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Linda’s family trip to London and Paris with Adventures by Disney – PREP 365

Linda’s family trip to London and Paris with Adventures by Disney – PREP 365

Linda, her husband, and their young children embarked on a trip to London and Paris. Linda’s mother joined them for their Adventures by Disney portion. Linda shares details of the trip including flight delays, surprise local spots, a tour of Warner Bros. Studio, scoring tickets last minute for a show in London’s West End, how it was to travel as part of an Adventures by Disney group, what she loved about Disneyland Paris, and what she would (and wouldn’t!) do if she made the same trip again.

Post trip begins: 40 minutes

The Basics

Linda, her husband, and their children are going on a London and Paris ABD June 13-26. Linda’s mom will be joining them on the ABD portion of the trip. Following the ABD, they are surprising the children with a trip to Disneyland Paris.

Linda’s children are a 10 year old daughter and 8 year old son and this is thier first international trip. This is why she booked an ABD. Linda and her family love Disney and are DVC owners.

Linda booked the ABD because she loves the planning element of Disney trips, but it is also so refreshing to let go of that planning element and relax. 

Departure (June 13)

Linda and her family flew out of Logan International Airport. She HIGHLY recommends the remote lots and taking a shuttle to their gate. 

As they were supposed to be boarding, they discovered that their flight was delayed. They were flying Delta and the flight was supposed to be at 7:30 p.m. and they were still waiting at midnight. 

Linda notes that with their children for so long waiting to get on a flight so late at night was difficult. The flight took off at 1 a.m. and no one slept on the plane. Linda also says that the food was really awful. 

It was a 6 hour flight and because of the delay, some of their plans had to be changed. 

Arrival (June 14)

They were scheduled to land at 7 a.m. so their bus tour was scheduled for noon. However, with the delay, their flight didn’t land until 1 p.m. 

Linda began calling the tour as soon as their first flight delay was announced. However, she was never able to get in touch with them. She wasn’t able to get a call back until much later in the afternoon.

Unfortunately they were not able to reschedule their tour and couldn’t receive a refund. Linda does not recommend booking a tour on your arrival day.

Their luggage was also delayed and Linda wasn’t able to reach thier ABD driver either. Thankfully, the driver was tracking their flight and was waiting for them when they arrived.

They arrived at their hotel, the Kimpton Fitzroy, at 4:30 p.m. and only one of their rooms was ready. They dropped their bags and left immediately.

This was the beginning of one of their favorite nights! They went to Bruinswick Centre and had an incredible dinner. There was an arcade in the square and the kids had it to themselves. It was so much fun.

After dinner they went to a Japanese market and looked around, which was lovely. They were also able to get some delicious dessert pancakes.

They had a great night and got back to their rooms around 7 p.m.

Warner Bros Studio Tour (June 15)

Linda scheduled an Uber to take them to their Warner Bros. Studio Tour. They had a 10:30 a.m. spot and will need to travel outside of London to get there. They were picked up at 9 a.m. and arrived for their tour at 9:50 a.m.

Linda recommends booking the Warner Bros. Studio Tour as soon as you know that you know you will be traveling as they do book up!

They got in line, got through security, and went immediately to their tour. They didn’t need to wait until their 10:30 a.m. time.

Linda says it feels a lot like a museum. There are some interactive sections with green screens. It’s a must-see for Harry Potter fans.

Linda’s family spent about 5 hours at the studio. They booked a tea for noon in the Hogwarts Great Hall. However, Linda says it was just okay. It was in the cafeteria, not in the Great Hall. The tea was just okay.

The cafeteria has a lot of options, especially for kids. Linda recommends getting to the studio at the opening or a little before as it can get very busy. There were a lot of school groups at this time of year.

They took an uber back to their hotel and got ready to see Wicked in the West End! This was a spur of the moment random moment in London.

They weren’t able to get reservations in the West End so Linda recommends eating closer to the hotel before going to the West End.

They absolutely loved the show! It was amazing. They took a black cab back to their hotel. When they arrived at the hotel, they had notes from their ABD guides.

Museum and ABD Begins (June 16)

Everyone slept in and they had breakfast at the hotel. They decided to wait for Linda’s mom to arrive before going out for the day. They went out to the Natural History Museum but it was very hot.

They stayed out for a bit before heading back to the hotel. They spent their afternoon resting and hanging out. They did have to switch rooms again to get ready for the ABD. The rooms were down the hall from each other and were not connecting rooms.

Their rooms were much larger with the ABD. The hotel was able to give them adjoining rooms the next day and were downgraded. They made the choice to do that because it was very important to have adjoining rooms. Linda suggests making a request for adjoining rooms as soon as you can if that’s important for your family.

