It's A Small World - A Never-ending Pre-trip Report

dolphingirl47

In Search of the Tag Fairy
Joined
Dec 25, 2007
Normally I should be writing a trip report at the moment as I have recently come back from an absolutely amazing trip. However, with the annual appraisal season being in full swing and me writing the equivalent of War and Peace in my professional life at the moment, my time, energy and enthusiasm to write in my private life is severely limited. This should come to an end by the middle of next week and then I will spend some quality time on writing my trip report. In the meantime, I have booked another trip less than three weeks in advance and as doing a pre-trip report tends to focus my mind and helps me with the planning, I have decided to get started on this. The happy days of planning a trip a year or two in advance and this happening without a hitch unfortunately seem to have passed. For a variety of reasons, I think trips that are planned and booked very much at the last minute will increasingly be my reality. For my last trip, I added the pre-trip report to the end of my previous trip report, but I was never really happy with this. So the idea was born to do a continuous pre-trip report that I can update over a longer period of time as and when a trip enters the acute planning stages. Welcome for the ride. This may well become the wildest ride in the wilderness.


Trips planned and booked:

Disneyland Paris 10th to 15th November 2015


Trips that I hope to take, but no concrete arrangements as yet:

Disney cruise(s) December 2015

Disneyland Paris to coincide with the Inaugural Disneyland Half Marathon September 2016


Trips that are on my wishlist and may or may not happen:

Alaska cruise in Summer 2016

Combined New York trip and cruise Autumn 2016

Trip to Disneyland Shanghai 2016/2017

Panama Canal Cruise May 2017

Aulani/ Hawaii cruise Autumn 2018

Quick weekend trips to Disneyland Paris throughout 2016


I am sure that plans will change and some of the trips will be replaced with other trips as time goes on, but that is part of the excitement and past history showed, the resulting trips when a door closed on a planned trip were often the most special ones.


Most of you on here know me and I consider a lot of you to be good friends. I am sure that at least some of you will at least make a cameo experience in some of the trips. However, here is a quick introduction of the cast for any new readers.



My name is Corinna and I am your friendly author. I am currently 40 (although not much longer) and a big Disney fan (hopefully for life). I love travelling and especially cruising. I am coming up to my 10 year anniversary in the airline industry and this has definitely opened my eyes and mind to some travel options as well as providing opportunities to do so. I am the chief planner and unofficial “travel agent” for our family. I love most animals apart from snakes and insects and have developed a real passion for snorkeling. I am interested in history and architecture, getting to know different cultures, writing and photography. If any or all of these interests can be combined during our travels, I am a happy person.

My husband Graham will join me on hopefully most of the trips. He does not get Disney at all, but is happy to humour me up to a point. Apart from the Disney element, he shares many of my travel-related interests. He is usually a bit more adventurous than me and likes going exploring. He often quite literally ends up off the beaten track. Travelling with him never gets boring.

So here we go. I wonder how many different trips will be planned here before I hit the page limit.
 

dolphingirl47

In Search of the Tag Fairy
Joined
Dec 25, 2007
Disneyland Paris


Disneyland Paris provided me with a number of firsts. This was the first ever Disney park I visited. I experienced the first Disney holiday season there and this was also the place where I celebrated my first ever birthday away from home. It is hard to believe that this all happened 19 years ago. This first visit sparked my passion for everything Disney.


After this initial visit, we would go to Disneyland Paris quite regularly, but always during their holiday season. We had a few November and early December trips, but also went on Christmas twice. However, 2007 marked our last trip to Disneyland Paris together. With becoming DVC members and discovering our love for cruising, our focus shifted and all of our leave was used for nice long trips. There was no time left for Disneyland Paris.


I had a quick bonus trip to Disneyland Paris in spring 2010 when an angry volcano meant that we had to make our way to a cruise by land and sea and ended up with about 30 hours in Paris. That was too good an opportunity to pass up. This also was my only visit where the park was not dressed up for Christmas. Since then a number of things have been added including a Toy Story Playland, a Ratatouille mini land, various character meet and greets and Disney Dreams. Disney Dreams is their nighttime show including fireworks, projections and fountains and from what I have read, this may well we as good as World of Color.































