Gates' Trip to Paris March 2004
In 2004 I had the opportunity to visit my brother, Jeremy, and his family in Paris. I spent the week visiting many of the sights including: Versailles, Eiffel Tower, Catacombs, Louvre, Disneyland, and a day trip to London. It was an awesome experience. The major highlight for me was the three days I spent at Disneyland.
Jeremy and I spent the day together and went from the bottom of Paris to the Top (literally). We started by going through the catacombs below Paris. It looked like a scene out of Indiana Jones, very cool. After descending through the catacombs we went to the top of the Eiffel Tower. We walked down from the second level of the Eiffel Tower (quite a few steps); this gives and incredible view of the structure and I highly recommend taking the elevator up and the stairs down.
My Mom, Brooke and Ben took the Eurostar from Paris to London. The train was a fun experience, but as we traveled both directions in the dark it the thrill of traveling 200mph was not too apparent. We spent the day visiting London.
I spent in total three days at Disneyland Paris. The park was incredibly clean and not very crowded and ideal park going experience.
The Disneyland Hotel is the gateway all ticketing and entry to the park is located along walkways beneath the hotel. Main Street Train Station, located opposite the Disneyland Hotel and above entry to the parka The Main Plaza from the Train Station. This space is open and clean, this Disneyland also features arcades that go behind the shops. So there are several paths down Main Street. One of the Arcades located parallel to Main Street. This is one of those awesome locations (like the deck behind the Harbour Gallery Restaurant) it is out of the way and quite. A great place to relax and rest and the decor is incredible. Sleeping Beauty Castle, none its equal (this is true, seeing how there are two other castles both duplicated in Tokyo and Hong Kong). This is certainly the most elegant with its slender towers and ornate metal work. While not completely visible from this side the trees and landscape leading up to the castle are, again, very clean and neat. The rear of the castle. One great feature of this structure is the second level which tells the story of Sleeping Beauty through tapestry, stained glass, paintings and statues. The three windows in this picture are the main stain glass elements for the story. We did not spend a great deal of time in Fantasyland. Small World was a pleasant surprise as it was about 1/3 the length of the Anaheim version. Discoveryland (the equivalent to Tomorrowland) was a unique area. Space Mountain was a true pleasure, not as large as the one in Florida or California, it features a launch system up the lift and the first inversion on a Disney coaster. Pirates of the Caribbean has a more logical progression in Paris, the pirates are alive and breathing at the beginning and then turn into skeletons. There is also a restaurant (the Blue Lagoon), which my Mother and I took the opportunity to eat at, not quite as nice as the Blue Buyou. Indian Jones and the Temple of Doom is small roller coaster were you are seated in mine cars, very cool, but the cars move backwards and that makes for an interesting sensation. There is also an inversion on this ride. The Phantom Manor (or Haunted Mansion) sits on a large section of land with both the queue and the exit have many hidden elements to find. This Haunted Mansion is a little scarier and darker then Disneyland, but man it was fun. The ride the blows all other derivatives away is the European version of Thunder Mountain. Even my Mom whose favorite ride is Thunder Mountain at Disneyland agrees that this one simply rocks. Look at the track and you will see that it is laid out on an island in the middle of The Rivers of America. The loading platform is located along one of the banks and I wont spoil how you get from the platform to the island - to much fun. Colonel Hathi Pizza Outpost, located in Adventureland, is a great looking building as you can see.
MGM Studios (now Walt Disney Studios)
One of the gates into the studio, the park is small but you can spend a good day on the rides, at the show and just wondering around. The Partners statue located at the center of the park (just through the first sound stage building). There I am in front of Partners The animation building has a series of shows and displays to look at, similar to the one at California Adventure. The Rockin' Roller Coaster is the same track layout as the one in Florida, but the lighting and scene effects inside the ride make it seem much faster and an overall more enjoyable ride. I rode this one many times - GREAT!!