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Disneyland Paris - A Stupid Guest Report

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Buggy
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Disneyland Paris - A Stupid Guest Report

Post by Buggy » Mon Mar 05, 2012 3:50 pm

Day 0

We arrived in Paris on a Friday. In order to get to Disneyland Paris, you have to buy a ticked on a commuter train. (This is, strictly speaking, untrue, but it is how we wanted to get to DLP). However, you can only buy them in Paris. You can't get them ahead of time. So the very first thing we did in Paris was get our tickets for the next day.

We then tried to take the Metro to our hotel. This was not a difficult puzzle. The problem was our two large nearly-50lb suitcases. As it turns out the French do not believe in elevators; they do believe in stairs. Sometimes we would go up and down staircases in the same hallway multiple times for no discernible reason.

We got to the hotel and found that the elevator was broken. It would be fixed by that evening though. I lugged our suitcases the two flights to our tiny hotel room and we went out to see the City of Lights. It was beautiful. And dirty. And the food was excellent!

We got back to our hotel late that night. The elevator was still broken, but it would be fixed tomorrow. We went to our room and collapsed in our bed.



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Re: Disneyland Paris - A Stupid Guest Report

Post by Buggy » Mon Mar 05, 2012 4:05 pm

Day 1

We woke up and went downstairs to get breakfast. Apparently in France, "hand boiled egg" means "soft boiled egg that will explode when you try to crack it." Good thing I cracked it on my plate instead of my forehead like I sometimes do. That would have really left me with egg on my face.

Hah!

My wife waited in the lobby while I lugged our suitcases down the narrow stairway. The elevator was supposed to be fixed later that day, but I'd lay good money that it is still broken.

We lugged our suitcases through the Metro and to the commuter train and about a half hour later we were at the Disneyland Paris resort.

We checked into the Hotel Santa Fe. They put us into the "bad show" room. You know, the one with the paint chipping everywhere and the missing painting with holes for the screws on the wall. I'll have pictures later this week. Then we hightailed it to Disney Studios Paris.

There were exactly three things I absolutely wanted to do at DLP and one of them was in Disney Studios: Crush's Roller Coaster. They don't have one in the US and it looked really cool. Now, as all you other stupid guests know, if there is one one ride you really want to do, you save it for the very end of your trip.

But, having read this board, I knew better, and we went there first, but there was a two hour line and no FP, so we decided to see what else was available. We did the Tower of Terror (nice, but my favorite is still in Orlando), Animagique (a bizarre live show), and the studio tour (a pale shadow of Florida).

Then we went back to the Crush coaster. The wait was only an hour and a half, so we decided to do it. It broke down about about a half hour of waiting. (Pro-tip. The French people in line don't know enough English to translate the announcements made in French, but they *do* know enough English to ask you questions when you seem to know something they don't.) We rode the magic carpet ride which was bizarrely re themed to some sort of movie set. At least it wasn't in the middle of a walkway so it didn't impede traffic.

We also rode the Rockin' Roller Coaster with a completely meaningless pre-show by Aerosmith. I swear, it was like they were trying to completely remove the story from the attraction. It was a cool ride though.

Now, I go to Disney parks for the themeing, the attention to detail, the fun rides and experiences, and because I like to see the movies brought to life. My wife likes to trade pins. She even bought a bunch on eBay so she'd have a bunch to trade.

Pin trading hasn't really caught on in France. We found a few cast members with lanyards, but no guests with them. Still, my wife got quite a few Tinkerbell pins and I managed to snag a keen "No Disco Dancing" pin.

Anyway, we went to King Ludwig's Castle for dinner. And then back to Hotel Bad Show for sleep.



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Re: Disneyland Paris - A Stupid Guest Report

Post by hobie16 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 4:09 pm

So, to summarize your story, nothing has changed in France since I was there ten years ago. :D:


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Re: Disneyland Paris - A Stupid Guest Report

Post by BRWombat » Mon Mar 05, 2012 4:10 pm

Buggy wrote:... and the studio tour (a pale shadow of Florida)...
This frightens me, given that the Florida tour is a pale shadow of what it used to be!

Can't wait to see what other horrors are ahead, Buggy...


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Re: Disneyland Paris - A Stupid Guest Report

Post by Buggy » Mon Mar 05, 2012 4:19 pm

Day 2

Oooh, I forgot to mention something special about French guests. "No smoking" is less a rule than a suggestion to be completely ignored. The quaint "no smoking in line" signs must have amused the French as they constantly lit up around us. And I'm sure they found the Cast Member's announcements amusing. My wife says that she saw a CM actually confront a guest and force them to put out their cig, but I think she was just delirious, being allergic to cigarette smoke and all.

Where was I? Ah yes, taking advantage of Extra Magic Hours, we got to DLP proper about an hour and a half before it opened. The sheer joy I experienced wandering around an empty Main Street and an empty Discoveryland (because Tomorrow is so passe) made me realize how much I hate crowds. Crowds and children. Can't stand 'em. Why the hell do I keep going to Disney parks anyway?

