the snow. I thought the walk-through was a lovely addition to the castle, and a great activity when it was so cold and snowy outside! Dad enjoyed reading the story in French (as he’s learning French at the moment).















The balcony was also getting very slippery, but we were very careful, and it was still a nice way to end the walk-through.



I had a quick wander around the Christmas shop when we got back down.



I had planned on seeing Dreams this first night, but I didn’t want to keep everyone out in the cold for too long, and the fog was coming in so fast, I wondered if it might be cancelled anyway. But I did want to do at least one ride before we left. As we were walking past, we noticed there was no line for the teacups. I haven’t done them before because I was concerned about motion sickness, but Dad and I thought we may as well go on since we were walking past. Turned out that it was absolutely fine! I took some photos of the snowy scenery from the undercover line. Even Dad had to admit that it really looked magical covered in snow.









I thought it would be nice to do a ride that Mum would enjoy too, so we made our way over to Discoveryland to see what the line was like for Buzz. By this time Mum was walking very slowly on the snowy paths!



We weren’t keen on joining the line for Buzz, since it was a 45 minute wait. But while we were in the area, Dad saw that there was only a 10 minute wait for Space Mountain, and thought he and I could go on that while we were there. We organised for Mum to wait in the shop at the exit for us, and joined the line. We both really enjoyed it, and said we’d have to make sure we did it again.

I had been keen on seeing the rest of the park in the snow, but the snow and fog were getting too thick for photos anyway, so I suggested we head back to the hotel. I think Mum and Dad were relieved lol! There were enough people leaving that there was a crowd to follow to find the way back to the bus stop. It took us a while to find ours, but got there in the end.

When we got back to the hotel we just felt like something close and easy for dinner. We had seen advertised that the bar at the hotel had snacks available, and we thought we’d be happy with that, so we went down there. Unfortunately they didn’t have snacks available at the time, so it turned into pre-dinner drinks. We ended up finding a food place in the shopping centre (right at the other end mind you!) and had dinner at an Italian place there.

Then it was the long trek through the shopping centre back to the hotel (at least it was warm in there though) and off to bed with all of us after a long day!
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Old 03-14-2013, 04:29 AM   #77
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That is a LOT of snow. You must have been freezing cold.

Having said that, I love your shots of DLP. It looks lovely.
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Old 03-14-2013, 04:56 AM   #78
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Originally Posted by PrincessInOz View Post
That is a LOT of snow. You must have been freezing cold.

Having said that, I love your shots of DLP. It looks lovely.
It was definitely the coldest day of our trip - absolutely FREEZING!
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Old 03-14-2013, 08:16 PM   #79
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Day 13 - Is That Blue Sky?

DLP

Before I start, let me warn you that the report from this day will be long and picture heavy! You may want to get a cup of tea and a biscuit lol!

We just got up in our own time this morning, since we were planning to stay at Disneyland until closing. Looking out the window we could see blue sky! I did some washing since we were in one place for a while, then we went to find some brekky in the shopping centre across the road. We ended up at Paul’s, and had some yummy croissants. Then we lined up at the bus stop.



We could actually see out the bus windows this time, and I was interested to see the Disney hotels as we passed. In no time we were back at DLP and heading towards Disneyland.





We used our APs for the first time, and headed through the turnstiles, and I took the opportunity to get a proper look at the 20th anniversary decorations.



Mum and Dad had brought their backpacks, with the idea that they would store them in lockers for the day. Unfortunately the lockers were unavailable, so they enquired at City Hall about where they could stash their stuff. They took so long to get organised, I had time to get some photos of the general area…











… Watch the 20th anniversary character train…









… And line up for a picture with Duffy! Just as I was getting to the front of the line, they finally came out, and Mum wanted to join me for the picture. I know that it’s not really the done thing to have family members join you at the front of the line, so I asked the CM if it was ok, and she said sure.



It turns out that the only baggage storage available was at the train station, so Mum and Dad decided to give it a miss. With that out of the way, we continued into the park.





We decided to start off with the other side of the park to what we’d seen the day before, so we chucked a lefty and headed into Frontierland.





Our first stop was the shop. Mum had her eye on a few things, but didn’t buy anything yet, and I bought a pin.



Next we went to check out the situation with BTM. There was a 65 minute wait time, and there was even a line to get fastpasses! So we gave that one a miss and headed back towards Phantom Manor. On the way we checked out the Molly Brown. Unfortunately due to the weather, she was to be out of action all week (you can see the ice in the river in the photo).