Sherlock Holmes did a mystery experience with the children that was very fun. They went immediately to bed that night because it was going to be an early and packed day the next day.

London (June 17)

They met the tour at 7:20 a.m. for a packed day! They had a Tower of London with a Beefeater Welcome, private viewing of the Royal Crown Jewels, and a boat ride on the River Thames.

They had a tour bus the whole day so they were able to leave their things on the bus. They had a mediocre lunch followed by a high speed boat tour by Thames Rib Experience. This was everyone’s favorite part of the trip!

The boat tour was both an opportunity to see everything and also have so much fun. When they were able to go fast, they turn on techno music and go really fast.

They went back to the hotel after the boat ride and everyone was very tired. They got some pizza near the hotel.

While Linda’s husband took the kids to bed and Linda and her mom did a bus tour. It was really wonderful! The tour began at 7:30 p.m. and they arrived at 7 p.m. arriving just in time to sit on the top deck of the bus.

Linda really enjoyed this bus tour. It was more laid back. She learned on this bus tour that you can go into a pub and use a restroom. They cannot refuse you use of the restroom in a pub.

London (June 18)

They had a later start and met the shuttle at 9 a.m. It was a quiet trip to the countryside. Archery was so fun! They really enjoyed this.

While half of the group did archery, the other group got a demonstration of medieval weaponry. Then the group swapped. During the demonstration there was a Shakespeare presentation. Linda’s daughter loved this. and fell in love with Shakespeare.

Their next stop was Windsor Castle but it happened to be closed. They went to Windsor and it was a cute little village. Linda’s daughter was disappointed that they’d missed the English tea from their first day.

The ABD tour guide was able to book a tea for them at this point of their trip. It had air conditioning which was very rare. Linda, her mom, and daughter had a quaint English tea while the boys went shopping. Linda really enjoyed the tea and is glad she did it.

After the tea it was time to get back on the shuttle and head to Hampton Circle Palace. Linda wasn’t prepared for this at all and they weren’t told that they were going here until they arrived.

They went into the castle and it was very hot. They were able to look around for a bit but at this point Linda’s son was done sightseeing. He asked the guide if they could just have a break. The guide gave them 10 minutes.

The children all started running through the gorgeous gardens and the parents just sat down. It started to rain so they head back to the shuttle.

They arrived back to the hotel at 5:45 p.m. and dinner was moved to 6:45 p.m. They had a movie for the kids and the adults were able to go to dinner by themselves.

After getting cleaned up they went downstairs for dinner. Your option for dinner was to have dinner covered by Disney at the hotel or go out to eat on your own. However, the children’s activity was only available until 8:45 p.m.

Linda got the kids and brought them back to the restaurant for the last 30 minutes of their meal. Meals were not quick on this trip. They also had to pack for leaving the next day for Paris! They had to have their bags packed and left out before going down to dinner.

What Linda did was to pack their necessary things in backpacks and left their luggage outside their room. They are picked up and driven to Paris by a man with a van so it is very important to have everything packed that night.

Leave for Paris (June 19)

Everyone met that morning at 8:30 a.m. to take the Eurostar to Paris. It was suggested that they get food before getting on the train.

Going from London to Paris was a big culture shock because it is very different from London. They went immediately to Montmartre to ride the funiculaire. There are a lot of steps to get to the top of Montmartre or you can take the funiculaire to the top.

The walk to Montmartre was very stressful because it was very busy. After they left the church they went into the city area about 3 blocks from the church. It was a beautiful and cute town. This was one of their favorite area. Linda wishes they’d had more time in this area and at the square.

There were artists doing portraits on the square, which was lovely. Linda’s daughter got one but they only had about 35 minutes before their wine tasting.

The guide said that if they were going to be later they could just text them and they would meet up for the wine tasting. By the time the group went to wine tasting, they hadn’t even finished the portrait.

The restaurant was very close to where they were getting the portrait. The children were doing trivia at the restaurant and the adults were having a wine tasting. Linda and her husband didn’t want to do that, so they left the kids and walked around Montmartre.

Linda only felt comfortable leaving the children with the guide for a short bit but they loved walking around Montmartre. When Linda and her husband joined the group, they were sitting alone and had wine, cheese, and enjoyed themselves.

This was a moment where Linda decided to do what they wanted to do and it was great. After that it was time for dinner. It wasn’t the best experience. The food wasn’t great and the waiter got angry with Linda’s son. It was a wild experience.

Linda found that some of the meals provided by the ABD weren’t as good as just making a reservation. They didn’t get to experience really great Parisian food on this experience.

