Space Mountain

Ah, now THIS is what I came for. Space Mountain. At EuroDisney they don’t have “Tomorrowland,” so instead it’s called “Discoveryland.” You know how Tomorrowland at the U.S. parks looks like a kinda “dated” version of the future? France avoids that by focusing on a more classical and literary view of tomorrow. Space Mountain, for instance, is based on Jules Verne’s book “From the Earth to the Moon.” The concept is that you get fired out of that big cannon to the right (outside the dome!) and then zoom into space.

Loading area

Here’s the loading area for the ride (filled with random French people), which is a LOT different from the American version. You still walk all around inside the dome when you’re in line, but you end up outside it. It looks sorta like a train station, and there are all these fake barrels of gunpowder lining the walls (that’s what fires you out of the cannon). Notice also that these aren’t the “one-person-per-row” trains like in America, but rather the usual “two-per-row” trains you get on most upside-down rides.

On the ride

Once you’re loaded in the cannon, it shoots you UP the hill really fast and you immediately plunge into the dome. It’s the usual collection of black-lit moon rocks and space ships, with a 360-degree loop and a couple corkscrews. Here’s the money shot of me, eMan, and the others on the ride. (As Snookums is not known for his strength of stomach, he sat this one out.) I look excited, don’t I? It certainly seemed to be a lot faster and scarier than I remembered from the U.S. version.

Me and an X-Wing

Ah, Star Tours. Here’s me and the X-Wing by the entrance. I think it fits better in “Discoveryland” than it does in the random corner they’ve got it at DisneyWorld. The whole ride is basically the same, except that all the droids speak French. (I got seriously freaked by C-3PO’s voice.) The actual simulation part is a bit confusing, because the little droid “driving” your transport speaks French but all the actors onscreen still speak English. It’s pretty obvious they just used the same film as the U.S. one.

Snookums playing

Actually one thing was BETTER about French Star Tours: when you exit the ride, you don’t get chucked right into the merchandise shop. Instead you come out in this cool Galatic Arcade, with all kinds of wacky futuristic games. There were cool kiosks that took pictures of you and allowed you to stretch your face, and others that analyzed your hand print. The best was this one that Snookums is on, which had a big video screen and about 10 of these little control stands. You had an onscreen ship that you controlled by shifting your weight on the swiveling platform beneath you. You got points for bashing the other drivers and lost points by hitting asteroids. It was cool.

Anne playing

Here’s eMan’s girlfriend Anne playing the game, with a bunch of competitors behind her. I’m sorry to report that none of us won at all. There was this one little fat French kid that kept winning because he’d just stand there and rock back and forth as fast as possible, crashing into everybody a zillion times. He sucked. We eventually left.