|The Sleeping Beauty Castle in the rain.|
So you might ask - "Why the hell did you go to DISNEYland?" And to be honest, it's a questions I ask myself now. Why did we go to Disneyland? The best I can come up with is because of the funfair rides. The year before we spent a day at Alton Towers and just loved it. Rollercoaster after rollercaoster, it never got old so we thought maybe Disneyland would be the same. And in some ways it was. Disney has some great fairground rides. But it's just... Well, the amount of cute, colourful and shiny ribbon clad crap you have to wade through to get to the rides. That is what made Disneyland Paris one of the great disappointments of my life.
|And in the sun, fabulous!|
The queue at the hotel was the first slice of reality served to us in this "land of imagination".We had to wait an hour to check in. This was after getting up at four in the morning and travelling by plane and coach for the past ten hours. We were exhausted by the time we finally collapsed onto our itchy polyester lined Lightning McQueen style beds. We had a quick sleep before leaving for the big D.
Before you reach the parks you have to walk through Disney Village. This is just shops and restaurants. Although each store has a different name, they are essentially the exact same. They sell Disney stuff. You immediately notice the prices. Disneyland is bloody expensive. We checked menus outside the restaurants/fast food places/sandwich bars; all of them are hugely overpriced. You pay €3.50 for a can of coke, a large coffee will set you back €5.75. The next thing you notice is how many people don't seem to care about the prices. Children wave their new Tinkerbell Fairy Wands, while their parents prance around in velour Mickey Mouse Ears. Little girls pose in sparkly Cinderellla dresses and boys twirl bright Star Wars Keychains on their fingers. You can hear the chorus of "I want, I want" at each shop door you pass. Mammies and Daddies trudge past, pushing buggies that creak with the weight of countless shopping bags; stuffed to the brim with every piece of conceivable Disney merchandise you can imagine.
|What are you smiling about? That cost €5.75!|
You have to pass two streets before finally reaching something that isn't a shop. The first ride we wanted to go on was "Big Thunder Mountain." We found it only to realise it was closed down for repairs - or as Disney like to put it "refurbished for our future enjoyment." It wasn't that big of a deal - we found other rides and they were surprisingly good. "Space
|Now, that's one big Mickey!|
People are probably reading this thinking: What a moany old cow. And I get that, I really do. Why couldn't we just get into the Disney buzz and enjoy the place for what it was? The reason being what I found Disney to be was a commercial, money obsessed, materialised, over priced, carnival. That might sound naive of me. I mean, surely I know that all Theme Parks are commercial, money obsessed etc. Of course I do. It's just that Disneyland Paris was so unashamed about it's greed . It didn't hide the fact that it was just out to line its pockets. In fact, Disneyland's mantra was plastered on posters everywhere for all to see: "Nothing brings a smile to child's face more than a new toy." It fed on the desires of children and the guilt of their parents. It encouraged the tears and tantrums that led to the wallet being emptied. We watched parents crumble as they passed shop after shop. You can only say no so many times...
|Kieran gets his Disney on, boo ya!|
After three days, during which we visited Paris as well as Disneyland, we left for home. I can't say I was sad to go. In fact, after an incident whereby the latch in our room took it upon itself to lock us out, we were just sick of the place and couldn't wait to leave.
I dreamt of plain white cotton sheets on the flight home.
*In Ireland Mickey is a colloquial term for a penis.