A Tale of A Thousand and One Trips - The Never-Ending Trip Report

TCB in FLA

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 3, 2006
There were some spectators near the finishing line and probably the most inspiring thing I had seen all day was somebody on that last straight with a sign saying: “Congratulations stranger. I am proud of you.”
I am late to the party, but I just found your TR. Congratulations on your first Run Disney event -- hopefully the first of many! I am about to run my 7th, 8th and 9th Run Disney races (one weekend, multiple events) and they really are addicting! Great way to see the parks in a different way.

I'm not sure if you know the background of that sign. There was a lovely lady (she was in very ill health when I saw her) who used to hold a sign like outside Disney Studios during the Disney marathon (this is around mile 22 when it's really terrible and many runners are really hurting) and she was a nice positive ray of hope. She passed away a few years back, and the Run Disney community honors her memory through signs with her saying on them. They always make me tear up bit.
 

dolphingirl47

In Search of the Tag Fairy
Joined
Dec 25, 2007
I am late to the party, but I just found your TR.
Welcome on board.

Congratulations on your first Run Disney event -- hopefully the first of many!
Thanks. I hope so, too.

I am about to run my 7th, 8th and 9th Run Disney races (one weekend, multiple events) and they really are addicting!
Wow, that is amazing. I wish you all the best.

Great way to see the parks in a different way.
I could not agree more.

I'm not sure if you know the background of that sign. There was a lovely lady (she was in very ill health when I saw her) who used to hold a sign like outside Disney Studios during the Disney marathon (this is around mile 22 when it's really terrible and many runners are really hurting) and she was a nice positive ray of hope. She passed away a few years back, and the Run Disney community honors her memory through signs with her saying on them. They always make me tear up bit.
No, I did not know the background. Thanks for sharing. What a beautiful story and how nice that her legacy is carried on.

Corinna
 

dolphingirl47

In Search of the Tag Fairy
Joined
Dec 25, 2007
The Force Is Strong Here - A Disneyland Paris Mini Trip Report

Day 1

After the pre-Christmas trip never happened, it was finally time for another trip to Disneyland Paris. I had worked the early shift that day and one of my colleagues had kindly agreed to drop me off at the airport after our shift. I had played it safe and had paid for Fast-track security. In the end, I probably would not have needed this, as the normal security line was quite short. Still, it was nice to be able to just breeze through. I may have broken a record that day. It took me precisely 20 minutes from our office to the departure lounge. As I suddenly had plenty of time, I had a look around the shops and then headed to Burger King for something to eat. This turned out to be a wise decision. I had a Double Rodeo Burger, Fries and a Coke.

After I had finished eating, I found myself a seat in the departure lounge. I checked my emails and Facebook and then I read for a bit. Close to boarding time, I used the bathroom and then I headed for the gate. This time it was a different gate than usual and this one was not quite so nice. It was essentially just a long corridor. There was a bit of a hold up before we could get on the plane and we were just standing around. Eventually we were allowed on the plane and we left pretty much on time.

The flight was nice and smooth and I spent it reading. We were asked to switch off all of our electronic devices completely just before landing due to poor visibility. They were not kidding. When I got off the plane, I could just about see my outstretched arm. There was a short wait for passport control, but I was soon on my way. A train leaving in about 5 minutes, but they were no longer selling tickets for this so I had to wait for the next one. I used the time to call Graham, go online for a bit and read. Eventually my train was listed and I headed down to the platform. There I got my first idea just how cold it was going to be. Fortunately I did not have to wait long for the train.

This was where the fun and games started. The doors closed, our departure time came and went and we were not going anywhere. It turned out that there was another train in front of us that had broken down and was now blocking the line. We were sitting at the airport station for 2 hours until the train could be moved. At least it was warm in the train and the seats on a TGV are relatively comfortable. I also had Internet access on my mobile plus plenty of books on my iPad. I got talking to a young couple from the UK. They had a really rotten day. There original flight in the morning was cancelled and they had to go to another airport to get a flight that day. Now they were caught up in this. Compared to this, for me the delay was just a minor irritation At some stage I got a little worried that I would miss the last shuttle to the hotel. Fortunately around 23:30, we were finally on our way and it does not take long to get from Disneyland. The shuttle stops are very close to the TGV station, too. The last shuttle pulled in shortly after I got to the bus stop.

I was staying at a different good neighbour hotel this time round, which is the last on the shuttle loop coming from Disneyland Paris. It still did not take long and check in was very smooth. I was soon on my way to my room. As per usual, I ended up about as far from the lobby as I could get. The room was very nice. I was a little amused when I found 4 beds in the room. I put my gadgets on charge and got ready for bed.



