I need to sell a kidney... but I'm going! - London & DLP October 2012

Discussion in 'Disneyland Paris Trip Reports Board' started by Hannikins, Nov 3, 2012.

  1. Hannikins

    Hannikins Mouseketeer

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    INDEX
    Pre Trippie
    The Wedding
    The Spends
    The Food - London
    The Food - Paris
    The Surprise
    The Plan

    Day 1 - London - Part 1
    Day 1 - London - Part 2
    Day 2 - The Wedding
    Day 3 - London - Part 1
    Day 3 - London - Part 2
    Day 4 - DLP - Part 1
    Day 4 - DLP - Part 2
    Day 5 - DLP - Part 1
    Day 5 - DLP - Part 2
    Day 6 - DLP & Paris - Part 1
    Day 6 - DLP & Paris - Part 2
    Day 6 - DLP & Paris - Part 3
    Day 7 - DLP - Part 1
    Day 7 - DLP - Part 2
    Day 7 - DLP - Part 3
    Day 8 - DLP - Part 1
    Day 8 - DLP - Part 2

    PRE TRIPPIE
    I've been lurking on this forum for a while now researching my WDW holiday this coming april so I thought I'd pluck up the courage and actually start contributing!

    A Little DLP History
    Weve been the DLP twice before. Once in 2006 for my 21st birthday when Adam took me as a surprise. We only spent a day at Disney and only visited the Magic Kingdom. Id never done Disney before, hadnt joined the Dibb and quite frankly was so overwhelmed by the whole experience Ive completely forgotten most of it.

    Heres a piccie from Paris (that is the eiffle tower and not blackpool tower in the background, honest)

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    we were young, I was blonde and Adam was hairy, those were good times.

    Older and wiser , in October 2010AD (After Dibb) we visited again, this time as a break from the gruelling task of planning our 2011 wedding.

    This time we did things properly and stayed onsite at Hotel New York with half board for 4 nights, this trip was just Disney, apart from a single day in Paris, and we had a fabulous time, far better than I was expecting if Im being honest!

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    Present Day
    This trip was not planned. We had already booked to go to Florida in April 2013 after digging deep in the finances and I had come to terms, just, with the fact that this was to be my first totally Disney free year since 2008, but then an email arrived&

    Since booking our 2010 trip I was always getting emails through from DLP and I have no idea why this one caught my eye but it did. I think it may have been the 50% in the subject line, who knows. So I sent it to Adam

    (que fifty shades of grey style email conversation minus smut)

    Hannah: Look what I just got in my inbox :P

    Seconds later&

    Adam: Youre funny, not a chance

    Hannah: :*(

    No reply

    Hannah: but its 50% off!!

    No reply

    And that was it, until 4 days later, on the LAST day of booking while enjoying morning coffee

    Adam (with cunning smile): You know those 50% off dates are just after we are in London, how much is the Eurostar from there do you think?

    Hannah: no answer&. to busy booting up the computer buying eurostar tickets, calling Disney and warming up the laminator!!

    Well ok I wasnt THAT quick off the mark, we did check the finances first as is only sensible but within an hour wed worked out that we could cut our stay in London short and visit DLP instead for LESS than staying in London would cost, all wed have to do was pay extra for the eurostar and sell a kidney. With a little encouragement from other dibbers in a similar situation and a call to the boss to secure the time off we were booked!

    No Disney free year, Hurrah!

    Let the planning commence!
     
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  3. Hannikins

    Hannikins Mouseketeer

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    The Wedding
    The wedding takes place in a lovely church in hampstead followed by a reception at St Stephens

    Here it is normally

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    And here it is in full on wedding mode

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    Stunning isn't it!

    A LOVE weddings, I loved planning my own wedding and I love working in the industry now so to say I am excited is probably a bit of an understatement ;P
     
  4. Hannikins

    Hannikins Mouseketeer

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    The Spends
    We weren't planning on this DLP trip and quite frankly with saving for florida we can't afford it but disney and their pesky 50% sale got the better of us as you know.

    4 nights in a standard Sequoia Lodge room with DDP plus came to £803.40 (EEEK!)
    Adding eurostar to that for a further £89 and that was our pockets well and truly empty!

    For london club card points have been our saviour, we are using them for all the london meals, tower of london entrance fee and a river cruise so we can visit greenwich.

    The rest of our spends will come from the £80 I've managed to get from ebay sales ;P

    We also plan on ordering some euros to pickup while in london as they seem to have better rates down there.
     
  5. Hannikins

    Hannikins Mouseketeer

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    The Food - London
    As this is a budget trip all of the food is coming courtesy of telco club card vouchers ;P

    Strada - Heddon Street
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    Prezzo - Belsize Park

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    Ortega - Ledenhall Market

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    Ok so they are all chain restaurants, a usual no no for us but needs must on our budget and we aren't in london for the food on this occasion ;p
     
  6. Hannikins

    Hannikins Mouseketeer

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    The Food - Disney & Paris
    I've now made all of my ADR's so I can now share my foodie plan

    We couldn't agree on ADR's this time, we knew we didn't want to do exactly the same ones and so only repeated on Cafe Mickey as we think that's a must. To go with that we have booked:

    The Manhattan - Not sure what the set menu is but may go off plan here
    Hunters Grill - I know this place gets mixed reviews but we've never done a DLP buffet before and as this is in our hotel we thought we'd give it a go.
    The Steakhouse - Again mixed reviews but this is one we didn't get chance to do last time so we are going to give it a go.


    For Paris we haven't decided, we are thinking a nice bistro and have a list of a few recommendations from friends, dibbers and trip advisor. We are just going to see which one we are nearest to when we get hungry and go with that!
     
