Sunday, June 30, 2013

Disneyland Paris - Italy and France trip Day 10 part 1

Well I'm finally getting back to our trip we had this summer. And it happens to be one of the best days!
It's our first day at Disneyland Paris!
Read on to hear about all our adventures!

After waking up at 10am today, we quickly packed and went downstairs.  As we got there, the shuttle to the airport just arrived. Within a minute, we were off to the airport. The driver asked if we were ORLY South or West.  We weren’t exactly sure and just went to South. We had booked a shuttle for 20 Euro per person to take us to Disneyland. We found the #5 Bus lane and before too long the bus arrived. It was right around 11am. Unfortunately the driver parked the bus and said he’d be back in 40 minutes. We hung out and texted with Jacob telling him about the delays.

Sure enough at 11:40am, the driver came back and let us board.  There weren’t too many of us on the bus, so we thought it might be an empty ride to the park. We were wrong though.  The next stop was ORLY West, and while there were only 12 people or so boarding at ORLY South, there was a huge line here at ORLY West. So much so that they filled up the entire bus and there were still people waiting to get on.  Looks like at least another hour wait for those people. By 12pm, we had everyone aboard who was coming and were ready to leave for the park.

By 12pm, we had everyone aboard who was coming and were ready to leave for the park. Traffic wasn’t terrible and while we were driving, a video played that told us what stops we’d be making.  I don’t think Baby Flowers enjoyed the seat belt on the bus.  T told me he was kicking quite a bit.  Of course when I went to feel, he wouldn’t kick any more.  We stopped at just about every Disney owned hotel before finally getting dropped off at the bus stop that would take us to our hotel.

 The hotel advertises a shuttle that runs every 20 minutes to Disneyland.  Lies! Lies! Lies! We were dropped off at the bus stop at 1:10pm.  Finding the bus we’re supposed to take, we see a times guide and the next ones isn’t coming until 3pm. 

Thankfully we’ve been here before and know the RER train is close by and will take us to the hotel as well.  We buy tickets and before too long we’re on the train. It’s only one stop for us, and we get off the train and our hotel is right across the street from the station.

Ruston and Jacob checked in a bit earlier and napped for a little while.  They give us a room right across from them and after we drop all or gear, we knock on their door and meet up.

Hooray!  The entire gang is together again!

Having eaten nothing but snacks today, we were pretty hungry. There is a mall right beside the hotel, so we decided to stop in to grab food before heading to the park.  That was a mistake. The mall is insanely busy with so many people shuffling up and down trying to get places. The food court was on the completely opposite side of the mall, and it was a long walk.  Once we arrived, the food court was nuts. So many people in every line. We look at various options, but we didn’t want to do sit down, and T can’t do lunchmeat, so sandwiches are out.

After all that, we decided to eat McDonalds.  They had the touch screen order menus which worked great for ordering, but people can place orders much faster than they can make them.  Also once your order was placed, you got a number either 0-999, or >1000.  Jacob’s number was over 1000 and he got his food in less than 5 minutes.  The line for me, T and Ruston didn’t move at all though.  Ruston volunteered to wait in line while the rest of us sat and waited. It literally took 20 minutes to get a cheeseburger, fries and soda.  That was frustrating. We should have just gone straight to the park.

After eating, we came back up to the hotel to grab jackets just in case tonight gets cold, then we headed for the train station to the park.

No problems with the train or walking up to the park. 

We were directed to the guest relations booth for Ruston to sign us in and get our free tickets. Hooray for being a Disney Cast Member!
These costumes look a little like the Tokyo Disney wizard costumes all the characters were wearing.

Once inside we walked to City Hall to get T a pregnancy pass. After taking our tickets and writing on the back, we were told that T could only take one person with in the shorter line, and only one person for the parades.  Looks like this pregnancy pass is worthless for keeping the group together, so we’ll probably skip it the rest of the trip.

