I think it’s fair to say that Walt Disney Studios is a park going through a significant amount of change. 2020 will probably see the largest impact from this. On 6th January we are going to see the closure of the Studio Tram Tour and Restaurant des Stars. This comes on top of the closure of Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster, Armageddon (which was the worst attraction in Disney parks history), and the Backlot Express quick service restaurant.
As the Studios park was not the largest park before the changes, how can you get the best day out of this park?
Before you go to the park I recommend working out what you want to do and how much time you are planning to spend in the park itself. To help with this I have split the attractions in to three groups; avoidable attractions, nice to do attractions and must do attractions.
Must Do Attractions
These are the attractions I rate very highly and actually get me to step foot in the Studios Park in the first place. I normally have to do these whenever I visit the park.
I am a big fan of this attraction and the update they did in 2019 has only improved on it. This is a proper Disney attraction with a highly detailed queue setting the scene, pre-show to introduce you to the story and a really fun ride. I will normally try to get a few rides as it can have short queues at times and the new random drop sequence gives the ride more variety.
I was amazed with the quality of this show this first time I saw it and it has become a must do every time I visit the park. This show is a fantastic 30 minute broadway style show featuring some of your favourite characters.
This is simply a real good fun experience and one where the cast members involved show they are real credit to the park. Located in the exit to the Animation Celebration this experience get you to draw some of your favorite characters. Don’t worry if you can’t draw (like me) the brilliant cast members will guide you through step by step and make it fun. They are also really good at mixing both French and English, plus a few other languages when needed. This is not well advertised and runs continuously throughout the day. Plus its about 20 minutes to rest your feet doing something which is actually quite relaxing.
Studio One Jazz Band
This is not really an attraction, more ‘streetmosphere’. This is normally one of our unplanned stops, either to grab a coffee or a snack in the very surreal Studio One and take in some quality themes and music being played by the live jazz band. This really reminds you of the magic of a Disney park.
These are the attractions I do not rate and will rarely if ever do any of these, but everyone is different.
In theory I do not dislike this attraction. It is a simple spinner ride, almost identical to the Dumbo spinner and Obitron in the Disneyland park. What I seriously dont like is where this ride is placed, squashed into the corner of a park it doesn’t really fit into. Unlike the Dumbo spinner in Fantasyland and the Orbitron in Discoveryland this ride does not give you panoramic views of the land its situated. Magic Carpets is surrounded on three sides by large walls or show buildings. While children may enjoy this spinner, I think the best Disney attractions can be enjoyed by adults and children alike. In the future I would like to see this ride make its home in Adventureland in the Disneyland park, much like the same ride at the Magic Kingdom in Florida. Giving guests elevated views of a much more scenic land would make this a more appealing attraction.
Cars is one of my favorite Disney franchises but I dont really jump onto this ride for various reasons.
- 1. The ride vehicles are very small not really made for adults.
- 2. It not under cover.
- 3. It rains quite a lot in Paris
- 4. It’s nothing special. This ride is an ‘off the shelf’ ride system and the theming is ok but not a reason to ride.
- 5. It runs on a very short cycle which means the ride is not very long.
If you have 30 minutes to spare and want to sit down or have someone in your group who really like action movies then you might find this ok. Unlike many of the other shows its not very rewatchable. The action sequences are good but there long parts in between stunts which are just really dull.
Fortunately the Studio Tram Tour is closing on the 6th January but this would have also made it on to the avoidable attractions list!
Nice to Do Attractions
Essentially all the other attractions are ‘Nice to Do’ attractions. These are ones I do enjoy but I dont worry if I am going to miss them and certainly dont make a point to try to get to do all of these. For this blog post I’m not going to go through all of them individually but I will go through a few notable mentions.
