Well folks, we went to Disneyland Paris. I confess I’d always wanted to go since it opened in 1992. Finally, with a long stay here, it felt less embarrassing to make a case for a couple of days of Le Tacky Entertainment.
First, I expected Disneyland Paris to be very Frenchified compared to the parks in the US. It was and it wasn’t.
It was in language, obviously. So much fun hearing Jack Sparrow, C3PO, and Buzz Lightyear all speaking French! I have no idea how well all the puns we heard in English translated, though. There was an entire section dedicated to the movie Ratatouille, with an adorable ride, as well as a few other rides that aren’t in the US. Other Europeanized elements were the types of soda offered (a lot less sugary), and maybe more of the snack bars offered crepes and waffles than we’d find in the US.
C3PO is fluent in millions of languages 🙂
Perhaps you’ve heard that the French turn their noses up at all things Disney and at having a Disney park in their country? Well that was definitely not our experience! A good nine out of ten people around us were French, and boy did they love their merch! Some were dressed in head-to-toe Disney stuff, and I literally mean head to toe: hats & headbands, shoes, and backpacks. It was Mickey-ear everything, Stitch was hugely popular, and there were lots and lots of little girls in princess dresses (Lord help us, I only saw one dressed as Rey Skywalker).
Also? The food was crap! Ugh. Mostly burgers and fried chicken. After days of eating gloriously in Paris, I had somehow hoped that Disneyland Paris had a higher standard than American Disney parks, but hell no, my friends. What is up with that? One night we had dinner at a place that served hotdogs and chicken nuggets, where the staff was dressed like baseball players, and they sold Budweiser beer. The place was just off Main Street USA. I looked all around me at the décor and vibe, and it struck me that many people there had probably never been to the US. To them, that was probably representative of what the United States is like. Oof. Surreal and disconcerting. A lot to unpack.
Regarding the Travel in the Time of Covid? Masks were required at all times including outdoors, and compliance was once again decent. One thing that was frustrating was a lack of opportunities to sit outside for meals. The hotel we chose had a bunch of tables outside, but didn’t allow guests to eat breakfast there. <eye roll> We therefore decided to get our breakfast through room service, as we were told it was included in what we’d already paid for it, and we’d only have to pay whatever went over the pre-paid amount. That did not turn out to be the case, and we ended up paying surprise surcharges just so we could avoid eating indoors around unmasked guests. This has become a bigger challenge given the cool, rainy weather in this part of France lately, but it’s an area where we’re pretty inflexible so it requires a lot of creative thinking and picnic meals on our own. More on that in another post.
Verdict? It was frustrating, it was problematic, and we had a blast! Fun, just fun. All of this is privilege, obviously, including the ability to judge and express frustration and be able to find alternatives (in some cases at an additional cost). Privilege. All of it. No whining allowed, only fun. So that’s what we did.Share this: