Disneyland Paris, Paris, France
Finally convinced my wife to take one day of our honeymoon to go to Disneyland Paris. So we took the train from Paris and arrived with no problem. Got into the park, noting that attendance was very low on this day. So before I express my disappointment, I will preface this by saying I did not check ahead to see which rides were operational on this day. Also for those of you that are not familiar with Eurodisney, it is a much scaled down version of Disneyland. The layout is the same but most of the same attractions are smaller versions of the originals. Wanting to go to Thunder mountain railroad we headed left after entering only to discover that it was closed for refurbishment. So went on the Haunted Mansion which was great. Then walking a little further we got to The Caruso Family tree house which was closed for refurbishment. So we got in line for Indiana Jones and the coaster of Peril. This is a well themed galaxy type coaster with a loop. fun but not amazing by any means. We got on Pirate's of the Carribbean, which was a walk on and running great. we worked our way around to Space Mountain Mission 2.0. This is actually a fantastic ride with a launch and 2 inversions, nothing like the US counter parts. Star tours was, you guessed it closed for refurbishment (this will be a theme for today). SO we headed over to Disney studios to check out the other half of the park.
We got on Tower of Terror, which was a blast but seamed more tame than the Orlando version, but that could just be me. Now for my favorite and what I have been looking forward to the most the Rock'n Roller coaster.........But its also Closed for refurbishment. At this point we just walked around to see what was left that might be open. We got a pleasant surprise in Crush's turtle coaster, its a Mack indoor spinning coaster, This was my first Mack spin and let me say that in the dark this coaster is quite intense, great ride. We ended on Ratatouille which was a really cool first for me with the trackless vehicle system, a well done ride and got a great rating especially due to the fact that it was open.
So, all in all I was disappointed in the day with 3-4 of their 10 or so major attractions closed. Still charging full price. The positive was that there were no lines at all except for maybe a 25 minute wait for turtle's crush coaster. I don't think i would go back to this park in the future, but for the little one's they would enjoy it.
Disney doesn't hide their refurbishment schedules. The info is all out there to know well before you plan a trip. Ride downtimes are unexpected, but lengthy refurbishment closures should never be a surprise in the internet era. And like any theme park, you honestly can't expect them to lower gate prices because of ride refurbishments. That's the main point of the fine print on the tickets.
I am aware and didn't check, I said that in the second sentence i wrote. I know they say which rides are down, I just wasn't expecting three of the 7 or so biggest at the same time.
Disneyland Paris is in the process of rebuilding the whole park for their 25th anniversary in 2017. This is why so many attractions are closed and in general, it is worth it. Did you ride It's a Small World? The "refurbishment" was more of a tear every down and rebuilt the whole interior of the ride. It is quite spectacular and even better than DL and HKDL Small World.
Crush Coaster is a Maurer spinning coaster that combines a small dark ride section (gravity driven too!) with the standard SC-2000 layout. The SC-2000 is Steel Dragon at Waldameer, Spider at Lagoon and Laff Track at Hersheypark. I am shocked to read it only had a 25 minutes line as it is normally a 60-90 minutes wait.
Big Thunder Mountain is getting trackwork by Vekoma along with control upgrades. At the same time, they are repainting the mountain and installing the projection on C lift that Disneyland new Big Thunder Mountain received. Rock n Roller Coaster is getting a brand new launch system. This is necessary work and given the year round schedule, they have to do it while the park is still open.
Your comment about "smaller versions" of Disneyland rides is curious. Big Thunder Mountain is 4500 feet long and has impressive drops and high speed sections not present at Disneyland or WDW. Pirates still has two drops and new scenes. Space Mountain as you pointed out is a launched Vekoma looper with inversions. So again, which ride is a smaller version?
The whole park is just more compact. I thought Haunted Mansion and Pirates were great and similar to their counter parts. Like I mentioned earlier Space mountain is fantastic and well done, but there is one track inside the dome, not the 2 in Orlando. It is an intense short ride. So its really the dome that appears smaller. When I saw the slinky the dog ride at Disney studios I was thinking along the lines of the new family coaster going in here stateside, turns out its a Himalaya ride in Paris. I was unfortunate not to ride It's a small world, just glanced over it in hind sight. I think the overall issue I had is that planning a major overhaul of a smaller park and you plan to have so many attractions closed at the same time. If it is for the 25th anniversary they have had time to plan this. I realize it will be better in general after this major overhaul. When you are in WDW and 3 or 4 major attractions are closed there are so many other things to do that you can still salvage a great week. This was not the case in Paris.
