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?!

RedHelenB Mon 02-Sep-13 22:25:39

Been 3 times for Halloween, Easter & summer = enjoyed them all. Not been to Florida, but if I was spending that amount of money would rather it wasn't a Disney holiday personally.

Madeyemoodysmum Mon 02-Sep-13 22:42:07

I've done euro Disney a few times for less than £1500 all in if your willing to take kids out of school. That's 3 nights in a decent Disney hotel

Mine loved it as did we.

Florida is a totally different experience but you pay for it, we have been saving for the last 3 years to go next year and it's costing over 4 k with out spending money!

But I'd say euro is worth it.

whatastar Mon 02-Sep-13 22:43:16

i took my 2 when they were 5 & 6 years old , they are now late teens and still say its the best holiday they ever had , and they cant wait to take their own kids there one day ,we went over new year it was freezing ,snow up to your knees ,wet all day but they still loved it .

Icantstopeatinglol Mon 02-Sep-13 22:45:03

Yes we all loved it! Been twice and planning in going back next year.

FriedSprout Mon 02-Sep-13 22:45:35

I hated all things Disnet until I went grin

Been 3 times now and dd loves it almost as much as me!

RaspberryLemonPavlova Mon 02-Sep-13 22:47:03

We've just been this summer, DCs aged 10, 13 and 15 and had a fab time. We camped nearby, got annual passes and spent quite a lot of time there. It was 34 degrees plus most of the time we were there!

MmeLindor Mon 02-Sep-13 22:48:25

We grudgingly booked, to give the DC the experience, and were completely surprised by the fact that we all LOVED it. Definitely worth doing.

We went this summer. It was great.

Dancergirl Mon 02-Sep-13 22:52:23

It's brilliant and so much easier to get to than Florida!

BTW, the Magic Kingdom is EXACTLY THE SAME in Paris as in Florida. Lots of other theme parks in Florida though.

racingheart Mon 02-Sep-13 22:54:31

Go. It's only a train ride away and your children are exactly the right age. Our two loved it at that age. It was magical for them.

TheCricketWidow Mon 02-Sep-13 22:56:12

It's amazing grin
Definitely go, you'll love it.

It's brilliant, well worth it.

Especially if you can get a reduced price entry voucher off eBay.

Do you have a caravan? If so drive, and stay In the camping car park for 20euros per night. Full toilet and shower facilities available too.

We did two nights and three days for four of us for less than £120 last year!!

GangstersLoveToDance Mon 02-Sep-13 23:01:18

We went in March, when the dc were 5 and nearly 3. It was fantastic! Definitely worth going when they are little.

We stayed in a Disney Hotel (Sequoia Lodge) for 4 nights BnB, 5 day park entry. I booked it when they had their 'two nights free' offer on. For two adults and two children in the main lodge (you pay extra to be next to the lake) it cost £670, which I thought was brilliant value.

We drove from Wales (1000 miles round trip) and stayed in two hotels as stop overs, and got the cost of petrol, two stopovers and ferry was around £350.

So, around £1000 for everything, including travel. We spent another £1000 as spending money over the five days...but we didn't really budget, we bought what meals and gifts we wanted, did a day trip into Paris etc etc. I reckon we could have done it with about half the spending money, if we'd been more careful.

So, in total, cost around £2k. It's expensive...but for what the adults kids get out of it, also very worth it! I would go again tomorrow!

Lilacroses Mon 02-Sep-13 23:01:54

We loved it. Took Dd when she was 6 and it was magical, exciting, well organised, clean and good value for money.

anchovies Mon 02-Sep-13 23:04:34

We went last new year. I expected to hate it but it was by far the best holiday we've ever had!

Whathaveiforgottentoday Mon 02-Sep-13 23:38:47

Another one who loved it. Kids aged 6 and 3. Well worth going to see my dd2 so excited to see Minnie Mouse. Just accept it for what it is and enjoy it,

Snailonthewhale Mon 02-Sep-13 23:39:25

I have been to the Florida one many times, and the Paris one 4 times, and I would say that the Florida one does have the edge. It is cleaner, the staff are more cheerful and the sun is pretty much always shining. That said, the Paris one is also amazing and when you consider the difference in costs it's definitely worth going to.

