EMMAS FIRST TRIP TO DLPR
Preliminary details: I first realised mid 2008, that there was a gap between obligations in London and obligations in Paris which made a trip to Paris Disneyland possible. I went on line and found a great deal (3 nights/4 days for the price of 2/3) available for UK visitors in early January: the deal for Australian residents was a lousy ten percent so when I rang to book, the sales assistant offered to let me have the UK deal if I provided a UK address that was easy enough and I booked for the Disneyland Hotel the normal price would have scared me off, but the middle of the year saw the aussie dollar at a record high against the pound and the euro so I jumped on it: 586 pounds including the half-board plus option. I then pretty much forgot about the whole thing in the rush of second semester and getting ready for London and Paris proper. I did do some research at the time into Eurostar prices and realised that the price of a one way from London direct to DLP was more than three times the price of a return just to Paris, so I left all of that until the Eurostar Paris fares became bookable November. In November I did some more research and again, the one-way fare (I am flying back to London from Venice at the end of my trip) London to Paris ended up being only 1 pound cheaper than a BA flight. The benefit of the flight was that it would have me at DLPR by 9.30am on Sunday instead of around 1.30pm if I came by train via London. So, I booked the plane ticket. So, that was accommodation, food, tickets and transport sorted. I bought a guidebook to the place and then forgot all about it. Literally; on Wednesday at the new years eve fireworks on the embankment I realised I was off to Disneyland in 3 days and freaked out a little!
So, on with the trip report.
DAY ONE - Sunday January 4th 2009:
I set my alarm for 3.30am last night. If you, like me, were not aware that 3.30am was an actual time, welcome to the club. Whoever invented it should be lined up outside and shoved off the island. The taxi was coming at 4.30am so I had an hour to shower, get dressed, have breakfast and finish packing. I made it downstairs to the lobby exactly on the dot of 4.30 and it took the 30 minute taxi ride to Heathrow to calm down and cool down. The taxi driver was complaining about how cold it was (minus 4) but I was slightly sweaty!
I had checked in online yesterday morning, so all I had to do at the new terminal 5 was print out my boarding pass and head to the fast bag drop. Oxymoronic; there were only 2 counters open and the fast bag drop took 20 minutes. Still, onwards. From there you head to the queue for ID control, then out the back and around the corner and into another queue for security. Finally got to the counter, took of my shoes, jacket, sweater, took my laptop out of bag, remembered to take my hair clasp out (it sets of the detectors) and then was randomly selected for a very uncomfortable body search. Really, who needs a woman patting your bum fat at 5.30 in the morning? From there it was a really really really long way to terminal B; walked and walked and then down some escalators to the train, then up some escalators and some moving walk ways about of the way there I found the Qantas Club (code share) so quickly popped in there to print out a few things from email I had been waiting to print out all week, pick up a couple of newspapers and fill my water bottle and by then the plane was boarding. Flight was a super speedy 1 hour they handed out food, I could hardly believe it was worth the effort; I just read my paper and worried about the incipient world war that seems to be developing on the other side of the planet. We landed on time and were in the terminal exactly on time; my bag arrived 6 minutes later and then I started the long, long, lonooonnng walk to the TGV station. I already felt like I had achieved my 10,000 steps and it was only 8.50am. The TGV ticket machine rejected my mastercard; it kept saying this machine only accepts master card and visa and no matter how many times I kicked it, same result. There was a LOOONG queue in the ticket office (hence my repeated efforts at the machine) and finally I could see that I was going to miss my train (having already missed the first one) and I did not want to wait another 90 minutes for the next one so I strong armed a reluctant French desk clerk (who was doing something, not serving the queue) in to giving me my ticket and then it was time for another LOOOONG walk to the right part of the platform for my carriage. Man, talk about footsore. I got there in time to have 5 minutes to register finally just exactly what minus 7 feels like; it was cold.
