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  1. #1

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    Are things really that bad?

    With Mickey's Magical Party in full swing and Toy Story Playland under construction, DLP has come in for some serious criticism on this forum.

    I can't argue that DLP management are making some grave errors in judgement and aiming at the lowest common denominator. But surely DLP is still a place worth visiting.

    I am mainly speaking to those who (like myself) don't really have the luxurious option of hopping over the Atlantic whenever the mood takes them. The sort of people (like myself) to whom DLP offers the only realistic choice for a Disney experience.

    So what's to celebrate about DLP? What is it that takes many of us back again and again? What have they done that's good lately? What do you like that everyone seems to hate? What classics are still as good now as they were 'back in the day'?

    Sure, negative comments are allowed but lets try and balance those out with an equal number of positive ones eh?
    WDW - 1987 & 1991
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    DLR - October 2011





  2. #2

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    Re: Are things really that bad?

    I chose to stay at three different DLP hotels to find the magical experience I had at Polynesian at WDW. But none the hotels I've tried have come near. DLP hotels really lack the magic.

    DLP has few things right that'll bring me back: Frontierland, Adventureland, Fantasyland, Main St. and Disneyland railroad.. and Annette's Diner. :-) Those are very beautiful places and such an escapism that I can't find anywhere within 2000km (well, except maybe a wooden lodge in Lapland which is an ultimate escapism) So there.. I've left Discoveryland out of my list since SM2 and Buzz arrived. Otherwise Discoveryland is half-themed amusement park-kind of place. WDS is not a reason to return. Good rides maybe, but depressing unkept promise after you enter Studio 1.

    Since visit one at DLP it made me feel that this park is lacking something. Was it fireworks, Splash Mountain, monorail or streetmosphere.. maybe all of them together, but something it has been. But hey, I was spoiled by Tokyo DL and WDW Polynesian resort before I had my first trip to DLP.
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  3. #3

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    Re: Are things really that bad?

    Well I do think the critiques are valid and it is really not good to give the bozos in the management team at Paris a free pass as they will give us more rubbish, but I will try to be fair.

    I adore Frontierland and Adventureland and especially the e-tickets therein. And also the cowboy band at the cookout BBQ and the African TamTams. I love that they finally refurbed the Labyrynth after years of neglect. And Playhouse DIsney Live is an excellent addition for the stroller set.

    I have yet to have a bad meal at the Silver Spur, California Grill, the Steakhouse or Annette's.

    And the cast are getting better.

    But let's get this straight, I grumble because I know it can be far more. Back in 1992, it was the best resort on the globe, and it has been run into the ground. It only competes with the other resorts around the globe based on what was built before. I would much rather we still had the very best resort, and if so, I would not likely go to the other resorts as much. I want the very best in our backyard - and the Backlot express, MMP et al are not it.

    We know they can deliver the goods, but they are not. It is a wierd version that pretends to be Disney.
    Let's put the Walt back in Disney!





  4. #4

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    Re: Are things really that bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by davewasbaloo View Post
    We know they can deliver the goods, but they are not. It is a wierd version that pretends to be Disney.
    Can they anymore? I'm justing wondering if with all the cuts and fiscal problems over the years this has mean't that the 'Disney' people have all gone to pastures new. Thus all thats now really left is those with an idea of what Disney is about, but no real experience (which is the category that I fit into myself when writing this).

    Myself, I've never been a a Disney park other than Paris (I don't think you can count Tokyo as I was only on a boat what was sailing down that river that seperates the two parks), so I can't really comment on how it compares to other parks. I've seen the posts and read some of the history on how DL(R)P was once and have to agree that the original 'vision' was a far better place.

    Having watched and read various items from the recent D23 Expo, for me, it seems that TWDC appears to have lost interest in the site. I say that as it seems there was very little mention of the Paris site, and even when they did it semed that they had to be embrassingly pushed into it by audience members.

    I just wonder if 'we' are all a little harsh on Team DLRP who are perhaps making the best of bad situation, with little Disney guidance from TWDC?

