Saturday, July 25th ~ Paris
The majority of our travel companions on the Uniworld Cruise were either taking a Paris city tour or the optional (but included) “Do as the locals do” walking tour through Ile de la Cite and the Latin Quarter. The walking tour sounded good to me until Tim mentioned that seeing Disneyland Paris intrigued him.
After a few minutes research, we concluded that it was easily doable.
Just FYI, other options offered today included a trip to the Orsay Museum, (which had we not already been twice I would have been all over that one, my all-time favorite museum – by the way, the restaurant there is terrific too!), and an evening dinner and show at the world-famous Moulin Rouge. The reports back from fellow travelers who attended the show was that although expensive, the show was fabulous and something to be experienced at least once in a lifetime.
A few years back we walked the Montmartre area and visited the Moulin Rouge, but did not attend a show. I guess we may need to give it a go when/if the opportunity presents itself again in the future.
We joined the group from our cruise who were planning on doing the walking tour and bussed with them to the center of town, to the Place de la Concorde. From there we hopped on the metro, (leaving the group), then transferred to the RER A regional train to the Marne-la-Vallée/Chessy Station. Walk out the door of the train station and you are right at the entrance to Disneyland.
Travel Tip: Make sure to get a ticket that includes the RER train, as tickets within the city center will not allow you to exit the station on the RER.
We had again been warned to watch our belongings as pickpockets are active both on the metro and around Disneyland.
All together it took us about an hour and a half to get from the ship to Disneyland. Less than an hour once we got onto the Metro at Place de la Concorde.
We chose the two park pass which according to the website came to $115 each. Tim paid and I was not paying any attention, so I am guessing that is about right. I don’t remember if a senior discount was available or not at the gate, but I don’t see that option offered online.
Arriving early, the park was surprisingly not crowded, even in the peak of summer. It did however fill up more as the day went on.
Our first impression is that there are a lot of similarities between our local park in Anaheim and this one in Paris. However upon closer inspection, we became more and more disappointed.
What was once a special place now seems thread bare, poorly maintained, worn out and in bad condition.
Although people were friendly, the Disney magic is missing. Perhaps had we not already been to the original Disneyland or Epcot center in Florida, we might not have been so critical.
We did take a few rides, and wandered through the major sections, before moving on to the second park, Walt Disney Studios.
I had to laugh at myself, as I realized what they were trying to recreate here was just an illusion. I had the REAL thing in my own backyard at home – all the studios and hollywood.
Our original plan was to stay into the evening to watch the parade and light show, but decided to cut our losses. We hopped back on the train mid afternoon, met up with others from the cruise back at the Place de la Concorde, took the cruise ship bus back to the ship and enjoyed a wonderful dinner on board.
I don’t want to completely discourage anyone from going to Disneyland Paris. If you have young children or grandchildren, have never been to the original Disneyland in California or Disney World Epcot Center in Florida, then you might be in for a treat and a wonderful shared experience with the family.
We did a little research returning home and found out that Disneyland Paris has been experiencing financial problems which could explain why we felt they were in need of help. Here is just one of many articles we found about the situation.
Gratitude Moment: Today I am grateful that even when things do not turn out as we had hoped, we can still enjoy ourselves. We were together and managed to pick up a few souvenirs for our friends, so it was a successful day.