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The Many Problems with Disneyland Paris

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The Many Problems with Disneyland ParisI would love to say that Disneyland Paris is a great Disney park. The rides are fantastic. Some of my FAVORITE rides are even at Disneyland Paris! When Disney built this park, you can tell that they looked at what worked and didn’t at Walt Disney World and Disneyland California. They made rides longer (like Pirates of the Caribbean and Thunder Mountain) and even spent time to create new experiences like Ratatouille and Crush Coaster.

Unfortunately, the problems with Disneyland Paris show that one thing is clear, it lacks the MAGIC of the United States Disney parks.

I have been to Disneyland Paris three times in the past 4 years.

My first trip, I chalked their apparent failures up to bad weather (it was a rainy day) and gave them the benefit of the doubt

I allowed the newness of the experience to trump their quite obvious problems.

My second trip, this time on a beautiful, sunny 85 degree day, made it all to clear that this park is not being run by Disney. It can’t. There is no way that Bob Iger would approve of this park brandishing the Disney name.

On my most recent trip, I was hopeful since they had just celebrated Disneyland Paris’ 25 anniversary. While there were a few new experiences that I really enjoyed, I noticed the same problems that I experienced on my trip in 2014 & 2016.

Disneyland Paris IssuesThe Problems with Disneyland Paris

Problem #1

We have stayed at two different Disneyland Paris resorts (Sequoia Lodge and Hotel Cheyenne) and were allowed to enter the park 2 hours earlier than non-resort guests.

You would think that this would be a wonderful benefit, but what Disneyland Paris failed to disclose was that only a few areas of the park are operational before 10am.

The areas that were open, we so spread out that you spend too much time walking from one end of the park to the other to really be able to enjoy taking advantage of the extra time.

There was no clear signage as to what parts of the park were open, so you couldn’t plan which rides to get on in advance. You only realize they are open or closed when you get to them.

Problem #2

I know those of us in the United States are used to the FastPass Plus system at Disney World. I was excited to find that Disneyland Paris also has a Fast Pass system (albeit more resembling the one at Disneyland California).

That was until I realized that there are less than a handful of rides/attractions that are on the fast pass system and you have to book them early in the morning before they turn off the machines.

Yes, they turn off the machines. And no, it is not because they have sold their allotted amount.

Problem #3

Those that have been to Disney World, or any theme park for that matter, understand that there are lines. Disney has an elaborate queue system in which you maze through rows to get to each ride.

Disneyland Paris does this as well, just not AS WELL.

The problem is that Disneyland Paris queues can lead to dead ends at any moment.

You have to pray that you pick the right path through its labyrinth or else you will find yourself having to inadvertently merge into the line you were previously in only 20 people are now ahead of where you were.

Problem #4

When Disney World or Disneyland California shuts down a ride, it is because it is either experiencing problems or going through refurbishment.

Disneyland Paris will shut a ride down or never open a ride because (and this is my guess) because they are understaffed.

Under-staffing is the crux of Disneyland Paris problems. See Problem #5.

Problem #5

Things will shut down while you are in line because the workers shift has ended and they have no one to replace them.

Yes, I know, crazy.

We were third in line to get gelato at Disneyland Paris when suddenly without warning, the manager came out and said “We’re closed.”

When we questioned this, we were told that they didn’t have a cashier. They had plenty of gelato, just no one to take our money.

Could you imagine this happening at Disney World? Disney doesn’t want your money? Seriously?

Problem #6

While the rides are newer than those in Walt Disney World or Disneyland California, they are not being kept up. Rides are not being cleaned.

Spiders must be a big deal in Paris because on every ride, we found TONS of cobwebs.

Imagine going down It’s a Small World and all the characters have cob webs hanging from them?

I mean, darn, It’s a Small World in Walt Disney World has been running since 1971. Have you EVER seen a cobweb?

Please, it only takes a small bit of effort to dust!

Problem #7

Disney is known for having the best customer service. Cast members at other Disney Parks want to make your experience amazing and will go out of their way to do so.

This is not true for Disneyland Paris.

Very few smiled, were pleasant or accommodating.

They are obviously not being properly trained in the Disney Way.

The Problems with Disneyland Paris are Fixable

In fact, they are easy fixes. I really feel most of it comes down to management and staffing.

What I would love to see is Bob Iger send a team from the States over to the Disneyland Paris for a week to actually experience what its like for the customer. I’m sure that this would give them all the information they need to do a total staffing re-haul.

I’m sure if all you know is Disneyland Paris, you probably don’t see the big deal. But if you have experienced other Disney parks (especially those State side), you definitely must see a difference.

Have you noticed these same problems with Disneyland Paris? What are your thoughts?

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Sam

Sunday 14th of July 2019

I have just come back from Disneyland paris. I was saddened by so many miserable and in a few cases rude staff. The railway that takes you round the park is still closed .it was closed on our trip last year as well. I have to say tho that the lion king show was absolutely amazing. There are lots on improvements going on so hopefully everything will be back on top form soon x

Kristi

Sunday 21st of July 2019

Yes, the staff certainly lacks the magic! I didn't get to see the Lion King show but am looking forward to it!

Kim Price

Monday 10th of June 2019

I have been trying to change a reservation at Disneyland Paris and they could not be more rude! Not to mention that I have since discovered that people from other countries get much better deals than Americans! When I was told that I would have to pay full price, I found that if I changed my country to the UK, I could get 30% off of both my hotel and my tickets!!! Why??? I used to be a huge Disney fan, but this has really knocked them down in my book. So sad.

Kristi

Tuesday 18th of June 2019

Yes, you are correct. They give HUGE savings to UK residents. I wish I understood why they don't do the same for Americans travelling to France!

Nicole

Sunday 24th of March 2019

Totally agree with all of this and have been twice. The customer service is horrid! I worked at WDW and know from experience this is no way acceptable for any employee in the Fisney company let alone a whole park. I did love the rides but that’s about it lol

Carmen

Monday 25th of September 2017

I was in Disneyland Paris Febuary 2016 with my boyfriend. For him it waas the first time, for me the 6th time. I understand what you write about some of the flaws/problems. But I guess now Bob Iger is back the parc will get a massive upgrade. Also because it's the 25th anniversary, many rides are renewd. I will be back in December 2017 with Christmas! I curious to see everything. And I went to Walt Disney World in June 2013. It felt so big for me, missed something. By the way, in The Netherlands the French people are know as totally not friendly persons. Compared to WDW the people are less friendly than in WDW!

Kristi

Wednesday 27th of September 2017

Yes, I agree. I am hoping that we will see improvements on our next trip in 2019.

Carolina

Thursday 10th of November 2016

I was in DLP last year on February and I had the same bad experience than you , adding to that the park wasn't the cleanest as DL or WDW but I have to said that a love that rides from there and even we didn't like many other things we r going back next year

Kristi

Friday 11th of November 2016

Yes, I did notice that they were not as pristine as our parks in the states. Right now, we are noticing that DLP is going to through a lot of changes (for the better). Their website is more user friendly than it has ever been and they are preparing for their big anniversary celebration in 2017. We are hoping to see major improvements when we go back in June

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