Where would the happiest place on earth be?
Some say it is where the heart is. Others might consider it being with their loved ones. For children however, one of the happiest if not the happiest places to be is at : Disneyland!
They (Disney) sure know how to nab them while they are young. And keep them amply supplied with a continuous dose of happiness that may even persist into adulthood. Is that a life-long addiction or what? Chronic, that’s what it is.
When living in Amsterdam, we were within such a distance from Euro Disney that it was without a doubt the thing to check off the bucket list. Not that we’ve not been before (see our Disneyworld adventures here). Somehow it will be different. We feel it, we know it! For one thing, most if not all the announcement will be in French. Perhaps that has changed now, but back in the day it surely was not.
A little girl enters Disney
The French Castle is the best looking one we have seen out of the three that we have visited so far, unlike the one in Orlando that was covered up like a cake. That was for the 25th anniversary when we visited in 1997. Ooh, was it THAT long ago?
Coming in the summer means crowding with the school children. We forgot that the French begin their holidays just before Bastille day (14th July), considered to be their national day. This Disneyland, like its counterparts elsewhere, is divided into a number of “lands” just like the one in Orlando and Tokyo.
There are numerous rides, which we also took a few. But the queues were long…so fastpass works well if you want to pay a little more. You know the one thing about taking the rides is that you seldom if ever get the opportunity to take photos of it…LOL. Unless you want to fall off.
Then there was the many Disney characters walking around. It’s rather hilarious to see the children and some adults chasing after these characters and their minders (oops guilty as charged). And it was definitely not easy to compete with the children to get a picture!
The Disney parade was a little shorter than the one in Orlando and Tokyo but no less entertaining. We have to hand it to some parents who had dressed up their daughters in the likeness of their favorite princess. And it was elaborate costumes too we might add! We stayed for the night parade and as usual it was good as expected of Disney. The floats were beautifully lighted up though our pictures does not do it sufficient justice. It was the age of the film camera!
All-in while the announcement and narratives were definitely in French, it was still an enjoyable experience. A full day would probably not be enough, if one were to really do all the rides at a reasonable pace. Besides there is now a Studios park, which was only about to open when we visited in the summer of 2002. Oops, was it THAT long ago too? So how would you arrange to be in Disneyland. Well, they have a good way of
Making your stay wonderful
The hotels of Disneyland Paris had been built to accommodate both families and business people.
At the one we stayed there are 4-5 conference rooms of various sizes and a large theatre as well. In the Disney hotels, characters from Walt Disney are scheduled to visit at pre-arranged times: 9am, 4pm and 7pm at Hotel New York and perhaps different ones at each of the other hotels.
Each time the character(s) come to the hotel foyer, it would be accompanied by a song and dance – of course it was directed at the children. Even adults can have some fun as well!
As you probably guessed, we stayed at the Hotel New York that was built in the style of the 1920s. It is located next to the Disney village, actually just a 5-minute walk away. In the winter that we were there, they had set up a skating rink in front of the hotel. Many guests had rented skates to practice there. LOL. Well we chicken littles did not do any skating…perhaps you might?
Being a 5-minute walk, the Disney village is filled with restaurants and shops. From there, it’s an equally short distance to the main gate of the Park. It is still late winter and although it had not snowed, the temperatures were freezing cold and we were all wrapped up while walking in the open. So this time we did not visit the park (it was February of 2005).
Now it is not that you need to stay in the Disney hotels. To find budget accommodation, it would be necessary to book hotels that are around the “Disney radius”. There are more affordable hotels under the Accor brands: ie Novotel and Ibis. Sign posting allow for an easy drive to Disney. So alternatives do exist!
If you look carefully at the map of Paris, you will note that Disneyland is located in an area called Marne la Vallee. How can any major theme park not be complemented by yet more shopping for the adults? This premium outlet mall houses a host of designer boutiques and restaurants. And in the summer sales, there were offers that no women can resist! Well, many a time we have returned not for the happiest place on earth, but the happiest place for Suan.
Bring your kids to Disneyland. Or if YOU are the kid, then bring yourself! But remember to steer clear of La Marne Vallee. Because your wallet might thank you for it!
We were in the happiest place on earth in July 2002 and February 2005