The Brighter Writer


Disneyland Paris

I've been trying to finish my Paris posts for weeks, but the combo of losing employees at work and having to cover all the unfilled shifts, the awful Colorado flood last weekend, and every other daily distraction, my writing has been few and far between.

My final Paris post is a quick one!

We all know how I feel about the happiest place on Earth ...

Because going to all 5 Disney theme parks is on my bucket list, I was just dying to find out how the Paris Disneyland stacked up against the California original.

Initially, Euro Disney received really poor reviews for numerous reasons. First of all, France considered Disneyland Paris to be a sick representation of American consumerism. Further, the American managers required nothing but English to be spoken throughout the park. And lastly, it probably seemed a bit ridiculous to them that we romanticized Kings, Queens and Princesses and that we had a strange obsession with enchanted castles. Royalty were the every day norm for them and you don't see Europeans going around dressing up like the President of the United States and decorating their bedrooms like the White House.

Eventually, Paris and the rest of Europe either got sick of fighting it, turned the other cheek, or just relaxed a little and let it go. Either way, the upward climb of business has been amazing and now it is the number one most visited attraction in all of France and Europe.

Yes, it's true that most people don't fly all the way across an ocean to visit another country and then end up at Disneyland. But this is my family we're talking about here. We're Disney fanatics. So the option of not going wasn't even thrown into the ring. Also a tradition in my family, you can't just go as your normal self. All three of us picked a character and dressed accordingly.

Casual Snow White for any Disneyland or Disneyworld vacation!

Casual Belle for any Disneyland or Disneyworld vacation!

Casual Mickey Mouse for any Disneyland or Disneyworld vacation!

Pulling up seemed familiar. We were really early so it appeared as though the only other people there were employees. This just gave us more time to take it all in.

Enterance to Disneyland Paris

Some obvious differences were clear right from the get go. Everything was in French. I assumed the fairy from Pinocchio was still saying "when you wish upon a star," but for all I know she could be spouting off profanities.

Pinocchio's Quand on prie la bonne étoile, When You Wish Upon A Star at Au Chalet de la Marionnette in Disneyland Paris

Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant = The Castle of the Beauty who was Dormant in the Wood otherwise known as Sleeping Beauty's Castle.

Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant: Sleeping Beauty's Castle in Fantasyland at Disneyland Paris

Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant: Sleeping Beauty's Castle in Fantasyland at Disneyland Paris

In California, the riverboat that plunges through the Rivers of America is called the Mark Twain. In Paris, the riverboat is named the Molly Brown. As in "the unsinkable Molly Brown," survivor of the infamous Titanic.

the Molly Brown Riverboat at Disneyland Paris

Pirates of the Caribbean is almost the same as the one we're used to. The outside façade is very different but the ride itself is very similar. We got our picture taken going down the first steep slope in our boat, but the "Dead Men Tell No Tales" anthem was still prevalent all the way through, the option of taking a wench for a bride was still available, and the damn dog still won't give up the key.

Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland Paris

Instead of the Haunted Mansion, we were now entering the Haunted Manor. Guests still sit through the ride in the usual "doom buggies," but instead this house tells the story of The Phantom of the Opera and it is designed to be scarier and darker than its sister mansion.

The Phantom Manor in Frontierland at Disneyland Paris

We rode It's A Small World twice. Once to get the picture of the Eiffel Tower out front.

It's A Small World in Fantasyland at Disneyland Paris

and then again because we thought it was funny that the American part of the ride was stereotyped with a Greenbay Packer and a New York Met.

It's A Small World in Fantasyland at Disneyland Paris

My favorite thing about the entire park was that Alice has an entire wonderland spread over the majority of Fantasyland. Not just a ride and some teacups, but a separate labyrinth, a castle, a ride, a photo station, statues and some teacups. She's kind of big deal.

Alice in Wonderland Mad Tea Party in Fantasyland at Disneyland Paris

The Mad Hatter's Teacup ride is under its own little weather proof station.

Alice in Wonderland and the Mad Hatter's Teacups in Fantasyland at Disneyland Paris

Pretty much the coolest ride I've ever seen.

Alice in Wonderland and the Mad Hatter's Teacups in Fantasyland at Disneyland Paris

Of course we spun our cup as fast as we could go, but when a photo opportunity presents itself, we know when to slow down for the camera.

Alice in Wonderland and the Mad Hatter's Teacups in Fantasyland at Disneyland Paris

So to say au revoir to France, we did it the way our family knows best, which is to give back a little to the American Economy.

Disneyland Paris Enterance and Front Gate

Now that we're back across the pond and in the States, I'm happy to say that we're all safe and sound from the terrible floods that destroyed our little corner of Colorado. Both my house and my sister's house were luckily spared from any damage as we're both far enough away from our beloved Big Thompson River and the Cache Le Poudre River. None the less, our poor towns and the towns we love around us are destroyed and it will take quite a while for roads and bridges to be repaired.

I'll keep you posted!

Until then, please keep the rescue workers, those who lost their lives, property, friends and family in your thoughts.