Disneyland Paris is Always a Good Idea - The Graduation Adventure Day 13

Tuesday, June 3rd

I've been tossing and turning over how to handle today's adventure.  Metaphorically, that is.  I've been sleeping like a freaking baby over the last week due to my dependence on NyQuil since the Demon Cold set up camp in my body like some damn squatter.  You'll be happy to know, the cold is mostly gone, leaving an unfortunate coughing situation behind.  But I digress.  A lot.  Disneyland Paris.  Yeah, let's get back to that.

I mean, I have a ton of photos.  And that's what people want, right??  Or do they want to hear how Disneyland Paris (DLP) is different from Disneyland (DL) or Walt Disney World (WDW)??  Or do I just cobble together the day we had with intermittent bursts of pictures followed by silly stories we lived through??  Yeah...that's probably the case.

So I guess this will be a warning.  If you're reading this, you know I tend to ramble and post long "recaps" of our day.  This is Disney, so...it's gonna be longer.  Strap in folks...

We began our day early.  DLP opens at 8a for Extra Magic Hours for all hotel guests.  So, we're going to be there at 8a.  As we checked in yesterday, we were asked when we wanted to have breakfast.  Breakfast is free with a stay at the DLP hotels.  But you do have a timeframe for breakfast.  You can choose the 7a, 8a or 9a hour.  If Extra Magic Hour was at 8a, then 7a was the time we needed to head down.

A visual forecasting things to come...
Due to the unfortunate breakfasts we had been consuming, both Elias and I had high hopes for this one.  We had dreams of eggs and bacon and porridge and croissants.  We got...croissants.  Sure, there was some not so great meats and cheeses and some cereal, but we were not thrilled.  It didn't matter, though...we were going to DLP.  Let's do this.

Last night we discovered we could walk from Disney Village to the hotel.  Perfect.  It was a lovely day.  We were on our way to DLP.  There's no better feeling than that.  And even better, Main Street USA was nearly devoid of people.  Which makes picture taking fantastic.

At first I thought the castle was Belle's.  But then I was able to translate the sign to Sleeping Beauty's castle based on the lyrics from "Belle."  "Well, it's no wonder that her name means beauty..."
Disneyland Paris is celebrating Spring with a ton of flowers and colors decorating the park.  They're calling it a festival and making a big deal about it.  Let's just say no one would go to the park just because of the celebration.  But it was pretty.  And we had tons of photo opportunities.

As we enter the park.

It is Spring, after all...
Love the topiaries.

We started in Fantasyland and worked our way through the park, hopping on and off of rides until Extra Magic Hours were over.  Before the rest of the public moved their way into our sanctuary.

There was no Mister Toad ride, but he is well represented at DLP.
Here's the interesting thing.  We couldn't find any rhyme or reason why some rides were in French and others were in English.  At first, I thought if the name of a ride was in French, the actual ride would be French-speaking.  But that theory was squashed pretty quickly.  Things like Pirates of the Caribbean...the animatronics were speaking in French, but the song was in English.  Which, that one makes sense.  The song exists.  They're not going to recreate that one.  Elias and I talked about it.  Because we have been going to the parks for so long and we are so familiar with the rides, it didn't matter if Peter Pan's Flight was in French.  We know what's going on.  It's all cool.

It's actually a little weird to walk around the park.  We barely used the map, because it's just a bizarro version of Disneyland...Magic Kingdom.  Things are positioned similar to both parks, so we knew how to find things.  Some of the attractions are in slightly different places, but it's close enough for us to get places.

The back side of a castle.
Stained glass inside the castle.  What can I do to get one of these in my house??
Discoveryland was the biggest difference.  Because there isn't a Discoveryland in either DL or WDW.  Discoverlyland is basically a Steampunk version of Tomorrowland.  Which, pretty dang cool.  Everything was gilded in gold.  I couldn't get over the fact everything was Steampunked.  So odd, but I loved it.

There's always an Astro Orbiter
We did miss out on some of the rides.  DLP has a number of roller coasters, but many are upside down ones.  Which meant we were out of the mix there.  Even Space Mountain (or, Space Mountain 2) had a loop de loop.  Bah!!

