Our Honeymoon: Disneyland ParisPosted: October 20, 2014
Naturally, James and I could not pass up the opportunity to visit Disneyland Paris on our honeymoon to France. Anyone who knows us is aware that we are passionate fans of Disney Parks, and we were very excited to visit one in a foreign country. We spent two days there exploring the curious yet enchanting parks, filled with their own mysteries to discover. Being that this was on our honeymoon, we brought with us bride and groom Mickey ears featuring ‘Mr. Dastoli’ and ‘Mrs. Dastoli’ embroidery on the backs to celebrate our recent nuptials.
The Disneyland Hotel is a breathtaking structure that creates a very different feel when entering the park compared to the other Magic Kingdoms. The rooftops of the hotel contribute to what we consider to be the most beautiful version of Main Street, U.S.A.
This stained glass ceiling inside of the Emporium is an example of the ornate details found throughout Main Street.
There are two arcades that run parallel to Main Street. This one is the Discovery Arcade, which has artwork depicting futuristic projections of American cities from the late nineteenth century.
Discoveryland is the Tomorrowland that Jules Verne would have envisioned. For me, all of the lands contained elements that were familiar, but with new subtleties and twists. It felt similar to when I visited Walt Disney World for the first time after having only gone to Disneyland.
Here I am in front of the Nautilus from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and the Columbiad cannon featured in From the Earth to the Moon as part of Space Mountain. Seeing the Nautilus was particularly nostalgic for James, since the Florida version of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Submarine Voyage was closed in 1994.
Walking through the Nautilus was one of our favorite experiences in the park. The intricate details found throughout the submarine truly transports the guests imagination into the novel.
Another nostalgic experience for James (but new to me) was riding the original version of Star Tours. Here he is in front of the attraction’s entrance wearing a Star Tours – The Adventures Continue shirt. It was very strange for him hearing Captain Rex’s voice in French, but fun and exciting nonetheless. I was thrilled to finally get the opportunity to ride the original version and meet Rex for the first time.
Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant is an interesting take on other Magic Kingdom castles. The landscaping around the castle draws direct inspiration from the film Sleeping Beauty and the interior features a giant dragon animatronic.
The story of Sleeping Beauty is told through stained glass windows inside the castle.
From the balcony of the castle you can see the rooftops of Fantasyland. Similar to Main Street, Fantasyland in Disneyland Paris is a grander, more beautiful version than in other Magic Kingdoms. Meandering landscaped pathways take you from one attraction to another in a less linear fashion.
One specific example that involves quite a bit of meandering is Alice’s Curious Labyrinth. Here the Cheshire Cat is overlooking the maze.
We were able to experience seeing a dark ride with the lights on after it temporarily broke down. This was not the first time we have seen a ride with the lights on, but regardless it is always bizarre. This is the forest scene in Blanche Neige et les Sept Nains.
Rather than housing Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, there is a restaurant inside of Toad Hall. It certainly cannot fully replace the allure of the ride, but it’s an interesting and charming way to feature the story of The Wind in the Willows.
Much of Adventureland is dedicated to Adventure Isle, a giant walkthrough area taking the spot that is usually occupied by Tom Sawyer Island in other Magic Kingdoms. Here is another instance of going back in time through Disney history with Captain Hook’s Pirate Ship and Skull Rock, which have not existed at Disneyland for over 30 years.
Frontierland has an elaborate backstory based around the town of Thunder Mesa that ties all of the attractions together.
The story of Thunder Mesa culminates in Phantom Manor, which is our favorite ride in the entire park. The atmosphere is much more macabre than the American Haunted Mansions.
We had a table service meal inside the opulent Silver Spur Steakhouse in Frontierland.
We didn’t spend very much time at the Walt Disney Studios Park, but we did go on the recently opened Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy, and we also enjoyed our lunch at Le Bistrot Chez Rémy, a restaurant that scales everything so that you feel like the size of a rat.
We weren’t sure what to expect out of Disneyland Paris, but we can say that we were very pleasantly surprised by its charm and amused by its differences. I will always have an emotional and nostalgic connection to Disneyland USA, but look forward to visiting more of the international Disney resorts. After the wedding and honeymoon we likely will not be traveling internationally anytime soon, but hope to visit Tokyo and its Disney parks next.