Monday, April 5, 2010

Disneyland Paris - Day 2

Day 2 we started off the day with a character breakfast at Cafe Mickey. The kids absolutely loved it. I have to say compared to how Aidan reacted when we went to Disney in 2008 this was night and day. He was in his element and trying to convince his little brother that it was ok to say hi to the characters. Oh how far we’ve come ;) However, while Liam was apprehensive about meeting and touching the characters, his face was that of every parents’ dream that comes to Disney – that of true awe. That is the face I was hoping to get from Aidan when we came in 2008 that never showed up. It is the face of the believer and the child who’s imagination will take him away and let him experience Disney for what it is supposed to be – Magical. And this weekend has been pure magic for Liam and I could not ask for anything more. Sure DisneyParis pales in comparison as far as quality compared to DisneyWorld Florida, but it doesn’t seem to affect how my kids feel about it. They don’t care about the quality of the food or the cleanliness of the park or how many rides there are or aren't. To me, personally, as an adult, I think Disney Florida is 100x better. But that’s not the reaction I’ve gotten from the kids and that’s all that really counts.

This is Cafe Mickey which is in the Disney Village.  Liam was excited from afar about Baloo but when he got a little too close, Liam ran for the hills!

Liam appears to be in total awe of Goofy!  He's still a bit unsure about Mickey.  Aidan did great with both of them - much better than in Disney 2008!

The only way Liam would get close to Baloo this time was with me holding him.  And even then he was quite unsure.  He didn't even try to take a picture with Gideon from Pinochio!  Aidan's still all smiles!!!

Aidan with Smee

Both boys with Chip and Dale - Liam was much better this time since they got a little goofy (no pun intended!) with him!

After seeing Mickey, Goofy, Baloo, Gideon (from Pinocchio), Chip & Dale and Mr. Smee at our breakfast, we were high on life and off to Disneyland for our first time. Already excited from meeting some of the characters we looked forward to the rides and hopeful clearing of the weather. And maybe the possibility of seeing more characters!

Left:  Entrance to the actual park from Disney Village and on the right is Main Street USA which looks almost identical to the one in Disneyworld FL.

Main Street USA with Sleeping Beauty's Castle at the end.  Liam caught sight of Mickey hiding behind this sign and had to check it out.  And yes, it was that cold out that he needed a hat and mittens!!

Ahhhh Aidan the shopper.  Now there is my child.  He looked in every window he saw and tried to go into every store but we made him hold back at least a little bit!

Sleeping Beauty's Castle - it pales in comparison to Cinderella's in Disneyworld.  I do like the fairy at the very top though!

The lines for the rides were astronomical. The shortest line was 35 minutes for any ride. Suffice it to say we didn’t go on a ton of rides but the ones we made it to were good ones that the kids really loved. Highlights of the day:  I highly recommend the Buzz Lightyear ride – Liam especially enjoyed shooting the blaster. At the end, my sociopathic child clearly stated “I shot Zurg. I killed him.” Need I remind you he’s not quite three yet. Yeah, he’s going to be the interesting one – perhaps a little too much tv for this one.

Josh and Aidan did the Star Tours ride as Liam was too small.  They both enjoyed it but of course the only picture we have is of the outside.  The plus was at the end of the ride there was an arcade so there was something Liam and I could do while we waited for Josh and Aidan without having to deal with the very cold temps outside! 

We did the Alice in Wonderland Labyrinth as well which Aidan took the lead on and got us to the castle at the end. He was incredibly proud of himself!
Entrance to the maze... and does anyone remember what the caterpillar was smoking?  Remember back when movies weren't so PC??

This way to the castle!  See, I told you we would make it!
"Off with their heads!"  and Aidan inside the castle.  He was so proud to have led us here all by himself!

We stood in line for over 40 minutes for the Dumbo ride – Aidan was quite disappointed in the results of that one. He’s a rollercoaster fanatic and if it didn’t scare the daylights out of him he considered it “boring”. He and Josh took a ride on Big Thunder Mountain and he loved it!!

The very exciting Dumbo ride.  Liam really liked it though - he got off screaming MORE MORE MORE!!

While Aidan and Josh went on Thunder Mountain, Liam and I took a stroll down to Main Street to check out the shops and perhaps warm up a little bit with a chance to be inside.  Sure there were probably rides I could have taken him on but he didn't seem to care and I was a much happier mom when I was warm.  And if we hadn't gone to Main Street we would never have come upon this parade (albeit a VERY short parade with just this one train with 3 cars) which he loved!
We came back to the hotel in the late afternoon for a quick rest (no naps) before heading out to dinner. We went to a Chicago style steakhouse in DisneyVillage and it was pretty good. I did have to send my steak back which I hate to do but I asked for medium and it came out mooing – a bit way too rare for my taste. But it was a decent meal.

You would think since Disney makes money on everything else they would have a better stocked bar.  All the restaurants and hotels were like this.  If the drink you wanted was not on the menu they would not or could not make it.  Rather frustrating!!  It's hard enough to get something other than wine and cava in Spain...all I wanted was a decent martini!

By the time we finished dinner and got back to the hotel it was late by kid standards and Josh and the kids were in bed by 9 – I managed to read til 10 before turning out the light as well. We all knew we still had one more busy day ahead of us before returning home.  The weather has been terrible but you can't keep these kids down - they (as well as Josh and I) are having so much fun.  Though I won't be sad to go back to warmer temps and to the sun again!

While he may have some sociopathic tendencies, it didn't prevent us from buying him a ray gun which he has proceeded to use constantly ever since it's purchase.  I pray those aren't Duracells in there or we may be in for a long haul!


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