The Badger Family's trip to DLP - Feb 2013

Discussion in 'Disneyland Paris Trip Reports Board' started by mrbadger, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. mrbadger

    mrbadger Earning My Ears

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    Hi

    As promised here is a day by day trip report on out recent trip

    Mr Badger (41)
    Mrs Badger (Undisclosed)
    Miss Badger (5 3/4)

    After a 1 night/2 day trip part of the way through a French holiday last year (stayed at the Cheyenne) we decided to come back for a longer trip in the Feb half term this year - so at some point in the middle of last year I started making plans. We booked 4 days/5 nights in a premium cabin at the DCR (so we could stay up after Miss Badger had gone to bed and not have to eat out for every meal) on the 2 nights free offer last summer and went from there.

    Travel was a combination of EuroTunnel and BadgerWagen
     
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  3. mrbadger

    mrbadger Earning My Ears

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    The Saturday consisted of a drive down to kent from Badger HQ (South Oxfordshire) and the afternoon sightseeing in Canterbury (Mrs Badger used to live there), tea and then staying in the EuroTunnel Premier Inn ready for our 6.20am crossing in the morning

    The Premier Inn was fine (exactly as I expected) and cheap - however the car parking was a bit rubbish and given the equivalent (Ibis) on the French side was only slightly more expensive I wonder if getting a late crossing and stopping on the French side might have been a better plan. This would have made for a more relaxed start the next day
     
  4. mrbadger

    mrbadger Earning My Ears

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    After a crack of dawn start we headed to the EuroTunnel terminal for a 6.20 am crossing - the crossing is pretty boring but it's quick and I dislike ferries when it's rough. We could also use tesco vouchers to keep the cost down.

    Upon arrival in France we headed down to Nausicaa at Boulogne which is a huge Aquarium and well worth a visit, this kept us entertained until around 2pm when we set off on the next stage of the journey. Travelling on a Sunday meant that the motorways were pretty empty, it only really got busy after CDG.

    I'd booked us in at the Novotel at Collegien, which is one stop further towards Paris than Bussy St Georges and is meant to be the nearest 4* hotel to DLP. It's pretty nice inside (by far the best of the places we stayed) but is on an industrial estate which means it's not the most attractive area and you really do need a car so i wouldn't advise it if you're not driving.

    The hotel restaurant looked ok if pricey - But there was a DelArte (Pizza/Pasta) and a Buffalo Grill within walking distance and as it was starting to snow we opted for the Buffalo Grill (I had planned to drive to a nearby Hippo but didn't fancy it). Had never been to a BG before and it was fine - all full of burgers we returned ready for our first Disney Day on the Monday
     
  5. mrbadger

    mrbadger Earning My Ears

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    We set off at around 7 am - there was still snow on the side of the roads but luckily the roads were clear - the satnav did take us down some narrow roads though so it wasn't the best drive. Arrived at the DCR reception at arounf 7.15 and went in, walked out with our tickets ready in about 5 minutes - our Cabin wouldn't be ready until 3pm so the plan was to have the morning and early afternoon @ Disney, pick up shopping at Auchan and head back - possibly going back in from Dreams.

    Apart from the initial roundabout getting into Disney (it was very busy every time we used it) from the DCR is a piece of cake and the car parks were never that busy on any of the days - however the moving walkways rarely seemed to be working and when there were the direction did seem random, with a small person this can add quite a walk before you get to the park, especially in the cold.

    Anyway we got into the park for around 8.10 and headed for Fantasyland where we did Dumbo (twice), the Teacups and the Carrousel, with these out of the way we headed over to Discoveryland to do Buzz Lightyear (Miss Badgers fave ride).

    One of Miss Badger's friends from School was also visiting on the monday and although we thought it would be nice to meet up hadn't been holding out much hope, luckily we met the friend's brother and Dad heading towards Space Mountain and managed to track Miss Badger's Friend/Mum down at Dumbo which caused much excitement.

    While they went onto the teacups Istarted setting up our phones for roaming data - if you get an O2 PAYG sim the £2/day gets you around 25MB/day which is enough for a little light browsing and using the DLP app. The app seemed eratic (it uses gps which seems unecessary) about showing wait times, but it was good for checking show times as the language is listed.

    After the teacups the girls decided they wanted to go to see a princess so joined the pp queue while I went and got BBWWS tickets and worked out where Salon Mickey/DLH were. I arrived back in time to meet them leaving - Miss Badger had met Tianna - and had her first signature in the autograph book.

    We them mooched off past the closed small world :(, having seem tigger/eyeore coming past and recieving a high five from tweedle-dum or tweedle-dee, down to Autopia and had a 20 min queue. Mrs Badger decided after queuing that she didn't want to do it so I pointed out where to go with her camera and we worked out which lane we would be in. I love the styling of the ride but Miss Badger wanted to drive so i just got to operate the accelerator and if you let the rails guide you it's not that pleasant. I should have done the steering :)

    After that we headed over to Frontierland (an omission from our last trip) and has a look round, checked out BTM and decided Miss Badger and I would try it later in the week - then into the Silver Spur for lunch.
     
  6. mrbadger

    mrbadger Earning My Ears

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    I'd already booked the Silver Spur the week before which was a good thing as although the place was at best half full it was a case of reservation or you're not getting in.

    You do have to ask for the express menu specifically (Express menu please is the magic term) and trying to keep hold of both sets of menus (in case we wanted to mix and match) seems to be a bit tricky. The express menu has changed since the last photo as it's now either ravioli or a meat skewer and a baked potato with chilli. I had the skewer which was ok and Mrs Badger had the Ravioli which was declared to be nice. Miss Badger had the childrens menu but barely touched any of it - which was the first sign of her oncoming illness as she barely ate anything all week

    A band came out part of the way through the meal and played some appropriate music which I thought was an excellent touch and really added to the atmosphere.

    The Cafe gourmand consists of a creme caramel with a chocolate coin, a half a chocolate bombe/mouse thing and a scoop of coffee ice cream on biscuit - the ice cream was the best of the three but all were nice.

    After paying the bill we had a ride on the riverboat (I was dissapointed it didn't have proper paddles though) and decided to cut our losses for the day as Miss Badger was flagging after several early starts. We headed for Auchan, although working out where to park was a bit tricky as it's unclear where the shops are and working out how to get fuel was also a challenge. Miss Badger just crashed out in her car seat for the whole thing.

    We then headed back to DCR and went to our cabin - it's as described but the cooking equipment is a bit lacking (no sharp knives or chopping board) and the bedrooms/bathrooms are all a bit compact - although perfectly usable. Unfortunately I did feel the distance from the parks, and once back there is an interia to driving back in. Combined with Miss Badger's illness this meant we only did one late night and didn't see dreams (again)
     
  7. Isila

    Isila There is a big beautiful tomorrow

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    How was kids menu in Siver spur? And your overall impression with this restaurant?
     
  8. mrbadger

    mrbadger Earning My Ears

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    The kids meal was some kind of cheese cube thing, a choice of pasta, burger or chicken I think and either fruit salad or ice cream. Miss Badger chose the pasta, which was a filled tortillini in a tomato sauce and the bit I had was nice but I think she was expecting normal pasta.

    The starter and main got ignored but looked OK, although the starter was a bit odd.

    Its a very nice dining room, much nicer than I had expected - I had expected wooden floors and a more rough and ready cowboy feel (I suspect the CS place near the main frontierland entrance is more like this). The band were a good feature (including a washboard player) and it was a pleasant place to eat lunch. It is well integrated into frontierland from a theming POV and as we left the paddle boat was coming in which was kind of cool.

    Of the three places (walts, auberge, silver spur) we ate it was my least favorite, but that was down to the food being only OK rather than great as it was at the other two. It was certainly the most casual of the three and had a good sense of fun to it. It's also a cheaper option than most of the other ts places
     
  9. Isila

    Isila There is a big beautiful tomorrow

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    thanks for the review. When my kids hear pasta, they do think of normal pasta and I doubt I could make them eat tortellini because it's not pasta :lmao: I have Silver spur on my "visit" list, still not sure if we should do it.
     
  10. mrbadger

    mrbadger Earning My Ears

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    We let Miss Badger have a lie in on Day 2 after the early starts so we started the day by rolling into Salon Mickey at around 9.30ish. There was another family in there who left shortly after us so we had the place to ourselves to enjoy a cookie/pastry and hot drink and use the fancy toilets. It's nice that you can see out through the window (through the opaque blind) at the people arriving for EMH and they have no idea you are in there.

