ErikM - June 25-27 2007 - 3 days Disney, Paris and Barbra Streisand
3 days with a bunch of Disney, a little bit of Paris and a whole lot of Barbra Streisand.
Erik 29 years old: Disney-dweeb from birth
Sandra 31 years old: Likes Disney a lot especially since she hooked up with me.
Lisette 33 years old: Likes the resort but definitely not a Disney-dweeb.
Debby 32 years old: Same as Lisette.
Sandra en Erik both veteran Disneyland Paris visitors: more than 22 multi day visits since 1995 and still counting
Walt Disney World: First visit June 2005 off site with a 7 day magic your way ticket.
Second visit November – December 2006 on site with a 10 day magic your way ticket.
Future: Disneyland Resort Anaheim, 5 days at the Disneyland Hotel from 26th till 30th of September 2007.
So here we are again with another trip report from Paris. This trip was definitely not planned way in advance.
I am a huge Barbra Streisand fan and when we heard that she was going to perform in Europe it was on with the search for tickets. We found out that she was going to perform in Zrich, Vienna, Paris, Stockholm, Dublin and London. Well Zrich and Vienna are too far away from Holland so Paris or London were the best options. London was sold out and Paris still had tickets available but only at whopping prices. The “cheap” tickets were already gone. I was starting to wonder if I was ever going to see her in real life. Then we heard the announcement for two extra concerts in Berlin and Manchester. We checked immediately for Berlin but the only tickets available were those expensive ones. I thought to myself “I am going to check for Paris one more time”………and there they were……….the affordable tickets. Sandra and I jumped up and got our credit cards and booked two seats for the 26th of June. It was really quite comical because we were on a French site booking the tickets and we were trying to read and understand all the info on the site. Later when we booked we received a mail with the confirmation and I took it to my work for a colleague to read that knows perfectly French. I wanted to make sure we really had tickets and if they were going to send them by post. Later we found out that an English version of that site was also available……..we were so hyper we didn’t even notice this while we booked. We could not believe that we were actually going to see Babs live in concert and at our favorite city in Europe…….guess why it is our favorite ???
The same night we booked a Mercure hotel right next to the Palais des Omnisports where the concert would take place. The only thing we could do now was wait for three weeks.
It was almost time for us to pack for the trip and we started to opt the possibility to go to Disney. We were there in April and we talked about getting annual passes then. We had three days in Paris what could we do to spend our days…………visit Paris…..NAH !…..let’s go to Disney !
Monday June 25
The morning of departure arrived and we were on the road at 6 am. It was earlier for us than normal but we didn’t want to spend a lot of time in all kinds of traffic jams in Holland and Antwerp, it was Monday so our choice was to leave early. It worked out very well and we bypassed all the problems we would encounter normally on a Monday morning.
It was 11 am when we arrived at the resorts main parking lot. The first thing we encountered when we walked on the moving platforms were three…….you guess.
C: Armed guards with very VERY big guns.
For everyone who chose C congratulations, the rest of you suckers that had it wrong TOO bad to burst the bubble. It was a bit intimidating to see these three guys walking up and down the platform. They had a smile on their faces though…..it must be great walking at Disney with a big gun….?
Anyway we walked to the entrance of the Disneyland park to purchase our passports. We were very nervous about it but we were also determined to purchase them. The line at the booth was huge. I think we waited 20 minutes before we could step up to one and purchase our temporary ticket. We were finally in ! The park was very crowded and we made our way to the annual passport bureau. At the bureau there was a line and a waiting list to get the passes. We were patient so we waited. I was surprised at how many people were there. I think after 30 minutes we were called to come up to the podium and get our passes. I can’t remember the castmembers name but she was very nice and interested in us. Finally with our long anticipated passes in our hand we called home to tell my mom we arrived safely and to tell her about the passes. My mom really had a good laugh when she heard we bought passes (we kept it a secret from everybody)
To celebrate the purchase we went to Annette’s for lunch in the village. Lunch was very good and Annette’s is still one of our favorite places to eat. Sandra had the megaburger and for dessert the donuts with ice cream. I had the salmon club sandwich and the tarte tatin. We really wanted to ride the Crushes coaster so we made our way to the studios. The studio was really busy, it was the first time that I saw this much people in the park. The Toon Studios look nice and it is definitely a lot better than what it was. Still I think they could have done a lot more with the area, well who knows in the future. The main draws here definitely is Crush and the new Cars ride. This area is very immersive and very well done. We got in line for the coaster and there was a posted waiting time of 90 minutes. We didn’t care so we got in line. Sandra and I always have a good time in line singing, joking, talking and making funny pictures of each other, so the wait was over in a blink. I absolutely loved the boarding area with those hilarious seagulls. We already saw them in Disneyworld but it was nice to see that Paris has a couple of these funny guys now too.
