day 1 (monday 23rd december)
got eurostar at ashford at about 9:20am and got to the park station at 1:30pm french time (an hour ahead of england). after checking into the lovely hotel cheyenne and dumping our bags, we headed for the park and finally got in about 3pm french time.
first ride was pirates of the carribean as my grandma (who had paid for the whole holiday) likes it. still a very good ride. its nice to see the ride hasnt aged at all in 10 years. they also have a great loading system that really increases capacity a lot.
the next ride was space mountain. a 50min Q, but as it was my first time on it, i didnt mind waiting. again, 2 stations and about 6 trains really help capacity. the ride Q is so well themed that you never really get bored. the ride itself is rough, even more so nearer the back you go. the launch also seems kinda parhetic when compared to rock and rollercoaster in the park next door (more of that later). its an alright ride though, just nothing spectular.
it was now about 7pm so we headed over to big thunder mountain for a night time ride. i have a huge soft spot for mine trains, so to go on the best one in the world (IMO) at night was like a wet dream come true! the themeing is second to none, the capacity is amazing, just the right intensity (not too intense for kids or my grandma, but still good for teenagers). an overall incrediable ride which has partly gone towards my new found respect for vekoma.
after watching the electric light parade and fireworks, the park shut at 8pm and we went back to the hotel.
day 2 (xmas eve)
the plan was to head for the new park (walt disney studios) for opening at 9am. we got onto the studio tram tour for the first train of the day. an average ride. catastrophe (sp?) canyon was amazing (so much water!) but the one other scene (a burned up london from reign of fire) kinda lacked with just one huge fire jet in the middle. a dragon coming out of the hole would have been nice. maybe they will add more to this ride over time.
next was rock and rollercoaster. what a ride! almost B&M smoothness, excellent themeing, so much rock music (which is always a good thing) and that totally awesome launch! i was just laughing for about 10 minutes after my first ride, it was the best. just this ride alone would have given me so much respect for vekoma, but with big thunder mountain just a stones throw away, i almost forgot about the hell of almost every other vekoma ride! rock and roller coaster is also designed for great capacity with a seperate loading/unloading stations and every single train running all the time. they were dispatcing half full or even empty trains so much, but they still kept all the trains on the circuit which amazed me.
next was armageddon. 10 minutes of boredom to start with due to a crappy show which i wont bore you with. the actual 'ride' (more of an experience than a ride) was impressive. lots of effects all going on in an amazingly themed area. the flame and smoke effects were good, i cant believe health and safety ever let riders that close to so much fire! when the floor shakes for the first time though, it really is scary that i soon found myself clinging to my sister who was clinging to her boyfriend! its also good to ride more than once as you often notice different things every time.
these 3 are the only main rides in the new park which is disappointing. we saw 2 of the shows (cinemagique and the stunt show). the stunt show was good but with too much talking for my liking, and the cinemagique thing isnt really my thing, but my grandma seemed to like it.
overall, the new park is good, but it just left me a bit underwhelmed. there is no way you could spend a whole day in there.
it was now about lunchtime so we went back to the other disney park. cant remember what order we did the rides in, and im not gonna bother recapping rides i have said about above.
we did indiana jones (or 'indiana ow' as it has now been renamed). so painful!! i was expecting colossus smoothness, but this ride is just pure evil. i hope colossus wont be like this in a few years! the loop was forceful and they do allow you to do some major one click rides which is good, but the rest of the ride is pure evil. again, the ride is run at excellent capacity and has some nice themeing, but that cant rescue the lackluster ride experience.
star tours was good. it seems a bit dated now and could do with a new film, and i found it quite nauseating, but the ride is still good to do once.
its a small world is simply the most scary water ride i have ever been on. no more comment needed!
Qs seemed to be less than yesterday with the longest Q ata about 20mins during the day for big thunder mountain.
day 3 (xmas day)
up at the parks for 9am again. headed straight for big thunder mountain and got a ride in on that early. seemed to be running quite slowly. we just did repeat rides this day with little Qs (the longest was about 20mins or so for BTM) but lots of people being around. must be because disney run their rides at such high capacity!
day 4 (boxing day)
finally, a day by myself without the rest of my family to hold back my ride choice! i started off the day by doing big tunder mountain, indiana jones and space mountain in the space of about 20 mins!
i then went over to the other park and did a rock and rollercoaster marathon. i managed 11 rides in an hour and 20 minutes. i could have done more but had to meet up with family at 11:30. more repeat rides followed!
day 5 (friday 27th)
started the day by myself again and did big thunder mountain first again, then indiana jones 3 times in a row without even getting out the train (gotta love disney!). due to the good ear bashing on that, i decided to skip space mountain this morning and head straight for rock and roller coaster for another marathon, but only a mini one this time. 8 rides in 40 mins was all i could do. had lunch with the rest of the family. had a fastpass ride on BTM, then did 3 more rock and rollers before getting the eurostar back at about 6:30pm. got home at about 11ish.
here are the major points summarised if you cant be arsed to read all the above:
- disney have clearly designed their rides with capacity in mind. dual stations, excellent dispatch crews and some of the best designed Q lines all offer excellent ride capacity which is so good. even with a packed park, you will still only find yourself waiting about 30-45mins for a major ride which could easily be up to 2 hours over here.
- disney themeing is incrediable. nothing in the world (even IOA) can beat it.
- fastpass is a good thing to do.
- vekoma are gods.....or so you would think if you only visited disney parks. why do all disney vekoms run excellently (maybe not space mouuntain, its just a little rough) when almost every other vekoma seems to fail?! its annoying, they could be such a good company. maybe disney should buy them!
- walt disney studios is an ok park, but just left me feeling slightly underwhelmed and you cant spend a whole day there.
- xmas at disney is such a magical time. it is something that everyone must do at least once.
- french people dont know how to Q!
hope i didnt bore you too much, any questions then just ask.
i also found an excellent book at the park called 'sketch to reality' which shows all the planning and construction of the park. it is a very good book which i highly recommend if you ever see it.
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