Monday, June 18, 2012

Disneyland Paris




Our final full day in Paris, we decided to take Brady to Disneyland Paris.  We'd taken him to Disney World twice in the last year and know how much he enjoys it, so we figured that it was time we did something for him.  Disneyland Paris is located in a suburb of Paris, opposite of Versailles, but it also took us an hour to get there via the higher speed suburban trains.  It was supposed to be the nicest day during the week, and also happened to be a Saturday, so the train was packed with people taking their kids to Disney.



The Disneyland stop is at the end of the line, and when we got off, we knew everyone was headed for the park.  The line to go through the bag check was crazy and like almost everything we've encountered in Europe, comes to a bottleneck.



This year Disneyland Paris is celebrating their 20th anniversary.  It seems every time we make a trip to Disney, it's a celebration.  So far, I've been to the 40th anniversary of Disneyland in California, the 2000 celebration at Disney World, and Disney World's 40th anniversary.












When we first arrived, we grabbed some fast passes for Buzz Lightyear, then decided to go see Mickey Mouse.  The set up for Mickey Mouse in Paris was nicer than at home because they had a big screen showing old Mickey Mouse cartoons and it kept the kids entertained.  You can see Brady above riding on Andy's shoulders enjoying the cartoons.



The pure joy on Brady's face when he was next in line to see Mickey.



Kisses for Mickey.






After Brady's audience with Mickey Mouse, we rode Buzz Lightyear, then headed over to the place where Winnie the Pooh was going to be.  I love the honey pot landscaping in front.



Running up to Pooh Bear.



Dancing with Pooh.



Lots of love for Pooh Bear.  Brady refused to stop loving on him to turn around so I could get his face in a picture.



Sleeping Beauty's castle.  I felt like it was a combination between Cinderella's castle at Disney World and Sleeping Beauty's castle at Disneyland.  It wasn't quite as large either.






Trying on a Goofy hat (pun intended).



Brady has recently developed a love of popcorn, and since there aren't pretzels on every corner in Paris, we got him a bucket of popcorn to snack on.  He ate this whole one and another one later in the day.



Snacking away . . .



Getting ready for the mid-day parade.



The 20th anniversary train.









One of the things that really annoyed me about this particular Disneyland, was partly the management and partly the people that were there.  We followed Goofy from his parade float and were the second ones there when he stopped, but grown people were shoving us out of the way (and other small children) so that they could get their picture with Goofy.  At home, the person that would be the character's "bodyguard" would make sure that the people formed a line, but here they let it be a mob scene with people everywhere and no order.  Eventually we gave up.  Another thing that really bothered me was that there was smoking allowed in the park and it felt like we weren't able to go anywhere without smoke being blown in our faces.



Brady and Andy both enjoying a mid-day nap.






Getting ready to ride It's a Small World.



Holland



Ireland



France



London ( I thought this was really cool)



Greece



Italy



Germany and Switzerland



Japan



Africa



Northern Africa



Mayans



Polynesia (again with surfer Brady in the background)



The coolest part was that they depicted the USA since it's not something we put in our ride at home.



Football and baseball players






Unfortunately, the weather forecasts in Europe are very unreliable.  When there's a 0% chance of rain, it rains, which is exactly what happened as soon as we got of It's a Small World.  We headed for cover (along with everyone else) and since there didn't seem to be an end in sight, we decided to call it a day.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sainte-Chapelle & Grevin's Wax Museum - Paris




While we were in Paris, we also decided to take a look at Sainte-Chapelle.  It's located on the same island in the middle of the Seine with Notre Dame.  It was built in 1239 and has the most extensive collections of 13th century stained glass anywhere in the world.



A look at the lower chapel.












The upper chapel, which was absolutely gorgeous in terms of the stained glass windows everywhere.  They're coming to the end of a six year renovation, hence the section on the left that's covered up.









Later on, we went to Grevin's Wax Museum.  We'd never been to a wax museum before and normally wouldn't take the time to see one when there's so much else to see.  It was included in our Paris Passes and was one of the most expensive admissions, so we decided to go there to help get our money's worth from the passes.



Brady and I with Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Andy thought it was hilarious because he's been making fun of me for years, because I say Arnold is one of my people (meaning Austrians).



Brady with Elton John.



Andy shooting the breeze with Bruce Willis.



It was really amazing how real these guys looked.



Andy and Brady hanging with some political big wigs.



Brady sticking his tongue out at Obama ;)



Spiderman



Brady and Bob Marley



They had a whole room with famous European sports figures, but we didn't know a single one.  Andy thought it would be funny to pose as though he were coming at this huge rugby player.



Victor Hugo, author of Les Miserables.



Marie Antoinette on trial.



King Louis XVI in prison.



The Three Musketeers.






Esmeralda and Quasimodo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame (another Victor Hugo novel).



Queen Elizabeth II



The Bonaparte family