"I'm THIS Old." - A June/July 2019 DLP TR! *NEW 7/14 x2

the2ndstar2theright

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 7, 2017
“I’m THIS Old!” – A June/July DLP TR!

Hi, everybody, and welcome to my TR!! If you’ve been on adventure with me before,
WELCOME BACK! If you’re new to my shenanigans, WELCOME ABOARD! This TR is an extra special one because it will cover my very first trip to Disneyland Paris!!

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This summer, I spent six weeks studying at Oxford University in Oxford, England. When my program ended, I traveled to Paris with one of my friends from school, and we spent 5 days exploring DLP and the city itself. We had such a blast, and I can’t wait to share it all with you!

So, if any of you folks are wearing hats or glasses, best remove them, ‘cause this here’s the wildest ride in the wilderness!!


Table of Contents
The Basics
Welcome to France! (Day 1)

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3



 
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the2ndstar2theright

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 7, 2017
The Basics

First things first: who are we?

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Hi! My name is Lindsey, and I am a 20-year-old college student and Disney fanatic. I have been to Walt Disney World 13 times, and my favorite character is Tinker Bell! :tinker:

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This is my friend from school, who I’ll call S. She and her parents love visiting WDW, so she was quick to jump on board when I mentioned visiting DLP at the end of our study abroad program.


We stayed at the Vienna House Dream Castle Hotel, one of DLP’s partner hotels, from June 28-July 3. We had 3 day/2 park tickets, but we decided not to book any dining reservations or anything like that. Since we only had a few days, we didn’t want to be tied down with those table service restaurants.

We did purchase tickets for a few tourist attractions in the city ahead of time (like the Eiffel Tower), but we also just did a lot of exploring and playing things by ear. We both felt like we were there for the perfect amount of time to get to see everything we wanted to without being rushed.

I think that’s it as far as basic information goes. If you're interested in reading about my study abroad adventures, I wrote daily blog entries, and the URL is in my signature! Let’s get on with the show! :cool1:

 
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  • Newsies

    Headlines don't sell papes.
    Joined
    Oct 25, 2013
    I'M HERE!!!!! Can't wait to read about DLP, I loved the photos!!!
     
  • the2ndstar2theright

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 7, 2017
    Can’t wait to read about your DLP adventure!
    Hi!! I'm so excited to share!! :D

    I'M HERE!!!!! Can't wait to read about DLP, I loved the photos!!!
    HI!!! Aww, thank you!!

    Joining in!! Cannot wait to hear all about it :)
    Welcome welcome!!

    I'm here! :wave:
    Thanks for joining in!

    Joining in! Can't wait to hear all about it!
    Welcome aboard!! :)

    I’m here and enjoy reading your TRs!
    Aww thank you so much! :)
     

    cindianne320

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 27, 2010
    Can't wait to hear about your experiences! My Husband and I are heading to DLP for the first time next month so I'm trying to soak it all in!
     
  • the2ndstar2theright

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 7, 2017
    Welcome to France!
    Day 1: Friday June 28th, 2019


    Our day started verrryyy early – 4:00am to be exact! :faint: I think I had gotten like three hours of sleep because my roommates and I stayed up way too late the night before watching Downton Abbey, but that’s beside the point. :rolleyes: I got up, put some makeup on, and threw the last of my stuff into my suitcase. I ate half a peanut butter sandwich for breakfast and put half in a Ziploc bag to take on the train with me.

    We had booked a cab online the night before, and our driver showed up a few minutes before 5:30am, right on schedule! One of our other roommates had decided to share a cab with me & S, which made it super cheap for all three of us. We loaded our luggage into the cab and were waving good-bye to our flat right at 5:30am.

    We arrived at the bus station three minutes later (which was SO much better than the 15 minute walk it would have been otherwise). We had budgeted for a lot of extra time because traffic in Oxford could get pretty bad, but there was no one else out at 5:30 in the morning. :laughing:When we got to the bus station, we said farewell to our other friend, and hopped on our bus. We had planned to take the 6:10 bus into London, but since we were there so early, we were able to get on the 5:40 bus (which ended up working out well for us).

    The bus ride from Oxford to London takes about an hour and a half to two hours. We dozed on and off during the bus ride, and then we got off at the Marlyebone stop right around 7:30am. We walked around the corner to the Baker Street Underground Station and took the tube to the King’s Cross/St. Pancras station.

    We got off the tube and followed the signs for the St. Panras International train station. The underground station and the international train station connect underground, which made things easier. I was very thankful that I had shipped the bigger of my two suitcases home the day before because navigating the underground would have been so much harder with 2 big suitcases!


