A Tale of A Thousand and One Trips - The Never-Ending Trip Report

dolphingirl47

In Search of the Tag Fairy
Joined
Dec 25, 2007
Welcome back!!! Can't wait to hear about your latest trip :)
Thanks. I am still playing catch up both at work and here and I am working 8 days in a row at the moment which makes catching up on here a slow process. I can't wait to get the trip report started. I have the first day typed up and the second day is nearly ready, too. I need to get started on downloading photos, which will be quite an undertaking.

Corinna
 

tiggrbaby

<font color=deeppink><marquee>We must work harder
Joined
Jun 26, 2004
Thanks. I am still playing catch up both at work and here and I am working 8 days in a row at the moment which makes catching up on here a slow process. I can't wait to get the trip report started. I have the first day typed up and the second day is nearly ready, too. I need to get started on downloading photos, which will be quite an undertaking.

Corinna
Take your time; your reports are worth the wait!
 
  • franandaj

    I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!
    Joined
    Nov 15, 2009
    Good luck with getting through so many days of work in a row!

    Looking forward to hearing all about the trip!
     

    dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    Take your time; your reports are worth the wait!
    Thanks. I know there is no pressure, but I really want to get started. I am just downloading the photos from the first day at the moment.

    Good luck with getting through so many days of work in a row!
    Thanks. Only two days more to go.

    Looking forward to hearing all about the trip!
    I am working on day three at the moment and I have now started to download photos.

    Welcome back!
    Thanks.

    Corinna
     

    Pinkocto

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2011
    Yes indeed, take your time, sounds like you're very busy with work. That being said I'm very much looking forward to hearing about it :)
     
  • dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    Yes indeed, take your time, sounds like you're very busy with work. That being said I'm very much looking forward to hearing about it :)
    I am, but doing my trip reports is what keeps me sane. However busy I have been, I managed to get the first three days all typed up and I am working on day 4. I am making good progress on uploading the photos. I have 350 photos to go from my DSLR camera and then I need to get going on my point and shoot. Already when I look at the photos, it is all starting to feel a little unreal so for my sake more than anybody else's, I need to get cracking with this.

    Corinna
     

    franandaj

    I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!
    Joined
    Nov 15, 2009
    I understand what you're saying. Part of what keeps me sane when at home is planning new trips or reminiscing about old ones. It would be different if Fran was not adamant about not having guests over, but she is so embarrassed about the state of our house she won't let me entertain. The problem is we have so much stuff to get rid of it will take years for her to list it all on ebay. We can't take more out of the old house because we have too much here already. We're caught up in a catch 22. So I end up dreaming of getting away because she won't let us finish what needs to be done now!

    Looking forward to hearing about your escape!
     

    dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    It would be different if Fran was not adamant about not having guests over, but she is so embarrassed about the state of our house she won't let me entertain.
    This is not an option here either, but for different reasons. Working shifts makes it really difficult to plan anything.

    The problem is we have so much stuff to get rid of it will take years for her to list it all on ebay. We can't take more out of the old house because we have too much here already. We're caught up in a catch 22.
    That does not sound good at all.

    Looking forward to hearing about your escape!
    I have posted the prologue and day 1 will go up on Thursday.

    Corinna
     

    dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It - My First Run Disney Event

    Day 1

    After having planned this for nearly a year, it was now time to leave for my first ever Run Disney event. I could not believe where the last year had gone. A year ago that day, I was hoping and praying that I would make it on the flight to fly standby to my first solo trip to Disneyland. A year later and the proposition was a lot less stressful. We only had to go as far as Paris and we had confirmed flights. I had my nails done the day before so we could have a lie in as our flight was not until 14:25 and all I had to do in the morning was to pack.

    Packing was a smooth process. As I had planned special outfits for every day apart from the day we came back, this did not require any thought. This was done very quickly and then I had some time left over to catch up with a few things online. We then left slightly earlier than we had intended as we were both ready. We actually managed to get a delayed earlier train, but in the end, this train left only 4 minutes earlier than the one we had intended to get. Still, it was all good and we had plenty of time.