My advice though is go when the weather is nice. Disney is crap in the cold, especially with all the standing around in queues. I was there last week on apparently the only day it rained all summer. Pissed it down all day, it was 13 degrees, and we were dressed for summer. We are all ill now as a result! We were unlucky with it being summer but I would definitely plan your trip for the warmer months.

Awomansworth Mon 02-Sep-13 23:51:46

We've just done 5 days with our two 5 year olds. We stayed in hotel near to park. We all had a fab time, and the temp was in the 80's every day.

It cost us £1400 - Hotel, park entrance, half board meal plan and Eurostar tickets.

We took 500 euros spending money but only spent 350 and that included 100 euros each for the boys to spend in the Disney shops.

Your choice really - obviously the parks are bigger in Florida, but for me Disney is Disney and at 5 I don't believe our two would notice much of a difference to be honest.

Lj8893 Mon 02-Sep-13 23:55:21

I went on a college trip when I was 16 and loved it, it was amazing!!!

I'm expecting a little girl in October and can't wait untill she's old enough to take!!!

mynameismskane Tue 03-Sep-13 08:14:42

Thanks everyone! I do want to go to Euro Disney, but when I look at the cost I am a bit 'arghh'! But I think I should book for next year if I can find a great deal. Any tips would be gratefully received! And ideas on which hotel to stay at :-)

Backtobedlam Tue 03-Sep-13 08:26:14

I'd do Eurodisney now and save Florida for when they're older. I did Eurodisney first and thought it was amazing, but DH who did it the other way round kept comparing the two, obviously Florida is much bigger and better (and more costly). The little ones won't know any different though, and Paris is easy to get to, less travelling and just as magical at that age.

soverylucky Tue 03-Sep-13 08:52:03

watching with interest. Would love to take mine but it seemed very expensive when I looked - more than the prices quoted here. Can someone give me a clue as to where/who/how to book to get it cheaper.

Lovecat Tue 03-Sep-13 09:00:05

I did Florida first and consequently HATED Eurodisney with a passion.

Rude people, horrendous queues for everything (and totally disorganised, making the queues much longer, ie the train that goes around the park, they would only let 20 people on, despite it being half-empty, so we had to queue for nearly an hour watching empty trains going past that we weren't allowed on!), half the rides weren't working (we went 3rd week of July so not exactly low season), even with Fastpasses we only got to go on 4 rides all day because of queue length - oh, and no shade in the horrendous queues on an incredibly hot day. Filthy toilets in Frontierland too.

I think that my Florida experience was so good that it gave me v high expectations of Paris, so it was a total let down. If you go there first, you'll probably like it. If we were to go again we'd go out of season and stay in a Disney Hotel so that we could get in earlier and not have to queue so damn much... (top tip, if you're not staying on the park, get the train there - it costs €15 to park your car there! (we were gobsmacked, never been charged for car parking in a theme park before...) Also the train is right by the entrance gates whereas using the carpark means you'll end up with a long walk.

Went to Parc Asterix, however, and had the time of our lives (car park there 'only' €8 and a much better experience all round).

Huskylover1969 Tue 03-Sep-13 09:30:16

we have been to florida when dd was 6 ,7 and 9
we loved it everytime and the first time we went it was cheaper than going to euro disney
we have always gone in october and its cooler quiter and cheaper

MadeOfStarDust Tue 03-Sep-13 09:43:23

May half term is a good time to go - it is quieter then... but the weather has a chance of being good without being too hot..

Go! You will all love it. We went when dd1 was 4 and it was magical. If you are going outside of uk school holidays also check when the French and Spanish holidays are and try and avoid them too

LadyBryan Tue 03-Sep-13 09:57:49

Absolutely LOVE it. We've been three times in the last two years grin

We're lucky as DD is in private school so her holidays are different so we miss school hols and French/Spanish school hols.

