Monday, October 10, 2016

Visiting Disneyland Paris - Europe Post 2

Happy Monday! Today I am sharing part of our experience at Disneyland Paris. Since we were in the area to run the Disneyland Paris Half Marathon, we had to take full advantage of visiting the parks. My Husband Gabe and I are both multi-year Annual Passholders at Walt Disney World. We know the 4 parks in Orlando by memory and frequently visit the resort. However, neither of us have had the opportunity to visit Disney outside of Orlando.

The night before we arrived at Disneyland Paris, I excitedly went to bed. It was almost as if we were 5 years old, going to Disney for the first time. What would it look like? What would it be like? How different are the rides? Would there be Mickey pretzels?
We arrived at Disneyland Paris by taking the bus from our hotel. Within no time, we were waiting to enter the park. We had one day park hoppers, which allowed us to go back and forth between Disneyland Paris and Disneyland Studios Park (I will cover studios in another post). Disneyland Paris Hotel is at the front of the park and if we ever find ourselves back there, it has been decided that is where we will stay. I've stayed at all the hotels on Bay Lake in Orlando (Contemporary, Grand Floridian and Polynesian) but this is total convenience and hello gorgeous.
After walking into the park and standing on Main Street, both Gabe and I were both in a state of awe. It was nearly identical to Walt Disney World.
They even had a Casey's Corner at the same location as ours. No Starbucks inside the park though. Main Street was beautifully decorated for Halloween - as was the rest of the park. We were both starving and got a hotdog from Casey's. Sadly, no photo was taken. The hot dogs were larger and had a lot of bread compared to the ones in Orlando. It came with a sparkling water which was interesting.

We had fast-passes and decided to start our journey off in Discoveryland and rode Space Mountain: Mission 2. The second we sat in our seats, and saw the seat guard, we knew this would be a far different experience than our Space Mountain - and it was. It went upside down! If you have ever ridden the Hulk in Florida, it has a similar start, by shooting you off. It's in the dark like ours, but you do go upside down. We had a BLAST, especially since this was unexpected.
Following Space Mountain, we headed next door to inspect Les Mystères du Nautilus, which we thought was 20,000 Leagues under the Sea at first glance. Saddly for us and our childhood memories, it wasn't - but still very pretty. My Mom also thought this when she saw our photos.
Next up was another Fastpass ride, we did Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast - which is similar to the one in the states but more fun. The ride broke down while we were on it and we were sitting in one of the extra point sections. I ended up with a top score and beat Gabe. That's one time I will welcome broken down rides with welcome arms.
Next up, we headed to get the classic castle shot. Sleeping Beauty's Castle is pink and very tall. It was great seeing it with all the Halloween Decor. I will say, Disneyland Paris takes much pride in their Halloween Decorating and we were left very impressed.

After getting our castle shot and passing It's A Small World (which I promptly refused), we headed over to Alice's Curious Labyrinth. This was a fun outdoor maze which was actually serine. I wanted to sit there all day and wish we had this in Florida.

Sometime in Fantasyland, my heart was broken. From a distance, both Gabe and I spot at the same time "Toad Hollow". Mr. Toad was both of our favorite ride as kids. I ride Pooh everytime we are at Magic Kingdom in honor of Mr. Toad but it isn't the same. We see this magical sign, and Mr. Toad's face, to learn it is a restaurant....... BOO.
We had lunch reservations at Studios with my friend Corey so we had to head that way, knowing we would return later that evening to Disneyland Paris to finish up. Probably my favorite thing about the two parks is their proximity to each other. Here, you can truly park hop.
After we returned from Studios, we headed straight to Phantom Manor, to find a 5 minute wait. 5 minutes at 7pm on a Saturday night?! Phantom Manor was all about the story of the Bride and her life. It had more gore factor than Disney World's Haunted Mansion. They are very different from each other and I cannot say if I preferred one over the other.
Following Phantom Manor, we ventured towards Pirates of the Caribbean, where we got lost. It was very dark and we were literally the only ones there. When can you ever say you were the only visible people at Disney? We found the ride which was very similar to Disney World's prior to Captain Jack Sparrow taking over. Fun fact: Paris still has the scene where the pirate is chasing the woman, which has been removed from Orlando's. I was happy to see the red head was in Paris though! Photo below is not the ride - it's Pirate Galleon inside of Pirate Beach, a play area for kids.
At this time, we decided not to do Peter Pan, something I will likely regret - but after a day at two theme parks, and a half marathon to run the following morning, we needed to get back to our hotel.
Sadly, Thunder Mountain and Indiana Jones Temple of Peril were both shut down during our visit.
Overall, we loved going to Disneyland Paris. If you are a Disney lover and find yourself in Paris, the train is a simple 45 minute ride which drops you off at the gates of the park. You can store your luggage for a small fee if you are coming straight from the airport. We didn't stay for the fireworks show as we had to be up early in the morning for the Half Marathon.I thought the below picture was epic, See You Real Soon with the marathon start in the background.

Day 2 Mileage: 10.1 Miles, 22,838 Steps

I received park hoppers from Disneyland Paris in exchange for an unbiased review. As always, all opinions are my own and I would strongly encourage a trip to Disneyland Paris!

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