  7. Hannikins

    Hannikins Mouseketeer

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    The Surprise
    I always try and plan surprises for Adam and then cave and end up telling him about them, I can't help myself, he hates surprises and I like sharing the excitement before hand. HOWEVER on this occasion I have remained tight lipped, I know he's started reading my trippies now so I will remain tight lipped until the big event ;P
     
  8. Hannikins

    Hannikins Mouseketeer

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    The Plan
    Well I now have a very rough plan of action

    Day 1 - Arriving and checking in at premier inn Hampstead Tower of London & General Sightseeing
    Day 2 - Wedding Day!
    Day 3 - Buckingham Palace - river cruise and Dinner with Parents
    Day 4 - Head via Eurostar to DLP, Spend the day in MK, watching dreams before Dinner at Hunter's Grill and drinks in the Bar
    Day 5 - EMH in MK before a day at the studios. possibly dreams again depending how good the view was last time followed by Dinner at the manhattan and drinks in the bar there
    Day 6 - EMH in MK before getting the train for a day and night in Paris
    Day 7 - EMH in MK before an afternoon at the studios. Followed by Dinner at Cafe Mickeys and possible drink at the disneyland hotel
    Day 8 - Finishing off things we missed, lunch at the steakhouse and then the Eurostar back to London and the train back home
     
  9. Hannikins

    Hannikins Mouseketeer

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    NOTE: The first three days of this trippie are in London, skip them if you’re only interested in DLP, I won’t be offended…. honest ;P

    Despite having the day before off work to pack and ready myself I somehow managed to spend the whole day ironing 3 tops and watching chick flicks, easily done :P This led to Adam finishing work and finding my dying my hair and still having not packed ☹

    We were supposed to be getting picked up at 6 by my parents but this moved to 8 when I realised how far behind I was!

    With some help from the puddies I was finally packed

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    We dropped our bags off with some friends who were driving to London instead the following day and with a wetherspoons dinner in the bag we were ready and waiting for the pickup at 8 as agreed, not bad!

    We’d arranged to stay at my mum and dads the night before as we were all getting the train together and the station was nearer to their house to a little longer in bed. Soon we were up and ready to go, it felt strange not having any luggage!

    A huge hazelnut latte and a kitkat were my companions for the trip…

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    … 3 hours later we were arriving in Euston, magic!

    As I had already purchased the oyster cards before our visit it was straight off the train and down to the tube station to catch the northernline to embankment and then the circle line to tower hill.

    Today we were visting the tower! But first as Adam was hungry we had to find somewhere to eat. After walking pass several subways and pubs with reasonable menus I pointed out that we were just walking further and further away from the tower, a pointless exercise in my book. In a slight huff we finally agreed on EAT and grabbed two sandwiches

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    To be fair they were rather nice :P

    Fed and watered we headed back over to the tower ticket office where I swapped our tesco clubcard vouchers for actual tickets.

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    I thought we’d have to pay an extra 2 pounds to cover the extra but apparently we got the full ticket in exchange instead which was a bonus. Adam did however decide to use the toilet nearby “just in case” which cost 50p so slightly less of a saving ;P FYI don’t bother, there’s toilets inside where you can ‘spend a penny’ for FREE!

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    We headed first to the old palace to get some good views over the thames. I find things like this fairly interesting but Adam was already a little bored, he was being a good sport though

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    Next we visited the ravens, I can’t get over how big they were, thank god they have their wings clipped, I would freak if one of these flew too close :/ (I blame a freak pigeon attack on blackpool prom as a toddler for this irrational fear!)

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    Jumping ahead of a larger tour group we swiftly headed over to see the jewels

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    I was really impressed by the exhibit and went for a few ‘rides’ on the moving walkway to take it all in.

    Just as we were leaving we caught the guards on the move

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    We finished the visit with a quick look at the armour.

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    By now it was starting to rain quite heavily so we decided to give the grounds a miss and head out to escape the rain. As it was still only 3.30 we decided to give the science museum a look. We’ve always meant to visit here but never found the time before. Jumping back on the tube we headed towards South Kensington. My feet were relieved to see that there was a museum entrance via the tube station. Little did I know this involved a 20 minute tunnel walk first! My feet were on FIRE by the time we arrived. This did not bode well for the days ahead :/

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    I quite enjoyed the science museum; unfortunately we only made it into the fun hands on bit 20 minutes before closing. We did see some cool stuff in the expo halls though.

    Google had a web lab on

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    Working in digital I had to have a look at that. We joined an online band

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    Watched data travel over the world via googles servers

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    And had my face drawn by google.

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    The glasses gave it away

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    Adam’s looked much more recognisable

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    It was rather fun and a great way of educating kids on how the internet works.

    We also aged ourselves

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    scary thought!

    At 6 they started ushering people outside so we took a pew on the benches outside to give our feet a rest before attempting the walk back down the tunnel to the metro to get the circle line to Monument, we were heading to ledenhall market for tonights dinner.
     
  10. Hannikins

    Hannikins Mouseketeer

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    It turned out to be a short but busy walk from the station to the market and the place was HEAVING. Everyone standing outside the rammed pubs with pints in hand. This was clearly the Friday night works drink location of choice!

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    I soon located Ortega and despite it looking quiet I noticed all the tables were reserved. Today’s dinner was again courtesy of tesco clubcard vouchers. So we decided to blow the budget and order a jug of sangria, big mistake, I’d forgotten how strong this stuff can be!

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    I really struggled to finish it…

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    … but I managed!

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    We ordered some bread to start

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    followed by the tapas platter to share

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    Everything was very yummy and we cleared most of it. With some of the voucher value left we ordered dessert as well.

    A Spanish version of crème brulee and some churros to share

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    Knowing we would be up early tomorrow for the wedding we paid up (£15 for the sangria only) and caught the tube to belsize park to check into our hotel. We were staying at the premier inn here and I was pleasantly surprised by the area and the hotel itself. Adam was getting a bit of a headache (swears it has nothing to do with the jug of sangria) so he headed to bed while I met up with the parents and friends in the bar to get our luggage.

    No more drinking though, beauty sleep required for tomorrow!
     
  11. Hannikins

    Hannikins Mouseketeer

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    NOTE: The first three days of this trippie are in London, skip them if you’re only interested in DLP, I won’t be offended…. honest ;P

    I was up bright and early this morning to prepare for the wedding. The service wasn’t until 12.30 so I sent Adam on a hunt for food.

