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  1. #1

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    The Baloos in DLP May 23rd - 30th 2009

    Overall we had a fantastic trip despite being sick for a bit of it and needing to see a doctor (who was great) and some hiccups at the resort highlighted within the report. But the sun was shining, the attractions were in great shape (including the Labrynth), there was some wonderful streetmousphere. The cast were 1st rate and the crowds were low.

    I thought Playhouse Disney Live was excellent (as did the kids) and Stars and Cars was a fantastic addition. MMP was not great (but the dancers were, and it was better than I feared) and the Stitch Show - well as soon as this leaves, I will be very happy.

    Cast members were great, but the staggered opening and closing hours of attractions were not. I will be writing a letter about that.

    Rock N Rollercoaster, Pirates of the Caribbean, Phantom Manor etc. were almost like new! food was good (but the Euro exchange rate is killing us here in the UK)

    Read on for a day by day report and pictures.
    Let's put the Walt back in Disney!





  2. #2

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    Re: The Baloos in DLP May 23rd - 30th 2009

    The weather on Saturday was in the high 60's (19/20 C) with a smattering of rain. We took an easy ride down. After driving from Bedfordshire to the tunnel, we had some time to check out the terminal where they had a Jaguar display, including the enemy car from the last Bond film and an E-Type Jag from the Le Mans 24 hour race.

    Also, a great deal right now, one free 1 day 2 park hopper ticket to Disneyland paris worth 60 euro ($90 US) if you have a Eurotunnel crossing.

    After an a picnic in the channel tunnel, we took a leisurely drive down, first stopping in Arras, where a lovely wedding took place with a great horse and carriage. Then a stop in the storybook village of Pierrefonds.

    We arrived at the resort to be welcomed home at about 5. We were allocated villa 2003. a wonderful villa overlooking the main pool, with a very short walk to the kids club and the playground! It has been newly refurbed with a new couch, and 3 new flat screen TV's, with the parking right out front. We had a little trouble with the air con on the 2nd night, but a call and they sorted it quickly. Great job too since it was in the 90's (originally forecast as 72 a couple of days ago).

    After arriving and unpacking, off into the car and 5 minutes later we were in the Val d'Europe. We had a great chinese (we love this place) at La Terrase in the mall. For 52 euro ($75, we had 3 portions of dim sum, 2 portions of rice, 1 portion of noodles, 2 sweet and sour pork and one pineapple chicken - 2 chinese teas and 3 juices - so not bad for this neck of the woods and good food).

    We then went to the Auchan to stock up the villa for some of the week - and tried some cheap (under 3 euro bottles of wine). Lol.

    Here are the photos of the way down (you do not need to be a Facebook User to see)

    David Loyd-Hearn's Photos - On the way to disneyland paris | Facebook
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  3. #3

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    Re: The Baloos in DLP May 23rd - 30th 2009

    1st Day in the parks:

    After getting the kids (Mikey is 6 and Jess will be 4 next week) to bed for about 11:00pm (late after a 4:30 am start). We were not far behind.

    We didn't bother to set an alarm after such a long travel day.

    The kids got us up at about 7:30, so up we got and the kids had a bath in the huge soaking tub, and the adults had showers. I went to the shop on site for fresh Bagattes, Pain au chocolat, Pain au raisin, and pain de pomme for breakfast.

    Off to the park (the latest I have ever gone, but we unpacked in the morning, and my MIL tends to slow us down.

    Into Disneyland and off to the Annual Pass office to get one for my MIL. BTW - for any Tuggers that are Disney fans, this is the way to do it if staying at the Marriott Village. A Dream Pass is 189 euros (170 for us as we got a discount as my nuclear family already have an AP). There are no blackout days, free parking (worth 8 euro $12 a day), 20% off merchandise, 10% off food, free apparetif at table service (worth 9 euro $13.50) and free wheelchair/stroller rental.

    The queue had about 40 people in it, so as we are here all week, we decided to go back during the parade time while it was likely to be quieter.

    We got in the park for just after 11. The queue for the annual passes was massive. So we went on It's a Small World which was a walk on (only counted 12 effects out of action) - for newbies, this is our fav version, so cartoon characters, and a great dedication to North America; then on to Pirates of the Caribbean. PotC was nearly a walk on, and almost all the effects were working (except the duelling pirates). wonderful as always. We then had a lovely stroll through adventure isle and followed up with a boogie and photo session with my pals, the African drummers.

