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  • [Review] Walt Disney Studios Park--A Review

    Having visited Walt Disney Studios Park a little over a month ago, I can firmly say that, not only is this the worst theme park the WDC has ever created, but the worst theme park I have visited as well. When getting ready to visit the park, I set my expectations low, but not too low, for the hopes that it would exceed them. Unfortunately, WDS was worse than my already low expectations.

    The Entrance/Front Lot:
    Starting with the entrance, the park is genuinely nice. I found the plaza before the studio set entrance pleasant and the studio set itself an interesting idea. While by and large the worst entrance presently standing at a Disney theme park around the world, it is far better, in my opinion, than the atrocious sunshine plaza that was in DCA.
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    (Thanks to chipandco )

    Production Courtyard/Land past the Front Lot:
    My impressions while in the front entrance got my hopes up slightly for this park, but after exiting the building, it all fell downhill from there. First of all sorry, but a statue of Walt Disney does not in this sad excuse of a disney theme park, especially in front of tower of terror. While the tower of terror isn't my favorite in DCA, it's in a pretty good location. This tower, however, has to be the worst implementation yet. It's placement makes ZERO sense, and it stands awkwardly in front a bunch of fake sets. You can really tell the ride was not meant for this park initially as it is in a horrible location. Moving onward, the studio tram tour manages to be even worse than DHS's counterpart. While catastrophe canyon set is cool, thats about the only thing that is in this ride. The rest is an utterly pointless, slow ride gazing at props from movies no one cares about. Complete waste of time. Next up is Cinemagique which got rave reviews from others. While it could have used from live action parts, for the most part is was great. This is the kind of stuff the park truly needs, that give it heart.
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    Backlot:
    The street connecting this "land" with the Production Courtyard has to be one of most awful in any disney park. All there is is a bunch of posters with various disney movies both old and new leading to a dead end with Rock N' Rollercoaster and Moteurs Action. This is the defining reason why WDS is the worst disney park created. There is no atmosphere whatsoever, and no indication that you are entering a different land. Are guests supposed to get this? Im not so sure. Rock N' Rollercoaster has a horrible facade and queue, but other than that I found the ride to be just as enjoyable. Moteurs Action was fun, but generally the same as Florida's.
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    Just plain bad
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    Toon Studio:
    Again, the only real indication that you are entering a different "land" are there various disney animated posters and the small toon studio sign. I think this land is generally the most well executed, but again, there is no ambience or atmosphere. It just feels sterile. The Aladdin spinner is also laughable, being on a animated film set, really?? Having been on the one in Tokyo, this makes me cringe. The Cars section was nicely done, but just a spinner ride.
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    Ugh
    Toy Story Playland:
    This is by far the most well done section of the park. While yes it contains off the shelf rides, it is the only section of the park with nice theming and a sense of place. It is obvious Toy story mania will be here in the future.

    Crush's Coaster:
    I felt this ride deserved it's own section. This ride, I believe makes the trek to the park worth it. It is hugely fun, inventive, and engaging. If only all the rides in WDS were like this! Having been on the subs and the seas with nemo, I think this is by far the best nemo ride created. It combines mostly the same dark ride portions, moves at a swift pace, and ends with an awesome rollercoaster section. The only downside to this ride is the line moves SO SLOW.

    Overall:
    Going into this park, I really did not want to hate WDS. It is truly a god awful theme park with no ambience or atmosphere that are key to disney parks, and crush's coaster is really the only draw for me. I believe this park desperately needs a makeover like DCA. Just slapping ride on does not work, and it shows. While I am excited for ratatouille, it will not change my opinion of this park.

  • #2
    Re: Walt Disney Studios Park--A Review

    +1

    Cinemagique was good. But I never tried Animagique. Did you?

    I also love Crush's Coaster even if it almost always has 2 hour wait times.

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    • #3
      Last edited by TimmyTimmyTimmy; 08-15-2012, 02:24 AM.
      The world according me: http://www.youtube.com/user/TimmyME

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      • #4
        Re: Walt Disney Studios Park--A Review

        Thanks for the very good review of the park and I have to say that I agree with everything you have mentioned.

        Front Lot does look nice and I guess I'm in the minority, but I like the WDSP entrance better than the one of DHS, especially now, since it was copied at DCA.

        I'm glad you liked Cinemagique, it's one of my all time favorite Disney attraction. Crush is also a lot of fun and definitely one of the better rides at WDSP.