The line for Phantom Manor was only 5 minutes, and I managed to convince Mum that it was a safe enough ride, so we joined the line. Just after we’d joined the line, a whole heap of other people got in after us, and the CM opened up part of the long queue. We were pretty glad we’d beaten them in! Mum was very pleased afterwards, and said that it was ‘not too bad at all’! I think their hitch-hiking ghosts had the week off though – didn’t see them either time we rode.







Continued in next post...
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Old 03-14-2013, 08:22 PM   #80
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Day 13 - Is That Blue Sky?

Continued...

When we came out, we visited Boot Hill, and enjoyed the view and detail in the area.











When we walked back past BTM, the wait time was down to 55 minutes, and there was no line for fastpass. I grabbed Dad’s AP and quickly made my way to the fastpass machines. There seemed to be a lot of confusion about how they worked, and I felt quite smug when it took me about 30 seconds to get ours lol!



We walked up past BTM towards the Cowboy Cookout, and Dad decided that he was a bit hungry. He didn’t really like the look of the menu though, so we gave it a miss and continued on our way. Next we entered Adventureland and wandered towards Indiana Jones. Colonel Hathi’s Outpost was closed (as were quite a lot of CS restaurants). And with a wait time of 45 minutes, we decided to give Indy a miss too.







From there, we wandered through Adventure Isle. Peter Pan and Wendy had the same idea, and called out ‘bonjour’ as they walked past!









Eventually we came across the pirate ship, and wandered on board.





After that, we explored a couple of caves, and eventually found our way out of the maze of caves and paths. It would have been a great place to spend a couple of hours on a nice day!





Where we came out was close to Hakuna Matata, and Dad decided that he liked the look of that enough to go in for some lunch. We all had the African chicken with rice, which was nice.







After lunch we wandered towards POTC. Of course it was closed for refurb, but we were able to get through to Fantasyland that way.





Continued in next post...
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Old 03-14-2013, 08:29 PM   #81
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Day 13 - Is That Blue Sky?

Continued...

Next up, we got lost in Alice’s Curious Labyrinth. This was a lot of fun, but it was a bit crowded – we didn’t even bother to go up in the queen’s castle because it was too hard to get up there through the crowd. I liked how it exited into the teacups area too, it was great theming!















For a comparison, these are some of the areas I took photos of the previous day when they were covered in snow.





We thought the line for IASW looked a little long, so we made our way around the side of Fantasyland, and came out at the castle and AP office. We passed Pizzeria Bella Notte, another restaurant which was closed while we were there.



I really liked the Discoveryland theming with the shards of rock.



By the time we entered Discoveryland, it was nearly at the time where we could get another fastpass, and we planned to get one for Buzz. We thought about riding Space Mountain again, but the wait time was 20 minutes and we had to use our BTM fastpasses in the next half an hour. Instead we just took in the surroundings and I took a couple of photos.







Once we had our Buzz fastpasses, we hightailed it back to Frontierland for BTM. I made time for another photo of the beautiful castle on the way through.



Dad enjoyed his first taste of fastpass. He got a bit of a kick out of passing everyone in the regular line. They even had a mine train going just for fastpass passengers! He thought the ride was fun, but he wouldn’t bother going to too much trouble to ride it again – it didn’t have enough thrill factor for him. I have to admit it was a bit tame after Space Mountain, but I do enjoy the theming of BTM.









After BTM we were at a bit of a loose end, so I suggested we see if the dragon was available today. Turns out she was, and we entered her lair just as she was waking up!



We got a bit lost in there as it was so dark, and I wasn’t expecting there to be so many paths! We eventually found our way out, and ended up at the back of the castle. I thought then it might be fun to do Space Mountain again, and thought we’d go the back way through Fantasyland to Discoveryland.



It turned out that they’d blocked off direct access from Fantasyland to Discoveryland, perhaps for parade preparations? Anyway, we were forced to go via the castle again. While we were passing, we thought this area (where I got the photo from) might be good to come back to and watch the parade.



We continued on to Discoveryland, and organised to meeting time and place for Mum, then went off to Space Mountain. It was just as much fun the second time around!



On the way back to meet Mum I took another couple of photos around the area.