We were in the front of the shell and all I can say about the ride is “awesome”, sorry for the cheesy comment, We absolutely adored it. The darkride portion is very well done, be sure to look for the hidden Mickey before you get in the submarine with the sharks. And that EAC part of the ride is just hilarious and thrilling with all the spinning. It is a bit disorienting but I think it is part of the fun. When we exited we wanted to go again but the wait was now 120 minutes. Well maybe on Wednesday when we return. Next up was the Cars ride. I really love the look and atmosphere of the ride, this is pure Disney. We wanted to ride mostly to experience it once and then skip it the rest of our lives. We just wanted to know what it was. I must say that it was very enjoyable and Sandra had a blast in the back. I was in the front on that eency weency tiny little bench that was not very comfortable. Also note the tiny hidden Mickey on the hood of Mater, it is so cute.
Two great new editions in a mediocre park. I can not wait what happens after ToT opens. We wanted to ride the Rock’n roller coaster but it was closed for technical problems, later we heard about the Spanish girl that died that day on the ride, horrible !
We wanted to ride some of our favorites in the Disneyland park so we made our way to the exit. The Disneyland park was still very busy. I wanted to ride Pirates and when we arrived there was only a small wait. We had the opportunity to ride with a few of France’s most obnoxious, loud and irritating girls. The whole ride was one big scream-fest and at the caverns at the end they were splashing water at everybody. Sandra got really wet, and angry. She looked back at all those girlies and for a few moments everyone was quiet. Go Sandra ! When we exited the girls couldn’t wait to get out of there. We wanted to ride again because we wanted to enjoy the ride fully. After that we went to Big Thunder Mountain. The wait was 50 minutes but we again didn’t care. After 45 minutes the ride stopped and we were told to exit the waiting area because the problems were larger than expected. So that was a bit of a bummer. Well time for Phantom Manor. There was a small wait but the ride was great as usual. You could really notice that the ride was refurbished a week or two ago. In April all kinds of things were not working properly or looked dingy. Now everything was great as usual. It was around 8pm and we wanted to get to our hotel to check-in. After a quick sandwich (delicious focaccia bread with tuna salad) at the market house deli we made our way to the parking lot. It really started to pour at the moment we hit the highway. I never drove a car in Paris before so I was a bit nervous to get on the Peripherique. It was very crowded on the road and the weather got worse and I got more nervous by the minute. Finally there was the sign Porte de Bercy. OK that was one, now it was dry again and Sandra noticed a sign to the Palais des Omnisports. Our hotel was next to the stadium so that was the way to go. Yes, there it was the stadium and there was the hotel. It was not really picturesque Paris like we know it but it was also no ghetto. We parked the car in the garage of the hotel for the whopping amount of Euro 22,00 a day…pffffffff.
We entered the lobby of the hotel and we went straight to the reception. We were checked-in by the most rude and blunt person we have ever encountered in a hotel. He didn’t even look us in the eyes for one second. He nearly threw the key cards of the room on the desk and didn’t even say goodbye or goodnight, stupid mothe………..@#%&@ This was definitely not a good first impression of the hotel. We went up to the room on the second floor and we entered it. Well to be fair the room consisted of a few walls and a bed and tv, very basic but that horrible smell of smoke penetrated the room. We requested a non smoking room but that idiot gave us this one. Another zero points for the Mercure ! We were too tired to go and complain about it. We fell asleep a bit cranky to say the least. At this moment we wished we were at Disney in a hotel, but alas nothing was available.
Tuesday June 26
We woke up fairly early and we were not in the best mood. The hotel was really very noisy outside and in. I don’t know what some people do in their rooms but it is definitely not sleeping. Sometimes it sounded like an extreme home makeover with all the banging. We discussed our options for the day and finally decided to stay in Paris. Tonight was “THE” night of the concert so we wanted to be close by. The hotel offered a breakfast buffet for Euro 12,00 per person, we first declined and went outside to look for a bakery or caf but most were closed and the ones that were open didn’t look very appealing to us. So we went back to the hotel to have breakfast. They had a reasonable selection of food, it was not overwhelming but acceptable for the price. We had a conversation with two ladies also from Holland that were there also for the concert. It was nice talking with fellow Barbra fans. They had a little problem with their tickets though. They went up to the stadium and nobody knew anything about their tickets. So they were a bit in a panic. To make a long story short, the hotel called the venue and arranged the tickets for them, must have been a relieve. After breakfast we took our bags and went outside. We walked around the stadium expecting to see some kind of sign that Barbra was already there. The only things we saw were a few guards with dogs (Barbra likes her security with beasties nearby) and a few trucks. We went to the subway that was very conveniently located near the hotel. We bought a day ticket for the metro at Euro 5,00 per person and we were on our way. We decided to take a walk from the Champs Elysees all the way to the Louvre. We also wanted to make a small detour at Place de la Concorde to the Madeleine church.
