Apologies for the really late trip report. We got back home and real life took over again and I just haven't quite found a good time to start.
Apologies also if I go on a bit. I do have a tendency to waffle.
Our trip was me 35, DH 35, DD 4 (but turned five on out trip) and DS 3. Flying to CDG and staying at Cheyenne.
This was our second DLP trip. We were there when DD was three and DS had just turned two and also stayed at Cheyenne, but this time I was so much better prepared because of this forum. Last time was very much a turn up and wing it and this time we got so much more from our trip.
After a late night of packing and double checking everything, we were all up bright and early full of excitement. Our car wasn't booked into the car park til two so it really was a case of just trying to pass time. My little guy had his football in the morning with DH, and me and DD sat and watched you tube clips of parades etc. getting ourselves excited. When they got back we had something to eat and finally it was time to go.
Everything went smoothly checking the car in and getting the shuttle to the airport. We only had hand luggage and our double buggy so once we were through security we had a bit of a wander around and grabbed a sandwich as I knew we may not get something else until quite late that night.
It was all going smoothly until it was time for our gate to show on the board and instead we got the dreaded Delayed sign. So another wander to try and kill time making sure the kids had been to the loo etc and wandered up towards the gates. The time for our gate to be displayed came and went without any further info, so we just tried to keep the kids occupied and be patient.
When our gate was eventually announced an absolutely huge queue immediately formed even though it wasn't anywhere near open for boarding yet, which started to worry me as there is supposed to be priority boarding for families with children under five and I could see no way through the crowds for us with our side by side double buggy. We took the decision to join the queue and see what was going to happen when they started boarding.
Then there was an announcement to say that they were looking for volunteers to come off the flight, which of course there wasn't. They then started offering 100 euros and a seat on the next available flight which quickly went up to 250 euros and a seat on the next flight. They also said that if there were no volunteers, the last 20 passengers who had checked in online would be taken off and put on the "next flight available". At this point I stopped worrying so much, as I had been so excited about our trip that I'd been waiting patiently for the day I could check in online, so I was pretty confident it wouldn't be us.
I decided to go round the queue to the desk and see how the priority boarding was going to work with all these disgruntled people crowded around the entrance to the gate.
As I was waiting to ask I could hear them starting to shout the names of people who were unlucky enough to be being kicked off of the flight. Overheard a few choice words and when one person questioned the "next available flight" that they were offering, he was told that the next easyjet flight leaving Glasgow was Tuesday (this was Sunday) and that it was already full so there may not actually be seats on it. By next available flight they mean the next one with empty seats. I'm still wondering when and how those poor people actually got to Paris.
As soon as I started to say I had 2 kids under five in the queue, the girl on the desk said to me that they never take families with young children off of flights in these circumstances, which although it wasn't what I was going to ask, is good to know. I was eventually told to come round the side of the queue with the pram and after another good half hour or so of waiting they eventually started to board the plane, families with young kids first Phew!
As the plane was boarding I could hear families around us starting to make calls and soon realised they had been booked onto the vea bus which they had no chance of catching now.
I was so relieved that this time we had booked ezyshuttle and knew they checked the arrivals for delays etc. so hoped they knew about our flight problems.
Flight boarded, ready to go.....or not. The captain came over the tannoy to announce that the walkway to the plane wouldn't retract and they were awaiting engineers to sort it. He also said that the plane we were originally supposed to be on had technical issues and the one that had been sent in its place was smaller, which was the reason for some people not getting on the flight.We eventually took off about 8.20pm. I had originally estimated that we'd be arriving at the hotel around nine and after checking in might have managed a quick look at the disney village before bed. Completely out the window now.
After landing we were only waiting on our double buggy as it was hand luggage we had. The cases came and went and a lot of people seemed to be waiting like us. Eventually about 15 long mins later, trolleys started to come up with buggies on them at the oversized luggage desk. Ours of course came up on the third and final one when almost everyone had taken theirs and left with their tired children. When we eventually got our pram it had clearly been treated quite roughly as the clip that keeps it closed has been snapped clear off and the extra luggage strap we'd had round it to make it that bit more secure was nowhere to be seen. Not overly impressed with our first easyjet experience I must say!
In the meantime I had turned on my phone to try and get a hold of our driver and a txt came through straight away asking if our flight had been cancelled as all of our arrival details had disappeared from the info board. Of course this txt had come through while we had been flying and my phone was off so I hadn't been able to reply. A few minutes later another txt came through from John saying that our flight details had reappeared and that he'd tell the driver to turn and come back for us. All this had happened while we had been in the air and never was I more relieved when we walked out to see our driver standing there with our name on his sign. I apologised to our poor driver (I can't remember his name after all this time but he was very nice) for his wait. He told me he'd waited for two hours for us before they'd come to the conclusion that our flight must have been cancelled and he left. Only to get a phone call from John telling him the flight details had come back up and to come back for us. They must have had about as much info about our flight on their side as we'd had on ours (not a lot). I cannot recommend ezyshuttle enough. I suspect that other companies would have perhaps given up on us.
Such a relief to get to the car although I felt bad when a saw it as I didn't realise how big it was and we could have easily taken a couple of the stranded people with us who'd missed their vea bus and I would have offered, had I known we had the space. I think though, with the mix up with the flight and transfers there were a few extra drivers being sent to pick people up from what I could make out. Immediately the kids both fell asleep before we'd driven out of the airport and I was a little disappointed that they didn't have the excitement of pulling up and the hotel. Almost exactly at midnight we arrived and having read on here that ezyshuttle won't accept any tips, I sneakily folded an extra twenty euros into the money I handed over because in my opinion he deserved a tip and more. I could have kissed him when we finally arrived.
We walked into reception, closely followed by a poor mum on her own with a wee one in a pram and another young child, who I recognised from waiting to board our flight all those hours ago, who had just got out of a taxi. I felt really really bad that we'd had the space had I known.
Quick check in as no-one else was there (got 7am breakfast slot yay) and to our room which to my delight was really close to reception and on ground level. Poured my poor little dude out of the pram and onto the bed. He was so zonked that he didn't have a clue we'd arrived. Even changing him into his jammies and putting him in bed he never stirred at all. DD on the other hand found a new lease of life as soon as she saw the cowboy bedroom and I had to bribe her into her jammies and bed. I had emailed a few days before we left as it was dd birthday while there and I wanted to chance my arm for fairy dust (and to request a kettle). We had a kettle in our room on arrival and also a lovely welcome note, a couple of bottles of water with mickey cups and some chocolate coins :o)
DH collapsed onto the bed and was soon fast asleep but I really wanted to get unpacked and organised to save us time the next day. I packed our bag ready for the park in the morning and eventually got into bed somewhere after one. So happy we were there.
A very long and eventful day but with a lot of wasted time and waiting about. This has def made me think about the option of arriving a day earlier to make the most of the first days tickets, and perhaps staying offsite next time. I feel like i'ts all been a moan so far but it gets better, I promise.
Well i've not got time to write any more as I'm about to go to work and I feel like i've written a book already and we've not even hit the parks yet :o/ I did warn that I waffle!