Living in a Theme Park Day 1: The Most Magical Day Ever at the Magic Kingdom!

Warning: This post contains tales of the most magical day that has possibly ever existed in real life. If you are prone to bouts of extreme jealousy it’s probably best you stop reading here…

Disney World Day 1! Is there another phrase in the human language that could inspire more excitement than that? However it wasn’t enough excitement to keep us from sleeping in. The long day of travel it’d taken to get us here couldn’t be ignored so we let our bodies dictate what time we got rolling…after all, we needed full energy for the week of wonder we had ahead of us. Getting ready only intensified our enthusiasm; we were pulling out our very first Disneybound outfits! “What is Disneybound?” you ask, eager to learn something new. We explained it on our Nerd Blog (My Fangirl Life…in case you’re interested in checking it out) like this: Continue reading

Silly Mickey…You don’t know French…

Bonjour Mademoiselles (& Monsieurs)! It’s is our deepest pride & greatest pleasure to welcome you tonight! Now we invite you to relax…let us pull up a chair….as your writers proudly present: Your Blog Post!

For those of you that do not recognize those words and think “Wow that’s an odd way to start a blog post,” we strongly recommend you watch Beauty & the Beast ASAP. It’s not only one of the greatest Disney movies ever made, but it also takes place in France! How does this relate to today’s post? Because today was the day we hit DISNEYLAND PARIS!

Yes, we spent the day in the happiest place on Earth…well one of the 4 happiest places at least. Disney has never really stated which of it’s parks is the happiest, but we don’t need to get into that right now. We arrived at the park pretty much right when it opened ready to go. We had bought ticket vouchers at our hostel which let us enter at a discounted price, but we still had to go through the ticket line to get our actual park passes. This line went quite quickly…was this a good sign for our day to come?

Dinseyland Paris consists of 2 parks: Walt Disney Studios & Magic Kingdom. At this point we would like to warn you that the easiest way is to write this post is to draw a lot of comparisons to the American Disney parks. For those of you who have been to one or both of them, yay for you! Aren’t they a good time? For those of you that haven’t, you should still get what we are saying, and should hopefully still enjoy today’s post! Both parks are smaller than in the states, especially WD Studios, so we were convinced we could cover both of them in a day. We’d looked at the park map in advance on Justine’s Disneyland Paris iPhone app and knew which rides we really wanted to go on, which rides had fastpasses (a pass allowing you to skip the line if you return in a specific time period) and when the shows & parades were.

The ticket office was at the Magic Kingdom, so that’s where we started. We walked onto Main Street and it felt like we could have been in California. The first thing we noted was that it is still Main Street USA, despite the fact that we are in France. The second thing we noticed was that the entire street was in English. Every sign. Every window display. Everything. Then of course we spotted the castle and forgot all about everything except being extremely excited! The castle was very pretty and elegant. More than any of the theme park castles you could tell this one was based off a European fortress…which is good because people here could have actually have been to a real one. We took few seconds to gawk and then hurried off to our first ride.

We started on Big Thunder Mountain Railway. By the time we got there the sign said there was a 20 minute wait. We thought “Wow, that’s good!” and hurried into line. The Sadlers had told us that Pais was the best Big Thunder they had ever been on, and we have to agree. It was fast & exciting. The perfect way to start off our day!
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While in line we had planned out our next move: fastpass for Indiana Jones and hit up Pirates while we wait for it to be our ride time. However this didn’t turn out to be necessary as when we walked up the Indiana Jones et le Temple du Peril the wait time was 5 minutes. Seriously…here’s a photo to prove it:
We loved that we had finally got to a ride that had the name in French. We’re not sure how they decide what language to put the names in, as it seemed kind of random. Anyways, Indiana Jones was quite fun. It’s nothing like in California/Florida. It has no storyline or anything but is instead a twisty-turny roller coaster. We then returned to the original plan and went on Pirates of the Caribbean. It is just lIke at home (by which we mean like the ride in California) except some of the swashbuckling pirates are bilingual. Unlike in California there was no Jack Sparrow hiddeaway smongst the pirates. Oh and that at home you would probably never walk directly onto the ride with zero wait time! The Haunted Mansion was also quite similar to at home…until you get to the end. Instead of heading into a graveyard you head underground with the coffins & rotting dead bodies and then to a undead fair ground. It is much scarier than any Haunted Mansion we’ve been on before!

