If you follow me on any social media you'll know that I've just spent 3 nights in the most magical place in Europe with my friend, Leah. For those of you who don't know, Disneyland Paris Resort has two parks; Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios as well as Disney Village (which is where you'll find shops and eating places). I'm going to split this into a few different posts otherwise it would be one massively huge photo heavy essay (nobody likes blog posts that take an age to load do they and we all like little digestible chunks of Disney goodness).
I'm going to do Walt Disney Studios today as this was the first park we visited, if you're familiar with Walt Disney World in Orlando then this is very similar to Hollywood Studios with added rides (Crush's Coaster & Ratatouille) but unfortunately the weather wasn't on our side as it would be in Florida!
There's still the iconic water tower to be seen from quite a distance at up close near the entrance of the park, the courtyard leads into Disney Studio 1 which is an introductory boulevard of shops and eateries with a bustling atmosphere. Designed to look like Hollywood, Studio 1 opens out onto the rest of the Disney Studios park with Hollywood Tower Hotel standing out above all the other attractions. I was so pleased to also find my favourite ever Disney statue of Walt and Mickey on a flower bed with the Walt quote plaque in front of it...
The first ride we headed for was Hollywood Tower of Terror and I was so excited to see if it was similar to the one in WDW; I absolutely love the theming of the Tower of Terror and I was impressed to see the cast members were in character just like they are in Florida. The story of the Tower of Terror is in French which is obviously hard to follow if you don't understand but the initial video in the library at the beginning does have subtitles so you get the gist of what's happening when you get onto the actual ride. We actually managed to ride ToT 3 times in our trip because the queues were so reasonable; we never waited more than 10 minutes for this! I love that it opens out at the top to give you a brilliant view of the park... although I daresay lots of people are too preoccupied with the possibility of a terrifying drop to actually appreciate the view! To be honest, the first time I was too busy laughing at Leah screaming and aww-ing at the little boy behind me who was absolutely terrified.
After Leah had got over her fright we moved onto the Studio Tram Tour which in all honesty wasn't brilliant, the narration was done in French and then English but the whole tour was just a little bit lacklustre and although there was the 'movie scene' with the water and fire it just seemed to lack theatrics and there rest of the tour was just a bit boring really.
Next had a little walk around the Toy Story Play Land area where you could find a few rides for young children as well as play equipment. I couldn't resist a photo with Rex...
Next we went to pick up a fast pass for the brand new Ratatouille ride which was in a beautiful french style setting with a waterless fountain, a restaurant, a shop and obviously the ride. The fast pass wasn't valid until 4.20 so it was obvious that lots of guests had already been on the ball and got theirs as it was only 11am by this time! We moved on round to Rock 'n' Rollercoaster which I was really excited about because I loved it in WDW world; the theming is exactly the same and I think the ride is very, very similar if not identical. Again the wait times were next to nothing, we just walked pretty much straight on each time. The only ride we actually queued properly for all day was Crush's Coaster which you can't get a fast pass for.
As you can see by the photos, everything was actually really quiet which is the beauty about this time of year because although you can't rely on the weather you can rely on crowd levels being low because the kids are in school and people generally choose summer months to try and catch some good weather (although we all know that Parisian weather is about as unpredictable as ours in the UK!).
I would say that Walt Disney Studios is aimed slightly more at the older Disney fan obviously with thrill rides such as Rock 'n' Rollercoaster and Tower of Terror but there's obviously there's lots of family fun to be had and there seems to be more scheduled shows than in the Disneyland Park as there's Cinemagique (a theatre/cinema style production including lots of different films through the ages), Disney Junior Live which is perfect for little ones, Moteurs... Action! (a car stunt show), The Art of Disney Animation and Animagique which was unfortunately clsoed (I was really quite gutted about that because it looked amazing).
There's obviously opportunity to meet some of the characters; I managed to spot Mickey and grabbed the opportunity to wait for a photo (I still maintain that you can't visit Disney without meeting at least one character and why not make it the main man if you can!?). The queue wasn't bad at all, we only really waited 10 minutes or so but I imagine it's a lot longer in peak season.
Honestly, the matching Jack Wills hoodies were not intentional, although I think those teamed with the bum bags pretty much made us into easy-to-spot typical British tourists (I'm still highly recommending a bum bag for any Disney park visit though, they're SO much easier than messing about with a bag over your shoulder).
We made Ratatouille our last ride as it was getting late in the day, it's the newest ride at Disneyland Paris and it's a great little 3D adventure where you ride around in a mouse cart following Ratatouille through the restaurant as he tried not to get squished! It even smells like a kitchen/restaurant in parts which is a clever little additive from the Disney Imagineers.
I really, really enjoyed our time in Walt Disney Studios and I would say that it's very similar to what you find at WDW in Florida especially the big thrill rides and there's the added bonus of Crush's Coaster and Ratatouille which you won't find in Florida!
Have you ever been to Disneyland Paris?
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