The Magical World of Disney
By Grace Durant (Kent State University)
Not only is travelling in Europe a dream come true, but having the opportunity to visit Disneyland Paris is something I never thought I would be able to experience. The world of Disney is something that has been a part of my family for as long as I can remember. We spend countless vacations walking through the magical lands that Walt himself created, experiencing The Beauty and the Beast show and screaming our heads off on the Rockin’ Roller coaster. This is an experience that many Americans can relate to. However, Disneyland Paris was surprisingly extremely different from Disney World in Orlando, Florida that I have come to know so well! When walking into the park, the first difference was obvious: SNOW. This is something, that in all my visits to Disney, I have NEVER seen and never thought I would see.
Snow in Disney? That just doesn’t seem natural. As my roommates and myself began waiting in the lines, it started to set in. It was going to be a cold day. Another surprising difference was the size. Disneyland Paris is made up of two parks, and only two parks. Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom complete the Disney location.
Unlike Disney World in Florida, where there are four parks, Downtown Disney, two water parks, and numerous hotels and resorts, Paris was on a much smaller scale. We were able to get through Hollywood Studios in a record hour and a half.
Hollywood Studios, Paris: The two biggest similarities were the main attractions located in this park; Tower of Terror and Rockin‘ Roller Coaster. However, there was not much else to do in that park. The skylines of New York and California were much much smaller than the ones present in Florida. And sadly, there were no Beauty and the Beast and Little Mermaid shows.
Magic Kingdom: The biggest difference was the first thing you see when you enter, the Castle. Unlike in Florida, were Cinderella’s castle sits, Paris is home to Sleeping Beauty’s castle. Although it is a beautiful castle, it is not as big in size as Cinderella’s. But on the plus side, you are able to walk upstairs in Aurora’s castle and read her royal story and see beautiful stained glass windows bringing the story to life.
Continuing with the differences, Paris decided to host many rides and lines outside. This is something we found very interesting, considering that it snows there. Unlike Disney World in Orlando, where many rides and lines are kept inside in order to protect visitors from the sun and heat, Paris designed their parks so that the majority is held outside in the snow. This became a little uncomfortable for my friends and myself around hour ten when we began to loose feeling in our toes. There were many similarities between this park and Disney World’s. Both are home to Space Mountain, Swiss Family Treehouse, Haunted Mansion, It’s a Small World, Buzz Lightyear, the Snow White ride, the Peter Pan ride, Star Wars, and many others.
Although Disneyland in Paris was not exactly what we were expecting, it was a magical experience and one that most definitely made our weekend special. We were able to hear Buzz Lightyear speak in French, experience Be Our Guest sang in French, and get a quick look into the makings of Disney in the beginning. We were able to be there to celebrate the 20 years of Magic for Paris and it’s new addition: Disneyland.