November 17





Plans? What plans?


Our plans were to make it to the park as early as possible. So Tom had set the alarm for 6am. The alarm went off and we felt like we hadn’t slept at all. Let’s add another half hour of sleep and when that was over we added another half hour. At 7 we had to get up in order to make it to the restaurant for our breakfast time which was 7.40. I needed to wash my hair, so I went into the bathroom first. Got into the shower and turned it on and the water was COLD. Played around with it for a while and it still stayed cold. I was actually thinking about washing my hair with cold water when after quite a while the water started to get warm. So, hair washed, shower taken, I blow dried my hair while Tom was shaving. We were both ready by 7.30 and on our way to the elevator to go down to the restaurant. There are two restaurants serving breakfast and we didn’t know which one we were supposed to, but we quickly found it, handed in our “voucher” and were taken to a table.

They had prepared a hot and cold buffet in the New York City Bar and while we were stunned at the small round tables and plush chairs, we were lucky to have one of those tables to ourselves, while families of four shared the same size of tables. We got our drinks, Tom got some coffee, while I stuck with the Hot Chocolate, and we got some orange juice, which was more like tangerine juice. We checked out the different stations and decided to start off with some hot items. We both got scrambled eggs, anaemic looking sausages, some bacon, some tomatoes, breakfast potatoes and small fresh baguette rolls. The eggs were actually quite nice. I didn’t care for the sausages, which were kind of warm(ish), but not fried enough for me and lacked a bit in taste.

The bacon was cut a bit thick for my liking and could have done with a little more frying, but the taste was still quite nice. When we were done with our first plates, Tom went to get some items from the cold buffet, different kinds of ham, some cheese, butter and tomatoes and more small baguette. I wanted to get something sweet and got a pudding and raisin roll and a chocolate croissant. We both liked what we had on our plates and once we had cleaned them we got on our way back to the elevators. But we had to go past the shop, which was now open. Since we were late for Extra Magic Hours already we decided to pop in and have a look around.

Needless to say that we did not leave without some purchases. The bacon was cut a bit thick for my liking and could have done with a little more frying, but the taste was still quite nice. When we were done with our first plates, Tom went to get some items from the cold buffet, different kinds of ham, some cheese, butter and tomatoes and more small baguette. I wanted to get something sweet and got a pudding and raisin roll and a chocolate croissant. We both liked what we had on our plates and once we had cleaned them we got on our way back to the elevators. But we had to go past the shop, which was now open.

Since we were late for Extra Magic Hours already we decided to pop in and have a look around. Needless to say that we did not leave without some purchases. One of the reasons we had gone to Disneyland Paris was to buy one of their calendars. And yip, the shop was carrying them and there were a few other small items we wanted to have.

About 10 minutes later and 50 Euros poorer we left the shop again and headed to the elevator to go back to our room. We put our stuff away, donned our coats and, backpack in hand we left the hotel to walk over to the park. From the hotel it’s only a short walk through the Disney village to the parks and we quickly found out that they had installed a bagcheck station at the entrance to the Disney village. Our bags went on the conveyer and through the x-ray machine and we entered the village. Some of the shops were already open and we slowly walked through and checked for new merchandise that we had not seen before.

We were very surprised to find the Disney Store closed and it only opening at 4pm, but there was still the new World of Disney to check out and headed on over there. They were just opening up when we arrived and in we went. I suspected it to be a lot bigger, but even the size it is, it’s a nice shop, very light and airy and lots of stuff to find. We saw a lot of fun items of merchandise, but decided to shop on the way back. It was now time to finally make our way over to the parks. So we joined the masses and walked over to the Disneyland Hotel and the side entrance to the park.

The park had just opened up and it was packed already. We were really shocked, as so far we had always been to the parks when it was really busy and after some research this weekend didn’t look all too busy. But it WAS busy. Really busy.

So after looking around the main square we thought about using the horse drawn trolley to go up Main Street, but when we saw the line for it, we forgot about it quickly. We knew with a park that busy we would not ride much, as standing in line in Disneyland Paris is not like standing in line in the US. People are smoking in line, pushing and jumping lines, so it’s either a short line, or Fastpass or not riding at all. Our decision was to walk around the park and check out the stores, but before that we had to start at one of the many posters on Town Square.