Be prepared to spend a lot of time trying not to cry when your child/ren see their heroes wink

MCos Tue 03-Sep-13 10:05:17

We have been twice. Had been to DislandLand in California a few times previously. Similar experience, Park almost the same, Paris has most of the same rides.

If you can afford it, stay in one of the Disney hotels. That will allow you access to park one hour prior to public.
Watch for Kids go Free, or 4 nights for price of 3, type offers.

It is much better value off season.

I believe it is quite cold there November through March.
We went in April, and had beautiful weather (but it was quite cold the week prior)

We also went in May. May has lots of public holidays in France. Disneyland is VERY busy during these holidays.

I imagine the queues would be pretty long during school summer holiday. If you need to stick to school holidays, queues weren't so bad the week prior to Easter..

MadeOfStarDust Tue 03-Sep-13 10:17:15

The castle in DLRParis is the best of them all......

Mamatomanymunchkins Tue 03-Sep-13 10:17:57

Love it, love it, love it!!!!

We have 5DC - ages 11, 8, 5, 3 and 6 months, been to Euro Disney many times and all the children love it. Also been to Florida too but that was when we just had 2 DC.

Euro Disney is not too far to travel and is much more compact to get around, therefore IMO much easier with young children. We stayed in Davey Crockett Ranch this summer (only Disney hotel which could accommodate us all) and there was lots to keep us all occupied at the ranch too.

Florida is a long journey that's not great with little ones. When we have been we spent a lot of time driving between parks and spent thousands.

If I were you I would see if I could get a good deal at Euro Disney in a Disney hotel, then if you like the Disney experience, save up and go to Florida when DC older smile

Up to 40% off if you book before the end of September and go before Easter wink Dd1 has been asking to go for a couple of years. It's a lot of money for us, but will be going in February half term. Just trying to decide which hotel/travel combo.

Crowler Tue 03-Sep-13 10:40:29

I think it's a good idea to take the kids out of school if you're going to ED. I would also book on short notice as weather is IMPORTANT.

We loved Disneyland Florida (well, as much as one can) and I think it's far better than ED. But, I'd only do that with older kids - the flight is a killer.

Rufus43 Tue 03-Sep-13 11:04:10

Love eurodisney, we have been 7 times and can do it easily (November) for the £1000 mark. We go over in the tunnel using tescos vouchers and drive as it much cheaper

We have stayed at the Disneyland, the New York, the Newport, the sequoia, Davey crockets and one of the outside ones (can't remember which one)

Florida on the other hand cost us £12,000 summer of 2011! The age of our kids is fab for eurodisney and personally as Florida is expensive I would wait and save til they can go on most of the rides on the other parks.

Should say that the first time we went to Florida with the kids we went off peak and it was about £6,500!

Rufus43 Tue 03-Sep-13 11:05:16

Should say your kids age! My kids are getting too old!

MortifiedAdams Tue 03-Sep-13 11:07:29

Go now! Then, wait til your youngest is ten and do Florida but skip Disney. So so so much to do and you will have already done Disney (and the kids will be too old to appreciate the animals but big enough to do all the theme parks).

Thats my plan anyways (went to Disney Florida as a teen, never been to EuroDisney).

Am olannig on taking dd to Eurodisney aged four.

ChestyNut Tue 03-Sep-13 11:54:26

I've done euro disney and Florida.

Florida is far better, holiday of a lifetime.

Am desperately saving to go back grin

LadyBryan Tue 03-Sep-13 11:56:59

I see DLP and DW as two different types of holiday actually.

DLP is a short break - quick flight etc. Three days, back home. Perfect.

DW would be a major holiday and one we're going to wait for until DD is a touch older

celticclan Tue 03-Sep-13 12:16:35

Does it have to cost so much money?

I was planning on staying at Keycamp October half term, ferry and caravan less than £400. We mainly want to visit Paris but I thought perhaps we could visit Disney for 1 day and I thought that tickets for a family of 4 would probably cost around £100-150. Am I mistaken?

There is no way I would spend more than £1k on a trip to a theme park you can get proper holiday for that sort of money.

PommesFright Tue 03-Sep-13 12:32:22

Babylon can you link to anything relating to the campsite where you stayed?

