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Rob Coasters

Hyper Poster
A few years back I found out that I never went to Disneyland as a kid because my parents didn't know that they had rides, which was actually quite understandable giving it a bit of thought. Does 'Space Mountain' sound like a ride to you? Or a weird walkthrough area where you meet Donald Duck planting the American flag into a moon rock? Big Thunder Mountain? Phantom Manor, It's a Small World... and the ones that did disclose themselves as rollercoasters weren't on the advertisements. I get it.

Oh, and let me preface this. 'Mickey' is a nickname, and nicknames are only used by friends for friends. And Michael Mouse is no friend of mine.
I went with four others. And one flight from Luton to Charles de Gaulle later, the next train to Disney wasn't for another hour (!) so we bit the bullet and headed for a 90 euro cab ride directly to the park.

At the park, instead of entering we had to drop our bags off before grabbing a Starbucks. Two of our group was staying at one of the onsite hotels so we used that to drop all of our bags off to collect at the end of the first day which we spent at the Studios.

There was some hesitance from our group on what ride to do first as there were fairly long queues but after an agreement that "the queues are not going to go down" we started with the tied longest queue of the entire trip, #190 Crush's Coaster, at 80 minutes with a real pigeon thinking he's a member of the seagull gang. This stock spinner layout was something I'd always wanted to do after barely missing out on Spinning Racer when it left Fantasy Island a month before my redemption visit, and does it hold up?


I was the only person in my group who wasn't terribly fond of this ride. A hit on the head starts off my ride followed by a not-glass smooth layout in pitch black darkness that really didn't do all that much else for me. Whizzing around in darkness has potential to be fun but I seriously wished there was just a bit of that "things to look at" factor. It felt like we were diving through the darkest depths of the Mariana Trench instead of the glistening waters of whatever ocean they're supposed to be swimming through. Coral gliding or oily demise? Low budget instead.

"How was it?!" asked a member of our group.
"It was alright yeah!"
"F**k off..."

#191 Avengers Assemble Flight Force then. I'd heard that Avengers Campus in general had a huge hate train chugging after it, throwing merciless heaps of garbage against the new area. I think it's alright, bit could've definitely done with a bit (a lot) more colour to help it look more like a proper superhero HQ and not an actual college campus.

My main issue with this ride is the kind of… misleading (?) theme that it dons. The 'Avengers' theme leads me to believe that all of at least the main Avengers will be joining us for the ride outside of screens but Iron Man is the only character who has any presence outside of screens or audio. The admittedly impressive animatronic is Iron Man, the trains are Iron Man, the whole ride is Iron Man. So why not just theme the ride as a whole to Iron Man?

I'd already done this layout before, but this time we were going to be indoors. Does it hold up?


I thought it was alright but it shares most of the same issues with Crush, in that the indoor section once again just has absolutely nothing going on. Two for two on whizzing around in pitch black. I still remain unsure of what exactly the roller coaster experience is supposed to represent when there's complete & total darkness. I do admit that I still enjoy the layout even if most of it is helices and that corkscrew was surprisingly my favourite part, strangely intense. They did find some budget though in the very back half of the ride with a sudden onslaught of lasers and props which I thoroughly liked - but why not have that across the whole ride?
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Our group was getting hungry at this point so decided to get something to eat. We went to Restaurant en Coulisse where I got some chicken nuggets & a coke. They were alright honestly. My brother's chicken burger, however, was not. When asked by a friend of his how it tasted, he said that he'd "eaten wetter sand" where I will allow you to come to your own conclusions on what he thinks and how he came to make that comparison.

One wanted to do Toy Soldiers Parachute Drop, which had broken. Another wanted to do Slinky Dog Zigzag Spin, which was broken. So we decided to do #192 RC Racer, or as I jokingly called it across the whole trip, Arsey Racer.

A mini Screamin Swing that swings a higher angle and lasts longer than Rush, this was an alright little contraption but the single-train operation made for a queue that was a little longer than it needed to be.

Both of the aforementioned flats were still dead but by this point the lack of sleep from the night before was catching up to us and ⅗ of our group had voted to curtains the day and check into our respective hotels. However they saw that I was still a powerhouse of energy, and noting my eager excitement to ride Tower of Terror they decided to just grab bags from the onsite hotel for now then pick themselves up another Starbucks and come back in half an hour to pick me up. Very nice of them. An idea to return to the park later in the day was discussed as we had unlimited access to both parks for the duration of our trip.

