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January 2009 Archives

January 7, 2009

Disneyland Paris Opening Blog

Last year I wrote about the Hong Kong and Tokyo Disney Resorts.

As the series continued, I received a number of positive emails from readers telling me how much they enjoyed reading about the Asian parks. So I've decided to write another series of blogs, this time about the Disneyland Paris Resort. To begin with, let me give you some background about Disney's second foreign venture.

Euro Disneyland (now Disneyland Paris) opened on April 12, 1992. It is located about 20 miles east of Paris and occupies 4,800 acres.

Today it features two theme parks (the second opening on March 16, 2002), six hotels, a shopping district, a campground, and a golf course. Additional non-Disney facilities also occupy a portion of this land. This makes it the second largest of the Disney resorts, after Walt Disney World.

Paris Map Animation.gif

In the early years, the Disney Company lost an enormous amount of money with this venture. To begin with, the resort opened during a European recession, a time when people don't spend money on vacations.

During the first couple of years the theme park, Euro Disneyland, wasn't meeting its projected attendance. However, enough people visited to help the park become one of Europe's top tourist attractions. But, the real drain of cash came from the hotels. There simply wasn't a need for six resorts with only one theme park nearby. Also, with Paris being just 35 minutes away by rail, why stay at Disney when you could stay in The City of Lights.

In October, 1994, the name Euro Disneyland was changed to Disneyland Paris and on May 31, 1995, Space Mountain opened. These events helped attendance grow substantially in both the theme park and in the hotels.

In addition, the ban on alcohol in the Disneyland Park was lifted. It was realized that Europeans enjoy wine with their meals and they were more vocal with this request than their American and Japanese counterparts. This makes Disneyland Paris the only Magic Kingdom in the world to serve liquor. By the end of 1995, the Paris venture showed its first profit. Although difficult times have continued to come and go over the years, Disney has steadfastly stood by this project.

Euro Disneyland Park

The name change was facilitated for several reasons. Here is a quote from Michael Eisner:

"As Americans, the word 'Euro' is believed to mean glamorous or exciting. For Europeans it turned out to be a term they associated with business, currency, and commerce. Renaming the park 'Disneyland Paris' was a way of identifying it with one of the most romantic and exciting cities in the world."

Another reason for the name change was in deference to the French. Even though this resort caters to all of Europe, the majority of guests come from France - the host country. There had been a lot of hostility with the French people when Disney announced plans to build here. It was hoped that dropping "Euro" for "Paris" would help pacify some of the critics.

When Disney and the Oriental Land Company built the Tokyo Disney Resort, it was decided that English would be the primary language and Japanese would be secondary. At the Disneyland Paris Resort, it's the other way around. All signage and announcements are in French first and English second.

For the most part, all cast members at the Paris Resort are required to speak two languages, French, and one other. However, it's been my experience that most of the on-stage cast members speak at least some English and I've never had a problem communicating my needs.

My first trip to Euro Disneyland was in June, 1993. I decided to wait at least a year after the park's opening before vacationing here. I wanted to make sure that Disney had worked out all of the "bugs" before visiting. I've also learned that theme parks often open additional shops, restaurants, and attractions in the months immediately following their opening. Giving the park a full year of operation before visiting would help maximize my experience.

My vacation started in England and from there I traveled by rail to Paris. Then I caught the RER (Regional Express Railway) to Euro Disneyland.

The RER is a commuter rail system that serves Paris and its suburbs. Line "A4" travels from downtown Paris to a station smack dab in the middle of the Disney Resort (Marne La VallΓ©e station - the last stop on the line) and it only takes about 35 minutes to get there. Keep in mind; this is a "commuter" train. It really isn't designed for tourists to schlep a lot of luggage. I only had one suitcase and a carry-on, but I still received a number of questioning stares from the other passengers.


RER


If you arrive by plane (as I did in September 2005) and want to skip the city of Paris and travel directly to Disney, there are shuttle buses. The VEA Airport Shuttle will pick you up at various terminals at either Orly or the Roissy/Charles de Gaulle airport. The shuttle runs seven days a week and pick-up times vary. The current fare is 17€ for adults and 13€ for children 3 to 11. You can order your tickets online or purchase them directly from your driver. MasterCard and Visa are accepted. Note, this is a private, non-Disney company. For more information, check out this site: http://www.vea.fr/uk/


Getting there


People often ask me for advice when planning a trip to Walt Disney World. When they do, I always tell them to stay "on property" if at all possible. In other words, stay at a Disney owned and operated resort. Besides being totally immersed in the magic, Disney resorts offer perks that non-Disney hotels cannot.

But when people visit France, Paris is probably high on their list of places to experience. So there's the temptation to stay in The City of Lights and just make day trips out to Disneyland - and that's a perfectly fine decision. As I mentioned earlier, it's just a 35 minute trip by train.

But if you were asking me for my advice, I'd tell you to split your visit to Paris into two segments. Spend a portion of your time in Paris, then change hotels and spend several days at the Disney resort. That way, you can enjoy the extra perks Disney offers and not waste over an hour a day commuting. In my opinion, you should spend two full days at Disneyland and one day at the Walt Disney Studios. That would equate to at least two nights, probably three, at a Disney hotel.

In my next blog, I will describe the two budget resorts, the Hotel Cheyenne and the Hotel Santa Fe.

January 9, 2009

Disney Design-A-Tee

A new shop, Disney Design-A-Tee, officially opened at Downtown Disney Marketplace today. Located behind Disney's Days of Christmas, this store allows guests to create personalized T-shirts. This is a joint venture between the Hanes Company and Disney.


Disney Design-A-Tee Store Front


Inside the store are a number of T-shirt shaped kiosks. At touch-sensitive screens, you select from a number of options to create a one-of-a-kind Disney souvenir.


T-shirt shaped kiosks at Design-A-Tee

T-shirt shaped kiosks at Design-A-Tee


First choice, would you like a long or short sleeve shirt or a woman's fit. Next you select Adult, Kids, Toddler, or Infant. Short sleeve shirts are available up to size 5XL.

Color choices come next and then it's time to select a design.

There are seven categories here: Celebrations, Characters, Princesses, Tinker Bell, Pirates, Pixar, Disney Films, and Holidays. Within each category there are more selections to choose from. In all there are more than 100 designs.


