OK the moment any one of my family members or most of my friends have been waiting for… The Disneyland Paris post (and photos)
On our last day I had originally planned to see more of the Loire and slowly make our way back to Paris… but we’d already seen all the chateaux we wanted to see and since our hotel for the night was by the airport… we didn’t really feel like going back into the city. So what to do?
I had been playing around with the idea of going for quite some time but wasn’t ready to commit until I knew we weren’t missing out on anything else I had planned but hadn’t time for. Since we stayed the night before in Amboise, we had about a 3 hour drive to Disney to start but we got there right around 12:30 and were ticketed and in by 1.
And what more could we ask for?! We got to visit during the 25 year anniversary celebration! (We also got to hit the original Disneyland for diamond days 60 years so I’d say we’re on a roll for anniversaries!)
So for those who don’t know, Disneyland Paris has 2 parks. Disneyland, and Hollywood Studios (like Florida). Since we only had like half a day, we opted to visit only 1 park (but were sad to miss out on the Tower of Terror and Rockin Rollercoaster in French) The access to the park is interesting as the parking lots are MUCH smaller, and there’s no trams! Instead there’s a central covered walkway with some of the moving walkways like at the airport! It got us there in no time.
We got fast passes for Space Mountain first thing and then noticed it has… a SINGLE RIDER line that was only a 10 minute wait… so our first ride was HYPERspace mountain and not together.. since we rode single rider. lol It was interesting how the line queue briefly goes through the building and then all of the loading/unloading happens outside. (DEF different) The ride is also SO MUCH BETTER than US Space Mountains since it doesn’t just go in figure 8’s. I’d say in coaster terms, it’s more similar to the Rockin’ Rollercoaster and even has a barrel roll.
*Also the Star Wars parts were cool, but given they were in French… We didn’t garner too much from them.
The exit puts you out right by the “Discover the Nautilus” which is under a fountain and had no wait. I figured it would be potentially like the Finding Nemo sub ride at Disneyland Cali, but turns out.. not a ride at all! Just a fun walk through attraction. It was dark, creepy, and did have some cool interactive things for kids.
This is the “Discovery Land” which somewhat equates to Tomorrow land except if has a super cool steam punk vibe to it! See the giant blimp coming out of the building on the right?
and just check out the outside of the Space Mountain!
After our first ride and the Nautilus, we headed into the Blimp building for some grub. (considering we’d had next to nothing for breakfast and no lunch yet… we were in need of sustenance) I got a burger meal that was DELISH. Braden got a chicken sandwich…. options here were pretty standard American fare it seemed.
Then we headed over to Adventure Land for some Indiana Jones action… couldn’t pass on a castle selfie though as we headed over
Or getting a legit better photo with the castle. lol
I didn’t get a photo of the Indiana Jones ride because it was a LET DOWN. The line queue took forever and wasn’t all that interesting. The ride itself is a small outdoor coaster that I probably still have whip lash from. TERRIBLE coaster. Needless to say, we had no desire to ride again.
Then we headed to the more successful “Phantom Manor” which is probably 30% similar to the Haunted Mansion. Similar line queue and entrance (however different portraits in the “stretching room”) and a few similar scenes.. but apart from that, a different story all together and no Ghost Host walking you through. Different music as well, and actually pretty CREEPY at times. I’d say this one was a bit scarier too.
Then we went BACK to use our fast passes for Space Mountain and ride it together. haha Braden looks so unhappy in this photo but I swear he was having a good time!
Stopping for a photo op with Wall-E and Eva in Discovery land.
Next we inadvertently watched some of the parade. haha We were trying to get back through Fantasy Land to Pirates and were following a decent path through the crowd, when it legit just ENDED. like there was no where to go and people who had also been following the path kept trying to squeeze past and I was like “where though?” so we all ended up crammed together and it was stupid… but hey we at least got to check out this cool Maleficent. (again notice the Steampunkness!)