    Once we had got going, the train journey to the airport was quite quick. We were travelling with hand luggage only and I had printed our boarding passes so we could bypass the check in counters and head straight to security. We thought that security would be quite busy as our Airbus A380 was due to leave at around the same time as our flight, but we did pretty much just breeze through it. I had not flown out of terminal 1 since last December and there were some changes, most of them for the better. We decided to get some lunch. We ended up going to Giraffe again, where I had a nice dinner before my solo trip last year. It did not disappoint this time either. We had a great view over the taxi way and we were lucky enough to see the A380 come in. I had the Chicken Milanese, but they had changed this around a little. I preferred it with pasta, but this time round it came with crushed garlic new potatoes and a green salad. This was still very nice. Graham had some fish and chips. He just had some water and I had some Coke.







    Once we had finished our lunch, we headed back downstairs. We still had some time before our gate was due to open so we found somewhere to sit in the departure lounge. I decided to have a look around some shops and left Graham to play on his iPad. I did not find anything that I wanted to buy so I re-joined Graham and caught up with things online. My friend Michelle had arrived in Paris by then and we were messaging backwards and forwards about meeting up later.



    Soon it was time to head for the gate and this time round we actually had a proper gate and were not just lining up in the corridor. We did not have to wait long between the time the gate opened until we were allowed to board. The flight was pretty full. The flight itself was quick and smooth at just under an hour. The line for passport control looked pretty long and there were only a couple of desks open, but this moved pretty quickly. In that terminal they have screens with estimated waiting times. The screens showed that there was a waiting time of 5 minutes for passport control. We waited a little longer, but not by much.



    Once we were through passport control, we headed to the station. There was a TGV (French express train) about half an hour later so we decided to go with this. I had made bookings for the return trip for this trip and my solo trip in October and needed to get those tickets from a ticket machine. As we had time and there was nobody waiting for the machine, I sorted this out there and then, which was easy. I was curious how much the price difference was between the TGV and the local commuter trains so we went to check this out. It turned out that the commuter train is only 45 Cent cheaper and takes a lot longer. I would only consider this if there is no TGV within the next hour. The TGV only takes 10 minutes and the commuter train about 90 minutes with a change.

    We still had a bit of time until our train was due to leave so we found a seat. I updated my status on Facebook and answered a couple of messages. Somebody who I know from the USA posted a photo to my time line showing how long the line for the package pick up was. This did not fill me with joy. However, the photo was taken right at the opening time of the Expo so I was hoping that things would have calmed down a little by the time we would get there.

    Once the platform for our train was listed, we headed down. This was a slow process as they had ticket checks near the escalators that are leading down to the platforms. We still got there in plenty of time to find our correct departure zone before the train arrived. Our seats were very close to the doors so that was a bonus, too. The train had shown as slightly delayed, but actually arrived slightly earlier and 10 minutes later we were at the station for Disneyland Paris. I messaged my friend Michelle to advise her that we had arrived and were heading towards the Expo to get our bibs. She advised that she would head in that direction shortly as well and would find us. I was actually surprised how well signposted everything was. The clocks tend to tick to a different beat at Disneyland Paris. For the most part, the more laid back style adds to its charm, but sometimes it can be infuriating. For instance they normally release the times guide on a Saturday for that week starting that day. As the previous weekend marked the end of the summer season, they had released a times guide covering 8 days. It then took them until Wednesday to release the times guide that covered the beginning of the race weekend. Now considering how many people were coming for this weekend, this was not on. Still, on the count of the signposting, I was impressed. We made our way to the Expo and had no issue finding this. Fortunately the lines had all but disappeared by the time we got there.







    I was pretty impressed how the package pick up was handled as well. They had marked out a runner’s entrance and race volunteers checked the paperwork before you got inside the Expo itself. We waited for a while near the entrance. Michelle was staying at one of the Disney hotels, but I had no clear idea how far this was away. When a large group arrived, I told Graham that we better get our bibs before we get mixed up with this crowd. This was really well organized as well. Package pick up for the half marathon was to the right and for 5K on the left. On each side they had multiple check in desks organised by bib numbers. As for some reason our bib numbers were about 500 numbers apart, we ended up checking in at different desks. There was nobody at the desk for Graham’s bib number and there was one person in front of me. We got our bibs very quickly. I was delighted when I realised that we were in corral A as this would give me extra time on the day. We also had tickets booked for the inaugural party and I asked about the wristbands for this. I was directed to a different desk. Unfortunately the people checking in Graham had taken all his paperwork off him including the voucher for the party. So I headed over there trying to retrieve the party voucher. This was quite a lengthy process as the volunteers at this desk did not speak much English and I don’t speak French. In the end we did manage to understand each other and I got the party voucher back.

