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Calling All Disney Fans: Paris vs California

With the new installments being added to our very own Disneyland in California, I found it only fitting to enlighten all my fellow Disney lovers out there of how fortunate we are the have the original architecture for Disneyland. You see, over winter break I had the opportunity to visit Disneyland Paris, and although it still has the same magical feeling throughout the entire park, there are some clear differences as well.

Let’s talk about the castle. I mean, ours is cool, and it looks like the one in the Disney film logo… But Paris has their own dragon under their castle. Yes, a dragon. Granted, it is Sleeping Beauty’s castle, just like ours, so it would only be fitting that an animatronic Maleficent would be hiding out underneath it, right?

Alice in Wonderland is a bit of an obsession in Paris. While we have a whimsical ride, they have an entire labyrinth dedicated to our dear friend the Cheshire Cat (plus a ride to boot). This maze truly captures the spirit of Wonderland by completely immersing you right in the heart of the story by letting you get lost within the high grass walls.

Now, on to one of my personal favorite rides: The Haunted Mansion. Instead of being greeted by everyone’s favorite undead couple, Jack and Sally, for Christmas time, guests are met by an old rusty fence and shrubs… lots of shrubs. You see, their mansion isn’t the typical Eddie Murphy version, but instead follows the story of Constance Hatchaway, the Black Widow Bride. Constance is the bride that married men just to behead them and take all their money. So, you can imagine what the remainder of the ride was like.

Good old Indiana Jones, an oldie but goodie that will leave you with whiplash. This ride is probably one of the more exciting rides in Disneyland as it has a lot of added features like fire, bugs, a skeleton army that tries to kill you with their air spears and, of course, that unrealistically sized snake. As I got in line for this ride in Paris, I was expecting for us to go into a typical booby-trapped temple. Instead, I realized their version of Indiana Jones was not full of whiplash but rather a series of loops and drops. The entire ride was a simple and unnervingly fast roller coaster.

The last major difference between Paris and California Disneyland is the over-the-top magic of Disney. This added effect at the park not only caused me to run excitedly onto main street but also feel accepted amongst my fellow adults who did the exact same thing. Every hour, main street turns into this magical winter wonderland. It starts off with what sounds like Tinkerbell flying around, spreading her pixie dust on those fortunate enough to be outside when it begins. Then the snow begins to fall and people fill the streets, coming out of stores just to witness one of the coolest things I thought that Disney Paris had over our very own Disneyland.

About the author

Kristin Valdivia

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