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Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Kentucky Kingdom- RIP Dick Rock Mountain

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Ughhh I really, really hated waiting in Laff Traks que last year when I went. Bunch of yelling ,screaming stupid kids holding up the line making stupid faces in the mirrors. And the ride isn't worth the wait if the line is outside the building. I came off the ride with a headache.

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I actually liked the fun house mirrors in the queue and Laughing Sal by the entrance of LaffTrakk, but I just can't justify waiting an hour for it when I can ride Skyrush a half dozen times in the same amount of time.

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Hersheypark was GCI’s original stomping ground with both Wildcat and Lightning Racer. I think most people universally prefer Lightning Racer, but for me, it’s close.

 

Wildcat is undeniably the wilder of the two. The airtime is stronger, particularly on the turnarounds. But it comes at a cost. It is considerably bumpier. Thankfully it still has the old Millennium Flyer padding so the bumpiness isn’t an issue.

 

I thought I was the only one! Lightning Racer is great, but I thought it's a bit fluffed- fun, but kind of standard. Wildcat, on the other hand, is out of control and much better than it's reputation.

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Wildcat with the PTCs used to be one of my favorite coasters IF you rode up front. That's a big if since it was tearing itself apart and horrifically rough in any other row.

 

Ultimately putting the Millennium Flyers on and making it ridable and enjoyable in every row was the way to go.

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Disneyland Paris

 

When I said I was going to Paris primarily to visit Disney, I got all sorts of weird looks. The looks weren’t quite as weird as when I ride a kiddie coaster all by my lonesome, but they were judgmental nonetheless. But did I care? Nope. Disneyland Paris is stunning.

 

Disneyland Paris may have the weakest ride selection of the castle parks I’ve visited. I mean, no Splash Mountain But it compensates by being the most beautiful and ornate of the castle parks. And that’s no small feat. Plus it’s not like the ride selection is horrible. In fact, they have some of the best versions of classics like Big Thunder.

 

My first day was overcast and rainy. But in typical European fashion, crowds didn’t care one bit. Since I got a beautiful $350 roundtrip flight from Norwegian, I decided to use the money I saved to splurge on the Ultimate Fastpass for my first day. Yes it was pricey, but I was able to marathon the E-tickets nonstop.

 

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It was sort of weird to enter through a hotel, but it was beautiful.

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Views like this never get old.

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Slinky has now been to three continents.

 

And the E-ticket I used that perk most was Big Thunder Mountain. At the US parks, Big Thunder is popular. Calling the one at Paris popular is an understatement. This is easily the resort’s most popular ride. 90 minute queues and completely depleted Fastpasses were the norm.

 

Most of the ride is similar to the US counterparts. If you ride in the back, you’re treated to some sustained laterals and quick pops of air. There was one drop in particular that gave some uncharacteristic standing airtime. But what differentiates this one is the setting.

 

This one in Paris is located on an island. Since the station is on the mainland, this means that the ride starts and ends with two long, pitch black tunnels. The sense of speed in the last tunnel in particular rivals that of a hyper-coaster. Pretty much everyone who rides the Paris Big Thunder claims it’s the best, and I agree 100% with that notion. 7.5 out of 10

 

I was also really looking forward to Phantom Manor. When I booked the trip, it was supposed to be open. But the ride’s rehab dragged out longer than expected. I think the ride just reopened this week after a 1.5 year (!!) rehab. Seeing the familiar mansion in Frontierland was bizarre, but I’ve heard the ride has a really unique story. I guess that’s something to look forward to on a return trip.

 

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I'll join the bandwagon; this is the best Big Thunder.

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Big Thunder looked awesome at night (as did a certain closed ghost house).

 

Adventureland is usually one of the most compact lands. That’s not the case in Paris. This one is spreadout and has three distinct subareas- the Indiana Jones section, Adventure Isle, and the Swiss Family Treehouse.

 

Starting with the latter, the Swiss Family Treehouse isn’t exactly one of my favorite Disney attractions, but I love what Paris did with the attraction. I didn’t ride it, but the placement is perfect. It gives Adventureland a central icon that’s almost as striking as Animal Kingdom’s Tree of Life.

 

Adventure Isle replaces the familiar Tom Sawyer Island. It’s a daunting series of bridges and caves. If you successfully navigate your way through this area, you’re rewarded with the best version of Pirates of the Caribbean…that I’ve ridden.

 

Pirates typically follows the following formula- caves, drop, battle, town scene, jail scene, lift. Paris had one too many sips of rum and decided to do it in reverse. The new take on a familiar ride kept me on my toes. But what really made the Paris Pirates the best was the pacing.

 

This probably is blasphemous, but the one at Disneyland has some slower sections. In Paris, every scene is a 360 degree spectacle of sights. And this one ends with a bang, both literally and figuratively. You get the ride’s second drop and it’s accentuated by a neat explosion effect. Until I ride the one in Shanghai, I can say this one is my favorite. 10 out of 10

 

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Best riding Pirates. Best looking Pirates too.