    He returned with some yummy pastries from a nearby bakery.

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    they were huge! The boy did good ☺

    We arrived at the church nice and early, considering the nasty weather recently things were looking up!

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    While waiting we noticed what we thought was an old bag lady outside the church, turns out it wasn’t… it was Helena Bonham carter, odd start to the day, although she does live nearby I think :p

    Shouldn’t be surprised really, we were in the middle of ‘lovieville’ all the café bars nearby were full or yummy mummy’s and every other car we saw clearly cost more than my house :O

    I’m obviously not going to give you a blow by blow account of a wedding that’s not even mine BUT here are some piccies ☺

    Champers after the ceremony

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    The Family

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    reception venue laid out for the feast

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    music with canapés

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    The top table

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    Some food

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    cake cutting

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    fairy lights in the evening

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    my poor mum after one to many g&t’s

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    It was an amazing day which luckily finished at 11ish (celeb neighbours complain about the loud music apparently :/ ) The early night was very welcome though, we have another long day in London tomorrow!
     
  12. Hannikins

    Hannikins Mouseketeer

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    Ok this is the LAST day in London and it’s very picture heavy, I’ll be as brief as I can because I want to start on the DLP bit just as much as you probably do :P

    Now before I start today has a little bit of a back story, those of you who read my pre trippy will remember that I had planned a surprise for Adam on this trip. In the past this has always been a problem as he hates surprises and I can’t keep them a secret, however this time around I HAD MANAGED IT!! Just ;P

    They was one little problem with my surprise, Adam’s surprise was food related and the location had a dress code… but how to explain this without giving the game away?

    In short, you can’t. Despite me trying to convince him we were going to a strada in a ‘posh neighbourhood’ and might need a shirt he was having none of it and just packed ‘touring London and doing DLP essentials’ grrrrr

    I did however manage to get him into a smarter t-shirt, which I considered a small victory in itself.

    So on with day 3…


    Despite a busy day yesterday we were up and ready to go at around 10ish. I took advantage of this lie in and ordered some euro’s for pick up with best exchange. The easiest place to get to considering the tube closures on a Sunday was near Victoria so that’s where we headed.

    I ended up walking past it twice as it was called something different from the website but they had my order and didn’t give me monopoly money in return for my hard earned English pounds so all was good.

    I was rather flustered by this point. I wanted to visit Buckingham palace this morning and knew we were running out of time to fit it in before our reservation, Adam couldn’t understand why being late would be a problem… it was only a strada after all! AHHH if only he knew!!

    Still I decided it was worth a look so we headed towards the ticket area. I knew before I got even remotely close that this was pointless, the queue was HUGE, and on closer inspection I noticed this was the queue WITH tickets :O

    With a tour of the palace out of the question we decided to hang around near the gates as the changing of the guard was happening shortly


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    well, in 30 minutes :P

    We managed to get a great spot near the front but we were pretty much the only English people stood there, obviously the brits aren’t stupid enough to stand for something like this.

    Still it was drawing some crowd!

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    We honestly thought perhaps there was a state visit, surely not this many people would be hanging around for a regular event like the changing of the guard!

    The highlight of the whole experience was the crowd control copper, his talents are wasted on policing. Such highlights of his banter include:

    Comedy Copper: Who’s seen this before?
    Crowd: Silence
    Comedy Copper: No second timers? Gives you a good idea of what you’re in for then eh?


    Comedy Copper one liners while trying to move tourists along and leave the area in front of the main gates clear…

    Comedy Copper: MOVE! … Or I will literally hit you with this stick! (weird one but as the said crowd clearly didn’t understand English I don’t think they will be pressing charges)

    Comedy Copper to a small Chinese lady who walked straight up to the gate and stood there waiting expectantly…

    Comedy Copper: Oh that’s right luv, all these people have been stood here for 30 minutes to get a look and you stroll up with minutes to spare and there’s a great big space left right at the front, what luck!...long pause for effect… MOVE IT!!!

    There were more gems but I won’t bore you with the rest, suffice to say he was more entertaining that the changing of the guard ;P Some people even had there photo taken with him afterwards, maybe they thought he was the warm up act!

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    And that was it, like the tourists around us we won’t be waiting for that again, though perhaps it’s like childbirth, you forget, because I’m sure I’ve done it before ;P

    ON the way out we stopped for the tourist piccie in front of the palace

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    I started to walk Adam around hyde park towards Grosvenor Square, the location of our surprise lunch.

    As we got closer I think he got a little suspicious but I think it still seemed possible that a strada could exist here.

    I actually got him as far as the door before it clicked…

    Me: oooo look it’s Gordon Ramsey’s restaurant … (pause for effect, a skill recently gained from comedy copper)… tell you what why don’t we eat here instead?

    Adam: Ermmm….

    Me: no really go on in we have a reservation

    Adam: You first (I don’t think he believed me and he thought I was playing a trick because he insist a went to the check in desk first)

    He was very quiet and dazed in shock…. Either that or he was contemplating how underdressed he was (can’t say he wasn’t warned!).

    We were seated and I explained that this was my treat as a little thank you for him being so patient while I got my new business off the ground and ultimately letting me go to DLP again! Lots of lovely wife brownie points earned today I think you’ll agree ;P

    I did however point out that although I was paying that was only true if he went with the set menu… I’m not made of money!

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    the menu was simple. You picked four dishes from the menu, savoury or sweet. While deciding I navigated the ipad wine list to get a glass of malbec while Adam ordered a beer.

    While still deciding on the dishes our bread course arrived.

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    the smaller pieces were yummy and fresh but the breadsticks were odd and hard enough to crack a tooth on!

    We finally opted on two savoury and two sweet dishes each. And here they are…

    To start Adam had; Quail, confit leg, girolles, smoked sweet corn veloute

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    and I had; Chilled watercress soup, cured sea trout and lemon yoghurt


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    both were lovely. I loved the watercress soup and Adam’s tasted rich and creamy.

