Killing 2 Birds With One Stone (updated 12/31)

rndmr2

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 3, 2009
Welcome to my Trip report!! :wave: I have posted 3 other TR's before but they were for WDW which is my Home Park. This was my first time at DLP and hopefully not the last, although it will be a few years. First let me do some introductions and then let me explain my TR title. This will be pretty wordy at first but I promise lots of pictures.

I am Danielle, I am 46 years old and a Nurse, I work as Evening (and sometimes Night) Shift Nursing Supervisor at a Nursing home/Rehab center (my SIL is actually a Social Worker there, too). I love all things Disney and have been to WDW quite a few times (see my sig) but have never been to any of the other parks. I have wanted to go to DL (have even started planning trips in the past that didn't happen for various reasons, although there is now a trip planned for next year--see my ticker...) and even thought of going to DLP and the Asia parks as well, Tokyo Disney/DisneySea is definitely a bucket list trip.

I went on the trip with my hubby, Tim. He is a cleaner/Janitor at an elementary school (the one he attended as a child) and We have been married 16 years, dated for 3 years before that. We actually met online, so we are proof that it can sometimes work out... :thumbsup2

To explain the title of the TR you will need a little bit of back story. I was a huge fan of the band a-ha (Take on Me) in the mid-later 80's. :rockband: They had released 2 albums here and I had both of them and knew every word of all the songs. My 12-14 or so year old self was MADLY in love with the lead singer, Morten Harket. :love: Ohhh he was gorgeous. Sadly they all but dropped off the face of the earth in the late 80's and you just never heard anything more about them. I thought they were long gone, the "One hit wonders" that everyone thought they were. Take on Me was never my favorite song, it's a great song but I always loved all of the other ones more, they really had so many great ones. So fast forward to last January (2018) and I was in the car and I was flipping through the channels and I heard a familiar song, I admit I flipped past it at first but went back and listened, reminiscing. It was their song, "The Sun Always Shines on TV." I thought to myself, "Ohh wow, this is a really great song! I haven't heard this one in years, they really had some awesome music. I should look them up". So that's what I did when I went home. I went on YouTube and typed in Scoundrel Days, one of the other songs I remembered, that I really loved and wanted to hear. It was just as awesome as I remembered. I figured I would get the album cover or a pic of them and the audio of the song, which is what I got. I did this for about 15-20 minutes, listening to all the great songs I remembered. Then here on the sidebar other things started showing up with much newer dates, ones that looked like actual videos, live performances. I admit I was nervous to click on them because I wasn't sure what I would find but then there was one that was the most recent date I had seen so far- 2015?!?! I had to take the chance and click on it. What I saw blew me away! I almost fell out of my chair when I saw how gorgeous he still was, how awesome he sounded after all these years. You have to understand, what I remembered from the 80's was this:

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And what I saw on my screen was this:

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So I went on a mission to find out everything I could. I read Wikipedia, I searched Google, I watched YouTube videos of old interviews, concerts, etc. I joined Facebook Fan pages, I did it all. Turns out they had never dropped off the face of the earth, they just did here in the US, they have been around all these years in Europe and the rest of the world. They did break up in 2010 but got back together in 2015. I was so happy to find out they were still around but so bummed that I missed out all these years. I even bought quite a few CD's and DVD's too. I was listening to them almost 24/7, they are all I listen to in the car (and I was in Home Health for all of last year so I spent a LOT of time in the car...) Right around this time they were starting their Unplugged tour and I was absorbed in pics and videos being posted on Facebook and YouTube from this and from all these past years too. It was after this that I also found out that they were doing another tour in the summer and I thought about getting a ticket, I even planned to try for one in France, thinking I could "Kill 2 birds with one stone" and go to DLP too. Sadly I realized that it would cost much more than we could spend at the time because we already had an Alaska Cruise planned for August and there was also no way we could do 2 big trips so close together.

I started to think that I lost my chance to get to see them live. After all they were all 3 in their mid-late 50's (Morten actually just turned 60 :eek: in September) and I had been afraid that they would decide to stop touring. But then in the fall 2018 they announced a fall of 2019 tour Celebrating the 35th anniversary of original release of Take on Me where they would play their first album in track order plus a 2nd half of a lot of their other songs, too. We all waited with bated breath for the announcements for each date, and none of them were in the US, The US fans had such hope that they would be coming here and it just wasn't looking like they were ever going to. The tour was originally going to be only 15 shows and I knew at this point that if I wanted to see them I was definitely going to have to go to Europe. I saw that there was a show scheduled for Paris on November 9th and I told my husband that I was going to that concert whether he liked it or not...:rotfl: He could come with me or not. We could make a vacation out of it and go to DLP and that is the only reason he agreed because I know at the time he had NO desire to see a-ha in concert, but he does like Disney, not as much as I do but he does. He likes Take on Me but he is not exactly a fan. I told him he owed me because I have been to 2 Rush concerts (his fave band) with him and they are not exactly my favorite. So I set out to buy the tickets. I had issues due to the time difference and when I was trying to buy them my bank was closed and the site kept declining my card, I was so stressed and thinking I would miss out on them because the more I tried, the further away the seats were. Long story short I bought them from a girl on Facebook from one of the Fan groups that I belong to. (Spoiler, I was NOT taken, they were legit tickets, LOL)

So then I set out to plan the trip. I left my husband to search out flights and I would take care of the Hotel. I scoured the boards here, the DLP website and any other info I could find. We ended up booking the special offer going on that was 25% (I think) off the room and free Half Board meal plan at the Hotel Santa Fe. In between all this, I lost my job and I was nervous that we would have to cancel the trip but luckily I got a new job right away that actually is much better than the job I lost was. (Better pay, no work to do at home). Part of the job is a lot of stress and I am working a LOT of overtime but actually getting paid for all that time (My other job seemed like I was working 24/7 with all the paperwork I had to do but I was only getting regular 40 hours pay) I had even considered upgrading our hotel but by the time I seriously went looking the only room I could get was a 1 full size bed room in the Sequoia Lodge and we had 2 full size in the Santa Fe (we are both Pooh Sized, so a full size bed wasn't going to work) so I just kept what we had. I will end this here and the next post will start the trip.
 
