March 29, 2008





Happy Birthday!

A day of  “PRACTICE” for the Free Disney Dining Plan at WDW in August!


Today we were woken up by bright sunshine – just what one would want for a birthday. We got ready and went over to the restaurant to find out that here was a LONG line for breakfast.

This is a European style buffet, where you get in line, pick up a tray, fill it with your breakfast food, then walk to the dining room to look for a table and after you have finally found one, you go and get your drinks. It took about 10 minutes for us to get to the part where you pick up the trays. But we were lucky and found a table with no trouble at all and had a nice and leisurely breakfast, baguette, ham, cheese, chocolate croissant, orange juice and coffee and hot chocolate – yum!

After breakfast we went back to the room, picked up our backpack and went to the bus stop. There were a lot of people, but we managed to get on the first bus and were at the park for some of the morning EMHs they offer.

The general public was already allowed into the Main Street USA area and we had to get through a lot of people to get into the part that was already open for the hotel guests. Since there are only a few attractions open we chose to get onto Space Mountain, since that usually has a VERY long line. There was NO line at all and we just walked onto the ride. Space Mountain in Paris is different from its US cousin. It has a catapult start and is rather fast, BUT it throws you around quite a bit. I hit my head a few times during the ride, so I had a bit of a headache when getting off. We then went towards Star Tours, but by that time the general public had been allowed in and the wait was already more than 20 minutes, not what we really wanna do. So we checked the boutiques and went slowly over to Big Thunder Mountain and picked up a Fastpass for it, before we went over to the Indiana Jones coaster.

It very rarely has a line and that day was no exception. We were able to board within a few minutes. More being thrown around and more headache. Therefore we had a short break to have some water and some headache medication.

After that it was time for our FP at Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

We got to ride in our favourite row – the last one.

Still time before our reservation at Walt, so we went over to Woody’s Roundup and watched Woody and Jessy interact with the kids. On our way back to Walt’s on Main Street we decided to have a look at the shops. Our reservation at Walt’s was for 12.30 and we checked in a little early. We were asked to have a seat for a few minutes before we were allowed to go upstairs and were shown to our room. We had a window seat overlooking one of the side streets of Main Street USA.

We ordered a bottle of water and had some freshly baked bread and D’Isigny butter as a starter. We then ordered our starters. Tom had the New England Clam Chowder, while I chose the Chicken Cesar Salad. Both were VERY yummy. Tom loves Walt's gourmet burger, coleslaw and twister potatoes, so this is what he had for his birthday lunch. I had MY favourite there as well. Grilled beef sirloin, béarnaise sauce, mixed vegetables and roast potatoes.

Both dishes lived up to expection and soon after they had cleared the table Tom’s surprise cake arrived. There were a few Castmembers singing Happy Birthday to him and set the Birthday Cake with the burning candles in front of him. Since I had to promise NOT to get him a cake, our friend Mary Ellen had volunteered to do so. So after he had blown out the candles I made sure he knew who to blame for the cake.

They took the cake back to the kitchen and returned with pieces of the cake on plates. The cake was VERY yummy and very filling. When ordering the cake I had been told that he was to receive a birthday pin as well. Well, so far no pin, so when our waitress came to present the bill I asked about the pin. She went back to ask IF we should receive one, and a short time later she returned with Tom’s birthday pin. We left the restaurant at around 2.30 and went to look at the tip board, to see if it was possible to do any rides.

Since this was a Saturday afternoon and the weather wonderful the lines for the rides were LOOOOOOONG. So we decided to go back to the resort for a little break and leave all our shopping bags there. We had done a little shopping before we had gone to have lunch and did some more on the way back. We went back through the village and enjoyed the lonely walkways back to the resort. It really was nice to be back at the room for a while to rest.

A little while later we took the bus back to the parks. Our second goal, apart from celebrating Tom’s birthday, was to see the new Stitch attraction. So we headed for the studios. LONG line at the turnstiles and then we headed for the stores on the left. Since there is not much different merchandise for each park, we were done with it fairly quickly. The other shop inside Production Hall was too crowded. We headed outside for the tip board. There were no more fastpasses and long lines for Crush, the new Tower of Terror and Rock’n’Rollercoaster.

