I just returned yesterday from a 9 day trip to Germany and France. It feels like I was gone longer than that!
Our visit to DLP began Friday , March 3rd. My husband , daughter and I left Heidelberg, Germany in the small car we'd rented at 8 pm. It was snowing so hard on the highway between the borders of Germany and France that it took us two hours longer to get there than the five hours it was supposed to take. Even despite the late hours and the snow, we loved driving there and seeing the various sites along the way and stopping at some of the rest stops. One of our favorite things was putting euros in the machines for the coffee, soup, etc. The cappucinos and Knorr's soup were delicious. We also liked getting baguettes and cheese for snacks , though we always forget which cheese is which. We got some excellent blue cheese which we put on a sald. But we made the mistake of getting some camembert...more about that later! My husband was happy too because there were lots of kinder eggs to be found....they are chocolate on the outside and have a prize on the inside....they'e not allowed in the US because the toys are choking size! We now have a collection of miniature men! LOL
When we got to the Disneyland Holiday Inn it was 3 am. It was very easy to find and looked exactly like the pictures on the internet....yay! The lobby was HUGE and had a circus theme . There was also a large arcade, a small gift shop and a pool and gym on the ground level. All were very nice looking! We went up to our room and were just delighted by all the circus details. The full length mirror had clown feet on it, the sitting stools looked like the kind of stools that elephants stand on, and the bunk bed area was the best. It had two large matresses on the bunks and then a curtain that looked like a big top tent that wrapped around it and gave both the kids and adults privacy. The kids even had their own tv and lighting system. The queen bed for the adults was very comfy. They also had a nice armoire and lots of drawers for all the clothing. And they provided a hot water pot, coffee and tea. The bathroom was also nice...it was big and bright and had very modern plumbing so the shower was great and the shower curtain was bright red with stars on it keeping with the circus theme. We thought it was a very good deal for only $79 a night on a Friday and Saturday!
We went to bed as soon as we could and then woke up about five hours later which was 9 am to a horrible smell. It was the camembert cheese which we had brought in from the car! We quickly got it out of the room by tossing it in a garbage can outside , but later even that smelled horrible when we walked by it! We love French cheese but not that kind! LOL
I looked out the window into the beautiful courtyard and then opened the window to see what the temperature was like, It was bitterly cold so we dressed in long underwear, wool socks, sweaters, wool pants, wool coats and hats and gloves and we were still cold later in the day whenever we were outside! The people who live there are used to it, but we were wimps! We took the shuttle which is hot pink to the resort and train station which is right there. It was less than a five minute drive. My niece was coming to meet us by train from her exchange family's home which is 3 hours southwest of Paris. We were a little early so we went into the cafe at the train station and had cappacinos, apple juice , and ham and cheese baguette sandwiches for breakfast....yummy! Her train was delayed so we walked around the station taking a lot of pictures. I think we were making the guards with guns a little nervous because they walked by us a few times to check us out. They made me a little nervous with their guns! That's something you don't see in Disneyland in Anaheim!
When my niece arrived we were so happy to see her. We went back to the hotel so she could drop off her bags then we turned around and went right back to DL. Another thing that's really different about DLP is all the wide open space. There is the actual resort and then a big circular street around it with all the non-Disney hotels, but there just seems to be so much space even height wise because nothing stands that tall around there. And there wasn't much traffic at all because so many people take the train to get there.
Instead of DTD, they have what's called The Disney Village and then two parcs. We went into the Disneyland parc. The bag check entrance looked exactly the same and had the same procedure. But the actual entrance was quite different. The Mickey face with flowers was before you went through the ticket windows so we stopped there to take some pictures. Then we bought our tickets and entered Main Street! The first thing we noticed was that it was much bigger, wider and taller than Anaheim. And it had some kind of seasonal (I think) carnival theme going! And there were lots of funny little statues here and there. Just so much to take in all at once!
We decided to head toward Tomorrowland first. We saw the rockets right away. Then we saw the Buzz Lightyear ride which was under construction. Then we saw the HUGE Hyperion theater. There was an advertisement on it for The Lion King so we decided to inside. We bought lunch....hamburgers, fries and soda ....and then found seats for the show. It was pretty good! We loved that the actors spoke their lines in French but then sang the songs in English but with a little bit of an accent still. My niece and I were singing along with them for fun and no one minded!
Next we went on the Star Wars ride. We thought it was really cool that they had the giant space vehicle (can't think of the real name of it) right in front of the attraction. We also like that the ride had a few added scenes in it. The not good thing we noticed was that the seats were really shabby and worn out. They definitely need to be refurbished.
When we came off the ride , we checked out one of the stands to see what kinds of things they were selling....they had lots of hats, scarves, mittens etc. It just seemed so odd to be dressed like we were going skiing when we were in DL!!
We saw the Space Mountain ride and the line was long so we got fast passes for it. We had NO idea that it wasn't the same ride as the Space Mountain in Anaheim. More about that later!
We decided to head toward Fantasyland next. The castle area is so different, mainly in that it's a lot bigger and extends more out to the sides. The stage and amphitheater area to the right of the main entrance are really pretty . We wished there was a show going that day but there wasn't. And we looked to see if there were any swans in the moat bit of course there weren't or they would have frozen to death. We headed up the path to go inside the castle. That was my favorite thing.....all the beautiful chandaliers and all the stained glass windows telling the story of Sleeping Beauty. It was so pretty! And it was so neat too be able to stand on the balcony of the castle and look into the courtyard! We were in the castle for a long time.
When we came out of the castle we checked out their version of the "Once Upon a Time" store. They had tons of costumes for girls and boys , but no one really seemed to be buying them and even if they had they couldn't have worn them that day because it was too cold. That is one thing I love about Anaheim ....seeing all the little kids who dress up when they go. I also love seeing all the characters in Anaheim. The only character we saw the whole day was Mickey!
The rides in Fantasyland all seemed bigger than the ones in Anaheim and they were very well done with lots of pretty colors...very French! We didn't go on any of the rides because the lines were too long and we wanted to look at everything more than wait! The front of "It's A Small World" was gorgeous! The Alice in Wonderland labyrinth was a total surprise to us. We decided to walk through that which took a while and was a lot of fun. We loved all the characters , especially the centipede smoking and the real smoke coming out of his pipe! And the cheshire cat on the hillside was awesome. The only thing that wasn't good was that up close you could see a lot of cracks and chips and other wear and tear...it made us reall aprreciate how nice everything in Anaheim is due to the 5oth anniversary celebration.
We decided to get some snacks after that. First I bought some colored cotton candy. We had a heck of a time trying to figure out how to get the container opened! LOL The pink tasted like regular cotton candy, the yellow tasted like banana, and I have no ideas what the blue tasted like! We also bought a waffle with whip cream. That was yummy! Then we decided we needed coffee and hot chocolate and we just happened to be right next to Mr. Toad's. We were surprised that instead of being a ride , it was a restaurant. The atmosphere inside was really neat...kind of like an English pub....and we enjoyed sitting there drinking our hot drinks and getting warm!!
That's all I'm going to write for tonight! It's getting late and I have to look at the map and figure out what we did next from there!