Archive | Disneyland Paris RSS feed for this section

Jentasmic: Top 5 Disney Dining Memories

11 Feb

The view from Walt's American Restaurant, Disneyland Paris

In this week’s Jentasmic! column at Studios Central, I meditate further on that all-important question: Is theme or food more important in my Disney Dining experience? In particular, I look at my five favorite memories, and consider how much food, theme, or other factors influenced the experience overall. For example:

Walt’s American Restaurant, Disneyland Paris. The food was pretty good, especially given that we’d chosen to eat “American food” in Paris. We’d scored a table by the window, at the right time for the evening parade. Sadly, the parade was rained out, so all we could watch was the parade of tourists in hastily-purchased ponchos, heading for the front gates. But what made it special? Knowing that this was the only place on the entire planet that a Guest can sit in a restaurant on the second floor of Main Street, overlooking the crowds. No forced perspective here — it’s a full-fledged Main Street second floor.

Head on over to Studios Central to read the rest. . .

Free Hugs at Disneyland Paris

18 Dec

I can’t say I was expecting to see a member of the Free Hugs movement at Disneyland Paris last summer. But I can tell you I did in fact hug him, and the look on his friends’ faces when I recognized the sign made my day.

Recent Highlights from Those Darn Cats Podcast

27 Sep

Happy days!

In the interest of shameless self-promotion, here are a few highlights from recent episodes of the Those Darn Cats Podcast, which I co-host and co-produce with my BFF Lisa:

Now, don’t be fooled by the fact that my 13-year-old son sometimes joins us on the podcast….it is often not family friendly, and I don’t advise listening to it with kids around.  Especially that one with the Scurvy Monkeys.

You can find us on iTunes or Podcast Alley, or subscribe via RSS feed.

Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast, Disneyland Paris

14 Sep

Buzz Lightyear

Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast in Disneyland Paris’ Discoveryland doesn’t vary much from its stateside counterparts: You spin the car around, you shoot at the Zs, you complain that your gun isn’t working right, you mug for the camera in the final room. But hey, in Paris it’s partially in French, plus the guns come out of their holsters (as do those in Anaheim, but not Lake Buena Vista).

I lost track of how many times we visited this attraction during our four days at Disneyland Paris last month. But I can tell you that the Fast Pass machines there are more prone to delays than any other Fast Pass machines I’ve ever seen. It seemed that every single time we approached for Fast Passes, several of the machines were out of paper.

But no matter….it was fun to hear Buzz speaking French, fun to play shooting gallery, fun even to sit around taking pictures on my last time through the attraction since my gun, yes, was not working properly.

My BFF has pointed out that at some point on the park map, our hero is referred to as Buzz L’Eclair. This seems to translate literally to “Buzz Flash” or “Buzz Lightning,” which feels like an odd translation but must work quite smoothly for dubbing, given the similarity of the words.

Little Green Man

A speaker is housed in this walkie-talkie, giving some of the familiar spiel as you're on your way through the queue

A speaker is housed in this walkie-talkie, giving some of the familiar spiel as you're on your way through the queue

Astro Laser Mode D'Emploi

The Etch-a-sketch replacing the Viewmaster here was a nice touch. Mission diagrams were drawn throughout Buzz' comments, which were of course bilingual.

The Etch-a-sketch replacing the Viewmaster here was a nice touch. Mission diagrams were drawn throughout Buzz' comments, which were of course bilingual.

The ride remains the same....all your old friends are here.

The ride remains the same....all your old friends are here.

There are also a few extra touches of awesomeness, as it's the newest installation of this attraction. having opened in 2006.

There are also a few extra touches of awesomeness, as it's the newest installation of this attraction. having opened in 2006.

Yup, I was looking everywhere for the lanyard tags like they sell at the US parks. But no dice.

Yup, I was looking everywhere for the lanyard tags like they sell at the US parks. But no dice.

Ride photo

And hey, while we’re talking about Toy Story attractions and such….yup, I’ve already pre-ordered my copy of the Toy Story Mania game for Wii, which comes out tomorrow! In fact, I ordered mine at the local Game Stop, to get the bonus Toy Story Mania wiimote face plates (unlike the link above, that goes to my Amazon Affiliates store, the virtual equivalent of buying me a Dole Whip to thank me for the blog). My one question, as I anxiously await playing it tomorrow: Will the game feature special cut scenes between plays where you head back out to the line, check to see what the Fast Pass return time is like, and chat amongst yourselves for 90 minutes before you get to play again?

