The Trip of a Lifetime (Paris fair)(7/29/02)

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Saturday, September 28, 2002 7:35 PM
Part 19- Paris and a surprise coaster

“Are you sure you want to ride this?”…………

I slept in this morning. I didn’t have to get on a coach. I didn’t have to be at a park at any certain time. Today was a schedule free day, which was a first for me on this trip. My mother left early to go on an extensive coach tour of Paris. While that sounded like fun, going around in a tour bus and not stopping to go ride a coaster or two would feel so strange to me. Add that to the fact that there were coasters basically right outside my window that I could go ride at anytime during the day.

After a quick shower, I sat around a bit and watched TV. It seems as if Disney doesn’t want you to watch anything but Disney stuff as the 10 channels or so I had, 9 of them were Disney channels and one was a British business news channel. It took a whole 2 minutes of flipping around stations before I was heading back to Disney Paris.

Once in the park, I decided to give all the coasters in the park a ride again. I rode Indiana Jones again, this time in the front. I still didn’t care for it and have no desire to ride it again at this time because of the brutal ride it gave me. That’s too bad as it looks like a neat ride. I rode Big Thunder Mountain again as well. I enjoyed this coaster as much as I did the day before. That ending with the enclodsed drop still caught me off guard. I walked over to Space Mountain and even gave that another try. I rode this twice for the reason of trying to find a seat that would be less brutal. After two rides, I decided to move on. I really wanted to like this ride but the brutal ride was keeping me from fully enjoying it.

I headed over to the Disney Studios Park next door and was happy to see that Rock-N-Roller Coaster was a walk-on. I ended up riding this quite a few times. I rode in different areas of the train. At one point, there were only 3 people on the train and I rode the very back seat, while the other two people were in the front. It was neat watching the train slither in front of me without any heads. I ended up riding this around 8 times or so before leaving the park and heading back to the hotel.

I grabbed my camera and decided to go on a bit of an adventure. The plan was to take the train into Paris, but to get off at a random stop, and walk the rest of the way to the Eiffel Tower no matter how far away it was. It was rapidly getting hot outside and I knew to bring lots of change for water vendors as they seemed to accept coins more than bills.

As I was walking through Disney’s Village, I noticed an arcade to my right. I had an urge to play a game of Dancing Stage Euromix but hadn’t found a machine on the mainland. I walked into the arcade and, wouldn’t you know it, sitting right in front of me was a Dancing Stage machine. This version didn’t have the Euromix songs but had a list of songs that are found on the first version DDR machines in the US. I played a couple of games before moving on. Perhaps this was a big mistake because I was sweating more than a meat loaf, and I knew it wasn’t going to be any cooler sitting in a train for the next hour or so.

I went to the train station, purchased a ticket, and soon was on my way to…….well, I don’t know. All I knew is that I wanted to be in Paris and didn’t care where I stopped. After about 45 minutes of traveling, I got off at a random stop, and walked up to the street. I had no idea where I was, and I didn’t see any familiar buildings. There were a lot of buildings around, but I didn’t recognize any of them, and more importantly, I didn’t see the Eiffel Tower anywhere.

I walked a half mile towards a busy road I could see in the distance. As it turns out, this is one of the roads that sit to the side of the main river in Paris. To the right I could finally see the Eiffel Tower, and it looked pretty far away. I estimated it was around 5 miles away, but I decided to stick to my plan and walk to it. On the walk I saw many cool things like small parks, statues, and a nice walkway next to the river. I was having a great time, just enjoying my walk through Paris.

Because of the intense heat, I was more than happy to see a water vendor up ahead. I purchased two, ice cold, bottles of water and continued my walk to the tower. It took just over one hour to reach the main areas by the tower. I crossed a bridge to get on the side of the river where the tower stands. As I continued my walk, I noticed several men, dressed in black suits, wearing dark sunglasses, walking all over the place. They looked like secret service men to me. I then started to notice a very visible military presence. I wanted to get a picture of all this activity but I figured one of the military men or secret service men would not allow me to take photos. I continued to walk as I passed a large building with an Air France logo on the side. I started to hear sirens up ahead.

As it turns out, “someone” was getting a police and military escort into that large Air France building. I have no idea who it was as the windows in the limo that passed me were tinted. As soon as the escort was inside the large walls of the building, tons of secret service men started showing up from everywhere. Some came from the river bank area. Some came from the bridges. Some even appeared to be climbing down trees. They all ran over to the building and went inside. I have no idea who was being escorted, but they must have been pretty important considering all the activity I witnessed.

As I continued my walk towards the tower, I remembered that a group of us saw a carnival from the top of the tower the night before. The only problem was I didn’t remember how far away it was. I didn’t have a map on me other than a train route map. I remembered taking a picture of the area of the carnival while at the top of the tower. I had my digital camera with me at this time so I quickly looked back at some of the pictures I took. I found the picture I was looking for and by zooming in, I could tell what area the carnival was. Don’t you just love the digital age?

The only problem was, according to the picture, I had just walked by that area 15 minutes before. I started to walk back to see if I could find this carnival. I didn’t see any rides sticking up. I could tell in the picture that the carnival appeared to be in a heavily wooded area. I looked over to the other side of the river and noticed a wooded area like the picture showed. I must have walked 20 minutes before I arrived in this area. There was a huge park, surrounded by a large square and a very busy intersection. I noticed a lot of folding chairs all over the place. The left, I looked straight down this busy road I was at and could clearly see the famous Arc de Triumph.

As I had totally forgotten before I left, the world famous Tour De France race was finishing this day, and it looks like I was an hour late or so as initial cleaning was going on to remove the folding chairs and surrounding trash. I must have looked like a typical tourist because I was snapping pictures of everything in sight. Everything in this area looked so, well, famous.

Finally, I looked up ahead and noticed some rides. I had found the carnival! The whole carnival sat on a very narrow section of land. It wasn’t burried in the trees as it appeared to be from the tower. I walked around a bit checking out the rides. There was a portable flume ride, which looked tempting, but I didn’t ride. I saw a 3 level fun house walk through, as well as a haunted ride-thru with some rather gory artwork. I watched a Frisbee clone run and got to watch people ride something that looked like a one armed Skyscraper.

As I continued my way, I literally stumbled on a nice surprise. A coaster!


====Jungle===(#490)

While it was a small steel coaster, and could be considered by some to be a kiddie coaster, I knew I had to ride it. I purchased a ticket and took a seat. I have no clue as who designed this coaster as it looked like nothing I have seen before. The layout consisted of a series of right hand turns, but they were not banked very much. The coaster stood about 15 feet high or so and contained a tire driven lift and two tunnels. The trains contained a lap bar, and a strange seat belt that was basically a rope tied to a post behind the seats.

The ride operator looked at me as if I was crazy wanting to ride this coaster. No one was riding it so I got a solo ride. I was kind of surprised at how the ride ran. If I was a kid, I would be terrified to ride this as it was very violent and threw me around quite a bit. Because the turns are banked so low, laterals were all over the place, especially the very end where I had to hold on tightly. I went around 5 times before the ride ended.

I then thanked the ride operator and continued to explore the rest of the carnival. I gave the haunted house a ride. As expected, it was very hot inside. There weren’t many scenes in them but there was a live person hiding behind a curtain that tried to scare me by jumping out in front of my car. It would have worked if I hadn’t seen his shoes sticking out from the bottom of the curtain he was hiding behind.

I walked to the far end of the carnival and took a ride on the large Ferris wheel. I got an amazing view of the surrounding metropolitan area as well as another familiar looking building, very nearby. This was none other than The Louvre. You know, that that famous museum where the original Mona Lisa resides. Sad to say, I didn’t know what exactly the building was until later, but I am glad I saw it.

One of the unique features of this wheel was that it took on-ride photos that you could purchase at the end of the ride. This was only the second time I have ever seen a wheel with cars you could spin, but the ride operators seemed to not allow it. While sitting at the top of the wheel. I witnessed a mother taking her small daughter on her first Ferris wheel. The small girl seemed to hate the ride but the mother was trying to calm her down by pointing out various things. This didn’t seem to help as the girl continued to cry. I think it’s safe to say the girl won’t be going to the top of the Eiffel Tower anytime soon.


I watched the Skyscraper-type ride run before paying a bit extra and giving it a ride. I have not a clue who made this ride either. It contained one arm with two rows of seats placed back to back. The two rows hold 4 people abreast each. It looked quite different from any other version I have seen. The sign at the ticket booth named the ride as MaXXimum and was advertised as pulling around 6 gs.

I rode with three other people. We had to sit for a few minutes before more people were needed to fill up the other row of seats. Once there were 8 total rides, we started our ride. The first part of the ride consisted of a lot of back and forth motion like a large swinging ship. The seats were locked so we weren’t rotating. I should also note that sitting right above us was a very large fan that would get louder and louder, the faster we went. I have no idea for the reason behind the fan, but it gave the ride a bit of character. I am sure the fan is used to help propel the arm a little easier, but it just looked, and sounded out of place.

The second half of the ride had us doing a few complete inversions before sticking us upside down. I enjoyed getting to look at the Eiffel Tower while upside down. Just as we were completing another inversion, the seats were allowed to swing freely. From then on it felt more like a Skyscraper. The ride lasted about 5 minutes but I seriously doubt it pulled 6 gs. It felt more like 3 to me, but then again, I am no physics major so I could be wrong. =:^)

Once my ride was over, I bought some popcorn and water. I then decided to start heading back. I walked through the busy park area before asking directions back to the nearest RER station. Within a few minutes, I was back on the train to the Marne-la-Vallee Chessy station. I am really going to miss these trains. These trains will be like your best friends if you want to travel a lot in Paris. I still can’t get how easy they are to use.

Once back at Disney, I met up with my mother and we went into the Village to get something to eat. We decided to try Planet Hollywood. As we walked up the stairs and into the waiting lobby, it became a lot hotter. One thing I have noticed is hardly any place I went to used air conditioning in Paris, including most of the food areas I went into. It was too hot for us to be sitting in that restaurant so we decided to just go back to the hotel and grab some snacks to eat. I talked to my mother about the tour she did with Jeff Johnson. From the sound of it, they went almost everywhere I walked today, and at around the same time.

The night ended as we watched the fireworks show going on at Disney. It didn’t last very long but it did include some nice visuals. The whole castle was lit up in purple lights as the fireworks popped overhead. The strange thing was we couldn’t hear any of the fireworks, and we were only a quarter mile from them at most. Perhaps it was one of the bands playing at the Village or something? I am not sure.

We had to get some sleep because we had a big day ahead of us. The day I was hoping would never arrive.

Next up….


The sad journey back to reality


Thanks for reading,


-Sean

*** This post was edited by Sean F. on 9/28/2002. ***

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Sunday, September 29, 2002 5:03 AM

I would never have gone on a SkyScraper at a fair. I barely go one fair rides. Nice TR again.

-Sean

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-Sean

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Sunday, September 29, 2002 7:15 AM
Thanks so much Sean for keeping us updated with your TR's, every single day I kept looking forward to the next one. Thanks again, I appreciate it!

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Good Times!! Good Times!!
CCI Lives On!!!!
-Patrick

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Sunday, September 29, 2002 11:44 AM

I walked over to Space Mountain and even gave that another try. I rode this twice for the reason of trying to find a seat that would be less brutal. After two rides, I decided to move on. I really wanted to like this ride but the brutal ride was keeping me from fully enjoying it.

Believe it or not.The Secret to getting a good ride on Space Mountain is to sit in the Front Row. I remember A Ride Op forced me to sit in the front when I wanted to sit in the back,I was about to argue with her, when she just gave me a smile and said The Front is much better than the Back Row.
Normally I am just not a Front Row Fan, YES I still enjoy riding the front row, but the only coasters I will make a big attempt at riding the front is on Inverted Coasters only simply because thats the only row to enjoy that kind of coaster. Anyway I couldnt believe it when I had an pretty good ride on Space Mountain sitting in the front row, I encounted hardly any headbanging, and it just didnt feel so rough, It was pretty good, I even tryed it later in the day to see it was just a fluke, but it still resulted in an excellent ride, whereas when I tryed it in the back, It was an awful ride.

Also Sean, Did you happen to go inside the Submarine which is next to Space Mountain, I honestly had no idea this was an attraction, until I walked past an entrance seeing people go inside, I orginally thought it was a ride, and found out it was a walk through attraction through the Sub, It was quite good too.
Did you also give Pirates of the Caribean a try?????

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Sunday, September 29, 2002 12:12 PM

PaulD said:

Also Sean, Did you happen to go inside the Submarine which is next to Space Mountain, I honestly had no idea this was an attraction, until I walked past an entrance seeing people go inside, I orginally thought it was a ride, and found out it was a walk through attraction through the Sub, It was quite good too.
Did you also give Pirates of the Caribean a try?????


That sub was-I'm guessing-a 2000 leagues under the sea thing-me & my family walked through it but I'm certain there is a ride in there-there was some cool special effects in the sub like a screen shaped like a window where a squid would come up to it, grab on, then get zapped by something.

Also-great TP Sean and I'm really gonna miss reading them. You discribed everything perfectly and it felt as though I was back there.

THANK YOU-from everyone

*** This post was edited by Eurpo-mir on 9/29/2002. ***

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Sunday, September 29, 2002 6:47 PM
Just curious Sean, but is the Ferris Wheel that you rode the same one that was rumoured to be dismantled at the beginning of the year? The coasterbuzz News article is [url="http://www.coasterbuzz.com/news/news.asp?NewsID=3376" target="_blank">here.

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My two favorite coasters are both named Superman.
Nitro, Gemini, Laser, Ice, Thunder...The American Gladiators!

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Sunday, September 29, 2002 8:08 PM

Sean and Patrick,

Thanks for reading. Only one more left to go. =:^(

Paul,

All the rides I took on Space Mountain were near the back so perhaps that is why I got the ride I did. If I am ever at the park again, I will try to get a front seat ride.

I didn't do anything else at the park besides the coasters and the Haunted Mansion. The rest of the group I was with stayed for most of the day.

Bill,

Your welcome dude. I didn't really get to hang out with you and your family on the tour but I thank you for reading and reliving some of the tour with me. It amazes me how many people from the tour have ridden these reports. There are some people who won't post on this forum that are reading. Thanks everyone!

astrogp,

Nope, that wasn't the one. The one that was dismantled stood about 200 feet in the air. The one I rode was around 100 feet tall if I remember correctly. It would have been cool to ride the larger one if it was still around.

-Sean

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