Breaking up our Disneyland Paris experience into 8 parts, we’ll continue on to the next area of the “Lands” and the 5th part of this series of Disneyland Paris.
Today, we explore: Discoveryland!!
(Links to previous parts can be found here, just click the links!)
Journey through time and space, where the future predictions of great visionaries come to life.
Fast-forward to the edge of the universe with Space Mountain: Mission 2 or journey to the stars with the return of Captain EO!
Discoveryland is Disneyland Resort Paris’ version of Tomorrowland, realized with an entirely different concept.
European culture was used distinctively in the park and Discoveryland uses the ideas of famed European thinkers and explorers, with Jules Verne featured most prominently.
Architecturally designed using Jules Verne’s vision of the future as inspiration, the land is laid out very differently. The major Tomorrowland classics are there, such as Autopia and Star Tours, but Space Mountain is significantly changed.
Originally conceived as “Discovery Mountain”, it was to hold more than one attraction, including an improved replica of Horizons from Epcot and a restaurant. But due to budget cuts, it was finished in 1995 as an improved version of the classic, but named Space Mountain: De la Terre à la Lune – “From the earth to the moon”.
Bordering the Space Mountain show building is Lake Nautilus, with a walk-through recreation of the Nautilus from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
Also in Discoveryland is Autopia and “Honey, I Shrunk the Audience”. The showcase attraction on opening day was a Circle-Vision 360 film, titled Le Visionarium.
The attraction featured two time-travelling robots that take Jules Verne into the world of the today, which was the future he dreamed and came true.
Parts of Discoveryland have been heavily inspired by the abandoned Disneyland expansion concept, Discovery Bay, which was to have sat on the north bay of the Rivers of America in the Californian park.
Space Mountain is now completely refurbished for the Happiest Celebration on Earth event, with a new soundtrack and special effects. Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast opened in 2006, taking the place of the former attraction – Le Visionariumin.
Attractions and Entertainment in Discoveryland
- Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast
- Captain EO
- Les Mystères du Nautilus – (The Mysteries of the Nautilus)
- Orbitron, Machines Volantes – (Orbitron, Flying Machines)
- Space Mountain: Mission 2
- Star Tours
Feel the wind in your hair and hear the roar of an engine in your ears, as you test your driving skills along mini highways in sleek ’50s-style cars.
Autopia is a Disneyland Paris attraction, in which patrons steer specially designed cars through an enclosed track.
Different versions of Autopia exist at Anaheim, California, Disneyland Paris in Marne-la-Vallée, France, and at Hong Kong Disneyland on Lantau Island, Hong Kong.
Other versions of the attraction can be found at the Magic Kingdom as the Tomorrowland Speedway and at Tokyo Disneyland as the Grand Circuit Raceway.
The name Autopia is a portmanteau of the words “automobile utopia,” which was popularized in academic circles by British architecture critic Reyner Banham to describe Los Angeles in his 1971 book “Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies.”
Take the wheel of a gas-powered car and speed through a winding track to Victory Circle.
Stroll past classic racing marquees and make your way to the racing pit, home to growling, multi-colored speedsters. Designed to look like the famed Indiana Motor Speedway, the racetrack includes well-known backdrops of the motoring world, including the Scoring Pylon, Gasoline Alley and the Yard of Bricks.
At the pit, hop inside a streamlined race car – unique in color and design before strapping yourself in for an exciting and challenging drive.
As the checkered flag is waved, you’re off!
Accelerate at 7 miles per hour around a scenic 0.4 mile-long racetrack. Careen around sharp bends, past lush foliage, and pick up the pace underneath a small bridge.
Along the way, listen to an announcer call the race overhead, as you pass such iconic attractions as Space Mountain in the not-too-far-off distance. Go for a personal best or race against a family member or friend. In the end, coast into Victory Circle, at the top of your game – champion of the track!
At Disneyland Park in Paris, the attraction, which opened with Euro Disneyland on April 12, 1992 – uses the original Disneyland name of Autopia, but has a unique sense of style and theme.
