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Published: June 12th 2012
Disneyland is a wet dream when you are 5 years old
Long lines and dead people - that's what we saw in Paris
When Emma’s oldest niece, Jonna, turned 5 in 2007 Aunt Emma, Aunt Anna and Uncle Ake gave her a trip to Paris and a visit to Disneyland. You can read about that in the blog entry
we made then.
This year Emma’s youngest niece, Julia, turned 5 and, since they are both equally dear to us, Julia received the same gift, a trip to Paris and a visit to Disneyland.
Disneyland is a wet dream when you are 5 years old. We spent an entire day there and Julia enjoyed every second of it. She loved the rides, Cinderella’s castle, the parade with the characters from the world of Walt Disney and everything else. The rest of us, the grown-ups, thought there were a little too many people there. The waiting time to some of the attractions was ridiculously long. Sometimes you had to stand in line more than an hour to go on a ride. And this was on a Wednesday before holiday season. Wonder what Disneyland looks like in the end of June, when people starting their vacations, or on July 14, the National Day in
One of the rides in Disneyland
Julia had a marvellous time the whole day we were there. She absolutely loved the rides
France? We suppose that it then takes the better part of the day only to enter the park
Disneyland is mainly for children. There are a few activities that are fun for adults too but most of the amusement park’s attractions are created for an audience younger than say 15 years of age. In spite of that we saw surprisingly many visitors in the park who were in their 20-ies and even in their 30-ies and who as far as we understand didn’t have any children with them. They seemed to have fun though so Mickey Mouse and Snow White can make both small and big children happy.
One of the other places we visited in Paris was the Eiffel Tower. Again we were faced with shockingly long waiting times. We didn’t feel like waiting four hours to go up the Eiffel Tower so we decided to only see it from the ground. Ake has now visited Paris a total of five times and still has not been up the Eiffel Tower.
Instead of the Eiffel Tower we visited Jardin des Plantes. Jardin des Plantes is a botanical garden that also houses a small zoo. The zoo
The parade with the characters from the world of Walt Disney
was founded in the end of the 18th
century to house all the animals that were kept by the royal family in their private zoo.
In a way it is a bit silly and a waste of money and time to bring children to places like Disneyland or a zoo or the Eiffel Tower. We also took Julia to Centre George Pompidou, a culture palace in central Paris. Outside Centre George Pompidou there is a big pool with more than a dozen weird looking fountains. Julia thought it was great fun to walk around there taking photos of all the fountains. We also visited the Louvre. But instead of paying big money to go in and see the museum we stayed outside and saw the pyramids outside the entrance. Trust us, when you are 5 years old those pyramids are much more fun than the artwork inside the museum.
We also took Julia to two attractions in Paris that are slightly morbid. The first one was Père Lachaise, probably the most visited cemetery in the world. Most visitors to Père Lachaise Cemetery try to visit one or both of its most famous “residents”, Jim Morrison and Oscar Wilde.
The Scull Cave
The character the Phantom is not owned by Disney but that doesn't stop Disneyland from having their own version of the Scull Cave
Both these graves have been turned into something that could be described as pilgrimage sites.
They seem to attract slightly different kind of people though. Oscar Wilde has become a gay icon and people show their respect for him by kissing the grave while having sticky lipstick on their lips. On Jim Morrison’s grave people have been known to dance among other things. What the “other things” are can be described with a joke Ake heard once: “How do you find Jim Morrison’s grave?” “Just follow the trail of smoked joints and used condoms.”
There is a lot more to Père Lachaise Cemetary than just the graves of Mr Wilde and Mr Morrison. All over the cemetery there are hundreds of impressive graves. Many of them are more like monuments really. In the summer, when the trees are green and the flowers are blooming, it feels like you are walking in a Romantic era picture rather than in a real cemetery.
The other attraction in Paris we went to that was a bit morbid was the catacombs. In the 18th
century the cemeteries in Paris were full and they had nowhere to bury the dead.
Fairytales coming alive
Disneyland is all about letting fairytales coming alive
To make room for more deceased Parisians they started to dig up old graves. They then needed a place to store the skeletons they dug up and they decided to keep them in tunnels that run under Paris, tunnels from old abandoned mines. Maybe as many as one million skeletons are stored in these tunnels.
This collection of skeletons is today open for tourists to visit and it is quite popular too. We arrived at the time when they opened and already then the line was going almost all around the block. It took us three hours to get in but it was worth it. It was an amazing experience to walk around and see all these human remains. Julia, even though she is only 5 years old, also enjoyed it and as far as we know she didn't have any bad dreams the following night.
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