    After our refreshments (neither of the other 2 wanted their treats so we took them with us, very naughty) we headed off to Frontierland where we had decided Big Thunder Mountain was the order of the day - we got there at about 10 and the timer showed 15 mins wait time so Miss Badger and I joined the queue. It was all going well but the queue goes round a long way inside and it took us about 40 mins to actually get on the ride. Miss Badger declared she was going to scream and asked me I was as well - yep. Well we did but it's so noisy you can't hear yourself :) It was a fun but although Miss Badger did enjoy it she did say she didn't want to ride it again - I think she's a little bit small at the moment but was really pleased she tried it.

    Mrs Badger had sat over near Phantom Manor with her camera taking photos of every group that came down waiting for us to appear - she took 18 photos before we appeared.

    After we regrouped we headed into Phantom Manor, the queue was nice and short but the first couple of sections are no good for small children as they just couldn't see anything as the first couple of rooms were rammed with people. The stretching room is pretty cool as you don't feel yourself moving and the ride is fun - it was warm and indoors.

    After a hot drink and sit down we joined the queue to meet Pooh, which moved so slowly, but we perseved and eventually got our second signature. We found that the seating areas for all the cafes were rammed, I guess they are more set up for summertime. I had planned in a lot of hot drink stops to warm us up but in the end there was nowhere to sit which kind of scuppered that plan.
     
  11. mrbadger

    mrbadger Earning My Ears

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    Miss Badger was starting to flag by now so we ditched our Buzz Lightyear Fastpasses and headed over to the studios on the grounds that they had things to do indoors out of the cold.

    First up Art of Animation interactive bit, this provided a fair amount of button pressing fun without being too busy, but other people obviously had the same idea. The wall of animation cels in lighboxes is delightful and the zeotrope is good low tech fun.

    After doing everything we headed ourside for the Cars and Stars parade, and even turning up 5 mins before the start we managed to get a decent enough view - I prefered it in some ways to the main parade as it felt less stage managed and spontaneous. Sulley and Remy/Emile were especially good - causing problems for their drivers :)

    Once that was over we quickly zipped over to Stitch Live which I quite fancied, but Miss/Mrs badger were sceptical about - The whole pre show stuff is pretty dreary but the show itself is really good (in both technical and fun terms). I can report that both of them enjoyed it - another successful choice.

    A quick stop for a burger for Miss Badger/drinks at En Coulisse (which i really can't recommend - the food was ok, but it was just not that enjoyable, everything imagined about fast food at DLP)

    Then into Animagique, we saw this last time and really enjoyed it- simple but very visually striking. We arrived just before they started so were at the front so could see some of the performers. Worth sitting as far back as you can for the best effect.

    And with the the afternoon was gone, and off to the Wild West Show.
     
  12. Christieand

    Christieand Mouseketeer

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    Sounds like you had fun in the studios and out of the cold!
     
  13. mrbadger

    mrbadger Earning My Ears

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    Something I missed out was we met Pluto and Minnie over in the Toon stuidio bit - Pluto had a queue/minder and Minnie seemed to be managing ok without. Worth a look if you are over in the Studios as much quieter than Disneyland.

    Pluto in particular was a star with some quality goofing about,holding up autograph books to his eye level to sign and dealing very well with Miss Badger putting her hands in his mouth .

    Miss Badger also declared that it was just someone in a suit, which caused much hillarity with the parents of the group in front of us and I hushed her down before we were thrown out :)

    Goofy was also hanging about over near the back of Cinemagique but had to head off before we got to see him, but again it was a well organized Meet/greet with a minder
     
  14. DLPdaft

    DLPdaft <font color=royalblue>Cannot stop singing "Just li Moderator

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    it is not :eek: - Pluto is real and has magic tunnels all over DLP :goodvibes:rotfl2:!
     
  15. mrbadger

    mrbadger Earning My Ears

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    And then we were off to the Wild West Show - Mrs Badger is Asthmatic so we had to fill in a form before they let us in, but once that was done we were off - Blue Moon ranch for us. Everyone very happy with the hats - although I did end up wearing all three for a while.

    A quick meet/greet with Mickey was a nice start (slightly chaotic but the minder kept it on track), but then it was milling about for a while - even though we arrived in good time it was pretty busy, no real chance to sit down or get to the bar. Given the amount of space a few more tables/chairs would make sense.

    After a while we went in - pretty decent seats, a third of the way along and the row behind the pricey seats. Pretty much any seat in the place would give a good view though.

    Overall we really enjoyed the show, the food is much better than I was expecting given some of the reviews I had read - There was nothing there to complain about, and the cornbread was particularly nice. Drink refills also kept coming round was. I did find the food a bit distracting as ended up missing bits of the show as it arrived. The plate/cutlery banging is really fun and Miss Badger enjoyed that bit very much.

