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Thread: The last minute trip – disneyland resort paris

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    Sep 2007
    Birmingham, UK

    The last minute trip – disneyland resort paris

    When : Thursday 03 December to Monday 07 December 2015
    Who : Carolyn trip planner and organiser, Disney-aholic since 1989
    DH turning into a right Disney veteran!
    Transport : Car, Aeroplane, shuttle bus
    Accommodation : Disneys Sequoia Lodge Resort hotel
    Experience : Carolyn 8th trip to Disneyland Resort Paris, previously stayed at Santa Fe, Cheyenne, and Sequoia Lodge resorts
    DH 4th trip to Disneyland Resort Paris, previously stayed at Santa Fe resort
    After our stay at Disneyland Paris for our wedding anniversary in June 2014, I had complained to Disney Guest Relations about the amount of smoking going on all around the parks, not just in designated places but in ride queues, parade areas, everywhere really. They had apologised to me and said they were addressing this, and sent me two complimentary one-day admission tickets to Disneyland Paris, which was lovely of them. We had up to 2 years to use these vouchers, and I therefore spent most of the first half of 2015 trying to find reasonable deals on rooms at the resort. However, all year the cost was ridiculously high, I couldn't find anything less than about 1500 for the two of us to spend 5 days there, and that was before travel and food costs.

    In early September, I helped one of my work colleagues to plan a short trip to Disneyland Paris with her son, while her husband was working away. They hadn't visited the resort before, her son is now 4 years old, and she thought it was a good time to take him there. She took me out to lunch one day and I gave her an hour of my best planning time, along with a 'hints & tips' sheet that I had written. She booked the trip for them of 5 days, 4 nights, staying at the Newport Bay Hotel at the end of November, and they were both really excited about this!

    I had told her that the parks would be all decorated up for Christmas, plus they would have lots of Christmassy shows, parades, etc. When I went home and told DH about this, his face fell, and he said that he had never experienced Disneyland Paris at Christmas time, and he would love to see all the decorations and shows. I had been in November before, with my daughter, so I knew how magical the resort could be at that time of the year. So I thought I'd give it one more try, and as I am a shareholder in Disneyland Resort Paris, I rang the special Shareholder's booking line. I asked them to price up 5 days, 4 nights, at the Sequoia Lodge hotel, with or without park tickets, for the beginning of December. They gave me a price of just over 500 for the two of us, with park tickets included! I was amazed, as it was about a third of what I had found online all year, and I therefore promptly booked it!

    I then booked return flights from Birmingham International airport with Flybe, opting for the slightly later flights of 09:20 a.m., rather than the 06:25 ones we have had previously. We would still be in Paris before lunchtime, giving us all afternoon and evening to explore the parks. The return flights were booked for 20:45, again giving us a full day to enjoy ourselves before returning home. I booked return coach transfers with Magical Shuttle from the airport to the resort, (Disney's<script id="gpt-impl-0.029658495451454936" src=""></script> official shuttle service), and I also booked annual leave off work, bearing in mind that we would be going to Paris two weeks after we returned from Florida they were fine about it, though!

    I went home and told DH that he could now stop moaning, we were going to see the wonderful holiday decorations at Disneyland Paris!

    I still had the voucher for two one-day tickets though, and as The Walt Disney Company have just completed a Rights Issue on the resort, giving a massive cash injection into the company and also increasing their holding in the shares, I fully expected a lot of refurbishment and ride closures during 2016, meaning I wouldn't want to visit that year and would need to do something with these vouchers for this trip. So I emailed Guest Relations to see if I could exchange their goodwill tickets for a dining voucher. They responded positively, saying they were happy to exchange these tickets for two table-service dining vouchers, to be added to our already booked package and collected on arrival at the resort.

    We were very happy about this, and had a good chat between us about which restaurant to go to, having eaten in some of the finest establishments there in 2014 with their free dining plan at the time. We decided to return to Walt's American Restaurant, although it was a hard decision to make as we had loved the food and ambience there, but we had also loved the Blue Lagoon restaurant in Pirates of the Caribbean, and The Steakhouse in the Village had also been excellent. But we decided on Walt's, and so the next day I rang the Dining Reservation line and secured us a booking.

    We couldn't do our packing until we returned from 2 weeks in Florida, although I had a packing list that included lots of layers of clothing. On previous visits at this time of year the weather has been quite mild, and on checking the weather reports it looked like it would be dry during our visit, but it was predicted to be colder than I have experienced at this time of year there before.

    While we were still in the USA, there was some horrific terrorist activity in Paris, and my work colleague experienced very intense and increased security searches during her visit, (although she and her son still had a wonderful holiday and really loved Disneyland Paris!), so we braced ourselves for this.

    The day before we flew out, I went online and attempted to check-in for our flights. However, I was only given a 'provisional' booking voucher, and was unable to print off boarding passes, being told to do this at the airport on our arrival. It turns out that this was as a result of the terrorist activity; the airlines were forcing passengers to check-in in person.

    We tried to get an early night and sleep as much as possible, having set the radio alarm for 05:15 a.m., but as is usual before a Disney trip, we were too excited to sleep much!

    Day 1 Thursday 03 December, 2015
    Plan : Travel to DLRP, check in to hotel, Disneyland park

    Actual : The alarm went off merrily at 05:15 and we dragged ourselves out of bed, like young and lithe, no wait, road-kill gazelles. We splashed our faces with cold water and drank large cups of coffee to try and wake us up, and were on the road by 06:00 a.m.

    The drive to my parents' house was quick and uneventful, and by 06:45 a.m. Dad was driving us the short distance to the airport! We went in, and tried to check-in using the automated machines for Flybe that we had used last year, but all we got was a slip of paper telling us to go to the check-in desk. How odd! There was a massively long queue at the check-in desk, which was marked up as being for two airlines Air France and Flybe, who we were flying with. However, after speaking to an assistant who was hovering around, we tried again at the Air France automated machine. We were given our 2nd slip of paper telling us to go to the desk, so we gave up at that point and joined the humungous queue, full of grumpy Brits who love to queue, but didn't think they would have to today, what with the rise of the automated machine!

    In reality though, the queue went down really quickly as there were lots of desks open, so within 15 mins we were happily checked in for our flight. Our cases weighed in at just over 10kg each, which was half of our allowance, so that was good.

    With just our hand luggage left now, we went up the escalator to the next floor, and joined another queue for security. Luckily, this one was also very quick moving, and we were soon through and into the departure lounge.

    We found the same restaurant as we had eaten in last year, and while DH went off to find a seat, I went to order food. DH wanted a full English breakfast with tea, as usual, while I just ordered some toast and coffee. I also got some iced water, as it was very hot in the airport and I was thirsty.

    While we waited for our breakfast to be delivered, I visited the nearby restroom, then popped into W H Smiths next door for some bottled water. Breakfast was fine, nothing outstanding, but it sufficed.

    Our gate number finally appeared on the automated board we could see from our seats, so we finished off our drinks and headed out. We were departing from gate number 40, which was a really long walk away! The lounge near the gate was very quiet though, there were a few businessmen and not many other folk at all there. We picked up a complimentary newspaper and a couple of magazines, and read for a short while. They started to announce boarding, and there were still very few people in the lounge, so we filtered our way through and onto the plane. We were given row 5, seats F and G, which was a window seat and a centre seat. (It was a very small plane, with seat configurations of 3-3). Boarding seemed to be over very quickly, and before we knew it the stewards were closing the plane doors, with the vehicle only half full! The aisle seat next to me remained empty.

