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Santa07

Europe Trip Reports 2017

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So some of you may remember around a year ago I was asking on tips for a Europe trip - a trip which has now been completed. While this trip wasn't a theme-park-focused trip, I did manage to hit up Phantasialand and the two Disneyland Paris parks.

So this thread will be used to give my trip reports for each of these parks. I do apologise in advance for the text-heaviness of these trip reports, as I took minimal photos using only my phone's camera.

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Thanks for this.

Yes Taron I've noted people either love, or think is a let down. It definitely is an achievement with its theming, and tangle of track, and it's awesome how quick the transitions are. I would say that if they had maybe snuck in 4 or 5 airtime moments, it would be a perfect 10. Of course, I'm not one of those ones who thinks the only good coaster is one with a line of -1g hills and nothing else, but in this case they could have balanced the layout better.

Looking foward to visiting in April! 

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Disneyland Paris

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My first Disney park. I have heard only great things about Disney's level of quality, but even after hearing all these stories I was still blown away when I first arrived at the park. I only had one day to see the two parks, which meant I had a lot to squeeze in and had to skip over a lot of things. Even on a relatively quiet day like the one I went on, I found I would've needed at least two, if not three full days to see these parks properly.

First ride of the day was Hyperspace Mountain. Formerly Space Mountain Mission 2, this ride underwent a pretty major refurbishment earlier this year, receiving new Vekoma trains with vest restraints (the same as HWSW) and a retheme to Star Wars. The ride isn't super fast or intense (apart from the launch and inversions its mostly just a few banked turns) but what really makes this ride are the projections inside the show building. It proves how much a basic ride can be elevated using theming and lighting effects (I'd love to see Phanta do something similar to Temple of the Night Hawk). If this was a standalone outdoor coaster with no theming, it would be a very ordinary ride (probably not much better than HWSW), but with the theming and effects it's definitely a top 10 coaster for me (although that doesn't really mean too much with the few coasters I've ridden). I'd rate this ride 8.5/10.

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Next up was Star Tours (using Disney's incredible FastPass system), which was also recently refurbished to make the upgrade to The Adventures Continue. Just... wow. POVs don't do this ride any justice, the movements of the simulator feel so real and everything is synced perfectly. Impressed that they even had scenes from The Last Jedi (which hadn't even been released at the time I was there). A 10/10 ride, definitely, wish I did it more than once.

Headed over to the other side of the park and grabbed a FP for Big Thunder Mountain. Did Phantom Manor while I was over there - a very cool dark ride with some awesome effects. Unfortunately the stoppages of the ride do ruin it a little bit, especially if you happen to stop in one of the more dull scenes. 8/10.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril was next. I have one word to describe this - ow. This ride doesn't belong in a Disney park.  The only decent part of the ride is the loop, which is surprisingly forceful. The rest is just headbanging and pain. 2/10.

The FP timeslot for Big Thunder Mountain rolled around so I did that next. Honestly a little underwhelmed by this ride. The theming is fantastic, but I found the actual coaster a little dull. The only part of the ride I really enjoyed was the last section in the dark. I was pretty close to the front of the train though and I assume the back seat would be a lot more wild. I know it's been said on these forums before, but WWF needs effects similar to that last lift hill (youtube it if you don't know what I'm talking about). 7/10 (and that's mostly because of the theming, would be a lot lower without it).

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The last ride I did in this park was Pirates of the Caribbean, and I was once again very impressed. So much fantastic theming and effects on this ride, and a pretty decent storyline. My socks did get a little wet, but that's half the fun :P  (in fact, this happened when we rolled off the lift hill, neither of the drops really wet you at all). 10/10.

I just want to make a comment on how little things in a park can really take it to the next level. I did spend some time walking around the park soaking up the atmosphere, and two little attractions I stumbled across were the Nautilus and La Taniere du Dragon. The Nautilus is a small little underground walkthrough that is pretty easy to miss, but a nice little place to spend 5 minutes passing through. The dragon is unique to DLP's castle and contains a very impressive animatronic dragon. It's one of the tiny features that makes the place so magical.

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I'm going to throw my review of Walt Disney Studios in a separate post, because the feel of the park is completely different (spoilers: it's not a good different either).

