After subjecting the kids to all the touring I wanted to do in Paris, we wanted to do something fun just for them. We loved disney World so much, that we didn't want to miss a chance to check out Disneyland Paris (plus they had a couple of great promotions that we took advantage of to help make it all possible).
There are two parks here. The first day, we went to Disneyland Paris. It was a lot like Disneyland in California, with the exception of a few attractions added/missing. It was very nostalgic for me. No matterhorn mountain. Boo.
A couple of things to note about our first day:
I was very disappointed in the level of enthusiasm of the "cast members". They are supposed to make you feel good about all the money you are spending (as we forked over and over and over for every meal - the prices are higher than in the States and in Euros), like it's exciting and magical and the money doesn't matter. They made me feel like an annoying teenager. There was a lot of construction going on (scaffolding everywhere), and the greenery was either boring or overgrown - is this Disneyland or Six Flags?
On the plus side:
We stayed at a Disney hotel this time which meant 1)Extra Magic Hours. We got in an hour early. It was really nice to be able to go on all the rides that were open without a wait (unfortunately that was only like 6 rides, so we went on them all a couple of times) and 2)Proximity! A two minute walk to our hotel was a huge plus compared to a 20 minute drive. Since we have all been to Disney parks together before, I didn't feel like anyone was missing out if they went back to chill out at the hotel (Dave) while Barb could take a nap, and then it wasn't a big deal when one child threw a tantrum, to give them some time out. Or countless other reasons why it was just great to have our own little space, basically in the park.
The second day, we started out at Walt Disney Studios Park. This park was kind of a small collection of rides from around Disney World, a few shows, and then several new things that I had never seen, like a Toy Story area with some fun Toy Story themed rides (parachute drop - one of my favorites from Knott's Berry Farm). Evelynn even braved the Tower of Terror with me, and experienced fear induced nausea for the first time, and loved it.
We headed out in shorts, sandals, and hoodies first thing in the morning, and then quickly had to go back and change after numbing fingers and toes on the first couple of rides - another bonus of a close hotel room.
There wasn't much to Walt Disney Studios Park, so we were finished by late afternoon. After that, and on our third day, we just spent time exploring every corner of Disneyland and finding fun photo spots. By the time we left, Barbara was finally starting to enjoy the rides, and not grip me in fear whenever a character came close. I think the kids had a lot of fun. Goal achieved.
Dave and I were a little disenchanted, and I'm trying to look forward to another Disney experience to reacquaint me and restore the good Disney feelings I have always had. It wasn't totally miserable, but they definitely didn't make me want to recommend them or ever return, and that's kind of sad for me, because I love Disney.
Now I'm trying to find a happy note to end on...
...well, at least the kids had fun.