Disneyland Paris – Day 1

Today was the big day we’ve been waiting (a whole 2 weeks) for – Disneyland Paris!! For those not in the know, we booked this trip just under 2 weeks ago on the spur of the moment. Josh had a long weekend available and Aidan is off of school for Semana Santa (Holy Week aka April vacation) and so off we go to Paris!! Or a suburb thereof…

Our flight was uneventful – thankfully the worst thing that happened was that apparently you need to let EasyJet know ahead of time how many bags you intend to bring with you. And if you would like to bring bags, you must go to a separate counter to pay for those, then go back to your original check in counter with proof that you have paid. Why they can’t just do everything at one counter here in Spain is beyond me – it seems the thing to do – go from this counter to this counter and then back to this counter. We did the same thing with our NIE numbers if you recall (though we actually had to do this again upon our return so apparently France is of the same mindset).

Every airport should have a playground inside – what a great idea!!!  Josh and the kids watch as they prepare our plane.

Anyways, I’ve gotten off track. The flight was uneventful and thankfully short – less than 2 hrs from Barcelona. Not too bad! The Disney Paris website was not so great and I found the information on it regarding transportation to be a bit on the vague side which meant that we were kind of winging how we were actually going to make it to DisneyParis.  On the way to searching for the Disney shuttle we needed to get the kids something to eat, so where did we go?  To everyone’s favorite American restaurant – McDonalds!!  I swear to you we have eaten McDonalds more in the 3 months we have lived in Europe than we have consumed in over 10 years!!  And yet, I find it more appealing here for some reason than I did at home.  It doesn’t taste any different – I think it’s just the “American-ness” of it if you can call it that.

We finally found a DisneyLand shuttle that we thought was supposed to cost us money but in fact was free… turns out that was the free shuttle to take us to the one that actually did cost money. Of course…how could I expect something Disney to be free??? Sorry to my Disney obsessed fans that I know are out there (specifically Lisa and Sue) but you know that Disney sucks every last dime out of you possible.

I say this as I write this in MS Word because I don’t have wireless in my room that I paid an insane amount of money for and if I would like access to the internet, I have to go up to the main floor of the hotel (which is the only part of the hotel with wireless) and I then have to go buy a card to use it. That doesn’t really do me any good since my two kids are in our room sleeping and therefore means that I need to be in our room.

Our first day didn’t amount to much which is fine – low key with 2 small kids works for us. We made it to the hotel unscathed and the kids seemed to like our room. It was raining out so we did a little exploring in the hotel and went to the really really nice indoor pool. This may not be Coco Cay in Danvers with it’s huge indoor slides but I have to say for a hotel pool, it’s the best indoor one I’ve seen. It had a good sized water slide, a hot tub, hamman baths (which I didn’t get to try) and a sauna. No spa (they had that at my original hotel that we had to change from though!! Josh!!!) but really I wasn’t going to have time to spa anyways right? The kids had a blast in the indoor pool and didn’t really want to leave but we had made dinner reservations in the hotel for 6:30.

Lots of fun in the pool!!

Now I’m not trying to be Ms Negative here so please note that I know we are going to have an awesome time and in fact we are having an awesome time – but there are just certain expectations I have when I shell out a lot of money. And one of them is good food. We shelled out close to 100 euros for a buffet – yes, you read that right. And it was crappy. I hate wasted money. But I also know from my previous Disney experiences that most of the restaurants are crappy. There are definitely exceptions to the rule and I have had some nice meals in Disney before but I’ve also had more not so good ones than good ones – at least as far as the bang for the buck goes. The buffet wasn’t bad, but was it 100 euros good? No way!

We don’t buffett very often and so this was Aidan’s first recollection of doing one.  He was completely and totally enthralled.  Every day and every meal he asked us if he was going to go to the place where he could make his own meal.  He ate a ton of shrimp and bread, apparently two of his favorite things this week.  Never have I seen someone so excited for a buffett!

Left:  Boys hanging out in the hotel watching tv.  Right:  At the DisneyVillage
More of DisneyVillage – on the right has got to the be largest Disney Store I have ever seen!
Does this really need an explanation?
Like father, like son… and the Force is with you my friend…

After dinner we figured we would take a schmooze over to the Disneyland just for a stroll. We wanted to get a lay of the land though most of it looks to be very similar to DisneyWorld in Florida – not just the rides but the layout too (at least according to the website). They do have a place called Disney Village just outside the entrance to the park. It was very nice with lots of shops and restaurants. At first we thought it was part of the park, like Main Street USA (which they also have here) but then we realized that this was the part between the hotels on property and the actual park. When we made it as far as the park we saw tons of people coming out and no one going in – turns out they close at 8 which was rather surprising to me. For some reason I expected them to be open til closer to 10. If I could get on the internet right now I’d double check that but alas, no wireless.

So since we really didn’t want to waste time going into the park and not be able to accomplish much we just strolled thru the stores (of course making some purchases). Josh’s favorite had all the Star Wars stuff. Liam, Buzz Lightyear and Aidan, Lilo & Stitch and Star Wars. They had these little action figure guys that were take offs on Disney characters and Star Wars – so Mickey Mouse as Anakin Skywalker, Goofy as Darth Vader, Stitch as Emperor Palpatine, etc etc. Josh also like the hats as you can see from the pictures.

Day 1 ended well – we may not have accomplished much but given the state of the kids last weekend on our travels I’m feeling pretty good about this weekend. Their moods overall have been good and they are excited to go the park on Saturday.

Julie

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