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Trip report - 30th June to 4th July

Glasgow, United...
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Trip report - 30th June to 4th July

We're just recovering from our first DLP, after staying at DCR for 4 nights last week! I'll do this in a few stages, as I'm quite enjoying looking back through the photos and thinking about the days :)

We drove down from near Glasgow with DD(3) and DS(5), and stayed overnight in Ashford on the Sunday. If anyone's thinking about doing the same I'd totally recommend the Ashford North Premier Inn - clean, friendly, quiet and only 30 minutes drive to Dover the next day.

Day 1 - Monday 30th

A quick scoot down the motorway and we were at DCR by about 4pm. The driving was pretty much plain sailing, although all the lorries battering up and down to and from the ferries means you need a wee bit more concentration in terms of overtaking, etc. Quick stop at a service station gave us a wee laugh when we couldn't find any vegetarian sandwiches in THREE fridges' worth. The young guy was very apologetic, but said with a shrug "we love the meat over here!" Haha!

I was really impressed with DCR when we arrived because it was sparkling clean. We were expecting a small room with bunk beds for the kids, so were pleasantly surprised when we were given one of the ones with three single beds and a double, and a deck, etc. Decided to have a quick drink before we headed to the park for our reservation at Plaza Gardens at 6.30pm, and while waiting for the kettle I put the car's headlights on and stuck on those beam deflector things...

We took photos, got the kids in Spiderman and Elsa costumes, I put on some Minnie ears and some lippy, we piled in the car... Yeah, so it turns out that if you leave your headlights on fullbeam for half an hour they can completely drain your battery! DH phoned reception, and the CM was lovely and double-checked, but maintenance weren't insured to jump-start us. We phoned the AA and they were amazing - got a guy out to us in half an hour, and security let him in. It was quite a spectacle, with a full-sized breakdown truck arriving at our cabin. The mechanic was lovely, had very little English, and was trying to not to show he was too disappointed to be missing the France game. I was nearly crying and had to phone to cancel dinner, but the kids didn't really know what was going on luckily. I had some "emergency" Dolmio microwavable pasta, so we ate quickly and ended up getting to the park before 8pm. Phew.

We headed straight to the castle, and after lots of oohing and ahhing we walked straight onto It's a Small World, the teacups, and Pirates of the Caribbean. The kids were full of beans, so we decided to just go for it and stay up for Disney Dreams. Oh wow! It really is amazing :) Bundled two sleepy kids into the car, and headed back to the ranch.

Day 2 to follow, with our visit to the Auberge.

Katy x

Bristol, United...
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1. Re: Trip report - 30th June to 4th July

Oh no for your battery, although did make me laugh that the poor chap was missing the game! Hope the rest isn't too eventful and you enjoyed it.

Norwich, United...
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2. Re: Trip report - 30th June to 4th July

Oh crikey, what a start to your trip, looking forward to more!

Norwich, United...
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3. Re: Trip report - 30th June to 4th July

Oh no! That's not a great start, poor you! Well at least you saved a packet by eating Dolmio pasta instead of going to Plaza Gardens!

Looking forward to more!

Glasgow, United...
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4. Re: Trip report - 30th June to 4th July

The comments on the first part of my TR made me giggle - yeah, we can laugh about it now, but OMG it was stressful at the time. Here's day 2 with a (very slightly disappointing) trip to the Auberge and Magic on Parade. I read last night that some people spotted the Ratatouille soft opening and got to ride this week. We must have been 5 minutes away when this happened! Doh, doh and doh! Should have read the boards when we were away! Anyway...

Day 2 - The Auberge

We didn't even try to get the kids in for the extra magic hours after them staying up past midnight (they're 3 and 5), so had a leisurely breakfast at the ranch, and I guess it was the back of 10 by the time we wandered in. I'd secretly packed a new Cinderella dress for DD and put her hair up in a wee bun. Stupidly, I forgot that her other dresses shed glitter for the first few days and today was the day we were all covered! Much to my amusement I noticed the carpet at the Auberge and the drain in the ladies' toilets were all glitter too, but more on that later.

We spent the morning doodling up and down Main Street popping in and out of the shops, and then we headed for a shot on Buzz Lightyear (fab!) and a few other bits and pieces. We had our first character meeting - Goofy was hanging around behind the castle! The kids were thrilled, and it made me relax that DD wasn't going to freak out meeting the princesses!

We'd booked the Auberge at 1pm, so headed over for about 12.45 after taking pics at the carriage, etc. The receptionist and our waitress were both lovely, and we were seated pretty quickly over in one of the side rooms. I know I should have probably asked for near the fireplace, but it seemed busy (and I was just so excited then, haha!) The kids were enchanted by Suzy and Perla (they were "dead soft and cuddly" apparently), and really good with the kids. I was enjoying my cocktail by now, and starting to relax about the fact that we'd made it and the kids were enjoying themselves. We could see Cinderella and Prince Charming, Snow White and Belle in the distance, and went over to see Cinderella and the Prince dancing. Then the pair of them came straight over to our section afterwards, following all of the kids back. Cinderella was beautiful, and so lovely with the kids. DD(3) was a bit shy, and she was so patient, taking her onto her knee and whispering to her, talking about her dress, etc.

