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Once we concluded our time at Walt Disney Studios, we headed under the Disneyland Hotel and into Disneyland Park. Instead of going right to our first attraction, we decided it would be best to go get food so we weren’t starving later. We stopped at the Market House Deli, a quaint quick service restaurant on Main Street. The park was getting extremely crowded, and it was a bit of a wait to order. Finding a table was also fairly difficult. I ended up having the Sandwich au Saumon Fume (salmon sandwich) and a Coke to drink. To be completely honest, it was some of the worst theme park food I’ve ever had. I usually like smoked salmon, but the kind they had on the sandwich tasted slimy and old. It was probably the most disappointing thing at Disneyland for me, which is a good or bad thing depending on how you look at it.
After we ate, we found ourselves in the queue for Phantom Manor. It was about a 30 minute wait, which felt pretty long. It was still one of the shortest waits in the entire park though. I don’t think I’ll do a full review of Phantom Manor, so I think talking about it here is fine. It was a decent ride, but I seriously don’t understand the hype surrounding it. It felt like a weaker version of both Haunted Mansion rides. Sure, the western scene at the end was unique, but there was something about it that felt kind of cheap and non-Disney-like. Also, the Phantom animatronic continuously laughs and it’s really awkward instead of scary.
We then went from a mediocre ride to an excellent ride: Pirate’s of the Caribbean. The Disneyland Paris version of Pirates is BY FAR the best “classic” version. I’m sure the Shanghai one is amazing, but as far as the original idea of the ride goes, Paris wins. Disneyland’s is a close second, but Paris improves on that version by switching up certain scenes so it flows better. Oh, and it’s also the only version that makes the final Jack Sparrow treasure scene look natural instead of just being shoehorned in.
Up next was Big Thunder Mountain. This was also the best Big Thunder, in my opinion. That seems to be a common statement, but I think it’s well deserved. The whole thing takes place on an island, which only adds to the seclusion and immersion. Paris’s version also got the same TNT lift hill updates that Disneyland’s did, which is such a good addition. Also, that final tunnel heading back to the station is totally out of control. Even if someone wanted to argue that Disneyland Paris’s BTM isn’t the best, I bet they would still agree that it’s the most intense.
After Big Thunder, our 6 o’clock fastpass return time for the Indiana Jones roller coaster had arrived. I plan to do a full review of this coaster in the future, but for now I’ll say this: worst ride in the park. It was so painful and really jerked you around. I was not a fan.
We had Space Mountain: Mission 2 fastpasses around 8, which meant we still had about 2 hours to kill. We did this by spending some time exploring the various walk throughs that the park had to offer. This included Adventure Isle, La Taniere du Dragon, Sleeping Beauty Castle and a couple others. These walk throughs were honestly my favorite part of Disneyland Paris. They were genuinely unique and immersive experiences that the American Disney parks don’t really offer (at least in the quantity that DLP does). The fact that you can just wander into a dungeon under Sleeping Beauty castle and find a giant dragon animatronic without waiting in a line is mesmerizing. There were a few walkthroughs that we didn’t get to, such as Alice’s Labyrinth and the Nautilus, but that just goes to show how numerous these experiences were. I’ve always said that I could go to a Disney park and not ride any rides and I would still have a good time. Because of these walkthroughs, I’d say Disneyland Paris is no exception.
Before our Space Mountain fastpass arrived, we also managed to eat dinner and ride It’s a Small World. We ate at Au Chalet de la Marionnette, a restaurant themed to Pinnnochio, and it was a much better dining experience than lunch. I had a Bavarian Hot-Dog with Currywurst sauce and a side of fries, and it was probably the best theme park hot dog I’ve ever had. Take that Casey’s Corner.
Oh, and Disneyland Paris also has the best Small World. The American scene is hilarious. If you haven’t seen it before, go to our Instagram @limitless_park and click on the Disneyland Paris story highlight to see some of it (as well as our reactions).
Finally, the time had come to ride Space Mountain: Mission 2. It was technically Hyperspace Mountain when we were there, but that didn’t really take anything away from the experience. I’m personally a fan of the Hyperspace layovers, so it only added to my enjoyment of the ride. In fact, I think (Hyper)Space Mountain: Mission 2 is the best ride in all of Disneyland Paris Resort AND the best version of Space Mountain that I’ve ridden. The layout is just so fun and unique, and it wasn’t nearly as rough as I was expecting it to be. If there’s any negative to the ride, it’s that it feels a bit short. As with most roller coasters though, I’d rather have a short, strong ride than a long and boring one.
That pretty much concludes our day at Disneyland Paris. We did spend some time running through shops to buy souvenirs, but there’s not much that can be said about that. I did get some nice Disney pins and a mug to add to the collection though. Overall, Disneyland Paris was a great park, and I am so thankful that I got to visit it so early on in my life. It can’t quite compete with Walt Disney World or Disneyland, but it’s definitely something that every Disney and/or theme park enthusiast needs to go experience some day.
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