In the furthest reaches of Adventureland, intrepid explores can discover “Indiana Jones et le Temple du Péril.” Here you’ll find an abandoned temple decaying in the jungle.
As you near the temple, a stone lion can be seen guarding the entrance. Continuing further into the underbrush, you pass the base camp used by the archeologists who are exploring the ruins.
Eventually you come to a large staircase guarded by a menacing cobra.
Your trek continues beneath scaffolding and around stone artifacts until eventually you reach the loading area and board an old mine car.
From then on, hold on tight for a very rough and wild ride around and through the ancient ruins. Along the way your car will make a 360° loop. This is a hair-raising experience and not for the faint of heart.
“Indiana Jones et le Temple du Péril” opened in July 1993. At the time, the only other thrill ride at Disneyland Paris was Big Thunder Mountain and the park desperately needed another roller coaster. But money was tight as the resort was losing money. The solution, buy an “off-the-shelf” coaster and spiff it up with some Disney-inspired theming and a storyline.
The Imagineers did a decent job, but this isn’t one of Disney’s best attractions. In my opinion, only teenagers and avid roller coaster fans will get any real enjoyment out of this quick ride (about a minute and a half). It’s just too rough for the average visitor and it doesn’t provide enough Disney magic.
In order to breathe new life into this attraction, it was shut down and retooled in late 1999. In April 2000, it reopened with the cars running backwards, adding a new excitement level to the experience. In November 2004, the cars were once again reversed and currently run forward.
This attraction is extremely similar to Tokyo DisneySea’s Raging Spirits. However in Tokyo, the seats and restraints are padded so extensively that you’re practically pinned to your seat.
The “Pirates of the Caribbean” attraction is located across the bay from Captain Hook’s Jolly Roger and Skull Rock. The Imagineers kept the two pirate-themed attractions of Adventureland in close proximity. Also near “Pirates of the Caribbean” is an entrance into Fantasyland. The first attraction you come to when taking this path is “Peter Pan’s Flight,” adding a third pirate-based attraction into the general vicinity. Once again, the transition from one area to another is practically seamless.
The setting for “Pirates of the Caribbean” is a Spanish Colonial fortress somewhere in the West Indies.
To reach the attraction you walk under the mast of an old ship and proceed along a lush path, shaded by palms and outstretched canvas sails
After boarding your craft you set sail and pass the romantic Blue Lagoon Restaurant. Soon after, your boat turns and aims toward a flooded fortress. A winch grabs hold of your craft and you’re hauled up a cargo ramp. Once inside the citadel, you sail through a number of chambers where you can see a fierce pirate battle being raged. As your journey continues, you pass by some traditional “Pirates of the Caribbean” scenes such as the Bride Auction and Burning Town. But there are also some new things to see like a swinging buccaneer and sword fight. These new sights and a different track layout help make this feel like a brand new ride to those of us familiar with the U.S. and Tokyo versions.
Eventually, you ride a waterfall down into a murky place where pirates live out eternity as skeletons. These scenes are right out of Disneyland, California.
Eventually you return safely home and disembark from your harrowing adventure.
I like this version of “Pirates of the Caribbean” a lot. In fact, I’d have to rank it as my favorite of the four world-wide versions. The first time I rode “Pirates” at Disneyland, California it didn’t make sense to me seeing the skeletons at the beginning of the attraction. It seems far more logical to see the dead pirates appear after the big battle scene.
I like that at Disneyland Paris you ride “up” the cargo ramp at the beginning of the ride and save the “splash down” for a finale. Also, this version of “Pirates” is a “complete” attraction and not scaled down as is the one in Florida.
Like so many other attractions, you exit “Pirates of the Caribbean” through a shop. No big surprise there. When you emerge, you’re in a town square built beneath the fort’s protection.
Nearby you can find the entrance to the Blue Lagoon Restaurant. This dining establishment is located within the “Pirates of the Caribbean” attraction. From your table you can watch the boats sail by as they begin their perilous journey to adventure.
The Blue Lagoon Restaurant is similar in concept to the Blue Bayou Restaurants found in Tokyo and California. But in those locations you dine on the patio of a New Orleans plantation. At the Blue Lagoon you eat outside of a tropical village. Thatched roofs, waterfalls, and palm trees blend to create a romantic setting. In the distance you can see fireflies flittering in the night. This is the perfect spot to enjoy a fine meal and relax for a while.
The Blue Lagoon Restaurant is divided into several sections. The tables in the back are terraced to afford better views of the boats sailing by. But the best seats are waterside and it’s always worth asking if you can wait for one to open up.
As you might expect, seafood is the specialty here, but other choices are available. And since alcohol is served at Disneyland Paris, you can enjoy a nice glass of wine with your meal.
Well, that’s it for Adventureland. Next stop, Fantasyland.
The previous post in this blog was Downtown Disney Stage.
The next post in this blog is Disneyland Paris - Fantasyland – Part 1 – Castle Courtyard and Carousel.