I got back late last night from a quick trip to Disneyland Resort Paris which was really awesome! Now I hadn’t been to a Disney park since visiting Walt Disney World back in June 1998 so being the Disney geek I am I was pretty excited.
I wasn’t actually planning on visiting DLRP until after Tower opened but due to a loophole on Ryanair’s website I managed to score myself some free flights to Paris. Now usually on a trip to Paris I’d be expected to take my girlfriend but for some unimaginable reason she doesn’t like Disney parks so I asked my friend Michael if he fancied coming along. Of course he’s rational and sane (to a degree) and was all to eager to come along.
Keeping with the cheap theme of the trip we stayed in Disney’s Hotel Santa Fe. I was quite pleased with it, a nice, clean, cheap room within walking distance of two Disney parks is about all I can ask for. So anyway, we arrived there at 11am and were pleasantly surprised to find our room was already available despite being told it wouldn’t be available til three when we booked it. We quickly headed over to our room to dump our stuff and headed over to Walt Disney Studios.
I’ll do this TR in three parts to cover our Day in the Studios, night in Disney Village and our day in Disneyland Park.
The great thing about coming to this park in February is that there were no lines for anything. We naturally headed straight to Rock’n’Rollercoaster. Which was awesome, I really loved the whole “being at the concert” theme. Now I just need to go to Florida to compare.
After that we hit up the shows in the park and watched the parade, complete with hot Mary Poppins. Moteurs, Action was really cool, although I tend to find anything with fire makes me happy, so I was guaranteed to enjoy it. Armageddon was a little lame imo. The Martin Short movie Cinemagique was really cool. The live action show Animagique was good enough I suppose but had I watched it before seeing the video from Florida of the characters with moving mouths I wouldn’t have been so distracted by the fact that the characters’ mouths weren’t moving.
The Studio Tram tours had some cool bits, namely the fire related bits. I was really saddened not to see any horizons props though, maybe I missed them but was looking out for them the whole way through. Does anyone know if they were moved or did I actually just miss them?
We rode the Flying Carpets thing just to get a peek into the construction site for Toon Studio. The Crush’s Coaster façade looks pretty cool but the area where the Cars ride is supposed to go still looked pretty much like a mound of dirt.
Of course you couldn’t stand anywhere in the park without seeing Tower teasing you. There were people right up the top of it working all day; hopefully they’ll announce an opening date soon!
All in all, the Studios was quite a cool park but now without its flaws. Namely there just isn’t enough to do. We seen and did just about everything the park had to offer and took multiple re-rides on RnR in less than 5 hours, and it’s not as if we were rushing about from one place to the next. Now, I’m sure the fact that the park was pretty quiet was part of that but for this park to match up to the other Disney places I’ve been they really need to get that coaster and Tower open soon. The Studios kinda reminded me of what MGM was like when I first visited in 1991.
Anyway, we had time to park hop over to Disneyland Park for the last hour (both parks closed at six) and rode Space Mountain (awesome), Buzz (pretty cool) and Star Tours (lame) but more on them in a future instalment!
Onto the photos!
It's taken me nearly nine years so I'm delighted to be back at another Disney park!
I'm obviously delighted to be seeing Minnie again and she's obviously delighted to be seeing me.
First stop is naturally Rock'n'Rollercoaster!
Michael picks himself out a jacket for dinner.
Definitley the best Vekoma ride I've been on.
Next up we hit the stunt show.
It was good, but there wasn't really any of the audience participation I'd read about in other trip reports.
But still I did believe a car could fly.
We got out the stunt show in time for the Cinema parade, which was alright.
But it really was the hot Mary Poppins that made it all worthwhile for us.
Armageddon was pretty lame.
Animagique was quite cute, I hope it gets upgraded to include the creepy talking heads!
It was weird being in a Disney park while it was so cold outside.
The Studio Tram Tour had some cool parts, much of the area on front of it was cordoned off for Tower construction so it doesn't have the nicest looking entrance right now.
Red Hot Sex? Aw no it's just a Red Hot Set> I suppose that will just have to do.
Well it did have fire...
Seeing a destroyed London can only make a Scotsman happy. =)
Michael's scream was pretty lame.
This door takes you straight into Superstar Limo!
We decided we'd try and get a better look at the construction site.
So we had a go on the flying carpets.
You couldn;t really see much but the Crush facade looks quite cool.
Of course no Walt Disney Studios update would be complete without Tower of Terror construction photos!
Opening someday soon!
There seemed to be quite a bit of work going on on the ground around it too, but of course you couldn't see much of that.
It's sure to be a major ride for the park. It really needs it.
You could see it from just about anywhere in the park.
Anyway, we end this portion of the report with me attempting to get comfortable on the Narnia throne thingy. Randomness in Disney Village will come soon!
I am sooooooo looking forward to finally getting back to DLP, regardless of what's ready or not for the 15th Anny - well actually, no I would like EVERYTHING to be ready for my arrival mid-April hah hah.
Tower's looking good there. I like that it sort-of works in the 'background' of the Stunt Show's facade. Nothing spectacular to see. But - never know, yet huh?
This part isn't very theme parky so some of you may wish to skip this part entirely. Or even just skip onto the photos if my incoherent ramblings bore you!
After leaving the parks we headed back to the Hotel Santa Fe where we were staying to clean up. Bought a few beers in the petrol station (you can't do that in Scotland!) and kicked back for an hour or so.
Then we walked over to Disney Village and attempted to find somewhere to have dinner. We ended up going to the Steak House where I decided that since I was in a foreign country I should try out the local cuisine and eat some snails. They were actually quite tasty and I would definitely eat them again. Of course that was followed by a delicious rump steak.
After dinner we had a wander round the various shops in Disney Village trying on hats and the like for laughs. We followed that up with a few beers watching some random boxing and making bets on it in the Sports Bar. We were planning on hitting Hurricanes the night club but by the time the boxing finished it was after midnight and we had an early rise the next day.
The next morning Michael was a bit reluctant to get up at 0730 (it was really still 0630 for us on UK time) so I proceeded to plug my mp3 player into the TV and play "It's A Small World" exceedingly loud. That did the trick. We went on to make as much as we could of the all-you-can eat breakfast and proceeded to Disneyland Park (which I'll get to soon!)
Here's the photos.
What better place to spend the evening than Disney Village?
Seeing as we're both men we felt some meat was in order. Hmm, that didn't come out quite right.
First I went for some snails. Ya know because, when in Rome... wait, we aren't in Rome!
They were actually pretty tasty.
Followed by an excellent steak.
After dinner I picked up an award!
Then we both proceeded to go on a bit of a hat fest.
Do people actually buy and wear these things?
Just like looking in the mirror.
"Since your girlfriend ain't here how about these for the hotel room?"
"Are you sure? All your dreams could come true!"
You've no idea how much effort it took to get the damn monkey to stay there.
"How about this for tonight?"
Michael heard they were casting for High School Musical 3 and immediately got into practice.
No dress in Disney Village was safe!
This mushroom didn't seem anywhere this big when I was standing next to it. Man, it looks so huge!
Michael checked out the toilets. Maybe we should get his opinions for the toilets thread.
The Disney Store's E-Ticket - make your own Mr Potato Head!
That's as much head Michael was getting this trip.
Anyway, back to more hats.
Seeing as that's what you all really come to this site for!
Fantasmic comes to Disneyland Paris for one night only!
This is the last hat photo, I promise.
Ok, one more. This is my best "Ronald Villiers" impression. (Probably only Scottish readers will get that!)
Time to leave and get some poussez!
Ok, so back to our Pueblo!
Moments before Michael's "Small World" wake up call.
So it was a pretty foggy morning.
Which was a shame as it meant I couldn't get a really good picture of the awesome Clint mural thing above the hotel entrance.
Apparently a UFO crashed on the grounds of the Santa Fe.
I love your TR and can't wait to see pictures of Disneyland i also loved the weird hat contest, it reminds me of something me and my friend did at the Briar Patch store at Disneyland (California)... well thats a story for another day!
After conquering the Studios by the Thursday evening we hit up DLP for the last hour so we already had got in Space Mountain, Buzz and Star Tours. I just have to say how awesome I thought Space Mountain was! Despite a few pretty rough sections the launch and show inside the building are really cool! It was weird with all the inversions and stuff - definitely a far cry from the Space Mountain I remember riding in Florida in 1998!
Buzz was really cool too. Probably the best of the shooting rides I've been on. Bring on Toy Story Mania!
Star Tours was a real let down for me. I got into Star Wars in 1997 when the Special Editions came out and was real excited to ride it in MGM back in 1998 and I remember loving it back then, but this time in Paris it just felt so dated. We both felt a bit motion sick from it too. So whilst we rode Buzz and SM a few times again the next day we really didn't feel any need to touch Star Tours again. I'm hoping the long rumoured Star Tours update comes along soon!
