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Trip Report (Disneyland Paris)

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  • Trip Report (Disneyland Paris)

    Hey, everyone! I got back from Europe this Sunday, and figured I would set up a bit of a Trip Report!

    OVERALL STUFF:
    * Many of the same "rules" apply, like FastPasses, what to do first, what FPs to get first, etc.
    * Pretty much every employee seems to speak at least SOME English, much like Japan. I guess you'd have to, being this close to England.
    * It does seem very "Magic Kingdom Lite", like they just wanted to do the MK, but on a budget, so there's a bit less stuff. The layouts are quite similar, but with the benefit of experience- so your Tomorrow/Discoverylands are more well-laid-out, and Peter Pan is FAR from the other stuff in Fantasyland, preventing that bottleneck. The "little things" are what gets you- like having the high-capacity, lower-interest stuff in the very back of the park instead of where you "expect" it to be.
    * The park seems laid out more to suit exploration, as there's about a million ways into every Land from the looks of things. Every once in a while I'd go through a stable or whatever in Frontierland and suddenly end up in Adventureland's grottos or something.
    * Both parks are immediately next to each other, with Disney Village being right next to that.
    * The "Merch" is interesting. I saw a ton of Frozen figurines that I've never seen anywhere else. Unfortunately the prices were INSANE, and I didn't have much room in my suitcase (plus, I was traveling further and don't like having fragile stuff in my bags), or I might have grabbed one. One store in Paris actually had a gigantic, plastic-looking Elsa for 110 Euros. They're neat figures, but a lot of the faces seemed poorly-made, which was another deal-breaker. Quite odd- I wonder if these companies work on stuff for North America, too.

    Overall, I spent two days in the parks (on recommendation from Micechatters), and that was definitely "just right". You could easily do both parks in a day and a half. Disney Village was okay, but mostly just some Disney Stores plus some restaurants. And a hot air balloon.

    MAIN STREET:
    * Very similar to Disneyland & WDW's versions, but with "covered Arcades" on the sides, detailing the origins of the Statue of Liberty and some turn-of-the-century inventions. Kind of neat. Most of the shops are connected by walkways, and have this weird combination of "every shop's the same thing" combined with "occasional rarities" that you'll only ever see in one spot. A lot of places in London & Paris have these "Arcades" of shops, too, so this is a bit of local flavor.

    Disneyland Railroad- The same thing you've seen elsewhere, though there's no real "show" pieces or things you can see here that you can't see elsewhere.
    Last edited by Jabroniville; 05-25-2017, 10:57 PM.

  • #2
    ADVENTURELAND:
    * Very different from other versions, and with more ways in or out. There's no Jungle Cruise in this one, and the layout's different on a lot of things- the familiar Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse is right next to the Pirate mazes, and the Indiana Jones coaster is way off to one side. Pirates of the Caribbean anchors the land way back on the North side (though that way was unfortunately closed).

    Aladdin's Enchanted Passage: A neat little thing that's basically a bunch of miniature-based scenes from Aladdin. A fun walkthrough, similar to the Sleeping Beauty one in Disneyland's castle, but with statues and a few moving parts.
    Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse: The same version you'll find everywhere.
    Pirates of the Caribbean: The only major thing being refurbished when I went down. They blocked off EVERYTHING, too- you couldn't even walk up and see the mini-land around it.
    Pirate Mazes: This is sort of like the Tom Sawyer Island stuff, but isn't an island and it's just a series of tunnels and caves beside the Treehouse & Pirate Galleon (which I don't think you can get on). There's some neat stuff in here, like the giant Skull Rock and various bits of pirate treasure and skeletons. Unlike TSI, though, this is like a REAL maze. Actually took me a couple of tries just to get back out and escape to where I wanted to be . It probably would've been easier without the giant blockade in front of Pirates.
    Indiana Jones & The Temple of Peril: Pretty much like you've heard- the world's shortest "thill coaster", with like one tiny loop and some quick turns and you're done. The theming is kind of obscured by the small size and the fact that it's so far away from everything else, so the whole thing is overall a bit "meh". Not even long enough to be thrilling.

    FRONTIERLAND:
    * Quite similar to other versions, though a bit more "spread out", with Phantom Manor way off to one side, and Big Thunder Mountain kind of next to a lagoon.

