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Old 27 Dec 17, 05:19 PM  
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slightly serious Dibber
Join Date: Mar 13
A birthday at DLP - Day 2

Wednesday 1st November 2017 - DDs birthday and our first day at DLP

So, the alarms were set for a very early start this morning of 6am. We all had a very good night’s sleep in the lovely room. First thing (and the most important thing!) was to wish my dd a very happy birthday as today she turned 9! DD spent the next 10 minutes opening all the cards I had brought with us and hidden carefully in my carry-on bag. She was very fortunate to have been given lots of euros by family and friends to spend on herself during our trip. Ds also gave her the present we had been back to the house for yesterday morning, which was a Star Wars card pack. She was most impressed with this, even more so that she got Kylo Ren who is her favourite character!

Card opening completed we all set about getting ready and re packing the bags including packing two rucksacks for the parks with all our snack packs which we had made up and brought with us to see us through the days. Dh and I both had a coffee (urgh, not great machine coffee but then I do like it really milky!) and by 6.50 we were all set and ready to head to DLP! We asked the children if they had everything and they assured us they did, quick sweep of the room seemed to indicate this too so we left the room, headed into the lift and down to reception where we handed over the room key and checked out. It was busy enough downstairs with people sat waiting in the lounge area for taxis and people getting breakfast in the little breakfast area which was next to check in. I hadn’t paid for breakfast but had brought brioches with us so we had one of those to eat when we were hungry.

We decided to wait outside as it was almost 7am and it was at this point that ds said he didn’t have his phone and he thought he had left it under the pillow on his bed when he was playing on it that morning….no wonder I didn’t see it when I made the bed. So ds and I had to go back to reception and apologise profusely in order to get the room key back from the receptionist and head back upstairs in the lift to go into the room to retrieve the phone. Phone found (phew!) and back down to reception to await the transfer. No sooner had I got outside than our transfer arrived. We booked this through RS Transports and it was a nice Mercedes black minivan. The driver was very helpful and friendly and he took the bags off us and put them in the boot while we all piled into the back seats.

The journey to NPB took just over 30 minutes and was very pleasant. We watched as the sun rose and everything turned from night to day. As we pulled into NPB the sun was up and the driver dropped us straight at the hotel entrance I paid him for the journey (not the return journey, I asked) and he asked for my phone number and we confirmed our pick up on Sat at 7am. We took our suitcases and put them through the scanner at security check outside the hotel, and then went inside the hotel, where there were more security guards. We were inside NPB by 7.40am and ready to check in. The hotel reception was extremely quiet, in fact, there was no one else around as we checked in. Check in was fast and the cm was friendly and efficient but I can’t help admitting I was a little disappointed that no mention was made of it being dds birthday today. Never mind, we were told that our room wasn’t ready but we were given our park tickets and told which room we would have once it was ready. We went to check in our cabin bags at the luggage store. For this we had to go back out the hotel at the front and to the left. We were given a ticket for each of our cabin bags and then we were on our way!
To get to the parks we walked back into the hotel and straight to the back, down the staircase and out onto the path by the lake. WOW! I was absolutely blown away by this, both the view of the lake and the back of the hotel were stunning. It was very cold at this point and dd complained but being ultra organised I had hats, scarves and gloves in the backpacks so we stopped at the bandstand to get these out and put them on and of course, have a couple of selfies!

We took a leisurely stroll around the lake towards the park, heading through security as we reached the end of the path. Security done we continued on the path and followed it through the Disney Village, making a note of where EoS was, to the entrance of the parks. We decided to go to Walt Disney Studios this morning as we were hoping it wouldn’t be busy for EMH and we were at the entrance to the gates by 8am, joining a very short queue. We waited patiently here for half an hour taking in the sights and having selfies in front of the gates, with Jack playing on his phone to keep him occupied.

Eventually the turnstiles were opened and we put our tickets in and we were in! Super excited but having no idea where to go we headed straight on and followed the running man we’d queued behind! We picked up a park map and decided we would go to Crush’s Coaster first. We had a short 10m wait to get on Crush’s coaster and absolutely loved it! After that we headed across the park to Ratatouille. The theming in this area is simply stunning. We queued for 20m for this ride and thoroughly enjoyed it. After this we headed into the Toy Story area where we decided to go on RC Racer. Dh chose not to come on this ride as he wasn’t sure whether it was too rough (he was awaiting an op for kidney stones the week after so wasn’t in the best of health!) We had a 10m wait for this and we all thought this ride was fantastic!