    Our tummies were rumbling a little, so we popped to Cowboy cookout BBQ for lunch. We had chilli and corn bread to start (very rare in Europe), followed by the mixed platter of ribs, bbq quarter of chicken, veal sausage, and potatoes, followed by dessert (we got Key Lime Pie, Apple Crumble and Churros and shared - again KLP and churros are very rare in Northern Europe). we had ice tea to drink. As we started our dessert, the fantastic international cajun/country group came on and we loved their set as always!

    Now, there was a little rumour on a certain site that Stitch Encounter might be closed most of the week (it was incorrect). We hopped it over to the Walt Disney Studios and grabbed a session with Stitch, which was hillarious as always. As we got out, we sat down for a drink and a breather, and Donald came over on a little car to say a surprise hello. The kids were delighted.

    It was really hot however, and we were exhausted. 32 degrees C (94 degrees F) was getting to us, so despite a 9pm closure, we left at about 5 and headed to the resort. We got changed and enjoyed the delights of the indoor and outdoor pool, then curled up and watched cartoons before bed! Perfect.

    David Loyd-Hearn's Photos - Day 1 at DLP May 2009 | Facebook
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  4. #4

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    Re: The Baloos in DLP May 23rd - 30th 2009

    Day 2 was another scorcher. As a result we got out early to be able to slink away if it got too hot. Off to extra magic hours for 8am (2 hours before the park opens to the general public, on site guests and Dream pass holders can enter the park for a few selected attractions - Peter Pan, Dumbo, the Carousel, the Tea Cups, Buzz Lightyear, Orbitron and Space Mountain). It means you can get a lot done before the park opens to the public.

    We drove to the main parking lot, and got to see some major maintenance. They were resurfacing the car park, and as we moved towards the parks, we saw them preparing the flower beds for replanting (as always, there was an amazing transformation by the time we returned to the car).

    Into Disneyland and off to Fantasyland, which we all loved as normal. I will only do these attractions with short queues, so with less than 10 min waits, we were laughing.

    Then into Discoveryland where my mother in law watched the kids so we could go on Space Mountain together as a couple rather than Baby switch (the first time since becoming parents). For those of you that have not been before, Space Mountain at Paris was Disney's 1st launch coaster, and the 2nd coaster to have a synchronised sountrack (Casey Jr at DLP was the 1st). And unlike the American and Asian versions, ours is a Vekomas coaster with 3 inversions, as well as great special effects. I miss the original Jules Verne style with the orchestral sound track we used to have, but this is still great. Only a 5 minute wait, and sitting at the back, because of the heat, it seemed to be going fast 1st thing in the morning. I can only imagine how it was running in the evening.

    Off to Buzz, and it was my MIL's 1st time. I miss Le Visionarium that is replaced (Like Timekeeper that Florida used to have), but the Nine Eye robot is still hidden in the attraction. I kept my eyes peeled, but still could not see her.

    My score was not great - 193500, but I still beat everyone in my party (my record is 598000 - I cannot seem to beat it). A rest stop in Discoveryland, where I was pleased to see they have introduced another victorian electric car condiments bar. I am saddened to see that the wonderful Videopolis theatre has been been turned into a glorified cartoon cinema, but still, it is better than sitting empty I suppose.

    By this time, the park was well and truly open and the crowds were starting to build. Surprisingly it was busier than the Sunday. we got in line for Star Tours which was at a 25 minute wait. As always, we enjoyed our attempted journey to the Forest Moon of Endor. You would think that after all these years, they would stop using rookie pilots

    Next over to Frontierland to see what the wait for Big Thunder was like. At 50 minutes at 11:30, we thought fastpasses were in order. At this point we were getting a little hungry.

    We went over to the Silver Spur in frontierland. It is one of my fav restaurants in the area, and is modelled after the rich cattlemen's clubs of the west, and takes some reference from Virginia city in particular. Inside are pieces of art on loan from the American western museum in LA. It has a great show kitchen and wonderful meals - a frence/bbq fusion if you will.

    we popped in before it opened and made noon reservations. We then hopped over to Phantom Manor, modelled on the mansions of Virginia City (though some think it looks more like the Psycho house). Ours has a more cohesive back story that brings the story of Thunder Mesa, the mining town in Frontierland to life. Because of the languages, we have an orchestral score rather than the ghost host (which is awesome) and instead of the graveyard, we have a ghost town, with lot's of hidden in jokes in Disney history and some parts of Marc Davis's Western River Expedition thrown in (this was going to be in WDW next to Big thunder, but when East Coasters complained about no Pirates, the management back burnered WRE and built Pirates of the Caribbean instead (the most inferior version at WDW, best IMHO is a split between Disneyland and DLP).

