Disneyland Paris isn’t that amazing

The end of our visit to France involved a two and a half day visit to Disneyland Paris. After a lot of rearranging of plans due to an unexpected hospitalization, we managed to keep our plans for visiting Disneyland only by renting a car and driving back to Paris from the Atlantic coast, just shy of 500 km! We ended up rending from a car from Avis after the local Europcar cancelled our reservation due to not having any vehicles available for a one-way trip. We ended up paying a little more with Avis, but I think the woman working at the pickup site took some pity on us and gave us a little upgrade on the vehicle.

Our carriage for the trek across France, a Renault Scenic.

The journey across France was mostly uneventful. I had to reacquaint myself with driving a manual transmission as it has probably been 10-15 years since I had driven one. However, after 3-4 times stalling it in the middle of the street, I was back in business! Luckily the Renault had plenty of room for our luggage so we didn’t have to worry too much about transporting our stuff and spending so much time in a vehicle with our bags on our laps.

Upon arrival at Disneyland Paris, were checked in to our room at the Sequoia Lodge. This resort was clearly very dated and badly in need of a remodel. The door to our room took a couple of attempts each time we tried to close it. One thing that the resort had going for it was that each of us received a free hot drink for each day of our stay. I’ll seldom turn down free coffee.

The castle at Disneyland Paris.

The parks at Disneyland Paris are unsurprisingly quite similar to Disneyland in Anaheim or portions of Disney World, albeit much smaller. Many of the rides are the same, though in a few cases, the DLP verions were slightly improved, particularly noted for Pirates of the Caribbean and maybe Space Mountain. The relatively small number of feature attractions meant that the wait times were a bit high, even though we were visiting during a time of low crowds.

One thing that we didn’t appreciate was that many of the quick service restaurants at DLP were only open from noon to 5pm. This made it a little challenging to find a good dinnertime option if we weren’t looking to spend a ton of money at one of the table-service offerings. There was also some issue with finding good vegetarian options, a problem we saw across France. Even ignoring this issue, the options available inside the parks were a little disappointing as the food wasn’t terribly good and was quite high priced. We found better options just outside the parks in the Disney Village area.

Elsa giving her best lip sync performance to the future Frozen II classics.

Unfortunately, we were unable to make it to the Frozen II show as the wait times were quite long, as would be expected since the movie is relatively recent. In Disneyland Park, they have a regular parade type thing involving the Frozen characters that was OK, though relatively short. They could probably improve the show by adding some other characters or themes.

Overall, I don’t know that we would return to DLP. Though if we ever decided to, we’d like try for a season with a little more favorable weather as we got to enjoy blustery wind and rain each day of our visit. That said, even in nice weather, I just don’t think there is anything that would draw us back here when there are better options in Florida and the weather is much more likely to be favorable no matter the time of year.

Published by devinberg

Associate Professor of Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Stout.

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