Design-A-Tee Character Selection Screen


Four lines of text are available - one line above the graphic and three lines below. There is an on-screen typewriter that allows you to put your imagination to work or you can select from a number of ready-made messages.

As you continue to add designs and text, an image of your work-in-progress is displayed on the monitor.

Once you finalize your design, a receipt is printed out which you take to the cashier. Prices range between $18 and $31.

Design-A-Tee Store


The cashier will display your work-of-art on a computer monitor and allow you to verify everything is correct before completing the transaction. After you pay, you're informed that the backstage storage space is very small so all of the T-shirts arrive at the store miniaturized. You are then handed a small Tee approximately six inches square.


Design-A-Tee


Next you are instructed to take this tiny Tee to a marvelous machine located nearby, insert your mini-shirt, and push the start button.


Design-A-Tee


A moment later, your shirt is whisked upwards in a pneumatic tube and it travels all around the ceiling in a maze of plastic cylinders before disappearing backstage. It is here that Disney and Hanes work their magic. The shirt is mystically enlarged, dyed, and printed to your specifications.


Design-A-Tee

Design-A-Tee


Here's my creation.


Jack's Design-A-Tee


Although standard Disney plastic bags are available for your treasure, each shirt comes with its own cloth bag. A number of colors are available to choose from.

If the store isn't busy, I'm told it takes approximately 20 minutes for your shirt to be prepared. As the day progresses, this time can increase. Package delivery is available to Disney hotel guests and shipping is also an option if you don't want to wait around. One suggestion, if you think you will want one of these T-shirts, make this your first stop when visiting Downtown Disney. Then continue shopping or have lunch or dinner before returning.

The official announcement of the store is on our Disney News Blog!

Located next door to Disney Design-A-Tee is "Create Your Own Ear Hat." Here you get to select from a number of base caps, then add the ears of your choice. There is a second "Create Your Own Ear Hat" on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom.


Create Your Own Ear Hat

Create Your Own Ear Hat

January 10, 2009

Hotels Cheyenne and Santa Fe (Disneyland Paris Resort)

There are six Disney owned and operated hotels at Disneyland Paris. Here are their names and price categories:

Hotel Cheyenne - Budget
Hotel Santa Fe - Budget
Sequoia Lodge - Moderate
Hotel New York - Moderate
Newport Bay Club - Moderate
Disneyland Hotel - Deluxe

The French have long had a love affair with the American West. Cowboys and cattle drives and six-shooters and stage coaches have caught their interest. To capitalize on this appeal, Disney built two hotels with a western theme. The first one we'll discuss is the Hotel Cheyenne.


Hotel Cheyenne


The Hotel Cheyenne was designed by architect Robert A.M. Stern and is a budget resort. Each of its 1,000 rooms has a set of bunk beds, intended for children only, and a double bed for adults. The dΓ©cor is decidedly western with a cowboy boot lamp, patchwork quilt spreads, and a lasso framed mirror.

The exterior of the resort is arranged to look like an old west town. Two streets are lined with 14 two-story buildings. Some of the structures you'll encounter along these streets are a general store, a jail, boarding houses, a saloon, and a bank. Many of the rooms face out onto these old-west streets while others have a view of the "Rio Grande River" or gardens.

For vittles, there's the Chuck Wagon buffet. As you might expect, this restaurant offers western chow and barbeque. Next door you can whet your whistle at the Red Garter Saloon complete with live country music.


Hotel Cheyenne

Hotel Cheyenne

Hotel Cheyenne

Hotel Cheyenne


Hotel Santa Fe

The Hotel Santa Fe is also a budget resort and is designed to look like pueblos that might be found in the American Southwest. Unlike the Hotel Cheyenne, whose timeframe is the mid to late 19th century, the Hotel Santa Fe is set in the 1950's.

In this desert like atmosphere, cacti are numerous and a keen eye might even spot a flying saucer that has crashed landed in the sand.


Hotel Santa Fe


The check-in lobby is easy to spot. This area is designed to look like an old drive-in movie theater with Clint Eastwood looking down from the screen.


Hotel Santa Fe


The rooms are decorated with a Navajo motif and each features two double beds. The bedspreads look like Native-American woven blankets and simple pine furniture completes the mood.


Hotel Santa Fe

Hotel Santa Fe


At mealtime, check out the La Cantina buffet. Tex-Mex is on the menu and a salad bar is ingeniously built into the back of an old truck parked at a gas station. Cocktails are served nearby at the Rio Grande bar.

Air conditioning is not as common in Europe as it is in the U.S. and neither of these hotels features this wonderful invention. But all is not lost, they do have ceiling fans. For most of the year, the fans are adequate, but be forewarned, summers can get a little warm and humid.

You can walk to the theme parks from either of these resorts, but they are a "fur piece" away. The hike will take you approximately 20 minutes. A better option is to board one of the Disney transport buses for a ride to a central drop-off area. Please note, it's still another 5-7 minute walk from here to the theme park gates.


Davy Crockett Ranch


Davy Crockett Ranch, a campground, is located about 15 minutes away from the theme parks by car. Since no "Disney" transportation is provided to this location, I've never been there and can offer you little information or pictures. I do know that besides the campsites, "cabins" similar to those found at Fort Wilderness in Disney World, are available.

In my next blog I will discuss the Sequoia Lodge and the Hotel New York.

January 11, 2009

Disney Vacation Club Construction Update

I was out and about on Saturday (1/10/09) and thought I'd snap a few pictures of the three Disney Vacation Club properties currently under construction.

Let's start with the Treehouse Villas which will be part of the Saratoga Springs complex when completed. I was only able to get one picture without taking the boat along the Sassagoula River. As you can see, progress is being made on this unique property.


DVC Treehouse


Next stop, Bay Lake Tower. This picture was taken from the ninth floor of the Contemporary.


DVC Bay Lake Tower


Some sort of "entrance" structure has been built on the fourth floor of the Contemporary anchoring the elevated walkway.


DVC Bay Lake Tower


The scaffolding has been removed from the north wing of the structure.


DVC Bay Lake Tower

DVC Bay Lake Tower


The pool area has "Mickey" themed buildings.


DVC Bay Lake Tower


The property map on the fourth floor of the Contemporary has been updated to include Bay Lake Tower.


DVC Bay Lake Tower


And last, but not least, Kidani Village at the Animal Kingdom Lodge.