Toohottohandle Tue 03-Sep-13 12:41:40

Yes we went beginning of aug for 3 nights was amazing grin
Dds are 8 and 4.5 years they both luved it had a great time especially the 4.5 yr old she luvs the princesses she luved meeting them and the other characters
Go for it!
It is pricey definetly worth it it was amazing we all luved it

Rufus43 Tue 03-Sep-13 12:45:29

celticcian seem to remember that tickets for eurodisney were about £36 per adult per day but I'm probably wrong!!

£1000 was the accommodation and tickets for 5 for usually 4 nights, its not cheap but more doable for small children than Florida

We are going back to Florida next year, it will be the 6th time for my husband and I, much cheaper without those pesky kids! (Channelling scooby doo)

Rufus43 Tue 03-Sep-13 12:46:18

Should add that 4 nights is plenty

hermioneweasley Tue 03-Sep-13 12:46:33

What ladybryan said.

Do wonder if any Disney execs have ever been to DLP - the service and attitude is so awful, so outside the Disney experience. We were once there on Xmas Eve and the only "cast member" who wished us a merry Christmas was English.

aftermay Tue 03-Sep-13 12:47:34

We went last week. It was a pile of poo. Branded poo, obviously. I need to rush now and I have no doubt you too will book and go and not listen to reason. I regret wasting the money on a grand total of 5 rides lasting less than 5 minutes in total. In two full days, including the extra 2 hours in the morning as we stayed at a Disney hotel. I'd say more but I don't want to waste my time (again!) smile

cathers Tue 03-Sep-13 12:58:04

We've been 4 times. And love it! Just booked 4 nights there for a pre christmas break. It's costing just under £1,000 for flights, Disney hotel and tickets for 4 of us. I find the whole Disney thing can be too much for a longer stay so Paris is ideal to get to quickly, O.D on Disney, then get out!

I actually preferred Euro to DW Florida. Florida was too hot, too busy and no escape from the theme parks, plus being very expensive now.

Practisingparent Tue 03-Sep-13 13:02:12

Iv been to both. Enjoyed Florida. We went to ED recently and had a terrible experience. However it was worst because it was still kids holidays, so long cues, also my children were too young to appreciate it, and got thoroughly over stimulated and tired, so a few tantrums too. You have to cue a long time for 'fastfood' thats overpriced junk, and you may not even get a seat or table!

I would consider going again when they are older but would prefer to go to florida, so its not just about going to a theme park.

Top tips:
Go low season
Use Deals or packages where its good value or
And take food with you!

RedHelenB Tue 03-Sep-13 13:02:15

We a;ways went in school holidays & had way more than 5 rides. if you think of the cost of Alton towers say I think it is competitively priced & you really do feel as though you are stepping into another land. First time we went I just remember dd1 (aged 5) slipping her hand into mine, looking at me with big eyes as we walked from the train station & saying "thank you"

Rufus43 Tue 03-Sep-13 13:03:47

Would not go near eurodisney in the holidays. We have been in November, hardly any queues especially if you use the Disney queuing system fastpass

LeGavrOrf Tue 03-Sep-13 13:06:47

I loathed it <miserable cow>

I went in January and I have never been so cold. It was bleak. And there was nowhere to buy decent food. I mistakenly assumed that as it was in France it wouldn't be full of junk food. I am no food snob but the choice there was dire.

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?

MortifiedAdams Tue 03-Sep-13 16:24:59

Well, I will.only know if we will enjoy it by going so the saving has started. £1 a day in the money box, got three years min til we go so should save enough for the trip!

Anyone ever took the Eurostar from.Newcastle in? Is it ridiculously lengthy journey?

aftermay Tue 03-Sep-13 16:26:14


MarianForrester Tue 03-Sep-13 16:34:22

Aftermay, I am with you, I thought it was awful, horrible, dirty, expensive and deeply depressing. Am scared to admit that in rl as feel like a freak cos of all these people saying how amazing it is.

slurredlines Tue 03-Sep-13 16:35:56

Aftermay, did your DD's enjoy it? I'm not majorly looking forward to it but I really hope my 5 and 3 yr old DDs love it.