Continued in next post...
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Old 03-14-2013, 08:35 PM   #82
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Day 13 - Is That Blue Sky?

Continued...

We met Mum and made our way back to our parade spot. There was still about half an hour until the parade, so I suggested it might be nice to go and get some hot beverages to have while we waited. Dad volunteered to mind the spot, so Mum and I went off to the ice-cream place which seemed to be the closest place to get hot beverages. Looking back, we should have just left when we saw the line, but we really didn’t think it would take that long to get through. 20 minutes later we were looking at our watches wondering if we should just ditch the coffees and get back to the spot, but we decided to wait it out, and ended up getting waffles too. When we finally emerged, it was a lot more crowded than when we’d gone in, and we rushed back to Dad. He told us off for taking so long and making him keep our spot. There was no time to have our coffees or waffles before the parade, so we had to hold them. In the meantime, there was a little kid who Dad let in front of us, and even held up so she could see over the fence when the parade came – he’s getting soft! Two other little kids squeezed themselves in rudely and knocked over Dad’s coffee. Their parents didn’t say a thing.















































Continued in next post...
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Old 03-14-2013, 08:40 PM   #83
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Day 13 - Is That Blue Sky?

Continued...

When the parade finished, it was almost time for our Buzz fastpass return, so we made our way back to Discoveryland. We had a look at one of the shops to fill in a few minutes.





It was finally time for our fastpass return, so we went to join the line for Buzz. Mum was getting nervous, but I told her it was no worse than Phantom Manor, plus you get to shoot things! She enjoyed it in the end.







While we were still in Discoveryland, we thought we may as well explore the Nautilus. As we entered, Mum freaked out and asked what this ride was like – we’d forgotten to explain to her that it was just a walk-through. The CM explained it to her and we continued on our way.















Dad and I decided that we wanted to do Star Tours next, so we organised a meeting place and time with Mum again and set off. The wait time was 20 minutes, but they were looking for a group of 2 to fill a ship, so it was probably only 15 minutes in the end. This was the ride that made me feel the most sick for the whole week – I don’t do very well with simulators! It was fun though.





Since we hadn’t taken as long as we thought we would, Dad wanted to take the opportunity to get a coffee. I wanted to take some night time photos of the park, so we split up too, and would all meet when we it was time to meet up with Mum. I only had about 15 minutes, so just stuck with Discoveryland and Main Street.











Continued in next post...
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Old 03-14-2013, 08:45 PM   #84
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Day 13 - Is That Blue Sky?

We all met as planned, and staked out a good spot for Dreams. We stood right behind one of the garden beds in the hub. It was a great spot as we were far away enough to get the full effect of the show, but no one could stand right in front of us. The people on the other side of the garden bed were far enough away not to bother us. However, we did wait for an hour to get this spot, and had all just about frozen solid by the time the show started lol! We all agreed that it was worth it though, Dreams is spectacular!



















































After Dreams finished, we filed out with what seemed like most of France lol! And made our way to the bus stop. Turned out we needn’t have rushed, because the first bus back wasn’t until 9pm. We had to wait at the bus stop for about 20 minutes! But eventually it arrived and we all managed to fit on board. Most people got out at the Adagio apartments stop, so the last part of the journey was comfortable.

We went straight to our little Italian restaurant in the shopping centre for some dinner, knowing that as soon as we got to our room we’d collapse into heaps and not feel like going out again. Then we finally made it back to our room, and did collapse into heaps, knowing that we were planning to get to the park early the next day.

If you've stuck with me, congratulations! I applaud your patience and/or enthusiasm for DLP!
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Old 03-15-2013, 01:27 AM   #85
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Another great update thanks! Gosh some of the ride queues seemed long. I'm a total novice when it comes to DLP so why did you get annual passes? Are you planning to go back within a year?
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Old 03-15-2013, 02:10 AM   #86
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Another great update thanks! Gosh some of the ride queues seemed long. I'm a total novice when it comes to DLP so why did you get annual passes? Are you planning to go back within a year?
I wish

The APs we got (we weren't there on any block-out days, so we could get the cheaper ones) actually worked out cheaper than 3 day tickets. Since we were there for 5 days - it was a no-brainer! Especially taking into the account the food and merchandise discounts, and perks like EMH.

