Friday, April 12, 2019

Tour of Europe - Disneyland Paris 2007/08/18

It's our very first foreign Disney Park ever! We split with the rest of our tour group, and after just a short 55 minute train ride, we were at the gates to Disneyland Paris!


It's going to be a very quick trip considering there's 2 separate parks here and lots of things to do.


The Main Entrance.

Passing under the train tracks to make our way onto Main Street.

Look at that castle!


There's so much time and so little to do! Wait, strike that. Reverse it.
The Pirates of the Caribbean queue is fantastic here. You're walking into a Spanish fort.


The ride itself is amazing. I'll go into a few more details later. 

Outside the ride is a kids play area. A very well done skull rock.


And a pirate ship playground.

Let's go into Adventure Isle!
Here we encountered a cast member and had one of the oddest exchanges I've had in a Disney park.
The cast member was dressed like a pirate, complete with a pistol. Holding it up to me he said "You're lucky I don't shoot you." Um... okay... Perhaps he was practicing his English because he was perfectly friendly otherwise.

In Adventure Isle there was a fun Aladdin building filled with dioramas from the movie.


An Indiana Jones themed roller coaster. It was a pretty generic rollercoaster with a bunch of Indy memorabilia scattered around.

An interesting parade.


Time to head to that other park, Disney Studios.





The Partners statue.



Hey Crush! I'd heard this coaster was amazing, but the lines were too long to attempt it today.

We did get to see two fun shows. CinéMagique (staring Martin Short) and Animagique staring Mickey and Donald.

It's fun and energetic show. Mickey speaks French the entire time, while Donald speaks in English.

The Armageddon Special Effect show was exciting, especially since we didn't know about the big surprise at the end, a giant fireball explosion in the center of the room.

The Armadillo from the movie.


Outside the Art of Disney Animation building.

These drawing desks are just too cute.



There's plenty more we could do here, but we've got to get back to Disneyland.


That's a wrap!


A sign on Main Street.

We've been remiss in our sampling of other foods.

These Mickey pain au chocolat were delicious.

Over to Discoveryland.

A full size X-Wing!


it's a small world was really fun to see here. It's not a copy of Disneyland or WDW, but something unique instead. And it's even got a section for the USA! There's a Golden Gate bridge, Hollywood sign, the Statue of Liberty, plus kids dressed like Football and Baseball players.

Wandering through Alice's Curious Labyrinth.




From the top of the Queen of Heart's castle, we could see the Disneyland castle here, named Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant. No that's not Belle from Beauty and the Beast. We're in France and as the song says, Belle means Beauty. Dormant means Sleeping, so this is actually Sleeping Beauty's castle. Let's go see it!

You can walk up this one and go inside!
Welcome to my castle!


Inside are beautiful stained glass windows.



Ah, but there is a secret lurking beneath the castle.


Signs point you towards the dragon's lair which lies underneath the castle.

Wow! A dragon! This dragon might be chained, but every once in a while he will lift his head, survey his surroundings and blow smoke.

And he's enormous. From head to tail, this animatronic measures 89', the largest animatronic ever when it debuted.

Afterwards we'd ride Snow White.


And visit the fantastic Phantom Manor. It's a Haunted Mansion like nothing we've seen before.



Next, let's ride Buzz Lightyear

I believe it's an exact copy of Disneyland's version.

And T is a crack shot at it.



Space Mountain: Mission 2 was awesome. I was expecting the typical Space Mountain experience where you crawl up a hill and then spiral your way down an indoor track. Instead of crawling up that lift hill, you're shot up the lift hill, almost like you're being fired out of a cannon! And inside you spiral all around and even do a loop! It's the best Space Mountain I've been on!


We're starting to wind down our night.

More chocolate Mickey bread was necessary.

A few pretty nighttime shots.


With the park about to close, we had to decide what ride to finish our day with. We started with Pirates, let's end with Pirates. There was no one in the queue in front of us or behind us, and one of Theresa's fears was realized. Riding on something like pirates with no one else around can be a little scary I admit. And it really was just us. Not just no one on our boat, but no one on any of the boats around us either.

Which gave me an excuse for using my camera's flash to capture some of the more unique aspects of this ride.
When we rode this this morning, this swinging pirate caused both of us to jump. We don't have anything like it back home. A pirate on a rope swings from a dark corner and out over your boat.

