This past weekend, I ventured north to Disneyland Paris!! Just so everyone knows, I am a HUGE Disney fan! Most of my family even calls me "Belle" or "Krysta Belle." (Although, I am pretty sure most of them don't know where my nickname actually comes from.) I got that nickname because I was obsessed with Belle from "Beauty and the Beast" when I was younger, and that name has stuck with me ever since. Even as a 20 year old, and I love it! ; ) And if anyone wants to take me on in the game "Disney Scene It," bring it on! The only person who I know that can beat me every time is my older brother Justin, there is just no winning against him...darn you! Ok, yes, but my point...I LOVE Disney!!
*Little Fact: Disneyland isn't actually IN Paris. It is 32km (about 20 miles) away from the city. So I wasn't able to see Paris yet, but that is another trip for a different time!
This trip was organized by my school and most of the students that went were exchange students. In total, there were 100 people that went. We met close to the train station in Bordeaux, at 10:30 p.m. on Friday night for our departure. We rode in two coach buses. Yes, that was our "hotel" for the night. We arrived at Disney at 7:30 in the morning, and we hit the ground running! We all put our bags in the baggage room, had about sixty girls in one bathroom brushing their teeth and hair, and then jumped back on the bus to be transported to the parks. We got there before they opened, so we ate a little breakfast in the parking lot while trying to find our roommates for later on that night. We were randomly assigned and the girls in my room were all strangers to one another. We said hi, and then everyone split up into groups and started to rush towards the gates to get in line. In Disneyland Paris, there are two theme parks: Disneyland Park, and Walt Disney Studios Park.
None of my close friends came on this trip, but I really wanted to go. So it was time to jump outside the box/comfort zone once again! As our group was making their way to the park, I found my friend Marine. I joined their group for the day. There was seven of us, and two of them are exchange students who are also staying the entire year!! ( I believe there are less than 10 of us.) So I was really excited to get to know them this weekend. Once we entered the park, it was run run run all day long. We went to as many rides as possible, grabbed a ridiculously overpriced lunch, went to more attractions, and watched the daily Disney parade, which of course is now Christmas themed, so we got to see Santa also! After the parade, it was about 5:30, so we all walked back to our hotel, Hotel Cheyenne, and took a break. Once we got there, we discovered that most of our keys didn't work, so we had to get that sorted out. The hotel was cool, themed to look like the Wild West. It was, however, incredibly spread out. It took forever to walk to our building!
We went back to the parks to have supper together and then we pushed our way through the packed crowds to get a good view of Sleeping Beauty's Castle for the show. The light/water/firework show that they put on was incredible! I thought they did a great job, I was very impressed. That was probably my favorite part of the trip! Then we made our way back to the hotel around 11. Everyone was extremely tired at this point! Once we got back, we discovered that there was a problem with the rooms. Everything had gotten messed up and people were getting moved around and trying to find their lost luggage, it was a complete mess and quite the ordeal!! It provided for some good laughs and stories though. The three girls I ended up staying with were all different people than who I was originally supposed to stay with. Two of them were from Quebec in Canada and the other was from France. They were all very nice and we ended up getting along very well and spending the next day together. Late, late at night, with sore, aching bodies, and very heavy eye lids, we finally got some rest. Then ring ring ring, the alarms went off at 6 and we were back up! We got ready, packed, put our luggage back in the luggage room and were at breakfast at 7. We ate, formed our groups, and it was back to the park to do as much as possible before we left at 3!
The weekend was very tiring, but completely worth it!! I had such a fun time, and met a lot of new people!! The parks were pretty much what I expected them to be like. I have also traveled to Tokyo Disneyland and DisneyWorld in Florida. DisneyWorld is by far the best, and I believe it always will be. It is also a lot larger than the other ones. I think my next favorite is Tokyo and then Paris, but that is a very close call! They all have a lot of similarities and many of the same attractions. On another note, the hotel that we stayed at this weekend was not very impressive. It honestly looked as if it hadn't been touched since 1965. It definitely was not what I was expecting for a Disney hotel on Disney property...but hey it was all for the experience! No matter where you are in the world, and regardless if you are a Disney fan or not, DisneyLand/World is an experience everyone should do at least once in their life!
Leaving the Wonderful World of Disney was very hard to do, especially because homework and an intense group project and presentation awaited my return. How thoughtful of them. There they were, all too eager to greet me when I finally got back to my apartment around midnight on Sunday night. I had to wake up at 6 for class on Monday and was there until 4:45, that was rough. Tomorrow my team and I present our half hour presentation, but I feel good about this one! Wish me luck! : )
My countdown: 10 days until I leave...11 days until I am home!!!!!
Thank you everyone for reading!
"Today's special moments are tomorrow's memories."
-Genie, The Return of Jafar
"I am on my way, I can go the distance. I don't care how far, somehow I'll be strong. I know every mile will be worth my while. I will go most anywhere to find where I belong."