Disneyland Resort Paris is celebrating its 30th birthday and continues to be at its very consistent best. While the resort has been undergoing some changes lately and can look to the future with high expectations, changes in the main park are few and far between.
Apart from the ever-changing entertainment line-up, just three attractions have been upgraded to a new level since my last visit eight years ago – yet there have been no real novelties. All these new attractions are to be found in the Discoveryland theme area.
Star Tours: L‘Aventure Continue
The large-scale simulator Star Tours: L’Aventure Continue made the start in 2017. The fast-paced space journey in the Star Wars universe now shines with a variety of films, a generally very sharp image and great 3D effects. At the same time, C-3PO now welcomes us as the unwilling captain of our space flight.
After Captain EO was sent into his well-deserved retirement at the end of 2015, the Discovery Theatre was only used irregularly; in addition to previews of new films, it also showed the Pixar Short Film Festival known from the Epcot theme park. In 2018, Mickey Mouse moved into the theatre and has been presenting Mickey’s Philharmagic there ever since, although he himself hardly appears in the story. In fact, Donald Duck accompanies us in a slightly clumsy manner on a musical journey through the worlds of numerous Disney classics.
Interestingly, Mickey’s Philarmagic is by no means new. The film itself originated in 2003, but due to the quality of the animation and the possibility of keeping it up-to-date with new sequences, it seems timeless compared to the two previous films Honey, I Shrunk the Audience! and Captain EO, which is a very welcome change.
Hyperspace Mountain is the third incarnation of Dutch Space Flight, but instead of being shot into the Jules Vernean future on the Columbiad, the Baltimore Gun Club has been focusing on a trip back in time to a galaxy far, far away as of 2017. In the process, Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain shines with new trains and new video projections, while the old scenery has mostly disappeared from the ride.
The ride itself is still an extremely intense journey, which is now much more pleasant thanks to the soft waistcoats of the new trains. After the jump through hyperspace, the music in particular is reminiscent of Star Wars, while you occasionally speed past video projections that are a little too dark. At the same time, the media integration during the second inversion of the ride is extremely successful, staging the very surprising moment of the ride perfectly and putting a big grin on your face, while the grand finale with the destruction of the star destroyer is nowhere near as memorable as the eponymous supernova from Space Mountain Mission 2.
As a temporary solution or event overlay, as in other Disneyland parks around the world, Hyperspace Mountain is an exceedingly coherent overall package. As a permanent installation, Hyperspace Mountain lacks a bit of thematic richness; too much of the focus is on Baltimore Gun Club and its Columbiad. Apart from the music and the video projections, hardly anything is reminiscent of Star Wars.
Pictures Disneyland Park
I was surprised to find that Disneyland Park had the far lower waiting times over my entire visit than the Walt Disney Studios Park right next door. It seems as if the novelties of the last few years are pointing in a clear direction. The solid overall concept continues to be convincing all along the line, but one or two new additions would also do the main park good.
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