Jul 17th, 2022, 08:00 AM

Disneyland Paris, is it worth the visit?

By William Mancilla
Image credit: Unsplash/ Steven Lozano
How does Disneyland Paris compare to the Original Disneyland in Anaheim, California.

Many Disney lovers coming to Paris know about Disneyland Paris, and get excited at the thought of going to another Disneyland, but now in Europe. 

Obviously as the original Disneyland Park, this park is going be much more established than Disneyland Paris. 

The original Disneyland was founded by Walt Disney. He came up with the idea to create a theme park where adults could go with their children to have fun together. Many people wrote him letters asking to visit his Walt Disney Studios, and he thought that it would be a good idea to build a theme park near the studios. The original park was called Mickey Mouse Park and was inspired by Griffith Park in L.A, the Tivoli gardens in Denmark, Knott's Berry Farm, Colonial Williamsburg, Century of progress in Chicago, and New York's World Fair of 1939. The park at Disneyland paris is then inspried by the original Disney park in Anaheim but. with a more French twist to the design. 

Image credit: Unsplash/ Soyoung Han

Disneyland Paris 

Disneyland Paris is divided into two parks; Disneyland Paris, and Walt Disney Studios Park. Disneyland Paris is divided into different sections: Main Street U.S.A, Adventureland, Discoveryland, Fantasyland, Frontierland.

Main street U.S.A is where the park begins. This is where you first enter when you get into Disneyland Park after having your tickets. Its a street full of shops, restaurants, cafes, and tons of covered walkways full of unique designs and surprises.

Adventureland includes attractions from all corners of the world like Pirates of the Caribbean, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril, Le Cabane des Robinson, Adventure Isle, Pirate Galleon, Pirates Beach and Le Passage Enchante de Aladdin and Agrabah.

Discoveryland has all our future fantasy sci-fi wonders like Star Wars Hyperspace mountain, and Star tours: the adventure continues. Theres also Buzz lightyears Laser blast, Autopia, and the Mickey philharmagic or Mickeyphilharmonica,

Image credit: William Mancilla

Fantasyland is where the magic of childrens storybook tales comes to life. There are attractions like Sleeping Beautys castle, its a small world ride, Peter Pans Flight, Snow white and the Seven dwarves, Pinnochios Daring journey, the Mad Hatters tea cup ride, Alice's curious labrynth, Le Carousel de Lancelot, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, the Casey Jr, Circus train, the Storybook land Canal boats, the sleeping beauty gallery and the Dragons Lair. Fantasyland has many French and Italian inspired designs, along with more European styled foods like Pizza or French food in the Auberge de Cendrillon. 

There is also a special building for those who want to Rencontre avec Mickey " Meet with Mickey."

Image credit: William Mancilla

Frontierland is where Paris meets the American wild west. The entrance is dotted with 'Native American' styled teppees. There are attractions like Big Thunder mountain, the Phantom Manor, the shootin' gallery, a Thunder Mesa riverboat, and even a Frontierland playground.

Frontierland is designed to mimic the old American pioneer towns. With many places to get many Wild West and 'American' styled foods like Burritos or barbecue Ribs.

Image credit: William Mancilla 

Next to the standard Disneyland Paris park is Walt Disney Studios Park. This park is more dedicated to the film, art and animation of Disney. Here you can find attractions such as Toon studio, Worlds of Pixar, the upcoming Avengers campus set to open this summer, Crush coaster. You will also find exquisite restaurants like Chez Remy (which you need reservations for), there are also other rides like the Cars ride, and Cars theme bumper cars, and of course (the world famous Ratatouille ride that is only found in Disneyland Paris). There is also a playground for kids, and numerous food stands dotted with Mickey shaped waffles. 

Disneyland Paris also has Disney village just by the train station and main Disneyland entrance. Disney village is filled with stores and restaurants like the Rainforest Cafe, Five Guys, the Lego store, etc. There are also many other stands as well as the nearby Disney hotels a movie theater and a Disney event Arena.

Image credit: Unsplash/ Aubrey Odom

Disneyland Anaheim 

Disneyland Anaheim opened on July 17 1955. Disneyland Anaheim is divided into the original Disneyland theme park, and Disney California Adventure Park. 

The original Disneyland theme park is divided into sections as follows: Star Wars Galaxy´s Edge, Critter Country, New Orleans Square. The original Disneyland theme park also includes the sections: Tomorrowland (equivalent to Paris' Discoveryland), Fantasyland, Adventureland, Frontierland, Main Street U.S.A, and Mickey`s Toontown. 

Image credit: Unsplash/ Aubrey Odom-Mabey

Star Wars Galaxy`s Edge is the place where your Star Wars sci-fi fantasies come to life. You can experience rides such as the Millenium Falcon, Smugglers Run, and the Star Wars Rise of the Resistance. Other attractions there include: Savi`s Workshop to build your own light saber, and the Droid depot where you can assemble your own droids. 

Critter Country available only in Disneyland Anaheim and Disneyland Tokyo. Similar to Frontierland. Critter country includes attractions like the Davy Crocket explorer Canoes, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and Splash Mountain.  

New Orleans Square basically just has the Haunted mansion which in Disneyland Paris is just put into Frontierland instead. 

Image credit; Unsplash/ Daniela Araya  

Similarities and Differences 

Parades are held in all parks with specific themes depending on day, time and location. However, the parades in Disneyland Anaheim are much bigger as there is much more space for bigger crowds. 

Disneyland Anaheim has some attractions which are not found in the other parks. In the Anaheim location there is Disney California Adventure Park area and there is Cars land, Avengers Campus, and other big attractions which are not in Disneyland Paris or other parks around the world. Siilarly, in Disneyland Paris there is the Rtatouille ride and other french inspried designs which are not found anywhere else. 

However there are equivalent rides like the Cars bumper cars or Avengers Campus Paris.

Both Disneyland theme parks have the sections of Fantasyland, Adventureland, Frontierland and Main Street U.S.A. However, the sections in Disneyland Paris are smaller.

The differences are more apparent in the neighboring parks of either Walt Disney Studios and Disneys California Adventure. As these parks are only available in their respective locations.

Image credit: William Mancilla  

Problems at Disneyland 

The problems with Disneyland's cultural appropriation are very noticeable. From numerous headdresses seen as 'Native American' cultural symbols thrown for sale in shops in Adventureland to the African drum for sale.

The teepee style dwellings outside the entrance to Frontierland and the cultural appropriation and stereotyping of other non-white culture is so strongly noticeable; this is not all that suprising considering the problematic past and racist narratives in many Walt Disney movies. 

The area around Fantasyland is layed-out much differently. There appears to be an organized and precise location of all the 'European' styled theme park sections, but the African and Native American stuff thrown around all over the place in Adventureland.

All in all Disneyland Paris and Disneyland Anaheim aren't all that different. The atmosphere, rides and foods are very similar, the cultural appropriation is the same in both, and a lot of the same stuff can be found in both locations. Maybe just on a much grander scale at Disneyland Anaheim. 

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