About Me

I am a 45 year husband and dad, currently adjusting to life back in the United States after living in Italy for a little over two years. I love spending time with my family, cycling, model railroading, mosaics and watching TV and movies.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Disneyland and Disney Studios

We had to wakeup early today. Our hotel has a free breakfast and we were assigned a 7:30am time slot. We wanted that for today, since we wanted to take advantage of Disneyland opening two hours early for hotel guests.

The breakfast was a basic buffet of cereal, croissants, bread, apple sauce, fruits, cheeses, meats, and a few other things. It was pretty descent, just hard to wakeup so early.

We started the day in Disneyland and skipped over to the Disney Studios, then back to Disneyland for the evening. The nice thing about this resort is that both parks and the Disney Village are all centered around a big plaza, so they are close and convenient. Even the hotels are within walking distance, the farthest one being our Santa Fe Motel.

I've always wanted to ride down Main Street in one of the old cars. It's always been too long of a line or too crowded or they weren't running. Today one of the cars pulled up to the curb as we entered the park, so we took a ride down Main Street to the castle.

Sleeping Beauty Castle

Brandon had a great time

It's a Small World, a Disney tradition

Of course, we had to help Buzz Lightyear defeat the evil Zurg

Videopolis, one of our favorite places to warm up. Its a big theater with seats near the stage and an eating area for snacks farther back. A snack bar is located to one side. During the regular season, this stage is where the Lion King show takes place. In the off season, musical groups perform and movies are shown. We liked to find a table to share a snack and hot chocolate while watching old Mickey cartoons on the big screens.

Autopia, another Disney classic. Icy conditions today!!

We found this dragon in a passage underneath the castle. We read that this is an often missed area, and we found it by accident. It appears that the dragon is sound activated. He would sleep until noise was made, then he would lift his head, hiss and blow smoke.

Big Thunder Railroad. This ride is so much better than the US versions. We had a blast. It starts on the mainland and goes through a tunnel to reach the island.

Haunted Mansion. Different look than the US mansions, but similiar ride.

Pirates of the Carribean. I liked this ride better than the US versions. The lines meander through an old pirate fortress and down to the loading area. The ride itself is similiar to the US, but the scenes are in a different order. Jack Sparrow has not been added to this version.

Pirates Beach and Adventure Isle in the background. If you look closely you can see that the water is beginning to freeze. Keep an eye out for a similiar picture on Thursdays blog.


Goofy played the part of Santa today

Main Street USA

It was very cold again today. I'm pretty sure it never reached 0. The high today was supposed to be -1 degrees. We bundled up and alternated between indoor and outdoor attractions.

Disney Studios

Brandon wasn't all that interested in character pictures this trip, but he was willing to take a few.

Moteurs....Action! Stunt Spectacular

"Let us not forget, that it all started with a mouse."

Christmas 2009 is already past...Is he checking Santa's list for 2010?

Disney Studios entrance

Gotcha! My sweet little girl...Brandi

Main Street USA. We headed back to Disneyland for the evening, before heading back to our hotel for dinner.

This evening we ate at the Mexican buffet in the hotel. Yuck! It was the worst meal we had on the entire trip, and one of the more expensive. They don't really do Mexican in Europe. Most of the food offered wasn't even Mexican. We were very dissappointed.

Disneyland Paris is a very beautiful park. The designers did a great job of blending the traditional Disney architecture and attractions with a more European style. I found the park to be the most beautiful of the three (Disneyland, Magic Kingdom and Disneyland Paris). They also seemed to have learned from previous Disney parks, adding more walkways to navigate around Main Street (which can get very crowded) and to each of the lands.

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