(FULL TRIP VIDEO ADDED) Nicolai's Magical Summer Trip 2011

Started by DLP-Photos.com, July 21, 2011, 03:36:32 PM

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Hi there everybody

I am getting ready for my trip in next week and will now start my trip report.

I am going with my friend Kristian - we also went together last summer in the exact same week and we hope for a trip just as great as that one.

We are leaving Aalborg on monday afternoon with Eurolines arriving in Hamburg monday evening, where we board the bus to Paris with estimated arrival at Gare Gallieni 9.30 AM. The plan is to head straight to DLP and check in at Hotel Santa Fe where we will be staying for 4 nights leaving on saturday the 30th of July late in the afternoon.

We plan to take an afternoon in Paris just as we did last year using the EMH before and then heading back to the parks in the evening. In Paris we will probably visit Avenue de Champs Elysees and Montmartre.

Otherwise the plan is just to make use of our 5 days as much as possible using EMH and queueing for Studios each morning at app. 9.30 in order to get to Crush before the crazy waiting times. One night will be used for night time photography of the Disneyland Park and the Enchanted Fireworks and probably the other nights will be used to try extra attractions when people watch Fantillusion and the Fireworks - last year we watched the fireworks while riding BTM - a truly magical moment.

The highlights for me will be:

    - To see some of the beautiful refurbished areas and check up on those still undergoing refurbishment.
    - Enjoy the atmosphere for peak season with some great entertainment comebacks like the Disneyland Band and The Tarzan Encounter
    - Retry my favorite attractions like Pirates, Phantom Manor, BTM, ToT, IaSW
    - Relive the magical memories this place has given me
    - Revisit the city of Paris for a quick but great afternoon trip.
    - Just to enjoy some time completely away from every day life :)

I plan to update my twitter with atmosphere photos, observations and simply just Disney magic throughout the trip. Follow me here: //http://twitter.com/#!/nclka90

(Photos in this update is from last year's trip)

Please visit my DLP website: www.dlp-photos.com

[size=150]Trip report from August 2014[/size]


Have a magical stay :-)
4 trips to DLP, 3 to WDW, 1 to Disneyland California

Disney Fanatic

Have a magical time. I look forward to reading your trip report and seeing your amazing pictures. I am now following you on twitter (tracey75_xl4l) :)
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totally envious, have never been able to stretch the budget for high season ! hope you have the best trip ever.


Have a great time, I look forward to reading your trip report as you always take such brilliant photos.

Off Site June 1992
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Have a brilliant magical time. Cant wait to read your trip report.

April 2011 & June 2012 Hotel New York
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Well I am back from an awesome trip filled with magic, memories and lots of attractions.

It also included some "news" for me including some restaurants and being evacuated from an attraction. We had a great time and to see some of the refurbished Main Street buildings and of course the castle were the truly magical moments for me.

The only real negative aspects were caused by guests, whose behaviour sometimes is a mystery!! But in 90 % of the cases Disney can do very little or nothing to prevent this. (I will explain more through out the trip report.)

I expect and hope to be able to upload the first two parts of the trip report tonight :)

Please visit my DLP website: www.dlp-photos.com

[size=150]Trip report from August 2014[/size]


I'm looking forward to reading it! :D


Part 1 - 25th & 26th of July 2011:

So the trip started in Aalborg, Denmark on Monday the 25th of July at 2 PM, when me and Kristian met up getting ready for the bus trip to Paris with Eurolines which includes a bus change in Hamburg. We did the exact same trip last summer, so we knew what we were getting into with this bus trip - at least we thought so, because once again the busses and especially the drivers would surprise us and give a both bad and still funny trip.

THe first thing we noticed when boarding the first bus in Aalborg, was that it was incredibly hot inside, but we figured it would help when we got on the free way, so decided not to say anything. Having been on the road for 5 minutes the driver put on a CD with Reggae music playing it so loud that the entire bus could hear it - it was indeed so loud that you could still hear it even though you listened to music on your iPhone/iPad! We were having a hard time not bursting into laughter when the driver started to sing a long! :lol: (On this 7.5 hour trip to Hamburg we would be taken into a whole new dimension of music as we listened to at least 10 of his CD's - he had a very diverse taste in music and most of it was extremely weird and almost trancelike) Regarding the heat, it only got worse during the afternoon - it turned out that not only was the Air Condition out of order the heat system was also turned on and broken, so it couldn't be turned off. The bus must have been more than 30 degrees inside and especially my legs were burning placed right up to the heating system. Luckily we had to change in Hamburg!