    The Riverboat: Similar to other versions, though with a LOT less to see. There's a simple fisherman hangin' about, and an Indian Village, but it's lesser than the DL or WDW versions by a ways. It's the only way I've found to see the dinosaur bones (similar to the ones on other versions of Big Thunder), though.
    Big Thunder Mountain: Similar to most versions I've seen. I'd rate it about level with those, but lacks the T-Rex skeleton (that's elsewhere in the land). It's got HUGE line-ups, being one of the few thrill-rides in the park, and the only big-time attraction for a while.
    Shootin' Gallery: Same as you've seen elsewhere. Does anyone really use this a lot?
    Pocahontas Indian Village: It was closed while I was there. Just looks like a kids' playground, really.
    Wild West Stage Show: I don't think this was doing any shows at the time. It's WAY out of the way, and hidden under some tree canopies, so it's easy to miss.
    Phantom Manor: Their "unique" version of the Haunted Mansion was, to be honest, a bit of a let-down. It's really just "the same, but less", with the lead-up to the "dining room scene" being much shorter, less involved, and featuring a couple of scenes with the Ghost Bride. Instead of the "Graveyard Scene" we get a small bit of "Undead Wild West", with some weak animatronics (like a Saloon Girl and a laughing Skeleton), while the five heads to a quickie version of their song that you can't hear for the entire thing. I should note that this was never even remotely busy.

    There's a graveyard a bit of a ways away that's easy to miss, containing some new puns & stories. Apparently if you look closely at night, you can see the Ghost Bride and another guy in the windows of the building. The building is a bit plain compared to other "Mansions", and just kind of looks like a large-ish house off in the distance.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Jabroniville View Post
      like they just wanted to do the MK, but on a budget
      If there is something they didn't do when building DLP was having a budget. They spared no money in making it the most lavish park to date. There were lots of expansion plans planned for the park, problem is that because of the disastrous financial results in the beginning, they were all shelved. That is why the only major attraction the park has seen in its 25 year history is Space Mountain.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by mtlchuck View Post

        If there is something they didn't do when building DLP was having a budget. They spared no money in making it the most lavish park to date. There were lots of expansion plans planned for the park, problem is that because of the disastrous financial results in the beginning, they were all shelved. That is why the only major attraction the park has seen in its 25 year history is Space Mountain.
        Yeah, I remember the pop culture joke that was "EuroDisney" back in the 1990s- I don't think Disney kicked off that reputation until... well, until they made a WORSE park, in 2001 .

        But by "on a budget" I mean a general lack of attractions compared to even MK (which has fewer than DL or Tokyo). No Splash Mountain, Jungle Cruise or Matterhorn, never mind the bigger-time rides other parks have added since 1992. Some of the decor is a bit neater, though. And I do like how "spread out" much of it is.

        Comment


        • #5
          FANTASYLAND:
          Sleeping Beauty Castle:
          Looks similar to the two "Cinderella Castles" out there, but is much narrower and colored bright pink. There's also a bit of a hillside built up onto one part of it. I think I like the Florida version best, though this one's got a neater "drawbridge walk-up" without a big ol' stage in the way. You can actually walk up and see some Sleeping Beauty bits, but it's all in flat images. You can walk around on the walkways outside, though, looking out over the crowds from about a story up.
          The Dragon's Lair: One of the coolest "little things" added to a Disney Park, this is basically a gigantic animatronic DRAGON (though really they just move about his paws, neck & one wing), which lets out low roars, some smoke, and opens and closes its eyes at random. Very rarely crowded in here (I guess it's not terribly dynamic or "worth" staying long).
          Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs: Same thing you've seen everywhere. Never much of a line.
          Pinocchio's Fantastic Journey: Shockingly, THERE WAS A LINE!!! The one time I rode this (same as every park), there was actually a WAIT to get on!! Heck, even Tokyo Disneyland didn't have a wait for this one, and that was MONSTROUSLY busy!
          Peter Pan's Flight: Same as everywhere, though I think they used the newer-looking WDW-style London Cityscape, which I never liked. Like every Disney park, this was INSANELY busy and featured massive line-ups all day, so I only ever FastPassed it.
          Alice's Curious Labyrinth: A neat little hedgemaze thing, which I apparently did incorrectly. I was all proud of myself for getting ahead of others and finding the way "out" quickly, not realizing that there was an additional bit to the maze with the Queen of Hearts and even her Castle! I'd seen that from the outside, but didn't think there was a way to get up the thing! Too bad, but oh well- looks like a minor attraction.
          It's a Small World: Hey, it's actually partially in French! It seems different from the other versions, though they all have that same "mind-numbing creepy puppet dance party" thing going on. No intrusion by actual Disney characters that I could see.
          Storybook Land Canal Boats: A neat little attraction that shows you little miniature versions of some popular movies- you even go into the Lion Head from Aladdin, and can see Chernabog work his magic over that little town in Fantasia. This is the kind of "small attraction" that I like to see in the parks.
          Casey Jr.: Similar shots to the Canal Boats, but faster.
          Mad Hatter's Tea Cups: My desire to ralph my guts out in the parks isn't very high, so I generally avoid these .