So how was Tower of Terror? I loved it. Obviously. Nobody dislikes this thing. The theming is fantastic, the visual from offride is fantastic, the minimal restraints are fantastic,, the ride experience is fantastic. The hardware provides pops of actual airtime at the apexes, and the doors slowly opening at the top to show off how silly high you are before suddenly dropping is a hilarious sequence. All provides for a fantastic ride that is so far ahead of anything else in this park so far.

The lone roamer that goes by the name of 'me' was now ready to be picked up to check into the hotel as we now had our bags, and after a ten minute taxi we were in. We were 17 (!) minutes away from a Shark Coaster at this location but I decided not to act on this for the whole trip. I looked through the leaflets and was successful in finding ones for parcs Astérix & Mer de Sable.

A conveniently-located pizza place was a two minute walk (if even that) from our hotel which tasted great, and if you couldn't tell the idea to return to the park was forgone and our next footsteps in Michael's property were going to be tomorrow no land.

Still a world of energy, I finished my pizza.
Climbed into bed to have a faff on my phone.
It all hit.

Rob Coasters

Hyper Poster
Our second day of Dis trip started after our third Starbucks of the trip, and this time we were going to the main park. A funny note is that the Disneyland castle is a massive icon of America but in Europe, ancient castles are just… kind of everywhere, which made the Parisian Disney castle fail to be a selling point for the park.

Disney midway seen with my real eyes? Tick.

We started off with none other than ‘it’s a small world’ which really was a sleeper horror attraction, and by angling my phone camera upwards to capture both the scenes and the completely unthemed roof it made for a great concept of liminal space. I’m slightly surprised that the roof of this ride was overlooked so much…? It feels so strange to see such a significant contrast.


Next, #193 Indiana Jones et le Temple du Peril was the culmination of several strange decisions that ended up with this clone of a looping Pinfari in Brean existing on Disney property.
And it SUCKS.
The Brean version is, safe to say, far better than this rattley old hunk’o’junk that needs to be sent to the great midway in the sky. Constant headbanging on the restraints caused this to be the roughest coaster I’ve ridden in a good while.

So we proceeded to Pirates of the Caribbean. Allegedly one of the best dark rides in the entire chain, I walked off not terribly convinced. The amount of “things to look at” that it had was great but I didn’t really… get it. This genre of dark ride has always been a struggle with me as a stroll through set pieces has never sent me to think much of them, and the scenes weren’t really doing anything for me.
The drop was good and the second drop was a nice surprise, but I agreed with one member of our group that we weren’t awfully fond of it.

We continued towards #194 Big Thunder Mountain. I was again fairly excited for this but kept expectations down because it really didn’t look like much from the POVs.
I was wrong.
Big Thunder Mountain ended up being by far my favourite ride on the trip. Those POVs are lying to your face, those transitions are ridiculous amounts of enjoyment and the tunnel that kicks things off was great fun too. I couldn’t believe it, I was completely underrating this ride in every sense of the word - I was in awe the whole way through. We splashed down onto the water, got soaked and was in hysterics immediately. Small pops of airtime everywhere. The second section had a huge helix that lasted forever, and the finale… oh, the finale. We dived into the tunnel that ends things off, except we kept on going down with no signs of stopping. I was in disbelief of just how long we were just gaining speed for, and I didn’t care in the slightest that it was pitch black as it didn't last the entire ride.
Then we popped back out to end the ride, and that whole end sequence had me in shock. I LOVED Big Thunder Mountain in so many ways, and I already couldn’t wait to get back on it. But we had other things to do.

Our next target (heh) was Buzz Lightyear Laser Blasts which was I believe to be my first ever omnimover-style ride, and this hardware is impressive in my eyes. I’ve never been a huge fan of shooting dark rides as I absolutely suck at them but the interior was impressive and full of activity.