After almost crashing in to a crazy driving car in central Hamburg we arrived at the bus station 15 minutes late and hurried into the other bus only to sit in it for 45 minutes before leaving 30 minutes late! Not a good start as we remembered how we were 2 hours late in Paris last year! The air condition worked but the bus was otherwise quite uncomfortable and for a guy of my size (2.05 meter) it was a hard night with only a couple of hours of sleep. When we were awaken at 4 AM (5 hours before our planned arrival in Paris) and we had only come to Duisburg in western Germany I was getting really worried about how late we would be... Luckily we didn't have to stop in Bremen, Eindhoven and Antwerp - so Bruxelles was our only stop before Paris. When we arrived in Paris just before 11 AM we were "only" 1.5 hours late... We got off the bus and into the train system to get to the Nation RER-station and boarding the RER A to Marne-la-Vallée Chessy. I (we) was finally going home again! :D  :ears:

We arrived at Hotel Santa Fe just before 1 PM and got our room immediately... For the first time I was asked if we needed more than one bed, which of course we did, but I actually didn't believe they had any single bed rooms and I have never been asked this previously when have been there only two people (2001, 2009 and 2010) - is this something new? Anyhow, we were situated in building 25, which is straight opposite La Cantina and we were given breakfast tickets for 7 AM for all four mornings - we were in for a hard trip with not much sleep and complete use of the parks' opening hours. Why not use this? :)

After dropping of our luggage in the room we quickly went towards the parks with Disneyland Park is our first destination. However, we decided to have our lunch in Earl of Sandwich - having not been given the time to have any real breakfast (I had a piece of bread on the bus) our stomaches were quite empty. I had the Chicken Caesar Salad and Kristian had the All American Sandwich and the food was very delicious but we could also feel it fall very deep into the stomach - the food here is not the lightest on the planet and not "typical" sandwich style. I do not know if the other Earl Restaurants are themed as this one but it was greatly themed and fitted into the Disney setting by not just being a random sandwich restaurant - the order system also seemed very smooth and way quicker than the one used in both parks!

We couldn't push it any longer - the time had come and we entered Disneyland Park through the lovely summerly Fantastia Gardens and when I noticed the beautifully repainted castle at the end of the refurbished (and still undergoing refurbishments with painters actually working during opening hours on Harringtons and Walt's and Gibson Girl still under scaffolding) Main Street U.S.A the goosebumps kicked in. WE WERE FINALLY BACK!

The first attraction was my all time favorite - Pirates of the Caribbean. I had to try this as many times as possible as it might be last possibility for me to try it without the addition of Jack Sparrow and the change of story included in this proposed addition. The queue was 40 minutes with all of the outside queue area being used - no one talked about Jack Sparrow or the movies, so maybe it really isn't necessary to make this addition although the AA's are very well done??? I adore this queue line, which is only beaten by the BTM and ToT queue system IMO. This is one of the great things about Disney - you do not mind queueing for 40 minutes or more, because the queue lines tremselves are attractions you could look at for ages.

On the attraction itself everything seemed to be working - except the swinging pirate, which is deliberately turned off after the BTM accident and the sword-fighting Pirates who were completely hidden by the shades. (IMO it would be way better to see these great Paris-only AA's being refurbished for the 20th than to see Johnny Deep popping out of a barrel ;))

We walked towards Frontierland and I did a nerd check-up on the Galley. It looked like they were preparing it for demolishing making a pattern of cuts into the wood. I guess you would normally demolish a thing like this using controlled explosives, which is most likely not a possibility in this case - in stead it looked like they are going to cut into very small pieces bits at a time.