I'd been a bit worried about the menu because none of us eat meat, but the waitress was lovely. She got a melon and salad starter for the kids, and tomato and cheese pasta for them on a Mickey plate, and was very attentive and kind :) I had the grilled vegetables, DH had the soup, and we both had the mushroom and tofu tartlet. It was all nicer than some reviews had led me to believe it would be, and we were pleased to get a proper meal after the farce that was the night before! At this point I thought stuff it and order a Glowtini (purely for research *aherm*), which came with a light-up Tinkerbell on my glass and was LOVELY. Yum yum! DH joked that the light was so the CM could keep an eye on who was drinking cocktails in the middle of the day :p

Next up was Snow White - she had a cut-glass English accent and was so fine-featured and pretty. Perfect! We have a picture of the kids talking to her, and DD looks like she was lit up from within. So special :) She stayed perfectly in character and suppressed a giggle a) when DD said her favourite princess was Cinderella and b) when I explained we were all a bit sparkly from DD's dress, Snow White said it was pixie dust, and my DD's wee voice pipes up in her finest weedgie accent "nah, I'm just aw glitter"!

Then we had pudding (yum!) and waited, and waited... We saw Belle floating around in the next room and thought she'd be headed to us next. Then a slightly worried looked CM asked if we'd seen Belle yet. So we ordered coffee and waited some more. To cut a long story short, I took DD to the toilet, while DH paid. When we came back, they'd been told that Belle wasn't feeling very well and had to go and rest. In retrospect, I'm pretty p'd off because we weren't offered a discount or anything and it's a helluva lot of money as you all know. I didn't do anything about it either, because the kids were very matter of fact about it and still on a high from meeting the other two. There's a tiny bit of me that feels it's still niggling away and I should have done something at the time, but oh well. DH thinks I should concentrate on the great interaction that we had with the other two, and it was amazing. Cinderella in particular was lovely, and took the time to wave, say hi, ruffle the kids' hair, etc on her way to see other people.

Anyway... We headed over to Studios for the first time afterwards, and headed to the stunt show thing. I found this a bit of a swizz to be honest - "featuring Flash McQueen" being a 30-second video clip - has this always been the case, or have they ever had a Lightening model driving? Some of the stunts were pretty cool though, even if it was a very hot and very long show to sit through at that time of day. Afterwards, we headed over to Disney Junior Live. Well, let's just say it wasn't my cup of tea but the kids *loved* it. Did the "hot dog dance" all the way into the theatre!

Next, we got a good spot at the rope for the parade (bottom of the street, just as it comes round the corner to head back through the gate). How these poor CM keep so smiley and full of energy dancing in that heat I've no idea, but they were amazing. Kids were pleased to see Anna and Elsa at the front, and seemed to really enjoy it. We were all exhausted by now, so decided to wander through the Village for an hour or so before heading back. As we were heading back, an embarrassed looking DH said there was a slight problem but he hadn't wanted to upset me in the morning. Turned out he'd accidently locked our passports, money and meal vouchers in the safe before resetting the code. He popped into reception and the CM was like "ah, you were the man with the car problems yesterday!" Five minutes later a CM came up to the ranch with a breadknife(!) and sorted it out. They must have been having a good giggle at us, haha! Shower and bed for the kids, wine and FBing photos for us.

We were toying with the idea of Paris on Wednesday, but decided to power through some rides after our Cafe Mickey breakfast instead. Deary me, this turned into a bit of a ramble. More to follow!

Kx

Norwich, United...
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5. Re: Trip report - 30th June to 4th July

Had to laugh at the story of your DH and the safe!

Don't blame you for being disappointed at Auberge, I'd have felt short changed too. Like you say, it's so expensive and you at least expect to see three princesses for your money. Glad the interaction with the other two was so good.

Enjoying this!

Glasgow, United...
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6. Re: Trip report - 30th June to 4th July

It was at this point I started winding DH up about what we'd have to phone reception the next day ;)

Yeah, it was a bit of a mixed bag at the Auberge, and I'm not convinced I'd do it again :/

The Hague, The...
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7. Re: Trip report - 30th June to 4th July

They opened the safe with a bread knife?? Oh my goodness, I always felt pretty safe leaving our valuables in the safes but I think I will be a bit more nervous next time!

Glasgow, United...
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8. Re: Trip report - 30th June to 4th July

He did! I'll ask DH if he did anything else to it (like put in another code?), because I was in the living room with the kids. But yeah, I giggled because there was a very cheery CM who took the time to do the whole "bonjour princess, bonjour Spiderman" bit while grinning and brandishing a long pointy knife! But yeah, I can see your point, Amanda :/

Norwich, United...
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9. Re: Trip report - 30th June to 4th July

Yes, I'd have been pretty annoyed too, probably would have refused to leave at that price! Sounds like the other princesses made up for it though. Dying to know if you had to phone reception the next day!

Looking forward to more!

Lisburn, United...
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10. Re: Trip report - 30th June to 4th July

Loving your trip report so far :) We were at Auberge the same day as you our reservation was at 1.15, we did see Belle but she was very confused as to if she had been to our table or not (I wonder if she was a replacement ?)

It's shame you didn't get on Ratatouille we were lucky that someone had tipped us off.

Looking forward to more :)