My husband always says that if I could move into Disneyland and stay there forever, I would.
It’s true. I become a different person once I step through the magical gates of my favourite theme park in the world. I feel young, carefree, and for the short amount of time that I am there, I feel that anything your heart desires can come true, if only you wish it hard enough.
Logically, it would be because I was weaned on a diet of thick fairytale novels (Grimm or otherwise), Disney princess videos, and a very optimistic and young mother who loved a happily ever after story as much as me.
Some people find my love for Disneyland childish, others think it’s a passing whim (which has gone on for 20 years too long), but I like the idea of there being a place in this world where everyone can find their inner child and young hope that so often deserts us in the hustle and bustle of real life. 🙂
This time we were headed to Parc Disneyland, the last Disneyland park in the world I have yet to prance around in, having already conquered the ones in Japan, LA, Florida and Hong Kong.
I was bristling with excitement the whole morning and mournful about the horrible weather, but K knew how much I’d been looking forward to it and insisted that we still take the train and go anyway ^^
Ootd: Matching baseball jackets in black and white – a neko hat for me, and a super soft camel scarf for K to keep our heads and necks warm respectively. 🙂
Sigh our skin was so ridiculously good and smooth for the whole of our trip, and our hair so shiny and full of volume. Imagine my nightmare when just a day after returning to Singapore I broke out like crazy and my hair went completely limp at the sudden introduction of more humidity than it could take after over 15 hours on a plane!!
Anyway I digress .. we spent about 5 minutes fighting the Parisian rains (the weather is about as tempestuous as their passionate locals) before giving up and deciding to have breakfast at a cafe just off our hotel near the Arc Du Triomphe.
Sitting facing the windows while the rain drizzled down a gray Paris, it was really quite romantic 🙂
We had a breakfast set – croissants, baguettes, chocolat chaud, OJ, and.. fried eggs with cheese. Talk about calorific overload but it was so yummy and comforting and exactly what we needed. Fortified, we sallied forth and made the hour-long train ride out of Paris to Parc Disneyland.
The Parc was decked out for Christmas, and before the first tinkling sounds of “When You Wish Upon a Star” could reach my ears, my heart was already soaring and no amount of precipitation could bring me down.
Christmas in the air, Disney style ! Golds, reds, greens!
We tramped about Main Street in our plastic ponchos, spotting hidden Mickeys (my favourite hobby, but yes, I know the wreaths are a dead giveaway) and splashing into large puddles like the French children while my teeth chattered and Sleeping Beauty’s castle rose just up ahead.
Just look at those adorable wellies ! I wish I had the presence of mind to bring a pair – it would have made for some awesome rainy-day fun and I wouldn’t have minded taking all the wet rides, but no, I was wearing my thick black sherpa fur boots and Child, those boots ain’t made for splashin’.
All the manicured lawns had been coated in snow and there were Disney snowmen dotting them – Donald and Daisy, Mickey and Minnie, they were so cute I could hardly contain myself from jumping over the fence and rushing over to hug them. And maybe make a fake-snow-angel or two. 🙂
Our first stop was making our park tradition – buying ridiculous creature novelty ears/ head gear from the souvenir shops. No one would have looked twice in Japan, but you should have seen the incredulous Gallic looks we earned rifling through the children’s section for prize finds.
AND SO. I became Marie (again) with my white fluffy winter hat complete with pink ears and Marie tuft of white kitty fur all tired up in a light pink bow. K picked a Nightmare Before Christmas beanie which he insisted on wearing for most of the subsequent trip, scaring the crap out of little kids and even adults who must have thought he was a Vietnamese gangster from a random “Skull Gang”.
We were also super excited to discover that Parc Disneyland sells Duffy Bears ! Just Duffies though, no Shellie Maes – yet.
I had been so tempted to tote along our D and SM bears to Paris but my suitcase had already been groaning with winter clothes, so we did the next best thing and .. acquired another tiny one. 🙂 Santa Claus Duffy !
Isn’t he just the cutest thing?!
Parc Disneyland’s range of Duffy merchandise is also more extensive than any I’ve seen in the other parks – in terms of outfits and accessories.
They’ve got baseball Duffy (second choice), Sailor Duffy, Buzz Lightyear Duffy, Padawan Duffy, Cowboy, Racer, Pilot, Elf, and Sorcerer Mickey ! Unfortunately the Duffy clothes sizes were bigger than the Asian Duffy Bears (a case of mirroring reality?) and we couldn’t buy anything back. You should have seen my expression when K announced that – I think I may have thrown a tantrum as he physically dragged me from the store.
Rides-wise, Paris Disneyland was about the same as the rest – with the wet flume rides at Frontierland, Space Mountain, Tower of Terror etc. I hate rollercoasters, and the queues were epic, so we stuck to my favourites !
Lancelot’s Carousel !
I’ve blogged about my Love for Carousels before and I can safely say that Paris has the most beautiful carousels in the world, from the vintage ones at places like the Chateau Le Vicomte, the one at the foot of the Tour Eiffel, others in St Paul, Montmatre, La Defense and Luxembourg, the French really love their merry-go-rounds and I can see why. Every carousel has its own unique character and beautifully painted horses and carriages – and there is just something so magical and whimsical about them and the circus music they play that is both nostalgic and otherworldly at the same time. 🙂
Another one of my favourite Disney rides is the Peter Pan Adventure.
Peter Pan was one of the first Disney classics I ever watched and I remember wishing that I could be like Wendy – that someone would whisk me up and away into the sky past the Big Ben, the chimney tops and minarets to another world where children never grew up.
Just like Wendy, I had two younger brothers (at that time), and just like Wendy, I spent all my time dreaming about the impossible, about escaping my mundane life – heavy stuff for a six year old but there you go, I was always weird.
The Peter Pan ride takes you in a little boat of your own on Wendy and Peter’s journey, to Neverland, past the Mermaid’s Lagoon, swooping over the Lost Boys, watching the rescue of Tiger Lily, and then back to safety again. In the darkness, swaying up and down from our eagle’s eye perch, it was fairly exhilirating for a kid’s ride and I couldn’t help but let out a childish whoop or two when we swang just out of reach of the crocodile’s open mouth (Captain Hook wasn’t so lucky).
If there is one thing about my eccentricities I am grateful for, it is that I will always have an imagination, and I will always have Hope.
Just like on a dreary rainy day, instead of moaning about how the weather would ruin our day out at Parc Disneyland, we chose to see the positive things –
In what other weather, for example, would drinking a hot cup of Mickey Mouse chocolate with your husband inside a little Victorian style coffee house along the Disney Main St feel as incredibly warm, cosy and full of blessings? 🙂