My thoughts on Ratatouille (Shareholders Preview)

June 30, 2014

After looking forward to it so much, the Shareholders preview for Ratatouille was finally there on Saturday, June 28, 2014. But to be honest the day i expected the most of was the least one of my three day trip. Maybe my expectations of this day and the attraction were a bit too high, i don’t know.

It started with a terrible long wait (in the rain) at the cashier to get the bracelets and tickets. Why did they arrange it this way?
A few days before the event i got an e-mail that the invitation was send by post. And if you didn’t receive it in time you had to bring your e-mail confirmation. Because i didn’t receive any post from the Shareholdersclub before i went to DLP (and i still don’t have it) i took the e-mail with me and waited in line to enter the park. Because i only saw people with bracelets in this line i asked a castmember and showed him the e-mail. He said he didn’t have any bracelets and i had to go to the cashier to get it.
I didn’t expect that we had to get in line with paying customers and it took more than an hour before we could get in line again to enter the park.
We also noticed it wasn’t just a shareholders event, the line was so long because there were also annual passholders in line.

Then we finally were able to visit the new Ratatouille area. It’s beautiful!! So much detail. I love the fountain!
Even the toilets look amazing and had a big wow factor to us.
Because there were shareholders ánd annualpassholders it was very crowded and when we arrived for Ratatouille the line was 45 minutes long already. First we went to get a fastpass and then we waited in the normal line for our first Ratatouille ride.

The waiting area looks great, especially when you arrive inside the building. We were amazed by the decor. I also was totally amazed to see how the vehicles move at the boarding station (and exit area).
Then it was time to go on our first ride. It is a fun ride and looks very nice. But..
i really needed a second ride to like it. I didn’t know what to think of it after the first time. The second time (with fastpass), after we had to wait for a while because the attraction was closed, i liked it. It is a fun ride and you definately feel as if you are a rat which is being chased and you’re running around with Remy.
It’s also great to notice how the vehicle ‘chooses’ a different way everytime to move through the attraction.

People with motion sickness might feel sick during the ride though. We’ve been on the ride three times and we both felt sick on every ride during a few scenes. Probably also because of the 3D effect. After those three times it was enough for us as we kept feeling sick while walking around for a bit. We couldn’t handle another ride and left the area to visit Cinemagique (a must do for us when we are at the Walt Disney Studios). We decided not to eat at the restaurant because we had to eat very early then and after feeling sick we didn’t want to have dinner yet.

The area is beautiful. But to us it felt as if there was something missing.
It doesn’t feel ‘alive’. There is nothing to do apart from the attraction and the restaurant, both are inside the building. The Tower of Terror area for example feels a lot more ‘alive’.
We had to leave the Ratatouille area to get a coffee and a snack after our first ride. It would have been so much better if there were a few tables and seats outside and people would have been able to get a drink and a croissant, a french baguette or a crêpe. That’s what you expect in a Parisian area.
Maybe it’s because the attraction hasn’t officially opened yet and the shop isn’t open yet either. Maybe this experience will change after it’s officially open.

So my conclusion. It is a beautiful area, the imagineers did a perfect job to recreate a little part of Paris inside the Walt Disney Studios. The ride is beautifully created too, Pixar did a wonderful job on the animation. I was amazed by the decor and props inside the ride. It is a fun ride and a great addition for the Walt Disney Studios.
But for me it’s not Pirates of the Caribbean or Phantom Manor. I prefer these kinds of dark rides.
They feel more real than an attraction where you're surrounded by a lot of 3D screens.
It’s nice to experience an attraction with animation and screens and nice to see what imagineers can do with this technique but i do hope this is not Disney’s future where there won’t be any audio-animatronics anymore because screens with 3D animation are easier to create.