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DLP Season of the Force and Jardin D'!

Serena

Miss CoasterForce 2016
Staff member
Social Media Team
Ahh, Disney. The Coca Cola of theme parks.

What kind of girlfriend would I be if, when my boyfriend told me that he once visited DLP and wasn't tall enough to ride Space Mountain, I didn't selflessly book flights then and there for us to go back and get him the darn cred. Never mind that we're in the dark depths of the closed season, and I was getting desperate for any available dose of theme park action. I was only thinking of him, really.

Truth be told, I've always been incredibly spineless when it comes to Disney parks. If I go with people who LOVE Disney, I feed off their excitement and get plenty of vicarious joy over the whole saccharine affair. God knows, I've shed a tear at a parade or two. But if I go with the nonplussed, I find it quite hard to get into the whole thing. Which is weird, considering how often I see photos of the castle and feel a huge wave of fondness and a longing to be there. Then when I am there, I feel just kind of...flat.

Maybe the DisneyLand I feel inexplicable sentiment for (never visited as a child) only exists in my head. And in adverts. And on Instagram. Boy does DLP look hot on Instagram.

Either way, it was Season of the Force during our visit. DID YOU KNOW DISNEY OWN STAR WARS?! You probably didn't, they should really make it more obvious. I mean, I for one, certainly haven't felt like I've been walking around in a everlasting Star Wars advert since 2012.

We headed to Parc DisneyLand first. You know, the older yet prettier sister. For a rainy Monday in term time, it was really busy. Anyone would think we were at Europe's most visited theme park or something.

I got in a small huff because the ride op for Big Thunder Mountain made us sit in the front row. Where naff-all happens coaster-wise. Nice themeing though. Those stalagmites would look great on Instagram.

Phantom Manor was closed so we headed for Hyperspace Mountain - which is Space Mountain re-imagined with a space theme. Now THIS "I'm a Star Wars" really works. The on board audio of the classic Star Wars soundtrack, the tie fighters that fire lasers as you pass through an inversion... It's really, really cool. A very enjoyable version of a somewhat enjoyable coaster.

We queued a lifetime to meet Darth Vader who looked particularly shiny, and the photos came out terrible. Obviously the Disney Photographer had the good spot and we were too peasanty to cough up for that official photo. Or for a phone with a decent camera. We are definitely doing this all wrong.

Buzz Shooty Dark Ride had a long queue so we skipped it in favour of the crapper dark rides with longer queues, namely Snow White (ie: DEATH! DOOM! GLOOM! The Ride) and Peter Pan (ie: Droomvluchts surly uncle)

Then it was onto Indiana Jones, where Intamin came to the fancy dress party as a Pinfari. Another plus one for Rob, at least. Pirates had a massive queue and it was absolutely chucking it down, so we headed over to the Studios for lunch.

Rob had the special edition red-bun Star Wars burger with cajun mayo - the official Seasoning of the Sauce. Along with overpriced burgers, there's some Star Wars stuff in the indoors bit, including an X-Wing that's frustratingly not in it's X formation.

Post lunch, I resisted the urge to run straight to fabulous Tower of Terror. We were sensible and single rider'd Ratatouille, which was way better than I remembered it being. In fact, I'd say probably one of the best Trackless dark rides I've ridden? But I've not ridden Mystic Manor yet, so my opinion counts for s**t, of course.

Into Toy Story zone we ploughed, our spirits buoyed by the heavy rain meaning smaller queues for outdoor attractions.
"Hey, RC Racer will be another new cred for you, Rob!"
"Hahahahaha they have a ride called ARSEY Racer?! Amazing"

Thank goodness it was walk on, it's such a nothingy coaster.

Okay we may as well carry on with these creds-for-Rob then, seen as Rock n Rollercoaster doesn't have a queue. It's a pretty fun ride all in all. But I WANT TO RIDE SOMETHING AMAZING NOW PLEASE.

Cue: Tower of Terror. I love everything about this ride. The imposing, spooky exterior, the cobwebbed, haunting interior, the Nightmare On Elm Street-style boiler room. It's just perfection. The airtime! The depth perception trickery! It's absolutely brilliant from start to finish. Easily one of the best dark rides in Europe.

Met some Storm Troopers, got a few more **** photos. Went over to Crush and it was having it's daily Maurer Sohne tantrum, so we left it to sulk for a few hours and went back into Parc Disneyland for Pirates and the parade.

Pirates is great, isn't it. What a classic, immersive dark ride.

The parade was also fab, featuring a fire-breathing dragon and some cool looking human thorns. I really missed the cheese-tastic 'Magic Everywhere' song though.

Then we sort of found ourselves at a bit of a loose end. We had missed all the daily Star Wars parades over at the Studios, and there wasn't much else we wanted to ride at Parc Disneyland. Star Tours and Buzz still had a massive queues, so we jumped on Small World to kill some time, then trotted back once again to the Studios. It's a small walk after all.

Got a spot in the rain for the Star Wars Galactic Celebration night time show. When you see photos of this show on Instagram, it looks amazing. But it was kind of just like watching a really long trailer, albeit projected onto ToT. Characters emerge briefly. Darth Maul does a snazzy dance. Lots of clips from the films. The end. I think main issue was the due to the projections spanning onto a few buildings and the stage as well, it felt like there wasn't really a focal point to it.

Maybe it's just me, but since Disney acquired Star Wars, Star Wars hasn't felt very...Star Warsy? I mean, it has always been a commercial merchandising juggernaut, but part of the charm feels missing now. Or maybe it's just because I'm a nitpicky adult now who can't enjoy things for what they're worth anymore. Who knows.

We ran over to Parc Disneyland to try and catch Illuminations SPONSORED BY PANDORA. By the time we got there it was halfway through. And it was garish! Ow, lovely castle, you are hurting my eyes :( please stop.

So, every time I see lovely photos of DLP on Instagram, there's the classic 'night time castle with fireworks' shot. But...there were no fireworks?! Aren't there meant to be fireworks? WHAT ARE WE DOING WRONG?!

And that was that. Any Disney-enthusiasts still reading and wincing over this report will be pleased to know that we went to Jardin D'acclaimation the following day, and despite saying it was open on their website, and saying it was open 'with rides still operating' on the flipping GATE... it was closed and we got spited.

Happy January Everyone!
 
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