In Frontierland we wanted to get Fastpass tickets for BTM but it was closed and the fastpass machines were closed as a result of this. Heading for Phantom Manor in stead I noticed the Hillbilly Trio being out playing some great music in from the Rivers of the Far West. This is Disneyland for me - quality "unplanned" street entertainment. It was clear that they had just arrived (probably because of the closure of BTM) and it quickly brought a great atmosphere to the area, which was filled with people having been let of BTM. We stood listening to them for some time and just captured the essence of Frontierland and Disneyland atmosphere.

In Phantom Manor every effect was working properly so it was a stay as magnificent as it can be. It is just filled with so many details that you keep noticing new things inside eventhough you are on your 12th trip - I feel this was the first time I really noticed the little model of the Manor at the very end of the ghost town scene. This effect was brighter than ever! A great revisit!

When we got out the first thing we noticed was the sound of the lift hill chain on BTM, so we went straight towards it to get a Fastpass for later that afternoon.

Between this and the time for our fastpasses we went to Dicoveryland to change the world along with Captain EO. On the way I noticed people sitting and climbing on the rocks and grass fields of Discoveryland - this behaviour still surprises me, but as it turned out this would be a very little thing compared to what guest behaviour we would experience later on the trip! :( Captain EO became a favorite of ours from the first we saw it last year. It is a must see for fans of movies, WDI and/or Michael Jackson. Even though it is 25 years old it still changes the world and sends a message to us all, which will never loose its importance. The floor was working very well, so everything was top class here as well! As was Orbitron, which was shining and looking fantastic with all the planets spinning as fast and smoothly as ever!

It was time for our first of 9 rides on BTM on this trip. I love using the fastpass for this attraction as it is easily the attraction with biggest advantage for you. The waiting time was at least 75 minutes and we used only the time it takes going from the FP Entrance to the station before we were seated in our train. The repainting had given the island a much needed spark of color and life and every effect seemd to be working (even the smoke on the island) besided the effects turned off as a result of the accident of course (the waterfall, possums and moving rocks in final lift hill) - sad to see these effects turned off and I very much hope they will be back soon. It was getting close to 5.30 PM and we decided to head over to WDS for the last 90 minutes of opening hours over there. We went past Lucky Nugget noticing yet another "wet paint sign" (they were literally everywhere :D) and went through the Liberty Arcade, which is so lovely as it offers you equally as beautiful themening as MSUSA without the huge amount of guests of "Disneyland late afternoon rush hour".

In the Studios we decided to visit Toy Story Playland as the first thing as I was excited to see it with more flowering greenery than the first time I saw it in December. Although it definetely made it a better experience and added some much needed greenery to WDS it didn't change my overall thoughts of this land as being a mistake. I will comment more detailed on each parts during the trip report. This time decided to try one of the two attractions we would try here: RC Racer. It had a 45 minutes waiting time and we got into the waiting area and noticed how few people there was compared to waiting time the first issue with TSPL was clearer to me than ever. The loading times are HORRIBLY LONG and several times none of the attractions was in action for several minutes - I understand that the security has to be high on RC and TSPD, but they should have taken this into account as a problem when they placed this in WDS (which already has some low capacity rides and was screaming for a large capacity ride). As for the attraction itself it was actually really funny, but still not worth the wait due to the very short ride time and only lightly themed queue line, which I will comment more on later. BUT great and funny ride!

The last attraction before WDS closed would be our favorite of this park - Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. The first of 8 times on this attraction. Everything was working and I must say that this is easily the best addition to the Paris resort since the opening of the original Space Mountain. It has everything that you expect from a true WDI E-Ticket attraction: creativity, thrill (yet not the main thing), imagination, state-of-art technology and most important: STORYTELLING. I am so happy that I decided to try this last summer, as it is now easily on my top 7 attractions in the resort!

We headed back to the hotel for a quick change of clothes (the weather was nice, but the sun wasn't shining so the evening would be a bit cold (app. 15 degrees) and to collect my tripod.

Tomorrow I will be back with part 2, which will include the evening of the 26th of July (including the main attraction of the night - The Enchanted Fireworks)

To be continued....


Please visit my DLP website: www.dlp-photos.com

[size=150]Trip report from August 2014[/size]

Martin B

Great report so far.

Can I ask what Tower of Terror is like as a ride. We chickened out on it last time. What are the restraints like? I heard they are just pull across seatbelts.

