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Diz Paris: One Year Later, part three

The term dark ride seems so insider, like I know something the rest of you don’t. Does this mean the ride is not for kids? That the ride is shut down?

No, it’s just indoors.

If you’re an amusement park fan, you know that dark rides have been around since the end of the 19th Century. They, on the surface, seem attributed to old time carnivals and haunted houses (again, ‘dark’ ride). There’s a dark ride at historic Sylvan Beach Amusement Park, installed in 1954, called Laffland. I refuse to go on it because it’s too old school for me not to be terrified… I’m 40 years old. And to be clear, Space Mountain is not consider a dark ride. That’s an indoor roller coaster. Dark rides are more of a scenic journey with you in a vehicle on a rail.

When I hear the term ‘Dark ride’, I immediately think of If You Had Wings, presented by Eastern Airlines and featured in Tomorrowland on my first trip in 1981. It was scenic. I was on a journey to various destinations featured in looping video. The illusion triumphed. If You Had Wings of course begat If You Could Fly which begat Dreamflight which begat Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin (currently with a 40 minute wait as I write this).

Of all the Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland dark rides through the years – Peter Pan’s Flight, Snow White’s Scary Adventures, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh – I always lamented that there was one attraction missing that was at the original Disneyland.

Pinocchio’s Daring Journey.

In Disneyland Paris, Pinocchio’s Daring Journey goes by ‘Les Voyages de Pinocchio’. This was number one of the six attractions I wanted to get on (including Space Mountain, Thunder Mountain, Phantom Manor, It’s a Small World, and Indiana Jones et le Temple du Peril). I know, it seems bizarre, a three minute dark ride? You’re going to wait twenty minutes with your one day park pass for that?


If you have never experienced this ride in Disneyland or Disneyland Paris, I consider this a must. Is it as classic as Peter Pan’s Flight? No. You’re not flying in a pirate ship so for that it cannot compare. ‘Pinocchio’ is a classic, nostalgic Disney ride that they just won’t make from scratch anymore.

(alack, there will never be an ‘Oliver & Company’ dark ride!)

a diz 2

Now, maybe some of you are asking how is It’s a Small World on my list. Two main points. Point the first, Papa Dillo loves It’s a Small World and I would have to report back. Point the second, the boat traveled on the outside of the attraction before going indoors. This is one of the few things that the original Disneyland has that Walt Disney World does not.

By the way, this is a fantastic version of It’s a Small World. Highly recommended. There are adjustments to the music and the various rooms that make both seem less… noisy – if that makes sense. The United States section was a pleasant surprise. It brought a smile to my face as I wasn’t expecting it (again, very overwhelmed all day long just by being there).

These were the first two rides of our day. The perfect two to put you in the Disney mood.

Next time: Chasing the Triple Mountain Whammy, which is really two mountains an a perilous temple!

Brother Dillo

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