Well, we are back – a fantastic few days at Disney.
After Disney’s cockup with our booking, we didn’t know if we would be able to complete the check in process at ashford or not. Turns out we could, although the tickets in our envelope caused the guy on the desk a little confusion 🙂 He couldn’t quite fathom how we had VIP fast passes, how we had a meal voucher (normally you have to commit to one a day – you can’t buy just one) and also why we were checking in using Disney express yet we had tickets to Paris 🙂 Still, all worked fine.
Train to paris was ok (although I always forget just how hot it is on Eurostar 🙁 ) but the RER from paris to disney was rather grim. Not helped by all the ticket offices in Paris shutting at 1pm for lunch. Handy. Still, the kids enjoyed travelling upstairs on a train – even if we couldn’t really see out of the filthy windows and the seats appeared to be made of damp cardboard. Still we ended up getting to Disney about 30 mins later than the direct train. Not too bad at all.
VIP fast passes are fantastic 🙂 For some reason ours don’t have expiry dates on which caused a few raised eyebrows and confusion. Still, I guess that means we can use them next time as well 🙂 Not sure I’d be brave enough to try but…
Ate in Plaza Gardens on the first day as we had a 20% off voucher and it was convenient. Only after we had left did we remember the voucher… grrrr. Food was “ok” – nowt special, but then it’s an eat as much as you like for 23 EU – pretty cheap by Disney standards.
Got to the hotel around 9:45pm – no queue to check in, and our rooms had been upgraded \o/. Ended up with linked Lake view rooms which meant we got the full turn down service, chocolates on the pillows etc etc. Also we had gifts left in the room for us – some fairly large mickey mouse soft toys, mugs, and complimentary drinks. Also, we got fresh roses in the bathrooms. Nothing all that special but a nice upgrade 🙂
Second day (Monday) and it was overcast but appart from a little drizzle for 30 mins or so, it was dry. Did space mountain for the first time in the hotel extra magic hours – it’s ok. Nice special effects, but it’s a bit rough and throws your head around a bit. Certainly not as smoth as R’n’R. Obviously, with VIP passes we had to try it again later in the day as well 🙂
As Disney had given us a free meal (a half board plus voucher per person) we could have eaten in Walts or our Hotel but we figured we would push the boat out and eat in Inventions. We had looked before when staying in the Disneyland hotel but decided it was too pricey. Even with our meal vouchers it still cost us 132 EU to eat there (with a bottle of wine). Conveniently, our Quidco cashback paid out 120 quid just before we left so that covered the difference \o/. Inventions food was good – but I wouldn’t have said it was worth the cash. However, if you like the character meals then it’s pretty impressive – we had an endless stream of characters coming to the table. Not really our thing, but if you like that then I’m not sure there is any better place to meet so many characters.
Tuesday was lovely and bright – and cold. Day in the studios for us. Didn’t bother with the Stunt show so don’t know if the jumps are back in yet. Toy story land was heaving (no surprise, it’s still rather new and shiny). Nemo had a huge queue all day – and no fast pass so we did that first. Still surprisingly extreme for a kids ride 🙂 Stitch show was clever – not seen that before. The interactive computer gfx work well. Tower of Terror was good – fastpass straight to the front. This was the only place our non-expiring VIP passes were questioned – but after 30 seconds of confusion we were allowed straight on. I’d not ridden it before – pretty impressive!
Of course, had to finish the day with a few rides on Aerosmith Rock’n’roller coaster. Still my fave (although close thing with Nemesis). We got soundtracker 5 on one ride (yay!) only to find the sound not working (booo!). Still seems amazingly smooth compared to Space mountain or Rita. Plenty of smoke this time as well which was good. Headed to Annettes for dinner just before the hoards emptied out of the park post parade. Service in Annettes was abismal – multiple cockups on the order including forgetting drinks and bringing extra kids meal (11 meals despite there only being 10 of us). They then billed us for all the stuff we had had, and and extra 35 euros for the mysterious meals that we hadn’t had as well as all the missing drinks. Thankfully one of the waiters appeared to have more brain and could see the bill was rubbish and sorted it all efficiently. Not great though. Finished there at 7pm so time to dash back to the park for a quick BTM in the dark, and then another ride on pirates \o/.
Wednesday – backing into main park for 8am for a couple of hours, then studios for 10am start. Did the parachute drop (much better than it looked – but long queues). Another drop on the tower of terror, then some more R’n’R goodness before back to main park again for a few more rides on the faves (BTM, phantom manor and obviously It’s a Small World) before some late lunch in Au Chalet de la Marionnette (half chicken and chips for about 6 quid with the 20% voucher – probably the best value “fast” food in the park IMO).
Then the direct eurostar home thanks to Monsieur Gas 🙂 Hassle free trip back arriving in Ashford at 8:40pm. Excellent.
All in all, a great few days. VIP fast passes were excellent… already pondering Newport Bay suite for next trip as you get them as standard then 🙂 It’s only money…