Genuine question, btw, as I know I will feel much like you do, but plan to grit my teeth for the day we are there (we are actually going to Paris for 5 days but staying in the Marriott so I am hoping we can get away with one day for Disney and the rest a decent holiday).

MarianForrester Tue 03-Sep-13 16:41:15

Slurredlines that seems a better way to try it, we actually escaped to Paris one day on the train.

My dd wasn't really that fussed on it, and didn't like the manky dining room with birds flying about, long wait for food, queuing for rides and shopping for Disney tat were main activities. We were real disappointed, when with friend and kids with much excitement. Ds is never goinggrin

MarianForrester Tue 03-Sep-13 16:41:58

Sorry for butting in and answering other people's questions blush

MortifiedAdams Tue 03-Sep-13 16:43:10

Hang on, there are birds flying roubd the dining room? Where? I have a massive bird phobia.

MarianForrester Tue 03-Sep-13 16:48:33

Can't remember which hotel,(have tried to blank it out) one of the cheaper ones where you get the bus in, maybe some kind of Western theme??

We got stuff out of the vending machine for breakfast and ate in our room, which was fine.

MortifiedAdams Tue 03-Sep-13 17:01:11

Do any of the Hotels do Half Board? Then ita just lunch to worry about?

Floralnomad Tue 03-Sep-13 17:18:04

There is a half board option but you still need to book as its a kind of voucher thing that you can use in restaurants around the park and village ,its often not convenient to eat in the hotel because of the timing of the parades and shows .

Rufus43 Tue 03-Sep-13 17:21:52

If you go to any theme park in August it is dreadful, overcrowded, hugs queues, the already bad food worse for the number of people catered for.

We go out of season and its great (food at least hot), timing is everything

LeGavrOrf Tue 03-Sep-13 17:51:40

Perhaps it is one of those places where it is best to plan everything in advance. Not a place for a relaxed carefree holiday.

I know someone who went to Florida disney who booked her restaurants for the whole trip ages in advance. Not my idea of fun but she thought it was fantastic grin

anchovies Tue 03-Sep-13 19:22:52

We drove and in the Davey Crockett. Took some food and bought lots at the supermarkets. Ate fantastically because we forked out for the character brunch at inventions which cost a bomb but was worth it, ate at the Earl of Sandwich a couple of times and the rest of the time I knocked up beans/sausages/eggs whatever for the kids and dh and I ate yummy cheese/meats, fresh bread and red wine etc! Helps to know in advance about the food I think and plan accordingly - personally I wouldn't not go self catering because I know the overpriced food would upset me!

The place itself I just loved, I think it being just after Christmas probably helped. It "snowed" regularly and the whole place was magical. Understand it's not everyones cup of tea but I think the dcs having such a good time made me embrace it much more. Can't wait to go back now!

mynameismskane Tue 03-Sep-13 19:29:09

Thanks everyone. I appreciate ALL the comments made here and don't see it as negative for people like aftermay to tell her experience.

My big question now is when to go?! When is it quietist? And I want to avoid the Spanish/French school hols too!

Floralnomad Tue 03-Sep-13 20:01:27

We have been the week before Christmas ( think 16/20th ) lots of times and its never been too bad .very cold though and we've had lots of snow . This year we are going for a couple of days at the start of December for a change . If you can avoid the weekends ,Tuesday and Wednesday are generally quieter .

It's definitely quieter early in the week, even at the end of July (when we went).

Guitargirl Tue 03-Sep-13 20:35:15

I went in May half-term this year with the DCs aged 6 and 4. We stayed 2 nights (3 days in the park) in the Disneyland hotel (the one at the gates) and paid just under £800. I booked Eurostar separately and travelled premier class as when I booked for some reason the premier price was about £20 cheaper than the standard price. That means we had a meal at our table but if you do this you need to book the children's meals with Eurostar 2 days before you travel (not breakfast as breakfast is the same for adults and children).