 
  • Paula Sedley-Burke

    Proud to believe in Rainbows and Unicorns...
    Joined
    Nov 20, 2008
    How nice that your colleague dropped you off. It was good to catch something to eat considering the train delay later!

    Glad you made it to be able to get the shuttle to the hotel. Wow 4 beds! Take your pick!

    Looking forward to reading more!
     

    Pinkocto

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2011
    Yay for another trip! Sounds like the airport traveling part was super smooth.

    Oh my about that 2 hour wait on the train. Always a silver lining, glad you were warm and not outside.
     

    dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    How nice that your colleague dropped you off.
    I was really grateful for this.

    It was good to catch something to eat considering the train delay later!
    This worked out rather well. I had hoped to eat at the Earl of Sandwich that evening, but that did not work out because of the delay. Still, the Earl features later in the trip.

    Wow 4 beds! Take your pick!
    I was selfish and had the double.

    Looking forward to reading more!
    All going according to plan with our new internet, the next installment will be up on Wednesday.

    Yay for another trip!
    I want to get this all wrapped up before I leave on the next trip.

    Sounds like the airport traveling part was super smooth.
    I could not believe just how smooth this was.

    Oh my about that 2 hour wait on the train. Always a silver lining, glad you were warm and not outside.
    It was not what I had planned on, but I had no plans for the evening and I could just as easily read on the train than I would have done at the hotel.

    Corinna
     
  • dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    Nice to see a new update on here, looking forward to reading more.
    I should have the next update ready for tomorrow. I am just need to write up the evening now which I will do when I come home from work.

    Corinna
     

    dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    Day 2

    After the adventure of getting to the hotel the previous evening, getting up at 7:00 was painful. However, I was determined to make it to the park for Extra Magic Hours. I got up and got showered and dressed. Then I put the stuff I needed into my handbag and headed out. I must have just missed a bus as I was waiting a fair while for one to come. The bus stop was relatively sheltered and it was a beautiful clear day so I did not mind too much. I arrived at the bus station just before 8:00. It was still pitch black when I stopped for my traditional “I Am Here” photo. There was hardly anybody at security so I just breezed through. I got a little thrown by the entrance arrangements. I am used to the entrance for Extra Magic Hours being to the left of the Disneyland Hotel, but that morning they were using the main entrance. I worked this out soon enough and with not many people around, I was inside the park very quickly.



    I had a quick look in the shop near the entrance to see if they had any interesting Mickey ears. There was nothing that took my fancy so I pushed on towards Town Square. I wanted to check out who was in the spot that Marie and Minnie usually share. I found Pluto there, but no Photopass photographer. They were generally in short supply this trip. However, the cast members in the area were more than happy to take photos with my phone. I then headed over to the little pavilion on Town Square and Goofy was hanging out there. Once I had met him, I made my way up Main Street. I managed to meet Winnie the Pooh with very little waiting time. In fact, I had managed to meet all three characters within 15 minutes of entering the park. I ended up nearly that long to see Chip and Dale, but that was because they went to find some acorns shortly after I got in line.











    I headed over to the Plaza Restaurant as usually there is a character near there, but I was out of luck today. Instead I came across a very atmospheric looking fountain. This looked like something straight out of the film frozen and really drove it home just how cold it was. I shared a photo on Facebook and then headed over to Discoveryland.



    Discoveryland looked a little sorry for itself on this trip. There were still a lot of building fences around. Star Tours was still closed and Space Mountain was now closed for refurbishment as well. So that really only left the Orbitron and Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast. I had got Orbitron out of my system during my last visit so I headed straight to Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast. Unfortunately the robot that tends to give you the most points was broken and the ride photo was out of order, too. I did this three times in a row and then headed over to Fantasyland.

    They had some rides open that morning that are not usually part of the Extra Magic Hours line up. This may well have something to do with the fact that some rides that normally are open during that time were closed for refurbishment. So I did Pinocchio’s Daring Journey and Snow White’s Scary Adventure with next to no wait. I then headed over to Peter Pan’s Flight. You know you are in for a magical day when you can do this ride with a 90 second wait. I quickly went for a ride on Dumbo and then I headed over to Princess Pavilion.

    By that time, I started to feel the cold and standing in line in a warm building definitely appealed. It was not quite the official opening time yet, but there was already quite a line. At exactly 10:00 they let us in. I was not at all worried how long it would take. It was nice to be able to warm up. A while later, I got to meet Aurora. Once I had my audience with her, I sorted out my new annual Photopass as they old one had expired in November.