The TGV rolled up a couple of minutes late but the trip was less than ten minutes and I was at the DLRP concourse by 9.40am 5 hours after getting out of bed. Next up was the trip through security I was a bit worried about having to open my suitcase and holding up a queue but as it happens they have a separate line for hotel guests and your suitcase goes through an x-ray machine. There was a slight curfuffle about the bottle of champagne in my bag but once they had sited my DLH paperwork they waved me through. The next hiccup was actually finding the hotel entrance there is a LOT of hotel, but finding a door to get in, not so easy. I ended up way to the right (instead of way to the left) and in the end a housemaid took pity on me and took me in and upstairs and back over to reception. You go in, up elevators, walk a mile and a half, down elevators, and you are in the reception. Where you wait in the queue to check in, then wait in the queue to leave your bags, then wait to leave valuables in the safe. And I use the word queue loosely, because its France, and they dont really do queues. They do pushing and shoving and stepping over you as they politely murmur pardon in passing. ANYWAY by 10.15am I had my tickets, and my daypack and had visited the ladies room to put on my long underwear (I have written a sonnet of thanks to Icebreaker but more on that later), and was out the back door looking at the entrance gate
Well, its 5pm Monday now; by the time I had written that lot last night I was completely exhausted. So, now working from memory As I walked into Main Street, one of the double decker buses was loading up, so I jumped on board and we wobbled up Main Street just as the fake-snow and Christmas carols were being broadcast it was lovely. The castle is gorgeous and the whole place looks familiar and yet strange. Its an odd sensation. I walked up and under the castle and, after a wee error (I walked all the way through a mostly empty queue and almost boarded a cart before questioning why Pinocchio was painted on the wall of Peter Pan), ducked out of the queue and made my way to Peter Pan where there was astonishingly, no queue. Hurruh! From Peter Pan I made my way to Pirates and rode that again, it was familiar and yet very different. I had an extremely loud and irritating small boy right behind me who kept shouting in my ear about what was happening it was hard to appreciate the ride under that kind of pressure. From there I walked to BTMRR where there was a long queue so I grabbed a Fast Pass and made my way to Fuente Del Ora for an early lunch; it was only 11.15 but I did have breakfast at 3.50am so I figured it was fair enough. Had wonderful vegetarian fajitas and a small hot chocoate; the fajitas were make your own: three of the bread thingys (like Pita), a big scoop of pan fried capsicums, onions, tomatoes and peppers, with a handful of onion rings, a tube of guacamole and a tub of chilli and was just yummy why cant the USA parks have such good vege food? After lunch I walked down to Haunted Mansion and did that (the mansion itself is gorgeous, but I didnt think the story was as good as the US version), and then back to BTMRR to use my FP. That was really great it was so cold my eyes ran the whole time but I loved it. From there it was off to Indiana Jones, which had been shut earlier in the day. There was a 25 minute wait posted, and I decided to test it and see if it really was in the event it was about 15 minutes and it went fast. That was a big disappointment the ride itself is over in less than 2 minutes, there is one tiny loop and other than that, not much to recommend it. The view is good from up there but I dont feel the need to ride it again. From Indi I found my way to the railway station and rode the whole way around, getting off in Disoveryland in time for the 2.15 show of the Lion King. It was in French, but I got the hang of it. It was so bitterly cold that it was hard to handle the wait for the thing to start, and that may have affected my opinion of the show because to be honest, I didnt think it was that great. To be fair, the AK show, which I saw in January 2008, was fresh in my mind and that is one heck of a show so I was probably expecting too much. Anyway, again, glad to have seen it before it closed. By the time it ended, it was finally 3pm so I headed back to the hotel to pick up my key and get into my room. What a hallybaloo!!! Good lord, they could learn something from the US parks. I had to queue along with about 200 other people some who were wanting to do the same thing but most of whom who were actually checking in. What a mess. It took 45 minutes to get my key and the only positive thing was that my bags had already been delivered to my room. I asked why they didnt use the same system they do in the states when you ring a number during the day to find out your room number when its ready and the woman behind the desk said they had tried it and it hadnt worked?? Anyway, whatever. My room (3286) , to continue the theme of the day, could not be further away from reception. At all. Seriously, its at the very tip of the very last wing if its not actually more than a kilometre, it certainly feels like it. Making up for this is the fact that its a gorgeous room and, being on the very end, nice and private. It has a faux balcony (the kind you can stand on, its about a foot wide) which looks out over fantasia gardens and the water tower of the studios. It has a huge king