This time last week! Back from a few days in my favourite country, no visit to see Monsieur X but Monsieur Mouse instead – Disneyland Paris. Technically not very French but as it’s in France I take it as a win. I’m not a roller-coaster fan but any excuse to walk on French soil equals flights booked and a trip to the nearest bureau de change.
To summarize my Disney preferences:
Favourite Disney Films: 1. Jungle Book. 2. Ratatouille and latest fav – Coco.
Favourite characters: 1. Baloo the Bear. 2. Remy the Rat. 3. Grumpy Dwarf.
Sensing a theme that I do prefer the animal movies and not a fan of the Princesses (seen Frozen once and that was enough). Other notable animal stars? Of course there are the mice, ducks and dogs but there’s the sea life in Finding Dory (J’adore Crush) and Sebastian the singing crab in Little Mermaid. The ‘live action’ Jungle Book was much better than I thought it would be and can I count Pete’s Dragon Elliott and Ham from Toy Story amongst my favourites? Not actually animals a cute dragon and a plastic pig with a dry sense of humour.
Our accommodation was the Hotel Santa Fe which was Cars (themed), Clean, Comfortable and enough Croissants at breakfast to feed all of Paris. It was a 2 star complex but giving it a C mark is too low, more a B+. It was around a 10/15 minute walk (shuttle bus available) from the Disney shops, restaurants and parks. It sometimes felt longer due to the minus February temperatures. Man! It was cold; my previous trips to ski resorts never felt this cold. The fast food in the park was expensive (7€ for 6 chicken nuggets or cheesy pasta) but it tasted good and the all-you-can-eat buffet at the Inventions restaurant was délicieux.
With the rides I’m too young to die so I only went on three of them. Pirates of the Caribbean (log fume in the dark); it’s a Small World (just typing these few words that annoying song is now in my head) and my favourite Ratatouille (spinning around a restaurant kitchen with the rats and 3D glasses). I would have gone on it again if we had more time, instead of spending my time in the gift shop/s.
10 years ago I was working in Orlando for 9 months near one of the other happiest places on earth, to my work mates and me that place was a rough biker bar (RIP Scores Bar) which didn’t have a drinks licence and just like a Disney park it was full of colourful characters, a Santa Clause lookalike, Pizza Man and his free pizzas, and a guy who liked to called himself Bones to name a few. During that summer of 2007 I did bring back a suitcase full of Jungle Book goodies. This year my suitcase was full of Disney goodies again and sticking to the French theme it was Ratatouille. A girl cannot have too many soft animal toys.
Now what about the French connections? Of course Ratatouille Paris, French food, French music and rats. Beauty and the Beast’s Lumiere, Ewan McGregor’s French accent was terrible in the live action version. Surely not every French actor was too busy for this part and the Princess and the Frog is not very politically correct as the frog has a French accent, even thou it’s much better than Ewan’s effort.
Anyway after I wished upon that star to stay in France a little bit longer my wish was granted. An extra night in Disney thanks to striking Air France staff. After the panic of where we going to stay and how we going to get home (kept our room and transferred to a next day flight), it meant an extra afternoon in the parks. Yes kids your dreams do come true in Disney.
Did this little trip improve my French – Non! I learnt treize, quatorze and quinze because the total price of 2 pints of beers was around 13 – 15 euros.
And did I find my Prince in France? Non! But as Walt himself said ‘think, believe, dream and dare’