    We then both had the same second course; Pork dumplings, radish, aromatic mushroom broth

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    These were very fresh, packed with pork and lots of flavour

    Considering how small the portions are I was getting rather full, still onto the third course

    Again we both had the same; Braised beef feather blade, pomme purée, shimeji mushroom, togarashi spice

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    Beef and mash is my comfort food so I was in heaven with this dish, I would have licked the plate clean if I could

    The final course we’d labelled ‘dessert’

    I had; Frozen yoghurt and granola sandwich, Daiquiri sorbet

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    And Adam had; Yuzu ‘tea cake’, mango & lime jam, lemongrass ice cream

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    I can only assume that Adam’s was yummy as I didn’t get chance to try it as it was gone in seconds. Mine was lovely too, especially the granola on the ‘sandwich’

    The meal had taken over two hours and despite being enjoyable we didn’t really have much time to linger so we paid up and left. Overall a very enjoyable meal and at £25 for 4 courses a real bargain in my opinion. I really want to try Petrus so I think I’ll be saving up before our next trip!
    I still had river cruise clubcard vouchers burning a hole in my bag so we walked to the bond street tube station and headed towards Westminster. I saw as we reach ground level that there was already a rather full looking boat boarding so we walked briskly to exchange the vouchers and grab a seat.

    Stupid me had only brought a gilet with me and today I was wearing short sleeves, it was going to be a cold trip…

    I won’t bore you with a full commentary on our trip over to Greenwich other than to say it’s a worthwhile and enjoyable way to spend 2-3 hours on the Thames. Here’s just a few piccies

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    On reaching Greenwich it was already rather late so instead we had a very quick walk around the college, snapped a few photos, watch a cat being taken for a walk, or rather a cat taking a bemused man for a walk and jumped back on the next boat.

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    My mum and dad were planning on riding these things today but didn’t get chance…

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    they look interesting but what can you actually see from a cable car over an undeveloped area of Greenwich? Anyone been on them?

    On reaching Westminster again it was starting to get dark… and crucially bloomin cold!

    Luckily I’d spotted a nero’s on the corner so we headed over to use our BOGOF card

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    Hot drink in hand we headed for a little look at the abby and watched the lights come on around parliament

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    As you can see it was getting on for 7 now and we had a 8.30 dinner with my parents so we headed back to the tube station and went straight back to the hotel for a little r + r and to pack.
     
  13. Hannikins

    Hannikins Mouseketeer

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    At 8.15 we met my parents in reception to hang over the luggage we didn’t need for DLP and headed to Prezzo across the road from the hotel for dinner.

    This was a cosy restaurant, we were advised to sit in the main dining room instead of the conservatory as it was a little loud in there that evening, we agreed. I kinda wish we had though as someone we think was Joanna Lumley was in there having a party, I say ‘think’ but who else looks a lot like her and would dine in a restaurant one evening wearing massive sunglasses, it was either her or a lookalike nutter ;P

    Again the tesco clubcard vouchers were coming out so as I was ‘treating’ the parents (I can be amazingly generous with my freebies, teehee!) Dad got the drinks in.

    If I’m honest I hadn’t recovered from lunch so mum and I decided to share a starter

    Italian Nachos for two

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    Adam went for the fried cheese

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    And my dad the Calamari

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    All said their starters were yummy.

    For mains mummy dearest went for the lasagne

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    Dad went for the burger

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    Which looked seriously impressive, in fact judging by the noises he was making I can only assume it tasted as good as it looked.

    Adam and I both went for the executive pizza

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    that’s one huge pizza EACH :O

    These things came with a pizza slicer they were that big! I don’t think even between us we would have finished it

    So…

    Onto dessert!

    My dad hadn’t had an epic pizza so he went with a cheesecake

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    Mum, Adam and I all shared a mini dessert trio

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    We were all really impressed with the food here, I had being expecting mediocre food like Ask but at £100 for all the food and drink (£60 in vouchers) it was fairly good value.


    We didn’t linger here long but headed back to the hotel for an early night, I set the alarm for 5.30am, tomorrow was a VERY early start!
     
  14. Hannikins

    Hannikins Mouseketeer

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    Today saw us wake at an hour I very rarely see, feeling it should be reserved for those unfortunate enough to either have very young children or a very long commute… 5am

    Luckily I had done most of our packing the night before so all that was required was a quick wash and clean of the necessities before checking out and getting on our way.

    But on leaving the hotel we were met with a problem, it was CHUCKING it down. Luckily the tube station wasn’t to far so we were able to run for it rather quickly, although we were sodden in just that short time, soggy clothes for the next few hours, LOVELY.

    I was surprised at how busy the tube was, full of people as equally sleepy and soggy as us. We made it to St pancreas at 6.45 so plenty of time to spare. I suggested to Adam that we head up to macdonalds or a café outside the station, having heard from other dibbers that the breakfast selection was poor once at the station, but Adam wasn’t having it, he was adamant we’d find some thing there despite my protests…

    10 minutes later…

    … having established that m&s was shut and there was only a single overpriced coffee shop open…

    …. I was walking back to macdonalds

    I offered to go. It allowed me to enjoy basking in the ‘I told you so’ after glow while Adam was left alone to contemplate the awful truth, that his wife, like all wives, IS ALWAYS right.

    I had hoped to take the food through security, but looking at the single overstuffed bin by the large queue forming that didn’t seem likely, so we stood and scoffed the lot, we’ll probably regret that later I’m sure.

    Security was chaos, in fact this was the one and only queue where we experienced ‘european’ queuing, or lack of. Large hand luggage does help in these situations though and we were soon through to the lounge.

    I thought we were early but we barely had time to visit the facilities before the platform announced boarding!

    We found our seats easily enough after the usual panic of finding room for the luggage before settling down to our first eurotunnel experience..


    .. It was uneventful, nothing happened. So I won’t bore you with it.

    We arrived in next to no time at Lille and settled down with everyone else around the giant information board to await further instructions. I should point out that this place is FREEZING and stupid me only had a gilet to keep me warm!

