It’s a debate many families have: Disneyland Paris vs Disney World, but I personally think both destinations have wonderful things to offer visitors and are unique in their own Disney magical kind of way.
Disneyland Paris is much more compact than Disney World which covers 30,000 acres, but manages to pack a lot of attractions into its relatively small footprint (4,800 acres).
The Disneyland Paris resort area is made up of Disneyland Park, Walt Disney Studios, Disney Village and its seven on-site hotels.
The Disneyland Park, like Magic Kingdom in Florida is based on the original Disney Park in California with many of the same rides: It’s A Small World, Thunder Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, Peter Pan’s Flight etc. The Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris is a smaller version of Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida and both contain rides such as The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster.
And while you might think Walt Disney World in Florida has all of the attractions in Disneyland Paris and more, you’d be wrong. It may come as a surprise, but Disneyland Paris offers unique attractions that cannot be found at Walt Disney World in Orlando.
In this article, we share 14 things at Disneyland Paris that you cannot do at Disney World in Orlando.
Le Pays des Contes de Fées
This is a lovely gently boat ride that takes you through a tour of many Disney classics. The attention to detail and landscaping is gorgeous and is set under another Disneyland Paris only attraction called Casey Jr’s Circus Train.
Casey Jr’s Circus Train
The Casey Jr train is a child friendly mini roller coaster that takes you on a tour of the miniature lands and castles that are a part of Storybook Land to the brilliant background music of Casey JR from the Dumbo movie. Below the tracks you can see people riding in the canal boats.
Exploring Sleeping Beauty’s Castle
The Le Chateau de la Belle au Bois Dormant (Sleeping Beauty’s Castle) in Disneyland Paris has been recognised by critics as one of the most beautiful Disney castles ever built. Unlike Cinderella’s Castle in Orlando you can explore the dungeons and meet a dragon and see the story of Sleeping Beauty with tapestries, and stained glass windows on the first floor of the castle.
Alice’s Curious Labyrinth
This was a fun maze for the children and well themed to the Alice in Wonderland movie. Once you conquer the maze you are rewarded with a beautiful view of Fantasyland.
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril
This roller coaster is set in a mine cart and is an exciting ride with a loop the loop and at one point hurtles you backwards down the tracks.
The new Ratatouille ride brings a taste of France to the park in a brilliant 4D adventure that shrinks the riders to the size of Remy the rat. The car you sit in looks like a rat which follows one of several tracks. You follow Remy the star of the movie under tables and ovens through his kitchen adventures.
What is so unique about this ride and we were lucky enough to ride it multiple times with our VIP Fastpass is that the ride has 73 different possible outcomes. The attention to detail in this ride makes a superb attraction for Disneyland Paris. The theming of the new Ratatouille courtyard that has been created by Disney is just magnificent.
Cars Quatre Roues Rallye
From the Disney movie Cars you climb on board a car from the movie and are spun around the desert town of Radiator Springs.
Toy Story PlayLand
This is one of my favourite areas of the Disney Studios Park. The scenery in Toy Story Playland is amazing and makes you feel you have shrunken down to the size of Andy’s toys. Within Toy Story Playland are three main ride’s: RC Racer, Toy Soldier’s Parachute Drop and Slinky Dog Zig Zag Spin all of which are brilliant.
RC Racer can look quite tame until you get up close to it and due to the intensity of the ride it’s more suited to older children but it is really fun to ride. It’s in effect a coaster version of a pirate ship as your 25 seater car propels guests backwards & forwards on the half pipe track. The Disney theming is superb making it look like the Mattel range of Hotwheels toy cars as featured in the film Toy Story.
Slinky Dog Zigzag Spin
A great fun family carousel ride especially for younger children. You climb on board Slinky Dog from the Toy Story movies as he tries to catch his tail around a dog bowl filled with rubber bones.
Toy Story Parachute Drop
Towering 80 feet above Toy Story Playland the parachute drop was superb and one of our favourite family rides. Inspired by the green army soldiers from Toy Story once you are seated on your parachute you will begin to climb the tower slowly. After a short pause at the top which provides brilliant views of the Disney Parks and surrounding areas you drop back down. This happens a total of 3 times with iconic “Drop, Drop, Drop” from the Army Captain as you come back to the ground.
This in one of the most popular rides in Disneyland Paris and I still cannot understand how it is not a Fastpass! The turtle shell car ride combines roller coaster dips and turns as you zoom through this ride.
Mickey and the Magician
Mickey and the Magician is unique to Disneyland Paris and is housed in the Animagique Theater at Walt Disney Studios. This 30 minute award winning Broadway style production was truly wonderful. Magicians assistant Mickey Mouse is given the task of cleaning up the room before sunrise but is distracted. As during the show Mickey finds himself transported to the most magical worlds, featuring Cinderella (Fairy Godmother, Cinderella), Beauty and the Beast (Lumière, Belle, Beast), The Lion King (Rafiki), Aladdin (Genie) and Frozen (Elsa the Snow Queen, Olaf). This was by far the best Mickey show we have seen at any of the Disney parks worldwide.
With plenty in common with the American Disney parks, Disneyland Paris offers its own unique experience, making it definitely worth a visit.