DVC  Kidani Village

DVC  Kidani Village

DVC  Kidani Village

January 13, 2009

Sequoia Lodge and Hotel New York (Disneyland Paris Resort)

Sequoia Lodge at Disneyland Paris


My first trip to Euro Disneyland (now Disneyland Paris) was in June 1993 and I stayed at the Sequoia Lodge. This resort is one of the three moderately priced hotels and sits on the shores of Lake Disney. Digital photography was still on the horizon so I had to be conscious of how many pictures I took since film and developing cost money.


Sequoia Lodge at Disneyland Paris


The Sequoia Lodge was designed by French architect Antoine Grumbach and harkens back to a time when rustic inns were being built in the American National Parks.

After reading that description, thoughts of the Wilderness Lodge at Walt Disney World might spring to mind, but if you expect the same experience, you'll be disappointed. Although the basic theme is the same for both hotels, it was executed far better in Florida. The Sequoia Lodge lacks the grandeur found at the Wilderness Lodge. To begin with, the exterior of the Sequoia has very clean lines - something I don't associate with the National Parks. And the interior lacks a grand lobby. Yes, you'll find hewn logs and rock fireplaces within the Sequoia, but everything has a slightly modern feel about it.

Don't get me wrong, the Sequoia Lodge is very nice and is worth your consideration. But you need to be forewarned, it's not the Wilderness Lodge so set your expectations accordingly.


Sequoia Lodge at Disneyland Paris


If I had to describe the interior of the Sequoia I'd say it's a combination of Native American handiwork and the Arts & Crafts movement. Nature is represented but it's mixed with early 20th century designs.


Sequoia Lodge at Disneyland Paris

Sequoia Lodge at Disneyland Paris


One of the two restaurants at the Sequoia Lodge is the Hunter's Grill. This eatery was inspired by the Brazilian churrascaria. Here, waiters bring long skewers of beef, sausage, turkey, and pork to your table and carve off slices onto your plate. It's similar to O'Hana at the Polynesian, only with a rustic flare. During my visit, the restaurant had set up tables in the resort's courtyard so guests could eat al fresco. I don't know if they still do this, but it was a nice touch.


Hunter's Grill in Sequoia Lodge at Disneyland Paris


The 1,011 rooms of the Sequoia Lodge are distributed between the main building, which sits on the shores of Lake Disney, and five "lodge" buildings nestled among hundreds of pine trees. A sixth lodge building houses an indoor swimming pool - a nice touch in the winter when it can get quite cold.


Sequoia Lodge at Disneyland Paris

Sequoia Lodge at Disneyland Paris


The same Native American/Arts & Crafts design can be found in the guest rooms. Once again, clean lines dominate the architecture and the dark stained furniture. Each room has either one king or two double beds and sleeps two to four. Next to the writing table you'll find a standard chair and a rocking chair. A large window allows enough light into the room so the dark wood tones don't dominate. As I mentioned earlier, I was using real film in those days so taking a picture of my room never occurred to me.


Hotel New York at Disneyland Paris


The Hotel New York is the most expensive of the three moderately priced resorts. It was designed by architect Michael Graves, the same gentleman who designed the Swan and Dolphin at Disney World. It's sits on the shores of Lake Disney and it's about a 10 to 15 minute walk from this resort to the theme parks.

As you might have guessed, this resort is all about the Big Apple. The exterior is a stylized skyline of Manhattan and the interior features familiar landmarks like the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building. Fans of Art Deco will be in paradise as this is the predominate design element used throughout the resort.


Hotel New York at Disneyland Paris

Hotel New York at Disneyland Paris


Just like the real Rockefeller Center, the fountain and plaza area of the Hotel New York is transformed into a skating rink when the weather turns cold. Since I was there in September, I only have a picture of the fountain.


Hotel New York at Disneyland Paris


The interior of the hotel is sophisticated but you'll also find whimsy. This helps the resort, and the guest, not take things too seriously.


Hotel New York at Disneyland Paris

Hotel New York at Disneyland Paris


The hotel has two eateries, the Manhattan Restaurant and the Parkside Diner. The Manhattan Restaurant offers an upscale atmosphere and menu, the kind you'd find in any of the better New York hotels. I have not eaten here so I don't have any pictures.

The Park Side Diner is decidedly more casual. Chrome and Formica tables, neon lights, and fanciful wall dΓ©cor set the mood here. Burgers, sandwiches, and salads are on tap at this entertaining local.


Park Side Diner Hotel New York at Disneyland Paris

Park Side Diner Hotel New York at Disneyland Paris


The New York City Bar is the place to wind down after a busy day in the parks. Chic and sophisticated, this dimly lit watering hole will transport you back to a bygone era.


New York City Bar Hotel New York at Disneyland Paris


Although I have not stayed at the Hotel New York, the pictures I've seen suggest that the guest rooms are warmer and more inviting than the somewhat austere Sequoia Lodge. Most rooms feature two double beds and sleep four, but some only have one king.

The Hotel New York also offers two swimming pools, one indoors and one out.

In my next blog I will discuss the Newport Bay Club.

January 16, 2009

Newport Bay Club (Disneyland Paris Resort)

Newport Bay Club Hotel at Disneyland Paris


Disney's Newport Bay Club was designed by Robert A.M. Stern, the same gentleman who designed the Yacht and Beach Club Resorts at Walt Disney World - and the similarities are abundant.

The resort harkens back to the end of the 19th century and the nautical atmosphere of New England. The exterior of the resort is made up of pale yellow clapboard, white trim, and a green roof. Balconies, columns, and dormer rooms accent these outer walls.


Newport Bay Club Hotel at Disneyland Paris

Newport Bay Club Hotel at Disneyland Paris


In September 2005, I stayed at Disney's Newport Bay Club. This was my first choice in 1993, but the hotel was closed at that time in order to save money when EuroDisney was hemorrhaging cash.

When you enter the hotel lobby, you come face to face with a large globe of the old world - just like you do at Disney's Yacht Club in Florida. But at the Newport Bay Club they've added a nice detail. On this map you can find a castle at each of the Disney properties around the world.


Newport Bay Club Hotel at Disneyland Paris

Newport Bay Club Hotel at Disneyland Paris


The nautical motif is extremely strong in the hotel's interior. Paneled white walls, lattice work, and hardwood floors make up most of the solid surfaces. Shades of blue are used as accents on the window coverings, rugs, and furntiture upholstery. Maritime paraphernalia is used as decorative art.