Our group wanted to return to the hotels for a quick break from the action, mainly to check out their swimming pool and maybe have a nap. They expected me to decline this and stay in the park to really get the money’s worth out of this park, and I didn’t bring swimming shorts anyway (and can’t go underwater without several layers of ear protection anyway). So we said see you later alligator…

…and off I trotted to #195 Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain. I'd heard this ride is received similarly to Flight Force so again wasn't expecting an incredible ride, but the layout is at least something different. Does it hold up?

Kind of but not really? We're now three for three on indoor Disney coasters that have done absolutely nothing with the indoor section and this consistency has gotten a little irritating with how little is done with the ride section. Admittedly this has been my favourite of the three with an actually very interesting layout to it that kicks off with a cool upwards launch and you definitely feel quite some force when you traverse the elements. I left thinking it was good, but if it wasn't for the onboard audio I wouldn't be able to tell you it was a Star Wars coaster.

A few days after my visit me and a buddy were having a good little chat where curiosity finally got the better of me and I searched up what the original Space Mountain looked like before its Skywalker overlay…
…yeah. That would have been supremely cool, and causes me to join the ever-growing group excited for a renovation that brings props to look at back in the scene.

I have never liked pitch black indoor coasters all that much. It's been like that since I started riding them. I just want things to look at during my ride, or near misses, it adds so much to the ride experience.

Star Tours followed. A rare opportunity where I had the chance to experience something completely blind… I have not a single clue what this is but I was about to find out.

Turns out it's a quite fun little simulator ride. My brain fails to serve me many memories of what exactly it did, but I do remember enjoying it quite a bit.

Next in the to-do list was the final new-to-me coaster of the trip, #196 Casey Jr. The queue was a drag (25 minutes that felt like 25 hours) but was a powered coaster that served as a quaint little tour of the area.


Earlier in the day when we were proceeding to Pirates I spotted a ride that sounded like it was going to be a flying theatre. I'd only done one of these before a year and a half ago at Legoland Windsor so my next experience with these rides was a little overdue, and I entered a queue for Peter Pan's Flight excited for Disney's take on this genre of dark ride experience. This queue was also one hell of a drag, tying Crush for the longest queue of the entire trip at 80 minutes again.

And when I got to boarding and clocked those four-seater ship cars, I realised I had made a critical mistake.

I got on my ship, and one minute later I was coming off with a soul absolutely sunk. My lack of knowledge of this ride going into it had bitten me in the backside as hard as it could, and for it to be nothing more than an awful kid's ride gave me a little sense of sheer shock. Utter disbelief when I came to the unload… I really could not believe it, the low point of the whole trip.

In a sense of perfect timing I had gotten out of that hellscape right when my group called me to the entrance to view the parade which was due to start very soon, where when I met back up with them I told them about my… experience… for the organiser of the whole trip to burst into heaps of laughter along with everyone else.
"You WHAT?!"
"It was s**t!"
"I TOLD you to skip Peter Pans Flight!"
"I didn't hear! I really thought it was going to be something different!"
"You know, there used to be two of those rides here, we waited for Sleeping Beauty about the time you did for this… we also were not happy getting off."
Stars on Parade was a pretty cool sight, a proper Disneyland parade that really gave me the "I'm at Disneyland" feel that the castle midway should've given me. Impressive.

That done, we bolted out of the park but the four of them wanted to return to the hotel again so of course I decided not to follow and walked towards the Disney Village where I got my third Starbucks of the trip. I certainly prefer this Starbucks over the one at Hotel Santa Fe.
Finally, I put my multi-park ticket to good use and entered the Studios.

I started with two quick laps of Tower. I've quickly fallen in love with this… fantastic ride once again. My first ride of the day had a sequence where the doors opened, closed, dropped about 3 meters, a second set of doors opened about 10%, then we dropped full height. This was a fantastic sequence of events that I found to make an already fantastic ride even better, and then my second ride immediately after had the car violently shake down in tiny steps before continuing the sequence which was, for lack of a better word, fantastic & really helps to set the theme of a cursed lift.

I meant to ride Ratatouille: I'm Not Writing All of That yesterday but failed to get the chance, so I was here for that too.
I… loved it?
The way the little mouse cars scurried around the floor doing whatever the hell they wanted, and the sense of scale, made this a lovable attraction for me. During one of the scenes I got a theme park feeling that I had been missing for such a long time… complete immersion. I had suddenly started questioning all reality and "am I truly at [park]?" thought that had evaded me for years. It brought me such a nice sense of appreciation for the ride, and perhaps controversially became one of my new favourite dark rides.

