A Mugful of Disney: unmissable rides at Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Paris is my ultimate happy place.  Despite not living in France, I try to go as often as I can. I think I’m up to 15 visits or so since my first time there back in 1995.

Since I have accumulated a lot of knowledge about the Paris parks, I figured I’d share it with my readers (if I have any!), with a whole category in the blog devoted to Disneyland Paris. Without further ado, welcome to A Mugful of Disney, a section of the blog I will hopefully update weekly with tips, reviews, lists, facts, and info about Disneyland Paris, plus other Disney themed posts to fuel my obsession love for the House of Mouse.

Today, I’m writing a quick list of my unmissable rides in both the Disneyland and Walt Disney Studio Parks, which may be a handy reference for fellow theme park ride fans.

Disclaimer – I have not included “Hyperspace Mountain” in this list because incredibly I haven’t been able to go on it since the renovations thanks to badly timed meals, long queues and just too much to do in my other visits, so i am unable to review it. It will be a priority on my next trip!

Pirates of the Caribbean – Adventureland – Disneyland Park

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Not actually the Pirates ride – Skull Rock and the Pirate Ship in Adventureland

It’s hard to imagine that Pirates of the Caribbean was a theme park ride before it was the hugely successful movie franchise that (probably) bought Johnny Depp his island!

The first Pirates of the Caribbean ride opened in 1967 in Disneyland (California), and was the last Disneyland attraction whose construction was overseen by Walt Disney himself (sadly Walt passed away before the ride opened).

POTC is a standard Disneyland boat ride (you climb aboard a small boat and are taken through different environments). You will set sail from a beautiful Caribbean island and it won’t be long before you get into some trouble!

Why should I queue for it? it’s iconic, impressive, and recently updated to feature some of your favourite characters from the Pirates movie franchise. The music is wonderful and it will be stuck in your head for days.

Phantom Manor – Frontierland – Disneyland Park

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I am not sure anybody else actually watched the Haunted Mansion movie with Eddie Murphy, but it does exist, so here’s another Disneyland attraction that became a movie!

Phantom Manor (the DLP version) and Haunted Mansion (the Disneyland version) are quite different from each other. Phantom Manor features a different story and music, and a much scarier atmosphere, so if you are a veteran of the American or Asian parks, that’s no excuse for skipping a trip to the edge of Frontierland to step into Ravenswood Manor. Hopefully you’ll make it out alive!

Why should I queue for it? it’s unique to the DLP park, the story is just the right kind of ghost story, and even the queue experience is interesting (the grounds are wonderfully decrepit and the manor boasts unparalleled views of Big Thunder Mountain and the whole of Thunder Mesa). Don’t miss Boot Hill cemetery at the end, with the humorous tombstone, and listen in for the beating heart coming from the crypt!

Big Thunder Mountain – Frontierland – Disneyland Park

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Probably the most fun thrill ride in the world if you can’t stomach (pun intended) corkscrews, dive loop and other assorted roller coaster shenanigans.

Big Thunder Mountain dominates the landscape of Frontierland, sitting in the middle of the lake and beckoning park goers with its charming train sounds (and the delighted/terrified screams of the passengers!). It’s a fast paced romper of a ride across the mines – so hold on to your hats!

Why should I queue for it? It’s a fun, exhilarating ride that even children can enjoy! If you are a movie buff, you may be interested in knowing that the sounds for the mine train in “Indiana and the Temple of Doom” were recorded on the original Disney ride.
If none of this convinces you…surely you’ve dreamed about setting off for the Wild West and finding your fortune? Hop in!

Star Tours – Discoveryland – Disneyland Park

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I probably don’t need to sell this very hard, do I? Star Tours is an absolute must if you are even low-key interested in Star Wars. It’s a great trip into the unknown, literally since you will get a combination of three different environment on each journey (unless you’re me, and you get exactly the same planets twice in a row!)

Right from the moment you step into the queue, you are immersed in the unique Star Wars atmosphere, and you feel like you’re really about to go on a plane/spaceship journey…the long queue certainly helps with that airport feeling, but at least there’s droids!

the ride itself is a flight simulator, which can make some people feel a little motion sick. I definitely feel a little loopy while trawling through the shop at the end of the ride, but it wears off quickly and it’s 100% worth it.

Why should I queue for it? Why wouldn’t you queue for it? It’s an amazing Star Wars ride. Get it together.

Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast – Discoveryland – Disneyland Park

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Another great attraction in Discoveryland, Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast is a fun shooting gallery style ride: you enlist as a space ranger and go off to defeat Zurg. And who wouldn’t want to, when the objective is saving the totally adorable Toy Story green aliens?

A personal favourite of mine, I always make sure to go at least once every time I visit, to try and better my scores! (full disclosure, they aren’t very hard to beat).

Why should I queue for it? Kids of all ages will love saving the galaxy/world/universe with Buzz, and it’s a great way to be off your feet but still enjoy yourself with an interactive attraction during a long day at the park. You can also get a Photopass picture of you shooting at Zurg!

Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy – Toon Studio – Walt Disney Studios

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I have walked over to the Studios for my last two unmissable attractions. If you have watched Ratatouille, you must have loved it, and I guarantee you will love this enchanting ride as well. You approach the ride by walking through a beautiful parisian corner in the park, complete with the sign for Gusteau’s Restaurant. After queueing on the Parisian rooftops, you step into rat shaped carriages and begin a journey through Paris and the kitchen where much of the movie takes place, while you are shrunk down to the size of a rat! Hilarity and shenanigans ensue.

Why should I queue for it? At the time of writing this list, this ride is unique to Disneyland Paris, so it’s one to not be missed! It gets extremely busy, so my recommendation is to use a precious Fast Pass for it.

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror – Walt Disney Studios

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Towering (sorry) over the studios, this attraction is the single biggest draw to the Studio park. Step into this jazz-era hotel, and climb aboard the elevator, if you dare!

The ride is a drop tower ride: you are in the elevator, and things start going really bad for you. It’s a thrill ride, not for the faint of heart, and it may make you a little woozy, but it’s absolutely spectacular and it will offer you unparalleled views over the whole Disneyland area…if you can keep your eyes open!

Why should I queue for it? Who wouldn’t want to queue to climb aboard an elevator to the fifth dimension? Come on. Thank me later…if you make it back!

We are done walking and queueing for today. What do you think of my picks? Did I miss any of your favourites? What are your must do rides at Disney Parks? I would love to hear from you.

Thanks for reading, see you next week with another Mugful of Disney!

 

 

 

 

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