    We then had a wonderful lunch. We started with our complementary apparetifs of Kir (blackcurrent liquer and white wine - worth 9 euro $13.50) I had a meddly of shrimp, guacamole and salsa, followed by a perfectly cooked rump steak (medium in France is like Medium rare in the US, slightly more cooked than rare in the UK), and a wonderful sundae with 5 different flavour ice creams and sorbets/sherberts, as well as a dark chocolate hourseshoe and an expresso. Sarah had a chicken ceaser salad, the steak and a pecan chocolate cake. Nana had the chicken ceaser, maple seared salmon, and a tequila and lime creme brullee. The children shared a steak hash with potatoes, salad and fruit salad. We opted to not have a bottle of wine to reduce the costs a little. Once the discount was applied, it was 88 euro ($122). the service and food as always was excellent. But poor Mikey, fell asleep at the table and didn't wake up until we were at the car a little while later. Because he was asleep, we missed Big Thunder Mountain.

    We walked slowly to Main Street and saw the new Mickey's Magical Party. It is definately not my cup of tea, and my 3 year old daughter was board of it too. But I was pleased with the enthusiasm and talent of the dancers, the way Mickey leaves the stage is cool and Jessica loved catching a golden streamer as a souvenir. I had very LOW expectations of this show, but it was not as bad as I feared. I would never specifically try to see it, but to stumble on it is ok. Personally I would rather have more streetmousphere such as the return of the barbershop quartet and the Main Street Vehicles.

    Proceeding down Main Street, we then watched Minnie's toon train go past. My daughter smiled and waved, but when I asked if she wanted to see them, she said not really. The kids have a similar opinion as there father. the characters are a pleasant diversion, but not what the Disney park experiences are about (and like their Dad, they love the themed atmosphere and entertainment).

    we headed back to the car for 4 to get a little rest before the owner's reception at 6. It was very hot, so we enjoyed a DVD in the air conditioned environment. Then changed for the party.

    As it was so hot and sunny, they opened the pool bar. On offer were red, white, and rose wine (nice too) as well as Orange Juice. Then they brought chicken, fish and onion rings around.

    We had a great chat with the duty manager - who sorted out some issues we were having in the villa, and they are all fixed by the time we returned home.

    I had a chance to practice my german with one of the activity team, so that was fun. The kids played with the toys and we played giant chess too.

    And we met a lovely family from the UK who also bought for the same reason as us, huge Disney fans but saw they could take it slower, enjoy the resort, and the rest of what France could offer. We chatted and swapped advice on MVCI and the area, and it was lovely to meet them. Their cute daughters also got on well with the kids. I like most MVCI owners I have met around the globe.

    What is interesting is they are focussing most of the sales activity for our resort now in the middle east. Apparently that is where the best sales are right now. there is only a skelleton sales staff on site now like at Marbella (apperantly they are nearly sold out).

    We had a lovely time, but Mikey's hayfever started to play up. But Nana kindly took the children back to the villa. We continued talking and then explored the gorgeous Giverny garden in the resort, inspired by the works of Monet (I will get some pictures up), popped in the shop for some bread (it is twice as expensive as the Champion 1/4 mile down the road, but it is fresh and we get a 10% discount as owners.

    Then back to the villa for dinner, followed by a soak in the great tub! That night however, there was a maginificent Lightening and Thunder Storm, and the 80+ degree temps plummeted to the mid 50's by the next morning.

    David Loyd-Hearn's Photos - DLP Day2 May 2009 | Facebook
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  5. #5

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    Re: The Baloos in DLP May 23rd - 30th 2009

    Day 3 in the parks - colder and not feeling great

    The next morning we decided to spend the day at Walt Disney Studios. I woke up with a sore throat and headache, but didn't want to ruin the day. I checked the e-mail and fired off a couple of job applications before we left the villa, but I did cause us to leave about 45 minutes later than planned. After getting through security and the gates of the park, we were there for about 10:50 and headed to cinemagique for the 1st showing of the day. It was brilliant as always. For those of you who have not seen it, it is a highlight and unique to Disneyland Paris. It won an international award for excellence, and it is a wonderful love story, a tribute to international cinema (with a large emphasis on European contributions) and some live effects. If it can keep a 3 year old and a 6 year old rivetted to their seats, and have two 30's somethings (who have seen it countless times) and a 60 something in tears, and an audience applauding throughtout, you know it is good!