The cars are more rounded and feature a toy-like quality to go with a 1950s retro theme, which differs from the Discoveryland theme.
The park has multiple cars that go around for approximately 7–9 minutes.
Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast
Fight the evil Zurg in your very own Starcruiser
It’s Buzz versus the Evil Zurg – and he needs your help! Spin 360° degrees in your Star Cruiser to save the universe, zapping enemy targets and gaining points to become part of the elite group of Space Rangers. This attraction is inspired by the Disney-Pixar’s film Toy Story 2.
Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast is also known as Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters, Buzz Lightyear Astro Blaster, depending on the park.
Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast is an attraction at Disneyland Paris. that opened on March 17, 2005.
It is based off Tokyo Disneyland’s Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters attraction, but has some changes.
Guests board a “XP-40 Space Cruiser” armed with two infrared guns, “Astro Blasters,” which takes them through scenes in space featuring characters Buzz Lightyear and Evil Emperor Zurg.
Guests must shoot at differently-shaped targets, worth different amounts of points depending on the shape of the target.
The Space Cruisers take guests through Star Command, to Zurg’s ship, and then to Planet Z, through a lightspeed tunnel similar to that of Star Tours, and into a final battle between Buzz and Zurg.
The back story of the ride revolves around the attempts of Evil Emperor Zurg to steal the “crystallic fusion cells” (i.e., batteries) used to power the space vehicles of the “Little Green Men”.
Participants are “Star Command” raw recruits sent to defeat Zurg.
The queue area is awash in the chartreuse, white, and bright blue hues of Buzz Lightyear himself. Since Buzz Lightyear is a toy, the attraction is cleverly scaled to give the illusion that one has just been reduced to the size of an action figure, featuring such detail as giant, exposed Philips screw heads and an explanation of the interactive phase of the ride that resembles a toy’s instruction sheet, only on a gigantic scale.
An Audio-Animatronic Buzz Lightyear figure and giant Etch-a-Sketch provide explanation of the “mission”.
That is to destroy Zurg`s secret weapon with your blasters.
Enjoy the music of Michael Jackson, combined with the visual effects magic of some of Hollywood’s best, as Captain EO returns to Disneyland Park.
Captain EO is a 1986 3-D film which is shown at Epcot, Disneyland, Tokyo Disneyland, and Disneyland Paris.
The film stars Michael Jackson as the titular hero. It was directed by Francis Ford Coppola, executive produced by George Lucas, photographed by Vittorio Storaro, produced by Rusty Lemorande, and written by Lemorande, Lucas and Coppola.
The score was written by James Horner, and featured two songs: “We Are Here to Change the World” and “Another Part of Me” – by Michael Jackson.
The movie tells the story of Captain Eo and the ragtag crew of his spaceship on a mission to deliver a gift to the Supreme Leader, an alien queen ruling over a world of rotting, twisted metal and steaming vents.
Captain EO’s alien crew consisted of his small flying sidekick Fuzzball, the double-headed navigator and pilot Idee & Odee, robotic security officer Major Domo, small robot Minor Domo – who fits like a module into Major Domo, and together with the clumsy elephant-like shipmate Hooter who always manages to blunder the crew’s missions.
Upon arriving on the planet, the crew is captured and sentenced to be tortured. Before being sent away, EO tells the Supreme Leader that he sees the beauty hidden within her and that he brings her the key to unlock it: his song.
The two robot members of the crew transform into music instruments and the crew members begin to play the various instruments. As Hooter runs toward his instrument, he trips over EO’s cape and breaks his instrument, stopping the music. The spell broken, the Supreme Leader orders her guards to capture EO and his crew.
Hooter manages to repair his instrument and sends out a blast of music, providing EO with the power to throw off the guards. He uses his power to transform the dark hulking guards into agile dancers who fall into step behind him for a dance number. As EO presses forward toward the Supreme Leader, she unleashes her Whip Warriors – two cybernetic defenders, each with a whip and shield that can deflect EO’s powers.
The others all run away, leaving EO to fight the Whip Warriors alone. EO is then trapped by a closing gate and is preparing for a last stand as both of the Whip Warriors draw their whips back for a final blow.