Anyway, having conquered Discoveryland we got to Disneyland Park for opening and headed straight for Big Thunder Mountain. Now having loved BTM at WDW I had high expectations for the so-called best of the BTMs. I'm pleased to agree with all the reports! It's just such a fun ride, I love being on the island and going through the mine shafts. I even caught a few bits of air time.
Indiana Jones wasn't the best for us. Pretty rough through most of it, but still it looks pretty cool and I've been on much worse.
We made our way through all the other attractions with Pirates particularly sticking out for me; I was reminded why it's my favourite dark ride. Phantom Manor was really cool too, although my memory's a bit fuzzy on the WDW version so I can't really compare.
It was great having such a quiet park to run through, with the only real wait of the day being the 20 minutes or so we waited to get our photo taken with Mickey. Oh, I should also mention all the hot princesses on the princess parade! Who said that parade was just for girls?
Since it was mentioned in an earlier thread I should point out that during our visit you could have as many fastpasses for different rides as you wanted. You could only have one pass per ride at a time but could have as many different rides if you get what I mean. I took a photo of me with two passes to evidence this. How long this situation contiues for I've no idea.
All in all, we had an awesome trip, it was just so great to be back in Disney parks again. I'll be sure to return once Tower opens!
Here's the last batch of photos:
It's a cold and foggy morning but who cares? We're at Disneyland Park!
The second we walked through the turnstile the furries were desperate to get their picture taken with me.
Like I said, it was a foggy day.
First stop - Frontierland
More specifically - Big Thunder Island!
Did I mention it was cold?
The real reason why BTM is a TPR favourite.
Onto Adventureland we go.
Which was just brimming with people.
Well this is definitely the shortest wait either of us had ever experienced at a Disney coaster.
I got both these fastpasses within five minutes of each other. One for BTM and one for Indy. How long they'll keep letting you do this I've no idea.
Onto what was probably my favourite ride of the trip.
If you prefer your Pirates Johnny Depp free then Paris is for you.
Back to Discoveryland because, well, it's awesome.
Hector Lopez was more than happy to greet us.
And we were more than happy to give Space Mountain a whirl or two.
Only one side of the station was running but we never waited more than 15 minutes.
Of course we had to let Mickey have his picture with us at some point.
Phantom Manor was exceedingly good too.
Can't forget Fantasyland!
Michael's a bit confused, but at least he's dry!
One of these two is a crazy animated character and the other is standing on Divv's shoulders.
If you ever make it through the maze you can go up the little castle for a good look around Fantasyland.
We had to.
Don't forget to pay the dragon a visit if you visit DLP!
Disney sure know how to pick their princesses.
Fun for all the family.
Of course you can't do a Disney TR around here without including one of these guys.
Thus endeth our Disneyland Resort Paris Adventure! Hope you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading!
Good TR!!!! I was in these parks in January and I can't wait the opening of the Tower Of Terror!!!
I'm agree with you about the best attractions of the Disneyland park: Space Mountain mission 2 and Pirates of the Caribbean.
In the Studios, R'N'R Coaster is very funny with its booming launch. The launch of Rock Coaster is better than the launch of Space Mountain, but the space thematisation of SM is more amazing!!!
Cinémagique is also a great show. I think that is the 'big screen version' of The Great Movie Ride at Disney-MGM Studios Florida, isn't it?
I don't know if I'd call Cinemagique the "big screen version" of the Great Movie Ride. Now granted, it's been almost nine years since I last rode GMR but apart from the fact they're both based on movies I don't really think they're much alike.
Whilst I did really like Space Mountain, I definitely preferred Big Thunder. Not that SM was bad or anything like that, but it was a bit rough in places. Big Thunder Mountain on the other hand was just an awesome fun ride throughout.
But yeah, the show inside SM is excellent, though I do wish I had gotten the chance to see it during it's "Mission One" days. I'm not really sure if it was really different and am curious to know how it was changed.
Fantastic trip report Divv! I stayed at Santa Fe in 2005 when I did a few days at Disneyland Paris. It's not bad at all, and the bar entertainment on site was hysterical. I'd love to go back when it's a bit quieter than when I last went (Spring Bank Holiday).
I'm glad that Disney Studios is getting a bit of attention. I've always thought it lacked a few rides that made it worth staying for longer. Hopefully, they'll give Tower of Terror a great approach to the ride as they have done with the American ones I've been on.
Big Thunder Mountain is still my favourite of the three ones I've done, despite being a little less intense than the others. Their Pirates was excellent as well, although Johnny Depp's cameo at Disneyland's version doesn't ruin the ride in the slightest, so I wonder if Paris will get the same treatment sometime down the line.
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