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12/13: Still the Fairest?


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  • 12/13: Still the Fairest?

    Kevin vists Disneyland Paris in Part I of this article. Discuss it here...

    DIRECT ARTICLE LINK: Still the Fairest? -
    "Politics is the profession whereby the inevitable is made to seem a great human achievement" - Quentin Crisp

  • #2
    Re: 12/13: Still the Fairest?

    Great article, I hope the next part is just as good! You are right, the Paris version of Pirates Of The Caribbean does make sense with the caves and skeletons at the end instead of being at the beginning like it is here in the states.

    Once a Disney fan, always a Disney fan.


    • #3
      Re: 12/13: Still the Fairest?

      Nice article, always good to read Americans sya nice things about 'our' Disneyland. It's a shame TWDC doesn't put more money in development for rides in it, since it's still the giant debt from the early years that is keeping the resort in the red.

      Looking forward to reading your WDS article!


      • #4
        Re: 12/13: Still the Fairest?

        Great article, Kevin. I agree 100% with your observations and why these versions of the classic Disney attractions are the best. In fact, Space Mountain 1.0 would be my favorite version of all the incarnations as well. WDSP is a mess- but it has potential.

        Disney parks and art, movies, music, more... Over 1, 500 Posts!


        • #5
          Re: 12/13: Still the Fairest?

          Thanks for the article, Kevin. I went with my kids last June and it was one of those blessing/curse times of the year in that they were doing TONS of refurb throughout the park. Literally half of the park seemed like it was behind refurb walls and I remember being very disappointed that I couldn't photograph a number of areas, including main street, the castle, Indy, most of Adventureland, and half of Fantasyland. Our last day was on July 1 and the refurb walls were still up! On the positive side, it was good to see them spending that amount on fixing the park up. I told my kids that due to the weather, they were probably very limited in terms of what they could work on over the winter months. Not sure if that was correct or not, but it sounded like a good guess. I think the parks that have to deal with snow usually get hit much harder in terms of upkeep. I think it would be very interesting to compare DLP to Tokyo in terms of snowfall and upkeep.

          We stayed at the Newport Bay Club and had a wonderful room which was really well maintained. As I was looking online, however, I came across almost 75 percent negative reviews regarding the hotels on property. Hopefully they have turned a corner in this area as well. I came expecting the worst and was surprised that our hotel was actually rather nice and we had no problems to speak of while we were there.

          Looking forward to part II.
          Last edited by Mac Daddy; 12-13-2011, 07:09 AM.


          • #6
            Re: 12/13: Still the Fairest?

            Although it's close, I still give the edge to the original POTC. I just prefer the way you ease into it slowly. BTMRR is definitely the star here, and the dark rides to me seemed to combine the best of DL and WDW. As to HM, I've seen 3 great versions (HM, HMH and PM) and love em all. Don't know if it's still an option, but we rode the Keel Boats in 2007, something I never did in the USA.

            A bientot.
            What the dormouse said
            Feed your head!


            You've read it; you can't unread it!


            • #7
              Re: 12/13: Still the Fairest?

              Originally posted by ralfrick View Post
              Although it's close, I still give the edge to the original POTC. I just prefer the way you ease into it slowly.
              I have yet to ride the Paris version, but of the two here in the States the DL one is by far my fav, for the reason you mentioned, ralfrick - there's just a very cool easing in, with the trip through the bayou, down the waterfall and through mostly deserted caverns, then through the pirate hideout with the skeletons, and then through the tunnel and back in time to where the pirates were attacking and sacking. It works very well as a ride in DL, not so well in WDW where we get to the meat of the ride too early. And I've never been bothered by any need for chronological order to the scenes - they work great as they are.


              • #8
                Re: 12/13: Still the Fairest?

                I read a rather unsettling article about work conditions at Disneyland Paris Resort. I hope the resort isn't going the way of Walt Disney World, or worse ... Here is the link to the article.
                The dark side of Disneyland Paris - Europe - World - The Independent
                Gullywhumper is back on the Rivers of America!


                • #9
                  Re: 12/13: Still the Fairest?

                  I would have been crushed right along with your wife if I journeyed all the way to DL Paris and the dragon under the castle was closed.
                  "In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new. The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations, the new needs friends." - Anton Ego


                  • #10
                    Re: 12/13: Still the Fairest?

                    Kevin, I was glad to hear you put Big Thunder and Phantom Manor in the top 3 attractions at PDL once more. I still feel Jerry Bruckheimer could base a great Western movie on the town of Thunder Mesa and its underlying legends and these 2 attractions. It is also the most realistic Fronteirland of the 5 in Disney parks. Jerry- did Culpepper Cattle Company in 1972, which is a cult Western now and a favorite of Clint Eastwood. PDL Big Thunder of the 4 editions, is the Tallest, Fastest, Deepest, Longest, Biggest and Best themed. Disney has quite a collection of Western stars from the past from Zorro and Davy Crocket to Tombstone's Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday to draw characters from. Phantom Manor in Thunder Mesa, is the closest to the original black and white concept sketch done by Disney Legend Harper Goff for Walt for Disneyland back in 1955, when it was to be just off Mainstreet. Of course in Thunder Mesa it is still located just off their mainstreet and up the hill as Harper saw it. So there is a lot of historical layering as well as historical Americana found here. I do wish they would get the geysers and mud pots working for the PDL 20th anniversary, as they are a major inactive broken element of the land visable from the train to all the river transportation and guest walk abouts. After all they would have to be working in the movie! PD
                    Last edited by DisWedWay; 12-14-2011, 11:38 AM.


                    • #11
                      Re: 12/13: Still the Fairest?