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rndmr2

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 3, 2009
Day 1, Thursday, November 7th

We were flying out of Toronto Pearson Airport because it was so much cheaper (like hundreds) than flying out of Rochester (the one closest to home). It was supposed to be about a 3 hour drive but we did make a couple stops and then by the time we figured out where the parking lot and then the train to the terminal were it was closer to 4 hours but that was fine, we were there in plenty of time. Security was fairly painless and then after that we went to grab some food. We ended up going to "Smashburger" and I had chicken strips and he had a burger. We have one of these near us but have only been there once. I got the Smash fries which have I think olive oil and rosemary one them and they were pretty good. He had plain ones. We eventually got a seat at a table that had an electric outlet to charge the phones. I had also bought a portable phone charger (pretty last minute, bought it 2 nights before we left at Walmart. I had also totally forgotten about the different power outlets until about a week before we left so we got some on Amazon (prime so they came quick). Thank goodness, because not only do we have what have become essential for everyone these days- phones, but we also both have c-pap machines so those were definitely needed.

We booked our tickets with Delta but all the info said it was operated by Air France so it was essentially an Air France Flight. I must say I was very happy with them, the seats were standard coach seats but we are both big people and I didn't have any issues with the size of the seating or feeling too cramped other than the usual that you have in coach. The seat belt fit fine. There was decent leg room and even though it was a little tight when the person in front of me immediately put her seat ALL the way back it definitely wasn't as bad as it could have been. I have some compression socks that I wear for work and I brought 2 pairs with me one for the flight over and one for the way back. That and moving my feet, legs a lot, ankle pumps, etc helped. I was in the window seat of a row of 3 so I really didn't want to have to climb over the guy on the aisle so I was thankful I didn't have to use the bathroom on the plane.

We had 2 meals on the flight (one hot meal and a cold, quick breakfast type thing) I had a pasta dish that was bow tie pasta and was supposed to be a 3 cheese sauce and it probably was but it was also tomato based. That wasn't a problem for me (it might have been if it was like diced tomatoes or huge chunks in sauce but it was just a regular red sauce) but it said nothing about tomatoes on the little menu thing so I can imagine it might have been an issue for some. Tim had a chicken dish with some sort of sauce and veggies. I don't remember what. I forgot to take pics of this meal but I did take pics of most of our other meals. It came with a cold salad that was called a "Barley salad." Hubby liked it but I wasn't a huge fan. There was also a small brownie for dessert, it was a chocolate caramel brownie and it was not liquidy caramel but more like caramel flavored chips. It was pretty good. The breakfast thing was in what looked like a little gift bag, it was cute. It was a roll with Jelly, a juice box of apple juice and a yogurt smoothie (Danactive)

It was a smooth flight and we landed early, about 45 minutes or so if I remember. and then we took the trek through the airport, down many escalators and long hallways to the Customs/Immigration lines and then baggage claim, then to find the "Magic shuttle" which I had read about on here and booked online a few days prior. We got on the first bus that left at about 9am and there were 2 quick stops at off property hotels and then we were the first on Property stop. The lobby was pretty hectic but the line for check in wasn't too bad, only a few in front of me, they actually only let one person from each party in the line and had everyne else wait with the luggage so I think that was a big help. Luckily our room was ready, too. By the time we got checked in and found our room it was close to 11am (it really screwed me up when the lady said we were on the "First" Floor that turned out is the second floor, the first floor was "0" or Ground floor.

Finally I will post a few pics of the sign out front, the lobby and our room:



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There was no elevator for our building that I ever found. I mean, t wasn't horrible, it was only one flight, but not fun to drag luggage up/down and then after a day in the parks in the cold and rain that just drains you and then have to climb steps when you get back to the hotel...

It was a nice room, nothing fancy but it did the job. I guess I would compare it to All Stars or Pop. Maybe a little smaller room because of not having the sink outside the main bathroom. The beds were fairly comfortable, my husband thought they were too firm but I thought it was ok. The one thing that was bad was the tub/shower. The water pressure was great, the temperature was fine but we both almost hurt ourselves at least once in that shower, getting in/out was treacherous and once I almost fell just lifting my foot onto the ledge to wash my leg. The bottom of the tub had no texture whatsoever, no nonskid anything. It was SO slippery and then it was a big step down to get out because the tub was u on a platform o some sort so it was a step up to get in and a step down to get out. I couldn't help but think of Sheldon Cooper saying Penny fell in her shower due to "Lack of adhesive ducks" :rotfl: :rotfl2:
 
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BadPinkTink

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 13, 2015
Love it so far. Thanks for the up to date photos of Santa Fe. I'm planning a family trip for 2021 and my sister wasnt too too sure about the Cars Theme in Santa Fe. Now I can show her the room and give her a better idea of what to expect.
 