 

Raiders of the Lost Ark is my favorite movie, so it’s a dream come true to go on an adventure with Dr. Jones at a Disney park. Usually that attraction takes the form of the Indiana Jones Adventure, which is the world’s greatest dark ride if you ask me.

 

Paris went a different route. They went with a roller coaster themed to the iconic mine chase scene of Temple of Doom. Aesthetically the attraction is incredible. It’s very similar to Tokyo’s Raging Spirtis. But no one ever talks about that. Instead they fixate on the skull-crushing ride. Is it really that bad?

 

Not quite, but it’s way rougher than I’d ever expect a Disney ride to be. After the first turnaround taken at like 5 mph gave me some headbanging, I rode defensively and leaned forwards. While this saved me from CTE, I was too busy in self-preservation mode to appreciate the theming.

 

From a coaster standpoint, it’s ok. The second drop provided a quick pop of air and the compact vertical loop is very forceful. While I didn’t hate Indiana Jones, it’s hard to favorably review something that needs to be ridden defensively. I hope this ride gets a Raging Spirits retrack someday. 5 out of 10

 

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It's no Indiana Jones Adventure, but fortunately it's better than Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

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It was like Raging Spirits plus headbanging.

 

Fantasyland is probably the park’s largest land. For that reason, it’s sort of a bummer that it closes early. Several rides start to close at 8 pm and all of them are closed by 9 pm. However, I understand why it’s done for the fireworks.

 

Most of the attractions were familiar classics. Take Peter Pan’s Flight for example. The one in Paris has the same putrid capacity we all know and hate. I thought the ride was identical to the US ones too- some neat scenes but way too short to be worth an hour-plus wait. 6 out of 10

 

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Some things never change- death, taxes, and ridiculous queues for Peter Pan's Flight.

 

Voyages de Pinocchio and Blanche-Neige et les Sept Nains (aka Snow White) were also identical to the versions at Disneyland from a ride perspective and that’s not a bad thing. The only difference was the vehicles. The ones in Paris bumped the capacity up 50%. 7 out of 10

 

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Have I already said how beautiful Disneyland Paris is?

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Added capacity, nice!

 

It’s a Small World is so easy to make fun of. Heck even Disney makes fun of it in the Lion King But deep down inside I’ve grown to enjoy the versions that mix in the classic Disney characters. I think the one at Disneyland does this the best, but the one in Paris had one distinct advantage. They added in Slinky Dog. That gets brownie points from me! 9 out of 10

 

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Small world...I rode the same thing back in the US.

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Slinky!

 

Credit whores will pitch a tent since this park’s Casey Jr. is a roller coaster. The layout is far more expansive than your usual powered coaster and it gives a neat, high-speed overview of the Storybook Cruise down below. Kids ate this attraction up, but it was a one-and-done for me. 4 out of 10

 

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Casey Jr's coming down the track.

 

Last but not least, there’s Tomorrowland Discoveryland. The ride selection and architecture feels identical to your typical Tomorrowland, but the color pallet gave it a unique twist. And undoubtedly the centerpiece of the land is Hyperspace Mountain.

 

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Not Tomorrowland.

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Discoveryland came alive at night.

 

Space Mountain is one of the most iconic coasters anywhere, but the one in Paris blows the other ones out of the water in the looks department. The oversized cannon appended to the dome is awe-inspiring. The uphill launch into the mountain is one of the most photogenic coaster moments I’ve ever seen.

 

Now how does it ride? This Space Mountain long had a reputation as one of the worst coasters on the planet. With the original trains, I can see why that would be the case. Jerky Vekoma transitions in complete darkness just sounds like a bad idea. But the vests eliminated all headbanging. This allowed me to appreciate Space Mountain for what it is- a coaster far more intense than any other Disney coaster.

 

The uphill launch is very reminiscent of Lightning Rod. The top speed is modest, but it pulls some sneaky Gs. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg. The first section has some abrupt turns and that sidewinder has a mean streak. Having an inversion that forceful in complete darkness is incredible. I’d be hard pressed to name a more forceful non-Schwarzkopf inversion.

 

The other notable parts of the coaster include two double downs that give hints of airtime, an awesome corkscrew over a tie-fighter battle, and a mind-warping is-it-an-inversion element. RCDB classifies that element as a tongue. Ultimately it was something between a cutback and an overbanked turn.

 

Hyperspace Mountain was my favorite ride at the resort outside of Tower of Terror. It was an original take on a classic Disney attraction. I still can’t believe a ride this intense exists at a Disney park, but I’m certainly not complaining. 8 out of 10

 

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Well this isn't your grandfather's Space Mountain.

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The cannon brought back nostalgia to Story Land's Voyage to the Moon.

 

Next door is Star Tours. Outside of being in French, the ride was identical to the US counterparts. However, I felt like I hit the lottery since I avoided the dreaded Jar Jar Binks sequence. I can’t remember the last time I rode Star Tours without that scene. 7 out of 10

 

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For those who can't wait for Galaxy Edge, you sort of have a Star Wars land with Star Tours and Hyperspace in Paris.

