Saturday, November 19, 2011

Disneyland Paris and Interesting Flight to Jeddah

Well it's at least 6 months since our trip to Paris and I'm finally getting around to finishing up the blog about it.  The sad thing is that I can't remember details of the day to day activities - which, of course, isn't really that important.  I do remember that we all did enjoy the time we spent at Disneyland Paris.  It was definitely different than what we experience at DisneyWorld but it was Disney, so it was great!

We stayed at Hotel Cheyenne which is one of the Disneyland Parks. Some of the interesting things about the hotels are that they are "American" themed...Sequoia Lodge, Santa Fe, Davy Crockett Ranch, Hotel New York. The Disneyland Hotel which is the nicest hotel on the property actually is right at the entrance to the park. Some of the rooms overlook the park.

Disneyland Hotel

Main Street USA in Paris

The Cheyenne Hotel was nice - I would compare it to a Value resort at DisneyWorld.  Breakfast was included in the price of the room which meant that the restaurant was always very crowded in the morning.  It was your basic continental type breakfast with croissants, rolls, cheese, etc.  A couple of funny things compared to staying at Disneyworld - they were very stingy with the pillows, we asked for a couple more and they made sure that they told us that they mark down how many pillows there are in a room.  Also, if you wanted a blow dryer, you had to go to the lobby to get it and put a 25 EUR deposit down that you get back when you return it.  So from this, I'm wondering if Europeans make a habit of stealing pillows and blow dryers from hotels :-)

There are 2 "parks" at Disneyland Paris - Disneyland and Walt Disney Studios.  There are a lot of similar rides and attractions to what is in DisneyWorld but some that are different.  There is also a Disney Village which is similar to Downtown Disney.  I would say the majority of things are in English but there were some attractions that were done in both French and English.  It was very amusing to hear Buzz Lightyear speak in French!!  We joked because it sounded like Buzz was talking about sausage - but that could just be because we are pork-deprived while we live in KSA.

Space Mountain is slightly different (called Mission 2), they have a Toy Story "land" in Walt Disney Studios which the kids really enjoyed.  Crush's Coaster was probably the favorite "new" attraction of the family, except for me.  Now that I'm getting older - spinny rides make me a little sick.  Crush's Coaster is a roller coaster that spins also - so I didn't do it twice but everyone else did.  They had Michael Jackson's Captain EO playing there also.  I think they used to have this playing at DisneyWorld along time ago because I think I've seen it but it was fun to watch it with the kids. 

I think the thing that I disliked most was all of the smoking!!  There are supposedly designated smoking areas in the park but no one paid attention to these and it seemed like everyone was smoking.  The kids and I started counting how many people we saw with cigarettes outside of the designated smoking areas and I think we at least got to 75.  The ones that cracked me up the most...Lizzie and I were sitting waiting for the family to ride an attraction and Tigger came out to sign autographs.  The kids were just surrounding him (no acutal line) and this guy brings his kid in to get an autograph and is puffing away amongst all the kids.  Another time we saw a mom and dad holding hands with their 2 kids walking around - both of them had cigarettes in the other hand.  As you can tell...this really bugged me! I said...I can't remember day to day what we did anymore so here's some pictures to enjoy...

Rachel at the entry to Fantasy land

Headed into Fantasyland

It's A Small World

You have to ride Dumbo!!

Megan is enjoying the ride

Lancelot's Carrousel


Sleeping Beauty's Castle

Outside Pirates of the Carribean

With Walt and Mickey

Toy Story Playland

Singing in the Rain

Just a pretty picture of Megan

Slinky Dog Ride

Hanging out

Mark and Rachel on Slinky Dog

We had the same van service pick us up at Disneyland to take us back to the airport.  We had the same driver this day that had taken us into Paris from the airport.  We really enjoyed the information he shared with us regarding Paris and the surrounding areas.  Instead of taking us on the freeways - which he said were crowded - he took us through some small villages to get to the airport.  I felt like this was one of the highlights of our trip and really enjoyed the country scenery.  Mark snapped a few pictures on the way.

So we arrived at the airport in plenty of time.  We were on a Saudi Arlines flight that went direct from Paris to Jeddah - we didn't leave until pretty late and were supposed to arrive in about 1 am the next day.  The flight was pretty full and they really split our family up - I think only Mark was sitting alone but otherwise we were only 2 together with someone else in our row.  We got seated and figured we move back once the flight got in the air.  It look like we might take off a little early because everyone was boarded but then I noticed the flight attendants talking pretty heatedly with a women the row in front of us.  They argued for a while but I couldn't understand what they were saying because they were arguing in both French and Arabic.  Finally it seemed like she had calmed down when all of a sudden another lady from the back of the plane got up and started yelling at this first lady.  From what I could glean, she wanted to get off the plane because she thought that the first lady was bad luck.  So now it was a full blown argument between these two women. 

At this point, we had all moved towards the back of the plane so we could sit together and I started talking to one of the flight attendants.  This argument had all started because one of the female flight attendants had told this women that she couldn't lift a bag into the overhead compartment.  The flight attendant had just returned from sick leave for back issues and this lady was just really ticked that she wouldn't lift the bag for her.  So the argument continued and they finally brought security on to try to calm these women down.  I couldn't understand why they just didn't remove these women from the plane right away.  After about an hour of this, they finallly did remove the two women from the plane and then we had to wait for them to remove their luggage also.  Thanks goodness!!!  We didn't arrive back in Jeddah until about 2:30 in the morning but at least we did so safely!

Thanks for reading!

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