Get Comfy -its a long one! Well I was slightly panicking after reading all the not so great reviews before we went but we decided as we had been many times before we would make the best of it and try and do the Xmassy things we had planned. The trip was a surprise trip for my dd and ds to celebrate their 2nd and 5th Birthdays oh and my 30th! Day 1- Sat 20th Dec the day of lots of nice things happening We arrived at Beauvais Airport and had no problem with car hire etc-arrived at Sequoia lodge at 12.30 expecting as always to be told our room would be ready at 3pm-but no our room was already ready for us-fantastic! We were happy enough staying at sequoia Lodge but on our last trip we stayed at Hotel New york and really enjoyed the bigger room and nicer furnishings etc but we were happy enough to stay in sequoia to save some pennies. To our surprise we had a great room-montana room with lake view with all brand new bath and furnishings -we could watch the castle sparkling at night time from our bed it was brill. We also got the redwood bar breakfast at anytime too instead of the main restaurant rabble. The only thing that was missing was the birthday mickey and minnie balloons that I had emailed sequoia about for our room for the kids as a birthday pressie-but I thought no problem will go and arrange it with concierge downstairs (I was so chuffed with room and getting in early I wasn't at all annoyed!) anyway reception manager said they had recieved my email and it was there mistake and to have the balloons at their gift ! 1/2 an hour later my delighted children answered the door to mickey and minnie balloons and a card from the sequoia lodge team ! We headed over to the parks stopping for a hot dog for lunch and it was really busy (not unexpected) As it was mid afternoon queues. It was lovely to see the giant Christmas tree and the other decorations-although unfortunately we kept missing the snow on main street on our whole trip As it was mid afternoon everywhere was around 1 1/2 -2 hrs queues everywhere apart from 1 ride-The keel boats!! That is one of the only rides we have never been on as it has never been open when we have visited-it was a nice ride and closed shortly after we came off so I think our luck was in! We are normally quite fussy about food and know not to expect the greatest at Disney however we had the most wonderful meal at the steakhouse in the village -the meal was great although service a little slow and for some reason they did not charge us for DD meal (we had half board vouchers for the rest of us but DD is 2 but we just buy a kids meal for her) Plus we didnt get charged for all our drinks-we questioned the bill but were told it was fine!! We took a tired walk back to the sequoia (dh and I had been awake since 3am!) and watched the sparkly castle from bed- bliss! Our whole day had cost us under 30 euros! -our cheapest ever in Disney and we had a lovely day! Day 2-21st Dec Sun We got up nice and early (but it was a man not goofy who woke us up!) and headed over to the park for EMH-It was really busy-prob equivalent to a normal day mid afternoon-everyone must have had the same plan. We managed to get on pinnochio, snow white , tea cups (have never seen a Queue for tea cups)carousel but buzz and peterpan were way to busy and had huge queues allready. People started Queueing for IASW at 8.30am I am not sure I understand this-we all really love this ride but always find first thing or last thing at night you can get on it without queueing so not sure I would waste an hour and a half of EMH waiting for it to open? The plan was to head to see Santa at around 10ish and maybe the 11 o clock show of Mickeys Winter wonderland. We went and got fastpasses for BTM (I took last years tickets for extra fast passes as on here -my 2007 one didnt work but my April 2008 did-we weren't greedy just took 1 extra so that ds could go on twice once with me then once with dh) We joined the queue for Santa at about 10.10-it wasn't a huge queue but obviously as it only takes one family at a time we were waiting about 50 mins-it was nice to see the snowy scene around Santa grotto though and the kids were very patient. Santa was worth the wait he was lovely and was very nice with the kids and promised mummy and daddy some lovely pressies too!! By the time we left Santa we had missed Mickeys show and people were queueing for the next one although there were still 50 mins to go-didnt want the kids to join another big queue so we sat outside the cowboy cookout the kids did some quiet colouring and we had some hot chocolate and mickey brioche yum! Then DS and I did Fastpass BTM -it was fab-had a quick run back and swapped children so DH could now go on with DS in the fastpass queue. It was then getting really busy Frontierland was packed and it was really tricky to get the buggy with dd through without being pushed around. We decided to leave the parks and go back to the hotel we had a look around the Christmas market in the village which was nice and has some roasted chestnuts and chocolate and marshmallow sticks then headed back to sequoia. We had a nice relaxing couple of hours back at the hotel and then headed to the Studios to see the DJ party-It was around 5.30 and we had a queue for about 5-10 mins to get in the park! The DJ party wasn't particularly good so we wandered around the studios instead and took the kids on cars which was only about 20 min wait . It lasted much longer than earlier this year strangely! We then headed back out for our reservation at Cafe Mickey. When we got there , there was a huge queue and