Today was the day we were heading to Disneyland Paris so Alan, along with our friends Stephen and Louise, could run the inaugural RunDisney Disneyland Paris Half marathon. I’m on official cheerleading duty! I had originally planned to do the half marathon but wimped out a few months ago when training ground to a halt. Maybe one day?
As we’re booked on the 6.30am flight leaving Newcastle, we had to be up and ready for our 4am pick up to the airport. Ouch!! But it was all in a good cause. Instead of taking a taxi, we decided to go in Stephen’s car and park up at the airport for £30 for the weekend parking. I think for a short trip this is the way forward. There were plenty of spaces and we were just outside of the check in desks so not much trundling of cases to do.
Check in with Air France was straightforward and we headed on through security into the departure lounge. For 4.30am Newcastle airport was heaving – lots of stags and hens heading off and we even bumped into my friend Jo (who I run the Brownies with) who was jetting off to Malaga for a wedding-nice!
I think Newcastle airport has improved in lots of ways over the years but I really miss the canteen style restaurant for speed and choice. They seem to be more individual (and expensive) sit down places now. Breakfast for us was a dry fruit muffin and coffee from Burger King. No mcmuffins (or whatever the Burger King equivalent is?) just burgers and the option of a pint of lager instead of a hot or soft drink for £3. Bizarre! But loads of people taking up that option so weird to see paper cups of lager waiting to be picked up with orders. I like a good drink as regular readers might know by now, but I definitely couldn’t face one before 5am, unless I’d started drinking the night before-hello New Year’s Eve!!
The flight was uneventful with a cup of coffee and pain au chocolat going down well and I got stuck into my new book. Soon it was time to disembark, find the cases and work out a way of getting to the resort. We ummed and arred about finding the Disney shuttle bus but as it was 20 euros each we figured a taxi wouldn’t be much more. There was a taxi rank directly outside of the terminal so we jumped in and were on our way to Disneyland Paris.
The taxi journey itself was a white knuckle ride in itself – the driver didn’t wear his seatbelt and was talking, texting and searching Google on his phone all the way up-eeek!! But we got there in one piece…phew!
Yee Haa!! We’re at the Cheyenne
Check in at the Cheyenne Hotel was pretty straightforward but we were too early for our room. This wasn’t a big problem as they have a left luggage space which we used. I was really impressed at the wild west theming of the hotel especially the stag candelier in the middle of the reception. This is one of the budget options on the resort as is the furthest away from the park but first impressions were good.
A free shuttle bus runs to the park from the hotel but we figured it wouldn’t take that long to walk. It was a very nice walk along a river that leads to the big lake, surrounded by pine trees and nicely landscaped grounds. True enough we were at the entrance of Disney Village in around 10 minutes. It was good to get our bearings and work out where we were in relation to the parks.
Earl of Sandwich
Now I’ve heard lots of great things about this sandwich place – mainly from the one over in Disney Springs in Orlando, so had been bigging it up to the rest as we walked towards it. It really didn’t disappoint – phew. We both went for meal deals which included a hot sandwich (Mine tuna, Alan’s chicken and avocado) crisps or a brownie and a soft drink.
The sandwich was stuffed with filling and properly melted all the way through. So delicious! We need one of these bad boys closer than London soon!
Passing through the gates of the park we were soon onto Main Street, which to be signals we are really in Disney. There’s so many hidden details in the shop front and signs and the piped in cheery music cannot help but make you smile! With the castle in view we posed for some photos and the Halloween decorations added a nice festive touch too.
Plan was to head to Adventureland and Frontierland to do the rides here first. This actually didn’t take too long as the big players Indiana Jones, Big Thunder Mountain and the steam paddler were all closed for refurbishment.
Boo!! But never mind the Phantom Manor and Pirates of Caribbean were both still open which are brilliant rides!
Now no trip to Disney is complete without a ride on Small World a boat ride promoting peace and harmony with dancing dolls and a very annoying tune! I was a bit self conscious about being on without small children, but need not have worried most of the people in the park that day were child free adults!! The run had definitely attracted a more grown up clientele this weekend and so strange to hear lots of American voices too.
Back to the Room
At this point temperatures were well in the high 20’s so we decided to head back to our hotel and get changed and freshened up before our evening meals. Heading back through the Disney village we decided to stop at the Sports Bar for a refreshing vino and bumped into our friends Hayley and Martin who were also here for the run. On the next table we spotted Paula Radcliffe, who was here as an ambassador and to run the race! Top celeb spotting!
Back at the hotel we decided to have an hour in the room to have a quick shower and to change from jeans into a maxi dress-at this point I was boiling!!. I could really have nodded off at this point as the 4am start was taking it’s toll but we are in Disney and I will power on!! The room was one of the unfurnished one in the hotel and was showing some signs of age but was comfortable and spacious.
The runners were keen to get their race bibs and t-shirts from the Expo at the village before we headed in. There was some confusion over t-shirts as the size Stephen had requested was out of stock. This was because the sizes were so small fitting everyone had switched to a larger size which had caused the mess up. If we come back we will know to head straight to the Expo when we arrive!!
We were soon running tight to our 7pm reservation at the Blue Lagoon so the guys took off and left us to wander down at a more leisurely pace. This place is so big and confusing!! We took so many wrong turns, I thought we would never find the place and I was hungry by now! Thankfully we found it and were soon tucking into our steak and chips!
Back at the hotel my head barely touched the pillow when I was flat out. Excited for Day 2 Disney studios!