The Girl Who Ate Everything

Blogging about food and whatever since 2004.

Spring Break in Paris: Day 3

Last Monday I hobbled out of bed at around 7:45 AM to make sure that I'd be conscious enough to take the line 6 metro at 8:30 AM to Nation where I would meet Jiny, her friend Svenja, Alex, and his friend Charlie. While blankly staring out the window of the mostly elevated 6 train, I felt stupidly glum and blah, the effects of an emotional hangover from the night before. (I've never had a physical hangover, but assuming that's worse than an emotional one, I think I'll pass.) When I arrived at Nation half an hour later I hoped it would be easy to run into the others at the RER A platform.

A few seconds after stepping onto the platform, there he was! ALEX BREEEEEEY! SAVING MY SANITY! And there was Charlie who I would soon find out was a bundle of awesomness. And then the smiling Jiny and Svenja arrived behind us! Like whoa, so many humans! My emotional hangover poofed away in the presence of awesome happy people. I traded Jiny a box of Fruit Roll Ups and a bag of Reeses Pieces (apparently these things are hard to get in her home in Germany) for a armload of German chocolates and odd edible things of German origin. And then we went on our merry way to the happiest place on earth, European style.

welcome to disneyland
bag check

Okay, that's not the real entrance to Disneyland. That's the point after you get off the RER where they check your bag to make sure you're not packing explosives or other dangerous un-Disney-like things.

hotel at the entrance
Disneyland Hotel

Ah, that's more like it. The coral pink Disneyland Hotel sits right at the entrance of the park. There are loads more hotels around the park, all with their own special theme (this one is just like being in NYC!), but they're more of a hike away from the park. I know because when I was 7 years old my family stayed at the Sequoia Lodge and my feet felt like prickly, stinging death every night after walking through the Disney Village.

Yes, I do have quite a history with Disney theme parks. If you're a Disney hater, just leave me be. I don't love Disney to death (the last time I went to Disneyland in California I was sadly disappointed; it just wasn't the same as when I was kid), but I've enjoyed going to the parks since I was 5 and it's loads more fun when you get to roam the parks with friends than with your own family. If you've been going to the parks since childhood you might understand.

ticket booths
ticket counters early in the morning

"Oh my god, it's like being in America...kind of."

If America were really, really clean. And stuck in the 50s. Disneyland is surreal enough in the US, but even more so in Paris. Being spoken to in English and seeing English on all the signs says something like, "You're in idealized America now, bitch."

We couldn't help but giddily trot around as soon as we crossed the park entrance.

main street + castle
that's one nice castle

The castles are different in each Disney park. Somewhat. The castles in Disneyland Paris and Disneyland in California are for Sleeping Beauty while the ones in Orlando and Tokyo are for Cinderella. Why am I telling you this? I DON'T KNOW. Anyhoo, the Paris castle is the prettiest out of all of them, which should be fitting for a park that's in Europe. (However, you can't really blame Disneyland's for being so dinky since it was the first park to open.)

Although we all grabbed maps, we didn't really need them since Charlie immediately took the role of "Disneyland Guide". He suggested what attractions we should visit; we followed like baby ducklings.

space mountain
It's the mountain of space! Next up is the tunnel of space! And the river of space!

The first stop was Discoveryland (Tomorrowland in the US), which has the best ride in the park: SPACE MOUNTAIN. Okay, that's just my opinion; my mum's favorite rise is the Casey Jr train in Fantasyland. Space Mountain has been my favorite ride for a long time, thus why when I went to Disneyland (California) in 2004 and found that it was closed I felt like my soul had been squashed. Today we were in luck as for whatever reason no one really felt like riding Space Mountain, meaning that there was no wait for those of us who wanted to ride it over and over again, which we did because it was awesomer than any other Space Mountain.

Space Mountain photo
I have rarely looked so happy in my life.

My god, can you feel the joy in this photo? The unbridled happiness of a thousand rainbow unicorns dipped in pristine rivers of marshmallows and baby bunnies? Yeah. We look like a bunch of little kids dumpling out full bags of Halloween candy after a successful night of trick-or-treating. Later we would feel like a bunch of little kids who had just eaten entire bags of Halloween candy, but I'll get to that in a bit.

Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast
fricken laserbeams

Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast was bizarrely fun in the sense that you have no idea what the hell is going on, but it doesn't matter because the point of the ride is probably to give you some brain damage (and to save those cute little green aliens from Emperor Zurg, or something).

inside the Buzz Lightyear ride
This is exactly what the ride looks like

Imagine a noisy shoot 'em-up carnival ride with retina-raping colors and excessive blinky lights that's built really well (as opposed to a real carnival ride where half the thrill of terror comes from thinking the ride will break down and collapse on you); that's kind of what the ride was like. Each car sits two people and comes equipped with laser guns that you shoot at targets labeled with Zs. When a target has been successfully hit, a bunch of little red lights kinda poof out from the Z and...well, you'll figure it out. You'll know if you're doing well or sucking crap from the score that comes up on the dashboard. There's also a wheel in the middle of the dashboard that allows you to spin the car as much as you want. Of course the spinning isn't necessary, but it adds another dimension of "WTF THIS RIDE IS STUPID FUN!", which is the feeling I'm sure those Disney Imagineers were going for. I spun the car while Alex confusedly attempted to shoot everything in sight (I got a much better score than him though, bwahaha, I AM GOOD AT SHOOTING THINGS, that is so useful!).

sponsored by esso!
The temple of peril!

The Indiana Jones roller coaster was not nearly as awesome as Space Mountain. If not for the theming, we decided it would be a somewhat sucky, too short carnival ride. But it had really good theming. So! [shrugs] The Indiana Jones ride at the Disneyland in California is really freakin' cool and completely different, probably because it cost a bagillion dollars and a few human sacrifices to make the waiting area alone.

no dancing.

Pirates of the Caribbean wasn't as cool as I remembered, but it wasn't...bad. It's just a bunch of animatronic pirates singing, breaking shit, drinking booze, chasing women, ye know. Boys will be boys, robotic pirates will be robotic pirates. Remember, no rocking out on the couch (or the boat).

At some point we went on the Haunted Mansion ride (no photo, gasp!). It felt a little cooler than other versions of the Haunted Mansion, but I don't know why. Oh, but I thought was missing something in the room with the woman's head in the glass sphere. Know what I'm talking about? I thought there were supposed to be objects "floating" around the room as you rotate around it, but in this ride there weren't any floating objects. Did I make that up? Wuhzuh? Possibly.

Out of everything on that ride, what creeps me out the most is the neverending room with the candlestick that moves towards you at half the speed of a garden slug. Maybe I have a fear...of candlesticks. Or neverending rooms. Or slow moving inanimate objects.

giant teacups, oh shizz!

We took a whirl on the teacups because it creates the rare occasion where nausea is fun!

"There are three axes of spinning!" noted Charlie with a bit of glee.

Oh yes. Yes there are.

I squeezed into a teacup with Charlie and Alex since their goal was to spin as fast as Disney deemed possible and for whatever reason I wanted to be a part of that magic. Jiny and Svenja intelligently opted to not reach a hemorrhaging-inducing spinning speed.

So how do you make the teacup spin hella fast? Grab the wheel in the center of the teacup and spin it as hard as you can. No stopping.

SPINNIN TIME determination gettin dizzy
time to feel pukey

Oh my god, it hurt. Leaning back during the ride resulted in your head being transported to a life-squeezing vortex of skull crushing doom. I don't think we were on earth during the ride, more like some alternate universe where you can't stop laughing because everything is really funny and the world is spinning and you don't know when the colors will stop mushing together in one blur.

But the real pain doesn't settle in until you leave the ride. Or attempt to. I had trouble stepping out of the teacup like a normal, able-bodied human as my body still thought it was spinning. When I reached the "sortie" gate the lurch of an unwell digestive system became very clear. Uuunnngg.

And then we got lunch. (Yes, we planned to go on the ride right before lunch, as opposed to after.)

chicken tikka mushrooms and stuff meeeat quatre fromage pizza ish
pizza ish

We each got a different pizza except for Svenja who opted to get gelato. I was the only one who was intrigued by the chicken tikka pizza. Hey, it's just spicy chicken...on a pizza! Nothing weird about that. I think. Since I have low expectations for amusement park food, I wasn't disappointed by the pizza, which was more like bread with stuff on it as opposed to pizza. Which I know is the same thing. But. There's a difference. Kinda. The crust wasn't think enough to be thin crust, nor thick enough to be thick crust. Hovering in the middle makes it "bread with stuff".


long beef.

