Bed bugs, protests, strikes, rain… Come what may! Regardless of our circumstances. we will have a grand time!
After 8 ½ months of planning, I am headed to France with my boys and DSIS! Many thanks to TRs from @amsterdad, @cbalusek, @jennybenny1011, @Sunshiney_Disney_Momma, and @wahoohokie. I’m particularly grateful to @wahoohokie for patiently answering my questions and listening to me vent. Every time she got a PM on that Paris thread, she was probably thinking, “What now?!” (I will show my gratitude properly when I see you at breakfast at WDW next month!)! We are visiting Paris, Normandy, a few chateaus, and then DLP.
DSIS and I were chatting in early March this year about going somewhere and within a week, we booked a 10-day package for France, adding 3 days to the beginning and 3 days to the end of the package.
Shortly after we booked the tour package, we learned some unfortunate things that had me thinking I needed my Liner card confiscated:scream::
First Sunday every month. – Museums are free.
Museums are closed either on Mondays or Tuesdays every week.
Disneyland Paris Resort (DLP) – The app is worse than WDW’s app and the website is lacking. DLP is app driven. The website doesn’t have much information.
DLP Resort Packages – Packages cannot be customized. This is huge because we book US resorts and tickets exactly the way we want them! You have to buy one more park day than night of hotel. We wanted 3 park days and 3 nights. Not allowed. We could have booked a package for 3 park days with 2 nights, and then book a separate night. Our TA priced it out for us. It was like $20 savings to do 3 park days and 3 nights instead of 4 park days and 3 nights. Guess which one we chose? Disney math at play. We are only using like 6 hours of day 1 and maybe 3 hours of day 4.
How does this impact us?
Free museum days are like holidays at WDW! We arrive in Paris on Friday. We will join our tour on Wednesday. We juggled the museum days to avoid the free Sunday as much as possible and work around the museum closures on Monday and Tuesday.
DSIS and I started planning our days the old fashion way! Paper and post-its! We moved the post-its around for months. The eats are on blue post-its, the sites are on pink post-its, and metro rides are on orange post-its. Yes, there are more places to eat on the sheets than we can possible eat! Here’s one version:
Once we got the days sketched semi firm, we put the information into Excel but still moved stuff around until last week! I just noticed that we reversed the color scheme when we went electronic! Eats are pink and sites are blue!
We hate the museum reservation system! We bought the Museum Pass and reservations supposedly open up 60 days in advance, like ADRs for WDW. NOT! Reservation availabilities trickled in for weeks after 60 days! For example, we reserved the Palace of Versailles. But the reservations for the Trianon Estate at Versailles did not open up for a few weeks. I used one of my Liner skill, stalking the websites several times a day! Maybe I can have my Liner card back!
DLP was hard to plan. There is limited information online and most of it is pre-pandemic. This was where TRs and Liners come in! You are supposed to be able to reserve TS up to a year in advance as an onsite guest. At 8 months before arrival, only Walt and the hotel restaurants were available. And only for lunch. About 5 months before arrival, DLP dropped reservations for Remy and Captain Jack. They never dropped dinner reservations. Since this is our first trip to DLP, it was challenging to reserve ADRs without knowing the show times. Park hours for our days did not upload until about 50 days out. Show times for our days just uploaded this past Monday!!
But parade times have yet to be updated. From this morning:
While we do regret the days we picked for our trip, it’s not all bad! We will be at DLP for its Christmas celebration! And many of you know I absolutely LOVE Christmas at Disney!
What about data for my phone? I’m on Verizon.
I toyed with adding an international data plan for my trip. It is $100. I would then have my own phone.
I also toyed with buying a SIM card when we arrive. It is $50-$60. And I would still have my own phone. A few people I know have had funky things happen to their accounts once they returned to the US when they popped in a different SIM card.
Finally, I toyed with borrowing my 6-year old (Not a typo!) nephew’s phone, which is on T-Mobile, so free international data. But I would have to download apps and connect to my stuff on his phone.
I decided to borrow my nephew’s phone. I’m saving him from the evils of smartphones for a couple of weeks! Well, I might keep it longer so I can take it to WDW in December. Why? He has a newer phone (therefore a better camera) than I have!
I tend to be a light packer but because we are traveling during the cold, rainy season and not ideal laundry abilities, my check in and carry on bags are full! There are no laundry facilities at our hotels, not even at our DLP hotel! We are so used to having them in the US! Laundry or play? Why waste time doing laundry when it’s inconvenient and it’s time consuming to haul it to a laundromat somewhere? I am planning to use one of the hotel’s laundry service early in the trip and rewearing outerwear and pants often. I wish it was closer to half way through the trip but we need to stay at a hotel at least 2 nights to give it time to get our laundry done! I also need to pack my feet pampering gear because those 20K -30K steps per days on lots of cobblestone will kill my feet! I hope I will have space for some souvenirs!
It’s been a super busy couple of weeks preparing for this trip, planning for WDW in December, and finishing stuff for work. We will layover in SEA before boarding for CDG! I’m tired and hope I can sleep on the plane! We are planning to go to the Lourve tomorrow evening because it is open late, making it an ideal time to visit.
I just dressed Chip and Dale. They are ready for DLP!
We have a connecting flight in SEA. We just got notice that it is 2 hours late! And we haven’t left SFO.
About those bed bugs… I’m terrified of them! We will be in 8 different hotels. You betcha we will be checking for those nasty critters! And I have dilute solutions of essential oils to spray on the beds!