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Unread 23 Aug 18, 04:40 PM  
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Lisa_Lollipop
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Charlie's First DLP Adventure - August 2018 - Travel Day

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Wednesday 8th August 2018
Steps: 17,404
Miles: 7.11

So despite the alarm being set for 5:30am I was awake at the horrendous hour of 3am as the hotel room was so unbearably hot! Its fair to say that measly fan was not doing much! I ended up getting out of the double bed and moving over to the single bed that was on the other side of the room closer to the fan! Charlie then woke up 3:50am but after a quick feed he was soon settled back down again (frequent wake ups throughout the night are a normal occurrence!).

By this point I was wide awake, a mixture of extreme overheating and also excitement at the day ahead! As a result I found myself googling Sequoia Lodge to check they have air con in their rooms I was relieved to find they did! I must have eventually fallen asleep as at 5:30am I found myself being awoken by the alarm. After such a disturbed night sleep its fair to say I was feeling pretty pooped so ended up hitting the snooze button twice and didnt end up dragging myself out of bed until 5:50am. Paul and I got ourselves ready, leaving Charlie to sleep as long as we possibly could!

Charlie woke at 6:50am, and despite considerably less sleep than he is used to he was in good spirits although looked very tired! After a quick feed and nappy change he was dressed and ready to go!



With everything packed up and ready to go we left the hotel at 6:50am. Paul loaded everything back into the car whilst I got Charlie comfy in his carseat for the short drive over to the Eurotunnel terminal.



By 6:55am we were pulling up at the terminal and on checking in we were told we had 25 minutes until our 7:50am train would be boarding.



As we had a little time and we were both feeling thirsty and a bit peckish we parked up to go into the terminal, stopping outside the car for a necessary family selfie a very excited face from me!



I love how the terminal is like a little airport!











I joined the Starbucks queue whilst Paul had a wander around with Charlie. I opted for a caramel latte and a pain au chocolate. Perfect way to start the day!





Paul headed over to La Gare and picked up a sausage bap for his breakfast and also two bottles of water and a bottle of Fanta (10.25). No photos of any of this, I can only assume I was holding Charlie and couldnt manage it!

With food and drink sorted we headed back to the car, noticing on the way out a kids play area, useful if you are stuck there for a longer amount of time!



We were back in the car by 7:30am and started making our way towards the trains, going first through UK passport control. On reaching the window I had to open the back door of the car so they could see Charlie. Happy that he was our child we were sent on our way but were then sent directly to the security inspection lane. We got stuck here for a while which was most annoying as Charlie is not the happiest when in the car when its not moving! Finally they came and swabbed the outside of the car and the steering wheel. Once this was tested they sent us on our way over to the French passport control.

Frustratingly the extra security stop meant we missed our planned 7:50am train, most annoying! We then found ourselves stuck in the queue for the next train to be loaded Charlie was really not at all happy at this point so Paul got out to distract him with a book.



Finally we got moving again and were loaded onto the 8:06am train instead.







The train departed late at 8:18am finally we were on our way to Calais! Happy car selfies! (Yes the Minnie ears had come out!)





The crossing over to Calais takes about 35 minutes so we took this time to get Charlie out of his car seat so he could stretch his legs a bit before the long drive at the other end.









The train arrived into Calais at 8:50am (9:50am local time). Charlie was not a happy bunny at being put back into his car seat, he was so tired at this point so we knew once we got moving he would be asleep pretty quickly!

Before pulling out of the train we set the sat nav up with the address for DLP, it was estimating a drive time of 2 hours and 56 minutes for the distance of 186 miles.



On pulling out of the train Paul asked what side of the road he should be driving on well that certainly filled me with confidence! He was of course joking (I think!). The sun was shining so out came the sunglasses lets get to Paris!







Within 10 minutes of being on the road Charlie was sound asleep, that early start had definitely caught up with him!



At 10:25am we reached the toll booths, a quick grab of the ticket from the machine and we were through.





The journey was pretty uneventful from there on out, it feels like one straight road from Calais to Paris! We exited the toll road at 12:05pm, paying the 22.10 charge by debit card (I dont think these machines actually take cash, well the one we pulled into didnt seem to anyway!)

Charlie woke up as we pulled up to the toll booth, at this point he had been asleep for over 2 hours so we couldnt really complain! Paul and I were both needing the toilet at this point so we made a plan to make a stop at the next services. At 12:20pm we pulled in the services at Vemar.





Inside they were pretty nice, I was particularly impressed by the fancy coffee machines!









