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First Time at DLP...and a slight obsessive rant re: Phantom Manor

grim-grinning_toast

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
#1
Okay! So we did it! We went to Paris for a day and a half and found time to do everything we wanted. And yes, that included going to Disneyland Paris. I wonder why this location was chosen, honestly. Paris doesn't need a Disneyland. It's a tourist's city all by itself. -shrugs-

Things I noticed:
1. Holy crap, this place is desolate on the weekday. Every photo we took had no one in it. We were able to take tons of photos on Main Street without any other families in the background. I loved that!

2. It's a very macabre park. It seems that every attraction says "enjoy your time! But don't forget that death is coming." The thorns reaching up towards Sleeping Beauty's castle especially grabbed my attention. What an off addition. I loved the cultural differences between the two US parks and this European one.

3. The art! There's an enclosed section off of main street that is lit by flames and next to those flames are cast-iron cut outs of da Vinci's Vitruvian Man. It was such a beautiful place and a really unique touch.

4. There is no Tomorrowland! Only Discoveryland, which seems a bit hodge-podgy. One section is futuristic while there seems to be an overwhelming emphasis on the Jules Verne look. (Not complaining! It's cool)

5. Walt Disney Studios is embarrassing. I'm sorry if that's an unpopular opinion, but yikes. We went there first to ride Ratatouille (which was slightly disappointing and reminded me of a Universal Studios ride) and there is no cohesive theme whatsoever. I was excited to leave.

6. With no lines, it is totally possible to do all the rides you want in both parks with just a few hours. We were there from 1 - 5 and rode Pinocchio, Snow White, Alice's Labyrinth, Big Thunder Mountain (best version I've rode thus far), Phantom Manor, Ratatouille, and Crush's Coaster. We also ate lunch!

7. The gift shops in the US are far superior.

And now, to talk for just a few minutes about my new favorite thing: Phantom Manor.

Uh, guys? This is the best attraction I've ever seen. Its story is sad and terrifying and beautiful. The art is incredibly moving, and the lack of humor makes it feel like an actual haunted house. I love the Haunted Mansion (please see username), but this attraction takes every cake at every bakery in my eyes. It was so engaging and so truly scary that I could not stop thinking about it for three days. I even had a nightmare about it, which was not fun at the time, but makes me so impressed with its effectiveness! There is no ghost host, there is no narration, and there are no hitchhiking ghosts. Every kitschy aspect of HM has been removed and replaced with, well - like I said earlier, the macabre. I love Melanie's backstory, I love the Phantom, and I loved the ballroom scene. It is a 20/10 for me.

So! Overall, Disneyland Paris is VERY different. It feels different in every way. However, I would definitely go back for longer than a few hours and I would love to ride many of these attractions a few times in a row just to take in how different and cool they are. 8/10, would recommend!
 

IamGroot!

Well-Known Member
#2
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Okay! So we did it! We went to Paris for a day and a half and found time to do everything we wanted. And yes, that included going to Disneyland Paris. I wonder why this location was chosen, honestly. Paris doesn't need a Disneyland. It's a tourist's city all by itself. -shrugs-

Things I noticed:
1. Holy crap, this place is desolate on the weekday. Every photo we took had no one in it. We were able to take tons of photos on Main Street without any other families in the background. I loved that!

2. It's a very macabre park. It seems that every attraction says "enjoy your time! But don't forget that death is coming." The thorns reaching up towards Sleeping Beauty's castle especially grabbed my attention. What an off addition. I loved the cultural differences between the two US parks and this European one.

3. The art! There's an enclosed section off of main street that is lit by flames and next to those flames are cast-iron cut outs of da Vinci's Vitruvian Man. It was such a beautiful place and a really unique touch.

4. There is no Tomorrowland! Only Discoveryland, which seems a bit hodge-podgy. One section is futuristic while there seems to be an overwhelming emphasis on the Jules Verne look. (Not complaining! It's cool)

5. Walt Disney Studios is embarrassing. I'm sorry if that's an unpopular opinion, but yikes. We went there first to ride Ratatouille (which was slightly disappointing and reminded me of a Universal Studios ride) and there is no cohesive theme whatsoever. I was excited to leave.

6. With no lines, it is totally possible to do all the rides you want in both parks with just a few hours. We were there from 1 - 5 and rode Pinocchio, Snow White, Alice's Labyrinth, Big Thunder Mountain (best version I've rode thus far), Phantom Manor, Ratatouille, and Crush's Coaster. We also ate lunch!

7. The gift shops in the US are far superior.

And now, to talk for just a few minutes about my new favorite thing: Phantom Manor.