Hope you can help me.

Martin :0)
@DisneyMart - Follow me on twitter and I\'ll tweet live from Disneyland Paris and other Disney locations on our magical adventures... www.twitter.com/DisneyMart


Quote from: "Martin  B"Great report so far.

Can I ask what Tower of Terror is like as a ride. We chickened out on it last time. What are the restraints like? I heard they are just pull across seatbelts.

Hope you can help me.

Martin :0)

Hi Martin

and thanks... Yes, the restraints are just pull across seatbelts..

[spoiler:3egxxbnn]The ride itself is divided into two parts

1. The storytelling part where you travel in your elevator to two rooms building the story of your elevator being taken into the twilight zone. These two scenes include fantastic special effects and WDI storytelling as you know it from classics like Phantom Manor, Pirates of the Caribbean and Big Thuner Mountain.

2. The actual drop ride part, which is very thrilling and gives you an adrenaline kick. Each drop part is different but they consist of a drop at first then an "upwards drop" then another drop followed by the floating drop, where you are pushed up only to be dropped right away. During this drop you really are weightless and you can feel as everything in the elevator lifts from the floor/seats - this is a thrilling but fantastically funny feeling. It ends by going up once again allowing the second view over the park before the final drop and end of the story.[/spoiler:3egxxbnn]

I was close to chicken out last summer too and my heart was pounding the first time I tried, but I have not regretted it once since then :D

Please visit my DLP website: www.dlp-photos.com

[size=150]Trip report from August 2014[/size]

Martin B

Hi Nicolai.

Thanks for your answer!

Look forward to reading part 2.

Martin  :thumbs:
@DisneyMart - Follow me on twitter and I\'ll tweet live from Disneyland Paris and other Disney locations on our magical adventures... www.twitter.com/DisneyMart


Awesome trip report - nice pictures, the tiltshift one of the Toy Story playland is really good. (Y)  Can't wait for part 2. =]
31st Aug - 1st Sept 2010 = Kyriad Torcy (First Time <3)
11th - 14th July 2011 = New York Hotel
2nd - 4th Aug 2011 = Kyriad Torcy
31st Oct 2011 = Day Trip
13th March 2012 (Disneyland Cal)
10th - 13th April 2012= Hotel L'Elysée
30th May - 1st June 2012 = Hotel L'Elysée
31st Oct - 1st Nov 2012 = Residence Prestige
18th - 20th July 2013 - Residence Prestige
9th -11th Nov 2013 = Hotel L'Elysée (First Christmas Trip!)
Coming soon:
29th April - 1st May = Hipark Serris.


Part 2 - 26th of July 2011:

After the quick walk back to the hotel to collect the tripod and some clothes we were back in Disneyland Park for a night, which would most of all be about taking photos. To this purpose I had taken my new wide angle Nikkor lens, which offered me fantastic possibilities for the night time photos of the fireworks, the castle and Main Street U.S.A.

However, we were getting quite hungry, so we headed towards Bella Notte at 8 PM. We remembered that last year this was the only restaurant in Fantasyland and Adventureland that was open at this time of the day, due to these lands closing on 10 PM for the fireworks. It turned out later though that this was not the case this year. I got the Pizza Royal and Kristian the Pasta Napolitaine - not a gourmet treat, but a solid fast food meal ;)

I wanted to explore a bit with my new lens before getting in front of the castle for the fireworks and we ended up visiting my two favorite Fantasyland attractions: Alice's Curious Labyrinth and It's a Small World. First we were off to visit Alice and trying to get to the Queen's Castle. The labyrinth looked quite bright and it reasonable state and it had a special feeling as we were walking it at dusk with some special light coming through the bushes creating a true Wonderland atmosphere ;) All the effects were turned on and quite a few people actually walked around in it with queues evolving at several of the photo points.

After a lovely stroll in the labyrinth we went to try Pinocchio and Snow White as we hadn't tried them last year and I really feel you should try them once every trip for a trip to be complete. While in line for Pinocchio it closed due to technical difficulties, so we only managed to try Snow White at this time, which of course got a lot bigger queue when Pinocchio closed. The attraction was looking really bright and all effects were working except the mine cart driving towards you in the mine scene - I suppose this too was a result of the BTM accident, although I then wondered how come the the "tipping rock" in the final scene was turned on - this is practically the exact same effect as the one involved in the BTM accident. Hmm, weird - but I was happy to see this effect working.