    We easily took off on time, and were surprised at how empty the plane was. It made for a very quiet and comfortable flight! The stewards brought us round some coffee and croissants, which were cold and a bit dry sadly. They had clearly over-catered, as after half an hour we were offered more croissants, but we declined.

    The flight was lovely, we were able to watch the ground underneath us, and at one point could see both England and France out of the window. We landed around 10 mins early, collected our hand baggage and, thanking the stewards for a very pleasant flight, headed out into the airport.

    We now braced ourselves for a horrendous security check however, the line for security was extremely small, and we were through to the other side really fast! Even the luggage came out quickly, we were having a very good day so far! We then power-walked the very long way to the shuttle bus stop, and managed to catch the midday bus, although it then sat there until 12:20 before starting up and driving off. Again, the bus was only about half full, and I think the driver had been trying to see if he would have any more passengers before he left.

    After half an hour, we started to see familiar landmarks in the distance! We recognised the Tower of Terror and the Disneyland Hotel, and began to get really excited we were nearly there! We stopped at the Newport Bay hotel first, but no-one got off there, and so we quickly drove round to Sequoia Lodge, where we were the only people disembarking at that time. We dragged our luggage from the storage area under the coach, and went through the security scanner set up outside the hotel.

    The lobby of the resort looked deserted! There was no queue to check-in, so DH sat off to one side with the luggage while I went to the kiosk set up in front of the big desk, and was seen by a really sweet Cast Member who appeared to be 'earning her ears', as she was being supervised by someone. She found our details, and gave me our package of tickets, leaflets, dining vouchers etc. We were pleasantly surprised to be given an 'afternoon tea' voucher for each day we were there, which was good for one hot or cold drink and one doughnut or mini ice-cream per day. We had been given these on our previous visit to Disneyland Paris in 2014, but that was when we had a free dining plan, and I didn't expect it this time as we only had one dining voucher. The Cast Member also helped me to select our breakfast times for the next 4 days, although she did say that the hotel was quiet at the moment and it wouldn't matter if we didn't stick exactly to our dining slot times. I went for around 8.00 a.m. each day.

    As expected, our room wouldn't be ready for another couple of hours, so we dropped off our cases with bell services, used the restrooms, and then happily walked out of the back of the resort, and towards the Disney Village. The weather was quite cold, but sunny. We therefore thought we wouldn't need our coats and left them with the luggage.

    The airport-style security scanners were still in place at the entrance to the Village, but new for this year was that the security officer would ask anyone wearing a coat of any kind to open their coat for him. We presume he was looking for suicide vests, sadly.

    The first thing we noticed as we entered the village was the addition of lots of little wooden booths, selling a variety of food and drink, a bit like a village Christmas market. They looked lovely, although a quick glance at them showed the prices of the goods to be a bit shocking!

    We weren't sure whether we liked the Christmas decorations in the Village or not they were very brightly coloured, and very blocky. They seemed to suit the general dcor of the Village, but were a tiny bit too simplistic for us we are used to a very intense level of Disney detail in everything they do. There was no central point with a big tree, there just seemed to be odd decorations dotted around everywhere.

    The village was fairly quiet, and we were able to take a leisurely stroll through, just taking in the atmosphere and the Christmas decorations.

    Finally, we got to the entrance to the Disneyland park. We absolutely loved the Christmas lights and baubles adorning the entrance archway, they were so pretty! The Main Street train station was a bit of a shock though we knew it was being refurbished during the time of our visit, and the train wasn't running, but we were shocked at the level of the refurb it looked as though the whole station had been gutted! There was scaffolding and tarpaulins all over it, with not much infrastructure left to speak of.

    We were in need of coffee and some lunch by now, so decided to pick up something from the Main Street bakery. We entered the park, and paused briefly to admire the lovely Christmas trees in the square again, these were very simple, but this time it worked they were quite stunning in their simplicity. The trees were tiny, maybe around 2' high per tree, and with lights all over them but no other decorations. There were lots of them, and there was artificial snow around them all. We thought that they were going to look amazing when it got dark!

    We headed up Main Street to the bakery, and I left DH to find us a table while I went inside. I got two very tiny cups of coffee, and two Croque Monsieurs. I always forget how good French coffee is - this coffee was exquisite! And the Croques were equally delicious, and just what we needed. While we were sat having our lunch, we could see that Main Street was barriered off for some kind of parade, and we could hear "Let it Go" being sung in French from nearby speakers. Suddenly, a royal carriage swept down Main Street, being drawn by two magnificent horses, and Anna and Elsa were sitting in the carriage, waving regally at everyone!

    We finished lunch just as the crowds were leaving Main Street, so we turned right and took a slow walk towards the castle, enjoying the sunshine and the atmosphere. We walked through the castle and out into Fantasyland, and decided to do a couple of rides here. We started with Blanche-Neige et les Sept Nains, or Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs to those who don't speak French. We really love this little dark ride, it is very similar to the one that used to be in Walt Disney World, and had almost no wait at all. (We do think the ending is a bit abrupt though, one second the Wicked Witch is being all, well, wicked witchy, and the next Snow is sitting on a white horse, with the Prince's arm around her, waving at us all as we leave!)

    Next up was Les Voyages de Pinocchio, which is a very similar dark ride, but obviously themed to the Pinocchio story/film. Again, this had almost no wait.

    We walked round to Adventure Isle, past the front of Skull Rock, and straight onto Pirates of the Caribbean. This was fun, but it was very easy to get used to no queue times for anything, and we knew this wouldn't last! It was just a pity that our favourite ride here, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, was closed for refurbishment the whole time we would be there, as with the smaller queues it would have been fun to ride the mine train multiple times!

    Rather than venture further into the park now, we decided to see if our room was ready as we felt in need of a break, so we took a slow walk back to Sequoia Lodge and collected our bags from bell services.

    Our room was indeed ready, and we were allocated room number 251 in Yosemite Lodge. We have stayed at the Sequoia Lodge a number of times now, and have always been in the main building we had no idea that there were lots and lots of other rooms here, strung out into 'lodges' that radiated out from the central building. We began to walk in the direction that we had been shown, and seemed to walk for miles! Yosemite Lodge was a really, really long walk from the main building. We finally found it, and our room was on the 2nd floor, at the very far end of a corridor. We tried to open the door with the one room key we had, and it wouldn't work!! We were livid at this, it was such a long way to walk back in the end, after much grumbling from us both, DH volunteered to walk all the way back to reception and have the room key reset. He got back there and the Cast Member accused him of putting the key in his pocket or near a mobile phone it had been in my hand from the second we left reception to when we finally got to our room!

    I stayed with the luggage, and after a few minutes DH returned with a reprogrammed key, which luckily now worked in the door lock. We went into the room, and unpacked a bit. DH lay on the bed for a rest and promptly fell asleep, and I decided to ring housekeeping and ask for the loan of a kettle, as I had meant to do this earlier but had forgotten. The room was really nice, and I love the fact that there is a personalised welcome message on the TV screen when you arrive! We also had a complimentary bottle of water, and 6 Mickey chocolate coins on a tray.

