Rides and attractions at DLP- what to expect

Rides and attractions- ratings and thoughts (contains minor spoilers, I will warn you when a review has a spoiler, don’t worry!)

* = It was awful, don’t do it!

** = You might as well do it

*** = Worth seeing but not worth long queue times

**** = Should be a high priority on your list

***** = A must see attraction.

Something you should know: I am a big wimp when it comes to rides, I don’t like sharp turns or going upside-down so if I like a ride, it doesn’t do any of that 🙂 I will also say if a ride does anything that I found remotely scary in another way.

Pirates of the Caribbean: ***** AAAAAAH I cannot express how perfect this ride was!! Okay so it’s not the most thrilling ride in the world… it does have small moments but it’s no roller coaster. The best bit is obviously the theme. You need about a million eyes to catch everything, even the smell is reminiscent of being out at sea. If you’re familiar with the films you really cannot miss this.

Big thunder mountain: ***** If it wasn’t for Pirates, this would be my favourite ride in the park. It’s thrilling without being scary, the theme is great and the views it gives you of the park are incredible. Also, it’s much longer than loads of other roller coasters I’ve been on (but to be honest, this is true of every ride at DLP apart from the kids rides).

Hollywood Tower of Terror: ***** So I was really nervous to go on this ride but honestly, it’s delightful! Obviously if you don’t like drop rides, don’t go because that’s literally all it does. However, the ride technically isn’t a drop ride as it actually pulls you down faster than gravity which sounds scary but isn’t. This effect lifts you from your seat giving you a completely different ride experience from drop rides and although the drops were high they didn’t feel long because of this. The story is really good and the feeling it gives you is very pleasant. It left me giggling with delight all the way through and wanting to go back on… which we did!

Ratatouille: My husband’s rating: ***** My rating: **** The only reason I rated this lower than my husband is because Ratatouille is his favourite disney movie (drawing with Tangled- he has good taste!) and I didn’t like the actual ride as much as him. This ride is all about perspective as you’re shrunk down to the size of a rat and have an experience similar to what happened to Remy throughout the movie. I found some bits a teeny tiny bit scary but felt very safe the whole time, the ride is really smooth due to it being trackless and the visuals are absolutely stunning. It’s also good to have so much “interaction” with the characters as you’re kind-of being taken through the ride by them. My husband hugely enjoyed this ride and said he would give it 6 or seven stars if he could!

Seeing Maleficent: **** So if you didn’t know, something that it exclusive to DLP is that you can go under the castle and see Maleficent in her dragon form. It’s really cool to see and very unique.

Swiss Family Robinson tree house: **** This is a great little bonus if you’ve seen the film. (We watched the film especially so we would get the references and I would recommend this). It’s also open for a long time and incredibly beautiful in the dark.

Crush’s coaster: **** Duuuude, how could you not love a ride that has Crush in it? This ride has a great queue line, beautiful introduction, and a thrilling middle and end. I found that it was just at my limit as it was quite dark for the scarier parts which I didn’t really appreciate. But it really feels like you’re going down the e.a.c. and was very smooth and pretty overall.

Buzz Lightyear’s laser blast: ***.5 (couldn’t decide between 3 and 4 stars) A great ride for big kids, really nice interaction throughout the ride. The scenes it takes you through are very well done. The reason why it’s got 3 stars is because neither of us found it as interesting and cool as some of the other rides. Also the ride kept on stopping whilst we were on it which I know is usually unavoidable in a theme park and probably won’t happen to you but it did down-grade the experience somewhat.

Peter Pan: *** Peter pan’s ride was the biggest -and pretty much only- disappointment we had. The theme is lovely and very well executed, but we didn’t think it deserved all the hype it gets from other guests. The ride itself felt bumpy, jerky and uncomfortable. Considering that you’re meant to be flying in a ship, it didn’t make any sense to us why Disney wouldn’t update it to be a smoother ride for a more immersive experience. The other downside was the length, compared to the other rides it was pretty short and for a 40+ minute waiting time (it broke down whilst we were waiting in the queue) it just didn’t feel very worth it in the end.