    Luckily we were only here for 30 minutes, so while Adam ran off to purchase a drink I settled down to read my book (The Hunger Games, I was getting quite into it!). Well I would have, until I realised what I hate most about French train stations, the announcement jiggle! No really, it puts my teeth on edge I dislike it so much. If you haven’t heard it you can listen to it on this youtube video

    hideous isn’t it. That we never truly leave your conscious now, my apologies.

    Lille is a busy train station, so this was played A LOT.

    Luckily though I didn’t have to endure this torture for long as the platform was announced and like the same rush you get at airports, everyone push and shoved to get down to it, before then standing there for a further 10 minutes until the train arrived.

    Again plenty of room for the luggage and with 4 stops until Disney we settled down to a good game of cards.

    I was getting a little excited now ;P

    Soon enough space mountain came into view and the train slowed. WE WERE HERE!!!

    I was getting ever so slightly giddy by this point, which Adam found hilarious. I literally skipped off the train towards Disney village! Well I tried to until a security guy stopped me and sent me the long way around! Grrrrr I hate this new setup they have, which forces you to walk the long way around passed world of Disney everytime.

    We hadn’t paid for the luggage to be taken to the hotel, with small carry ons we didn’t see the point, so instead we took a brisk walk around the lake to our hotel, taking in the sights as we went, first picture time..

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    really worth reading all that above for eh!

    Eventually we made it to Sequoia Lodge. We’d walked passed before but never been inside, so it was nice to finally visit. In we went…

    But where was reception :$

    We got completely lost finding it. Coming from lakeside we are obviously at the back but even still this place was confusing.

    When we finally arrived we saw three massive coaches pulling up, one was just unloading, so we sped up to get in front!

    They were obviously prepared for this sudden influx of guests as they had an initial group of cast members getting everyone’s details before taking you to the desk. We got a lovely guy checking us in, and bless him, he wanted to tell us all about the parks, talked us through the entertainment guide… but he must have sensed my impatience to actually get to the parks and experience the entertainment he was telling us about. He rushed through the rest of his speech before handing us our cards and breakfast slots (7am). We were in the north wing on the 7th floor. I had rung a week before and asked for a high room with a balcony so this was looking good!

    We stepped out of the lift and realised our room must be nearby and then we sure this

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    A suite? HELLO!

    We went through the first door into a little ‘hall’ , which had two doors with room keys, and then we were in!

    The room was HUGE!

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    Odd, but huge, it appeared to contain the same amount of furniture as a standard sized room so everything was very spread out with a massive gap, which I can only think should, at some point, contain a sofa, but not yet.

    I didn’t see a balcony which was disappointing, no pleasing me!

    That was until I found some curtains and opened the door to find this:

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    and this

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    and most important of all.

    THIS

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    The balcony was huge and on a corner so we could see across to both parks and back across the forest behind.

    Still that view could wait, we had parks to visit! We threw off the still soggy clothes and changed into summer wear, it was BOILING and headed out for a brisk walk over to the parks!

    I was dying the get on a ride, and despite me explaining that if this didn’t happen in the next 5 minutes I may very well explode with excitement Adam insisted on taking photos

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    lots of photos

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    So I photobombed as many as possible until he got the hint ;P

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    Standing still only long enough to get a cheeky photo by the entrance

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    Our plan for today was to visit the studios first and head over to the magic kingdom to watch dreams in the evening. This was probably pretty much everyone else’s plan today I’m sure, but we were happy just to go with the flow.

    I would have loved our first ride to have been crush but with a 45 minute wait we decided to give it a miss and instead headed into toy story playland instead

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    The parachutes were showing a 35 minute wait time but the single rider option was on at 5 minutes so we gave it a go. In fact we had two goes because no sooner had we ‘lifted off’ and dropped the first time than a girl behind me let out the loudest blood curdling scream I’ve ever heard before demanding to be let off. I didn’t realise it was possible for someone so small to make SO MUCH noise ! The cast members clearly though she had hurt herself as they took her off and started up the ride again for our bonus go. It’s an ok ride, we only really bothered to get a good look at the building work next door

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    With one ride under our belt we decided to go on Rc racer, and with a 5 minute wait we managed to do it twice in a row. Adam loves this ride, says it gives him a ‘tickly tummy’ … bless.

    We noticed on the way passed crush that the wait was now only 25 minutes so we gave in and decided to ride.

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    It was just as good as I remember, we love this one

    Next up was Adam’s all time favourite, TOT, we grab fast passes but with a 10 minute wait we didn’t really need it.

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    We love this ride and always spend time before loading trying to find two of our favourite rider ‘types’ The ‘first timer’,made more amusing the younger they are, and the ‘unexpected screamer’, these are usually male and bordering on butch.

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    As luck would have it on this ride Adam was sat next to a guy who fit both these categories. A true double whammy, he was big, he was butch…. He was also terrified and screamed like a girl!

    And here’s the picture evidence (we are top right, the guy is top middleish hanging on for his life ;P)

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    You may frown that we take such pleasure at the discomfort of others but on this ride especially, it’s bloomin hilarious!

    Anyway I digress.

    With a quiet park we were making great progress through the studios so we decided on a few rides on Rock n roller coaster before finding some lunch.

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    I remembered having a decent lunch at the backlot express last time so we headed there.

    I fancied a ham and cheese sandwich but they were huge so instead I opted for a kids meal, unfortunately without the cheese.

    Adam couldn’t make his mind up as the pizza looks bone dry, like it had stood for days, so instead he went for the pasta,

    We turned both into meals so ended up with:

    Pasta, crisps, coke and a chocolate pudding

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    and a ham sandwich, crisps, orange and an icecream sundae

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    mine tasted fine and providing you didn’t think about how much it had cost is was rather enjoyable.

    The best part of all was Adam’s chocolate pudding, it was AMAZING, I wish my kids meal had come with that because he wasn’t for sharing ;P
     
  15. Hannikins

    Hannikins Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2012
    Messages:
    240
    Fed and watered and with the studios pretty much covered off we decided to head over to the magic kingdom to check it out. Stopping for the trip required photo by the hotel

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    The décor is stunning

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    I know some people haven’t been impressed with Halloween in recent years but this was impressive. It literally looked like Halloween had thrown up all over main street, in a good way!

