For our second day in Paris, after a good night’s sleep, we decided to take on Disneyland Paris (formerly known as Euro Disney), which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. This was Katie’s choice. We were all, “Sniff, Disneyland Paris, Pshaw!” We too the metro to the RER then headed to the end of the A line which lands you smack dab at the entrance to the park(s). Much like LA and Orlando, there is a complex here: Disneyland Paris, Walt Disney Studios, and Disney Village. And much like LA and Orlando, it ain’t cheap getting in. We paid 74 Euros each for a 1-day 2-park pass (that’s $98US right now).
Disneyland Paris is laid out a lot like Disneyland but has more land so feels more spacious. Also, there were WAY fewer people than on the rainiest day in Anaheim. the longest we stood in line was about 10 minutes (I’m not kidding). We went on several rides in Fantasyland (all of which wer much like their US counterparts), then went to the Pirates of the Caribbean where the ride broke down and we go to see the middle portion with lights up (kinda fun). All of the songs were in French but “Yo ho yo ho a pirate’s life for me” is easy to sing along to in any language. We then went over to Walt Disney Studios. That’s the paris equivalent of California Adventure – sort of. The emphasis is on Hollywood, with all of the classic symbols represented: the Hollywood sign, the Hollywood Bowl, El Capitan, etc. It’s also where the Tower of Terror is located and I decided to do one thing every day that scares me by going on it. After about a five minute wait (I’m not kidding) we were on the ride and I was, indeed, very scared but vastly entertained. Katie waited that one out as she did the next one: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril – a variation on the Indiana Jones ride in LA that features a 360 degree loop (I didn’t see mention of this until we were almost seated or I think I would have chickened out. But again, it really was a total hoot – as in I yelled the whole way. But again I survived and felt quite brave. We also went on Star Tours, which was a hoot. It was, not surprisingly, all in French but we were all so familiar with it that we could easily translate everything.
The cultural differences between the parks are subtle. The French employees (cast members) don’t have to wear such dorky costumes. Security doesn’t wear costumes – they just walk around looking tough and serious. They don’t rent strollers or those little motorized scooters which REALLY cuts down on the clogged walkways. The food was much, much better. We ordered croque-monsieurs for lunch and they were delicious. There were more restaurants in the park and fewer fast food stops. And there was not a churro to be had.
The park closed at 8pm and everyone immediately migrated en masse to Disney Village which made for the biggest crowds of the day. All of the restaurants and stores were packed. After a little shopping we bailed and head back to Paris and had dinner at a lovely place close to our apartment. We had escargots served in the style of Lyon with chicken liver. Katie tried some and didn’t puke. Yay!