    After Cinemagique we grabbed some Fastpasses to Tower of Terror (not the same as WDW's, but very similar to Disney's California Adventure's. This is my favorite version and has a great view over the most beautiful Disney resort in the world.

    We watched a little of High School Musical, and the energy was very high! Even Goofy decided to dance around in the background rather than just sign autographs.

    Off to Moteurs Action. This is one of my favorite attractions in the whole world. It was directed by Remy Julianne who was the stunt cooridinator in the Bond films, the original Italian Job and the Indy films. It was overcast when we arrived and we were sitting near the front. About 2 minutes before the show, the skies opened, and it rained. we got a little cold and wet (after the real heat of the previous days, it was not pleasant). Sitting in it for an hour was interesting. But it was during this time I had even more respect for the people at disney. the show went on, and all of them were very professional. I was worried the show might be cancelled, but they carried on, and did all the car and bike stunts in the rain, simply adjusting their stopping distances. As a motor head, I was even more impressed than usual. WOW. And then, they really shocked me. they pulled all the strollers and push chairs under cover to keep them dry. Very Disney! I have alost a lot of faith over the years as they have dumbed things down in the parks, but this was a fantastic touch. Well done.

    Given the weather and me not feeling great, we skipped tower of Terror as everywhere that was dry for the family to wait were packed with people.

    so we headed out to Annette's for lunch.

    Well I say lunch, more like an early dinner really. Annette's is a 50's diner, dedicated to Annette Funicello, the mousekateer. The waiters and waitresses are on roller skates, and the food is typical soda fountain fair (hard to get in europe).

    As a boy growing up in California, we had a place similar called Meryl's, so it does have some great memories. Plus for DLP, it is somewhat reasonable priced. We went here under the auspices that a milk shake would be good for my throat

    I had the greatest hits - a chicken burrito, mini (re normal) cheese burger, and a chilli cheese dogs with fries and a chocolate shake. My darling wife had the same. The MIL had a chicken sandwich and a cherry Sprite followed a Strawberry Milkshake. The kids shared chicken and fries with coke and an ice cream covered in hot fudge and smarties. The bill with out discount came to 87 euro ($130).

    It had stopped raining, but it did not seem like for long, so we headed back to the resort via the Champion Grocery Store in Bailly Romanvilliers (about 1/4 - 1/2 mile from the villa). we grabbed a few sundries. I was feeling really ill by this point and went to bed at 5. I woke up and had a soaky bath and finished Twighlight finally (good book, though a bit teen girly). Feeling worse as each hour went on. Off to sleep. Kids were happy playing DS and watching DVD's, the ladies used the Jacuzzi and then read.

    David Loyd-Hearn's Photos - DLP Day 3 | Facebook
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  6. #6

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    Re: The Baloos in DLP May 23rd - 30th 2009

    Day 4 - Dr's Housecall and chill out with Marriott

    The plan was to go to DLP for Extra Magic Hours this morning (Wednesday), but the best laid plans of mice and men. I woke up with a closed and inflamed throat, barely able to swallow. we decided to seek medical attention.

    The resort were great and sorted a doctor. He made a house call at about 9:30 and was far more thorough than a Doc in the UK - checked my throat, ears, heart, lungs, blood pressure ( it was low, I take pills for hypertension - it is obvious that MVCI and Disney are good for my BP). He then prescribed three sets of meds and bed rest for a day (I am cheating right now, I should be in bed). He was amazing, and helpful. Although he spoke English, we tried in French so I could improve! He said although the region has much to offer, vacations should be for relaxing - and he commented that the Marriott Village was a great place to relax! 50 Euros ($75) for the housecall and 27 Euro ($40) on the meds. All reclaimable on our travel insurance.