Eiffel Tower (June 20)

Linda notes that in Paris you were able to get a to go mug of coffee and drink it on the bus. They did this and took the shuttle to the Eiffel Tower. They were able to take photos in a special spot to get the whole Eiffel Tower as a family.

They went through security at the Eiffel Tower. It was absolutely wild but because of the ABD they were able to go right in to the elevator.

They had lunch inside the Eiffel Tower. They were seated right in the center of the restaurant which didn’t provide the best views. Linda’s son decided to make a kid’s table and the other kids were so excited. Unfortunately the guides shut it down quickly and the kids were so disappointed.

The Eiffel Tower was fantastic but the food wasn’t great. After dessert was served, Linda and her family left the meal and they started exploring. They walked up a long way but they were able to look around. It was so much fun.

Unfortunately they didn’t have time to go all the way to the top via elevator. When it was time to meet the group again they went back down and got into the shuttle.

The group was split up for the next experience, a chocolate workshop. Linda and her family really enjoyed this because it was something to do. Each family was gifted a bag of chocolates.  

This was the end of the ABD portion of the trip. They went out to dinner after and had a delicious Italian meal. Then they went to some department stores. They went to the top floor outside and got to see some gorgeous views from the roof.

They got some incredible views and photos that included the Eiffel Tower. When they got back to the hotel, Linda scheduled to have their laundry picked up. Linda got everything together that night to have all of their laundry done the next day.

Louvre (June 21)

Linda dropped off their laundry to be washed while they were at the Louvre. They did a guided tour and Linda recommends leaving the guided tour to do things on your own. There is so much to see and not everyone is going to want to see the same things with the group.

Linda’s son was able to see the Mona Lisa, which was something he really wanted to do. They were again given 30 minutes at the gift shop.

They got back on the shuttle and went to Notre Dame. They took photos in front of Notre Dame and talked about Notre Dame. The children were really engaged in this because of the connection with the movie.

Their next stop was the Latin Quarter. There were lots of restaurants and shops, including Shakespeare and Company. Linda’s daughter got a book and it was stamped by Shakespeare and Company.

After that they stopped at a restaurant for crepes. They thought it would be fast because crepes are fast but restaurants are not fast. Things took so long that they only had a few minutes left in the Latin Quarter.

Linda’s mom took the kids to a bakery and Linda went to the bridge to find art. She loved this area. She and her husband knew they wanted to bring home some art from their trip. After they found their art, they ran back to the shuttle and were just one minute late.

Marin noted that some of the other groups skipped out on different elements of the ABD. They went to the Paris Opera House next and it was very hot. The kids were done so they left. Her mom stayed for the rest of the tour but she didn’t seem that impressed.

They went back to the hotel to take showers and freshen up. It was so hot! That night they went to the food court in Lafayette.

This was a really neat section of Lafayette and you could get so many different kinds of food. It was like a cafeteria but nicer.

After dinner they went back to the hotel and went to bed.

Versaille (June 22)

Linda was so excited for this day. Linda visited Paris with her mom years ago and is so excited to share this with her children.

Unfortunately it rained all morning. The tour was okay but the guide was helpful with the children. They had to go out to the garden but it was pouring rain. They had to wait out there for about 20 minutes waiting for a tram to take them to lunch.

Linda wasn’t happy that they spent so much time outside in the gardens in the rain. After lunch the sun came out and they left the group to see the gardens in the sun.

They all went to lunch and after an hour they were still waiting for their dessert. The sun was out and so they decided to skip dessert and go out to the gardens in the sun.

They were able to get a golf cart and roam the gardens in a golf cart. They were on their own but they hadn’t really interacted with the other ABD families.

They met back up with the group and Linda was really thankful that they didn’t go on the bike tour. Because it had rained, everyone who biked got really wet.

When they got back to the hotel everyone got cleaned up for the farewell dinner. They went to a nice restaurant and had a nice celebration.

ABD Ends (June 23)

Linda and her family tipped their guides in the morning but many other people gave the tips the night before at the farewell dinner.

Linda’s mom will be heading home and her family will be heading to Disneyland Paris. They will check in at Disneyland Paris The Art of Marvel.

The kids didn’t know they were going to Disneyland Paris. At the airport when they were delayed Linda had her daughter listen to the pre-trip report. She was so excited.

They arrived at Disneyland Paris The Art of Marvel and loved this hotel. The rooms were very large, much larger than their previous hotel.

They arrived to Studios Park around 11 a.m. They had crepes immediately and got in line for a 12 p.m. Frozen show at 11:45 a.m. However, the queue was closed for that show and already so long for the next show. Linda suggests getting in line at least an hour before.

They brought books into the park for the kids to wait in line. It wasn’t a problem at all to wait for the next show. The Frozen show was really great, especially if you like Frozen. After the show, they got more crepes and then Linda and her son went to Tower of Terror!