    DH was sound asleep, so I left him to it and caught up with some online stuff for a while. Housekeeping arrived with a kettle, so I set about making us some coffee in the refillable Disney Resort mugs I had brought with me. I had also brought tea-bags, individual cartons of UHT milk, and some sachets of instant coffee granules with dried milk. And this time I had remembered to bring some disposable teaspoons, unlike our visit in 2014!

    I did notice a distinct lack of electric plugholes in the room, considering how many electronics folk travel with these days. This proved to be a bit of an issue over the next few days, as we tried to charge up phones, iPads, camera batteries, etc. With hindsight, we should have taken a power-strip with us.

    I woke DH up at 6.00 p.m. with a nice cup of coffee, and he was surprised to find that he had slept soundly for 2 hours! The sun had started to set, and the temperature had dropped, so we put some jumpers on and headed out again.

    We walked towards the Village, discussing where to go for dinner. We had thought about finding somewhere in one of the parks, but the Disneyland Park was closing early and we were too tired to explore much, so just decided to dine at Annette's Diner, one of my favourite restaurants at Disneyland Paris. It is a very noisy, bright and lively, 1950's-style American diner, and is great fun to eat in. There was quite a big queue, which wound around and out of the door, so we joined the queue and were luckily were soon inside the building, as it was really cold out! We began to think we should have gone for jackets or coats as well as jumpers.

    After about a 20 minute wait, we were finally seated, and both ordered blue-cheese bacon burgers, with fries and coleslaw. DH had coffee, and I had a pineapple juice. The food was really excellent! I hate soft cheese, and when my burger arrived, the blue-cheese bit was Camembert my heart sank, but I thought I would try it anyway. I loved it! It was really creamy, yet slightly bitter at the same time from the blue veins, and was so delicious. The whole burger was really good, the fries were very crisp, and the coleslaw was home-made and had just the right amount of mayonnaise.

    We really enjoyed dinner, then paid the bill and left. The Village was a bit crowded now, so we took a slow walk back through it, stopping to peruse the market booths as we went. Our original intention had been to pick up some macarons, and maybe some chocolate/mallow domes, but by the time we got there we were too full from dinner!

    When we finally got back to our hotel, I took a shower while DH watched TV, and when I emerged from the bathroom, he was fast asleep again, by 8.30 p.m.! I dried off and pottered about for another hour, and was in bed by 9.30 myself.

    Day 2 Friday 04 December, 2015
    Plan : Walt Disney Studios
    Actual :
    We both slept really well, until the alarm on my phone woke us up at 8.00 a.m. As France is an hour ahead of the UK, we were surprised to find it still dark at 8! It had rained a lot during the night, and was still a bit cloudy and damp when we woke up.

    We dressed and went down to breakfast. This hotel has two dining rooms, both in the same location but on opposite sides of the back entrance to the hotel. We usually tried to pick the one with the shorter queue in the mornings, as they were both open for breakfast and both served exactly the same food. Today, we turned left at the bottom of the stairs and went into Hunter's Grill, as there were only a couple of folk already waiting to be seated.

    We waited behind them, and as they were a group of 4, we were pulled forward as a party of two was being sought. We were seated, given direction to the buffet, and left to fend for ourselves, as is normal here. We got coffee and fruit juice, yoghurt, fresh fruit salad, (which was a lovely assortment of prepared apple, orange, grapefruit, grapes etc), fresh bread rolls, croissants, cheese and ham. It is quite simple fare but very fresh and very good quality, for mass-produced food. It is also all you can eat, which is nice, so we filled up as much as we could.

    After breakfast we headed back over to our room, as we had discovered that it was in the same direction as the Village anyway. We freshened up, collected our bags, and as the weather had now turned sunny but was still a bit cold, we decided to leave jumpers and coats there to be collected later if we needed them.

    We walked through the Village and into the Studios, heading first for an area that was new to us La Place de Rmy! It is behind Toy Story Playland, and was in the process of being built the last time we were here. It looked a lovely area, really well themed, and our intention had been to pick up FastPasses for the new ride here, Ratatouille: L'Aventure Totalement Toque de Rmy. We approached the ride, and the queue looked really small, which was not what we were expecting my work colleague had told me that the ride had been packed every time they had gone there, and she only managed to ride it once in 4 days! We were also struggling to see what the wait time was, as the standby screen seemed to be blank, although the FastPass return time was showing up okay. Then it dawned on us the ride was down. This was something else my work colleague had warned us about!

    We approached a very friendly Cast Member, who confirmed the ride had indeed gone down, and they had no idea how long it would be offline for. The problem is, this is a new, very high-tech ride that relies on computer technology a lot, and therefore breaks down quite a lot! We asked him about FastPasses, and he said that if we had them, they would be honoured for the rest of the day. We thanked him and scurried off to get some before everyone else had this idea! The FastPass machines, of which there were quite a few, are in an open sided, roofed area off to one side. DH wandered around taking photos, while I joined the short FastPass queue and got us some tickets. It took me a little while to work out how to actually get the tickets, you used to insert your park ticket and the machine would spit out a FastPass. Now, however, you hold up your park ticket and a scanner scans the bar code, before spitting out the FastPass. It takes a bit of skill to get the bar code in the right place! I eventually worked it out, and we got passes for about an hour later.

    We walked round to the Backlot Tour, which was showing a 40 minute wait time but looked to be nowhere near that, so we joined the queue and quite literally just had to wait about 10 mins for the next tram. We really enjoyed the ride, we used to love this in Florida too, but this version is even better after Catastrophe Canyon, (which seemed a bit lacklustre today, the recorded narration is beautifully done half in French by a very well-dressed woman, and half in English by Jeremy Irons, but it is a bit fuzzy and hard to follow in the Canyon bit), you drive through a mock-up of London where a dragon has devastated the city. The dragon is down a subway tunnel, and you hear him roar and suddenly smoke and fire billow out of the subway, just past your ear! It is really exciting, extremely well-themed and immersive.

    After this, we went back to the Ratatouille ride, but it was still down sadly, so we decided to leave the Studios at this point as the time was moving on and we would miss Salon Mickey if we stayed here much longer. (Salon Mickey is a private club just for Disneyland Resort Paris shareholders, is open daily from 9.00 a.m. to midday, and each shareholder has to present their shareholder's card and park ticket to gain entrance. We are also allowed to take up to 4 guests in with us, and are allowed up to 4 visits per month. The club is situated near a side entrance to the Disneyland park, behind an innocuous and unmarked green door. You have to knock to gain entrance this appeals to the inner child in us both, and we always say that we have to give a 'secret knock' to get in, although I highly doubt this is true! The room you go into is so beautiful, all dark woods and comfy sofas, with rather exquisite paintings and pictures on the walls, an old grandfather clock, and a lovely bust of Walt Disney on the mantelpiece). Therefore, we made our way out of the park and into our lovely, secret little club room for complimentary coffee, orange juice, and chocolate doughnuts. We relaxed in the club for about 45 mins, and then made a quick restroom visit just before it closed at midday. The restrooms are so gorgeous, they consist of just one room each for gentlemen and ladies, and are decorated very tastefully with lots of little glass ornaments and knick-knacks. I took photos of the ladies' restroom the last time I was here!

    We walked back into the Studios, hoping that Ratatouille was back up and running again, as we didn't really want to spend the whole day hopping back and forth for our ride. As we approached La Place de Rmy, we could still see lots of people milling around, but we could also see the wait time board was working now. The ride was now open!

