We're Booked for London/Paris! Now What?

Discussion in 'Adventures By Disney' started by KLondon, Dec 20, 2006.

  1. KLondon

    KLondon Mouseketeer

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    Well, we've gone ahead and booked the London/Paris tour with ABD for July 2007! This will be my family's first and long-awaited trip to Europe. We can't wait! And this board has been incredibly useful - so thanks to all post here!

    Realizing that ABD does not help with any trip planning outside of their offered tours, we've been considering how we might 'bookend' the tour with other travel while we're there. We're thinking that we might arrive (from Canada) a few days early and take a driving tour of Southern England. Also, we will tack a few days onto the end of the tour to visit Disneyland Paris.

    Has anyone taken this approach on their own trips? Any tips or suggestions on how to best arrange this additional travel? I'd be especially interested in any advice for arranging a trip to DLP after the ABD tour.

    Thanks again!
     
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  3. MJGirl

    MJGirl DIS Veteran

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    Hi KLondon ... When in July are you going ??? I'm booked on the June 29th one!
     
  4. Magix

    Magix <font color=navy>Blackhearted Pirate<br><font colo

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    I went to Disneyland Paris after my London/Paris adventure. I was very worried about how to get from Paris to DLRP on my own, but the Adventure Guides ended up arranging transportation for those of us who were going (there were a total of 9 on the trip who went to DLRP afterward). I suspect they'll do that for you, too, but you should have a back-up plan, just in case. You can get there by taking the subway (check online for routes). I'm pretty sure there are also busses from the airport, so you could let ABD transport you there and then hop the bus. You should check the DLRP website for more info on the bus tranportation.

    All the hotels at DLRP are nice and will suit your needs, although I'd recommend trying the Newport Bay (not where I stayed, but where I wish I had). You can book your room and tickets in advance on the DLRP website (www.disneylandparis.com). Very easy. It's simple to just pick-up the Disney airport bus at your hotel when you leave. Not very expensive and it takes your directly to your terminal. Just be sure you know which terminal you'll need ahead of time (check the airport website).

    If you need DLRP specific info, check the Disneyland Paris board here at DISBoards. You'll find everyone there extremely helpful! They were of great assistance to me when I was planning my trip.
     
  5. JulieWent

    JulieWent DIS Veteran

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    Hi! We're going on the June 8 tour. We're planning on doing the same thing you are, going in a little early, renting a car, doing a tour of Southern England, and then doing the tour. We're a little more iffy on whether to do DLP after the tour, but I think we will. We've made plans to visit Stratford / Warwick Castle. Then we'll go up to Alton Towers (DS likes to try out various roller coasters. There are apparently some great coasters there). Then back down to Stonehenge / Bath.

    We're so excited! The tour will be fantastic, and it will be a great adventure.

    What are you thinking about doing?

    Julie
     
  6. KLondon

    KLondon Mouseketeer

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    Wow! Thanks for the responses everyone.

    MJGirl - We're booked for July 13 2007 - and, yes, it's a Friday!

    Magix - Thanks so much for the tips. I have read in other places that Disney ended up providing a shuttle to DLP, but I agree that a backup plan is the best idea (a Disney shuttle would be gravy). Also, thanks for the hotel tip for DLP. I've been doing a but of reading, but it's hard to know what's what. Just a question for you - how much time do you think is appropriate to plan to spend at DLP? I'm thinking 2 full days, myself.

    JulieWent - I think we're on the same tour! lol I'm also thinking about Bath/Stonehenge as well as getting out as far as Land's End. These are all just ideas for now. Stratford/Warwick is an interesting idea, too! Are you booking accomodations ahead of time, or just kinda winging it when you get there?

    Again, thanks everyone. It's funny - I went to Europe about 25 years ago with a group of friends, and we did so little planning. We just decided what we wanted to see, and then we went. The only other planning we did was to buy plane tickets (of course) and reserve a car and rail passes. Nowadays.... I'm older and more neurotic I guess! How times change.....

    Kevin
     
  7. DisneyJo

    DisneyJo Missing my tags!

