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  1. #31

    • i believe in faeries.
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    Re: Joe's summer trip to Disneyland Paris

    wonderful pictures!

  2. #32

    • Joe Flowers
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    Re: Joe's summer trip to Disneyland Paris

    We're in the middle of our last day at Disneyland Paris and have just finished riding Big Thunder Mountain. Who's hungry?

    We decide to do a quick snack for lunch at the cowboy corral. T and I split chicken fingers and fries while Ruston and Jacob each get chicken fingers and a salad.

    We like the high-chairs for kids here. Theresa suggested we get one like this made for our son when he comes in November.

    We’re close to the Disneyland Railroad, and that’s another thing on our agenda today. The Frontierland station is close by and fairly crowded.


    Waiting for the train back home at somewhere other than Main Street is always a gamble. You don't know how many people are going to get off, so it can take a while. It ends up taking until the 3rd train about 30 minutes later before we get to board.

    The seats in the cars here aren’t like any we’re used to. Instead of benches that are either facing the side of the train, or facing forward, each car has 4-5 U shaped benches. We’re put in a section with a family of 5 with a boy sprawled across a bench sleeping. We squeeze on as best we can.

    Luckily they get off at the next stop and we have the bench to ourselves. For future reference, the best place we saw to get on was the Fantasyland station. The entire station waiting made it on. The worst might be Main Street, which surprised us. Barely anyone got off there and the line to get on was huge.

    Remember what I said earlier about Ruston wanting to get after "it's a small world" with a toothbrush. This was just a little gross. There must be a whole ecosystem in the water here.

    They got to lay out on the benches when no one was sitting with us.

    We continue our journey and see Space Mountain in Discoveryland.


    Main Street station is next, which as I said above was very crowded.

    After Main Street Station we go through the classic Grand Canyon diorama. I had the completely wrong lens on my camera for it and everything came out blurry, so no photos of that. Afterwards we pass behind Phantom Manor and see a few hosts and hostesses waiting for us to pass.

    We pass behind the geysers behind the Rivers of the Far West and arrive back at the Frontierland station. We've done the full loop, but we figure we've seen quite a bit of Frontierland already, so we'll get off at the next stop in Fantasyland.

    Similar to how the Disneyland Railroad goes through Splash Mountain, this railroad goes through Pirates of the Caribbean.

    We can look down and see the treasure scene.

    Finally we reach the Fantasyland Station, or as we read it the Santasyland Station.

    First thing we're seeing in Fantasyland is Toad Hall.


    Except here in Paris, Toad Hall is a counter service restaurant instead of a ride.


    Next is a visit to a Sleeping Beauty castle that you can tour and walk the outside walls. Each of us got our photos on the outside.



    Inside they have some really beautiful stained glass windows.



    Click here to check out a 360 view of the inside of Sleeping Beauty's castle.

    Back outside on the castle walls, we look down over Fantasyland.

    There certainly aren't any efforts to hide any of the pyrotechnics for the show tonight.



    We don't really go on any of the dark rides in Fantasyland, but at the exit of Snow White, there is a pretty elaborately themed shop.

    Inside they've got the dwarf's cottage and everything.

    We then make our way to Phantom Manor. This has become one of Ruston’s favorite rides. There is a large group of loud kids right in front of us in line so we decide to hang back a little bit on the porch until they’ve got though.


    Welcome to Phantom Manor.



    We don't have too long before our dinner reservations at 6:30pm. We wander our way back through the park and take a seat at a table near the Liberty Arcade pathway behind Main Street.

    Ruston saw that Casey's Corner offered peanuts as a snack and was intrigued. For around 3 Euro Ruston was thinking he'd get a plate of fresh roasted peanuts. So what did he get for his $4.10? This tiny bag of peanuts a little bigger than what you might get on an airplane. It was a bit disappointing. Let's hope dinner is better.

    Earlier we made reservations to Walt’s, a fancy sit-down restaurant on Main street. It was for 6:30, but we show up at 6:10 and they’re able to accommodate us.

    Inside the place is classically decorated with elegant furnishings. The only thing out of place was the hostess who is wearing a pair of glow with the show ears. A little odd inside here but okay.

    I did not like seeing the ears on the bust of Walt at the base of the stairs. For trying to be such a fancy place, that really brought it down a peg for me.

    There. That's better.

    We walk up the staircase and pass a few tributes to Walt, like this Time magazine cover from 1954.

