We talked about this one throughout the past few days of our trip. Jeremy researched and found that we could get to Disneyland Paris in about an hour with the metro and a train ride and also found us half off tickets online. Since we fit so much into our first two days in Paris, we figured it might be good to change up the pace a bit. But we weren’t totally sure so actually put the idea to rest yesterday, and planned to enjoy another full day in Paris. But this morning, on a whim we decided to be spontaneous. We actually had slept in a bit, but did the math and realized after travel we’d still have a good even hours in the park, so we did it.
Now, I’m a fan of Disney. We went when I was younger, driving twenty some hours from Michigan. It was pretty magical and memorable. Then about four years ago, on a cruise stop in December with our kids, we decided to pay a lot of money to take them for a very short amount of time. The park was packed, and I rode about three rides with Ellee, but I loved it and loved having that memory as well. So you can only imagine my delight, walking in to Disneyland Paris, for another fun filled day with my amazing husband.
I figured it would be a pretty awesome day when we walked by this staff member who was cleaning up trash as well as delighting visitors with his clearly amazing artistic abilities. He drew that Mickey with a little brush and some water, knowing it would quickly disappear under the warmth of the sun, but doing it anyways to the delight of everyone watching.
Okay, so right away we got a great feeling about how our day might go, based off a few observations. First off, there really weren’t that many people there. Last time we were at Disney, you couldn’t walk without bumping into someone else and I distinctly remember waiting about an hour and a half for Pirates of the Carribean. But as we made our way through the park, it was kind of quiet and peaceful. Then, when we went to Buzz Lightyear Lazer Blast, we saw that the wait time was only five minutes. It turned out being zero because we ended up walking right on. It was a sign of good things to come.
The same thing happened at Jeremy’s all time favorite ride, Pirates of the Carribean. There was no wait and no line. So we went on it twice. It was positively delightful and brought back all sorts of fun memories.
Afterwards me we walked over to my all time favorite Disney ride and I’m not even joking. I have always loved It’s a Small World. Yes, it’s slow. And yes, that song could probably drive you crazy. But I can’t help it. I love seeing all the different characters from all over the world. I love the costumes and the backgrounds and thinking how amazing it is this world that we live in. We’re all so different, yet all so similar. It seriously makes me tear up a bit everytime I ride it. That being said, we rode it and it was wonderful. I also gained new appreciation for the London part of the ride. It was fun to see the red buses and the Tower Bridge as well.
Also, this part made me think of our friends John and Naomi who are currently missionaries in Tanzania. We are hoping to go visit them there in a few years, to see and support their ministry there. Although once I told Naomi that I would love to support her and John but that I had purposed in my heart to never go to Africa, because it was far and a bit intimidating. Lesson learned, you should never say never, and keep your heart open to what God desires. Funny it didn’t take too long for God to start changing my heart about this and now I even plan that we will someday go and see them. And maybe some giraffes too.
Afterwards, we got a snack, in the form of this chocolate pretzel. It was delicious. We also walked over to Disney Studios, which was a separate park that was included in our ticket. And speaking of tickets, should you ever find yourself wanting to go to Disneyland Paris, you should totally check for discount tickets online. We paid half of what was advertised at the park and it made everything that much more enjoyable.
Our first stop was the Animagique Theatre. They were just getting ready to start a show, which was perfect timing for us to walk in just in time. The show was absolutely delightful. Having a good portion of my childhood take place in the 80s and early 90s, I basically grew up watching Disney movies. My sisters and I knew and loved them well. So when the show turned out to be a compilation of songs from different Disney movies, I couldn’t have been more delighted. It was basically like a mini Broadway show and everything was so well done. Thankfully the characters used both a mix of French and English so we could mostly understand what was going on.
Afterwards we went on the Studio Tram Tour ride. It seemed a little old and dated, and we couldn’t figure out if it was bad or good, because some parts were bad, but others really good. This was literally Jeremy’s face pondering this very thing. Overall, I enjoyed the nice slow pace of the ride and also learning about how they do some of the stunts.
And then came my first worst decision of the day and that is when I agreed to go on the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. I thought I had remembered going on this ride as a kid and it being a nice, slow ride up the tower, with a then big, but quick drop, so I agreed and we got in line. I should have know once we got to the elevator and there was a girl there hysterically crying her eyes out.
Now I should mention that ever since I was pregnant with our kids, I kind of just gave up on crazy rides. I used to love them, but something changed and I decided I was totally fine never going on one again. And I don’t know what it was. Jeremy had wanted to go and I thought it would t be too bad. I even got a quick photo before it started. But when the doors closed, I realized I had made a big mistake. It was not a slow ride up and then down. It was up and then the doors opened to something scary, and then up some more and then down, then up really fast, then down really fast. And it just kept going. Basically, I was terror filled the entire ride. There are a few points that I didn’t think I would make it.
Thankfully I did. But it did take a few minutes feel right again. We slowed down our pace. Jeremy rode another roller lasted while I sat and tried not to feel nauseous. We walked back over to our first park and got there just in time to see a fun parade going by.
I loved the floats and the characters. Again, brought back so many good memories from my childhood and from our kids’ as well. Speaking of our kids, I did feel bad that they aren’t with us. But then again, with how much we love Paris, maybe someday it will work out to bring them.
We grabbed dinner at the Cowboy Cookout Barbecue. We realIzed it was the same place we had taken the kids when we were in Disneyworld. It was very good and filling and we enjoyed our meals a lot. And it was after this that I made my second bad mistake of the day. And that was agreeing to go on Space Mountain. This was another of Jeremy’s favorite rides. And I wasn’t a fan, but again, I thought I had remembered that it wasn’t that bad. We actually had to wait for this ride. A grand total of ten minutes or so. It was the longest that we waited all day. I should have used this time to ponder life and the value of not going on rides like this.
Because when we got to the ride and saw it had those over the shoulder harnesses, I should have known. It was pretty much the most terrifying experience I’ve had in many years. It was crazy and fast and had these stars and 3D planets coming at you. I’m pretty sure it went upside down and I will admit eventually I just closed my eyes and prayed it would be over soon. I walked off it dizzy and went and laid down on a bench. Note to everyone, if you don’t like feeling like you’re going to have a heart attack, this ride is not for you.
Thankfully, I recovered, but it did take awhile. And thankfully, as we were walking out, we passed the castle just in time for the Disney Dreams Nightime Spectacular. We had seen it in the brochure, but it sounded kind of corny. Thankfully, it was anything but. Again, it was a beautiful compilation of Disney movies and songs and animation and lights all over the castle which acted like a big television screen. They also added in fireworks and fire throwers and it was the most delightful experience I could have imagined. The picture doesn’t come close to doing it justice, but it was the best I could get on my little phone.
All in all, we really could not have enjoyed a more wonderful day at Disneyland Paris. Besides those two times I thought I wasn’t going to make it, everything else about this day was awesome. It was a positively delightful way to spend the day in Paris’ version of the happiest place on earth.