I know that many of you are curious to hear about Disneyland Paris! And I promise within the coming weeks I’ll have lots to share about the parks and my experience there. But for now I just wanted to give you a general overview of some of my initial impressions of the park. I spent 3 days there and I’m sure a lot depends on when you visit, but these were my thoughts on things.
Disneyland Paris is a gorgeous park. It’s probably the prettiest Disney theme park I’ve visited. The castle is beautiful, Fantasyland is so colorful and fun, and they have so much detail everywhere. They’d decorated for the fall/Halloween when we were there and the décor seemed to go above and beyond what I’ve seen at Disney World. Frontierland in particular was especially great!
Now may not be the best time to visit. We wanted to go this year for several reasons. The two biggest were the fact that it was the inaugural Disneyland Paris half marathon, and the other reason is because we have some friends stationed over in Germany and we wanted to combine our Europe trip with being able to visit them there. They are only there until next April so it had to be before then. However, Disneyland Paris is undergoing a lot of refurbs right now in preparation for their 25th anniversary celebrations. I know it will be great for them in the long run, but for us it was a bit disappointing to see so many major rides closed. We couldn’t do Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Star Tours, Indiana Jones, Pinocchio’s ride, and the riverboat in Frontierland.
There are some unique rides. Though be aware that the majority of them are some you’ve experienced in some way before if you’ve visited the other Disney parks. They have many that are basically identical, some that go by the same name but are actually rather different (like Space Mountain: Mission 2, and their version of the Haunted Mansion which is called Phantom Manor), and some rides that are only in Paris. By far the best ride we did there was Crush’s Coaster in Walt Disney Studios. It’s a unique roller coaster, well themed, and a ton of fun traveling the EAC!
Crowd levels varied a lot. Like I said, we were only there 3 days. But the crowds were so different each day. The first day the parks were empty. We literally walked right on to everything. That was a Friday. Then Saturday it was so crowded and everything had a long wait time. Sunday the crowd levels were moderate. Some of this may have had to do with the race weekend, but it seemed odd how different things were each day, considering most people there for the half were there for all 3 of those days.
The food was pretty good but overpriced. And I’m used to overpaying for food in Disney theme parks. These places cost more than what you would pay in Disney World and the quality was mostly lower. The only truly excellent meal we had was at Walt’s American Restaurant, and it was also the most expensive. Again, I don’t mind paying for great food, but we were paying almost signature level prices at some places for food that was mostly inferior to the non-signature restaurants at Disney World.
Service was overall very good. I was curious if they would live up to the “Disney standard” here, but Paris generally has a more… “relaxed”… approach to customer service. But all the cast members in Disneyland Paris were wonderful, attentive, and gave off the Disney vibe.
Overall I had a lot of fun in Disneyland Paris! I would go back someday but probably not for awhile – maybe if they add a bunch of new stuff in ten or twenty years we’d tack on 2 days during another trip to Europe. Or if I win the lottery and can afford to travel to Europe more often 😉 I’m excited to share all the new experiences with you!
Is there anything you’re curious to know about Disneyland Paris? Ask in the comments below and I’ll let you know!