    Not sure what to say about the show itself, as it was really a treat for Mrs Badger - the stuff with horses were cool (of which there is a lot) but the rest is a bit cheesy (still fun though) and i'm not sure if it really needs the Disney characters as I can't see what they add. Miss Badger managed to fall asleep for a while - really don't know how she did that ...

    Overall Mrs Badger was very happy. I managed to loose two of the hats on the way out and was happy that the waiters sorted me out with another couple before I left :)

    Another long and cold walk back to the car and back to the ranch
     
  16. Disneyfanswicklow

    Disneyfanswicklow Disney Fanatic!

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    Enjoying your trip report!
     
  17. mrbadger

    mrbadger Earning My Ears

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    By now we had decided this Miss Badger was poorly so decided to take things easier and have a later start - so started the day with a trip to the Pool at the DCR. I'd advise bringing your own towels from home anyway as the cabin towels are a bit small and otherwise you'll need to rent towels (which is what we did). The pool is pretty good, but not that good for small children IMHO, although they do supply lots of armbands.

    There are 3 main parts

    A central deep part with steps (Deeper than Miss Badger) - it's the same depth all the way along with steps going down from the sides.

    A water slide with a splash pool at the bottom. I was volunteered to go on this and it was fast (been a long time since i did anything like that) and clearly the pool you land in is not designed for large adults and i hit the bottom :)

    A shallow river section with a whirlpool/current which means you can be swept down from one end to the other. I've never seen anything like this before and it was really good fun, but apart from this there's not a lot else for smaller children (Miss Badger is a good swimmer and could manage in the deep bit but a beach area for splashing would have been good)

    As we went in as soon as it opened there weren't that many people in, but the queue for the waterslide moved slowly - i can imagine when it's busy it's a bit much.

    The water was warm enough, but it was cold when we got out which lead to a meltdown from Miss Badger in the changing room - so back to the cabin for a rest, and she crashed out immediately for the next couple of hours.

    We had a reservation at Walts for lunch at 1pm which we managed to make (just) and was pretty much the (food) high point of the week (for me anyway). As with the Silver Spur it was a case of reservation or you wern't getting in - and again the place wasn't really that full. I did feel that the Maitre'D was a bit snooty (I am very much of the jeans/tshirt/trainers school of dress) but everyone else was really pleasant. Again I confused the waiter by asking for the express menu and the normal menu.

    We were put into the Adventureland room which had some good theming to point out to Miss/Mrs Badger and was a nice calm place compared to the rest of Disneyland. It's a little bit of an odd place with lots of little rooms but that's quite good as it feels calmer and more contained.

    The choices we made were
    Miss Badger - Spaghetti Bolognaise (luckily, as this is what she had said she had wanted earlier, and given she wasn't really eating I was happy she found something)
    Mrs Badger - Crusted Cod and Gourmet Coffee
    Mr Badger - Twice Cooked Lamb/Potato Gnocchi and Gourmet Coffee

    The Gourmet Coffee deserts were a Macaroon (Crack to Mrs Badger), Some Ice Cream and a small Chocolate Fondant (Which was my favorite).

    The others enjoyed their choices, but for me by far the best meal of the holiday, and i'd recommend it to anyone who fancies something a bit more upmarket - and by getting the express lunch menu the price can be kept down.

    Two things I found odd at all the restaurants we ate at were i) they serve you bread rolls without a plate which means you end up with crumbs everywhere and ii) sauces are served in plastic containers that look as if they are meant to be cast iron - given everything else at these places is upmarket i found it a strange choice.

    I was also impressed with them as I left my bag there when i left and when i realized about 5 minutes later and went back it had been sent downstairs for me to collect from the waiter manning the doors.
     
  18. mrbadger

    mrbadger Earning My Ears

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    Miss Badger was starting to flag again so we headed over to the First Aid area (over near the Plaza gardens) to get her checked, where some nice medical types checked her temperature, and gave us info on how to get to the pharmacy and how to get a doctor out.

    They advised getting the Doctor out, but we felt this they were erring on the side of caution as based on her temperature/demeanor we wouldn't have taken her to the doctor in the UK so decided to soldier on a while longer - Note Mrs Badger took this decision and she's the responsible one :)

    Buzz Lightyear was declared to be the next order of the day so we went and colelcted afastpass then ended up wandering around the place trying to find something to do until then, unfortunately everything had longish wait times so we didn't really get anything done.