    So I read, played Nintendo DS and slept today. The kids enjoyed face painting, jewelry making, and Nintendo wii in the Kids club, while my darling wife and MIL enjoyed the sauna, steam room, pool and Jacuzzi. So although I felt a little guilty, I did not ruin their vacation.

    this evening, after trying some french onion soup and brioche, we were visited by a family of swans who we fed, however, later they were literly knocking on the door wanting some more. We videoed it, I will put it on line. Funny stuff.

    David Loyd-Hearn's Photos - Sick day at DLP - enjoy the resort time for family | Facebook
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  7. #7

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    Re: The Baloos in DLP May 23rd - 30th 2009

    Thursday at DLP

    I felt a little better, but decided to soldier on for the sake of the family. We arrived at Disneyland for 8:20am, a little later than we hoped, but still a little over an hour and half before the park opened to the general public. The kids got a lot of attention as Mikey was dressed as Buzz Lightyear and Jessica as Cinderella.

    As we came through the gate, I was really pleased to see the Main Street Vehicles were in operation! Now forgive me if I am easily pleased, but to me as a child this used to always symbolise I had arrived at the park. At DLP, between 2 years of 15th anniversary events and now Mickey's Magical Party, it is rare to see the vehicles out. So we hopped on to the top deck of the Omnibus (an old fashioned double decker) for a ride to the hub. What a great start to a great (in places) day.

    Into Discoveryland, first ride of the day was Buzz, which I won, but I was not happy with the score. Needed to come back later. As we rolled off, Space Mountain had a 5 minute wait, so nana took the kids back on Buzz, while Sarah and I ran for a trip to space. all the effects were working and it felt smooth. It's been a long time since we had such a good trip!

    We met back up with the family, and as we walked towards Fantasyland, I freaked out with excitement to see the Horse Drawn street car! Silly I know, but it is one of my favorite attractions and I was very sad when Hong Kong Disneyland opened without one. I was worried it was to fortell the fate of this very Disney attraction. We hopped on of course.

    We enjoyed a lovely sedate ride down Main Street and Jess was thrilled as she loves horses. we hopped off at Town Square, patted the Belgian Percheron and as we started to walk back, the Ombibus arrived again. This time, we were able to ride up front with the driver, which was a real thrill for the kids (and me, I must admit). I could not believe how much I was enjoying my day despite feeling rough.

    We walked through le Chateau de la Belle au Bois Dormant (Sleeping Beauty's Castle) and Jessica was beaming when she recognised the music. Onto Peter Pan with a 25 minute wait already?!!! Luckily although that was the posted wait, it was closer to 15. As we got off, the park opened, and the teens and 20 somethings were bolting for the coasters.

    we headed off to Pinocchio as it was opening and came out in time for Sleeping Beauty's greetings, where the courtiers and the royal couple waltzed around the castle forecourt. The costumes were great, and the medieval dancing was great. My son was a little bored, but Jess was enchanted. And then when we took a photo with 4 of the courtiers, she felt like a princess.

    On to Snow White (which opened at 11 - one of the things I hate at DLP are the staggered opening and closings without any warning - I never remember that in my childhood in the states, and at DL in Anaheim, it only seems to happen for fireworks - Labrynth 11-3, Nautilus 12:30 - 2:30, Autopia opening at 11:30, half of Discoveryland closing 1-2 hours before the rest of the park - and none of this was printed anywhere, you only found out when you went to the attractions - not good, bad times).

    We enjoyed another ride through It's a Small World followed by a trip through Alice's Curious Labrynth which was in great shape, the best I have seen it in for maybe 10 years! Good times.

    As we popped out, the kids proclaimed their hunger and asked for Fish and Chips. Normally I try to steer them towards non English food when we are away, but fish sounded like it would not hurt my throat (especially as they serve soup too), plus it had been 17 years since I had been in Toad Hall at DLP. Instead of a ride, in Paris we have a highly themed counter service restaurant.

    The food was ok and of a good value. I was disappointed that the Creme of Tomato was actually powdered soup though. In previous times, it is no wonder we stuck to table service restaurants, where the quality is excellent. Despite trying to visit on a budget, in the future, I think we may stick to the table service or just the BBQ/Mexican choices.

    After a bite, it was on to the train in Fantasyland for a trip around the Magic Kingdom (we met a lovely swiss family and had a natter - well I did, the girls all seemed to nap). I was very happy we were sat directly behind the engine and tender, so we were able to see it blow off steam and take on water in Frontierland Station.