We had a brilliant time and I would like to go back maybe in 2 years when they will be tall enough for the next stage of rides. BUT I do agree with others about the planning. The reason we had such a great time is because I did plan it like a military expedition. I booked character meals in advance so they met 7 or 8 different characters at our table over 2 meals - including the princesses. The holiday itself was booked nearly a year in advance. I took snacks and drinks with me. I knew which rides they could go on and which ones they would be too short for. I knew which rides I could take them on myself (i.e. 1 adult and 2 children). I checked the schedule for character appearances at the hotel so I knew when their favourites would be. I already knew which shows were best for their ages. The DCs had a ball and had no idea to what nth degree this trip was planned/manouvered.

The firework show at 11pm was fantastic but we learnt on the first night that waiting to get a spot near the front is a waste of time with little ones. People come with their kids on their shoulders right in front of you and will block your view. I was on my own with 2 young DCs so couldn't lift them both. On the second night we turned up 10 minutes before it started and stood WAY back and actually the view was better from the back and the light effects were more easily visible.

It rained heavily when we were in the queue for one ride, we were practically at the front of the queue and it was going to be the last ride we went on before getting the train home on our last day. They closed the ride because of the rain. I was well miffed, most people just left in disgust but I made a bit of a fuss. The guy asked me what ride we wanted to go on the most. DD's absolute favourite was the Peter Pan ride but we had already used our fastpasses for that day and the queue for that was horrendous. The guy wrote out an exit pass for us for that ride which meant we could just walk straight on to that as our last ride.

It was the absolute opposite of a relaxing holiday, it was bloody exhausting quite frankly. BUT it was magical and having had a rough time at work for a while leading up to it watching the DCs excitement was a welcome distraction.

cathers Tue 03-Sep-13 20:44:46

I would try and avoid Easter, Xmas weeks, July and August. Jan and feb can be bitter as the site is quite exposed. So basically sept to early dec or march or May. Early and mid week is quieter and cheaper too!

No need to go overboard with booking things, I set aside an evening the week before we go to write my packing list and email or ring Disney with any necessary dinner reservations or show reservations. It's very easy to to reduce costs, we have breakfast in the hotel and take away some rolls for lunch padded out with fruit or things from home, then buy the evening meal which can be pleasant if you choose a decent restaurant. The bad rep for food comes from impulse buying expensive, processed food from within the park IMO.

mynameismskane Tue 03-Sep-13 20:44:48

Right, so I've looked at prices and euro star tickets and self drive euro tickets show a BIG difference in price. If self drive, is it easy?

LeGavrOrf Tue 03-Sep-13 20:45:28

I think people who plan Disney holidays should get jobs managing huge projects. The person I know who went to Florida has spreadsheets and all sorts.

catinabox Tue 03-Sep-13 20:45:46

Go to Cornwall, go to the Eden Project the week of national Playday. Go to the Beach, go to a Water Park, Visit Tintagel, climb the biggest tallest hill you can find and look at the stars at night with doughnuts and a big flask of hot chocolate. Build dens in the woods, make giant balloons, collect shells, pick blackberries, race paper aeroplanes, have a bonfire and toast marshmallows on sticks you have whittled yourself, go to a carnival, go to the british museum, visit an indoor butterfly house, find a rope swing and swing on it, paddle in a river, bake cupcakes, dig a big hole, plant a tree, try skateboarding, have a treasure hunt, go on a 10 mile bike ride, visit the northern lights, have a ride in the biggest monster truck.......Don't go to Disney sad

getting hard hat now

Guitargirl Tue 03-Sep-13 21:00:53

LeGavrOrf - I do have a job managing large projects grin

catinabox - we have spent the summer holidays doing most of the things you have mentioned. Doesn't mean we can't like Disney too? Balance and all the rest of it...Anyway, each to her own...

LeGavrOrf Tue 03-Sep-13 21:03:11

So do I grin

Probably why I loathe planning anything when on holiday!

Floralnomad Tue 03-Sep-13 21:30:54

It's very easy to drive ,we live in Kent and I've done it as a day trip a few times ,about 2.5 hours drive the other side on very nice roads. I've done Eurostar twice and personally I'd rather drive .