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    lots more than back in 2010 IMHO..

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    The pumpkinmen aren’t back, they are only in frontierland. Instead a series of ghosts have taken over instead, more pics on that tomorrow.

    We then got our first glimpse of the real reason we love DLP, the castle! Looking rather fabulous and spruced up for the celebrations.

    [​IMG]


    We decided to check out the waiting time boards before working out a plan, it was looking rather quiet with a maximum of 15 minutes for the headliners so that really didn’t narrow it down. Instead we decided to take it easy and sit in the square and watch the Halloween entertainment for a bit

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    they were really good!

    Next up we headed over to frontierland and looked at the pumpkinmen décor

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    We started by riding big thunder mountain, the fast pass helping us to ride it pretty much non stop, fitting in the haunted mansion, pirates of the caribbean and Indiana Jones during the 30 minute internals.

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    Before we knew it, it was 7.15 and starting to go dark, we were shattered. We really didn’t have time to head back to the hotel and get back and find a good spot for dreams so instead we decided to find a seat and wait.

    We ended up sat on a bench with a big flowerbed behind it so we knew we would have an unobstructed view of the show.

    We played a few games of scrabble on my iphone. I am rubbish at this and after a few short games with the best three letter words I could muster Adam got bored. I tried to keep my eye on the window to see how the star comes out but I completely missed it! I still don’t know how it does it ☹


    Soon it was really dark and the 5 minute announcement rang out

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    3 minutes to go, we took our places, sitting on the railing next to the couple we’d been sharing a bench with for the last 90 minutes. Just before the show a young girl came running up, pushed forward by her mother, and tried to squeeze in next to me. Usually I don’t mind this as I love watching the kids during the shows, but I took one look at her, looked her in the eyes, and realised what we had here was a spoilt pain in the ####, trust me, it takes one to know one, so I made myself huge. Instead she moved over to the couple next to us and the lady took pity on her and squeezed up…

    no sooner was she in and her brother arrives, pushing his way through and knocking one of the couple off the bench completely!

    Next the mum’s partner in crime arrived to provide the children with large, flashing, eye catching headwear and a huge bag of food which the kids promptly waved around, knocking the kind lady in the face intermittently… great.

    This continued for the whole performance, the lady who had let them in even apologised to me and her husband and I exchanged several glances with each other which clearly said ‘I’ll kick em if you do”

    Don’t get me wrong I don’t blame the kiddies really, a 6 year old doesn’t really understand the meaning of consideration for others it’s the mother that made me cross, she didn’t give two hoots, constantly getting the kid to jump about and move, taking LOTS of flash photography of the children ,which pretty much blinded me the whole time, suffice to say I didn’t see as much of the show I would have liked ☹ rant over!

    The show itself, what I saw of it through headgear, takeout bags and flash, was amazing, The tangled bit brought a tear to my eye and the princess and the frog bit was FAB!

    I would even go as far as to say that this is my favourite show of this type, even more than World of Colour!

    Here’s a few photos for you to skip if you don’t want to spoil it.

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    Once the show had finished we headed out with the masses, taking the recommended detour through the arcades.


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    Tonight we were taking it easy and eating at our hotel. We have never tried a buffet before at DLP, I heard this place did carved meat which sounded ok.

    It was fairly quiet when we arrived as we had beaten most of the crowds so I headed off to the buffet first.

    I grabbed some yummy salad and soup to start

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    And Adam did the same

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    next up was the mains.

    There didn’t appear to be any meat, just an odd processed sliced turkey :/ So I ended up with a jacket potato, chilli, chips, a piece of quiche, and a fish finger.

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    not good. I did have a bit of a giggle when the lasagne ran out and a family of Italians were completely lost as what else to eat! And no pizza as a secondary option! That’s all they eat really.. I’m allowed to say that, I married one ;P

    Next up I grabbed a cheese plate

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    while Adam went straight for the dessert... more chocolate pudding!!

    [​IMG]

    Overall the buffet was ‘ok’ however I think you’d get much better value at other restaurants using DDP vouchers. If I had paid for this I don’t think it’s good value for money either.

    There were people working their way through loaded plates of king prawns and maybe that works for them but this was nothing like the buffet experience you find elsewhere in the UK or the US but then I guess France aren’t on big on the buffet.

    Having eaten everything we could we headed back to the room, my feet needed a really good soak ready for tomorrow!
     
  16. meggiebeth

    meggiebeth Have faith in your dreams and someday your rainbow

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2011
    Messages:
    1,877
    Great TR- I love it! All your pictures are fabulous!

    As for Tesco Clubcard- we are well accustomed to using those too! They are pretty handy, right?! ;) Great for Xmas presents too.

    I love how you've combined London with France- two of my favourite places!

    You are so lucky going to WDW and DLP- WDW is expensive enough. But I was horrified when a three night break at Davy Crockett Ranch and tickets came to about £3000 for our family! That's £1000 a night! Eeeek.

    Looking forward to hearing more :)

    Sent from my iPhone using DISBoards
     
  17. Mum to Belle

    Mum to Belle <font color=royalblue>Thinks she may know someone

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    Messages:
    2,841
    Loving your TR!

    I just read it from the start and it did make me chuckle...

    Looks like you had fun in London and that is a STUNNING wedding venue!

    I am very appreciative of all the food photos - thank you for sharing! Gordon Ramsey's looks good value and I would have been having the beef & mash too - yummy! (I sympathise with the wardrobe issue with your DH, mine would be the same, jeans & T-shirt...!)

    I think you must have had one of the rooms in SL which will be the new "special" rooms from next year - lucky, lucky girl!!!

    We haven't eaten in Hunters Grill but have tried Beaver Creek Tavern twice which we loved. You have the starter & dessert buffet but you order your main off a menu so you get a "real meal" IYKWIM!

    Looking forward to day two...
     