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    Being an English girl I thought I would just point out a few things. UK roads are bad! It will take you at least 5 hours (maybe more) to drive from London to Lands End. It's about 3 hours to Alton towers from London too. I know you guys think nothing of travelling for hours but over here we don't seem to do it! Some of the roads especially to Cornwall (lands end) are just single carriageway and you will get stuck behind a tractor! There again part of visiting England is seeing our quaint ways and we do have a beautiful country to explore.

    If doing London I would recommend The Eye(great views), Natural History Museum, Tower of London and if open Buckingham Palace.

    Have a great time hope the weather holds out!!!!!
     
  8. JulieWent

    JulieWent DIS Veteran

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    Jo,

    Thanks for the information on times. We had thought it would be closer to four hours up to Alton Towers. (As you say, in the US, driving four hours is not a huge deal. I read in a book once that you can tell a Yank from a Brit by his / her perspective: An American thinks 200 years is a long time; the British think 200 miles is a long way. ;) ) But the roads will definitely be different. My husband is already sweating the prospect of driving on a different side of the road from a different side of the car. We're hoping to take the first day very slowly, driving up to Stratford-Upon-Avon for a two night stay. Will that be do-able trafficwise and timewise, do you think?


    Kevin,

    I'm an obsessive planner, I'm afraid. I'll be making reservations and trying to book things ahead of time. Part of it has to do with my family, though. My husband and son need a plan and need to know "what's next." They're not really good at just going with the flow. (Hence the tour. It will be well-planned.) If I had a fairly flexible family, I'd probably make fewer plans. (I'm still sure we'll make lots of adjustments once we get there, though.)

    Julie
     
  9. DisneyJo

    DisneyJo Missing my tags!

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    I'm afraid I don't know about that but I have used uk websites like routeplanner etc which would give you estimated times and mileage if that helps.

    Have fun.
     
  10. KLondon

    KLondon Mouseketeer

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    Jo,

    Thanks for your post. It certainly brings a chuckle to my lips as I recall a trip I made to the UK many years ago. We were staying at a B&B on Salisbury Plain and mentioned to our host that we'd be driving into London the following day (I think this is a 2 hour drive, give or take). Our host, who had a son living in London at the time, looked wistfully into the distance and remarked she'd never been to London, but hoped to make the trip someday. That's when I learned there was a bit of a cultural difference there! So, 5 hours to Land's End is not a big deal (we drive as far to visit family a number of times every Summer). Also, thanks so much for the tips on what to see in London. It's been so many years since I've been, and I'm excited to see new sites and revisit old ones with my kids!

    Julie,

    We're peas-in-a-pod on the planning issue, I think. This will be the farthest from home we've ever travelled as a family, so I think I want to ensure that basic comforts (lodging and transportation) are well taken care of. I can safely say that I'll pre-book, pre-arrange, and pre-digest as much as I can before our flight leaves Canada next July!
     
  11. JulieWent

    JulieWent DIS Veteran

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    Hi! I got a voltage converter and a great passport carrier for Christmas. DS got several books on traveling -- including a book (with CD, of course) on basic traveling French. We can all count to twenty in French now! (I know THAT will come in handy :lmao: !) If we could just master the art of saying, "How much is it?" "I want that one," and "Where is the restroom?" maybe we'd actually feel like we'd learned something.

    But, it was a fun "getting ready for our trip" Christmas. I'm going to call today and make a payment if the ABD office is open.

    Hope everyone else had a happy holiday!

    Julie
     
  12. MJGirl

    MJGirl DIS Veteran

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    Kevin ...We are doing the Magic Med cruise after the Adventure so we will be in Disneyland Paris from the 18th to 21st of July. If you do go to DLP after your trip, look for the two confused Canadians :confused3 That will be my daughter and I. By the way, we live just down the road from you in KW... Small world!
     