After this, we headed across the park to Aerosmith and went on this. I can’t remember what the wait time was like for this but I know that we were off by 10am. I rode this in Florida but Dh had had to wait with the children as they were too little and so he didn’t get to ride it. Despite not being well, he was desperate to get on it after waiting for more than 4 years. We all thought this was fantastic and knew we would want to ride it again! We stopped at the ride shop and dd used the first of her birthday money to buy a Mickey Mouse fidget spinner e4.99 and I bought a DLP magnet for my friend e3.99.

Upon exiting the ride we noticed that there was a Spiderman meet and greet just opposite. We had said all along we weren’t doing meet and greets on this trip after having met all the characters we wanted to in wdw and instead would be focussing on going on all the rides. However, it being dds birthday and Spiderman being her favourite superhero we couldn’t walk past without queuing up for it. The queue didn’t seem long so we jumped into it. This was a huge mistake for us as the queue took 50 minutes, it was very slow moving and by the end ds was getting a little fractious. Good meet and great and Spiderman interacted well with dd after she told him it was her birthday. I did feel a bit gutted that I was confident enough to ask if dh could take a photo of the meet and greet on his phone, not sure if this is allowed or not?

After leaving the meet and greet we decided to head to DLP. However, on the way we past Armageddon and there was a short queue for the 11am showing so we got in it. Enjoyed this but wouldn’t do it again this trip. By this time it was 11.30 so we headed out of the Studios and made our way across to DLP.

Through the turnstiles, I went to City Hall to queue up for a Green Pass for Jack. The queue for this was very long and I knew that ds would not queue for it so dh, ds and dd went off in search of a drinks were thirsty by this point. He headed off to the Market House Deli where he picked up 2 cappuccinos and 2 cokes. By the time he made it back to me I had hardly moved and when I got my cappuccino dh realised that mine was only hot milk with no coffee in so he and dd went back over to ask for some coffee to be put in. One complaint about this queue is that it was right by the smoking area. Urgh. As I was queuing the Halloween Tricycle show went past so I encouraged dh to take dd and ds to watch it whilst I waited. I was gutted to miss this really but dd was super pleased to see Cruella De Vill there, amongst other Halloween characters.

We eventually made it into City Hall and were seen by a lovely cm. I had my letter from the doctor (DS has ASD/ADHD/Anxiety and struggles to queue for extended periods of time) which I handed over to the cm after I had explained why I was there. He was happy with this and wrote out a green card for ds +3. I also told the cm that it was dds birthday that day and he asked her name before writing out a birthday badge for her with her name on, gave it to her and wished her happy birthday!

With green card in hand we headed down a fantastic Main Street which is so similar to WDW, just smaller. We came across a shop and went inside for a little browse. Dd used some more of her birthday money for a pair of special edition 25th anniversary ears and I bought the traditional Minnie ears. Ears on head we had some photos taken looking down Main Street towards the castle. Once we had done this we headed to Buzz where we accessed the disability queue at the ride. We waited for 20m for this ride (it was 50m otherwise). Very much enjoyed this ride. After that we went over to Hyperspace mountain where we had a 20m wait with the green card (60m ride without). We all thought this ride was awesome, loved it!
Next we headed onto Star Tours with a short 25 queue (65 minutes without0. Upon exiting the ride we spent quite some time browsing in the shop, and loosing ds as he got distracted by all things star tours and wandered off alone. Panic over and reunited with ds (several times) dd bought a star wars pin with her birthday money and ds bought a build your own droid with his spending money. By this point we were getting a little tired and hungry. We had meant to head out to EoS at some point for a breakfast muffin but we got carried away with the excitement of being in Disney so had just been snacking on the contents of our snack packs! We headed to Café Hyperion where dh found a table outside and waited with dd and ds while I went inside to queue. I queued for 20 minutes as it was so busy at this point. I bought 1 café au lait for me, 1 cappucino for dh and a yoda cupcake for ds and dd. I didn’t buy them a drinks as they had water bottles with squirty squash in. Cost was e9.77. Cupcake was ok, a bit dry and more of a novelty factor but enjoyed non the less. Once we had finished this and enjoyed a rest it was 3pm and we decided we’d done enough so far and would head back to the hotel to get settled into our room.

