Chez Disney et Astérix

In September we went to Disneyland with friends from gergö’s work and to Parc Asterix with a friend from Germany.

Disneyland entrance area with a building with many turrets

Disneyland is enormous. We got the tickets cheaper through Gergö’s work and through the tickets we found out that there are two parks now: Disneyland and Disney studios. We had access to both and in addition to that we had a special pass that let us jump the queue – our friend S. is blind and with his id he got a green pass from Disney city hall for himself and up to 4 other people.

The pass is not like the fast-pass you can buy in order to skip some of the lines. There’s often a separate entrance for fast pass holders. We rather entered the rides via the exit, showed the pass and were then let onto the next ride.

We didn’t prepare for our day, so we chose a bit randomly at first. Which means we went on a few really boring rides, like Blanche Neige and Peter Pan. I argued they surely will be extreme – they are forbidden to pregnant women after all, so they have to be rough. They weren’t. I think they are only forbidden for pregnant women because there’s a metal security bar that comes down over your seat and a big bulge would be in the way.

We had time to try a few rides several times – among them the creepy hotel, where you are in an elevator and in free fall for a few seconds a couple of times. And they rebranded space mountain into a star wars themed ride and we went two or three times.

A building with a tent like roof and protruding antannae

On the outside, space mountain still looks what I suspect Disney imagined the future would look like in 1985

I still like the fancy details they put into all the decoration and the star wars ride was no exception. C3PO was there, and you could see various other droids on your way through the line. The ride itself was like a ride through space – most of the surroundings were dark as you “fly” through a projected laser weapon fight between the light and the dark side.

a golden humanoid robot

C3PO standing in front of a screen on a balcony. Its movements weren’t any jerkier than in the film.

One of the highlights was that we got to meet Darth Vader. It’s a dude in full costume and platform shoes, so he is appropriately tall and impressive. We were called into the room by Darth Vader who proceeded to ask us what we know about the rebellion. We had a photo taken and at the last minute S. decided to touch Darth Vader’s face. When we left we were greeted with “This meeting has been very informative” which in turn led us to speculate if the actor is speaking himself with an actual voice transformer.

I decided to buy the photos as a memory for that awesome day. The guy at the desk overheard us and explained that Darth has different phrases in his fingertips which he can activate with movement. I’m torn between enjoying that knowledge and being disappointed that some of the magic is now gone.

After we left I regretted that I didn’t hug Darth for the photo but I can’t help but think about the poor people inside the suit who probably get a whole lot more contact with people than they want to. I took photos of a lightsaber fight in the gift shop instead and supported Gergö in his decision to buy wookie house shoes. He always has cold feet and they are extremely warm and furry. He walks around like a cowboy with his feet wide apart when he wears them and I still grin overtime I see them peeking out from underneath the table.

gergös furry wookie slippers

We already knew Parc Asterix from last year’s visit, but we still didn’t really have a plan. So we started with the menhir express, which is a ride that ends in a big splash in the water. Not the greatest idea on a cool autumn day. They have human sized blow drying cabins next to water rides, but they were pretty useless.

This time I also went on Osiris, the most extreme ride of all, I think. Most rides have a point somewhere right before a big descent when they take pictures. Osiris is so new they have that, plus a camera in the seat in front of you. After the ride you can buy a usb stick with the video of you experiencing various loops and turns.

We also did the 7 loop ride again and gergö challenged me to keep my mouth shut. In all the photos taken of me on various rides, i had my mouth open and was either laughing or shouting. Turns out the 7 loop ride doesn’t have cameras, so I can’t even prove I can keep my mouth shut.

The strangest thing we did were cesar’s challenges. You start by sticking your head through a hole in the wall in order to have your photo taken and turned into a gallic warrior, complete with helmet with wings and the two braids. I really wanted that image. Second was a room with Cesar on the balcony saying that he wants to see if we are worthy warriors for his army. It was a robot not an actor.

Then the room’s walls turned around us and we exited into a room that smelled of public swimming pool. It had fountains with images of Falbala and other women from Asterix washing laundry, then Obelix showering projected on them. Because of a warning I had seen earlier I got really paranoid about getting wet and didn’t pay enough attention to understand the story.

But we didn’t get wet, we just proceeded to the next room, which was a ship, where we sat down on long benches that went from one end to the other. We were in the belly of a boat and the walls moved in a way that suggested water around us and a rolling boat. After that the boat itself also started to roll from side to side, which together with the wall’s movements made for quite a weird feeling. It still wasn’t worth the wait and it didn’t even include the challenge of permit 38A. And to top it all off there wasn’t even an occasion to buy the photo of you as a warrior.

One of the highlights was visiting the little village. We saw Miraculix wander past and then Obelix came out for a photo op. A whole lot of children ran up to him for a hug and it was adorable and sweet. But I figured even though I’m much stronger than them, I probably shouldn’t just push them away to go in for an Obelix hug. At least not with so many cameras directed at Obelix.

He soon joined Asterix in front of his little house for photos and we didn’t want to join the queue, so again,I missed an opportunity to violate the personal space of somebody wearing a costume,

To console myself I bought a muesli bowl in Obelix design. I regret nothing!

A stack of bowls looking like Obelix' belly


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