12th - 16th Trip!

Started by Martha86, September 11, 2007, 07:34:17 PM

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Hey everyone!

I'm back from the Magic now and had an amazing time as usual. On Wednesday 12th September, we got the 9.37am Eurostar directly to Marne-La-Vallee Chessy station and arrived at half one local time. After checking our baggage with the Magical Express service, we went straight into the Disneyland Park, stopping to take millions of pictures on the way. The park was very quiet so we headed for Phantom Manor. (This has become like a tradition for us, as the first time we went to DLP, this was our first attraction and it broke down...so we always do it first!) Anyway, the wait was about 2 minutes and spooks didn't 'temporarily interrupt our visit' which was nice!

The week is a bit of an excited blur but we managed to do a lot of attractions on Wednesday, despite the park only being open til 7pm. I thought it was a bit stupid having Candleabration at 7pm because it was still very light and the show was wasted because of this. Never mind, we still looked around the shops, did things like Big Thunder Mountain, Space Mountain, Indiana Jones, Pinocchio, Snow White, the Carousel and It's a Small World with minimal queues (nothing more than about 15mins) We went back to the Newport Bay Club to check in and were really impressed with it from a decorative point of view. It was very grand and vastly different to the Sequoia Lodge, which we usually stay in. Our room was 2139 on the same floor as the check in desk - so the walk was easy enough with our cases! The Bay Boutique was really nice and had a lot of merchandise in. Our room was on a corner, overlooking the side of the lake but a giant tree was in our way so we couldn't physically see it. Ah well! It had 2 double beds, a TV (all the usual stuff) a toilet with a bath and shower and postcards in the bedside cabinet. Our minibar was locked which was a bit stupid and as we didn't bring credit cards, only cash, we couldn't be bothered to ask for it to be opened. Unfortunately, there was a tampon inside our 'Buffalo Bill' show information that is stood on the table. It was unopened (thank god) but nasty none the less. We figured that because the hotel was so big, they had either rushed our room or just not done a thorough enough clean. Eww.

Anyway, we tried to make a reservation at Cafe Mickey for that night but it was apparently fully booked so we went to La Grange above Billy Bob's instead. The buffet was really nice and had a variety of food for everyone. There were things like salads, fish, red meat and white meat, chicken wings, fajitas, chili con carne, pasta, ravioli, gratinated potatoes, crisps, LOTS of cakes and pies for dessert which were very good and sweets (oh, and mini dougnuts) I think it was only 25 Euro's for the buffet and we had orange with caramel syrup cocktails in plastic souvenir cocktail shakers which were only another 5 or so Euro's. We did a lot of window shopping in the village and went to bed. Our breakfast was at half seven because we had heard that the Newport Bay at breakfast was like a fight to the death - but it was very quiet and we sat in the window of the Yacht Club and the rest of the days we had breakfast in our hotel were fine aswell - quiet and everyone was very civilized. There was a little bit more in terms of breakfast in this hotel compared to Sequoia Lodge (unless they have changed it since christmas) as there were olives and different cheeses rather than just cheddar and gouda. I certainly couldn't stomach olives at 7.30am anyway.

On Thursday, we managed to do a lot more attractions such as Star Tours, watched the Character Express, the Once Upon a Dream Parade which was excellent (also, it was scented which was impressive!) Space Mountain, Pirates of the Carribbean which broke down and then all the lights came on and the music went off. So we got to see everything which was different! We also went on Autopia and I nearly knocked a cast member over who was stood on the side of the track waving at us...I think our car was a dodgy one hehe! We did Peter Pan aswell, the queue was about 30mins (displayed) but in reality was only about 20. It's such a sweet ride, I like it a lot. It was so hot that we didn't mind waiting in queues that were shaded - the weather was lovely but DLP has a lot of 'open' spaces and being Brits, we can't handle the heat very well! We had hot dogs for lunch from Casey's Corner; thanks to whoever recommended them - they were really nice and only about 4.80 each! We filmed the parade and went back to the hotel when the park closed aar 7pm. We had dinner reservations at Cafe Mickey for half eight but we asked about their pizza and when they said they didn't do it anymore - we cancelled. Apparently their wood burning oven has been taken away and a lot of the menu was either pasta or red meat. (Or salad...but I don't really want to eat salad on holiday) We ended up going to Planet Hollywood and had a really nice meal in there which was about 30 euro's each for three courses and two drinks. In the evening, we went for a walk around the lake and then went back to our hotel after shopping in the village.

Friday we had booked Good Morning Fantastyland and ususally, it's in the Chalet au de Marionette and we go straight in but this time, there was a queue back to the carousel and it was a fight to the death. There were people pushing in, snatching from bread baskets as the staff were refilling them, pouring croissants and bread from the baskets onto their trays (like about 15 rolls at a time) and being generally rude and very neanderthal about it. You'd have thought they had never seen food before. We did a couple of other attractions in the park as it opened to avoid queues, such as Dumbo and then headed over to the Studios. There, we managed to do Rock n' Rollercoaster about 3 times in a row as the queue was 5mins, watched the Disney Cinema Parade, did Crush (40 mins queue was displayed but we timed it and it was only 20mins) Over the next 2 days (Sat & Sunday) we did Animagique, Cinemagique - which had an excellent jazz band playing on stage before it began, the stunt show, Cars Race Rally, Crush twice more, Rock n' Rollercoaster a lot more, Flying Carpets, Studio Tram Tour, Alpha Bet You Are - which was a little odd, watched High School Musical on tour, Armageddon, Nautilus, The Legend of the Lion King, Winnie the Pooh and Friends Too - basically, the only things we didn't get done were Orbitron (left it til the weekend and the queues were never less than 40 mins so just could not be bothered as we have done it before) Candleabration (We saw it, but it was in the light; so the 'turning on of the candles' wasn't visible) Alice's Labyrinth - we went to do it twice but it was shut the first time due to a technical fault and the 2nd time there was a huge queue.

