Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Disneyland Paris Part 2
We were very impressed at the ease with which the "Disney Express" service we had signed up for allowed us to transfer our luggage and head straight to the parks. On the Eurostar train, there are a few Disney cast members (employees) who hand you your park tickets and your hotel information. They then explain the process of checking your bags in (right there at the train station), and give you claim tickets for your bags for at the hotel later that evening. So, thankfully, after the almost-missing-the-train-disaster, that process went really smoothly.
We were shocked at how close the train station is to the Disney Parks complex. The station is literally right at the "door" of the Disney properties. We had checked our luggage and headed off the the Disneyland park (similar to Magic Kingdom in Florida). After a quick and not-so-careful bag security check at the entrance, we were headed right for Mickey-land! I was dying of anticipation. I LOVE seeing Main Street, and we were so close now. Plus, it was going to be fun to be back in a place that was "familiar" in a way, because we go to Disney fairly regularly. Main Street did not disappoint. It was clean, old-fashioned, and oh-so-Disney. Huge Mickey, Donald, and Minnie balloons were everywhere, which started the, "Mom, can we get a balloon?" saga that went on for the ENTIRE week. (My mom didn't buy ballons. I don't buy balloons. I'm a party pooper, what can I say? Do you know how many balloons we saw heading off into the sky that week??!?! Total waste of money! But I digress...)We headed straight for Casey's, which is our favorite fast-food place in Disney. They sell foot-long hotdogs and fries. And they are smothered in cheese! Mmmmm. Casey's was in just exactly the same place as it is in Florida. And the dogs were oh-so-good.
The children were itching to go to Fantasyland for rides, so after a quick lunch we thought we'd head there. But, who did we happen to run into as we were heading there? The Mouse himself. And he was signing autographs and posing for photos (with a very long queue, I might add!). So, we stopped off there for a photo. Hubby was resistant, because he wanted to get to the rides. "We can get a photo later with Mickey. We have all week!" But, even after three children and multiple professional photo shoots and numerous trips to Disney, he still doesn't seem to understand my mommy-ways! I had dressed them up in the identical red Mickey Mouse t-shirts, remember? And I hadn't gotten a good bargain on them after Christmas and dragged them all the way across the Atlantic for nothing! Soon, I reasoned with Hubby, they would be stained with the inevitable Disney ice cream stain. And I wanted a picture with the Mouse before that. So,we got the picture. And I was glad we got the photo, because as I'll explain in a later post, queueing for characters in Paris was, shall we say....interesting. But, more on that later.
After the photo, we headed straight for Fantasyland. We did the Snow White ride first, which is never my favorite because it's too scary for kids! Seriously, folks, why do they call it Snow White's Scary Ride? Are there not enough rides just for grown-ups at Disney, and isn't Fantastyland supposed to be for kids, little kids at that? Anyway, my kids, at least one of them, always get freaked out in this ride. But another one of them always insists on going in. So we went in to Blanche Neige and Les Sept Nains. And shockingly, it was scary. Even scarier than Florida. Which seemed to convince the little person that always insists on going on that ride not to go on it again. Phew!
We rode the carousel, which my son loved, because it was based on a Camelot theme and he is loving the Arthurian legends lately. Next was It's a Small World and other such fun fantasyland rides. We were kind of surprised at how cool it was. We definitely needed our jackets! I know! And it's mid-June. But, then again, we still need them regularly in London as well. It seems that summer has rather forgotten to show up over here!
We still needed to get our bearings in the park, so we headed to Discoveryland, which is similar to Tomorrowland in Florida, to check out what was there. Autopia, a race car type ride, Buzz Lightyear, and Orbitron were on the list, but the lines were really long, so we settled on Buzz. On the way out of Discoveryland, we caught a bit of the end of the parade. And dd4 was going crazy because they princess float was spectacular and Sleeping Beauty was wearing a blue dress! And ds5 was going nuts because he loves the villains (trust me, I've tried to persuade him otherwise) and there was a pretty incredible float of them as well. If you're a villains fan, I suppose.
After that, we headed off to dinner, which we had a reservation for at Plaza Gardens Restaurant, and we were hopeful that it would be a character buffet similar to the Crystal Palace in Florida. Indeed there was a buffet. And the food was good. But, alas, there were no characters. And we were shocked when we got our bill for 70 Euros. Ouch! The rest of the week, we decided, would be fast food or meal splitting for sure. No more buffets. Especially without characters!
We were beat after our long day, so we decided to head back to the hotel. We were pleasantly surprised again about the proximity of the hotel to the park. It was about a 15 to 20 minute walk. So, we walked to the Newport Bay Hotel, which has a similar feel to that of the Yacht and Beach Club in Florida. It was a nice hotel and very full. We got our room keys, located our luggage and headed off to room 2297 to get the kids bathed and in bed. We'd had a busy, busy day.
Stay tuned for Paris part 3, with details of our trip into the city.