    After a 45 minute wait, we enjoyed a ride on Big Thunder Mountain, with the kids screaming with glee! due to the bacteria problem on the Rivers of the Far West, I did miss the waterfalls however.

    We had just enough time to find a reasonable position for the 4:15 parade, but the park was very busy. We ended up in the hub and the kids seemed to enjoy it very much. Jessica is really getting into the princesses now, so she adored the last float in particular and was very pleased we got the show stop with them to see them dance.

    I was disappointed that the bungee marrionettes no longer exist on the Pinocchio! They were my favorite part. Also I could not smell the floats, but that could be the fact I was unwell. And the kids were really thrilled they caught one of the streamers from the parade. Good times.

    Mikey wanted to visit the dragon in the dungeon, which is often a highpoint of our trip. When we went in, people were pushing and shoving (not cool), and the dragon was not in good shape - his mouth and eyes were broken. I hope they fix him soon as he is one of the coolest things in an park anywhere.

    We then popped into the 3 Fairies Candy Shop for some cotton candy, which the kids adored as always. Mikey and I took turns pretending to be Santa Claus with a cotton candy beard.

    We made a wish in Snow White's wishing well enroute to Discoveryland as Nana wanted to see Honey I shrunk the Audience. Sadly, the last show was at 5:00 (no warning). So we got in the longest line of the day for Autopia, the little cars the kids can drive. A 50 minute wait, but the way the kids love it makes it worth while.

    One last chance to go on Buzz (I got a good score this time - 415,300) and then the park closed! We managed to say goodbye to Mickey Mouse on the way out, then back to the car.

    At the villa, we had pasta for dinner and used up some of the yogurts and chocolate mouses we bought for dessert. Sarah enjoyed the pool and spa while I put the photos on the PC

    David Loyd-Hearn's Photos - Day 5 at DLP May 2009 | Facebook
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  8. #8

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    Re: The Baloos in DLP May 23rd - 30th 2009

    Last day at the parks

    Well our penultimate day, we decided to enjoy the joys of the resort bakery. We started the day with freshly baked baguettes, croissants, pain au chocolate, pain au raisin and apple turn overs. Into the car and we were at the Studios just before opening. Sarah had never been on Crush coaster because of the rediculous waits that thing can get (we have seen 3 hours at it's worst, this week it had been running between 45 and 90 minutes.) I pushed her to get in line and we would take care of the kids (not bothering with baby switch as it would lose precious time in the am rush).

    While Sarah joined the 70 minute wait, we managed to hook up with Buzz Lightyear for a meet and greet, watch the Goodmorning Studios parade, take a spin on Cars Race Rally and get in line for Aladdin's Magic Carpets (where Mama was able to join us). Her opinion of Crush (similar to mine) - a cute addition and fun, but not worth waiting more than 30 mins.

    After getting off of the Carpets, we took a walk over to the Tram Tour and hopped on. I used to think it was better than the WDW version, but sadly they are building the new Toystory Playland and the changes they have made to accommodate it have not been great. It is still fun, but a 45 minute wait (it was posted at 25) was disaapointing.

    However, as we got off, Moteurs Action stunt show was in progress, and this is the time to grab rides. So nana and the kids sat down, had a snack and ice cream as Sarah and I were able to ride Rock N Roller Coaster (fantastic as it had been refurbed the day before and everything was working - music, light show, projections, only light smoke however) and Tower of Terror in english within a 20 minute period including waiting and ride time!!!!! Awesome. It is the first time Sarah and I have ridden the Paris Tower together as well. And to protect my throat I tried not to scream (Sarah said that was strange) and had the best cast members on both attractions.

    We popped back and had hot dogs and ice cream with the kids, and then enjoyed the new Playhouse Disney with the kids. It was excellent for the preschool set, and although I was worried Mikey might be a little old for it, he still loved it too. The puppets, the effects, the show, it was a great addition for the little ones (though I am old school and like my Disney attractions to appeal to all). But it was great, and even nana enjoyed it.

    Nana, Mikey and I visited one of my favorite attractions - Armageddon, while Jessica and mama enjoyed some time with Pluto, Goofy and High School Musical, then off to Animagique, a very cute blacklit stage show.

    We were the first in the queue, and we were joined by a wonderful surprise. Jafar came in and started flirting with Nana. This was Disney old school - no queues or autograph books, just a little unexpected fun! The show was cute and energetic as always (but really is for the younger guest). As we got out, it was a quick rest stop in Studio 1 (sadly the hands on lighting effects rig were not working) followed by a trip to the Art of Animation.

    The kids loved the hands on zoetropes and other animation toys of the past. The first film presentation has been updated to include the Pixar characters. It does not hang quite as well together as it used to, but it is still something that makes me well up. Then into Drawn to Animation where Pixar's UP was features. There were huge applause, I think this one could be big (and I cannot wait to see it). We then emptied out into the hands on exhibits (sadly 30% of the machines were broken and the animation academy was running on limited hours).

    As we emptied out, it was nearly time for Stars and Cars, and as we were waiting, we had the pleasure of meeting up with out Italian friend Andrea and our German friend Dirk. Which was great. We had a great catch up and then the new parade started. The parade is better than the one in Florida (of course they have moved the cars over here) and then culminates in a cute little show in the production courtyard, which is similar to the Golden Mickey's show at Hong Kong Disneyland/Disney Cruiseline. A great addition and it ensured there was an atmosphere in the Studios until closing time.

    a quick drive through at McD's (4.50 euro $6.75 for a happy meal - ouch) and back to the resort to pack. Our neighbours were having a party and stole our deck chairs - not cool.

    David Loyd-Hearn's Photos - Day 6 at Walt Disney Studios | Facebook
    Let's put the Walt back in Disney!





  9. #9

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    Re: The Baloos in DLP May 23rd - 30th 2009

    Our last day was brief. We got up, finished packing, and left the kids with nana playing in the playground while we loaded up and checked out. The duty manager was around and sought me out to say goodbye and ask how we enjoyed our stay.

    I asked why the clock was missing from the clocktower - apparently the wet weather of northern france played havock with the clock, so they got rid of it - such a shame, it was a nice touch.

    The IT was down, so express checkout wasn't available, but they were very swift in explaining the situation and we will take care of it through the post.

    We then were off to the Disney resort one last time for a spot of shopping. There were some nice high end (Swarovski and Walt Disney Collection) stuff, but very little of interest in a better budget. We bought a few small gifts for friends and some goodies to stash for Jessie's birthday next week, but it was mainly for nana's benefit. Shopping at DLP is certainly not what it once was. I just hope the management team blame their commissioned product lines and not the recession for their poor performance. It was great to see mouse ears on offer again though (we have gone many years without in Paris). But it was mostly for Nana's benefit we spent time in the Disney Village.

    We did enjoy some ice cream and Milk shakes al fresco at Annette's before hitting road (awesome).

    We made good time getting to Calais (3 hours - everyone slept except me) and then we enjoyed a picnic in the hills of France before the Eurotunnel terminal opened). The check in was VERY busy and the prices at the terminal for wine, beer, perfume, tobacco etc. are more expensive than the supermarkets in the UK. So not the greatest wait experience we have had.

    After an uneventful trip home, we got back very tired and very happy.

    David Loyd-Hearn's Photos - Last day at DLP going home | Facebook
    Let's put the Walt back in Disney!





  10. #10

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    Re: The Baloos in DLP May 23rd - 30th 2009

    Conclusions

    It was a real mixed bag of the good, and some areas for improvement. Most of the Marriott experience was excellent, and the only issues were some of the other guests at the resort. It does have a slightly different feel as there are more renters. We had some noisy, dirty neighbours on our last night, as well as an amourous couple who I think were a little too much in the indoor pool.

    But these were minor glitches. We had a great villa, location and really enjoyed the resort this time (as always). It seemed the bus service on the resort is not a good option though. People were paying 2 euros to be crammed in and stand up, with no guarantee trip home. I do recommend driving or using the public bus service.

    As for Disneyland Paris:

    DLP attractions were in the best condition I have seen them for a very long time! There were non rubberhead entertainment on offer! The cast were 1st rate. I saw loads of custodials this trip. And the food quality was good where we went on our budget trip.

    They have trimmed some annual pass benefits now, and increased the price by 14% this year. though it is still great value.

    However, the staggered openings were rediculous (I will be writting a letter). Many attractions such as Snow White and Atuopia opened at 11:00 and 11:30, Indy at 12:30, the Labrynth was 11:30 - 3:30, and half of Discoveryland closed 1-2 hours before park closing (no fireworks or anything to worry about). And it was not until you reached the attraction that you would find out (very poor).