    There was just one desk to pick up park tickets and tickets for two different events. The line was about 10 people deep and moved very slowly. Fortunately at some stage, a cast member directed people to a nearby check in desk. In the end I probably would not even have needed Graham’s voucher as everything was in one envelope with one booking number. Still, it is always better to be safe then to be sorry. Once I had our tickets and wristbands for the party, I headed back outside to wait for Michelle. She arrived shortly afterwards. When we headed back inside, I noticed that Graham had wandered off. I told her I would meet her at the t-shirt pick up and went off to find Graham. I did not have to go very far. He was looking at some displays. We picked up our t-shirts. I love the t-shirt I got although I am a little nervous about this being white.

    With everything taken care off, we made our way to the train station. On the way, Michelle and I had the chance to catch up. When we got to the train station, we had a bit of a surprise. There were huge lines for the ticket machines. Graham and I had two tickets left from a previous visit as I tend to buy them in sets of 10, but we needed some tickets for Michelle. So there was nothing for it and we had to get in line. The lines moved very slowly, but eventually we got to the front. I needed to get some more tickets anyway so I decided to just do it there and then and gave Michelle two tickets. Once we had our tickets, we re-joined Graham and then headed down to the platform.

    We have always been very pleased with the train service between Disneyland Paris and Champs sur Marne. The trains normally run every 5 to 10 minutes and take about 15 minutes. This evening, according the screens, it would be about 30 minutes until a train would leave. The train arrived shortly afterwards, but it sat in the station for a long time. At least we were sitting down. Once we were finally under way, it was also as slow as molasses. If I did understand the information at the screen correctly there was some kind of disruption at Gare de Lyon that caused the trains to back up. Still, eventually we got there. Graham offered that he would quickly go to the hotel to check in and drop off the luggage while Michelle and I headed to the restaurant. He would catch up with us. We agreed and set off.

    We ended up sitting on the opposite side of the restaurant from where we normally end up. We sat down and Graham arrived shortly afterwards. They brought us some prawn crackers and a complimentary aperitif as well as some menus. We had a look at the menu and we all opted for the buffet. Graham and I ordered a bottle of Muscadet. I had the pork spring rolls that I love so much and a grilled chicken skewer as my first plate. Graham stuck with salad initially, but then was brave enough to try some sushi, which he enjoyed. I then had some fried rice with some beef in onion sauce and Graham had assorted seafood. For dessert, Graham had some lychees and I had some rum and raisin ice cream. Graham and I ordered some coffee and we each got a complimentary cup of sake.



    Once we had all finished, we paid. Michelle and I agreed on a meeting time and spot for the next day. I handed her my Photopass card as she intended to be in the parks for Extra Magic Hours and I fancied a lay in as we would have a really early start on Saturday. We walked Michelle back to the station and then headed to the hotel. We both spent a short while catching up with things online and then we settled down for the night.
     
  • Pinkocto

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2011
    Sounds like things got off to a very smooth start. Despite the slow train at the end of the night.

    The TGV sounds like the only way to go. I guess you would only use the other one if you had to stop somewhere?

    Glad the lines at Disney were not bad.

    How fun to have Michelle share this experience with you.
     

    dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    Sounds like things got off to a very smooth start.
    I was very pleased with how everything worked out.

    I guess you would only use the other one if you had to stop somewhere?
    That would be one scenario and sometimes there are big gaps between TGVs so if there was none for over an hour, I would take to the local trains as well.

    How fun to have Michelle share this experience with you.
    It was wonderful to have her around. It will be strange being my myself this time.

