Monday, September 07, 2009

Adventure 45

Trip to Disneyland, Paris (A photo essay)

Ever since I was a kid, I used to fantasise about going to Europe on a Raj Travels Deluxe Jain Package, with Hindi commentary and pure veg Gujarati food and a cable car ride at Jungfrau. That dream never did materialise, but I was even more determined to go to Paris after they opened a Disneyland there. Finally, I did make it to Paris, and at the very first weekend, while my other friends did gay shit like going to the Louvre and other artsy places, I made the pilgrimmage to my Mecca; and boy, was I impressed!


Disneyland, Paris is extremely impressive, and the aura of the place struck me as soon as I stepped out of the underground Metro. The gate where I got in was like a park, with statues that seemed to be made of marble. I could not make out some of the characters being depicted, but the first statue I saw was of some stallion having his way with a woman.


I strayed into a huge building, which had Walt Disney and his girlfriend's pictures on its facade.


Inside, I was totally awestruck by a statue of the Little Mermaid.


There were a lot of rough drafts of (probably rejected) drafts of cartoon films (single frames presumably). In some cases, the lazy artist had used dots to draw the scene, instead of colouring properly. Such quirks cost Disney millions of dollars annually.


There was a statue of a scene from the ever-popular Hannah Montana series as well.


Walt Disney was known for drawing self portraits of himself.


Certain artists on Disney's payrolls had the temerity to sign their drawings, causing a huge wastage of Disney's money, since such frames can never be used in cartoon films.





Certain frustrated artists have strayed away from the standard template in movies like Sleeping Beauty and Beauty and the Beast. Such rejected scenes are now part of Disneylands everywhere.


There is a very impressive replica of the Sleeping Beauty's palace inside Disneyland, Paris.


They have even built a mini-river or where boat rides are offered.


There are dark rooms which have stained glass for those artsy, intellectual whiners whiners who tag along with fun-loving guys like me.


The folks at Disneyland sure do have a sense of humour, and have livened up things by putting funny stuff on serious shit like statues of eminent people.


The kind folks at Disneyland, Paris have recognised the importance of Indian tourists, and have special Indian stores and centres, with names carefully chosen to reflect the Indian cultural ethos and diverse milieu.


Once the sun sets, there are a few adult entertainment zones in this great amusement park that slowly come to life.




Did you know that Disney makes porn flicks too?


I did not know that Moulin Rouge (the movie with our Chhamma Chhamma) was shot in Disneyland Paris.

On the whole I had a great time walking through the great Disneyland, Paris. Did you know that they have taken great interest in our tradition and named some dishes in their food stalls after great Indian sages. I ate an interesting sandwich called Panini (named after the great sage who created Sanskrit grammar). It contained jambon (I guess that its French for "jamoon", though it was not sweet). I was so happy to find Brahmin food in the midst of Europe!

On the whole, I recomment Disneyland Paris to one and all!