Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Parlez-vous Anglais?

Last night I returned from my fabulously awesome and entirely hysterical trip to Disneyland Paris and my next few posts will be entirely dedicated to some of my observations from the trip.

Aujourd hui is all about … the FOOD!!!

You don’t need to have seen Lumiere dancing on the dinner table to associate France with some pretty amazing food but theme parks, on the other hand, tend to have a pretty bad rep for it. I had visited a couple of unofficial sites dedicated to the food at Disneyland Paris to get an idea of how many euros I should be taking with me and I was fairly horrified by the prices. The stuff’s expensive in WDW too but in France the exchange rate is a bit more of a killer for me, especially when some of the main courses are priced at 30€ each. One of the other food-killers, if you will, is the fact that during the week the parks close at 6pm, pretty much straight after the parade ends, resulting in two things:

1) Everyone leaves the parks at the exact same time.

2) Everyone is forced to either have dinner in their hotel or in the Disney Village

This means some food planning is required and i’m not kidding when I say that every day started with us discussing what we were going to be doing for lunch and dinner.

If you’re planning on eating every meal as a quick service option then good luck because outside of the parks that leaves you with 2 options: McDonald’s and Earl of Sandwich and as much as I love the Earl (we ate there twice) this could leave things getting pretty repetitive.

All that being said there was only one meal where I was left feeling disappointed, and it wasn’t the sneaky Big Mac from McDonald’s!

So now, for your viewing pleasure je presente le cuisine de Disneyland Paris!

Ludwig’s Castle

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Apparently this place is modelled on the castle of one of the Disney Princesses (we still can’t decide which one) and we think (because of the discount vouchers they gave us) that it has some ties to the Rainforest Cafe. It’s basically a cross between French and German cuisine with lots of pictures of knights everywhere. Like pretty much EVERY restaurant (including the quick service ones) there was a set menu involving a creme brûlée dessert (which was pretty good actually) and it seemed to be the only restaurant with Onion Soup on the menu. I believe I shunned the set menu option so that I could have Apple Strudel for dessert and then had a vegetable pasta thing (which was pretty tasty) for my main. We ate here on Friday night at around 6ish and the place was dead. 30 mins later it was significantly busier but you still could have walked in without a wait. Gives you an idea of how busy the parks are on weekdays in January!


Pizza Planet!


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This is a real life, totally like in the movie, Pizza Planet restaurant!!! I'll just let the photos do the talking…


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Oh yeah and it was a buffet costing about 17.90€ per adult which included soft drinks, salad, pizza, pasta and desserts in unlimited quantities.


La Confiserie des Trois Fees


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Ok, so this is actually a sweet shop rather than a restaurant but some of the stuff in here was crazy so I had to mention it. First of all there's a cast member that stands outside making candy floss (aka Cotton Candy) and also selling Candy Apples (with the red sugar coating) and then inside they sell things like this…


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Yeah, that IS a pack of Haribo with Sorcerer Mickey on!


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Words cannot describe the size of the Mickey marshmallow monstrosity!


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Marshmallow sandwich anyone?

Then there was kinder chocolate and all sorts of other sugary treats.

The Blue Lagoon

This restaurant has it's equivalents in Disneyland and Epcot but this is the first time I've ever eaten in a restaurant that's been part of a ride. The Blue Lagoon is part of Pirates of the Caribbean and as a result the inside is an extremely pleasant temperature (particularly when it's FREEEEEEZING outside :P). It's also quite dark so if you want to see the food you're eating then this possibly isn't the place for you. This was, by far, the nicest restaurant we ate in and had the best quality of food I've eaten in a theme park for a long time. I was lucky enough that this is where I got taken for my birthday lunch. One of the unusual things about Disneyland Paris is that they serve alcohol so there's quite an extensive range of cocktails available. Look away now if you're feeling hungry…


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It's a Flaming Creme Brulee!!!


In Other News


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Why would anyone think Cheeseburger Crisps is a good idea? (and no I didn't buy any!)

What follows next is one of the greatest battles to have ever taken place…EVER!!!!

It all started when we decided to have a lie-in…such an innocent act but it resulted in us getting to breakfast about 3 hours later than usual. Now i know what you're thinking - so what? - right? Well that late breakfast meant that we had a late lunch (finishing at about 3pm). That late lunch was also a buffet, a French buffet, that had so many delicious foods that it would take me too long to mention them all. Well by the time the parks closed at 6 we weren't even close to being hungry and wanting any dinner so we decided to head back to the hotel shop and have some snacks instead. The savoury options were pretty much limited to the cheeseburger crisps (which are just ridiculous) so we went for the more sugary options: Haribo, chewy things, sour things and finally…………………


Now if you've ever been to a Disney Park then you've probably seen one of those round, colourful, sugary treats that are made from the same stuff as candy canes. They look so tempting don't they? I always remember my parents telling me I wasn't allowed them because I would never finish it and this was my chance to finally have one! So after examining the packaging Gina and I worked out the different flavour variations and then both picked the purple and grey one which had a Pirates of the Caribbean logo on the wrapper. (If anyone's interested it was Apple and Blackberry flavoured). We returned to the hotel room and then I suggested a challenge: a race to see who could finish theirs first without biting into it. That basically means tongues only. This was my lollipop after about an hour and a half…


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Note that I'd basically created a tongue shaped imprint in the lollipop because I was just licking the same spot constantly.

Over 2 hours later, we still weren't even close to finishing but had gone completely insane from the combination of sugar, hunger and Camp Rock 2 (which had been showing on Disney Channel). By mutual agreement it was decided that we would stop for a dash to McDonald's which by then (11pm) was pretty much the only place to get food. Refreshed we battled on for another 2 hours, watching the loop reel of the "Top 10 things to do at Disneyland Paris" starring Sophie who, quite frankly, was even more insane than we were that night.

I can't even describe how exhausted my tongue felt by 2am and I was completely out of saliva with over half of the lollipop left to go. A decision to scrap the no biting rule was made and within minutes the competition was over with Gina left as the victor (although I'm pretty sure that by that point it was really the lollipops that had won).

I was reliably informed the following morning that much of our conversation during the Great Sugar Spike was completely ridiculous. I vaguely remember saying something along the lines of Eric being the best prince because he's the only one that dares to show his ankles along with other ridiculous insights.

Let me conclude today's post with the following statement:

If I ever buy another giant lollipop again it will be too soon!

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