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  1. #1

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    Disneyland Paris, a Sleeping beauty in need of an extreme makeover

    We just returned from a weekend in Paris. In the past years we always decided to spend at least three days at Disneyland Paris but this time, since we had only four days for our entire vacation, we decided to buy a 1 day / 2 parks ticket and try to get the best of both parks in one day only. We knew we were about to deal with huge crowds, long lines and fast food, but we would have never thought we had to face such huge disappointments (more to follow).

    We took the RER railroad from Paris to Marne-la-Vallée and arrived at the ticket booths of the resort at 9 am sharp. Both parks opened at 10 am. Thanks to our three-day Paris Visit card, which allowed us full access to the city’s subway system, we bought our 1 day / 2 parks ticket with a 20% discount on the full price and headed to the first park of our disney day. Contrary to our usual patterns, in order to get the best from our single day we decided to have our disney day started in one of Disney's all-time worst: Walt Disney Studios theme park so to get in line as soon as possible to Crush's Coaster and Tower of Terror and then run far far away. Even though the gates of the park opened a full half an hour before official time, we still waited 30 minutes in line before embarking. The ride was nice and too short as usual, especially compared to the average waiting time. We then strolled to the Tower of Terror but found there already was a 60 minute wait. So, since we didn't want to spend not one more second in one of the most expensive and glorified carnivals of the world we decided to skip the Tower of Terror this time and headed over to Disneyland.

    Fantasia Gardens welcomed as usual with their gentle bends, lush foliage and intimate overall look, the perfect introduction to the perfect park. After a quick stroll on Main Street (that’s the bad of a one-day visit, not taking enough time to fully enjoy the place) we headed to Fantasyland to get our fastpasses to Peter Pan’s Flight. And, with our greatest disappointment, to stumble upon the first of too many rotten and forgotten corners of the Magic Kingdom.

    We all read Sleeping Beauty’s Caste is in desperate need of a rehab but looking at the real thing just breaks your heart. The Walt Disney Company should be ashamed of the way Euro Disney s.c.a. treated its landmarks, and its paying guests. To get things even worst , the blinding contrast with the recently renovated bridge: no stains, no cracked stones, no faded colors, no pealed paint. Just the opposite of what the caste looks right now.

    And that’s the overall pattern we found throughout the park: perfect rehabs (after years of neglect) on one side, rotten ruins on the other. All-time tops and all-time lows just a step away from each other.


    We just love how the flowers always match the pink roofs of the Disneyland Hotel!


    The most charming Disney hotel ever.


    The most disjointed marketing campaign ever.


    Just a quick look to the roofs of Main Street.


    A new bridge for an aging castle.




    Pay attention to the balcony: it has been remodeled so that rude guests (that is 90% of guests at Disneyland Paris) can't climb over it anymore.




    At first, it looks perfect, doesn't it?


    Look at all the mould and humidity stains on the arches.


    Are we sure Aurora didn't rent the caste to Maleficent? Just look at the rooftops and the greying balconies...


    More rotting rooftops and cracking towers.

    Dilapidated rooftops galore. Maleficent MUST live in there!

    In the next part: Fantasyland, land of rotten cement and restored beauty, and Adventureland, where phantom galleons ride the waters.

  2. #2

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    Re: Disneyland Paris, a Sleeping beauty in need of an extreme makeover

    Ah - a mixture of hope and bitterness that only a visit to DLP in high season can generate!

    I did not realise what a bad condition the castle was in and am rather disturbed by these pictures. Surely a refurb must be just around the corner? I do realise that the castle is probably the hardest thing to refurb due to the automatic guest disappointment generated if its covered in tarps and scaffolding.. but even so - that is disgusting.
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  3. #3

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    Re: Disneyland Paris, a Sleeping beauty in need of an extreme makeover

    Hmm... The castle really doesn't look appallingly bad... It's definitely a problem if you can see it, right off the bat. But every castle is going to get a little dirty, eventually. Hopefully they don't let it get any worse.
    -Hale (wumbology)

    a.k.a. h2mc, omnimover.mousetalgia, omnimover, wumbology, hogbackmtn, hhmcsharry, Hale M., h2m, h2mc

    (I've never visited Disneyland Resort, Tokyo Disney Resort, Disneyland Resort Paris, nor Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, so don't be fooled when I pretend to know what I'm talking about. [But I'm pretty good with the information, if I do say so myself. And you can hit me all you want with Walt Disney World.])



  4. #4

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    Re: Disneyland Paris, a Sleeping beauty in need of an extreme makeover

    I like this, I want to see more. It's a good mix of good and bad...it shuts people up when all they say is pointing out flaws makes you negative.

  5. #5

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    Re: Disneyland Paris, a Sleeping beauty in need of an extreme makeover

    ORGOCH: Ah, heck!! What's a little mold 'n mildew? Back in Morva, us cauldron gals learn ta live with stuff like that all the time! Even scrape some of it off the walls a the cottage ta use fer seasonin's whilst cookin' over the cauldron! Cain't imagine why any of ya's would complain 'bout such nonsense!

  6. #6

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    Re: Disneyland Paris, a Sleeping beauty in need of an extreme makeover

    The castle looks even worse inside. Flaking paint and something that looks as moist stains. But then again it was never ment for park visitors to see.
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  7. #7

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    Re: Disneyland Paris, a Sleeping beauty in need of an extreme makeover

    Well, the renovation of the castle will take place from 4th of October 2010. They'll start from the interior and will continue to exterior after Christmas season. Renovation should be finished until July 1st 2011.
    Last edited by Zarniwoop; 07-28-2010 at 11:03 PM.
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  8. #8

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    Re: Disneyland Paris, a Sleeping beauty in need of an extreme makeover

    It is very interesting to see all of this - however personally, I try to switch of my critical eye whenever possible whilst at DLRP, so that I don't keep noticing all of these problems, as it makes me feel disappointed.

