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  • Day15

    Happiest Place on Earth

    July 5, 2019 in France ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

    Kids did not entirely figure out we were going to Disneyland until we were there. As our 'eagle eye', L had noted the last stop on our 60-minute journey and suspected where we were heading, but didn't say anything. I told the kids were going outside of Paris to Versailles. R asked what we would see there and I told him a castle. When he asked who the castle was for, I told him a princess. I warned the kids there would be lots of walking and waiting too. Tom videotaped the boys as they figured we confirmed our true destination.

    We arrived about 9:30am - 30 minutes before official open, yet we walked right in and navigated our way to Crush's Coaster in the back of Disney Studios. As many had warned, it is kind of the red-headed step child...more like Universal than a true Disney theme park. That said, there were several good rides.

    The day got off to a slow start. Waited nearly an hour for our first ride on Crush. Went to another thrill ride (RC Racer) with a reasonable line and as we neared the front, it broke down (never to return). Hassled with recalcitrant Fast Pass machines to Tower of Terror, before heading to eat an early lunch at what several reviews said was the best food in the park - US chain, Earl of Sandwich (indeed tasty!) So exactly one ride before we ate...things fortunately picked up after that.

    Headed over to the namesake park to Fast Pass Big Thunder railroad, ride Pirates of the Caribbean, which was delightfully cool. Phantom Manor (aka Haunted Mansion) was a letdown, with the ride pausing three times. R wasn't interested in Star Tours, but the rest of us wanted to and he ended up loving it. Stopped for some gelato - only four euros for three scoops. I am actually surprised at the reasonable cost of quite a few items.

    Jetted back over to Walt Disney Studios to use our Tower of Terror passes (I love a good roller coaster, but can't say I love the big drops) and the Rockin' Aerosmith Coaster (cool music memorabilia!) With three inversions, we all love it, and with virtually no line, we go again. Everyone laughing at our funny blown hair. Unfortunately, we were separated with R & Tom going and L and I left behind. A cast member unexpectedly came over and hands me a Fast Pass so we can all ride again together. On a third time!

    Studio closing for the evening, we head back to Disneyland to hit Big Mountain on Fast Pass (STILL at 50-minute wait for regular line!) Stopped for dinner. With most of the restaurants inexplicably closed by 5pm, those still open are packed and it takes about an hour for very mediocre food.

    Finally do Buzz Lightyear on a Fast Pass, with an 80- to 110-minute wait all day. About to go again and Logan notices that Hyperspace Mountain is open AND only a 15-minute wait - it has been closed and not expected to open for another week. We race over and while they still have work to do on the theming, the ride itself was AWESOME! By the time we exit, others have made the same discovery and line jumped to 35 minutes, so we go back across to Buzz. When we came out, Space Mountain had closed again...fortunate to have done it once anyway

    I had been promising R his favorite treat of cotton candy all day, so he and I hunted down a giant cone of spun sugar and dye just before the evening closing display began. Disney Illumination was a combination of light show projected on the castle (clips of movies & laser lights), music, water jets, pyrotechnics, and fireworks. I thought it was quiet good. Hardly took any photos during the day (too hot!), but took dozens during the show.

    We trudge along with the crowd to the Metro station, pulling out at midnight. Kids are passed out all over the place. L logged 26K steps before midnight. Arrived back at the flat around 1am and after nice cool showers, promptly poured everyone to bed.
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