After that we walked down main street just enjoying being here in the park. We pose for a picture in front of the castle then we're ready to go explore!.

 Walking up to the awesome looking castle.

We walked into the castle.

And then we walked down into the dragon’s lair.

The dragon is big and imposing, and a really cool thing to keep underneath a castle. Every once in a while he'll wake up, open his eyes, move his head around and blow smoke. Cool! I want one!

Afterwards, we walk to Phantom Manor.  The wait says 30 minutes, but we figured why not. The line moved pretty quick, and before we knew it we were on the ride.  T and I have been on it before so we knew what to expect. Ruston and Jacob hadn’t though, but they’re still battling jet lag.  Ruston said he fell asleep in the ballroom scene and didn’t wake up until it was time to get off. That's okay, we promised we’d ride it again.

The story is totally different from our Haunted Mansion. 

After leaving the attic, we get a good view of the Phantom. Scary!

I love how the manor looks from the outside! It really looks like an old house on a hill on an old estate.

Hmm, where should we go next? Big Thunder Mountain was close. What’s the wait time? Yikes!  85 minutes!

Let's go visit some pirates! Sadly it's a ride T couldn’t go on. She waited outside while Ruston, Jacob and I waited in a 30 minute line.

 I love the design of the whole Spanish fort on the outside.

Their queue is really dark, and for the first few corridors, it's seems completely black. Going from a super bright outside to a really dim inside, I was just shuffling my feet and trying to follow the people in front of me. They do 

They've got a lot of the same scenes that we've got back home. 

No Captain Barbosa here. Instead we have a pirate yelling at us in French and he's got red bows in his beard. 

There's the classic auction scene.

And at least here they've still got the pirates chasing the girls.

Checking out the treasure room. We'll come back to this ride later and get a few more looks.

After that, Ruston and Jacob needed to wake up a little, so we grabbed a few sodas to get them a little caffeine. Our next stop was Alice in Wonderland's Curious Labyrinth.

There's not much to the ride itself, but we had fun with it. 

Ruston, are you sure?

Jacob played with the jumping water fountains.

And got a little wet while doing it.

Of  course the Cheshire Cat shows up to help us along.

The Caterpillar is here too.

 The centerpiece of the labyrinth is a giant Cheshire Cat face.

Now we've got to find our way out. But which way?


I think Theresa's got the right idea.

But uh oh... We're entering the territory of the Queen of Hearts. I decide to help out the cards and work on painting the roses red.

We hear the Queen of Hearts yelling at us a lot, but she never makes an appearance. Now we see why. Someone broke the crown off her head. Wonder how long it's been like that...

Making our way to the castle

 Hmm, this one isn't broken, but it's still not popping up. It's good to be tall so we can still see it.

We've made it to one of the best parts of the maze! The Castle! Why is it the best part?

Well once you climb to the top, if it happens to be a nice day, you can get some beautiful shots. 

 Great shot Ruston.

And Jacob

And one with me and T. There’s some rude people here, just pushing and shoving to get in front of you. You can also be lined up for a picture, and they push their way around you to take a picture themselves.  Ugh.  Some people are the worst. I know that happens everywhere (except maybe not at Tokyo Disneyland), but it was still annoying.

Posing for a quick photo op. Hey, it's my Un-birthday today! A very merry un-birthday to me!

Another thing that we’re really not liking is all the smoking. It’s all over the place here. The maps says Disneyland is completely non-smoking except in designated areas, but people are lighting up in lines, on rides, while walking around, and pretty much all over the place. The cast members don’t even police it, and we saw them regularly walking right beside people smoking.

And then there's just the general condition of the park. Some parts look alright, but then you see things like this. We passed this overflowing trashcan on the way to a ride back and it was like this 45 minutes later when we came back... Between Tokyo Disneyland and this park, there is just no comparison. 

Even though we got here late, there's still so much stuff that I need to split it into a separate post. We'll continue our trip from here in the next post!

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