Friday, we took the train out to Marne le Valle to the Disneyland Paris parks. There are two parks, the Disneyland Paris park and the Disney studio park, which is kind of like a bootleg Universal Studios but with Mickey and Minnie. There are also some aspects of the California Adventure park (for those Californias who know what I'm talking about) with tributes to Animation and the process of film making. And lastly, there is a Downtown Disney kind of place called Disney Village with a Hard Rock Cafe and a Rainforest...the biggest McDonalds I've ever seen and an entire block long Disneystore.
The Disney Studio park was under construction...they were adding a Toy Story section with some cool looking rides...in the meanwile, there wasn't much else...a Dumboesque magic carpet ride, some stage shows (Playhouse Disney and Lilo and Stitch, which we didn't see) there was this really lame studio tour...they blew up a set and there was fire and a flood...not nearly as cool as the Universal Studios ones...but I guess if you don't have that frame of reference, then it might be ok.
The Disneyland park itself was much more fun. It was kind of like walking through the looking glass for us, since we are so familiar with the California park and this one was the same, but SO different. There was a Main Street with New England style homes/shops...named after old Disney movies...like, the Harringtons porcelain shop (a la Pollyanna Harrington)...there was a fancy American sit down restaurant called Walts...there was an old town hot dog restaurant called Casey's...There were the 4 lands of course...Fantasyland with all the animated movies turned rides...and a super cool labyrinth inspired by Alice in Wonderland with cards painting the roses red, an Unbirthday party, the Queen of Hearts popping up out of the brush yelling, "Off with their heads"...definitely a highlight. "Its a Small World" was lovely too...very nice spin on all the nations of the world..and not all ridiculously PC like the one in LA.
We took the girls on Star Tours and they both cried...and vowed to never get on "scary astronaut rides" again. Whoops...I think it was even more creepy because the little robot "driving" the space craft was speaking French...sigh...oh well.
Adventureland was mostly Pirates of the Caribbean inspired and there was a Pirates lair playground instead of the Tom Sawyers island... there was also a great section of Adventureland inspired by Agrabah (from Aladdin)...we ate lunch there at this beautiful middle eastern restaurant. Really good baklava and lamb!
The parade was awesome. Princess Tiana did a stage show and sang "Goin' down the Bayou" in all her New Orleans splendor...it was great.
We were running low on camera battery by this point of our trip and we knew Disneyland was crawling with paparazzi, so we opted to save our camera battery (110 voltage and impossible to charge in Paris) for the final day and rely on disposable cameras for our Disneyland pictures. So...stay tuned for pictures to be uploaded from our Disney day at a later date.
It should also be noted that there is a Hollywood Tower of Terror at the Disney Studio park and poor Johann had to ride it all by himself (twice) because his family was too chicken to go with him. He has a great picture...which will also be added later.