          You can also Meet Mickey and there's a Princess Pavilion for meet & greets, but I don't go for that kind of thing. I'm of the opinion that a solo male traveler my age shouldn't be hanging about the Princesses- it's weird. Also... do they all speak French here? Or do they just recruit from America? I get the impression that they always get Westerners in the Tokyo parks.


          Comment


          • #6

            DISCOVERYLAND:
            * The Parisian name for "Tomorrowland", which I kind of like a bit- it keeps that "Retro-Future" thing from becoming too silly. But basically it's Tomorrowland, with about three big attractions.

            Star Wars HyperSpace Mountain: Oddly, this wasn't really THAT lined up any time I went. Going early, I didn't even FastPass it, and got there in less than 20 minutes (and that includes the ride breaking down and making us wait). The Single Rider line never hit above 15 minutes (while they had it open). And yeah- it's WAY more hardcore than the other versions of the ride. TOO hardcore, though- herky-jerky, full of spinning and all sorts of god-knows-what, so I only ever rode this once. I think 35 years of age is the limit on this thing- it's not as ROUGH as the WDW version (which feels like being thrown down a river in a barrel), but I don't really care for rides that try to make you sick. I recall seeing... MAYBE two or three shots of ships blasting, but it's not exactly convincing, since you can see the track and there's only a handful of screens and all.

            I do like the ride building, though- a rocket blast-off thing, and it has this kicky "Pseudo-Retro" orange & blue color scheme- much more interesting than the (much larger) American & Japanese versions of the ride building.
            Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast: The same as everywhere, and I swear I still suck at it. How on Earth do you get a score above 100,000? Everywhere I look, I see people beating that.
            Orbitron: Looks the same as everywhere, though I don't think I saw many people on it.
            Autopia: Never had the desire. Is this ride really popular enough to "earn" that MONSTROUS footprint in absolutely every Disney park? It's positively enormous.
            Arcade Beta: Sadly, no big arcade machines. I think this is the building that just featured early clips of Star Wars Rebels.
            Star Tours: *#@#ing Naboo's Underseas AGAIN. Is that just the rule? That you ALWAYS see that? I got that and the Snow stage again. I swear of every possible incarnation of this ride, I've never, ever, seen anything other than Naboo on the third bit. Europe, Japan, Florida & California- doesn't matter. Same things EVERY TIME. I guess it's better than when it was only a single ride (though I kinda prefered the Original Character rather than dragging C-3PO out of the mothballs again).
            The Mysteries of the Nautilus: A great little walkthrough attraction, where you can see Ship's Quarters, an observation deck, engineering (complete with steam!), and a semi-animatronic squid holding onto the ship. Some of the dialogue repeats a little too quickly (if you stick around long enough to read ANYTHING, you'll hear two or three cycles of "This is incredeeble!" "Men have DREAMED of such things..."), but I love stuff like this. It isn't as "plussed" as it theoretically could be, but it reminds me a bit of the stuff in Tokyo DisneySea, where it's intended more to be interesting to look at and not be "exciting".


            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Jabroniville View Post

              Yeah, I remember the pop culture joke that was "EuroDisney" back in the 1990s- I don't think Disney kicked off that reputation until... well, until they made a WORSE park, in 2001 .