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    We made our way into St. Pancras and were relieved to find the Eurostar security check was close by. We had a little time, so we stopped in the M&S Simply Food to get something to eat. I got a cheese scone and a Coke, which was perfect. We tried to get in line for security once we had finished eating, but discovered that they only open the line to one train at a time, and we had to wait about 20 more minutes before we could get in line.

    They opened our train’s line around 8:50 but didn’t start sending us through the ticket gates until 9:00am. Once we scanned our tickets, we had to go through airport-like security. The hardest part was getting our giant suitcase up onto the conveyer belts, but otherwise it was pretty painless. They would stop sending bags through the scanners when the passport line got backed up, so we did have to wait for our bags for a few minutes.

    Once we got through security, we had to wait in line for passport control. All in all, it took us about 30 minutes to get through security and passport control, which was not horrible. Our platform number hadn’t been posted yet, so we found some chairs near the board and sat down to wait. I decided to exchange some of my USD for euros, even though the exchange rate in the train station wasn’t great, just because I didn’t love the idea of not having any cash at all.

    After a few more minutes, we had a platform number and made our way up the escalator ramp to platform 9.


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    We were the first ones on our coach just before 10am, and our train departed right at 10:14am!

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    The train ride was a little less than 3 hours long, and I napped for the first hour or so. I don’t know what I had been expecting, but I was surprised when my phone buzzed to let me know we were in France! I guess I had thought that I might be able to tell when we were inside the tunnel through the English Channel, but you definitely can’t. The French countryside is so beautiful and so green, and it was fun to see it all whiz by!

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    We arrived at the Marne la Vallee – Chessy (Disneyland) train station just after 2:00pm. Paris is an hour ahead of Oxford, so we had lost an hour on the trip. We got our luggage off the racks and made our way out to the bus stops outside.

    This is where things got kind of frustrating. These bus stops are not labeled very well at all, which made finding ours extremely difficult. They really need a sign at the front of the stops to tell you which stop is which, but all of the signs we could find didn’t make any sense and didn’t have our hotel name on them. We wandered down each of the rows, but could not find a sign with our hotel on it. I eventually went back inside the train station to connect to the wifi to try and google it. I found the number of the bus route, but that number was, of course, not on any of the signs. :confused3

    We eventually saw a bus come to drop people off, so I walked up to the door and asked the driver which stop it was. It was the last stop on the last row—the one row I hadn’t walked all the way down before. Go figure.

    We made our way down to the stop, but it was pretty crowded, so we had to wait for the second bus. The next bus came not long after, though, so it really wasn’t that big of a deal. It was just before 3:00 when we arrived at the Vienna House Dream Castle Hotel!

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    We went to the front desk and got checked in without any problems. The guy at the desk was so nice, and explained how breakfast worked since we had gotten it included with our rate. He gave us our room keys, and we made our way over to the elevators.


     

    Newsies

    Headlines don't sell papes.
    Joined
    Oct 25, 2013
    I am SO intrigued with this traveling escapade. I've never been to Europe before, but I'm obsessed with how complex the train system is over there! Seems like there was some confusion getting on the bus stop, but that French countryside is GORGEOUS and so is the Vienna House so far!!! I absolutely can't wait to read more!!!!
     

    cindianne320

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 27, 2010
    I'm super nervous to figure out the train situation! My husband travels to Europe all the time, but I never have! He expects me to get from Heathrow to central London on my own! At least he'll be with me on the EuroStar!

    Your pictures are beautiful- can't wait to read more!
     

    Karin1984

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 5, 2012
    I'm super nervous to figure out the train situation! My husband travels to Europe all the time, but I never have! He expects me to get from Heathrow to central London on my own! At least he'll be with me on the EuroStar!

    Your pictures are beautiful- can't wait to read more!
    If you can read, you will be fine, there are signs everywhere. And plenty of people in uniform to ask, if you can't read. ;-) Have you taken a look at the Heathrow website, the instructions and options are described quite clearly.
     

    cindianne320

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 27, 2010
    If you can read, you will be fine, there are signs everywhere. And plenty of people in uniform to ask, if you can't read. ;-) Have you taken a look at the Heathrow website, the instructions and options are described quite clearly.
    Thank you- that's what he keeps telling me! I travel to WDW by myself all the time, and my BFF and I did NYC on our own last fall. I just like to worry! And I consider myself pretty literate so I guess I'll be OK. LOL!
     

