Christmas, a birthday, and one very big question... Now with a taste of London!

Discussion in 'Disneyland Paris Trip Reports Board' started by megarasweet, Dec 20, 2011.

  1. megarasweet

    megarasweet Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2011
    Messages:
    261
    [​IMG]

    A quick back story; Grant and I decided to go on this trip whilst celebrating our
    third anniversary in May this year. We agreed on going at Christmas so that we
    could celebrate my birthday and have something to look forward to through our
    first few months of university. We booked our four night stay at Hotel New York
    a few weeks later once we'd saved up the deposit, and finally booked our
    Eurostar tickets in August.

    Parts

    Day 1 Part 1 - The Journey
    Day 1 Part 2 - First Impressions
    Day 1 Part 3 - Fantillusion

    Day 2 Part 1 - EMH
    Day 2 Part 2 - Blue Lagoon
    Day 2 Part 3 - Taking on Studios

    Day 3 Part 1 - The Proposal!
    Day 3 Part 2 - Fantasyland
    Day 3 Part 3 - Once Upon A Dream
    Day 3 Part 4 - Inventions

    Day 4 Part 1 - A Sleepy EMH
    Day 4 Part 2 - Walts
    Day 4 Part 3 - Our Last Evening

    Day 5 Part 1 - Our Last EMH
    Day 5 Part 2 - Moteurs... Action!
    Day 5 Part 3 - Goodbye (For Now!)

    Days 6 & 7 - A Weekend In London!
     
  2. Avatar

    Google AdSense Guest Advertisement


    to hide this advert.
  3. megarasweet

    megarasweet Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2011
    Messages:
    261
    Day 1 - Part 1

    Having driven from my house in Bath up to London the night before, we woke up at half six in the guest bedroom of my dad's flat. Compared to our current student digs (Grant is transferring next year and we're looking to rent a slightly nicer one bedroom place together) his flat is lovely, and after stealing a couple of turns in the amazing shower we were both in good spirits, despite the early start. We finished our packing, downed a cup of tea, and were on the underground by half seven.

    Our route to St Pancras coincided with my dad's route to work until we reached London Bridge where we said our goodbyes. Heaving our suitcases on and off the trains left us both with strained arms and shoulders, however it felt good to be well on time for the Eurostar.

    We arrived at St Pancras at just gone half eight and were very pleased to find the Eurostar terminal well sign posted. We collected our tickets before admiring the Lego Christmas tree; it wasn't as impressive once we noticed the guy lines, but it was interesting nonetheless.

    [​IMG]

    We got some breakfast at Le Pain Quotidien; Grant had a blueberry muffin and I had a praline pastry of some kind. The food was lovely, however neither of us enjoyed our iced tea - far too bitter! Once we'd paid up, we headed to WHSmith to buy some magazines and drinks for the Eurostar. Check in and customs were so much easier than at an airport, and by half nine we were relaxing in the lounge with a coffee. I'd never fly to Disneyland again, Eurostar is so much more straight forward.

    The journey itself was uneventful. We read, listened to Christmas songs and nibbled our way through half a packet of chocolate chip cookies. We arrived at Marne la Valle Chessy at around two in the afternoon. Navigating our way out of the station and to Hotel New York was easy enough and by twenty past we were checked in. We were told that our room would be ready by three.

    In living memory I've only ever stayed at Disneyland Hotel so I was worried that Hotel New York just wouldn't measure up. However my lower expectations served me well and the lobby was a very pleasant surprise - I loved the atmosphere and that lovely vanilla smell! The big-band Christmas songs were also a really nice touch, it all felt very cosy and festive.

    [​IMG]

    Next up - Grant's first impressions of Disney Village and a quick lunch at Annette's!
     
  4. tinks_1989

    tinks_1989 <font color=teal>need a <b>like</b> button<br><fon

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2007
    Messages:
    6,369
    Yay part 1 has got me fixed
     
  5. megarasweet

    megarasweet Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2011
    Messages:
    261
    Day 1 - Part 2

    I hadn't eaten at Annette's since 1997, and my only vague memory was that of waitresses dancing on a counter. My mum and I have wanted to go there on both of our most recent trips, but have always been outvoted by the rest of the family in favour of Planet Hollywood.

