Friday, June 13, 2008

The Happiest Place in Europe - Getting There

Part 1 - Getting There
The first in a series of posts on how to get to, enjoy and make the most of Disneyland Paris

"How long do you think it will take us to get to Disneyland?" I asked Jad last Saturday morning as we were packing up the car. "Hmm - maybe twenty minutes or so?" he guessed. No matter how fast the German autobahns, there's no way we were going to be able to drive the 620 miles across the heart of Europe in 20 minutes! Fortunately, our trusty Toyota 4Runner turned out to be just as adept at crossing the wide expanses of Europe as it was on the deserts of Oman.

Not far from the French border, we stopped for the night at the Hotel Bremerhof in Kaiserslautern - a neat family hotel nestled in Pfaelzer forest outside of town. With a playground, a cute puppy, a spacious room and roast boar on the dinner menu, you couldn't ask for a better overnight rest stop!

Next stop (four hours drive away) was Davy Crockett Ranch - just a 10 minute drive from Disneyland Paris, and our home for the next five days! Our little "log cabin" wasn't quite ready yet (check-in at 3:00), but our passes to Disneyland were, so we headed to the park. Parking at the park is no easy feat - with 12 million visitors a year, you have to have a LOT of parking spaces! If you're lucky enough to get a spot in the first row of parking, it's still a 1/2 mile walk from there to the gates of Disneyland under the pink Disney Hotel. A series of moving sidewalks will take you part of the way - from from there on, you use foot power to get around! If you're staying at a Disney Hotel, parking is free - both at the park and at any of the seven Disney Hotels (since we arrived late the first day, we parked at the New York Hotel, and walked through Disney Village to the park). If not, plan on paying 8 Euros a day for parking. If you're coming in by train, it actually means less walking - the Gare de Marne la Vallee Chessy RER & TGV train station is located between the parking lot and the park entrance.

620 miles, three tanks of gas (the stuff costs $9.40 a gallon in France!), an overnight in the German forest, and a long walk from the New York Hotel. Finally - we were there! The place dreams are made (or so they say!)

Did Danna get to meet her "pwincesses?" Would Jad get to ride in a real live rocket ship? Would Kyler care where we were? Read on in the next couple entries for our review of Disneyland Paris - through the eyes of the kids (and their footsore parents).

Click here to read on - about the Basics of Disneyland Paris.

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