No Disco Dancing

12 Sep

Lisa, disco dancing is not permitted at Disneyland Paris. C’est pour votre sécurité.

Safety sign

At Crush's Coaster, Walt Disney Studios

Phantom Manor: Best. Mansion. Ever.

7 Sep

Phantom Manor at Disneyland Paris is hands-down my favorite Haunted Mansion at any Disney Park worldwide. The ride itself is quite a bit different from its US counterparts, with a ghost town finale entirely unlike the graveyard scene you’ll see elsewhere (though fear not, your favorite song is still there). The themeing is a bit different too, to suit its Frontierland environs.

DLRP Magic has provided a ride through video on YouTube; there’s also a higher quality version at their site.

One of my favorite things about Phantom Manor is the reduced presence of your Ghost Host. I seem to recall from a Tony Baxter Haunted Mansion walkthrough video that the decision to use minimal narration was prompted by a desire to make the attraction accessible to a multi-lingual audience, but ultimately it makes the attraction spookier, and focuses one’s attention more closely on the visuals, which themselves are often far creepier than anything the stateside Mansions offer. There’s still a playfulness to the happy haunts, but a scarier side too.

The entrance and exit queues may just be the best, most extensive themeing I’ve seen at a Disney Park. I could have lingered for hours taking pictures, reading epitaphs, and just soaking up the atmosphere.

All photos below are reduced-size; click on them for more pixels than you probably need, suitable for computer desktops or framing.

Phantom Manor at a distance

Phantom Manor entrance

Phantom Manor

Gazebo

A fountain in the courtyard, in the entrance queue

A fountain in the courtyard, in the entrance queue

Maintenance issue? Nope, excellent themeing.

Maintenance issue? Nope, excellent themeing.

Looking down on the courtyard from the entrance queue

Looking down on the courtyard from the entrance queue

Watching the sun set behind Big Thunder from the Manor's porch

Watching the sun set behind Big Thunder from the Manor's porch

The exit queue is even better than the entrance

The exit queue is even better than the entrance

Tombstone

IMG_0211

IMG_0214

Another tombstone

Saloon doors tombstone

Tombstone for miners

Hurry back, hurry back! Be sure to bring your death certificate

Hurry back, hurry back! Be sure to bring your death certificate

Curiouser and Curiouser: Alice’s Labyrinth

2 Sep

When we first visited Disneyland Paris in 2005, I would not have imagined how enchanted my then-8-year-old son would be with Alice’s Curious Labyrinth. Somehow though, this simple attraction is an absolute must-do for us now, which we wandered through twice on our recent trip.

It’s very simple really: A hedge maze sprinkled with characters from Alice in Wonderland, finishing up at the castle of the Queen of Hearts. There are a few water features (watch out!), several characters that pop up from out of sight, and a small Queen of Hearts Castle.

(All pictures below are sized down for your convenience, and linked to larger versions with far more pixels than you’re ever likely to need. Ditto was true for my opening trip report yesterday.)

He's late, he's late!

He's late, he's late!

I never know which way to turn

I never know which way to turn

Honk!

Honk!

Much like a scene from a sidewalk cafe in the 1st district of Paris, actually

Much like a scene from a sidewalk cafe in the 1st district of Paris, actually

Time for the caucus race! This section of the labyrinth comes shortly after water fountains that'll soak you if you're not careful or lucky (hence, I kept my camera covered there)

Time for the caucus race! This section of the labyrinth comes shortly after water fountains that'll soak you if you're not careful or lucky (hence, I kept my camera covered there)

Every caucus must have a leader, n'est-ce pas?

Every caucus must have a leader, n'est-ce pas?

Once again, I'm baffled

Once again, I'm baffled

She is always so cranky! This figure pops up at you (slowly), yelling in French

She is always so cranky! This figure pops up at you (slowly), yelling in French

We're almost there....

We're almost there....

....and finally, we arrive at the Queen of Hearts' Castle

....and finally, we arrive at the Queen of Hearts' Castle

Give my regards to the Dormouse on your way out!

Give my regards to the Dormouse on your way out!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: