Monday, July 1, 2013

Disney Studios Paris - Italy and France trip Day 11 part 2

We're on our second day at the Disneyland Resort in Paris. Ruston, Jacob, Theresa and I spent the first part of the day at the Disney Studios Park. Now we're spending the evening in Downtown Disney and the Disneyland Park.

Upon exiting Disney Studios, in the esplanade is a giant compass paying tribute to all the other parks. As a group, we've been to 4 of the 5 Disney parks now! Of course we're always at Disneyland in Anaheim. Back in 2012 we all went to WDW and in 2011 we were all at Tokyo Disneyland together. Hong Kong Disneyland is the only park left for us to visit together.

Instead of going straight to the park, we go to Disney Village (Downtown Disney). First up is the World of Disney store.

The World of Disney store has lots of stuff, and I like the artwork on the walls. Mickey and Pluto are looking down on us in a hot air balloon from the center of a huge circular room.

The theme of this store appears to be traveling around the world because surrounding them are paintings of Disney characters. Starting in the USA, we see Woody, Jessie, and Bullseye, along with Lightning McQueen and Sally.

Central America and South America are next up with Carl Fredrickson and his floating house, Pedro the mail plane, and the Three Caballeros. 

From Africa, Simba stands proud on Pride Rock. 

From the Middle East, we find Aladdin, Jasmine, Abu, Genie and the Magic Carpet.

Representing the world's oceans, we see Crush, Squirt, Nemo, Dory, Gil, Peach, and Pearl, while Donald swims up behind them.

From Hawaii, Stitch does the hula on the beach while Lilo and Goofy take a Hawaiian Roller Coaster ride.

From China, Mushu, Mulan and Khan (Mulan's horse) are setting off fireworks. 

Representing the jungles of the world, Tarzan swings by Kaa and Terk. 

Back to England as we see Peter Pan, Wendy, Michael, John, and Tinker Bell flying over London. 

And finally we end in the City of Light, Paris, where Duchess, Thomas O'Malley, Quasimodo, and Remy all overlook the landscape.

As we’re leaving the store, the last parade from Disneyland must have just finished because people are streaming out of the parks. It’s 7:50 and we’re hungry.

The Disney Store must be a bit different than the World of Disney store. We'll be back, but for now we're going to continue looking for food.

After looking at menus from a few different places, including a steakhouse that offers a “faux” filet (seriously? a sirloin steak is a $35 faux filet?), we find a place we can all enjoy.

The always amazing Earl of Sandwich! Not only is it tasty, but it’s a reasonable price, relative to everything else; only 6.50 Euro for a sandwich.

There's even a whole second level to sit on where you can look out over the lake. The only thing you might have to deal with are the smokers, but we were lucky enough to have the wind blowing in the opposite direction.

After our delicious meal, we wander through a few shops in DTD. If I were one for souvenirs I'd probably get something like this. An Eiffel tower statue to remind me of Paris with a Disney character to remind me of the parks. Probably one with Mickey on it though. Not Stitch.

How cute are these! Mini Mickey Mouse topiaries to grow at home.

Now it's time to go explore the Disney Store.

The things you can buy here are the same sorts of things at all the rest of the stores, but it's the decorations that really interest me. Once again we're looking at different forms of transportation. Peter Pan is battling Captain Hook on a steamer ship while Tiger Lily is tied to the main stack. Just below we see a surprisingly full size Tinker Bell sitting on luggage. I can't tell if this is Scrooge McDuck or Ludwig Von Drake with Pluto in the gondola of the Double Eagle II, the first balloon to cross the Atlantic.

Looks like Donald and his nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie have all arrived at their destination, Fantasyland just behind the castle at Disneyland Paris. 

In the center of the room is a giant spaceport with rocket ships flying around it.

I wonder when this was made? They have a few great characters from some of the cartoons I watched when I was growing up. Like Launchpad McQuack from Ducktales and Darkwing Duck.

And when's the last time you saw Kit Cloudkicker and Baloo together?

Even Louie from Talespin found his way here. Do you think Mickey and Minnie made a wrong turn somewhere? Somehow they showed up at the Disney Studios park.

Rounding out the room we find Goofy doing some wing walking while Clarabell Cow has made it to the Disney Village.