Newport Bay Club Hotel at Disneyland Paris

Newport Bay Club Hotel at Disneyland Paris


The Newport Bay Club is the largest of the Disneyland Paris resorts with 1,098 guest rooms. The accommodations continue the lobby's color scheme and nautical motif. Like several of the other resorts, most rooms sleep two to four guests on either one king or two double beds.


Newport Bay Club Hotel at Disneyland Paris

Newport Bay Club Hotel at Disneyland Paris

Newport Bay Club Hotel at Disneyland Paris


On both of my visits to Disneyland Paris, I have been disappointed with the central air conditioning in the hotel guest rooms. At the Sequoia Lodge, I complained because water continually dripped from an overhead vent which created a puddle on the carpet. When I was moved to another room, I found the coolest temperature available was far from adequate. At the Newport Bay Club, I finally gave up on the air conditioning and opened the window because the warm summer nights were cooler than the air coming out of the vents.

The Newport Bay Club has two restaurants. The Yacht Club restaurant serves an al a carte breakfast. For dinner, New England style seafood is the bill of fare. The Cape Cod restaurant serves a continental breakfast and Mediterranean dishes for supper. Since I'm not a big breakfast eater and I had a "free" option for this meal, I started every morning at the Cape Cod restaurant with fruit and a croissant. Indoor and outdoor seating is available so I usually chose to dine al fresco and enjoy the beautiful view of Lake Disney.


Newport Bay Club Hotel at Disneyland Paris

Newport Bay Club Hotel at Disneyland Paris


Disney buses are available for free transportation from the hotel to the theme parks. If you decide to hoof it, it's about a 15 minute walk. A portion of this journey is along a lovely path that passes by Lake Disney. I always chose to walk as it was more convenient than waiting for the bus and the sites along the way were far more interesting.


Newport Bay Club Hotel Walkway at Disneyland Paris


One evening while returning to my room, I came across a cute little train that was circling Lake Disney. It made stops at the Disney Village, Hotel New York, Sequoia Lodge, and the Newport Bay Club. At first I thought it was free, but upon closer inspection, I found that it cost 2€. My feet were tired so I sprang for the ride.


Train at Newport Bay Club Hotel at Disneyland Paris


I've now discussed five of the six Disney hotels. However, I'm going to put off the Disneyland Hotel until later as it is closely associated with the entrance to Disneyland Paris and they need to be discussed together.

My next blog will be about PanoraMagique.

American Idol – Soft Opening

The grand opening of the new American Idol attraction at Disney's Hollywood Studios is scheduled for February 14th of this year. There will be an official "Grand Opening Celebration" with invited media on February 12th.

In the meantime, Disney is conducting "soft openings." That means they are previewing the show prior to its official opening to work out the bugs and train the cast members. These trial runs are not scheduled in advance and may or may not be performed on a given day. But I was lucky to attend a showing this morning.


American Idol Soft Opening


This is a mini-spoiler alert.

I'm going to describe what I experienced today, so if you want to be completely surprised when you see this show, skip my blog. However, there really aren't any "surprises" to be had here. Three contestants compete and one is chosen.

Please note, I have NEVER seen one episode of American Idol. I'm probably not the best person to review this show, but I'm all we've got at the moment. If you get to be part of a soft opening of American Idol, please let us know! (Send your report to allearsnet at yahoo dot com)

In a sense, the show begins while waiting in line. Two cast members, one with a microphone and one with a camera are out talking with the audience. The crowd is told that one of the contestants today is John Doe (obviously, not his real name). He asks everyone to cheer and chant for John. All the while, the cameraman is filming the crowd's reaction.

A few minutes before the show begins, a video is shown on the overhead monitors.


American Idol Soft Opening


Next we see Ryan Seacrest's smiling face. He welcomes us to the show and gives us some background information.


American Idol Soft Opening


He briefly explains the audition process and several backstage rooms are shown.


American Idol Soft Opening

American Idol Soft Opening


When the video concludes, the doors open and everyone moves into the 1000 seat theater.

I would strongly suggest avoiding the first three rows. Two cameramen are stationed in front of the stage and are continually walking back and forth to capture the best shot. This certainly would block the view for some of the audience.

Here is a picture of the stage and the judge's desk. If you look closely, three Coca Cola glasses are strategically placed before each judge. Also, during the show, bottles of Coke are seen on the monitors. However, at no time was the product name mentioned.


American Idol Soft Opening

American Idol Soft Opening


Here is the picture of one of the chairs. Every other arm rest has two sets of voting buttons built into them. BTW, I've sat in roomier airline seats. These chairs are tight.


American Idol Soft Opening


There are also several overhead monitors. Many of the roaming cameramen's shots are displayed here.


American Idol Soft Opening


Before the show started, a prerecorded announcement said that no video or flash photography was allowed during the show. I was excited since this meant I could take non-flash pictures and share them with you. But then a second announcement was made informing us that this was a "trial" run and NO photography was allowed. Darn.

The show begins with a casually dressed gentleman walking out on stage. He introduces himself and spends the next five minutes warming up the audience. He whoops and hollers and gets everyone to clap their hands over their heads and otherwise acts silly. I've been to dozens of TV tapings in Hollywood and all shows start this way.

Eventually, the host of the show comes out on stage. He introduces himself and tells us we're in for a good time. A few moments later, the three contestants are presented to the audience and each gives their name. They return backstage and the three judges are introduced and we're given their theatrical background.

When contestant number 1 returned to the stage, she was given encouragement via a prerecorded video from a former American Idol winner. That complete, she performed her number.

Before contestant number 2 performed, his actual backstage interview was played for us (and him) to watch. And before contestant number 3 (John Doe) sang, the chanting and cheering that was filmed prior to us entering the theater was shown.

The production is slick. The sound system and lighting are top notch. Behind the singers is a nondescript video backup, adding dimension to the performance. Disney has really tried hard to make this as professional as possible. I certainly did not feel like I was watching amateurs. Although not professionals, the screening process did produce some decent talent.

After each performance, the judges made comments. When I saw the show, the judges consisted of two women and one gentleman. I think the man was supposed to be the "Simon" character from the real show as his remarks were caustic and short. The two women offered real tips and advice.

After all three contestants had finished their numbers, everyone voted for their favorite. A few moments later, an envelope with the winner's name is given to the MC. But of course, he drags out the results for as long as possible.

