Going to try something a bit different this time... First I'll tell you all about our day trip to DLP, then I'll post some pictures later!
So as some of you may know, we decided a couple of weeks ago to go and spend a day in DLP. My sister and her family is visiting from Canada, and didn't have much time to go and visit her in-laws, who live in France (about 6-7 hours from Luxembourg). So instead they decided to meet up in Marne la Vallée, and spend a day together in Disneyland! And of course there was no way I was going to let anyone go to DLP without me....
So there were 11 of us! There was my sister with her husband and my nephew Hugo (21 months old), his parents, his sister and her two children (Manon, a 4 year old girl and Axel, her 17 months old brother), and of course us: Cris, me and our Alicia (19 months old). Yes, we had said again and again that we were going to wait for her to be a bit older (and for the better spring weather) to take her... But we couldn't resist Christmas!! And this was the first trip for all the kids!!
We drove there Thursday night, and met up with everyone in a hotel near Disney (the old Citea in Magny le Hongre, it is now an Adagio hotel). We got there on the late side (after 9pm... way past Alicia's bedtime). Alicia of course did not sleep at all during the drive (she fell asleep when we were getting there, on the last 5 minutes
) By the time we all had dinner, and got ready for bed, it was past 11...
We didn't have a great night, to be honest... It took us a while to go to sleep (personally I was slightly over excited about going to DLP on the next day...) Alicia woke up a few times, including at 5am when she decided it was time for a chat, she was sitting in her bed talking to us for a while before finally going back to sleep
At least when we got up early the next day we knew it was for a good reason! We had decided to leave around 9:15 to get early to the park, so by 9am the three of us had had breakfast and were packing everything back in the car... But of course the others (they were all staying in the same cottage, we had one for just the three of us) were not ready.... My sister said they would be ready in 20 minutes (biiiiig mistake believing that....) so we decided to wait for them (another mistake....)
The plan was to get to the park around 9:30 to have time to admire all the Christmas decorations and take plenty of pictures (after all, this was a historical first trip for all the children!!) So guess at what time we ended up getting into the park????? After 10:30
Yes, I was fuming. My plan was to get a few rides done in the morning, when all the kids are well awake, before going for the Christmas parade at 11:15, followed by lunch at 12:00 (I had booked it in Agrabah Cafe), giving the smaller children plenty of time for a nice nap after lunch. Having one hour delay completely changed everything...
So yes, I was quite annoyed (particularly at myself, I know my sister and her husband, they both totally unreliable when it comes to timings, I should have never waited for them) but well, we were in Disneyland, it was Christmas, and it was my baby's first time!!!
The park was looking beautiful. I love this year's decorations! The decorations around Town Square are pretty much the same as other years, but having those beautiful garlands on Main Street changes everything... It looks really classy!! It was a very dull, grey day (it rained on and off all day, not brilliant really....) but even with the low light everything looked beautiful. Then you get to Central Plaza and the Castle and they have more great new decorations... Definitely the best Christmas in years!!!
Very slowly we made our way towards IASW, which is one of my favourite rides, and have found in the past it's a great first ride for children! By now it was almost 11 am (yes, not much time before the Christmas parade....), and Alicia, who had been really enjoying herself so far (she was loving the decorations, and seeing Goofy with his Santa outfit!) was starting to look a bit more pale, and very sleepy... There was pretty much no queue so we quickly all sat in our boat. And my poor baby by now could barely keep her eyes open!!
As soon as we were in and she heard the music and saw the dolls she woke up a bit, but she was really struggling... My nephew though was loving it!! He's always been very much into animals, and he was loving seeing so many different ones (I'm not sure he noticed many of the dolls
) To be honest, I was feeling a bit dissapointed, because Alicia was too tired to enjoy the ride fully. Plus I kept thinking that if only we had gotten there earlier, when she was wide awake, she would have enjoyed it a lot more!!
After IASW it was time for the Christmas parade (and thankfully they were coming up from Main Street to Fantasyland, otherwise we would have missed it!) Again once she heard the music and saw the first dancers Alicia woke up a bit and watched it all (and she was very happy to see Mickey and the others). It's such a great little parade!! We were next to Bella Notte, and there were not many people around, so a lot of the dancers were coming to see us, it was really good fun. It's about time we got a proper Christmas parade, I hope they keep it for the coming years. I missed the wooden toy soliders, though... I love the sound of their feet marching!
We had a bit of time before lunch, and Alicia had a little nap (she fell asleep as soon as the parade finished...). While some waited to meet Belle in her photo location by the Old Mill, others went for a little walk around Fantasyland. We ended up having to change the lunch reservation for 12:30 because the queue to see Belle was quite long... At least it gave my little girl a chance to catch up with her sleep a bit!
Lunch at the Agrabah Cafe was great, as usual. We hadn't been there in quite a while, it was nice to see their salad buffet was as good as we remembered it. Plus it was nice to be inside, where it was warm and dry (it had began raining.... ) It was during lunch that we realised Alicia was feeling a little too hot
Fortunately with so many kids and moms, we had plenty of medicines to choose from, and after lunch and a little paracetamol she seemed to feel better...
