Friday, October 20, 2006
When Puan Mama Sarah and yours truly were planning our trip to Paris, we had not decided whether to bring the children to Disneyland, or not. Having arrived in Paris, and having visited most of the important sights we wanted to, we decided to complete our visit by also going to Disneyland. Furthermore, it'd be a huge treat for the kids.
We woke up early for the trip and thank goodness getting to Disneyland from Gare du Nord was not that difficult at all. It involved only a single change, and the rest of the trip was a breeze. Disneyland is literally infront of the last station.
Now, this is not my first time to Paris, or Disneyland, but it is the rest of the family's. The last time I went, it was definitely a blast and I wished to share that feeling with everyone else too.
Seriously, I didn't know who was more excited - the children, or the so called grown-ups. Decide for yourself by comparing Amar's and PMS' expression in the picture above. It was slightly unfortunately, however, that the weather was bland and it even rained - so I was too scared to use my camera ... much. Having said so, I still managed to capture around 500 photos - and looking at the photos just now, I wish I had taken much more!
Going to Disneyland in any other month is special enough, but going in October this year is even MORE special, due to a Haloween festivities special. The whole of Disneyland was re-decorated with a Haloween theme, and it looked beautiful and fun.
At certain scheduled intervals throughout the day, there would be events - singing, dancing and performances - such as pictured in the photo above. At that time, a big haloween pumpkin was being towed around, and many people dressed in pumpkin heads, witches and fairies were singing "It's Haloween" which added even more excitement to the already euphoric atmosphere. Predictably though, Sarah was scared stiff of the monstrosities and didn't want to get any closer than 100 metres to any of the performances.
Disneyland is divided into 5 zones - Fantasy land, Frontier land, Space Land, Adventure Land, and the Town Centre. Above is a picture of Frontier Land, specially modified for Haloween. The theme was of these pumpkin heads seeming to invade the Land causing all kinds of havoc. Statues of the pumpkin heads could be seen literally everywhere, as if in the middle of painting the Land orange for haloween.
Even the structures look slightly scary, so you could forgive that Sarah was completely scared! Imagine Sarah frozen in fear as a tall pumpkin head on stilts was passing by us.
Some of the children were dressed as in a haloween party. There were even staff all around for face-painting and hair-styling as you could see. Many children were dressed as witches and fairies.
This is the obligatory shot of the family in front of Cinderella's Castle (also the entrance to Fantasy Land). It was such a pity that I didn't have my tripod yet at that time as I was unable to include a picture of myself. Seriously, if I did have a tripod there would be many pictures of us as a family as well as lots of nightshots all around Paris.
It is a merchandise-shopping heaven in Disneyland. The streets are absolutely littered with shops and tiny stalls that sell everything Disney. We couldn't help but indulge...
At regular intervals, famous characters from Disney's classic fables appear on the streets to meet the children, very much to Sarah's delight of seeing characters she loves so much from her DVDs.
What was excellent was these characters happily posed for us taking photos, and gladly entertained the kids and signed autographs. Sarah managed to meet the witches from Snow white and Sleeping Beauty, tiger, mickey mouse, pluto and various others I don't care to name. To put it mildly, she was supremely thrilled.
Admission to Disneyland is around 45 Euros for each adults and our underage kids were admitted completely free of charge *big smile*. 95% of the rides inside of Disneyland is then free for all. The only thing is, there are always long queues for these rides ranging from 10 minutes to an hour. (Imagine waiting in queue with an impatient child for an hour!)
The one ride Sarah arguably enjoyed the most was the flying Dumbo. God darn it, I was scared stiff while Sarah was letting out squeals of excitement as our Dumbo was flying to the apex of the ride.
For Amar there was a relatively gentler ride - the Mad hatter's Tea Cup Ride :) In this ride we rode in over-sized teacups and the cups would gently spin round and round the track. The speed of the spin depended on how fast we could spin a metal plate that Sarah is seen holding in the picture above.
I sabotaged the ride by spinning the wheel as fast as I could, thank goodness Amar did not vomit! I took the opportunity to take panning and motion shots, hahaha. Hopefully it'd give viewers a sense of speed.
*ehem* sorry for the overdose of the Cup pictures. Now let's move on ...
Another ride that I enjoyed with Sarah was this boat ride around a large-ish lake around Frontier Land. Remember, most of the rides were free, including this one.
Sarah was treated with icecream ...
... after icecream ...
... after icecream ... and look at the expression of her finishing her treat! I've never seen her that enthusiastic, and that was after finishing a portion of chips. (We decided to let her, for the first time, drink coke - so that she'd have energy to last till the end of the day).
... while Amar settled on just Mickey Mouse shaped lollipops.
Now this is my absolute favourite of the whole series of an expert glass blower making a glass rose, as in the movie Beauty and the Beast. It was absolutely fascinating watching him delicately shaping the hot molten glass into beautiful shapes - ultimately forming the glass rose you could see on the left. The orange and blue fire also looks good in photos I opine.
We ended our visit at 6p.m. that day and Sarah and Amar seemed to have spent every ounce of their energy. They were sleeping soundly most of the train-journey back. Sarah was exulted from the all the rides, and not to mention all her new toys.
We had a great time.