I had pondered visiting Disneyland Paris in May when I was at a loose end for a week, but a meeting I had to attend in the middle of that week put paid to the idea. With all the mess ups with my leave this year, I had a spare week that I just parked in the week leading up to my birthday. I had no intentions to do anything with this week as it would be only a little short of a month after coming back from my previous trip and three weeks until I have 3 and a half weeks off in December. I am not very good at being at home and doing very little for more than two or three days in a row. So Graham suggested a couple of weeks ago that I may want to go somewhere for a few days. He suggested London, but I do not fancy this on my own and this can get pretty expensive. I did however start wondering about Disneyland Paris again and had a look on their website. When I realised that their Christmas season starts a few days before I would be going, this became very tempting. This was obviously meant to happen. The following Monday, Graham got an email with special offers for Accor Hotels in France for the month of November. I got a fantastic rate of £30 per night at an Ibis Hotel that is just opposite of an RER station that is 6 stops away from Disneyland Paris. We have stayed there a few times before and it is quite a nice hotel especially at that price. So I decided to go for it.


There are a few things I am really excited about. I am really looking forward to seeing Disney Dreams. They have a Christmas version for this and I am hoping that this will be better than World of Color Winter Dreams. According to the official Disneyland Paris website, they have Jack Skellington in his Sandy Claws outfit out during the Christmas season. I have also hear that Spider-Man has meet and greet in the Walt Disney Studios park. I am very excited about the Ratatouille mini land and the ride there. Unfortunately two of my favourite rides are down at the moment: Big Thunder Mountain Rail Road and It’s A Small World. However, there is plenty to keep me occupied. I love Phantom Manor and Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland Paris and I quite keen to get plenty of practice at Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast. A lot of the new rides at Walt Disney Studios have single rider lines including the Ratatouille ride.


So here is the plan:


10th November:

Flight from Manchester to Paris standby with three possible options (06:10, 6:45 or 8:55)

Take high speed train from Charles de Gaulle Airport to Disneyland Paris

Get annual pass and take weekender bag to left luggage facility

Light lunch

Phantom Manor, Pirates, Buzz Lightyear

Parade

More rides plus characters

Tree Lighting Ceremony, Disney Dreams

Check into Hotel


11th November

EMH Walt Disney Studio

Try new ride

Meet Spider-man

Do old favourites

Cross over to Disneyland in time for parade


12th November

Full day at Disneyland


13th November

Disneyland/ Walt Disney Studios

Evening at Disney Village

Graham arrives


14th November

My birthday

Disneyland Paris

Potentially cross over to Walt Disney Studios to ride Ratatouille ride

Birthday dinner

Disney Dreams if any good


15th November

Fly back home
 

franandaj

I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!
Joined
Nov 15, 2009
Sounds great! I will be following along. You know the July 4 sailing out of Vancouver will be a very nice one. :rolleyes1

I hope your December plans work out as well. I will be looking out for that one as well.

I will look forward to hearing all about DLP to help me plan how many days I would like there as well.
 
  • Pinkocto

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2011
    This looks fabulous! I loved seeing all the pictures from DLP. And how fun to have your birthday in the park :) Kudos to Graham for leading you to this great idea!

    And all your tentative plans sound great too :)
     

    jedijill

    Chiefs fan living in Bronco country
    Joined
    Jan 17, 2005
    I"m along for the ride! Your DLP plans sound wonderful!

    Jill in CO
     
  • dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    Sounds great! I will be following along.
    Welcome.

    You know the July 4 sailing out of Vancouver will be a very nice one. :rolleyes1
    You know, this is not something I would have considered because I thought the prices would be crazy, but actually they are not too bad at all for this cruise. This before the school holidays in England and Wales start so hopefully there will be some decently priced flights around the 4 months mark as well. At the moment the cost of the flights makes my eyes water, but that it is not unusual on the transatlantic routes this far out.