It was one of a steamship and I had to have my picture taken while wearing the Disney Fantasy Maiden Voyage sweatshirt I had been given by our friend Narciso, our stateroom host on the Disney Dream. Photos done we headed to the Emporium and over to Lily’s boutique. Once we had everything checked out we walked back out of the shop and onto Main Street again. The next thing that grabbed my attention were the decorations of the hub. There were pairs of Disney characters, nicely placed with the castle in the background. We walked all round the hub to take pictures of them before we headed over to the castle. And when we turned around we noticed the garlands over Main Street.

It reminded me a lot of Walt Disney World and added a lot to the atmosphere. Then it was time to head over to the castle. We walked through the Christmas store that is inside the castle and then over to the little art shop on the other side. And after browsing through we walked downstairs to the lair to visit the dragon. There were several visitors there and the dragon seemed to be annoyed with some of them as he blew smoke and was wiggling its claws.

We watched for a while before we walked out of the lair and over to Fantasyland. It was packed. Why not try to get on It’s a small world. 25 minute wait, no thank you. Peter Pan? More than an hour’s wait. Thanks, but NO thanks. And after checking out the stores we walked over to Pirates of the Caribbean. Only a 10 minute wait and we got in line. It was really a 10 minute wait, but they only used two of four lines. We got on and watched them fight and when we got off they had opened up all four lines and the line had gone and it was now a walk on. Once we had gotten off we walked towards the Adventure Isle and over to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

Even the fastpass line was long and we didn’t fancy the 75 minute wait in the standby line. Over to the Haunted Mansion and another 30 minute wait, which we did not want to join. So we walked around a bit and then decided to just leave and do some shopping. So we slowly made our way towards Main Street again and decided to check out the stores on the other side of it. It took a while until we had made our way down and when we left the stores we were caught behind the rope they had put up for “some kind of” a parade, which we were not sure about. I was guessing it would just be the Character caravan, but instead they opened up the gates and they had a cute little Christmas Parade.

We were so stunned as we had never seen anything like it and were happy we had been caught and stopped. It only lasted for about five minutes and then we fought the crowds and walked towards the exit. Since it was nearly midday we decided to stop at Earl of Sandwich for lunch. And while we walked through the village we stopped at the fancy clothes store as they had one item I was not sure about if I wanted to buy it. Another Dooney and Burke bag. Well, customer service is not on everyone’s agenda there, so we had to really hunt down a Cast Member to help us look at the one they had there. It is VERY pink, but a different style than the ones I already have, so we wanted to have a closer look.

Finally we managed to find a Cast Member willing to show it to us and after closer inspection we decided to buy one. So the Cast Member went back to the back room to get one. It took a few minutes and she came back empty handed. She told us that we could buy the one they had in the showroom or leave it, as this was their last one. To be honest, as much as I like my Dooneys, but I do NOT buy one that was not all that new looking from all the sticky fingers that had touched it. Not even at a reduced price would I have bought it. The Cast Member was a bit “unhappy” with my decision of not buying that one, but I knew I would be able to buy one anyway.

They sold them at the new and it was exactly the same price. Next stop - Earl of Sandwich. We got in line and ordered, got into another line, paid, picked up our fountain drinks and found seats. Not long after the beeper went off and Tom went to pick up the sandwiches.  We had ordered two different sandwiches which we shared, one of them was the All American, Roasted Turkey, Buttermilk Ranch, Cranberries, Cheddar Cheese, Lettuce & Roma Tomatoes and the other one the The Original 1762, Freshly Roasted Beef, Sharp Cheddar Cheese & Creamy Horseradish Sauce. Both were really good and once we had finished our lunch we walked back to our hotel for a short break.

And after a bathroom break and freshening up we picked up our shopping bags and went to the car park, got into the car and drove over to the shopping center. We found a spot at the far end, then picked up a trolley and took it with us inside the supermarket. There used to be a small Disney Store in there, and we were disappointed to see that it had closed its doors. We walked over to Auchan and had a look at the Disney merchandise they had, then went over to check out the Christmas decorations they sold. We had had a nice light up Christmas string of lights, which we had purchased there, and it was now no longer working. They still had the same one and we happily put a box of those lights into our cart.

Then there was something else that had gotten Tom’s attention, a blow up Santa, who was moving in and out of a chimney. We discussed for a while and then I had finally talked him into buying it. Those purchases in the cart, we used the moving walkway downstairs and did the rest of our shopping. We needed some salt, Tom wanted to buy some of their flavoured coffee and we needed some stuff for dinner too. It had taken nearly an hour and a half until we were able to get in line for check-out. We walked back to the car and I was able to put everything into our two shopping bags.