  • rndmr2

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 3, 2009
    (Edited to add a couple menu pics at the end)

    After we got into the room we did a little unpacking and got settled in and then took a nap for a few hours. We wanted to at least get a little sleep since we pretty much had not slept on the plane. We are night owls, though since we both work evening shift and I do a lot of nights so it was about 1am at home when we landed and I am usually still at work or just getting out at that time so by this time we would have just been getting to bed. We set the alarm for I think it was about 3 in the afternoon (1500 for those of you not in the US) so we could get a little rest and still be able to see some of the parks that first night and not completely hit the wall.

    We debated on taking the shuttle bus over and saw that there was a decent sized line so we decided to walk. It didn't take too long but it the cooler temps and the fact that it was fall with the leaves on the ground and recent rain made it a little slippery in places. The path was also a little bit uneven, and not as well lit as you might want. It probably took us about 15 to 20 minutes. The path came out on the lake between Hotel New York (which is being Refurb-ed) and The Sequoia Lodge. A couple pics I took:





    I know I took others but I have no clue where they went. I am disappointed because I took quite a few of the entrance gardens and fountains. Something must have happened to the first few pics from my camera as I was uploading them because now I realize that I also had taken pics from our late lunch that we had and those aren't there either. And they are not still on the camera either because when they uploaded to the computer somehow they were all deleted which I am not too happy about It did take a couple of tries to figure out how to upload them and get them to be saved on the computer. I don't know how it happened because I definitely did NOT do that...

    Ohh well. We walked up Main Street and took lots of pics of the castle which are also missing... And went up Main Street and we started looking for something to eat. We made it all the way up to Caseys and then I mentioned something about a sandwich place I had seen and Tim wanted to go there so we went back an got in the line. It wasn't too bad and we did get a table, even though we had to eat outside. I had a Croque Monsieur, Basically a hot ham and cheese sandwich with more cheese on top, and Tim had a cold ham and cheese sandwich more like a sub. We both had a soda and a chocolate muffin. This was our first time using the dining plan and we weren't sure how it worked, I knew we could eat at the buffet restaurants and other places if there was a price difference we paid the difference, and if there was any leftover you aren't supposed to get anything back but this guy used one meal credit for both of us since it added up to that amount. My sandwich was pretty good, the muffin was really good and rich. While walking up Main Street, a few times we heard some music and chimes playing and then some artificial Snow would fall outside, Seemed like it was about every 30 minutes or so, it was nice.

    Editing to add pics of the menu sign that shows our meal:







    I am having trouble uploading pics from my computer so I will have to stop here, I will try and fix the issue or just upload them to Photobucket like I did for my cell pics...
     
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    rndmr2

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 3, 2009
    Got most of my pics uploaded so I should be good now for some updates.

    After we finished our late lunch we headed the rest of the way back up Main Street and decided where to go next. We really didn't have any set plans for the days in the parks we figured we would just wing it. I did have an idea of what I wanted to see but there was no real schedule. I knew we wouldn't be doing any major thrill rides since my husband is NOT a thrill ride kind of person.

    Funny story, growing up, my husband had never been to any carnivals or amusement parks, his family was more into things like camping. So our first trip to WDW together in 2004 was his first time going to any sort of amusement park ever. And what do I do to him? What ride did I take him on for his first ride ever? Space Mountain...:scared1: All I saw was a short wait and said ohh let's get in line! Well needless to say he hated it, hated every minute. I am lucky he got on anything after that. :rotfl:

    So we headed into Tomorrowland (I know it's called Discoveryland there but it will always be Tomorrowland to me). I told him that they had a Buzz Lightyear ride there and that's where he wanted to go first so we did, the wait was 20-30 minutes, I don't remember exactly. Most of it was inside which in the weather we had there, was very welcome. It was fun, I really like the fact that the laser blasters are movable. I usually don't do all that well on this one and I guess compared to others it might not have been that great but this is the best score I have ever gotten. I took a picture of our ride picture and we both look a little high but I will post it anyway.













     

    rndmr2

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 3, 2009
    After our ride on Buzz, we walked around the area, taking pics. We stopped a few times to look at the map to figure out where we were and what we could do next. It wasn't all that crowded back there, If I remember correctly, the line for Space Mountain (Hyperspace Mountain) wasn't even too bad. I suggested Star Tours, the wait was only 10 minutes. My hubby is not a thrill ride fan, although that is one he can usually tolerate but he wouldn't go for some reason.




    I saw that they had Mickey's Philharmagic there and we went to that. They had just let people in for a show so there was a small wait. I sort of expected some sort of pre- show, there were screens but there wasn't one. There were probably about 75-100 people in the theater for the show. Took a couple pics outside and in the pre-show area

    The entrance was behind this:







    The show was cute, pretty much the same as the one in Florida but it was about 1/2 French and 1/2 English. It was getting close to closing by this time. I think it was about 6:00 (1800) at this point and the park closed at 7 (1900) so we headed to the general area of the castle to wait for the Illuminations show on the castle. We were lucky enough to find a bench not too far from the hub so we sat there and people watched. The was a little store just across the way so I went in there for a bit, it was pretty hectic in there but I was able to get through. I got myself a keychain and some post cards that I had every intention to fill out and mail but never did. I also got some little strawberry candies, oh they were good and I am pretty sure they are the same as ones we had YEARS ago in WDW and really loved and I think they had them for 2 trips but the next time we went they didn't have them and I haven't seen them since. These were bigger but they tasted the same. I was so excited about these little candies but I was also so sad because everyone I could think of who loved these candies and would remember them was now gone. I was on a trip in Aug 1987 with My nephew, my Mom and my Aunt (and her daughter (who was missing her BF and barely spent any time with us) and grand daughter) then I am pretty sure we had them the next trip with my sister and her family but sadly all 3 of them are now gone. Oh well, they were good and I have those memories.