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One size fits all.

 

Another direct port from Disneyland was Buzz Lightyear Astro Blast. I only rode it once for this reason, but it was as fun as ever. The set-pieces are far more expansive than most shooters and I love how the different shaped targets are worth varying point values. 8 out of 10

 

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I made Star Command proud.

 

One of the most unique aspects about Disneyland Paris is the sheer number of walkthroughs. While I prefer traditional rides, these walkthroughs gave a unique flavor to the Paris park. Plus it cannot be overstated how nice it is to have attractions with absolutely no wait at a Disney park.

 

I think the most well-known walkthrough is Alice’s Curious Labyrinth. Hedge mazes were a staple of mine in Roller Coaster Tycoon, but I hadn’t experienced one until now. Here in New England, we believe in corn mazes. I was stunned just how much land this attraction occupied and it was a neat diversion.

 

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This was a-maze-ing.

 

But I think my favorite walkthrough was the Taniere du Dragon, aka the Dragon Lair. Sleeping Beauty’s castle is a beacon of hope, but the basement houses one of Disney’s most impressive animatronics ever. There you’ll find a colossal dragon with a far wider range of motion than anticipated.

 

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I wonder if Aurora knows she has a dragon downstairs.

 

If you want something more cheery, the attic of the castle houses the Galerie de la Belle au Bois Dormant, aka the Sleeping Beauty Gallery. The room was filled with lavish tapestries and stained glass portraits more fit for a church. But I think my favorite part was the overlook of Fantasyland.

 

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It's like Disney if they built a church.

 

I also tried the Mysteres du Nautilus, which turned out to be the weakest. The one noteworthy part was the Kraken attack in the final room, but the animation was quite blurry.

 

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Would you rather go in a submarine or be blasted into space?

 

Ultimately I had 1.5 days at Disney plus a third day’s Extra Magic Hours. This allowed me to get multiple rerides on E-tickets, experience the other key attractions once, and appreciate the beauty of the park. That being said, I easily could have spent more time.

 

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Au revoir.

Edited by Canobie Coaster
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Glad to see Paris Pirates get some love! Amongst the three resorts I've visited (WDW, DL, DLP), Pirates is definitely my favorite Disney attraction so far. There must be 200 moving AAs in that ride. And TWO drops!

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Walt Disney Studios

 

Disneyland Paris is comprised of two parks. While the castle park is often praised for its beauty, Walt Disney Studios is usually the butt of jokes. Is it as bad as other reviews would make you think? Yes in the sense that it isn't a full-day park and no in the sense that it has some fantastic rides.

 

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This felt like a half-baked version of the Florida Studios.

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It may not be a movie studio, but it sort of looks like one.

 

Look no further than Slinky Dog Zigzag Spin Flats typically feel out of place at a Disney park, but not when they're an oversized wiener dog. Who cares about the giant magician's hat or the water tower...Slinky is the park's icon.

 

If you expect an unbiased review, you're deceiving youself. I can say that I prefer Slinky in coaster form, but I'll take Slinky in any form Disney will give him to me. I can also say this ride is more of a looker than a rider. 10 out of 10 for appearance. 5 out of 10 as a ride.

 

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We came to Paris just for this ride.

 

In all seriousness, the park's best attraction is the (still for now) Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. The ride's placement is bizarre. All other iterations of Disney's greatest thrill ride are located on the perimeters of their respective parks. Walt Disney Studio decided to plop their's smack dab in the center of the park. The front facade looks amazing as ever, but the backside is naked. It looks completely out-of-place in a Disney park.

 

The ride cycle is identical to California's old tower. And for me, that isn't a bad thing. The ride is perfection. The story is incredibly immersive and the drops deliver the goods. Every single drop gives that delightful stomach-dropping sensation and is paired with airtime. If that's not enough, the rapid ascent also provides sustained floater that craps all over an S&S tower.

 

Obviously I'll take Florida's tower over this one. And I'll probably take California and Tokyo's towers over this one as well. But that is more a testament to just how good the others are. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I'll take any iteration of the Tower of Terror over most coasters. 10 out of 10

 

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The Partners Statue does not look right in front of the Tower of Terror.

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It also looks weird to see the backside of the Tower and an Armageddon attraction. Walt Disney Studios is a weird park!

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The Hollywood Tower Hotel is an equal opportunity employer.

 

One ride completely unique to Paris (for the time being) is Ratatouille. This ride has one of the best single rider lines I've ever seen. Because of the countless 6-seat vehicles, they need a ton of single riders. Even though the regular queue was 50-70 minutes all day, the single rider line was never more than 5 minutes.

 

The ride is a cross of Pooh's Hunny Hunt and Spiderman. While I (and many others) would prefer a ride comprised entirely of practical sets, I still really enjoyed Ratatouille. The screens are very well executed. The 3D animation is beautiful and up to par with Pixar's films. Plus the jumbo screens effectively make you feel the size of a rat. 8.5 out of 10

 

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I can't wait to see a similar ride at Epcot.