    Corinna
     

    Paula Sedley-Burke

    Proud to believe in Rainbows and Unicorns...
    Joined
    Nov 20, 2008
    Enjoying it already! Nice that you had flights secured. One less thing to worry about. I hear you re Paris having a more relaxed approach to time. Jo and I soon learnt take everything and add ish to the end... But the late release of information can be frustrating.

    I like girraffe chain also. Lunch looks nice.

    Great you got your bibbs and meet up with Michelle.

    The trains sound like they are on that ish time...

    Dinner looks good. Rum and raisin is my favorite ice cream flavour and you don't see it much! I adore rum in dishes both sweet and savoury. How sweet of Graham to check in your bags. What a true Gentleman he is.

    Looking forward to reading more.
     

    dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    Nice that you had flights secured.
    It definitely is and the irony is that the confirmed flights on EasyJet were less than half the price of standby flights on Air France or Flybe. That was not a hard decision to make.

    Jo and I soon learnt take everything and add ish to the end
    Yes, but for the most part this adds to the charm.

    But the late release of information can be frustrating.
    It definitely is. Don't they understand that people have planning to do?

    I like girraffe chain also. Lunch looks nice.
    I am pretty sure that this is where I will end up for lunch tomorrow.

    The trains sound like they are on that ish time...
    The TGVs are normally pretty good.

    Rum and raisin is my favorite ice cream flavour and you don't see it much!
    I like it, too.

    I adore rum in dishes both sweet and savoury.
    I don't think I have ever had rum in a savoury dish, but I can imagine that this would work really well.

    What a true Gentleman he is.
    He definitely is a keeper.

    Looking forward to reading more.
    This will have to wait until Sunday as I have another date with Monsieur Mouse tomorrow.

    I'm here!
    Welcome.

    Dinner looks great!
    It was. They serve the best Chinese food there that I have ever eaten.

    Corinna
     

    franandaj

    I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!
    Joined
    Nov 15, 2009
    I'm glad you got off to such a good start. Graham's fish and chips looks delicious! I have been craving them for some time now. But was that bowl of wasabi to go along with it?

    Nice that you met up with Michelle and had a lovely Chinese dinner. Have a great trip. I'll be on my way soon after you return!
     

    tiggrbaby

    <font color=deeppink><marquee>We must work harder
    Joined
    Jun 26, 2004
    Glad the lines for pick-up weren't as bad as expected.

    Yummy food!
     

    dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    But was that bowl of wasabi to go along with it?
    I had to think what you may have been referring to and came to the conclusion that it must have been the mushy peas, which is something quintessentially British and usually served with fish and chips over here.

    Nice that you met up with Michelle and had a lovely Chinese dinner.
    It was a lovely evening.

    Have a great trip.
    I did.

    I'll be on my way soon after you return!
    I should be able to get an update in before you leave.

    Glad the lines for pick-up weren't as bad as expected.
    I was really relieved about this.

    Yummy food!
    I really missed this on the most recent trip.

    Corinna
     

    dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    Day 2

    I had the alarm set for 9:30 and got up when the alarm went off. I got showered and ready before arranging with Graham where and when we were going to meet in the evening. Graham came downstairs with me, but he was going to relax at the hotel for a bit longer before heading off. I said goodbye and walked over to the station. I got lucky and as soon as I arrived at the platform, so did the train. This time it was a very smooth ride. My heart sunk a little when there was actually a line to get up the elevator. I had the nasty feeling that this day would not be a great deal of fun. I was dreading what I would find at security. I was positively surprised when I encountered only a very short line. It probably took me a total of 90 seconds to get through.



    As I came out the other end, I noticed with delight that the construction fences that had been there since November had gone. Walking down the path towards the entry was actually a pretty emotional experience. I had been under a lot of stress lately to the point that the day before we were due to fly out, I was no longer sure if I actually wanted to go. I was not even in the park yet, and I could feel that the stress had lifted off me. I had a similar experience on previous visits, but not as strongly as this. I have wondered at times if I should renew my annual pass or not. That decision was made at that stage and when I went back last week, I did renew my annual pass. Compared to the parks in the USA, the annual pass at Disneyland Paris is a bargain and I definitely have benefitted from having relatively easy access to a Disney fix. Walking down that path was also emotional for another reason. At this stage, I thought that the next time I was coming down that path, it would be running. That both excited and terrified me. In the end that was not quite how it happened.