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        • #5
          Re: Walt Disney Studios Park--A Review

          Wait. For now this park really sucks. But with Ratatouille, Toy Story Mania, Marvel Studios (a retheming of Backlot), and other rumored projects it will be a good park. The problem is... there are just rumors for now and nothing official (except for Ratatouille which is under construction). Let's hope D23 2013 will tell us more about Ratatouille and the future of this ugly park.

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          • #6
            Re: Walt Disney Studios Park--A Review

            Originally posted by Fultimate View Post
            Wait. For now this park really sucks. But with Ratatouille, Toy Story Mania, Marvel Studios (a retheming of Backlot), and other rumored projects it will be a good park. The problem is... there are just rumors for now and nothing official (except for Ratatouille which is under construction). Let's hope D23 2013 will tell us more about Ratatouille and the future of this ugly park.
            I really hope these rumours will turn into reality, because that park needs all the help it can get. Marvel would fit perfectly and although I like Rock'n'Rollercoaster with the great Aerosmith music, I wouldn't mind a Marvel retheming. I guess I'm also here in the minority, but the Paris version makes more fun than its counterpart in Florida, of course when all effects are working and luckily I've always visited after a refurb.

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            • #7
              Re: Walt Disney Studios Park--A Review

              While I tend to agree with this review I must also give a small shout of praise for the park. It is one big mess, yes. But there are details to love. The review skips favourites of mine - most notably Animagique (as already pointed out)......

              Ok, so maybe I am swimming against the current here and only half-heartedly at that. However, I would contradict TTT's 'don't waste your time or money' and suggest that even the most die hard Disney fan will find enough gems in this park to make a half-day visit worthwhile.
              WDW - 1987 & 1991
              DLP - 1996, 2004, 2006 & 2007
              DLR - October 2011




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              • #8
                Re: Walt Disney Studios Park--A Review

                Originally posted by nathan detroit View Post
                While I tend to agree with this review I must also give a small shout of praise for the park. It is one big mess, yes. But there are details to love. The review skips favourites of mine - most notably Animagique (as already pointed out)......

                Ok, so maybe I am swimming against the current here and only half-heartedly at that. However, I would contradict TTT's 'don't waste your time or money' and suggest that even the most die hard Disney fan will find enough gems in this park to make a half-day visit worthwhile.
                Since WDSP is included in the package, we always go there. WDSP is a mess and definitely not a beautiful Disney park, but the park is home to some of my favourite Disney rides, TOT, RnRC, the car stuntshow (the old ersion without Lightning McQueen), Cinemagique and Crush. So we usually spend some hours every day there. And there is also the Cafe des Cascadeurs, which I really like, because of the look and of the grilled vegetable burger.

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                • #9
                  Re: Walt Disney Studios Park--A Review

                  We took my brother in law and sister in law for a day in the parks, told them we'd only stop for 3 attractions and a walk-thru of WDS and then spend the rest of the day in Disneyland until Dreams at park closing. So like that, what it has to offer: Crush's Coaster, Tower of Terror, and RocknRoller Coaster before a Disneyland day - its worth a couple of hours.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Walt Disney Studios Park--A Review

                    OP that is an excellent assessment of the park. It offers little and yet still under delivers. I remember looking over the construction fence (via the official viewing platform) back in '01 and getting that excited feeling that every Disney nerd feels seeing a new park be created. Another new 'world' to explore and enjoy. This anticipation was then fueled by the still relatively new at the time internet fan site updates which listed a small roster of attractions but still sounding like a fun park.

                    I tried to put a brave face on in '02, but the vast swathes of concrete, predominantly the stretch where Hollywood Blvd. is now, really erased all that built up anticipation and replaced it with quiet disappointment. And this was not as a fan but also as a theme park patron. Naturally comparing then and now, they have made vast improvements but there's a heck of a way to go before this can even look up at the original DCA.


                    Originally posted by Fultimate View Post
                    Wait. For now this park really sucks. But with Ratatouille, Toy Story Mania, Marvel Studios (a retheming of Backlot), and other rumored projects it will be a good park. The problem is... there are just rumors for now and nothing official (except for Ratatouille which is under construction). Let's hope D23 2013 will tell us more about Ratatouille and the future of this ugly park.
                    That is true, the only way is up for the park and (rumours aside for a moment) further additions can only improve things bit by bit, trouble is though that it has a fundamental flaw in its design meaning that it will still continue to be a mismash of lands, each one tacked onto the last. They seemingly have painted themselves into a corner.
                    I sincerely hope though that the genius of WDI can shine through, fix these problems and prove me wrong.