After a great lunch, we had a little walk around the Passage Enchanté d'Aladdin, then got some fastpasses for Peter Pan (20 minutes queue, and fastpasses for 30 minutes later!), and then headed to Sir Mickey's for a bit of shopping, while my sister's husband took his niece to the Carousel. We got Alicia a Minnie plush (the one with the 20th anniversary costume), and she didn't let go of it for the rest of the day
Though it seems that running around the shop exhausted her, because once we payed for her Minnie she sat in her push chair without any complaints and fell asleep pretty much straight away...
Some of us did Peter Pan, followed by Dumbo. Again my nephew was loving it all (particularly the crocodile in Peter Pan, and of course flying the elephant... As I said, he loves animals!!)
After Dumbo we saw the queue for Mickey was just 20 minutes, and you can't really go to DLP and not try to see the big boss!! Alicia woke up just in time as well
, so most of us went in (my sister's in-laws stayed outside with Axel, who was still asleep). The queue felt quite fast, first you have the cartoons to entertain everyone, and then in no time, you're entering Mickey's room!! And this was probably the highlight of the day for me. Until now I had been feeling a bit down, with Alicia feeling a bit ill and very sleepy all day... But she was so happy to see Mickey!! She wasn't scared of anything, she gave him a big kiss, and let him hold her hand and all, I was so proud!! Fortunately we had given our camera to the CM there and he took plenty of pictures...
Then it was time for the parade. Again it was a good thing it was coming up from Main Street towards Fantasyland, because otherwise we wouldn't have been able to get a decent viewing spot. Once more we found ourselves by the Bella Notte. This time my little girl was wide awake, and watched the whole parade in my arms. She loved it!! It was really good fun
Though I have to say, it's not easy holding my little girl for soooo long!! My arms were killing me!!! Plus I was taking pictures with my free hand. But there was no way I was going to give up on sharing that moment with her
After the parade some of us did IASW again, while the others went to visit the Castle. This time Alicia really enjoyed the ride, she kept pointing at everything and staring everywhere with her eyes wide open
By then it was all dark, it was feeling a bit colder, and people were starting to be tired.... Now if you've ever been to DLP with a group, you may have found that it moves very slowly, and that everyone takes forever to decide anything.... My husband and I are used to going on our own, we know what we want to do, and are not used to wasting so much time!! Plus I was still upset about getting there so late in the morning in the first place... So when we saw that another debate was starting, about whether to go or stay, or do this or do that... We left! Alicia looked like she was feeling better, we didn't have much time left before the tree lightning ceremony, and we wanted to make the most out of it. So I told them to send me a message if they decided to stay, and we left.
We went to Discoveryland hoping to do Buzz, but the queue was 20 minutes, and that got us a little too close to the tree lightning... So instead we had a quick look around the shops in Main Street (definitely not the best time to do it, they were all packed), and around 6 or so went to stand by the tree.
The Christmas Tree lightning was lovely. Again it didn't seem to change much from other years (the little girl helping Mickey and friends now wears a beautiful magician's costume, and uses a magic wand to light up the tree, but otherwise it's the same as other years). But it's a really cute little show
And Alicia loved it, she's definitely a fan of the characters!!
We then made our way towards Central Plaza. We found a pretty decent spot, in a little terrace next to the Plaza Gardens. It wasn't a perfect view (there was a speaker blocking a bit of the Castle), but otherwise it was not bad, plus there was some green in front of us so no one could stand blocking our way, and since we were the only ones there for quite a bit, Alicia could run around as much as she wanted! And then once the show started, she could stand on one of the tables, so we wouldn't need to hold her all the time...
First, the Castle lightning, which for some reason is not in the programme this year. I think it took place around 6:45 (Dreams was at 7:00). So beautiful with the fountains!!! Quite magical
And finally, Dreams
I won't go on about it again. You all know how good it is
I just can't wait to see it again...
And then it was time to go back!! We were meeing up the others (who at then end had left before Dreams....) again at the hotel (my sisters' inlaws were staying another night, but we were driving back that evening). We had a quick dinner, said our goodbyes, and by 9 we were back on the road. About an hour after leaving poor Alicia was burning up again
so it wasn't the best drive... Of course by the time we go home (around midnight) the medicines we gave her again had taken effect and she was feeling great, but fortunately she didn't have much trouble going to sleep.... Just for your info, she was totally fine the next day!!
It was a bit of a mixed trip for us, if I'm honest... For one we hardly did any rides (I went twice on IASW, and once on Peter Pan!!) We spent most of our time in Fantasyland, only went to Adventureland for lunch, to Discoveryland to see the information board witht the waiting times, and didn't even set foot in Frontierland, which is probably my favourite land!! Then Alicia wasn't feeling great, so I was worried about her. And finally trying to get 11 people to go from A to B at a normal pace was mission impossible, so I was feeling quite frustrated!! But then, we were also in Disney.... When she was awake and feeling good, Alicia was having a great time, particularly whenever characters were around. And Hugo, he's definitely one of us!! He's still talking about seeing Baloo in the parade
Manon is in the perfect age to enjoy Disney, she loved every minute of it, you should have seen her face when Tinkerbell waved at her during the parade!! I think it was a mistake to try and stick together all the time, we should have split up more often (and we shouldn't have wasted 1 hour waiting for everyone to get ready in the morning....)
I've now uploaded all the pictures, so I'll post some soon!!