Hey guys! So I just got back from a wonderful and magical 8 day vacation to the city of Paris. We spent 2 of those days at Disneyland Paris, and I wanted to share with you my trip report and some pictures from the resort. This was my partners first time going and this trip would make my second to the resort. Below is my trip report along with some pictures. To see the rest of my pictures please check them out here:
Disneyland Paris 2013 Album
First, I want to say that we had a great trip to the resort. There are a lot of positive things we saw, but there were also some negative experiences and overall concerns that we felt while at the Disneyland Paris Resort. Iím going to start off this trip report with the bad, that way we can end on a good note!
Crowds: First negative was the crowds! I knew going to the resort that it would be crowded since it was August, but nothing prepared me for the mass amounts of people. Just to get an idea of how crowded it was, the Disneyland Railroad had a posted wait of 120 minutes! I think one reason for the crowds was the cost of a one-day ticket, and the fact that they ran a special for one-day two Ėpark tickets while we were visiting. Iíve never seen a Disney park that crowded in the states, even in the heart of summer, it almost felt like New Yearís Eve at Disneyland. We did manage the crowds and tried to take advantage of Fastpass when we could.
Fastpass: The Fastpass system at the resort is a joke and desperately needs to be revamped. The 30 minute windows for the Fastpass made it hard to get back to the attraction just from the sheer size of the park. The wait in the Fastpass line was not much different from the standby. We also noticed that there was so much congestion just to get in the Fastpass line because guests would wait and block the entrance for their time to come up. Iím not sure if people in Europe donít understand the system, but it was just a mess compared to what Iíve experienced in the states.
Smoking/Behaviors: The final thing I wanted to touch on, and something I remembered from my first trip was the smoking. I understand that it's Europe and the culture of smoking is different, but something I do know that isn't culture specific are the health effects smoking has. I didnít enjoy being in line and having to inhale peoples smoke. It was almost too much to bear sometimes. Some things I also noticed; people were cutting in line more, didnít give you space while in line, letting their kids run and climb everywhere, throwing their trash/cigarettes on the ground, and a blatant disrespect for things at the park. This made me think, if the guests donít care about the park, then why should Disney spend the money to fix the little things that people obviously destroy? I saw so much spitting on things, kids climbing on props and buildings, people lying on the grass, and not once did I see a Cast Member say anything.
Now that we got all that out of the way, we can move on!
We arrived each day at the resort via the RER A. The RER is such a great system and itís very convenient as the train goes right into the resort. We got to the parks about an hour before opening each day, and they let us into the park about 30 minutes early. One thing I noticed is that they opened Disneyland Paris exactly at 10H (for the rides), but opened the studios park about 20 minutes early, which was nice!
Main Street USA & The Disneyland Hotel
Disneyland Paris has my favorite Main Street and castle. I like the added feature of the Arcades on either side, this definitely helps to alleviate congestion and theyíre very well themed. My only concern is with the Arcade that features the Statue of Liberty. Some of the pictures featured of Lady Liberty are modern and it just seems out of place to me. We ate at Caseys for lunch, and I really recommend it! The lines were slow moving though, but the food was great and reasonably priced. For dinner one evening we ate at the Plaza buffet. The buffet was pretty nice, but some of the food lacked in quality and taste.
Iím absolutely in love with the Disneyland Hotel at Paris! It also features free WiFi, so if youíre like me and your phone doesnít work, you can connect to the WiFi and relax for a little bit. We did this right before going to dinner at Inventions, which was recommended to me here on Micechat.
We made our reservations at Inventions for 6:00 PM, which featured the Disney characters. The price was a bit steep at over 55 Euros per adult, which didnít include any sort of drink. My American Coffee ended up costing 5 Euros alone, with no refills. There was a variety of cold cuts, cheese, entrees, and of course dessert. DO YOURSELF A FAVOR AND TRY THE CHEESECAKE! AMAZING! Although the buffet was great, I wouldnít do it again. Iíve been to far superior buffets in Las Vegas for half the cost. But of course it was great to see the characters and not have to wait in line. If you have kids, I would say this is a must, but be aware that I didnít see too many kid friendly entrees for the picky eater.
