The Lurkyloos Do Disneyland Paris in the Snow! NEW 11/1! Wedding Locations! Last Nite in Disneyland!

Discussion in 'Disneyland Paris Trip Reports Board' started by lurkyloo, Feb 26, 2018.

  1. Karin1984

    Karin1984 DIS Veteran

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    I can't zoom in close enough, but if my memory doesn't deceive me, you should be able to spot the silhouettes of Mickey, Donald and Goofy in the red tram in the background :)

    And I fully agree with you on the price/value of table service in Disneyland Paris. I tried to make reservations for Inventions for RunDisney weekend, and I am somewhat glad that it's fully booked as 60-70 euro for a buffet is absurd. After Walt's I had Captain Jack's as a back up plan, but also after reading this review I might skip this one too :rolleyes1
     
  2. lurkyloo

    lurkyloo The Attic was just perfect!

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    @Karin1984 Oooh! I'm going to try zooming in on the hi-res original when I get home and see if I can spot them!

    Yeah, I'd just go poke your nose in at Captain Jack's and skip the meal. It wasn't even like the ambience was that enjoyable to spend time in, the way the Blue Bayou is. You're so disconnected from the ride you could be anywhere....
     
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  4. amalone1013

    amalone1013 DIS Veteran

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    Reading your last update really brightened up my 12hr shift today. You crack me up! Obviously ice skates would be the make it or break it item for your trip! :rotfl:

    Also, I love your place, it's so great! I checked out the article and everything else on your blog :) You find the most amazing fabrics and wall paper! And your office hutch with the drop down surface is my dream for a craft room some day.

    Please have my sincerest sympathy on the loss of your Moroccan patio space. Who comes up with those darn weight rules anyways...
     
  5. lurkyloo

    lurkyloo The Attic was just perfect!

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    @amalone1013 Thanks for the kind words!
    I am a secret fabric/wallpaper addict. I have so many scraps and samples squirrelled away for some mythical day when I'm going to turn them all into fabulous craft projects with skills I've magically acquired! :rotfl2:
     
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  6. nickyfielding

    nickyfielding Earning My Ears

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    This is the control box for Illuminations.

    up to the bottom of page 4

    It is always amazing to go to Disneyland Paris in the snow but it is definitely one of those experiences that you want to have when you have done everything before rather than it being your only trip.

    I've been before with snow and the only positive is that they put in a load of effort to try and get it as cleared as possible. I suffered from lack of appropriate footwear and ended up buying wellies otherwise I would get trench foot.

    It's great reading a different perspective on Disney Paris.
     
  7. lurkyloo

    lurkyloo The Attic was just perfect!

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    WELLIES!!! That is genius—I didn't even think to look for them at Disneyland Paris. This would have made all the difference!
     
  8. lurkyloo

    lurkyloo The Attic was just perfect!

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  9. lurkyloo

    lurkyloo The Attic was just perfect!

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    Day 8: Touring the Worst Disney Park in the World

    I promise you, Dear Reader, that I wanted to like Walt Disney Studios Park. I tried to like it! Nobody spends all that money and time flying across the Atlantic just to hate where they’re going. Surely WDS couldn’t be as bad as everyone said. There had to be some overlooked gem, some underappreciated theming…. something! But, despite our lowered expectations and natural excitement over seeing this new-to-us park for the first time, Walt Disney Studios just wore us down, chipping away at our goodwill moment by moment until we fled back into the arms of Disneyland.

    And if you think this assessment is harsh, consider that just one week after we returned from our trip, Disney announced a multiyear, €2 billion makeover of Walt Disney Studios!

    We got up early and hit the ground running that morning, ready to experience that tummy flip-flopping thrill of walking into a Disney theme park for the first time ever. The sun wasn’t up yet and workers were already back at it in Disneyland, trying to clear the ice that had formed overnight.

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    It was so nice to be able to walk a few steps down the hall and get a fresh, made-to-order omelette…

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    … Or, you know, an intravenous sugar explosion!