Next we crossed over to the other side of the park and did Discoveryland (which is basically Tomorrowland). We started on Buzz Lightyear. Here there was a line again but, like before, it took about 5 minutes until we were loaded into our cars. This is a family favorite for both the Kummers and Padgets…especially the Dads! It’s very interactive because you are shooting at targets the whole way through the ride in a quest to have the highest point total at the end. We think this is a great idea…not that you can tell from our ride photo…
Doesn’t Justine look about ready to fall asleep? And Kristin looks more than a little ticked off. Could it be because she was totally awful? Look at the point totals at the bottom and how large of strugglers we were (especially Kris).

Space Mountain is right across from Buzz. We could already see the 5 minute wait time sign so we rushed right in. 5 minutes was really just the time it took to walk through the snaking line area and right onto the ride. They have definitely improved this ride since Kristin last rode it. To be honest, she hasn’t been at a Disney park since they started making rides go upside-down. But even Justine, who went on the new and improved ride at Disneyland a couple years ago, was impressed by this one. It was fast, dark, loopy, twisty and overall super fun! So fun we rode it twice in a row! The only possibly downside would be all of the jerking around gave Justine a headache, her brain was a little rattled.

We then made our way to the second Disney park: Walt Disney Studios. This park is exactly like MGM Studios in Orlando and California Adventure (minus the small California section) in Anaheim. When you first enter you go through a large movie studio warehouse type building. It’s full of bright colorful neon signs for shops & restaurants and old fashioned movie equipment. Very cool looking!
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Our first stop within the park was a ride we knew we had to ride: the Tower of Terror. This is one of our favorites! We don’t know what it is about dropping style rides that we love…perhaps it’s that weightless feeling…but this was a must. We were able to just walk into the room with the initial intro movie. Very convienent. We were interested to find the movie was in English with French subtitles. Also convienent. But then when we were seated in our “elevator” the whole ride commentary was in French. It didn’t lessen our enjoyment though!

We then raced over to the Rock & Roller Coaster avec Aerosmith. We feel the need to list the whole name and to draw your attention to the fact that it is all in English minus the random avec instead of with/featuring. This ride wasted no time in getting you upside down. We were barely moving and already they had the ride barrel-rolling. In the end it was a lot like Space Mountain but less dark & with louder music (by Areosmith of course).

Next ride: the Tower of Terror. Now we test our mind reading skills because we know what you’re thinking: “But wait girls! You already listed that!” or “But you just went on that ride!”
Or if you’ve ever been on the Tower of Terror perhaps you’re thinking “Yeah you did! That ride is awesome!” If that one is the case then you have the right attitude. We just love it so much we did it again! An interesting note though, this time the intro video was in French and the ride commentary was in English. It seems they want everyone to understand half the ride, but no one to understand the whole thing…?

From the Tower we moved down the street to the Backlot Tram Tour. This is like the Universal Studios tour of the same-ish name, but lamer. To be honest this was the lamest thing we did today. We did have a cookie while we rode though 😉 from the tram exit though we spotted something awesome. It was a crazy roller coaster that is just set on a U-shape so it goes back & forth going almost but not quite upside down. It was located in the Toy Story Playland. We wouldn’t have went in this area if we hadn’t spotted the coaster because we had thought it was a kids play area…that would have been a mistake because we would have missed out on seeing this adorableness:
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Everything was made of giant toys and was so cute! The majority if rides did turn out to be rather kiddy, but we found the RC Car Roller Coaster. It turned out being as bad ass as it looked. You kept feeling like you might fly off the ends of the track. Don’t worry…we didn’t.

The last stop for this park was Crush’s Coaster. This looked fun, but had a 40 minute wait and no fastpass. Not cool! So we skipped it. In the end this is the only ride we had wanted to go on that we didn’t get to go on at least once.