    Plus an small animatronic bird in a cage, similar to the one that inspired Walt to create audio-animatronics.

    We're seated in the Nautilus room.

    Our menu. It's a bit pricey, but we're hoping to be wowed.

    We get seated at our table and luckily have a great view of Main Street. I'm hoping we have a great view of the parade from here.

    I order the Menu Grand Classique which includes a starter, entree and dessert for 40.99 Euro ($56).
    I start with a plate of heirloom tomato slices (shocking I know), and mozzarella balls. I actually enjoyed the tomatoes, and T and Ruston who shared with me said they were tasty too. Guess I like tomatoes now.

    T and Jacob both get the starter and entree combo for 29.49 Euro ($40) and get a Caesar salad as their starter.

    I like the china here.

    We enjoy each others company and talk about our favorite things we've enjoyed during our visit to the park.


    At 7:15, the parade starts coming down Main Street. Our food arrives just as the parade reaches us, so of course we ignore the food and watch the parade. Flora, Fauna and Merryweather lead off Disney Magic on Parade!

    This parade was done so much better than the Disney studios parade. Actual floats that were pretty elaborate and lots of characters. The ones up high even made it a point to look up at us and wave.

    I got a kiss blown to me from the Blue Fairy.















    Everyone was enjoying looking out the window at the parade, and we really did have an amazing vantage point.






    Now that is a much better parade. It lasted about 10 minutes, had lots of characters and good music.

    This video isn't mine, but shows off the parade really well.


    Time for the food. Ruston joked that we should send it all back to the kitchen for being cold. I went for Walt’s burger, which has foie gras which I’ve never tried before and I'm curious. Mine was fine but not exceptional. I didn’t taste much flavor in the duck liver. It was mostly just a squishy texture.

    Ruston gets fettucini with vegetables and enjoyed his.

    Jacob and T get NY strip steak with potatoes and side salad. T’s steak was a very poor cut of meat and almost all gristle. I think when she was done there was 2/3rd of it on her plate still. When the waiter came by and said, “It was nice?” I told him T’s steak was not nice at all. I was thinking they might comp it, but no luck.

    Service was painfully slow. I had a dessert with my fixed price menu and it literally took 20 minutes from them clearing our dinner plates to bringing dessert out.

    In all, I was not impressed by Walt’s. The decor looks good, but the service and the food was a little disappointing. It was a bit of a letdown. T said she’s give it a 3 out of 5 stars for a regular restaurant, then she’d bump it down to 2.5 out of 5 stars for the price.

    We asked if we could ride the elevator down to the lobby and were given the okay. Kind-of like the glass elevator Club 33.

    That's where we'll end this part. In the next post, we'll close out our last day at the parks.


  3. #33

    • Joe Flowers
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    Re: Joe's summer trip to Disneyland Paris

    After dinner at Walt's, the four of us made our way to the castle for our obligatory group photo.

    I’ve been watching the skies today and it just never had much blue. It was almost always overcast. We’ve still got to get a group photo though, so I set up the tripod and we take a couple, trying to time it when there is no one behind us.

    Jacob and T have had enough and head back to the hotel. Ruston and I decide to stay in the park longer, but for different reasons. He's going to go on a few more rides, while I really want to see the fireworks. I've got some time before I need to start staking out my spot though.

    We go on it’s a small world together, and he points out how bad of shape the ride is in, with lots of lights out, nasty looking water, and general uncleanness.

    But they do have some fun scenes inside.

    Ah, Paris.

    The tribute to Canada is huge compared to ours. Ruston thinks it's great!


    We walk together to the front of the castle, and I see people are starting to sit for the 11pm fireworks show. It’s 8:50 right now and I tell Ruston that I’m going to be hanging out until the show. Ruston is going to keep exploring the park and see more rides. I'm as close to the castle as you can get and I go ahead and extend my tripod, just to let people know my intentions early on, and they can decide if they want to sit behind me or not.

    I ask if we’ll be allowed to stand during the show, and am told it’s whatever the crowd decides. In the 2 hours sitting there, I make friends with a couple people. One girl is from the south of France about 8 hours away by car, and is an intern at the Wild West restaurant in DTD. Another mother is traveling from Australia with her two daughters. She’s had a rough day and has lost both kids at least once. Yikes!