bed, and a really comfy day bed, lots of space, and a lovely bathroom. Lots of toiletries; shampoo, conditioner, bath gel, bath salts, moisturiser, shower cap, cotton buds and pads, and soaps. I asked for a kettle and it was delivered in good time. There is no fridge, the mini bar is an automatic one but the receptionist said (in response to a question) that if something recorded as moving (by my storing a wee milk carton in there) I could have it taken off the bill at the end of my stay. I cant live for 4 days without a decent cup of tea! So, I unpacked a bit and had a hot hot hot shower (excellent water pressure) and then headed back into the park in time for my 5pm dinner reservation at Walts. Where I was greeted with consternation in fact, while my reservation was good at the time, they were not serving dinner and had not been able to contact me (probably because my surname had about 4 extra consonants added into the mix) so they had been waiting for me. They offered me a reservation at the Silver Spur for dinner and a lunch time reservation with a window guarantee for Monday (thus confounding me because the reservationist swore black and blue Walts was closed from Monday for ten days). Anyway, I declined the dinner reservation but took them up on the Monday lunch ressie, and then found myself outside just as the parade started. I found a space behind a rubbish tin with a gap, and watched the parade (it was a lousy view, to be expected given the circs, so I will withhold judgment til I see it properly). From there I decided to go check out the winter fare in the Village and wandered around there for a bit, then went to try my luck at Annettes. I didnt expect to be able to get in, because there were people everywhere, but in fact was taken straight upstairs. I had a vege burger which was actually really yummy, avocado and some sort of vege patty, with salad. It came with tons of fries but I could only manage about ten of them (the problem with snacking mid afternoon!). I had planned to have the basic menu which came with a brownie for dessert but I just couldnt even think about attempting it, so bailed. The burger and a bottle of water was 18 euros which is pretty steep. The entertainment I can see that in the US it would be pretty full on where the cast members have no fear and are very professional - but here the staff were very half hearted and you could see they were pretty embarrassed about the whole thing. The music was good and I enjoyed the ambiance anyway. By now it was 7.30 and I had had plans to head back to the park for fantillusion but I was just so totally exhausted by this point that I gave it up and went back to the hotel. I bought an internet pass (10 euros for 3 hours) but could not make it work in the room so instead had a wonderful delicious bath and hit the sack. I think I was asleep inside of 5 minutes and didnt wake up til 7am the next day Oh, I forgot to mention that while I was in the bath, the turn down service people arrived I called out that I was in the bath so they just left a handful of gold wrapped coins inside the door, which I thought was lovely.
DAY TWO MONDAY JAN 5TH
Woke up this morning at 7.05am feeling much more human than I did when I went to bed last night. Got up and dressed and headed to breakfast. It was an excellent buffet; cereals and fruits and yoghurts, then continental cheeses and meats, then the cooked buffet (eggs, beans, potatoes, all the usual meats, pancakes) then baked goods you could make toast to have with preserves, and croissants, Danish, donuts etc lots of yummy things to try over the next couple of days. A waiter brought tea to the table. Unfortunately there were kids in melt down all over the place; most of them seemed to be really tired and cranky and probably should have still been in bed sleeping. By 8am I was back in the room and managed to drag myself out by 8.25. Walked all the way down to reception and outside to discover that it was snowing, a lot. So made a decision than an umbrella was a necessity today (my gear is not water proof) and trekked all the way back, and back again. Finally in the park by 8.45 and ready to make use of the early entry. Headed straight to Peter Pan, which is always how I like to start the day. Much of fantasyland was closed because of the snow and at first I was not sure how I was going to fill two hours but it went ok. I next went to Pinocchio which I loved better than the US versions then checked out the castle. Wow, this is amazing. I spent a while upstairs checking out the sleeping beauty story, and then made my way downstairs to see the dragon. That is fantastic wow!!! From there I walked around the castle all these cool little paths and surprising nooks and crannies and took photos of the real snow and icicles. Then headed over to discoveryland and rode Buzz (got a pathetic 60,000) and then Space Mountain amazing, the special effects are very cool. However the walk way was very slippery and I nearly face-planted twice which made me reluctant to ride it again in fact, I spent almost the whole day walking like an old lady, worried about falling. Sneakers are not good footwear for snow. By now it was 9.55 so I headed to Star Trek and joined the line which started moving at 10am. During this ride there was an almost unbelievable occurrence; a british man was videoing the whole thing and the cast member interrupted the dialogue several times to ask that he stop but he just ignored it and went on. It