"I'm THIS Old." - A June/July 2019 DLP TR! *COMPLETED 9/19

the2ndstar2theright

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 7, 2017
"Can't the Bus Driver Have His Lunch While He's Driving?"
Day 5, Part 4: Tuesday July 2nd, 2019


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After we’d been sitting and waiting for a little while, I was getting hungry, so I left S to save our spots while I walked over to Casey’s to get something to eat. I got my chicken nuggets and made my way back to S.

As I was walking back to our spot, I realized how crazy it had gotten in this Hub area. Since the Partners Statue is in WDS and not Disneyland, the Hub circle is completely unobstructed—and now it was completely filled with people! I was honestly surprised that the CMs let people completely block the walkways like they did, but they never made anyone move.

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I ate my dinner while we continued to wait. About 20-30 minutes before Illuminations was going to start, we stood up along the fence. About 10 minutes before the fireworks started, some guy decided that he wanted to stand basically where I was. I can’t remember if he said “excuse me” in French or in English, but either way I just pretended like I didn’t understand him and didn’t move. He tried to get the girl on the other side of me to scoot over, but she had been waiting just as long as we had, and ignored him. He and the girl he was with got all huffy, but everyone around us just ignored them.

S took this picture not long before 11, when Illuminations was supposed to start. We couldn't believe how long it stayed light out!

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Then, it was time for Illuminations! (Not to be confused with Illuminations: Reflections of Earth.) It was a lot like Happily Ever After, and I loved it! I definitely got a little teary and was honestly really glad that we saved it for the last night. It was such a magical way to end the trip!

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the2ndstar2theright

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 7, 2017
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https://youtu.be/zamhuNffHUs


We loved loved loved it! So magical. Making our way out of the park, though? Not so magical. It took us forever to get back to the front of the park, and then the bus stop was complete chaos. We finally got back to the hotel around 12:10. I took a shower, worked on packing my stuff for a bit, and then completely crashed.

 
  • the2ndstar2theright

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 7, 2017
    We're Going Home!
    Travel Day: Wednesday July 3rd, 2019


    While normally travel days home are not the happiest days in the world, today we were pretty excited. We had been gone for 7 weeks, and we were pretty ready to get back home.


    *Side note: I am very sorry for the lack of pictures in this update, but we were so tired and definitely looked a hot mess :rotfl:

    Our alarm went off at 6:00am, and it was definitely a struggle for us to get up. We slowly got ready and finished packing up all our stuff, dozing in and out periodically until we had to go down for breakfast at 7:30.

    While we were eating, I got a notification on my phone from the American Airlines app that our flight had been delayed by 40 minutes (from 1:00 to 1:40pm). We weren’t super concerned at this point, but it did mean that we’d be at the airport SUPER early since we’d had to buy train tickets to get there.

    We finished eating—and S grabbed 3 croissants and put them in a plastic bag to take with her—and went back upstairs to get our stuff. It was right around 8:00 when we left the room and went downstairs to check out. We were on a bus right around 8:10 and got to the train station at 8:30.

    We found a bench near one of the boards and sat down to wait for our platform number to be posted. After about 30-40 minutes, I was starting to freak out a little bit because I didn’t see our train number or destination on the board at all. S went to the information desk to ask someone, but there was no one there, and when she asked a nearby employee, they were pretty rude and basically said “I don’t know.”

    We walked around to the other side of the station to check the other boards, but still nothing. I asked a different employee who seemed to be directing other people, and she was able to look at my ticket and at the board and get us to the right place. Basically, CDG was one stop on this train, which is why that wasn’t the destination listed. I still don’t completely understand why the train number was different, but that’s kind of beside the point now. At 9:20, we finally made our way down to the platform.

    Our train left at 9:33, and we were arriving at CDG at 9:45. If you’re traveling to DLP and need to get back to Charles de Gaulle Airport, TAKE THE TRAIN! It is so much faster and much more reliable than Disney’s shuttle bus. I think it actually ended up being cheaper, too, since DLP’s airport shuttle isn’t free like it is in Florida.

    As big as CDG is, I was really worried that we would get lost, so I had looked up an airport map a few days before. That combined with the sheer number of signs everywhere made it much easier than I anticipated. We made it to American’s check-in desks right around 10:00—right on schedule (before our flight was delayed anyway haha).

    For some reason, the kiosk was being super uncooperative, but one of the very nice agents came over and helped me get it straightened out. We got our luggage tags and boarding passes and then got in the very very long line to check our bags. After a while, they started sending people over to the priority line just to get people moving.

    When I got up to the agent, she told me that my flight had been delayed and checked to see about changing my connection to play it safe. All the other flights were full, though, so she said that if I missed the connection I would just have to talk to a gate agent in Charlotte.

    With our bags finally checked (45 minutes after we got in line), we made our way over to security. Now, this is where CDG does it right. They have security down to an art form. They have a million different terminals anyway, but then within each terminal, they have the gates divided up into groups and have security checkpoints for EACH group of gates. Not only that, they had 6 or 7 lines open at the security checkpoint. No joke, we were through security in less than 10 minutes. Way to go, Paris.

