Friday, April 12, 2013

Disneyland Paris

When I tell people that I took a day in Paris to go to Disneyland, they typically say (or think to themselves) one of three things. First: “Nate, aren’t you 22? Aren’t you too old to go to Disney?” (Yes, I am 22, and you’re never too old to go to Disney!) Second: “That is awesome!” (Heck yes it was!) I’m going to break it down for you how I experienced it.

There were two different parks: Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney Studios Paris. The main park (Disneyland) was broken up into Frontierland, Fantasyland, and Adventureland.

We had rollercoasters that were the same as in the Disney World Resort in Florida (Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast, etc). Then you have the ones that are similar, but are unique to this park (Space Mountain: Mission 2, Big Thunder Mountain, etc). Finally, you have the ones that are completely unique to the Paris park (Crush’s Coaster, RC Racer, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril, etc).

It was an awesome experience, and I’m going to give you my top five attractions (okay six):

Honorable Mention: RC Racer – This is like one of those swinging ship rides they have at fairs, but it was especially cool because you’re on a Hot Wheels loop and you’re riding in RC from Toy Story (plus all of the Toy Story characters are right outside). Oh yeah, and the line is a miniature paved road with guard rails and traffic lines! I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this one, but the sense of weightlessness at the top of the track and reoccurring so often made it a fun ride.

5. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril – The amazing thing about Disney is the effort they put into setting up the experience. They want you to be in the scene, not just riding a roller coaster. The line for this ride is set up with bamboo poles as boundaries, and they have Indiana Jones’ Jeep and tent set up for you to inspect as your ride approaches you. You also get to walk up the steps to the temple to get on the coaster.

4. Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster – A classic! Basically the same as the coaster in Florida. The only disappointment was the lack of unnecessarily loud music. One of the best parts about this attraction in Florida is that it’s so loud that you can’t hear yourself think. Here, you could barely even tell that they were playing music. It was like, “Hey, let’s try to keep it down for the neighbors…”

3. Big Thunder Mountain – Similar to the ride in Florida, but still different. The coolest thing about the one in Paris is that it is built on its own island! You take the coaster around the island and even under the pond surrounding it at points. Honestly, at times, I was wondering where in the world we were because you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face. Awesome!

2. Crush’s Coaster – I don’t know if I liked this ride so much because I underestimated it, but it was epic! You’re locked into a turtle shell cart that is able to spin as you move along the track. This was not as much of a kid’s coaster as I was expecting, and it turned out to be an exciting ride that disorients and invigorates you!

1. Space Mountain: Mission 2 – Both Will and I loved this one. We think we may have enjoyed this one so much because it was different (better) than the one in Florida, and we weren’t really expecting that. This was a legit roller coaster full of loops, twists, and turns through the dark space-like atmosphere!

I was a little bit disappointed that we didn't run into any more characters, but we did meet a few of them. Pluto had to hold the autograph book up to his eyes to see where he was signing. What a goofball!

Because this is Disney Paris’ 20th Anniversary, they had a special celebratory show right before the park closed down. They featured scenes from a bunch of different Disney movies with fireworks and music and FIRE! It was really cool that they included The Hunchback of Notre Dame in French (being in Paris near the Notre Dame). Below is a YouTube video of the show. Be forewarned that it is approximately 20 minutes long, but it is super cool!

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