…we did it! a day at paris disneyland! a full day!
i have to lead off with an observation that i was somewhat hesitant or maybe just not that motivated to go, but i live with this guy who is a disney admirer (fanatic was on the end of my tongue) so this is his trip and i’m happy to go along.
a short 40 minute train ride and we’re there. the cleanest place on earth and supposedly the happiest. as we walked through the gates my first impulse was to drop some paper and see how long it would take till it was cleaned up, good manners won out, however as the day progressed i found it hard to find any litter and imagine the cleaners swoop in and out without being seen.
rick and and i are 55 and 60 respectively (however i appear much much younger!) and this was the first visit for both of us to any of the disney establishments. i guess we think every kid gets to go at some time or other and the kid in us are late in arriving to say the least.
the place is quite remarkable, a perfect setting of ideals and commercial manipulation laid out to keep you entertained and mostly happy. the music blares continuously (think up with people) and the tempo is evenly paced with lots of opportunities to slow down and absorb the event no matter how short. it felt like fun and we took it all in.
we bought our tickets the day before for 49 euro about 72$ which, in hindsight seems like a good deal as we took in most of the rides except indiana jones which was having mechanical problems and remained closed for the entire day.
i have to say the highlight of the day for both of us was the space mountain ride; for me exhilarating and a scream (or at least a few yahoos) and for rick a bit of agony and total surprise as he was expecting something a bit tamer. the ride has at least three 360 loops and is in complete darkness with illuminated planets and stars and a great optical effect at the end as you speed through a red spiral. it was pretty nauseating but i’d do it again, rick not so much! on a bit slower speed, the two other faves were the river boat ride and the surprisingly mystifying peter pan ride – never never land was never so magical.
we took in some of the kid’s rides but i could not talk rick into going on the flying elephants with me so i took a pass as the wait was too long anyway. we did do the tea cups and felt pretty dizzy at the end. the train around the perimeter is really slow but kinda fun in a geriatric way.
food and just about everything in the place is expensive and something we expected (you’d be better of to pack a picnic and drinks); speaking of drinks, this disneyland is the only one to serve beer and wine on the site…vive le france.
i bought a scarf with a mickey silhouette as a souvenir, rick could not decide and ended up taking a pass even though i thought one of shirts would have been cool to have.
the weather held up and we had mostly cloudy with sunny breaks, however in the last half hour the rains were just beginning as we headed back to the station.
we had a truly fun day, one that i’m sure we’ll be nostalgic about for some time to come — those parts that we enjoyed as though we were much younger, and the amazing effort that goes into making the park such a wonder: the details of design, the coordination of events using technology (i.e. the train and river boat meet at a set time regardless of when you board) and the obvious enjoyment that real kids have while there. did you know that parents fork out 60 euros (90$ canadian) or more to buy their kids costumes to become little princesses and other disney characters (they are cuter the hell, running about all over the place) but who pays that kind of money?
where are all the pictures? in rick’s little camera! i was determined to take some time away from hauling around big bertha and as this was more rick’s day than mine he took on the task of capturing it all, unfortunately we don’t have the cable to transfer from his camera so they will have to wait till we get home. (see note below)
note: 11/10/08 photo problem resolved! fnac (a major photo, book and cd store) carries an adapter that takes virtually every kind of memory card. kaching — i was able to move rick’s photos of disneyland and others as well as saving the data from my super small memory card in the phone too.