while we'd had a great time freezing our asses off in the UK, it was time to pack up and head on out to our next stop - france. ooh la la!
the word "chunnel" is fun to say. come on, say it with me. CHUNNEL! the teen thought it sounded icky, but the hub and i thought the idea of taking a train that runs underneath the english channel was pretty stinking cool. and so after checking out of the royal park hotel, we hopped into a cab and found ourselves at st. pancras international train station.
now, where exactly in france were we headed? well, knowing me as you do, i'm sure it wouldn't take too many guesses to figure it out.
we had assigned seats in car number 8, and they were super comfy for our just-under-3-hour train ride.
armed with my phone and her headphones, the bean kept herself occupied with the various games i have for her.
this was the very moment she discovered that the train lacked wi-fi, robbing her of her opportunity to turn on netflix and watch some power rangers.
as soon as we crossed into france, my phone buzzed with this valuable information.
at the marne-la-vallee station, there were shuttle stops for each of the disney hotels.
i suppose it's because the notion of disneyland in france was nowhere on the bean's radar, but even with all of the disneyfied clues around her, she still didn't have any idea as to what we were up to. even our bambi-themed room at the sequoia lodge hotel wasn't enough of a hint.
this was the only night during our entire vacation that we all shared one room. and in true disney fashion, it was pretty blah. hardly any toiletries to speak of, outdated furnishings, zero luxuries in sight. i think we'd landed at the low-budget hotel, but for one night, we didn't really care too much. while the bean took one more potty break, i pulled out our park tickets and stuck them in my purse.
their disney village = our downtown disney. with limited time at the resort, we never did find any to explore the shops and restaurants here. oh, well.
behold: disneyland paris.
she finally got it.
their main street was very similar to ours. and at the end, sleeping beauty's castle.
it's a lot bigger than the one at disneyland. and the sleeping beauty walk-through is much nicer and brighter.
at the top of the stairs, the balcony looked out over fantasyland. great view.
while she's not usually too interested in the carousel at home, for some reason she just had to ride it here.
in adventureland, we stopped for lunch.
while the hub whisked the bean off to explore the swiss family robinson treehouse and pirates' beach playground, the teen and i scampered off to get in line for this (look at the wait time!):
we'd gotten a peek at the track from outside, but other than that we didn't really know what to expect from this ride. the one back home is indoor, dark, bumpy and silly. but this one was VERY different - in a fabulous way. it was a really fast and fun roller coaster that whipped us this way and that and upside down in a loop. we loved it.
back at the treehouse, the hub and the bean were having lots of fun of their own. the bean took me up and down the ladders and over the bridges while the teen took the hub to ride the indiana jones ride, and everyone had a great time.
the bean is still a scaredy-cat, and so the teen and i split off again to check out the french version of this.
just like at home, there was a restaurant inside.
but here, they took a picture of us at some point.
the bean was having fun with the merchandise in the store at the ride's exit.
having exhausted all of the attractions in that land, we headed back to the best one in the park for more fun.
because the bean loves this ride, we allowed ourselves to be subjected to the song on continuous loop.
this is where we also noticed how different the standards for cleanliness are here. at home, they likely wouldn't have birds' nests and unpulled weeds. we'd also noticed a lot of trash and other debris just kickin' it all over the place.
i was hoping that mickey would be wearing a beret or something when we went to meet him.
this was pretty fun, though.
view from the top.
the last land we visited was their version of tomorrowland:
the force is strong here.
we bypassed that in favor of something even better:
like at the indiana jones ride, the teen and i were blown away at how awesome this one was. it was seriously intense, people. loops and corkscrews and speed galore. it was fantastic. although we thought it was weird that they took the photo at the beginning of the ride:
it'd been a really long day, and everyone was tired. so although i didn't want to miss their nighttime fireworks extravaganza, we boarded the bus and headed back to the hotel to unwind and grab some seriously overpriced dinner.
ain't disney grand?