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Monday, 25 June 2012

Where dreams really do come true.


Today was the day that Paige had been waiting for. We were off to Disneyland Paris.

We wanted to be at Disneyland at opening time which is 10am so it was an early start to the day. Carla took charge of navigating and we ventured into the Metro (underground rail system). After a few problems with a ticket machine were were on the tracks heading toward our dream destination.

The Paris Metro. How hard could it be?

A change from the local Metro to the RER was carried out with military precision and we were on the direct line to Disneyland. The stops couldn't go by quickly enough for Paige. We arrived at about 10.30 

Paige outside the front gate. She doesn't look happy does she?

Yes, it's "The Castle" complete with Princess.

The next thirteen hours were a blur of Disney magic. Mickey and Minnie, Princesses, Disney characters, castles, shops selling every possible piece of Disney merchandise and roller coaster rides.

One of Paige's favourites. Paige with Mickey...

...and with Minnie. Minnie loved Paige's Harry Potter necklace. Who would have thought Minnie Mouse was a Harry Potter fan?

 Paige and the Mad Hatter.

One of my favourites. Sleeping Beauty. Oh, and Paige in her princess pose.

Now I don't do rides at theme parks, I ride motorcycles. I did go on the "It's a Small World" ride and loved it. I had so much fun and laughed a hell of a lot. 

The Kiwi part of the "It's a Small World" ride.

Oh, did I mention that I think the ride is designed for kids about five years old. Then I progressed to the "Buzz Lightyear" ride. A shoot 'em up ride where I had a blast. I think it's suited to eight year olds.

Paige and Carla ready to do battle on the Buzz Lightyear ride.

I then braved "Thunder Mountain". OK, I got through it, but I certainly wouldn't say I enjoyed it. Give me a bike any day. The girls all took the rides in their stride and had a ball. Oh well, I'm just a pussy.

The Disney Grand Parade was next on the agenda with all the characters in one place at one time with thousands of people lining the route through the park. Pretty cool. 

The Lion King float in the Grand Parade.

The highlight of the day was the "Disney Dreams" fireworks and light show that night. The light show is projected onto the castle and water walls sprayed up from fountains. It was technically amazing, but the real enchanting moment was seeing all the Disney stories we know so well, combined and coming to life in front of us. There were quite a few people dabbing tears from their eyes.

Blurry photo of the Disney dreams show.

Thanks for a lifetime of memories Mr Disney.

That was the end of Disneyland, but not the end of the day. We jumped on the RER train back to Paris and all three of us had put in a huge effort and our feet and legs were finished. We spread out on the train a bit because there was room and I had two double seats to myself. Until three, large, black guys came and sat with me. I will admit I was a little uncomfortable. Then I cracked up. One of them pulled a bottle of scotch out of his jacket and poured three glasses. He then managed to pull a two litre bottle of Coke out as well and topped up his mates glasses. He was drinking his neat. I asked him where the ice was and we had a bit of a laugh. His English was about as good as my French, but we managed to work out he was a musician who plays soul music. I think. It was just a very funny moment.

We were a little concerned about the train times for the trip home so chose to get of at Charles De Gaulle station and grab a cab back to the hotel. When we had climbed the stairs out of the Metro we found ourselves looking straight at the Arc Du Triomphe. That's not all. It was like Perth's New Year's Eve but ten times busier and twenty times louder. Portugal had won a quarter final in the UEFA Cup and the place was going off BIG TIME! Cars everywhere, people hanging out of the windows with flags, bikes on the rev limiters, scooters, colour and noise. God knows what it would be like if they actually won the cup. The hundred or so coppers that were standing around were all just chatting to people and full of smiles. That's the way it works here. As long as you're not endangering other people you can pretty much do what you like. A little different to home, eh?

So I'm lying here after about an eighteen hour day. As I type this I have three Sleeping Beauties in my room. I didn't know Sleeping Beauty snored so loudly.

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