This is a good fun indoor spinning coaster, well themed to the finding Nemo films. This ride however does have the worst queue I have ever seen at a Disney park, essentially an outside ‘cattle pen’ queue. Once you get inside you are basically at the loading station. The wait is alway about a hour. There is no Fastpass. The single rider queue is very slow, as the ride vehicles seat guests in pairs, this only knocks about 5-10 minutes off the normal standby queue. If this ride had a much better queue it would probably be on the ‘must do’ list.
This can be an enjoyable trackless story/ dark ride attraction, but not the best quality. There is a lot of screens segments, not many set pieces, no animatronics and awful 3D glasses. The long queue can put me off too, I normally have a 30 minute limit for any attraction in Paris, Ratatouille is normally around a hour.
Try to get a Fastpass, if you want to ride as a group. Alternatively the single rider queue can be a really good option. The ride vehicles seat 6 guests, in two rows of three. As most groups tend to be twos or fours then the single rider queue is normally very quick. On my last visit the standby queue was 65 minutes, single rider was 5.
Toy Story Playland
There’s three attractions in this part of the park. Slinky Dog Spin, RC Racer (which has a 120cm height restriction) and Parachute Drop. All a good fun but short rides with low capacity. RC Racer and Parachute Drop do have a single rider queue. This is really effective on Parachute Drop if you are tall/ old enough to ride by yourself.
If you are into Frozen or have little one who are then this is going to be a ‘must do’. This show has proved very popular since opening in late 2019 and has a fairly low capacity, so you may have to wait a while for the next performance. I would arrive at least 30 minutes before the next performance to ensure you get in. I think this show would really benefit from some sort of virtual queue. This show is very similar to the Frozen shows in other parks and has elements from the old Frozen sing along show from the Disneyland Park. Apart from the wait my only other criticism is there is a lot of Frozen elements in Disneyland Paris as a whole. I hope when the dedicated Frozen land opens (in 2023 TBC) that other franchises get the opportunity to increase variety for the guests.
Character Meet ‘n’ Greets
There’s a number of Character meets at Studios, most of these utilise the Line Berty app. This is essentially a virtual queue which saves your space in line and let you know when it’s your turn. Goofy, Donald, Pluto, Buzz Lightyear and Woody are normally in the park and are good fun meets.
Eating at Walt Disney Studios
In 2020 the Studios park is going to be left with only two restaurants. The nicely themed but pricey table service restaurant Bistrot Chez Remy and the quick service Restaurant en Coulisse which serves a selection of burgers and fries. There is a covered eating area with picnic table near the entrance to Tower of Terror if you are bringing your own food into the park.
Considering this you will need to plan eating when at the Studios Park. You might want to think about popping out to Disney Village or over to Disneyland Park (if you have a two park ticket) where there is much more choice.
Star Wars and Marvel Seasons
As part of the ongoing entertainment rotations both the Star Wars and Marvel seasons will return in 2020.
Legends of the Force – A Celebration of Star Wars – 11th January to 15th March 2020.
Marvel Season of Super Heroes – Late March to Early June (TBC)
Both these events will add a number of short shows and character meet ‘n’ greets to the park.
All things considered I think we can conclude that unless you are going to plan to get on every attraction, probably some more than one and have a nice meal at Bistrot Chez Remy you probably dont need to plan a full day at the Studios Park.
I try to avoid recommending hopping between the two parks mainly because this vastly increase the amount of walking you will do on your park day. You do also need a two park ticket and this is sometimes not the best value type of ticket. If you are going to hop between the two parks I recommend starting or ending at Studios as this is nearest to the car parks and security.
I think it is safe to say that half a day is probably enough time to plan in the Studios park. Typically Studios is quieter on afternoon than in the mornings. If you are planning to do the one day, one park which can work out very cost effective even on a multiday trip they I would plan to spend either a half day on your arrival day or departure day if this fits with your plans.
All in all Walt Disney Studios is far from the best Disney Park, in fact globally it is probably the worst. There are some credible attractions and the planned investment is very exciting. Studios should not be avoided but I would plan to concentrate most of your time at Disneyland Park.