Alexander: After a trip of wins, we finally took a loss on the final parks of our Europe tour, Disneyland Park Paris and Walt Disney Studios.
While Efteling, Walibi, De Warbeek, Slagharen, Movie Park, and Phantasialand (swoon) all shattered expectations, Disneyland Paris Resort showed us why it’s the weakest link in Disney’s 6-link chain.
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I should start by saying that my visit to Disneyland Paris Resort in 2015 set the bar pretty high. We stayed for 3 days and I found myself quite taken by resort overall.
Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like the last 3 years haven’t been good for the resort.
I recall Walt Disney Studios being slightly more passable.
I mean, it’s no secret that the park is a complete mess (and is, without a doubt, #12 of 12 on the Disney Park totem pole), but for some reason I remember the park being less bothersome last time.
Toy Story Playland manages to be a capacity nightmare despite the park’s mediocre attendance.
With Crush’s Coaster down for annual maintenance, RC Racer was our first stop on Sean’s Disneyland Paris Resort credit run.
Fun Fact: the RC vehicle on RC Racer sports a #2 because the ride is sh*t.
(Just kidding – it’s because there was originally supposed to be two identical tracks. The missing half of the ride was technically “Track 1”)
We blew about 30 mins in the single rider line so that Sean could get his credit (which beats the 50min+ standby wait).
The pictures of Sean riding RC Racer ended up being one of the better things that happened that day.
His reactions are equal parts “this is kind of fun” and “wtf why is this even at a Disney park? I waited 1/2 and hour for this?”
Also, shoutout to the kids in the 2nd row having a mental breakdown on the ride.
Next we tried to ride Ratatoullie. We were in the single-rider line for 45 minutes, and then it broke down. Everyone was kicked out of line.
We then decided to move onto the “DVD Bargain Bin circa 2002” area of the park.
Sean’s unwavering love for Xpress at Walibi set his expectations high for Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster avec Aerosmith. I told him to lower his expectations.
The rushed, awkward premise of “the other R’N’R” really rang true thanks to my 2016 rides on the Orlando incarnation. Sean was not impressed by colored lights illuminating an otherwise blank environ.
We decided to ride The Twilight Zone: Tower of Terror to see how it compares now to Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout.
We can now say with confidence that Disney California Adventure made the right decision. Paris’ TOT just feels hokey and outdated.
After twisting arms at customer service for comp FastPasses from the Ratatouille incident, we decided to take a stroll through the wannabe-cirque 90’s aesthetic nightmare that is Disney Village.
It’s one of the last places on the planet where you can go to a Planet Hollywood.
The resort is still riding out their 25th Anniversary Celebration.
Time for the good park!
To its credit, Disneyland Park Paris still has the best entrance in the industry.
Even Tokyo Disney Sea’s entrance doesn’t quite have the same grandeur.
Here we are!
Main Street certainly feels larger than we’re used to.
Same with the castle.
You could have said that the sudden clouds were a bad omen, but this is Europe! Clouds are a way of life, here.
Although we may have been better off taking it as an omen…
This little girl’s face is kind of how we felt.
With FastPasses secured for Hyperspace Mountain, we begrudgingly stood in the 80 minute queue for Big Thunder Mountain.
The once remarkable ride is a shadow of what it once was – new wheels have slowed the ride down considerably.
Though still a great ride, the sluggishness of the ride’s once rambunctious finale is a glaring disappointment.
Indiana Jones et le Temple du Peril, God bless it, was one of the day’s few experiences that didn’t disappoint.
Cautiously low expectations yields better-than-expected impressions from the often-forgotten little coaster.
The best ride of the day was Pirates, which is far superior in this incarnation than the Anaheim, Orlando, and Tokyo versions.
Hyperspace Mountain was down all day. Boo. Hiss. We were able to use our FastPasses for another ride on Big Thunder Mountain, but our hearts weren’t any less broken.
After missing it on the last visit, I finally got the last it’s a small world credit. It felt shorter than the others, but still good.
Here’s a tree that I liked.
We were sorta just biding our time in the general area near Hyperspace Mountain in hope of it reopening.
However, when the Cast Member answer changed from “maybe later today” to “maybe tomorrow,” we decided to cut our losses.
We went back to Dismal Studios for a re-ride on R’N’R, since it’s probably going to be down for its Avengers re-theme the next time we’re here.
Also did some glamour shots for Sven in front of his beloved Tower of Terror.
Every time the hub at Disneyland Anaheim is a total cluster (which is always), I like to think back to Disneyland Paris’ Main Street Arcades, which flank the main midway on either side and provide much-needed walking space between the hub and the entrance.
Awww…. I miss Vienna!
There’s nothin more annoying than waiting in line 20 minutes for a waffle at the Old Mill and then being told “WE OUT OF WAFFLES” when they take your order.
We really weren’t in the mood, but we figured we’d might as well get Sean’s Casey Jr. credit (so we don’t have to deal with it next time). Cute ride, tedious queue, etc. etc.
I got a really cool Indy t-shirt on this visit. They didn’t have my size at the kiosk at the exit, but a cast member called a different store and they delivered a shirt in my size to the kiosk! A surprisingly nice cast member moment, for sure…
After waiting almost an hour for some “quick” service pizza (unacceptable), we took our 2nd BTM ride and bailed.
Bye bye, Disneyland Paris. Try harder next time.
For a truly awesome Disney experience, check out our Shanghai Disneyland report. You’ll feel better.
Check out some of our other European park visits such as:
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