Sorry I am a few days behind on my blog but visiting Disneyland Paris didn't leave much time for writing. You can also check out more of my photos on my facebook albums
Our Avalon package officially ended and we checked out of the Paris Marriott. Most people were headed home and I have to admit after 10 days of an Active vacation I think they might have the right idea but there is no way I could go to Paris and not visit Disneyland Paris. Adding on a visit to the parks was one of other main reasons I chose this itinerary. I looked up the different transportation options but the train is by far the cheapest and seemed like it would be very easy. We rolled our luggage about 2 blocks from our hotel to the main station where we easily bought our ticket (7 euro each) that would take us right to Disney Village. There were 15 stops along the way but the nice thing is Disneyland Paris is very last stop so you can't miss your stop. When they say the train stops right at Disney Village they really do mean it. You could walk just a few steps and be headed into one of the parks. Right now though we are headed to our Disney Hotel.
There are 7 hotels that are considered Disney property. One of which, the Hotel New York is under a complete refurbishment to made made over to be the Art of Marvel Hotel due to open June 2020. From the looks of things I think it will be pretty amazing when it is finished and also the second closest to the parks. The closest to the parks is the Disneyland Hotel, which you cannot get any closer since it is technically inside the Disneyland Paris gates and looks right up Main Street. That wasn't quite in my budget this time though so we chose the Newport Bay Club (if you have been to Disney World it is pretty much a copy of the Yacht Club resort except painted yellow outside). Newport Bay would be considered a Deluxe resort like the Yacht Club and you can easily walk to the parks or if you preferred take the Disney bus. We planned to use that bus that runs from Disney Village to the resorts when we came out of the train station. I admit we had a pretty laughable experience trying to find our bus because in typical French style the directions were not very clear. After a bit of wrong choices we found our bus and were on the way to the resort. We were surprised to find when getting off the bus our luggage needed to be put through security before we could go into the hotel. Check in was like any Disney resort and as we were too early for our room to be ready we stowed our bags with bell services and headed over to the parks. In case you are wondering the other 4 resorts are - Sequoia Lodge (think Wilderness Lodge in FL), Hotel Santa Fe and Hotel Cheyenne (these are a bit further of a walk and might be considered a Value to Moderate type resort), lastly is Davy Crockett Ranch (think cabins at Fort Wilderness in WDW).
There are 2 parks to choose from Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney Studios Park. As the name suggests Disneyland Paris is a pretty close copy of Disneyland in CA. The castle is Sleeping Beauty's and I did like it much better than CA as they put a lot more detail into it, including a dragon that lives under the castle that you can visit. For the most part the attractions here are almost the same as we have in CA and FL. One exception was Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril. This is an outdoor roller coaster and personally I didn't like it mainly because it is a rough ride where my head bounced around in the safety harness too much. Luckily we didn't have to wait to ride it so that helped. We also pretty much walked onto Hyperspace Mountain (like Disneyland has done they overlayed the original Space Mountain with a Star Wars theme). This turned out to be my favorite. Outside of Space Mountain there is a Nautilus from 20,000 leagues under the sea in the water but it is just a walk though attraction not a ride. We did a lot of walking as Disneyland Paris has a lot more dead ends and walk through type attractions like Adventure Isle (think Tom Sawyer that you don't need to take a raft to get to). There is also Alice's Curious Labyrinth, which as you would guess is a hedge maze. I admit it was really hard for me to feel like I needed to use the park map since I am so used to knowing where everything is in a Disney park. Frontierland was the most crowded and we guessed that this is what most Europeans must think America is all about. Big Thunder had the longest line so we skipped that for now. Disneyland Paris does still have the old school fastpass where you have to go to the attraction and put your ticket in to get a fastpass return time ticket. Phantom Manor(aka Haunted mansion) just came out of a refurbishment and looked great. I think it is my favorite of the 3 Haunter Mansions I have done (although I do really like the Nightmare Before Christmas version of Disneyland CA). The night ends with a showing of Fantasmic which is very similar to CA.