  13. MJGirl

    MJGirl DIS Veteran

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    Hi Julie ...We too got a lot of planning gifts! Santa gave both of us money belts with 5 Euros and 5 Pounds in it, plus I got an Atomic traveling alarm clock (it's supposed to automatically change the time for us). Good luck learning French. Here in Canada we take French through elementary school, so I hope we can remember some of it!!! :dance3:
     
  14. Magix

    Magix <font color=navy>Blackhearted Pirate<br><font colo

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    You'll be surprised how much counting to twenty will come in handy. You'll especially need it when you go to the post office to get postcard stamps! Trust me on that one. I recommend a CD called "In Flight French" - it's about 60 minutes long and you can learn it one section at a time. It has all the phrases you'll need on your trip, plus a booklet you can take with you. It really was a help to me when I took the AbD trip earlier this year!

    And, if it makes you feel any better, I've just learned to count to twenty in Italian for next year's trip! :)
     
  15. JulieWent

    JulieWent DIS Veteran

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    My biggest problem in learning a little French right now is that I speak a good deal of Spanish. I keep finding myself lapsing into the Spanish: un, deux, trois, quatro, cinco, seis..... Oops. That ought to really confuse some poor person at the post office! :-)

    Au Revoir

    Julie
     
  16. Magix

    Magix <font color=navy>Blackhearted Pirate<br><font colo

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    Oh, I did the same thing!! You just have to concentrate! Not to worry, the fear of speaking to someone who doesn't understand English at all will force you to get it something close to right (they're pretty forgiving, as long as you try). ;)
     
  17. DisneyJo

    DisneyJo Missing my tags!

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    Don't worry nearly all of the French speak English anyway! They are also used to the Brits broken french whilst using lots of arm actions:rotfl2: You will make yourself understood, although I do realise part of going to a foreign country is trying to learn their language so good luck.
     
  18. JulieWent

    JulieWent DIS Veteran

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    Jo,

    It was funny. Not long ago, I was part of a thread in which we were discussing trying to pick up various languages for our travels, and someone (I can't remember who) came on the thread to remind us that we didn't need to learn a new language to visit the United Kingdom. We should remember, the person said quite seriously, that English was spoken there. :rotfl2:

    On a serious note, though, have you traveled in France frequently? Are the French generally patient with those of us who are "just trying out" the language?

    And, back to England, have you spent any time in the Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warwickshire area? We are thinking of spending several days there, and I was wondering about it.

    Julie
     
  19. LisaTex

    LisaTex Mouseketeer

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    Hi Julie and all. Have been away for a while. We will be on the June 8 trip. We are planning on DLP before we are off to the Med cruise. We did the Hawaii ABD trip last summer. If the guides are anything like the ones we had, they will do all they can to help arrange transportation. It looks like a 30-40 min ride from the Hilton Arc de Triomph to DLP. We will prob just grab a cab - the thought of all our luggage on the train or bus is scary!! I am not much of a planner - thanks to all of your info - i don't feel so panicked now!!
     
  20. DisneyJo

    DisneyJo Missing my tags!

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    Julie,

    DH and I escaped the kids last year and did Paris, totally exhausted ourselves and I'm sure we walked more miles than at Disney! But we saw all the sights in 3 days so it was worth it. The French don't really have much patience with the Brits (don't flame me if you're french!) but I'm sure an American accent would get a better responce. Like all nationalities it is appreciated when foreigners try their language so go for it.

    With regard to Warwickshire I'm afraid I can't help, I think I went to Warwick castle once as a child but can't remember more. As with most people I never really explore my own country, too busy flying to Florida or the Carribbean for the sun. Maybe when the DD's have left home DH and I can tour the UK. DH is a golf pro and wants to do the senior circuit when he's old enough (quite a long way off) so we could tie the two together. I do know about Suffolk (born there and parents still live there), Norfolk (DH born there, inlaws still do) and I now live South East in Kent.

    Jo
     
  21. JulieWent

    JulieWent DIS Veteran

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    Jo,

    Thank you so for the reassurance. I realize there's some tension between the British and French. (I had a student last year from England. He complained and complained when we read Les Miserables. It was good natured complaining, but it was a funny reminder of the tension you speak of.) I fear that we may encounter some of the same tension given the current political situation, but I really want to go. That's one of the reasons I'm really trying to learn some of the language.

    In regards to your husbands golf aspirations, we live on one of the South's largest golf trails in the States. So, if you ever make it here to do a grand golf tour, remember my web name here on the DIS.

    Julie
     

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