Disney's magic castle
Up early, eat fast, run out the door, jump on the train and giggle like little kids. We are going to Disneyland!
Euro Disneyland aka Paris Disneyland is about half an hour train ride out of Paris. We left early and arrived 30minutes before opening. Along with a few thousand others. Having borrowed a map from a young couple on the train, we’d decided to hit up Disney Backlot Studio first up before heading to Disneyland.
Tower of Terror
After getting over the whole ‘We are at Disneyland!’ feeling we headed to the tower of terror for our first Disney ride and being just opened there was almost no line. Straight up you could see the extreme lengths Disney goes to make their rides more than just rides. For the tower of terror which is basically a big freefall drop, they built and entire crumbling building around it, had people dressed up and inside everything was done up to look like an old hotel. The atmosphere was great, the ride was good but only lasted for a couple minutes.
Next up we went on the Aerosmith rollercoaster, a completely indoor rollercoaster that get lunched ridiculously fast from a standstill using railgun technology. Next up was toy story land where all the toys are giant and finally we caught the car chase / stunt show. While the stunt show had it’s moment, most of the time was spent talking rather than watching stunts, acting and action.
I came away from Backlot Studios a little disappointed, yes the rights were fun. But after our first ride the lines formed and we were waiting 30-45minutes to go on a 2minute ride. Fortunately Disneyland was up next!
Welcome to Disneyland!
Disneyland itself is divided into different sections, fantasy land, adventure land, future land, old-town America, etc. After the initial amazement I was a little disappointed to see that Disney characters weren’t walking around everywhere like I has dreamed. Instead they had one out at a time and a huge queue so you could get your photo taken with them.
We went straight for out top ride picks all with huge lines, and used Disney’s new fastpass, where you got get a ticket and can skip most of the queue at the time on the card normally a few hours away. Unfortunately you can only have 1 at a time, so you only get to skip one line every couple hours.
Buzz lightyear laser blaster ride
At buzz light years laser blast, I was playing games with a few little kids in line. Scaring each other, growling, jumping and spinning and generally being an idiot for their amusement and as it turned out most of the other few hundred people in line (not much else to do in line than watch!).
After buzz we got to use our first skip pass on the starwars ride and... wow, instead of waiting in line 50minutes as was on the queue sign we waited about 4minutes. While in line we read a little note on the back of our ticket of a premium pass that allowed you to always use the skip lanes. So we went and asked the cost after having been at the park for 5 hours. It cost money than entry to Disneyland at 60 Euro each and we’d almost missed 5 hours of the day but...
So we bought the premium pass and it was well worth it! My favourite Disneyland roller coast we went from waiting 45 minutes in line for a single 3 minute ride to being able to line up, ride the rollercoast and then get back to the line within 8 minutes. I went on it 5 times in a row in 45minutes rather than once!
The pass also meant we got to go on rides we wouldn’t have otherwise because we wouldn’t have time. So I went a faced my fear of the Peter-Pan ride. When I was 2 my parents took me to Disneyland in the USA and I got scared on the Peter-Pan ride, and I can see why! But I faced my fear and it was an excellent ride (just not a thrill ride). We also explorerd the alice-in-wonderland world which was very cool, and what I imagined all of Disneyland to be like. Famous Disney characters everywhere, everything done up to like we were in wonderland. Very cool.
Unfortunately Gerry had enough of high-g rides a few hours before me, so we spilt off and I just went to favourite thrill rides and rode them 4-5 times in a row and then moved to the next one. Chatting to a lot of people along the way.
At the end of the night they had a Disney Parade, and a very good fireworks display. The fireworks weren’t anything special but they light up the castle in time with fireworks and played music and it was all very well sync’d.
So after arriving at Disneyland at 9:30am, we left at 11:30pm. Having spent the entire time riding every ride we could! What a big an awesome day.
And the BIG TIP. Pay the extra for a Premium Pass as soon as you walk in (at least in summer) Disnyeland wouldn’t have been near as good if it was 1 hour in line for 3minute of riding instead of 5minutes in que!
Verdict on the rides: Very well done and atmospheric but not an actual ‘thrilling’ ride among them (The Canberra Show has more thrilling rides!)