Some of the best memories of my annual trips to WDW take place on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (in case you don't know it’s a not-too-fast roller coaster themed as a runaway mine train). Everything from my mom screaming on the tiny drops, to my sisters pretend barfing in unison to startle the strangers in front of them, to getting stuck at the highest point in a lighting storm – getting drenched of course. So basically I love it. Always have. Always will. Except it may never be the same. For all you other BTMR lovers - let me explain.
In Paris, there is no Tom Sawyer Island. The play area for kids is themed after Captain Hook. It’s cool in its own right, see?
But that puts an island with nothing on it right next to the loading area on the mainland. So what better use of it than to expand the ride. Which means a longer ride. A faster ride. Tunnels under the water. Bigger drops. It’s BTMR perfected. And we rode it twice. Which surely wasn’t enough. So we attempted to videotape it for posterity. And I'm doing you a favor in not sharing it. If you are looking for a way to be sick to your stomach and develop vertigo, comment or email me and it's yours. Just know this is for your own benefit - trust me.
Another Disney classic that I thought was done better in Paris was Buzz Lightyear. Those attached to the car laser guns? Lame. But in Paris? The guns are on cords that pull out. Which means I actually was able to hit a few targets & take out Emperor Zurg. Talk about the feeling of victory. It was intense. And the ability to know what a Space Cadet is in French? Priceless.
There is also another roller coaster based on Indiana Jones at the park. Not my favorite, as it was quite jerky. This was our first stop in the park & I’m glad we got it out of the way. Nothing special.
And don’t miss their version of the Haunted Mansion, called Phantom Manor. It’s similar, but the graveyard area is much more spooky & gorey. Plus the ghosts don’t ride home with you at the end of the ride. Maybe it was just broken. But still. That’s totally the best part.
Pirates of the Caribbean is almost a replica of the original at WDW, except there is a second drop,. And you start the ride in the Blue Lagoon that has a restaurant that overlooks the ride, like the Sunshine Seasons does in the Land Pavilion. And there is an on-ride photo. Which of course I will take a picture of rather than dish out $15 dollars (or Euros) for a semi-poor picture that includes strangers. Thank you very much.
For all you non-Disney fans following along on our #31Days of London & Paris – thanks for putting up with my theme park loving soul. Tomorrow we’re heading back to Paris for a picnic review!