By staying in a Disney resort we do get to take advantage of an extra hour in the park each morning. Since Walt Disney Studios has a lot of rides we do not have here in FL we knew we wanted to make sure and hit that with the early hour. Walt Disney Studios is broken into 4 sections - Front Lot, Backlot, Production Courtyard, and Toon Studio. I already knew I wanted to head straight to Toon Studio for Crush's Coaster since this one doesn't offer fastpass and is a very popular one. While they let us line up they didn't let us into the attraction right away so we lost a bit of our early hour. However we found out later it was good that we rode it when we did because it seemed to be down a lot the rest of that day. It was worth the wait as it was a fun coaster ride where you got to feel what it might be like riding the EAC. I would love it if they brought this over to the US! Next stop was Ratatouille, which will be opening here in Epcot soon. This one is going to be very popular here as it is really a great ride for the whole family. You really get to feel like what it would be like to be a rat in the movie. Chez Remy is a sit down restaurant that looks totally adorable and I hope they bring that to Epcot as well even if we didn't eat there. After that we headed to the Toy Story section of Toon Studios. Sorry FL but I prefer the Paris version of Toy Storyland. We rode RC Racer, which looks the half circle from a matchbox car track and RC from Toy Story is riding it back and forth. Even though it is a quick ride with no surprises it is a lot of fun. We were heading to Toy Soldiers Parachute Drop but at that time it was stuck in the up position with guests on it so we decided maybe we didn't want to do that one. A couple attractions were closed for refurbishment in this section so we missed out on Slinky Dog Zigzag spin and then also Cars Quatre Rouse Rallye. Next up was Production Courtyard where we found the classic backlot tour - Studio Tram Tour Behind the Magic. Like we used to have here in FL you board the tram which takes you by some large movie props and cars before heading into Catastrophe Canyon. I do miss this even if it is a bit cheesy. There isn't a working Studio here so that part of the tram tour isn't here but there was another movie set replica we drove through before the end. Tower of Terror is also in this section so we grabbed fastpass for that to come back later. We walked over to the Backlot section where you can find all your favorite Marvel characters doing different shows throughout the day as part of the Marvel Summer of Super Heroes event. We watched a little and then headed to Rockin Rollar Coaster. it was pretty similar to what we have here in FL but without the limo theme and you are not riding through the CA streets. Honestly I am not really sure what the theme was supposed to be except that it was a roller coaster with music. This section also has another attraction that used to be here in FL but didn't last too long - Moteurs...Action (or as we called it Lights, Motors, Action). We headed back to Tower of Terror for our fastpass return time. Even though it was pretty much the same as here in FL the cast members here were excellent and really made the experience so much better than any other attraction. That was pretty much everything so as you can see even if all attractions where open you could most likely do this all in a day, especially with the early hour to help. I guess that is why this park closed at 7 pm each night while Disneyland stayed open until 11 pm each night we were here.
Our third day we would be heading over to the airport to stay the night since we have an early flight the next morning. We got up and hit the early morning in Disneyland Paris in order to catch all the things we missed he first day. Big Thunder was first on our list and so worth it! Also squeezed in another ride on Hyperspace Mountain before the Saturday crowds started rolling in and we felt like it was getting too packed. We grabbed some lunch and did some shopping in Disney Village (think Downtown Disney about 20 years ago). There are a few shops (a World of Disney of course) and some restaurants. There is a dinner show called Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show...with Mickey & Friends! I was told that being American we probably wouldn't be interested in it which I thought was a funny thing to say. There is another attraction that came over to FL from Paris and that is the big balloon you will find in Disney Springs. You will also find some Downtown Disney regulars like Rainforest Cafe and Earl or Sandwich along with Starbucks and McDonald's do you don't have to worry about finding some comfort food.
We were ready to say goodbye to Mickey and head over to the airport. It was super quick and easy as there is a non-stop high speed train from the Disney station right to the airport that took only about 10 minutes. I guess if we had a later flight we easily could have stayed in Disney and gone right to our flight pretty quickly and easily. Instead we were staying the night at an airport hotel and I am glad we did as the Paris airport is huge! Since we didn't fly into this airport it was our first time here and I can see why people are not a fan of having a connecting flight here. Even from our hotel it took 30 minutes to walk and take the airport shuttle system to get to our check in gate. The nice part of an early flight though was the airport was still pretty empty so check in and security went pretty quick. We then were on our plane to Atlanta before making our way back to home sweet home in Orlando! We really lucked out and ended up with an empty seat in our row of 3 so we got to spread out and get comfy for the 9 hours. I have to say I was really happy with the food Delta offered during this flight. Just give me warm cookies and a magnum ice cream bar on a plane any day and you will have a happy flier! Connecting in Atlanta wasn't bad and customs was unusually empty. Happily no summer storms to delay us so we made it home pretty quick. After 2 weeks of pretty much non stop action I was happy to be home sleeping in my own bed and not having to get up early (of course being still a bit on France time I was awake before sun up).
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