Suddenly planning a trip to Europe. Know that if I even bring up the thought of going to Disneyland Paris for a day our trip will go from 4 people to 3 (I will be left behind). Internal conflict. Have no HUGE desire to go - but more of a bucket list item. Total first world problem - but figured people on this forum would understand.
How long are you planning to be in Paris? Could you just bring it up when you're there?
You could remind them that there are a few attractions that have gone from WDW (Backlot, Lights Motor Action stunt show), and some brand new ones, (Indy, Rat), and some better versions (BTMR from what I hear). So you don't want to do the same stuff but the new ones.
And if they don't want to join you then go on your own lol! Or just don't tell them at all .....
Ha. It is still in the very beginning stages of planning. About 2 wks among paris, london and the french countryside (if we end up going at all). I think the storming of the Bastille would be a picnic in comparison to the reaction - but who knows. To be perfectly honest I am happy to skip it but part of me wants to do it to say I have. Who knows - perhaps I will get my son to ask. We'll see how things play out.
I think you already know the answer.
I guess I'm going to be the Donald Downer here. We went to DLP for a day and regretted it. If all you have is two weeks for London, Paris, and the French countryside I would definitely not sacrifice a single day for DLP. Sorry, Mickey.
Ha no downer at all. Good advise!!
I am as obsessed about Disney as anyone, and I would LOVE to see DLP. BUT. I wouldn't plan it unless I had enough days to to see the Lourve, Notre Dame, Musee D'Orsee, and all of the other Parisian cultural sites first... I did spend 1 of 3 days in Tokyo at Tokyo DL, but I had been living in Japan for most of 4 years, so I pretty much had the cultural thing down by then...
DLP was my first disney park (from england) and it took me years and years of bothering my parents before I finally got there (age 14) so it holds a special place in my heart as my first taste of disney park magic. I've been once since and have booked a short break for Halloween this year as well. It took me another 13 years to get to the world and while there is no comparison, if I ever plan a trip to Paris one day is for disney no question. My last visit we had four days, my friend got her museum/gallery day (louvre was nice, Mona Lisa was small and surrounded by tourists) and I got my act like a kid again day. Everyone was happy
What an international group!! It will all work out for sure and if this is the biggest problem I have consider myself very blessed!!
So looks like we are doing London instead of Paris. So don't have to worry about DLP. Although I did bring it up and I still the feeling in my hands and arms to type this - so guess it wasn't greeted too badly. So if anyone has any MUST DOs in London - let me know. Yes we are doing Harry Potter and many of the more historical sights and cultural experiences that London has to offer. 'Ello Governor!!"
The HP studio tour is amazing. Get the audio tour! It makes it 10x better. Other things in london- the view from the shard is impressive (and a lot quicker than the London eye), the science museum is a fun trip although if you're on a tight schedule you probably won't get to see it all and the British museum is one of my favourites. Kings cross/st Pancras train station is a weird place to suggest I know but the architecture is wonderful, the shops and resterau.t are pretty good and they have a trolley going into the wall at platform 9 3/4 you can have a picture with If you have time definitely go see a show, I saw dreamgirls last weekend and it was epic, but mainly I just love to people watch
Thank you thank you!!! Do you mind if I message you separately?
We are very excited. We found a wonderful apartment in Kensington (130 Queen's gate Apartments)
All the above are ON OUR LIST!!!
How long do you have in London?
Like Disney, you cannot do it all, so don't try to cram it all in!
I like the hop on & off bus tours, as a way to see a lot of the sights and get a feel of the lay of the land. There are several routes, so you could say do a part loop of Westminster (Big Ben & Parliament), Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park, Trafalgar Square, Whitehall incl Downing Street.
A boat trip from Westminster to the Tower of London is a good way to see it from a different perspective. The Tower is great for history fans (murder, intrigue, traitors, Henry VIII, the original zoo or menagerie etc).
Greenwich is good for a day, could include the cable car across to the O2.
Further out, Hampstead is a lovely "village" of London, with history, the Heath, famous graves, and some quaint shops and pubs.
A trip to Windsor or a bit closer is Hampton Court. Or Kew Gardens. Or the Zoo.
Ride the Tube to a terminus (the Northern Line going north is a good bet, not too long) and then race down the platform to the other end of the train.
If going to the museums or galleries, choose a few rooms to do. They are huge, research and let the kids decide which museum and what they want to see.
If cathedrals appeal, choose either Westminster Abbey or St Paul's. Each could easily take 3 to 4 hours.
It would be easy to try and fill every minute and have everyone whining lol! Or pick and choose.
You have to pre book the Harry Potter Studios tour.
There are also walking tours of various lengths and themes, including Harry Potter's London. Not done that, heard good reviews though.