 

I also found it odd how the ride constantly fluctuated between English and French. Characters would say one sentence in English before saying the next in French.

 

As a movie studio park, they also try their hand at the Studio Tram Tour. I was too young to remember the old one in Florida, but I loved the one at Universal Studios Hollywood. That ride was incredible. The same cannot be said about the one at Walt Disney Studios.

 

For one, it's not a real movie set. Two, the ride often doesn't try. The Catastrophe Canyon and London sets are fantastic, but the rest of the ride consists of some random props sitting alongside a road. Worse, half the ride is completely lacking anything to look at. They try to distract you with a video screen with some narration, but I saw right through it. If this is removed for the park's expansion, it's no great loss. 4 out of 10

 

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Catastrophe Canyon was cool as always.

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These props were...just there.

 

This is a coaster site, so naturally I rode all three of them. RC Racer can be a bit of a tricky one since it doesn't offer Fastpass and it's capacity isn't too good. The single rider line is a crapshoot since they don't call for too many, but I lucked out after a rainstorm. I was shocked to see Disney forced riders to put loose articles in a bin rather than keeping them at their feet. Is this a first for Disney?

 

No loose articles makes sense since this coaster (I know this is objectionable to some) has some legit sustained floater. Plus it had a few launches with more kick than I expected. For obvious reasons, it has a short cycle but RC Racer did exactly as advertised. 6 out of 10

 

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To infinity and beyond.

 

Rock n' Roller Coaster was being a bit temperamental during my visit. I think I walked over to it three or four times before I was finally able to ride it. I was expecting a carbon copy of Florida's, but got something a little different. The coaster layout is identical. It has the same great launch and forceful sidewinder inversion.

 

But the story is completely different. Instead of taking a high speed limo through LA, on this one you ride the music. Yes the plot is a bit contrived, but the execution is done well. The coaster bit has a series of spotlights that temporarily blind riders and heighten the sense of speed. I think I may prefer this one to Florida's, but it's close. 7 out of 10

 

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Note the ride is closed. It did that a lot during my visit.

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The lighting was top notch on Rock 'n' Roller Coaster.

 

The last coaster was easily the most frustrating ride at the resort to ride, Crush's Coaster. I used Extra Magic Hours on two separate days to be on one of the first few cars of the day. More specifically, you need to arrive early for Extra Magic Hours to ride it with no wait (See post in the park discussion thread- Here). Otherwise you'll have to wait at least an hour. That includes the single rider line as well.

 

The effort to ride Crush was worth it. Yes it's mostly just an off-the-shelf spinning mouse in a box, but Disney pulled it off well. There's a quick dark ride bit to set the tone and I know many will criticize Disney for skimping on theming during the coaster bit, but I thought it made the ride more thrilling. The ride was in almost total darkness, so it was extremely disorienting being spun and yanked about. 7 out of 10

 

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A studio inside a studio. Studio-ception?

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This was a bear to get on, but it was worth the trouble.

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That seat is mine, mine, mine.

 

Walt Disney Studio is often considered Disney's runt of the litter. It's not a bad park persay; it just doesn't match the high standards of Disney's other parks. The park has some legit E ticket attractions, but the overall feel of the park just seems off. If you've been there, you probably know what I mean.

 

If you go for early entry, it's conceivable you could do the entire park in 1-1.5 hours. Fortunately reinforcements are on the way. As of now, Walt Disney Studios isn't a place I could spend a whole day at, but I kept popping over for another ride on Tower of Terror since this one never seems to have a line.

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such a great report from Disneyland Paris.

 

never been (yet) to the parks outside the US, and had no idea this Hyperspace Mountain has inversions! (is it like Rock N Roller Coaster crossed with Space Mountain?).

 

if I ever get to France, this park is on my list, tho it's not my "bucket list" Disney (that would be Tokyo DisneySea).

 

thanks for the great pics & report, and glad you had a good time!

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Thanks! Comparing any park to Tokyo Disneyland is an unfair comparison. I actually prefer Tokyo's castle park to DisneySea but both are exceptional.

 

Saying Hyperspace Mountain is a cross of those two rides is a pretty fair comparison except it doesn't track as well as Rock n Roller Coaster. I absolutely loved it though because of the vest restraints and intensity.

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Disney Village

 

Since I stayed onsite, I spent quite a bit of time at Disney Village, the Paris equivalent of Disney Springs / Downtown Disney. It's comparable in size to Downtown Disney in California and thankfully everything stays open after the parks close unlike a certain park in England (cough: Alton Towers: cough).

 

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Disney Village and the hotels are situated around a lake.

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My first day at Disneyland Paris coincided with the release of Avengers Endgame. Fortunately I found a single English showtime at the Gaumont Theater in Disney Village (in IMAX no less). It pained me leave the park a half hour early, but I was ecstatic to see the film spoiler free.

 

A quick spoiler free review- The movie is excellent. There's a reason it is breaking all sorts of box office records. The preceding 20 something films built up to Endgame and it absolutely delivered. Is it perfect? No. But it does everything it needs to, includes plenty of fan service, and has some spectacular action sequences.

 

My lone gripe with the theater was the popcorn. I was looking forward to feasting on a gigantic bucket of buttery popcorn, but apparently in France they prefer to put sugar on their popcorn. Oh well, it saved me $10 that went to my Disney souvenir fund.

 

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Avengers Assemble!

 

Speaking of souvenirs, there were several Disney stores in Disney Village. For the most part, the souvenirs overlapped with each other but there was a good chunk of merchandise exclusive to the Paris resort. I was unable to find a Disneyland Paris hoodie with Donald or Daisy for my family, but I did find a nice blanket.

 

And for myself, I found a lovely Chip n Dale bowl.

 

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Disneyland Paris, take my money.

 

For food, I tried two places. The first was Earl of Sandwich. This was my first experience with the chain and while I thought my steak and cheese was just ok, I thought the prices were extremely fair considering the location. Plus the service was very fast.

 

I also tried the (generically named) Steakhouse. The service was excellent and the steak was quite good. It had a bit more of a charred taste to it than I like, but it was very juicy.

 

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I love how everyone was wearing Mickey ears and t-shirts in such a fancy restaurant.

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The dog was begging for scraps.

 

As you may have surmised, I did choose to stay onsite at Hotel Cheyenne for three nights. Even though Cheyenne is the resort’s budget hotel, I thought it was quite nice. The Wild West theme was well executed and the service was exactly what you’d expect from Disney.

 

It was a 15-20 minute walk from the parks, but the walk was quite scenic. It ran past a stream and took you through Disney Village. It was a nice way to start the day and sure beat the walk in California when I pass all the trashy hotels and Denny's.

 

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The hotel nailed the wild west ghost town theme.

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Unfortunately guests were not allowed to sleep in the teepees.

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My accommodations for three nights.

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You probably already mentioned it multiple times, but the amount of trip reports you pump through is impressive. Where do you find the time!?

 

How is Disneyland Paris currently holding up (cast member and operational wise) to the other Disney parks? It has now been in the hands of The Company for over a year now. Noticed any changes?

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^ Most of these are written at the airport or on the plane. Usually I've already seen the "new releases" on the plane's entertainment system.

 

In terms of operations, everyone was efficient and helpful. The only difference I noted was that a lot of employees weren't as outgoing or smiling like the US or Tokyo parks.

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^ Most of these are written at the airport or on the plane. Usually I've already seen the "new releases" on the plane's entertainment system.

 

Still impressed dude. It's great to read through them!

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Parc Asterix

 

Parc Asterix was neck and neck with Disneyland Paris for the most anticipated park on my trip. Few parks can match a Disney for me, but there’s one archetype that can- a well-themed park with top-end thrill rides (ex. Silver Dollar City, Busch Gardens, etc). And boy did Parc Asterix deliver.

 

I had zero familiarity with the Asterix comics going into my visit. And in no way did that negatively impact my visit. After my visit, I found that Asterix is to ancient history as Veggie Tales is to religion. The cartoonish twist on history presented a very unique and cheery atmosphere.

 

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Parc Asterix was gorgeous.

 

I started with Vol D’Icare on the way to Zeus and it took my breath away…just not in the good way. This coaster’s restraints are bizarre; it’s a sliding t-bar like a bobsled coaster. MCBR 1 did nothing. MCBR 2 did nothing. MCBR 3 tried to give me a vasectomy. Calling the stop abrupt is an understatement. The stop on a Schwarzkopf Wildcat is abrupt. This was just brutal. The t-bar delivered a direct shot to my nuts.

 

Outside of that, Vol D’Icare is your average family coaster. Just be careful it doesn’t prevent you from having a family. 4 out of 10

 

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Guys, wear a cup for this one.

 

No more messing around, it was time for the panty-wearing Zeus. And I have to be honest, I was both nervous and excited to ride Tonnerre de Zeus. On one hand, I knew Zeus in peak form was a world-class coaster, as evidenced by multiple first place finishes in the Mitch Hawker poll. On the other hand, I’ve heard Zeus is temperamental and can run like absolute doggy doo doo.

 

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Laugh at my panties and I will strike you down.

 

The verdict? It definitely wasn’t running in peak form. Some of it may have been attributed to it being a cooler day, but the ride sounded like death. The screeching was so bad I can still hear it all the way back in Boston. 2019 POVs are coming in about 10 seconds slower than older POVs. Yikes! But even a hobbled Zeus is still a great wooden coaster.

 

The first drop is arguably the best of any traditional wooden coaster. This one runs a rare 7-car PTC train. The yank combined with the drop’s steepness provides some insane ejector air. There's also another drop after the big helix with airtime rivaling Raven's 5th drop. Zeus didn't have as many airtime moments as expected, but those present were awesome.

 

Where Zeus truly shined was the laterals. I know Zeus is the God of Thunder, but you could convince me he’s the God of Laterals too. The sustained lats in the 540 degree helix aren’t far behind the Legend’s famous double helix. You also have great lats on several turnarounds and there are a few sneaky hills with kinks on the drop.