    Before the show, the people behind me ask my intentions, whether I’ll be standing or sitting during the show. I told them I didn’t know and I’d have to see what everyone else does. Luckily for me, I have my shutter release cable and can fire off pictures while sitting on the ground. Just before the show, a group nearby stands up and gets yelled at by the crowd behind. I decide to stay seated, though I leave my tripod up, and no one seems to have a problem with that.

    The show is great! Seated, you’re looking through the ropes, but it’s still alright. I fire off multiple pictures but can't really see what I'm shooting because I don't want to stand up. I’m hoping they turn out decent when I edit them later.

    I think I got a few decent shots.




    Happy 20th anniversary Disneyland Paris!

    You can check out the full show here. Not my video but very well done.



    Afterwards Ruston finds me in front of the castle. He's had a fun time on his own riding Snow White, Pinocchio, and Phantom Manor 3 more times. Told you it was one of his favorites!I look around to see if there are any more picture opportunities, but cast members are blocking entry into all the lands.

    Ruston and I decide to take the Discoveryland Arcade back to the front of the park. Again, such a good idea. We need one of these back home.

    Just before we met up with Ruston and Jacob in Paris, they visited New York, so Ruston gets a photo in front of that sign.

    While I pose by our hometown, Los Angeles.

    We make our way to the train station and find a train already at the platform. We run beside each car, but each is extremely full and we don’t find any openings. As we reach the last car, we see that it’s fairly empty and as the doors are beeping, we both jump in. We weren’t inside for more than 2 seconds before the doors close and we start moving. We couldn’t have timed it better if we tried. After getting back, we head up to the hotel room and call it a night. We've had a great time exploring Disneyland Paris together. Tomorrow we’re off to Paris.

    I hope you've enjoyed my trip report from Disneyland Paris. If you're interested in reading about the rest of our trip, we spent a few days in Rome Italy and Florence Italy. You can read about our time in Paris in this separate thread here.

  4. #34

    • Minion
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    Re: Joe's summer trip to Disneyland Paris

    Great trip report! I really enjoyed it

  5. #35

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    Re: Joe's summer trip to Disneyland Paris

    Nice trip report Your observations on Paris sound very much like my own. There are parts that are stunningly wonderful and then you turn a corner and just see something that just falls flat. The last time I was at DLP (last month) was the first time that I witnessed cast members telling people to stop smoking in the queue - and essentially shut the line down until the guests complied - so maybe things are changing. I too long for the day that the smoking areas are actually used by smokers and not just picnic areas for school kids with their packed lunches.

    Too bad you didn't get to try the Blue Lagoon as well as Walt's, the food's a little more interesting and in the permanent nighttime setting the flambé creme brûlée a fun way to the end the meal. But it's good to have something else to look forward to next time you go.

  6. #36

    • Joe Flowers
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    Re: Joe's summer trip to Disneyland Paris

    Quote Originally Posted by stev777 View Post
    Nice trip report Your observations on Paris sound very much like my own. There are parts that are stunningly wonderful and then you turn a corner and just see something that just falls flat. The last time I was at DLP (last month) was the first time that I witnessed cast members telling people to stop smoking in the queue - and essentially shut the line down until the guests complied - so maybe things are changing. I too long for the day that the smoking areas are actually used by smokers and not just picnic areas for school kids with their packed lunches.

    Too bad you didn't get to try the Blue Lagoon as well as Walt's, the food's a little more interesting and in the permanent nighttime setting the flambé creme brûlée a fun way to the end the meal. But it's good to have something else to look forward to next time you go.
    That is fantastic news about cast members doing a better job policing the smoking!

    Whenever we do make it back out there, we'll have to give the Blue Lagoon a try. I think the next visit will have to coincide with a holiday. I've seen some great pictures of DL Paris during Halloween and Christmas.

  7. #37

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    Re: Joe's summer trip to Disneyland Paris

    Quote Originally Posted by mre200200 View Post
    Whenever we do make it back out there, we'll have to give the Blue Lagoon a try. I think the next visit will have to coincide with a holiday. I've seen some great pictures of DL Paris during Halloween and Christmas.
    Out of the 2 I'd say go for Christmas... There's something to be said about having that Christmassy feel when there's actually a little bit of a chill in the air... plus there's the chance of real snow on Main Street as well as the fake stuff like there was last year.

    Also bare in mind the daylight will be reversed and you'll actually see the place in the dark!

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