Uh, guys? This is the best attraction I've ever seen. Its story is sad and terrifying and beautiful. The art is incredibly moving, and the lack of humor makes it feel like an actual haunted house. I love the Haunted Mansion (please see username), but this attraction takes every cake at every bakery in my eyes. It was so engaging and so truly scary that I could not stop thinking about it for three days. I even had a nightmare about it, which was not fun at the time, but makes me so impressed with its effectiveness! There is no ghost host, there is no narration, and there are no hitchhiking ghosts. Every kitschy aspect of HM has been removed and replaced with, well - like I said earlier, the macabre. I love Melanie's backstory, I love the Phantom, and I loved the ballroom scene. It is a 20/10 for me.

So! Overall, Disneyland Paris is VERY different. It feels different in every way. However, I would definitely go back for longer than a few hours and I would love to ride many of these attractions a few times in a row just to take in how different and cool they are. 8/10, would recommend!
The big thunder with the big drop?
 

AndyS2992

Well-Known Member
#5
Okay! So we did it! We went to Paris for a day and a half and found time to do everything we wanted. And yes, that included going to Disneyland Paris. I wonder why this location was chosen, honestly. Paris doesn't need a Disneyland. It's a tourist's city all by itself. -shrugs-

Things I noticed:
1. Holy crap, this place is desolate on the weekday. Every photo we took had no one in it. We were able to take tons of photos on Main Street without any other families in the background. I loved that!

2. It's a very macabre park. It seems that every attraction says "enjoy your time! But don't forget that death is coming." The thorns reaching up towards Sleeping Beauty's castle especially grabbed my attention. What an off addition. I loved the cultural differences between the two US parks and this European one.

3. The art! There's an enclosed section off of main street that is lit by flames and next to those flames are cast-iron cut outs of da Vinci's Vitruvian Man. It was such a beautiful place and a really unique touch.

4. There is no Tomorrowland! Only Discoveryland, which seems a bit hodge-podgy. One section is futuristic while there seems to be an overwhelming emphasis on the Jules Verne look. (Not complaining! It's cool)

5. Walt Disney Studios is embarrassing. I'm sorry if that's an unpopular opinion, but yikes. We went there first to ride Ratatouille (which was slightly disappointing and reminded me of a Universal Studios ride) and there is no cohesive theme whatsoever. I was excited to leave.

6. With no lines, it is totally possible to do all the rides you want in both parks with just a few hours. We were there from 1 - 5 and rode Pinocchio, Snow White, Alice's Labyrinth, Big Thunder Mountain (best version I've rode thus far), Phantom Manor, Ratatouille, and Crush's Coaster. We also ate lunch!

7. The gift shops in the US are far superior.

And now, to talk for just a few minutes about my new favorite thing: Phantom Manor.

Uh, guys? This is the best attraction I've ever seen. Its story is sad and terrifying and beautiful. The art is incredibly moving, and the lack of humor makes it feel like an actual haunted house. I love the Haunted Mansion (please see username), but this attraction takes every cake at every bakery in my eyes. It was so engaging and so truly scary that I could not stop thinking about it for three days. I even had a nightmare about it, which was not fun at the time, but makes me so impressed with its effectiveness! There is no ghost host, there is no narration, and there are no hitchhiking ghosts. Every kitschy aspect of HM has been removed and replaced with, well - like I said earlier, the macabre. I love Melanie's backstory, I love the Phantom, and I loved the ballroom scene. It is a 20/10 for me.

So! Overall, Disneyland Paris is VERY different. It feels different in every way. However, I would definitely go back for longer than a few hours and I would love to ride many of these attractions a few times in a row just to take in how different and cool they are. 8/10, would recommend!
1. Yes, November is a great time to visit Disneyland, it’s cheap, the place is empty and the Christmas decorations and events are in full swing. The Magical Bonfire fireworks in Disney Village are well worth the visit.

2. I guess? But I’m not following you fully. The thorn dragon behind the castle is a Halloween decoration and has now been removed. The classic sword in the Stone photo op has now returned. Phantom Manor is a lot darker in tone as is the whole Frontierland backstory but everything else is the same as the US parks. Not sure where else death is stalking you lol

3. Yup, Europe and classic art goes hand in hand. It was done to appeal to European tastes.

4. I agree, Star Tours and Buzz stand out but the rest is nice, just wish they would convert Space Mountain back to its original Jules Verne theme.

5. This is how everyone feels, the park layout is an absolute shambles and they have made it very difficult for themselves to correct. The movie studio theme worked fine until Toy Story Land and Ratatouille came about. The Rock N Rollercoaster area is nothing but concrete and needs themeing badly.