To draw out the suspense, a video of a former American Idol winner (I don't follow this so I don't know who it was), was shown. Everyone is encouraged to stand up and have a group sing-a-long while clapping our hands. When the number was complete, the winner was finally announced and the performance was over.

The actual show is approximately 30 minutes, but of course, by the time you wait in line, get seated, then exit, you've invested 45-50 minutes. Time-wise, it's comparable to seeing the Indiana Jones or the Lights, Motors, Action stunt shows.

Of course, when you exit the show, there is an American Idol shop just waiting for you.


American Idol Shop

American Idol Shop

American Idol Shop


I think most people will enjoy this show. It's entirely different than anything else offered at Disney World. Also, every performance will be different - different songs and different entertainers. The contestants can choose from over a hundred numbers so a lot of variation is possible. I could have done without the sing-a-long toward the end of the show, but other than that, I had a good time.


Remember, if you get to experience a soft opening of American Idol, please let us know! (Send your report to allearsnet at yahoo dot com)

American Idol Press Release

Additional American Idol Video and Information

January 19, 2009

PanoraMagique (Disneyland Paris Resort)

Opening in April 2005, PanoraMagique is truly a great experience. Located on a permanent platform on Lake Disney is a large, brightly painted, helium filled balloon. Suspended beneath this marvel is a metal "cage" capable of carrying 30 guests high above the resort. This six minute ride takes you 100 meters (328 feet) into the sky for a magnificent view of the Disneyland Paris Resort and beyond. The balloon is tethered to a high-speed winch that silently controls your assent and decent. Once aloft, a 360Β° view is yours to enjoy. On a clear day you can see 20 kilometers (12Β½ miles).

PanoraMagique is operated by Aerophile, not Disney, and it requires a separate ticket. When I was there in 2005 the cost was 12€ but I'm sure prices have risen since then. Operation is dependent on weather conditions. Wind is a definite deterrent.

I'm not to keen on heights, but I didn't hesitate for a minute to hop aboard and take some magnificent Disney photos. I would highly recommend budgeting some time during your trip to experience this unique adventure.

Ticket booth


PanoraMagique at Disneyland Paris


Balloon and Hotel New York


PanoraMagique at Disneyland Paris


Balloon with Sequoia Lodge in the background

PanoraMagique at Disneyland Paris

PanoraMagique at Disneyland Paris

PanoraMagique at Disneyland Paris


Disneyland Paris Park

PanoraMagique at Disneyland Paris


Walt Disney Studios Park


PanoraMagique at Disneyland Paris


Disneyland Hotel and Train Station


PanoraMagique at Disneyland Paris


Disney Village


PanoraMagique at Disneyland Paris


Hotel New York


PanoraMagique at Disneyland Paris


Sequoia Lodge


PanoraMagique at Disneyland Paris


Newport Bay Club

PanoraMagique at Disneyland Paris


It was announced last year that a PanoraMagique-type balloon would be coming to WDW's Downtown Disney as part of the Pleasure Island make-over. Since then, little information has been forthcoming. Only time will tell if the gloomy economy will delay or derail this new attraction.

In my next blog I'll be discussing the Disney Village.

January 20, 2009

Sunset Boulevard - Disney's Hollwood Studios

I ate lunch at Disney's Hollywood Studios last week with my friend Flo. During our meal, she asked me if I knew about the "Contractor's Signature" marker on Sunset Blvd. When I said no, it surprised her as she thought I knew everything about the Disney parks. (This couldn't be further from the truth.) Flo got all excited that she knew something that I didn't. When we finished eating, I followed behind her as she hurried off to the corner of Sunset and Hollywood Boulevards.


Disney's Hollywood Studios Sunset Blvd


There, imbedded in the cement is a "Contractor's Signature" marker for Mortimer & Co. Contractor 1928. I know it's hard to read, but that's what it says.


Disney's Hollywood Studios Sunset Blvd Surveyor Marker


For those of you who don't understand the significance, Mortimer was the name Walt wanted to give his new little mouse in 1928. However, his wife Lillian wasn't to keen on the moniker and convinced him to change the name to Mickey.

Actor Mickey Rooney claims that while working at Warner Brothers on the "Mickey McGuire" movie series, he met Disney and inspired Walt to name his new mouse after himself. Walt always maintained that it was Lillian who named the little fellow, Mickey.


Disney's Hollywood Studios Sunset Blvd


I'm sure many of you have eaten at the Sunset Ranch Market at one time or another. On a nice day, this is a wonderful spot to enjoy an outdoor meal. But did you know that this area was inspired by a real Los Angeles location?

In 1934 a group of farmers brought their pick-up trucks to an empty piece of land at the corner of Third and Fairfax. They sold fruits, vegetables, and flowers from their vehicles' tailgates to the local residents. Word spread quickly and "Farmers Market" soon became an institution. As time progressed, wooden stalls were erected and merchants were charged 50Β’ a day rent. In 1941 a clock tower was added and instantly became the landmark for the area. Today, Farmers Market has dozens of restaurants, shops, food vendors, and boutiques. It's considered one of Los Angeles' "must see" tourist attractions.

The next picture is a vintage postcard of Farmers Market. The following picture is of Sunset Ranch Market. The similarity of the two towers is striking and the covered food areas at the Sunset Ranch Market are reminiscent of the vendor stalls found at Farmers Market.


Disney's Hollywood Studios Sunset Blvd

Disney's Hollywood Studios Sunset Blvd


Also found at the Sunset Ranch Market is Fairfax Fries. This is in recognition that Farmers Market is located at the corner of Third and Fairfax.


Disney's Hollywood Studios Sunset Blvd


Another interesting feature of the Sunset Ranch Market is the Anaheim Produce stand. First, it's indicative of the food stalls found at the original Farmers Market. But also, Disneyland is located in Anaheim, which was a farming community before Walt arrived.


Disney's Hollywood Studios Sunset Blvd


At the other end of the Sunset Ranch Market is Toluca Legs Turkey Co.


Disney's Hollywood Studios Sunset Blvd


Whenever I see this quick service eatery I laugh at the humor hidden in the name. Then I have to ask myself, how many people, not familiar with Southern California, understand the joke.

For those of you who don't get it"¦ Toluca "Lake" is an affluent suburb of Los Angeles. This community has been home to a number of famous stars including Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Doris Day, Ron Howard and many others.

