When my employers offered to let me take Zoe, their youngest daughter, to Eurodisney for the day, I jumped at the chance. Because… Disneyland!
I, like most small Midwestern children, visited Disneyworld in the 90's and had the time of my life. My little brother and I carried around little blue books soliciting signatures from Disney characters, and my mom slathered sunscreen all over our sun-deprived, Midwestern skin to protect us from the searing Floridian sun.
But as you might have guessed, this visit to Disneyland was a bit different. First of all, it is no longer 1998 (which is quite unfortunate, may I add). And secondly, the Parisian sun is never searing. The weather, per usual, was overcast, drizzly and more than a little depressing.
Upon entering the park, we immediately spotted Mickey, who was actually being chased by small children. As in, he seemed to be running away.
Does anyone else remember running around the theme park asking the poor people dressed up as cartoons for autographs? Now that I'm an adult and have worked as a cater-waiter, I really, really feel for them.
We ran into some other familiar faces… or should I say, 101 of them.
The benefit of visiting Disneyland in December was that the ride lines were only two or three minutes long. I also noticed that despite featuring my favorite movies, such as The Lion King or Aladdin, most of the rides incorporated characters from Disney's Pixar days like Monsters Inc. and Finding Nemo.
At right- a jellyfish warning from Finding Nemo. Which I have to admit- was a really good movie.
Our first ride ended up being the best ride of the day; the Tower of Terror.
Despite the hotel being haunted, the lobby was actually quite inviting.
Once they strapped us into the elevator compartment, we were dropped eight stomach-turning stories and then shot right back up the shaft. And in flagrant disregard of the no camera policy, I hastily snapped a picture when the elevator doors opened- because even the views are magical at Disneyland.
The best ride ever was followed by the worst ride ever. We waited for 40 minutes in the company of screaming toddlers in order to ride a bouncy ride that lasted about 90 seconds.
I kind of felt like the oldest child or the youngest adult at the park- just check out the amount of strollers!
After exiting Walt Disney Studios we thought we had seen the whole park. But little did we know, we had a whole other park worth of childhood memories left to be explored.
To be continued…