Well, Iím back and fully recovered from my trip to DLRP. I wasnít disappointed. However, I donít think I was overly thrilled. But I had a good time, and thatís all that mattered. And the most important reason for my trip was to see the Studios and finally get bragging rights for having visited all 11 of the Disney Theme Parks!!!!!!!!
I stayed at the Sequoia Lodge. Not bad, nothing too fancy. This was my first time to stay onsite at any Resort. Iím not sure I will do it again, cause (gasp) it was just a little bit too much Disney for me. Mainly too crowded and too expensiveÖwhen on site you are trapped! But boy it was nice to walk 10 mins and find yourself at the Parks.
For those flying into CDG, I recommend taking the Disney bus to the Resort, rather than the TGV. Unless youíre in Terminal 2 already and you have PRE BOOKED your ticket on TGV. The line to buy tickets was just awful, and I ended up wasting two hours once I was on the ground getting to the Resort, and ended up after all of that walking back and taking the Disney bus. However, I do recommend that if you are staying at the Resort, take the TGV train to the airport when departing. Itís a ten minute trip and saves a lot of stress cause you donít make all those slow stops like the bus and can plan your arrival time more precise. But do check train times and buy your tickets prior to leaving to keep things stress free.
Now the ParksÖ
The Studios really needs some work. Visually, itís nothing to look at it. And aside from a few special attractions itís a yawn. The Backlot tour is probably the most embarrassing Disney ride I have been on. They should be ashamed of that one. Stitch Live should fit in nicely if itís like the one in Hong Kong. Itís very unique.
I will give a huge applause to the themeing of Cars and especially to Crushóitís not really that exciting of a ride but itís imaginative. And smooth! Gliding along in the dark, twisting and turning was painless, unlike Space Mtn or Rock Ďní Roller Coaster where your legs and head are bouncing all over the place. I canít say it enough. I was surprised at how smooth it was. So that ride was really fun! If you plan to go, get there before the park opens as people start the queing inside the park, at the ride, at about 930 for 10 opening. I went two mornings, so I rode it twice. I wanted to ride again, but by 10am each morning the que was already an hour. Everyone heads there first.
And the Cinema parade was just dull and boring. Perhaps it will feel better once the construction barriers for Tower are removed and itís got some scenery on both sides.
Donít miss CineMagique. Not what I was expecting but it was really good. Iím glad I caught it. Otherwise I might have just skipped it. So see it.
With all of that, Iíll give the Studios another 10 years, then go visit it again, cause Iím not going to give up on it. As new attractions are built and such, it will hopefully become something just as special. Donít get me wrong, if you havenít seen it, see it.
As for Disneyland Park. Interesting, fun, odd, unusual and awesome.
I was there during the week (Wed, Thurs, Fri) and then for a Saturday. The Park was active during the week, not too crowded, but not emptyÖjust the way I bet most of us like it. Unfortunately a lot of restaurants, snack shops, even Casey and Le Pays des Contes de Fees/Storybook Land were closed. But on the weekend wow what a difference. Everything was open, and it was packed. And of course they had longer hours so I actually got to see the park at night, rather than at twilight as I did the other nights. I will say that Frontierland and Adventureland are very dark and could use a little more ambient light at night. I found myself having to be careful how I walked so that I didnít fall on my face.
Halloween adds something interesting to it, as does the special hairdressing that they have for kids. The Halloween parade was short, and not as clever as it had been in Tokyo. The Dreams parade was very good and I think itís the same or at least very close to the one that I saw in either Disneyland or Magic Kingdom previously.
Even though there is no smoking, thereís still a ton of smoking going on in the ques and all over the park. Didnít really bother me that much, but I can only imagine what it was like in the past when it wasnít out-lawed.
I do miss the ques to see the characters. I was too scared to even try and battle the herds of people swarming and pushing each other to get their kids up to the characters. It actually made for some great amusement watching them push and shove. Even the characters would push their way out and actually run from the guests!
Phantom Manor is awesome! And so is Big Thunder! I think Frontierland in Paris is by far the best Frontierland of all. Discoveryland is themed very cool too, and is awesome at night.
No one pays attention to any rules, and everyone was taking flash pictures in the dark rides. I finally got so fed up with it, that I took some too. Iíve always wanted to, but didnít dareóbut why not jump off the bridge too if everyone else is doing it!
I did feel like things were a little mismanaged. The website which listed scheduled closures, was so wrong. Some things that were supposed to be closed, were open. And vice-versa. Some cast members were really nice, and some were sooo not interested in being there. I do give them credit though, cause a lot of the guests were just down right rude and oblivious so they have a lot to deal with.
The board in Mainstreet with the wait times and such was wacked out. It listed Tarzan as a show, even though that had closed. And they were behind the eight ball on wait times. Big Thunder was 5 mins almost all dayóbut in person it was over an hourÖ. Plus the cast members gave out conflicting information. So if you have an important question, always ask it of at least two different people. However, a nice surprise was that the Lion King was showing. Itís perfect cause itís housed in Videopolis, so get some food, and take a seat up at the tables and enjoy a meal as you watch.
Of course the castle is magnificent, and the 15th anniversary flags that line Mainstreet make for an incredible picture.
Donít feel the need to watch the Villians Halloween showóit was, dumb. Thereís something about watching Capt Hook, Frollo and Maleficent doing the Charleston that is just soooo wrong.
Thanks to all of you who gave me advice on my planning, where to stay, when to go, where to eat, how to get there and what to expect. It made things really easy.
I got a little carried away with the photos so Iíve posted them elsewhere. But hereís a link (you might have to cut and paste) to my three albums. Thereís one for Disneyland, the Studios and Parades/Shows. Some are good, some are bad. But I warn you thereís a lot.