    By now Grant and I were both very hungry, and after hearing that the portions there are both generous and good value (for Disney at least!) it seemed ideal. We loved the theming both outside and in, however our initial experience was dampened by a standoffish hostess who seemed to be having a nervous breakdown over the rather short queue. We weren't given any idea of how long we'd be waiting, or even offered a menu. The only time she communicated was a brief grunt after ten minutes or so to indicate that our table was ready - the only reason that we hadn't left at this point was the amazing smell!

    Other than the hostess, the rest of the service was friendly and speedy. Before too long we were facing two impressive burgers; onion for me, blue cheese for Grant. Both were delicious and we felt like we'd got great value for our money. I also indulged in my first coke float for over a decade.

    Feeling full and happy, we headed for the main park!

    We got our first glimpse of Disneyland Hotel and I felt (just a little) pining!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I loved watching Grant's face as he took everything in for the first time; DLH, Main Street, the castle... It was exactly as I'd hoped! The castle looked lovely after it's refurb. We sidled down Main Street taking it all in, and with the Dance Express music playing I instantly felt in the Disney spirit! With the help of some momentary sunshine, Grant came away with a great first impression of DLP.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I was hoping to make Grant's first ride Big Thunder Mountain, however the park had other plans as it was closed all afternoon. Although this was disappointing, we simply moved onto Pirates of The Caribbean. Grant was impressed by the queuing area alone, commenting on how clever the lighting was. When we sailed past Blue Lagoon I pointed out that we had a reservation for lunch tomorrow and we shared a moment of excitement.

    By the time we were back at Main Street people were lining the streets for OUADP, so we joined them. I felt choked up the moment the 'Just Like We Dreamed It' started playing, and Grant was impressed by the sheer level of it all. When Chante C'est Noel started playing I couldn't stop smiling - I was in full Disney dream mode.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We darted over to Discoveryland as the parade drew to a close and managed to walk onto Buzz. Grant beat me, as he continued to do every day, but I enjoyed it all the same.

    [​IMG]

    Next up was It's A Small World. I was intent on getting Grant on it before the day was up, and whilst it isn't my favourite ride I do enjoy the Christmas overlay. When we came out Grant gave me a blank look that read, "What just happened?"

    Whenever I visit DLP with my family, hotdogs at Casey's before Fantillusion is a firm tradition. We decided to honour this (and our rumbling stomachs) with two hotdogs, a brioche, a brownie, and a couple of hot chocolates. Nothing quite compares to sitting on Main Street, bundled up against the cold with a hot chocolate in your hands - and DLP hot chocolate really is the best I've ever had!

    [​IMG]

    Once we'd finished everything, we staked out a small place on the pavement just down from Casey's to watch Princess Aurora's Christmas Wish and Fantillusion. I don't usually watch any shows, but I really enjoyed this one. The music was really festive and the castle looked spectacular as it flashed between pink, blue and green. I'm not sure whether I prefer the castle decorations this year or not, but either way it was nice to see something different!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Next up - A nice big slice of Fantillusion spam.
     
  6. Sarah28

    Sarah28 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Messages:
    1,470
    Loving your TR and photos so far, can't wait for more! popcorn::
     
  7. megarasweet

    megarasweet Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2011
    Messages:
    261
    I'm so glad! I hope you enjoy the rest of the TR. :goodvibes

    Thank you so much, I'll hopefully be updating soon!
     
  8. jessrose18

    jessrose18 ADVENTURE IS OUT THERE!!

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    Messages:
    2,853
    loving the report, thanks!!!!
     
  9. tinks_1989

    tinks_1989 <font color=teal>need a <b>like</b> button<br><fon

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2007
    Messages:
    6,369

    I sure did! I so want a brioche now though lol!
     
  10. markpsych

    markpsych DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    Messages:
    1,367
    Thanks for sharing!

    Recognised you immediately after seeing your photos as we were there the same time (well it was your hair I recognised actually ;))
     
  11. megarasweet

    megarasweet Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2011
    Messages:
    261
    Day 1 - Part 3

    Fantillusion is my favourite parade, and after the talk of it being cancelled for this Christmas season I was so happy that it was still running. We'd staked out a spot between Casey's and the hub stage, and I was ready and waiting with my camera.

