Disneyland Paris trip report by Mini-V
We just returned from a fabulous 4 day / 3 night trip to Disneyland Paris. I'll go day by day and try not too get too long winded, but I'm still on a Disney high.
We departed on the Eurostar Disney Express from the new St. Pancreas station in London. People have started a thread as to what makes them cry when they get to WDW, well, I was sooooo close to tears in the train station. There was a quartet playing Disney music right at the gate. Talk about starting to get your Disney goosebumps early! I had to blink like made to keep from crying when they started to play "When You Wish Upon A Star".
About 2 hours later, we started to approach Marne-la-Vallee, the station for Disneyland Paris. The kids on the train got excited when they announced the arrival, but I nearly jumped out of my seat a few seconds earlier when I saw Space Mountain and Tower of Terror outside the train! It was just as exciting as seeing the arch as you approach WDW.
Our 3 sectioned yellow bus whisked us to the Sequoia Hotel after a brief stop at the New York Hotel, which is very close to the Sequoia. Our room was ready, and after a quick change into tennis shoes, we headed out the door to walk to Disneyland. When we got off the bus, it didn't seem that bad, so I left my scarf and earmuffs in the room. We were about mid-way through their version of Downtown Disney and it started to pelt sleet. It stung your face and we quickly pulled our hoods down as low as we could. The stream of people headed in the opposite direction gave us a pretty good indication that the park was not going to be very crowded, but we were determined to get some park time in on our first day.
Disneyland is set up rather different from Magic Kingdom, so it took us several days to get our bearings. I don't think we ever got directly from anything in Adventureland to Frontierland without a couple of missed turns. Maps were a must.
Our first ride was Pirates of the Caribbean. It's a longer ride than in WDW, but Jack Sparrow has not been added. Without giving too much away, the ride begins by entering a bayou and passing the Blue Bayou Restaurant. I thought the battle scene looked a bit shorter than in WDW. By the way, we had to wait a whole 10 minutes to get on POTC.
A point to keep in mind, when in the que for POTC, make sure everyone in your party goes through the same turnstile. Once on the other side, the cue is separated into 4 lines and if anyone goes through a different turnstile, they'll end up on the wrong side of the chain dividing the lines.
From POTC, we headed to the Phantom Manor by way of about 3 wrong turns. Thank goodness there are some tall landmarks that help you navigate.
The storyline of the bride is much more prevalent in PM. There was a cm that was really "in character" at the gate that made me giggle. She just had this icy stare going that was really good. I don't want to give too much away again, but PM is quite different from WDW. You come in through the door into a parlor, and the parts of the house are very distinct. The bride is depicted in several areas; going from a rather pretty woman to a definitely deceased version. Once you leave the house, you move through the cemetery and then into an old west ghost town. A ghost leaves with you, but not in the same way as in WDW.
After a break for cocoa and a Mickey roll, it was time for the Parade of Dreams, so we found ourselves a great spot at the end of the parade. I hearty recommend this spot since the parade comes down Main Street, swings around the circle, and approaches you straight on before making the turn to go through the gates and end. This location gives you two chances to photograph the floats; one from the front and then as they turn. That doesn't mean that I got the best photos of the parade, it just means I had ample opportunity to take good pics.
We had dinner that night at the Yacht Club Restaurant in Disney's Newport Bay Hotel. Dinner was fantastic! I took pictures which I'll try to get posted very soon. My dessert was an apple concoction that wasn't bad, it just wasn't what I was expecting.
While waiting for our food, something rather "flashed by" on the floor and startled me. In London, there's a good chance that it's a mouse, something that's happened more than once. It was a mouse this time as well.....a small, plush Mickey Mouse that a child had tossed for a baby brother to fetch.
We walked back to our hotel, located 5 minutes away, and got ready for day 2.
By the way, the real bonus of Disneyland Paris Resort is that you can easily walk to and from hotels and hop back and forth between parks without ever having to take other transportation. The only time we took a bus was to get to and from the train station with our bags.