Aladdin’s passage: *** If you did have to wait for this, it wouldn’t be worth it but you pretty much never have to wait which is nice. I actually really loved this, it’s a short walk-through with moving displays depicting different scenes from Aladdin’s story. It was just really nice to have a break from being in the hot sun and looking at interesting displays of one of our favourite Disney movies.

Studio Tram tour: *** THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS. A good word for the tram tour would be “dated”. It looked like it hadn’t changed since it was first made. Something about that had an odd sort of charm to it though. Also really interesting if you like the ins and outs of how some bits of movies are put together and like to see props from movies.Elisabeth’s warning for wimps going on the Studio Tram tour:

I might’ve been fine on Tower of Terror, I definitely wasn’t fine on this! The tram tour rocks you back and forth at one point and is quite disconcerting of you don’t like surprises. It feels like you’re going to get tipped off the road and I cried the whole time and was very shaken up!

Pirate beach and galleon: *** This was a nice thing to do for a bit of fun but it wasn’t overwhelming. It was just cool to be actually in a story instead of looking at it.

Sleeping Beauty’s castle interior: *** I feel like me and my husband would’ve enjoyed this a lot more had we seen Sleeping beauty recently. It takes you through the story with pretty pictures of certain scenes and was nice but not overly interesting.

Alice’s curious labyrinth: *** This was a fun and whimsical walk through/maze. I say walkthrough/maze… you can’t reeaally get lost in it. Everything looks fresh and pretty and the castle at the end is also quite interesting.

Phantom Manor: *** THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS. If you’re afraid of getting serious spooks on this ride, don’t be. Nothing jumps out at you and the ride doesn’t do anything crazy. It’s just a tour of scenes from a kind-of story with general halloweeny things like cobwebs, ghosts and skellingtons. The effects and visuals are very well done though and I enjoyed it as I love spooky things.

Thunder Mesa: *** Just a very pleasant, slow boat ride. It does have little things that you can’t see if you don’t go on which gives the experience some added value. The boat itself also looks lovely!

Hyperspace mountain: *** Unfortunately for me, this space mountain is the only one in any disney park that goes upside down so I didn’t ride. My husband did however, he said that it would’ve been quite good had it been in any other park but as it was in Disneyland, it failed in comparison to the other rides in terms of theming. If you’re only going on it for Star wars, don’t. You don’t see many Star Wars characters or things, it’s just ships shooting and some stars here and there. Also not the most comfortable of rides.

Rock ‘n’ Roller coaster: *** This ride goes upside down so I didn’t ride but my husband did. Again, he said that in any other park it would’ve been good but because it didn’t have a strong theme it’s just not as good as the other rides. This was your typical launch coaster experience, in the dark with aerosmith music playing. Also not the most comfortable of rides.

Le pays des contes de fées: *** This was delightful, the only reason it’s got 3 stars was that it’s not extremely interesting. It’s just very serene and you get to see some things that you wouldn’t see on Casey Junior. It’s was nice to see some scenes from lesser known Disney movies and very refreshing to not see any Frozen things for once! Also, there are some scenes that are just from fairy tales that weren’t made into films which was lovely and surprising.

Carouselle: ** I went on this at night which was just magical. The music on this ride is fantastic, playing traditional carouselle covers of disney princess songs. It made me feel very warm inside! But it’s a maximum of 3 minutes long which is sad as when you get on you feel like you’re more or less getting straight off again… so, if it’s got a short queue, do it but if it’s a long wait, just watch it from the railings and listen to the lovely music.

Mad hatters tea cups: ** This is also beautiful at night, all the lanterns are lit and the mirrored ceiling gives it a really nice look. Sadly, this ride is about the same length of the carouselle or shorter so again isn’t worth long waits.

Les Mysteres: ** We didn’t have any clue what this was about so we weren’t very interested. However, if you know the background I think you’d have much more appreciation for it. It was just nice for us to get out of the heat and look at good displays.

 

You may have noticed that nothing we went on has a one star review. I find this extremely impressive even for Disney. We thought that everything had a good place and was entertaining and worth it in some way. To be honest, I think this is one of the only parks that I’ve thought that literally everything was worth doing to props to you Disney!

