Around the world and back again.

I made it, with 5 hours to spare. As the timer clicked over to 75 hours elapsed, I re-entered Disneyland in Anaheim, California after traveling from Disneyland, to Disney’s California Adventure, to Epcot, to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, to the Magic Kingdom in Florida, to Disneyland Paris, to Walt Disney Studios in Paris, to Hong Kong Disneyland, to Tokyo DisneySea, to Tokyo Disneyland, and finally back to the original Disneyland.

Right now, the timer reads 80 hours, and I’m already in bed (the first real bed I’ve slept in in three days) at the Disneyland Hotel. ┬áThere are so many more stories to tell. ┬áThere are so many more pictures to share. But right now, all I want to do is sleep. ┬áSo that’s it for tonight.

But, that’s not then end of the story. ┬áThere’s so much more to the trip that I haven’t talked about yet. So please keep following, and I’ll be posting more as soon as I get back home, and a few posts tomorrow as well.

Thanks so much to everyone who has followed along on my journey! ┬áI know there are a lot of questions I need to catch up on, and I’ll be getting to them soon. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions. ┬áThe journey is complete, but the story is far from over…

Three days… and counting.

Two things just happened.  First, I just uploaded my videos from Tokyo DisneySea to YouTube.  Check them out to see me a little more frazzled.

Second, we just passed 72 hours, meaning it’s been exactly 3 days since I started this journey around the world!  I’m in San Francisco now, about to board my last flight, to get back to the finish line at Disneyland.  

To quote from “The Princess and the Frog”… I’m almost there!

Don’t miss the rest of the story!

If you like following my adventure on this blog, please be sure to check out my Twitter feed (@MouseATW) for up-to-the -minute updates of where I am and what I’m doing. 

I’m also posting links on Twitter to all the pictures I’m posting to Instagram and the videos I’m posting to YouTube. (I’m “mousearoundtheworld” on both of those sites, btw.)

Thanks for following along with me on tha journey!

Goodbye Europe, hello Asia!

So far, so good!  There were a few harrowing moments in France. Amazingly customs and immigration at CDG airport wasn’t one of them. I’m sure there are increased security measures in effect since the Brussels bombings, but I didn’t really notice anything. In fact, the immigration guy didn’t even ask me a single question, just stamped my passport and sent me on my way. 

I was a little worried about the train, since I couldn’t book tickets in advance online. Last time that happened to me in Europe, it was because they were tearing up the tracks. ­čÖü  Luckily, the train was operating normally, and I got to the park early. 

But, there was a big question mark. This day had early entry for Annual Passholders. I planned on buying an annual pass anyway, but at Paris they don’t sell APs directly. You get a voucher that you have to exchange for the real thing inside the park.  And, nobody online could tell me if I would be able to use early entry with the voucher.  Getting to take advantage of early entry meant the difference between 1 hour in each park and only 20 minutes in each park.  
Luckily, I was able to use the voucher to get inside. During morning extra magic hours, they only have a few attractions open in Fantasyland and Tomorrowland, so I experienced what I could and then made sure I was first in line to get my real pass at 10am and head over the the next park.  I told the annual pass folks about my quest, and they were kind enough to offer me a voucher for a free coffee!

Unfortunately I didn’t get to use it since it took a little while to get the annual pass, and I was behind schedule for Disney Studios Paris.  By the time I got there, lines for most rides were already pretty long, but thankfully Ratatouille had a single rider line that actually moved pretty fast. (Single rider lines can be hit-or-miss depending on the cast member managing the line.)

As soon as I got off the ride, I realized that I only had 5 minutes to catch my train to the airport!  I ran as fast as I could  and just barely made it on board. I was sweating and panting like a dog as I found a seat.  Then, just as we neared the airport, the train stopped in a tunnel and didn’t move for 12 minutes (effectively doubling the travel time). 

Eventually I made it to the plane, and had a good flight to Hong Kong. It was freezing cold in Paris. I could see my breath! But, in Hong Kong it was Florida-hot and humid. Lost of layering going on here. 

Hong Kong will be the calm before the storm. I have time to spare in Hong Kong, so I might even do some shopping. But everything changes later when I get to Tokyo. This is the only day where I’m trying to do two countries in the same day.  Tokyo will be interesting.  I’m really going to have to manage my time down to the second!

