Disney heatwave

The last time we were in this sort of sunshine and heat was in Florida last year, so it seems entirely appropriate to be walking around a Magic Kingdom in it this year. Any thought that the end of the weekend would see less people in the parks have been overrun by the huge numbers of people flocking to the parks; this hasn’t made things stressful though.

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We’ve been fitting our time between the Disney Studios park and the Magic Kingdom as we bought joint tickets. As a result, we’ve been ambling from place to place and just enjoying the flow of things. The stunt show at the Studios was followed by various rides and shops across each park. The holiday has become about the whole experience, and that has included character dining at Cafe Mickey, seeing the Wild West Show, and staying up late for the fireworks.

By far the greatest joy has been the sight of the Charleesi and Cousin A becoming even more thick as thieves, even as Cousin A’s horizons have begun to accelerate away at an ever-increasing rate. Even getting separated from us by accident for half an hour didn’t bother them, and we’ve started arranging to go our separate ways in a more managed way – “be at this restaurant for that time” now becoming a familiar conversation.

This was always going to be an experience to remember for the girls, in celebration of their 16th birthdays and completion of their exams. I’m just blown away by just how incredible, and yet comfortably relaxed, this week is already shaping up to be.

Two Days In…

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Unlike last year, we haven’t been doing a closely regimented plan of Disney parks and activities. Instead its been sort of based around where we’ve reserved or planned meals and we’ve meandered around the parks. It’s the first time Cousin A has been anywhere like it, and between that and our introducing her to rollercoaster it has been a grand adventure.

We’ve been pleasantly surprised by how much she’s embraced it all. We started with Peter Pan’s Flight, Haunted Mansion, and Pirates of the Caribbean, and suddenly she was up for Thunder Mountain. We’ve not looked back since, and so today we went on the Indiana Jones ride, which includes a loop the loop halfway through. The minute we heard laughter behind us, we knew all was well.

We’ve dined well so far too. Lunches have generally been simple burgers and the like, but we ate at the Silver Spur last night, and had character dining at Auberge de Cendrillon this evening. We’ve always loved good food and a bit of theatre with it, so flirting with Suzy and Perla – the mouse seamstresses – and introducing our princesses to the Disney Princesses, made for a gloriously magical evening. Everyone also assumed the cousins were sisters, so the in-joke is now to introduce them as twins. What’s the worst that could happen?

We’re off to Disneyland Paris

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It might seem odd, coming so soon after this week’s bad news, but I’ve had this holiday booked for ages and frankly, we need it. So we’ve grabbed the Charleesi and her Cousin A and sped on the Eurostar to Disneyland Paris for the week. Lady P is looking after house and home, which keeps the plants watered and the mailbox emptied, but we’ll find a way to bring her on a holiday soon, never fear. Next time, for sure.

Now this Disney is in Lille, which makes it a part of Paris in the same way that Luton is a London airport, which is why we took a direct train rather than trusting to any old passage to Paris. Even in the immediate aftermath of London Tube strikes, getting to St  Pancras was simple, and our journey couldn’t have been simpler.

Getting checked in at our hotel (the Newport), was slightly complicated by having booked through the DVC (Disney Vacation Club) which meant a few perks like not having to book a breakfast time but none of the paperwork being in the right place. I also had problems with the padlock on my case breaking (try explaining in rusty French you need that sorting out, three times in succession), and then explaining I needed a fridge for my bydureon kit.

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These minor hiccups aside, we then went in search of food and to refamiliarise ourselves with the general Magic Kingdom layout. Cousin A has never been out of the country, let alone to anywhere Disney, so her expression wavered between amazed and bemused most of the afternoon and early evening.

There’s a certain anarchic quality to the French Disney experience, and I’m not certain if that comes from the cultural melting pot making up its visitors or a degree of European bloody-mindedness that sticks a varying number of fingers up at the corporate US management and adds a mild frisson of danger to the day.

Either way, we’ve eaten and returned to our room to collapse, suddenly very aware we’ve been up since 5am. The sounds of gentle snoring currently surround me, and I shall soon be joining the chorus, ready for our first full day. Not a bad start…