Cinderella and Prince Charming in the parade
Finally we made it to pirates! Which again was about 30% similar to what we have in the US.. they just moved the familiar scenes around like the classic “jail” scene is right at the beginning. You also get pretty wet on the drops on this ride… the people next to us weren’t feeling the “get wet” part of the ride haha
Again a fun walk through and explore area of the park. There were pretty extensive pirate caves to explore. Braden liked this throne in one part of it.
A pic in front of the cave area (the Skull rock which you can actually go up in) and the pirate ship which allows people on at certain times.)
No Mr. Toad’s wild ride here, but they did give him his credit with a restaurant in Fantasy Land!
And because it had a short line, we did the little Fantasy land boat ride. It was actually awesome as they had some different movies they included for sure. Recognize the one above? 😉
Fantasia?! Awesome that they included this!
And instead of a whale, we get swallowed up in the Cave of Wonders!
Little town… It’s a quiet village
And finally…. they had the Emerald city from the Wizard of Oz! How cool is that!
And you know I also dragged Braden on my all time favorite ride: It’s a Small World
The fun UK spot
Love this ride
The America tribute
And finally, we were able to ride the capstone of the day: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.
It was mostly the same, and anything that was different was BETTER. Smoother ride while still being “wild” the seats had slight divider so you didn’t smash into eachother, it was FASTER, had more drops IN THE DARK, and overall felt a bit SCARIER. We LOVED it! But alas… the line was always horrendous and no single rider line here.
TIP: If you visit, get your FASTPASS for this ride
Back over to Pirates for one last ride.
We also hit up the Phantom Manor another time before grabbing dinner. This time we ate at a Lion King restaurant that was pretty good. The meal deals were pretty impressive at all of the quick dining spots. For like $13-$15 a meal you got a main entree, a drink, and a dessert. All in all pretty filling and satisfying for not running up an outrageous bill.
*The Sit down restaurants were OUTRAGEOUSly expensive… like our disney ticket was cheaper than eating there
*A lot of the quick dining spots closed at 7… which we missed by like 20 minutes. So scout a good spot before then. We tried 2-3 dining spots before finding one that stayed open later.
It’s A small World lit up at night all pretty
We closed out our Disney day by riding Space Mountain another 3-4 times in a row. For some reason Big Thunder remained long, but the line over here was 10-15 min for standby and got shorter the later it got!
We left about 10 minutes before the park closed (and the show started) trying to beat the throng of people… But we were in for another surprise. I’m not going to go to in deets here, but for SOME STUPID REASON, they close off the straight shot exit to the parking lot. “For security reasons” and direct you through the small Downtown Disney shopping area where there is an available exit. HOWEVER when we walked by, it was dark and closed off so we weren’t sure that was it and kept going… only to wind up terribly lost in the vast complex of Disney resorts. (one of which was Wild West themed and seemed to go on forever) Long story short, 1 hour later with VERY sore feat, many tears and curse words shed, we found our way BACK to the downtown disney and joined the giant THRONG of people then exiting out the NORMAL entrance/exit. SO DUMB. If we’d known they would re-open it in 10 min when the park closed we would’ve just waited. All they said was it’s closed, and go through the shops turning left at a cafe. UGH Sort of ruined the day at the time as we got to our hotel at close to 1 AM… but we laugh about it now… for the most part.
Our smiling happy faces as we left before we went on a wild goose chase for the exit.
Final Day, Day 9 costs:
Rental car: $34
Hotel with parking by the airport: $35
Breakfast: 3 euros for croissants
Lunch: 28.50 for 2 meals
Dinner: again 28.50 for 2 meals
Disneyland tickets for 1 day: 75 euros pp *
Parking at Disneyland: 20 euros
Day 9 total costs: $300 for 2 people
*One of the reasons we thought of going was we saw a billboard for Adults get in at child prices.. which would’ve been $10 off…. however you had to buy online at least 1 day before… which means we couldn’t take advantage of the deal.. UGH so tip here, if you know you’re going at least the day before, buy your tickets online.