The American Wild West is alive and well…in Paris, France. Of course, this particular manifestation materializes magically within a very popular Mouse-made theme park.
Euro Disney Resort, now Disneyland Paris, opened in Marne-la-Vallee, France on April 12, 1992. Within the 4,800 acre resort are a pair of theme parks, fourteen hotels, a golf course, shopping mall and train station. America’s western frontier is well represented within this delightful Disney destination.
1. Like other Frontierland-themed regions in Disney Parks, Disneyland Paris plays host to amazing attractions like Thunder Mountain, shooting gallery, and a Disneyland Railroad station. Unlike other parks, Frontierland at Disney’s Paris park provides passage to Pocahontas’ Indian Village (a children’s play area), Thunder Mesa Riverboat and Phantom Manor.
2. In addition to being a run-down Victorian mansion located in Frontierland, Phantom Manor differs from its global ghostly cousins in more than a few fiendishly fun ways. The attraction’s storyline leans heavy on a wedding theme, focusing on the misfortunes of Melanie, the ghost bride, as well several Edgar Allen Poe references. Phantom Canyon, tied into nearby Big Thunder Mountain, is a ghost town replacing the usual cemetery scenes at the end of other Mansion incarnations.
Spooks take heed – Phantom Manor is currently closed and is scheduled to resume haunting later this year:
3. Phantom Manor also hosts a haunting cemetery, Boot Hill. Buried at Boot Hill are the Manor’s former owners (still in ghostly residence), the Ravenswood family. Alongside this phantom family are victims of a deadly dynamite blast that claimed the lives of several of Thunder Mesa’s residents.
Four frontier/American West-themed resorts also call Disneyland Paris their home.
4. Davy Crockett Ranch, Disneyland Paris’ answer to Florida’s Fort Wilderness Campground, offers pony rides, archery, indoor swimming, a variety of hiking trails, and Crockett’s Tavern restaurant. Just fewer than 600 bungalows await guests who prefer a more rustic setting when visiting the resort.
5. Pueblo revival architecture accents Disney’s Hotel Santa Fe. Taking a more southern side of western wonders, this hotel is a neighbor to Disney’s Hotel Cheyanne, separated by the Rio Grande River. Four of Disney-Pixar’s “Cars” (which was set in the Southwest) provide the theming for the four buildings which contain the hotel’s 1000 rooms.
6. Disney’s Sequoia Lodge is based upon the U.S. National parks (Yellowstone and Yosemite) and is surrounded by a forest of trees, including sores of Sequoias transplanted from North America. The lodge also offers indoor and outdoor themed swimming areas.
7. Disney’s Hotel Cheyenne is proof that discarded concepts never die. A version of this cowboy inspired escape (envisioned as “Buffalo Junction,” similar in style to Disney’s Boardwalk) was originally planned for the Walt Disney World resort in Florida. Various frontier style facades create a cowboy/Wild West ambiance similar to popular Western films of the fifties. Recently refurbished to include “Toy Story” inspired rooms, this budget resort is currently receiving additional renovations.
Wild West wonders are indeed alive and well and await guest’s delight at Disneyland Pairs. From Frontierland favorites like Phantom Manor to additional features like Pocahontas’ Village, Disneyland Paris provides perfect pixie dust powered pleasure. Cowboy comfort from four western themed rustic resorts offer a variety of amazing accommodations to complete the escape into what was continental America’s final frontier.
Have you saddled up to any of these cowboy inspired creations at Disneyland Paris? What did you enjoy the most? Please tell your tall tale in the comments below.