I was very surprised by the crowds and wait times, as I had been under the impression that it was a quiet time of year to go, so not sure what happened there It kind of threw me to be honest
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Old 03-15-2013, 03:21 AM   #87
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Day 14 - I Never Line Up For More Than Half an Hour

DLP

We were up relatively early this morning, to take advantage of what we could of EMH. The weather forecast described it as ‘dreary’, and we supposed that meant grey and cold with a fine mist in the air which made it damp. The first shuttle bus didn’t leave until 8:45am, and Dad had something against the idea of catching the train, even though one of the reasons I chose the hotel was because it was so close to the train station! Anyway, I’d heard that the park was practically deserted during EMH, so I thought we’d still get some benefit from turning up after it had started. We didn’t even have breakfast this morning, basically just got up and dressed and went down to the bus stop.

There was a bit of a crowd heading towards the park, and to me it seemed like basically everyone had access to EMH! I felt the same way in the US too. There was no line at the turnstiles, and we were in by about 9am. I headed straight for Peter Pan, hoping there was a reasonable line. The wait time there was 40 minutes. So then we checked out IASW – wasn’t operating. Next we tried Buzz, and that was 45 minutes. So we decided to go back to Peter Pan and just wait it out. Feeling a bit deflated that we hadn’t really achieved anything by getting in early, we joined the end of the line, which had probably increased by another 5 minutes by the time we got back.

I have always refused to wait more than half an hour for anything (and that goes for parades and shows as well), so this visit was a bit of an eye-opener. Unfortunately the fastpass machines for Peter Pan weren’t operational while we were there, so there wasn’t much choice but to just wait it out. Turned out that the time passed fairly quickly, and soon we were getting into our ship. Mum thought it was great!









The next part of the plan was to get to the Studios for opening and beat the line for Crush’s Coaster. By that time we were running late for that too, so we didn’t rush so much. I took the opportunity to check out the castle from the back. I liked how it had a Merlin-esque section (the brown wooden bit and the Archimedes statues).





This was the only time on the whole trip I saw any Main Street vehicles. Mum and I were pleased to see that the horse had a quarter sheet on to keep him warm. We thought he was very cute!



We had decided that we might try to get to Walt’s for lunch today, so I thought we’d better drop by on our way out and make a booking. They had one spot left at 2pm, so we pounced on that one! We also stopped by DLH on the way out to enquire about their afternoon teas. We were told that they don’t do them anymore, but we were welcome to come and have afternoon tea at the café anytime. It was nice to see the inside of the hotel anyway.







So next it was off to the Studios. There was no line at the turnstiles, and after we struggled through Studio 1 (which is really an inefficient design for dealing with crowds!) we headed straight for Crush’s Coaster. Unfortunately it looked like we’d well and truly missed our opportunity as the wait time was already up to 85 minutes. Dad said if I wanted to do it, then we may as well do it anyway since it probably wouldn’t be any better the rest of the time we were there. We decided to go and have some breakfast first though, since we figured it wouldn’t get any worse.

We headed back to Studio 1 and got croissants and hot beverages all round!



When we’d finished we organised a meeting time and place with Mum again, and Dad and I prepared ourselves for the long wait ahead. We thought we may as well pick up some fastpasses that would just about be ready to use by the time we were done, so visited TOT on the way through.

When we got back to Crush’s Coaster, the line had actually died down a little bit, so we were pleased we’d decided to have breakfast first. The queue was long and pretty boring. I could really tell that this was a budget park. And we wondered if they’d ever considered putting in some outdoor heating for the guests lining up lol! I had some guy behind me who had NO regard for personal space at all and kept running into me with his backpack. Fortunately though, once we got inside the line went very quickly as they were only letting in so many people at once.



















We both decided that it was worth it in the end. The ride was great fun, and we both got a real surprise when the rollercoaster part started! It’s so hard to describe, we hadn’t really been able to figure out exactly what we were up for. It also helped that the wait time was actually under an hour, as opposed to the 85 minutes it had specified. We ran into Mum at the exit, who had done some shopping then come over to see if she could see us on the ride. Turns out she had, but we were too busy talking to notice here lol!

We decided that we had time for more hot beverages before using our TOT fastpasses, and headed to the nearest coffee van.







We found some tables and chairs to use, and Mum opened the lolly stash she’d just bought. We ended up having some chewy lollies and chocolate coins to accompany our beverages.

Continued in next post...
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Old 03-15-2013, 03:56 AM   #88
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Day 14 - I Never Line Up For More Than Half an Hour

Continued...