    I had a wander around to see what other characters may be out and about, but I only spotted the Queen of Hearts, which I had seen fair recently. So there was no motivation to stand in line in the cold especially as her line always seems to move slowly. Instead I headed for another warm line and went to see Mickey. His posted waiting time was 15 minutes and I did actually wait for 10 minutes. It was nice to see him again.





    I then crossed over into Adventureland. There was not a great deal open that day. Pirates of the Caribbean is closed for refurbishment until summer and a lot of shops and restaurants in this area were closed, too. I was not too upset about this, as there was one place I really wanted to be and for that I needed to head over to Frontierland. My favourite ride at Disneyland Paris has always been Big Thunder Mountain. Unfortunately that had closed for an extended refurbishment the week before my birthday trip in 2015 and had been closed until just before Christmas last year. This was one of the reasons why I really wanted to go just before Christmas. So this was one of my must do attractions this time. I headed to the Fastpass kiosks first as they are on the Adventureland side and got a Fastpass. Then I headed over to the entrance to see what the standby waiting time was. It was 30 minutes, which is really a bit longer than I like at Disneyland Paris, but I figured for this ride, it would be worth it. So I went for it. When I got to the point where the lines divide, there were people in the right-hand side from this point, but I could not see anybody on the left-hand side. So that was the side I chose. I ended up walking all the way through until I was nearly by the stairs down to the loading dock. My waiting time was around 5 minutes. Having said that, it would even have been worth a 30-minute wait. This was always the best version of the parks I have been to. They took the idea from what they did at Disneyland and improved upon it. They have added the dynamite scene and made it even more visual. They also added a bat special effect. While they were at it, they made the ride smoother and faster. This was a big hit with me.



    I still had some time until my Fastpass window was due to open. I got my ride photo added to my Photopass and then had a look at the shop in Frontierland. When my Fastpass window was about to open, I headed back to the Fastpass kiosks to get another one and then used my first Fastpass. After this, I had a while to wait until the window for the second Fastpass would open. So I figured it was time for some lunch. The Cowboy Cookout Barbecue was open that day and I decided to give this a try. This had been closed on all my recent visits. I did not regret this choice. They had some life entertainment playing a mix of country music and countrified Disney songs. The food was also very nice. I had the ribs with potatoes, a Coke and a pecan pie. The ribs were so tender that they literally fell apart and were full of flavour. When I had finished lunch, I still had about half an hour until my Fastpass window opened. So I headed for the standby line again. The posted time was 25 minutes and this time this was pretty accurate for both sides. So when I came out, I could just go around to the Fastpass entrance and ride again. Then I was done for the day and headed towards the exit, as I wanted to cross over to Walt Disney Studios.









    As I was entering Main Street, I could hear announcements that Frozen: A Royal Welcome was happening in a few minutes. I was glad that I would finally get the chance to see this. This had been on my to do list for my birthday trip in 2015, but it was cancelled due to the weather on the day they were supposed to do previews and then the park was closed on my actual birthday. So I had never seen this. Something really strange for me happened. This was a very emotional time for me. I had just handed in my notice at my job for a company that I had worked for the last 11 years. I was following my dream and was certain that I was doing the right thing, but the people I was working with at the time were like family to me. I was both excited about the new challenge, but also terrified about the change and sad about having to say goodbye to the people I had been so close to. Things had happened really quickly from first hearing about the job to handing in my notice and things had been even busier in the meantime. So this was the first time things properly sunk in. As the music came on and the royal entourage started to make its way around the hub, I was standing in the middle of Main Street crying my eyes out. By the time the royal carriage came past me, I had composed myself enough to take some photos.





     
  • dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    I then left the park and headed over to Walt Disney Studios. Goofy was near the entrance and I stopped to meet him. When I was walking towards Studio One, I noticed that there were people congregating just to the left of it. So I decided to explore. Captain Jack Sparrow was hanging out in that area. He evidently got confused about the parks. He was supposed to be near the pirate beach in Adventureland, but he had not been around when I walked past this area. I got in the short line to see him. He was very charming and a true gentleman.









    When I was inside the park, I checked out what characters were in the Toon Studios area. They had Woody and Pluto with quite long lines. So I passed. Instead I headed for the Art of Animation building. This was a little confusing. I had heard that there was a Moana meet and greet in that area. I headed in the wrong entrance first, but I was by far not the only person who made this mistake and a cast member pointed us in the right direction. I managed to get in line just before they closed it. I had quite a long wait, but I am glad that I persevered. It was fun watching Moana interact with the people in front of me and they had some of the most magical cast members I ever had the pleasure to meet in that area. Just before it was my turn, Moana went for a short break and they were swapping out Photopass photographers at the same time. I was delighted when my favourite Photopass photographer Christian turned up. This was the only time I saw him this trip. Meeting Moana was very magical. She was very personable and really showed an interest in the people she was meeting. I still have not seen the movie, but I am hoping to do so before we are heading to that part of the world.





