April 29, 2012





Crowds, Disney Village and a trip to the countryside!


We had hoped to be able to get an early start, but with getting to bed so late, we slept in a bit. We got up around 7.30, got ready and left the villa to drive over to the bakery to pick up some breakfast goodies. When we got to the parking lot there was a huge lorry parked, blocking most of the cars parked there. We waited for a few minutes, then headed for the lobby to ask for how long the lorry was supposed to be there.

And when we asked our question the lorry driver came forward and agreed to move his vehicle immediately. Finally free to drive, Tom had to squeeze in from my side of the car as someone else had parked his car too close to ours. But in the end we were on our way. The bakery is pretty small and it was full of people when we arrived. We picked up our breakfast fare, then drove back, parked at a further away location and headed back to our villa for breakfast. Again we stopped at a spot in the walkway in front of our villa that looked like Mickey! It made us laugh every time we walked by. Once back in our villa, we made some tea and coffee and put all the leftovers from the previous day on the table.

We had bought some fresh, crusty on the outside, and heavenly soft on the inside baguette, a filled bread which had ham and Roquefort cheese in it and some sweet treats, another Caramel Éclair and a vanilla custard filled pastry, topped with chocolate sauce. We took our sweet time to have breakfast, then cleaned up and finally were on our way out. The drive over to the parking garage is pretty short and in no time we were entering the garage and were shocked that the lower two levels were already full. So we parked on the top level and from there we had a wonderful view of the building site of the new World of Disney and the new plaza that is being built to connect it to the railway station.

After taking a few photos we went downstairs and over towards the entrance plaza. It seemed that a lot of people seemed to have the same idea and once we hit the bag check area the lines were very long. We quickly discussed what to do and decided against heading into a park and to go shopping instead. So we went away from the crowds and towards the Disney Village. It is so much more fun to explore the shops without having to fight your way through the shops, so we took our time and explored, picked up things here and there and literally enjoyed browsing. There was one shop we definitely wanted to have a closer look at.

 There is a nice clothes store, which we both were hoping would have some Dooney and Bourkes. We entered the shop and there they were. Yip, they were secured to the wall again, so we walked over to the counter and asked a Cast Member if we could have a closer look, as they had the styles I wanted to have, but they were not the design I wanted. Now, the Cast Member had no idea what we actually wanted to have a look at until we showed her and she was happy to help. And once I had settled on the style of the bags I let her know that I wanted to be on the front of both bags and so she went off to the back to find some for me.

When she returned she had two of the cutest bags ever with her and Tom was kind enough to buy them for me. Now, those first purchases in hand we were able to do some more shopping. We got a some things for our cousin’s little boy and a few other 20th anniversary items, then picked up a few postcards and other items and headed back to the car. We were unsure about what to do, but when we saw all the people trying to get into the park, we knew that we didn’t want to join them. So we drove back to the villa to leave our new goodies there and we took a little break. The overcast skies had cleared up and we decided to just take a joyride and see where it would take us.

We  knew that the parade was at 7pm and since we had cancelled our ADR for that day we just had a sandwich and some salad before heading back to the parks. Again we parked at the garage and were pleased to see that by 5.30pm it had cleared out a lot. We strolled over towards Disneyland park and with little wait at the bag check we got to the entrance pretty fast. We thought about riding the train first, but the line was down the stairs and therefore too long for us.There was not much we could have done, so we decided to stake out a nice spot to watch the parade from. We usually watch parades on the Main Square, at the spot right where they go backstage again.

But this time we wandered deeper into the park and towards the Pizzeria Bella Notte, which is very close to where the parade starts. We found a nice spot, claimed our space and waited. It was a long wait but it was nice being in the sun and watch people walking by. And finally the parade started. The new music is really catchy and they mixed old and new floats to create this new anniversary parade. It was fun to see all the dancers and characters going by and we both took lots of photos. Once the parade was over, most people followed it down to the hub and Main Street, but we headed in the opposite direction.

When we walked past “It’s a small world” we debated getting in line, but once we saw the 20 minute wait we decided to give it a miss. We walked over to the little village and saw that the Storybook Land ride and Casey Junior were up and running. There didn’t even appear to be many people in line, so we headed that way. Now the Storybook Land boat ride was a walk on. It is just a little ride, but the stories are set up nicely and since it is not always open, we love to take it. Once we were at the end of the ride we got off and just walked over to Casey Junior. The sign at the entrance said 20 minutes but the line didn’t look all that long, so we hopped in.

It turned out to be a 20 minute wait, as the ride loads slowly and there was only 1 train running.Finally it was our turn and we really loved the interaction with the Cast Member who handled the line. He chatted with every group and since he was much fun, he was awarded a little chocolate thank you! He was stunned and felt pretty good to sprinkle a little pixie dust in his direction. Our seats were towards the middle of the train and we squeezed in and had lots of fun riding. Even though this is a kiddie ride, it is really going “fast” and the music is fun. Once we got off we slowly strolled over towards Peter Pan’s flight, but walked by as the standby line was an hour long. Next to check out was Pirates of the Caribbean, which only had a 10 minute wait, so we got in line.

Most of the line moved pretty quickly and it only slowed down towards the loading area. We were quickly seated and went off for our adventure. I would really appreciate it, if they updated the ride and put Captain Jack in as well. But never the less it is a fun ride, and once we got off we checked out the gift shop and stopped at the Blue Lagoon restaurant to check the menu. We actually thought about getting a table there for our last day, but there was just too long of a line to the podium. There was still time left until the evening show, so we walked towards Adventureland and explored the shops and the area.

We quickly walked over to the Indiana Jones ride, but again it was down, so we took the shortcut through the outside seating of Colonel Hathi’s restaurant and over to Big Thunder Mountain.

The Fastpass line was long and there was a 100 minute wait in the standby line, so we walked right by. We could see the Molly Brown in the distance and headed over that way. They had just closed boarding and the next departure was 20 minutes later, so we took some photos and since there were not many people in line for Phantom Manor we walked over and got in line. Again, it was only a short wait and we knowing where to stand in the stretching room gave us a head start towards the carriages again. We were quickly seated and off to travel through the Manor. Once we had gotten off, we walked through the cemetery, reading some of the fun inscriptions on the headstones.

On the way back to the hub we walked through the little store where I had not been allowed to touch the Dooneys and when I saw that Cast Member I really wanted to stop and let him know that he had missed the opportunity to sell two of these bags in a flash, but I behaved and just laughed on the inside. It was then time to stake out another spot to watch Disney Dreams again. All the spot along the fences were already taken, so we went towards the middle of the hub, carefully watching who was in front of us. People in Europe tend to put their kids on their shoulders once the show begins and if you are behind them, then bad luck for you, as all you are going to see the back of the person plus kid on top. Needless to say the people in front of us did exactly that and we had to squeeze to the side to be able to see the show. Again the show was terrific and this time we really enjoyed watching it, without a camera in hand. But even though we loved the show, our feet hurt a lot. Having to stand in one place for 45 minutes takes its toll. Once the show was over we decided that instead of staying for the second run of the show we would just head back to our room and get to bed earlier. So we joined the masses that slowly pushed towards the exit, then finally we were able to move at a faster pace and headed over to the parking garage. We paid for parking and drove back to our home at the Citea. We both had a drink and a few nibbles, Chips and beer for Tom and an Éclair and some Diet Coke for me before we called it a day and went to bed.