Paul and I both had a loo stop and then we made use of the baby room to change Charlies nappy.





All feeling relieved we stopped in the shop to pick up some refreshments, a Cornetto for me and a can of Coke and bag of crisps for Paul.





As it was such a lovely day we took our goodies outside to sit on a bench out the front.





With food and drink demolished and Charlie topped up with some milk we made our way back to the car and were back on the road at 1:10pm. According to the sat nav we were only 35 minutes away now!



On getting closer and closer we discovered the address we had put into the sat nav was actually taking us into the centre of Marne La Vallee rather than DLP, most odd as I had used the one given on their website! We re-entered the address by searching for Sequoia Lodge hotel and found we were actually still 22 minutes away!

We finally arrived at Sequoia Lodge at 2:10pm, it was a little confusing on the approach to the hotel as they are doing considerable roadworks in the surrounding area so we kept getting diverted away from where we wanted to go. Paul took it all in his stride though (as always) and managed to get us there without any bother.

After showing our booking confirmation to the guy at the security hut we were waved through to the car park where we found a lovely end space to park up in. We were here! Disneyland Paris fun starts right now!









We had left all the luggage in the car with the intention to get checked in first and then go back to get it afterwards. On entering the hotel I had to go though the security scanner area as had the baby bag on me. They stopped me as the video camera in there looked suspicious, thankfully after a quick show of it they were happy to let me on my way!

On making our way into reception we were pleasantly surprised by how quiet it was!



I made my way up to the desk to get us checked in and was most happy to be told our room was ready despite it only being 2:40pm (check-in is normally after 3pm). With key cards (that are also your park tickets and hold you dining vouchers too) in hand we made our way back out of the hotel to go and collect all our bags from the car, stopping via bell services to borrow a luggage trolley (we would never been able to have done it in one trip otherwise, we had a lot of stuff!). Paul was ever the gentleman and pushed the trolley whilst I took Charlie in the pushchair.



By 3pm we were up at our room, number 4136 in the south wing. On making our way inside I made a quick dash around to get some photos before we made a mess everywhere!











The room was lovely, just what we were expecting from the photos and videos we had seen online. The theming was great and very in keeping with the lodge feel of the hotel. We had paid extra for a lake view room, I have to say it was a stretch calling it a lake view but if you hung yourself out of the window you could get a better view of the water!





We decided to leave the unpacking until later as we were keen to get out and explore, but I did find the time to get myself and Charlie changed into something more Disney appropriate!





By 3:45pm we were heading out of the room to go and explore the Disney magic! Fair to say I was pretty excited right about now!







On making our way down to the reception we got a little confused trying to find a step-free exit out of the hotel to the lake. We knew from our previous visit that we needed to head in that direction to make our way to Disney Village and the parks but it took a few minutes to find the lift that takes you from the reception level down to the restaurant level where the exit is!

Finally making it outside we stopped by the lake for a few photos.







We started making our way around the lake, past New York Hotel and towards Disney Village, whilst walking Charlie soon fell asleep!



The rest of the party were due to arrive on the Eurostar shortly so we made our way to the station so we could greet them (for those of you who may not have read my PTR, this trip was in celebration of Pauls sisters 40th birthday so there were going to be 17 of us in total for this trip, although I will only be sharing our adventures here!). There had been some considerable delays on the Eurostar that morning so they were actually arriving a couple of hours later than planned.

We managed to spot them leaving the station pretty easily and as this was the first time at DLP for the majority of them we decided to walk them back to Sequoia Lodge so no one got lost! We arrived back at the hotel at 4:45pm and Paul went inside to help his Mum and her partner John check-in (the rest of the party were staying in Golden Forest so had dedicated check-in).

Whilst Paul was inside I continued walking outside by the lake as Charlie was still asleep and I was keen for him to get as much sleep in as possible, it no doubt was going to be another late night ahead! It was lovely looking out onto the lake and knowing we had the whole trip ahead of us, I was so excited for everything to come.







Once Paul returned we made our way back through the village and towards the park, stopping at Cool Stop for a Cherry Coke (a steal at 3.49!)



By 5:30pm we were outside Disneyland Parc ready for Charlies very first entrance into a Disney park! Oh the excitement, I had been dreaming of this moment for months, I couldnt wait to see his reaction, to share this special time with him oh wait, he was still asleep! Not quite the big entrance I had planned but there was no way we were going to wake him up from his nap prematurely so instead we stopped outside and took photos to document this very special moment regardless (featuring his very cute Disney milestone card from Little Sparks Company).









Making it down to the entrance we stopped for a few more photos, I was so excited to be back!