As we were going that way anyway we drove towards the small Boulangerie, that we both love so much. They seemed to be still closed for their lunch break, so we decided to check out the small church behind it, since the doors were open. It was a really old and cute little church and there was lots to look at. When we were finally done we walked back to the Boulangerie and it had opened in the meantime. Three sticks of baguette and two eclairs were purchased and we were on our way back to the hotel. We had agreed on taking another little break, as the short night we had had was beginning to catch up with us. 

And after that we would head back to the park for the tree lighting ceremony and the castle show. When we arrived at the hotel we actually managed to carry in all our purchases in one go and back in the room we really fell onto our beds and had to rest a little. But after a few minutes the view out the window was too tempting and we got our cameras out to take some photos. Photos done we sat down and had a snack. Tom had one of the Chocolate Croissants we had bought and I tried one of the double eclairs, called Divorce. Now that we had filled up on sugar again, we were ready to head out again, but there was somewhere else I wanted to go, before heading into the park again.

Since we saw how many people walked towards the Disney Village we had not much desire to stay at the parks longer than it would take to see the tree lighting, but there were more resorts to visit.So around 4pm we grabbed our cameras and started to walk over to the Hotel Cheyenne. All the hotels, with the exception of the Davy Crocket Ranch are very close together and you can walk to all of them. We left our hotel and turned left. There is a nice walking path over to the “cheaper” hotels. Within 5 minutes we had reached the Cheyenne and started to take pictures. I have to say that I love the theming in there. It looks right out of a Western movie. We walked around a bit and paid a visit to the General Store, where we picked up a few more goodies.

Then, after having taken a few more pictures we crossed the bridge over to the Santa Fe Resort. This is the resort we used to stay before we moved offsite to the villa. It was nice to revisit and walk around. We were pleased to see that they replanted the giant Rosemary bushes they had in the beginning and that gave such a rustic feel to the resort.

We even took a few samples of the Rosemary. By then it had already started to become darker and we knew we would have to hurry if we wanted to make it to the park for the tree lighting ceremony. We decided to walk along the Rio Grande and along the Sequoia Lodge and were quickly back at the Lake Disney, where the balloon was still going up and down. A few pictures later we were on our way back to the hotel. And by then we knew we were too late to make it through the village, and into the park on time, so we just decided to stay at the hotel and have a nice “French dinner”, which we had bought at the supermarket.

Our dinner consisted of Cooked ham and Serano ham, Camembert and Boursin Cheese, some Fromage de Chevre enrobe de soleil and some Maconnaise – two small French cheeses we had picked up at the cheese counter. We also had some chips, the wonderful baguette and Tom had picked up some beer, while I had some Diet Coke. We put everything out onto the table, put up the computer and watched some episodes of Chef Ramsey while having dinner. Tom had an Apple Tart for dessert and I enjoyed my Caramel Éclair. Once we were stuffed, and I do mean stuffed, we discussed going back to the park, but then gave up the idea, as neither of us wanted to stay in one spot for more than an hour to see the castle show.

So all we did was chilling for a while, I started to pack our bags and then we wanted to head over to the Disney Village to do some more shopping. Around 8pm we left the hotel again and walked over to the bag check area. There was quite a line and people tried to walk around, but there was one guy who stopped people with bags, BUT, he just waved people with strollers AND bags IN the strollers right through, which I think is a bit ridiculous. So far for a thorough check! The rest of us with handbags had to wait to have the bag scanned and then head into the village. To say the village was packed would be an understatement. We walked over to the Disney Store and had a good laugh.

They had taken out about a third of the merchandise and just moved it over to the World of Disney. We picked up a few things, then went to the World of Disney to pick up a few more things and ran into the cutest and happiest Cast Member ever. When she packaged all our purchases she asked why we had bought a few things twice and we told her that we would give them away as presents. So she said she would give us a few more of the shopping bags, so we could hand those out too. We were stunned and thanked her a few times before we left the store. The village and the stores were filled with a lot of people and once we had all our purchases, we made our way back to our hotel to finishing packing and maybe catch up on sleep a little bit.

Back at the hotel we stopped at the store one more time, bought an hour’s internet code and another small gift and then headed back to our room. When we got in we were stunned by the view out the window, now that it wasn’t foggy. The Newport Bay Hotel was mirrored in Lake Disney and it was a really wonderful sight. We took a few more pictures, then watched people having fun on the ice-rink in front of the New York, before we finished packing and settled in our beds with the TV on. We only lasted a few minutes watching TV and turned off before we finally fell asleep.