    We joined the FastPass queue, which was pretty huge, and explained to the Cast Member when we got to the entrance that our FastPasses had expired because the ride was down earlier. He just smiled and waved us through. We loved the queue area, which is basically set in the back streets of Paris, and is very dark and narrow but really intricately themed. We picked up our 3D glasses, and it seemed to take us ages to get to the load area, but once we got almost there, we were called forward straight away as they were looking for a party of two. The cars are two rows of three seats, and they put a single rider on with us, but there were too few Cast Members doing the loading and it was very dark in there, plus the load area is a bit confusing as it is very big and you're not quite sure where to go next, so when we sat in the front row of the car, the single rider just went behind us and got a row all to himself! I was amazed the Cast Members let this happen when the queue was so big; the standby queue at this point had been showing as 80 minutes!

    Anyway, we put on our 3D glasses and settled back to enjoy the ride. And we absolutely LOVED it it was super-cute and so much fun! The ride is part moving vehicle and part 3D projection, and the scents that are distributed around the ride are a big part of it too. The ride car you are in is essentially a rat, so you whizz around behind Rmy as he runs through the kitchen of a restaurant. You go down a big slope, you race under a table, through a dining area, out of doors and round corners, it is just amazing! We ran through a pantry at one point, physically filled with huge fish and vegetables, and then under an oven where you could feel the heat of the flames. It has a really fun storyline, and I loved the bit where Emile, who is my favourite character in the film anyway, eats his way up a canap that Rmy is holding, including munching on his hand!

    We had such a good time on the ride, and as we exited, DH asked me if I wanted to wait in the standby line and ride again. The time had dropped to 60 mins at that point, but despite that, I declined for the time being as the ride spins quite a bit, (although it is a very smooth track), and I thought that one more ride straight after the first one might induce a reappearance of my breakfast!

    We walked slowly back out of the area, and saw that Crush's Coaster, which we have never ridden as it doesn't have a FastPass and the wait time is always ridiculous, had dropped to 40 minutes, where earlier it had been at 90 mins! We debated about whether to ride this. The one bit of the ride that can be seen from outside made it look fun, (with 4 seats to a car back-to-back), as the track swooped quite low, and I knew from reading about the ride online that it didn't do any loops or inversions, and it seemed to be well themed, so we decided to give it a go.

    The queue area is mostly outside, and is quite boring with nothing much to look at, but in less than 20 minutes we were inside the building. We could see the load area, as we mounted a set of stairs, walked across a walkway high up over the track, and down the other side. The seats in the car looked a bit snug though, and I began to worry that my very tall (6'4") hubby and my Pooh-sized posterior wouldn't fit!

    10 more minutes and we were being shoved, quite literally, into a car. The Cast Member actually bounced up and down on the lap bar to get it to click shut, which hurt a bit! I barely had time to draw breath to begin to say that I was changing my mind about this, when we were swept backwards down the track. This was the bit where we were visible outside, and the next 1 minute and 55 seconds were the absolute longest of my life. Think Space Mountain, but faster, darker, and with absolutely nothing to look at. The ride was very, very fast, with sudden drops, turns, and twists like a Wild Mouse rollercoaster, but with spinning cars. I HATED IT!!! We seemed to be facing backwards a lot of the time too, which normally I don't mind but this meant that when we were going up inclines, one of which was terrifyingly fast, we were facing downwards. DH laughed the entire way round, I could hear him next to me, because he knew, without looking at me, exactly how I was feeling on this ride. I sat as still as I could, being too scared to even scream, (although apparently I was making a low-grade whining noise the whole time), with my eyes screwed shut I squinted them partially open once or twice, but there was still nothing to see, so I felt safer with them closed.

    The ride ended, and I staggered off. Luckily, there was a bench nearby, still inside the building, so I was able to collapse onto it for a few minutes as my legs were doing jellyfish impressions. DH, who also used to hate rollercoasters but has discovered a recent love of them after throwing caution to the wind and riding Rock & Roller Coaster in Florida, said that he enjoyed the ride, but couldn't help laughing at me! He said that there were one or two fish effects, and some swirling blue lights and a few bubble effects, but the ride was mostly in the dark, so I hadn't missed anything by keeping my eyeballs in a death-grip with my eyelids. He laughingly asked me if I wanted to ride it again, I laughingly thumped him, and we left the building.

    Needing some rest time, we walked over to Rock & Roller Coaster so that I could wait outside and sit down quietly! DH has really developed a love for this ride now, and it had no queue whatsoever today, showing a 5 min wait time but merely meaning the time it took him to walk through the queue area. I found a handy, nearby seat, and held his rucksack and camera for him while he raced off, as he was excited about this ride he wanted to see how different it would be to the one in Florida. He came strolling back to me fairly soon after this, with a huge smile on his face he loved it! He said there were differences to the storyline, and the pre-ride show, but otherwise it seemed to be the same. I still find it amazing that someone who screamed like a little girl and swore like a fisherman's wife all the way round the first time he went on Space Mountain in Florida in 2001, and who has spent his whole life avoiding roller coasters in the way one would avoid a man-eating Kraken, has suddenly started voluntarily riding Rock & Roller Coaster, like he's been doing it all his life! Strange man.

    Anyway, it was now time for us to go to Cinemagique, and we really enjoyed this show, it is one of our favourites at Disneyland Paris. The theatre was quite busy, although not totally packed. It was weird today, some rides were very busy, others had hardly any queue at all, but there didn't seem to be many people actually walking round the Studios.

    We felt in need of a coffee break now, so I packed DH off to Rock & Roller Coaster again while I went into the Blockbuster Caf to pick up some coffee. I love the theming of this Caf, it is very Pirates of the Caribbean! DH joined me just as I was sitting down with the coffee, on a lovely deck area with a ship's steering wheel on it.

    Suitably refreshed, we now took a slow walk out of the Studios and round to the Disneyland Park. We had an early dinner reservation at Walt's, and were looking forward to this. The restaurant foyer was deserted when we walked in, but a Cast Member soon arrived and took my name, before directing us upstairs.

    We were seated in one of the side rooms, where there were already a couple of other tables occupied, and were given a table near the doorway. I was a bit disappointed, as I was hoping for a window table, but there clearly wasn't one available. The restaurant seemed very quiet, there weren't many diners in there at all. One odd thing that happened though was that the pair of women sat beside us but at the window table kept staring at us. I glanced over at them and smiled, but they didn't smile back, they just continued to stare at us it began to make me feel really uncomfortable.

    Our server came to us and introduced herself, then took our drink orders. We both had orange Fanta, which comes with ice and a slice of fresh orange, which is nice. DH then ordered a smoked salmon starter, followed by mushroom ravioli, and seasonal cheesecake. I asked for butternut squash soup with goat's cheese cream and mushrooms, then chicken in masala sauce with vegetables and mashed potatoes, and Bailey's Crme Brulee for desert. The dining room began to empty out even more while we waited for our starters, and then just as our first course arrived, the stare-y couple by the window got up, told us to make the most of it and have a nice meal because they hadn't, and left! Really weird, but at least they were gone now.