              But by "on a budget" I mean a general lack of attractions compared to even MK (which has fewer than DL or Tokyo). No Splash Mountain, Jungle Cruise or Matterhorn, never mind the bigger-time rides other parks have added since 1992. Some of the decor is a bit neater, though. And I do like how "spread out" much of it is.
              I counted 16 rides that opened with Disneyland Paris (April 12 1992) and counted 15 rides that opened by the time the Magic Kingdom was dedicated (October 30 1971) and it's even less if you're talking about opening day (October 1st) with 2 and a half rides not open by then (Peter Pan, 20,000 leagues, and the Steamboats). What do I mean half I meant I counted the Frontierland boats as one along with all the Main Street Vehicles including the horse drawn streetcar.

              And of course I didn't include sit down and walk through attractions either. But of course if your not talking about past opening rides and attractions after like 1998 there haven't been that many major additional attractions or rides. I could say why those rides that you mentioned weren't added but that's for some other time.
              Last edited by Grizzlyhead; 05-28-2017, 04:50 PM. Reason: Cleaned up a little
              Originally posted by micromind
              Grizzlyhead has never been to DL. In fact, he has never even left the house he was born in. He believes the outside world is nothing more than a grand fairy tale.

              Comment


              • #8
                I haven't been to Disneyland Paris yet. This is one of the places I'd go to in my bucket list.

                Comment


                • #9
                  This was a fine read. Would it be possible to post photos? Would love to see what it looks like.
                  http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...oto-heavy.html
                  http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...ip-report.html
                  http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...oto-heavy.html
                  http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...oto-heavy.html
                  http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...something.html

                  No matter where you go, there you are.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Sure thing! Here's a few:











                    You won't believe how much I nerded out over the fact that these "Window Display Fairies" were actually characters from the Disney Fairies books. This is Vidia (book design), and I also saw Rani.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      WALT DISNEY STUDIOS- aka "the reason park hoppers exist"
                      * So I'd heard this park was in a bit of trouble, and had issues here and there. It's basically the sister park (built literally next door) to Disneyland Paris, and has a "Disney's Hollywood Studios" vibe, copying much of the Florida park (complete with rides and "big box set-up"). And hoo boy- this is the least I've ever been able to do in a Disney Park. Though some of the rides are on point (Tower of Terror & Aerosmith are big-time Disney thrill rides), a solid theme park visitor will literally be done seeing new stuff in TWO HOURS. It's THAT dead of rides. No wonder this is the least-visited of the twelve Disney parks. Though I guess it's only ten years old, there's little excuse for a park sucking this much.

                      There's a big "Studio Lot" set-up, though I didn't see much cohesion- it's kind of just "some stuff lying around", with Universal Studios-level theming.

                      THE FRONT LOT:
                      * Some decent-looking restaurants, keyed around 1950s Americana (in France?). I like the look of the main building here. There's also the Earful Tower... which I, master explorer that I am, somehow managed to miss seeing entirely, and had to check Google for its location.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        https://goo.gl/photos/Fwbc4Zkb5MWjaFsv5

                        Album from a trip to Disneyland Paris from May 2016.
                        Have bicycle, will ride. Finished 2012 with 10,089 miles, 683 hours, and 482,000 feet of elevation gain.
                        2013: 201 rides, 8171 miles, 544 hours, 480K feet.
                        2014 so far: 7846 miles, 451,000 feet
                        sigpic

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          ANIMATION COURTYARD:
                          * Honestly, I skipped most of the "you go around in circles" stuff.
                          Flying Carpets Over Agrabah- Dumbo-style ride, but with a neater backdrop.
                          Crush's Coaster- This had the worst line-up in the entire park, and apparently insiders suggest you go to it quickly. I took advantage of the single rider line, and was still there for 20-25 minutes. I was expecting a fun little kiddie coaster, so imagine my surprise when I went AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH OH GOD WHY AM I SPINNING AROUND SO MUCH WHY DID I NOT DO THE PROPER RESEARCH AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGHHHHHHHH. Seriously, this isn't as obnoxious about the spinning as that space ride in Universal Studios Osaka, but it's pretty close. The big shark comes out at your ride, but I was facing the wrong way. And trying not to hurl.
                          Cars Quatre Roues Rallye- Kiddie ride where your cars spin around on platforms. I didn't bother.
                          Art of Disney Animation- I didn't go in, but apparently the inside of the building has more than just the classroom. I've done the Cali & Florida versions already.
                          Mickey and the Magician- Oddly, it's both in English AND French, like a lot of attractions here. Like, one character will ask a question in French, and the response is in English. Very peculiar. It has live actors doing the full story of some guy trying to do magic, and he interacts with various Disney characters. Cinderella's Fairy Godmother takes one role (Cinderella herself shows up), Lumiere does another bit (singing Be Our Guest, naturally), the Genie from Aladdin does his signature showstopper with massive fanfare... and of course the newest star, Queen Elsa, does her solo bit. It comes off a bit incongruous, since everyone else is doing multi-person numbers and she's just singing solo... but man, if you're sick of Frozen, the French sure ain't. Half of the big-time Merch is Frozen-related, and Elsa draws big reactions everywhere. People love her here. Her switch from "Queen Clothing" to "Ice Dress" is pretty slick (she just turns it inside-out).
                          Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy- Pretty cool trackless technology, though it's very similar to the usual "you go around and look at screens" stuff, with at least some background stuff to keep it from being "just screens". It didn't always work right (some screens look iffy), but it's a solid attraction. The actors reprise their characters (Brad Garrett & Patton Oswalt), and the Single Rider option makes it a short (never more than 5 minutes) wait. It's probably the most popular single thing in the park.