    I got quite a few pics of the show, I did take a couple videos too but I think they might have been lost with my camera upload issues. If I locate them I will post them but for now here are some pics













    We headed out after the show. I really liked it. It will never beat Wishes, though. At least the music and all the emotions welling up that happens when I watch/hear the music for that one...

    The pretty tree all lit up

     
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  • BadPinkTink

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 13, 2015
    The theatre Mickey's Philharmagic is in was originally built for Captain EO, which had a pre show video. They haven't really changed the theatre at all since then, even though its been used for various things.
     

    rndmr2

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 3, 2009
    The theatre Mickey's Philharmagic is in was originally built for Captain EO, which had a pre show video. They haven't really changed the theatre at all since then, even though its been used for various things.
    Ohh ok Now that I think of it, the theater (or at least the pre-show area) looks very much like the one for Captain EO that was in Epcot.
     

    rndmr2

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 3, 2009
    Picking up where I left off, I probably could have added to the end of the previous update but I was falling asleep over the computer so I just hit "post."

    We started heading out of the park after Illuminations and I wanted to go through one of the indoor walkways behind Main Street. We went through the one to the left going out, I think it was called the "Discovery Arcade." It was nice to get out of the cold a little bit. I went into a couple stores but didn't get anything. I did see something I wanted to get our nephews (My husband's late brother's 2 boys, the older one turned 12 in March and the younger one just turned 11) at the store in Discoveryland but I figured I would get that closer to the end of the trip.

    I don't know if I mentioned how much colder it was than I expected. (Much better than at home, though, it was 20's and snow there) I had looked at the forecast before we left and it did say it was likely to rain (which it did some days) but it was going to be mid 50's and it was low 40's instead, so we WAY underdressed. We had much lighter weight jackets than we really needed.

    We really had hoped to take the shuttle bus back to the hotel but somehow we couldn't find the bus stop and ended up just walking again. It seemed shorter on the way back than it did on the way there (isn't it always the way?). So we got back to the hotel and we were a little hungry. We didn't have any snacks or anything in the room, we did have drink packets and those liquid things you squirt into water bottles to flavor them but no food. We remembered the lady when we checked in said that the buffet restaurant was open until 10:30 (2230) so we decided to see if they took walk ins. We got in the line and there were a few groups in front of us. We heard the guy ask if people had reservations and if they didn't, told them to come back at 2100 (9pm). By the time we got to the front it was 2115 (9:15) but we figured we could wait, it was only about 25 minutes by this time. We went in the little gift shop and then just sat out in the lobby until it was time. They took our room card (Called a Magic Pass) and it was part of the meal plan. I think the total was 64 Euros or something like that. They asked what we wanted to drink (soda, juice coffee, etc) and that was on a little receipt that she gave me and said to give it at the bar. After we were seated, I went to the bar with that and the guy gave me 2 cups, they were regular red paper cups for fountain drinks and they had the Coke Freestyle machines there. I got a Coke Zero with Strawberry and I got him a Fuze peach iced tea. It was pretty good, It was a Tex Mex style buffet, they had all the makings for fajitas and then chicken with the veggies and then a pork with sauce to put in the shells, rice beans, chicken wings, pizza, pasta with red sauce, various salads, cheese, breads/rolls, tortilla chips with salsa and a cheese dip in a dispenser. It was pretty good. Here are my plates, I didn't get any of his:





    We went back to the room, We saved the cups to use in the room for drinks because at this point we didn't have any bottles to use and the cups in the room were really small, like maybe 6 ounce ones.

    We got up early the next morning and went to breakfast at the buffet, It was a decent size line, maybe we waited about 20 minutes or so to pay and then about 10-15 more in the line to get taken to a table. They had basic breakfast food, scrambled eggs but more moist than we usually have them here, some sliced and fried potatoes, baked beans, and then there was bacon that was VERY lightly cooked, I like my bacon REALLY dark and crispy, more than even most people here in the states like but I was able to find some pretty well done pieces at the bottom of the pan. They also had croissants, both plain and chocolate, and then rolls and regular bread for toast. Then they had fruit, yogurt, deli meats, cheese (Gouda and cheddar) cold cereal. Then out in the dining area they had dispensers for Orange and Apple Juice, and then a machine that dispensed coffee, cappuccino, espresso, latte, and hot chocolate and then one for milk. I will post the breakfast pic here and then the rest of the day in Paris will be the next couple of posts.

     

    rndmr2

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 3, 2009
    Saturday November 9th.

    OK. Today is the day. The main reason we were here in Paris. The day of the concert had finally arrived after a year of waiting (The presale for the tickets was actually on November 9th last year) but really also a year and 10 months plus 30+ years. We had gotten up and had our breakfast (see previous post) so now we headed to the bus that takes guests to the parks and the train station was right there. It was a long double length bus with the accordian thing in the center. We had to stand but it was a short ride. The bus stop was right alongside the train station and the bus let us off practically at the door. We wandered around the train station for a few minutes trying to figure out where to go but finally we did. We bought tickets to Paris and then went down to the train platform. One train left while we were coming downstairs but another one came by fairly quick. It was about an hour ride I think.

