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  1. #1

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    Pirates and Phantom Manor: Am I the only one unimpressed?

    I've been to DLP a few times and really enjoy the place and have also been to the US parks many times over the years. The Paris versions of some rides, like Space, Big Thunder, and all the Fantasyland rides have a serious claim to be the best versions of those attractions for me. However, I am totally underwhelmed by the Paris versions of Pirates and Haunted Mansion (Phantom Manor). I have been there with friends who've been to DLR and WDW who also didn't like these versions as much and a family member of mine who isn't a Disney freak but has been to the American parks in one of his few comments to me about the visit described the version of Pirates as a "travesty" compared to the US versions.

    Yet the consensus among Disney fans seems to unanimous that the Paris version of both these classics supersedes or at the very least equals the best version at the other parks. In fact, I don't think I've ever heard anyone in the Disney fan community argue any different.

    So, is it just me and the people I know who are freaks? Does anyone else think the Paris versions of these attractions actually look a little hokey compared to those in the other parks? Or is it just that they may have once been the best versions but have aged so badly due to poor maintenance that their greatness doesn't shine through?

    Interested to hear any opinions as this difference in perception has always quite interested me. I would go so far as to say that both rides seem a little second-rate these days.

  2. #2

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    Re: Pirates and Phantom Manor: Am I the only one unimpressed?

    I have not been to DLP, but I have never heard anyone say that the Pirates in Paris is a better ride. I have heard those that prefer Phantom Manor to the Mansions over here but the story line is so different, it's difficult to even say they are the same attraction.

  3. #3

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    Re: Pirates and Phantom Manor: Am I the only one unimpressed?

    There are a few things I really like about those Paris attractions. But firstly a big part of the appeal is that they are different than the attractions here in the US. That made them very enjoyable.

    The queues are superior. Much more detailed. The sorry part is the lines move quickly and you don't get to take in all of the details. They are long and that really helps you remove yourself and get into the theme of the attraction. The one great part about the DL pirates it that the queue finishes going along the flume with the beach on the other side.

    Pirates is interesting because the scenes go backwards. But it really is backwards. The best part is the Blue Bayou is again integrated into the attractions but is a really well themed restaurant. Also the caverns are much better.

    The Phantom Manor, starts out just like the HM, but then goes into its own story. Using its own version of the Great Hall or Ball Room scene then the rest is different. It's an excellent attractions but about 50% the same and 50% totally different.
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  4. #4

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    Re: Pirates and Phantom Manor: Am I the only one unimpressed?

    I think it just depends on personal taste. I personally love Phantom Manor in Paris as I love the music and the overall story and I can appreciate what the creators did to create a unique version. The Pirates in Paris is also unique in many areas. With that said, none of these would exist today if the originals didn't. The original Haunted Mansion and Pirates are still my favorites.
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  5. #5

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    Re: Pirates and Phantom Manor: Am I the only one unimpressed?

    Most people prefer the overall experience of Pirates in Paris over the original Disneyland. ...as do I.
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  6. #6

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    Re: Pirates and Phantom Manor: Am I the only one unimpressed?

    Any upkeep issues aside, I've generally always preferred the 'big 4' in Disneyland Paris (Phantom Manor, Pirates, Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain) over their other incarnations. It's a shame really that the park didn't add other original attractions to bolster what was a great start.

  7. #7

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    Re: Pirates and Phantom Manor: Am I the only one unimpressed?

    I agree with you there. Pirates in Paris has a great queue and opening scene past the restaurant. But the design of the sets / paint effects / set decorating in the attraction is not as detailed in comparison to the states (Disneyland specifically, because I think the craftsmanship on that attraction in particular is probably the best). If you look carefully, a lot of the stone work is a painted illusion, whereas in CA a lot of it is more dimensional. Phantom Manor is the same for me. It's decent, but the effects and some of the show scenes lack the caliber seen in the US parks (the effect of Leota is nothing like the US).

