After our underwhelming morning in Walt Disney Studios we went running back into the open arms of Disneyland. It had begun snowing in earnest, and that’s when we realized that snow really only makes good photos after it stops! While it’s happening, you get a whole lotta gray, plus spots on the camera lens…
Here, I tried to capture how hard it was snowing in a video for you….
Inside the castle, the upstairs gallery was still closed, so we took a few longing photos of it….
Then it was back into the little shop above the Dragon’s Lair.
The fanstatical griffin I understand. The fish, not so much….
Sorry it’s blurry, but this kinda shows where you used to be able to (or maybe still can depending on the whims of Disneyland Paris management?) go through into the balcony overlooking the dragon.
Ye Olde Glass Slipper Factory…
We went out the back and down to the entrance to the Dragon’s Lair. I just loved this view toward Adventureland in the snow, so I took another video for you.
We then spent 20 minutes attempting to get one great shot of the dragon in action, which resulted in seven just OK photos and roughly 637 bazillion blurry ones…
I halfheartedly tried to get a video of the dragon in action, but as I suspected even then, there are tons of actually good videos of La Tanière du Dragon online. Here is just one!
We walked out the exit closest to the castle bridge, which gave us a neat perspective for more photos.
Here’s what it looks like from above….
OK, this shot’s from the other exit, but still…
You won’t believe what we did next! Get ready… Are you sitting down…? We took even MORE photos of the castle!!!
Are these two photos identical? Probably… But neither of us could stop shooting!
Eventually we tore ourselves away and headed toward Auberge de Cendrillon in Fantasyland. Prepare yourself for…. The Backside of Sleeping Beauty Castle!
So the Sword in the Stone is only hard to remove when it’s sunny out…?
Finally it was 1pm and we could check in for our lunch reservation! That was easy, and we barely had to wait much longer than a pit stop takes. You know how Disney used to design queue entrances that made it look like the line was short from the outside, but once you got in them, you realized they were super-crowded and snaked on forever? The lobby of Auberge de Cendrillon is like that kind of queue entrance…
Sleeping Beauty must be charging Cinderella astronomical rent for this building, because the place is wall-to-wall tables. There’s barely enough room between them for your average French sylph to slip by—lord knows how a princess in a pouffy ballgown negotiates them…. Or the giant mice!
Now when I look at this shot of the unusually spacious lobby, I wonder why they didn’t just cram a couple more tables in here too. Think how many more meals they could be selling!
The message on the tapestry roughly translates as “Abandon hope of personal space all ye who enter here. Also give us your wallet.”
How do you like this stained glass window?
Not as much as Patrick, I bet….
Patrick LOVES this window!
The hostess grabbed a person-sized shoehorn and, at Patrick’s request, a coloring sheet, then showed us to our postage stamp-sized table.
For someone as humble and unassuming as Cinderella supposedly is, she sure has a lot of paintings of herself hanging around the inn!
Like… really? She had an intricate tapestry woven to commemorate her debasement at the hands of her stepmother and stepsisters?
Although if I were Cinderella, I would definitely commemorate this moment with a ginormous painting….
Inexplicably, the deeper you got into the restaurant, the less crowded it was.
How could there be an entire empty room when we were practically sitting in our neighbors’ laps?!
She looks so mopey in this one, for a moment I thought that was Eeyore in the corner!
The coveted garage-view dining section…
There was a regular menu and a special 25th anniversary set menu, so I got the latter and Patrick ordered a la carte.
They started us off with some cheese gougeres, which are like cream-less cream puffs covered in hardened cheese shards instead of chocolate.
Maybe it’s because Cinderella’s Royal Table had set my expectations so low, but I found our Auberge de Cendrillon meal surprisingly good. My steak was actually cooked to the requested medium rare! The scallops weren’t rubbery or fishy! The puff pastry wasn’t tough and chewy! The dessert… well, all those desserts just taste like “sweet,” don’t they?
And speaking of dessert… The family in whose laps we’d been sitting was celebrating a birthday with Disneyland Paris’ version of WDW’s Mickey Mouse Celebration Cake, and they offered us a leftover piece! Apparently my obsession with Disney cakes runs so deep that I can now spontaneously materialize them…
…Although I may need to further develop my powers, because the cake turned out to have a layer of orange marmalade in it—gross!
Another thing I was impressed by was how friendly all the princesses were! Granted, I’ve only ever been to one other princess meal in my life, and it’s not like those ones were stubbing out cigarettes on my forehead. But after a few days of bungling our way through interactions with people in my terrible French, it felt like such a relief to have a conversation in English! (And by conversation I mean, “May we take your picture, Princess? Sorry I jabbed you in the corset with my elbow! Watch out—your skirt is being trampled by a stroller!”)
Perhaps the princesses were a little too friendly…
My favorite was Suzy—mostly because she got super-excited when we correctly called her “Suzy” and not “Perla.”
Despite the cramped quarters and the high prices, it was overall a fun experience. But it’s definitely a full experience. Once again, we lost more than 2 hours of our day to a meal. If I had it to do over again, I’d definitely schedule all my sit-down meals for outside of park hours on at least the first visit to Disneyland Paris. Maybe I’d keep Walt’s…