As you all know I am a Disney fanatic!! I love Disneyland and so knowing that I was SO close to Disneyland Paris, I had to go and soak up the magic. But the main reason for going to the Park is because Phoebe had NEVER been to any type of Disney park!! Living in Australia will do that to you. So I was just so excited to see Disneyland through her eyes and for her, after 19 years of life, to experience the happiest place of earth (or at least the Happiest place in Europe). It was an experience indeed... it was so cool seeing all the different rides, the old favorites that were tweaked slightly, and of course to hear all the disney characters speaking in French... oh and the little kids speaking in french too... SO cute!!!!
But I'm getting ahead of myself slightly... the day started with much frustration. We wanted to get to our hostel and store our stuff before venturing into the park, but there was no bus service to our place for like a 3 hour gap when we arrived... seriously the bus just stopped running from 9:30 - 12:30... SUCK! So instead we called our hostel and the wonderful french lady who spoke amazing english on the other end said that if we checked in later that night it would be more than fine... and it was only 5 euro to store our bags safely in the disney vault (aka baggage storage). Oh and speaking of 5 euro... the lady working at the train station who I bought the ticket from gave me 5 euro extra in change. I didn't realize this however until I was putting my money away while on the train... thanks Paris for 5 euro!
So now we were baggage free and ready to go!!
Disneyland main street is pretty much the same... a little tweak here and there, but nothing too different! They still play the same music over the speaker... there are horse carriages and buggies... unfortunately they have NO honorary citizen buttons, or first time buttons... so Phoebe and I were disappointed! But the disappointment was short lived when we saw the castle!!!!
Why yes the castle is a bit different... thanks for noticing. Disneyland Paris is celebrating 15 years of being open (round of applause) so that is what the mickey head in the center is for. It also has a hill on one side and a waterfall... very storybook like!
So our first ride was Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Phoebe doesn't like roller coasters too much, so I assured her this was tame. It is one of my very favorites though, so we had to hit it up first. We also got in the front car, which for anyone who has ridden the ride in Cali knows that is the lames and slowest part. But we were so excited! Seriously jumping up and down in line!!
The entire time on the ride I was of course screaming - it's the best part. and pointing out things around the park for Phoebe... it made her laugh hysterically! Frontierland is pretty much the same... but very small... it only has Big thunder mountain and Phantom Manor as the major rides... otherwise it's just the river boats and shooting galleries... and woody's roundup area. Disneyland Paris is MEAGER in size to say the least.
After Big Thunder Mountain and it's awesomeness, we were off to Phantom Manor!
Now Phanton Manor is a slight bit different than Cali... and Florida, which is also different and in my opinion (I know this may be blasphemy to the Cali lovers) better... but Paris of course puts their own creepy spin on it. I told Phoebe the entire story of the Haunted mansion (you can read it here) while in the line... which was VERY SHORT!! the first difference I notices was the pictures in the stretching room are different. But the biggest difference was when you are supposed to enter into the gravyard... you don't... instead you enter into an old west mining town filled with skeletal zombie animatronics!! WHAT??? I was totally creeped out... these figures were creepy and would scare small children in my opinion. Oh and the Phantom is an animatronic figure and at one point you come around a corner and all of a sudden he's like 5 feet from your buggy and he's creepy!!! I jumped and screamed every time!! Still awesome though... but weird... and all in French, so I had to translate for Phoebe based on my intimate knowledge of the original ride... is it sad that I know it all by heart pretty much??
Third ride of the day had us leaving Frontierland and entering Adventureland!! The Indiana Jone roller coaster!! That's right, roller coaster... that goes upside down. It was Phoebe's first upside down ride experience!! She was nervous
It was pretty sweet... but just a roller coaster... and it was rickety... so I got a headache from being jostled about. Phoebe loved it though... which was REALLY good cause she was scared.
Pirates of the Caribbean was next! YARG!
I LOVED their skull rock... you could even climb around inside.
Pirates was the same for the most part... just in French... and NO Johnny Depp or Captain Barbossa... it was like the old one. It had a crazy drop though... and they take your picture... we did not see it coming therefore we were freaked out in the photo!
Pirates and Indiana pretty much are the only things in disneyland besides pirate island which is just for kids to climb around in caves... don't get me wrong we climbed around... but it was just caves.
On to Fantasyland (we were knocking the park out in no time!!) Upon entering Fantasyland, we got in line for Peter Pan! Of course it was long... but it is my favorite still and I had been away from London for 4 days, so I needed a quick visit back!!
They don't have a lot of the rides in Fantasyland, like I expected. They have a Mr Toad's restaurant, but no ride. They have a Alice in Wonderland hedge maze, but no ride. They have Snow White and Pinoccio, but the lines were strangely long for such lame rides... but here are some cool things -
a bean stock
A wishing well
And of course the castle which you can go up in and read about the story of Sleeping Beauty...