    Where Paris excels is in its architecture and layout. the park beautifully organized! And the lack of the utilidors (as in CA) allows for wonderful landscaping (trees!!!) that Florida just can't have in certain areas where it is needed most. Fantasyland is a good example here. And their Discoveryland is thematically unified :-)

    Well, that's my take!
    Last edited by traumwelt; 02-28-2014 at 07:11 PM.

  8. #8

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    Re: Pirates and Phantom Manor: Am I the only one unimpressed?

    I think their Pirates of the Caribean is better, but the graveyard is my favorite scene on Haunted Mansion, so I sort of dislike Phantom Manor for not having the graveyard.

  9. #9

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    Re: Pirates and Phantom Manor: Am I the only one unimpressed?

    I've never been on the Haunted Mansion so I can't really compare it to Phantom Manor, however I'd probably say that Pirates is a little better in Paris than WDW. In part just down to the extra two drops (which I hate fwiw).


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  10. #10

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    Re: Pirates and Phantom Manor: Am I the only one unimpressed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scorchio View Post
    Any upkeep issues aside, I've generally always preferred the 'big 4' in Disneyland Paris (Phantom Manor, Pirates, Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain) over their other incarnations. It's a shame really that the park didn't add other original attractions to bolster what was a great start.
    I was in Disneyland Paris last May for my birthday...After bragging about how superior the attractions were to my partner and friends I was very disappointed. I had been there in the mid 90s and found it all so beautifully done and charming... it was quite different. The attractions were all suffering from VERY poor maintenance. In Phantom Manor they were using very visible, very modern lightbulbs in the period light fixtures...(the stretching gallery gargoyles cand;les had light bulbs sticking out of the top...All of the show scenes were very worn looking. Sound was not set properly, lighting was too bright or misdirected throughout most of the attraction. On Pirates, there were whole scenes not working, the pirate battle scene, the swordsman were missing, the sword fight shadows, the swinging guy overhead, all missing or not working. In other parts of the ride it was like someone handed them a box of colored LED spotlights and told them to just randomly stick them into the show scenes...the colored lighting was so intense and bizarre in the big pirate ship battle that you almost could not tell what you were looking at. It was very strange, almost cartoon-like....and I had been on this ride years before and thought it was wonderful...this time, really not good...it looked like a Six Flags version of a pirate ride....I will say however that the cast member costumes we pretty amazing. the weather was cool, and instead of standard uniforms they were in costumes with gorgeous detailing... Brocaded frock coats, velvet vests, jewels and embroidery...it was pretty impressive and way beyond any cast member costuming I have seen stateside....

  11. #11

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    Re: Pirates and Phantom Manor: Am I the only one unimpressed?

    Phantom Manor is my favourite ride, however I am also a Mansion fan... but I've only been on the WDW version and that was over ten years ago. I don't usually like to compare them, even though they use the same track layout (well, DLR and DLRP) they are very different rides because of the storyline and characters. You can't just say "oh the Mansion is better at DLRP" because it isn't the Mansion, its the Manor. Big difference. Those two shouldn't really be compared... and besides they're both great. But yes... the Manor does have maintenance issues, and is due an update.

    Pirates on the other hand... well I can't really say. I've spoken to folks before who think the Paris version is better, but mainly because the DLR/WDW versions have been updated with all the movie stuff added to it. And they much preferred DLRP's because it was like riding the original without those updates again.

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  12. #12

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    Re: Pirates and Phantom Manor: Am I the only one unimpressed?

    When I was on Pirates in the 90s at DLRP it was really great... Can't emphasize that enough... but what I saw last May was just a shadow of it's former self... Just really poor show quality...If it was fixed back up and all running I have no doubt it would sparkle again like the crown jewel it used to be.

  13. #13

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    Re: Pirates and Phantom Manor: Am I the only one unimpressed?

    Quote Originally Posted by futureskipper View Post
    I think their Pirates of the Caribean is better, but the graveyard is my favorite scene on Haunted Mansion, so I sort of dislike Phantom Manor for not having the graveyard.
    Phantom Manor has its own version of the graveyard scene with the catacombs & ghost town.

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