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  • Writer's pictureKristin Woodward

Disneyland Paris: did i shave my legs for this?

seriously. thanks to being out and about and some terrible internet connections, i’ve had a few days to mull this one over before writing it, which is probably for the best for everyone. i try hard not to be too negative or bitchy on here (i mean, unless totally necessary or funny) and as this whole thing was going down, the post i was writing in my head just sounded really wretched. maybe, it all wasn’t that bad, but it definitely felt like pretty much nothing was right about this whole experience.

after a lovely time in Paris, we took a cab out of the city to Marne-la-Vallée. this was the first real kiddie portion of the trip. i do kiddie shit all the time. i’ve done Disney (obvs). i’d resigned myself to the fact that it just had to be done. i even got myself kind of worked up to see the princesses. princesses, ya’ll!! i knew everyone and their brother was also on Spring Break and that Spy had to book us at an affiliate hotel because all the Disney hotels were packed to the gills. fine. it would be totally normal, right? wrong.

when we arrived at the Explorers Hotel, the room was a complete shock to my system. okay, fine. it looked like a kid’s room. that i could understand and deal with. but after the Renaissance Paris Vendome Hotel (subtitled “a luxury suite hotel”) this was lacking to say the least. totally not knocking Spy’s choice. he just did what he had to do and got us a room, which i was incredibly thankful for. it’s just that after bedding down with a plush duvet and mile-high stacks of pillows, this seemed to be a little, um, lacking. Miss Girl, of course, wanted to unpack every item in her suitcase immediately and settle in. probably forever, if we’d let her.

of course the first thing Miss Girl wanted to do (after unpacking) was go to the indoor pool. i loathe an indoor pool. it’s like cold fish and germ stew in there. completely grosses me out. nothing right about not having the hot sun to warm you up and dry you off after you take a dip. amiright? but both my daughter and husband love the things, so i have learned to participate and even enjoy their enjoyment for moments at a time. part of the reason he chose this hotel (among the meager options) was for the pool, since she loved the one in Gatlinburg so much last May. so alright, fine. i shaved my legs in our spartan bathroom, which included a single hand soap dispenser filled with one liquid labeled “shampoo/soap” and exactly 4 towels that could have doubled for bath mats. i kid you not. i’d just left a Marriott property in Paris, where fluffy, white bathrobes and a suite of Bulgari personal products was replenished daily. lord.

we headed downstairs in our usual pool gear. we live in a community with a pool. we do pool well. apparently not in France. apparently, in France, it is an unholy, unsanitary crime to wear regular American swimwear into a pool. for men. yes, folks. they would not let Spy enter the cold fish, germ stew in regular board shorts — ones that were made of swimsuit material, lined and pretty much acceptable everywhere else in the first world. nope. he had to shell out €15 for these. out of a vending machine, no less.

Spy happened to be turning 49 the next day. in all those years, he has never put something like this on his body. never. if you ask me, he’s hot. and he’s in good shape, despite his sweet tooth. but nobody over the age of 25, nobody as far as i’m concerned, actually needs to be wearing these. WTF France? but he’s an awesome dad who would do anything to make his little girl happy and he did it. by the time we got all that sorted out and he went back to the room to change, Miss Girl decided she was completely terrified of the giant water-dumping pirate head in the middle of the pool that soaked everyone in it every 15 minutes or so, and had absolutely no intention of going in the pool. none. when Spy returned, even he couldn’t convince her. we spent more time reading ourselves for the pool than we actually spent there. it was to be a theme for the duration.

the next morning, we rose at usual Woodward vacation time: somewhere in the 10:00 timeframe. so much for my thought of getting up and out early to hit the park and make the most of the day, since we had to fit in everything in one. good thing we didn’t. after catching the tail end of the buffet breakfast, we caught the shuttle bus to Disneyland Paris somewhere around noon. by the time we got there, she was more concerned with what souvenir she was going to get than what all we were going to see and do. in the end, we only hit 2 themed areas and visited a total of exactly 6 attractions in the entire park:

  1. walked through Sleeping Beauty’s Castle — because you kind of have to to get anywhere else (Fantasyland)

  2. rode Lancelot’s Carousel, but not on a horse, because the horses were too scary (Fantasyland)

  3. rode the Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs ride for the 6 minutes it lasts (Fantasyland)

  4. climbed the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse (Adventureland)

  5. played at the Adventure Isle playground (Adventureland)

  6. navigated Alice’s Curious Labyrinth, the only “ride” that even halfway interested her (Fantasyland)

after a purchase of another damn stuffed animal (Baby Mickey, of course) and a 40 minute line for a cheeseburger, which upon presentation was deemed inedible because there was a trace of mayonnaise on it (after Mommy wiped it cleaner than clean), we were out. i think the entire Disney experience lasted all of 3 hours. Miss Girl couldn’t have cared less. didn’t want to do anything else. didn’t need to see anything else. i still wanted to see a damn princess, y’all. one freaking princess! is that too much to ask? we honestly hadn’t even seen any characters at all the entire time, which i thought was totally bizarre. luckily Disney Magic On Parade was about to happen as we were walking toward the exit, so we found a sidewalk spot and hung out for that. i got to see my princesses (well, all the white ones, which was weird) and Miss Girl got to see Mickey.

as soon as we got back to the hotel, she wanted to try the pool again (more successfully, this time). and just like that, it was like Disney — the biggest experience she and any of her other 5 year old friends has had this year — had never even happened. she could totally take it or leave it. i don’t know if she was overwhelmed by the crowds and all the stimulation or if, perhaps, she feels pretty much like Mommy and Daddy do: animated characters on screens are much better when they stay on those screens. either way, part of me is incredibly disappointed. part of me is incredibly proud. and all of me is incredibly happy we can check that one off the list!

à la prochaine!

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