Having arrived in Disneyland Park, it feels as if you have been transported back a few decades, since you are now in an American main street at the beginning of the twentieth century. Oldtimers and carriages are waiting for their guests and also the park railway has its main station here. There are also some shops and most of the parade route runs along this path, which is fairly long and leads to the entrances of the remaining four themed areas.
In addition to the tramway we also tested the park railway in this area. It runs along the edge of the park and belongs to one of the more crowded Disneyland Park rides, where you can queue for up to an hour. As we got a good opportunity we didn’t have to wait. The 40 minute round trip is definitely worthwhile.
If you walk down Disneyland Park’s main street, you are walking towards the landmark of the Fantasyland. The castle, inside which you can see the story of Sleeping Beauty, is not as big as it seems from some angles.
If you cross the castle, you find yourself on a place with a horse carousel – where it was quite difficult to climb the horses –, as well as the two dark rides Pinocchio and Snow White. The second one reminds of a very trippy ghost train, while the journey of Pinocchio was wonderfully staged and belongs to one of the best dark rides of the continent.
Nearby are the Dumbo carousel and the teacups. Two lanes which can show an incredibly long queue quite fast. An influence on the rotation of the teacups is unfortunately hardly possible, but the ride remains a wonderful attraction to avoid a very heavy downpour.
The labyrinth next door shares the same theme as the tea cups. Like Alice in Wonderland, you pass through this somewhat bizarre labyrinth, whose exit is unfortunately quite easy to find.
Peter Pan’s Flight
You can also find the most popular attraction of the park in this area. It is Peter Pan’s Flight, a dark ride with too few scenes and a very bizarre ride system. If you are planning a ride, you should get a Fastpass-Ticket, as this is the weakest ride in the whole park and the capacity is simply too low.
A little off the beaten track, but always present, lies the wonderful dark ride It’s a small World. Remarkable and somehow strange is the number of boats which give this ride an enormous capacity and very short waiting times. The happiest cruise of the planet should therefore not be missed, even if the music is one of the greatest catchy tunes in the world.
If you follow the paths of the Fantasyland, you will find the entrance to another dark ride in Adventureland. Even the queue is a feast for the eyes, which is rarely trumped. Of course we are talking about the Pirates of the Caribbean, a dark ride using the same boats as in It’s a small World, which leads to a fantastically high capacity among other things. The music is a catchy tune that gets you in the mood for binge drinking. The only point of criticism is the way too loud chain at the lift, but this can be overcome during such a great ride.
The area itself is beautiful, but also unfortunately somewhat underpopulated by rides. Therefore we visited the temple of fear. A very beautifully themed queue prepares one for the following experience. In the station of the roller coaster, we get into the wagons in which we take the route.
During the curves of the Indiana Jones et le Temple du Péril you often get to know the shoulder restraints when you are sitting in the front car. The rest of the track is as great it should be: Intense with a touch of airtime in front of every block brake, which is great for blowing mouse ears into the air. From the outside this Indiana Jones ride also looks very attractive and should be ridden in any case, even if it gives some people a different picture of the manufacturer Intamin.
In addition, you can find a long suspension bridge, some caves and Robinson Cruseo’s tree house – a walktrough where you can queue a little longer –, in this area of Disneyland Park.
If you follow the circuit of Disneyland Park, you will at some point enter the Wild West with its landmark the Big Thunder Mountain. The size is trivial, but the ride is as loud as a thunder roll. The Big Thunder Mountain offers a station for normal visitors and fast passers. For this reason it can take quite a long time until the next train appears on your side. The ride itself doesn’t offer many daring curves, but a lot of beautiful straights, strange lifts and cool tunnels. Everything is rounded off by the harmonious and always present theme, which makes the ride together with Colorado Adventure of Phantasialand and El Diablo of Port Aventura one of the best mine trains in Europe.
An attraction that goes around the island and over the first and last tunnel of the roller coaster Big Thunder Mountain is the three-storey steamer. It is recommended to look in the direction of the Big Thunder Mountain, as the surrounding area is beautiful but offers little variety.
From the steamer you can see an old manor house. It looks deserted, just like the garden you have to pass through to approach this house. In the house itself one is greeted by strange figures who are able to speak languages that no Frenchman or Englishman would describe as grammatically correct. They send you into a room that turns out to be an elevator with nice pictures on the wall. After you have left this part of Phantom Manor behind, you enter a corridor, which you have to walk along in order to take a seat in your doom buggy. The ride is harmonious and offers a continuous storyline. A scary beautiful melody accompanies you to the cemetery, where it is briefly replaced by the Grimm Grinning Ghosts and you finally come to the end of the ride which is clearly one of the best dark rides out there.
The final theme of Disneyland Park is Discoveryland, which is largely based on the work of the French writer Jules Verne. As a contrast to this, Star Wars is here too – something that really doesn’t fit in here.
The Space Mountain hall is a visual feast for the eyes. On its second mission you fly to the supernova and back again. The Columbiad cannon shoots the train towards space and a completely mad route is taken. The cars are similar to those of the Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster, comfortable and well padded. The launch is noticeable, although not particularly intense due to the location. Inside the building some curves and inversions appear where you wouldn’t expect them. The ride characteristics range from very good to well, depending on the time you get on the ride and how loaded the train is at that time. In any case this is an experience not to be missed, especially as this concept coaster is still unique.
One of the older attractions of this area is Star Tours. A beautiful large-capacity simulator where, starting from an intergalactic airport, you can experience a tourist flight through space. Of course with an inexperienced pilot, who brings you into very risky situations. This simulator is just a cult classic.
Honey, I shrunk the Audience
In the cinema next door you can watch the movie Honey, I shrunk the Audience, a very old 3D movie with some predictable effects. A negative aspect is the poor quality of the image, which takes some time to get used to. Even the cinema itself is not the best due to its flooring, as you can quickly fall if you don’t pay attention.
Also to be found in this area is the multi-lane car ride Autopia, which can be controlled very poorly from my point of view. Perhaps it was also due to the fact that I had to drive on the right lane and thus had the steering wheel on the right. However, it could also be simply due to the fact that I am used to drive other things. However, it is a ride worth driving.
The last major attraction of Disneyland Park is the interactive dark ride Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast by Mack Rides. In this highly recommended attraction you travel to planet Z to put a stop to the evil Zurg and bring back the energy sources (in the form of batteries) and score some points. Thanks to the rather unfavourable capacity due to all the intermediate stops, a fast pass is definitely recommendable here.
In addition to the submarine attraction, which was closed at the time of the visit, and the mostly crowded ride next door, there is also a musical show theatre in this area, which unfortunately did not host any shows due to the low season and instead showed some cartoon classics.
Pictures Disneyland Park
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