Woke up at a luxurious 8:30am (log for the anal-retentive: Joe, Sharon, Steve) and, after some technical difficulties with trying to load Steve’s camera, we were out the door by 10:10am.

Our buffet breakfast included 5 different kinds of cereal (including Kellogg’s Extra, which tasted really, REALLY good but I did some searching on the Web (of course [wink]) and they only sell it in France, Italy, Spain and, I think, Belgium and hotels and hospitals in Germany), yogurt, fruit, luncheon meats, a variety of breads and pastries, veal sausage, buttery runny scrambled eggs, potatoes and bacon. Choice of drinks were coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and several types of juices. France has a Nutella-like concoction that comes in single-serving tubs. With those, I discovered that Nutella on a chocolate croissant is AWESOME. And probably 2500 calories and 147 grams of fat. But MAN, was it GOOD!

After briefly going back into the room, we went on our way to DL, rain gear prepared since it was raining as we went outside (it rained on and off all day).

Phantom Manor was our first stop…it’s very different from any of the HM attractions…much darker, much scarier, with lots of skeletons and more of a storyline. There’s a terrific “Old West” scene towards the end and their “cemetary/backyard” is more of a “crypt” in Paris. Click here for more information about Phantom Manor.

Sign on the front gate

“Crypt” that a CM is supposed to stand in. I believe it’s a relatively new addition to the attraction.

The Phantom Manor building

An “abandoned” tea house in the Phantom Manor queue

The “front door” of Phantom Manor

After finishing the attraction, we stopped at “Boot Hill,” which is the “cemetary” next to PM, to read the gravestones.

Unfortunately, some were roped off and many others were unreadable because of the overgrowth of plants and weeds. Talk about Bad Show. Pity.

Some guy from the U.K. made a beautiful film about Phantom Manor, including some good footage of the entire ride. It’s in 4 parts on You Tube. The first one explains the history of the attraction (as well as the entire Frontierland area and how the various attractions and buildings are inter-connected) and the other 3 show the attraction itself. and the whole thing is about a half-hour long but if you ask me, it’s worth the view.

Part One:

Part Two:

Part Three:

Part Four:

Pretty good, huh? Anyway, back to our trip…We would have gone on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad next…

…but it’s closed until October. According to the DLP website, it wasn’t supposed to close until AFTER we had gone home. Damn.

The guys went on the Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril attraction next..it was only a 15 minute wait but I wasn’t in the mood for a coaster, especially one that brings you upside down. So I held their stuff while they went on, and took some pictures.

They said it was like a Wild Mouse ride (which I can tolerate if I’m in a “coaster mood”), with a loop (which I can also usually tolerate). Maybe I’ll feel more like it tomorrow.

We next made a quick stop at Colonel Hathi’s Pizza Safari. We weren’t hungry yet but, as per Steve, the place was called the Explorers Club for the first less-than-six-months that “Euro Disneyland” was open. According to Jim Hill, the restaurant was based on the Enchanted Tiki Room, but a lot of the background decor is still very much like the Adventurers Club, IMHO. So, needless to say, we took full advantage of the picture-taking opportunity.

Current sign

The main building

Light fixture on the front porch still reflects the original “Explorers Club” theming

An example of the artifacts near/above the cash registers

The upside-down rickshaw mentioned in Jim Hill’s article

Fireplace (gate says “EC”, though difficult to read at this angle) and more artifacts

Unintentional or not, this would easily fit into the Adventurers Club

The dining/table section of the Colonel Hathi fast food restaurant

La Passage Enchante d’Aladdin (Aladdin’s Enchanted Passage) attraction was next:

It’s a walk-through, telling the story of Aladdin, using simple-moving animatronics reminiscent of the store windows of the Emporium at WDW and DL. Fairly low-tech but sill enjoyable. I wasn’t able to get any decent pictures of the inside, but this web site has a good description of it, with pictures.

Next was Pirates of Caribbean:

The queue reminded me of the “cave” parts of WDW’s queue (without air conditioning).

Skeleton in the POTC queue

The attraction itself is a mixture of the “regular” POTC that we’re familiar with, interspersed with scenes of skeletons, 2 extra small drops, a picture-taking moment, etc. I especially enjoyed seeing the pirate chasing the woman-who-was-not-holding-food. We took video of the entire ride and are going to try to get it onto YouTube, if we can. Will keep you posted.

We made a quick stop at Adventure Isle, which is the DLP version of Tom Sawyer Island. When we had gone to DLP in ’96, we discovered quite a few things that Disney would consider to be “dangerous”, including an access hole in Skull Rock that was pitch black dark but had a 3′ drop. Fortunately, we saw that the area is now barricaded by a garbage can and the door to the access hole is now closed. There were still lots of other things they did and allowed that are, IMHO, “bad show” but at least that dangerous eyesore has been fixed.

