I would imagine when most plan their very first international trip to Europe, their first thoughts don’t necessarily think of Disney. Cathedrals, museums, and monuments maybe, but Disney? I guess it takes a true love of all things Disney to be that person that gets excited when they first learn they are going to Paris simply because there is a Disneyland there.
I recently wrote about the special memories I had from my first day in Paris when I went on my walking food tour. I would have to say that having the opportunity to visit Disneyland Paris tops the list of my amazing Paris experience. I was lucky enough to get to share the day at Disneyland Paris with my cousin Jeannette. She flew in to spend a week with me. This was actually one of our last adventure days before she left to go home. A good way to end things with a bang as far as I’m concerned (although I didn’t let her stay to watch the fireworks, because I was so exhausted…. so maybe it wasn’t much of a “bang” after all). 🙂
Now I admit I had some pretty grand notions of what my Paris Disneyland experience was going to be like. I was so excited that I spoke about it often to my coworkers prior to the anticipated date. I was only slightly deterred by them telling me that if I frequented California Disneyland, I would most likely be disappointed with the Paris version. Seriously… how could one every be disappointed with Disney? I would not let my excitement be squashed. I was going to go and experience the Disney magic in all of its glory.
My first thoughts of Paris Disney? I will admit, I was a little surprised at the size. Having been to Disneyland in California hundreds of times, and Walt Disneyworld in Florida 4-5 times, it was in fact smaller. However, I found it very charming. And that castle… SERIOUSLY? Being a native California girl, I feel like I’m being a traitor when I say that this castle is way more spectacular then the one in California. The outside has much more of that fairytale look, not to mention the inside has a fire breathing dragon! I seriously got goose bumps.
I was very excited to see that not only did they have some rides that they do not have in California or Florida, but they also had some modifications to similar rides. For instance, The Indian Jones ride in California is completely different then Paris. Not really knowing much about the Paris version of the ride, I of course was willing to check it out and give it a try. Little did I know that the ride in Paris is actually a roller coaster that goes upside down (I don’t do upside down!). We were already to the front of the line when this was discovered, so I had to suck it up and go on. It wasn’t to terrible and I’m definitely glad I tried it…. at least once.
I wouldn’t be doing the day justice if I didn’t mention the Raratouille ride. Although they don’t have this in California or Florida, I was still much anticipating this one after watching many YouTube videos about Disney Paris. This ride was super cute and has you being chased around inside your little rat-mobile as if you yourself were a rat. Adorable!
Although I believe there are pretty mixed feelings about the It’s a Small World ride, I personally love it. It’s is one of the few rides that lasts more then 30 seconds and is a wonderful place to rest your feet after walking all day. The Paris version was great because we got to see a larger section on America which was pretty cool.
There were many times in the day when I would get lost in the Disneyness of things and forget that I was in another country. Disney is such a familiar place for me, that it was easy to feel at home there, even though I was thousands of miles away.
There were certain rides that would pull me back to reality though. Although I was in Paris, and shouldn’t have expected otherwise, I still found it fascinating to go on some of the more familiar rides (Buzz Lightyear, Snow White and the Seven Drawfs and Pirates of the Caribbean for example) and have them be speaking French. It was a reminder that I wasn’t in California this time!
As for my general opinion of the park, I would say it was well worth the hour and a half train trip there. Would I do it again? ABSOLUETLEY (because that would mean I would get another trip to Paris).
Specifics on my park experience? The food was… well I’d rank it as “okay”. I didn’t eat anything that made me say “wow”. With that being said, I didn’t eat anything that wasn’t decent either. My only regret is that we didn’t make reservations to eat in one of the theme restaurants like Bistrot Chez Remy. I believe that would have heightened the eating experience a lot. The crowds…. average for Disney. I would say maybe slightly more wait time in line at the rides, which could simply be that the park itself is smaller.
Overall, a total thumbs up! IF I ever get to return, my hope is to stay in the Disneyland hotel that is actually located directly OVER the entrance of the park. Can you imagine the amazing views from your room at night when all the lights come on? That is something that is going on my bucket list.
I am not sure if I would ever be able to find anything negative about Disney. Which is why in 2018 I will have my feet in three different Disney locations. Paris was the first. California the second and Disneyworld in Florida will be the third.
Love you Mickey! Until next time.