On entering the park we realised we had timed it rather badly as the parade was just about to start making its way down Main Street so it was rather busy! As a result we swung a right and made our way down Discovery Arcade that runs behind the shops along Main Street. I was actually quite happy about this too as I wanted that first walk down Main Street to be with Charlie awake!



Making it out at the end of the arcade we saw out first glimpse of the castle!



Despite all the excitement Charlie continued to sleep yep here is yet another photo of him asleep (these will become a regular occurrence in this report!)



As you may have noticed, there had been a serious lack of food consumed so far today so at this point we were rather hungry! We had dinner booked at Rainforest Cafe for 7pm so were hesitant to get anything too substantial as by now it was 6:10pm. So on making it round to Frontierland we settled on a Nutella crepe each (3.79). These are without a doubt my favourite snack in DLP!







As we were eating our crepes Charlie woke up must have been the smell of chocolate! After such a lovely nap he was full of smiles!



With our little man back in the land of the living we thought we should take the opportunity to document his first trip to a Disney park with some photos by the castle! I was keen to get a nice shot with his My First Castle Photo milestone card but this proved rather tricky as he just wanted to grab it and eat it!





Tucking the card safely back in my bag we grabbed a few more photos you can never have enough photos in front of the castle right?!









As it was fast approaching dinner time we decided to make our way out of the park from there, leaving at 6:35pm. I stopped to give Charlie a quick feed on a bench just outside the exit of the park and then Paul took him to carry him back to the village to meet the others at RFC (he had spent a lot of time today strapped into either his car seat or the pushchair so we thought we best give him some time to stretch his legs before we confined him again in a highchair!)



As we passed the entrance to the park we made a quick stop to re-do the My First Disney Park photos now he was awake.. again quite a challenge when all he wanted to do was eat the card!





By 7pm we had made it down to RFC ready for our dinner reservation with the rest of the gang.



On being shown to our table I popped Charlie into a highchair and gave him a few crisps to keep him occupied whilst we waited for the food to come.



It actually ended up taking a little longer than hoped due to being such a big party so Paul ended up taking him for a little stroll to keep him entertained. He was particularly taken by the big water feature and the orangutan!





For food I opted for the Tree top steak and a Coke and Paul had the primal steak, a Magners and a Coke. I also had a creme brle for dessert, delicious! I apologise now as the detail of food and prices is going to be a little vague throughout this report, I found it quite tricky to note down all this information whilst trying to keep Charlie entertained in restaurants! I dont have an exact breakdown of the cost of this meal but it was split across the group and we paid 50.







We left the restaurant at 9:05pm. Some of the gang decided to head back to the hotel as were feeling very tired after the long day travelling. But of course we were not ready to go back yet, so instead we headed back into Disneyland Parc, with both Pauls Mum and John and Pauls Dad and his wife Val joining us.

We got to the entrance of the park at 9:20pm, just as the sun was setting. It looked truly beautiful.









With Charlie now awake we were able to do our first proper walk down Main Street. Sharing it with two sets of his grandparents was such a special moment.







We had decided a while back that we wanted Charlies first ride to be Its A Small World so we made our way round to Fantasyland so we could get it ticked off the list. Parking up the pushchair and getting a photo with his milestone card we were super excited for him to experience his very first Disney attraction to find on trying to enter the queue that it was now shut due to them preparing for the fireworks! Ah man!



We decided to keep making our way through the park but due to Fantasyland now being closed we were routed out through Discoveryland. On making it over there the rest off the gang decided they wanted to ride Star Tours as it was posting only a 15 minute standby wait. Charlie was very tired by this point so I opted out and waved them all on their way at 10:05pm. Whilst they were gone I took the time to sit down and feed Charlie, within minutes he was sound asleep so I transferred him back to the pushchair.



Half an hour later every one else returned and we started to make our way to the exit but on walking past Buzz Lightyear they decided to jump on that as it was showing a 10 minute wait. It was now 10:40pm so I told Paul to ride with the rest of them and I would start making a slow walk back towards the hotel and to catch me up once he was done (the fireworks were due to start at 11pm and I wanted to get out before they started).

On making it all the way out of the park and up to the end of the village Charlie woke up so I grabbed a chair outside Earl of Sandwich to see if I could get him back to sleep, he was having none of it though and was now very much awake!



Paul and the others finally got out of the park and met me where I was sitting, we then made our way back to Sequoia Lodge, finally making it back to the room at 11:45pm. I quickly got Charlie changed and ready for bed although after his nap he was far from ready to go back to sleep and was crawling around the room exploring with great excitement and happiness! He finally gave in at 12:55am and its fair to say by that point Paul and I were exhausted too so were asleep very soon after!

A very long travel day that saw Charlie experiencing his very first Disney park and getting his first castle photos. Tomorrow will see us spending more time in the parks, Charlie getting to ride his first attraction and experiencing his first Disney fireworks!

Day 1 can be found here

Edited at 01:50 PM.
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Unread 23 Aug 18, 06:57 PM  
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HelenJNT
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Loved reading this!

Such a short trip to the terminal definitely makes the hot hotel room worthwhile. Nearly had a panic when you missed the train though. Whew. Thank goodness there was only a few minutes until the next one. Resting heart rate resumed.

Those crisps dont look like Monster Munch here! And yes, def enough food on this day, despite the crepe (which looks lovely).

Cant believe you couldnt get on IASW. Sad times! But at least the rest of the gang got to do a few rides. Love all the photos of you guys trying to stop Charlie from eating the cards. Can tell how excited you were to be back. Lots of happy smiles.
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Unread 23 Aug 18, 09:23 PM  
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KristyA
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Great travel day, Charlie did so well! Our daughter is the same age as him and we are planning to take her to DLP next June, I cant wait!
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Unread 23 Aug 18, 09:27 PM  
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Animagus
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What a lovely day, despite a delayed start. Love the milestone cards, that's such a cute idea. I adore Charlie's t-shirt with the Mickey ears and castle. Lots of lovely photos. It really is a beautiful park. Looking forward to the rest of the trippie. Thanks for managing to do one whilst juggling the pressures of being a new parent.
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Unread 23 Aug 18, 10:33 PM  
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Lisa_Lollipop
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Originally Posted by HelenJNT View Post
Loved reading this!

Such a short trip to the terminal definitely makes the hot hotel room worthwhile. Nearly had a panic when you missed the train though. Whew. Thank goodness there was only a few minutes until the next one. Resting heart rate resumed.

Those crisps dont look like Monster Munch here! And yes, def enough food on this day, despite the crepe (which looks lovely).

Cant believe you couldnt get on IASW. Sad times! But at least the rest of the gang got to do a few rides. Love all the photos of you guys trying to stop Charlie from eating the cards. Can tell how excited you were to be back. Lots of happy smiles.
Oh we were so annoyed about missing our train, if we hadn't got pulled through the extra security we would have made it! But good the next train was so soon after, I would have been so angry otherwise!

That boy will actually try to eat anything... the cards are just too tempting for him it seems!

Originally Posted by KristyA View Post
Great travel day, Charlie did so well! Our daughter is the same age as him and we are planning to take her to DLP next June, I cant wait!
He was such a superstar given what a long day it was for him, thank good ness for all those naps along the way to keep him going!

How exciting you have a DLP trip coming up next year, your daughter is going to love it!

Originally Posted by Animagus View Post
What a lovely day, despite a delayed start. Love the milestone cards, that's such a cute idea. I adore Charlie's t-shirt with the Mickey ears and castle. Lots of lovely photos. It really is a beautiful park. Looking forward to the rest of the trippie. Thanks for managing to do one whilst juggling the pressures of being a new parent.
I was so pleased with his t-shirt, super cute and a lovely keepsake for his memory box!

I was a bit concerned how I would find the time to write this but nap times are proving very useful... the housework can wait!
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Unread 24 Aug 18, 01:22 PM  
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sheluk
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Eeeeek just found this!

What a fabulous first day, I'm so jealous of that drive it sounds so stress-free (extra inspection and missing your intended train of course). Your room looks lovely and I really felt so excited for you when you talked about heading into the part for the first time. Bless Charlie being asleep but then Main St is at its best at night so he was clearly holding out for the better view!

Can't wait to read the rest xx
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Unread 24 Aug 18, 09:49 PM  
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vics18
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What an action packed day! I feel tired just reading about it.
My eyes went all wide when you missed the train! Glad there was another one very soon.
Charlie did so well, bless him.
Charlotte missed our first walk down Main St due to being asleep haha - these pesky babies.
Your room at Seqouia looks so nice - think I would have had words with reception about the "lake view" though.
Super start, keep them coming
Xxx
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Unread 25 Aug 18, 02:18 PM  
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What a long but exciting day! Glad you weren't delayed too much by missing the train! We had a six hour delay back in February which was absolutely awful, especially as we were already in the boarding queue, so couldn't go to the duty free

Great photos, it looks like Charlie had a great time in between his naps!
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