    Management can surely only be as good as the team underneath them. If that team have lost the Disney experience (due to staff turnover, for example) then is this perhaps why the 'quality' level now produces items such as MMP and the revamped Backlot (personally I'd have rather they'd left Backlot alone and just refreshed the props and menu). The people at the top can have 150years of Disney experience combined (example figure), but I'd guess there is only so many times you can send an idea back to the drawing board before time forces you to except the best offering.

    I'm not trying to suggest that these issues are the 'fault' of the lower staff, I just wonder if they lack the necessary guidance and experience that was there back in the early '90s

    I'd like to end with something positive. Some of the recent attraction additions have been nicely done - Playhouse Disney, Stitch Live etc. It's just a shame that they have all been tried and tested clones rather then DLRP 'exclusives'. (rats ended with a negative).

    I guess I've gone a little OT - sorry.

    Iain.
    Last edited by ICHAPMAN; 09-27-2009 at 03:53 AM.

  5. #5

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    Re: Are things really that bad?

    The reason I prefer DLP is because of the rides and the layout of the resort. Sure, SMM2 and Buzz DID ruin the theme of Discoveryland. Yeah, but are the US parks any less messy in theme in that section? Regardless of that, SMM2 is a fantastically themed coaster, with undeniably good effects, great thrills and the music is still great (if a step down from before). Buzz lightyear is fun as well. I love the little twists put on the classics. Space Mountain, Big Thunder, Phantom Manor and POTC all (in my opinion) seem to be upgrades to the other versions. In addition, the other rides are still good, and DLP has a strong list of attractions.

    DLP possibly boasts some of the best walkthroughs and scenic sections of ANY Disney park! The Nautilus, Alladin's passage, Dragon's lair, Fort Comsack, Boot Hill and Adventure Isle add a little extra something for guests to soak up whilst in the park.

    Even WDS does do some things right. Yes, it's an underdevelopped and half-baked park. BUT, when (like me) you've got a multipark ticket, I can't deny there are some good rides to be had in there. Tower of Terror, RnRC, Cinemagique, Crush's Coaster, Lights Moteurs and Armageddon are all quite fun for me. Sure, I'll spend only a little time there, but I enjoy what I do get round to doing!

    The recent Disney management is not such a mess. Though in 2002 the WDS was a mistake, the management have been doing a lot to help it, with 2 major and 1 minor ride between 2007-2008, and several minor ones soon. Yes, we all complain that Toy Story Land is a waste and pathetic, but they did just give us Crush's Coaster AND Tower of Terror! It's just filler, and for families with kids, this (hopefully temporary) solution may be a blessing. The recent theming of the WDS 'hub' with TOT is a step in the right direction surely?

  6. #6

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    Re: Are things really that bad?

    I share some of the opinions reported here.
    Especially, entertainments and shows where I see no improvement since many years : Mickey's Magical Party is one of the worst example (especially that so called show at Discoveryland with Stitch). I don't blame performers as I think they do their best trying to entertain guests. I blame DLP management to create such poor concepts.

    I see some improvements in CM and maintenance, even if many things are yet to be done.

    However, back to the question "are things really that bad?", my answer is NO.
    My recent visit, last month, to Tokyo Disneyland had some positive effect on the vision I had of Disneyland Paris. I realized how lucky we were to have Disneyland Paris here. I realized how awesome and beautiful "our" Disneyland is. I was there last friday (will post some pictures) and my opinion was just confirmed.

  7. #7

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    Re: Are things really that bad?

    I feel that I can now share my positive thought on DLP... after reiterating my usual gripes...
    The think that DLP is over-priced, in most cases the staff couldn't care less and there are too many rude and inconsiderate guests who are not dealt with adequately by the CMs. Some of the park needs major TLC and some of the eateries are diabolicle.

    However...
    I love - no LOVE - Main Street.
    I adore Frontierland.
    I really like Adventureland.
    I actually also really like WDS (the non-theme theme does not bother me in the slightest. To coin a phrase - it does what it says on the tin)
    And I enjoy Disney Village.

    I must point out that other than two trips to WDW 20 years ago, DLP is my only Disney park experience and will probably remain so for at least the next five years.

    And as for the recent and up-coming additions? I liked Crush but hated the queue and can understand the gripes of others regarding its suitability. I like the theming around Toon Studios (particularly Radiator Springs) but feel more non-Pixar character presence is needed.
    I have not been fortunate enough to ride ToT but there are no nay-sayers on that subject so moving on...
    Hollywood Blvd is a (cheap) step in the right direction and Stitch and Playhouse Disney Live are both much-needed provisions to the younger WDS visitors.
    So what of Toy Story Playland? Sure its a cheap fix that obviously infuriates the Disney park purists but quite frankly NDJnr and I are already planning a trip for next year (our first since 2007) to DLP - much of which is due to TSPL and the other new additions. So something is working for some people.







    Mickey's Magical Party is an abomination though.
    WDW - 1987 & 1991
    DLP - 1996, 2004, 2006 & 2007
    DLR - October 2011





  8. #8

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    Re: Are things really that bad?

    The park has issues and we need to address them, thats what we all come here to do after all. I actually think overall things are improving at the Resort, but for every step the park makes in the right direction it also seems to take a further step backwards. Although I feel a lot of the decision making is forced on them by the US Company. I still rate Disneyland Paris high and would much rather visit the place than WDW. Not every decision made is for the worst either, Toy Story Land is a positive addition but for us Disney fans we would like to see them aim higher and build something we would enjoy, and we have that right to voice our criticism over it. Mickey's Magical Party brought along a couple of good shows for the Studios and lets also point out Disneyland Paris with the exception of Jubilation currently has the best daytime parade. So to answer the question no things are not that bad, but some decision making does need to be addressed. But I wouldn't call us a bunch of negative people, as you only have to see when someone ask a question on what to do at the park, and see all of us come in and list attractions and give advice on restaurants and hotel bookings to realise we all still think highly of the place. Because if we didn't we just end up running the place into the ground and recomending there not waste the trip and visit Tokyo instead.

  9. #9

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    Re: Are things really that bad?

    before last november, i had only been to the disneyland resort in california ( i used to go quite religiously with my sister and sister in law) but my husband got stationed in germany so DLP is my link to the disneymagic over here and i must say that i am kinda disappointed in it.

    ok well what i like about DLP
    -its just another disney experience =]
    -the rides arent as toned down as they are in the states. i LOVE the SMM2 at DLP
    -the village (or downtown disney area) is pretty iteresting, theres an iMAX theater, a couple clubs, a variety of restaurants (from the upscale steak house, to the dining with the characters, to Mc Donalds)

    ummm and the dislikes
    -it really does lack the magic.
    -no fireworks =[ at least for most of the year there is no firework show. when we went for valentines day, there was the candelabration...tons of people-including us- waited a half an hour in front of the castle to watch the towers light up...what a let down
    -the hours. when my family and i went this month, we got there on a friday and the park closed at 7pm.
    -the layout of the park, i dont know what it is, but it just seems to me that the flow of it is all wrong.
    -missing some rides.
    -no churros =[ (i know probably pretty dumb, but my husband and i love the ones at the california resort and we make it a point to get a few every visit)
    - the parade...no joke...lasted about 5 minutes from start point to end point

    i dont know. ive been twice this year already (once for valentines day- our first visit, and then this last month b/c my family came to visit from california) i might go again, just because it's disney, but i much prefer the california resort

  10. #10

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    Re: Are things really that bad?

    Another fellow Californian in Europe - HI!

    You can get Churros in Fuente del Oro in Frontierland and Restaurant Hakuna Mattata in Adventureland.

    And yep, for me, the lack of fireworks and stupid hours (trying to compete with European parks rather than match the bar of other DIsney parks) are a major bummer. But honestly, our parade is better than the ones in California have been for a while.

    If you have not tried Buffalo Bills though, you absolutely must.
    Let's put the Walt back in Disney!





  11. #11

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    Re: Are things really that bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by nikkisw View Post
    -it really does lack the magic.
    Sorry for picking on you specifically, but I've heard so many people say this now and still don't understand what they mean. What exactly is the "magic"? Is it just the general atmosphere? The streetmousphere? The characters? I get the feeling it's just another way of saying DLP lacks a large number of attractions.

    Now on topic, I do think DLP have made a lot of good decisions recently (things like ToT, Hollywood Boulevard, Stich Live, Playhouse, improvements with cast and maintenance), but sadly I feel all this is outweighed by all the bad decisions. Things like Mickey's Magical Party, SMM2, Le Vis being replaced, the cancellation of the Lion King and Tarzan shows, the lack of streetmousphere - it all really lets the resort down. They need to stop wasting the money and spend it on things that would improve the parks permanently!
    Let's put the Walt back in Disney!

    http://www.rnrcfans.webs.com - a Rock 'n' Roller Coaster fan website.

  12. #12

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    Re: Are things really that bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by nikkisw View Post

    -the layout of the park, i dont know what it is, but it just seems to me that the flow of it is all wrong.
    And I would like to pick up on this point.

    The flow of the park may seem 'wrong' because there is not really a specific 'flow'. One of the beauties of DLP is its rambling layout that allows for some lovely surprises and some sneaky shortcuts. Personally I prefer this over a more linear and 'sheep herding' system.
    WDW - 1987 & 1991
    DLP - 1996, 2004, 2006 & 2007
    DLR - October 2011





  13. #13

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    Re: Are things really that bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by nathan detroit View Post
    And I would like to pick up on this point.

    The flow of the park may seem 'wrong' because there is not really a specific 'flow'. One of the beauties of DLP is its rambling layout that allows for some lovely surprises and some sneaky shortcuts. Personally I prefer this over a more linear and 'sheep herding' system.
    Agreed. On one of my early visits, in the evening at Frontierland, I got lost to the petting zoo there used to be. So there I was, alone, and suddenly I noticed that I was standing next to a sleeping turkey... Didn't wake him.

    Those were the days my friend...
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  14. #14

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    Re: Are things really that bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by jacoaster View Post
    Sorry for picking on you specifically, but I've heard so many people say this now and still don't understand what they mean. What exactly is the "magic"? Is it just the general atmosphere? The streetmousphere? The characters? I get the feeling it's just another way of saying DLP lacks a large number of attractions.
    This is always an interesting one. The worst offender for minimal magic in my books is the Magic Kingdom in Florida, yet east Coast and Southern americans ask what I am on about. My theory about Disneyland magic is this:

    Everything is open (no staggered open and close except around firework time). The scale of the park is more intimate - smaller main street structures and castles, really mature trees etc. makes it feel more magical. Add in live entertainment of multiple varieties around virtually every corner. Then the fact that there are nearly as many attractions in the park as in all of WDW (honestly there are 70% the attractions in this one park as all of WDW). Then add the weather (which I think makes a big difference), real themed china plates and cutlery in counter service restaurants, and 5 generations of families that have enjoyed Disneyland and feel it is a part of their history, so there is a buzz and vibe, plus a real sense of pride held by the cast members. also, because of this, the local population will not let the standards slip or make excuses (cleanliness, maintenance, entertainment), they vote with their feet.

    The merchandise is unique and always changing (as are menues). Fireworks and Fantasmic are on most weekends, and every night during school holidays.

    Then the fact that most visitors are local, it feels far more laid back with less pushing, shoving and bad tempers.

    I think this all adds to the magic. However, I think DLP has bags of magic that DL does not have either (like the space and detail to explore). If they ran DLP more like DL, I think it would be a pretty equal race.
    Let's put the Walt back in Disney!





  15. #15

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    Re: Are things really that bad?

    I wouln't argue with any of dave's comments and would love to experience DL myself one day. One magical aspect that I would add that DL has unique to all of the other parks is that the great man himself actually stood there and opened the place. Rode the attractions and walked the paths. That in itself would give me goosebumps!

    'Magic' is in the eye of the beholder. As for DLP's 'magic' IMO - it's mainly a combination of the smells (mainly mouthwateringly sweet!), the sounds (subtle music and sfx wherever you go), the sights (minus some refurb issues the place is damned beautiful), and the tastes (back to mouthwateringly sweet in many cases but also some excellent and varied savoury cusine). All of this combined with true artistry and attention to detail makes for a powerful package even if it still does not go anywhere near explaining how fantastic the 'magic' is.

    Strolling up Main Street on a sunny day while eating a freshly baked cookie - possibly my favourite DLP experience.
    WDW - 1987 & 1991
    DLP - 1996, 2004, 2006 & 2007
    DLR - October 2011





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