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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Trip Report: Disneyland Paris [Day 1]

We slept in after our fun night at Moulin Rouge. Abby and Alex weren't leaving until the next morning, but my Disney trip began today. So we went to the metro station together, and after much trial and error, finally learned how to enter our own destination in the kiosks for an out of town RER ticket. The RER was about a 40 minute journey from where I got on at Charles de Gaulle Etoile.

Disney has its own train station - Marne la Vallee. After arriving there, I followed signs to take the bus to Sequoia Lodge. I must have just missed the previous bus because it was about a 15 minute wait in the cold until it came. I checked in and was relieved to learn that the CMs spoke very good English. My room wasn't ready yet, so I left my bags at the hotel and headed to the park.

But first I got a little lost in the resort...

Disneyland Paris Sequoia Lodge

It feels a lot like the Wilderness Lodge.... but with snow!

Disneyland Paris Sequoia Lodge

I finally emerged by the lake which is across from Disney Village.

Disneyland Paris Disney Village

Disneyland Paris Disney Village

The Sequoia Lodge was sandwiched between the Newport Bay Resort -

Newport Bay Resort

And Hotel New York which even has an ice rink in Rockefeller Plaza (that's really a roller rink)!

Disneyland Paris Hotel New York

Disneyland Paris Cafe Mickey

I would be eating dinner that night at Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show.

Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show

I decided to go to Disneyland first. It just seemed right.

I looooveeee the Disneyland Hotel and hope to say here some day!

Disneyland Hotel

Disneyland Paris Admission

Disneyland Paris 20th Anniversary

Disneyland Paris Main Street USA

First thing I noticed - scale. The buildings seemed so short in comparison to the width of the street.

Disneyland Paris Main Street

10 minute wait for Space Mountain? Heck yeah!

Disneyland Paris Wait Times

Discoveryland has a Jules Verne theme, rather than a retro future Tomorrowland.

Disneyland Paris Discoveryland

Space Mountain Disneyland Paris

This coaster is much more intense than Space Mountain at WDW. It's not a cat and mouse in the dark, but it shoots you up a tunnel and goes up and down. I liked it, but it was a little bit of a head banger for me. I am at an unfortunate height where when I sit down, the shoulder rests hit me right at the temples if the coaster makes me move side to side really fast. I try my hardest to hold my head back really far, but that kind of takes away from the fun of the coaster.

After Space Mountain, I circled into Fantasyland and decided to ride it's a small world.

it's a small world

Obviously, the translations for this ride were not difficult.

it's a small world

it's a small world

it's a small world

it's a small world

After it's a small world, I circled into Adventureland... I think. I was kind of lost for a little bit.

Big Thunder Mountain

Molly Brown Riverboat

I have to tell you this interesting story about using the bathroom in Frontierland. When I came out of the bathroom and finished washing my hands, a man came into the ladies' room with his family. At first I didn't notice, then I was like, "Woah- this is the ladies' room" (in my head, not to him). I thought that it might have been a mistake... maybe he didn't realize that he had taken a wrong turn. But no. He stood in line with the women to use the bathroom and no one said anything to him that I could see. I really wanted to take a picture to show you guys, but decided that would be way too obvious and inappropriate.

I decided I had time to ride Phantom Manor, though it was a bit of a wait. The stretching room was in French, and I thought that the walls stretched too fast, ruining the effect. Instead of all stretching at once, the bottom half stretched first, revealing the bottom of the photos, then both walls stretched up.

Another difference is the graveyard scene - instead of happy haunts, it's like skeletons and corpses. They also used the bride more consistently throughout the entire attraction, though since it was all in French, I have no idea if they actually explained the story.

Judging by the cries of the children, I would say that DLP's Phantom Manor is much more frightening and less silly than the Haunted Mansion at WDW.

See, it's a skeleton -

Phantom Manor

Phantom Manor

Big Thunder Mountain

My room was ready! I was glad to be located in the main building. I was also surprised and happy to have a king bed.

Sequoia Lodge King Room

Sequoia Lodge King Room

Sequoia Lodge King Room

Sequoia Lodge Bathroom

While I'm showing you the bathroom, something important to note is that European hotels do not typically provide washcloths. I have no idea how Europeans wash themselves... perhaps they just rub the soap bar over themselves. However, I need a good exfoliation, so I bring my pink little scrubbie with me when I travel.

Sequoia Lodge King Room

I had a balcony! The rooms that overlook the lake do not have balconies. Unfortunately, it was too cold to ever get to sit outside and enjoy it.

Sequoia Lodge Balcony

Sequoia Lodge Balcony

Sequoia Lodge Room View

The hair dryer was actually pretty good, except you had to hold down the button.

Sequoia Lodge Hairdryer

Sequoia Lodge Bathroom

Hunter's Grill Sequoia Lodge

I then decided to head to Disney Village for some shopping before dinner at Buffalo Bill's Wild West.

The view of Sequoia Lodge from the lake isn't the most beautiful. The scale of the lodge is fitting, but the rear facade is bland.

Sequoia Lodge

There's this covered area here, as if they could run a boat to Disney Village - not like it's really necessary, as it's a short walk. Perhaps they have had a boat in the past, or maybe just run one in the summer.

Sequoia Lodge

Disney Village

Hotel New York

I was fascinated with the men's underwear. So many different designs, and so.... European!

Disneyland Paris Men's Underwear

Now I could have bought out this shop...

Disney Fashion

Disney Fashion Paris

Disneyland Paris Dooney and Bourke

I really wanted a Mickey Eiffel Tower souvenir, but couldn't think of how to transport it back home without breaking it. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately), flying back really limited my souvenir purchases.

Mickey Eiffel Tower

I headed over to Buffalo Bill's about half an hour before the show.

Buffalo Bill's Wild West

Buffalo Bill's Wild West Dinner Show Menu

After I had been assigned a section, I was given a cowboy hat, and the band color was my team. I really wanted the yellow band because that's my favorite color, but I got red. I suppose that's more western...

Buffalo Bill's Wild West Dinner Show

The waiting area was pretty packed. There was a band playing country tunes, and the characters would come out to dance.

I took a photo of this man getting his photo taken with Goofy... awkward.

Buffalo Bill's Wild West Dinner Show

Seating was a complicated process because there were so many people packed together. They'd call our hat band colors, and we'd all move. I think I missed the initial red call, but I eventually caught up. I also kept confusing people since I was a party of 1.

Buffalo Bill's Wild West Dinner Show

Buffalo Bill's Wild West Dinner Show

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