    Unfortunately, their table was never cleared up while we were there, so we couldn't move over to the window table, but we were now totally alone in the dining room. We finished our starters, (the soup was really, really good!), and began to relax a bit more. Our main course arrived and was equally as delicious as the first course, the food here is just such good quality. We were just finishing this, when we heard parade music from outside, so while waiting for our deserts we stood by the window and had an amazing birds-eye view of the "Disney Magic on Parade" parade. It looked so lovely from up above it, we had a completely different perspective on it, and the most amazing part was that any characters who were very high up on their floats looked up and saw us, and waved enthusiastically to us! We waved back, took lots of photos, and really enjoyed this new view of the parade.

    The parade finally passed, and with one last wave to Mickey and Minnie, we settled down to enjoy our deserts, which had arrived shortly before. The servers had seen us watching the parade and indicated that it was fine to do this, they didn't mind! Desert was excellent, particularly my Crme Brulee, which was cold and creamy, with more than a hint of Bailey's Irish Cream in there! It was very yummy.

    We left there very full indeed, having used our complimentary dinner vouchers to pay for the meal, and then we took a slow stroll around the park, not needed to do anything or be anywhere in particular. Pirates of the Caribbean was showing a mere 5 minute wait time, so we happily rode that, and then walked slowly round the perimeter of the park. It was dark by now, and the park was so pretty, we just wanted to look at all the lights and take some photos. We found ourselves by the Captain Nemo submarine, which I have always thought was just a prop in the water by Space Mountain, but we were surprised to see some kind of entrance doorway with a Cast Member there, so we went in. Wow! It was brilliant! It was indeed a static sub, but was actually a walkthrough attraction and we had never known this! You walk through tiny rooms in the sub, all set up in a Victorian/Steampunk kind of way, with interesting props and portholes to look out of. In the main 'living' area, there is a massive porthole, and periodically the metal blind slides open and a HUGE octopus menaces the porthole, waving his tentacles about and being all threatening. Then he swims off and after a few fish go by, the blind closes again (its a big, circular thing made of wedge-shaped sections that all slide together), and the background music tinkles quietly on. There is an engine room full of banging, clanging machinery and dripping water, and lots of long and dark corridors. It was really brilliant in there, and we would definitely want to explore this again! It wasn't very crowded, I guess most folk think, like I did, that it is just a static prop.

    By the time we came out of there, it was nearly time for the Disney Dreams firework and projection show, which had a bit of a Christmas overlay in there, so we stood a little way behind the crowds, just off the hub in Discoveryland, to watch this. It was really lovely, so different to anything else we've seen at Disney parks. It's almost like a hybrid of Fantasmic and Wishes, with projections onto water screens and then directly onto the castle itself, as well as fireworks and a rousing theme tune.

    The park was closing now, and we wandered back down Main Street with the masses. I stopped to use the restroom near the entrance. I was sat on the toilet, minding my own business and about halfway through my 'comfort break', when the toilet enthusiastically self-flushed, spraying cold water all over my posterior! I wasn't impressed, and left with a rather damp rear end, despite my best efforts to dry up with loo roll. DH asked why I was pulling a grumpy face, and when I told him, predictably laughed like a drain! Hmph.

    We really wanted to do a little shopping on our way out, but everywhere was very crowded, so we just walked to the Disney Village. We went into the World of Disney first, but it was so crowded you couldn't even walk around and look at anything. We gave up on there and went to the Disney Store, where we picked up a few pins, using my 10% shareholder's discount, and then we visited one of the lovely Christmas market booths outside, picking up 5 chocolate/mallow domes in various flavours. The server gave us a broken one for free, too!

    We headed back to our resort and a very welcome sit down in our room! We had cups of coffee (me) and tea (him), and shared the chocolate domes. DH then relaxed on the bed, watching TV, while I had a shower, and once again he was fast asleep by 8.30! I woke him at 10.30 p.m. to get him to actually undress and get into bed, and he just about managed this before going back to sleep again. I slept quite well until for some unknown reason I awoke at 5.00 a.m., when it took me a while to get back off again, but I eventually fell asleep and slept soundly a couple more hours.

    Day 3 Saturday 05 December, 2015
    Plan : Shopping day
    Actual :
    We had decided not to set an alarm for this morning, figuring we would be awake around 8 anyway, but it was actually 8.20 before I woke up it was almost time for our breakfast slot! We quickly got ready and headed to Beaver's Creek, the other dining room, as it seemed to have a shorter queue today. The dcor in there is slightly different, but the food and set up are the same. We looked around a bit and decided we actually slightly preferred Hunter's Grill in terms of dcor and props. Anyway, we had the usual fruit, yoghurt, rolls, croissants, etc., although DH persuaded me to try the sliced chicken today as he said it was excellent. I tried some, thought it was nice, but I actually preferred the ham in terms of flavour and texture. The Red Leicester cheese was also nicer than the standard cheddar, too, I thought. This was also the day I discovered the tiny pots of Nutella, which were amazing spread on a croissant!

    Once we were full of breakfast, we took a stroll into the Disney Village to do some shopping. We started at the World of Disney. This had been packed last night, so it was nice to see it today a lot more empty, as it meant we could browse around for things. We picked up quite a lot of what we wanted to get from here, and had it all sent back to the resort. We were specifically looking for last minute Christmas gifts for family, a new handbag for me as the lovely, bright pink Disney satchel I use on a daily basis is just a bit too big and heavy for everyday use, and I really liked the 'purchase with purchase' this year, which was a lovely Sorcerer Mickey fleece throw I intended to give this to my prospective daughter-in-law for Christmas.

    We then decided we didn't actually need to get anything else from the Village, so instead we headed round to Salon Mickey to top up with hot chocolate, coffee, orange juice, chocolate doughnuts and cookies, and a muffin. (Anything you have in there is complimentary, but must be consumed in the Salon. However, as you are given two pastries or muffins or cookies each, quite often we would eat one each and then smuggle the other one out for later, as we were usually still full of breakfast at this point!) The park looked to be very busy, but we relaxed and enjoyed our goodies in the total peace and quiet for a little while.

    Eventually, we left our lovely little haven, for a dry and sunny but rather cold day in the Disneyland park. We walked round to Phantom Manor, which despite the park being very crowded, was only showing a 15 min wait time. We really enjoyed the ride, we do love this version it is a lot 'darker' and less frivolous fun than it's Florida counterpart. We stared sadly at the lit up and empty Big Thunder Mountain Railroad for a few minutes, wishing it wasn't closed right now, and then went to explore the big pirate ship at Skull Island.

    We walked around the ship for a couple of minutes, but there isn't anything to do here and not much to see, either, sadly, so we decided to check Pirates of the Caribbean. However, this looked to be really busy and was showing a wait time of 30 mins, which was longer than we wanted to wait today, so we decided to get some more shopping and then take a bit of a break back at the resort.

    We shopped our way out of the park by walking through the Emporium, picking up a Pluto sweatshirt for my son and some other bits and pieces. We became aware of the Frozen procession going on outside again, and DH commented that it was "a lot of fuss for two birds in a horse-drawn cart!" I hoped that no little girls heard him say this, there might have been a riot!

    We took a slow stroll back to Sequoia Lodge, where we made cups of tea and coffee in our refillable mugs and relaxed for a while. We both took some painkillers, as we were both suffering with backache, and we also enjoyed our smuggled-out Salon Mickey cookies/muffins/doughnuts.

    A couple of hours later, we were feeling a bit more refreshed and less tired, so we put on jumpers and gloves as it had turned really cold by now, and set out again.

