Disneyland Paris

Being a tried and true Disneyphile, there was absolutely no way that I was gonna pass up visiting Disneyland Paris while I was in France.

One neat thing about the Disneyland Paris version of The Magic Kingdom is that, to enter the park, you have to go under the Disneyland Paris Hotel.
A clever marketing decision as, if you stayed here, you’d already be in the park!
I’m not exactly homesick, but it’s a wonderful feeling to stroll down Main Street USA. The novelty of being on an idealized American street in France is almost hilarious.
I’ll say this for Disneyland Paris… they have the prettiest castle I’ve ever seen in person. I’ve heard Shanghai is impressive too, but I’ll reserve judgement until I go there.
Underneath the castle is La Tanière du Dragon, the Dragon’s Lair, a small walkthrough attraction. There are a lot of these unique walkthroughs in the park.
The first thing I rode was Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. It’s been years since I’ve ridden a rollercoaster, but since losing almost half my body weight, I was ready to reunite with a former love of mine.

It’s been years since I’ve ridden either version of the American Big Thunder Mountain, but the Paris version was unique in that the entire ride, with the exception of the entrance, is on an island. It’s fast, exciting, and not too rough or extreme… it’s a family coaster, yet still fun enough for a solo middle aged tourist.
Score 5/5 – A not too intense ride experience with expert theming an a lot of fun.
Welcome foolish mortals!
The Haunted Mansion is my all time favorite Disneyland attraction and, to be honest, one of my favorite things in the world. Visiting the Paris counterpart, The Phantom Manor, was a major part of my decision to visit Paris in the first place. Let me put it this way: If the Manor had not opened from its refurbishment in time for my visit, I wouldn’t have come. Yes, I’m serious.
The story of The Phantom Manor involves a man named Ravenscroft and the bride he murdered. Obviously, this version of The Haunted Mansion is a touch darker.
Ravenscroft’s spirit, a dark skeletal figure with glowing red eyes that I simply could not get a good picture of, is a constant spectre in the Manor.
The bride appears many times as well and it’s strongly hinted that she is not merely an innocent victim.
Instead of the traditional graveyard jamboree, the finale of Phantom Manor takes you underground into a catacomb where the undead residents of a buried western town greet you.
You’ll also run into some old friends.
Don’t forget to visit the cemetary on the way out!
An interesting and fun remix of The Haunted Mansion, The Phantom Manor is definitely worth the trip.
Score 5/5
Pirates of the Caribbean was closed for renovation which was disappointing, but the walk through attraction was open. I can’t help but think what an amazing place this would be to pay hide and seek in.
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril is probably the laziest and most underwhelming E-Ticket ride I’ve ever seen at a Disney park. It’s literally just a wild mouse coaster that has next to nothing to do with Indiana Jones other than the name. You could drop this ride into a Six Flags and no one would notice.
Score: 2/5. A semi decent ride experience, but the presentation is so lazy it’s remarkable.
Another walkthrough attraction is a tour of the Nautilus from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
I loved this movie as a kid, so to walk through the ship is something else.
Nemo’s harpsichord.
Nemo’s face appears randomly in the mirror.
The giant squid.
Space Mountain. It’s like American Space Mountain, but it has inversions and corkscrews… a fact I was totally ignorant of until the ride was actually going.
Of course, it was rethemed as “Hyperspace Mountain” which, as a Star Wars fan, I was totally cool with.
There was Jules Verne theming in the ride cue. I wish I could have seen this version of the ride as well.
Score: 5/5 – Unexpectedly great.
This is It’s a Small World’s representation of America.
Complete with cowboys.
Score 1/5 – This ride sucks no matter what country you’re in.
Snow White’s Scary Adventures.
It’s a classic and does go for some mild fright for the kids.
Score: 3/5 – Just not for me.

While I’m glad that I decided to make a day of Disneyland Paris oh, I must admit that I am rather disappointed with the place. While the park is expansive, it feels strangely empty as though the park is there, but the rides are not. By 2 PM, I was pretty much done and, as someone who could spend all day and all night in either American Magic Kingdom, I was more shocked than anyone. I can understand where this park gets its reputation from.

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