Let’s Go To Disney.
On the morning of the 2nd of October 2017 we jumped into the car and set off on our epic journey to the outbound ferry. A journey that would take us down many roads, a journey where we would meet many people, be involved in security checks and endure a traffic jam which was reached while suppressing the desire to hoon around in a big empty space with a Honda. A journey that would take a whole 10 minutes.
The night before we had stayed at the Port in a Premier Inn, it was an early ferry and I sure as hell wasn’t driving through the night to reach it in time without stopping over.
To be honest, I met the ferry with a degree of trepidation. This was my first time driving abroad and in France they drive on the opposite side of the road. My main concern was the roundabouts, I was certain that I was going to get into trouble while navigating them.
Getting off the ferry was when the fun began. After about 2 hours of enjoying the impressively smooth French roads, the Sat-Nav indicated that we were closing in on Davy Crocketts Ranch where we were staying. Except our Sat-Nav is inherently stupid and it sent us somewhere else. It would do that a lot over the course of the week. Anyway, after consulting Google Maps we eventually got to where we were supposed to be.
Rather surprisingly The Ranch was quiet and checking in took no time at all. The guy told us our accomodation would be ready in about half an hour and so we decided to find a supermarket that was reasonably close. Our stupid Sat-Nav was convinced that there was a Carrefour Hyper Market about 4 miles away. Off we we went.
2 hours later we realised that this wasn’t the case, frustrated and now an expert on the inner-workings of the French road network we resigned ourselves to having to spend a fortune of a few essentials from the little shop on the Ranch. Visiting the Disneyland Park on our first day was looking rather unlikely. Besides, I wasn’t in the mood, we grabbed our key, got directions to a huge shopping centre where we knew there was a McDonalds that was 10 minutes away…found a supermarket. FML. By the time we had something to eat, getting to the park would have been pointless. We went back to Ranch, decided to go swimming, and then found out the pool was closed because somebodies kid took a shit in it. Perhaps that was how this holiday was going to play out. Shit.
The next morning we finally got to the Park. Not before we got lost on the way, an activity that would happen many times over the week. The journey to the park was actually simple, it was literally at the bottom of the single road we had to go on, though the Sat-Nav had decided it wasn’t. Anyway, we got there, did the security checks and all that…we were in! Though I was surprised by the length of the walk from the car park to the main gate, it was long!! Probably longer than necessary but I suppose it gave the French military that were patrolling the place ample time to shoot you. Perhaps a beard was a bad idea.
The park is huge by the way and we didn’t have time to do it all, so I suppose We’ll have to visit it again in a couple of years to finish it. I met Tigger though!! I love Tigger!
Erm, I Think We Might Be Lost.
While getting to the park from the Ranch turned out to be rather a simple affair, getting back to the Ranch was a bit of a pain in the ass. The first attempt took us ages, the Sat-Nav tried to send us to Paris a couple of times, and through some other towns, then it decided the address that we had used previously to get near to the Ranch was now a backstreet in a tiny village somewhere a handful of miles from Disneyland. Using my infinite wisdom I actually went here twice. Our Tom-Tom is one of those that you can speak orders to and it’ll react accordingly, usually saying “OK Tom-Tom” amusingly it actually reacted to my rather vocal claims that it was ” A total fuckwit” by claiming it was listening.
Everytime we attempted the journey from Disneyland back to the Ranch it took longer than necessary, though it did send me through this rather pretty and quite posh looking town called Serris, where even the trees were pruned into a tidy shape…the trees!!! We found a little pizza takeaway there that sorted us out with some rather pleasant pizzas and we all got food for 24 euros. Gotta love special offers! Naturally though, by the time we got back to Ranch the pizzas were cold, thanks for that, Sat-Nav.
We parked the car at Disneyland, I now had that bit of the journey sussed, ignoring the incompetent voice on my dashboards insistence that I take the exit and going straight on instead. We got on the French RER which looks like a double-decker train but actually isn’t and travelled to Charles de Gaulle Étoile where we switched to a Metro that took us with a degree of urgency to the Eiffel Tower. You get a total of 10 seconds to get off at each stop, if you don’t manage that then you’ll likely lose a limb or a child. Everyone goes on about how great Paris is but I wasn’t impressed, perhaps it was the rather dull weather or perhaps it was the fact that I’m not exactly a cultural connoisseur. Went up the Eiffel Tower, walked over and down Champs-Élysées, bought something from the Renault shop, got bored of the kids misbehaving and went back to Disneyland. We enjoyed the Disney Illuminations on our last night.
It’s all bloody expensive though! Mediocre meals for 5 people at Planet Hollywood…over 100 euros. Kind of sets the tone.