 

Zeus was bleeding speed and screeching quite loudly after the big helix. Those bunny hills in the middle of the ride looked ripe for airtime, but there was none to be had. Fortunately the drops off the turnarounds and on-ride photo drop still provided nice pops of ejector air simply because of how steep they were.

 

I also want to note that I didn’t find the coaster rough at all. That included multiple rides in wheel seats. I’ve noticed a lot of wooden coasters with aggressive, lateral-heavy layouts often are misclassified as rough. Zeus is one of those woodies. Sure it’s bouncy at points, but there was a time before RMCs.

 

As I experienced it, Tonnerre de Zeus was a great coaster capable of so much more. Zeus at its best is right up there with the best of the best. This ride has some serious laterals and ejector air. I just wish it was able to maintain its speed all the way through. 8.5 out of 10

 

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Zeus is a difficult ride to photograph. Most of it takes place in a backstage area.

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Unfortunately Zeus was crawling by this point, but it was a nice photo op at least.

 

Normal disk’os are enjoyable flats, but not must rides for me. I always make a point to ride disk’o coasters. No I’m not a credit whore. Well I am, but you know what I mean. I don’t count disk’o coasters And Parc Asterix has one of the best in Discobelix.

 

These rides all seem to have the same cycle and forces. What differentiates this one is the location on the pond and two neat effects- a synchronized splashdown effect and a flamethrower. Just be sure to ride this one early since it gets one of the longest queues in the park. 8 out of 10

 

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The disk'o coasters are way better if you ask me.

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It also helps when they have water.

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And fire.

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Parc Asterix so ridiculously efficient. For example, on Discobelix they put up a temporary barrier after each ride. This prevents the usual most-pit of people boarding of exiting. They also have two separate wheelie bins that go back and forth to expedite loading.

 

The park’s newest coaster is Pegase Express, an out-and-back version of Firechaser Express. And this may just be one of the snappiest family coasters out there. This coaster is loaded with quick changes of direction. There’s no airtime on these, but they can keep even a seasoned enthusiast on their toes. This is particularly true during the wild backwards segment.

 

The highlight is undoubtedly the finale. I don’t want to spoil the show scene, but I will say it would make Universal proud. Gerstlauer needs to make more of these family coasters. They have super low height requirements and do a little bit of everything. 7 out of 10

 

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This looks like your usual family coaster.

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As does this.

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But this looks like a legit coaster. And Pegase Express is quite good for all ages.

 

Goudurix. It’s the name that shall not be said among coaster enthusiasts. Rumor has it, just saying the name causes coaster enthusiast to crap worse than a patient during colonoscopy prep. I felt like I was walking into my own funeral as I boarded the train in the back row no less.

 

I also want to note that Goudurix’s Rapidus entrance is a royal pain to find. On all the other rides, it was located adjacent to the main entrance. For Goudurix, you need to loop around the kiddie plane ride and head down this nondescript, dirt path for the hotel. Maybe it’s Asterix saying you don’t want to ride this.

 

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Oh boy, Goudurix time.

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FYI this is how you get to the Goudurix Rapidus Pass entrance.

 

The first drop was enjoyable. It delivered a nice pop of air. The airtime felt like the last meal of a patient on death row. Then came the butterfly. I closed my eyes in fear, but something was amiss. There was no headbanging. Instead I was blown away by a ridiculously forceful element.

 

Then came the batwing. Lightning couldn’t strike twice, could it? By Zeus it did! Yes there was a rough jolt exiting the element, but that was the only rough spot on the entire ride. By this point, I relaxed my guard and fully enjoyed the forceful vertical loop and snappy corkscrews, which were also fairly smooth.

 

I actually liked Goudurix. WTF? And my ride wasn’t a fluke either, I rode it multiple times! I came to the conclusion this cannot be the same Goudruix everyone else has ridden. I have no clue what they did- retracking, new trains, sold their soul to the devil- but whatever they did, it worked. 7 out of 10

 

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It looks like death, but it rides like a dream.

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I think I only hit my head once. I couldn't believe it.

 

B&M’s best and worst inverts are usually pretty consistent. Best- Nemesis, Montu, or Pyrenees. Worst- Silver Bullet, Patriot, or OzIris. The latter always surprised me because of the insane level of theming. It looked like a next level Montu. So I figured the ride itself must be really bland.

 

OzIris simply wasn’t good…it was exceptional.

 

It all began with the first drop. And what a first drop it was! It started with bonafide ejector air (on an invert!) and then transitioned to some wicked laterals. This drop felt wildly out-of-place on an invert and it immediately showed me that OzIris had balls.

 

The entry into the dive loop provided another surprise pop of air before dishing out the heavy Gs trademark of an old-school invert. That’s followed by a snappy overbank and a powerful vertical loop. I thought all the new B&Ms were supposed to be forceless? Even the Immelmann had some force and the final helix was reminiscent of Silver Bullet.

