Posted by: lifeonislandtime | July 20, 2015

Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Paris
Yes, we’re crazy Americans, and we elected to go to Disneyland. When looked at booking our tickets to Versailles, the website asked if we wouldn’t prefer visiting one of the other lovely palaces, perhaps at Giverny or elsewhere? When I googled why, I understood: the palace is absolutely overrun with tourists. The security lime is 3 hours long, even if you go early, and the busses of tourists jam the rooms past the point of enjoyment. Travis, in a fit of pique, said, “if I’m going to stand in line for three hours, I may as well be at Disneyland.” I thought he had struck on a grand idea, and booked our tickets. 
You go to any Disney park expecting a few constants: high prices, friendly cast mates, copious bathrooms and trash receptacles, helpful employees, impeccably clean and maintained parks, everything being done to ensure every guest has a “magical” holiday.
While the park *seems* to meet all the requirements, it’s only skin deep, so to speak. The high prices were the only standard across all parks. Disney is a money-minting machine; with bottles of water going for €3.30, it certainly has you in the right place. Not only the water though: headbands with Minnie Mouse ears and a red polka dot bow sell for €15. Nearly all the school groups had the majority of their girls wearing these. Many sane, rational, adult women were wearing them also. They are made by a child in China for approximately €1. This is a €14 mark up on something that will it be worn outside the park. The boys are not exempt. Since acquiring the rights to Star Wars, Disney has been marketing the day lights out of that cash cow. Where all the girls have their Minnie Mouse ears, the boys bought light sabers, and in quiet moments of low activity, can be seen battling each other vehemently. 
The rest of the things we come to expect from Disney are not done quite as well as money-making is, however. The castmates, while pleasant, are not overly friendLy or helpful. You can feel the suppressed eye-roll when you ask a question. 
The bathrooms were neither plentiful nor clean. At one point, I was afraid the pipe had ruptured the way things came spewing up before settling back down to flush away. This caused copious amounts of water to flood the floor. I should have steered away from that stall like others before me had, but the line was long and my need was great.
We noticed right away that the park was poorly maintained. Patches of peeling paint, grubby landscaping, slimy ponds and water features. As we sat down to eat, Travis commented that Walt would be turning over in his grave if he saw the park. I have to agree. As a Disney-branded theme park, the expectation is a certain level of service and experience, and it did not deliver.
Did I think it was a fun day? Absolutely!
Do I feel the need to go back to that park. Sadly, no. And that is what’s unfortunate. 

 

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