While Linda and her son went on Tower of Terror, her husband and daughter went on Flight Force. After they were done with Tower of Terror, they rode Flight Force as a family because it only had a 10-15 minute wait.

They enjoyed a lot of fun shows around the park. They also signed up for a training academy via a virtual queue around 1 p.m. Linda immediately got a spot for a random Avenger about 30 minutes later.

They had incredible interactions and a really great experience. After that they went to their dinner reservation at PYM Kitchen. The food was okay and the experience was great.

Their next stop was Spider-Man Web Adventure. Her daughter didn’t think it was worth the wait but her son loved it. After that they went back to the hotel and went to bed. They had a great night of sleep because the hotel was so lovely!

Disneyland Paris (June 24)

Breakfast was included in their hotel stay, so they had another buffet breakfast. That morning they had early entry to Disneyland Park. They walked through Disney Village to get there.

It was so beautiful and walking in was magical. Linda says it really feels like home. Sleeping Beauty Castle was just gorgeous.

They went to Phantom Manor first and they liked it. Linda highly recommends reading the story before riding because it really makes the ride even better.

They went to Thunder Mountain next and it was amazing. Indiana Jones was next but her son wasn’t tall enough to ride, which was very surprising. Linda says to skip it.

They took the train to the front of the park. There are 4 stops around the park but two of them were closed. They went around to Hyper Space Mountain. The kids really loved it.

There aren’t a lot of quick service options within the park so they went to Disney Village to get some sandwiches. They went back to the hotel for an exclusive meetup with a Marvel character. Signups open for this one week prior to the trip.

They really liked this experience and got some great photos. After the photos everyone took a nap for several hours. They were all so tired.

They went back for their dinner reservation at Agrabah Café. This was a delicious meal. After their dinner they went inside the castle and explored.

They were able to ride Snow White Ride and Pincochio before doing Alice’s Curious Labyrinth, a very large hedge maze. This was a wonderful experience and at the end they got some great photos of the view from the Queen of Hearts Castle.

After that they had some snacks before riding it’s a small world, and getting ready for the drone show. Linda had a tip to get in the center area in front of the castle around 10:15 p.m.

At 9:50 p.m. they were taking a break and decided to ride Star Tours because there was a 15 minute wait. Linda stayed behind and a crowd of people went to the castle. It ended up taking them 40 minutes at Star Tours.

Unfortunately this meant that they didn’t get a spot to see anything and ended up walking through the arcades to get out of the park. This was the end of their night.

Studios Park (June 25)

The first stop of their day was rope dropping Crushes Coaster. The kids were the first in the park. Linda wasn’t able to ride but they were given fast passes to ride Tower of Terror. Because of this, they were able to ride together as a family!

They went to Toy Story Land next and rode some of the smaller rides and walked on Ratatouille the Adventure. After that, they all rode Tower of Terror together. Linda’s son was able to talk the whole family into it!

They left and went to Disneyland to get in line for the Lion King show. They were able to see the 12:15 p.m. show and it is nothing like the Animal Kingdom show.

Linda also notes that they saw Mickey and the Magician and it was incredible!

After the Lion King they went on Phantom Manor again. The kids loved it this time after reading about the story. They grabbed Earl of Sandwich on their way back to their room for a rest.

At 6 p.m. they were on their way their dinner reservation at Bistrot Chez Remy. Linda says this was one of their best meals of their entire trip. They got steaks and they were cooked perfectly.

The drone show was at 10:55 p.m. They walked in to Disneyland at 8:15 p.m. Linda was ready to sit down and get a spot for the drone show but she was talked into one more ride. Her daughter and she rode Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and her son and son went on Hyper Space Mountain. They were both a walk-on.

They sat against one of the planters on the left side at 8:40 p.m. for a 10:55 p.m. show. Linda was that desperate to see the show. She offered the rest of her family to drop their things and walk around but everyone decided to stay with her.

They enjoyed just sitting and waiting for the show. At 10:53 p.m. there was an announcement that due to weather, there wouldn’t be a drone show. Linda was able to see the projections and the fireworks which was fun, but she really missed the drones.

After the show they went back to their room ending thier trip!

Departure (June 26)

Linda used the Disney shuttle to get back to the airport in Paris and it was very smooth. The shuttle runs every 2 hours so they had to leave their hotel at 6 a.m. That worked well though because it took a full hour to get through the airport.

They all enjoyed Disneyland Paris and now the kids are asking to go to Tokyo Disney Sea!

Key Takeaways

Tide Sink Packets – They packed tide packets and were able to wash clothes in the sink

Linda recommends adding another additional day at the beginning and end of their trip.

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