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    After breakfast we ran back to the room for our 47,000 layers of outerwear and our completely unsuitable shoes (a.k.a., The Widowmakers!). Patrick noticed our doorknob.

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    I noticed the workers were still clearing paths through the ice.

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    After a fond last look at Disneyland, we turned toward Walt Disney Studios with a spring in our step. A new adventure awaited!

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    Fantasia Gardens was still buried under Elsa’s goo…

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    “Look! There it is!!!” we shouted as we pointed and threw elbows like Angular Kids™ in Disney concept art.

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    “Wow,” we said to ourselves, “It looks just like a real-live outlet mall!” We could almost smell the Wetzel’s Pretzels…

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    It was Extra Magic Time, so when the rope dropped, we didn’t stop to take pictures of Studio 1 or the Hub as we hustled to our first ride. Here’s one from later, after the snow started.

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    “To all who come to this crappy place, welcome. Disneyland is your land… and it’s about five minutes’ walk in that direction!”

    At the top of our Extra Magic Time To Do List were Crush’s Coaster and Ratatouille: The Adventure because we don’t have them in the U.S. Because Crush’s Coaster doesn’t have FASTPASS, and because I’d read it gets the longest lines, we ran straight there first.

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    We screeched to a halt, flummoxed by the presence of a line. On a weekday. During Extra Magic Time. Five minutes stretched to 10… then 15. The streams of other guests passing us to get on rides that were actually open began to worry us. Periodically one of us or someone else near us in line would head to the front and quiz the cast members, but they kept telling us they didn’t know what the delay was or when the ride would open.

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    The woman in line ahead of us said her husband had taken their kid over to Ratatouille, but it was down too! That’s right, the park’s two (only?) star attractions were both closed during WDS’ Extra Magic Time!

    After 20 frustrating minutes, Patrick and I decided to take our chances with the rest of the park instead of wasting our one extra magic hour standing in a line that wasn’t moving.

    Fortunately, park management had decided to open Tower of Terror early, since the two star attractions were still closed. It was a bummer to have our first ride in the park be one that we’ve ridden hundreds of times in another park, but at least it was an E-Ticket.

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    Paris’ Tower of Terror is a hybrid of Florida and California’s (RIP) in that the queue has real, 3-D details on the walls and ceiling like Florida’s instead of California’s cheap trompe l’oeil painting, but the ride system is the shorter California version.

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    We decided to knock out Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Avec Aerosmith while we were sorta in the neighborhood. It seemed to be just like the Florida version, but with a shorter, nonsensical movie at the beginning (no Ken Marino from The State!), more crazy loops at the start of the ride, and a sort of anti-climactic ending. But Patrick liked that it doesn’t have all the cheesy LA freeway signs and is just lighting and rigs as if you are at a concert.

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    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
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  10. lurkyloo

    lurkyloo The Attic was just perfect!

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    From there we looped back around to Crush’s Coaster and discovered that it was finally open—with a 50-minute wait! D’oh! Our naive decision was to come back after the park opened so that we could ride it using the Single Rider Line, because surely the universe would not heap insult upon injury by denying us even that small victory. Off we went to try our luck with Ratatouille!



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    [shivering] Umm-m-m-m-m… n-n-no th-th-thanks!

    The park’s layout is completely unintuitive. For some reason, the Cars Quatre Roues Rallye is shoehorned in over near Crush’s Coaster and not back in the Pixar section of the park. Actually, “shoehorned” is a good way to describe the entire park. Everything seems plopped down wherever it will fit, with jumbled sightlines that encompass multiple incongrous elements instead of narrowing your vision to reveal only the elements of the “land” you are in.


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    This is as close as we got to the Pixar Midway. I think the expression “I just can’t with [X]” was coined to describe Pixar Midway.

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    The Ratatouille section of Walt Disney Studios is quite well done and exactly the sort of thing they should have had from the start. Maybe having Disney California Adventure in California has inured me, but I didn’t even mind that it was fake Paris set just outside real Paris. As Patrick said, if the rest of the park was this well themed, you wouldn’t even care that the rides here are a random assortment of almost all clones.

