Three weeks ago I was holed up in my hotel room in Ashford, ready to set off for Disneyland Paris in the morning. It was only a quick visit and as such there were things I usually do that I didn’t get the chance to, some of them my holiday traditions if you like. So without further ado, this is what I usually do but didn’t on my last trip.
We usually stay in Hotel Cheyenne or Hotel Santa Fe, so after arriving at Marne La Vallée Chessy it’s off to our hotel on the big yellow bendy bus. This time I stayed in Hotel New York and decided to walk through Disney Village rather than take the bus. I figured it would be quicker and I also wanted to take in the wonderful Disneyland Paris atmosphere.
A Sandwich in Disney Village
It used to be New York Style Sandwiches, but has recently changed to Earl of Sandwich since that opened and New York Style Sandwiches stopped selling my toasted cheese and avocado sandwich. Ever since a bad experience with the food on the Eurostar in 2005 we’ve waited until arriving in Disneyland Paris to have lunch, and that has traditionally been a sandwich in Disney Village. My new favourite is the Hawaiian BBQ in Earl of Sandwich, sans ananas, of course. This time I headed straight off to Videopolis to have lunch there with the people I was meeting.
Disney Village Shops
The only time I walked through Disney Village, when I didn’t have my luggage with me, was around midnight of the Saturday night after I’d watched Dreams! and then walked along an almost deserted and snowy Main Street, U.S.A. I headed straight for the World of Disney shop which I had never been inside. By the time I’d bought gifts for the family I had my hands full and was very tired, which meant I never went into the original Disney Village shops, usually something done on the way back to the hotel every night. This turned out to be somewhat of a mistake as I forgot all about the Make Your Own Lightsaber unit and missed seeing it.
Rio Grande River
This is another one that I missed out on due to staying in Hotel New York, as we usually walk along the Rio Grande River on the way to and from the parks. We always say hello to les canards and look out for the giant fish. If you take the yellow bus all the time you are definitely missing out on a nice walk.
Walt Disney Studios
I never once entered Walt Disney Studios. I honestly never had time, though that maybe because I spent more than 90 minutes queuing for Pirates of the Caribbean and Phantom Manor, but that’s another story for another time. When we first visited Disneyland Paris in July 2002 Walt Disney Studios hadn’t been open long, and I’ve visited it on each trip to Disneyland Paris, until this most recent one. That meant no ride on the Studio Tram Tour and no viewings of the incredible Cinemagique and the sleep inducing Animagique. Before you say anything, I do really like Animagique, I just find it hypnotic to the point of sleep!
La Cabane des Robinson
I’ve always loved the Treehouse and especially the part where you can see both Sleeping Beauty’s Castle and Space Mountain 2 as if they were next to each other. I always make a point of taking a photo of this optical illusion but actually when we visited on May earlier this year I couldn’t take that photo. The Treehouse had recently been refurbished and extra foliage meant my view was blocked. My hectic schedule on my recent trip unfortunately didn’t leave time to for a tree ascension.
La Tanière du Dragon
On my first visit to Disneyland Paris I read a tip on a website to seek out the Dragon under the castle and it’s the same tip I’ve passed on to everyone I’ve known who has gone to Disneyland Paris. This time I ignored my own advice and forgot, which is a shame as this is another attraction that’s been improved by a recent refurbishment.
A Hotdog in Casey’s Corner
Anyone who knows me will know that I adore the Hotdogs in Casey’s Corner and especially like the cheddar sauce that adorns them. It’s always the last lunch we have on our last day, and sometimes for another lunch earlier in the holiday too. This time I disregarded another of my traditions in favour of Videopolis. As I was eating on my own at this point I wanted to go somewhere I’d a) be guaranteed a seat, and b) have some entertainment, and Videopolis offered both of those. My timing was pefect as they were showing Pixar Shorts on the screen, and I saw 2 of my absolute favourites: Night & Day and La Luna.
The Disneyland Railroad
This is something we always reserve for the last day as tiredness is usually setting in at this point. it’s nice to take a leisurely ride around Disneyland Park and also see things you can’t see unless you are on the train, like the diorama recreation of the Grand Canyon. This was yet another attraction that was the victim of time, or lack thereof.
Le Passage enchanté d’Aladdin
You guessed it, another final day tradition that I didn’t do. I’d put money on this lovely walk through being ignored by a lot of people and it’s their loss. The scenes are beautifully created and so true to the scenes in the films they are taken from. It always amazes me the speed that people go through the passages when there’s so much to see, in both the glass fronted displays and the Eastern inspired artifacts.
There could even be more, but these are the most obvious ten that came to mind. I had a wonderful albeit swift trip, and although did miss out on so many things that usually make up part of a stay in Disneyland Paris, I still had a wonderful time. It could be worse, if Pirates of the Caribbean had been closed I just may have been reduced to tears!
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