So the next time you stroll down Sunset Blvd, you'll know just a little bit more about some of the details of this area.

January 22, 2009

Disney Village (Disneyland Paris Resort)

Disney Village at Disneyland Paris


Disney Village (called Festival Disney until 1997) is a shopping, dining, and entertainment complex located near the entrances of Disneyland and the Walt Disney Studios Park. It is similar in concept to Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World. A combination of Disney and non-Disney venues come together to create a pleasant place to grab a bite to eat, see a movie, and shop till you drop.

Disney Village at Disneyland Paris

Disney Village at Disneyland Paris


Designed by architect Frank Gehry, this area's most notable feature are the large stainless steel towers that line the arcade. Beneath these odd towers is a mishmash of architectural styles as each shop and restaurant is allowed to theme their exterior however they wish. I suppose the towers were supposed to be a uniting factor, but they're not. It just looks like a hodgepodge of buildings and to be honest, I've never warmed up to this area.


Disney Village at Disneyland Paris

Disney Village at Disneyland Paris

But if you can get past the competing architectural elements, a lot of fun can be had here. Although open during the day, the Disney Village really comes to life at night as guests start to leave the theme parks and locals get off of work and want to enjoy an evening out. It's also during the evening hours that street performers appear.

Since there are several dozen shops and restaurants, I'm not going to try to explain each one. First, I haven't experience everything so I have no first hand knowledge. And second, if I tried to talk about each location, I'd bore you to death. So for the most part, I'm just going to show you some pictures of the various shops and restaurants.


Disney Village at Disneyland Paris

Disney Village at Disneyland Paris

Disney Village at Disneyland Paris

Disney Village at Disneyland Paris

Disney Village at Disneyland Paris

Disney Village at Disneyland Paris

Disney Village at Disneyland Paris

Disney Village at Disneyland Paris

Disney Village at Disneyland Paris

Disney Village at Disneyland Paris

Disney Village at Disneyland Paris

Disney Village at Disneyland Paris


Located between the Disney Village and Disneyland is the public train station. Here you can catch the RER, TGV, and Eurostar. In addition, the resort buses drop guests off in this area.


Disney Village at Disneyland Paris


In my next blog I'll be discussing Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show.


January 23, 2009

Magic Kingdom - Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade

Today (January 23, 2009) a "new" parade kicked off at the Magic Kingdom. I was on hand to snap a few photos so I could share them with you. Since I rarely watch the daytime parades, I really can't tell you what's changed and what's new with this parade, that's different from the previous Disney Dreams Come True Parade. But here are pictures of all of the floats of the Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade, and you tried-and-true parade-watchers can judge for yourselves. Have fun!


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January 25, 2009

Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show (Disneyland Paris Resort)

Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show at Disneyland Paris


In 1883 William Frederick "Buffalo Bill" Cody founded "Buffalo Bill's Wild West." This was a circus-like spectacle that toured the United States annually. Over the years, the show changed names and was constantly being updated with new and exciting acts. In 1889, Buffalo Bill took his show to Europe and it was a huge success, especially in France.

Today you can see a reincarnation of this spectacular show at a theater located at one end of Disney Village. Aptly named Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, two performances are presented nightly, one at 6:30pm and the other at 9:30pm. Each show is 1Β½ hours in length and includes dinner.


Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show at Disneyland Paris

Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show at Disneyland Paris

Before I go any further, I want to apologize for many of the following photographs. The point-and-shoot camera I had in 2005 just couldn't deal with the dim lighting and fast motion of the show. I did my best to enhance these pictures with the computer, but some of them are still lacking.

Tickets for Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show can be purchased in advanced or for the same day at the ticket booth located in the theater lobby. When your purchase is complete, you will be instructed to show up 30 minutes before the show. Seating is assigned when you return, but for the most part, it doesn't really matter where you sit.

When you arrive for the performance, you are "herded" into a large saloon and given a cowboy hat with a colored ribbon that indicates your seating area and team. While waiting to be led into the arena, you can enjoy a drink at the bar while listening to country music from a nearby band.


Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show at Disneyland Paris

Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show at Disneyland Paris


It would be easy to compare this event to the Medieval Times show presented in Kissimmee, Florida. You sit on tiered benches with a narrow table in front of you. There is just enough room for your waiter to squeeze by and serve each guest his dinner. While you are eating, a pageant takes place in the arena below. However, at Medieval Times I feel that there is more emphasis put on the competition between the knights than there is with the cowboys at the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show. The latter is more into pageantry than contests.


Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show at Disneyland Paris

Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show at Disneyland Paris


The show begins with the Master of Ceremonies taking center stage. With great showmanship, he welcomes everyone to tonight's performance - in French. When he's done, he introduces Buffalo Bill who can be found on an elevated stage at the far end of the arena. Bill continues the welcoming speech, however he speaks English. For the remainder of the show, these two gentlemen keep everyone apprised of the goings on in their respective language.


Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show at Disneyland Paris

Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show at Disneyland Paris


Shortly thereafter, dinner is served by western clad waiters. The menu includes chili, bread, a mixed grill kebab, corn on the cob, and potato wedges. Warm apple cobbler with vanilla ice cream is on tap for dessert.


Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show at Disneyland Paris


While dinner is being served, a chuck wagon enters the arena and takes center stage. Cowboys gather around and appear to enjoy their own meal.


Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show at Disneyland Paris


As the evening progresses, a number of events occur. Each section of the arena has its own "color coded" cowboy. These buckaroos compete with each other in events like shootin' and ropin'. All the while, their section cheers them on with great enthusiasm. Here's my "yellow" fellow.


Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show at Disneyland Paris


Great pageantry also takes place. Riders carrying flags and banners parade back and forth and cowboys and Native Americans perform amazing tricks.


Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show at Disneyland Paris

Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show at Disneyland Paris


During another section of the show, longhorn steer and buffalo are herded into the stadium in stampede fashion. A stage coach also makes an appearance.


Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show at Disneyland Paris

Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show at Disneyland Paris


Besides Buffalo Bill, you also get to meet Annie Oakley, Frank Butler, and Sitting Bull. As you might expect, a shootin' contest ensues between Annie and Frank.

The curtain call brings most of the performers back on stage for some impressive precision riding.


Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show at Disneyland Paris


Disney does post the following warning: "IMPORTANT: as live animals are used during this show and the cavalcades raise dust, it is not suitable for people suffering from asthma or other respiratory disorders."