was really disruptive and spoiled the magic, to hear the CM speaking during the performance. His explanation at the end; his camera did not have a flash so what was the problem? Amazing. Anyway, from there I made my way to Small World, which I loved (again, in spite of the rude guest who kept turning around to take photos behind her, blinding me with her flash time after time. I think I am a glass half full person, and am definitely not fault free myself, but I was continually take aback by the selfish behaviour of other guests today. Back to IASWAA, I especially loved the finale room its really cool. I then picked up a couple of fastpasses for Peter Pan, then rode the Carousel. Then back to ride Peter Pan, twice in a row (I really do love it). Then the Aladdin walk through which I thought was lovely and totally worth the time. Then I checked out the liberty arcade and finally it was time for lunch at Walts. I did indeed have a nice table right on the window in the far dining room; I love the layout, all the small dining rooms which make it seem quite private and intimate. I had the dining plus half board option; cauliflower soup (so-so, needed more seasoning), spinach and ricotta ravioli in a creamy sauce (3 of them, delicious) on a bed of winter veges (broad beans, carrots, one cherry tomato the veges were obviously from frozen and were ok but nothing to write home about. I also ordered a glass of wine (a Bordeaux) and when it was arrived, it was obviously from a bottle that had been opened at least a day it was really thin and sharp so I commented and it was replaced this time it was clearly from a new bottle, but it was still not a very nice wine. For dessert, I had the chocolate cake which came with cookie ice cream (a ball of it served on a nut-brittle cup) and a chocolate, with raspberry coulis. Presentation was wonderful and the whole thing was yummy, but unfortunately for me the whole meal was served so quickly (3 courses in an hour) that I was so full I didnt really appreciate it as much as I might have otherwise. Still, I am not complaining it was wonderful to have the opportunity to eat there, and the view from the window was fantastic and it was so nice to be sitting there, all warm and lovely, while outside everyone looked cold and damp. At 1.30pm I reluctantly got up and left. Snow White was finally open, so I went and rode that (so much better than in Disneyland, longer and more detailed and a much more satisfying ending!) and then, feeling so full and sleepy and looking for something I could sit down for, went to Honey I shunk the audience. An 18 minute wait outside went quite quickly but inside there was an interminable advert for Kodak which went on and on and on. Inside, there was the usual scrum with everyone determined to sit in the middle so I climbed over then people and made my way to the end of the row eventually the row filled up from the other side as people looking for seats were blocked by all the people sitting on the right hand side and had to walk down the front and up to the left hand side. The whole thing makes me realise how blindly obedient we are, following instructions. All day I have been watching people simply opening chain barriers and letting themselves through where every they want to go; to be honest I am rather envious as it would never occur to me to do such a thing and as a result I end up walking ten times as far as is really needed but it is still shocking to me, to see. I then made the decision to see Mickeys Winter Wonderland which was in competition with the parade, so made my way to Frontierland and there was only a five minute wait until the arena opened. Met a lovely family from the UK with cold, adorable daughters and we passed the time. The show was really cute and lively. From there straight onto the train, which made its way very slowly back to Main street and from there I made my way back to the hotel. Discovered that if I come in the side door by the hotel pool, I can cut the walk to my room in half, which is a great thing to learn.
The evening did not go exactly according to plan because Fantillusion was cancelled due to bad weather. I went back to the hotel for a hot cup of tea and to warm up around 5pm and at 6.20pm when I got to the gate to go back, found out that it was all over for the evening. Instead I took a walk to the wee mini-mart inside the train station and stocked up on bottled water, and then went into the village to find something to have for dinner. I had planned on NY Sandwiches but I could not see it by the time my feet started whinging, so I turned around and went to the take out counter at Annettes, where I got the vege burger meal for 10 euros. Hilariously, at the security check the man felt in my bag with the bottles of water and must have smelled the food, but just waved me through. Exactly what they are looking for escapes me. After finishing my meal I took my computer out into the hallway to use the wifi which does not work in the bedrooms. I found a desk half way down the hall to the restaurants its ornamental but there is a nice comfy chair behind it so I plonked myself down and spent an hour catching up on email. An awful lot of people thought I was a castmember and I was asked about a dozen questions and completely confused one little Spanish girl who could not understand why I could not help her with whatever she wanted.
A delicious bath for my poor feet, and then I slept like the dead for 8 hours. Bliss.
