Friday, November 2, 2007

Disneyland Paris!

Last weekend Julie and I headed to Disneyland Paris and a fun-filled weekend! It was incredible! I have wanted to see how Disney looked in Parisian style and we were not disappointed. We were; however, very excited to see Disney was all decked out for Halloween. Halloween is not that big of a deal over I was shocked to see all of the wonderful decorations!

My first observation was realizing how similar the park is compared to DisneyWorld in Orlando, FL and Disneyland in California. I kept comparing everything...which started to get on my nerves after a while. I had to stop and realize where I was and stop comparing the good and the bad of this park. One exciting thing was the taste of America in the park's atmosphere....even Main Street USA was there! There were a few American food items on many menus...cotton candy, hot dogs, popcorn (although more like caramel corn than buttered popcorn)!

Disneyland Paris has been opened for 15 years! It is located in Marne-la-Vallée, a new town in the eastern suburbs of Paris, France (about 20 miles from the center of Paris). The complex has 2 parks (Disneyland and Disney Studios), an entertainment district (Disney Village) and seven Disney-owned hotels.

Here is a little history: Construction of then called, "Euro Disney", led to a lot of controversy during the negotiations by French labor unions and others. Also, as Americans, the word 'Euro' is believed to mean glamorous or exciting. For Europeans, it turned out to be a term they associated with business, currency, and commerce. Renaming the park 'Disneyland Paris' was a way of identifying it with one of the most romantic and exciting cities in the world...thus the name change!

Also, Northern France was not the initial chosen place for Disneyland. In March of 1985, the number of possible locations for the park had been reduced to four; two in France and two in Spain. Both of these nations saw the potential economic advantages of a Disney theme park and competed by offering financing deals to Disney. Both Spanish sites were located near the Mediterranean Sea and offered a subtropical climate similar to Disney's parks in California and Florida. Disney had also shown interest in a site near Toulon in southern France, not far from Marseille. The pleasing landscape of that region, as well as its climate, made the location a top competitor for what would be called 'Euro Disneyland'. However, thick layers of bedrock were discovered beneath the site, which would render construction too difficult.

Finally, a site in the rural town of Marne-la-Vallée was chosen because of its proximity to Paris and its central location in Western Europe. This location was estimated to be no more than a four-hour drive for 68 million people and no more than a two-hour flight for a further 300 million...and only a hour and a half train ride for me in Brussels!!!!

Ok, so now that you have the history...I will get into the fun stuff!!! The old favorites are there....Space Mountain (although very different and named Space Mountain, Mission 2)! It is an awesome ride, although it is very jarring so watch out! There is also "It's a Small World", "Big Thunder Mountain Railroad", "Indiana Jones", and many many more!

Disney Studios was much smaller than Disney's MGM Studios but had a lot of great rides as Aerosmith's Rockin' Roller Coaster and Crush's Coaster (which was my absolute favorite!). The Tower of Terror opens in January I guess I have to go back!! Darn!

Overall, it was an excellent weekend and one I will repeat soon! If you ever are over here and have the time, I highly recommend a visit to see Mickey!!

There are a lot of pictures to look through, but there are worth the time! Check out the Shutterfly link to the right of this posting!! Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. rbmoulder5:00 PM

    I want to go with you in January 08!!!