Guest Blogger: Disneyland Paris – Day 1
Hi guys! My name is Alex and I will be taking over for Stacy for a few weeks to tell you all about my recent trip to Disneyland Paris. My mother and I had some business to accomplish in Greece and I convinced her (luckily) to take a little side trip to Paris. So, we had a nice, early flight out of Athens, Greece to Paris, France. Now as both countries lie within the European Union, it is almost like taking a domestic flight here. You do not need to go through customs and get your passport stamped (kind of sad for me as I LOVE collecting stamps).
Once you arrive and collect your bags at Charles De Gaulle you have one of four options to getting to Disneyland Paris. You can rent a car and drive yourself, take the regional train, take the high-speed rail TGV, or, if you are staying on Disney property, you can pay extra for their shuttle service. While planning this trip the one thing I wanted to do above all other things in Paris was take a ride on the TGV. I figured the United States does not have a high-speed rail service and it would be different to experience it.
So, we collected our bags and started to walk towards the monorail that would take us to where the TGV was. Unfortunately, there was a security issue and we could not get to the TGV lines, so we ended up taking the regional trains. Slightly complicated as you had to switch lines and with the large suitcases we had, not the best option. And it took us 90 minutes to FINALLY arrive in Disneyland.
The train station at Disneyland is literally feet away from Disney Village, and maybe a 10-minute walk to the hotel we were staying at, Disney’s Hotel New York. Fans of the old Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin will feel right at home here as the man who designed the Dolphin also designed Hotel New York.
We were hungry for lunch by this point and headed towards Disney Village to find something. We stopped at the first place we found, which was the classic Earl of Sandwich, before heading over to the parks. Disneyland Paris has two park options: the classic Disneyland and Walt Disney Studios.
Walt Disney Studios is smaller and more manageable for half a day in January. By chance, we happened to be in Paris while the two parks were celebrating Star Wars Season of the Force, which made the nerd in me VERY happy. Fans of Hollywood Studios in Florida will feel right at home in this park. Right when you walk in, they still have a small version of the Sorcerer’s hat and an Earful Tower.
My biggest goal this trip was to accomplish all the rides that I could not find at either Walt Disney World or Disneyland in California. With that in mind, we headed straight for Crush’s Coaster, a ride that puts you in the shell of a turtle and takes you on a trip along the East Australian Current.
After that, we headed towards the Ratatouille ride. It is surrounded by mock buildings of Paris and has the most adorable queue. It also includes a restaurant that shrinks you down to the size of a rat and does indeed sell ratatouille. However, we were still full from lunch, so it was not something that we could rationalize at the time.
We moved on to Toy Story Playland. It is filled with gorgeous details that Disney has mastered over the years. I had maybe a little bit too much fun with the toy soldiers parachute drop.
We then moved on to the Rock ‘n Roller Coaster. I am a bit of an adrenaline junkie and just HAD to know how it compared to Florida’s version. Now, had I never been on the one in Florida, I would probably have liked this ride more than I did. The video they show you ahead of time was cut WAY down, and, I get it, not everyone speaks English. During the video in Florida, you get that you are about to take your limo and cruise down the Los Angeles freeway. None of that was conveyed in the Paris video, so during the ride there aren’t any fun, lit-up Hollywood signs that, to me, make the ride in Florida so iconic. The ride itself was exactly the same, as was the fun Aerosmith music they played.
After the roller coaster, I was getting hungry for some dinner but did NOT want to miss the nighttime show, which is all Star Wars themed. We found a quick serve place and for €13 we each got a soda, chicken sandwich, salad, and a brownie for dessert. For the quality and how much we paid for both, my mother and I were very satisfied. We quickly finished our dinners and found a good spot to watch the Star Wars nighttime show. They project everything on the Hollywood Tower and I finished my first night in Disneyland Paris one happy girl.