When I was little kid, Sundays were bitter-sweet. We had recently moved from Illinois to a small town in Texas, where as "the Northerner who talks funny", I experienced severe culture shock for the first time in my life. Sad that my final minutes of freedom were coming to an end and praying for a reprieve from school the next morning, I dried the dinner dishes with growing trepidation while my older siblings attended to the more complicated tasks of sweeping the floor and cleaning the stove. After everything in the kitchen met my mother's approval, we filed into the family room, formed a semi-circle around the television and were magically transported to The Wonderful World Of Disney
. Watching the opening theme of movie clips interspersed with scenes from Disneyland in California, "the happiest place on earth", I sighed with pleasure and felt my end-of-the-weekend worries recede to the tunes of "A Spoonful of Sugar Helps the Medicine Go Down" from Mary Poppins
and "When You Wish upon a Star" from Pinocchio
As the years passed and I had children of my own, I wanted to share some of my fondest memories of growing up in the United States with them, so we gathered around the tv to watch Disney videos and took Sara and Philippe to parks, including Disneyland Paris when we were on our way to a new assignment in Indonesia. As Disney worked its magic on a new generation, I saw my young daughter's eyes fill with tears when she was overcome by the emotions of meeting Cinderella for the first time and my son's excitement at the swashbuckling sword fights during the Pirates of the Caribbean
Sure, Disney does a great job enticing people to spend money, but I'm thankful for all of my Disney memories, both as a child and as a parent. So, when I heard that Disneyland Paris is offering free tickets for your birthday as part of its 20th anniversary, I went online to register for one. Since you have to use your ticket within seven days of your birthday and we're going to be busy with visitors all weekend, I decided to go on my own yesterday rather than miss out on this generous offer. Interestingly enough, I'm fairly sure that my children must have somehow known that I was having a wonderful time without them because they both sent text messages to ask what I was doing while I was watching the parade! As for Stéphane, he called to enquire when his "third" child would be home. And it's true - without having to worry about anyone else's needs, I did feel like a kid again. Thanks, Disney, for another magical memory!
Click here to get your FREE birthday ticket
for Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney Studios. As a ticket for both parks normally costs 74 € ($92), it's a great deal! But hurry because you have to register before September 30, 2012.
Think Disneyland Paris is just for children? Take a look at these photos:
|Tarzan and Jane in "The Tarzan Encounter"|
|Gymnasts and trapeze artists in "The Tarzan Encounter"|
|The heroes of "Moteurs...Action! Stunt Show Spectacular" at Walt Disney Studios Park.|
|Flying through the air on a motorcycle.|
|A bad guy skids through the flames and catches on fire.|
|The hero drives out of the second floor of a burning building.|
|Disney Magic on Parade|
I've never really been too interested in Disneyland (nothing could top the Footrot Flats theme park we used to have in West Auckland) (excuse obscure NZ comic reference), but I have signed up for my free ticket anyway. You never know!ReplyDelete
So, what happened to Footrot Flats?! I googled it and it looks as if it doesn't exist anymore. It's hard to believe, especially since it has such a catchy name!Delete
If you want some company when you use your b'day ticket, please let me know. I bought an annual pass for 45 euros (another 20th anniversary special) and have free access to the parks 260 days out of the year. I would be happy to join you if you go on one of my free days.
Will do! B'day's not for a while though (the big Three Oh!!!) It shut down a very long time ago. Now there is just one theme park in all of New Zealand!Delete
The big THREE Oh!!! That's a very important one to celebrate.Delete
I'm so happy for you--what a wonderful thing to do. Your reminiscences were wonderful to read. And I'm so surprised that you went to the car shows. Did you do any rides?ReplyDelete
The car show was one of the highlights of the Walt DIsney Studios Park. Plus, I love stunt shows! When I was a child, my brother and I used to pretend that we were stuntmen and do some spectacular falls. I was a real tomboy.Delete
The only ride that I did was Pirates of the Caribbean - not due to lack of interest but because I ran out of time. I was planning to do the rides in the evening when they weren't so crowded but I ended up treating myself to a very nice 3-course dinner at Walt's restaurant. I bought an annual pass as part of the 20th anniversary special so I'll go on the rides the next time that I'm there.