Although I didn't venture into "long beef" territory, I'm going to assume the pizza is better.

oo, bake shop donuuuts

They have a bake shop on Main Street with American goodies like donuts, muffins, and chocolate chip cookies. Sadly, I wasn't hungry enough to actually try anything. Oh god, how I failed. I guess the pizza did me in.

We roamed to Main Street in search of Mickey-head shaped ice cream popsicles, none of which existed in the park. I don't know if they actually exist in any Disney park these days, but I definitely ate them as a kid. My childhood memories has been ruined by the lack of this frozen treat. Seriously.

space mountain
back for more

So back to Space Mountain we went.

2nd time on the ride he's sooo happy
more fun photos

After our second time on the ride, Jiny, Charlie, Alex and I went back for more. Now I know that riding Space Mountain two times in a row is probably not a good idea. The loops and corkscrews really get to you without enough buffer time in between. After the third organ-shifting ride, we were beat.

it's a small world after all

No better way to repair one's sanity by riding It's a Small World, right? ...Huh? Uh. Well, it's a relaxing boat ride, aside from the song. My favorite scene was the portrayal of Canada, which distilled our northern neighbor quite succinctly with a mountie, a moose and a totem pole. Above that scene seems to be the north pole with an Inuit, a bear, an igloo and a...pole. My god, I love it.

baby seal?
tiny seal, product of toxic waste dumpage

At the end of the ride we floated through a hall of depictions of people from different parts of the world all with the same smiling face holding a miniature version of something that defined their culture. My favorite was the Inuit and the midget seal. Kinda makes a question mark pop up in your head. Oooookay.


We got a closer look at the castle, in particular...

stained glass windows in castle
pretty windows

...The stained glass windows on the second floor depicting the story of Sleeping Beauty.


There's a nice view of Fantasyland from the outside balcony.

Charlie and "the hat"

Alex was on a quest to find a good Disneyland hat, which we decided this hat was not. Charlie deemed it the douchiest hat ever. I gotta wonder who decided that producing a birthday hat—not just one shaped like a head-eating alien cake, but that also plays a bad rendition of Happy Birthday—would be a big moneymaker. But someone must be buying it. Oh dear god.

Pirate Mickey

Alex eventually settled on a Mickey pirate doo-rag-esque thing whose ears would only stay semi-upright. The ears are a lot of fun to bat around in case you want to annoy someone wearing a Mickey pirate hat.

As Jiny and Svenja had plans to stay in the park as long as possible and Charlie, Alex and I were starting to feel the burning sensation of Disney overload, we parted ways with our lovely German friends at around 4 PM to go back to Paris.


Not without taking a classic "Happy Asian tourist who bought stuff and went to Disneyland" shot.

As we left the park, Alex and I showed interest in going to Disney Village, the shopping/eating complex right outside the park featuring American classics such as a 50s diner, a NY-style deli, McDonald's and Planet Hollywood. We were banned by the power of Charlie from entering the village. Maybe it was for the best.

Although we initially felt Disney-ed out, walking into the semi-deserted RER station sucked all the Disney magic out of our systems and we longed to go back to the park. (Or at least I did.) We felt very, very sad. Even sadder was when Charlie tried to buy an Orangina from the vending machine in the station and it got stuck in the rotaing metal thinger.

"I WANT TO GET OUT OF HERE," moaned Charlie.

Back on the RER we went to civilization...and accesible Orangina.

back in Paris

When we got back to Paris we headed to Parc Monceau near Alex's apartment and...

bakery bread innards
mm, bread

...Shared a very good, crusty, chewy baguette from Le Moulin de la Vierge...

saddest tree
It's a tree!

...While staring at this weird, sad looking tree-thing...

chillin with lots of Orangina
Hell yeah, he's still wearing the hat because he's that cool.

...And shared a six-pack of Orangina from Monoprix as joggers whizzed by, reminding us of our gluttonous, sedentary lifestyles.

If only we could do that every day, life would be so much better. Le sigh.


Metro: RER A to...Disneyland!

Parc Monceau
Metro: Monceau (2)


chasgoose / March 22, 2007 2:54 AM

You make me sound like the crazed despotic dictator of Disney (not that I am not kind of...)

Tina / March 22, 2007 6:35 AM

I love your usual. It's sad to know that someone is buying that disastrously ugly, pink birthday cake hat.

Anyways, the baguette looks yummy. I need to get a good loaf in the city.