                      Nice article, can't wait to read your second article.

                      sigpicNow the Tower of Sauron has fallen
                      Also, this picture and my Avatar was taken with a Nintendo DSi System and Nyko Magnification Lens & Case for DSi.


                      • #12
                        Re: 12/13: Still the Fairest?

                        I also think this is the best designed magic kingdom. So impressed each time I have visited (before and after WDS opened).

                        Please tell me what's up with the dragon beneath the castle? Is it closed for good? Please no!!!


                        • #13
                          Re: 12/13: Still the Fairest?

                          OK, Kevin ... my first comment is gonna be harsh, BUT you take your wife to Paris (with all its amazing history, cultural sites, museums, dining etc) and you spend FOUR DAYS at DLP?!?!

                          Don't get me wrong, I love the parks (I did say parks). I've been numerous times and had APs four of the last seven years. BUT ... well, Paris isn't Orlando. There are some, no ... many things worth experiencing that aren't theme parks. I think two days would have been fine. I did four days at TDR last year, but did it out of 12 days in Tokyo (more like 11 because of flight times) and that place (as you know) puts DLP to shame in many ways.

                          OK, now that I've accused you of being a Disney-mad fanboi, I enjoyed the column. I basically share your opinions across the board. BTMRR puts all others to shame both in details and because of its location. The dark rides are the best versions. PoC is a toss-up because Anaheim and Tokyo have GREAT versions as well, but it certainly makes MK's looks like the sad, poorly maintained Cliff's Notes version that it is. I never got to experience the original version of Disc...I mean Space Mountain From The Earth to the Moon at DLP, and enjoy the current. But I agree about its incredibly rough ride. If it were stateside, Disney Legal would have ordered it shut down a while ago because it is multiple lawsuits waiting to happen rough. I now only ride in the first two rows as they seem to make it bearable.

                          Phantom Manor is so spectacular because it isn't just a slightly different version of Mansion, but an entirely different one with a few bones (Easter eggs?) tossed in from the Mansions that came before it. I absolutely love its darker tone and CLEAR and REAL (i.e. not made up online by bored fanbois) storyline. It's why I am looking forward to HKDL's Mystic Manor so much. MK's shouldn't be like Walmarts or Starbucks or McD's. They need to be very different or its an insult to the folks who created DL and MK.

                          As to upkeep, I feel that DLP is better than WDW (especially with interior show quality) but worse than Tokyo, HK and Anaheim. I can give them a pass on some exterior issues (although not letting the Treehouse and Captain Hook's ship rot for 20 years, which they did -- again, something Legal wouldn't have allowed in the USA) like a few holes in the pavement, which they seem to always be working on when I'm there.

                          The detailing at DLP is second to none in MK style parks, although TDL rivals it in some places. If MK looks like a mass market characture of DL, then it looks like an Asian knock-off when compared to DLP's layers of detailing -- and that's after years of losing details under the leadership of Rasulo, Holz, Gas and Kalogridis.

                          Anyway, just some thoughts. Might have more when I am awake. But look forward to hearing more about your little trip.

                          Now, you just need to get to HKDL so you can join Fanboi Royalty by being a member of the club that have been to all Disney parks on the planet. I'm planning on being at the opening of Shanghai DL ... and not because I have a blog/podcast/website that peddles Disney propaganda to fans who are already sold on it anyway.

                          Keep the columns coming.

                          ---------- Post added 12-14-2011 at 01:04 AM ----------

                          Oh, one additional thought.

                          You mentioned that you didn't think you saw a single custodial CM at DLP during your visit. Well, there is a very good reason for that. And it took me a few days to figure it out on my first visit as well.

                          They do not (unlike WDW and DL) walk around like (generally) oversized white tents holding a broom and dust pan. They all wear themed (in some cases quite intricate) costumes that fit the area. I realized that when I suddenly saw a group of cowboys sweeping near the sternwheeler dock all decked out in perfectly themed outfits. A few hours later, I saw the same thing in the 'Italian' area of Fantasyland (near Pinnochio and the quick serve restaurant before you come to the arcade that leads to PoC). They fit so well that they just blend in and you can easily not see one.

                          It would be nice if we had that because the ugly white (usually poorly fitting) tarps immediately yell out 'hey, Bub, y'all in a theme park right now'. DLP has it right here.


                          • #14
                            Re: 12/13: Still the Fairest?

                            Originally posted by WDW1974 View Post
                            OK, Kevin ... my first comment is gonna be harsh, BUT you take your wife to Paris (with all its amazing history, cultural sites, museums, dining etc) and you spend FOUR DAYS at DLP?!?!
                            This one's on her. I *tried* to spend more time in Paris, but she was done with the city, and wanted more Disney instead. I didn't mind, of course -- I'd spent many other times exploring Paris so it wasn't like I was missing a lot. And we got tired REALLY quickly of the panhandlers in the usual locations (La Tour Eiffel, Notre Dame, etc)
                            Kevin Yee
                            MiceAge Columnist

                            I am the author of several Disney books:
                            Jason's Disneyland Almanac - a daily history of Disneyland
                            Walt Disney World Hidden History - tributes, homages, and ride remnants at WDW
                            Your Day at the Magic Kingdom
                            Mouse Trap
                            Tokyo Disney Made Easy
                            101 Things You Never Knew About Disneyland
                            Magic Quizdom (The Disneyland Trivia Book)

                            “The press [should be] a watchdog. Not an attack dog. Not a lapdog. A watchdog. Now, a watchdog can't be right all the time. He doesn't bark only when he sees or smells something that's dangerous. A good watchdog barks at things that are suspicious.” – Dan Rather


                            • #15
                              Re: 12/13: Still the Fairest?

                              I think a book on how to navigate around Paris Panhandlers is in order.


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