Disneyland Paris is what happens when Disney dons a beret and puts mouse ears on the eiffel tower!
So Disney wanted more money, and what's the best way to get money? Well, the Disney marketing department voted for another theme park. We would have said drugs, but what do we know? Of course, at this point, they already had, like, two resorts in America and one in Japan, which we'd like to point out is kind of a leap from the norm, wouldn't you say?
"Why are you talking about Japan? They don't have a Disneyland!"
"Good god, we're onto something here!"
So basically, they took the smiling guys advice (cheery bastard!). However, as we all know, owning two resorts and giving your name to a third just isn't enough for the Disney company. Expanding their
empire reich business is top priority. So a fourth resort was planned, with this one staying completely in Disneys control. Yeah, Fuck you France, it doesn't matter that it's your country, they own the land now, so piss off!
Of course, we're generalising. We're sure Disney has nothing against the French people, especially considering there were four locations on the table in 1985, only two of them being in France (the others were in Spain, but who's ever heard of a spanish theme park?)
Apart from Port Aventura
Fuck you, internet!
BAM! December hits 1985 like a lead pipe hits the soft cartilage of the human nose, and while the world stands by, helpless, Michael Eisner convinces the French Government to sign the deed for the necessary land over to him. Their first mistake, seemingly.
The French Government
In December 1990, to get people excited (how could you not be?), Disney built a sort of booth overlooking the land on which the park was being built, called Espace Euro Disney, in which members of the public could pull their cars over onto the side of the road and stare at a construction site that resembled no part of the magic kingdom at all. Well, okay, that's unfair, it must have resembled some sort of childhood dreamscape at that point, they'd been building for two damn years!
Eventually the park opened in April 1992, to a fanfare of moans. Apparently the French felt that America was invading not bothering to point out that Disney had employed about 12,000 people from all over Europe instead of Americans. Doesn't sound like America was invading to us. However, it was reported that by May, about 25% of the workers had quit due to unsatisfactory working conditions (okay, that sounds pretty American). Despite an amazing opening day, profit was non-existant and one of the hotels was actually shut due to lack of visitors. It was looking pretty bleak for the company.
Then, another BAM! 1995 crash landed, and Disneyland Paris brought it back! What was the reason? Space Mountain: De la Terre a la Lune, roughly translated as Space Mountain: From the Earth to the Moon. The ride was originally planned for the park opening, but after they realised that they'd fucked up, Disney held it back as a plan to build public interest, and boy howdy, did it build public interest. The ride differed from the original American version, featuring all new...features, such as a "cannon launch", track inversions and a bitchin techno on-ride soundtrack. Hell, it was so cool, fuckin Buzz Aldrin turned up for the opening, presumabley confused when he got off the ride and realised he was still in France.
"That's right, my friends. I have been to the moon. Twice now!"
From this point, Disneyland Paris managed to claw its way back from the gutter and is now the most visited tourist attraction in Europe. Take THAT, Le Louvre! Biatch!
We would like to point out that this is not a detailed guide to the park, merely a quick looky loo at whats available to guests. This means rides are in, but shows and boring things are out. No-one fucking cares about The Lion King Live!
Main Street USA
The entrance to the park leads straight onto Main Street USA. It's populated heavily by oversized rodents in trousers and mentally retarded ducks, but if you can avoid them, there's some sight seeing to be a-doin.
Fucking Vermin! Wait...where the hell's the duck? SNEAKY!
Main Street USA doesn't have any rides or attractions per se, but it does have eaterys, restaurants, cafes (possibly all the same thing) and souvenir shops, where you can buy overpriced crap for your children to make them stop crying, the little bastards! We can guarantee that as soon as you leave the park, they'll forget they own that china mug!
One standout place in Main Street USA is Dapper Dans Haircuts. Yes, that's right children, you can now have your hair cut at Disneyland. By a man called Dapper Dan. How do you feel about that? Scared? GOOD! YOU SHOULD BE!
BOY HOWDY! This is getting right dandy now! Frontierland is basically what would happen if every outlaw was a complete pussy. Don't go to Frontierland expecting an awesome shootout where a guest is accidentally hospitalised, you're more likely to find a gun in England (seriously, you are. Don't go to England).