    Also, the air con seemed to be off in many of the shops and attractions.

    Menus have been trimmed and prices gone up (Hot Dogs 5 euro, Popcorn 8 euro, a coke 2.50- 3 euro dependent on location, counter service 3 courser 17 euro and at table service 26-120 euro, Ice Cream Cone 5 euro). But quality is still pretty good and portion sizes seemed a little larger.

    The Shops had very little quality selections, and the prices of American products were really inflated. But they had some lovely Organic Ranges of clothes that were of high quality and cute, but expensive. And for straight adult males, there was very little of interest on offer - even the pins, there were only a handful of park/attraction related pins on offer, most were character related.

    Mickey's Magical Party was not to my taste, and the cast of 5th Element and Stitch dancing to the YMCA in Discoveryland while the Videopolis theatre became a cartoon theatre, was not to my liking either.

    Plus most of the hand driers in the park did not work, as well as half the toilets being broken by the end of each day. Mix in the attractions running at limited capacity to maintain queues, not great either.

    So over all, we had a good time. Great in places. We were impressed with how well maintained the attractions were (Phantom Manor, the Labrynth and Rock N Roller Coaster were almost like new, and PotC was in great condition). The DLP version of Stars and Cars is a great little show, and Playhouse Disney is awesome for the stroller set. The quality of dancers in the resort are 1st rate right now. And the amount of streetmousphere for DLP is good, but sadly still not up to the same level as the good old days.

    So I would say, like most things, it was fun, but pricy (8 euro for a 1 person meal). It was so close to being the Disney experience I fell in love with, but is falling that little bit short (and could be rectified easily). What is interesting is we met up with some Italian and German friends who run significant blogs and web sites dedicated to DLP and they also commented on coming less often than they used to and not missing it as much as they thought (both have decided Tokyo is a greater draw).

    I sadly do not think we will see a return to old glory days. But I do also do think we need to pick up disney when they drop some balls.

    As for Marriott, we had an awesome stay (as always), great service. we had a couple of maintenance issues that were all solved within 1 hour of reporting (one while we were at the complementary welcome party). I also came down with another bout of Tonsillitus while there - they had a Dr to my villa within 2 hours (I needed antibiotics). And the free internet access (while job hunting - I have 2 interviews this week!), play facilities, free kids club (the kids had their faces painted, made jewelry, and played wii as well in the giant ballpool playground), playground, pools, turkish bath, sauna, jacuzzis, plasma screens and DVDs with surround sound meant the family enjoyed themselves even when I was in bed (or the soaking tub) sick.

    And when I saw the manager a few days later, he enquired after my health.

    So, I think the perfect mix with the current Disney management regime is to stay at a Marriott and travel in to the parks. That is what we are likely to do in the future (unless we are in California - a Newport Coast/Grand Californian split stay is the order there, Tokyo or Hong Kong)

    All I can say is I love MVCI. Can't wait for the next trip.
    Let's put the Walt back in Disney!





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    Re: The Baloos in DLP May 23rd - 30th 2009

    Thanks for posting so many photos, I really enjoyed them! Sorry to hear you weren't well though, hope everything's fine now

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    Re: The Baloos in DLP May 23rd - 30th 2009

    Nice TR dave and i'm glad you enjoyed your trip to DLRP . Have you been able to ride the Tram Tour and see the whole area closed for the future attractions

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    Re: The Baloos in DLP May 23rd - 30th 2009

    Hey Bopazot, we kept our eyes open looking for you, but no joy.

    We did ride the tram tour and thought it was a mess compared to the original. It looks like Toy Story Playland will be quite large, and I think it will further confuse this poor little park. Lots of dirt right now huh?
    Let's put the Walt back in Disney!





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    Re: The Baloos in DLP May 23rd - 30th 2009

    Mickey's Magical Party was not magical at all. It wasn“t even much of a party...

    The AC is off in entire Paris!

    You mentioned the shops... is it just me or is it that TDL and HKDL has much better things in the shops?
    The world according me: http://www.youtube.com/user/TimmyME

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    Re: The Baloos in DLP May 23rd - 30th 2009

    The shops are particularly poor. They are still better than WDW's shops, marginally. and agreed, as soon as MMP goes away, I will be much happier.
    Let's put the Walt back in Disney!





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