I didn't even try to talk Elias into going on an upside down roller coaster.
Because we were up and at em early in the day, we were a little early for lunch.  But we found some tasty grub at Hakuna Matada.  Elias had some spicy chicken tenders.  I had some kind of kebob sandwich which was very gyro-ish.  Both of us had snazzy fries with some kind of spicy seasoning.  Days later, we still are talking about these fries.  We were happy and ready to continue along the day.

Phantom Manor

Hey, I see us!!
Disney Magic on Parade is the DLP afternoon parade.  Which, does 530p count as "afternoon"??  I guess DLP "early evening parade" doesn't have the same ring to it.  We left Adventureland and made our way towards the castle.  There was still a good amount of curbside seating to be had.  So we parked it and waited for the parade to start.  The only problem happened about 5 minutes before the parade started.  Cast Members started walking around, instructing people to get their feet up off of the street.  Which was easier said than done.  We'd been sitting for 30 minutes and had no room to scoot backwards to bring our feet on the curb (as neither of us is flexible to bring our feet up to the curb without some bodily movement).  We figured out ways to get our feet off the ground just as the music started.

This is the first time we've sat in this area to see a Disney parade.  My recommendation for taking pictures is to stand up.  It gets hard for picture taking to be sitting around this curve.

Anna is a new addition to the parade.
Alice looks to be in a spot of trouble.

Oh, Tink...

After the parade, we wandered a bit and finally settled on jumping on the railroad and just take a loop around the park.  We must have showed up right after a train left the station, because we were the only ones waiting for the next train to arrive.  But we had a great conversation with the Cast Member while we waited.  He was originally from Sicily.  He explained that the rain (which honestly, didn't last long), was the reason people weren't at the park today.  We might be slightly out of season, but any chance of rain, the attendance drops.  Which is always good for us.

Ok everyone, sing along..."It's a world of laughter..."

Hey!!  We were just there!!
Unfortunately, the next statement is going to cause great strife for the folks who love Disney.  And I'm sorry.  I'm so sorry.  But man, the food here blows.  I mean seriously.  Now I've been to WDW enough to know there is some really good food there.  And whenever I mention a theme park or Disney to people who aren't "Disney People" I always have to get ready for the, "No the food is really good" conversation.  But I'm not about to make that argument at DLP.  This food is so disappointing.  Granted, I really enjoyed my lunch today.  And the snack was lovely.  But between the breakfast and the dinner (and what I know about the rest of the trip), the food is just...ugh.

Kebob Sandwich for lunch...

Chocolate cake for a snack...
Case in point.  We left DLP to figure out something to eat for dinner.  Because the park is next door to Disney Village, you can leave and come back and it's no big deal.  So we thought we'd try Disney Village.  And we did what we normally do...we walked through the whole area, looking at menus, only to go back to the first place we stopped to look at the menu.  Elias was interested with Annette's Diner.

Annette's Diner is a "50's Diner" named after, well...you know who.  Some of the servers are on roller skates, because that's what you think of when you think 50's Diner.  And they serve burgers and shakes and lovely looking desserts.  We didn't go with the shakes, because we had already eaten cake an hour or so earlier.  We each settled on a burger of some sort.  These burgers were expensive.  And they were just meh.  Now had they been cheap and meh, I'd give this a pass.  Had they been expensive and great, I'd sing its praises.  But expensive and meh is the combo I don't appreciate.  So we ate our meal.  It was nice to sit and just not worry about anything.  Well, kind of...

