Well it turns out its not such a small world after all. This weekend I journeyed to Paris, and decided to check out Europe’s own version of “the happiest place on Earth,” Disneyland Paris. While the premise remained the same as the Disneyworld and Disneyland parks back in US, Disneyland Paris seemed to build off of what the first two had laid the ground work for.
Disneyland Paris more than exceeded my expectations.
When I first entered the park, I thought I had a good idea of what was to come. Crying children, people dressed as cartoon characters, nostalgia, amazing prop work, and ridiculously long lines. While Disneyland Paris did have these characteristics, it was very different from what I had learned to expect from my two previous trips to Disneyworld. First of all, being an American in France is obviously going to lead to communication problems as French is not a language you pick up in one day. However, the issue of the language barrier, potentially one that could destroy your trip, was handled relatively well. Almost all the cast members were bilingual and if one employee didn’t speak english well, another that did would quickly take the reins from their co-worker.
However, a real negative of Disneyland Paris was a lack of characters. The whole day that I was there I only saw two characters, Goofy and Timon. The lack of characters was easily made up for by the quality of the rides. Yes, the lines were incredibly long but it was without a doubt worth the hour wait. It almost seemed as if Disneyland Paris took the original ride ideas from the parks in America, and improved upon them massively.
One major example of this improvement was in Paris’ version of Space Mountain, which was called Space Mountain: Mission Two. The ride had all the twists and turns of the original Space Mountain, with special effects that were out of this world, pun intended. The original makes use of projectors that put stars and planets on the ceiling of the ride, but in Mission Two your spaceship takes you through holograms of the planets, and even takes you through a supernova explosion while adding in a few more unexpected drops.
Another difference with the rides was they were much longer than any in Disneyworld, making the wait in line worth it. Big Thunder Mountain, usually one you skip in the states if the wait is more than 30 minutes, was actually much longer than the expected two minutes of out of control mine cart fun. The ride also had more special effects such as a dynamite explosion and some water effects.
Disneyland definitely did its job, and made me want more. I wish I had more than one day to explore the park, but from what I saw all the negatives I could find were either quickly taken care of or were overshadowed by the quality of rides and atmosphere of it all. I know for everyone in the US a trip to Paris may not be feasible, but if you are lucky enough to find yourself across the pond I highly suggest a trip to Disneyland Paris.
Been to Disneyland Paris? Do you want to go? Comment below!