DAY THREE: Tuesday July 6th
Up for breakfast at 7.30 and out the door by 8.20 I was dead proud of myself. I had a nearly perfect day, park-wise. I rode everything that was open in Fantasyland Snow White, Pinocchio, Peter Pan (three times in a row!), the tea cups (which is really dirty and in need of cleaning and missing totally the joy that attaches to this ride in California, which I think comes from the crazy-sounding Alice and her commentary), and the Carousel, then headed to Buzz where I had another dismal round (50,400!). It was now 9.30 so following my plan I took off for the Studios. I have not mentioned yet that today it was simply artic even colder than Sunday, eye-wateringly frost-bite inducing cold. I could not believe the number of small children being carted around; they were way to small to be capable of weighing up the joy vs pain equation and they were just plain miserable. I guess its a hard thing, when you have travelled so far and spent so much, to just say, OK, its too cold today, lets go to the cinema instead, but it was not fun to watch or listen to the crying. Anyway, Studios. Crush was out of action because of the ice. Several other things were closed for refurbishment. The fast pass machines for ToT were off because we dont anticipate queues of more than 20 minutes all day madam. By the time I got there, it was up to 45 minutes and it stayed there til early afternoon. But I took the advice of The Family Guide and headed to RnRC and sure enough, no queue at all. Walk on. So Much Fun. From there I spent a bit of time deciding whether to do the studio tour but decided that since I wanted to do the 11am Animagique it would be cutting it too fine, so instead went and rode the Magic Carpets (snowy seats but cute anyway) and by the time that ended it was only 15 minutes until the show started so I joined the queue of all those waiting to get out of the cold. What a great show definitely want to do that again. From there to Studio Tours and then back to Tower of Terror where the line was down to 25 minutes so I shrugged and joined. 15 minutes in I saw a group of people using their hotel fast passes and I could have kicked myself for not thinking of it. Anyway, the ride was awesome as always, and when I got out, I went to the fastpass entrance to use my hotel pass but couldnt find it! The doorwoman let me in anyway and that was a straight walk on experience. Hurruh! I then decided it was time for lunch so went to guest services to see if a booking at Silver Spur was possible they gave me a time of 1.45 30 minutes away. So I left the Studios and made my way to Frontierland. I had time so I visited the Haunted Mansion again, and then went to check out the Molly Brown, to learn that because the river has iced over, she is out of action for the foreseeable future. Darn it another thing I should have done on Sunday regardless of how tired I was. Silver Spur was packed as it was the only table-service restaurant operating (outside the character meals) I guess that makes sense, but the consequence was that I was not seated until 2.15 and my order wasnt taken til 2.40! At that point things went swingingly and I was served my 3 courses in 25 minutes. Having learned yesterday about how my body (does not) cope with large amounts of food mid day, today I took it easy and stopped half way through each course. The food was pretty ordinary in my opinion; the broccoli soup needed copious amounts of salt and pepper to be palatable (and was then yummy!) , the cheese ravioli was both tasteless AND had obviously been sitting around waiting because with the exception of the bottom tips which were sitting in the sauce, the pasta was stiff and hard. And the tomato sauce was conspicuous by its absence, replaced with a vegetable medley that was mostly eggplant. Still, the bread was hot and crusty so I was happy. Dessert was just plain yummy but again the menu was deceptive it advertised oven roasted apricots but they were just warmed, soaked dried apricots. But the cheesecake was delicious and it was hard to leave half of it behind. I finished with a hot chocolate which was very warming and yummy. And the self-restraint paid off; instead of feeling stuffed and in need of a lie down, I was rearing to go afterwards. That might also have had to do with the whole thing taking almost 100 minutes, but given that the alternative was walking around outside in the cold, I was ok with that. After lunch I headed over to BTMRR to pick up a couple of fast passes, which were for 4.45pm, and then it was time to high tail it over to the castle to get a place for the parade. On the way I stopped off and picked up some fastpasses for Peter Pan. I had thought that the parade was starting by the entrance but in fact, it started this time by IASW which was even better; there was hardly anyone in the plaza and with 20 minutes to go I decided to ride IASW to fill in the time took a video this time, and it was lovely to sit up the front and be able to see everything unobstructed. After that I raced around to the parade route and found a nice spot right opposite the gates, on the rope line. The parade was great and over by 4.25, so I used my PP fastpasses (love love love that ride) and then walked over to BTMRR. Used my hotel fast pass and then one of my real fastpasses and rode that twice in a row so much fun!! It was now 5pm so I headed back to the hotel to take care of a few things (found out about trains for tomorrow night, and also found out that for 4.50 euros per bag, I can leave my case here in my bedroom tomorrow morning and they will take it to the railstation for me. That is a much better deal than the 15 pounds I was quoted by Disney reservation staff. Also learned that tomorrow is another early entry day, which is a quandary because I was really looking forward to sleeping in, packing and not having to be anywhere til 10am. OF course I could ignore early entry but anyway, back to the park at 6pm where I caught the tail end of the castle-lighting ceremony I can not believe I did not know about this!! On enquiry, I found out that it is on at 7pm tomorrow night so I may try and stay for that.