Foodwise, I noticed that a lot of menu's have changed and are far more suited to European cuisine. For example, one restaurant served something with a name like 'Pearls of Japan with sea foam and octopus ink sauce'. I didn't know what it was, but I wasn't going to eat it. The pizza's from Cafe Mickey were gone which was a shame - we ate at Planet Hollywood, La Grange, The Steakhouse (which was really good actually) Walts and had to cancel the Lucky Nugget on Sunday as I got sick (possibly from ice in my drinks, I don't know - us Brits + foreign water = ill) There were some really nice little buns in the shape of Mickey's head full of chocolate - like Brioche. The menu in California Grill was a bit disappointing aswell; a lot of red meat and seafood. The upside to all this foreign cuisine was the desserts. I could have eaten every dessert in every restaurant there - I was just very unsure about things like Foie Gras, Veal, Scallops, Octopus ink, Ostrich and the white sausages in King Ludwigs! If you're adventurous with food, it's excellent. I am to a certain extent but everyone has limits!!!

The Downsides -
We upgraded to Newport Bay after alwasys staying in Sequoia Lodge but it didn't feel much like an upgrade. It didn't have the 'Disney Magic' and there were a lot of suits about. Too many business men. We avoided our bar and went over to Sequoia Lodge's, which has a much friendlier atmosphere. It was a bit too impersonal and didn't feel like a Disney Hotel to us - just like a hotel. If I had a family, I certainly wouldn't book into the Newport. Sequoia Lodge every time for us - it's unbeatable in terms of service, rooms, location and atmosphere.

Our stay included Saturday and Sunday which was a bit of a nightmare. The queue for Crush on both days was 120 mins and didn't change for the majority of the day. My advice is, if the queue line begins just before or just after where you go through the turnstile - ignore what it says on the board because it will be about a 25min wait and no more. It was always 45/40mins when we went on it but never topped 25. If you're there on a weekday - it should be ok at anytime (try when the parade is on or near the end of the day when people start to go back to the other park) or if you have to go on a weekend day, get to the front of the queue for the opening of the studios and leg it over to Crush) No one wants to spend 2hrs of their day in a queue.

The choice of food - if you don't want to eat fast food - which we didn't - and aren't overly keen on trying something you're not sure you'll like, you might be hard pushed to find something. There was usually one chicken dish and one kind of pasta on each menu so it was a bit restricting. The Buffets were excellent but are all very similar so end up eating much of the same thing.

Rude Spanish people. I know it sounds awful, but everytime - at breakfast, pushing in queues, yelling at staff, using their pushchairs and children as excuse to barge in regardless of lines or restrictions. All the other countries can seem to conduct themselves in a great manner but the people that behave badly everytime we go always seem to be Spanish.

The English girl on the promo tv channel for the 'top 10 things to know before you go'. Nobody ever says 'SORTED'. She can't speak properly and makes us look like a bunch of football hooligans with bad pronounciation and cockney accents.

Space Mountain as it felt a damn lot more rickety than it has done ever before!

The Upsides

The shopping, the lack of queues during the week, the staff, Sequoia Lodge's bar and the Mr. Jones hot chocolate in there, the EU Jetski open on the Lake from 14th-16th, the cleanliness of the park, the music and attention to detail. Oh, also to the French people who tolerated my attempts to speak French albeit very shoddily.

We went with 400 (or thereabouts) euro's each and came back with 5. I bought a scarf and gloves with Minnie's silhouette on, a minnie purse with a long string and a 40's clasp, mugs, pint glasses, biscuits, pens, photo albums, 15th anniversary stuff - thermos, photo frame and album, 15th anniversary CD which is very entertaining! A lot of nice things really! The snowglobes were lovely, especially the ones in Harringtons.

Overall :-

Although there are a lot more characters about (in the parades and on the character express etc) we only got photo's with Cruela De Vil and Stitch as the queues were huge if you wanted to wait or there were big swarms of people around them all fighting for attention and you can't really push in front of a child to get a picture for yourself.
Crush was excellent. I didn't expect to go outside on the ride that soon after getting on. The first drop was excellent and I think some carts spin more than others. It feels better in terms of 'that feeling in your stomach' if you sit facing backwards. Frontwards, you get to see more in the 'dark ride' section. It's an exellent rollercoaster - really comfortable and smooth.

Cars was a lot more exciting than it looked, it's a shame it doesn't travel over the 2nd big turntable but it was great none the less.

Can't wait to go back now, we are planning to go before March to use tickets I won in the 15th Ans competition!


great report thanks, can't wait til tomorrow
dlp nov 98, feb 99, sept 07, sept 2008
wdw 95,97,2000,2002,2005


20 mins for Crush? :shock: I think that's a record :P I will remember that tip about the queue going past the turnstyles on Wednesday when I go :wink:

Great trip report! :D


that is a good tip thanks
dlp nov 98, feb 99, sept 07, sept 2008
wdw 95,97,2000,2002,2005

The Butlin Boy

It's good to hear that you had a great time :)


Glad you had a great time Martha. :D  So will you be staying in Sequoia in March?

October 2001-Santa Fe
June 2002-New York
August 2006-Sequoia
October 2007-Sequoia
August 2010- Newport Bay Admiral Floor
August 2013- Newport Bay Admirals Floor
August 2014 - WDW! Art of Animation Resort
August 2017- Newport Bay Compass Club


very nice report, sounds like you had a great time.
Oh Boy ! \":mickey2:\"