lots of angry people-the computer system had broken down so they had lost everyones reservations and couldnt use the electronic ordering or take Half board vouchers etc. Luckily I had got a print out at city hall in the morning to confirm the kids birthday cake so we could hand our reservation to the staff as proof. The queue was getting a bit irate so Cafe Mickey decided to put some characters in among it to appease the wait but all it did was make some people push their children through with autograph books (I guess they didnt realise they would get the chance once they got in!) Eventually at around 8 we got seated (our res was 7 o'clock!) I was getting a bit worried as DD began to look sleepy and we had planned the whole birthday cake thing. Luckily the characters perked her up and although service was slow we had a nice meal, food was ok and the kids were absolutely gob smacked and delighted when Mickey brought out thier cake and danced with them-we have some brill footage it really made our night! We left at just before 10 shattered! Day 3-Monday 22nd Dec-Oh and My 30th birthday! The main aim today was to get to see Mickeys winter wonderland show-we got up extra early to get to the park just before 8am but the EMH was even busier today! We headed straight for Buzz and luckily got on with just a 5 min wait then DH and DS went on orbitron . DS wanted to go on Peter Pan next but it was already a huge queue so we did the Tea cups again as little ones loves this then wandered around for a bit-the Queue for IASW was huge yet again with people been qeueing for over and hour -we waited until 9.55 then joined the queue -by 10.05 we were on the ride -really no need to Queue before then! As soon as we came off Its a Small world we headed for Frontier land and again we waited until 10 mins before to join the queue for Mickeys xmas show. I have to say this was the highlight for me -It was fantastic-singing , dancing, ice skating ,and snow ! Really got me in the Christmas mood too! We came out of the show just before just after 11 30 -again frontier land was heaving , santa had what must have been at least a 2 hr queue. We went to the cowboy cook out for some lunch -whilst kids were finishing theirs I headed to Fantasy land to get Peter pan fast passes-I literally had to fight my way through the crowds! Got our fastpasses it was around 12.30 now and our fastpasses were for -5.45!!!! We decided to head back to the hotel so we could relax and could open my Birthday pressies and cards! We had a realxing couple of hours again (and fielded the few texts we had recieved from panicked relatives who had heard on the news that a 5 year old boy going to DLP for his birthday celebrations had drowned how awful -thoughts with that poor family) We decided to head back to park for around 4.30 -It was mayhem Dd fell asleep in the buggy thankfully and DS sat on dh shoulders to see the tops of the parade floats -it was raining and The crowds were rows and rows thick-there were cas members directing people and it was a reall struggle to get to fantasy land for our peterpan ride it was dark and foggy too and everyone was packed in shoulder to shoulder. The fastpast queue was empty and there were loads of soaking angry people in the main queue which was 110mins I think giving the fast past cm abuse. Im glad we went though as it is a great ride! We then all headed for the Pink castle for my birthday meal! We sat in the fantasia bar and the kids had the tinkerbell and captain hook cocktails and I had a glowtini-which got lots of comments!! It was lovely-we then went through for Dinner at the Californian grill-another lovely meal and kids especially enjoyed the mickeys paint wokshop pudding! My Husband was a bit concerned that they seemed to forgot my birthday cake he had ordered but I wasn't worried -we couldnt have ate it we were so stuffed and I had my glowtini!!! yum! We were originally planning to go home after dinner at Californian Grill and do EMH on the Tuesday before going home but as it had been so busy at EMH and we hadnt packed yet we decided to go for broke and do the park again in rain until the bitter end and have a lie in tommorow instead. We made the right desicion -we got on Peter pan again, POTC teacups at night (my favourite) IASW, and buzz all pretty much as walk ons. We had a slow walk back through the park taking in the main street decs again and admiring the glittering castle. What a great trip! Now I have to say we did have a great time-it was special for us as we were celebrating 3 birthdays and we were prepared to make the most of it, however I would not reccommend a Christmas time trip (unless earlier in Dec) to a firstimer. As we knew so many dis board hints and tips and knew to make food reservations, use old tickets for fast passes, and make use of the EMH and last hours of the day we did just fine-The kids have been on all the rides before so were okay if we said we can't do this this time -but Im not sure we would have enjoyed the trip as much if it was all new to us and we spent the majority of the time in endless queues. Next time we return Im pretty sure it will be summer for us -you just cant beat the prettiness of the park in sunshine and the long hours. However glad we experienced the Christmas season! My daughter came back with her very own cuddly tinkerbelle which she is just in love with, Ds got some starwars figures and I have a some lovely red tinkerbelle Christmas decs adorning our tree-She looks fab on the top of our tree and will always remind us of our Christmas trip! Thanks for bearing with me!