November 18, 2012





Making the most of the day ………..


The alarm went off at 6am and we were not able to crawl out of bed. We gave ourselves another half hour of sleep before we got up, took showers and got ready to head down for breakfast. At 7.30am we arrived at the restaurant and again, were led to a table.

Tom went to get coffee and hot chocolate, while I got some orange juice for Tom and water for myself. Once we had the drinks on the table I quickly walked round the buffet snapping photos as not too many people were around. Photos done we started our breakfast with the hot offerings again, so we loaded some scrambled eggs, bacon, breakfast potatoes and some tomatoes onto our plates. A second plate with some baguette and we were off to our table to enjoy part one of our breakfast. Once we had finished it, we walked back to the buffet for a second plate. Tom got some ham and cheese and some more baguette, while I had some of their really yummy Chocolate Croissants. And while picking them up I came to admire their Nutella dispenser. Really cute thing.

We discussed what we should do today and once we were done with breakfast we headed back to our room, packed up the rest of our stuff and then walked around the room one more time, before we had to say goodbye. We rolled our luggage downstairs, dropped the room keys into the provided box and put all our luggage in the trunk of the car. Luggage stowed away we walked back through the hotel and over to the Disney Village. Thank god, there wasn’t a long line at the security check and we were through quickly. We walked through some of the shops again and Tom was on a mission of finding that Dooney bag for me. Shortly after the park had officially opened we walked through the turnstiles and into the park.

Main Street and the Town Square were crowded again, but Tom managed to take a photo of our reflection in one of the large Christmas ornaments on the tree. We were swept up Main Street and enjoyed the view of the castle. Since we hadn’t ridden much the day before we walked over to Big Thunder Mountain, but even in the morning the line was 45 minutes long and that didn’t appeal to us that much. So we got in line for a Fastpass. Needless to say that they allowed people to form 4 lines, but only 3 machines actually worked, so they had to squeeze people from the forth line into the other lines. A cast member helped with the distribution of the Fastpasses and soon we had some in hand.

We thought about doing Indiana Jones, but when we saw that it had a 20 minute wait, we passed on it. So we strolled through the park and found ourselves in front of Pirates of the Caribbean again. This time it only had a five minute wait and we got in line and were soon sitting in one of the boats.

The pirates were still fighting and not too much later we had to get off again. We walked towards Fantasyland and were so surprised to see how crowded it was again. Everything had a huge line, even the meet and greet line for Mickey was out the door. We walked up to the castle and when we walked through we heard the Christmas Parade coming up Main Street. There are small balconies on the walkway from the castle to Main Street and since no one was there we stopped there and I took a lot of pictures of the parade again. When the parade was over we walked down Main Street, as there was another shop selling Dooneys.

The only Cast member in the shop was manning the register, so we got in line and right when it was our turn, she excused herself and said she would be back in a minute. A few minutes later we were still parked in front of the register when another Cast member came over to tell us that we could come over to her till. We followed her over just to discover that in the meantime another line had formed and she wanted us to get into that line. I was not happy and told her that I only had wanted to ask a question and that I was not getting in another line, to which she just shrugged her shoulders. We went into the art shop to cool off a bit and low and behold we found a few more things we wanted to take home. Once we were done shopping it was time to head back to Big Thunder Mountain for our Fastpass ride. When we arrived there was a short line to get in and then we joined a lot of other happy Fastpass people. It took us about 10 minutes to get to the loading area and we were glad to snag the last row of the train. We were pretty happy to have managed two rides on a crowded day and thought about what to do next. We still had about three hours until we had to drive to the airport and we still needed lunch.

Silver Spur was closed, we didn’t fancy anything on Blue Lagoon’s menu and Walt’s is always so busy, so we left the parks to head to one of the Disney Village restaurants. Anette’s came to mind, but while we walked over we realized that we had eaten there a lot during our last few trips and wanted to try something else. So off to Planet Hollywood we went. First off, it was loud in there. We had to wait in line and were surprised to see that even before midday the restaurant was nearly filled to capacity. After being led to a tiny table along the side wall we were handed a menu and left to study it. They did leave us a lot of time to study it, because after about 10 minutes no one had showed up to take our order.

I was giving them another 5 minutes before I was going to walk out when finally a server found his way over to take our order. We both ordered the usual Diet Coke and our main courses and were then left to wait for the drinks to be served. It took a bit until our drinks arrived, but at least our main courses were served shortly after. Tom had ordered the Southwestern Salad, Fresh grilled chicken, corn, black beans, fontina cheese, diced tomatoes, tortilla strips and chiffonade of romaine tossed in a lime cilantro and peanut vinaigrette. It looked funny when the server brought it, as the whole salad was in a clear plastic tube on a plate, then it was placed in front of Tom and the tube removed and it looked absolutely like in the photo on the menu. It was a huge helping and Tom absolutely loved it. I had ordered the Chicken Alfredo, Grilled chicken breast, fresh cream, Parmesan and basil served on a bed of linguini. Again, another very generous portion and after adding a little more salt, a very tasty one too! Once we had finished our lunch and paid the bill we walked downstairs and it had started to rain.

We still had some time left so we walked back to the park entrance and went back into the Disneyland Park. Once inside the park we walked up Main Street again, then over to Discoveryland and finally back to the hub. People were lining the hub for the start of the Christmas Parade and we stopped and found a fun space to watch, tape and take photos of the parade. It was about 10 minutes until it was supposed to start and come up Main Street and we really lucked out and found a spot right at the curb, next to a family with a few smaller kids. A few minutes later the parade had started and was moving up Main Street. We could all hear the music and were eagerly awaiting the floats .