When you enter the arena, the bright lights illuminate the dust floating in the air. I have asthma, but I was not bothered by this, but I had my rescue inhaler just in case.

For those of us who grew up in the U.S. and watched Bonanza and Gunsmoke on TV, this show might sound a little hokey. But it's a lot of fun and I would highly recommend it. I've seen it on both of my trips to the Disneyland Paris Resort and I will see it again when I return.

In my next blog I'll be discussing the Disneyland Hotel and the Disneyland Park entrance.

January 26, 2009

Outer Rim – Contemporary Resort

It appears that the construction on the fourth floor of the Contemporary Resort is just about complete. The Outer Rim cocktail lounge has reopened and is once again a delightful place to enjoy a drink and relax after a long day in one of the parks. It's located in just about the same place it was before all of the rearrangement of venues started.


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For those of you who haven't already seen this, Chef Mickey's added a new check-in desk a number of months ago. Before being seated, families can get their picture taken in front of the large dinner plate.


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Now that the construction is complete, Chef Mickey's offers a seating area for guests while their table is being readied.

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January 27, 2009

Characters in Flight & Trilo-bites

Last week in one of my blogs about Disneyland Paris, I discussed PanoraMagique. This is the helium filled balloon that takes guests aloft over the resort. I mentioned that this attraction was supposed to come to Downtown Disney here in Orlando, but I didn't know the status. My friend Mike wrote to tell me that construction had already begun and Anita Answer's last column also mentions this new ride. So I decided I better check things out for myself.

Located behind the Guest Relations booth between the Westside and Pleasure Island you'll find "Characters in Flight." This balloon ride is scheduled to open in spring of this year and if it's anything like its Paris cousin, will prove to be quite popular with the guests. Here are a few pictures.


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For lunch today I decided to enjoy a meal at the Animal Kingdom. While I was making my circle of the park looking for interesting things to share with you, I found the "Petrifries," the fries stand sponsored by McDonald's, has changed names and offerings. The new shop is called Trilo-bites and serves Smoked Turkey Legs for $6.59 along with the usual Coke products.

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January 28, 2009

Disneyland Hotel & Disneyland Paris Park Entrance

You reach the Disneyland Hotel and Disneyland Park through gates near the train station. The picture below was taken of my friend Kelly (hands raised) in 1997, before security checks were in place. Today, everyone must undergo "bag check" which is located within these gates.


Disneyland Hotel at Disneyland Paris


Once past security, you enter the Fantasia Gardens. This is a great place to sit, relax, and people watch.


Fantasia Gardens at Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Hotel at Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Hotel at Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Paris Fantasia Gardens


The Disneyland Hotel is a deluxe resort. It was co-designed by Walt Disney Imagineering and the architectural firm of Wimberly Allison Tong & Goo. Most would agree, it's reminiscent of the Grand Floridian at Disney World, however its pink exterior gives it a more fanciful look.


Disneyland Hotel at Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Hotel at Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Hotel at Disneyland Paris


Since the hotel sits at the entrance of Disneyland Park, its design needed to be appropriate when viewed from Main Street. The following picture was taken from The Hub looking back toward the Train Station. As you can see, the hotel is clearly visible from inside the park.


Disneyland Hotel at Disneyland Paris


The ground floor of the Disneyland Hotel contains lockers, ticket booths, walkways, and turnstiles. Guests pass beneath the hotel to get to Disneyland Park.


Ground Floor Disneyland Hotel at Disneyland Paris - Public Areas

Ground Floor Disneyland Hotel at Disneyland Paris - Public Areas

Ground Floor Disneyland Hotel at Disneyland Paris - Public Areas

Disneyland Paris Entrance Gate


Once you've passed under the hotel, you're in a large courtyard. Ahead you'll find the Train Station and Main Street. Behind you is another beautiful view of the hotel.


Disneyland Hotel at Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Hotel


The interior of the Disneyland Hotel isn't quite as opulent as the Grand Floridian, but it still packs a gracious punch. The three-story lobby is similar, yet different to the Disneyland Hotel in Hong Kong.

The first picture is of Hong Kong, the next two are of Paris.


Disneyland Hotel at Hong Kong Disneyland

Disneyland Hotel at Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Hotel at Disneyland Paris


Take a look at the wallpaper found in the lobby. Cool!


Disneyland Hotel at Disneyland Paris


One of the restaurants at the Disneyland Hotel is the California Grill - and it looks nothing like its cousin at the Contemporary Resort at Disney World. Instead of a post-modern design, this restaurant is full of Victorian charm and elegant grace.


California Grill in the Disneyland Hotel at Disneyland Paris

California Grill in the Disneyland Hotel at Disneyland Paris


As the name suggests, the menu is "California" inspired - with concessions made for the French palate. Since it's been three years since I ate here, I really don't remember what I ordered, but I do remember that I was very pleased. This picture of my dessert will give you an idea of the caliber of food that is served here.


California Grill in the Disneyland Hotel at Disneyland Paris


This next picture is the view from my table.


California Grill in the Disneyland Hotel at Disneyland Paris


The California Grill also has a show kitchen where you can watch the chefs prepare your meal. Plan on spending around an hour and a half enjoying several courses and a nice bottle of California wine.

It's interesting to note, the California Grill is a "character" restaurant. At Disney World, the "fine" dining establishments are free from our animated friends, but here Tweedle Dum & Dee and the White Rabbit make periodic visits to your table.

Another wonderful spot at the Disneyland Hotel is the CafΓ© Fantasia. The name "CafΓ©" is a misnomer. This is a cocktail lounge themed after the "Dance of the Hours" segment from the Fantasia movie. The interior of this watering hole is pleasant, but the private balcony table on the front of the hotel is absolutely fabulous -- and so is the view.
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Cafe Fantasia Disneyland Hotel at Disneyland Paris

Cafe Fantasia Disneyland Hotel at Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Hotel at Disneyland Paris

Cafe Fantasia Disneyland Hotel at Disneyland Paris


The Disneyland Hotel is a deluxe resort with prices to match. Rooms look out at either Fantasia Gardens or toward Disneyland. On the Disneyland side of the hotel, the higher the floor, the better the view of Main Street. Rooms sleep 2-4 in either a king sized bed or two doubles.