I was worried at this point... spinning wheels never sit well with me
But it turned out well
a view of fantasyland from the Castle balcony
upon descending the stair from the castle, you can continue on and visit a dragon... that moves... AWESOME!
We also found this guy down there... a little chubby for my taste, but he was precious all the same... and he was a statue... so easy to pose with
And Snow Whites Cottage is a gift shop... Phoebe decided to live here
It was lunch time, so we left for main street to find a hot dog
Upon entering Main Street we were met with a tiny poka-dot train parade... to our amusement it was filled with Disney Characters (so that's where they all are)... sadly though it was all of Disney's lesser characters... like Piglet, and Smee, and Tweedledee and Tweedledum... so it became affectionately called "The Lame Train"... All aboard the lame train... Whoo-whoo! haha
Also on Main Street they had Mickey's Party Time on the main stage where the Walt and Mickey statue should be in front of the castle... It was basically mickey and some dancers and some other Disney characters dancing around... Mickey speaks French too!! HAHA
Just before the show some of the characters were walking to the stage and who should pass me but the love of my life Peter Pan!! I of course called out and waved... and I kid you not, he turn looked at me and had this expression like "hi weirdo, I'm way too cool for you"... seriously broke my heart! Not a smile or anything... SCREW YOU PETER PAN!! Or at least Paris Peter Pan! So throughout the day every time Phoebe and I walked through or past main street it seemed like that show was starting EVERY TIME! Phoebe and I couldn't believe it!! Like clock work... "Phoebe and Miranda are coming... let's start the show!" It was SO annoying after a while!
After lunch we set off for Tomorrowland!! or Discoveryland as it is called there.
I was keen to have Phoebe try a roller Coaster in the dark... she asked if the roller coast went upside down again and I replied, "the one in cali and florida don't"... well folks... this one does... and it has a cork screw. We of course didn't read the signs that told us this in line, so on the ride I was quite surprised! But it was amazing... we immediately got back in line and rode it again... I had created a monster with Phoebe!
After Space Mountain we went to It's A Small World... Phoebe needed to go... it's a must. It was actually really fun this time! It's different when you go through the different lands and can point out the ones you've been to or the ones you're going to. They sang the whole song in French too!
I don't really know what they were trying to do here... but I felt like I was home!
Then they had a spot off the ride where you could have a photo op with your countries landmark! Hello Big Ben!
They only had the Empire State Building for America and I don't feel connected to New York, so I didn't have my picture taken.
After it's a small world was time for the Afternoon Parade!!
there was a different Peter in the Parade and he waved at me, so we're back together
During the Parade we ran across Esmerelda... not one of my favorite Disney characters, but she was there, so we took a photo
When the Parade finished, I challenged Phoebe to a little Buzz Lightyear!!!
Look at me... I'm in the zone!! I won... 116,100 to 82,300!
We spent the rest of the day roaming around looking at stuff around the park... and we picked out our souvenirs that we would purchase the next day. Phoebe was lucky enough to discover a bucket of toy dogs in one shop! This is a story that should be told in person cause I proceeded to say "bucket o' dawgs" in the deepest southern twang which sent Phoebe into roars of laughter... it became a joke with us. Every ride that was cool was "like a bucket o' dawgs" and every ride that was lame was "a bucket o' dawgs"... it's really appropriate for any occasion. Seriously typing this has me in fits of laughter because it was so funny! But you had to be there.
Then on to the hostel! The park closed at 7pm, so it was still early when we arrived at our hostel via train and the bus... it was a ways from the park it would seem. Our hostel was spactacular!!!!!!!! It was actually not a hostel at all but instead a hotel with twin beds! We had a private room all to ourselves!!! You cannot begin to imagine the joy and delight Phoebe and I felt!! We even had a real full bathroom... the bathtub didn't have a shower curtain, so it was baths for us, but still!!! What made it even better was they had a tv and Phoebe and I quickly settled in to watch some French television... Malcolm in the Middle was on, but I never liked that show... but God had a blessing indeed in store for us - A MICHAEL JACKSON MUSIC VIDEO COUNTDOWN THAT WAS JUST BEGINNING!!! Phoebe and I danced and reminisced to Michael for a glorious hour!!!! Then it was off to sleep in our quiet private hotel room!!