We went to see how long the line for the Backlot Tour was, but we decided it was too long. So we went to take in the atmosphere, checked out if something had changed at the Tower of Terror shop since our last visit in December 07 and really found a few new T-shirts. It was about 40 minutes before the planned English version of Stitch Live was supposed to start, so we went over to that building. There were already a few people ahead of us and we got in line, since we were not sure we would have another opportunity to see it. This is now in the building where they used to have the Disney channel tour and they were doing it in French and English. Shortly after the French version was supposed to have started we were allowed in the building. There was no pre-show at that point but the large hall filled up quickly. After another short wait we proceeded into another large room where they showed clips of Disney shows. And after another 10 minute wait we were allowed into the “theatre”. This show is about the same as “Turtle Talk with Crush”. Stitch was going to a space party and interacted not only with the kids in the audience but the adults too. Asking a girl about her name, he did not seem to understand it right, so he pitied the girl that her parents had chosen a name like “Cheese” for her. Well, that was NOT her name, but it was a lot of fun!!

The guy sitting next to me was chosen as one of Stitch’s “friends” from his bad days. He was supposed to be an escapee from Space Prison. They even showed his wanted poster. This was a very fun show, fast moving and lots of laughter. What a fun addition to the studios. When we left “Stitch Live” it was always park closing time for the Studios, so we went over to the Disneyland Park.

We chose to use the middle entrance right underneath the hotel and saw a Castmember at the far end with nothing to do at all. She really looked bored and neglected in a way. So we went over there and she was very helpful with the tickets being put through the machines and therefore was presented with some of our Merci (French for thank you) chocolate. We love the look on Castmembers faces when they are given something they do not expect. We went down Main Street to the tip board, but the lines seemed to be long, so we chose to just wander around. Even “Small World” had 45 minute wait, so we decided to do some more shopping and then try to get to the Steakhouse in the Disney Village a little ahead of time and maybe get seated early. We arrived there about 45 minutes early of our 8.30 reservation and only had to wait for about 3 minutes until we were shown to our table. I could not believe the name on our waiter’s name tag – REMI, like in Ratatouille!!!

We did comment on it and he smiled about it as well. We ordered another bottle of water and had a look at the menu.

After reading through the LONG menu we decided for one of their set price meals and Tom had the New England Cassolette, American clams and mushrooms in a light garlic cream and parsley for his starter. I was tempted by the Carrot Soup Cappuccino, a carrot and coriander soup, served Cappuccino style with an olive and tomato cake at the side. Both arrived shortly after we had been served fresh, still warm rolls and lightly salted butter.

They were both VERY good and we enjoyed them very much. We both had chosen the Downtown Rumpsteak, grilled rumpsteak, fries, a mixed salad and pepper sauce, as our main course and while we waited for it to be served, we discovered another waiter at the restaurant who looked like the spitting image of “Linguini” the “chef who had help from Remi, the rat!” in Ratatouille. Needless to say we really got a good giggle out of those two, who were obviously working together. The steak was a huge portion and I had to hand over some of it to Tom. It was just too much, but very tasty! We both did have dessert. Tom had chosen the Cherry Garcia, three scoops of Ben and Jerry’s infamous Cherry Garcia ice cream, topped with whipped cream and lots of cherries. I had Baileys Crème Brulee, Crème Brulee with Baileys Irish Cream and Pecan Nuts. Both were just soooooooo good!!

Later we handed our AP to the CM to apply our discount and shortly after he returned with the bill we found out – no discount applied!! So, I asked again and the waiter went back to check and we got our discount. We paid, left a nice tip for Remi and walked back to the resort slowly – we were so stuffed. After a little rest time we started packing things up, always weighing our carry on, not to go over the limit. We went to bed at around 11pm, because we were to lose an hour since the clocks went to Daylight Savings Time again. Needless to say that as soon as our heads hit the pillows we fell asleep.