October 30, 2010




Delays, Upgrades and ……. “Just Slam The Door”


It was 3.30am when the first alarm went off. It got turned off and we closed our eyes again. At 3.45 it could no longer be avoided, we had to get up. We got ready, had a bite to eat, said goodbye to Pixie, the cat and got in the car for the drive to the airport. Thankfully at 5am the streets are empty and we made it to the airport in the shortest possible time. We left the car in the short term area, picked up the suitcases and headed inside the airport to drop off our luggage before parking the car. There were just two people in line and our luggage was gone in no time. We went back to the car, drove to the car park, parked the car and went back to the airport with only our hand luggage. Getting through security was easy and after a short walk through the duty-free shop it was time to board the plane to Frankfurt.

They started de-icing the plane and we were all in for leaving on time, when we were informed that we had to wait for another 10 minutes until we could take off. Don't you just love a vacation that starts with a delay? Once we had reached cruising altitude the flight attendants started handing out Coconut Macaroons and served some drinks. It didn’t take long and it was time to fold up our tables and get ready for landing again.

We had some time to kill in Frankfurt and since the new gate was very close to where we had arrived we just looked for a table and settled there to watch the picture perfect dawn.

It was also time to consume the second breakfast we had brought from home, a sesame roll with some Italian ham. The connecting flight took off in time and after being handed a Cheese Sandwich and some Coke we landed in Paris. We were shocked when we looked out the plane window and it was raining. Well, one can’t change the weather so we decided to play along with it. Tom went ahead and picked up the rental car, while I waited for our luggage. When I arrived at the Hertz counter Tom was just signing the contract and we were off in no time, to discover that we had gotten an upgrade on the car! Yippie! We loaded our luggage into the car and off we went. About 5 minutes into our trip the rain stopped, and we hoped that it would stay that way!  It took us about 40 minutes to get to Magny le Hongre and we decided to pick up some baguette at the little boulangerie round the corner from the hotel.

We could not believe it, but even at quarter to 12 there was a line nearly out the door. At 10 to 12 we arrived at the hotel ready to pre-check in, but we were told that was not possible and to return after 3pm. So we turned around and went back to the car to discuss what to do. By that time we both felt a little hungry, so we decided to head to the Disney Village for some lunch. We had the option of parking at the main parking lot for free or to use the new parking structure at the Disney Village. Disney Village parking involved less walking so it won. When we entered the structure a poster caught my eye. Discounted parking for pass holders! My French is not all that good, but I did understand the gist of it and so once we had parked the car we went to the office to ask about the terms. Turns out that if you are a pass holder you can park there all day for just 2 Euros. Yeah! Guess that makes parking at the main lot, which is quite a hike away from the parks, an even less appealing option. So we paid our 2 Euros and went over to Annette’s Diner to find out if we could get a table.

We got in line and it was just a 5 minute wait and we were taken to our table. We both ordered Diet Cokes and since their speciality are burgers, we both got one. Tom got the Double Rockabilly Burger, a double burger, fried onion ring, bacon, cheese, BBQ sauce and French fries. The Little Italy Burger had caught my eye. It was a beef burger, mozzarella, eggplant, sundried tomatoes, ham, pesto, foccacia bread, accompanied by French fries and coleslaw. Both burgers were really good and hit the spot. We even decided on trying dessert. Tom decided on trying Annette’s Café Gourmand, coffee, accompanied by a mini doughnut, a dark chocolate brownie and a mini vanilla milk-shake. There were a lot of nice desserts on the menu and I decided on ordering the Cheesiest Choice of Cheesecake, classic bruleed cheesecake made with Philadelphia Cheese, sautéed apples with Annette’s Caramel, grilled almonds, caramel ice-cream and whipped cream.

We left the restaurant stuffed and very happy. Since we were already at the Disney Village we decided to stroll through the shops and look for new merchandise. We were surprised to find quite a few new things. Once we had gone through all the shops we headed back to the car and went to the Val d’Europe shopping center to do some grocery shopping. A little after 3pm we were done shopping and went back to the hotel to finally check in. We were the only ones there and we were checked in in no time and on the way to our little house for the next 3 nights. We tried to open the door and the key would not turn. After wiggling it a bit it did open the door, but when we tried to close it silently it would not stay shut. You had to slam the door to make it stay shut.

The rest of the villa was okay, even though we were surprised that after only a few years of use it already showed a lot of wear and tear. But we were still worried about the door. I tried to lock from the inside and could not turn the key, again! So we went back to check in, now this time there were a lot of people ahead of us. This time the guy’s English seemed to be much worse as he pretended not to understand what we were talking about. He promised a few times to come and have a look in 10 minutes time, but in the end just handed us a new key and I guess he hoped that we would be happy with a new key. Well, we gave up when we found out that the key worked perfectly and we just continued to “slam the door” shut. Would be nice to do when we got in after 1am the next day! Once we had brought everything into to house we rested a little bit and then headed over to the Downtown Disney car park again.

We parked the car, showed our Annual Pass, paid 2 Euros for parking, received the corrected ticket and off we went. We used the security entrance to the Walt Disney Studios as they usually have a far shorter line than the one at the Disneyland Park. And we were right to do so, there was an empty table so we had our bags open and went through security in no time.

We then walked over to the Disneyland Hotel, took the usual photos and walked underneath the hotel to the entrance and through the turnstiles. The park was really crowded, even outside the train station there were quite a lot of people. As we always do, we touched the little inscription right underneath the train station for good luck and for coming back.

We slowly strolled through the stores, discovered a few things we wanted to pick up for friends and family on the way home and finally made it to the hub. While we were taking in the Halloween decorations the show at the hub started, so we stayed and watched and tried to take some photos. But more and more people were moving into our area and when they started putting their kids on their shoulders and blocking everyone else’s view completely we gave up and left the area. We moved around the hub and walked through the castle to Fantasyland. Nothing new in the Christmas Store inside the castle, so we walked over to the Carousel and the stores. There were lots of pumpkins put up, so we started snapping away. Our next stop was Belle’s Christmas Village.

We took a few photos and by then it started to get dark. All the rides beyond Belle’s village were already closed so we walked over to Pirates to try our luck there. We both didn’t fancy a 45 minute wait, so we kept on walking and ended up in Frontierland. They always have a lot of Halloween photo ops starting right where the Big Thunder Fast Pass return is, so we headed that way.

There were loads of old and new displays and it was fun walking around taking pictures in the dark.They use changing lighting, so that the displays are looking a little different every few minutes. By then it was way past 7pm and since there was no chance to ride anything and we had gotten up real early in the morning, we decided to call it a day and leave the parks to go back to our villa at the Citea. Once there we had a “dinner feast”.

We had picked up some lunch meats, Boursin cheese, tomatoes, lots of baguette and some chips and we sat down and had a leisurely and long dinner. For dessert Tom had some Niflettes we had picked up at the Auchon Market and I still had the Chocolate Éclair I had bought at the little bakery. We enjoyed our treats in front of the TV, where we watched a few TV shows, Tom had taped to bring with us, as there is only one German channel.

We went to bed at around 11pm and decided to sleep in a little the next morning.