I keep changing my mind, but it turns out I’ve got too much to say for myself. Last time I said a seven-part series. Now call it an eight-parter. I don’t like odd numbers I suppose.
And before we continue, I would just like to say, I promise our trip to the French capital was educationally-minded…
…But what is education without a little fun? Call it enrichment if you like – we spent the second day in Disneyland.
However I will say it was a rather turbulent experience. A heavy night of drinking after a heavy day of travelling and me, Connor and James, with whom I was sharing a room, only just made it up and out on time. Around an hour of Metro changes, including a brief sojourn on a double-decker train, and then we finally reach the park renowned for being “the happiest place on Earth”, which this year is celebrating its 20th Anniversary. I’m the same age as Disneyland Paris – look at that!
For some people, such as Connor, my radio co-presenter Dean and my Swedish friend Lina, this was the first time at Disneyland. And of course what better a way to remember it than to be stuck outside the gates for two hours after having discovered the tickets we had been sent were not valid for that day!
I was expecting the day to be humid and muggy so I left my hoody and my coat at the hotel – that was a mistake. After having turned into street buskers for about two minutes, renditioning “In the Jungle, the Mighty Jungle“, and giving all of the Sport Journalists nicknames, we eventually made it in – THANK GOD. First thing I did was find a clothes store and bought a Jack Skellington hoody for €40. For the added warmth, it was worth it.
Let’s get down to lunch – me, Dean, Connor, James and a gentleman named Tom, who – standing at 6’7” – makes me feel like a dwarf! – all of us went to one of the restaurants along Disneyland’s Main Street, preceding the big pink castle, named Casey’s Corner. We were sat outside the diner, as indoors it was tremendously busy. It took a while for all five of us to order as well, especially with all the French people also trying to order. Me and my pidgin French did better than expected, all the way up until the lady at the till spoke too quickly (like they do), to which I had to reply “Pardon?”
The French are remarkably clever at sniffing us English people out – whether it is by the way we dress or just the way we look in general. From this trip I have discovered there are only two types of French person – those that are really nice or those at are really rude. Two extremes on the same spectrum. There is no middle.
So – back to the food – there was a little table outdoors where we sat down. I don’t have any flattering pictures of the Giant Cheddar Hot Dogs that we all had from there. Only unflattering ones, I’m afraid, as you will see from Dean’s pose (see pictured).
The hot dogs themselves were delightful – as you would expect from an Americanesque diner. The cheese was nice and gooey – it was processed Cheddar of course, not what I am used to down in the South West of England – but all the same. Having slept through breakfast it was the perfect start to the day’s meals. There was a small parade of all the classic Disney characters – the Chipmunks, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Donald and Daisy Duck, Goofy and Pluto – went past as we ate. They were the only characters I saw all day, rather surprisingly.
Dean, like me, is not a big lover of rollercoasters or anything of that nature. So we avoided Space Mountain, Thunder Mountain, etcetera, in favour of The Haunted Mansion, and the steam boat going around Thunder Mountain. I was on photography duty – the only use for my phone as I had no service in France – but also because Dean did not have his. During the trip, I think I excelled myself with my photography skills – as far as making my co-presenter photogenic goes, anyway.