If you have the money, I would recommend this hotel over all the rest. Its proximity to Disneyland Park, The Walt Disney Studios Park, and Disney Village gives this resort a definite edge.

January 29, 2009

Golden Oak Outpost and Button Cart

It pays to read the AllEars Newsletter. I was unaware that the Golden Oak Outpost, which replaced the McDonald's Fry Cart in Frontierland, had opened until I read Kitty Smith's blurb. I figured that I'd better get some pictures to share with you all so I headed to the Magic Kingdom today.


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This new location serves Chicken Nuggets, a Fried Chicken Breast Sandwich, and a Vegetarian Flatbread Wrap. Fries (not McDonald's) and Coke products are also available. A much needed seating area has also been added.


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While leaving the park, I noticed a nice young lady standing next to a cart outside of City Hall on Main Street.


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In the past, if guests wanted to get a "Happy Birthday" or "1st Time Visitor" button, they had to request them inside City Hall. Now, a good selection of buttons are easily available to anyone passing by.


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January 31, 2009

Disneyland Paris Main Street Part 1

Before I start to discuss Main Street, I need to give you a little background about the Disneyland Paris Park.

When Walt built Disneyland in California, he did it on a shoestring. It was all he could do to scrape together enough money to buy the land and get the park open. Today, Disneyland is physically one of the smaller Magic Kingdoms; however its diminutive size gives it a wealth of charm.


Disneyland California Opening Day


When plans were being drawn up for the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, the Imagineers were excited about the abundance of land they had at their disposal. When the park opened in 1971, its larger size handled crowds significantly better than its California counterpart. But much of the charm that can be found at Disneyland was missing from the Florida project.


Walt Disney World Opening Day


When the Oriental Land Company came to Disney and said they wanted to build a park in Tokyo, they used the California and Florida parks as a shopping list. They selected what they considered to be the best attractions and designs from these parks and combined them into their new Magic Kingdom. When they were done, Tokyo Disneyland had a disjointed feel with mediocre transitions between lands. Don't get me wrong, it's a wonderful park, but it lacks continuity.


Tokyo Disneyland World Bazaar


When Disneyland Paris was being planned, Michael Eisner, with Frank Wells at his side, were willing to spend money. They were prepared to do things the way Walt would have with Disneyland if he'd had the means. Combine this attitude with senior Imagineer Tony Baxter's brilliant designs, and a magnificent park emerged - a park big enough to handle large crowds yet has intimacy, charm, and seamless transitions. For me, it all comes together at Disneyland Paris and it's my favorite of the five Magic Kingdoms and my second favorite park after Tokyo DisneySea.

Like California, Hong Kong, and Florida, you walk under the Train Station to reach Main Street U.S.A.


Plaza Disneyland Paris


Below is a view of the Train Station as seen from City Hall.


Train Station Disneyland Paris


It's difficult to know how best to describe the steam trains. Do you divide the description into sections depending on what land you're discussing? Or do you talk about the entire attraction, even though it crosses many lands? I think I'll choose the latter and start at Main Street and give you the complete tour.


Euro Disneyland Railroad Poster


Even though I vote Tokyo's steam train as my favorite, Disneyland Paris is a VERY close second - and for the same reason. You see more sights on these two lines than you do on the rails of California, Florida, or Hong Kong.

Shortly after leaving Main Street Station, you enter the Grand Canyon Diorama, a copy of the one found at Disneyland, California. Once again, you hear the music of Grofe as a full day of the Canyon unfolds before you. At Disneyland in California, the Grand Canyon backs up against Tomorrowland. But at Paris, it appropriately backs up against Frontierland.


Plaza Disneyland Paris

Grand Canyon Disneyland Paris

Train Disneyland Paris


Emerging from the Grand Canyon diorama, you travel next to mud pots and geysers with Big Thunder Mountain towering in the background. Then a section of the Rivers of America comes into view. Here you may see the Mark Twain or the Molly Brown sail by.


Disneyland Paris Train

Disneyland Paris Train

Disneyland Paris Train

Eventually you pull into the Frontierland Station.


Disneyland Paris Train Frontierland Station


The rolling stock at Disneyland Paris is unique in that the cars are better enclosed due to the variations in weather and they feature an interesting seating pattern. Instead of forward or side facing benches, these trains use a "U" shaped or "booth" configuration. Each car is divided into six sections and within each section you'll find a "U" shaped bench with one portion facing forward, another facing sideways, and one backwards. The idea was to give everyone a better view. Personally, I found this configuration a little cramped. When sitting in a "corner" seat, your legs and knees are pressed against those of your fellow passengers. You can see this seating configuration (and me) in the following pictures.


Disneyland Paris Train

Disneyland Paris Train

Up until just recently, the fences, barns, and animals of Critter Corral came into view as you left the Frontierland Station. Now a new attraction, Woody's Roundup Village, occupies this space. You soon leave Frontierland on your way to Adventureland.


Disneyland Paris Train Woody's Roundup Village


If you look quickly, you can see the Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril attraction in the distance. In the foreground is a grassy meadow and a jeep. You soon enter a tunnel and a quick glimpse of the inside of the Pirates of the Caribbean can be had (similar to seeing Splash Mountain from the train at Disney World). Unfortunately, I was unable to catch a picture of "Pirates" while in the tunnel.


Disneyland Paris Train


When you emerge from the tunnel, you're at the Fantasyland Station.


Disneyland Paris Train Fantasyland Station

Disneyland Paris Train Fantasyland


As you skirt the edges of Fantasyland, you see Alice's Curious Labyrinth and the Old Mill before crossing a trestle. You then pass in front of "it's a small world" in the same manner that you do at Disneyland, California.


Disneyland Paris Train

Disneyland Paris Train

Disneyland Paris Train

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A few chugs later and you're at the Discoveryland (Tomorrowland) Station.


Disneyland Paris Train  Discoveryland Station

Disneyland Paris Train  Discoveryland Station

Disneyland Paris Train  Discoveryland Station


While traveling through Discoveryland you are afforded views of Star Tours and Space Mountain. After 7,150 feet of track, you're back at Main Street.


Disneyland Paris Train

Disneyland Paris Train


In my next blog I'll talk about the Town Square section of Main Street.

Return to Blog Central

About January 2009

This page contains all entries posted to The β€œWorld” According to Jack in January 2009. They are listed from oldest to newest.

December 2008 is the previous archive.

February 2009 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.