Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Paris Diary part 12

Day 14
24°, sunny.

Lily, our roommate and I all had the day off, so we went to Disneyland. That sounds like a crazy thing to do when you're in Paris, but you have to remember that Lily & I work at Disneyland. Seeing the other versions in other countries can be interesting to us. Plus, we can get in for free, and doing something free in Paris is always a good idea. Our roommate had never been to any Disneyland anywhere in the world, so we just had to take her. That's the law.

It was a great day to go. This was the warmest day so far, and one of the warmest days of the entire month. It was never especially cold, but this was April, with the hot days of summer still a few months away. Most of the schools started their spring breaks a week later, so the park was never crowded. Going to Disneyland, anywhere in the world, can be a chore when it's wall to wall people.

We didn't plan on going, so we had no idea what was going to be closed before we got there. That's always dangerous. If you don't check beforehand, you can go when Pirates of the Caribbean or the Haunted Mansion is closed. If those are closed, there's little point in even going, as far as I'm concerned. They don't have either in Hong Kong, for reasons no one has ever explained. Hong Kong has Mystic Manor, but that's absolutely nothing like the Haunted Mansion. I don't know why there's no Pirates of the Caribbean. Chinese people love all those Johnny Depp movies.

We got lucky. Space Mountain was the only good ride closed that day. We actually went in the middle of a six month refurbishment.

We didn't care about the other closures. Dumbo the Flying Elephant - which just spins around in a circle. Les Mystères du Nautilus - which is like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea at Tokyo Disneyland and not even a ride. And Captain EO - which we thought had already closed years ago.

There is no Jungle Cruise in Paris, but they have Les Pirouettes du Vieux Moulin, an old Dutch windmill that used to be a ride but was closed a long time ago, and Alice's Curious Labyrinth, a hedge maze that was not all that difficult to conquer. The view from the Queen's Castle showed us just how empty Fantasyland was that day.

We ate lunch at Fuente del Oro Restaurante in Frontierland. This was a pretty good Mexican restaurant considering we were at a Disneyland in France. Dinner was at Annette's Diner, an “American” style 1950s restaurant at Disney Village, a shopping center just outside the park. The dinner was decent, but the dessert was outstanding. We all shared a giant sundae made with Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey and Strawberry Cheesecake ice cream, caramel and strawberry sauce, whipped cream, chocolate sprinkles, peanuts and a cherry on top. Magnifique.

After dinner, we saw the big fireworks show. The Paris show was mostly lights and water. It looked like a Las Vegas water fountain show. In Hong Kong, it's more fireworks than anything.

The highlights for me were Big Thunder Mountain, It's a Small World, Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast, and of course, Pirates of the Caribbean and Phantom Manor. Indiana Jones et le Temple du Péril should have been a great ride. It's certainly faster than most Disneyland rides and even has an upside down loop. But the entire ride lasts less than a minute and a half. That's just too quick.

Big Thunder Mountain was fast and goes under water for a second. It's a Small World had a lot less Chinese than the Hong Kong version, and looked like they put more effort into the design. Our roommate really got into Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast, scoring in the Cosmic Commando range. Lily & I were in the Ranger First Class category.

Pirates of the Caribbean was like the original California version without any of the movie additions. The dialogue is in French, which makes sense in its own way, but at least it's not politically correct. Phantom Manor was just great. It had a specific storyline that runs through the entire ride and connects with the rest of the Frontierland story. It's also a lot scarier and more gruesome than any of the others. While other Haunted Mansions are G, Phantom Manor is at least PG-13. I can only imagine what they do for Halloween.

The only rides we completely skipped were Orbitron Machines Volantes – which is the Astro Orbiter ride that just spins around in circles, and Autopia – which isn't all that exciting when you're old enough to know what it's like to get stuck in traffic on the freeway.

Disneyland might not be on everyone's itinerary when they go to Paris, but it was a fun day, and walking down Main Street USA when it was all lit up at night was beautiful. There are a million other things to do in Paris, but if I ever go back, I'm definitely doing to Disneyland.

No comments:

Post a Comment

No hate, please. There's enough of that in the world already.