Yes, I definitely did go to Disneyland while I was in Paris.
I’ve had an annual pass for the original Disneyland in Anaheim on two separate occasions, so when I realized that Disneyland Paris (formerly EuroDisney) was less than an hour away from my hostel by train, I knew that I wanted to try and spend a day at the park. It was actually much easier than I thought it would be to get there. At Gare Du Nord (the station closest to my hostel), I purchased a ticket to the Marne-la-Valée – Chessy station for €7.60 (~$8.35 USD) from one of the ticket machines. Since Marne-la-Valée is out of the typical Paris city area, you can’t just buy a generic ticket and need to search for the name by spelling out the first few letters. After I got my ticket, I was off for my day with Disney.
By the way, anytime I mention “Disneyland” by itself, that refers to the original Disneyland in Anaheim. Otherwise, I’ll say Disneyland Paris to differentiate. It beats having to write “Anaheim’s Disneyland” or “Disneyland in Anaheim” each time, since I do mention the original park quite a bit in this post.
A one-day park hopper ticket at Disneyland Paris costs either €62, €74, or €84 (~$68.13, ~$81.30, or ~$92.30 USD) if you buy online, depending on what day you plan to go. That’s less than a one-day one-park ticket at Anaheim’s Disneyland! There are two separate parks in the resort — Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney Studios. Since Walt Disney Studios closed earlier than Disneyland Paris, I decided to head there first.
Walt Disney Studios has a Hollywood studio theme with four different “lands” — the Front Lot, Backlot, Production Courtyard, and Toon Studio. The Front Lot essentially acts as a sort of Main Street as you have to move through Studio 1, a building full of themed eateries, to get to the center of the park, marked by a statue of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse.
The first thing that I did after consulting my map was head to Toon Studio to get in line for the Ratatouille ride. I figured that it would be a good first ride since the movie Ratatouille takes place in Paris and this ride isn’t available at any of the other Disney parks around the world. Unfortunately, the ride was temporarily closed, so I needed to return a little later.
At this point, I think I’m going to change gears in how I was telling this story. Rather than going through the narrative of the day, I’m just going to try and just zero in on the attractions that I visited. We’ll see how this works out.
Attraction type: Roller coaster // Location: Toon Studio
Crush’s Coaster is another ride that is exclusive to Paris. I was banking on using the single rider line, but that was closed, so I ended up having to wait in the regular line with everyone else. The sign at the beginning of the ride said it would take 45 minutes, but it only took 35 minutes to get to the front, which was actually the longest that I had to wait in a line the whole day. Of course, I did go on a Tuesday in the beginning of October and not in the middle of summer. The attraction itself was incredibly awesome and it is essentially a roller coaster in which you ride a turtle shell through the East Australian Current. While you move through the track, the shell is also spinning, making this ride even more thrilling. Seriously, they need to bring this over to California because it is really fun.
RATATOUILLE: L’AVENTURE TOTALEMENT TOQUÉE DE RÉMY
Attraction type: 3D dark ride // Location: Toon Studio
I went to check on the Ratatouille ride and, luckily enough, it had reopened. Using the single rider line, it took me five minutes to get a seat in one of the giant mouse cars that would take us on a 3D trip through the world of Ratatouille. It was a pretty charming ride that reminded me a little of other attractions like Soarin’ Over California at Disney California Adventure and Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem at Universal Studios Hollywood.
THE TWILIGHT ZONE TOWER OF TERROR
Attraction type: Drop tower // Location: Production Courtyard
Though I wanted to go on rides that were exclusive to the Paris parks, I also wanted to compare some of the rides that Anaheim does have with their Paris counterparts. I don’t think anything about the Tower of Terror was noticeably different from the version at Disney California Adventure, other than that it only took me five minutes to get on the ride.
ROCK ‘N’ ROLLER COASTER STARRING AEROSMITH
Attraction type: Roller coaster // Location: Backlot
Before going on this ride, I thought it would be similar to California Screamin’ at Disney California Adventure, but it is actually more similar to Space Mountain. After you board the ride, you hear a countdown before blasting through the track into darkness while listening to a soundtrack put together by Aerosmith. Apparently, each coaster has its own song and light show and I believe the one I was in had “Sweet Emotion” because it reminded me of the Inside Out commercials. Overall, it was fun, but also nothing special.
Attraction type: Show // Location: Toon Studio
La la la la animagique! Oi, I still have that part of the show’s theme stuck in my head. Basically, Donald Duck gets a little sneaky and uses Mickey’s key to open up a door that puts him in various Disney films where he makes some animal friends. Some of the films represented include The Jungle Book, The Little Mermaid, and The Lion King. Blacklights play a big role in the show and that helps the crew get really creative with the set. The show lasts about 20 minutes, but it’s a good way to see characters that you don’t normally see in costume, like Baloo, King Louie, and Rafiki.
After watching Animagique, I headed to the Disneyland Paris part of the resort so that I would have enough time to explore that park too.