Coaster Palooza 2008 made its first international trip over the Fourth of July holiday. The schedule we have is below followed by the first day of the trip. The trip is a combination of sight seeing and amusement park hopping. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed being on the trip.
July 4th – Arrive in London, Abbey Road, London Eye, Hard Rock Café (London)
July 5th – Tower London, Tower Bridge, Hop on Hop off tour, Cruise the Thames
July 6th – Chessington World of Adventures
July 7th – Thorpe Park
July 8th – Bullet train to Paris, Mini bus tour, Hard Rock Café (Paris)
July 9th – Euro Disney
July 10th – Hop on Hop off tour – sight seeing, Bullet train back to London
July 11th – West end of London tour – Buckingham Palace, etc.
July 12th – Windsor Castle, Oxford University, and Stonehenge
July 13th – Fly home…
Day one of our trip would have us arriving in London around noon. We went to our hotel, but check-in wasn’t until 2:30. Our decision was to head to Abbey road since the Baker Street tube was just down the street. This whole trip we used public transportation. It was great not driving anywhere. We took the usual photos at Abbey road and then headed back to the hotel after eating some lunch.
After checking into the hotel, we took the tube to Waterloo station for the London Eye. The full rotation takes around 30 minutes and the wait for it was around 20 minutes. It really wasn’t that bad! There are some great views from up there.
Our next and final stop of the day was Hard Rock Café for dinner. We have an All Access card which came in handy because the wait for a table was 1 hour. We were seated immediately! Since it was Independence Day, HRC had a deal for us Americans. A free beer with proof of being an American (which was our passport). No problem!
Time for the photos!
We had 3 Netflix movies to choose from on our trip out to London...which one did we choose?
Yep, JUNO!!! We could see why Diablo got the Oscar for the screenplay. Nice Job!
Since Gyendolynne is Gold, we were able to wait in the Envoy lounge for our flight from Philadelphia to London.
Very happy and comfortable.
Plenty of food...
This is our hotel for the first 4 days. It wasn't ready yet, so what do you do?
We took the tube to....
this exit, why you ask?
Because we are near something that has to do with the Beatles.
Why am I walking the wrong way?
We made it to Abbey Road Studios!
aaahhhh, that's better.
Yep, now I'm going the right way.
Next, we went to the Marylebone station to Waterloo.
We're at the London Eye. WOOHOO!!!
That's us! LONDON!!!
Man this seems like a long wait, but it was only around 20 minutes.
Wow! That's high...
I don't think you can ever get enough pictures of Big Ben and Parliament.
The next few photos are from the London Eye. It is a great view and highly recommended!
Like I said, you can never have enough pictures with Big Ben and Parliament!
This guy was laying on a bed of nails...
and then he decides to juggle!!!
I wonder if this is one of the oldest carousels in the world???
Here's the story behind the flagpole...
Last shot of the London Eye, maybe...
We headed to Hyde Park after all the fun around the London Eye.
Hey, it's Hard Rock Cafe! The original. :) What are all the red-white-and blue balloons for?
Our usual photo. Not looking too bad for an international flight (17+hours) and no sleep!
HRC was actually celebrating Independence Day! They gave away a free beer to anyone that had an American passport. Here is our free Budweiser. Maybe next year it won't be the free "American" beer...wonder why?
The beer was actually warm and we asked for an ice bucket. Typical Americans! You can yell at me now...
It's never a complete trip to HRC unless you go to the gift shop, which is across the street.
Day two is all about sight seeing. We had a tour set up through AAA for the Tower of London. The tip we received was to arrive there by 9am because the first tour doesn’t start until 10am. Once you get there, head straight for the crown jewels because this will be very crowded after the first tour. That was a great tip!
We took the 10am tour and then walked around the Tower for a little while longer. We jumped on the Hop on Hop off tour next. They have a few different tours to choose from depending on which bus you get on. The one we were on took us over to Trafalgar Square where we had lunch at Sherlock Holmes pub. After lunch we hopped back on the rest of the tour around Big Ben, Parliament, Westminster Abbey, etc. you get the picture, right?
The Hop on Hop off tour also came with a cruise on the Thames River. That was our last stop of the day before heading back to our hotel and across the street to the pub for dinner.
We took the tube to the Tower of London!
In a way I wish we would have done the dungeon. You could actually hear the screams from across the Thames!
There it is, the Tower of London.
We had some good advice about arriving at 9am and heading straight to the crown jewels. There is no photo and video allowed inside.
Random photos around the tower before the first tour at 10am.
They had ravens there because of some scary superstition...
I'm a little scared!!!
It's the Bloody Tower!!!
Oh no!!! Traitor's gate...
It was finally time for our tour. This is our beefeater.
He was pretty amusing.
Where's Mel Brooks when you need him?
This is the book of History of the World, Part...I mean Volume 1.
