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. 🙁 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!