Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Disneyland Paris: Discoveryland

Time for a return visit to Disneyland Paris! Today we take a look at the Paris version of Tomorrowland, which is called Discoveryland:

Discoveryland has heavy Jules Verne theming, with the idea being that you're experiencing what "visionaries" of the 19th century dreamed of the future. I've seen the phrase "retro-futuristic" used to describe Discoveryland.

Instead of an Astro Orbitor (or Orbiter, in Florida), there is an Orbitron:

Here you can see Space Mountain behind the Orbitron. Space Mountain riders are "launched" from a stopped position up and into the ride.

I knew that Space Mountain: Mission 2 was different from the Anaheim and Florida attractions insofar as "launching" the riders, but I was definitely not prepared for how much more intense it was! I think we were upside down at one point, but since it was dark, I'm not completely sure (grin).

Here our daughter is launching. Once on Mission 2 was enough for me!

During Disneyland Park's "Extra Magic Hours" for resort guests each morning, we had two hours in Fantasyland and Discoveryland with short or nonexistent lines, so it was possible to go on a couple rides more than once.

The park has Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast, which is called Astro Blasters in Anaheim and Space Ranger Spin in Orlando:

There's also a version of Pizza Planet, like they have at Disney's Hollywood Studios (aka "MGM") in Orlando:

Discoveryland features an Autopia:

One of the best and most unique Discoveryland attractions is the walk-through Le Mysteres du Nautilus which celebrates Disney's 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA:

Here's an exterior shot of the Nautilus near Space Mountain:

An exterior French-English sign telling visitors about the Nautilus:

Captain Nemo's cabin:

This unusual Jules Verne-style building is a restaurant, Videopolis:

Although almost everything at Disneyland Paris is in both French and English, Star Tours was strictly in French, which was a unique experience, and fun for visitors like us who had been on the English-language version too many times to count:

A nifty X-Wing outside the ride building:

Discoveryland also has Cherie, J'ai Retreci Le Public, aka Honey, I Shrunk the Audience. Seeing that at Disneyland once has been enough for us since forever, and we didn't try the French version.

We found Discoveryland refreshingly different. Disneyland's "New Tomorrowland" of a decade ago briefly attempted to emulate the Paris look, but has gradually backed off the idea, most recently by changing the Astro Orbitor's main color scheme from gold to silver.

Previously: Eurostar to Disneyland Paris: The Only Way to Travel!; Disneyland Paris: Walt Disney Studios Park; Disneyland Paris Resort: Sequoia Lodge; Disneyland Paris: The. Best. Castle. Ever; Disneyland Paris: The Resorts; Disneyland Paris: The Molly Brown; Disneyland Paris: Fantasyland.

Coming soon: More on Disneyland Paris (Main Street, Adventureland, and Frontierland); books on Disneyland Paris.


Blogger Irene said...

I wouldn't mind trying that version of Space Mountain - at least once anyway :)

10:48 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I'm glad I tried it...once...near the end I was heard to yell to my daughter, "This isn't your mother's Space Mountain!" LOL. I'll stick with my tried and true U.S. version. :)

Best wishes,

10:52 PM  
Blogger J.C. Loophole said...

Now that looks very cool. I would love to see the Jules Verne stuff. I have been fascinated with the "retro-futurist" for a long time now, especially in regards to Disney and the Imagineer's visions of the furture (and Ward Kimball too)- very neat. The Nautilus walk through sounds right up my alley. I would love to see one in FL, but I like the idea that each Magic Kingdom has something a little different to offer.

6:29 AM  

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