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Not such a great Disneyland at Paris

Disneyland Paris: We've just returned from a 4 day trip to Disneyland Paris. It was our first visit in 5 years and although the weather was great the place left a bad taste in my mouth.

From Jason K
Posted August 9, 2009 at 4:00 PM
We've just returned from a 4 day trip to Disneyland Paris. It was our first visit in 5 years and although the weather was great the place left a bad taste in my mouth.

Firstly the cigarette smoking really got up my nose, literally! I was in several different ride lines, with my kids, and people would just start lighting up, to our left, to our right, behind us.....there was no escaping from it.

My wife went to use the restrooms/toilets. She came back to say there were toilet bowls with seats missing. On top of that there was a male cleaner in there!

There were also the rides. Although Paris has some of the best, they had decided to shut a lot of them down several hours before the park closed. There was also the strange case of the Studio Tram Tour where the climax with the falling truck and rush of water did not happen. This after being in the line for it for over an hour.

Then there was the pool at our hotel. For some reason they had decided to open it only from 3pm. This meant there was a huge line for it come 3pm. I was told later that this was to save money by cutting out an entire work shift. They must have forgotten that it was summer.

These incidents, along with seeing only a single smile from a cast member, plenty of line jumping, visitors jumping in fountains and laying in the fenced off ornamented garden areas of the park (all going unchallenged) has made me wonder DLP is heading the right way.


Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.

From Anthony Murphy
Posted August 9, 2009 at 5:24 PM
Yep, I saw every single thing you mentioned while at there.

The smoking thing probably will be going away soon because smoking is prohibited in cafes in downtown Paris so I think it will be next.

I had my worst Disney meal there ever at the Blue Lagoon and the manager, who worked at EPCOT for years sadly came to our table and told us "I know, this would make Walt Disney embaressed". Pretty much many cast members don't really want to be there and this is their last resort (vs many if not most at WDW really want to be there). I also think it might have something to do with workers' rights there, but I am not sure.

In regards to rude guests, its gonna happen, but the issue at hand there is there are so many people speaking different languages that many don't care to follow the rules.

What hotel did you stay at?

Other than that, I hope you enjoyed the rides in which I think are better than their American Cousins for the most part. I also want to mention that not all cast members were bad. We actually met some that really loved working there and I give them credit since many need to speak more than two languages.I will admit, I have met the worst Cast Members here. I think all the good ones are at EPCOT.

Was there any positive to your trip though?

From James Rao
Posted August 9, 2009 at 5:37 PM
That smoking thing would be a huge issue for me and mine. Huge.

From Anthony Murphy
Posted August 9, 2009 at 5:55 PM
Its Europe so go figure :)

Beating our butts in the US with health, but yet they smoke ALOT.

From Joshua Counsil
Posted August 10, 2009 at 8:14 AM
Everyone seems to have a problem with smoking nowadays. I find the amount of obese people in Orlando to be much grosser, personally.

Still, the other problems, like line jumpers and out-of-bounds patrons, would get on my nerves.

Sorry to hear your trip was less than satisfactory.

From Gareth H
Posted August 10, 2009 at 9:53 AM
That's Paris for you. Dirty, Stinky, Rude City.

Nothing like the movies at all.

I went once.

Apart from having to pay to use the restrooms, then being stared at by some over eager, loitering pervert in it, then fighting your way around the city through rude pedestrians, its just not a nice place. I wojuldn't even consider DLP. If I were still living in the UK, I'd much prefer to travel all the way to the US and visit Orlandos attraction, probably for the same, or less money!!

From Anthony Murphy
Posted August 10, 2009 at 10:59 AM
Less money BTW since the prices are basically the same in euros.

So.....

If something is $10 at WDW, the same thing is 10 Euros at DLP(which is actually $14.20 due to conversion).

As mentioned before, I think everybody should visit it at least once. It makes you appreciate WDW and gives you some interesting twists on classic rides such as the Haunted Mansion. One of my favorites there (which they could/should put in MK) is Alice's Hedge Maze. Tougher than you think and loads of fun! Get rid of Pooh's Thoughful Spot ASAP!

So the rides are better (in my opinon) and about 50% if the Cast Members are great. Of course that is unacceptable for Disney

From sarah g
Posted August 10, 2009 at 11:55 AM
The smoking is part of their culture. As many may find it offensive and gross, I find smelly tourists much more horrific. I agree with the comment above, the grossly obese Americans are disgusting. I'm sure they are just as offended by our fatness as your are by their smoking.
I think its almost offensive to foreign tourists that at American parks the smoking areas are so few and far between.
And no, I am not a smoker :)

From Anthony Murphy
Posted August 10, 2009 at 12:15 PM
Except fatness doesn't hurt them, unless you sit on them :)

From Jason K
Posted August 10, 2009 at 2:37 PM
I haven't got a problem with people smoking but when the smoke is forced upon others especially young kids waiting in lines for rides or viewing parades, and they can't escape from it, then I think that's not on.

With regards to people being obese, I haven't got a problem with that because it's not forced upon others.

I stayed at the Newport Bay Club hotel where staff were generally ok. However, after checking out I had to return after the parks had closed because I remembered I had left my passport and cash in the room safe. The staff at the concierge desk were rolling their eyes, shaking their heads side to side and tutting when I told them my situation. They even called other staff over to tell them what I had done and were almost laughing at me. I know it was not the most sensible thing for me to have left them after checking out but surely there was no need for that sort of reaction from them.

Breakfast was another case of grumpy staff. If you arrived after 10am, the greeting staff were looking at you incredulously!

I think the point has been made that a lot of the staff are there because they have to be and not because they want to, like in the US parks.

From James Rao
Posted August 10, 2009 at 3:51 PM
I posted this once before, but I re-post it here since it applies (tongue firmly planted in cheek):

"I kind of like fat tourists (I am not referring to larger or slightly overweight people - like most of us - but I am talking about the morbidly obese travelers). Generally speaking, they arrive at the park late (after breakfast, I presume), never miss a meal (including breakfast, 2nd breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner, 2nd dinner, and midnight snack), move slowly (herd mentality), and don't (can't) ride most of the top attractions. In short, they help keep the parks in business (especially the restaurants) and lag behind me while I tour. What's not to like?"

As for the smokers, there is no way to control the billows of rank smelling smoke that saturates hair, clothes, rides, queues, and restaurants. Without provisions to prevent the act, or quarantined sections set aside for it, then not only do I have to smell their foul stench, but I must also participate in their filthy habit in a second hand fashion.

Sure we all do things that are bad for us, but not everything we do has a direct impact on the experience of everyone else like smoking does.

Maybe I am just another over-opinionated American snob, but I like my theme park visits sparkly clean and minty fresh!

From James Rao
Posted August 10, 2009 at 3:53 PM
^^I find that post to be highly offensive and abusive. It makes me want to go outside and suck down a quarter pounder while I take a few drags on a Camel Lite. Jerk.

From James Rao
Posted August 10, 2009 at 3:55 PM
So many voices inside this head of mine... I've been away from Orlando for far too long, it seems.

From Anthony Murphy
Posted August 10, 2009 at 7:11 PM
We had a problem with the staff too at our hotel (Santa Fe). Apparently, none have air conditioners and they thought it was funny that we thought they had!

From barry morrison
Posted August 11, 2009 at 12:56 PM
very sad to hear that. this is a major issue that needs to be addressed, obviously if these facts are true.

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