Welcome to the land of the future, or more precisely, a Jules Verne version of the future. This land has a timeless feel themed around science fiction from the start of the 20th Century.
This part of the park is always the most densely populated land. Streams of people flow into Discoveryland every day, drawn by the glow of Space Mountain and the beauty of the planets circling the Orbitron attraction.
Discoveryland houses some of the most popular attractions in Disneyland Parc. Toy Story and Star Wars attract a loyal fan base, while Europe’s largest fast food restaurant always draws a crowd. Although the hoards of people may cause worry for some, it creates a real buzz of excitement which is part of the true magic of Disney.
Autopia® – Every kid dreams of having their own car to drive. A rail prevents the car from veering off track and makes your child feel like they are in control. In reality, the lack of driving experience makes this a really bumpy ride so buckle up tight. When you get off this ride listen out for the parent saying ‘Wow, you drove really well..’ while they cross their fingers and think never again.
Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast – You have been recruited by Buzz to join his Laser Blast Squad with your own space pod and gun. This ride brings out a competitive streak you didn’t know existed, as you score points for every target that you hit. Most people become so engrossed they fail to see the lever in the middle of their pod which alows you to spin 360 degree circles. Don’t miss your ride photo on the way out to see concentration on your face like you may have never seen before!
Les Mystères du Nautilus – This attraction wonderfully fits the theming of the land. It is a walkthrough experience that suffers from the ‘Go Go Go’ nature of the parks. Many guests stride through simply with the aim of ticking this off their list. For those that take their time will be rewarded with a level of detail unseen in other theme parks. The highlight is the giant Squid which is disturbingly realistic.
Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain – This classic attraction has had a Star Wars makeover. The iconic music plays while you jump into Hyperspace and end up hurtling through a space war. Prepare to be surrounded by X-Wings, TIE fighters and lasers. The original theming is based on a cannon firing you into space which conflicts with the Star Wars overlay. However, given the quality of this ride Disney is forgiven.
Orbitron® – You will queue up insisting your child will love this ride but deep down you know it is because you want to ride in a Space Rocket. A lever allows you to move your rocket up to get a wonderful view of the castle and Space Mountain. Queues can be long during peak times so check this out first thing in the morning to beat the crowds.
Star Tours reawakens! – This ride has been updated to include elements from all the Star Wars films and is a must for any fan of the franchise. Even those who don’t enjoy the film franchise will be amazed by the realism provided by this attraction. Put on your 3D glasses and buckle your seatbelt as your space adventure awaits. With 60 different sequences, each ride is different so you may be back in line for this ride again and again.
Starport – A Star Wars Encounter – Ever been tempted to join the Dark Side. This is your chance to meet Darth Vader so budding Jedi beware. Someone has stolen the plans to the Death Star and you have just become the number one suspect. Do you hold your nerve and resist? Or do you submit to the Dark Side? Your reward is photographic evidence that you survived an encounter with arguably the most iconic villain in film history.
There are two main shops to discover in this land. (Well it is called Discoveryland!). For the Star Wars fan you must visit Star Traders. This is an immersive shopping experience with a range of goods that will make you wish you had exchanged more Euros before you travelled. You cannot leave Star Tours without walking through this store so it will test your resolve and the limit on your credit card.
The other shopping experience is Constellations. Again, Disney has planned its rides to funnel you through this shop after your leave Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast. This means crowds so this is not a place for browsing. It is one large space, spilt into zones for Marvel, Pixar, Disney and Star Wars. In the centre is a table full of plush characters, so be prepared to say AWWWW! Check out the giant Stitch and feel sympathy for the parent who bought one early in the morning and has carried it around the park all day.
The land is also the home of the Pueblo Trading Post which is a Disney Pin Trading store. Unfortunately this is rarely open so I would suggest Main Street as the best location for Pin Collectors.
Café Hyperion – Counter Service – There is only one restaurant in this land. However, this is the biggest Fast Food location in Europe. Burgers, Chicken Nuggets and Fries are available here, which appeals to many families. The enormous seating area looks onto a stage which regularly hosts shows ranging from the Jedi Training Academy to Mickey’s Big Band Show. These shows draw a crowd to an already busy restaurant so be prepared to queue.
This restaurant really splits opinion. It appeals to families given the ‘McDonalds’ style food. However, it really suffers from its size, as servers struggle to keep up with demand and food is often served lukewarm. Finding a seat can be a challenge given the crowds, so cold fries can be the final straw in breaking the Disney magic for the day.