I wish I had known I would have come with you!ReplyDelete
I took my 6year old grandson to DLP last year and I don't know who enjoyed them self more, him or me!
Disney is wasted on the young!
"Disney is wasted on the young!" - That's what I was thinking as I whipped past all of the tired kids and parents with a big smile on my face! Although I have to admit that part of the fun was eavesdropping on the comments that the little kids made to their parents. They were so awed by everything - which was good to see because I mistakenly thought that children today might be less "wowed" by Disney.Delete
I wish that I would have known that you like DLP - I would have asked you to join me!
Mary Kay, your memories of that Sunday night in Texas have sparked a wonderful memory of my own. The Wonderful World of Disney was also a Sunday evening event for us in Australia and something that I will always associate with the rush to be bathed and fed before the world opened up before our eyes on the screen. What a wonderful time.ReplyDelete
I didn't know that they showed The Wonderful World of Disney on Sunday nights in Australia. That must explain why I always feel that Aussies are kindred spirits.Delete
Thanks for sharing your Disney memory with me!
Good for you for getting in touch with you inner child. And what a great deal! I would definitely take advantage of it if I could.ReplyDelete
Yeah, it's a great deal and very generous of Disney to offer it. They're also offering 20% off at some of the restaurants in the park and a special deal on an annual pass.Delete
I really wanted to go to the Manhattan Restaurant in the Disney New York Hotel as part of my mini-break to the almost-USA, but it was closed for renovations. Next time!
So glad you had your own Wonderful World of Disney day. Great way to start your new year. Growing up 10 minutes from the Original Disneyland and being born the same year it opened, it is very close to my heart. Now I may have to set aside a day to visit Your Disneyland the next time in Paris.ReplyDelete
...and you know you have an open invitation to visit my Disneyland if you ever make it to SoCal!
Thanks, Dekage! I'll be sure to take you up on your offer the next time that I'm in SoCal. It has been awhile since I visited the original Disneyland.Delete
When we first went to DLP in 1992, I wasn't convinced that the French could "do" theme parks and was pleasantly surprised by how much things have changed since then. They get it! Oh, wow. Come to think of it, I'll have to ask Stephane if we really went in 1992 because that means that we must have gone shortly after it first opened.
Stephane just confirmed that we went to DLP in 1992. How cool! That makes it even more special that I was able to go to the 20th anniversary celebration!Delete
What a lovely childhood memory and great memory as a mom! I am so excited that you went here this week - I always find it very funny that a Disney park is so close to Paris, and well just in France. While Disney clearly is known globally and is one of the most well-known brands, it is SO American. And Ariel waved at you!! Quelle chance!ReplyDelete
The major difference that I noticed between when we first visited DLP in 1992 and now is that there are a lot of foreigners working there. In 1992, it seemed to be all French people who didn't really get the idea that they were working at the "happiest place on Earth".Delete
I'm sad to say that Ariel wasn't really waving at me because I used the zoom on my camera. She was probably waving at some cute little girl in front of me! ;)
Disney Time on BBC1 on bank holidays in the old days was one of my favourite TV programmes. It would show clips from various Disney films. We thought it was wonderful!ReplyDelete
England, Australia, the USA - it seems that Disney really got around back in the day! Perhaps that partially explains why so many of the visitors at DLP were from England.Delete
I am SO happy to find out they do this in France too! In SD the "it" thing for your birthday was to take the day off and go to Disneyland outside LA to celebrate (and of course I got a "happy birthday" mickey ears to wear and celebrate the day properly).ReplyDelete
That's cool that you used to celebrate your b'day at Disneyland! We went there quite a few times when my brother was stationed (as in the Navy) in San Diego.Delete
I don't think that they normally give you a free entrance for your birthday in France - I think that it's only because it's their 20th anniversary. So, if you want to go to DLP, it's best to go this year!
and from the trigger word "assignment" was this with the state department? military? agency "who-must-not-be-named"? or a private company?ReplyDelete
Private company...although I wish that I could say that I'm a spy for an agency that must not be named! Although I guess that if I was, I wouldn't be able to admit it. So, maybe blogging is actually my cover! ;) Signing off as MK007.Delete
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