Then Dad and I headed to the tall ominous building. Mum just waited for us this time since we had fastpasses. We practically walked straight into the pre-show. This is a ride that absolutely terrifies me. To be honest, I’m not sure why I even put myself through going on it lol! But I can’t deny that it is fun in a very thrilling kind of way. As usual, I let out some very genuine screams, and held on for dear life! Dad enjoyed it, especially the way the CMs all got into character.





Turns out Mum had decided to take a look in the shop while we were riding, so we saw her when we exited. We laughed at our photo, in which my eyes were firmly closed, then did a bit of shopping ourselves. Mum and Dad both bought scarves, and I bought a TNBC plush mini top hat for my friend. She loves both TNBC and mini top hats, so I thought I couldn’t go too wrong there, plus they were on special! I took a few more pics on the way out, and managed to stop shaking long enough to not make them blurry.







We wandered over to Rock N Roller Coaster with the idea of lining up if it wasn’t too long a wait, or perhaps getting fastpasses. As would be the theme for the trip, it was down with a technical error. We had about an hour until our lunch, so we thought we would just wander leisurely back to Disneyland and stop at what we liked on the way through. We looked at some more shops on the way out (I swear I hate shopping when it’s not Disney lol!), and I took some photos.







I couldn’t help stopping for a photo of this hippo ballerina on the way back through to Disneyland – so cute!



We still had time, so we went to have another close up look at the castle.



Just as we were making our way back to Walt’s for our reservation, we saw the 20th anniversary character train coming. We waited outside until it had passed to wave and take photos.









Then we went inside to check in. We were taken straight upstairs and seated next to a window overlooking the little laneway off Main Street. We all loved the atmosphere.







I convinced Mum that we both needed to get light-up cocktails. Apparently it’s not as big in Europe as it is in the US. We ordered the drinks and they came with no light. When I mentioned it to the CM, she said she would bring the lights out later! She brought them out then and just gave them to us. When we put them in our cocktails she looked at us like we’d just grown 3 extra heads each lol!



Mum and I both ordered the spice crusted fish for mains. It came on a bed of baby spinach leaves with maple glazed veggies. Those veggies sure were sweet! But the fish was very nice. Dad ordered a steak which he said was very nice as well.



The CM had wanted to take our order for desserts when she took our order for mains. We were a bit surprised and hadn’t really decided yet. Usually we wait to see if we have room after mains! But we bit the bullet and ordered dessert platters. Turns out I could fit it in (even though I probably didn’t need to…) and it was all very yummy!



Our plan had been to head back to the hotel after lunch and hit the shops across the road. Mum was just dying to have a proper look! So once we’d finished our lovely lunches and desserts, we said goodbye to Disneyland for the day and headed back out towards the bus stop.

Mum got distracted on the way by the World of Disney store.









We really had to go then to get the next bus, so she said she would make it her mission to come back one day before we left and have a proper look.

When we got back to the hotel, I went and dropped our bags off up at the room while Mum and Dad went across to the train station to try and organise their tickets for their next destination. Turns out they didn’t have much luck there and would have to try at the DLP train station.

Once we all met up again we headed across the road to the shops. I was on the lookout for a pair of boots and some gloves, and didn’t really find what I was looking for. I did end up buying a pair of gloves at the sports store though, which took longer than any line at Disneyland lol! We found the outlet centre, which unfortunately was still pretty much out of our price range. Dad bailed at this stage and went back to the hotel for a Guiness.



Mum did eventually find a coat which was sufficiently marked down to actually be on the expensive side of normal pricing. She had been pretty set on getting a coat, so she bit the bullet and got that one. Not sure how much use she’ll get out of it in Perth, but she might be able to bring it to Melbourne when she visits me!

On the way back to the hotel we picked up a tray of macaroons, and some wine from the supermarket. We met Dad in the room and, since none of us was particularly hungry after our big lunch, we just snacked on chocolate, lollies, chips and macaroons for dinner.
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Old 03-15-2013, 04:28 AM   #89
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Fantastic updates. I love the dragon in the castle and there are lots of areas at DLP that are different.

Someday.....I need to make a trip to the Continent again.

Thanks for sharing.
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Old 03-15-2013, 08:53 AM   #90
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Great updates. Love your snow white photos of DLP. What time did it get dark?
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