We went to Disneyland Paris this weekend.
I had the great idea to take a trip that was fun for the kids before Randy leaves for a couple of months. Randy also booked our trip by telling Disney we were French. Um, can you say 40% cheaper?
We stayed at the “New York Hotel”. It was walking distance from the parks which was awesome. We were able to enjoy a couple of decent meals this way… of peanut butter avec jelly a la Mommy. The view from our room was nice. It was also right on top of the ice skating rink. Yes, I said ice skating rink. That sounds cool, right? No! That’s weird in April.
So, we did the Disney thing. We fought the crowds and we waited.
We also had a ton of fun.
at least Randy and I had fun?
Just joking. Everyone had a great time even if they dislike taking pictures. Lula LOVES rides.
I was hesitant going in. In graduate school, or at least in my graduate school, we really didn’t have textbooks, but rather large volumes of “case studies”. Case studies are involved write ups of real life companies in real life scenarios. They’ll give you more information than you could possibly use and as a student, you decipher what went wrong, or went went right, or where to go in the future. There are a host of places you could go with a case study and in a multitude of disciplines. Well, Eurodisney was such a disastrous example of “what NOT to do” in business that I am quite positive I have read every case study ever written on it. Seriously. So, it was fun to see if the problems had been fixed first hand. I already knew the name had changed to Disneyland Paris!
If you are now waiting for my opinion… well, it ISN’T Disney World, that’s for sure. I mean, how could it be? It’s in FRANCE! Have you been to France?! I was pleased to see Disneyland Paris wasn’t TOO clean. There were more than acceptable numbers of smokers everywhere and plenty of cigarette butts on the ground. We even were greeted with room service plates and cups outside of our room and they stayed for TWO days. The staff were acceptably disgruntled, but not full-out rude. I mean, Disney World is really a weird place when it comes to perfection and cleanliness and HAPPY CAST MEMBERS!!!! Even by American standards. These things have no place 20 minutes from Paris. Really. We really loved the shows at Walt Disney Studios, but it was just painful to watch these French people try to put on the wildly enthusiastic song and dance routine. Randy and I kept on catching each others’ eyes as we had to look away.
In the end, here’s what got me. The food. The food was so incredibly bad. Expensive I can handle, but bad food in France is just unacceptable. It was all really, really, really bad.
We were so excited they had special menus for those with allergies. Here is what they brought my poor five-year-old to eat for dinner:
The best part was it all came out with the plastic still on top. All you had to do was peel and enjoy! I felt terrible for Jack. What kind of parents feed this to their kids at Disney?! I think it is pureed carrots, pureed meat, pureed apples and something else we weren’t sure about?
Thank goodness I brought peanut butter and jelly and fruit, but the provisions didn’t last in this hostile environment. This morning we had one more day in the parks. Randy and I didn’t even need to discuss it. We just packed up and left for greener pastures without lines. We felt we had really done all we came to do. We decided en route to explore around the Champagne region. We picked an exit and…..
We didn’t know what we would find open on a Sunday, but we drifted onto the “Champagne Road” and it was really beautiful. We stopped in a tiny village and were looking around when I see Randy talking to some lady at her door. Then he’s gone. After a while I look in the doorway I saw him at and he’s sitting in this lady’s living room drinking Champagne. He motions me in and the lady pours me a glass and there is another couple inside with their baby. They are from Paris. The champagne is delicious, but the kids are getting rowdy and Randy goes outside with the kids so they don’t destroy the place. In the meantime, I’m alone in this house now and I DON’T SPEAK FRENCH by the way. I can say the following: bibliothèque, discothèque, pamplemousse, croissant, assiette de frites, jus d’orange, poulet rôti, un, deux, trois, quatre, cinq, Oui, Merci, and Merci beaucoup! Oh, and Champagne.
These words don’t get you so far in conversation.
I pretended to be really in love with the baby while I waited for Randy to come back and rescue me. Randy came back and asked where a bank machine was (we had no money… went ahead and announced THAT to the lady pouring me a second glass of Champagne, heh heh). We found out there was no money machine in town, we’d have to go to the next village. Randy said he’d be back shortly. OH NO!!!! I’ll go WITH you! I didn’t even know why I was sitting in some lady’s living room drinking champagne yet! So, we leave and I find out he had just peeked in because there was a sticker on her door that said seller of Champagnes somehow and she invited him in and asked if he’d like to try some. He said, sure!
So, we set off in search of money and a decent lunch. We found both. And we went back to that lady’s house after lunch and bought some of her Champagne. She was doing laundry and her husband was watching the game. It was really really weird and really really funny. PRETTY sure Smej-Vely Champagne is only found in a few places, including our wine cellar, but it’s delicious!