Is Euro Disney is worth going to?

(124 Posts)

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mynameismskane Mon 02-Sep-13 22:20:31

...or should I wait a few years and take the kids to Disney in Florida? My children are 6 and 4 I'm just not sure if we (DH and I) should spend money on Euro Disney or wait until the kids are a bit older and go to Florida?!

Would love some advice?!

celticclan Tue 03-Sep-13 13:26:17

Thanks Rufus.

If there are queues in October then I don't think we will bother. We don't like theme parks enough to justify spending an hour to queue for a ride.

I've been to both, DLP several times (it hasn't been EuroDisney for quite a few years....)

Florida is Da Bomb, but is a once in a lifetime holiday, and best suited to teenagers.

DLP is easy to do for a weekend (not sure I'd try to do it in just one day - there's 2 parks, and each of them is worth spending a full day in) And you can tailor it to a range of budgets, but in and around £1000 for a wonderful weekend is feasible.

Trip Advisor have a special DLP forum, with some great up to date and insider info.

Rufus43 Tue 03-Sep-13 14:26:46

If you go after about the 8th of November it's all decorated and themed for Christmas. Early October (so out of season, cheaper and less queues ) its all halloweeny

aftermay Tue 03-Sep-13 14:47:35

Last weekend it was already Xmas carrier bags for your shopping. Getting that subliminal message early on.

This is how we only managed 5 rides in 2 days: we had breakfast at the allocated time of 7 a.m. (you don't just saunter in to breakfast when you damn well fancy) then went to the park and had 5 rides in the first 2 hours. Could have done another one but one of the DDs not tall enough and I didn't have anyone to leave her with. When the gates opened for the rest of the people, goodbye 5 minute queues and hello 50 minute queues. Rides varied, some were 47 seconds long. I was bored enough to time them.

We stayed up late for the 11 p.m. scramble which was the lights show. I was on my own so I had one on my shoulders and tried to balance the other one on a hip. They are 6 and 8, a miserable experience and the 8 y.o. didn't see much. Packed like sardines for the 20 minute show.

We wanted dinner at the hotel. Forget it. At 6 pm we were 'offered' a sitting at 10 pm or 10.30 pm. Too late as we would have missed the 11 pm show. So it was McDonalds again. But hang on, you can't go inside the bloody park with your McDonalds take away, even if its fold on its own bloody Disney so called village. So we had to eat it at the gate do we could go in for the show.

I'd read about it beforehand. But frankly, when I spend £1000 for 2 days I expect to have a bit more comfort and fun and not plan everything to the most minute detail.

We couldn't go early the next day for the extra 2 hours in the morning as the DDs were impossible to wake up at 6.30 (having got back at midnight the night before). So we went later, queues.

Did I mention? The whole park came to a standstill as it rained for all of 10 minutes. All rides, including indoor ones, closed due to technical difficulties caused by the 'storm alert'. That was fun.

aftermay Tue 03-Sep-13 14:50:49

It was also nauseating seeing hordes of adults in Disney branded clothes. I mean proper grown ups, not silly teenagers being ironic.

Crowler Tue 03-Sep-13 14:52:22

I cannot wrap my head around adults wearing Disney.

MadeOfStarDust Tue 03-Sep-13 15:24:02

so much Disney bashing going on on MN again.....

We went in May half term holidays, stayed at local Kyriad hotel - £160 for 2 nights in a quad room (with a breakfast buffet) - free shuttle bus to and from the parks (takes 8min) and the rail station.

Arrived at park opening, went on ride after ride - Fastpassed the big ones - Thunder mountain, peter pan etc... saw all the shows, went to eat at Pizzeria belle notte - pizza and side salad - whilst the kids ran over to the character photo/signing area outside, and the Earl of sandwich - a sandwich of roast beef, turkey, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes +mustard and Hakuna matata where we had african chicken and rice..... all counter service - the restaurants had even better food..

don't get where all the "junk" is coming from really - you can eat well, or you can eat crap from the first counter service you come across if you want...

Don't suppose those who hated it bothered to stop and listen under the main st windows, where you hear the sounds from the singing/piano lessons and the dentist above - or stand by the armour in the castle to hear the guards inside snoring.... or spend time being watched and snorted at by the resident dragon in the caverns below.... the Christmas all-year-round shop is wonderful too... but I'm guessing that "disney" branding would stop people buying a minnie mouse snow globe for a 5 year old girl - who slept with it for a month!!

Hey, ho I love Disney - all their parks are different.. Paris has the best castle and the best thunder mountain ride.

MadeOfStarDust Tue 03-Sep-13 15:28:14

oh and here are the menus so you can decide where to eat before you go...

Disney restaurant menus

aftermay Tue 03-Sep-13 15:33:48

Well, if describing my very recent experience is Disney bashing, so be it. Yes, I hated it. Yes, I thought the branding was pathetic. I said adults if you read correctly. I'd never been before as its not my kind of thing. However, having decided I'd take the DDs, leaving at home the more skeptical DH and DS, I thought I'd actually enjoy the £1000 I spent. I work hard for this money so it matters to me. It's not just about the enjoyment of my DDs. They are not exactly deprived on a day-to-day basis. It was crap.

Crowler Tue 03-Sep-13 15:34:51

I'll admit it's been something like 4 years since I was at EuroDisney but I was shocked by the prices & quality of food. Can't remember specifics, other than there being nothing other than Disney once you're off the train (unless you have a car).

At Disney in Florida, you're not held ransom to the Disney Corporation for all your food.

aftermay Tue 03-Sep-13 15:39:09

Mickey Cafe - half of it shut in the middle of the day as they didn't have enough staff. I was told they are either on holiday or phoned in sick. A bit difficult to explain to kids that it may look empty but we can't go in. We hadn't booked a million days in advance.