So let me tell you this. Discoveryland is ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL. I am a big fan of the Steampunk Aesthetic and as I watched in awe as Space Mountain literally loaded a train as if it were a gun to shoot the passengers into space, I finally wished for something from France to actually be in Orlando.

Seriously. Discoveryland rocks. Sure it's the same old Star Tours, Autopia, and Lightyear Blast, but they have a Nautilus walkthrough with a giant squid attack and Space Mountain Mission 2.0 rocks. It was bang-your-head-into-the-seat-back fun and I rode it twice in quick succession because, it was Extra Magic and nobody was there.

We then went into Fantasyland and rode a few things and when the rope dropped hightailed it to the Indiana Jones ride. We got FPs and then went and rode a few other things. PoTC was cool. It was a blast of nostalgia to watch the pirates chase the women and to not see even one instance of Jack Sparrow.

The Phantom Manor was also nice, although instead of a graveyard scene, they did a wild west scene. DLP is big on the Wild West. Made me cringe each time.

Then back to the Indy coaster. Very nice. You think it's just a wild mouse ride until you get to the hidden loop in the center. Hope I didn't just spoil that for you.

My wife also had a lot more success with pin trading this day. She even found one of the pin trading stations and got to chat -- via cast member translator -- with some of the local pin traders.

One other thing of note. At one point we go through the Aladdin walkthrough. Apparently walkthroughs with some animatronics are popular in France. There were three of them in DLP.

Lunch was at the Aubergine de Cendrillon, which is advertised on the website as a romantic lunch. In this case, romantic must mean a character Princess lunch. My was was surprised to see characters there; nothing surprises me any more.



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Re: Disneyland Paris - A Stupid Guest Report

Post by Buggy » Mon Mar 05, 2012 4:30 pm

Day 3

We gathered up our suitcases and got them settled and got on the bus to go to the Studios for opening. We were going to ride that damn Crush coaster even if it killed us (spoiler: it didn't).

We go to the studios in time for rope drop, walked quickly to the coaster and discovered that "opening" means something else in France, since the coaster was already running and had a line a an hour and a half long.

About 45 minutes in, they made an announcement in French and everyone groaned. But nobody left the line. We took this to mean that the ride had broken down again, but that they were hopeful it was only for a few minutes, but I could easily see the people in line staying there just to keep us confused.

About 15 minutes later they made another announcement in French and the line started moving again, and soon enough we were on the ride. (My story has a happy ending). It was a great ride and definitely should be fixed and brought to the states.

We saw Cinemagique, a film with some live elements that was also kinda strange. And we went to the Armageddon special effects show which was like all those other special effects shows you see except with 90% less story.

We also saw the auto stunt show which was cool and the parade, which blocked our route to the auto stunt show, so we kinda had to see it. Finally, it was getting near time to catch the train. I checked up on the Crush coaster, but apparently it had broken down again, so I just got to the train station early and headed out to London. (You can go directly from London to DLP by train, but we wanted a day in Paris first, you see).

At least two people asked how DLP compared to Orlando, and I said that our studios beats theirs so so very much, but that they had the better Discovery/Tomorrowland. They seemed very surprised that I thought any part of DLP was better than Disneyland Resort, but well there you go.

The CMs at DLP were all nice and polite and spoke at least enough English to do their jobs. We like to ask strange questions which tends to puzzle even native English speakers and they had no clue. Also there were no churros or Dole Whip to be had.

The guests were like any other amusement park guests, but they were also French. I'll just leave that there.

Would I go back? Sure. You paying? Europe is expensive and the dollar being weak just compounded the issue. Given the choice, I'll go to Orlando any time.



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Re: Disneyland Paris - A Stupid Guest Report

Post by svickersart » Mon Mar 05, 2012 4:51 pm

I've had someone tell me DL paris is like Bizarro Disneyland. sounds like they were right. also they said the CM's were really rude (they were Brits and some other things to say about the french that I wont repeat)
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Re: Disneyland Paris - A Stupid Guest Report

Post by shilohmm » Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:46 pm

Buggy wrote: I managed to snag a keen "No Disco Dancing" pin.
Thanks for that. Have no intention of going to Disneyland Paris but your report was entertaining so now I feel justified in reading it anyhow. ;)

If you're taking photo requests, I'd like one of that pin. :D:



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Re: Disneyland Paris - A Stupid Guest Report

Post by ktulu » Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:33 pm

I'd like to visit DLP sometime, just to go. It would be hard though if I had the choice between going back to Tokyo or Paris.


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Re: Disneyland Paris - A Stupid Guest Report

Post by Big Wallaby » Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:04 pm

Paris. I have been there once. For five hours. No, it wasn't a layover.

Definitely want to go back and see DLP.


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