Fuzzball immediately drops his instrument and speedily flies over to tie the two whips together, causing the Whip Warriors to be thrown off balance, giving EO an opportunity to transform them as well.
With no further obstacles, EO uses his power to transform the Supreme Leader into a beautiful woman, her lair into a peaceful Greek temple and the planet into a verdant paradise.
A celebration breaks out as EO and his crew triumphantly exit and fly off into space!
The Mysteries of the Nautilus
Immerse yourself inside the fascinating imagination of Jules Verne and his famous mechanical submarine from “20,000 Leagues Under The Sea.”
Les Mystères du Nautilus in French, The Mysteries of the Nautilus is an attraction at Disneyland Paris based upon the movie 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea which in turn is based on the book of the same name by Jules Verne.
The attraction officially opened on July 4, 1994.
It is a walkthrough attraction located in Discoveryland that lets guests explore Captain Nemo’s submarine and also witness the Giant Squid attacking the Nautilus from under the sea.
The attraction is Disneyland Paris is actually similar, but updated version of the former 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea attraction at the original Disneyland and Magic Kingdom in America.
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is a 1954 live-action film created by Walt Disney, based on the classic novel of the same name by science fiction author Jules Verne.
In the late 19th Century, a mysterious sea monster has been attacking and sinking ships. Pierre Aronnax and his assistant Conseil are hired for an expedition to find a legendary sea monster.
After an unexpected encounter with the monster, Arronax and Conseil, along with harpooner Ned Land, fell overboard.
They discover the monster is in fact the Nautilus, a submarine built by the mysterious Captain Nemo, who is leading a dangerous crusade across the world.
Follow them on their journey – 20,000 Leagues, Under the Sea!
Orbitron, Flying Machines
Pilot one of 12 rocket ships as they were imagined at the end of the 19th Century. Now use your imagination as you steer through a galaxy of planets and constellations.
Orbitron, Machines Volantes is a spinner attraction in Discoveryland at Disneyland Paris. It opened on April 12, 1992, as one of the park’s original attractions. It is a reimagined version of the Rocket Jets-style attractions found at earlier parks, which, at the time, all resembled NASA-style spacecraft. Imagineers took a retro-futuristic approach with the Orbitron (as well as Discoveryland itself), giving it a Jules Verne-styled appearance.
An identical attraction, the Astro Orbitor, opened at Disneyland on May 22, 1998, as part of that park’s new Tomorrowland, which was inspired by Discoveryland.
Space Mountain: Mission 2
You passed Mission 1 with flying colours, but are you ready for Mission 2?
A supercharged canon will blast you on a warp-speed ride into the unknown.
Feel the g-force as you dodge screaming meteorites and black holes – and then go back and do it all again!
Countdown begins NOW! Don’t miss it!
Space Mountain: Mission 2 is a steel roller coaster-type attraction in Discoveryland at Disneyland Paris, in France. It is themed around a journey into space.
The attraction opened on June 1, 1995, three years after the park’s opening, as a revival of interest to draw more guests to the then-financially unstable European resort.
The Space Mountain in Disneyland Paris was the first roller coaster to feature a Synchronized On-Board Audio Track (SOBAT) and was originally themed around Jules Verne’s classic 1865 novel From the Earth to the Moon.
The audio track was written by Steven Bramson and was in keeping with the Victorian theme.
Unlike other Space Mountains in other Disney theme parks, this version has a grander and more detailed appearance, with a huge dominating Columbiad Cannon and a rivet exterior, in keeping with Discoveryland’s retro-futuristic theme.
It is the only Space Mountain with inversions and a section of the ride outside the mountain, that being the station and the cannon.
The original version of the ride, De la Terre à la Lune, closed in 2005 and the theme was changed and updated to Mission 2, planned as a continuation.
Rather than replacement of Verne’s classic, where the rider is taken further into space with a new adventure.
The track remains unaltered. The new onboard audio track was composed by Michael Giacchino, and the refurbished attraction debuted on 2005.
