Disneyland Paris has a slew of E-ticket attractions- Space Mountain: Misson 2, Big Thunder Mountain, Ratatouille: L’Adventure Totalement Toquée de Remy (fact: it will take you just as long to say it as it does to wait in the stand by queue), but it also boasts a large number of hidden gems, or attractions that most guests overlook based on preconceived ideas, age group or touring style. With DLP’s attention to detail, there’s surely more than enough to entertain after you’ve grabbed your fastpasses for the day. Here are 10 great reasons to slow down and think twice about the 60 minute line for Peter Pan.
1. Alice’s Curious Labyrinth
Unique to Disneyland Paris, this hedge maze of jumping fountains, tiny gates and one crazy cat is actually a bit of a challenge even for adults- but you’ll get somewhere…if only you walk long enough. Climb the castle steps of the Queen of Hearts for two great views of Fantasyland and an impossibly great photo-op.
2. Captain EO
We’ve already waxed poetic about the wonderfulness that is Captain EO. It’s pure 80′s in all it’s glory and for those of us who grew up with neon, scrunchies and crimping, it doesn’t get much better in terms of nostalgia. I remember seeing Captain EO at Epcot in Walt Disney World when I was younger and seeing it today in Disneyland Park brings back such great memories. Not to mention the fact that the music is seriously solid. Whoever doesn’t come out of that theater with “We Are Here to Change the World,” stuck in their head is probably dead inside. There’s a long (loooong) list of things Disney should bring back to guests, but for now, I guess Captiain EO as a consolation prize ain’t half bad.
This one might be best for fans of the Disney classic 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea as this walkthrough has an amazing amount of detail tied to the movie. Interactive elements make it a fun stop regardless, but it’s the little things that make you feel like you’ve stepped into the film. Full disclosure here: I watched this movie for the first time in preparation for my first visit to Walt’s: An American Restaurant, just in case I was seated in the dining room of this theme. I wasn’t, but I made sure to find time to board the Nautilus immediately after to see if it held up and I was pleasantly surprised by just how spot on this was. Bonus points for rarely having a line.
4. Disneyland Railroad
This might be a controversial choice, but with so many other E-ticket attractions available, I think many families leave this off their must-do list and into their time-left-over pile. Helping to make this decision is the minimal theming along the route and the epically long lines, present so much that I find myself skipping it more often than not. Why the extended queues? Loading guests takes approximately 1.5 million years at each stop and really unless you’re going to make a full loop, it’s just not worth it (I learned this the hard way, waiting 45 minutes for a 4 minute ride from Discoveryland to Main Street Station. Poor decisions all around). That being said, if you manage to ride first thing in the morning or are the lucky recipient of a low crowd weekday, it is a Disney classic and a great way to get the lay of the land.
5. Le Pays des Contes de Fées
Modeled after the original Storybook Land Canal Boats in Disneyland, this quaint cruise through the scenes of Disney classic fairy tales (plus Peter and the Wolf) is often relegated into the “just for kids” category. Not so, I’d argue, as a charming musical score and incredibly detailed mini-lands transport guests of all ages from Snow White’s cottage to the Emerald City of Wizard of Oz. Bonus points awarded for the adjacent Casey Jr.- Le Petit Train du Cirque often seen whizzing by as you coast through the mysterious Cave of Wonders.
6. La Tanière du Dragon and La Gallerie de la Belle au Bois Dormant
Imagineering at its best. Travel deep into the dungeons of Sleeping Beauty’s castle and uncover a dragons lair or follow the steps up to find the tale of Sleeping Beauty as told through tapestries and stained glass. Detail for the sake of detail, these spaces exemplify the very best of what makes Disney, Disney.
7. Discovery Arcarde and Liberty Arcade
Whether you’d like to celebrate the progress of 18th century inventions or the creation of the Statue of Liberty, both Discovery Arcade and Liberty Arcade are worth a stroll during your Disney day. The beauty of Main Street USA is rivaled only by these covered passageways, full of detail and history.
This one is often a one and done for repeat guests or those on a strict time schedule due mostly to its longer length. But this 30 minute show paying tribute to the magic of the movies is always a welcome break to my day (it doesn’t hurt that the chairs are super comfy so if you did want to use this time to catch up on some zzz’s, I’m sure you wouldn’t be the only one). Martin Short and Julie Delpy guide guests through the history of film, from old time Westerns to a galaxy far, far away. It’s an entertaining show and specific to WDS. Also, naps.
9. Adventure Isle
With winding jungle pathways, underground labrynths and a suspended footbridge, Adventure Isle is an area to run wild, to explore and to escape. With so much room to run free, it’s no wonder it’s rarely crowded, even during peak season. From the caves under Skull Rock to the views from Spyglass Hill, guests can lose themselves on a treasure hunt for Pirates, in quiet corners or a shipwrecked family of Robinsons.
10. Le Passage Enchanté d’Aladdin
Small vingettes depecting the story of everyone’s favorite street rat are the main components of this walk through attraction. Small props, dim stained glass lighting and some great background music make this a super charming stop that doesn’t take long to complete.
And there you have it. Ten attractions that routinely don’t get their due at DLP, but should because I’ve mentioned Captain EO and dragons in the same post. Boom.