On our way through Disney Village I called in Rainforest Café and asked about reservations where we were told they didn’t take them and we had to show up. We walked back to the hotel and in via the rear entrance. Upon arrival dh and ds went to the front desk to collect the room key while Libby and I went to the concierge to enquire about a dinner reservation. As it was dds birthday we suggested she could pick where she would like to eat dinner and she chose Café Mickey. There was a reservation at Café Mickey for 9pm tonight, or 7.45 tomorrow so I requested tomorrow night and dd and I agreed we would eat at rainforest Café tonight. Met back up with the boys and then headed up to the room after collecting all the bags from storage. We were up in the room by 4pm and the room was lovely and my name was on the welcome screen when we went in! We unpacked the bags and had a little rest.

We left the room at 5.15 and walked back to the Disney Village, arriving at The rainforest Café by 5.50.

We were seated immediately and served promptly buy our waitress. Dh ordered fajita combo, I ordered shrimp pasta, dd ordered spaghetti and meatballs and ds ordered nuggets. The food arrived very quickly, much quicker than any of us were expecting and was delicious. Dd and I went around the restaurant to try and find all the hidden animals on the quiz sheet they leave with you and as we wandered round we noticed how much busier it had become. After everyone had finished we ordered the volcano for dessert. When they brought it out they sang happy birthday to dd. I can’t remember if we told them or they had noticed the birthday badge we had picked up in city hall that morning. The total bill was e106.93 and we were very full afterwards, failing to finish all of the volcano.

We had finished our meal and left the restaurant by 7 so decided to walk back to DLp. We stopped by the entrance and founatins and had lots of night time pictures taken before heading into the park. When we got there we used the green pass to ride Dumbo, Peter Pan and Pirates of the Caribbean (the cm who dealt with us here was amazing with ds…. she asked us to wait while she seated an older lady and her companion then when the next boat arrived, she asked us to sit at the front as she told ds it was the best seat on the ride.)

We walked across the park to Discovery land and went on ‘Les Mysteres du Nautilius’ (Never again!) then rode HSM, Orbitron and Buzz. After we had done all those rides we decided to find a spot for Dream. We ended up stood to the side of the castle just outside Plaza Gardens Restaurant and although we were stood off to the side the view was amazing and Dreams was simply stunning. Very enchanting and thoroughly enjoyed by all. Although dd was distraught when she blinked and missed Kylo Ren’s projection on the castle. I fell in love with the show and knew we needed to watch it again the following night. After Dreams we left DLP amongst all the other crowds and headed back to NPB. It was a long walk and we were all very tired, making it back to the room at 11.00pm. It had been such a long day and we were all exhausted but I went off in search of the hot chocolate machine with ds and we used our room key to each get a hot chocolate. We packed our bags for the next day and were soon fast asleep with the alarms set for another early morning.

Edited at 05:30 PM.
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Old 27 Dec 17, 08:10 PM  
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Proud to wear my Ears
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Join Date: Sep 13

A very busy first day! Great to read. Newport Bay looks amazing - I can't wait to go!
Orlando 1st Visit Easter 1987, Orlando July 1999, DLP New Year 2006/7, Orlando August 2015, DLP Feb 2018, New York Feb 2020
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Old 28 Dec 17, 09:48 AM  
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slightly serious Dibber
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Very busy indeed but thoroughly enjoyable! Newport bay is beautiful, you will love it!
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Old 2 Mar 18, 11:27 PM  
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Gill H
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What a great day!

Couple of tips for next time:

You can get the Green Card in the Studios too - from memory I think the office is on your right as you go through the turnstiles.

It's fine to take your own photos with characters, and the CMs will also take them for you if you like, with your own camera/phone.

At City Hall you can ask for a birthday phone call from Mickey - they bring you the phone and you will hear a birthday greeting.

Being picky - unfortunately you didn't get to see Dreams! It's Illuminations now. It's a good show but Dreams was a million times better, I'm afraid. Still, glad you enjoyed it.

Oh, and I'm a little worried about DD wanting to go to Cafe Mickey, because by then all the characters had gone? (Apparently they're putting them back now, having realised just what a silly decision that was.)

Glad you all had a good meal at RFC. Never done the Paris one but we've done the London one - and yes, the Volcano is enormous!
DLP: day trips 2000, 2003; Cheyenne Sep 2009, Feb 2011, Nov 2018; Sequoia Lodge June 2008, May 2012; Elysee May 2012, Jan 2013, Sep 2013; Disneyland Hotel Mar 2015, Santa Fe Nov 2016; Newport Bay Sep 2017, Ibis Sep 2019
WDW: Port Orleans Riverside Dec 10; SSR Nov 14
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