 

But what separated OzIris was the airtime. I already mentioned the first drop, but there were 2 other sizable drops and 2 bunny hills with air. The drop before the zero-G was even ejector air for good measure. If you prefer hangtime, you get that in the traditional zero-G roll and this overstretched corkscrew.

 

Call me crazy, but OzIris is my new favorite invert. Epic drop, forceful loops, leg-numbing helices, floaty zero-G rolls, airtime, and immersive theming. It really is the complete package. I’m not sure what Parc Asterix has been feeding OzIris, but it was running like a bat-out-of-hell. 10 out of 10

 

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If you told me I'd like this more than Tonnerre de Zeus, I'd call you crazy.

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If you told me I'd like this more than Nemesis, I'd call you crazy.

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Well I guess I better call you crazy because OzIris was awesome!

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I knew it'd be well-themed, but it packed a mighty punch too.

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Ok I still can't figure out if this is a zero-G roll or a drawn out corkscrew.

 

SOS Numerobis was one of the rare attractions that was a walk-on. Needless to say I hopped aboard for the credit. It’s one of those small Zierer coasters with the comically long train. It gave not one, not two, but three laps and was heavily wooded. Otherwise it was nothing special. 3 out of 10

 

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Smile for the not on-ride photo.

 

Trace du Hourra is a bizarre bobsled coaster. Most bobsleds are themed to…you know…bobsledding. Instead, Trace du Hourra is themed to a caveman that learns to walk and excitedly runs down a hill screaming “hooray” I swear I’m not making that up; that’s seriously the theme.

 

It’s also shockingly tall. The lift can accommodate multiple trains at once. Now I really wanted to like this ride. It was long, beautifully landscaped, and had some nice helices. But it had an Achilles heel, the same Achilles heel as all Mack bobsleds- vibrations. 5 out of 10

 

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Those dispatches. <3

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It's so weird seeing a non-white bobsled.

 

One of the biggest benefits of TPR is knowing the can’t miss non-coasters at each park. For Asterix, one of those rides was the Defi de Cesar. I never thought there’d be a mad house with a more elaborate pre-show than Hex at Alton Towers, but Defi de Cesar matches it.

 

It was a neat twist to have the main ride themed to a ship on rough waters. I guess conventional themes are too mainstream for Asterix. The inverting effect was top-notch on this version. I believe the ride system is identical to SFNE’s, as you get some serious sliding throughout the ride. 8 out of 10

 

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Hey I know him!

 

I felt obligated to use my Rapidus Pass on all available rides, so against my better judgment I rode Grand Splatch. I figured it’d be your garden variety shoot-the-chute ride, but it had a far more expansive layout. I think the entire ride was 5-6 minutes in length.

 

But as the fellows with small feet will tell you, it’s more important what you do with the length. Most of the ride is spent slowly meandering through a themeless forest. It felt markedly out-of-place at a park with Asterix theming out the wazoo. There were drops to break up the monotony at least. The first one was puny, but the second one was a decent double-down. 6 out of 10

 

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There was a splash, but it wasn't particularly soaking.

 

By comparison, Epidemais Croisiere was far more enjoyable. The ride traded drops for cute little scenes from the Asterix comics. 7 out of 10

 

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Note how the boy in front is sitting.

 

The park’s best water ride was the log flume, Menhir Express. Like Grand Splatch, it mostly themeless. Except on Menhir Express, the boats actually navigate the trough faster than a snail dragging a barbell.

 

Plus the drops are great too. I don’t know which drop I prefer. Both give surprise pops of air. The second is considerably larger; however, the first has an uphill segment much like Splash Mountain or Ripsaw Falls. 9 out of 10

 

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I love Hopkins flumes.

 

Oxygenarium may be the park’s most unique water ride. This is one of those spinning raft slides for the dry park. SFNE used to have one in Joker’s current spot. As a water ride, it fails spectacularly. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten wet from this type of attraction.

 

But as a spinning ride, it thrives. The descent spins faster than a tea cup. The one at SFNE only turned right, which allowed the spinning to be maintained the whole way down. Oxygenarium changes direction a few times, which provided a momentary reprieve from the spinning. Some may appreciate the reprieve, but I wanted to go balls to the wall the whole way down. 6 out of 10

 

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It was nigh impossible to photograph the ride itself due to all the trees.

 

For food, I went with the Restaurant du Lac. It was a full-service sit-down restaurant with quite the atmosphere. I went with the hamburger and it was probably the best meal I had during my time in France. That sounds sad, but it was actually a fantastic hamburger.

 

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The restaurant looks like the produce section of a supermarket.

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No seriously, this was my best meal in France.

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And it included this cocktail.

 

It’s also worth noting that the park has one of those innovative aerial bars. I strongly considered riding just to get some off-ride pictures of Zeus (it’s dang near impossible to photograph from ground level), but on-ride photography wasn’t allowed. Makes sense considering booze and coordination do not mix.

 

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Do you want to get drunk...