    Backing up a little bit, Since we really had only planned this one day in actual Paris I knew there was no way we could see everything and a couple weeks before leaving I started thinking we should do a tour of some sort. I went on Trip Advisor to see about tours and I saw a couple companies that do hop on- hop off double-decker bus tours. I decided to book one of those, that way we could get transportation around the city to the things we wanted to see and not have to worry about Uber, getting lost, etc. The one I picked had slightly better reviews and was called Big Bus tours https://www.bigbustours.com/en/paris/paris-bus-tours/ We got the classic ticket + River cruise. It was 43.20 Euros each (the one without the cruise was 35 or something so the hour river cruise was 8 euros, a good deal I thought.) I had also seen on another TR on here a museum that I really wanted to see and it was one of the stops on this tour that was called the Musee D'Orsay. I even bought tickets to it the night before online so we wouldn't have to wait in a long ticket line. I tried to get ones for the Lourve, too but couldn't. For the Lourve you had to actually pick an appointment time but times were unavailable for that day.

    OK back to the trip. I probably should have looked more into where to actually get off the train but I didn't. It worked out though. I was looking on my phone during the ride and decided that we would start at the Eiffel Tower. It was the first stop on the bus (you could start on any stop) so I looked up how to get to it. What I read said we would need to get off at the Charles De Gaulle stop and walk about 3/4-1 mile to get there. We got off the train and right at the top of the steps from the train platform was this cute little flower shop/stand. On the top shelves there was this huge display of Orchids, they were so pretty. A little Back story here, the lead singer of a-ha, Morten, has a fascination with nature and loved Orchids as a kid/teenager and grew and bred them in his house (still loves them now but doesn't breed them anymore, He actually has 2 species named after him - a wild one that grows in Rwanda and a hybrid). FYI he also loved insects and especially butterflies and would order the cocoons/chrysalis from catalogs and kept them in the bathroom to mature, he said in his autobiography that one he kept had a wingspan of 11 inches! His poor mother... :rotfl:





    After some wandering around the station we finally figured out how to get outside and what do we see at the top of the steps (down the road a little ways)? The Arc de Triomphe! I said Oh great, that's one of the stops too, so we headed towards it, taking lots of pics, here are a couple:







    That circle was treacherous! Cars, trucks, buses and bikes were going in and out and all around, there was no rhyme or reason to it, No lines to mark lanes, we were a little afraid of crossing it to get to the other side where the bus stop was and we were crossing at the outer area across the little feeder roads. We saw a bus and headed over but we knew it would leave before we could get to it but that was ok. We got on the next one. We decided to sit up top, outside to be able to see everything even though it was cold (45F or something like that = 7C). It was at least sunny for the most part. The description of the tour talked about live guides but we never heard/saw any guides, Maybe they only talked inside? There was recorded commentary but we didn't figure out you needed ear buds (and they were provided) until later in the day. Here are a couple more pics from the ride to the next stop that we got off:

















     
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  • rndmr2

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 3, 2009
    We just sat up on the top looking out at the sights, the beautiful architecture. We passed by one stop and got off at the next one, The Trocadero because I had seen the Eiffel tower as we approached and remembered that there was a place across from the tower that is good for pics and figured this was it. If you don't know this is a big courtyard between 2 buildings/museums and this area overlooks a lower area that is a park/garden/fountain area. It is across the Seine from the Eiffel Tower and a great place to get pics of the whole thing, it is hard to get good pics of it from right at the actual tower. We spent a lot of time just looking and taking pics. A friend of mine from work (actually a former coworker, as he left a couple months ago but we keep in touch) had been to Paris before and was telling me that I just had to get a pic of myself where it looks like I am touching the top of the tower so we spent a while trying to get that but it was hard to figure out how to do it right. We eventually did and I look like a loon :rotfl: but I will post it anyway. I haven't posted it on Instagram or Facebook and I did plan to send it to him directly but I haven't gotten the nerve to do it yet (because of the looking like a crazy loon thing :laughing: )

    Here we are:













    There was some sort of demonstration/protest happening, we had no idea what it was about, I don't think they were speaking French.









     

    rndmr2

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 3, 2009
    The next stop on the bus tour was the Eiffel Tower, there were other sights to see on the way but I guess I didn't get any pictures. We got off at this stop, we didn't have plans or tickets to go up in it but the River cruise tour left from nearby. It actually took some time to figure out where the boat tour left from, I was looking for a Big Bus Paris sign but if I had looked closer to the ticket printout, it does say they have a contract with another tour company for the boat tour. https://www.bateauxparisiens.com/english.html We finally found the Dock and got in line, we had to show them the voucher that they printed out when we got on the bus at the first stop and then we waited in a line, I think the boats left on the hour or something. We decided to sit inside by the windows because the outside seats were just bleacher style and facing the sides and I was a tiny bit apprehensive of motion sickness and wanted to face forward in a seat with a back. That is where the audio commentary was anyway. I don't remember what a lot of the things I took pics of were but I will post the pics anyway, if I know what it is I will add it.





















    Notre Dame







    More Notre Dame (We turned around just after we passed it)













    After this the boat went back the other way, I didn't take any more pics apparently. My Husband did go up to the outside part and took pics of Notre Dame but I keep forgetting to get him to send them to me. These are all Cell phone pics by the way, The Disney ones are with my good camera but I was afraid they wouldn't let me take it into the concert and I didn't want to take that chance so I left it at the hotel.

