Though Zoe and I had already visited Disneyland Studios, we had still missed the best part of Disneyland Paris – Disneyland Park.
Disneyland Park, the larger of the two parks, is essentially divided into five sections: Main Street U.S.A., Adventureland, Fantasyland, Frontierland and Discoveryland.
Main Street U.S.A.
The main drag of Main Street U.S.A. really did look like an early 20th century street, with little ice cream parlors and novelty shops. And visiting Disneyland in December meant the park abounded with garlands, ribbons, high-pitched Christmas music and two-story Christmas trees.
I felt like a kid again when we first glimpsed the princess tower; apparently no matter how old I get I will always adore Disney parks of any kind.
The interior of Sleeping Beauty’s castle was just as striking as the outside. In fact Zoe, the 13-year old girl I take care of, and I discussed how cool it would be to move in and be princesses.
What? You don’t pretend to own castles?
Post-castle, we headed straight to Adventureland, which looks a bit like the set of Indiana Jones.
Our first ride in Adventureland was Pirates of the Caribbean. The ride consisted of sitting in a boat while bawdy pirate dummies gesticulated awkwardly on the shoreline. All I could think to myself was, Could someone just please put this poor ride out of its misery?
Okay, is it just more or is this French version of Jack Sparrow quite dashing?
Next stop, Fantasyland! Fantasyland seemed to draw a lot of inspiration from Alice in Wonderland. It was too adorable!
While in Fantasyland we spotted the 20th anniversary parade, in which floats of all our favorite Disney movies came sailing by. As Disneyland Paris was founded in 1992, the park was celebrating its 20th anniversary.
There was Toy Story…
Mickey Mouse, accompanied by lots of pretty princesses…
and to my delight, the Lion King, which is my favorite Disney movie of. all. time.
Next we headed to the wild west, also known as Frontierland.
I got a kick out of this old-fashioned steamship named Molly Brown. Remember that loud, brash woman who gave Leo a suit in Titantic? (hint- she was played by Kathy Bates.) After she survived the Titantic sinking she was nicknamed, “The Unsinkable Molly Brown,” Which I assume is where this steamship gets its name.
Unfortunately, no cowboys were spotted. Or rides.
And I’m sorry to say I have no photos of Discoveryland, the space-age section of the park where Space Mountain resides, which some would say is the best ride in the park. (I wouldn’t say that considering Zoe insisted we ride it three times and I was experience jolting pain in my neck and shoulders for the rest of the day- apparently you can be too old for Disneyland!)
And as we were leaving the park, we noticed some commotion on Main Street…
Everyone was huddled up waiting for something but after 1o hours of Disney fun I was ready to go. Unfortunately I later realized found out that I had missed a 20th anniversary show that David Lebovitz described as, “spectacular.” Merde.
So here’s my advice for Eurodisney; absolutely DO NOT GO if you have been or are ever planning to go to California’s Disneyland or Florida’s Disneyworld. It’s quite small in comparison to the American Disney parks and is also grayer, rainier and just a little less happy.
Have you ever been to Disneyworld, Eurodisney or Disneyland? How did you find it?