    Once I had seen Moana, I had a quick look at the shop in that area and then I had some galactic business to attend to. The main reason for scheduling this trip when I did was that this was at the beginning of Season of the Force. This was a real first for Disneyland Paris. Not only was this the first Star Wars event, but also this was the first time in the history of the park that they had any kind of special season at Walt Disney Studios. There are plenty of seasonal special events going on at Disneyland, but they don't tend to track across to the second park with the exception of Christmas and even that is very limited. I found myself a spot off to the side of the stage by the rope. I did not have to wait long until the First Order March happened. This was really impressive.






    Straight after the First Order March was the first show I wanted to see. I was not really sure what to expect from Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away. It turned to be a mix of live character performances and kind of a highlights reel from the Star Wars films. I did enjoy it, but it did not really wow me. I think real Star Wars fans would have appreciated this a lot more. It was a real shame that they did not have any meet and greets with the Star Wars characters. They have now added a Darth Vader meet and greet, but that is near Star Tours in Disneyland.









    After the show was finished, I think I made a mistake. I was considering going and seeing Cinemagique, but it was still half an hour until the next show. As it was freezing cold now that the sun was going down, I decided against it although I always enjoyed this show and I had not seen it for a while. Instead I headed towards the Ratatouille ride. Cinemagique permanently went dark with very little advance warning at the end of March. I so wish I had made the time to see it one last time when I had the chance.

    At the time, I was really happy with my decision. The waiting time for the single rider line for the Ratatouille ride was 5 minutes, but it was actually walk on. So I did this a couple of times and then moved on to Slinky Dog Zigzag Spin. This was also a walk on. After this, I decided I was done being cold. I actually considered calling it a day and skipping the second Star Wars show, but fortunately I came to the realisation that I would end up regretting this. So instead, I browsed in the main shop for a while and then got a Coke in the quick service restaurant opposite. I say down and spent some time catching up online.

    I headed out to find a spot about 5 minutes before the show started. I ended up standing in front of the Cinemagique building about 4 rows from the front. I was pretty much in the middle between the stage and the Tower of Terror. This seemed to be a perfect spot. It had got even colder, but that was soon forgotten once the show started. It turned out that I actually had a pretty perfect viewing spot.

    Star Wars: A Galactic Celebration was the best Disney show I have ever seen. As much as it grieves me to admit it, it was even better than my beloved World of Color. It is kind of strange that this is the only element of Season of the Force that has not been extended until the end of September. I think this would have worked wonderfully as part of the summer line up. Star Wars: A Galactic Celebration used the same stage and big screen that was used for Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away, but they also used the Tower of Terror. It was amazing how many different elements there were to this. The show included live characters, fireworks, lasers, projections, animations and film sequences. There were some rather mind boggling special effects. We were not wearing any 3D glasses, but there were parts of the show where things seemed to fly straight at you just like they do in a 3D film. There was another part where the whole Tower of Terror seemed to be breathing. It really was Disney Imagineering at its best. From what I have seen so far the new Disney Illuminations show is of a similar standard so that should be a real treat to watch.

























    On my way out, I made a point of stopping by guest services to leave my feedback. This was something really special and I hope that Disney will do more of this kind of thing. Then I headed over to Disney Village to get some dinner. I was heading for Vapiano. We actually have one of those here in Manchester, but it was never really on my radar until I read some articles about this on various Disneyland Paris fan sites just before the Run Disney event last year. It was originally supposed to be open by then, but it finally opened in early December. So I decided to check out what the hype was all about.

    Vapiano is not in the main Disney Village area, but underneath the IMAX cinema. So you actually have to go through security when you come back. Next to it were signs that Five Guys was opening soon, which made me smile. Vapiano comes firmly in the quirky category. There is an assortment of communal seating as well as some smaller tables for families. In the middle of the restaurant is an olive tree. When I checked in, I was given a smart card that you touch to a reader whenever you order something and then you check out at the end. There are various pods for different foods. They are offering soups, salads, pizza, pasta and risotto as well as bar service and desserts. I started with a tomato soup and then had the Bolognese with fusilli. The pasta dish was cooked while I was watching with fresh ingredients. The basil was actually cut from a pot. It does not get any fresher with this. I also treated myself to a glass of rose wine from the Languedoc. Everything was delicious. The real test was the Tiramisu that I had for dessert and this passed with flying colours as well. The prices were fare as well. I paid just over €20 for a three-course dinner with wine with my annual pass discount. I had enjoyed it so much that we went to the one here in Manchester for our anniversary.