    I hope your December plans work out as well. I will be looking out for that one as well.
    I am still keeping my fingers crossed on this one. Yesterday Interline rates popped up for two of the December cruises out of Galveston. Incidentally one of them was a cruise that I had my beady eyes on since they were first released. Unfortunately Graham vetoed Galveston, but told me that if something pops up out of Port Canaveral or Miami, I can go ahead and book. So please keep your fingers crossed for us.

    I will look forward to hearing all about DLP to help me plan how many days I would like there as well.
    I will definitely be doing a trip report. I am not quite sure yet if I will do two trip reports at the same time or if not, in which order I will do them in, but at some stage it will happen.

    This looks fabulous! I loved seeing all the pictures from DLP.
    Thanks. I did not think I had many photos from Disneyland Paris, but I actually have quite a few.

    And how fun to have your birthday in the park :)
    That is definitely a bonus. Last year I was at Aulani for my birthday, but this will do.

    Kudos to Graham for leading you to this great idea!
    He is a keeper.

    And all your tentative plans sound great too :)
    Let's hope that at least some of them will turn into concrete plans.

    I"m along for the ride! Your DLP plans sound wonderful!
    Welcome.

    Following along as well.
    Welcome.

    Following along! I really enjoy your reports!
    Welcome.

    Corinna
     

    dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    I am starting to get a little bit of a sinking feeling about this upcoming trip. Within 24 hours I had two different people talking about their recent trip to Disneyland Paris and both reports were pretty dire. One of them has been to Disneyland Paris many times, but had a 3 year gap since the last visit. It was the first visit for the second one. It is this report that particularly worried me. This is somebody I work with and she is the most positive person I have ever met. She does not normally say a cross word about anybody or anything so for her to tell me that Disneyland Paris was disappointing is a big deal.

    Both of them commented that the parks look run down and dirty with weeds growing everywhere and moss growing on the rides. When it comes to rides, they both reported that a lot of rides were closed. The refurbishment list is pretty long anyway at the moment, but apparently some rides that were supposed to be open were also closed. They also both reported that there was a distinct shortage of characters. This really surprised me. The only positive that both of them reported is that the Disney Dreams show is truly stunning. The two trips were about a month apart.

    The saving grace is that this trip is pretty cheap and surely just about anything beats sitting at home alone. I will take plenty of photos and the trip report may well be "warts and all". On the positive note, thanks to @Flossbolna I have managed to have a look at some menus for Disneyland Paris and have a fairly good idea of what I will do for food. It looks like it will be mainly counter service meals again with the odd buffet thrown in for good measure. This served me well during my solo trip to Disneyland and it looks promising for Disneyland Paris, too.

    Corinna
     

    Pinkocto

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2011
    That is a little scary but I know you'll have a great time regardless. Now you're just prepared for things not being perfect and in a way that's a good thing.
     

    dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    That is a little scary but I know you'll have a great time regardless. Now you're just prepared for things not being perfect and in a way that's a good thing.
    Indeed. I think there is still plenty of fun to be had and I am looking forward to all the Christmas decorations.

    Corinna
     
  • Flossbolna

    Sea days are just so relaxing!
    Joined
    Sep 8, 2006
    Corinna, thanks for tagging me so that I remembered to come over here!!

    Don't be too worried about DLP, I am sure you are going to have a wonderful time! I am really surprised that your friends reported the parks being in such a bad shape. I have been following the refurbishments over the last years a lot and from everything I have seen, the park looks to be in much better shape than in 2012. We were really impressed by the big improvements between my 2012 and 2013 trips. They recently repainted all of Discoveryland and all of Frontierland is being worked on right now. I think Colonel Hati's Pizza Outpost was recently redone as well. Maybe try to look out for those improvements and then you can overlook the spots that they have not gotten to? I wonder whether your friends were noticing the bad spots more because other areas are already back up to standard?

    I also think that there will be a difference between Halloween season and Christmas season with regard to characters and such. So, there experience might be very different from yours!