We know what you're thinking. That guy in the bottom right hand corner may be packing heat. You're wrong!
Of course, we jest. Frontierland is awesome. You can be a cowboy for once in your life and people won't stare at you oddly (although, you will get asked where the toilets are. Quite a bit actually). Anyway, Frontierland has two main rides: Big Thunder Mountain and Phantom Manor. Big Thunder Mountain is about a big mountain. That's constantly threatened by the impending thunderstorm. HA! No, the mountain is just called Big Thunder Mountain. Guests ride through it, over it, under it, and, at one point, into it in little coaster trains designed to look like mining trains. This, of course, means there's always the hefty rush to get to the front, since the engine driver answers to no-one. NO-ONE!
Phantom Manor is a much calmer ride, but it is by no means boring. It's basically The Haunted Mansion with a scripted story. Now, now, Disneyland fanatics, calm down, we aren't suggesting The Haunted Mansion has no story, we're simply saying Phantom Manor has a better one. Guests ride around the haunted house and through the haunted grounds and into the haunted ghost town on haunted cars that look like haunted eggs. Did we mention it's HAUNTED?
Adventureland is Disneyland Paris' answer to...well, anything with adventure. Seriously, they didn't simply pick a theme and go with it, no no no no! They went with Arabian Village, Jungle, Carribean Pirate hangout, Desert Island. PICK A THEME DISNEY!
A temple rollecoaster next to an arabian foodhall. Only at Disneyland!
The two rides in this area are Indiana Jones et le Temple du Peril (Indiana Jones and the temple of peril) and Pirates Of The Carribean. Temple Of Peril is your standard steel coaster, it has one loop and is based around the story of Indiana Jones, played by Harrison Ford. Ah, Harrison Ford, we still haven't forgiven you yet!
STOP SMILING *sobs* STOP SMILIIING!
The ride is pretty cool, but not as cool as it used to be. From 2000 to 2004, Disney decided to reverse the cars, meaning riders went backwards. This was epic awesome, considering it pops your spine back into place after riding it forwards too many times. Yes, this ride hurts. It really fucking hurts. It's like Disney marketing thought to themselves "How about a ride that people enjoy, regardless of their comfort?"
CURSE YOU DISNEY MARKETING!
Pirates Of The Carribean, however, never gets old. At least, that's what the Paris crowd think. The Paris version of the ride is the only version not to be updated to feature the characters from the films. Yes, you could call this a blessing and a curse. A blessing, as finally, you can enjoy something to do with Pirates Of The Carribean without having to look at Orlando Bloom, but a curse, as it'll never rank highest in lists created by Johnny Depp Fangirls.
Where storybooks come to life and all the bollocks, Fantasyland is the bulk of Disney-esque goodness in the park. The place is simply packed to the brim with Disney based shops, rides and eaterys. Yes, it's a Disney park, it's to be expected, but they went way overboard with this area. Peter Pan's Flight? Le Voyage De Pinocchio? Alice's Curious Labyrinth? (By the way, did anyone else spot the innuendo in that last one? Tee hee!)
It's like it just jumped out of a fucking book!
Rather than being based on Walt Disneys concepts of the future, like Tommorowland, Discoveryland takes the ideas of European thinkers, such as Jules Verne, giving the area a very distinct look and feel.
This means everything looks eccentric and overdone for its purpose. Sort of like a bicycle with eight wheels. It doesn't need the wheels, but damn it all, it's got them! Memorable rides include Autopia, a car themed driving ride (because after a 20 mile drive from Paris, nothing says "Have fun" like more driving. Only slower. If that's possible in France!) There's also Honey I Shrunk The Audience, which stars failed actors and the one unfunny Monty Python member, which, as the title suggests, involves the shrinking of the audience. Buzz Lightyears Laser Blast is a track based shoot em up with laser guns, batteries, gay aliens and a giant anamatronic Buzz Lightyear, which rocks so hard you'll want to steal him and have him defend your house. Star Tours is based on the popular film series Star Wars, and involves guests getting buttfucked thanks to a retarded robot and ending up at the Death Star, the empires number one vacation spot. Space Mountain 2 is basically Space Mountain with a new track, new music and shinier comets. It's still awesome!