    When the music started up I felt choked up again, it's one of those pieces of music that really gets to me.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    When Chip and Dale walked past, one of them noticed my camera and posed delightfully for me.

    [​IMG]

    Tinkerbell was another one who noticed my camera, and posed for me for about ten seconds - There's a lot to be said for having a big SLR!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Annoyingly we were stuck between two different sets of changes, however we still had a fairly good view from behind.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    When the parade finished we followed it up Main Street and out of the park. Beside us there was a little girl one her dad's shoulders calling, "Minnie, I love you! Wait for me, Minnie!" - It had both of us smiling all the way back to the hotel. :lovestruc

    Back at the hotel we were given our room keys within minutes. Finding our way there was easy enough, and I was pleased to find that our room wasn't far below those in DLH; we still had an amazingly comfy bed, we still had double sinks, and I even had a dressing table (something my family have never had at DLH!). I adored the teal Mickey quilt, I wish I could have bought one to take home!

    [​IMG]

    Before the trip, Grant had treated me to a few little plushies and a pair of slippers, which happily filled our room.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Once settled we had a quick scout of the hotel, stopping off at the shop to buy a few bottles of still tropical Fanta. I wish they sold it in the UK!

    By now we were both knackered, so we went back to our room, had a bath, and went to bed early in anticipation of our 7am breakfast slot.

    Next up - Our first experience of EMH!
     
  12. tinks_1989

    tinks_1989 <font color=teal>need a <b>like</b> button<br><fon

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2007
    Messages:
    6,369
    Other great update YAY! X
     
  13. megarasweet

    megarasweet Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2011
    Messages:
    261
    How strange! My friends often comment on how easy I am to spot in a crowd because of my hair. :lmao:

    Thanks! I'm glad you're enjoying it. :goodvibes
     
  14. Sarah28

    Sarah28 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Messages:
    1,470
    Your fantillusion photos are great! and I am loving that quilt cover too, such a lovely colour :goodvibes
     
  15. ashers

    ashers Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2011
    Messages:
    2
    Looking at all your pics and reading your report is making me veeery excited to go!! Fantillusion looks amazing, so colourful, and your photos are brill :)
     
  16. megarasweet

    megarasweet Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2011
    Messages:
    261
    Day 2 - Part 1

    By some miracle we were up by half six and seated in the Manhattan restaurant for breakfast by seven. When I visit DLP with my family we always end up having lie ins, and since this was my first trip paid for entirely out of my own pocket I was determined to make the most of it. We asked for the earliest breakfast slot in hope that it would force us out of bed and into the park for EMH. It ended up working perfectly.

    Breakfast wasn't quite the spectacle that it is at DLH, but there was still a nice selection and we appreciated the hot options. We indulged in cold meats, cheeses, bacon, sausages, eggs, potatoes, pastries, fruit and yogurt - the hot chocolate always went down well too! We left feeling full and satisfied.

    When we were done, we went back up to our room to pile on the extra layers. We managed to get into the park by quarter past eight.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We were amazed by how quiet it was, and after taking a few photos of a silent Main Street we headed down to Fantasyland. It was almost deserted, so we explored the castle thoroughly and took a few rides on the teacups and carousel (the dark rides were still closed).

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    After putting a few abandoned photo points to good use, we headed over to Discoveryland for our second ride on Buzz. Grant didn't beat me by such a big margain, however I have a feeling that he was just being nice! In Constellations I tried on a few of the Minnie hats that I'd been seeing around the park, but wasn't convinced. I decided to leave any shopping until later.

    [​IMG]

    Next up was Space Mountain. I hadn't ridden since 2006, and Grant had never been on a roller coaster which goes upside down, so we were both pretty nervous. The last time I rode it, I hadn't known to push my head right back and ended up with blood blisters behind my ears. Needless to say, this time I secured my head firmly, and although the ride was rattly it wasn't nearly as uncomfortable as I remembered it. We both enjoyed it, although it still rates below BTM and Indiana Jones.

