I have been an avid Disney fanatic for all my life. My parents brought us down every year, without fail, during the summer to experience Disney in Florida. We loved it, we loved the feel of the place and we loved the “get-away to a magical place.” I thank my parents for giving us such a childhood that these things were an option to do and to conceive, for I know other families would not have the resources to provide such a vacation once a year.
I have worked for Disney in Orlando on three different occasions. I loved every part of it. I have gone there at least 50 times in my life so far, either for a yearly childhood visit or for a valentines day rendezvous with my current love. The people are completely different there, obviously, they have been trained to be this way. It leaves an impact on you when you leave the one in Orlando, the jolly feel does sink into you and you feel uplifted. I have experienced that several times. I love it, nothing more to say.
A local Parisian the other day said to me that she went to the Disney in Paris and the one in Florida. She also said how lovely the one in Florida is because of how kind the people are and how warm, bubbly and smiling they are. I took that statement with a grain of salt, for I know that ALL Disney workers are like that, aren’t they? I assumed it would be the same with the cast members of Paris…..
My parents were kind enough to give Jessica and I some of their tickets that they get each year. Since my mother is a cast member of DisneyWorld Orlando. Tickets that can be given away to family or friends. My mother gave me some two months ago and I have been carrying them ever since. We did get to go to Disney Paris yesterday and it was such a nice feeling to have a feeling of “home” all the way over here in Europe. I give that a thousand thumbs up.
Now major differences in the Orlando and in the Paris, is that the Paris one is, obviously French orientated. So lots of things are in French and even your famous and loved Disney characters are speaking French! The next thing is the size, Paris Disneyland is a miniature version compared to the other. You look on a map of Disney world in Orlando and you know that the walk from the entrance on Main Street to the corner of adventure land is a heck of a walk, so I expected the same here in Paris. It was the opposite, we were in Adventure land in no time. The Main Street itself, which is the grand street you first see once inside of the park, lined with cute shops and cafes with its undeniable beauty of a view of the castle, is almost 30 percent shorter. Once you take a turn out of the Main Street, you are in Adventure land. That makes it real easier to get around without wearing your feet down!
Another major difference here is the smoking. It says it in the maps and on signs throughout the park, that there are “designated smoking areas.” But not a soul follows that rule. It’s just like how things are “forbidden” in Paris – but people do it all the time. At almost every part of the park you are dosed in cigarette smoke, every corner, every line of a ride and every outdoor restaurant sitting area. We got to the point of simply telling people that we saw smoking, that there was an area around the corner for that. It is a French thing after all, smoking, a lot. We have noticed it everywhere in Paris, clouds of smokes from smokers everywhere. Which isn’t something I wouldn’t complain about, but just like the French are different when it comes to “personal space” – they are always in your space smoking or somehow blowing it directly at you, as if a goal for them to hit you square between the eyes.
Last major difference I noticed was the “cast members.” Cast members being the employees of the park. They are a scare item to witness. At the Disney in Orlando there are cast members at every corner, either cleaning or ready to help you for whatever you need. They are everywhere in Disney at Orlando, yet hardly anywhere at Paris. Now it could be because it is winter here, so they may have less people working, but that shouldn’t take away from the normal things that cast members usually are responsible for, such as cleanliness. We saw several broken things, several places on lines for attractions that were not lite up at night, so you had a very rough time seeing where to turn, we saw trash at quiet a lot of places and un-manned entries to attractions. What I mean by un-manned, is that sometimes, you do not know where to go or what we are waiting for, because there is no cast member. Just like at Hollywood tower of terror, the cast member disappears into the elevator with the group that was in front of you, then its just you and several other people for quiet awhile, asking yourselves if he’s coming back. I just felt less presence of help there. Other than that, I witnessed several cast members, seeing people smoking in not designated areas, not say a word to them.
Now when I speak of the rides and the atmosphere, is was definitely Disney like. Yet there were quiet a few rides that weren’t working correctly, such at RockN Roller Coaster, which is famous for blaring Aerosmith in your ears during the ride, it played no music – it was silent the whole ride.
It is not an experience I will ever forget, it was unique and I treasure it dearly. These are just the obvious differences.
The Original DisneyWorld in Orlando is by far the best between Paris, California and Orlando. Those are the parks I have visited so far. There is a spirit that is undeniable there. A presence of never being lost or never being without help if need be. A presence that leaves a smile imprinted on your lips and a flutter in your heart.
I am a proud daughter of a mother that is of those cast members in Orlando Disney, and a father that worked there for 10 years, they know exactly what I mean by the difference from within Disney and from without.
If I weren’t such an avid Disney fan, and Disneyland Paris was my first time being in a Disney park, I would of compared Disney to Six Flags – and that makes me flinch just writing that.
Here are just a few shots of Disneyland Paris..