Our group had returned to the park and called me over to the main park, so I hopped back over - I was returning there anyway so what good timing. They wanted to get their first ride in on Star Wars Blank-Space Mountain so I agreed to a reride. My token lap was surprisingly far better than my first, maybe (definitely) due to the added company. They caught on that the only ride I'd made a sound on was Big Thunder, so they challenged me to scream during the ride (big ask?). Immediately after we left the station and as we calmly turned the corner to face the launch, I let a big one out and erupted my group into laughter.
I felt the vests get pretty tight on this ride, something that I don't remember happening on my first, which was odd.

Another fun ride done then. Our linkup was only brief though as once again we said in a while crocodile, agreeing to meet back up at park close for the fireworks and so next on the agenda was another ride on Thunder Mountain, not the one in Kirby Misperton sadly(?). Still as fun as before.

Next up was Phantom Manor.
I instantly fell in love with Phantom Manor. It was such a pleasant yet spooky omnimover with scenes that had so much to them, and a brilliantly well-done dancing ghosts scene that is decades old yet baffled me clueless on how it might've been done. Weeks later, writing this report, I found out at last and the way they did it was so simple yet so clever.
It's difficult to explain why I enjoyed this ride so much. It just has so much charm and it quickly gained a spot in the "priority list" to do on the final day.

Onwards, I planned to sit on Big Mountain until queue close getting two more rides in and an almost-night ride to end things off. My favourite ride here, it really couldn't have been anything else.

So off I trotted to the fireworks where we were parked at the very back just like with the parade for reasons that will come to light later. I'd be lying if I said this was an incredible show but after several conversations online about the show, it was concluded that our position at the very back was highly disadvantageous for viewing and that we should have gotten further in front. But we wanted to return to the hotel without dying in a crush.

That done, we bolted out of the park only to encounter a nightmare with the Bolt taxis. As it was park close, there was high demand but at the same time ALL potential drivers were bailing on us because everyone wanted to go to Paris City to gain mega millions while our hotel was less than ten minutes out. After 30+ declinations from the app we soon after decided to have a chat with random incoming drivers.
"I want to go to Paris", driver 1 said.
"20 euro minimum", driver 2 said.
Driver 3 also said no.
Driver 4 also said no.
"...alright, sure" driver 5 said.

Rob Coasters

Hyper Poster

The final day'll have far fewer word count as almost all of the day was spent doing stuff I'd written whole dissertations on just yesterday, and spoilers, opinions only changed on one ride.

Day started with my fourth Starbucks of the day, and a goodbye ride to Tower of Terror plus finally getting our group ride in. Yep, this ride is still fantastic.

But there was one more thing we were interested in. It wasn't Web Slingers, we decided to take the trip instead.
But unfortunately there were no hybrid coasters in the immediate area...
...that only means, we decided to take the Cars Road Trip instead.
Cars Road Trip is difficult to describe, and certainly does feel like it was just plonked in to increase the attendance and "things to do" factor in this park. It's a tractor trailer ride with one (1) scene to it, and while it's pretty cool, needless to say it's not enough.

Studios was finished. Six different rides across the park I've gotten on, four of them one and done.

Main park then. Everyone but me wanted a goodbye ride to Indiana Jones, and it somehow managed to be even worse than before. Good to sit this one out next time for sure.

And our final group ride of the day, Buzz Lightyear. I only just figured out that you could spin the cars (seriously) then managed to get an even worse score even with my newfound knowledge.
"Power cells? For how much?!"

Getting closer to the end of the day, everyone wanted to do different rides to finish it all up. My go-hard-ness started me off with a token lap of Phantom Manor which was walk-on (this ride was always walk-on for some reason). I still love this ride to bits, just brings a charm & atmosphere that I struggle to summarise into words.
Getting off, I went straight back around and was on once again not five minutes later and continued to enjoy the entire ride.
I will again say that while omnimover technology is insanely cool, it does get to the head a bit when there is any sort of delay as it takes absolutely forever for the ride to start back up. This wouldn't be a problem if it was Disney. But it's Disney, so they have to make an announcement that is far longer than it ever needed to be.