    Buzz was still a walk on, so we had another go whilst it was still quiet. We went to see if Star Tours was open, but it wasn't until ten. Nevertheless Grant was still excited by the X Wing.

    [​IMG]

    We still had some time before rope drop, so we went to Fantasyland to see if the dark rides had opened. They had, so we did Pinocchio and Peter Pan (we both prefer Peter Pan!).

    It was nearly ten by now, so we headed over to the Frontierland entrance for rope drop. With a bit of quick walking we managed to get on the first BTM train of the day. I was so happy that it was open today, and there was something very satisfying about being on the first public ride! Grant really enjoyed it, although by now it was raining quite heavily. We vowed to get fast passes when the rain had eased off.

    We tried Phantom Manor but it wasn't open yet. The rain was only getting heavier, so we decided to head back to the hotel via the shops and Main Street. Grant found a pin which embodied two of his favourite things; Star Wars and Stitch.

    Both soaked through, we headed back to the hotel for hot showers before our lunch reservation at Blue Lagoon!

    Next up - The first of many Glowtinis!
     
  17. tinks_1989

    tinks_1989 <font color=teal>need a <b>like</b> button<br><fon

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2007
    Messages:
    6,369
    Another great update your EMH photos look more like night time then early morning it was still so dark that is real dedication! X
     
  18. megarasweet

    megarasweet Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2011
    Messages:
    261
    Thank you! I miss that quilt cover, I definitely need to get my hands on one somehow. :lmao:

    Thank you so much! I loved photographing the parades, so much fun, especially when the characters interact.

    It felt like night time! It was definitely worth it though, the park feels so magical when it's dark and quiet. :cloud9:
     
  19. loladelorean

    loladelorean <font color=royalblue>The Disney Pro!!!<br><font c

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    1,149
    Loving this so much already - your photos are fab especially fantillusion. I'm so glad you liked HNY and that Grant got into the magic straight away! Looking forward to the rest. Ps your hair is so pretty, jealous!
     
  20. megarasweet

    megarasweet Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2011
    Messages:
    261
    Day 2 - Part 2

    We headed back into the park at just gone midday. The rain had eased off a little and we both felt refreshed after our showers. Our first port of call was to see if Phantom Manor had opened yet, and we were pleased to find that it had! We made this our next ride, which we both really enjoyed. It ended up being one of Grant's favourite rides, and I've always loved it because it seems so quintessentially DLP.

    Once we got out it was getting on for our reservation at Blue Lagoon, so we headed over to Adventureland. We arrived a few minutes early, but were seated quickly at a raised table towards the back of the restaurant. At first I was a bit disappointed not to be sat by the water, however our position ended up being quite nice. It really felt like a Caribbean night.

    My priority was getting a cocktail. I could see several people around us drinking wine and cocktails, however when I ordered mine the waitresses snidely commented, "A cocktail with lunch?" and scoffed at me. I was quite offended, but let it slide. Unfortunately she continued to be rude and standoffish, muttering as she bustled around and being generally unwelcoming. We were very glad when halfway through the meal she disappeared and we got a new server, who was really lovely.

    Despite our waitresses attitude, eventually we got our cocktails! I had a Blue Glowtini and Grant had a Havana Mai Tai.

    [​IMG]

    Our starters were both lovely, Grant had the prawn cocktail and I had the crab. I don't usually eat crab (despite being a real shellfish fan) but I decided to be adventurous - It was delicious!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    For mains Grant had the perch and I had the chicken columbo, I'd had it last year and it was lovely. It was just as good this time, and Grant said he enjoyed his perch too.

    [​IMG]

    For dessert I had my favourite - crème brûlée, which was dramatically set alight at the table. Grant had the chocolate cake, which was also delicious. We were enjoying them too much to take proper photos, but here is one I managed to catch of the flames.

    [​IMG]

    For the food and atmosphere, it was our favourite meal of the trip. Our best overall meal was at Inventions, but more on that on day 3!

    It felt appropriate to have a ride on Pirates of The Caribbean after our meal, not to mention that we didn't feel up to anything rougher with our full stomachs! We then went and got some FPs for Big Thunder Mountain like we'd agreed earlier. We had half and hour or so to kill before they were valid so we did Indiana Jones. It's my favourite coaster in the main park and Grant agreed that, for the track alone, it's the best ride.