    Have a fantastic trip! Not wishing you a happy birthday yet - since you are originally from Germany I feel that the chance of the rule that early birthday wishes being unlucky might still apply to you and that would be the last thing I want to happen! ;)
     

    bex7583

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 29, 2012
    I am sure you will have a lovely trip and if you are a bit worried about the parks and dont go with too high expectations im sure it will be perfect.
    Just enjoy the things that are open and the lovely parade and enjoy having a break from work .

    oh and have Happy Birthday
     

    dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    Corinna, thanks for tagging me so that I remembered to come over here!!
    Welcome.

    Don't be too worried about DLP, I am sure you are going to have a wonderful time!
    I am intending to.

    I am really surprised that your friends reported the parks being in such a bad shape.
    Actually, Graham also had some very similar reports from people he works with. However, the real headliner in that news is that he is talking about Disney with people. Has somebody swapped my husband with somebody else? :scared1:

    I have been following the refurbishments over the last years a lot and from everything I have seen, the park looks to be in much better shape than in 2012.
    When I was there last time in April 2010, the park was in top condition. I did not make it over to the studios that time though.

    I wonder whether your friends were noticing the bad spots more because other areas are already back up to standard?
    That could well be.

    I also think that there will be a difference between Halloween season and Christmas season with regard to characters and such.
    I actually thought the Halloween season was better for characters.

    Have a fantastic trip! Not wishing you a happy birthday yet - since you are originally from Germany I feel that the chance of the rule that early birthday wishes being unlucky might still apply to you and that would be the last thing I want to happen! ;)
    Indeed. My boss handed me an envelope a couple of days ago, which is still sitting in my handbag unopened as I think it may be a birthday card.

    I am sure you will have a lovely trip and if you are a bit worried about the parks and dont go with too high expectations im sure it will be perfect.
    Welcome and you are absolutely right.

    Just enjoy the things that are open and the lovely parade and enjoy having a break from work .
    Yes, break from work:confused3 That is a long story.

    oh and have Happy Birthday
    Thanks.

    Corinna
     

    dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    Once I finished my shift today, I was supposed to be officially on vacation. Then a very angry volcano in Bali happened and now I am not. This is not as bad as it sounds. I was not supposed to go anywhere until Tuesday anyway and I just have to go into work tomorrow. At least that is what I hope will happen.

    Graham has managed to get next Friday off work and is trying to get on a flight that leaves Manchester at lunch time and due to the time difference reaches Paris mid afternoon. So we will have time for a nice dinner and will be able to enjoy a full day on my birthday as Graham now does not arrive in the middle of the night.

    I have now bought the tickets for both of us for the outbound flight, but I still need to buy the tickets for the return, which I will do over the weekend. As my flight leaves at 6:10 in the morning and the trains to the airport are somewhat temperamental, I have decided to treat myself to a car service. I have used the company many times before. Their prices are reasonable and they are reliable. This also means I can have an extra hour in bed, which at that time is a distinct bonus.

    Corinna
     

    PrincessInOz

    Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!
    Joined
    Feb 8, 2010
    Once I finished my shift today, I was supposed to be officially on vacation. Then a very angry volcano in Bali happened and now I am not. This is not as bad as it sounds. I was not supposed to go anywhere until Tuesday anyway and I just have to go into work tomorrow. At least that is what I hope will happen.

    Graham has managed to get next Friday off work and is trying to get on a flight that leaves Manchester at lunch time and due to the time difference reaches Paris mid afternoon. So we will have time for a nice dinner and will be able to enjoy a full day on my birthday as Graham now does not arrive in the middle of the night.

    I have now bought the tickets for both of us for the outbound flight, but I still need to buy the tickets for the return, which I will do over the weekend. As my flight leaves at 6:10 in the morning and the trains to the airport are somewhat temperamental, I have decided to treat myself to a car service. I have used the company many times before. Their prices are reasonable and they are reliable. This also means I can have an extra hour in bed, which at that time is a distinct bonus.

    Corinna
    Oh dear.

    I hope that you're on holiday now!
     

    Pinkocto

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2011
    Sorry work was extended. Glad it didn't affect your vacation.

    That's wonderful news Graham was able to take Friday off. Sounds like some progress is being made on the Disney front :)
     


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