  18. Hannikins

    Hannikins Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2012
    Messages:
    240
    With a 7am breakfast slot we were again up at insane o’clock. But there was one small problem, I just couldn’t move, so we didn’t make it down to breakfast until 7.15am, standards were slipping already! It didn’t really make a difference, the breakfast room was very quiet so we took our time while I devoured 6 pastries (yes. SIX!), several hot choccies and managed to make 4 cheese rolls, which somehow made it into the plastic bag in my bum bag…oops!

    Despite carrying the weight of all those pastries we made a brisk exit towards MK, anxious to get there for 8am. We shouldn’t have bothered. It was us and one other English family, the Europeans don’t really ‘do’ mornings it appears!

    It was so early it was still dark!

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    It was worth the pain of an early rise though, we made it to main street before anyone else so we managed to get a few empty main street shots

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    They were cast members so they don’t count ;P

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    With so few people to race to the rides we decided to check out the new ghost details around main street. I especially liked the opera singing ghost you can hear opposite Walt’s

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    They were certainly more ‘disney’ than the pumpkin men, I always found those a little sinister, especially the ones up by the mansion

    Firstly we headed to buzz to wake up a little. Being first through the gates we were escorted by a crewman to our ship with an official salute and a cheery ‘welcome space rangers!’

    Adam won, as usual.

    Next up was Space Mountain, a head banger as usual.

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    We usually do this a good few times in the morning but I hadn’t built up sufficient roller coaster brain to deal with doing it more than twice so it was on to fantasy land.

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    still looks amazing in the morning gloom.

    I asked Adam to take a piccie of me and the castle, can you spot me…

    [​IMG]

    There’s I am

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    I wanted this pic for my wall at work but it looks a bit grim. I’ll have to go back with my mickey ears when it’s sunny to do a better one.

    First up was the carousel, I know this is just like any other carousel but somehow you just can’t get away with riding one anywhere but at Disney. I LOVED it.

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    Adam wasn’t so keen teehee :P I don't know what his problem was, I let him sit on a 'manly' horse :D

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    It was starting to drizzle a little so we headed over to the teacups and some cover. It was still very quiet so we managed two rounds on this, we got a little queasy.

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    Still raining we headed to snow white followed by Pinocchio. I really HATE the trees in the snow white ride, they scare me to death. How kids don’t all come off this screaming their heads off I don’t know!


    The rain was a little heavy now so we took refuge in the castle.

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    The park was opening to regular guests, so we had a nosy in the shop.

    This was here in 2010, I wonder why nobody has bought it yet?

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    Once the rain had cleared we decided to head out to visit the studios as they were due to open in 30 minutes. We did stop to visit an old friend though

    [​IMG]

    I think he may have also had some work done for the 20th anniversary, the lighting was certainly better.

    We arrived at the studios to find that the gates were already open. Great, that didn’t bode well for the crush queue!

    As it happened it wasn’t to bad at 25 minutes so we decided to wait it out.

    We ended up waiting with an English family with two young children. The little lad was still recovering for a ride on the parachutes and was a little wary. He kept asking would he get wet, it which his mother’s response was “maybe a little”. She’s also told him it was just going to “twist around a bit”. Somehow I gathered from this that it may have been their first time on crush because “twist around a bit” is the biggest understatement ever used to describe this ride. I wanted to say something, really I did…. But the need to see the aftermath was to great so I kept quiet, I know, I’m evil…

    On leaving the ride I made Adam hang around a bit just so I could see how it had gone. Well there they were, all of them wide eyed and stunned, even the dad! The little lads face was brilliant though, full quivering lip and shakes, almost cruel to laugh really. I think he was to shocked to cry and it wasn’t until he was outside in the clear light of day when he started screaming, clearly scared by the experience… we left them to it, character building I say.

    Entertainment for the morning over we headed over to toy story playland. The parachutes were down, again (shocker!), so we decided on a few rides on RC Racer

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    We preferred it at the back, much longer sense of weightlessness we thought.

    Next we fitted in a few rides on rock and roller coaster and tower of terror.

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    On the way out we noticed Armageddon was open, for some reason I thought this was a sit down affair, probably getting confused with similar rides in orlando. Standing was agony! But I still managed to get through the intro bit with Michael Clarke Duncan (RIP) before getting into the ‘set’. Guess who had joined us? Our friends from crush of course! Along with a Spanish family with two young children who started screaming the minute we entered… this was NOT going to be pretty. Sure enough the explosions, wind and fire caused a sufficient level of emotional scaring to both families and we all left in a crowd of tears and screams. Not Disney at it’s most child friendly I’ll admit but fun all the same!

    A quick glance at the board showed crush at 15 mins, well it would be rude not to. So we fitted in two rides with crush and squeeze before making for the exits.

    We made sort work of the cheese sandwiches on our way over to magic kingdom, not wanting to stop for lunch today.
     
  19. Hannikins

    Hannikins Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2012
    Messages:
    240
    A quick inspection of the boards showed that today was a quiet one

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    Having done Fantasyland and Discoveryland that morning we headed first to big thunder mountain. Grabbing a fastpass before joining the queue.

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    We fell into the usual pattern here, riding big thunder mountain, grabbing a fast pass, before heading off to ride something else during the wait. It wasn’t great on the legs all this running around. By 4ish we were pooped. Having not paid for lunch today (naughty naughty!) we headed to the bakery on main street and grabbed a hot drink, cookie and a doughnut. We caught this cute little show on the way

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    WDW main street bakery this was not, my cookie tasted of absolutely nothing, completely rubbish. I had wanted to try the ‘anniversary’ cake but despite walking into every counter service that afternoon I hadn’t seen it once ☹

    Rubbish cookie and vastly over priced hot drinks (ok so it was 3 euros which doesn’t sound bad but it was the nasty stuff you get from hospital waiting rooms for 60p! yuk!) we sat for a while deciding what to do next…. BTM obviously! Can you tell we love this ride?

    The park was so quiet today that there was a cast member handing out fast passes instead of you using the machine. I think they do this to run a few off so the time slots change. Anyway, the wait was 60 minutes so we headed to the haunted mansion.