The weather in Paris was grey and a bit wet. I am not going to tell everything we did and saw because this is a Disney site. We had a nice time walking but we were very nervous for the concert, especially Sandra, and that kept us from really enjoying ourselves that day. I also saw a homeless guy near the Madeleine church and he had a dog and two cats with him and the big softie I am, I just broke down, I felt so bad for the guy but especially for the animals. I gave him two euros and a smile. I know that it was probably a trick from him to use the animals to get even more money from people, well it worked for me. But I also thought at that moment how extremely lucky Sandra and I are. To just walk in Paris and go and see Barbra Streisand and that we can go on vacation when we want. It made me feel guilty and also a bit angry because in those streets where we were walking there are all these expensive deli shops and patisseries where people get in line to pay Euro 3,50 for one lousy macaroon (a small cookie) at Laduree. Also the Chanel, Gucci and al those other Tucci stores were located here and it was such a contrast I really wanted to get out of there. We returned to the hotel around 4 pm and we had lunch/dinner in a great sandwich shop called lina’s, we also rested a while and went to the stadium at 7 pm.
All I am going to say is that it was one incredible night. It was worth every penny. I think all 15000 people agreed with us on that. We were back in bed at 1 am (we stalked Barbra at the exit, no I am just kidding, but we watched her leave the premises) I was a big fan but now I am obsessed and her doggie is soooo cute, I almost threw her two euros……see what animals do with me ?
Wednesday June 27
We were up very early, around 7 am to pack and to leave the hotel. We wanted to go to Disney again before heading home, hey we have annual passes now !
We skipped the expensive breakfast and paid for the ridiculously high parking garage and headed out of Paris to find the promised land of Disney. Traffic was a breeze and we were on the parking lot at 9 am. Again we saw those happy people with the guns, still intimidating, maybe a nametag will help. I thought that the parks were going to open at 9 am but that was a mistake, they opened at 10. There were already people waiting in line to get in the studios. Well this was a good opportunity to get some breakfast at the village. We chose the New York sandwiches restaurant and ordered a bagel with scrambled eggs, cheese, bacon and a chocolate croissant accompanied by a glass of milk. We were both very happy with our bagels and croissants especially when we noticed the price for all of this together was the same as a one persons breakfast at the hotel. We were soooo full we literally dragged ourselves to the studios for one more ride on the new Crushes coaster. The ride had a wait of two hours so we went to Rock’n roller coaster first, now it was open and we only had a wait of 15 minutes before launching on one of the greatest coasters in the world. After this we headed towards the Nemo ride and still the wait was two hours. But we really wanted to ride again so we waited. Like I said before we do not really mind waiting in line so the time went by quickly. Now we chose to ride backwards and I must admit that I like that even more than in the front. It felt as if the spinning and turning was more intense, we loved it !
After that we went to the Disneyland park where we wanted to ride It’s a small world. We both like this one very much. We had a bit of a wait before we could board the boat. You can really notice the larger crowds this year. The ride was great as usual. The only thing we wanted to do now was go and have lunch at Colonel Hathi’s in Adventureland before heading home. It had been a while since our last visit and the place is every bit as charming as we remembered. I had the pasta napoletana with garlic bread and Sandra had the cheese pizza. Everything was A OK. It was time to go back to Holland because tomorrow was a working day and we wanted to have some much needed quality time with our cat. We hit the road around 3.30 pm and we made it home around 8.00 pm. It was very strange for us to go back to work on Thursday after these three wonderful days of Disney and Streisand, it was almost surreal.
We really are excited that we have annual passes and we really like all the extra discounts and benefits that come with it. It takes a little getting used to at first because you are not used to get discounts and to show your card, so we almost forgot it a few times. Toon studios is really a great addition to the park. The coaster is hilarious and the cars ride is enjoyable and nicely themed. I can not wait for the rest of the attractions that are going to open in the park.
And of course Barbra Streisand was really the icing on the delicious cake, incredible !
If you have the chance to see her in England or Ireland in July than do not hesitate it is worth every penny !
And if you are on the Rue Royale in Paris don’t forget to give some spare change or a Laduree macaroon to that homeless man sitting outside with the two cats and the doggie, he will be grateful !
I don’t think we can return to Disneyland before September. We will be leaving for the US. So I think we’ll see Mickey again in Anaheim.
Thank you all for reading and we will post again in future.
Greetings Erik and Sandra.
07-05-2007 08:49 AM
Happy Birthday Baby!
Cool report. Thanks for doing it for us!
Why do people go on The Amazing Race without bothering to learn how to drive a stick shift?
Glad you enjoyed it !!
Thanks for the report, as always Erik!
Will this be your first trip to Anaheim in September? We look forward to having you in CA.
Thanks Spectroman !!
Yes this will be our first time to Anaheim, we are very excited about it !!