    We went back into the Disneyland park, and began checking the smaller shops on the right hand side of Main Street in an attempt to find a small handback for me. Suddenly, DH spotted the perfect bag small, but not too tiny, crossbody strap, black with tiny red and silver Minnie Mouse heads printed amongst white polka dots it was lovely! I picked it up and was delighted to find it was only 20! It seemed to be the last one in the store, we didn't see any others for sale, so I snapped it up. I took it with me as it was after 4.30 p.m. at this point, the cut-off time for having anything shipped to the resort.

    We walked round to Fantasyland thinking it would be fun to ride Casey Junior and the Storybook Canal Boats, but we hadn't realised that these both close at dusk. The park was still really crowded, so we fought our way round to Tomorrowland, but both Buzz and Star Tours were showing as having 50 min wait times! We were very cold and feeling tired again, so we just went into the Star Tours store and picked up a BB8 Disney Racer car for my son, some R2D2 socks for my daughter, and a gorgeous Disney castle fretwork keyring for my new handbag. Fed up with the crowds and the cold, we took a slow walk out of the park and back to our resort.

    On arrival at our room, the first thing I noticed was that half of the Mickey chocolate coins that we had left on the table were missing! I can only assume that the cleaner had maybe knocked them onto the floor while cleaning, and then had vacuumed them up or something. With hindsight, I should have put them in a suitcase when we first arrived how irritating! I wrote a polite note for housekeeping, and left it where I thought she would see it tomorrow, asking for them to be replenished.

    Once again I took a shower while DH watched TV, and I came out to find him fast asleep by 8.00 p.m.! I updated my trip report notes, checked emails and played a couple of games online, and finally prodded him awake enough to get him into bed at around 10.30 p.m. Sleep!

    Day 4 Sunday 06 December, 2015
    Plan : Disney Studios
    Actual :
    We slept in a bit this morning, despite having been in bed relatively early last night! We got ready for the day and headed down for breakfast, opting for Hunter's Grill again although today the queues for both dining rooms were about the same length. As we were queueing, we debated the choice to come here from Thursday to Monday, as everywhere had been so much more crowded yesterday than on a weekday, and we expected crowds to be high again today. It would possibly have been better to come Monday to Friday, although the downside to this is having to use more annual leave days from work.

    Anyway, we only waited for about 15 mins in the breakfast queue, and we were soon filling up with our usual items And Nutella on croissants again yum! Although I did have to fight off a small child from the last little pot of Nutella in one basket I won.

    After breakfast, we went round to the resort store to collect yesterday's shopping, and also to see if they were selling the H2O toiletries that they had had last year. I love the sea marine range, it smells of jasmine and is so lovely we have had it as complimentary toiletries at Walt Disney World before, and were surprised last year to find full-size bottles of shampoo and body lotion on sale here at Disneyland Paris. I was after some hair conditioner this year, but unfortunately they had no H2O toiletries at all this time. One interesting thing happened in here though we had forgotten to take the receipt and slip of paper with us in order to collect our shopping, and when I explained this to the Cast Member in the store, he just shrugged and asked what my name was. I told him, and he handed over the shopping without checking ID or anything! I could have been anyone picking up that shopping, he didn't seem bothered about the lack of receipt or ID at all. Not very good! I had expected him to refuse to hand anything over, and had only asked because I was chancing it rather than having to walk the really long way back to our room to pick up the receipt.

    Anyway, we took the shopping back to our room and then carried on round to the Studios. As expected, the park was very busy. We made our way across the park to see if we could get FastPasses for Ratatouille, which had a HUGE queue just for FastPasses! DH was still having trouble with his back, so I made him sit on a fountain wall while I queued up. There were a lot of FastPass machines, each one had it's own queue, and I found one that wasn't too long a bit further round from the main ones. The FastPass return time wasn't too bad, being a couple of hours away, so once I had them, we walked over to Salon Mickey for our usual visit. Today they had a gorgeous lemon muffin, which was new, and I really enjoyed it. I saved my cookie for later on. It was quite noisy in there due to a large party of French guests, who were all talking AT EXACTLY THE SAME TIME! I have no idea how they were holding a conversation, as they were all conversing quite loudly over each other.

    We tried to relax in there, and once the French group left it did get a bit easier. A quick restroom visit, then back round to the Studios.

    DH was a bit keen to go on Rock & Roller Coaster again, so we walked to the back of the park, but it had a standby line of 30 mins which was longer than he wanted to wait. We did pick up a couple of FastPasses for it though, so he could ride later.

    We were now in our FastPass window for Ratatouille, so we walked round there (they are quite close, physically), only to find the ride was down again! So instead, we checked the park map to see whether we would make it in time for the next performance of Animagique. There was one due to start in about 5 mins, so we power-walked over to the theatre and got ourselves nicely seated. I enjoyed the show, but DH thought it was a bit lacking in energy, with characters just seeming to 'go through the motions'. To be honest, we're also a bit bored with this show now, it has been going forever and hasn't changed at all. (Shortly after we got home, Disney announced this show would be closing and would be replaced with a new one later in 2016!)

    Back to Ratatouille we went, and it was now running again yay! The queue looked quite long, but went down really fast, and we were soon rat-sized and running around the restaurant behind Rmy again. The ride was just as much fun as it had been the last time we rode!

    It was now time for DH to ride Rock & Roller Coaster, so I gave him both FastPasses, collected his backpack and camera from him, and sent him off to ride while I browsed the small store in La Place de Rmy. I was looking for a small, stuffed Emile to take home for my very own, but the only one they had was really quite big, and I worried about getting him home as I wasn't sure how much more suitcase room I had, so I didn't get one. (Somehow, DH managed to purchase one of these at some point in this holiday, (I think I had been banging on about it for several days), and snuck it home without my having any idea he had done this or seeing him carrying it or even seeing it in his case when I opened this huge, cuddly, and rat-shaped parcel on Christmas morning, I was flabbergasted! And quite delighted, too!)

    I walked round to Rock & Roller Coaster to wait for DH, and he soon came bouncing towards me, declaring that this ride is just so awesome! I was so happy to see him enjoying the ride like this.

    We still wanted to experience Casey Junior's train ride and the Storybook Canal Boats, so we left the Studios at this point and went to the Disneyland park. Which was also packed! We found the Cast Members to be a bit rude at this point, shouting at guests to move over to the sidewalks and out of the road, (must be parade time!), but not clearing a path through the guests waiting for the parade in order to let other guests walk past it was a bit of a nightmare! We managed to politely fight our way past everyone in a very British manner, and once we reached the hub it was a bit easier going. We reached the back of Fantasyland and joined a very short (10 mins) queue for the Storybook Canal boat ride. The queue area was a bit unorganised, with clip-on ropes not being clipped onto posts in logical directions, resulting in several French families cutting in front of us. DH quickly got fed up with this, and directed a bit of a tirade at one family; quite humorously, the father yelled at us in French, gesturing a lot, DH yelled back in English, also gesturing, whilst the mother and I stood back and watched the pair of them with mild amusement as they grumbled at each other. We think the French guy was indicating that if we were that upset by their line-cutting, we should go in front of them, so that's what we did. This then led to a very uncomfortable and self-conscious 10 minutes of queueing for the ride as we were all in close proximity to one another, and I was trying hard not to giggle at the whole indignant situation! Luckily, we weren't loaded into the same boat, which would have been even more awkward.