    [​IMG]

    Since we'd practically walked onto Indiana Jones we still had time to kill. We went to explore Adventure Isle, and stole a few photos of the work in progress on the ship. I can't wait to see the end result!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Soon enough it was time to use our Big Thunder Mountain fastpasses, and were relieved that the weather had improved - there was even sunshine!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Our next stop was Star Tours, since Grant had been so excited to ride it. The queue was none existent and soon enough we were sat in the simulator. It was good, but it's a shame that there are no English subtitles. Both of us also found that the film and movements were a little off as we came out feeling quite green, despite having never suffered from motion sickness before. We enjoyed doing it once, but we didn't go back.

    Since we both felt a bit fragile we decided to just walk around for a while taking everything in. We got some photos of the castle in the sun and a few shots of the ride times to show my parents when we got back - they were amazed!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Grant was curious about Studios so we decided to make our way out and park hop, hoping the short walk would clear our heads!

    [​IMG]

    Next up - taking on Studios!
     
  21. megarasweet

    megarasweet Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2011
    Messages:
    261
    Day 2 - Part 3

    We headed into Studios at just gone four. I've never been particularly fond of the smaller park, other than Crush, Rock'n'Rollercoaster and Tower of Terror. It doesn't have the same atmosphere as the main park, there's nothing really pulling it all together. I like the rides but I wouldn't want to hang around just for the sake of taking in my surroundings.

    Despite this I liked the Christmas tree, and on first impressions it felt more festive than last year.

    [​IMG]

    Our first stop was Crush, mostly because I was curious what the wait time would be with the subdued crowds. It was reading twenty minutes, so we happily joined the queue. In the end it only took us fifteen minutes, although the heat in the building brought back waves of Grant's motion sickness. I was fairly concerned, considering the nature of Crush, but he insisted that he'd be fine - I wasn't so sure!

    In the end he was fine, and Crush was just as fun as I remembered. Although Grant was impressed, he still didn't rate it as highly as Indiana Jones and Big Thunder Mountain.

    We wondered around the park a little, taking a look at Toy Story Play Land (although none of the rides really interested us) and getting a few photos.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    When we reached Rock'n'Rollercoaster I batted my eyelids and Grant agreed that we would go on. He still wasn't feeling one hundred percent, however since it's my favourite ride and there was only a five minute wait time he relented. In the end he was fine, and it ended up being his favourite ride too. He's a musician and old school rock fan, so the displays in the queue area were right down his street.

    By now we were both in need of refreshment, so we headed inside for hot chocolate and pretzels. Grant was really flagging and almost dozed off in his chair!

    [​IMG]

    Studios was close to closing, so we decided to head back to the hotel. Our original plan was to head back into the main park for Fantillusion at seven, but I then spilt a full bottle of iced tea into my bag (in which I was stupidly still carrying our passports and Eurostar tickets), sparking a bit of panic. We spent half an hour in our room washing my bag and hair drying it's contents. It was around about this time that Grant offered me an early birthday present. It was a new purse, meaning one less thing to wash and dry!

    Once we'd got everything together, we headed into the village. After the bag panic, I decided to cheer myself up by finally buying one of the Minnie hats... and by subjecting Grant to a montage of the more outlandish hats!

    [​IMG]

    In the end I settled on the leapard print hat with a silver bow. It was the only one that didn't clash with my red hair, but I loved it all the same.

    [​IMG]

    We couldn't decide whether to eat at Annette's again or to try Planet Hollywood, however in the end the lower prices and amazing smell wafting out of Annettes won us over. We both ate from the Anette's Favourites menu; a soft drink, a classic dish and a brownie dessert for €17. We both had coke and an onion burger (although Grant preferred the blue cheese burer he'd had on our first visit). This was, without a doubt, the best value meal of the trip.

    Both full to the brim and completely knackered, we made our way back to the hotel.

    [​IMG]

    Back at the hotel we pretty much crashed. We stuck on the television and slowly got ready for bed, however not before I got one more lovely photo of Grant looking very content.

    [​IMG]

    Next up - The most magical morning of my life!
     

Share This Page