Fast passes: gone by 4 pm!

Swimming pool. Cold water, cold sauna, jacuzzi not working, steam room not working. Two cabins to change with ONE hook as your only amenity inside. Not a bench or, dunno, something. They'd run out of clean towels too.

MadeOfStarDust Tue 03-Sep-13 15:41:31

Our High St is full of adults wearing Superdry branded clothes, or coca cola or.. whatever.... I don't think it is that strange to wear a Disney brand in a Disney park.. some people go there because they actually like Disney stuff......

Greydog Tue 03-Sep-13 15:47:54

I was reluctantly dragged to EuroDisney the year it opened. And I loved it. We have been back 4 times. Never had any problems with food (I'ma veggie, so always expect problems!) Staff always helpful, always had a brilliant time. In fact - I think I'll have to look for a holiday there now...!

aftermay Tue 03-Sep-13 15:51:35

There we are then. You think 40 year olds wearing Disney sweaters is no big deal. I found it sickening due to the large scale. Perhaps you don't quite understand that I actually wanted to enjoy myself, I didn't go with the specific purpose to be disgusted. It's my fucking money and time.

It does help to plan ahead, and know that FastPasses etc run out quickly, and if you want a table at Cafe Mickey, then make a reservation (I've done 2 memorable birthday dinners there).

There is other non-Disney food available, but you have to hunt it out. My favourite quick meal is the sandwich place in the train station - filled roll, fruit tart and a drink for 9 euros. Or if you go one stop along to the Val d'europe shopping centre you have plenty of choice of better food and more affordable prices (plus a supermarket if you're self catering). There are shuttle buses which go there too.

MadeOfStarDust Tue 03-Sep-13 15:56:18

I think you'll find in Florida that you don't have much choice there without a car either....

At Disney Paris (as with Florida) there are external franchises run by Planet Hollywood, the Rainforest Cafe and MacDonalds. There are sandwiches and snacks available at both the rail station and at the fuel service station , and you can get on a fast train to Paris or 10min the other way to the local Shopping Mall - from the gates of the Disney park. So I don't get why folks feel so "trapped".

MadeOfStarDust Tue 03-Sep-13 15:56:44

sorry - cross post...

Floralnomad Tue 03-Sep-13 15:58:50

aftermay , we get it you didn't like it ,but TBH there are loads of places to eat , we've been going for 20 years ,at least once a year and I think I've only been in the Macdonalds once ! It does help to be organised and book meals in advance . Also even in peak season there are places to watch the parades that are not that busy and where you get a good view ,you just need to know where they are .

Sammytastix Tue 03-Sep-13 16:01:01

Hi I have been to the Florida and LA Disney many times and have to say the US does win hands down.

However we went to Paris in June and decided to tag a day on in euro Disney for our 4 year dd. We bought the tickets on line on a French web site Fnac (a tip picked up from trip advisor reviews) and saved over £100 on them so well worth doing that and we also stayed at a euro camp and self catered which kept the price down. We also got the train, very easy and goes right to the park gates.

So it can be done on a budget but if you are going to book the official Disney hotel etc then I would def go for the Florida experience every time.

We ended up in Florida for a week in January a few years ago as it was cheaper to do that than a midweek break in Paris at the same time.

LeGavrOrf Tue 03-Sep-13 16:01:18

God knows why you are upset at the 'disney bashing'. The OP asked for opinions and the people who disliked it are equally valid as those who love Disney.

I went along with no preconceptions, and expected to thoroughly enjoy myself but found it all ghastly. Queues, sullen staff, and the revolting food meant I never gave it another go in the summer months.

aftermay Tue 03-Sep-13 16:06:57

Look guys. I was there last weekend. I read and prepared. But it's a holiday, not a military expedition. I don't need to have my every moment planned out days in advance. I don't want to live like this on holiday. That for me is hell. You like it. Good. I should have saved my breath. Perhaps I'm too well travelled and my standards are therefore much higher. I'm not wasting any more time on this thread.

Floralnomad Tue 03-Sep-13 16:09:35

You don't need to plan days in advance you just need to book a couple of hours before you want to eat in peak season , its not rocket science .

Sorry if you feel you're being bashed - all opinions are very useful, and being able to explain what it is you find hellish is helpful to other people. So thank you for taking the time to give your insights.

MrTumblesSpottyBum Tue 03-Sep-13 16:23:23

Having been to both Florida and DLP, I think DLP is a bit crap too. I had some of the most disgusting food I've eaten in years there (and yes, we ate at some of the restaurants), which is a shame because I am greedy grin

Everyone else I know seems to love DLP though. As a previous poster said I thought the service/attitude was poor.

aftermay Tue 03-Sep-13 16:24:43

Did you actually read what I said? I went to book at 6 pm and was offered a sitting at my hotel at 10 pm or 10.30 pm. How is that normal?

I bought a take away McDonalds in Disney village and was not allowed to take it through the gates in Disney park. It's not Disney, is it? How pathetic is that for branding. If they don't like it they shouldn't sell it in their own village. Getting the DDs to eat it at the gates.

Did you read about the queues, the park being shut for an hour because it rained, the elbowing to watch the parade, the dingy swimming pool? I really could go on but the girls are starting back at school tomorrow and I'll spend time with them rather than justifying my experience to a bunch of strangers.

The OP may eventually decide that if so many people lurve it they can't all be wrong or blinkered and she'll go to find out for herself. Then having spent the money she won't be able to bring herself to admit the truth that it is in fact quite rubbish overall. The kids will like it. Aww. Aren't they worth it?

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