It was my fault for not checking ahead, as I would not have gone. I do love Disney, but this was not a great "Disney" experience. Just my thoughts on our day. THanks for the correction on the Mack v Maurer, I wasn't sure. A great ride !
Refurbishment time at Disney parks sucks, for sure, but it's gotta happen, they don't have the luxury of an off-season. So they go with a slow season. We most often hit WDW in the winter months and I can't tell you the last time I got to ride Splash Mountain- it's always down when we go.
I've never been to Blizzard Beach either, it's always been closed during our week. One waterpark sufficiently handles whatever demand there may be and some days temps may only be in the 60's anyway. (Right? While cast members like to bundle up and apologize for the cold weather, I'm all like "Are you kidding me? degrees at my house! Where's the pool?!")
I've always heard DLP is an extremely pretty place, and that always works for me. Photographs seem to bear that out and I think their Sleeping Beauty's Castle is the best of all.
I've also heard great things about the Crush coaster, so I'm glad you got to ride it. It seems like it would be a good addition to one of the U.S. parks. If there's space, The Seas at EPCOT would be the obvious choice.
Interesting note: the Paris park is the largest Magic Kingdom-style park at 140 acres.
I get the frustration about refurbishments, although I also understand the reasoning behind it. I was there two years ago and tried to squeeze both parks into the better part of one day. I had a Fastpass for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, but by the time I could make it over there (about halfway into my Fastpass time), the ride went down for mechanical reasons and stayed closed for the remainder of the day. I'm going to the park as one of the stops on my honeymoon in late November, and surprise! BTMR is closed for refurbishment. :( I'll get that ride one of these days.
Part of me wonders if I should have done a second day at the Paris parks on that previous trip instead of doing Parc Asterix, but I'm okay with my decision. The French BTMR will just earn the title of the most expensive roller coaster to add to my track record, lol.
I loved the place, though. The Studios park didn't impress me at all, but that's okay. The main park was exceptional, and I look forward to experiencing it again. It is a very beautiful place, RCMAC, with easily the best castle I've seen in person. The park doesn't get talked about that much, but it's truly a gem in the Disney portfolio.
Also, I didn't have time to ride Crush's coaster on the last trip, but it certainly looked pretty great, and I plan on hitting it up in November. Who knows? Maybe if Finding Dory proves to be a worthy successor to Finding Nemo, someone who makes such decisions may want to add a coaster themed to the franchise to Orlando and give the Florida resort a decent spinning coaster. ;)Last edited by sirloindude, Monday, May 30, 2016 6:46 AM
I am heading to DLP in 6 days and did my due diligence by checking the CURRENT AND SCHEDULED UPCOMING REFURBISHMENTS under Closings on the DLP website 6 months ago. With the excitement of the trip building I checked the site today in an attempt to create a touring plan only to find out that Space Mountain: Mission 2 was listed under Park Hours as closed for the duration of my stay. The Park Hours page only populates 60 days prior to a date so unless you're booking a trip within 60 days there is no way of knowing (barring any technical difficulties) what rides will be open during your trip. That was a mouthful :) I'm SUPER bummed because I KNEW from their website that a TON of rides would be closed during our stay but I was cool with that since Mission 2 was running and an exclusive ride to DLP. We've been watching Jules Verne movies with our son to get all pumped for this trip. It may sound petty and I know there are still so many other DLP exclusive things BUT...we would have booked a week later. Mission 2 opens again July 1st. So, 3 MAJOR rides, all roller coasters (RnR, BTM and Mission 2) are closed during our stay. I agree that the park tickets can't be reduced BUT if a ride has a PLANNED week+ long refurbishment that should be made public ASAP. It's just a BIG bummer and quite frankly has tainted my enthusiasm for visiting DLP. Soup to nuts the entire planning process has been a bummer. There is no IM on the DLP website so the only way to get any answers is to call. This is a hassle and an expensive proposition from the states, especially when you need to also call to make dining reservations. I guess the planning part of my WDW trips (averaging 2 weeks each) has always been SO much fun and the overall DLP planning, at least from the states, is anti-climactic and a hassle. Nothing arrives i the mail. No excitement builds like with WDW. There has been no magic. Also, too many 3rd party moving parts such as the Magic Express. I hope to write a follow up when I return home and eat my words... if I haven't choked to death from all the smoking at DLP :)
WDW has a spinning coaster in the Dino Land section of Animal Kingdom called Primeval Whirl. REALLY fun and cute.
Yup. We get one of those at the state fair every year too....
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