Having walked through the Disney Village, we make our way inside the park again and it’s almost 9pm.  The sun’s really deceiving here.  It won’t starting getting dark until 10:15pm or so.

We enter through the main ticket booths and I grab a group photo in front of the 20th anniversary sign.

We explore the Liberty Exposition in the awesome walkway beside Main Street. This would really be handy to have back home at Disneyland in Anaheim. Imagine a whole other way to get to the main entrance when there is a parade going on. Instead of trying to make your way down half a sidewalk you've got a whole hallway to travel down.

Not only is it functional, but we also learn a little bit of the history behind the great Statue of Liberty, which was a gift from the people of France to the United States back in 1886. 

There is even a small viewing room where you can see a recreation of the dedication of the statue.

Exiting the walkway, we see a beautiful silhouette of Sleeping Beauty's castle against the sky.

Our next stop was Phantom Manor, a ride we could all enjoy together. But rounding the corner of Frontierland, the light is just falling beautifully here. The riverboat Molly Brown is reflecting off the water, while it's surrounded by Phantom Manor on one side and Big Thunder Mountain on the other.

I was hoping to get a similar shot of the entrance to the Manor with the house in the background, but the trees just aren't letting get a clean shot.

The other side either.

The best I could do was a shot from the courtyard.

Being in no rush, we sit on the porch and look out over the park for a few minutes. While we're waiting, a cast member asked if we'd like a photo, and I'm never one to turn down a photo opportunity.

Frontierland even has a fort that you can explore.

There's even a jail cell inside the fort.

Next on our list is Adventureland. As we pass a smoking section, Ruston tries to recreate his smoking picture from Japan.

Along the path, we run across two characters. I don't think Zazu would like the way Kaa is eying him.

Aladdin’s Oasis is next on our list of things to do.  Right before we go inside, a guy in front of us takes one last big breath of his cigarette, tosses it down at the entrance, walks inside, and blows it all out. *Rolling eyes* We wait another 30 seconds before we continue to go inside.

Inside we see dioramas telling the story of Aladdin. Meeting the Magic Carpet in the Cave of Wonders.

Becoming Prince Ali.

And the final defeat of Jafar.

It's a cute little walk-though.

T has had enough for the day. Her feet are toast, so she heads to the Liberty Exposition and finds a bench. Ruston, Jacob and I head back to pirates for another ride.

They’ve got some interesting new scenes that we haven’t seen anywhere else, and I really like that. The dueling swordmen at the end are especially cool to see. I wish they still had the pirate that swung over the boat on a rope.

Finished with that, we decide to try to get on Space Mountain for our last ride of the night.  Having to get through the madness at the hub at 10:30 before the fireworks was a little crazy.  Ruston went to hang out with T, while Jacob and I continued to the ride.

It advertised a 30 minute wait and we were in line by 10:35. By 11:05 we were at the loading platform.

We asked for the front row and were told to wait on the side.  Looks like they closed the queue within minutes of us getting in it. That's a bit different than I'm used to back home where the queue is open until closing time. No one else is left in line behind us.  I guess that's good to know if you're visiting in the future.

We’re in the front on the last car of the night. The ride itself is great.  It might be my favorite Space Mountain because of all the inversions and twists.

After we exit, I tell Jacob I’ll be sticking around to take some photos. He meets up with T and Ruston and they head back to the hotel.

Finally I'll be able to use this tripod that I've been carrying around all day! We'll look at those pictures in my next post.


  1. Hi Joe, I found your blog through your link on your posts at Micechat. Love all your pictures and commentary.
    We will be going back to Europe next year and I am trying to decide whether or not to spend the time and money going to Disneyland Paris. Sounds as is its just not as clean as we are used to in Anaheim, and ewwww the smoking! I also would be a bit perturbed at how early some of the restaurants close. You missed out on the BBQ! That's just wrong!
    I don't know if you'll see this because this post is a year old. But I'm wondering if you would recommend just skipping this Disney park and spending our money on a WDW or DLR trip. I really love your blog! Thanks for sharing all your fun times with us.

    1. Hi Grace. Glad you enjoy the blog!
      Send me a PM on Micechat and we can discuss it further.