So…you thought you mastered Mission 1? Now we put you to the test with Mission 2.
Buckle up as our cannon blast sends you faster than g-force through space and back again!
Set off for an intergalactic adventure onboard the Starspeeder 3000 space ship.
Then say * # ¤ (Hi!) to R2D2 as you pass through a ‘droid workshop.
Take a thrilling virtual reality ride to the Moon of Endor and on the way, destroy the Empire’s headquarters on the Death Star. Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.
Star Tours is a simulator attraction, based on the Star Wars media franchise, currently operating at Disneyland Paris. This version of the attraction has since closed at its original home of Disneyland, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Tokyo Disneyland but was replaced and updated by Star Tours: The Adventures Continue – at all three parks between 2011 and 2013.
Advertised as “The Ultimate Star Wars Advenutre”, the attraction was themed as a galactic travel agency and spaceport set within the Star Wars universe that is employed with droids such as R2-D2 and C-3PO and that you are traveling to the Forest Moon of Endor.
However, your inexperienced pilot, RX-24, ends up taking a journey through an asteroid field and a battle with the third Death Star.
Taking place sometime shortly after the events of Return of the Jedi, Star Tours put guests in the role of space tourists en route to the forest moon of Endor, the site of an infamous battle where Rebels fought against the Empire via the Star Tours travel agency.
Much is made of this throughout the queue looking like a spaceship boarding terminal with posters advertising voyages to different planets, and a giant screen informs riders of various travel packages.
This area is stocked with Audio-Animatronic characters, including C-3PO and R2-D2 that seem to speak to the ride patrons, as well as a life-size mock-up of a Starspeeder 3000, the spacecraft which riders are about to board.
Guests then enter a maintenance area where an apparently unproductive G2 droid performs repairs on another droid while being distracted by the observing guests, and another droid inadvertently points out all the supposed flaws of the Starspeeder 3000 and its RX pilots.
A ride attendant escorts guests to one of several loading stations where they wait for their turn to ride.
A television screen posts a countdown to take-off time and shows images of the Starspeeder 3000 spacecraft being serviced. As launch time approaches, a safety video is shown featuring Star Wars aliens, Disney Imagineers, and their families. It instructs guests how to fasten their seat belts and where to place belongings.
Once the doors to the Starspeeder open, guests walk across bridges into one of several Starspeeders, while C-3PO welcomes the riders and repeats the safety spiel. As the doors close, the bumbling pilot droid of the ship, RX-24 chats up the guests about the trip as R2-D2 is loaded onto the spacecraft.
Rex lowers the cockpit shield, and the hangar crew activates the flight platform. All goes well until a slight mistake on Captain Rex’s part sends the Starspeeder crashing into the maintenance bay doors, and plummeting into the maintenance yard just barely crashing the control room and colliding with a giant mechanical arm.
Once in space, Rex asks R2-D2 to make the jump to lightspeed as well, but accidentally overshoots the ship’s hyperdrive, and passes the Endor moon, and instead gets caught inside a comet cluster. The ship gets hit by several comets before getting trapped in one of the larger comets.
The Starspeeder tries to weave it’s way through the comet and escapes by crashing through one of the thinner walls. Upon escaping the comet, however, the ship encounters a Star Destroyer.
The ship gets caught in the Destroyer’s tractor beam, but manages to get loose when a Rebel X-Wing fighter provides assistance by destroying the tractor beam’s generator. With the tractor beam deactivated, the Starspeeder escapes the Star Destroyer. Soon the ship accompanies the Rebellion on a massive assault on the third Death Star.
Rex then uses the Starspeeder’s lasers to eliminate several TIE fighters while a rebel pilot destroys the Death Star in the same manner Luke Skywalker did, by firing two proton torpedoes into the exhaust port.
The X-Wings jump to lightspeed to avoid the Death Star’s explosion, and a final lightspeed jump sends the StarSpeeder back to the spaceport, but not before a near collision with a fuel truck in the hangar.
C-3PO then instructs the passengers on the existing procedure before thanking and bidding them farewell.
Coming next up will be: Fantasyland!
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