The happy birthday girl with
Cinderella"s Castle

EuroDisney or Disneyland Resort Paris was the destination on Jeanette's birthday, completing her pilgrimage to the Disneyland's of the world - Disneyland and California Adventure in Los Angeles, USA; Disneyworld in Orlando, USA; Tokyo Disney and DisneySea in Tokyo, Japan; Hong Kong Disney in Hong Kong, China and now EuroDisney in Paris, France.

EuroDisney was celebrating its 15th anniversary at the time of our visit, resulting in a few more parades, more shows and very definately more kids, A LOT more kids.  In general EuroDisney is made from 2 theme parks and Disney Village.  The Walt Disney Studios Park features rides and cinematographic experiences from Disney movies like Armageddon, Tower of Terror and Dinotopia.  The Hollywood Tower Hotel, where the Tower of Terror ride is is being constructed at the time of our visit and judging by size of the construction, I am sure it is going to be one hell of a ride.  The backlot, animation courtyard and animation courtyard make up Walt Disney Studios Park. Disneyland Park has similar designs to all the other Disneyland Parks worldwide featuring Discoveryland, Frontierland, Adventureland, Fantasyland and Main Street USA.  This park is smaller compared to Disneyland in California but larger than Hong Kong Disney.

 


The train ride from Charles de Gaulle - Etoilé in Paris took 40 minutes and arrives straight on the front door of the Disney parks and Disney Village.  Disney Village is not a theme park but an entertainment centre with restaurants, Disney merchandising, the IMAX and some cinemas.  Planet Hollywood, Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show and Amazon's restaurant were three of the more famous names there although we found the restaurant at Planet Hollywood provided for the worst service to Asians I have ever experienced - racism at its best! 

Breakfast with the Characters
We found that in general, information on timing and costs on Paris' publications are generally incorrect.  Opening times for Disneyland is 9.30am to 10.00pm whilst the Walk Disney Studios close at 7.00pm.  We arrived an hour early on the first day, toddling off to Disney Village to fill in the time.  Apart from McDonalds, the only other place that was open was Café Mickey. 



A child explaining his fantasies passionately to Tigger


 


Jeanette and Tigger

 

Café Mickey served a buffet style breakfast at €25 per head ... and it was fully occupied.  We found out why later!  The breakfast selection was small but adequate although the kids trying to make sense of the automated hot drinks machine was a touch annoying.  As we had breakfast, characters started walking out to give the kids (and Jeanette) a chance for their pictures to be taken with them.  This is good as its done in a fully relaxed atmosphere since the characters came to you.  In the parks, the queues for being photographed with these characters are often very long and to some parents (and kids, I imagine) downright frustrating.  One kid even had the chance to explain his dreams and fantasies to the character Tiger from "Winnie and the Pooh".


Raymond with King Richard
(from Disney's Robin Hood)

With the €103 paid for a 2 day park hopper pass (per person), this entitles us to hop between the two parks over the next 2 days with unlimited rides and shows.  Because its the peak season with plenty of French, Italian and Spanish kids and adults alike surrounding the place, it was important for us to synchronize the rides and shows we wish to see and experience.  Some of these Italian and Spanish kids (and their parents) were speaking so quickly that we were afraid they might forget to breath and just explode!  We were surprised how few staff (called Cast Members in Disney lingo) they were compared to the parks we have experienced around the world - this is probably due to the "efficiency drive" nature of the Europeans.


"King Arthur" being ordained by Merlin the wizard after he pulls Excalibur out of the anvil witnessed by his pals in the foreground.


Not as easy as it seems, his pals try to pull Excalibur out of the anvil in vain.

One of our favourites is the "Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast".  This ride puts you on a seat which spins 360º, armed with a laser pistol to blast the living daylights out of the evil Zurg.  With kids and adults alike scoring under 100,000 points, our score at 176,300 and 619,900 places us on the top of the "Space Rangers" ranking.. we even have an official photograph to show for it.  It reminds us of a similar experience in the MIB (Men In Black) ride at Universal Studios, Orlando with both mum's and sister Pearline.  The official photograph shows us with high scores and evidence that mum was shooting at Raymond rather than the aliens... there's a message in there somewhere!

We must also not forget "The Lion King" life production, which is the shorter version of Disney's Broadway musical.  The production was about 20 minutes long with loads of very familiar Elton John music, colour and action.  One trick though was to read the fine print in the programme brochure you receive as you enter Disneyland park.  The small print will tell you to collect your tickets, at a certain time behind the theater where the production is held.  Many people who queued to enter the theater were turned away because they did not have a ticket before hand.


Jeanette garnishes her Giant Hot Dog

Drinks were plentiful but the choice for snacks was rather limited.  We enjoyed the giant hotdog, even as the €4.70 price tag on these things put us off too many of these.  We were tempted by the bright colours of the €2.80 toffee apple although judging by the awful mess left on the faces of those who devoured these, our choice to forgo them probably saved us a lot of embarrassment afterwards....


Perfect looking Toffee Apples
was great fun to see the kids devour

 

The Backlot features a ride on a road trolley towed by an TLTV (towbarless aircraft towing vehicle).  This takes you past artifacts like the spacecraft used in the movie Armageddon, some dinosaur movie and then to a sound studio.  The sound stage is fantastic in that an oil tanker is blown up in front of your face (you feel the heat of the burning and the violent rocking of the vehicles being brought through the set), then tons of water rushes down the set almost taking you with it... only to reset as you leave the sound studio.  Oh yes, those seated on the left of the vehicle CAN get wet!

Sound Studio scenes from the Backlot tour


Backlot tanker burns furiously, producing lots of heat

Water washes down the set, dousing the flames

A serious amount of water drowns everything and us!

All in all, we found EuroDisney interesting, bringing back a bit of American fun we had several years back.  We enjoyed all the rides and shows that were on offer however still think that the ticket is expensive.  If you are a Disney fan, EuroDisney may be worth the visit otherwise specifically planning to come to EuroDisney may be a touch too expensive.

Raymond and Jeanette
April 19th 2007

Previous Slide

Next Slide