Dani and I have been talking about going to Disneyland Paris for what seems like forever. Well, certainly since they first announced the Run Disney event there. When we talked about going, the idea of us living a few hours away wasn't even conceivable. Well folks, sometimes life takes you unexpected places. But given that we are living in Europe now, visiting Disneyland Paris was anything, but, unexpected for us.
Our original plan was to take the train from Amsterdam Centrum to the Gare de Marne-la-Vallée station just outside the park. However, due to the train strikes in France falling on our departure date, we had to scramble and make arrangements to fly.
So we booked and flew Transavia for the first time. There's not much to say about the airline other than it's cheap and not-bad. It's super no-frills, so don't expect anything like "priority" lines, early boarding, free drinks, etc. The good news is, it's quick. Only about and hour and twenty minutes gate to gate. The downside is that we then had to pay for a bus shuttle to take us the remaining 50 minus from Orly Airport to the parks area. And we had to spend time in Orly, which is a shit airport, on the way back.
We stayed at the Sequoia Lodge resort. It was an okay hotel, but definitely felt dated, even though I understand it was renovated not that long ago. The amenities were nice (lounge, shop, restaurants, etc.). We didn't get a change to check out the pool, but it looked quite nice as well. And the grounds were spectacular. It's also nice in that it's a 15 minute walk to the park entrances through Disney Village. There's a spectacular lagoon along the way as well.
We spent most of the rest of Friday and the weekend in the parks. The castle here is spectacular. It's even got it's own dragon underneath. And the parks are just gorgeous in general. Space Mountain (Hyperspace temporarily) at this park is the best one, hands down. The coaster is awesome, and the Star Wars overlay works perfectly. My favourite thing there. The Ratatouille ride is also super good. It's a fun mix of practical and projected 3D effects that brings you down to the size of a rat in a kitchen.
Because of social media and friends, we were able to meet up with a new friend, Giona, who is a cast member with Disneyland. He was super kind and spent much of his weekend playing in the parks with us and showing us around. And the best part is, now we have a new friend in Paris!
"It's a Small World" isn't my favourite attraction, but it has grown on me in recent years. I was really surprised how nice and fresh the Paris one felt. Plus it was fun to see how the States and Canada are portrayed in a non-US based attraction. It... did not disapoint.
And of course, we had to book at least one character dining experience. When we booked our package, we took the option of a Crystal Palace breakfast. Breakfast itself was quite good. I appreciated the variety of fresh foods. French staples like croissants and crepes were all very good. We had some great characters too. Mickey, of course, and Daisy. But then Scrooge McDuck came out and we were pumped! He's one of those characters you rarely see.
So it's safe to say the wife and I had a great time this trip (despite me getting sick half way through). We loved it so much we decided to take the plunge and purchase annual passes. Since the park is close enough for us to make the trip pretty easily, it made sense. I already can't wait to go back!