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food at DLP- what we experienced

All the food we ate was great. We might’ve been lucky but I don’t think so as we went to four different places and they were all of a good price, quality and the staff were either just doing their jobs or going above the line of duty which usually is strange for french waiters as their culture dictates giving you space above doting on your every need. They were also very patient with you ordering your food and helpful if you don’t speak any french. The atmosphere and servers were way way better than most fast food restaurants you get in England. (Also, we did get all the unhealthy options as we were treating ourselves but there are quite good healthier options as well such as side salads and fruit cups)

Agrabah *** (Adventureland) -The theme is amazing and the food is incredible. Yes, it’s expensive but I would say it’s worth it and so would my husband. The food has great variety and is of a high quality, if you’ve got VERY fussy eaters there is little choice as it’s mainly “oriental” food. Also great because of the all you can eat aspect. I wouldn’t go back again but that’s only because if I was lucky enough to visit DLP again, I would want to pay the same and experience a different theme. A bonus here is if you’re VERY lucky a character from the film may come and visit the restaurant. However, be aware that this is rare and if you’re in a different part of the restaurant you might not even realise they’re there. They didn’t come in when we were there. The service was also friendly and patient here and I got another ears compliment!

Cowboy cookout barbecue ** (Frontier L.) -If you get a chance, go down during lunch when the band is playing because we didn’t and we thought the atmosphere would’ve been lot’s better if we did! The food was the best “cheap food” option I’ve ever had at a theme park. We had the Chicken with wedges, a brownie and orange juice with an extra beignet on the side. The wedges were the best wedges we both have ever had- in and out of a park. The chicken was also really well cooked and seasoned. We didn’t eat the brownie straight away but that turned out to be a good thing as it had gotten nice and gooey in the heat, haha! The Beignet was massive and tasted alright but I didn’t think it was worth the price. Orange juice is very nice as well. I want to give a special shout out to the lady that served us here, she was smiley, happy, patient and just absolutely delightful and helpful. She even complimented the mickey ears I was wearing. Her service didn’t seem fake at all, she didn’t stop smiling after she served us and she wasn’t over the top.

Restaurant des coulisse * (Front Lot- studios) -Try and get the seat overlooking the “street”. We were queue jumped and were quite annoyed at missing that opportunity!! The food is very similar to that of McDonalds. We both got a Chicken burger with fries, a brookie and orange juice. Again, the Chicken burger and fries were extremely similar to McDonald’s but the brookie was really enjoyable and unique. Again, the orange juice was the same as the other fast food places and very nice.

Colonel Hathi’s Pizza outpost * (Adventureland) – We only went here because we wanted something different than a burger and wanted to go somewhere with a theme we liked. The music here is delightful and from the film (just without words) and the theme is very nice with jungle vines and other displays throughout. We got the three cheese pizza with garlic bread, mini ice cream and orange juice. The Pizza was comparable with very good shop-bought pizza. The garlic bread was just your average-joe garlic bread and the mini ice cream was very enjoyable but again, isn’t unique to disneyland. The orange juice was the same as the other places. The only thing I thought was a nice disney touch to this meal was that the Pizza was in a star shape, haha! If you can, try to get a seat on the terrace for a very nice atmosphere. Bonus: some of the green chairs have cushioned bottoms and are really comfortable!

Overall, the restaurants were of a higher standard than I expected, especially when put against the other parks we’ve eaten at. The only downfall were the snack items. I was already coming in with a not so great outlook on Disneyland Paris snacks as they didn’t seem as fun, unique and numerous as the other Disney parks around the world. However, it was a bigger disappointment than I’d expected. I had two simple snacks that I wanted to try that I thought they’d have: blue popcorn especially for the 25th anniversary and something Mickey shaped. The blue popcorn I saw on a youtube video so I was quite sad when I didn’t see it at any of the popcorn stands. And you’d think that any Disneyland would have something Mickey shaped that wasn’t sold out or completely naff but no. The only mickey shaped thing we saw were chocolate coated apples with marshmallows on top which I thought wasn’t worth it seeing as I could easily re-create this at home.

