At first it may seem like a strange idea to visit Disneyland Paris when you’re on an overseas vacation and experiencing things you could never find back home! However, what better way to placate the kids in between stops at the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and the Arc de Triomphe? Besides, there are some features that can only be found in Europe – like the enormous Val d’Europe shopping center, the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea walk-through or the Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril rollercoaster!
One major difference of Disneyland Paris can be observed in the Haunted Mansion attraction. In France, the ride is called “Phantom Manor” and is designed differently, with Second Empire architecture to look more like Gaston LeRoux’s Phantom of the Opera novel. The storyline itself follows that of the abandoned Thunder Mesa town.
Unlike the other Haunted Mansions at Tokyo Disneyland, Walt Disney World Orlando and Disneyland California, Phantom Manor was made to look derelict and decrepit with overgrown weeds and warped paint. Also unique to this version is the haunted ghost town scenes of ghastly pharmacists, saloon pianists and gun-toting cowboys.
In 2002, Disneyland Paris opened a secondary Disney park with a movie theme called Walt Disney Studios. The newest land is the “Toon Studio,” where guests can go behind-the-scenes of Disney animators, participate in a drawing course taught by Mickey and Donald and check out the film set of Finding Nemo via Crush’s coaster. One of the most popular rides is the “CineMagique,” which is similar to the The Great Movie Ride at Disneyworld.
Guests travel through scenes from some of their favorite movies, including: The Magnificent Seven, Mary Poppins, The Hunt For Red October, Pinnochio, The Titanic, The Exorcist, Monsters Inc., Silence of the Lambs, A Fish Called Wanda and Robin Hood.
Aerosmith’s thrilling Rock N’ Rollercoaster and Twilight Zone Tower of Terror are here for the extremely brave and adventurous too! Also, don’t miss Catastrophe Canyon, which gives you a back lot tour, putting you right in the middle of explosions, flash floods, fires, earthquakes and everything movie production teams have to offer!
For Paris Disneyland hotels, there’s the Davy Crockett Ranch camp sites for the budget-conscious outdoorsy types, but be aware that this is the furthest Disney resort from the parks. The Disneyland Hotel has been dubbed “European Hotel of the Year” by the British Travel Agents Association and offers castle-like accommodations, in addition to character breakfasts for the kids.
Children also love the Western-themed Hotel Cheyenne where they can play in Indian forts and eat in “barns.” Adults prefer the New York Hotel with its swanky Manhattan Restaurant or Newport Bay’s yacht club atmosphere. Santa Fe and Sequoia Lodge are also available, but not recommended.
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