    After this we walked across the way and looked at the little lunch stand that they had there, we were pretty hungry and were looking to eat something but the line was pretty long so we went back up to the street level and headed back to the bus stop. There were a bunch of street vendors with stuff set up on blankets all along the sidewalk in front of/under the Eiffel tower. Luckily they weren't real pushy like you get in some places, like the Caribbean. We got back on the bus and this is when we finally got the tour commentary to listen to. It was getting colder out so after a few minutes upstairs we started thinking about moving inside. At a red light we finally did and jumped into the first 2 seats that were empty and it was a tight fit with another couple facing us. I felt like I was hanging off the seat at the next stop some people got off and we went to the seats they left and these were with the wrap from the bus on the window so it wasn't good for picture taking. I ended up dozing a little and tuned out the commentary but I had told the hubby that we needed to get off at the next stop for that museum but I guess he dozed too and we ended up missing the stop! We looked at the list and the next stop was pretty far and it was getting late enough in the day that I didn't want to try to get Uber or a cab to get back to the museum because we needed to eat and then I had made plans to meet up with a few friends before the concert.

    Not sure about the picture limit so I will end here and do Dinner and the concert on the next post.
     

    rndmr2

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 3, 2009
    There is a huge online community of fans dedicated to the band (seems similar to the Disney community on here and Facebook) and I have met so many great people. There are pages dedicated to each of them individually and then as a band. A few of us branched off to form our own little group, there were originally 8 of us and one dropped out right away and then another one a few months ago and then a 3rd one about a month ago we are all still friendly on the regular pages just not on our private one. So there are 5 of us left and 4 of us were going to be at this Paris Concert (the 5th one and 2 of the 3 that I met that night were also at the Amsterdam Show the night before and they were also continuing on to 4 shows in Germany. One woman (Tami) is from Munich, the other (Brigitte) is from Vienna. The 3rd one (Kristiina) was only going to this one in 2019 (there will be more in 2020) she is originally From Estonia but lives in Finland. She is the one I talk to the most, we have become pretty close, we talk on the messenger all the time, the others I mostly only talk to in comments on our page. I had opened up a 4 way message to find out what everyone's ETA was earlier in the day and Tami's flight had been delayed and she was only getting in at about 5:30/1730.

    We got off the bus at the stop we got on (at the Arc) and headed down the road to find a restaurant. we didn't want to look for too long so we went to one of the first places we saw (an Italian place, LOL) It was actually pretty good, I had a 4 cheese pizza with only 3 cheeses (I don't like gorganzola) and he had a burger. I did get pics of this one.



    Sorry, I took a bite...



    The bun was a little burned but he said the burger was good...



    After dinner we put in our location in the Uber app to get a ride to the hotel where the gals were staying. Brigitte and Kristiina were staying together and then Tami had her teenage daughter with her. It was only a few blocks from the venue. It took about 15 minutes to get there. I texted them when we got there and they came down and we sat in the little sitting area in the lobby for a while chatting, catching up on their travel that day, the concert last night, etc. It was fun to meet them but a little weird, too, I had never done anything like that before (except meeting my hubby online).Thankfully they all speak English, of course with accents. They were all really nice. We took the bus to the venue, we waited about 15 minutes for one to come and then walker the block or so from the bus stop and then across the bridge to get to it. I never got a pic of the outside of the building so I got this one from their Facebook page:



    It was a beautiful venue. The concert was amazing, the sound and acoustics in the building were excellent. The band was awesome. They are all so talented. Morten's voice is incredible even after all these years. He is so beautiful in person, Pictures definitely don't do him a bit of justice, especially the blurry ones I mostly got.. I will post just a few pics from the concert here.















    Our seats were in the 7th row but way to the left of the stage so we were still pretty far for picture taking purposes. My regular camera would have been better but I guess my cell did ok. The last few were taken during the last 2 songs when the security let us go up to the front, I saw people running up there and took my chance to get a little closer. It was crowded but fun. It is really crazy, I am not one to get all fan girly and scream at concerts and have never really gone crazy over a band before, funny the last time I remember feeling like this about a specific band was them, too...

    After the concert was over we met up with my friends again and we decided to find a place to get a bite to eat. It was raining at this point. Funnily enough we ended up at another Italian place...:thumbsup2:laughing: It was called La Giostra.

    I had a grilled chicken Caesar Salad and a glass of wine and he had a 3 meat pizza and a soda. The others had either Pizza or Salads. It was really good but expensive (42 euros/about $46). We closed down the restaurant- they turned the lights off within a few minutes after we left. We said goodbye to the girls outside and ended up calling an Uber to take us back to the hotel. We realized that we really lost track of time and there was no way we could make it to a train station and make the last train. The Uber cost a bunch (69 euros/$76) but we were lucky to get one, it took him about 5-10 minutes to get to us and then about 30 minutes back to the hotel.

    I wish we had thought to get a pic of all of us together but we didn't. I better end here for the night, I will post the 2 more Disney days next.
     

    rndmr2

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 3, 2009
    Sunday November 10th

    By the time we got back to the room and settled in the night before it was after 2am. For some reason I never thought about how bad the crowds would be on Sunday. I didn't think we needed to worry about the extra Magic hours so we just decided to try to be there by Park opening time which I believe was 10. We set the alarm for about 8am and then went to breakfast at about 9. It was the same as the day before, I had pretty much the same thing except I had some cereal also.

