This sucks! An American's take on Paris Disney
I went to Euro Disney the other day, and it was the worst. Disgusting, out of place, money sucking.
I had so much fun at Disneland California that I wanted more. And I imagined the French version would mean drinking beer and smoking cigarettes on everythiing, and maybe there'd be a Little Prince ride, or an Edith Piath ride. But boy was I wrong.
First of all, there are no rides at Euro Disney. In Anaheim, you get out of Small World, and right in front of you there is the Matterhorn, Alice in Wonderland, what was 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and the Monorail. Not here. There only seems to be one ride per land, and each ride has it's own gift shop and it's own restaurant, so they are huge complexes, which means when you walk out of a ride, the next ride is not in front of you. They somehow expect you to stop at ten restaurants.
"I imagined the French version would mean drinking beer and smoking cigarettes on everything, and maybe there'd be a Little Prince ride, or an Edith Piath ride. But boy was I wrong."
For Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, they didn't even bother with a ride and only put a Toad themed restaurant. And with Alice in Wonderland and Aladdin, they cheaped out so much that they don't even have carts!
These rides are walk-throughs which means the lines are lines for lines and have no rewards. There are strange desolate parts of the park, and you keep getting lost and stuck in non-rides.
And what rides there are mockeries of the US versions, and they miss the point. In Anaheim, I get off Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Pirates, Haunted mansion.... and after each one I'm saying "that was so f*cking good!" and it is the culmination of saying that all day that has me leaving the place in awe.
Not so here. The Haunted Mansion was completely new, and unbearable, and I couldn't wait to get off. The animatronic technology is worse than what they used in the 1960s. It's like they didn't even try.
In Anaheim, there are so many details, so many small little things that you can't notice in one ride that create a whole atmosphere. But here they only have highlights, so you don't become immersed in the world, as Walt Disney intended. Hyperspace Mountain is Star Wars themed, but has nothing to do with Star Wars, and as if Space Mountain isn't draw enough in it's own right. It doesn't go completely dark like Space Mountain.
Fellow passengers left smirking, not beaming as California riders did. It was clear from the way people arranged themselves throughout the park that the only ride that visitors like in this park is Big Thunder Mountain. The wait was 90 minutes and there are no other popular rides to disperse the crowds to other places: everyone was here.
I waited the whole line and it was the only ride at Euro Disney that was awesome. But it's not the same ride as Big Thunder Mountain in the US; it's a mockery of it. It does go completely dark a few times, and those are the best parts. But it's still not as good as original Space Mountain or Splash Mountain.
There were some notable quality control issues too. Sound was often uneven on rides as you passed by the speakers. Lighting was poor and you couldn't always see what was happening. In California, rides are well calibrated so you can't see or hear what the cart in front of you is experiencing.
I was very impressed there with, say, a Small World, with smooth transition of sounds between scenes, and marveled that they had done this all with tape. But in Paris, the volume dropped between scenes. Audio loops would repeat before you had moved away. It wasn't scary at all when a robot spoke in French, then repeated what she just said in English, then, again back to the French version before you've moved.
The worst offender was the Haunted Mansion, where, at the end, you pass a mirror that reveals a ghost is riding with you in your cart. But you see the other carts in the mirror as well, so they made three different ghosts so each cart has different one, and it's funny. But in Paris, there was only one rubber stamped ghost riding in all the carts at once. How deflating!
Then there is the weird Americanism. I suppose one of the enjoyable things about the original Disneyland is it really fits into the California culture, it's some sort of tradition now, and it is certainly more enjoyable than LA itself. But in Paris that same Americanism is just weird.
They serve bad American food throughout the park, despite being in Paris. I saw a sign on Main Street for "Washington DC: The Nation's Capital." No it isn't! We're in France, stupid! What the f*ck? There is something that made me vaguely sick and uncomfortable with how deaf this place was to it's surroundings.
Euro Disney opened as tremendous failure, but that was 25 years ago. My impression was they'd fixed it up and turned it around by now, even going so far as to rebrand it Disneyland, Paris. Nope!!!!! It still sucks!!!!
The city is far more enjoyable than the park this time. Man that place was so f*cking bad I can't believe it. Walt Disney must be rolling over in his chamber.