Falling in love with Disneyland Paris

Still up there as the “happiest” day of my life so far, is a 15-hour (and my first ever in any Disney park) day at Disneyland, Anaheim. Splash Mountain had just opened and my 21 year old, friendship bracelet wearing self, and fellow summer camp counselors did everything there, down to the Davy Crocket canoes.

Until last month, for some reason or other, I hadn’t been back to our Disneyland in Europe for 20 years, despite living in London. Walt’s charming park in the California sunshine had set the bar high for me perhaps and I don’t really remember much from a mid-‘90s short day trip to DLP.

How was it then, that on my 2016 visit, with construction ‘reinvent the magic’ refurbishment walls, (in preparation for the 25th Anniversary in 2017) from park entrance, through Main Street station and all over Frontierland, I fell in love with Disneyland Paris for the first time …in forever?

Douglas Rickard on it's a small world

Douglas Rickard on it’s a small world

Green hoardings on one side of the entrance didn’t hamper an immediate rush of birdsong and heavenly, flowering shrub scents from the other, (I’m pretty sure the birds weren’t animatronics). And for me, this was the story that continued throughout the Disneyland Paris park. It’s beautiful. I’m about “show” element too. I was trained in one of the stores in the early ‘90s about “standards,” and I notice the little details everywhere anyway as you might appreciate in one of my montage-heavy Vlogs below, pinpointing corners of Fantasyland.

My travlog (below) through what is, in my opinion, the superior “salute to the children of the world” in all the Disney parks depicts, just one upshot of the ‘reinvent the magic’ refurbishments at Disneyland Paris. It was the likes of tweets, articles and forum posts on this clearly visible investment into not just the park but cast members too, that made me decide Disney Paris is worth a visit.

it's a small world Disneyland Paris 2016

it’s a small world Disneyland Paris 2016

Cottonwood Creek Ranch at Disneyland Paris

Cottonwood Creek Ranch at Disneyland Paris

I now miss being addressed as “monsieur”. Whether they were serving ice cream or thoughtfully ensuring they took enough photos (on my own camera) of me, with one of the characters. That’s the feeling the 100 percent pleasant Disneyland Paris cast members left me with.

Uncle Scrooge with Douglas Rickard at Plaza Gardens Restaurant, Disneyland Paris

Uncle Scrooge with Douglas Rickard at Plaza Gardens Restaurant, Disneyland Paris

Main Street USA Disneyland Paris 2016

Main Street USA Disneyland Paris 2016

Watching other Vloggers, it hit me that of course many have those very precious kind of memories from childhood visits to Disneyland Paris which I never had. Nostalgia for me was the titles of “The Wonderful World Of Disney” tv show and that original castle in Anaheim on a screen. Yet I now feel such affection for a happy place in Paris that I experienced as having an authentic sense of its very own history while honouring everything I believed about and enjoyed at, Walt’s original castle park.

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Lights on in Tulgey Wood

A “purr-fect” choice for one of my “Where Pictures Shine” releases had to be the Cheshire Cat.

In this series of my WDCC still-lifes, the white background seems to envelop faces and shapes, giving the appearance of even brighter colors and even darker lines. So, instead of this Wonderland monitor’s markings materializing out of Tulgey Wood’s darkness, it’s out of lightness that his oil pastel purple stripes really do seem to “shine”.

The Cheshire Cat

The Cheshire Cat

Wonderland week Day #5: Ever been down a chimney?

Separate drawings I made of WDCC Alice in Wonderland character sculpts have been rolled into this composite in a way that evokes the thrill of spinning through the Alice in Wonderland theme park attraction, whilst also telling a story. Visit my Facebook Wonderland gallery: http://on.fb.me/pZSOtg

Alice in Wonderland characters

Alice in Wonderland characters

 

 

 

Wonderland week Day #4: This Cheshire Cat is not all there himself…

Wouldn’t you be simply mad not to display this new Cheshire Cat art out today, over your hearth or even above a writing desk? If that is, you ever do get home… Look at my Facebook Alice in Wonderland photo gallery: http://on.fb.me/pZSOtg

 

 

Wonderland week Day #3: New Cheshire Cat Sneak Peek

Through a pre-release offer of this new “Cheshire Cat” art, one of my Valued Buyers has already purchased number one out of 80 of the Hand Embellished NLE version. It wasn’t sealing wax, but oil pastel that was layered onto the giclée. Are you planning on a low number too? Look at my Facebook Alice in Wonderland photo gallery: http://on.fb.me/pZSOtg

Hand Embellished Cheshire Cat with oil pastel

Hand Embellished Cheshire Cat with oil pastel

 

 

 

 

 

Which way will this Wonderland character go?

Oh by the way, if you’d really, like to know, some of this Wonderland character’s stripes will be going this way and some that way… when my new WDCC still-life drawing is released next Thursday! Follow me on Facebook… http://on.fb.me/qNb3dY

Wonderland character

Wonderland character