So I got asked this recently by some friends:
If you could choose one land from each version of Disneyland you have visited and assemble them into a 'best of' park, which lands would they be? - Joseph and Chrissy.
This was my response:
That’s a very good question…. So here’s some food for thought for you to begin my answer… (will all make sense in the end, I hope!)
So consider this, Disneyland in California is the well loved grandfather. It is somewhat antique, and unique, has it’s fun side, but has been around a while.
Magic Kingdom is the fun loving older brother or uncle who, though getting a little old for these kinda things, still likes to laugh and joke around.
Tokyo Disneyland is the oddball one of the family. The rock star cousin or uncle that you don’t see much of, but is rich and famous somewhere in the world.
Disneyland Paris is the elegant and graceful aunt who comes to visit from time to time, and likes to have a bit of fun.
The reason I give these bizarre analogies is because each park offers something a bit unique and different, and certainly does have it’s own personality, just like various family members.
I find it difficult to answer your question because they are all so unique, but here is my best answer…
I would probably say that overall, I would choose Disneyland Paris’s layout, architecture and design. The theming is the best of all the Magic Kingdom style parks, and the visual appeal of the park is stunning. It is Walt Disney Imagineering’s one true masterpiece. But there are some things that I would take from the other parks and add.
Disneyland Paris, like the elegant aunt, takes itself a bit more seriously than the other parks, but still likes to have fun. For this reason, so much as I love things like the Jungle Cruise, they simply do not fit in Disneyland Paris. Their corny humour belongs in the US. I would take the Tiki Room though, the original one from California, not the jazzed up versions from the other parks. It of course would go in Adventureland.
I would also probably take Magic Kingdom’s Splash Mountain and place it up in the furthest west part of Frontierland where the Chaparral Theatre is currently. That area is huge, and is underused.
Although Splash can be a bit more “comical”, I think that it would go well if done right.
New Orleans Square does not exist in Disneyland Paris, but would certainly go very well as an addition. The overall feel and theming over NOSq is just right for DLP. I think that if we were building a new park, I’d leave room for it up between the current Pirates of the Caribbean and Fantasyland. I would actually leave DLP’s PotC where it is, and just place NOSq between the two current areas. NOSq’s PotC space could be used for something else I guess.
Although not from a MK style park, I would probably take the Sindbad Storybook Voyage from DisneySea and place it in the Arabian section of Adventureland at DLP, too.
Staying with Adventureland, I would also replace the current Indiana Jones ride with the California one. I know Jon would like to add in somewhere the small area from Tokyo Disneyland's Adventureland where there are some little juice bars and a restaurant. It kinda looks like a small harbour area, and is quite a neat little area.
Fantasyland is perfect in DLP the way it is, but if I were going to add anything, I would take Tokyo’s Pooh’s Hunny Hunt and find space for it up by the Fantasyland RR Station, maybe replacing the current theatre that is up there.
Although both CA and Tokyo have Critter Countries, I don’t think the overall idea of this more satirical land would go very well in DLP, and like I said above, Splash Mountain probably goes best in Frontierland if it were done right.
For the same reason I would probably not add a Toontown either, but if I were going to pick one (if I had to), it would be California’s, for no more reason than it is probably the best laid out version of the three that exist.
As for Tomorrowland, well I’m not entirely sure that any of the other parks can truly contribute to DLP’s overall design. The MK has a number of those “comical” attractions (Laugh Floor, Stitch’s Great Escape and a couple others), and like I said, they don’t go well. DL doesn’t have much to offer in the way of anything new or refreshing, and Tokyo needs to take a leaf out of Paris’s book, not the other way round!!
If I were to take any aspect of any park and add it to Discoveryland, it would come from DisneySea, not from a MK park. I would probably take the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea attraction.
If I were to take any other aspects, I would take Florida’s slightly better organisation skills. The way they deal with crowds and people is better, and also the way they make lines for the characters is more organised.
I would also take Tokyo’s maintenance and upkeep, as well as their high calibre shows and parades.
I know I didn’t take a land from each park, but DLP will always win hands down if I did that, and I’d end up with the same park we have now! So it was easier to just start with that and add to it land by land.