We stepped onto the street and walked to “our” metro station; the streets were busy with locals heading to work, popping into cafes to grab their morning coffee, and delivery men unloading fresh produce and goods into the small corner grocery shops. During the mornings, the streets would feel so busy and alive and would be hauntingly deserted in the evenings.
We rode the metro to the Champs-Élysées – Clemenceau station and then transferred to the RER line A to take us out to the small French town of Marne-la-Vallée, home of Disneyland Paris.
When we stepped off the train, we were greeted by the familiar Disney gates and we walked right into the Walt Disney Studios. After a quick walk through Studio 1, we headed over to our first ride: the Flying Carpets of Agrabah (it was cute, and much like the classic Dumbo ride in Disneyland).
Our second ride was Crush’s Coaster. We were expecting a nice, leisurely kid-friendly coaster but instead, we got a space mountain-eque thrill ride. It was a lot of fun, but definitely un-expected and maybe a little much first thing in the morning. After that we rode, Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy (based on the movie Ratatouille and super cute), the Studio Tram Tour: Behind the Magic (kind of like a lame Universal Studios Tour), and then the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (a classic favourite).
By this time we were itching to get into the main park, so we made our way over. The entrance to this park is stunning (dare I even say, better than California!); the water features and beautiful hotel façade make for a really grand entrance.
We walked along Main Street, U.S.A. commenting how much it felt like Disneyland (only shorter) and then stopped at the Market House Deli where we shared a quick chicken Caesar wrap for an early, small lunch.
Our first ride was Pirates of the Caribbean. It was much like the Disneyland version, only the cue was inside and longer, and more themed (Indiana Jones style) and the scenes in the actual ride were in a different order and didn’t contain any either of Jack Sparrow or Davy Jones. We were lucky and were able to walk right onto the ride.
After Pirates we headed through to Fantasyland to ride “it’s a small world”, grabbing a Fast Pass for Peter Pan’s Flight on the way (mostly to see if our tickets granted us access to the FastPass system). The end of the ride is a brilliant display of all the countries in matching colours. Jenn, who’s not really a fan of this ride, said that she much enjoyed this version to the Disneyland one.
After that it was off to Neverland to ride Peter Pan’s Flight (using our FastPasses which is something that Disneyland should really look into since the line for this short ride is usually 45+ minutes long). The ride and cue were pretty much identical to the Disneyland ride.
Then off to the classic favourite: the Mad Hatter’s Tea Cups before heading back over to Frontierland to visit Phantom Manor.
Phantom Manor was pretty cool. The cue took you though a tour of the manor’s grounds before brining you to you front porch where you got a great view of the park. The ride itself was very similar to the Disneyland one except the narration during the elevator ride was all in French.
Now we were starting to get pretty hungry so we made our way to the Cowboy Cookout Barbeque for lunch. We both had the roast ½ chicken and fries. The portions were huge and everything was really delicious. We lingered here for a long while, chatting and really taking time to enjoy a nice break in the warm sun and coolish September air.
After lunch we visited the dragon that lives under the castle (SO COOL!), and then rode Blanche-Neige et les Sept Nains (also known as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs) which is identical to the one in Disneyland, other than the name, of course.
Our next stop was Discoveryland where we rode Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast and Space Mountain: Mission 2. Space Mountain was unreal. It was such a fast roller coaster, but unlike the Disney counterpart, some parts took you outside, and inside you went upside down! It was a lot of fun, and we couldn’t get over just HOW FAST it went.
After exiting the Discoveryland area, we got a chance to catch the parade. Jenn memorized the song in about two minutes, and then went to grab the Disneyland Paris version of a Dole Whip. It wasn’t as good as the traditional Dole whip, but maybe we were just missing hanging out in the Tiki Room with Olivia.
We decided two re-ride Pirates and Phantom Manor again before grabbing our spot for the fireworks. As Jenn guarded our great view of the castle, I went in search of some treats to enjoy with the fireworks. When the show finally started, we were amazed. In true Disney fashion, the fireworks were stunning, and the movie projections spot-on. It was a great show, and it made me really reminisce about our trip to Disneyland earlier in the year.
After the fireworks we followed the crowds out of the park. Instead of fighting for a spot on the train we chose to wander around Disney Village (aka: Downtown Disney) a little bit. We browsed one last shop and bought a chai latte at Starbucks for our journey home.
And so our American day just outside of Paris came to a close.