And normally where there would be a chase scene (either pirates chasing women, or women chasing pirates), there is a duel going on! These two animatronic figures have coordinated movement and fight each other.

Check the watch. Do we have enough time for one more ride? There's only one train going back into the city and we need to be on it... Yes! We can do one more ride and then rush out!

Our final ride of the night. Arrgh.
Afterwards we rushed out of the park and had just a couple minutes to spare before the train left for the city. Whew! It's been a crazy day, but fun. We didn't realize it was about to get a little crazier.

Upon arriving in Paris, there was just one more transfer we needed to make to get to our hotel. We'd planned out everything based on the train timetables, and knew we'd be catching the last train of the night to the hotel too.
We arrived with plenty of time, and there were plenty other people waiting for the same train, but the time it was supposed to come came and went. More and more people started leaving the platform.

Uh oh.

Knowing it was our last day in Paris, we didn't want to get stuck with cash we couldn't spend, so we used up all our money at Disneyland Paris before we got here.
It's ~1am and now we're wandering the streets of Paris with no money and a couple giant bags that say Disneyland filled with souvenirs. Tourists much?

To top it off, it started to drizzle. We walked for a little while until we found some construction workers who only spoke French but were very willing to help us out. They directed us to a bank with an ATM on the outside that we could get money from.
After that, we wandered the streets some more until we finally saw a taxi. Can you believe that's the very first taxi ride either of us had ever taken? Thankfully we had the good sense to write down the name of the hotel before we left that morning. We showed it to the cabbie and finally made it back to the hotel.
Big sigh of relief. Paid the cab fare, pulled on the hotel doors. Locked.
Thankfully after a couple of minutes the overnight receptionist heard us outside and came to unlock the door. I think it was 3am by the time we got to our room. We've got to be up on the bus in 4 hours to drive back to England.

So was it worth it?

Totally.



And with that, we'll end this look back on our first real international trip. I thought going with a tour group was a fantastic way to go. It allowed us to see the highlights of so many places and leave all the travel and planning to someone else. We got a taste of the places we liked so we could go back and visit them again. And we knew other places that we didn't need to go back to see.
Since then, we've gone to visit Paris multiple times, and even had the opportunity to make it back to Rome and Florence. Switzerland is the only other place we really want to see again that we haven't had the chance to go to yet. Someday though!

Hope you've enjoyed the look back at one of our early trips!

2 comments:

  1. (This might get too long; so, part 1 here) Wow...what a whirlwind Disneyland Paris trip and overall European trip. So appropriate to end with the Disneyland visit :-) So much to see and experience at Disneyland Paris, and appreciating the variations from the original Disneyland (whoa...that Space Mountain sounds too wild!). Beautiful castle and special since you get to walk up/through it...didn't expect the Dragon's Lair and the huge dragon animatronic moving and blowing steam! Alice's Curious Labyrinth looked really fun to walk around in...liked the colorful, larger-than-life props along the winding paths. Seeing the Mark Twain with its night lights is always a welcomed sight. Very unique way to spell "Disney" in their parade (took a few moments to see that). EOM (part 1)

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  2. (part 2) Like the two "couple" pictures: in front of "Disneyland Paris" sign after visiting the studios, and the one with the Big Thunder mountains in the background...they seemed to capture your love for each other and your joy of the moment at a favorite, magical place! What did the two of you draw at the animation academy? Glad you two found some delicious french pastries to make up for the "breakfast" on the ferry boat crossing morning :-) Never thought how eerie it would be on the Pirates ride w/ no people around and just the two of you "drifting" in a boat surrounded by ominous-looking animatronics and "dark" soundtrack. When you wrote "wind down our night" I was actually feeling a little sad, too...I was enjoying your all-day Disney trip and then suddenly realizing it had to end (reminds me how I felt after an annual all-day trip to Disneyland). So relieved nothing bad happened during your unexpected late-night "adventure" getting back to the hotel (like you said, walking w/ Disneyland shopping bags & looking like tourists so early in the morning made you prime targets) Thanks for a fun, scenic, and educational look into your 1st international trip, and capping it off w/ Disneyland Paris!!! Really enjoyed it. EOM (part 2)

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