    Anyway, we thoroughly enjoyed our Canal Boat journey, this ride is so cute and fun, although we shouldn't have been surprised to see that a small Arendelle castle had been shoehorned in, albeit in a very detailed and pretty way.

    Casey Junior's train ride was next with a minimal wait, literally the time it took us to walk up the ramp and into the loading bay. Much as we love this little train ride, it is always a bit of a squeeze to fit two adults into one train car I suggested we ask for two rows, but DH insisted it would be fine, and it was fine as long as we both sat down and then stood up again at the end at EXACTLY the same time!

    We decided to use some of our tea-time treat vouchers now, and so we went to the nearby Toad Hall Restaurant for coffee and doughnuts. When we had been given these vouchers last year, you could choose from a selection of a pack of two, Mickey-shaped cakes, or a chocolate-chip pannetone, or a doughnut, or a mini-Magnum ice-cream. However, and not to complain about something that was free, this year you had very little choice - it was a doughnut or an ice-cream, simple as that. Anyway, the doughnuts were lovely, very soft and fresh, so we weren't complaining!

    Having consulted the map while we were in the Restaurant, we decided to catch a showing of the Frozen Singalong show being shown in the Chapperal Theatre. Normally at this time of year, there is a "Christmas with Mickey Mouse" type show in there, with real snow and ice, and live reindeer. But why would Disney pass up an opportunity to use the space for something Frozen-themed?? Anyway, the show is performed in French at certain times of the day, and English at others, so we opted for an English-speaking timeslot and headed over there after our short break.

    The first thing we noticed on entering the barn-like theatre was a surprising lack of snow and ice! Considering this would have been an ideal opportunity to use the real thing, like they normally do in the Winter, Disney had chosen to use the same kind of fake snow and ice that they have in the Florida show. We found seats near the back, although the theatre is quite small and the stage is quite high, with built up seats meaning you are not trying to look over someone's head the whole time. The show is really, really good quite different to the version we had seen in Florida a couple of weeks ago, shorter in length, but just as much fun!

    When we left the theatre, we walked over to see what the line for Phantom Manor was like, but the ride was well and truly down, with no indication of how long it would be like this for. We hung around for about 5 minutes, and then gave up.

    Next we tried Pirates of the Caribbean again, but this was showing a 30 minute wait and we were getting a bit hungry by now, so we left there and went to Discoveryland, where we picked up FastPasses for Buzz Lightyear's Laser Blast, and then went into Videopolis to get some food. I sent DH off to find a seat, although as usual in here it wasn't crowded and there were loads of seats and tables free. Meanwhile I joined a short queue and ordered Jedi Burger & fries for us both, two coffees, and I also bought a twin pack of the Mickey-shaped cakes we liked so much from last year. One is almond, and one is chocolate, and they are both delicious! Our Jedi Burgers were basic cheeseburgers, but very good ones, and they had a Jedi Knight outline imprinted on the top of the bun! The fries were really good too, very crispy and hot. Fast food at Disneyland Resort Paris is a bit expensive, but extremely good quality, I have to say.

    While we ate, we watched a Jedi Training Academy take place on the stage in there. This auditorium has been used for lots of different things over the years we have seen a Beauty & the Beast stage show, then we saw the Legend of the Lion King show, next time we were in there it was being used to show classic Mickey Mouse cartoons such as Steamboat Willie, and now it was staging a Jedi Training Academy with around 20 kids taking part. It was a fun show to watch!

    When we had finished and the stage show was over, we exited on the opposite side to where we had come in, which put us next to Star Tours. I was full of food and didn't want to be jiggled about at this point, but DH was up for it so off he went. The standby line was posted as 10 mins, but it took a bit longer as there was some kind of hold-up before he boarded his Star Speeder. DH enjoyed the ride, it was the old version of the film that goes at light speed to Endor, and we didn't realise at the time that this would be the last time he would see this film as the attraction closed shortly after we left Paris in order to be reimagined to the new, 3D film that has a variety of segments.

    We were now in our FastPass window for Buzz, so that was next, with DH beating me by a very small margin. We are incredibly competitive on this ride, and our on-board ride photo never fails to amuse us afterwards, with our intense, concentrate-y faces!

    Feeling a bit tired by now, as it was dark and getting colder by the minute, we walked back to Main Street. I suddenly saw a small child with some popcorn, and it reminded me that DH owed me a box of popcorn from last year when he had promised I could get some and never did, so we found a vendor in the hub and picked up a box. I got chatting to a young couple in the queue, they were English and had never been to Disneyland Paris before she was so excited to be there, and he was just a bit bemused by it all. She was also very excited at getting popcorn, whereas he, like DH, really didn't like popcorn at all and would have been happy never to have encountered a single kernel of it in his life! Anyway, we sat down on a nearby bench to just rest a bit. To be honest, I was a bit disappointed with the popcorn it was plain, salted, but with no butter or anything on it. I didn't dare tell DH though as I'd made such a fuss about getting some!

    We watched some musical water shows taking place in front of the castle while we sat there, before deciding we were done for the day. So we slowly walked down Main Street towards the exit, popping into one or two shops along the way. We went into the Art of Disney store, and I found a lovely canvas print of Belle for my sister's birthday. While DH wasn't looking, I also picked up an Ariel pill-box for him as a Christmas gift. 10% off with my Shareholder's card, lovely. We also got some chocolates for my dad, and a few other bits from a store near the fire station.

    We said a sad goodbye to the beautifully lit and sparkly castle, then walked back through the Village, stopping briefly in World of Disney to buy a gorgeous, fleece-lined Mickey head scarf and mittens for our prospective daughter-in-law's birthday gift. (I got just the scarf for myself, too!)

    By 8.30 p.m. we were back in our room, feeling exhausted but happy. My polite note to housekeeping was still where I had left it, prominently on the table, but there were no more chocolates. DH surfed the internet for an hour, and was in bed snoring by 9.30! I pottered about for a bit longer, taking a shower and then putting our electronics on to charge overnight, which was tricky given the lack of power points, and was in bed by 11.00 p.m.

    Day 5 Monday 07 December, 2015
    Plan : Pack, last minute park visit, leave
    Actual :
    We were up quite early this morning, actually we were woken up by the most horrendous racket coming from outside our window. I got up and opened the window to see what was going on, and it appeared to be some kind of DJ doing a disco set from somewhere we think it was coming from the Hotel New York, which was just across the river from our room. This had happened on other mornings, but never at this sound level, and it was really irritating! We firmly shut the window again and got ready for our day. We headed out on the long walk to the main building, and had breakfast again in Hunter's Grill, having our usual fare of fruit, pastries, cheese and ham etc. Neither of us ate a great deal this morning though, as we were both feeling a little bit off-colour.

    We went back to our room and started the packing, although we kept having to take bathroom breaks. Eventually, I administered some Loperamide capsules to us both in order to settle the churning a bit! We managed to finish the packing, and bidding farewell to our lovely room, began the long trek again back to reception. DH took the cases to bell services, while I went to check out, mentioning the missing chocolate coins and more importantly, the noise from outside our window very early every morning. The Cast Member nodded sympathetically and did absolutely nothing about it, offering no explanation or apology for either complaint. Oh well.

    We were both feeling loads better in the tummy department, so decided to pay our last visit to Salon Mickey next. I got a lemon muffin and a doughnut, orange juice and coffee. DH had a doughnut and cookie, orange juice and coffee. We did wrap up the food to take with us though, as we still didn't feel much like eating yet.