    In the end, I was inside the park just before 10:30. This can’t be bad taking just under an hour from the alarm going off to being in the park. The first thing I noticed was that the scaffolding has come down from Main Street station. It was so nice to see this again. As I still had half an hour until I was due to meet Michelle, I decided to go and see the pumpkins at the hub. It took me a long while to get there. I knew that the pumpkins would be there as I had seen those in photos from somebody who was there earlier in the week. I had not realised that there would be more decorations. So I was delighted when I saw that the balconies along Main Street had pumpkins displayed, the lamp posts had been dressed for Halloween and there were ghosts along Main Street. To me the park looked fully decorated, but I have since seen that a lot more decorations have gone up.



    I slowly made my way up Main Street and stopped at an area that I thought was probably where Daisy and Stitch will meet and greet during the Halloween season. This hunch has now been confirmed. Even without them there, I loved how elaborate this area was. I then backtracked. I was posting a status update on Facebook when I noticed a message. Michelle was running behind and was now aiming to be in the park by noon. I messaged her back that I would meet her then at the arranged place and decided to get some rides under the belt. I was still worried about how busy the park would be, but figured that I should be able to do Buzz Lightyear at least once. When I got there, the waiting time was showing as 5 minutes. I could not believe that nobody was in line. I ended up walking straight up to the loading dock. There was just one problem. I had given Michelle my Photopass card thinking that she would be in the park ahead of me. I went to ask how long the ride photos stay in the system and the cast member just added my ride photo to a temporary card and told me I could have this added to my normal card at any of the Photopass shops. After this, I went straight back on the ride. Again, it was a walk on. I could not believe my luck.

















    After I had my photo added to the temporary Photopass card, I headed out. I had seen on photos earlier in the week that Stitch was hanging out at Discoveryland between Videopolis and Space Mountain. So that is where I was heading next. I found some cast members from the character department nearby and asked them if Stitch would be out. They told me that he has been out either at 11:00 or 11:30 the last few days. It was just gone 11:00 at that time and he was definitely not there so I decided to head back to Buzz Lightyear for one more ride. It was not quite a walk on anymore, but not far off. Once I came out of the ride, I headed back one the hill by Videopolis. Roughly opposite where I had spoken to the Cast Members earlier, Pluto had appeared. He was not who I was hoping for, but I got in line anyway. Just as soon as I had done so, I saw a flash of blue further down the hill. I took off and sure enough, Stitch was down there.

    The line for Stitch was not too long and moved swiftly. Soon it was my turn. I was wearing a special t-shirt I had made for the weekend and some custom made ears and the cast members that were with Stitch were making a little bit of a fuss about this and wishing me luck. Stitch initially objected to Marie being on my t-shirt and wondered why he was not on there. I told him that he does not normally visit Paris and if I had known he was there, he would have pride of place on my t-shirt. The cast member I had handed my phone to spotted that I have Stitch on my phone and that pacified him.







    Once I had said goodbye to Stitch, I decided I may as well see Pluto while I was in the area. The line had shrunk and I did not have to wait long. When I got to meet Pluto, I realised that my choice of t-shirt may be quite troublesome. Pluto was not impressed that he was supposed to meet somebody who was wearing a t-shirt with a cat on it. He did forgive me in the end and I got some photos.



    Untitled by

    I still had a little bit of time before I was due to meet Michelle. So I decided to go to the annual pass office to see when I can renew my pass. The cast member near the door told me that I could renew now if I wanted. I told that I would be back in two weeks and would renew then. I had a quick look at the castle stage, which was all dressed up for Halloween and then I headed back to the front of the park.

    I got there a little early. I had a quick look at the displays outside one of the shops and then I sat down. Michelle arrived shortly afterwards. She had brought the Flower and Garden Festival Dooney and Bourke satchel that she had picked up for me earlier in the year. I quickly reorganised my stuff and then we headed inside the park.
     

    Connect

    Disney News and Updates

    Get Daily Email Updates

    DIS INSTAGRAM

    Top