    BadPinkTink

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 13, 2015
    I'm super nervous to figure out the train situation! My husband travels to Europe all the time, but I never have! He expects me to get from Heathrow to central London on my own! At least he'll be with me on the EuroStar!

    Your pictures are beautiful- can't wait to read more!
    The tube line that connects Heathrow to central London is The Piccadilly Line. Each terminal in Heathrow has a station on the Piccadilly Line. When you collect your bags, follow the signs out of the arrivals area to Piccadilly Line.

    At the station, you will need to get a ticket. There are self service ticket machines and a ticket desk. You can get a one way ticket to wherever you or going, OR you can get a plastic credit card travel card called an Oyster card. You can load this card with Pay As You Go money and it will be valid for use on all underground tubes, buses and DLR.

    Once you have your ticket, you swipe it at the ticket turnstile and go down to the tube platform.

    Heathrow is the last / first stop on Piccadilly Line. The tubes say the last stop at the front of the train. The tube train to central London will say C.ockfoster.s

    Depending on where you are going and if you have to change to a different line, the journey to central London takes about 40 minutes
     

    the2ndstar2theright

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 7, 2017
    I am SO intrigued with this traveling escapade. I've never been to Europe before, but I'm obsessed with how complex the train system is over there! Seems like there was some confusion getting on the bus stop, but that French countryside is GORGEOUS and so is the Vienna House so far!!! I absolutely can't wait to read more!!!!
    It was an interesting travel day to say the least! We were thankful that we had done a lot of train-travel during our study abroad program because it definitely made our lives easier. I also got really good at looking up station and route maps online before we went anywhere:rotfl:

    I'm super nervous to figure out the train situation! My husband travels to Europe all the time, but I never have! He expects me to get from Heathrow to central London on my own! At least he'll be with me on the EuroStar!

    Your pictures are beautiful- can't wait to read more!
    It's really not as bad as you think it is!! There are signs everywhere, and looking up maps online is really helpful, as well! I used Google Maps a lot, as well as an app called City Mapper, to figure out which line I needed to take to get to the different places.
     

    the2ndstar2theright

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 7, 2017
    Welcome to France!
    Day 1, Part 2: Friday June 28th, 2019


    We made our way up to Room #4075.


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    We were completely shocked by how large this room was! And the view was absolutely amazing. It took us a minute to figure out how to turn on the lights, but then I saw the little slot by the door and wondered if it was like a cruise where you had to put the key in to turn on the lights, and it was!

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    We unpacked a little bit and got freshened up. Our only complaint about the room was the lack of a dresser/drawers, which made it difficult to keep our things organized. Otherwise, though, we absolutely loved this hotel!

    Once we felt slightly more human, we went downstairs to wait for a bus back toward the parks. The little screen in the lobby said that we had about 20 minutes until the next bus would get here, so we wandered out into the garden to look around.

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    Then we walked back out to the bus stop. Because the five partner hotels all share a bus, and our hotel was the third stop, it was already really full when it got to our hotel. Not very many people got off, and there were a lot of people waiting to get on, so we hung back to wait for the next one rather than try to shove our way onto an already over-crowded bus.

    We finally got on a bus around 4:45, which was later than we wanted, but still fine. About 20 minutes later, we had made it to DLP!


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    The train station, both parks, and Disney Village are all in the same area (and on the same bus) which was both convenient and frustrating at times. You had to go through security to get to either of the two parks and Disney Village, but it was set up like airport security with the bag scanners, which made the lines move really quickly.

     

    the2ndstar2theright

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 7, 2017
    Welcome to France
    Day 1, Part 3: Friday June 28th, 2019


    Then, we made our way over to the Disneyland entrance!

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    The tickets that we had printed out at home said that we had to go to the kiosks outside Disneyland Park to exchange them for an actual ticket. Which would have been fine if the kiosks had been working, but they weren’t turned on or were broken or something like that. So, we went and got in line at guest services. We probably waited about 15 minutes or so before we got to talk to a CM, but thankfully getting our tickets was no big deal.

    We finally made it into the park around 5:15 or so.


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    We were so excited to look around, but we were also SO hungry, so we quickly made our way down Main Street to Casey’s Corner…well, as quickly as we could considering the sidewalks were basically completely covered by people waiting to watch the 5:30 parade. Thankfully, though, that meant that Casey’s was pretty empty.

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    This Casey’s didn’t have corndog nuggets, so I got chicken nuggets instead.


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    They were fine, and actually tasted really good because I was so hungry. We more or less watched the parade out the window while we ate, but we couldn’t see very much.

     

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