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11 minutes ago, Santa07 said:

If this was a standalone outdoor coaster with no theming, it would be a very ordinary ride (probably not much better than HWSW), but with the theming and effects it's definitely a top 10 coaster for me

...

that's mostly because of the theming, would be a lot lower without it).

 

This is pretty much the case with a lot of Disney. Their attractions aren't all mind-blowing stuff on their own, it's what they do to it. It is something our local parks just simply wouldn't have the budget for, but if they were to aspire to this - keep some of those little touches operating, and inserting new ones 'just because' it would up their game considerably.

This is why Disney level standards are held in such high regard. You don't need to drop millions on a ride - you just need to make what you have better

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I was the opposite on Big Thunder Mountain. Not the wildest coaster out there, but the story line was great and obvious. The tunnel at each end was a nice touch, especially from a passer by perspective as the train charged out of the tunnel into the final brakes. The back was more wild as you suggested.

It was still Space Mountain: Mission 2 on my two visits, I liked the dip before the launch and the launch itself. The rest was too dark too quickly to adjust too, and the brakes sucked, worse than Lethal Weapon. Except that time we shot through them into the emergency brakes. The primary ones where gentle on that run, the emergencies really sucked!  Got bashed around like a Vekoma too. 

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril is nothing special. Watching the loop from the queue was a little unnerving as it moves quite a lot as a car goes through (or did back then 2008 & 2010).

I'm interested to see your thoughts on Rock 'n' Roller Coaster & the Car show if you got the time to see it.

 

Edited by red dragin

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Walt Disney Studios

This park is nothing like what's next door: it's a very ugly park and our parks are a lot prettier than this one. Apart from ToT and the France area of the park, it's basically a bunch of sheds sitting next to eachother. Basically what you'd get if MW took away all its theming and greenery. That said, despite the poor appearance of the park, it does contain four great rides (Ratatouille, ToT, Crush's Coaster and RnRC).

Ratatouille was a 70 minute wait, but luckily the single rider queue was basically a walk-on. This is a very good dark ride - great 3D scenes and the trackless technology is really cool. My only complaint about this ride is that some of the effects were mistimed a little, which sorta ruined the magic - for example we started spinning slightly before we were "hit" by the mop, and the champagne water splash was slightly out of sync with the video too. It's not a perfect dark ride, but still Disney-level quality. 7.5/10.

Tower of Terror was the ride I was looking forward to the most in this park, and it did not disappoint (probably my favourite ride out of the two Disney parks). A great theme (even if the narration was in French), and a ton of airtime. It's not really that forceful, but it's such a fun ride. 10/10.

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Crush's Coaster is a pretty low-capacity ride for Disney standards, so had a long wait all day (even through the single rider queue). It is a fantastic coaster though, and surprisingly intense in some sections. The theming and lighting inside sets a great atmosphere too. Pity the queue was so long because I would've liked to ride this one again. 8.5/10.

Rock n Roller Coaster is definitely the most intense ride at the two parks. The ride layout isn't too dissimilar from Hyperspace Mountain - a launch, a few inversions, but mostly just turns in the dark. I'd really like to ride Xpress Platform 13 at Walibi Holland (which is a clone of the ride) to see how it compares without the lighting and soundtrack. For an older Vekoma with OTSRs, I was surprised to find this ride as smooth as it is, with very minimal headbanging. 8.5/10.

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Unfortunately I didn't get to see the car show (would've been interesting to see a car show that was actually good) or experience the tram tour (which was closed all day). RC Racer was a walk-on, so I did it quickly for the credit - no different to surfrider really, just no spinning seats.

Really looking forward to seeing some more Disney parks in the years to come, and definitely planning on spending a few days  wherever I go next time.

Overall, here's how I'd rank all the rides I did at the two Disney parks:

1. Tower of Terror
2. Star Tours
3. Pirates
4. Hyperspace Mountain
5. RnRC
6. Crush's Coaster
7. Phantom Manor
8. Ratatouille
9. BTM
(pretty big gap here in terms of how good the rides are)
10. RC Racer
11. Indiana Jones

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On 12/21/2017 at 3:08 PM, Santa07 said:

e ride layout isn't too dissimilar from Hyperspace Mountain

Doesn't Hyperspace have an uphill launch, Sidewinder, corkscrew and a cutback.

Whereas RNRC has a flat launch, sea serpent roll and corkscrew?

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