Jennifer / March 22, 2007 8:50 AM

Funniest post ever! That "no dancing" picture and all the small world stuff totally cracked me up. I too grew up going to theme parks with my family and I totally agree that going with friends as an "older kid" is a hundred times more fun. The last time I was in a Disney park was maybe like 10 years ago (Orlando) but now I'm feeling the weird urge to go to one again...

roboppy / March 22, 2007 9:23 AM

Charlie: Exactly! It's your TRUE SELF!

Sarah: Aw, you can't get any at home? I used to drink it when I was little, but I dunno if it's that easy to find here anymore. Drinking it in the US wouldn't be the same as drinking it in Paris anyway.

Tina: OH GOD, THAT HAT. So wrong.

I dunno where to get a good baguette in the city. Mraah!

Jennifer: You should go back! I'd love to go to Epcot center again.

susannah / March 22, 2007 3:09 PM

that sounds pretty much like the best day ever.

sharing a six pack of orangina over beer is my kind thinking.

Alex / March 22, 2007 5:24 PM

I mean, we probably could have eaten more if we hadn't done the teacups, or the SpaceMountain (times two), but really, Disneyland is less about the food and more about the slightly queasy fun of suddenly lurching in unexpected directions against your will.

I'm so glad we decided to go.

Kathy / March 22, 2007 5:45 PM

oooh, what a crazy adventure! the disneyland teacups never fail to make me, better not go into that :) i like no matter where you go, you always seem to include a baguette into you daily dietary intake, hehe! that's the only way to do it!
ps - i hope your last nyu semester is going welllllll! :)

chasgoose / March 22, 2007 5:53 PM

Well fine, but I want that douchy Birthday hat to be my Disney Despot crown! Also, I had Orangina withdrawal today and I had to go to the specialty food store to buy a six pack and a baguette, but somehow sitting in my house and looking at cacti isn't quite as magical as sitting in Parc Monceau.

katie / March 22, 2007 10:57 PM

Hi Robyn!

Wow - this blog entry made me sooo happy =).

I LOVE amusement parks, although I've only ever been to Cedar Point (years ago for Gr 8 grad trip) and Canada's Wonderland (last yr and for orientation when I first moved to TO for university).

Going to Disneyworld is definitely going to be on my list of things to do before I die! (OK that sounds morbid, but you know what I mean, hopefully)

Connie / March 23, 2007 12:12 AM

Disney theme parks are so much fun!

I went to the Hong Kong one last year and I loved that I could buy soy milk and watermelon juice from the vendors instead of soda. There was also this awesome jelly popsicle that had a jelly-like consistency after you melt it by licking it.

Do you know which character lived in the HK castle?

roboppy / March 23, 2007 1:28 AM

Garrett: HAHAAH, GIRLS GONE WILD...I don't think I've ever been anything near "wild". I'm very domesticated.

Susannah: Yes, certainly one of the top 10 best days ever! Especially with the Orangina.

Allison: It's just the creativity of those Disney Imagineers at work!

Alex: I really like chocolate chip cookies ( em), so I should've tried it there. Maybe I will get a chance some other day. In the far off future.

I'm glad I found out Jiny was going and that I told you we were going and that your class was unimportant enough to skip!


The semester is going alright. I've really, realllly slacked off. Senioritis. :(

Charlie: You know, you should've gotten the hat cos then you'd probably be the only person in Arizona/your school/possible the entire USA who has it. And that would be cool! Maybe. And yes, it would make a good crown.

Nah, looking at cacti totally isn't the same as sitting in Parc Monceau. (sigh)

Katie: I'm glad you could relate to the amusement park derived glee! GO TO DISNEYLAND! So much fuuun!

Connie: Oo, too bad they don't have those drinks in the other Disney parks! I guess they wouldn't sell too well. I WANT JELLY POPSICLE! Asia has all the cool stuff, man.

I checked the site and it's Sleeping Beauty. Looks a lot like the California castle. :)

roboppy / March 24, 2007 4:11 PM

Marvin: I'm glad you liked it. :D

I'm sure I'm making my ancestors SOO PROOOUD by illustrating my Asian heritage.

Jenn / March 26, 2007 4:47 PM

haha.. I always seek out the mickey head ice cream pops when I'm at Disney too.. and I want to say they still do have them back in the US.. at least in Florida! :) Had one two years ago..

roboppy / March 27, 2007 11:39 PM

Jenn: My friend who went to Disneyland in CA lately said they had the ice cream pops too! DAMN YOU, PARIS, FOR NOT HAVING THE MICKEY POPS!!! :(

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