Now it was time for It's a Small World - I love this attraction. It's an original Walt Disney creation, a colorful storytelling journey with a simple yet very important message.

[spoiler:axh89f8v]For one thing I actually found it more important than ever riding it just 4 days after the horrible events in Norway, which were done by a man, who wanted to "save" the world from mixing cultures. This attraction is about the exact opposite - we can and we should learn from each other - when all comes down to all we are the same :)[/spoiler:axh89f8v]

Well, that spoiler was getting a bit too political for a magical trip report ;) The attraction looked really bright and I was immediately absorbed into the atmosphere. I actually believed that many of the dolls had been given new clothes and uniforms - I have now seen on older pictures that this wasn't the case. Yet this is still a sign of how bright and shining it was.

When we got out the time was about 9.40 PM and we decided to find a spot to watch the fireworks from. The hub show had just finished so the space around the stage was almost all clear and I got a fantastic spot from which I could take photos of the fireworks. We wouldn't be able to see Fantillusion, but decided that this was okay as we had seen it last year. As it was getting darker and darker the amount of guests increased with several people standing next to us expecting to see the parade going right in front of them. One poor CM was given the task of keeping people away from the stage and flower beds surrounding it - let's just say she had quite a task to complete as people kept trying to stand in there - luckily they were removed very quickly each time.

As the parade was emerging people (not just children) were standing on the benches right next to us. I could accept it for the parade as they were unable to see it otherwise and at one time a little boy was up there and I noticed how he just looked around Central Plaza with the biggest smile on his face - he was totally taken away to another world and as was I as I remembered my childhood memories and imagined the hopefully future ones with my own family. The same sights bringing that much joy to both a little boy and a grown-up as me - Disneyland has no age-limit!

The parade was rolling by with wonderful soundtrack and I got to see top of each float and the simple yet beautiful use of the tower in the parade show stops. When the parade ended people naturally were gathering closer to the Central Plaza stage in order to see the Enchanted Fireworks. The children and grown-ups next to me (remember they were first in line) was still standing on the bench disturbing both my photos and more importantly the view of those people standing right next to them - I tried to make it clear that maybe they should just stay on the ground and the people behind them said very loud and clear "I cannot see a thing with them standing there". However, they didn't move at all and stood there through the complete fireworks display - UNBELIEVABLE!!

This was the second time I watched the Enchanted Fireworks - last year we too saw it on the first evening and then saw it from aboard BTM on the rest of trip. Last year we were hard to impress having just seen a huge record-breaking fireworks display in our home city of Aalborg - but this year I was able to fully appreciate the show. It is not a very big display but the finesse and beautiful score from Alan Menken still makes it a fantastic Disney worthy show, which for me outclasses Wishes and in many ways the New Year's Eve display I saw in december (of course that was bigger, but in no way as classy as Enchanted Fireworks) - A magical way to end the first of four amazing nights :D

Before exiting the park I walked around Central Plaza, Main Street U.S.A and Fantasia Gardens to take some photos - Disneyland is a very beautiful place at day but it is even more beautiful at night. You get goosebumps at every corner and people who are not getting in a good mood by seeing these sights, should go get themselves checked :lol: ;)

Back at the hotel, however, the day got a sad end, as I noticed I had forgotten my iPad on the bus in Paris. I contacted my parents and asked them to contact Eurolines in Paris as I had no number to call them on. Since Paris was the last stop and we were some of the very last people to leave the bus I was still quite confident it would be found, and I wouldn't let it ruin a perfect first day!

Hopefully the next update will be here already later this evening :)

To be continued with part 1 of the 27th of July including a fantastic comeback of Tarzan among many other things...


Please visit my DLP website: www.dlp-photos.com

[size=150]Trip report from August 2014[/size]


Great report and photos as always :-)
Hope you got your ipad back.
4 trips to DLP, 3 to WDW, 1 to Disneyland California