Today, we’ll cover one of my favourite memories this year: our visit to Disneyland Paris!
Back in March when my mom, Jon and I were in Paris (same trip dad sadly couldn’t attend due to work), we took a day trip to the most magical place on earth, Disneyland.
Now, Disneyland is an emotional / magical experience for all of us. Back in 2001 (I was 8; and Jon was 5) we took a three-day family trip to Disneyland that essentially set me up for a lifetime of Disney-fan-girling. Yes, I am a Disney adult, and I am not ashamed of it. What I find particularly amazing is also the fact that my parents were so excited for the entire experience themselves as well: no cynicism and pretending that “it was just something for kids”. We all had the time of our lives!
Fast forward to 21 years later, in 2022, we finally had the chance to revisit for the first time since, albeit, unfortunately, missing dad (we did video call him though, and chat to him with the castle in the background!).
What can I say? From the first moment we stepped on Disney-soil, it was all magic. I will not sugar coat it – I think it’s one of humanity’s (the haters might say, capitalisms? 😂 ) most marvellous feats that we’ve managed to recreate such a utopia on earth. Yes, call me crazy – but, somehow, we managed to contain all happiness and joy in one neighbourhood. And it’ll only cost you 120 Euro for one dose that’ll last you a lifetime.
From a development perspective, one can only wonder how the Disneyland of 20 years ago, still had better urban planning than many developing countries today. I digress. But there is something to be said about a group of humans uniting under one vision, and delivering a “product / experience” that leaves no room for interpretation. The only interpretation possible is: you’re in Magic Kingdom, not on earth. There were no straight lines; and no pure black or white shades. Everything was intentionally whimsical and colourful. I was in awe.
But, let’s get back to my reflections from the trip!
The Magical Entrance & Mainland USA 🎀
From the very first moment we entered, we were met with happiness! Paired with the great weather, it was just a perfect day. Our first task, was trying to find our old brick with our names, and taking a picture of it now. It was even a little funny looking for it with the help of the staff: whenever we told them we were here again after 20 years, they were both emotional, and would jokingly say “well, I started working here two months ago … but let me find someone who might help” 😊.
In the end, we discovered Disney removed all the bricks a few years ago. We were a bit sad … I think the understanding had been that they would be there forever, but hey … at least we had family friends get us one picture of it while it was still there!
Frontierland & Adventureland ⛰️
After entering the park and composing ourselves a little, our first stops were Frontierland & Adventureland for the rides and attractions. I remember that my favourite ride from when I was a kid (refer back to the first picture!) was always Big Thunder Mountain. The 2022 version of the Disneyland experience included an app that would tell you real-time waiting times for all the rides. According to the waiting time for Big Thunder Mountain, it was everybody’s favourite ride.
Anyways, Big Thunder Mountain, and all the other rides and attractions for that matter, were an absolute joy. It’s such great fun to experience! Sometimes I would see little kids waiting in line, terrified of the roller coasters. Little kids, I saw you. That used to be me as well … you’re not wrong, haha!
There were some rides I didn’t dare to try – even though Disneyland is one of the milder rollercoaster experiences. Anything with inversions, I was A-OKAY to skip. I know my mom would’ve skipped these rides too, but her motherly instinct kicked in, and she had to sacrifice her comfort zone to not let Jon ride alone, haha. Either way, I was proud of both of them for trying out even the “tougher” rides.
Fantasyland & the castle 👸
After our adventure in Adventureland (hah!), we made our way to Fantasyland again, for pictures and more attractions.
We explored a maze, recreated after Alice in Wonderland; a set of rotating teacups (right up my comfort level adrenaline-wise); and a sweet river ride, all while the weather was still amazing.
Last but not least, we explored Discoveryland. Here, I again sat a ride out. Apparently, this is the toughest ride in Disney. Mom and Jon were brave and went in.
I guess the best way I would describe Discoveryland is like … the version of Disneyland that’s more targeted to boys. Is that sexist? Maybe, but unintentionally. It wasn’t calling me much.
Final thoughts … ✨
In the end, we had the time of our lives! Every Disney adventure is worth it. If you’ve never been, and Disneyland is accessible to you, consider going! You will absolutely love it.
I cannot wait to go back one day soon!
Hugs and thanks for reading!