It was a super early start to our day as we needed to be at the Disneyland pickup on time otherwise we would have no idea how to get their and back on our own. We headed downstairs to get our first free breakfast at our awesome French hotel. It was pretty impressive, especially for a European breakfast, which from my experience on Contiki which was pretty plain and boring; a croissant, coffee and a cigarette. This had sausages, bacon, eggs, quiche, Camembert cheese, fruit, cereal, Nutella, brioche, bread, tea, coffee and much more. To make breakfast even more even more enjoyable and special, we were greeted with a very friendly and approachable waiter who helped explained what was on offer, answer any questions and make our tea and coffee. Unfortunately we couldn’t stick around and enjoy the hospitality as we needed to be on our way through the cold dirty streets of Paris. Stepping over feces and dodging cars we arrived at the pickup point where one other couple was already waiting. Over time more and more people arrived with no sign of the bus but before long it arrived only a little bit late with no explanation (which we got use to here).
The bus was nice and the ride was fairly uneventful except for some loud Aussies and even louder English tourists. The drive also had an added bonus for us, we hadn’t seen any of the sights of Paris yet or even the surrounding area, so it doubled as a free bus tour. We saw glimpses of the Eiffel Tower, The Louvre, Arc de Triumph and more, each of which we would later return to and explore. In no time we were at the gates of Disneyland, as we disembarked the driver explained we must be back at this exact spot at exactly 8:00pm or we will have to find our own way home or taxi it back for $200 (we later found out Uber is very illegal in Paris at the moment). T-Red was coming down with a strain of the plague but was soldering on as she excitedly entered her first Disneyland, well after we almost entered the wrong park accidentally. Disneyland is awesome, if you have been to one you will know what we saw and experienced as we entered the park, the shops, smells, rides, music and of course the giant castle. The Paris version has a bit of a bad reputation regarding price and maintenance, but it is commonly considered the most beautiful of all the parks with the most attention to detail. We went into some shops to build back our warmth lost from the short walk (it is very cold and windy).
Having heard that the Pirates of the Carribean was a ‘must see’ we decided to start in Adventureland. When we got to the ride, the line was non-existent, a great benefit of travelling in the off-season. The nerves started to show in T-Rex, anxious about how scary the ride was going to be. I tried to calm her, but when the carriage arrived and she saw that the seat was wet, panic stations set in. The ride was very tame with only one small tiny drop, but was interesting none-the-less to see all the Pirates talking and singing in French. When we disembarked from the boat, T-Rex realised her pants and jacket were soaked, not from the ride but just from the wet seat. This was not good on such a chilly day and with the beginnings of a cold. We decided to try some rides that were less scared and equally iconic, the teacup ride and the Dumbo ride. The queues were five and thirty respectively, but we were about an hour in and had done three rides. It was time to eat something and refill on warmth. We headed to a Lion King restaurant wanting to snag a second zebra steak. Unfortunately they didn’t sell them so we had to settle on more traditional food. The aesthetics were great and it was a nice meal at ok Europe prices and we left satisfied customers.
We went to Frontierland to try a more typical roller coaster, the big mountain, but it was closed for maintenance. Most of Frontierland was unfortunately. The only thing that was open was the haunted house which T-Rex reluctantly agreed to go on, then instantly regretted the decision. Much like the first ride of the day, the fear of the ride was many magnitudes scarier than the ride itself, and once it was going was quite enjoyable. We went in to explore some shops and picked up a cute pair of ear muffs to keep T-Rex warm with the cold winds and the rain. With not much to see we next moved to Discoveryland (Tomorrowland in other parks) and got fast track tickets to a Buzz shooter ride and a Star Wars ride, Star Tours. The French are very egalitarian when it comes to everything, and fast track was no exception. You simply swipe your entry ticket and it prints out a time to return and when you do you walk straight onto the ride. Afterwards you can do it again and again and you can do multiple rides at the same time.
To fill in the time for when our fast track was ready, we stumbled across a live show, Padwan Jedi Training Academy. Young kids were dressed up as Jedi and given light savers and taught a simple routine, during the training Darth Vader and two storm troopers came and interrupted them, inviting them to join the dark side. Then each child battled him in a duel and he left defeated. It was hilarious watching the young participants mess up in a cute innocent way and how much they all loved and were absorbed in the performance. It is hard to explain but it was very enjoyable and heart warming experience. We next went to Fantasyland to go on miniature train ride and a boat ride through all the Disney stories. Both were cute but not that great, but the time was passed and we headed back to Star Tours. We skipped the queue, saving at least 40 minutes and entered the a civilian space shuttle heading to the planet of Nabooo. Now I’m not sure exactly what happened as our robot pilot spoke only an alien language (French), but I think our co pilot, R2-D2 hijacked the shuttle, took us to the Death Star just as the rebels were attacking it and flew away just before it exploded.
The next ride we went on was the Toy Story Buzz Lightyear laser tag ride which was simple and T-Rex felt very safe on. It broke down whilst we were on it, which was about the third time that had happened to us that day. Disneyland Paris is known for this and it definitely didn’t disappoint, but the delays were only five to ten minutes and we were on our way again shooting aliens. Finally we walked through the 50, 000 Leagues Under the Sea walk-through exhibit and it was ok but certainly not worth the fifteen minutes or so, the walk-through’s we saw were certainly skip-able in my opinion, but maybe when it is peak season and the lines to the other rides are exorbitant, then it might be worth it.
That concluded the Disneyland Park experience for us as we went next door to Disney Land Studios Park. Their latest attraction in the second park was Ratatouille is obviously set in France and the ride makes you feel like the size of a mouse as you explore Paris and its kitchens. Because it is so new, it was so busy and as it was getting quite late and even colder at this stage, we decided to give it a miss. As we explored the area we noticed that a few rides were closed in this park as well but we did manage to go on a life-sized slinky ride which was a bit of fun. The weather worsened so we headed inside to watch Cinemagic show, a 4D movie experience which was a good way to kill half an hour, not have to rush around and warm up at the same time. Finally the park was closing so we headed back to the entrance to get the most normal theme park meal, burgers and chips. Afterwards we went into the gift shops to do some souvenir or gift shopping, but everything was too commercial and tacky to get. At 7:45pm, we headed back to the bus meeting point and waited in the dark for the bus that arrived just a little late, taking us back to the hotel for a well earned rest.