Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Castles abroad: Disneyland Paris!

Yes I had to dedicate a whole post to Disneyland Paris. What can I say? The Castles love Disney! Mr. Castle and I hope to visit all the Disney parks in our lifetime so we were happy to cross one off the list on our honeymoon! First off let me tell you about where we stayed!

Staying in one of the Disneyland Paris hotels was not an option for us. The prices per night are quite pricey, even by Castle honeymoon standards. Mr. Castle found us a close hotel that offered a free shuttle to the park. This hotel was sooo nice, probably the best hotel we stayed in on our honeymoon. The Hotel L'Elysee is right across the street from a Metro RER stop. It was very easy to get from central Paris. We couldn't have been happier with the area around the hotel, tons of restaurants and cafes. I had the best cappuccino of the whole trip right across the street from our hotel!
Our first picture in the park. I apologize now for all my iPhone pictures. We didn't want to carry around our nice camera...

I will start by saying that Disneyland Paris is just as magical and enjoyable as Disneyland/World. There are some striking cultural differences though between Disneyland Paris and its domestic counterparts. One thing that we took note of right away when visiting the park was that we were joined mostly by families with children. It's not like in the states where Disneyland and World are visited by "children of all ages." This park definitely catered to young children. There are lots of rides and walk throughs for children to experience. There were also multiple play grounds in the park, something that I have never seen at an amusement park. After around 4pm not only did the park clear out, because all the kids were going home, but all the restaurants closed! There was not one place to get dinner inside the park, Frontierland became a true ghost town! We had to leave the park and go over to the Disney Village, their equivalent to Downtown Disney, to have dinner. The advantage to the park being geared towards kids and everyone clearing out around 4pm, is that we basically walked onto every ride. The big "E ticket" rides like Pirates of the Caribbean, Space Mountain and Phantom Manor (AKA Haunted Mansion) were not very popular with the children so we never waited more than five minutes.

We really enjoyed our visit to the Park. We found ourselves at times just walking around taking everything in. Mr. Castle told me before we visited that it is considered the most beautiful of the Disney Parks and I can see why. It seemed everywhere we turned was a picturesque scene. You really could just walk around and enjoy the beauty of everything around you.
A beautiful view of Big Thunder Mountain. I have to say Disneyland Paris wins for the best Big Thunder Mountain. It's much more thrilling than it's American Cousins.

One of my favorite things at Disneyland Paris was the Castle. Surprise, surprise, Mrs. Castle likes Castles. Mr. Castle informed me that since there are actual medieval castles in Europe they decided to make this Disneyland Castle more "fairy tale" like.
Sleeping Beauty's Castle 
We were so excited to be there! 

The best part about the Disneyland Paris Castle? There is a dragon underneath it!

Shout out to Miss Dragon! Let's face it, dragons are pretty cool and this animatronic Dragon was amazing. I took a video on my iPhone so I could share with everyone the awesomeness of this dragon.
Hope you like Mr. Castles cameo at the end there.
If you are a huge fan of Disneyland in California or the Magic Kingdom at Disney World, you might be interested to know some of the major differences at Disneyland Paris. For one, the area that we know as Tomorrowland is called Discoveryland.
Mr. Castle thinking about a Discovery yet to be made
What we know as "The Haunted Mansion," is called "Phantom Manor." It's very different.
The story of this ride is centered around a bride. :)
Space Mountain is completely different in Paris. From the outside decor to the roller coaster itself. The roller coaster features a loop and it is much more intense than the others.
Something you would NEVER see in California or Orlando. Five minute wait for Space Mountain!!! 
Walking right onto Pirates of the Caribbean. Mr. Castle thinks he might enjoy the Paris version over the original at Disneyland. It's a close call, but for me I vote for the original.

My only complaint about our visit would have to be the weather. It was freezing! Our first day it rained. Our second was day was dry but just as cold.
Freezing and trying to keep as warm as possible. I had to buy extra socks for my poor frozen toes.
Even with the cold we had a great time. We got to be kids on our honeymoon and experience one of our favorite places in a different country!  

Would you make a special trip to an amusement park on your honeymoon? Any other Disney nerds? Tokyo Disney is next on our list!

Just in case you didn't catch it the first time!

All Photos (and video) are personal!

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