Just two months after Alan’s run at the Disneyland Paris Half Marathon, we were heading to the Golden Forest Club at Disney’s Sequoia Lodge, with the girls in tow for some Disney festive fun. The red eye 6am flight from Newcastle was still a bit of a killer when the alarm when off at 3am, but the girls were super excited which helped to get ready and out of the house in quick time. Magazines picked (Jacqueline Wilson for Imogen, Shopkins for Abigail), a grizzly murder book for me and an overpriced coffee in tow we were soon on our way.
Transfer to the resort was really easy, via the Magical Shuttle bus which we had pre-paid and we were soon at Disney’s Sequoia Lodge after a drop off at the nearby Newport Bay Hotel. The majority of the Disney hotels are located around a large lake (just a ten minute walk from Disney Village), a complex of mainly Disney owned shops, restaurants and the obligatory Rainforest Cafe and Planet Hollywood chains. The beauty of staying in a Disney property is that you aren’t far from your hotel and a rest which is needed when you are on your feet all day.
Golden Forest Club Check in
We had upgraded our room to the Golden Forest Club on recommendation of our friends and travel agents Hayley and Martin (Holiday Hamster) so we had our own check in desk. When Alan mentioned this I though seems bit overkill, but the lobby was heaving. Which was also reflected by a huge queue for storing your luggage. The Golden Forest Club had its own storage and a queue of two families. We were told the room would be ready at 3pm and as it was only 11am we pottered off in the direction of the theme park to spend our first afternoon in the Disneyland park. The fast pass tickets (one per day per person) we were given came in handy. That afternoon when we managed to skip the line at Ratatouille, saving over 50 minutes.
The Golden Forest Room
Our room was located on the 6th Floor in the main building, just opposite the three elevators and I was a little worried that it might disturb us with the clanking, but in fairness this didn’t really bother me. The walls were thick and the combination of red wine and walking up to 30K steps each day (recorded on the fitbit) I never gave this concern another thought.
Our Golden Forest room was spacious with two double beds, a large wall mounted TV (however, we never managed to find English channels) plenty of drawer space and a open wardrobe area next to the bathroom. The bath, which seems to be standard in Disney hotel in France, was one of those half a baths with a separate hand basin area with a retractable magnified mirror – scary! First impressions were good.
The forest themed room was impressive and we loved the Disney touches like the Bambi wallpaper and prints. Most importantly the beds were comfortable, on the firm side, and there was some nice mood lighting – nothing worse than a big light shining down on you in the morning. The room was located at the rear of the hotel overlooking lake Disney and the hot air balloon. The addition of a balcony would have been nice addition in the summer, however it was not really needed in this weather though. The Nespresso machine was a nice touch, which we only used once, due to the coffee on tap at the lounge.
Golden Forest Lounge
As part of being the Golden Forest Club you were given access to the separate lounge. Located just off the lobby area, the room served as the breakfast location and also where you could get complimentary hot and cold drinks from 12pm to 10pm and, most importantly, where an afternoon tea was served between 4 and 6pm each evening. The lounge was so pretty and as you would expect themed as a forest with gorgeous pendant lights hanging from a tree, very atmospheric and pretty. Staff were extremely pleasant, chatty and nothing was too much trouble.
Breakfast was really good and a massive step up from our offering at the Hotel Cheyenne where we’d stayed in September. Standard continental cold selection of ham, cheese, cereal and rolls were provided, but there was a hot selection too of veal sausages (which i wasn’t keen on), bacon, scrambled egg, potatoes and hot fluffy pancakes.
How cute are these little tomato sauces and the maple syrup pots? Abigail enjoyed the multi-fruit juice and kiddies yogurts and Imogen couldn’t get enough of the pancakes. The most important part for me and Alan is having coffee in the morning and that hit the spot too. Nice and strong, coffee on the continent is top notch!
Like all theme parks and attraction, Disney is expensive and at some points you just need to part with the cash, but here I think the Golden Forest lounge came into it’s own. Between 4 and 6pm the lounge served a kind of afternoon tea with little sandwiches, fruit tarts, marshmallows, and muffins.
The girls wouldn’t eat the sandwiches as they were all cream cheese themed. However we enjoyed them, while they partook in the chocolate muffins! As we knew this was on, we aimed to get back to the hotel for 4pm to have a chill, freshen up before heading out for a late evening meal or to the fireworks. My other top tip is to pop to the Relay shop in the train station for red wine, which also went down well in the room and a bargain at 6 Euros a bottle, only one snag is that Disney security won’t let you onto the property with it, but we got round this by jumping on the resort shuttle bus, instead of walking back. The lengths I’ll go to for wine and money saving!
The hotel is large, bustling and we were told at check in the whole resort was at full capacity. You could tell this as there were queues to the restaurant ‘The Hunter’s Grill’ each night. The bar area ‘Redwood bar and lounge’ with its cosy log fire was always packed too.
The first night we sat at a high table and had a drink, but we could never get never the coveted seats next to the log fire. The swimming pool was also being refurbished during our stay so we never got to experience it, however, I’m not sure we could have fitted it in on our long weekend. The Sequoia Lodge also has a large well stocked shop with the usual eye wateringly expensive souvenirs and snacks such as crisps, biscuits and basic toiletries.
Overall, we really enjoyed our time at the Sequoia Lodge and would return electing the Golden Forest Club upgrade. Just need to start saving up for our next trip!
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