As I say though, the restaurants are really quite nice. But the food overall was a little disappointing considering you’re a 20 minute train ride to one of the biggest foodie cities of all time.

Harry Potter and the cursed script

So, I’m going to be a proper internet blogger and post a review online… How exciting! I just read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and I had such strong conflicting reactions to it that I just had to write about it. This will not contain any spoilers at all. Also, these are MY views. If you think something else then I’ll welcome your opinion but that’s all there is here: my opinion. Not fact.

First of all, I’d like to say that if I was writing this review just after reading the first half, I’d have told you that I was elated, hooked, over the moon and couldn’t wait to devour the next half. And although I had a very hard time getting used to different people writing it, it met my high expectations and that’s all I had hoped for. I understood and sympathised with the characters and felt that I could be friends with them. I was also really impressed with the story and the underlining meaning behind it. I enjoyed getting to know the next generation and was pleased with how they turned out. It was unexpected, unknown and that made it exciting and a real page-turner. The only criticism I had with it so far was that it read a little like fan-fiction. But I put that down to the foreign writing style and dealt with it.

Now having read it all, I am confused and frustrated but most of all, disappointed. I felt like the people who wrote it both had read Harry Potter but completely ignored all of the finer details. As if they had read it but thought “but wouldn’t it be better if this would happen” and wrote The Cursed Child just so they could do that for themselves. These finer details that are explained in the Harry Potter books make some of the situations in The Cursed Child completely and utterly impossible. I actually said out loud whilst reading it at one point “well that’s just ridiculous”.

The reason why I loved Harry Potter was how believable it was, you know it’s not true but there’s that little bit in your brain that thinks “but it could be though”. The Cursed Child smooshed that into the ground simply by being a little too silly. And I know what you’re thinking, Harry Potter is full of witches and wizards and talking hats and giants but it all made sense. It all fit. However, The Cursed Child didn’t make sense to me. Maybe that’s just me being stupid and missing something but I know those books inside and out and so I thought I would at least have been able to understand it.

I also loved Potter because JK Rowling wrote them for herself. All the things she wrote were for her own reasons. She wrote to escape and she poured her heart and soul into those books and you can feel it when you read them. They’re painfully beautiful in that aspect. You escape with her and Harry. The Cursed Child felt like it was written by fans, for the fans. They make a lot of references that you wouldn’t get if you weren’t familiar with the Potter universe before hand. And a lot of the situations- even though they were new, felt recycled and stale. As I said before, it read like fan-fiction. I would’ve loved to have been able to read it completely separately from the legendary seven, as if it were the start of a new series but Cursed Child simply didn’t allow that. It didn’t let you move on. I didn’t enjoy the nostalgia, mainly because I found it very difficult to say goodbye to Harry and now it’s like being forced to do that again but with a strange, warped version of it. It felt… Desperate to me.

I did love one of the main things people are deliberating over at the moment though and that’s “who is the Cursed Child?”. Me? I think it’s everyone. I think the book is trying to say that everyone has flaws, everyone has their moments, everyone is cursed. I really like that they allow for you to come up with your own theory and any of them work. And I always appreciate a book that presents the whole world as equals and Cursed Child did do that very well. I also enjoyed the repetition and magic in it. I would love to see how they manage all of it on stage.

So to summarise, I think if they write another one that’s completely and utterly about Harry and co’s kids- the next generation- and about new plots, new adventures and new schemes, then it will do really well. Because that’s what Cursed Child should’ve been. It should’ve felt like coming home to find everything’s changed apart from the glow in your heart that tells you that you’re home. If JK Rowling was more involved, that should’ve been easy. Because the books are a part of her. The Cursed Child wasn’t. It was the distant relative at best. It set itself up in the first half so, so well and just when it was a lovely big balloon, it deflated. I’m so sorry I feel this way. I wish I could’ve enjoyed it and I wish I could be happy with it but I’m just not. But as I always say, that’s just me, feel free to comment with your feelings and whether you disagree or not. I will read it again and just make sure I’m not missing anything but right now, all I’m missing is a creation by JK Rowling.