Disneyland Paris: Our Last International Park Before – and Our First International Park Since – the Pandemic Started.

Shortly before most borders (and theme parks) closed, Alex and I traveled to Disneyland Paris for a few days at one of our favorite parks. At the time we did not realize we’d cancel our next several international trips. This summer we finally were able to leave the US again, and the first park we visited was Disneyland Paris of course. Let’s take a look at the French Disney destination, without the usual crowd!

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After a quick vaccine card check and some strange looks at our US CDC vaccine cards, we were allowed into the Disneyland Paris resort complex. The feeling was amazing. We very much missed the park and our international travels. What made things even better was the lack of crowds and beautiful weather.

Parc Disneyland has arguably the nicest entrance of all the castle parks, with the giant Disneyland Hotel towering overhead and there being an additional plaza between the Disneyland Paris Railroad station and Main Street USA. Being a European park in the summer, the landscaping and flowers are out of this World too.

Of course, the first place we headed to was Discoveryland. Disneyland’s uniquely French approach to classic Tomorrowland is a classic visionary approach, featuring lots of Jules Verne and steampunk inspired touches. Like every land in the park, there is a distinct dedication to the flowers and landscaping.

From one beautiful topiary to the next, France’s Fantasyland is truly a giant garden. Especially in the summer months this part of the park looks gorgeous.

Let’s pop into the resort’s second gate real quick. Walt Disney Studios is on its own journey and has been for a while. However, even in the past few years, having seen changes slowly come to the troubled Disney park has made me so happy. Seeing Avengers Campus under construction, seeing Arendale (Frozen) under construction and the addition of Cars Roadtrip to make for the new Worlds of Pixar land, it’s slowly coming together finally.

Speaking of a best-in-class, of all the classic Pirates of the Caribbean dark rides at Disney parks around the World, Paris’ is the best. The unique series of events, station, and overall attention to detail is awe-inspiring. With the minimal crowds, we were able to hop on several times, it was a walk-on all day!

Another walk-on was the guiltiest of pleasures: Indiana Jones et le Temple du Peril. This Intamin looping coaster is tucked away in a far corner of Adventureland and is quite small compared to the rest of the coasters at the resort. However, the ride is quite intense and offers a fun alternative experience to the big box coasters around the resort. It’s always a must for us.

Continuing around the park counter clockwise, let’s visit Frontierland! We’re always down for a ride on the spectacular Phantom Manor. The nice thing about this Frontierland is that all rides and attractions are incorporated into the same storyline, hence why this version of Haunted Mansion takes place in the wild west.

Speaking of which, let’s talk about Big Thunder Mountain Railroad! It’s unusual for this particular installation to have a short queue, however, it was practically a walk-on all day. The unique positioning of this installation in the middle of Rivers of America is to thank for the initial drop below the river and the high-speed finale under the river.

Saving the best for last: Discovery Mountain! Or currently known as Hyperspace Mountain. From aesthetic to coaster layout and ride experience, this coaster just does everything right. The queue could be a little nicer, but it’s all about that uphill launch into the mountain. Thanks to the ride’s MK1212 trains, the coaster’s onboard audio is impeccable and the ride experience smooth as can be. Of course we spent most of this visit riding this magnificent coaster.

That wraps up our most recent visit to Disneyland Paris. It felt amazing to have such nice weather and such minimal crowds. In addition, we figured there was no better park to hit internationally than Disneyland Paris, the final park before the pandemic for us, as well as the park we so obliviously bought annual passes to just days before borders closed due to COVID-19. We’re proud to be passholders and look forward to our return trip later this year (travel restrictions not withstanding, of course).

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