    I took a couple pics of the outside of the Hotel buildings and grounds on the way to breakfast. It was a gray and drizzly day:







    The line for the shuttle bus was pretty long but they sent buses pretty often, we got to sit but ended up on I think the 3rd bus. We got off the bus and walked through the Village towards the park entrances. We decided to start with Disneyland Park today. We could see that it was VERY crowded and at first thought of changing our minds and going to the Studios but the whole central area was crowded and it seemed to not matter which park people were going to, it seemed to be equally crowded both places so we stayed put. It was cold and drizzly and the line (if you could call it that) for the security/bag check was LONG, it filled the whole central area. It actually ended up taking over 2 hours to get to the front. At first it seemed something was holding it up but I think it was really just more Volume than anything else. After talking to some people, I later figured out that a lot of the crowds were due to the fact that the Christmas stuff had just started Saturday and there were probably a lot of locals/day trippers there to see all the new stuff.

    Here are a couple pics of the crowd:





    We finally got into the park, it was crowded but with that huge security line I definitely expected it to be wall to wall people but it wasn't. We did a few rides and the lines we waited in weren't too terribly long. We headed right to the left side of Main street because I wanted a few minutes in the inside walkway to get out of the cold for a few minutes and then I also had to use the bathroom after that crazy line. We decided to head to the left side to make our way around since we started on the right on Friday when we were there. This is when I found out that my Husband did NOT want to go on Big Thunder Mountain... :eek: :sad2: I tried and tried but couldn't talk him into it. I was so disappointed, I really wanted to go on it because I had heard that it was the best one of all BTM's but I really did NOT want to go by myself. I took a few pics and then we got in line for The Haunted Mansion (it's called Phantom Manor there) and I took more pis while in line.







    It's weird to see that the train is green here instead of Orange/Yellow like it is in Florida





    More in line at the Phantom Manor





    We got cut off right at the entrance...



    A few pics inside, they didn't turn out great but I will post them anyway. I deleted the REALLY bad ones...





    The experience is essentially the same but the pics on the walls in the Stretching room are different:











    For some reason when we were being seated in the cars, my husband couldn't move fast enough or something and got into the "Doom Buggy" behind me.. A few once we got on the ride:













    I liked the costumes for the cast members here, my favorite color purple so of course I had to get a pic:



    More BTMRR:








    Continued in next post due to picture limit...
     

    rndmr2

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 3, 2009
    a-ha has a song on their first album called "The Blue Sky" that came to mind when I saw this little glimpse, pretty much the only one we got all day... I even sang a little bit of it, hope no one heard me :rotfl:







    We decided to go towards Pirates of the Caribbean next but then stopped for a detour when we saw that the Molly Brown was there and boarding...



    The Riverboat(called the Molly Brown), these were taken while we were in line at Phantom Manor.







    .



    It was a nice ride, we sat for most of it, there were little rooms with benches on the inside, I really wanted to sit for a few minutes and be inside. It got stuffy in there after a little bit but I didn't think there were any benches outside and where we were looked crowded outside so we stayed put.



    A few on the way to Pirates:



    The Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse (my maiden Name is Robinson so I always get a kick out of this one, we are not Swiss, though, LOL) We did NOT go in there, who wants to do all those steps? :faint: I am a bigger person so not in the best shape but I do ok with all the walking. It was different here, though. The Cold made it harder, I think.











    This was a Pirate ship play area that was closed, probably due to the weather















    From pics I have seen there is usually water coming out of the mouth of this skull











    Some duckies:











    We got to Pirates and some of the line was outside but most was inside, I think we waited about 30 minutes or so. There were these sort of annoying kids behind us, I didn't complain or anything, I figured they had to release their energy somehow but then they kept coming around to the sides of us, I was convinced they were trying to cut in line (there was LOTS of that, by the way). Right at the end like in the last 5 minutes there was this woman and her family that actually did cut in. I tried and tried not to let her get in front of us but I finally had to give up and just let her go, I was SO mad but I am too nice to actually have said anything to her.



    This was taken on the way to the ride but it is the sign outside:



    Our ride picture, I am kind of hidden (you can see me there in the 4th row in purple) but I will post it anyway:



    After Pirates we headed into Fantasyland, I went into a couple stores but didn't buy anything. We had a late lunch/early dinner there but I realize I have to upload those pics so I will stop here and start the next part when I upload them. I have them for the rest of this day/night but not this next installment.
     

    rndmr2

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 3, 2009
    Cont'd from previous post:

    After Pirates we headed into Fantasyland. At first we just walked around and took some pics of the area, the Christmas displays and general scenery.



    I think this is Alice's Labyrinth, if it was better weather I would have liked to have gone through it













    It was late afternoon at this point maybe 4:00 (1600)? We decided to look for something to eat then see about going on a ride or 2, we had a few we wanted to do - Peter Pan, Snow White, Pinocchio, Small World, we had no interest in the tea cups and the carousel was closed (refurbishment). We saw the menu for the Pinocchio themed place and decided to try there. It was pretty good, I got the Pork shank and sauerkraut and he got the Bavarian Hot Dog (looked more like a sausage). This is another one where they used 1 meal credit/voucher to pay for both of us, there was a difference of about 2 euros so I just paid that with cash. Here are a couple pics. I uploaded the full menu and attached it to the post It might be at the bottom...