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and high? At the same time?

 

Oh and they had dolphins. Because one of the dolphins had just given birth, they turned the show into more of an informational session, but it was better than outright cancelling it like many parks would.

 

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They're not as good as wiener dogs, but they're close.

 

I did miss out on Transdemonium though. The ride was quietly closed for the 2019 season. All of the ride’s signage is still intact, but the park scrubbed all mentions of it from the park maps and website.

 

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I did not have good luck with ghost houses on this trip.

 

I was hell-bent on maximizing my chances of a world-class ride on Zeus, so I finished the day with an hour marathon. Most woodies heat up as the day progresses, but something didn’t seem quite right. If anything, Zeus was running slower and it was definitely screeching even more loudly.

 

After my second ride, the park called maintenance and had them grease the pre-lift. This caused the screeching to subside considerably and maybe it started getting faster. But it was too little too late. The next time I visit Asterix, I’m going to intentionally visit on a rainy day so the Zeus is all nice and lubricated.

 

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If you look off to the left, you can see the maintenance worker who brought out the miracle grease.

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13 rides later!

 

I honestly don’t know if I preferred Disneyland Paris or Parc Asterix. Disney is Disney, but Parc Asterix shined in every single area. The park was gorgeous. The landscaping was top-notch like so many European parks. The park had great theming and operations were fast.

 

From a ride perspective, Asterix is only going to get better. OzIris is an incredible invert and I have no doubt Tonnerre de Zeus is still capable of being a world-class ride. But most importantly, there’s that shiny new Intamin on the horizon in 2021. God that ride looks incredible.

Edited by Canobie Coaster
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What a fantastic trip report. I love this park; they have a few great coasters, some great support rides and the theming is so unique and really fun. Since I last visited the operations have far improved and are actually excellent now, and I totally agree about OzIris. My expectations were low, but it blew me away. Not sure if it has improved over time, but I loved the layout, and the first drop in the back seat is remarkable. I'm not a fan of the elevated helix, but the presentation and the ride in general is just brilliant.

 

Regarding Goudurix, it's always been the coaster enthusiasts love to hate. Since the retracking it is a lot better, but even before it wasn't THAT bad. There were a couple of really brutal moments, but apart from that it wasn't a constant pummeling like you'd find on many SLCs.

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Thanks! I agree the operations were excellent. Stacking was really uncommon and they usually had the train dispatching before the next hit the brakes.

 

I know CGA's Grizzly is another coaster enthusiasts love to hate. But by all accounts, that ride isn't rough, just uneventful. Ok so Goudurix was retracked then? I had a suspicion it wasn't the same ride everyone despised.

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Awesome report, I always kind of forget about Asterix when I think of major parks in Europe but it seems like a nice park with a pretty solid coaster collection. I'm pretty sure I'm going to end up spending some time in France in the next couple of years so might have to add this park to my list.

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Thanks! I agree the operations were excellent. Stacking was really uncommon and they usually had the train dispatching before the next hit the brakes.

 

I know CGA's Grizzly is another coaster enthusiasts love to hate. But by all accounts, that ride isn't rough, just uneventful. Ok so Goudurix was retracked then? I had a suspicion it wasn't the same ride everyone despised.

Maybe retracked might be the wrong word, but they did a LOT of work which involved putting scaffolding up on most of the inversions, cutting sections of track out, replacing crossties and the running rails etc. But honestly, it wasn't quite as bad as what people said.

 

Hilltopper, if you fly to Paris CDG, it's a super-simple journey from the airport - there's a shuttle bus, but also you can get an Uber and it's only about 20 minutes maybe.

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Awesome report, I always kind of forget about Asterix when I think of major parks in Europe but it seems like a nice park with a pretty solid coaster collection. I'm pretty sure I'm going to end up spending some time in France in the next couple of years so might have to add this park to my list.

 

Thanks! I'd argue OzIris is already a signature coaster and Zeus has the potential to be one, but that Intamin monster in 2021 looks like a candidate for one of the world's best coasters.

 

Thanks! I agree the operations were excellent. Stacking was really uncommon and they usually had the train dispatching before the next hit the brakes.

 

I know CGA's Grizzly is another coaster enthusiasts love to hate. But by all accounts, that ride isn't rough, just uneventful. Ok so Goudurix was retracked then? I had a suspicion it wasn't the same ride everyone despised.

Maybe retracked might be the wrong word, but they did a LOT of work which involved putting scaffolding up on most of the inversions, cutting sections of track out, replacing crossties and the running rails etc. But honestly, it wasn't quite as bad as what people said.

 

Hilltopper, if you fly to Paris CDG, it's a super-simple journey from the airport - there's a shuttle bus, but also you can get an Uber and it's only about 20 minutes maybe.

 

Whatever Asterix did made the coaster enjoyable for me. I never thought I'd ride it multiple times going into my visit.

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I just rewatched a POV of OzIris keeping what you reported in mind and I can definitely now see where it's coming from. Thank you for clearing my perception I've gotten of the ride from other enthusiasts.

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