Disneyland Paris - 16.03.2009

The American industry of making money

......What is Disneyland? A theme park, of course. Its advantage? It's in Paris. Many people told me "you have to go" or "it's a must see, better than anything" or "you'll be so sorry for the rest of your life if you don't go". Oh, well.

......After 3 visits in Paris without even thinking of going, after a visit in Hong Kong where's the newest Disneyland, I decided it's time to go. And I went because the other two I went with wanted this. Honestly, I expected more than I received. There were a lot of people. Mostly parents with children of all ages. There are not so many attractions and the best ones are very corwded. The queue is sooooo long that when you get there you're too tired and not so interested anymore. I wanted to take a picture with Mickey. Impossible. One billion of children were waiting patientely. So I left. I wanted to take a picture with Happy. Not a chance. Two billion parents were taken pictures to that billion of children. And it was not high season. Huh.

......Speaking of parents. Be aware. If you come, there are some things you must be prepared for.

......1. Bring as much money as you can. The entrance fee is 50 euro/person for 1 park/1 day or 60 euro/person for 2 parks/1 day. It's half for children.

......2. Once you enter you have to start buying stuff: Mickey years (for boys with the blue hat and for girls with red ribbon), a costume because the child can't possible take pictures with Cindarella wearing jeans. So, costumes...princes, pricesses and so on... 40 euro to God knows how much.

......3. The Autograph Notebook. If you don't have one of those there's no point coming. Parents, if at some point you can't find your child, start looking for a cartoon character around you. You'll find your child. Mickey is a sort of ultimate thing. Be prepared to spend 2 hours in line to take that picture.

......4. You have to feed the little devil. After running after Cindarella, Chip&Dale, Happy, Baloo, Mary Poppins he'll be tired. But not willing to leave the battle field. All he needs is a sandwich and a coke. No problem. 10-12 euro and it's all done. Junk food, of course. There are some restaurants serving buffet lunch. It's 20 euro/person and the drinks are not included. Expensive. But you eat in Disney World. You can take the napkin if you want and put it in your collection of useless things.

......5. The baloon. Your child will die if he doesn't have one. Check, double check and triple check to be sure it's well tied to your backpack. If it flies, BIG PROBLEM. The little devil starts crying and this will cost you another 15 euro. You don't want that. You still need money for souvenirs.

......Do you still want to go there? Ok. Don't say you didn't know what will happen.

......This is the map of the Park. Actually there are two parks. This one and Disney Village. And the Disney Studios of shows and movies. There are 6 areas. When you first enter the Park you're in the Main Square. From there, the long red line is Main Street USA. It's the street where the parade takes place at 4pm every day. Then there's the castle, in the middle. The rest of the areas (blue, orange, yellow, purple and pink) are the attractions. Some roller coasters, Dumbo, a caroussel, A New World, the Hounted House, the Mine, Adventure Land and Discovery Land. There is also a train that goes around the park.

So, from the beginning now. WELCOME TO DISNEYLAND. The journey from Paris on RER A takes about 30 minutes. 6,50 euro/ticket/one way.
Walt Disney Studios

This is the point when you start spending money. and you're not even in yet.
Disney Hotel. The big one right at the entrance of the park. If you choose to be accommodated in the park, better choose this one. The rest of the hotels are somewhere, on the property. Davy Crochett Ranch Hotel is 15 minutes away from the park. By car!!!
This is the point where you buy tickets.
Central Square. We arrived when Mary Poppins was leaving to take the first round of the park. 10am.

Central Square and Main Street USA are built in the fashion of small old American towns. Like the one in "Gilmore Girls", if you want. All the buildings are souvenir stores.

Toys, ears (standard price. 9,99 euro), hats.
And this is Mickey. Not very far away from the entrance. What have I told you? Look at the children. They have ears, autograph notebooks and bags. The first round of shopping was already completed.

Central Square. You can see the Main Station on the right side of the picture.

Very nice decorated shop windows

And this is Minnie. about 200 meters away from Mickey. each of them has its own fans. Shorter line for her, but still... about 40 minutes of waiting.

We met again Mary. The Castle of Sleeping Beauty in the background.
More characters. From Winnie the Pooh.
The Castle. It's more impressive on the outside.
Me, fighting to take a picture with Happy.

Inside the Castle. It's the story of Sleeping Beauty. Nice windows.

View from the other side of the Castle.
Dumbo. I wanted to take a ride. But when I got closer I noticed that there was a condition for an adult to be allowed to go. a child under 5. Joking. But I was the only one without a child there. So I left.

First ride. And the only one that day :(

The Adventure Land. definitely for children.
More hats, toys and other useless stuff.

Inside Aladin's house
What I really appreciated in this park was the care for details. All the houses are perfect, the costumes of the characters are perfect, beautiful colors and music.
Look how they took care of every detail. The scene is not too big. There are a lot of tiny pots on the floor. Just like in the movie.
And here. Aladin is sooo small. But you can clearly see the lamp in his hands.
The Castle, from another angle.
Mirror, mirror on the wall...
The Small World is a good idea. Again, for kids. To show them people and habits around the world. There are a lot of dolls dressed in local costumes, placed in traditional sets for some countries, as you'll see next.United Kingdom
The Netherlands


Mexico.. I guess.


A verey nice mill. Couldn't understand the purpose of puttinf a mill there... but it was interesting.
She was just looking at me.

The train that goes around the park. It takes too much time as it moves slowly and it stays a lot in each station.

Discovery Land. This is where the big roller coaster is.
Inside this building
And we're back in the Central Square.
I don't know if it was ok or not, but we took a lot of pictures with toys in the stores. These Mickey and Minnie cost 70 euro each.
Bye, Bye now. Put us back on the shelf.
It was almost time for the afternoon parade.
I read once. I read twince. It was still VOLT. why?? somebody told me that this is how the French call the BOLT :))
This was the funniest hat there. Tempted to buy it but then again.. no. 30 euro. too much for something that will end in a dark corner of the wardrobe.
If you love these toys you don't have to go to Disneyland to buy one. There is a Disney Store on Champs Elysee.
Yep, the famous Minnie ears. This is not me. Just somebody that looks just like me. IT"S NOT ME, OK?? I'm glad it's clear.
Again Discovery Land.

4pm. The Parade starts. It's the moment when every living soul in the Park runs towards the Main Street. Be careful, children tend to behave chaotically.
Alice in Wonderland
Huge attention for details. I have told this before.

Toy Story. 1, 2, 3... it's up to you. They're sitting on an open book!
Winnie and his friends
Peter Pan

Ariel and the Prince
Lion King
Beauty and the Beast
Sleeping Beauty and the Prince
More baloons
Don't you dare to laugh!!!The haunted house.

The roller coaster on the Island. We wanted to go but there was a very long line. And no time to wait. It's so boring waiting for 2 hours for a 2 minute ride. Only the idea kills me.

......I guess conclusions are in order now. We arrived at 10:30am and left at 6pm. it was more than enough. On high season there's not enough time to cover everything because of endless lines at each attraction. But in March it was fine. This park is for kids. They love this world. An adult has a different reaction.

......I can't say I didn't like it. I expected to find there something else. But the atmosphere is a happy one. When you leave in the afternoon you tend to have a big smile on your face. If this is your state of mind this means the Park did that MAGIC on you.

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