This land is definitely my favorite in the park. Just from walking around you can tell that the Imagineers really wanted to tell a story with this land. My two favorite rides are also here, Phantom Manor and Big Thunder. We did get evacuated off Big Thunder from the second lift hill so be sure to check out my pictures to see some photos I took! Phantom Manor is also an amazing attraction and I love the uniqueness of it. A couple of things I did notice with the attraction, the volume of the music needs to be turned up. Whatís the point of having such a wonderful score if you have trouble hearing it? There was a couple not dancing in the ballroom and the ending mirror effect with the Phantom was not working on both my visits. I hope they fix these elements soon as I feel they're major!
I love the theme and lushness of this Adventureland, especially Adventure Isle. The Pirates here has to be one of the best that Iíve experienced, and the Indiana Jones roller coaster is a nice unique ride. My only gripe here is that I wish they had another ride. This land is so big, yet I can't help but feel something is missing in this version of Adventureland... perhaps it's the lack of a jungle cruise, but I really think another attraction in this area would do wonders!
We were able to eat at the Blue Lagoon for lunch, which was recommended here by some users. I was very excited to eat here because the Blue Bayou is my favorite place to eat at Disneyland. We were seated immediately and shown to our table. The staff here was very nice and the theme was excellent, but still not as good as the one in Disneyland. I didn't check the menu before making the reservation, and to my surprise it was mostly seafood, which I'm allergic to. My partner on the other hand LOVES seafood. So I had to manage with the Caribbean chicken, which ended up being very good and my partners fish was equally as great (or so he says.) If I compare this restaurant to its Disneyland counterpart in Anaheim, the Blue Bayou wins hands down, but the Blue Lagoon does stand on its own merit.
I think Discoveryland was a step in the right direction from Tomorrowland, and I think all Tomorrowlands should change to this name in the states. This keeps the land more open ended, so things like Buzz Lightyear make more sense. I really like Space Mountain here, but I wish they would fix the launch to smoke like it does in the ads Iíve seen, and so I donít feel bruised coming off of the attraction. Also I thought it was interesting that they didnít update the Star Tours attraction here. Whatís the reason for that? Was it budget issues? No matter what it was nice to go on the classic attraction once again. This land also could use another attraction, something to eat the big crowds that we experience. There is no reason Buzz Lightyear should have a 90 minute wait!
Disneyland Parisí Fantasyland is just beautiful and there are not enough words to describe the feeling one has while walking through the castle. Pictures do not do this area justice. From the stained glass of Sleeping Beauty Castle to Aliceís Curious Labyrinth, everything is so detailed. Some of the attractions could use some paint, but other than that, I felt like this land was one of the best in the park. While we were on the 2nd floor of the castle we were able to see them film a Halloween promo by the wishing well! Very cool to see! It featured the Evil Queen from Snow white and another witch.
My partner was able to take two small videos of the actress playing a witch. She was something else!
This show was amazing, and such great use of the projection effects. The water and pyro effects were all timed right. Be sure if youíre visiting the resort that you do not miss this show!
Walt Disney Studios Park
What can I say about this park? Well, not much really. Itís my least favorite Disney Park, and IMO the one that needs the most help. Crushís rollercoaster is, of course, amazing, but the new Toy Story land lacks in quality attraction, in fact, the whole park does! I hope the park gets some new quality, people-eating attractions fast!
Me (GhostHostJeff) and my partner
Thanks for reading my trip report! We had an amazing experience at the resort, and I definitely saw a lot of improvements since my visit in 2009. I took a lot of photos, so please feel free to check out the whole album.
Disneyland Paris 2013 Album