                    Originally posted by nathan detroit View Post
                    While I tend to agree with this review I must also give a small shout of praise for the park. It is one big mess, yes. But there are details to love. The review skips favourites of mine - most notably Animagique (as already pointed out)......

                    Ok, so maybe I am swimming against the current here and only half-heartedly at that. However, I would contradict TTT's 'don't waste your time or money' and suggest that even the most die hard Disney fan will find enough gems in this park to make a half-day visit worthwhile.
                    Good point, there are a few little gems in the park, its just that there are only a few of them. Maybe one day these can sit along other much loved attractions at the finally-up-to-standard WDS. We may have to wait quite a while for that though..
                    sigpic

                    "We're not trying to entertain the critics ... I'll take my chances with the public." -
                    Walt Disney

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                    • #11
                      Re: Walt Disney Studios Park--A Review

                      TimmyTimmyTimmy, I think you said it perfectly. I would have much preferred a park half the size (which would have been incredibly tiny) that would have been highly detailed and immersive than what we got. If the park had just been mysterious island, for example, I would have been much happier. It's embarrassing to walk through a park that has no defining land, no sense of theme, and no feeling that you are truly in some place else. I'm not saying the rides themselves are bad, they are just placed awkwardly with no lead up unlike Phantom Manor or Pirates. Ratouille is going next to Toy story if I remember correctly which will even further mess up the layout. I think the biggest slap in the face is that this was built and conceived the same time as Tokyo DisneySea which I consider the greatest theme park made.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Walt Disney Studios Park--A Review

                        that just makes me want to puke
                        Tokyo Disneyland Crew!

                        Currently working at:: Journey to the Center of the Earth!


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                        • #13
                          Re: Walt Disney Studios Park--A Review

                          Originally posted by JapanFan View Post
                          TimmyTimmyTimmy, I think you said it perfectly. I would have much preferred a park half the size (which would have been incredibly tiny) that would have been highly detailed and immersive than what we got. If the park had just been mysterious island, for example, I would have been much happier. It's embarrassing to walk through a park that has no defining land, no sense of theme, and no feeling that you are truly in some place else. I'm not saying the rides themselves are bad, they are just placed awkwardly with no lead up unlike Phantom Manor or Pirates. Ratouille is going next to Toy story if I remember correctly which will even further mess up the layout. I think the biggest slap in the face is that this was built and conceived the same time as Tokyo DisneySea which I consider the greatest theme park made.
                          How much smaller could that park be have been? I mean when it opened the park was done in two hours and now it's a half a day park. The best would have been not to build it at all. Unfortunately that wasn't an option due to the contract TWDC signed with the French Government.

                          As for Ratatouille, it should be put on hold and the money should be used for the 1950s Hollywood makeover of Production courtyard. Fake facades and a new floor can't be that expensive.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Walt Disney Studios Park--A Review

                            Originally posted by Dagobert View Post
                            How much smaller could that park be have been? I mean when it opened the park was done in two hours and now it's a half a day park. The best would have been not to build it at all. Unfortunately that wasn't an option due to the contract TWDC signed with the French Government.
                            Yes they should not have built it or they should have built small and with quality for a strong foundation for future growth. When DHS opened, there was 1 ride and three shows. The footprint was so small yet everything they built was with detail and quality. Today this quality and detail allowed for expansions that developed it into a full day park.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Walt Disney Studios Park--A Review

                              Originally posted by WDW1971 View Post
                              Yes they should not have built it or they should have built small and with quality for a strong foundation for future growth. When DHS opened, there was 1 ride and three shows. The footprint was so small yet everything they built was with detail and quality. Today this quality and detail allowed for expansions that developed it into a full day park.
                              This! I think DHS is good example of a park that has potential to be really good without needing a drastic makeover. Has anyone seen the new 20th anniversary book on sale? It shows a rendering on Disney-MGM Studios Europe which looked unbelievably better. I think the whole contract is still a bad excuse regardless, but I am glad that in the very same book they admit that they scaled back the plans when the financial situation got tough. Even though its just a book I'm glad they were honest

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