Woke up 5:30am (for those of you who are keeping track, it was Sharon, Steve, Joe, in that order) and, after finishing our packing (and disputing an internet usage charge for 5 days when we had only used it for 4), were on our way by 7:30am.

We quickly realized that traveling from train station to train station was a LOT easier (NO STAIRS!) when we used the handicapped-accessible routes. We went from Earl’s Court to Westminster, then to Waterloo Station. After checking in and getting our Eurostar (through the Chunnel) tickets, we went upstairs to where they had some small shops and restaurants. I bought my coffee (I finally learned how to order it the way I like it: “milk coffee, very milky, with cold milk, and I’d like it as a take away.”) and we hung out, waiting to board our 9:37am train. Boarding was called about a half-hour beforehand.

Our Eurostar train. We had reserved seats in Car #8

Steve and Joe sitting on the Eurostar train

We were seated in a Priority/Business Class train and got breakfast included.

Breakfast started with a croissant, whole wheat roll, butter, jelly (currant or strawberry), and strawberry yogurt with a choice of coffee, tea or hot chocolate.

This was followed about a half-hour later by scrambled egg, a chicken sausage and beans (I never knew that Heinz beans could be a breakfast food either. Different culture).

Fortunately, I was very full from the first course because the second course was NASTY.

The rest of the Eurotrain ride was pretty unremarkable, especially since I slept through a good portion of it.

First view of DLP Resort, taken from the train

We disembarked the train at the Disneyland Paris Resort, went out of station and found our bus to the Hotel NY.

The bus was warm and several of the people smelled but fortunately, the bus only has 2 stops (NY and Sequoia) and NY was first so we were able to get off the bus rather quickly.

We checked in (they had a designated children’s check-in spot that included steps so kids could see [“be a part of”] the check-in process.

It was a nice touch and appreciated by little moi (wink).

After the check-in process, they gave us room 2233. That room was too close to elevator (we’d hear everybody go past us on the way to the elevator) and had a really sucky view (the roof of the hotel’s convention center), so we tried to get another room. There were apparently slim pickings but eventually they found us another one, on the same floor, on the same wing, but apparently down a different hallway. That room wasn’t ready yet so we needed to wait until check-in at 3pm (a 40 minute wait). So we grabbed some chairs and sat it out.

The front lobby of the Hotel New York

A few minutes after 3pm, we went back to the front desk and they gave us our new room assignment, #3101. Went upstairs and WOW, what a difference! We were now on the 3rd floor, on the corner (so we had 2 windows), with a view of the lake. Needless to say, we kept the room (grin).

The room had 2 double beds

Joe sitting in our room, between our 2 windows

View of the bathroom sinks and shower

View out of window #1

A little to the left of the above view. Guests were able to go onto the balloon, for a price (15 Euros or so). Steve did it; Joe and I did not

View out of window #2

There’s our room!

After unpacking, we decided to go to Disneyland Park, since we had length-of-stay park hopper passes, for free, as part of paying for the room with DVC points (we had a free breakfast buffet and 1 Fast Pass, for whatever FP attraction we wished, per person, per day). As we walked outside, we passed the Concierge, who happened to be speaking to a family of British people. Joe said, “Listen! He sounds just like Serge from Beverly Hills Cop!” And sonofagun, he was right! How will we ever be able to figure out the gay guys from the straight guys if ALL of them sound like gay guys???

The bag checkpoint for DLP Park

“To all who come to this happy place, welcome.”

Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant (Sleeping Beauty’s Castle)

Entrance to Discoveryland (DLP’s name for Tomorrowland)

We decided to use our “free” Fast Passes on Buzz Lightyear, since it just opened a few months ago and had a 65 minute queue. The queue is the same as ours in theming, but the path is different (theirs is in the old “Visionarium/Nine Eyes” building) and they go back and forth between French and English. The attraction is the “higher tech” one that everyone except WDW has.

We then got Fast Passes for Space Mountain…we were told to come back between 7:10pm and 7:40pm and since it was only mid-afternoon by this point, we walked around Discoveryland for little while (we didn’t go on any attractions because lines were mostly 45+ minutes) and while in Pizza Planet (to pee, not to eat) and decided to eat dinner, and go back to hotel to nap. We decided to have dinner at Chicago Steak House, which was at Disney Village (formerly Festival Disney). I got angus rump roast, Joe had sirloin steak and Steve ordered a rump steak. The food was very, VERY good. We even splurged and got dessert…Joe and I split a Chicago sundae (3 kinds of ice cream, a brownie and other good stuff) and Steve got a rum baba (we thought it would be a babka-like dessert but it was more like a muffin SOAKED in rum). The only bad point of the restaurant was the noisy toys they gave to each child…with the annoyance it was in a huge, relatively empty room with, say, 10 of those things, I can only imagine what a roomful of them would sound like.

We were done with dinner around 7pm and, by this time, really exhausted, so we decided to nap for a little while. We were back in room 3101 by 7:20pm and were fast asleep by 7:30pm. 9pm never came so fast in our lives.

After getting re-dressed and walking back to the park, we decided to see how bad the walk-on line for Space Mountain was. Just 25 minutes now (50 min before dinner) so we decided to wait. Surprisingly, I didn’t get stopped by the Disney Height Police this time (I had been stopped during our trip in 1996, because I was RIGHT at the height cutoff…the cutoff now was 1 meter, 32 cm, which converts to 4’4″. I’m just shy 4’7″ so I guess they lowered the height requirements at some point). The beginning of the queue was, again, similar to WDW’s, but following a nice preview of the initial launch, the queue took on more of a Jules Verne/Discoveryland look. The lack of air conditioning in the enclosed/indoor was sorely missed though. The line was, indeed, about 20 or 25 minutes and the ride was very, VERY good…a nice, smooth coaster with a strong takeoff and good special effects (some of which they slow down the ride for, so you can appreciate them). And I kept my eyes open the whole time (those of you who have gone on “larger” roller coasters with me know that I usually have to go on twice, because I tend to keep my eyes closed the first time through)!

Daytime picture of Space Mountain

The Fantillusion parade was scheduled to start in a few minutes, so we “camped out” near It’s A Small World. The parade was very pretty and the music was great, although it doesn’t hold a candle to my all-time the Main Street Electrical Parade. Unfortunately, we didn’t take any pictures of the parade, however if you click here, it will bring you to a terrific DLP site that has great description, as well as pictures of the parade.

We decided to go on Space Mountain again and grabbed our spots for the Wishes fireworks. Wishes was very well-done, using the castle as a “screen” for projections and lasers (ie when the Blue Fairy comes on, there is a picture of her, with blue and green laser lights around her, projected onto the castle).

Daytime view of the dais that projects the images and lasers onto the castle

YouTube has a very good video of DLP’s Wishes:

Although the use of laser and pictures on the castle is unique, I CAN say that their fireworks still weren’t nearly as spectacular as WDW’s. Then again, no Disney park’s fireworks are as spectacular as WDW’s. There’s an interesting discussion about Wishes and worldwide Disney fireworks in general, if you click here.

After Wishes, we went back to the hotel and went to bed, ready to start our first full day at Disneyland Paris.