And right then this family with their teenagers decided to stop and stand right in front of the family with the small kids who had been there quite a while. And while the mother of the small kids was still trying to “unblock” her kids view, a CM came over to tell the latecomers that they could not stand there. Guess what, they wanted all of us to move back, so they could stand in the front row. Unfortunately NONE of us budged and all that opened up for them was a tiny passageway to move towards the back. We all moved a bit to make space for the two smaller kids in the latecomer family, but come on people, if you come late, be prepared to stand further back.

Crisis solved we enjoyed the parade and once it was over we slowly walked down Main Street and stopped to have a last peek in one shop or another. And after visiting the bookshop it was finally time to say goodbye to the castle and leave the park. We were sad to have to leave, but on the other hand pretty happy to have been able to visit in the first place. Once we had reached the Disney village we paid some of the stores a final visit, before stopping in at Earl of Sandwich to pick up some sandwiches to go. I usually have a hard time deciding which sandwich I want but this time I had a lot of time to make my mind up as the line was huge.

It took us nearly 10 minutes to place our order and then another 15 minutes to make it to the register. I still had not paid for our sandwiches when Tom’s beeper went off and he headed over to pick them up. Sandwiches in hand, we headed back to the Hotel New York and after a restroom break we walked over to the parking lot to go to the airport. A few minutes later we found ourselves on the motorway and on the way to Charles de Gaulle airport.

It takes about 50 minutes to get to the airport and we still had lots of time when we drove onto the rental car parking lot. We unloaded the car, then walked back to the office to get our receipt. The young lady there was the same that had rented Tom the car and she went to check it. When she came back she told us that we had had an accident and she had to file a report. Well, we both could not remember anything that remotely resembled an accident and I wanted to see the damage. Low and behold there was a dent/scratch at the very bottom on one side. We first thought it might be some parking damage, but thinking and talking about it we knew that this would have to have been a very low lying car to make a dent there.

It looked much more like someone had hit the high walkways in the garage. Well we were insured, actually double insured as we had paid for insurance when we rented online AND Tom had agreed to pay for more additional insurance, so we didn’t worry too much. All the time the rental car rep stressed the fact that we did not have to pay anything, as we were insured. Then back in her office she told us that we “only” had to pay 35 € “writing fee” for her filling out the paperwork. By that time I had grown angry enough to make some comments and then added that I suspected this was all a scam as the rep had prevented me from walking all round the car on our arrival day and the tires had been very poor too! Guess what, she very quickly gave in and decided to “spare” us. Well, we did walk off without any charges in the end and the more we thought about it, the more we were sure that this definitely had been a scam to find someone who would pay for insurance and then be blamed. Problem solved we pushed the trolley with our luggage towards the elevator and went down to the departure area. Lufthansa uses self service kiosks to check in and my card never works there.

So I tried to check in with my passport, but that would not work either, so we tracked down a lady from ground personal and she tried herself, telling me that she was going to show me how it was done. Didn’t work for her either and we were finally allowed to walk up to a check in counter and check in the old fashioned way. Luggage on its way we walked down to the restroom for another biologic break before we headed towards our “satellite” again. On the way there, there is a Starbuck’s and we usually stop there for one last drink before waiting to board. We got in line and Tom got an Espresso, while I ordered their Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate, Steamed milk, mocha sauce, toffee nut and vanilla syrups, topped with sweetened whipped cream, caramel sauce and a mixture of turbinado sugar and sea salt. It was absolutely delicious and I enjoyed every last drop of it. Then it was finally time to head towards our departure gate. One last security check and we were allowed to enter the area. We quickly found the posted gate and a seat and waited. It somehow was a bit funny because even though we were supposed to be boarding soon our flight was not even on the monitor.

So around boarding time we walked up to one of the larger monitors and checked our gate. It had been changed and we had to walk a bit further to find it. No need to find a seat, as they started boarding right when we arrived. We quickly found our row and seats and settled in and the plane was pushing back out of the gate right on time. We rolled to take off and soon were airborne. About 10 minutes into the flight we were handed a German meatloaf sandwich and some drinks. The sandwich was fresh and moist and really good. The flight from Paris to Dusseldorf is just one hour long and soon we had to fold up our trays again and prepare for landing.

The plane was parked at an outside location and we were all loaded onto a bus to go back to the terminal. We checked for our next departure gate and since it was just a few steps down the corridor we walked around a bit more, checking out the shops before we walked down to our gate. We found a seat and waited until it was time to board again. Again, we had to get onto a bus and were driven to our plane. This time it was a pretty small plane and it didn’t take long until everyone was seated and ready to go. We were off and handed another treat. Tom chose some Crackers and some coffee and water, while I had a chocolate covered, vanilla filled Roulade and some Coke. Again, this was a short flight and we soon were back in our home town. Since the airport is so small we just walked over to customs and baggage claim and 10 minutes later we were heading towards the car park. Thankfully there was no traffic on the way back home and we arrived there at around 10pm. We still had our Earl of Sandwich sandwiches, which we now had as a late night snack. Both, the sandwiches, the Earl’s Club, turkey, smoked bacon, Swiss cheese, lettuce, Roma tomatoes and sandwich sauce and the Tuna Melt, Tuna salad and Swiss cheese were still tasty. After dinner I quickly picked up my bags and got on my way home, we both had to go to work the next day.