6. Yes it is possible to hit all the headliners in 8 hours in November which is great however this is impossible in Summer, Halloween week and late December, the parks are packed.

7. Fully agree, the range of merchandise is terrible and every store sells the same things.

Glad you enjoyed your visit though.

It did have a pretty big drop, but my favorite part is at the end where you go into a tunnel for at LEAST a whole minute of complete darkness and you're going incredibly fast.
That is my favourite part! So fast, puts all other versions to shame. Ride it at night in the backseat for an even more terrifying ride ;)
 
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grim-grinning_toast

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
#6
2. I guess? But I’m not following you fully. The thorn dragon behind the castle is a Halloween decoration and has now been removed. The classic sword in the Stone photo op has now returned. Phantom Manor is a lot darker in tone as is the whole Frontierland backstory but everything else is the same as the US parks. Not sure where else death is stalking you
Oh, dang! I didn’t even know it was just a Halloween decoration! We were there at a weird in between time because Main Street was totally decorated for Christmas while Frontierland still had these cute ghosts all around. I guess that lessens my claim, then. Because that was my biggest “woah this is macabre” moment. I do feel like, as a whole, the Disneyland Park is darker, though. With the dragon under the castle and the Pirates area and obviously Phantom Manor’s exterior alone. But the vines moved me! It was so front and center. Thanks for the clarification
 

voodoo321

Active Member
#7
I was just there for the first time last week. I agree with many of your points but defer to Andy, as more in line with my thinking. I plan on doing a full trip report here soon when I have the time just to do a comparison to the American parks. I totally agree with your first statement about Paris but completely disagree with your opinion on Phantom Manor. I thought I would really like it but it fell flat for me. I will elaborate in the next few days if you care to listen.
 

Absimilliard

Well-Known Member
#8
Oh, dang! I didn’t even know it was just a Halloween decoration! We were there at a weird in between time because Main Street was totally decorated for Christmas while Frontierland still had these cute ghosts all around. I guess that lessens my claim, then. Because that was my biggest “woah this is macabre” moment. I do feel like, as a whole, the Disneyland Park is darker, though. With the dragon under the castle and the Pirates area and obviously Phantom Manor’s exterior alone. But the vines moved me! It was so front and center. Thanks for the clarification
I once had a "zen ride" on Phantom Manor. By Zen ride, I mean a solo ride where I was the only person in the attraction at the time... The room before the stretch room was scary enough and you can imagine how I felt throughout the ride, knowing I was the only one on board at the time.

The ride itself is my favorite classic Disney dark ride. Like you note, the fact it is a scary story with little to no lighthearted moments make it quite special and the art direction and scenery amazing. As much as I like the original Vincent Price narration that was recorded in english and quickily scrapped after opening, I prefer the french version. The tone and choice of words is perfect for the story.

A refurb is planned for next year with major upgrades.
 

grim-grinning_toast

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
#9
I was just there for the first time last week. I agree with many of your points but defer to Andy, as more in line with my thinking. I plan on doing a full trip report here soon when I have the time just to do a comparison to the American parks. I totally agree with your first statement about Paris but completely disagree with your opinion on Phantom Manor. I thought I would really like it but it fell flat for me. I will elaborate in the next few days if you care to listen.
Heck yeah, I care to listen! Let's hear it!
 

grim-grinning_toast

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
#10
I once had a "zen ride" on Phantom Manor. By Zen ride, I mean a solo ride where I was the only person in the attraction at the time... The room before the stretch room was scary enough and you can imagine how I felt throughout the ride, knowing I was the only one on board at the time.

The ride itself is my favorite classic Disney dark ride. Like you note, the fact it is a scary story with little to no lighthearted moments make it quite special and the art direction and scenery amazing. As much as I like the original Vincent Price narration that was recorded in english and quickily scrapped after opening, I prefer the french version. The tone and choice of words is perfect for the story.

A refurb is planned for next year with major upgrades.
But they kept Vincent's laugh!! And *that* was very special for me, as I am a massive fan of his work. I don't know French, so I couldn't enjoy it the way someone who is familiar with the language could. Maybe that made it scarier, too!
 

voodoo321

Active Member
#13
It is a beautiful score. Very cinematic. I detailed my thoughts on Phantom Manor in my thread. I will say here that I enjoyed the ride and appreciated the different take on the classic Haunted Mansion. I didn't think the cinematic type score fit in exactly with the ride but that's just me. I guess my problem is that I think HM is just about perfect as a ride and is firmly entrenched in my psyche. Differences and changes to that, while interesting, I will be critical of. That being said, I wouldn't want all the parks to have cookie cutter versions of the ride, which is why I appreciate that PM exists. I just like the kitsch and humor of the original over the macabre.