I think I liked the fries.
While we ate at Annette's, we experienced first hand that parents are parents around the world.  And sometimes they need to pick their battles.  In a booth, on the other side of the partition from us, were an English family.  Mom, Dad and two boys between let's say 4 and 7 (I don't know ages and it doesn't matter to this story...carry on).  The boys obviously loved Buzz Lightyear.  So much, that the parents bought them each a blaster from the Buzz Lightyear's Laser Blast ride.  If you've never been on the ride, you won't know the sound the blasters made. It's a medium to high pitched noise that continues to buzz as long as your finger is on the trigger.  The fingers of those boys were on the triggers from the time we sat down to the time the family left the restaurant.  The parents, god bless em, occasionally tried to get the boys to sit down and eat.  And to put the blasters down.  But the boys were having none of that.  They were on one side of the booth, then crawled under the table to the other side, then back again.  Then they were standing on the seats, then sitting, then standing again.  The only time the parents really did something was when one of the boys, finger on the trigger, put the blaster up to the ear of the person in the booth next to us.  The parents were exhausted.  The boys were obviously overstimulated (hey, that's Disney for you).  But there was this quiet resignation with the parents.  They knew this wouldn't last forever.  They understood the battery would die on the blasters and the €15 each they spent on the blasters would have been better served to just be handed to Disney as they walked through the turnstiles.  And they also knew they would never have to see any of the people currently in the diner ever again in their lives.  So the kids blasted away.  All through dinner and out the door to the unsuspecting world.  Once they left, the mood in the entire section of the restaurant changed.  The waitstaff were a little more chipper.  Though I have to believe people ordered more booze when the family was there.  It was the only way to get through the meal.

Is the X-Wing Fighter to scale??
We walked back to the park for a bit of twirling before the end of the night.  Next stop, Discoveryland.  We actually went back to Star Tours for a second time.  Here's where we found something interesting.  Star Tours had a renovation in both WDW and DL a few years ago.  DLP obviously did not.  It was a little sad, because we could have gone on Star Tours many times in a row and would have never seen the same show.  But it was kind of nice to see the old school Star Tours.  Sure, it was in French, but it was old school.  And it was interesting to go on the ride knowing this would be the last time we'd see this particular version.

I love this so. much.
No matter the park, we always have to stay for the Nighttime Spectacular.  It's kind of a law.  I'm pretty sure you'd be arrested if you didn't stay.  Because Disney KNOWS how to do a Nighttime Spectacular.  Disney Dreams opened on April 1st, 2012 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the park.  Disney Dreams takes a bit of the elements from several of the other spectaculars.  The show is mostly like Celebrate the Magic (WDW), with a bit of World of Color (DL) and a splash of Fantasmic (WDW/DL) for good measure. (Do I really need to say these videos aren't mine??  Cause they aren't...and I'll throw a big shoutout to the folks who uploaded them on YouTube).

Our vantage point for Disney Dreams.
The one thing we know about any Disney Nighttime Spectacular is you get there early.  Even on a lower attendance day, you get to where you want to see the show and you hang out.  There may be some jockeying for position when a tall dude stands in front of you with a tripod (*eyeroll*), but you stake your claim and wait for the show.  We got there about 45 minutes early and watched people.  We saw the meltdowns of at least two families with kids, so that was entertaining.  And then, the show started.

I vowed not to take pictures of the show.  Well, maybe one or two.  And of course, I spent the whole time taking pictures.  Most didn't work (who's eye rolling about the dude with the tripod now??), but I had a few good ones...

Disney Dreams was a great show.  I would have liked some additional fireworks, but not every show is Wishes.  And yes, that was a ploy to throw the link to Wishes up on this blog.  I could do the same for Illuminations too.  Ooooohhh...look what I did there...

The nice part about a park being so compact is that it is quite easy to get back to the hotel from the nighttime spectacular.  The instant Disney Dreams was over, the horde all made their way to the park exit.  We followed the rest of the weary travelers and walked out of the park, through Disney Village, then all started to splinter away from one another as hotels came up on the horizon.  Just the fact you can walk to the hotel is great.  So great.  It was almost midnight by the time we got back to the room.  And we were exhausted.  16 hours at a theme park will do that to a person.

First, I loved the fact a horse was wearing a hat.  Then, I felt bad about the horse's lot in life.

I've never seen Bert as a character meet and greet!!

Restroom signs.  They were different in every area.  I loved Sleeping Beauty's parents.
6/3 - 31,000 steps, 13.5 miles


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