    After dinner, I headed back to the hotel. I only had a short wait for the shuttle. I called Graham and read for a bit and then I called it a day. I decided that I would not go for Extra Magic Hours the next morning, but would have a bit of a lie in. I set the alarm and then headed to bed.
     

    PrincessInOz

    Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!
    Joined
    Feb 8, 2010
    just before 8:00. It was still pitch black
    WOW! That IS dark for 8 am in the morning. I do remember dark mornings where we stayed in East Anglia over the winter months and how little daylight hours there are in your part of the world.
    Thankfully, we have more daylight hours here during winter.


    a very atmospheric looking fountain. This looked like something straight out of the film frozen and really drove it home just how cold it was.
    Love the frozen fountain!





    I was standing in the middle of Main Street crying my eyes out.
    I constantly find myself with tears in my eyes when at Disney! :hug:





    Meeting Moana was very magical. She was very personable and really showed an interest in the people she was meeting. I still have not seen the movie, but I am hoping to do so before we are heading to that part of the world.
    Maybe you'll get to see it on your next flight!!!

    :cheer2:




    Cinemagique permanently went dark with very little advance warning at the end of March. I so wish I had made the time to see it one last time when I had the chance.
    Awww. That's a shame. I'll never get to see it now. :(




    The food looks good.
     

    tiggrbaby

    <font color=deeppink><marquee>We must work harder
    Joined
    Jun 26, 2004
    What a full day! I can't imagine being at a park when it is so cold that the fountain freezes!
     

    Pinkocto

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 22, 2011
    WOW, a perfectly cold day to have the FROZEN parade!

    Quite understandable to be emotional about the job change, that was huge.

    Well done getting up early for EMHs. Sounds like it was well worth it. I love Aurora's gown.
     

    dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    WOW! That IS dark for 8 am in the morning.
    It was. This even surprised me. This was towards the end of January.

    Thankfully, we have more daylight hours here during winter.
    Do you happen to know when to expect sunrise and sunset in Sydney next week?

    Love the frozen fountain!
    It was quite a sight.

    I constantly find myself with tears in my eyes when at Disney! :hug:
    I am normally pretty good, but on this occasion, the floodgates just opened.

    Maybe you'll get to see it on your next flight!!!
    I have already checked out the line up for the inflight entertainment and Moana is featured.

    The food looks good.
    It was amazing especially considering for the type of restaurant it was.

    I can't imagine being at a park when it is so cold that the fountain freezes!
    I have to admit, it was pretty tough going. We have been over Christmas a number of times and I cannot recall it being quite so cold.

    Well done getting up early for EMHs. Sounds like it was well worth it.
    It was, but there was a lot to be said about the more relaxed approach the next day, too.

    Corinna
     

    franandaj

    I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!
    Joined
    Nov 15, 2009
    OK! All caught up!

    How crazy is that to be stuck for 2 hours! Do they have a restroom on the train?

    How odd that you had 4 beds in your room, but as long as you had a comfortable one, that's all that counts.

    You really get around to the characters and rides! I guess that's an advantage to being a solo traveler, you can just go where you want, when you want and do what you want.

    Lunch looked great! I'll be happy to try BTMRR if we ever get to DLP! Nice that you got to see the Frozen parade. I can't wait to try Ratatouille. The Star Wars show sounds great! I'm glad you found a restaurant that you like and there is one close to your home as well.
     

    dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    Sunrise here is around 6.15 am and sunset at about 5.30 pm. I expect Sydney will be very similar.
    Thanks, this sounds promising. Looks like we may get treated to a sunset during sail out and we will finish our excursion with a boat trip on Friday that gets us back to Sydney during daylight.

    How crazy is that to be stuck for 2 hours! Do they have a restroom on the train?
    I could have done without this. Yes, they have restrooms on the train. They are long distance trains so they have quite a few creature comforts.

    How odd that you had 4 beds in your room, but as long as you had a comfortable one, that's all that counts.
    That is what I thought

    You really get around to the characters and rides! I guess that's an advantage to being a solo traveler, you can just go where you want, when you want and do what you want.
    It makes it easy if the park is as quiet as it has been on most of my trips. Even when I was with my friend Michelle in September, we covered a lot of ground.

    I'll be happy to try BTMRR if we ever get to DLP!
    You will love it.

    I can't wait to try Ratatouille.
    This ride is really a bit special.

    The Star Wars show sounds great!
    It was absolutely amazing.

    Corinna
     

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