A very special “thank you” to a very special pilot!

Leaving Orlando turned out to be a bigger headache than I expected.  Right when I was in Animal kingdom, I got a text from United saying that my flight was delayed 15 minutes.  No big deal, but then I got one saying that it was delayed 30 minutes, then 45.

Now I was panicking a little. From Orlando, I had a 45 minute connection time in Newark to get to my plane to Paris.  If the plane to Newark was going to be 45 minutes late, then I might miss the connection and the whole trip could be ruined.  Luckily, the plane only ended up being 20 minutes late taking off, but by the time we arrived at Newark, I had only about 10 minutes to make the flight to Paris. 

I was third off the plane, and I literally ran through the terminal, getting to the Paris plane just as they were announcing “last call”.  I sat in my seat, and then I realized I’d left my iPad on the other plane.

I asked the flight attendant what could be done, and assumed that the best case scenario was (if it was still there) that they’d have to send it to me after I got home.  Suddenly, the captain appeared and asked what seat I was in on the last flight.  I told him, and he dashed off.  A few minutes later, he reappeared with my iPad (he must have run as well), and we departed on time.

After we were airborn, I thanked him profusely, and explained about my trip (which, btw, I booked entirely on united.com). Turns out that his niece is a Disney Channel star. (I want to say “Jessie”, but I can’t remember for certain.)  He was extremely enthusiastic about my trip, and we exchanged info.

Captain Robert L. Hain, thank you so much!  You really went above and beyond the call of duty, and saved me a lot of headache on an already stressful journey. I hope we keep in touch, and you’ve certainly earned my respect and loyalty as a United flyer!  Plus, you’re a pretty cool guy too.  Say “hi” to your niece from me, and I look forward to flying with you again some day soon. 

Ps: We arrived at Paris 30 minutes early, which meant I could catch an earlier train, and spend more time at Disneyland Paris! So, thanks for that too!

Two parks down, nine to go. 

Four hours into my journey, sitting on the plane to Orlando and thinking about how it’s gone so far.  I’m dog tired, but that’s kinda a good thing since it means I will probably get some sleep on the plane. Unfortunately, it’s only five hour flight, so who knows what level of enthusiasm I’m going to have tomorrow.

A few monkey wrenches came my way. Arrived too late to grab a fastpass for Radiator Springs Racers, so rode Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree instead. Rode Matterhorn in the afternoon, but it was down in the evening, so I rode Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride instead. Sorry, by the way about the ride footage. But, I figure there are much more professional on-ride videos out there, if you’re interested. Hopefully my grainy shaky-cam will just whet your appetite to seek out more. 

On the whole though, things went as well as I could have hoped. I stuck to the schedule without too much trouble. And, I’ve learned how to use time in lines to also edit video on my phone (with headphones and without holding up the line). It’s my first time using iMovie, so I’m sure there’s a lot I still have to learn. 

Thanks to everyone following along, even if the whole idea for the trip sounds goofy to you. It is goofy, for sure! And, certainly not a trip a lot of folks would enjoy.  It will be exhausting, and my body may be complaining to me later, but for now at least, I’m having a magical time! 

Taking a breath before the start. 

For some reason, as I’m sitting here at the Grand Californian hotel (waiting for my phone to recharge), it just occurred to me that this is the last totally free time I’m going to have for a while.  Sure, I’ll have pockets of time here and there, but from here out I’m going to have to do a lot more multi-tasking. 

I’m actually enjoying this calm before the storm.  (Well, except for the guy having an inexplicable conversation with his crying baby daughter nearby.)  It’s nice to be able to take a moment before everything gets crazy.  Ahhhhh.

There are still the shadows of some clouds on the horizon though. Especially in France and Japan, where the room for error in the schedule really goes down to zero.  I’m working on some things to help that out, but still no final word yet, which is a little anxiety inducing.  

Well, break time is over. Time to head to the front gate and get this party started!

Eleven Pounds

In my final pre-trip video, I talk about the process I went through to plan my journey, along with information about some of the online tools I used.┬á I also show you what I’m going to be bringing along with me on the trip, which all fits inside my WED Imagineering backpack and weights a total of 11 pounds.