    His didn't come with dessert but I shared mine. It was good. I couldn't finish mine but made a good dent in it. Would have been easier to eat with real silverware, LOL. It was busy but not totally crowded, we got a table easily. There was outside seating as well but it was too cold and drizzly to eat outside. It was a cute little area so in better weather it seemed like it would be nice to eat outside. Got a couple pics of the restaurant itself, wall mural, etc:





    After dinner we went on the Pinocchio ride. I think we waited about 20-25 minutes or so. It was cute, we don't have this one in WDW. Same idea as Snow White and what Mr Toad was like (miss that one, looking forward to hopefully seeing it again when I go to DLR next year)







    Thought this part was cute, looked like Christmas/Gingerbread house like:









    We walked around a little more but the lines for everything else were too long (Peter Pan was like 80 minutes or something crazy like that) and decided to just head back to the room. I think it was about 7:00 (1900) the park was open till 9 (2100) but at this point and we were tired and cold. We decided to go back and get a good night sleep and start EARLY in the morning to get to the Park for the Extra magic hour for once in our lives and maybe beat some of the crowds. We also thought we might get a little ahead of them leaving too, we did get a seat on the bus but it was pretty crowded even leaving at that time. Took lots of pics of the castle on the way out (I still am sad I lost the daytime ones I took on that first day...)































    I stopped in a couple stores on the way out but they were crazy, hectic, crowded so I didn't buy anything. I did stop in one just before leaving through the gates and got a few snacks (sodas and chips) for back in the room. It was really nice to get in the bed that night...
     

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    rndmr2

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 3, 2009
    Monday November 11th

    Since it was so crowded the day before we decided to get up much earlier than we did Sunday and try to get to the park before the Extra magic hour opening. We were up and out of the room by I think it was about 7:30, the breakfast opened at that time. We went to the restaurant and we followed along to find the end of the line and it was all the way out the door through the length of the main building. The restaurant was open and full at that point so we knew it would be a LONG wait to get in because we were basically now waiting for people to finish eating and leave. We were sure it was going to take a LONG time to get through this line so we decided to just skip breakfast and just go to the park and then grab something there. Best decision we ever made, LOL. So many times during the morning we would look at each other and say, wow, I bet we would still have been in that breakfast line...:cool1:

    We went over to the bus stop and we waited for a little while, I think we got on the 2nd bus. We walked over to the Studios. Maybe the early time would have been better for DL but we hadn't been to the Studios at all yet. We made it through the security gate easily and were at the line for the Park entrance about 20 minutes before the Extra Magic Hour opening. We were the 2nd or 3rd group in the line we picked. I was so excited, I have never been at the gate anywhere close to rope drop timing before. I even posted on Facebook about it. A couple pics, I loved seeing all the Christmas decorations :



    I was SO happy to see the Earful Tower here!!! I loved it at WDW and was so sad that they took it down.





    This was in a courtyard just after the turnstiles:







    We talked about where to go first, I had forgotten the booklet that had the list of the things open for the extra magic hours. At first we headed to the Toy story area but then noticed people heading off to the side and I noticed a sign for the Ratatouille ride and remembered reading about that one. They are apparently building it in France at Epcot and after riding it in Paris, I can't wait.





    A Selfie that we took while in line, we only waited about 20 minutes:



    We LOVED this ride! It was so much fun, the cars were cute, they were big rats.

    There were these cute little booths along a walkway not far from the ride where we decided to get some breakfast. Here are pics of the menus







    We got the ham and cheese crepes with hot chocolate, they were good:



    We headed to the toy story area next. It was really cute.



    We got on the Slinky Dog ZigZag Spin ride. It was fun, we waited about 10-15 minutes for it. The queue barriers were like Lincoln Logs:













    Couple more pics of the area, Hubby wouldn't do other rides here...





     
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    rndmr2

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 3, 2009
    Monday November 11th, continued

    After Slinky Dog we walked around the area and took some pics.

    It was cold and gray and drizzly but I really wanted to do the Backlot tour. I was excited because I always liked it in WDW. I was sad that they took it out and really happy when I realized that they had it in Paris. I believe it is closing there, too soon. It was really cold waiting in line and then it started raining harder while we were on the tram. It would have been much better in warmer weather but it was still fun. There wasn't quite as much to see as in Florida. There was a video commentary on screens in each section of the tram. It was Jeremy Irons (I'm pretty sure) and I don't know who the woman was. He spoke English and she spoke French. I was looking forward to seeing the Catastrophe Canyon part (partially for the heat from the fire, LOL) Here are a few pics:

    The entrance and the beginning of the line.















    Catastrophe Canyon (Not sure if that's what it was called here):



















    There was supposed to have been a big dragon or something like that in there...









    After this we thought about having some lunch but weren't sure what to have but then decided to head over to DL to see if we could finish up what we had missed over there and figured we could find something to eat too. We had really seen everything we could see at the Studios because we weren't thrill ride fans. They weren't running the Mickey and the Magician show that day either. As we were leaving we saw a sign for the Frozen 2 preview show so we decided to go to that first.



    It was cute, it was basically the first 10 or 15 minutes of the movie.

    After we got to DL took some pics of the Decorations







    Then we went about looking for food. We had planned to look for Counter service but then Saw there was a small line in front of the Plaza Gardens Restaurant and there was a sign saying it was for people without reservations. It didn't look that long and the one for those with Ressies was really short so I figured they must have lots of openings. I think we waited about 20 minutes or so once they actually opened, not too bad. We were seated at a little 2 top not far from the buffet.

    The one glimpse of the Christmas Parade while we were waiting:



    Some food pics:







    -those little pink things are those candies I talked about the first night, and that thing with the little red Minnie Bow was REALLY good, it was Caramel mousse type thing and it had a little crispiness to the center and bottom.

    Continued in next post...
     
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