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The Magic Years
Disney through the eyes of teens
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Adrienne Krock, editor
Disneyland, Paris Style

Have you ever been to France? I haven't, but my cousin Stephanie has. She recently went to Europe and visited Disneyland Paris. She has had annual passes to Disneyland in Anaheim, so I thought it would be fun to compare the two parks. When I asked her to tell me about her trip, she was glad to help!

Stephanie at Disneyland Paris
Stephanie at Disneyland Paris

Jewel: If you could bring one thing from Disneyland Paris to Disneyland Anaheim, what would it be and why? What would you bring from Anaheim to Paris?

Stephanie: I love the Indiana Jones ride in Anaheim, however, the ride in Paris is an above- ground roller coaster that goes backwards and has a loop. The loop totally caught me by surprise, as I could not see it from the ground before I stepped on the ride. It was different and lots of fun. To Paris I would bring the Matterhorn. I had a really strange feeling the entire time I was in the park, then I realized it was because there was no Matterhorn. The park seemed so much smaller without it.

J: Do you think the cast members are friendlier in Paris or Anaheim?

S: I found the cast members in Paris to be friendly, but not like the ones in Anaheim. I think there is a difference because the park in Paris is smaller and not as many visitors enter the park. The cast members just walk around after the parade, but don't seem too enthusiastic.

J: Which park do you think is cleaner?

S: I think they are both equally clean.

J: What kind of snacks, like Anaheim's churros, frozen lemonade, or pretzels, do they sell at the carts in Paris?

S: From what I can recall, the carts sell cotton candy, popcorn and drinks. They don't sell frozen lemonade in Paris - it's too cold!

J: Which park would you revisit with a friend to just hang out, assuming location didn't matter?

S: Disneyland Anaheim. Paris was interesting, but in a way, too cheesy. It seems like they tried too hard to re-create Disneyland Anaheim. Main Street is very different, more circus- or carnival-like. I would send someone who had never been to a Magic Kingdom before to Anaheim for those same reasons.

J: What, in your opinion, is the biggest difference between the Anaheim and Paris parks?

S: The missing Matterhorn is enough to give Disneyland Paris an awkward feel, however, Sleeping Beauty Castle has a much more whimsical look to it, not to mention a dragon that lies in a cavern to the left of the castle. When you enter the dragon's cave, he awakens and breathes fire."

J: Which park has more for you to do?

S: Disneyland Anaheim has more activities. Paris has a parade, but there is no Fantasmic!, no stage for live performances and no (Mickey's) Toontown for the little ones. Disneyland Paris is a smaller park than the one in Southern California.

J: Do you think that Walt Disney would be proud of Disneyland Paris?

S: Yes, I think Walt Disney would be proud of Disneyland Paris. I know the park struggled in the beginning, when it was called Euro Disney, but I think it has made a tremendous comeback. Disney Village has been added outside the park, which is full of Los Angeles restaurants, loud music and shops. There are also different hotels surrounding the area with various themes."

J: What was your favorite attraction in Disneyland Paris, and why?

S: My favorite would be either Phantom Manor -- The Haunted Mansion -- or Alice in Wonderland's Maze. The Phantom Manor was actually quite scary. The ride is very different from the one in Anaheim. There is a phantom that appears throughout the entire ride and the graveyard scene is made to look like the underworld.

J: I think it would be great to go to Paris and visit Phantom Manor! I love the Haunted Mansion and this sounds like fun to me.

S: Instead of a ride for Alice in Wonderland, there is a maze with characters from the movie throughout. There is the caterpillar, the cards, the Queen and the castle to walk up inside. It is a fun idea.

J: What is your favorite Anaheim attraction?

S: That would have to be either the (Mad Tea Party) tea cups or Space Mountain. I love how fast the tea cups spin. It also reminds me of when I used to go on them with my sister. Space Mountain was the first roller coaster I ever went on. I rode it with my dad and my cousin Tommy when I was about 7 years old. I remember how scared I was before I rode it, but once I did I wanted to go again.

J: As a tourist, did you feel welcome at Disneyland Paris?

S: Yes, I did feel welcomed in Paris. It wasn't until I visited the park that I realized how much the parks are geared towards tourism. I did not have as warm a welcome as I feel I get in Anaheim, but it was also pouring rain when I went and very cold, so I think that had something to do with it.

J: Thank you, Stephanie for making this column possible. You're the best!

As you can tell, Disneyland Paris and Disneyland Anaheim are very different indeed! I would really like to have a chance to visit the European park.

Ciao!

~Jewel


Jewel's FastFact: In the Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort, 13 lanterns hang from Liberty Tree (on Liberty Square). These lanterns represent the 13 colonies.


Reader mail is the stuff dreams are made of! Have any questions, comments or suggestions? Have you ever been to a distant Disney park? Tell me about it at coolkids@mouseplanet.com.

Disneyland, Paris Style

AN INTERESTING FACT:

Popcorn in Paris is different than in Anaheim. In Anaheim, popcorn is seasoned with salt. In Paris, Disneyland serves popcorn seasoned with sugar!

For more information about Disneyland Paris, please visit MousePlanet's Disneyland Paris Guide

Many of the photos for this article were taken by Ian Parkinson and Morrigoon

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jewel
Hi!
My name is Jewel.

I am 13 years old, and a typical junior high student. I live with my mom, dad, and little brother. My family and I have annual passes to Disneyland so we go quite often. I love school, and science has always been a favorite subject of mine. I am in band and hope to be involved in music for the rest of my life.

Right now, my career goal is to become a deejay. In my mind, that is the coolest job in the world! My hobbies include: listening to and playing music, reading, writing, messing around on the computer and hanging out at Disneyland. We have seven cats (four of them found us), a black Labrador, and I have a goldfish.


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