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    By that time, Ratatouille: The Adventure was running and had only a 15-minute wait, so we were able to ride it twice! Patrick really enjoyed it and got it right away. I was a bit confused at the beginning about what was going on in certain parts, but on our second pass I realized that our car hadn’t been properly aligned with some of the screens on the first go-round. It was much easier to understand the second time. I’m not entirely sold on these mostly screen-based rides, and I don’t feel like this one integrates them as seamlessly as, say, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts. But hey! The ride is unique (until they finish Epcot’s) and how often do you get to ride a new-to-you E-Ticket attraction for the first time?

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    It is my fault that all these interior images are blurry because I kept excitedly dragging Patrick along the queue.

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    As you can totally not tell at all from this photo, the ride cars are shaped like mice!

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    The park was open by then, so back out we went into the bitter cold, heading for Crush’s Coaster.

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    This time, the line at Crush’s Coaster was 60 minutes long and, even though the park was open, STILL Single Rider was closed. The aggressively disinterested cast member at the gate had no idea when single rider would open, why it was closed or whether the earth was even still spinning. At the rate our luck was going, if we’d waited to come back a fourth time, the ride proably would have been on fire, so we sucked it up and got in the Standby line just as the snow started up again.

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    After 30 minutes in the freezing cold, we spent another 15 minutes shuffling through a dark, bare corridor before we finally made it to the underwhelming loading area.

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    Just as we reached the end of our 45-minute wait, we saw that they’d finally opened the Single Rider Line, which queues on the other side of the loading platform. D’OH again!!!

    I want to know what sadist designed the Crush’s Coaster ride vehicle. Somehow I missed the fact that the tiny footwell is located in the center of the car as I scrambled to get into ours before it reached the end of the platform. So as I sat down, my foot became pinned under me at an incredibly awkward angle, and I spent the first half of the ride in excruciating pain as I frantically tried to pull my foot into the correct position with both hands. By the time I finally got my foot free, I was so nauseated from looking down the entire time that it was all I could do not to toss my cookies all over the ride track.

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    “I don’t care if your ankle just snapped, monsieur, you’re holding up the line!”

    To my surprise, Patrick—who had experienced the ride as it was supposed to be experienced—was also so nauseated by the end of the ride that he declared he never wanted to ride it again! We sat down on the exit side of the queue for a minute to get our tummies back in place.

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    The Best Seat on Crush’s Coaster

    I was able to convince Patrick to give the ride one more try via the Single Rider line, which ended up being “just” a 20-minute wait. This time we were both loaded into backward-facing seats. I knew exactly where to put my feet, so the ride was much better. I felt like I even saw more things in the ride from the backward seat, like a school of jellyfish and some clumps of coral. But I still got nauseated at the very end. I don’t understand how little kids can ride this thing if they can’t do the Orange version of Mission: Space!

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    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
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  11. lurkyloo

    lurkyloo The Attic was just perfect!

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    As we wobbled out of Crush’s Coaster, Patrick and I agreed that we were totally over Walt Disney Studios. The layout is a disaster, there is no sense of place or immersion in theming, the overall theme is at its core a cheat and the laziest version of it—even Disney Hollywood Studios was actually a studio once!—the rides are mostly clones (and often the worst version), and the “lands” are all pale imitations of other, better lands. And to top it all off, Walt Disney Studios sits directly across from THE most beautiful Disney park in the world! Patrick says it’s like displaying a Burger King crown next to the actual Crown Jewels.

    Why were we wasting precious time here when we could be back at Disneyland?

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    However, Patrick was really taken with the maquettes around the perimiter of the Art of Disney Animation, so we wasted some precious time taking a photo of every single one! I’ll need your help to identify all of them, on account of the snow drifts…

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    Dumbo!



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    Mulan!



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    Tarzan!


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    Mickey!



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    Donald!



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    Tink!



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    Hercules? Really? OK then!



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    Esmeralda, eh? And I thought Hercules was a stretch…



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    These are getting increasingly obscure, and they seem to really love Fantasia at Disneyland Paris, so I’m gonna say… Bacchus?