    Once we were on the other side, I stopped at Starbucks and got myself a caramel frappuccino before we made our way down to our gate. While we were waiting, we got another notification that our flight had been delayed again, this time from 1:40 until 2:00. At this point, I was really starting to be concerned that we would miss our connection. We’d only had an hour and a half layover to begin with, and now we had been delayed by a full hour.

    With nothing to do but wait at this point, we went in search of something to eat. I found some popcorn and a bottle of water to take on the plane. We finally started boarding at 1:15 and took off right around 2.

    Unfortunately, the screens in our section of seats weren’t working. They tried to reset them several times, but nothing worked. Thankfully, I had a bunch of Friends episodes downloaded onto my phone, but it was still a VERY long flight.

    About halfway through our 8-hour flight, I noticed that the ETA they had posted on the screen was still about the same time that we should have landed before the delay, so I hoped that maybe we were making up enough time in the air that we would still make our connection.

    I dozed in and out, read a book, and watched more Friends on my phone. We landed in Charlotte right around 4:30, and when I turned my phone back on, I got a notification that our connection had been delayed by 30 minutes! I have never been so happy to have a flight delayed.

    We disembarked and made our way through customs. It was pretty quick and painless, until we rechecked our bags and then found out that we had to go through TSA again. I didn’t remember having to do this when I flew back into the country through ATL a few years ago, and we weren’t super thrilled about it. A flight from Paris and a flight from London landed about the same time, and they sent all of us with connections through the same security checkpoint…that only had 2 lines. It took longer to go through TSA than it did to go through customs, but we finally made it to the other side.

    We hightailed it down to our gate and made it with less than 10 minutes until we were supposed to start boarding. We started boarding around 6:05, but we ended up sitting on the tarmac for close to 30 minutes, and it was closer to 7 before we took off. Thankfully, this flight was short and uneventful, and we landed just before 7:00pm CT.

    We disembarked the plane and quickly made our way to baggage claim to reunite with our parents! It had been a long 7 weeks and we were very happy to see them. We collected our bags and said our goodbyes before starting for home.

    Mom ordered Panera online on her phone in the car, and we picked it up on the way home. I stayed up long enough to eat and talk to them for a bit, but then I crashed around 9:30 or so.

    And so…that’s the end of another TR! Thank you so much for reading along with this once in a lifetime adventure! I am currently planning a birthday celebration trip to WDW, and you can follow along with that PTR here. Until next time, friends! :wave:


     

    Jules76126

    Practically Perfect in Every Way
    Joined
    Apr 3, 2006
    So fun to read about your trip to Paris. It does sound like a long last travel day though. Sounds like you guys had a great time. It does stay light out there a really long time in the summer. I went to Ireland last June for 2 weeks and we never saw it dark the whole time we were there.
     

    missangelalexis

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 27, 2012
    Glad it all worked out with your flights! I'm sure after being away for so long and such a long travel day that you were very excited to see your family!

    Loved reading about your trip, thanks for sharing!
     
  • the2ndstar2theright

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 7, 2017
    So fun to read about your trip to Paris. It does sound like a long last travel day though. Sounds like you guys had a great time. It does stay light out there a really long time in the summer. I went to Ireland last June for 2 weeks and we never saw it dark the whole time we were there.
    It was a very long travel day, but thankfully it all worked out. We had the best time! It definitely felt like that in Paris too. I think the 2 late nights on the bus were the only time we saw it dark!

    Thanks for joining in!

    Glad it all worked out with your flights! I'm sure after being away for so long and such a long travel day that you were very excited to see your family!

    Loved reading about your trip, thanks for sharing!
    Thanks for reading along!!!
     

    cindianne320

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 27, 2010
    Travel days are stressful enough, without all the delays! I bet you were so glad to see your parents!
    I'm now regretting not staying up long enough to see Illuminations- 11 was just too late for this old lady!
     

    DLo

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 14, 2006
    Rough travel day but glad it all worked out. Thanks for taking the time to write your report . Looks like you had a great experience
     
  • the2ndstar2theright

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 7, 2017
    Travel days are stressful enough, without all the delays! I bet you were so glad to see your parents!
    I'm now regretting not staying up long enough to see Illuminations- 11 was just too late for this old lady!
    I was definitely very happy to see them--and to see my puppies!

    Oh it was amazing! That's definitely part of the reason we went back and took a break haha

    Rough travel day but glad it all worked out. Thanks for taking the time to write your report . Looks like you had a great experience
    We really did have the best time! Thanks for reading along!

    Great report
    Thanks so much! :)
     

    lvcourtneyy

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 24, 2012
    Finally caught up just in time for the end lol. It must've been nice ending your last night with amazing fireworks knowing you were going to see your parents after so long away! Thanks for sharing your trip- it sounded like a lot of fun!
     

    the2ndstar2theright

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 7, 2017
    Finally caught up just in time for the end lol. It must've been nice ending your last night with amazing fireworks knowing you were going to see your parents after so long away! Thanks for sharing your trip- it sounded like a lot of fun!
    It was definitely the perfect way to end an amazing summer abroad! Thank you so much for reading along! :D
     



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