Skull Rock

A dangerous situation fixed.

We decided to take the Disneyland Railroad from Fantasyland to Main Street.

As we started to leave the Main Street station, it started to pour so we waited at the station for a few minutes. We then went to Walt’s (one of the 4 sit-down restaurants in the park) to try to get reservations for lunch or dinner (whichever would allow us to eat upstairs, which was prettier than downstairs dining) and, as it turned out, they said we could be seated immediately. We were seated in the Adventureland room, with Middle Eastern and POTC decor on the walls. They offered 2 or 3 course price-fixed meals as well as an a’la carte menu (an update from our last visit, where they only had price fix and the choices were only appetizer/main course or main course/dessert). I ordered a tomato-and-mozzarella salad (the tomato had been through a blender), steamed cod with cauliflower (and pieces of grapefruit and orange??? And since when does cod have curry on it?) and an apple-and-apricot crumble with honey nougat ice cream, Joe got Boston clam chowder and and Steve got foi gois, veal with sweetbreads (yeah. brains.) and poached pear with black currant ice cream.

Outside view of Walt’s restaurant

Podium inside Walt’s. When we ate there in 1995, the restaurant was 2 stories high and those doulbe doors to the right of the podium led to the 1st floor dining area (non-smoking area, used only for lunch). At the time, we were not allowed to go upstairs, even to see the decor of the rest of the restaurant (the upstairs dining area was only open for dinner). However, when we asked where the restrooms were, we were told they were upstairs. Amazingly, we all had to pee at the same time (grin). The downstairs dining area has now been turned into a gift shop and dining is only upstairs.

Each room of Walt’s is themed after a “land” in DLP. We ate in “Adventureland” so there were items related to POTC, the Aladdin attraction, etc.

After “linner” (lunch and dinner), the 3 of us went our separate ways. Joe went back to the room to nap, Steve stayed in the park to go on rides and I shopped for 3 hours straight (when I’m going to power shop, I really prefer to do it sans Joe. He gets bored. I know he gets bored. And I feel bad when he gets bored. So I just make sure I have my “shopping time” alone and we’re both happy [wink]).

Shopping does make one tired though, so at 7pm or so, I made it back to the room and took a nap from 7 to 8:30. It was a beautiful thing. Joe was still sleeping when I got into the room, so it made “meeting up” a lot easier too.

We made it back to the park a little before 9:30pm and went on It’s A Small World.

I’m sorry…despite how annoying everyone thinks this attraction is, I’ve always liked it an awful lot (grin). The DLP version has some scenes that are all its own and except for the disappointment of seeing some dolls whose mouths didn’t work…or who were facing the wrong direction…or only one arm would move…or all the lightbulbs that were out, it was a very enjoyable ride (an enjoyable ride that, however, I took no pictures of. But there are lots of pictures on this website and you can also see someone’s recent homemade video of the entire DLP attraction (as well as the dragon under the castle, Space Mountain from the outside and the giant squid in the Jules Verne 20,000 Leagues walk-thru), thanks to YouTube:
Anyway, IASW is sponsored by France Telecom company who has their own, small attraction outside IASM that is very cute and fits in well with the little dolls of the attraction.

At this point, we decided to skip seeing Fantillusion and Wishes tonight and focus on favorite rides instead, to see if we could avoid the longer lines. We went on Pirates of the Caribbean first, this time videotaping the whole thing. Then we went on Phantom Manor, twice in a row (once with camcorder in use, once without). The more I see that attraction, the more I appreciate its differences from the other “Haunted Mansion” attractions around the world.

The park closed at 11pm, so Joe and I went to Disney Village to get a snack. Disney Village (previously called Festival Disney, when we went in 1996) is similar to Pleasure Island or even Disney’s West Side, wherein they have shops and nightclubs (well, one nightclub) interspersed with various sit-down and take-away restaurants and entertainment areas. Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show is here, as is a Planet Hollywood, Disney Store, a Gaumont multi-plex theater (currently showing the film “Snakes on a Plane”, more commonly known as “Des Serpents Dans L’Avion” in France), etc., all in a wide, long path between the DLP hotels area and where they 2 theme parks enter.

Disney Village from the hotel end (daytime)

Disney Village from the park end. A portion of Annette’s Diner is on the far left side of the picture

We eventually settled on getting “take away” from Annette’s, a “Happy Days”-style place, with burgers, fries, etc. Joe got a burger and fries and I got a peanut butter milkshake (by the way…they use Skippy peanut butter). Made it back to the hotel, where Steve already was (we had texted back and forth with him and he had told us he went back to the hotel early) and we all agreed to wake up early on Friday, to take advantage of our last day.