    On the way over to adventureland to fill in the rest of the 60 minute wait Adam had a call of nature, so I waited by BTM for him. I noticed the cast member had gone and the machines were back in action. And then I realised, the fast passes I had weren’t from my tickets, the machine had no idea I even HAD the two I carried in my pocket. So quickly I rushed to the machines, feeling ever so slightly naughty… I was about to CHEAT THE SYSTEM, I looked over my shoulder, and grabbed two more fastpasses… for exactly the same time frame as the other 2 I had. Brilliant!

    It’s the little things ☺

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    If the cast member taking the tickets noticed us using the tickets in quick succession she didn’t say anything. The people in the main queue did seem to notice though as we were given some rather steely glares.

    By now it was getting on for 7pm and it was starting to go dark. We weren’t watching dreams tonight, instead planning on riding BTM in the dark for as long as possible.

    Still using fast passes we managed this a few times, only having to join the main queue a few times. On one of these occasions we were met with our only experience of queue jumpers the whole trip. Chain smoking the whole way through the queue (the fact that the whole place was made of wood didn’t seem to bother them) we quickly identified them as being A: German and B: chavs. I have no idea what the german equivalent is of a chav but the velour tracksuits and all in one hoodie uniforms seem to span across to mainland Europe. No sooner had we reached the main building than they were over the barrier and shooting down the fastpass line, this really is the worst fast pass queue for this. Really they should take the tickets near the stairs as CM’s at loading have no visibility higher up, in fact I’m surprised so few people actually do jump over to be honest.

    We had a dinner reservation at 9.30 so we rode BTM in the dark for as long as we dared before making an exit. We headed round the back of the new gardeners hut and realised you got quite a good view from there of dreams, something to consider tomorrow I thought!

    We headed back to the hotel to put on something a little smarter before heading over to Hotel New York. We’d stayed here in 2010 so it was nice to visit again. I checked the shop in the lobby to see if they still had the figurine I wanted. Before the trip I told myself that if they still had it, it would be fate and I would buy it. Alas it was sold.

    This is it

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    one day maybe….

    We were 30 minutes early so we headed over to the bar to try a cocktail. I had something, which I can’t remember the name of, I think it was liberty bell, it was one of the ones you could only get at Hotel New York though.

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    Adam has a tendency on these occasions to go wild and order incredibly expensive girlie cocktails. I think it’s safe to say on this occasion he outdid himself

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    Still he was happy and the “light and colours” cocktail appeared to get lots of admiring glances as it changed colour.

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    The snacks weren’t bad here either and we gladly finished off all the nuts and olives.

    Still a little early but not wishing to drop another week wages on more cocktails we headed over to the Manhattan restaurant.

    We checked in and the CM seemed rather puzzled on where to put us, ooo it must be busy I thought, not so, there were 4 other tables seated! I realised later it was because they had already set most of the restaurant up for breakfast! I had heard that there is often live piano music here but alas not tonight.

    Our waiter came over and asked if we were on the meal plan. I explained we were but may not use it. This confused him no end, especially the notion of ‘face value’, turns out that means nothing in French so I was really struggling. Eventually we convinced him to give us both menus and that seemed to make more sense to everyone involved!

    I had originally wanted to try the gourmet burger on the more expensive set menu but as we were going to Annette’s for lunch tomorrow I decided to give it a miss and stuck with the set menu. Adam on the other hand went with the burger.

    To start I had the pumpkin soup with beetroot crisps and chestnut muffins

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    The chestnut muffins were lovely as were the beetroot crisps, although they were chewy not crispy. The soup was also nice but it was EXACTLY the same as the one from hunter’s grill the night before! Kinda looses it’s ‘specialness’ when you’ve been spooning it out of a vat the night before :/

    Adam ordered the "Little Italy" platter described as “a selection of antipasti”

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    Now we eat A LOT of antipasti, and usually this would be a selection of meats, cheese, olives and sometimes pickled veg.

    This is not what he got. EVERY OTHER THING was a pickle vegetable, the only piece of meat being a small piece of ham wrapped around ricotta, which would have been fine, had it not been swimming in oil. There was also a token prawn sitting on some salad, again drowned in oil. Sorry I realise I’m going overboard on this dish, but seriously? Awful!

    Luckily the mains were much better!

    Adam’s burger was huge!!

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    he’d asked for the sauce on the side so that came in a little pot. Probably for the best, I can see it being rather messy with all that poured over it! He said it was amazing but only managed half.

    I ordered the maple syrup glazed chicken.

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    Again yummy, the chicken being the star of the dish (thankfully!). The only let down was the mash, I love mash, but this was more crush potatoes masquerading as mash, it was so lumpy and dry! Still after some further mashing and mixed with some sauce it was ok.

    It was round about now that my eyes started drooping, and I noticed Adam doing the same. We were shattered, there in body but certainly not in mind, and despite the mains being yummy I just wanted my bed!

    We managed to get through dessert, although we only really picked at it.

    Adam had the crumble

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    which was more tinned fruit with some crumbs on top. Tart and not good, it needed ice cream, custard, just SOMETHING with it, but instead it came with 3 rather random chocolate chip cookies. Now I don’t know about you but I can’t see how they go with crumble?

    I went for the Lemon tart with fruit minestrone.

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    I ate all the minestrone (diced fruit), but picked at the tart, it was your usual pre prepped variety, again same as the one at the buffet yesterday.

    Overall the food was a mixed bag, being one of the more expensive restaurants I was expecting more but only the mains delivered. We would go back next time, we’d just pick different things (the salad looked nice!)

    Eyes only half open we paid the extra 9 euros and left, I don’t know now we made it back to our room, but we did…. 7am brekkie tomorrow!
     
  20. Hannikins

    Hannikins Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2012
    Messages:
    240
    thanks for reading!

    ooo a "special room" yes I don't think we'll be getting that one next year once it becomes club level :lmao:
     
  21. Kewz1

    Kewz1 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2001
    Messages:
    1,692
    I'm really enjoying your TR! I was in London this past June and looking at your pics brought back some wonderful memories.

    I'm heading to DLP in June 2013. Thank for all the pics and the food reviews! :)

    Kristen
     

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