I work with a woman who is obsessed with Mickey. I mean OBSESSED. My mom loves Tink. Both these women love their Disney characters so much they even had tattoos put on their bodies. Now, I like Disney, don’t get me wrong, but I am not obsessed with it. However, as soon as I am unleashed inside a Disney park I lose all self-control and just want to become a buying machine. How is it that Disney is so good at this? Why do I just go absolutely ga-ga for things I really don’t need?
Let’s face it folks, Disney is the master of marketing. Pure genius, or con-artists. I mean, basically they charge you to go into a giant mall. Think about that. They charge you a ridiculous amount of money to have the privilege to spend more ridiculous amounts of money on things. And we just can’t get enough.
I had read about spending my birthday at Disney Paris. Stop in at Visitor Services, get a badge. People in the park will tell you happy birthday and you get a pretty cool button to have a keepsake.
Well I did that, the lady at Visitor Services said I needed to go to City Hall, but, today is your birthday?! Yes! Yes, it is! I said with almost a child-like squeal. I showed her my passport, and she told me to hold on. She came back with a coupon book and asked, what would you like as a birthday gift? She read off some choices and when she said “Minnie Ears” my eyes widened and I smiled. Minnie Ears it was. She gave me the coupon and told me to go to City Hall to get my birthday badge.
At City Hall I got my birthday badge. I had read online they stopped giving buttons and only had a sticker at Disney Paris, but they handed me a button. Woo hoo! Score #2. Can you please hold, the lady behind the counter said. She picked up the phone. There is someone who wants to to talk to you, she said as she handed me the phone. Then Mickey himself wished me a happy birthday and told me to have a fun day and make great memories!
Then I was off to the Emporium to pick out my ears. So many choices! Silver sequined ears for the 25th Anniversary were available and I was really interested in those, but I opted for the sequined black ears with the red bow.
We wandered down Main Street and marveled at all the things you marvel at when you are walking down Main Street in Disneyland (cleanliness, cute store fronts, fun names, cool merchandise, etc.) But mainly, we marveled at this:
Good lord almighty, we have this frickin’ park all to ourselves! (I didn’t mention that there was NO ONE in line at the turnstiles for guests who had already purchased their tickets. Two ticket takers, and no line. Hallelujah!)
When we got to the end of Main Street we had to stop to take a couple of pictures of the main Disney characters in special 25th Anniversary colors and poses.
Then we decided had to make the big decision, which land would we enter first?
We grabbed a Fast Pass for HyperSpace Mountain, then decided to go on Hyperspace Mountain. We had to wait about 15 minutes to get on. It was great! (When we made it back past for our Fast Pass time it was less than 10 minutes.)
Then we wandered around and rode some other rides, walked through an exhibit, and then got in line for Star Tours. At least we thought it was Star Tours. This line actually went a bit slow from what we had been experiencing. I practiced my most French accent to the gentleman at the front of the line, and he said with serious expression that the master would see us now. He said it in French. We had been waiting in line to have the Darth Vader experience. Ummm, we were told some things and then Lord Vader came through the door. He started to talk to us in French and say Lord knows what. But basically the whole schtick is he is saying serious shit and you are supposed to be scared I guess, and take a photo with him. Then you give the guest service people your photo pass card and they pull up your photo with you and the main man Vader, but our photo pass didn’t work and we didn’t see squat. That’s OK. We wasted about 25 minutes on this whole thing and we thought we were in line for Star Tours.
So then we got in line for Star Tours. We waited about 15 minutes to get on. Loving this Disney!
Then we crossed over into Fantasyland. First stop: any guesses?
I think we waited 5 minutes to get on. And then we were cruising the world in style baby! Ron videotaped the entire thing. And as soon as we got off, we got back in line and rode it again. It was as good the second time.
Then something started to happen. Now I don’t know if this happens at Disneyland or not. I have never stopped to witness it if it does. But the sun/moon is a clock face and it ticks as it rocks back and forth the entire day on top of the small world. Then a few minutes before the hour, it is like a giant cuckoo clock and a bunch of figures start coming out. Then right before the hour, everyone goes back inside and the doors close. Then the big pink doors open and it announces the new hour. It was pretty cool.
After wandering around Fantasyland, riding the tea cups and splitting a kettle corn and a coke we had to go meet the main mouse himself.
I haven’t told you, but at this point I have been wished a happy birthday by Disney staff at least 30 times. Merci! Merci beaucoup. When we got near the front of the line to meet Mickey, the staff gave me a little trading card and told me that someone was on the phone for me. It was Mickey again. At this point in time I felt like I was being stalked by this rodent. No, just kidding. It was great!
Then we got to meet Mickey! It is funny. This mouse is so chatty on the phone, but doesn’t say a thing when you meet him in person. Geez. However, he did instruct his staff to sing Happy Birthday to me. And so they did. Merci. Merci beaucoup!
Next stop: Adventureland.
Big Thunder RailRoad two times, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril, and a stroll by an Arabian marketplace to transport you to the market in Aladdin. Now, we did get a Fast Pass for one of the two rides on Big Thunder. It was the longest line we waited in. It was probably 2ish, and it was at least 30 minutes. It was a great ride though.
We made our way to the Haunted Mansion (no wait at all) and I have to be honest, Anaheim’s Haunted Mansion is way better. This one really needs to be updated.
We missed being able to go on the steamboat, which really made me sad. We finally got to it and it was a few minutes before 6 and it had already set sail for its last journey of the day.
Pirates of the Caribbean was closed for upgrading. So we didn’t wait in line at all for that one.
We went back to Fantasyland. It was getting near dusk so we decided to take a romantic ride on Dumbo!
I snapped a picture of the teacup pavilion at night because it looked so cool!
Then we did some souvenir shopping and waited for the nighttime show, which was complete with fireworks just for my birthday! The show was fantastic! (If I think about it I will come back and plug in a link to Ron’s videos.)
That night when we exited the park, Mickey was waving at us saying his goodbyes.
Then we walked to the Paris version of Downtown Disney.
We made our way back to the train station. Sat and just reflected back. All in all Disney Paris was a great experience and a wonderful way to turn 44!