Anyway, the main event, fantillusion, was cancelled again because of the weather (I guess it was turning icy again) so that was a real pain; its all over now for the year and I missed it. There is a lesson to be learned there somewhere but I am not going to harp on it. So back to the hotel and after a lovely lovely bath, I had a luxurious room service dinner minestrone soup and a cheese plate (enough cheese for 6 people I might add; most of it is sitting in the hallway right now, smelling more lovely by the minute).
And so, on to:
DAY FOUR: Wednesday 7th
Hmmm, it is now several weeks later, I have been to Paris and Venice, back to London and am now home in the 42 degree heat. It is hard to remember day 4. I remember I had a disgusting lunch at the only place available to use my lunch voucher that day the Agrabah Caf. Lord, that was totally disgusting and I was worried about germs there were kids fingering food and no glass guards protecting anything. Ick. I was in and out of there in 15 minutes flat. Its all coming back. I learned the night before that there was early entry this morning I had thought that it was an ordinary morning entry and had been looking forward to sleeping in a bit. With a supreme act of will I did in fact ignore EE, and instead had breakfast and then packed up. I left my bag in the room and checked out then went to the coneierge and for the sum of 4.50 arranged for my bag to be collected from my room and taken to the train station. I left my computer etc in the hotel safe and then by 9.30 was heading to the Studios. My mission today was to ride the Nemo attraction. Once inside I went straight to the queue it was about 100 people long and it was freezing freezing cold. I passed the time talking to a lovely family from Kent. When 10am rolled around the line mysteriously doubled in size with families swelling in size, but it was all good and I was on the ride by 10.20. However, from there things are a horrible blur; just as my shell started to move, the safety harness popped open. I yanked it back down as we started to spin and it clicked in, but I spent the entire ride petrified that it would happen again. There is nothing to hold on to if the harness pops up and I didnt know if the ride went upside down or not I was so scared. So, the only thing I remember is that the ride is short and that I was really glad about it.
By 10.30 I was back outside again, and from memory I went and rode RnRC and ToT, and then experienced Cinemagique which was closed because of technical difficulties til late morning. Then over to DL for lunch and rides on my favourites. In the afternoon I headed back to the studios and enjoyed both Animagique and Cinemagique again I loved both of those attractions. I closed out the DL park that night so I finally got to see candlebration it was lovely and I got some great photos. From there it was back to the hotel to pick up my computer, and off to the train station to collect my case and jump on the train to head to paris. Wow, that brings back memories the RER dumped me in the Les Halles shopping centre and it took me 20 minutes to work out how to get up to the street to catch a taxi to the hotel. That was a horrid experience.
Anyway, there ends my Disneyland Paris experience.
Thoughts; the parks are truly beautiful. The castle has it all over both the US parks, its just gorgeous. And the detail both upstairs and in the dungeon is fantastic. Watching the water fall and lakes outside it freeze over was also a cool experience. Fantasyland was a lot of fun except for the inside of the teacups, the rides were all in great condition and were really great to play in. Indi was a huge disappointment and I only rode it the one time. BTMRR was fantastic. 4 days was plenty at this time of year; I rode and enjoyed every thing that was open and the only thing that I missed that I was really sad about was Alices labyrinth. It was open the first day I was there but I left it for another day and it started snowing on day two and they kept it shut from then on. It looks like a lot of fun. The food is wonderful Walts was a great experience. Silver Spur was also great. I thought it was really interesting how snack food plays a much smaller roll at DLP than in the US I saw almost no one eating junk food, and there was much less available to purchase (which I think is great, but I know many would not agree). I guess when you sit down and eat a proper breakfast as are provided in all the hotels, and then you do the same for lunch, there is very little need to snack. The DLH is gorgeous, I am so glad I splurged on this, I would have hated to see it every day and not stayed there. And the place is set up great for transport it is so European (and fabulous) to have the train station right there in the middle of things.
So, all up inspite of the unbelievable cold, I had a great time. Having said that, it was missing the magic for me the cast members are definitely not the same as they are in the US, the whole over the top, going out of their way to make sure you are having a good time, is missing. The welcome home campaign that makes WDW so much fun for me, is totally missing. No one waves as you walk up main street at park opening. Likewise, at shows and parades, there is a total lack of oomph that made the experience much less shiny for me. It is a cultural thing, and the American way would not go over well with many Europeans but I missed it anyway. While I can not wait to head back to WDW and always make it a mission to head to DLR whenever I am in LA, I can not see making DLP a priority. Especially given the fact that the ten days I spent in Paris afterwards were so fantastic Id rather spend my time there.
Anyway, I hope this was not too boring and if I can help with info just email me.