Guide to Disneyland Paris (Walt Disney Studios)
Walt Disney Studios is the second park in Disneyland Paris and while its attendance is less than Disneyland Park it also ranks among Europe’s most popular theme parks, coming in as the 22nd most popular in worldwide attendance and 3rd most popular in Europe according to Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) in 2017. Walt Disney Studios is home to even more iconic attractions familiar to US-based fans, such as The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith and Ratatouille: The Adventure (coming to Epcot as announced during the D23 Expo 2017).
Walt Disney Studios immerses visitors in the world of movies and animation and is a sister park to Hollywood Studios. Upon entering the park and just past Disney Studio 1 is the Walt Disney & Mickey Mouse “Partners” statue like the one found in front of the castles in the 2 US parks. In the background are the Hollywood Hills and world-famous Hollywood sign. Disney theme parks and movies are pieces of Americana embraced throughout the world, and I’m sure are part of the appeal to European guests at Disneyland Paris, making this a perfect second park for a primarily European audience.
Walt Disney Studios is divided into 4 sections. The Front Lot or entrance is home to restaurants and shops which are found in Disney Studio 1 – a walkway bringing you into the park. Front Lot also includes the Earffel Tower, the Mickey Ear shaped water tower also previously found in Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World.
Moving left to right the next area is Production Courtyard. Here not only can you experience the aforementioned Hollywood Tower Hotel, but the Studio Tram Tour also takes you on a behind the scenes adventure that includes Catastrophe Canyon. The Backlot tour used to run in Disney’s Hollywood Studios until 2014, which Inside the Magic filmed on its last day.
Personally, I miss the Backlot Tour so having another chance to experience the Walt Disney Studios version was nice, but unfortunately I ran out of time and didn’t get a chance to ride it. Oh well, just piling up excuses for another trip. Other attractions in Production Courtyard include “Disney Junior – Live On Stage!” and “Stitch Live!”
Towards the back of Walt Disney Studios is the aptly named Back Lot. Back Lot gives guests another chance to experience an attraction that used to be found in Hollywood Studios but has since been removed – “Moteurs… Action! Stunt Show Spectacular.” Additional attractions include Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Avec Aerosmith, and Armageddon – Les Effets Speciaux which takes its inspiration from the film “Armageddon” as it explores how special effects come to life in movies. It has already been announced that Disneyland Paris’ Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster will be reimagined as an Iron Man attraction for the upcoming Marvel Super Hero Universe coming to Walt Disney Studios.
Finally comes the 4th section – Toon Studio. Toon Studio has arguably the most popular attraction in the park with Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy. This is also the section of Disneyland Paris which is the most Parisian of the entire park. I am no expert on Parisian architecture and design but I think it’s safe to say they nailed it. When you’re there take a moment to dine at the Bistrot Chez Remy restaurant.
As previously announced, Ratatouille will be coming to Epcot’s France Pavilion by 2021 and I believe this will be an excellent addition to Epcot. While fairness dictates any critics of Epcot’s Frozen Ever After ride should be equally critical of Ratatouille coming to the World Showcase, I can’t imagine there will be nearly the same level of criticism. Not only is Ratatouille an excellent ride, the movie itself doesn’t create the same controversy that seems to exist with “Frozen.”
Other rides in Toon Studio include options for both little kids, those looking for thrills, and a middle ground meant to appeal to each. Rides for the kids include Flying Carpets Over Agrabah, Slinky Dog Zig Zag Spin, and Cars Quatre Roues Rallye. Crush’s Coaster and RC Racer are thrill rides while Toy Soldier Parachute Drop along with the aforementioned Ratatouille ride fall in the middle.