    Then, disaster, when we did return to Buzz it was closed and they didn't know when it would restart :( After some hanging around in Videopolis - I can recommend this as a decent place to sit down in the warm, and they were showing Pixar shorts which was a nice way to spend some time we decided to try to see the Parade.

    Based on previous posting I'd read I understood that it's much quieter up near the start of the parade near Small world - and it was, so much so that we turned up 5 minutes before hand and managed to get a spot without much trouble. This was much better than last year when we waited on main street for about 30 mins before hand. It's also good to be done with the parade while people are still watching it further down as the rides are quieter.

    We were just the castle side of the two small towers which meant that we couldn't see so much further up but it did mean that the parade passed really close to us allowing for lots of photo ops for Mrs Badger and some high fiving/waving from some of the characters.

    The parade was the same slick event we had seen the previous year but there were two stand out moments for me

    i) Cinderella casually popping a bubble (from the wizards cauldron) as they came past us
    ii) A family (of idiots) decided to cross the parade route imbetween floats and the (neverland?) pirates immediately reacted (in a piratey fashion) to get behind the barrier as quickly as possible - impressive training

    I do still wonder how the rolling witches are done (segway or rollerblades), and noticed that a number of the female characters (mainly the puppets) are really men.

    After the parade Buzz was still shut :( but after a sit down in Videopolis and having decided we were done for the day Buzz was open again - Huzzah !

    We ended the day with a trip to the pharmacy at Val d'Europe to collect some French Calpol - and much hillarity asking Mrs Badger if she wanted it to drink or (pointed at bottom). Miss Badger was happy at the selection of the former :)
     
  19. Christieand

    Christieand Mouseketeer

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    I completely agree re. rolling witches and had the same revelation about the female characters!
     
  20. mrbadger

    mrbadger Earning My Ears

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    It had been cold overnight so had to scrape some thick ice off the car before we could head in - and even though it you couldn't see it the road leading up the the carpark at Disney has sheet ice. Someone ahead of us had run off the road and as the cars ahead slowwed we discovered how icy it was as the ABS kicked in - the road was like a skating rink.

    Somewhat chastened we headed on in to the park - Miss Badger dressed in her finest Rapunzel costume and really starting to suffer from the sniffles. First off we decided to check out the Disneyland Hotel, after a quick look round the entrance area we headed up to the restaurant area where we found some a character Meet and Greet (runs from around 8 until 11 with 6 different characters, schedule is on a board so you can plan) so stayed and met Eyore. Takes about . It's nice and peaceful up there and I have to say I would be tempted to stay at the DLH.

    Then into the Main park and they had some characters doing a valentine thing in the bandstand near the enterance, i'm not sure how this was being done as there appeared to be a lot of people with cameras milling about.

    The weather was grey and wet so after a bit of milling about in Fantasyland we picked up a fastpass for Peter Pan and went into Meet Mickey. I'd not seem much about this but I was very impressed with whole experience.

    It was warm and dry, the cartoons were an excellent distraction (and I liked how they matched with the posters once you get further in), the queue moves fairly quickly so you feel like you are getting somewhere. Once you reach the end of the cinema section the wait is fairly short and they way it is done (in small groups) makes it feel much more personal. Unfortunately Mrs Badger fumbled her camera just before we were meant to meet mickey and smashed the lens, which meant a quick lens change to check we could still take photos and was a pain for the rest of the trip. Much better done than the princess pavillion (IMHO)
     
  21. mrbadger

    mrbadger Earning My Ears

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    Next we headed into Peter Pan and with the fastpass didn't have to queue for long. We did Peter Pan last time we were at DLP and again weren't impressed - It's too dark to see much in there and the boats go too fast for it to be a sightseeing ride, the ride isn't smooth and has a couple of lurches but isn't a thrill ride so again we all found it pretty unsatisfactory - what are we missing ?

    Then into the Princess Pavillion, my first visit. Once you are in there the castle windows and artifacts are nice to look at but once you are past the mirror there's nothing else to see, the roof leaked and the queue moves so slowly. I'm can't see why it was so much slower than meet mickey as they both have 2 meeting zones. Perhaps the Princesses need to speed up :)

    We met Sleeping Beauty which Miss Badger was very happy about and she did spent some time chatting to her which i thought was nice - 90 minutes is a long time to wait, although again it kept us out of the rain.

    Next was lunch so we headed off to the Augberge ...
     

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