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    Hmmm….. it’s either someone really famous like Pinocchio or really out-there like Moliere from Atlantis….



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    Oh, Brer Rabbit…



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    GENIE!!!!

    It was snowing in earnest as we bid farewell to Walt & Mickey….

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    Walt: “That’s right…. The exit’s that way…”

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    “Just keeeep walkin’… You can’t miss Disneyland!”



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    “Yeah, keep going! Eyes ahead—don’t look at me!"



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    [Whispers to Mickey]: “Wish we could go with ’em, eh pal?”

    We speed-walked through the pathetic “Main Street” that is Studio 1. I remember reading about it and being so intrigued by the idea of movie sets as a Main Street, but in person it’s more like a cut-rate Universal CityWalk stuffed into an airplane hangar. There’s a reason people love Main Street, U.S.A. and it’s arguably because the shops are designed to look individual, even if they’re really all one big building. Here it’s a big walkway between two hallways containing souvenirs and quick-service food counters all shoved on top of each other. I felt like I was at an airport or something.

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    Outside it was snowing in earnest, so Patrick had to get more photos.

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    I love how it looks like Mickey is directing the brooms to gather and distribute snow instead of water!

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    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
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  12. lurkyloo

    lurkyloo The Attic was just perfect!

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    We took a quick detour to the edge of Downtown Disney to check out World of Disney.

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    The inside reminded me a bit of the one in Tokyo—great displays and a lovely Art Deco look! Unfortunately, the merchandise was all the same stuff we’d seen in every store inside Disneyland. Of the three countries we’ve visited so far, Japan’s Disney has the most interesting and diverse merchandise, and France’s Disney has the least.

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    Our day was off to a shaky start, but I promise it got better…. And, hey, at least we could say we’d experienced something we NEVER had before: touring a Disney park that’s actually bad!

    Up Next: Lunch at L’Auberge du Cendrillion!
     
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  13. Lesley Wake

    Lesley Wake May the force be with you!

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    I didn't hate Walt Disney Studios, but I didn't love it. It's not my least favorite park though - I've only ever visited Hollywood Studios after half of it was demoed and it was under construction, so maybe that'll change eventually.

    I loved Crush's Coaster, and surprisingly didn't get nauseated! I do hate the load platform though because it's just too tight to get situated in too much of a time crunch! The first time I rode, I didn't have time to get my backpack under my legs (and I don't even know if there'd be room), so I ended up scared most of the ride it would fly out of the space I had wedged it between myself and the stranger next to me! But I also actually liked going in the backwards seats better than forwards!

    It's too bad you didn't get to see any of the stage shows. Mickey and the Magician is awesome, and I got to see the Marvel show, which, when it works, is pretty cool technically (lots of drones flying around the stage and even making an inflatable car hover, so it looks like the superheroes are doing it)!
     
  14. lurkyloo

    lurkyloo The Attic was just perfect!

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    That does sound cool! I feel like we were seeing the worst park on the worst day. I think if we went back during better weather and/or during their food and wine festival, we might like it a lot more.

    So Hollywood Studios is your Worst Park? I can see that...!
     
  15. Karin1984

    Karin1984 DIS Veteran

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    I think you are right with that the park is unintuitive, it doesn't make sense. Ratatouille is definitely the best themed, and I hope that after they have done the first expansions, they get some sense and expand the Ratatouille area with the other French Disney movies. There are plenty of movies set in France, Beauty and the Beast, Hunchback, Aristocats and even Cinderella if you go by the original fairytale.

    (And that would also be a very good reason to go all out and have a mini-Epcot with a UK section to add all the movies set in UK/London, :P )
     
  16. amalone1013

    amalone1013 DIS Veteran

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    I enjoyed your write up on the Jim Henson exhibit! I wish I could make it out there. I'll have to keep an eye out if it goes anywhere else.

    Now I don't feel as bad that Crush's Coaster was unexpectedly closed on our visit. Never did figure out why. That and Rat were the only two rides we 'missed' in that park. We just had the one day and started at DLP since it opened earlier, so when we went to Studios is had a 3hr line. We skipped the generic rides like those in the Toy Story location...

