“That’s the real trouble with the world, too many people grow up.”

Last weekend MD, NM and I hopped the English Channel and explored Disneyland Paris. We took a bus from central London to Dover where we caught a ferry across to Dunkirk. We got to the ferry around 2 AM, and the ferry takes 2 hours. The ferry experience was bizarre – people were sleeping all over the passenger lounges, a bit like the scene in Sleeping Beauty where the fairies put everyone to sleep all at once. Then we rode the remaining 4+ hours to Disney, arriving before the park opened.

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This was about all I saw of Dunkirk
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Mickey!

Disneyland Paris has two parks: the more traditional Disneyland Parc and Walt Disney Studios. We had park hopper tickets, so we started at the Studios in the hopes of riding more before the crowds got intense. That hope was futile, but we had fun all the same.

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This is the French Tower of Terror. There is no false advertising here. It was terrifying.
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These are International Relations Mickey and Minnie. They have US, French and British flags under the banner of the Disney corporation.

The Studios seemed more focused to teen guests. They have bigger rides – Hollywood Tower Hotel (the French Tower of Terror), Rock n Rollercoaster – and special effects shows. There were a few kiddo areas: Toy Story, Ratatouille, Cars and Toon Town. We didn’t see very many characters wandering around though. We rode all of the major rides in this park, and a good time was had by all.

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Buzz Lightyear stands sentry at the entrance to the Toy Story section
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Slinky Dog has his own ride
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The decor in the Toy Story section was particularly clever – all designed around giant versions of famous toys
The Paratrooper Drop
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Ratatouille plays big here.
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This is the Ratatouille section – there’s a 3D ride in there that takes you through Remy’s kitchen.

Many things at Disneyland Paris are in French, but not everything.   We were “Bienvenued” everywhere, and most characters/statues spoke in English and French, but the voices were not really the same. When we heard Buzz Lightyear say, “To infinity and beyond” in French, we burst into giggles. It should also be noted that when you’re afraid of heights and riding a rollercoaster, hearing your safety insructions in French is not reassuring.

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This image is everywhere in the parks – The Eiffel Tower and Sleeping Beauty’s Castle
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An homage to Singin in the Rain

I never ride rollercoasters, given my basically crippling fear of heights. But I decided to give it a try this time. Overall it was a positive experience. But honestly having a French child watch me dubiously as I screamed my head off and shrug in a Gallic fashion as if to say, “get it together, lady” was a highlight of the adventure for me.

Check back tomorrow for pictures from Disneyland Parc.

Title quote: Walt Disney

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