In light of the rumoured changes to the ownership(Disney owning 51%, and 40% equity in Euro Disney Associates S.C.A.)retaining and debt issues surrounding Disneyland Paris
, we sent one of our correspondents out to investigate what is happening in Disneyland Paris and what it is like for a non local to visit there.
The following is a review by our Norwegian Correspondent:
Disneyland Paris uses full-time staff from the local area instead of using seasonal workers from all around the world. The workers there are mostly adults that I feel have become comfortable in their job, meaning, it has just become a job. The smiling faces and high standards of customer service is lacking compared to WDW‘s Magic Kingdom in Florida, so you do lose that “magic” here in Paris.
As we were walking thru the park there were many kiosks that sold pizza, popcorn, ice cream, etc., however most were closed. The ones that were open, closed during odd hours of the day and then re-opened. I assume this is due to lunch breaks, smoke breaks, bathroom breaks. I was in line at a popcorn kiosk behind one person asking for directions and the clerk turned to me and said, “I am closing up”. This was 4:50 when the park closes at 8:00. This kiosk was closed the rest of the day.
At 5:00 pm we headed to Main Street to buy ice cream. The manager locked the doors and told all incoming customers that he is closing shop(see park closing at 8:00).We saw him turn away at least 15 customers. We brought this up to the info desk that shops should be open until closing especially on main street and perhaps more money could be made. Their response was, “Well, maybe the management would earn more money, but not the clerks.”
It seems there is a serious lack of big picture focus in Disneyland Paris.
Many of the bathrooms were quite and dirty. Many places needed painting around the outskirts of the park. The hub, near the Castle seemed to be up to par, however I would not say that about the rest of the park.
A side note for those travelling to Disneyland Paris that do not speak French. Many rides that had audio were in French. There are English translations in most but not all. Star Wars, Snow White,and Pinnochio were all in French without English. This is not a complaint, simply a point of fact for those heading to Disneyland Paris.
Did we have a good time in Disneyland Paris? We went during school season and the weather was rainy, so the lines were 5 minutes long at all attractions. If it not for that, we would have been miserable. Having short waits helped the trip but were disappointed by the lack of “magic” that we have come to expect from a Disney park. Most of the rides were the same(typical Disney excellence)but you were never drawn in by Theme of the park as the issues mentioned above were always pulling you out of that mindset.
Perhaps, if Disney does pick up the bill for this park they can turn around the generally poor upkeep and Castmember attitudes and bring this park back to its intended glory. If the UK gets their Paramount park and parks Like Thorp and Alton Towers continue to build bigger and better Themed attractions they will not have much choice if they want to maintain their UK local numbers.