An American in (Disneyland) Paris

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Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Park, Disneyland Paris. Natasha shows off her custom dress by Maggie highlighting the movie featuring her favorite Disney Princess, Aurora, aka Sleeping Beauty.

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Photo ©Jean Janssen. Sleeping Beauty Castle, Disneyland Paris

There were so many more outfits to wear and so many more things to do that we wanted to get an early start on our return visit to Disneyland Park in Disneyland Paris.  This is day three (our final) in the parks.  We rode our favorite rides during early entry, a perk for Disney hotel guests that gets you in early before general admission guests can get in.  We made sure we arrived at Phantom Manor just before 10 am to get a picture with Phantom Mikey.  This is the only park you can meet him at.  Emma in particular wanted this photo.

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Photo ©Jean Janssen. Emma with Phantom Mickey. You can only meet him in Disneyland Park, Disneyland Paris.

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Off to Adventureland, Disneyland Park, Disneyland, Paris

One of the areas of the park that was in place when I visited in the 90s was Adventureland.  I remember the pirate ship was sitting by a frozen waterfall because it was so cold.  It is also the home of the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction.  It is a great version.  Like the attraction in California, there is a restaurant that looks out into the ride.  We will eat at Captain Jack’s tonight.

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Photo ©Jean Janssen Disneyland, Paris

The ship sits next a waterfall that comes from a large skull rock.  The skull rock is more than just a decorative element.  There are trails, lookouts, and activities in this area and it is worth a walk-through.  Nearby is the Swiss Family Treehouse which is not very popular in the other parks, but this one is very well done and was more popular with park guests.

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Photo ©Jean Janssen. Maggie at the entrance to Adventureland, Disneyland Paris.

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Photo ©Jean Janssen. Emma in the camel chair, Disneyland Paris

They also incorporate Aladdin-themed elements into Adventureland including a entrance passageway with amazing lighting and a really cool camel chair.  You can also meet Aladdin and even rub the magic lamp.  At the right time, the smoke (genie) will appear.

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Photo ©Jean Janssen. Maggie calling the genie at Disneyland Park, Disneyland Paris

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Photo ©Jean Janssen. Looking toward the upper floor of the interior of Sleeping Beauty Castle, Disneyland Paris

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Photo ©Jean Janssen. The Sleeping Beauty story in stained glass, the castle, Disneyland Paris

Next stop was an interior visit to Sleeping Beauty Castle.  The lower portion gives access to the shops and dungeon, but go up the stairs and you can follow the story of Sleeping Beauty through stained glass and tapestries in La Galerie de la Belle au Bois Dormant.  Great photo opportunities.  There is also a balcony from which you can look out over Fantasyland.

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Photo ©Jean Janssen. The story of Sleeping Beauty in tapestry in the castle, Disneyland Paris

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Photo ©Jean Janssen. Looking out over Fantasyland from the castle balcony, Disneyland, Paris

We also didn’t want to miss the opportunity to see the parade one more time.  We picked our spot so we would have the castle as our picture backdrop.  Its a Tuesday, so this is the one day of the week that they bring out a special character, one that is rarely seen.  Today is was Jasmine’s father, the Sultan from Aladdin.  Pretty good timing since the new Aladdin movie is being released this week in the US.

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Photo ©Jean Janssen. The Sultan from Aladdin was the day’s special character at Disneyland Paris

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Photo ©Jean Janssen. It wouldn’t be Sleeping Beauty’s castle if Phillip wasn’t there to save the day. Disneyland Paris

I mentioned in an earlier post that Maggie designs and sews Disneybounding outfits for us to wear at the parks.  This is very big in the US, especially at the California parks.  The guests here clearly didn’t get it.  Some even laughed.  We didn’t care; we might be the start of a European trend.  Either way, we enjoyed ourselves.

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Photo ©Jean Janssen. Maggie Disneybounding Aurora in one of her own designs.

Maggie started by making decorative and unique (Disney) ears.  Next she branched out to full outfits including some incredible dresses.  Last summer we visited Fantasyland in Florida wearing dresses that Maggie designed and made based on park attractions.  We even ran into HGTV designer David Bromsted who complimented us on Disneybounding.

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With HGTV Design and television star David Bromstad in Fantasyland, Magic Kingdom Park, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida, August 2018

This trip we are wearing dresses associated with Sleeping Beauty.  Both Emma and I consider Aurora/Sleeping Beauty our favorite Princess.  We love the part in the animated movie (of our generation) where the fairies fight over what color her dress should be, blue or pink.  My preference is blue and Emma’s is pink. Ironically, the dresses we are wearing are opposite.  I am wearing a dress that is primarily blue, although you will notice the fairy “making it pink” (which is spelled out in beads on my purse-I may have forgot to mention that Maggie also makes us purses that compliment our dresses).  Emma’s dress is primarily pink.  Maggie is dressed like Aurora.  When in Disneyland Paris…

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Photo ©Jean Janssen. Emma in Maggie’s design in her pink dress with a “make it blue” theme.

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Photo ©Jean Janssen. Maggie in her own design inspired by Aurora.

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Maggie’s dress designs inspired by the fairies flight over the dress color in Sleeping Beauty.

There was still more for us to see in Fantasyland.  There is a Storybook ride in California and it is recreated here with more efficient loading as Le Pays des Contes de Fees.  After your boat goes through the Cave of Wonders (from Aladdin) you come to the miniature recreation of castles, homes, and locations from Disney movies.  This version is very well done.

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Photo ©Jean Janssen. Disneyland Park, Disneyland Paris

We toured through the Alice in Wonderland maze, Alice’s Curious Labyrinth.  It is an attraction that is unique to this park.  It is a cute exhibit and you can also go up on the tower for a better view of this older section of the park.  This is the perfect attraction to enjoy with young children; it offers lots of opportunities for fun pictures.  You’ll note from our pictures and the jackets that it was starting to get cooler as the sun went down.

Our evening meal was at Captain Jack’s overlooking the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.   Its terraced dining so everyone has a view of the ride.  The menu fit the theme, but we all struggled to find something we liked.  In the end, it was our least favorite dining spot.  Afterwards we wandering around Fantasyland some more, rode Pinocchio and the Carousel, and ended up at the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party.  No spinning for me, but I loved the canopy and the wonderful lighting.

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Photo ©Jean Janssen Disneyland Paris

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Photo ©Jean Janssen. Emma on a footbridge in Disneyland Park, Disneyland Paris

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Photo ©Jean Janssen. Disneyland Paris

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Photo ©Jean Janssen. Twilight in Fantasyland, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Paris

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Photo ©Jean Janssen. The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, Disneyland Paris

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Photo ©Jean Janssen. Sleeping Beauty’s Castle at twilight, Disneyland Paris

We ended our visit where we began it, back in Frontierland at Phantom Manor and Big Thunder Railroad.  Early in the morning we will take the bus to Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport for our flight back to the United States.  Next time, I won’t wait 23 years between visits.

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Photo ©Jean Janssen. View of Big Thunder Mountain from the porch of Phantom Manor, Disneyland Paris

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Photo ©Jean Janssen. Leaving Disneyland Paris and headed to the airport on a cool morning.

Can’t wait until my next visit.  –Natasha

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Photo ©Jean Janssen. Disneyland Paris

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Photo ©Jean Janssen. Disneyland Paris

About travelbynatasha

I am a retired attorney who loves to travel. Several years ago I began working on a Century Club membership achieved by traveling to 100 "foreign" countries. Today, at 49 years of age the count is at 82. Many were visited on land based trips. Some were cruise ports. Some were dive sites. Most have been fascinating.
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