Crumpets Cross the Channel (again): Disneyland Paris

17 Sep

Bear with me.  It’s not an England post; it’s not whinging about school life; it’s not a new recipe (although that oat flour pancake recipe is turning out to be pretty popular); it’s not even a useful review of visiting Disneyland Paris — BUT — we did visit Disney Paris, our first family trip to any of the Disney parks, on the final long weekend of the summer before the start of school.  And we had a great time.  If you don’t want to be cornered into checking out a few photos from my wallet (so to speak), bail out now.  Maybe check out that Cotswold Drive post again, and wait for the next post coming up (in the works: National Trust’s Croome Court).  Still here?  Okay, here we go:

We’ve been on the Chunnel train so many times, it is almost boring.  HA!  Not boring!  I LOVE IT.

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This trip, instead of the bocage or beautiful Paris, we entered the heady alternate universe of Disneyland Paris.IMG_0091e

I don’t remember Paris looking quite like that, but … ooooookaaaaay.

As I mentioned, this was our first visit to any of the Disney parks (insert astounded Brit commentary — “Never?  And you’re American?”).  The park does not disappoint, with non-stop photo-ops.

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Walt Disney Studios, adjacent to Disneyland Paris, has a truly disconcerting American-esque look.  If I had not had a lovely frenchwoman pass me croissants and baguettes with Nutella for my petit-dej that morning, I might have wondered in what country I had landed.
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We stayed at one of the Disney hotels — the Davy Crockett Ranch.  Recommended for families greater than four, especially ones who have decided that all of the American West looks like a scene from Bonanza or Seven Brides for Seven BrothersIMG_0150e

There was a bar-b-que on the night we arrived.  Pony rides past those big green doors in the background.  Pluto and Robin Hood stopped by. There’s a massive pool with a multi-story slide.  It was awesome.IMG_0022e

The cabins are — again weirdly — very similar to cabins you might find in a National Park.  With room for six, two bathrooms, a decent kitchen and dining area plus an outdoor patio, it suited us just fine.20130901_125930

We navigated the meal plan options and found one that worked — but splurged one day for the ridiculous brunch buffet at “Inventions” in the Disneyland Hotel proper.  And met a dozen more Disney characters.  I may have cried when I met Minnie Mouse.  (Okay, fine, I did cry.)IMG_0366e

One of the many food options inside the park.  This one … just … was absurd.  We did not eat here.  But I’m sure it was “So very British!”20130901_203839

As the park drifted into twilight and then evening, the lights turned the whole scene into something even more magical.IMG_0190e

The Mad Hatter may have been our favorite ride — at night I loved it even more.IMG_0179e

The Dumbo ride felt surreal — especially after waiting in line for over an hour.IMG_0249e

One advantage of staying in a Disney hotel is getting in to the park two hours before regular opening.  Even that early, the park doesn’t feel empty.IMG_0301e

You can see the floats as they dance out of their hiding places for the morning parade.IMG_0266e

Or wait FIVE MINUTES to get on Space Mountain.  The whole of that five minutes was the time I spent walking from this signpost to the ride.  No line.  No line at all.IMG_0304e

Tigger.  My old nemesis.  I have a photo of myself as a very young child, in my only other visit to Disney, being terrified of the mid 1970s incarnation of this larger-than-life stuffed tiger.  He haunted my dreams.  You no longer have the power to destroy me, Tigger.  But, ummmmm, let’s keep walking.  Before he gets too close.IMG_0369e

Oh, are you looking at me, Jack?  Over here, just a little to the right.IMG_0374eI have a place we could go.  Second star to the right and straight on ’til morning. 

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2 Responses to “Crumpets Cross the Channel (again): Disneyland Paris”

  1. aubreyepp September 18, 2013 at 8:17 am #

    These Americans have never been to Disney either! Some day my prince will come, but probably not until we live in the US of Awesome once more. By that point we will long for Toad Hall Restaurant and all things “so very British.” 🙂

    • Monique September 23, 2013 at 1:44 pm #

      We had so much fun! One day we’ll finally see our native Disneys, as well…

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