                          TOY STORY PLAYLAND:
                          * An assortment of kiddie rides. I didn't bother, though they have pretty good looks. If I'd gone, I'd have probably added another hour to my day.

                          Toy Soldier Parachute Drop- Parachute jumping.
                          Slinky Dog Zig Zag Spin- Spinny ride.
                          RC Racer- This is a mini-coaster set up like a half-loop. I didn't bother, but it looks okay.

                          PRODUCTION COURTYARD:
                          * Very much like Florida's Hollywood Studios, this has the signature "big rides".
                          CinéMagique- This was apparently down, I think for good. People apparently liked it- it featured actors synching up with clips from major Hollywood movies.
                          Stitch Live!- A "Turtle Talk With Crush"-like thing. I didn't go in.
                          Playhouse Disney: Live on Stage!- I don't think this was active at the time.
                          The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror- The same as you'll find in California (you don't go in or out of rooms). Our trip was interrupted at the top and we went back down, where the operator looked at our belts again, which kind of stumped the anticipation a bit. The drop didn't feel as severe this time around, though maybe it's because I've done this in four parks by this point.
                          Studio Tram Tour: Behind the Magic- This includes Catastrophe Canyon's explosive set-up, and some weak shots from Reign of Fire (seriously. Reign of Fire?). Jeremy "Scar" Irons narrates in English, while Irene Jacob handles the French side (*Google Image Searches*- OH MY!). Pretty much time-consuming filler, though seeing real movie props is always fun for me.

                          BACKLOT:
                          * Assorted other rides they couldn't fit anywhere else.
                          Armageddon – Les Effets Speciaux- Walkthrough special effects show, with some explosions, sprays of water, and rumbling. Not bad, but pretty minor- above "Twister" or "Backdraft" from Universal, but not by much.
                          The Moteurs... Action! Stunt Show- Car stunt show; not really my thing.
                          Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Avec Aerosmith- Apparently the same as the California version, though I didn't find it as thrilling, particularly with the rocket-shoot-off at the beginning. It might be the same thing, though.

                          All in all, it's not a waste of time, and I rode Ratatouille a few times, and the live stage show was neat. The big thrill rides make it worth it, too, but I was still done after a few hours. Had I done the Toy Story-themed stuff and bothered with the Stunt Show, I'd have been busy until 3 pm (the park opened at 10) easily, but as it was, I find Disneyland so clearly superior that this wasn't even worth a "Half-Day Park", and I instead just wandered back.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Trekkie Dad View Post
                            https://goo.gl/photos/Fwbc4Zkb5MWjaFsv5

                            Album from a trip to Disneyland Paris from May 2016.
                            Nice! You must have a real, actual camera to be able to take pictures like that. None of my "Awakening Dragon" pics even look like anything .

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Jabroniville View Post

                              Nice! You must have a real, actual camera to be able to take pictures like that. None of my "Awakening Dragon" pics even look like anything .
                              Nope. I took the pictures with my Samsung Galaxy S7 phone. I usually keep the flash turned off and stabilize it as much as possible in dark scenes.
                              Have bicycle, will ride. Finished 2012 with 10,089 miles, 683 hours, and 482,000 feet of elevation gain.
                              2013: 201 rides, 8171 miles, 544 hours, 480K feet.
                              2014 so far: 7846 miles, 451,000 feet
                              sigpic

                              Comment

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