Can't be in the area and not do Big Thunder Mountain. One thing I will say is that if you visit a park over several days you start to notice the most random effects stop or start working. Today the watermill in the queue wasn't spinning, yesterday it was. Today there was a huge waterfall in the first lift, yesterday there wasn't. Cool stuff.
And the ride. Yeah it's good.

My next ride was going to be my final ride, Pirates of the Caribbean. I knew that my first impression of the ride was wrong, and I had to go in for a second round just to be sure.
And yep, I was wrong (in thinking it wasn't all that). I'm not quite sure what exactly changed between rides one & two, but I enjoyed this round far more. I was able to soak in the atmosphere and immersion, and the "the gang's all here!" bit at the end put another great little smile on my face just like with the Manor.

I had resurfaced to three missed calls from my brother with a "WHERE ARE YOU" text in all-caps. I called him to him requesting my return to the bus stop, and here's where the whole trip ends in perfection.

I had a small problem.

This was a distance of about 1.4km that I had to clear "now" to grab a cab back to the airport so we could fly home. So I sprinted with all my life like I hadn't just spent three straight days pretty much in a park., but I battled myself in a marathon back to the entrance. I had gotten to the castle midway with the end in sight,

only to realise that I had to crash through the sea of people viewing Stars on Parade. A plethora of "excuse me"s as I looked for any and all random tiny openings within the swarm of spectators. Though I did find my way, the difficult bit was yet to come. The distance between the main park entrance and the taxi rank was FAR LONGER than it looked like, and what I anticipated to be a short distance was the final attempt at Michael Mouse of bringing me to my knees on my final hurdles. I'd stormed through the park, thundered through a horde of viewers and lightning'd down concrete pathing. Taxi rank in sight, and most importantly the rest of my group, I had made it.
"Oh my GOOOOOOD I ran from the entire other end of the park"

It took another half an hour to find a cab that was able to seat five people, but then our official goodbyes were said. We got to our flight on time though. Then it was delayed by an hour and a half.

Needless to say, Disneyland Park (Paris) is my new favourite park. Basic boy I know, but it literally just is a good time to be had.
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Rob Coasters

Hyper Poster
Unexpected thread revival.


Originally in May I was supposed to do this trip, on the week before Disney, to hit both the jardins & Foire du Trone, but ultimately had to cancel seconds before boarding the Eurostar to Paris due to an incident unrelated to our travels. While leaving the station we rearranged the date to the middle of October, and off we waited.
Foire du Trone was now foire du gone. Missing out on specialties such as a new top spin, King, Jet Star etc. but I guess there's always a next time. Parc Saint Paul was shut, but Jardin was open, so we planned to spend 2 hours at the jardin before rolling off to do some sightseeing.

Eurostar came, fell asleep, and we arrived in Paris Gare du Nor, before finding ourselves at the metro station. While much cleaner than the Underground, it was a little more difficult to use & navigate. On the Underground you can just tap your card in & out, but with Paris metro you need to use the ticket machine to buy a ticket. After a huge queue and a ton of faffing with the machine, initially queuing up for the entirely wrong one, we had our ticket. Paris metro also took a little longer to navigate between the north and southbound trains:

I think they even each other out personally. Paris metro has the cleanliness, London has the efficiency of getting from A to B to C. Anyway. We got the metro line 4 to Chatelet, where we changed for metro line 1 to Les Sablons, where we got off and walked seven minutes.

Jardin d'Acclimatation was very secure with a full bag check before letting us in, and we were immediately on #241 Speed Rockets with no queue. This Gerstlauer bobsled coaster was surprisingly full of airtime with the highlights being the twisted airtime hills, the double-down first drop, and even an almost wave turn coupled with some great turns in between. I wasn't expecting it to be as fun as it was. I was visiting with someone who hates long rides, and while this lasted a decent while, they were entirely fine with it.

I've seen enough of these without going on them, let's finally ride one of these things. Les Side Cars allows you to push a button that swings your car out, but I couldn't find any rhythm at all (or it didn't let you swing very high). I expected a little more, but I don't know how high the 'swing cap' is.

