First Time at DLP...and a slight obsessive rant re: Phantom Manor
Okay! So we did it! We went to Paris for a day and a half and found time to do everything we wanted. And yes, that included going to Disneyland Paris. I wonder why this location was chosen, honestly. Paris doesn't need a Disneyland. It's a tourist's city all by itself. -shrugs-
Things I noticed:
1. Holy crap, this place is desolate on the weekday. Every photo we took had no one in it. We were able to take tons of photos on Main Street without any other families in the background. I loved that!
2. It's a very macabre park. It seems that every attraction says "enjoy your time! But don't forget that death is coming." The thorns reaching up towards Sleeping Beauty's castle especially grabbed my attention. What an off addition. I loved the cultural differences between the two US parks and this European one.
3. The art! There's an enclosed section off of main street that is lit by flames and next to those flames are cast-iron cut outs of da Vinci's Vitruvian Man. It was such a beautiful place and a really unique touch.
4. There is no Tomorrowland! Only Discoveryland, which seems a bit hodge-podgy. One section is futuristic while there seems to be an overwhelming emphasis on the Jules Verne look. (Not complaining! It's cool)
5. Walt Disney Studios is embarrassing. I'm sorry if that's an unpopular opinion, but yikes. We went there first to ride Ratatouille (which was slightly disappointing and reminded me of a Universal Studios ride) and there is no cohesive theme whatsoever. I was excited to leave.
6. With no lines, it is totally possible to do all the rides you want in both parks with just a few hours. We were there from 1 - 5 and rode Pinocchio, Snow White, Alice's Labyrinth, Big Thunder Mountain (best version I've rode thus far), Phantom Manor, Ratatouille, and Crush's Coaster. We also ate lunch!
7. The gift shops in the US are far superior.
And now, to talk for just a few minutes about my new favorite thing: Phantom Manor.
Uh, guys? This is the best attraction I've ever seen. Its story is sad and terrifying and beautiful. The art is incredibly moving, and the lack of humor makes it feel like an actual haunted house. I love the Haunted Mansion (please see username), but this attraction takes every cake at every bakery in my eyes. It was so engaging and so truly scary that I could not stop thinking about it for three days. I even had a nightmare about it, which was not fun at the time, but makes me so impressed with its effectiveness! There is no ghost host, there is no narration, and there are no hitchhiking ghosts. Every kitschy aspect of HM has been removed and replaced with, well - like I said earlier, the macabre. I love Melanie's backstory, I love the Phantom, and I loved the ballroom scene. It is a 20/10 for me.
So! Overall, Disneyland Paris is VERY different. It feels different in every way. However, I would definitely go back for longer than a few hours and I would love to ride many of these attractions a few times in a row just to take in how different and cool they are. 8/10, would recommend!