    Sometimes ignorance is bliss.

  9. #9

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    Re: Disneyland Paris, a Sleeping beauty in need of an extreme makeover

    Quote Originally Posted by Zarniwoop View Post
    Well, the renovation of the castle will take place from 4th of October 2010. They'll start from the interior and will continue to exterior after Christmas season. Renovation should be finished until July 1st 2011.
    Thanks for the info.

    I agree to a point rob-bttf, I don't notice stuff like flaking paint and cracks here and there, but I do notice stuff like litter and it bothers me, luckily I find DLP to be quite clean.

  10. #10

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    Re: Disneyland Paris, a Sleeping beauty in need of an extreme makeover

    insted of wasting money on more toystory rides they should keep the current rides and building in tiptop Disneyshape.
    great to read the report! I like it when people dare to complain and say whats on their mind. DLP is the best Disneyland, but it´s in the worst shape.
    as I said... the castle is rotting from inside, atleast that is how it looks. the yellowish paint is falling of the walls. that is not a good sign for might be going on in the rest of the building, the symbol of disney in europe.
    Last edited by TimmyTimmyTimmy; 07-29-2010 at 10:15 AM.
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  11. #11

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    Re: Disneyland Paris, a Sleeping beauty in need of an extreme makeover

    Surprise surprise, TimmyTimmyTimmy and I agree. He said it very well when he said DLP is the best, but in the worst shape. It is so sad. They spend on rubbish like the marketing synergy and rubber heads, and of course the monster that is TSPL.

    So sad. I thought the castle needed help during it's 10th anniversary, then if it wasn't for the decorations during the 15th, it looked worse. It was supposed to be refurbed when they came down, then it was delayed. This upcoming refurb is long overdue. The castle has nearly been there for 20 years, it looks it.

    Although the Pirate Ship is in even greater need.
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  12. #12

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    Re: Disneyland Paris, a Sleeping beauty in need of an extreme makeover

    And I also suggest they finally get rid of that oversized Tikerbell on the top, ruining all the forced perspective WDI took so much time and attention to recreate. There's no confetti effect worth the loss of that effect...
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  13. #13

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    Re: Disneyland Paris, a Sleeping beauty in need of an extreme makeover

    that is just so sad about SBC
    The one in Paris seems to be the most magnificient
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  14. #14

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    Disneyland Paris, a Sleeping beauty in need of an extreme makeover. Second Part

    As promised, the second part of our one-day visit to Disneyaland Paris. While waiting to get in the fastpass queue of Peter Pan’s Flight attraction, we took our time to stroll around Fantasyland and Adventureland and found again tops and lows side by side. The overall effect is kind of displacing, unfortunately in the wrong way: the contrast between the refurbished parts and the one still waiting for their share of fresh paint (sometimes since April, 12th 1992...) is just undeniable. Some might say most guests wouldn’t see the difference, but that’s exactly what disney parks are all about and what they all should be looking after: building fictional environments so full of details you feel you’re in the real thing, not in some sort of cheap carnival ride. Take what’s happening right now at Disney’s California Adventure: the same rides, the same spaces, turning from ugly to beautiful with just the right touch of theming. A proper maintenance helps in keeping the consistency of the theme as much as costumes and music and set the difference all disney parks should maintain compared to their competitors.

    That said, Disneyland Paris’ maintenance probably faces the toughest obstacle to their jobs, and we are not talking about the lack of money or the bitterness of the winter weather. We are talking about something that simply cannot be locked out of the park: guests. And that’s what the third and final part of this trip report will be about.


    Let's begin with the good news: Dumbo's Flying Elephants just opened after a huge refurbishment and looks just perfect.


    Shining as new from every point of view!


    Water, flowers, bending walls: everything at its best again.


    Auberge de Cendrillon too looked as she just moved in with her prince charming.




    There were painted flowers behind the fountains? I almost forgot :-)


    Alice's Curious Labyrinth is psychedelic again! It's never too late, even for the White Rabbit.


    And now the bad news: the sloping hill is sloping too much, revealing the faux brickwork. And just to make sure everyone's aware it's all just plywood an paste, there's a nice electric box. Or did it feature in the original movie as one of Maleficents weapons?


    Hello? Mr. Toad, are you still living there?


    Let's move to Adventureland. The archway is unfortunately just the beginning. The only excuse I can come up with is that maybe they are working on it. Still, they could have covered it during operating hours.


    That's the enchanting vision the archway was supposed to frame. Enchanting missing, welcome scary.




    Ok, we may have be sometimes somewhat overreacting. But in this case, let's just admit it: the galleon just sucks.


    Kodak, are you sure you're happy with Disney suggesting your prospect customers to take pictures of that?


    Let's move to the pleasant things. While waiting in line for Indiana Jones, we found a hidden mickey. Nice touch!


    Unfortunately, some of the rockwork around the temple were missing some...ehr... rock.


    But let's focus on the good things: Adventureland bazar, which went under a full refurbishment a few years ago, still looks perfect.




    Stay tuned for the last part, where you'll meet the hordes!

  15. #15

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    Re: Disneyland Paris, a Sleeping beauty in need of an extreme makeover

    These are still some great pics, yeah that Galleon leaves a lot to be desired. Still, DLP are working on getting everything as good as new slowly but surely.

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