Winding tower stairs.
Quote the raven...
We went through the museum at the Tower also.
I was quite surprised by something that I had to get change for...
Yep, they have a smashed peny machine!
Woohoo! Mission accomplished. Now what's all this about history?
Oh, time to tour the museum...
Is this where Walt Disney got the idea of the name?
They also had some neat skits/shows throughout the area.
There's part of the wall.
Another tower to go through...
There were guards "patrolling" around the castle in full uniform.
Now that looks familiar!
In case you forgot what Gyendolynne looked like, as a guard!
Here we are with that cool bridge behind us.
We jumped on our Hop on Hop off tour and took it to Trafalgar Square. That is where Sherlock Holmes pub is!
mmmm Sherlock Holmes Ale...
They had a museum of the set upstairs.
We hopped back on the tour to take a few photos from the upper deck.
This is the church at Westminster Abbey.
There was a gay pride parade happening that affected our tour.
This is Trafalgar Square. So many people.
There's that bridge again.
This is a photo from our cruise on the Thames.
One of the pubs we try to get to...
Gyendolynne had shepherd's pie.
I had a cheeseburger...typical American. I will get something different later on.
Thanks for being patient with the sight seeing photos. Now we will have the serious pictures. Ones of Amusement Parks!
One thing that was constant with us throughout our trip was rain. I think it rained every day of our trip in London except the first day. Today would be no different.
We took the train from Waterloo to Chessington South for Chessington World of Adventures amusement park. This is a fantastic park. It is a little small, but easily manageable.
They have a Sea Life area that is new for 2008. Their roller coasters, flat rides, and dark rides were great too! We especially liked Dragon’s Fury and Tomb Blaster.
It was a great time!
First things first, we had to walk to the Baker Street station to get Gyendolynne coffee. It was unfortunate that they didn't open until later on Sunday though. We were able to get this picture of Gyendolynne with Sherlock Holmes statue!.
I mentioned earlier that we took public transit for everything on this trip. We are at the Waterloo station. Gyendolynne heard very good things about Upper Crust and had to try a sandwich.
Please mind the gap!
Very happy on our way to Chessington.
We walked from the train station to Chessington. I think it took about 10 minutes.
Woohoo!!! We made it!
The grounds there were decorated nicely with all the flowers.
I don't remember letting anyone know that Coaster Palooza would be there, but that wait is typical for us!
Up the lift hill. It was really a different kind of a mouse ride for me. I had to slink down low in order to fit. Is it because I am fat, or tall? I know, I'm not tall...:)
We found Beanoland quite funny.
This was a fantastic ride! We had so much fun on it.
Once again, I don't know if anyone mentioned we were coming, but the queues were great!
Just a short wait, and we're on!
I think the wait time said 5 minutes...
The theming of the ride was great, but wish the ride itself was different.
We waited for the front row, so I think our wait was 10 minutes, maybe...
More photos of Vampire.
Now it started to get interesting because the rain started!
We walked right on...
This has to be one of the neatest dark rides.
We were given the front row, but we saw the disappointment in the kids faces that were in the second row. They were with their dad. We asked him if it would be okay to let them sit in the front. Little did we know these people have ridden this ride a lot! I think the dad had 30,000 points to my 15,000. His son had 8,000, and Gyendolynne had around 10,000.
Sometimes I don't know why I do the things I do.
The rain was getting worse.
We headed over to the zoo area.
This is their new for 2008 attraction.
We went over to the other side of the zoo because we heard they have baby tigers!
First stop, gorillas.
It was feeding time. One of the babies was eating...
the other was antagonizing.
He also wanted to play with mom quite a bit!
King of the jungle.
They have sea lions also.
We took the monorail around for a little bit, maybe to stay dry!
They put on a sea lion show too. I think there is only one a day.
That's what the "king" wanted to do...
More of the sea lion show.
The following photos are from Gyendolynne.
I was chasing the guy with balloons.
The dragon is out now. We decided to take one more ride on Dragon's Fury before we headed out.
The flags were blowing pretty bad all day.
Train back to Waterloo...
This is what the station looked like.
Back down the tube...
We arrived at our pub across the street from the hotel.
mmm, Sunday roast dinner!
and a Guiness to wash it down.
We also watched the Wimbledon final while we were there. It was a great final! We are off to Thorpe Park next!
^^^^Hey Joe, we decided to make this trip happen along with the July 4th weekend. I agree about the warm Budweiser. How can they serve it that way?
^^We booked everything through AAA. My suggestion on cost savings would be to book the hotels through Expedia, Hotwire, etc. I think they have better rates. They also might put you in a better hotel. I haven't complained about them, but our last hotel was so small and the bathroom...well I will just let the picture show it later. If you want anymore advice on the cost savings, you can PM me anytime. Gyendolynne and I talked last night about some of the things we would do differently had we only known.
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