As we passed out of WD Studios & back into Magic Kingdom we scoped out all the photo opportunities. The classics, like in front of the entrance & castle, and the more random, like as Rapunzel or with Mike from Monsters Inc.
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We also couldn’t resist the call of the gift shops! We grabbed ourselves some souvenirs and enjoyed the ambiance of Main Street.

By the time we finished our shopping people were lining the streets in preparation for the parade. We weighted the options and decided we’d rather hit more rides than watch the parade. This provided the perfect time to do the rides of Fantasyland. All of the little children normally running about would definitely want to watch the characters march around. We did the classic Fantasyland rides like Pinnochio, Peter Pan and the Tea Cups. We had been right about the masses being at the parade as we had very short waits for each. The shortest line though was at the best ride: It’s a Small World. We never would have throught that we would consider this to be one of the top rides of the park, but it just shows that you can’t predict everything in life. We were amazed at how nice this It’s a Small World was…it didn’t look 50 years old like at the other parks. And the Canada section…In California Canada is represented by a single Mountie beside a totem pole. in Florida we have no representation at all. But here in Paris Canada had a whole area devoted to it. There was the Mountie and totem pole, but also a moose & some animals ice fishing and 2 adorable little hockey players! We loved it! We love the whole ride…so much so that when we go off we went around and immediately rode it again!

By the time we left Fantasyland there was about an hour till closing. We both agreed that our top two re-rides would be Big Thunder & Buzz Lightyear. In the end we got through both of them withe relatively short lines (approximately 20 minutes at Big Thunder & 10 minutes at Buzz). Just for prides sake, look at how much better we did on Buzz the second time!
As a side note, you might notice it’s kinda hard to see us in this photo. Disney seems to have caught onto the fact that most people just take a picture of the posted ride photo, rather than actually buying a copy. Now they put annoying things right through the middle of the photo so you can barely see yourself. Lame!

We left Buzz in time to see the majority of the closing show. The park closed too early for fireworks so they have a goodbye show on the central platform in front of the castle instead. It was all in French so we had no idea what was going on, but it was fun to watch Mickey jump about and the Princes & Princesses dance 🙂
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In the end we have to call this day a success! We had sooooo much fun! Plus we rode a total of 20 rides (15 unique rides with 5 repeats) and probably only stood in line a total of an hour and a half. Plus the weather was perfect! Not too hot, but sunny & warm. Yay weather for not sucking 2 days in a row!

Being as it is September and no longer summer in Paris Disney’s eyes, the parks closed at 7pm. Due to the magic of Disney (or whatever chemicals & uppers the put in the air of their parks) we were still feeling wide awake and feeling no pain at this point. Seriously, how does Disney manage to make you so happy that you can walk and stand from pretty much 9 hours straight and not have your feet hurt? 7 o’clock is very early by Paris standards so we weren’t ready to just head home. We also didn’t want to have to leave the happy Disneyland bubble yet. Solution: Disney Village. This is right next to the parks and has more gift shops and restaurants. The perfect place to funnel their crowds into at closing.
We walked the length of the strip, going into the odd shop and looking at all of the restaurant menus. In the end we chose a 50’s style American diner. Not very French, but American style seems to be a novelty here so we just went with it. We each had a mushroom burger, fires & a coke float. It felt like the right thing to have in the provided atmosphere.

And that’s it for the day. The train ride home was unexciting and then we just got our stuff organized for tomorrow!
See you in the next post!

Love, Luck & Lumiere (who gives us our opening quote!),

Oh! Wait! We forgot about today’s competition!!! It’s been awhile since your last challenge so we are going to issue you a new one. You have until we post on Monday to submit your answers. Let’s make this one as Disney themed as our day was….
1. If you could spend a day hanging out in any Disney movie which would it be? and Why?
2. Which movie do you think each of us would like to spend a day in? and Why?
Just to be clear you can set the terms of this hang-out… Itcould be with just a couple characters, or all of them. It could take place at a certain part of the movie. Whatever you want! Also you would fit into whatever situation you’re put into, for example if you hung out with Nemo you could be a fish…not just a drowning person.