It’s interesting to be a Disney fan (Disnerd for short) and get the opportunity to visit another of the famed theme parks. In 2015, I visited Disney World for the first time. I expected to not like it as much as Disneyland as I’d heard from just about everyone that it’s hard to top the first park you visit. I loved it! Does it beat Disneyland? No, Disney World is it’s own kind of awesome.
Disneyland Paris is also it’s own kind of awesome. Does it beat Disneyland Resort? Nope, not by a long shot.
Disclaimer: I’m a Californian, born and bred. I love traveling internationally but it perplexes me often. And our visit to Disneyland Paris was no exception.
The park: beautiful. Spacious walkways, wide queues, lots of places to eat, drink and rest. Some of the rides are brilliant, even better than LA, or at least different in really good ways – Pirates and Small World. Not better – Indiana Jones and Space Mountain. Just the same – Tower of Terror (the OG, of course) and Rock ‘N Roller Coaster (like DW, not so much like CA Screamin’.) There are fewer rides, no water rides, and two parks – Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney Studios. Ooooooh, the Studio Tram tour has a super awesome section where they show you a special effects rehearsal of an explosion and a flood. We have nothing like that and it’s really amazing.
The people: I know many other cultures have much smaller personal space bubbles, often from living in crowded metropolitan cities. And I accept that and can usually handle it – BUT DON’T STAND SO CLOSE TO ME THAT YOU KEEP HITTING ME! And control your damn kids – pushing me to see around whatever is next, bumping into me constantly, hitting me while flailing around (being kids, yes, but sheesh!) I can’t count how many times we’ve been unwillingingly poked and pushed while waiting in a queue. And unlike Canadians, when these folks bump into you, they don’t even break their stride, let alone check to see if you are okay. And the BUMP into you, not just a little nudge.
The atmosphere: I am clearly a Californian here, but France is dirty. Just take a look at their roads – the sides are filled with trash. Some of you may remember California in it’s earlier days (of my life) when we had littered highways. The we cleaned up CA and the roads are lovely to look at. Smoking is allowed everywhere, and I don’t have a problem with this, but throw your damn butts in the trash 10 feet from you.
The strangest encounter: We are Disney Vacation Club Members. All of our DVC interactions over the years have been stellar – great people, welcoming attitude and good customer service. We stayed at Disney’s Newport Bay Club on our club points for this trip. First, the hotel was fine but wow does the lobby get crazy crowded, not something you see at most Disney hotels. Second, only one person is allowed in line to check in (see previous point.) Third, you check in before you check in. This is where the problem came from. I brought the letter I received from DVC which is what she said to bring with me. Immediately the clerk told me that wasn’t what he needed and that I would need to contact DVC for the “voucher.” It was noon Paris time – Florida was still sleeping. I insisted that it was all I had been given and informed to bring with me. He insisted he needed the voucher. I admit I got a little angry – I just flew 12 hours and you’re telling me I have to handle this when you have a computer right in front of you. After I insisted that this should be enough he said he could check “to see if you’re here” before I called DVC. Remember it was noon – DVC wouldn’t open for at least 3 hours. Voila, our reservation was there. He then apologized with a weak apology of some sort that he never knew what the DVC reservation would look like and blah blah blah. The problem I had with this is DVC reservations are not new for Newport Bay, and why would you tell me I had to contact DVC first without even checking the computer RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU! It was really lacking in customer service and very UN-Disney. We checked in from there, our room was ready and we got a good nap. The concierge service was fantastic, the food was good and it was only a 10 minute walk to the parks.
Below are some photos of our visit to Disneyland Paris. We’ve had the glorious opportunity to visit this park twice, and I’m thankful for that. But we still love our Disneyland Resort the best!
The end of day 3.5 took us to London where we got to hang out with our dear Julianna…more on that later! Cheers!
Have you been to Disneyland Paris? What did you love? If not, what would you ride first?