Le Mickey Mouse
Trip Start Sep 23, 2009
12Trip End Oct 04, 2009
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Now is also a good time to mention the goal Harmony and I have of visiting all 11 Disney parks in our lifetime. We have been to six of them so far, 4 in Orlando and 2 in California. These two in Paris would bring us to 8. Then there are two more in Tokyo and one in Hong Kong. Most of this blog will be comparing Orlando, California, and Paris to each other.
Mike was still in bad shape getting up in the morning but his fever broke so he was ready to hit the parks. We got a later start than we wanted and waited longer for the shuttle than we wanted but still got to the park by its late opening time of 10am. The entrance is great because it has a large pink Disneyland Hotel in front of it. You actually pass under the hotel to give your tickets and then you come to Main Street Station like you are used to.
You pass under the station and end up on Main Street which is simply beautiful. All of the buildings have their names and info in English since it is supposed to simulate a turn of the century American main street.
Sleeping Beauty Castle lies at the end of main street and it literally destroys the Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland in California both in size and detail. It could do without the "Mickey's Magical Party" logo added to the front for the current celebration but it is still amazing.
Also, under the castle is a spectacular dragon animatronic that sleeps when you go down there. Eventually he wakes up and gets very angry blowing smoke out of his mouth and nostrils while flipping his tail and thrashing his head. He is amazing!
Our first ride in Disneyland Paris was Space Mountain 2.0 (I guess it is a newer version). First of all, it is located in Discoveryland. They do not have a Tomorrowland (go figure) but Discovery land is pretty cool as it is themed after discovery and invention. Think Jules Verne meets DaVinci or something like that. This space mountain actually has a launch instead of a lift and it does go upside down twice. It is pretty cool overall but Disneyland CA still wins out so far as the best Space Mountain hands down.
Also in Discoveryland is this massive building called the Videopolis which shows Disney cartoons in a massive theater inside. You can get food and go sit at the tables to watch the cartoons which is what Harmony and I did for lunch. We had a Mickey double cheeseburger shaped like Mickey:
and a beignet for dessert also shaped like Mickey:
What was really cool about this building is it had a massive dirigible outside but closer inspection showed it was a Hyperion Dirigeable which is a nod to Walt and Roy's original animation studio on Hyperion Drive. Bet you didn't know that one Dad!
Discoveryland also had Star Tours, Autopia, and Honey I Shrunk The Audience which we took a picture of the sign for Brenda to see:
Now is a good time to point out that every cast member speaks English. However, many of the attractions are in French. Just adds to the fun for us, especially since we are familiar with the attractions anyway.
Fantasyland is cool and is certainly the best themed of the three (Orlando, CA, Paris) as it castle ramparts stretch far into Fantasyland. It's A Small World was pretty funny because they had a huge section dedicated to America which was pretty overkill:
Time to geek out. The American versions of this ride have absolutely no reference to America whatsoever save from two small little dolls, a Native American doll and an American Eskimo doll.
Now we will move to Frontierland. This land is very well themed and certainly better than CA and Orlando as it seems they are really into America out here for some reason. They seem to think we still ride around on horses and wear cowboy hats. Frontierland was also the first land to be decorated for Halloween. Their decorations are awesome and much more creepy than any you would find in American Disney parks:
This land was also a great place to relax and feed more fowl:
Also in Frontierland, strangely enough, is Phantom Manor (Paris' version of the classic Haunted Mansion).
From the outside, this house looks very creepy (think Bates house) but even more so when decorated for Halloween:
Inside they have a stretching room with more creepy and daunting portraits. The start of the ride is just like what you are used to with the hallways with creaking doors, clocks with fingers for arms, and seance room. However, all the while you are traveling while keeping an eye on the bride who starts the tour out as a normal bride but slowly drops into a deeper state of insanity as she "kills" her husbands. You go through an attic scene with just her but the entire ride quickly changes from there. You fall out of the window like normal but here you fall underground where all of the dead people are. You come across some of the most creepy, demonic, and downright terrifying animatronic figures down here you could ever imagine. This is not the happy graveyard scene you see in America. In fact, the four singing busts are down here but they are so out of place while they are singing Grim Grinning Ghosts. It is truly creepy down here and absolutely amazing! The next scene is just plain weird. It is a wild west scene because we are in Frontierland but everyone is dead. The guy who greets you takes his whole head off to greet you instead of just his hat. The ride ends with the bride who is now a skeleton in tattered robes and very freaky looking. This is by far the best Haunted Mansion out there. Apparently European kids can handle much more than American kids. This ride is amazing!! We will be riding it at least one more time on Wednesday.
On to Adventureland which is also much better themed than Orlando and CA. Just take Pirates of the Caribbean as an example. Check out the outside:
The Pirates ride itself is similar to Disneyland except the pirates all speak French which is very creepy.
They also have a unique ride out here called Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril:
This ride looks awesome from the outside. It is a runway mine train ride through a temple themed from the movie. The queue is excellent. Unfortunately the ride is terrible as it smashes your head against the neck restraints. The over the shoulder restraints are unnecessary even though it loops once. It would be a much better ride without them.
We left the park early since Mike is still recovering but will be back on Wednesday for tons more pictures and a full day of fun.
We went to Disney Village where there were four freaking restaurants themed after America! Annette's Diner (probably for Annette Funicello), a NY deli themed one, Buffalo Bill's, and Billy Bob's. We chose the latter. Harmony had BBQ chicken and Mike had chili con carne. Both were actually very good for reasonable prices:
Even their hotels out here are American themed. They have Hotel Cheyenne, Hotel New York, Hotel Santa Fe, Sequioa Lodge, and Newport Bay Club. All themed after American places. We have no idea what their fascination with America is out here. It's pretty funny though.
Tomorrow we will head to Disney Studios and give you a recap of how that park compares to Disney's Hollywood Studios in Orlando.
-Mike and Harmony
Where I stayed
Radisson Golf Resort