Slightly hijacking this thread for more info in the HP studio tour. We are going to London in September, and as we lived there for 9 years we have really good plans for what we want to do EXCEPT for the HP tour, as that didn't exist then. Any other tips, tricks, and general advice about the tour would be greatly appreciated.
There is a bus that goes from central London but it's just as easy to get the overground to Watford junction and then the bus service from there, especially if you have an oyster card. Eat before you go wherever possible, there is a cafeteria on the way in and a food shack halfway through buy the food is substandard and pricy for the quality (dry hot dogs that kind of thing). It is a most of a day activity because of the travel and also because you want to give yourself time to properly see everything. The butterbeer was a bit of a let down for me personally but others seemed to be enjoying it (there is nowhere near the range of options of universal). The great hall is set up like a hot set which means ready for filming which is pretty cool because what looks to you like bits of coloured paper in the torches, turns into pretty realistic fire when you take a photo.
Speaking of, be ready to take a lot of photos. Especially when you get to the model of hogwarts, it was used for the majority of the exterior shots until cgi caught up and it is incredibly detailed.
The weaslys kitchen and umbridges office were my favourite sets but the special effects area was the most interesting for me because some things that you assume were computer generated were actually built. For me that adds to the magic. It's quite a well designed tour, you are left to wander at your own pace with the only real bottlenecks being the interactive bits (such as 'riding' a broom simulator by a green screen with the option of buying a photo or even the video of your ride) and the shop. Which is awesome. Even if you don't buy a lot just walking around is an experience. The chess figures at the entrance and the middle bit are also particularly impressive.
Thanks for the additional info and photos!
No problem! My facebook album has 129 photos so I tried to choose ones that wouldn't ruin anything and of course get one of me in there
LOVE all the advise!!!
So one of the things that we splurge on is private tours. Just find them very immersive and well worth the additional cost.
I basically see things falling into two categories - Tower of London / London Bridge and then Westminster Abbey / Big Ben / Buckingham palace.
From those that have been - do you see any of these as MUST tour (in depth) or Naa not worth it. Or are there any places you would suggest that we MUST do a tour of.
Additionally we plan on doing a proper high tea. As my research has shown that all of them generally cost the same - my wife currently wants to enjoy the one at Harrods - any suggestions? I suggested the one at the Shard - but she wants "old" England.
Any additional suggestions is highly appreciated. So excited
@Nickysyme - THANK YOU !!! We have traveled to europe before and taken your advise that you CAN'T see it all - so don't try. We want to enjoy and experience it - but know we can't see it all. My wife / daughter plan to do water colors at the park near our housing. We like to see things - but at an unhurried pace. We like to experience and enjoy instead of being rushed to everything.
@brklinck - I'll let you know what we find out. It seems like there are few options for HP and will let you know what we find. Seems like all the tours give you about 3 1/2 hours there. As much as I don't want to do a tour - I think it is the easiest to do - as getting there on our own would either be very expensive or take forever. So sometimes need to suck it up. @k.thorne thank you also for all your continued help and insight.
FYI - for anyone going - take a look at apartments instead of hotels. We are staying in queens gate for the same cost as a hotel - just an option.
Afternoon tea - I like Fortnum & Mason's on Piccadilly, towards Green Park.
I think you'll be disappointed in London Bridge.... pretty sure you're thinking of Tower bridge. Easy mistake to make
The Tower of London and Westminster Abbey would be my must do's. Both have good self tours, but certainly look into a guided tour of the Tower. The Abbey is obviously firstly a cathedral, and secondly the burial place of several monarchs (most in a separate chapel behind the altar), plus poets, writers and scientists, and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. There are also the well preserved ruins of the actual Abbey, i.e. Monastery. I would buy the guidebook and follow it. There are probably tours there too, been a while since I went.
As for Big Ben and Buckingham Palace, go, see and take photos. If it's nice you could walk down the Mall to Trafalgar Square, or spend some time in the parks.
Are you planning shopping and/or a show?
Any other questions, just fire away. I used to live in London, now up in Edinburgh but still visit. Happy to help if I can.
The tower has a pretty good audio tour, that's what I got when I was there. Never actually been in Westminster Abbey but it is on my list! For afternoon tea, I like the Ritz. We felt severely under dressed going in (even though we were in our poshest dresses) but the service was impeccable, the desserts were amazing and the food in general was very filling meaning we didn't eat again that day, and we came out feeling every so slightly superior to other people (even though us two northerners definitely weren't). It was just the lift that kind of service gives you. Harrods is pretty good as well but, like the Ritz and other upmarket teas, booking ahead is pretty essential especially for weekends and during the holidays. Even if you don't have tea there I'd recommend visiting Harrod's. It's quite pretty at night when it's all lit up