For our second day we discovered it was a Nation Holiday in France!!! (this would follow us to almost every country we went to) The bus service wasn't running at all so we had to call a cab to get to the park... ugh! Today was The Disney Studios, which is just like the the park in Florida! Our first stop was the tower of terror, but even after the upside down rides of the day before Phoebe was not keen on a free fall adventure... I however couldn't pass it up, so I went alone. Sad times, when the ride was over, it broke... I was stuck in the tin elevator with a bunch of French people because the gears couldn't pull us forward again to the exit door. The attendant who was waiting with us for the mechanic would update everyone in French... she would drone on in detail in a language I couldn't understand and then after that would simply say in English, "we're gonna pull you forward soon"... thank you, that's very helpful. I was seriously stuck in there for over 1/2 an hour trying to get out... we finally just hopped across to the exit and then while everyone waited to get another free ride, I left to find Phoebe. Come to find out no one had let her know what had happened, so she was freaking out wondering if I was still alive!! It was a great way to start the day for sure!
We went on Aerosmith Rockin' Roller Coast next... it was great. I still think they should play love in an Elevator during the ride, but that's just me. it was again really not a smooth coaster, so I had to sit down afterwards to get rid of a headache... and it was way fast and windy in the ride, so Phoebe and I got cotton mouth. We would be screaming and then have to stop to wet our mouths again. funny!
They also have the car stunt show here, which is SO cool! It's in Florida too and well worth it to see! They did however mess up the first stunt twice and had to do it over again... so embarrassing for Disneyland Paris.
After the stunt show we were pretty much done with all the rides that the Disney Studios had to offer... we did run into Sulley though... very fun!!
The only thing left to do in this park was see some shows... we went into the Disney Animation studios and got to watch the video about how they created some disney characters... the video was in French of course, but they had headphones that would translate... the headphones had no volume control and were subsequently TOO LOUD! The Animation Studio did however have this amazing montage video of all these great disney film moments... from romantic moments, to scary moments, to songs, dancing, everything... it just compiled all these clips that captured Disney magic... I seriously got choked up at some of the clips... I love disney!
We decided we'd try out one show and then head back to Disneyland... we chose Animagique, which was a black-light production that took you through some of the great songs of Disney movies... this show involves another awesome anicdote that no one will understand the hilarity of accept Phoebe and myself... if you really want to know, I'll tell you in person... it still makes Phoebe and I cry with laughter though.
So now that Disney Studios was complete we returned to Disneyland to spend the remainder of our day finishing up rides or shops we had missed... our first stop was of course to find Jack Sparrow. This picture has caused much tension between Phoebe and myself and the argument centers on the question of who he is favoring with his affection... it is clearly me.
In either case, he was all over us like "a bucket o' dawgs"... HAHAHA!
We found we had completed the park in record time... or at least the rides that were necessary, so we had time to go back and do more. There was also the problem of the bank holiday making it so EVERYONE was at the park... the queues were TOO LONG!! We just walked around and saw all the little stuff in the park. Disney still knows how to rock the details!! We even did Alice in Wonderland's Maze! We had gotten TONS of practice in England at all the castles and we even had a cheating trick up our sleeves... I'll share: If you place your left hand on the wall of the maze and follow your hand you'll get to the center in no time! The maze was cool though cause the queen popped out at you and the cards were painting the roses red and water shot out in arcs above your head as you walked though... very neat (this picture is from the first day, but it was in front of the maze)
Victory at the maze
View from the very center of the maze
We decided to take a turn on the carousel as well... This is where our giddiness took over... first I got the horse with Trogdor on the side... then as we rode around Phoebe and I proceeded to sing along to the Pocahauntas song playing and wave at the crowd gathered around probably watching their small children... we looked like fools.
Well we were now in Fantasyland and we needed to get back to Main Street and we wanted to ride the Disneyland Rail, so we headed to the station... 45 minutes later we were on a train... we were too stubborn to give up and leave the line!!
They have the grand canyon on the train still!!! I was home for a moment!!
In the line for the train Phoebe and I realized how annoying we must sound to everyone around us. We tend to get into our own little world and laugh too loud and tell jokes that make no sense to anyone else... we are thoroughly entertained, but I doubt anyone else is.
We shopped around Main Street for souvenirs and took pictures with the infamous "bucket o' dawgs"
We rode Pirates as our last ride, Phoebe got addicted to Bejeweled in the line.
We bought our souvenirs... Phoebe got a Disney trading pin and I got a little espresso cup and saucer with mickey on it... SO CUTE!
We then set off for the hostel... we got lost in the Disney village and a wound up in a near by hotel, our cab never showed, and when we finally got a cab, the driver spent the whole trip yelling on his cell phone at someone... We got the hotel and I had another freezing cold shower/bath and then Phoebe and I had to kill some mosquitoes around the room before we could sleep... it appears Paris wanted to get us before we left for good. But overall it was a GREAT DAY!!
P.S. they sell beer at Disneyland in Paris... actually they sell beer everywhere in Europe... they also allow you to smoke at Disneyland... in lines!!!
P.P.S. We now say goodbye to France and head off to Amsterdam!!