Friday, May 8, 2015

Disneyland Paris – a childhood dream comes true

Disneyland is one world that I grew up listening to since my childhood. The early 60s was the days of Disney Land in USA and we would often see movies and paid advertisements in cinemas about the opening of this wonder world for the children and adults alike in Anaheim, California, USA on 17 July 1955 – just less than a month before my birth. And quite obviously I always wanted to see the Disneyland to meet Mickey Mouse, the Donald Duck, Goofy and many other cartoon characters besides many other entertaining rides and facilities. 

Though going to USA remains a distant dream – but Disneyland always resided in the back of my memory. And when I visited Paris last year and I came to know of the Paris Disneyland, there was nothing stopping me and I told my family to redraw our Paris tour as Disneyland had to be visited at all costs. And the fourth day in Paris was designated as the Disneyland day – the entire day of course.

To Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Paris, originally Euro Disney Resort, is located in Marne-la-Vallée, some 32 km east from the Paris centre, and is said to be the most visited theme park in all of France and Europe. So on Day-4, we drove to Marne-la-Vallée to realize my childhood dream.

It would not be possible for me to cover our visit in just one post as there is so much to see and describing all in one post may not be possible – in fact we were not able to see the entire Disneyland due to shortage of time as one day is too less to see everything there. So I will divide my visit in a number of post to cover many major events – and mind you the last post will compel you to visit Disneyland Paris!!

Concessional 37 Euro ticket for all - and for us too!!

Going to Disneyland is quite costly - something like 70 Euros per adult and 37 Euros for under 18. But it was just by stroke of luck that the day we had chosen for Disneyland Paris, there was a special concession for the entire day - and that is even adults could enjoy at kids' ticket. So we hurriedly purchased four tickets costing 37 Euros each lest the deal expired.

 These children  (above) would surely cherish the memory of visiting their first ever Disneyland tour

Entering the Discovery Arcade below which is in fact a journey through times about inventions and discoveries since time immemorial. 

The discovery Arcade (above/below)  has on its display posters, drawings and scale models of some of the 19th Century's awe inspiring inventions and creations - something that younger people my find fascinating as in today's world of digital technology, such feats have been lost and overshadowed. But it was these crude drawings and hand made models that got refined and set the foundation of enormous development that took place in late 19th and 20th centuries - the fruit of which we are bearing today.

 The first glimpse of the Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant - "Sleeping Beauty's Castle" - there will be much more about it later in one of my next posts

Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast
 Driving these tiny cars was simply fun - my son and my wife too ventured to ride these. Here in the photo above my son reaches the finish point while my wife watches on


Reaching this eatery had consumed almost half of the day and we haven't had started as yet. But it was time for a quick snack and a little rest to move on and go through the science world, meet Mickey Mouse, enjoy rides on roller coasters, cup and saucers and flying elephants, a ride in the simulator of the Star World and the train through the wild west, and mid-day star show of the day - the Disney Magic on Parade!

Keep reading my posts as I would write about each adventure bit by bit to keep the interest alive. 

If you like Jaho Jalal, please follow us on Facebook


Anonymous said...

Disneyland --- the name evokes a fairytale-land. Like you I grew up watching the weekly Disney program once a week on our family Black-and-White TV in Pakistan. Allah made it possible for me to move to the US over three decades ago, and to a place only 45 miles north of Disneyland. My first visit to Disneyland was with my fellow students/friends at California State University on a special "student night" (read: discounted ticket) event. Oh! What a visit it was (35 years ago) and it far exceeded my expectations. I still remember staring at Snow White's castle (which I had seen on TV in Pakistan many times) with a mixture of awe and joy. After a decade or more (after Graduate School in Texas) I returned to California. Now it was not just me but my wife and three small children as well. To make the long story short. We (as a family) had the routine of visiting Disneyland each year (at least once) for 16 years. Typically, we would not tell our children (we visited on weekdays when it was less crowded) the day before that we would visit Disneyland the day before because they would be "too excited" and would not be able to go to sleep! So, the morning routine would be the same. We would dress our kids as if we were taking them to school but in fact we would get on the freeway towards Disneyland. When they were very young they would never question why the usual trip to school was taking so long (1 mile vs. 45 miles) and only when they saw the huge Disneyland sign they would realize that they had actually skipped school and would spend the day in Disneyland. Through experience we learned WHEN to go to Disneyland: on a Tuesday in the month of February. Why? Because there would only be about 5% of the visitors/traffic they would have during the peak season in Summer or near Xmas. This way we would not spend 95% of our time waiting in long queues, but hardly wait for anything at all. Of course now my children are adults, but those sweet memories will remain in my mind forever. I especially liked the "French Quarter" area with its adjacent lake. It was made to resemble the city of New Orleans in Louisiana. Indeed when I did visit New Orleans in 1994 and 1999, I realized that Disneyland had done a good job capturing this unique section of America which still has a "French Flavor" .... Well here is a wish (MY wish): Hopefully, by the Grace of Allah, I would love to take you and your Family to Disneyland in Southern California, or to Disney World (which is far, far bigger than Disneyland) in Florida. Ameen! --- MK