    That Ratatouille section was my favorite area of the park. It was really neat (even if it was fake Paris outside real Paris :rotfl:). We ended up wandering down some side streets in Paris the next day and it was like, wow Disney was spot on there! I felt the same when I finally made it to Epcot about France and the UK/Hampton Court Palace looking section :)

    You have put into words my feelings about this.

    I had read before going that the shows in this park were the best part, but we didn't get a chance to see any. That will be a priority if I can get out there with DH, if they still are - he's a sucker for Mickey and the Magical Map. Also more than one day - one day is not quite enough for those parks!
     
  17. lurkyloo

    lurkyloo The Attic was just perfect!

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    I love both those ideas! I also wonder why they haven't tapped into the French love for some of the lesser-known characters and made unique attractions devoted to them. Oh yeah.... Cuz Disney's new motto for the parks is "Duplicate, never originate"... :teeth:


    Agreed! I mean, you could spend 2 solid days in Disneyland Parc alone just enjoying all the theming!
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2018
  18. PROFSKMAC

    PROFSKMAC Earning My Ears

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    Love it! Totally following. I'm an English Lit Teacher and love everything about British history, so your tower pics caught me....
     
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  19. Karin1984

    Karin1984 DIS Veteran

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    They sort of did already, Belle and Gaston sometimes meet in the Ratatouille area, and The Aristocats were stationed there to meet during the 1st half Marathon in 2016.

    And now that they have shown us with Hong Kong that you can tear down a castle and put a new one in, I partially hope they will put in the Beauty and the Beast castle in DLP. I love our castle and it's absolutely gorgeous, but when in France, go French all the way!

    But I think the problem with The Studios in Paris, Hollywood Studios in Orlando, DCA in Anaheim, it all lacked in the beginning a sense of theming per area. They are improving it with the Toy Story Lands, Pixar Pier to make it more cohesive lands, but we aren't there yet.

    If you go left in The Studios in Paris, you have a square with a theater (before with Cinemagique, now the Marvel show), Stitch Live and Disney Junior on Stage. And behind this in the Backlot, Armageddon, Moteurs Stuntshow and Rock 'n Roller Coaster. Armageddon and the Stunt show sort of fit together, but there is no theming to the area, the restaurants and stores don't match either.

    On the right you have the Aladdin Carpet ride next to Crush Coaster, opposite is the little Cars ride... like they had too many ideas but no time to fit them together. I think it would already help if they remodelled the Aladdin Carpet ride into some kind of Pixar theme (I'm currently thinking the Seagulls, or Mr. Rays from Finding Nemo), put a little store with Finding Nemo and Pixar toys between them, and it already will feel different.
     
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  20. lurkyloo

    lurkyloo The Attic was just perfect!

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    Well hang in there, cuz we end up in Scotland eventually and do a huge tour of Robert The Bruce-related sites!

    Oooh! A Mr Ray ride would be brilliant!
     
  21. lurkyloo

    lurkyloo The Attic was just perfect!

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    Lunch at Auberge de Cendrillon!
    After our underwhelming morning in Walt Disney Studios we went running back into the open arms of Disneyland. It had begun snowing in earnest, and that’s when we realized that snow really only makes good photos after it stops! While it’s happening, you get a whole lotta gray, plus spots on the camera lens…

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    Here, I tried to capture how hard it was snowing in a video for you….



    Inside the castle, the upstairs gallery was still closed, so we took a few longing photos of it….



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    Then it was back into the little shop above the Dragon’s Lair.

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    The fanstatical griffin I understand. The fish, not so much….

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    Sorry it’s blurry, but this kinda shows where you used to be able to (or maybe still can depending on the whims of Disneyland Paris management?) go through into the balcony overlooking the dragon.

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    Ye Olde Glass Slipper Factory…



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    We went out the back and down to the entrance to the Dragon’s Lair. I just loved this view toward Adventureland in the snow, so I took another video for you.



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