Mouse was shut for the next hour, so Les Chaises Volantes was next. This wave swinger was fairly tame compared to others that I've done, but still alright for what it was. Forgot to take a photo. Unforgivable.

Due to thunderstorms being forecast the day before, Soquet powered coaster #1 was shut all day. There were no thunderstorms or even rain all day, yet it was still shut for weather. Maybe it was too sunny. So we walked on. The inside of La Grande Volière was closed, so we looked at birds from outside. I remember these loriquets from Chessington, but was oblivious to the fact that you could feed them there.
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Soquet powered coaster #2 permanently closed a year ago, but it was still in perfect form with nothing having been done to it. Trim some bushes and it's good to go.

#242 Fils du Dragon was come across, new manufacturer cred in the form of Kılıç Lunapark. It wasn't very good.

And after some incredible chicken strips & chips we moved on further down the park. We saw horses & beehives then went back up to the absurdly cute Rivière des Chèvres which was impossible to pass up without riding. It was a stupidly adorable log flume with a super happy ride op.

Finally, #243 Souris Mécaniques was open and... this was yet another coaster that was unreasonably fun for its size. I was seriously not expecting a ride this small to pack this much of a punch with its sharp dips and actual spinning. And it was successful in getting a great laugh out of me, which is heavily impressive for a small family coaster. We immediately got three laps in on it, I have no idea why it was so fun, but it was, and I genuinely think I prefer this model over the standard mice layouts that are everywhere.

We continued to Les Gondoles which had reopened, a musik express style ride that went both forwards and backwards. By this point we'd realised just how lovely all of the staff in this park were. They largely appreciated our attempts at communication in their language, and were always happy to help, and it's like they were on a mission to make our day as nice as possible. This isn't the most powerful ride in the world, but it goes both forwards and backwards, and it's fun for what it is. Improved so much by fun-loving staff.

And then it was time for Les Bateaux Volants which provided some good views of the surrounding area. I opted to take it all in instead of taking photos.

And then two more laps of Speed Rockets, I really like this coaster, and definitely my second favourite bobsled behind Cobra.

It was my decision to end the day on the train as I was cautious on how they were going to operate Kinétorium and didn't want to miss its opening for the day. So we agreed to do it at the end of the day. During the waiting time we found La Rivière Envoûtée, a lovely journey through the woods in the park's Dia de los Muertos Halloween event. Instead of going all scary & haunted & hopeless, this park opted for the "happy skeleton" route with colours everywhere, decorated skulls and just good vibes all around. It's a very different way of going about with Halloween events, and while I love the 'scary' aspect of them, it was so nice to see a more lighthearted change in scene.

And Le Labyrinthe Maya, a confusing mirror maze with some smoke machines that genuinely jumpscared me. On two occasions. How.

Then Le Kinétorium finally opened, and I was very excited to try this out. Basically it's a shooting dark ride where you attack killer flowers who want to end the world. It's a simple concept but very well-executed, I got 3rd place and when the ride ends there's a round of applause to the winners. I don't really have much to say about the experience, but I felt it was a super fun take on the shooting dark ride aspect and - dare I say - one of my favourite ever shooting dark rides.

Rounded things off with two more laps of Speed Rockets before heading to Le Petit Train, next departure in ten minutes.

We sat ourselves down, conductor comes to us, "battery's flat mate, wait a few minutes".
We waited a few minutes.
"Battery's still on 0% mate. I'll give it a few more minutes, but we might have to call it if there's no progress."
We waited a few minutes. Conductor's coming back with a 'I don't have good news' vibe. Sorry, it's broken. We got off, wished each other well, walked out of the park and we'd spent five hours here and it's getting to the point where we should start returning back to the Eurostar terminal.

I feel a little bad because the person I was with really wanted to do the train from the second they saw the tracks, so I feel a little guilty about leaving it so last minute in favour of the other stuff, but they reassured me that it was all good, we weren't expecting the battery to run flat, and we both want to come back anyway to check out the new coaster they're opening next year. So all's good.

We found enough to do in what was supposed to be a cred run park, it was insane. Imagine if we had to shove both Foire du Trone and this into one day. We never would have managed it, and never would have been so pleasantly surprised at how nice this park was. Maybe daytripping stuff isn't such a good idea after all.

Soquet has done a good job with escaping me. When will I catch one?