    After our final visit for this trip to Salon Mickey, we exited through the back door into the Disneyland park, and walked round to Discoveryland to ride Buzz. After a short wait, (15 mins), DH won by a huge margin this time! Like Disneyland in California, the laser guns do detach from the ride vehicle, but they are very hard to actually fire if you hold the trigger down, unlike California it doesn't make for repeat firing. Anyway, that was my excuse and I was sticking to it.

    We took a slow walk round to Pirates, and rode that with a mere 5 minute wait. Luckily, on a Monday, all the crowds from the weekend had gone and the parks were much, much quieter now. We walked round to Phantom Manor but it was down AGAIN, and had been for over an hour, apparently, so we gave up on that and left this park, heading into the Studios.

    DH obviously wanted one last ride on Rock & Roller Coaster, so off he went with no wait at all. While he was in there, I approached a Cast Member to ask about obtaining a FastPass for this to take home as a souvenir for my daughter, who loves this ride. I have been doing this for years for her, but with the phasing out of paper FastPasses in Florida, it was becoming more difficult to find one for her. The FastPass machines were covered over here, but when I asked the Cast Member about the possibility of getting me even a used FastPass to take away with me, he said there were none available. He was very curt and unfriendly, not offering any apology or anything. Ah well, DH still thought the ride was awesome!

    We still had some tea-time vouchers left, so we then walked to the front of the park and went into a quite busy Restaurant en Coulisse for coffee and doughnuts. I also bought 4 packs of the Mickey-shaped cakes to take home with us.

    After our coffee break, it was time to leave the Disneyland Resort parks for the last time, so we walked round to the Earl of Sandwich to pick up some food to take with us on the coach back to the airport. DH chose a ham and Swiss sandwich, and I opted for the Full Montagu. We also got crisps and bottles of soda.

    Unlike last year when we had had to virtually run back to Sequoia Lodge in time for our coach transfer, this time we had plenty of time and were able to amble comfortably back! We collected our luggage from bell services, and were first in the queue at the bus stop for the Magical Express.

    20 minutes later, on time, our bus turned up. I had pre-booked and paid for seats on this particular bus, and we readied ourselves for boarding. However, the coach driver parked very close to the queue of people, which now reached almost as far back as the reception building, and began loading the far side of the coach FROM THE BACK OF THE QUEUE! So where we had been first in line and should have been happily seated on the coach by now, we were actually last in the queue and it wasn't looking sure that we would actually get on this coach, making us late to get to the airport for our flight! Well, DH wasn't having this, he grabbed the cases and barged his way through the families milling around, shouting "Excuse me!" and bypassed the driver, shoving our cases onto the luggage space underneath the coach himself. He then hustled us both up to the coach door so that we were ready and waiting to board once the driver got back on, leaving the rest of the families to load their own luggage.

    We gave our tickets to the driver, who seemed unperturbed by our insistence on being first on the bus, and picked seats about halfway down the coach. We left fairly soon after that, and encountered a couple of traffic queues, but overall made very good time getting to the airport.

    We hate Charles de Gaulle airport, it is a nightmare to find your way round there. We had got absolutely no idea where our check-in desk was, and wandered around for a good 20 minutes trying to find the right direction to go in. After much confusion, and passing several soldiers patrolling the airport with guns, we finally found the right check-in desk. Once we were there, everything was really quick and easy both of our cases were well underweight, despite our having bought lots of goodies and Christmas presents, and customs was quick and easy.

    We walked through the shopping mall towards our gate, and were drawn into a small store selling duty-free chocolate and alcohol. What drew us in was a separate area selling macarons! I hadn't had any of these yet, despite having been in France, the home of macarons, for 5 days! We looked at the amazing selection, and the problem was that the more you bought, the cheaper they worked out to individually, so we ended up buying a box of 12 macarons for 28! How ridiculous. However, they were in flavours like black cherry, lemon, cappuccino, mocha, raspberry etc. We put them in the fridge when we got home and they lasted for ages! DH insisted on paying for them, so once that was done I sent him out of the shop and secretly bought him two giant Toblerone bars for Christmas a dark chocolate one, and a milk chocolate fruit & nut one, (I can't bear them myself yuck!).

    We then went to our gate, and settled down for a short wait. We managed to get onto the free Wi-Fi on our iPads, and went online for a while. Eventually, we boarded an almost empty plane! I think I counted about 30 people who actually got on. We weren't given any free drinks or snacks, and didn't bother to buy drinks as we knew the flight would be just over an hour long. The flight was quick and smooth, and I entertained myself by reading the in-flight magazine, which was quite interesting. We actually landed a little ahead of our scheduled time, and as we disembarked, I texted my sister to let her know we had landed. By the time we had retrieved our luggage and gone through customs, my dad and sister were kindly pulling up outside to collect us, which was lovely as it was around 9.00 p.m. by now and we had had a very long day.


    We had a truly wonderful time at Disneyland Paris, and had enjoyed ourselves tremendously. The Christmas decorations and shows were really lovely, particularly the dcor at the entrance to the Disneyland Park.

    I was surprised to find no Pandora Disney charms anywhere for sale, despite my hunting everywhere we went. There weren't even any other branded charms for sale, unlike the parks in America.

    Despite many assurances from Disney that they were addressing the 'no smoking' policy, we still experienced many guests smoking in queue areas, in attractions and shows, and generally as we were walking around the parks. However, since returning from France, I have learned that it is actually not enforceable for Disney Cast Members to insist on guests not smoking, as there is a law that protects the rights of people to smoke wherever they like. This is not something that Disney tells you about, and the Cast Members, if they are aware of this law, certainly don't impart this information to complaining guests, they just say they are addressing the issue. It will be interesting to see whether this changes at any point in the future, as more and more guests complain about this happening in the parks and Village.

    Moving on to selfie sticks, Disney have recently introduced a ban on these in parks worldwide, and there were clearly signs up at all park entrances and dotted around the parks that were pictorial in nature and showed that these sticks were banned. Despite that, we saw them being used everywhere! To be fair to the Cast Members, if they actually spotted someone waving one about, they would make them put it away, but there were loads of people walking around with a phone wavering about on the end of a long stick all the time, to our surprise. There were a few iPad wombles, but it didn't really cause distress to anyone else as far as we could see.

    With hindsight, a wonderful thing, I do think that this holiday was too soon after our big extravaganza to Florida, as we seemed to spend most of our time in Paris feeling exhausted. We were cold all the time, and DH was asleep every night before 9.00 p.m., sleeping through until the next morning with ease. Maybe in the future we need more of a break between holidays!

    Anyway, thank you for reading along, and I hope you enjoyed this trip report.

    (Enjoy reading trip reports? Why not try my books, "Tiggerific Travels" - all 4 books available now as e-books)

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  3. #2
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    Aug 2012
    Drexel Hill, PA

    I love your trip reports especially from Paris. I have only been to Paris once but it was long before Disney was built. I am glad you had a great time. I appreciate you taking the time to write the reports.

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    Registered User Silvercat's Avatar
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    Sep 2007
    Birmingham, UK

    Thank you - it is really nice to know that someone enjoys what I write! I enjoy writing the reports, if nothing else they act as a kind of diary for me to look back on!


    (Enjoy reading trip reports? Why not try my books, "Tiggerific Travels" - all 4 books available now as e-books)



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