Originally planned for a 1996 opening (I think we can guess why that didn't happen), the Walt Disney Studios Park opened in 2002. It's themed around a Hollywood movie studio and areas are named after the different lots on a studio. Clever! Guests enter through the Front Lot (really?) by passing through Disney Studio 1, a ridiculously large sound stage made up to look like a street in Hollywood, complete with road paving, pavement and a gas station. Oh, and a fuck load of fast food. Just like the real Hollywood!
Realistic? No, but neither is Hollywood!
After that, guests emerge into the real park, a glorious paradise for film buffs everywhere. In the distance, the Hollywood sign sparkles in the sunlight, and it becomes quickly apparent that the Hollywood hills are made of wood. Sense? It makes none, but it sure does look impressive at first glance.
Guests have a choice of three (soon to be four) areas to explore. The Toon Studio focuses on the Disney animations, with a Finding Nemo rollercoaster, and an Aladdin Carpet ride. There is also a tour called The Art Of Disney Animation, which details the history of the company and its money grabbing ways.
The Production Courtyard has shows like Stitch Live and CineMagique. But the standout attraction in this area is The Twilight Zones Tower Of Terror, which is basically an excuse to drop guests down an elevator shaft. Unfortunately, the park would have lost billions in lawsuits and hospital bills, so it took the clever direction of applying brakes and making it a tower launch ride. There's also a studio tram tour, but it's so incredibly dull and unworth the queue, we aren't going to go into detail!
Ah, to be dropped into hell once more. That's the life!
The Backlot, as seedy as it sounds, is the most exciting of all the areas in the park. It features one amazing rollercoaster, one amazing stunt show and one slightly dissapointing "standing" attraction. Rock 'n' Rollercoaster avec Aerosmith is a kickass coaster with a kickass soundtrack (depending whether or not you like Aerosmith). With a launch from 0-60mph in 3 seconds, this ride does stand out.
Moteurs... Action! Stunt Show Spectacular is a stunt show that defines the word stunt. It's got everything. Explosions, car chases, fire, death, burning, blood, screaming, crying. Oh man, what a ride!
Armageddon - Les Effets Speciaux is, without any doubt, a massive dissapointment. Just don't go on it. Avoid at all cost. It's dull, dull, dull. Nothing happens. You stand in a confined space with European people who've never seen Armageddon (or they'd know to avoid this Michael Bay excrement) while a russian bloke yells at you on a speaker system! Pleh!
The Disney Hotels and The Disney Village give the whole place a more resorty feel, most likely due to the fact that it is a resort. No matter what they say.
The Sequoia Lodge is based on American National Park Lodges and is surrounded by (what else) sequoia trees. Because of it's themeing, all the trees around the hotel are imported from America. Probably in first class, the lucky buggers.
The Hotel Cheyenne is based around the ooooooold west. Well, sort of. More so, it's based on Hollywoods vision of the ooooooooold west. Complete with a saloon, authentic pine trees and a sandy street.
Based around the American southwest, Hotel Santa Fe screams Mexico. Ironic, most Mexicans are trying to get out of Mexico, some Europeans obviously want in on the experience.
For the family who doesn't want to be pampered, the Davy Crockett Ranch features Log Cabins in a campground style area in the middle of a forest. Expect bears. Bears and Native Americans.
The Newport Bay Hotel, themed around New England architecture, is basically a cruise ship on land. Complete with nice restaurants, long corridors (easy to get lost and vaguely reminiscent of The Shining) and a captains wheel in the lobby. Probably for steering France!
We're pretty sure this hotel is based on New York. It has an ice rink outside, perfect for looking at in the warm french summer, and an authentic big apple experience (which we think means Mickey Mouse will mug you before breakfast in an alleyway)
The best of the best, this is for you people who earn more than the President. Nice hotel, sure enough. Hell, there's a suite with a fucking grand piano. Why? Because they can have one if they want one, that's why! They're Disney!
Basically Disneys way of pleasing the adults at night. Of course, don't expect strip clubs or gambling, but you can expect expensive dining, dancing and booze. Lots and lots of booze.