I‘m aching all over. I’ve lost my body weight in sweat. I can’t physically keep my eyes open. I’m all Disneyed out. Disneyland Paris has officially finished me off! But my face aches from all the smiles and laughter and my son had the best holiday ever. Challenge #1 is complete.
I’ve been pass-ported back to my youth for the past four days, my eyes a twinkle with the magic that surrounded me. From the special effects of Armageddon to the magical night time illuminations of the Disney Castle – everything was bigger, better and more majestic than anywhere else in the world.
I did have some pre-trip apprehensions involving visions of queues full of screaming children and my stress-o-meter hitting the roof. Disneyland and the words ‘relaxing holiday’ were not naturally rolling off of the tongue. I’d be lying if I said there were no queues, but I was pleasantly surprised that the Disney experience was a well oiled machine. From the ease of rolling in on Eurostar to the plush surrounds of the Newport Bay Club Hotel. The only real gripe I had was the cost of the alcohol at €9 for a glass of wine. But then looking on the bright side, given all the food I’ve eaten, maybe they were doing me a small favour (although it didn’t seem like it at the time).
Pristine, magical and with an infinite attention to detail, Disneyland is an assault on the eyes and senses. The biggest and best being the night-time Illuminations Show. An 11 pm trek to the park from the hotel with a 7 year old in tow was well worth the experience of seeing my sons eyes light up at the hypnotic display of lights and sounds before us. As I stood there lifting four stones worth of child above the top of the throngs of people for the best part of half an hour – the sweat was pouring, my arms were burning and my back was cracking. Apparently, my son was also uncomfortable. But as he expertly summed it up – ‘some things are worth being in pain for’. Watching this show was one of them!
I couldn’t give you a ‘best bit’, it was all great. Though I slightly preferred Disney Studios – I was in awe of the amazing stunts and special effects. I never really appreciated the sheer scale of the mastery. No wonder blockbusters have such huge budgets.
We crammed so much in to such a short time. It was non stop and exquisitely exhausting. I’ve shot baddies with Buzz Light Year, been swept under the table with Ratatouille, ate from a tin plate with the cowboys, climbed Robinson Crusoe’s tree top home and dropped into the fourth dimension at the Tower of Terror just to name a few. That’s not bad going for four days! Work is going to seem very mundane on Monday morning.
We never did make it on the hot air balloon ride. Nor did we get to ‘choo choo’ our way around Disneyland Rail, as well as a number of other experiences. Perhaps four days wasn’t long enough after all. Or maybe we’ll just have to pop back for another visit – once my bank balance has recovered!