RaspberryLemonPavlova Tue 03-Sep-13 21:33:53

catinabox we've done most of that. DD (13) spent the night on top of Scafell Pike last year in a bivvy bag. She went on a trip abroad with Scouts after we got back from Disney and swam in an alpine glacier fed lake and half a dozen other experiences.

But she still 'can't actually believe we went to Disney, I didn't think we would ever do that'!

I'm a planner. I reseach holdays well in advance, and have a colour co-ordinated spreadsheet printed out and in a special document folder that I carry with me every holiday...

OK I think we've learned here that DLP suits those who can do that sort of planning, and can be frustrating for the "aimless wandering" type holiday makers (like wot my husband is....seethe.....)

Camping is my idea of hell.

This thread is a great way of sharing what you enjoy and dislike about a holdiay that is routinely touted as "magic", but let's you know what the reality is.

Guitargirl Tue 03-Sep-13 22:01:15

Melanie - exactly, it would have been a very frustrating experience I think if we had just shown up without some plan. But don't get me wrong, there were moments which couldn't have been planned. For instance, during the Stitch Live show, Stitch 'spoke' with DD who was only one of two children given the microphone. When we had lunch at the princess place, we were allocated a table right next to the dancefloor in front of Cinderella's coach, stuff like that was magical for the DCs. The rest of it was planned by me on the laptop in our living room!

devilinside Tue 03-Sep-13 22:01:35

No, disliked it. DD (8)wasn't particularly impressed, she doesn't 'do' the whole princess thing. DS (ASD) was overwhelmed, jumped around, climbed, ran off and got lost. We had exit passes because of DS, and felt so sorry for the people that had to queue for 2 hours to go on a mediocre ride. The parade was the only good thing. Much preferred Parc Asterix

Floralnomad Tue 03-Sep-13 22:05:54

catinabox we've also done that stuff over the years and TBH The Eden Project ,which we have done twice is my children's worst nightmare . Much as I love DLP I wouldn't stay at either the Sante Fe or Cheyenne .

catinabox Tue 03-Sep-13 22:19:51

My DC are still v.tiny. I hope i never have to endure Disney. I'll hold back my judgement until the oldest is 10.

....I would go to Peppa Pig world though smile

Guitargirl Tue 03-Sep-13 22:25:42

Peppa Pig World <hollow laugh>

Speaking from bitter experience that really is a special kind of hell wink

Our DCs love it there too though! We have just got back from a 2 -day visit there, as they were going to bed, I could hear DD wistfully saying 'I wish Peppa Pig World was the whole world'...hmm

Rufus43 Tue 03-Sep-13 22:49:53

Very easy to drive (according to my husband) and we have gone in the 2nd week of November for 6 years, early October once

Rufus43 Tue 03-Sep-13 22:51:30

Food is pretty dire in the cheaper in park places, Ludwigs castle is quite nice, I would stay in the sequoia lodge. It's mid range price wise

elQuintoConyo Tue 03-Sep-13 23:17:12

I went in January 1998 for one nigt, cost £14 including one night stay in a Disney hotel and one full day pass. It was cold, it rained for about an hour until the parade started - and the sun shone smile many things were closed for winter - rides and hotel stuff.
We'll still be taking DS in a few years.
Spain has a big holiday week/long weekend at the beginning of December: 6&8 are both holidays, often it's stretched into a long weekend. Not this year, though, 6th is Friday so a short hols.
Hth grin

LoveSewingBee Tue 03-Sep-13 23:49:37

It is VERY commercial, and thus very expensive. A large part is basically an expensive shopping mall ... Queues are horrendous, service is poor. Yes, you can stay overnight in the car park furthest away of the entrance for 35 pounds UNTIL midnight and then 35 pounds again. So, if you arrive at 8 in the morning and leave before midnight you pay 35 pounds, if you leave the next morning you pay 70 pounds AND NO there are NO toilets, no showers, no nothing.

Go to the Efteling in the Netherlands whichmis,the largest theme park in Europe with a mini camping 300 m walk away or stay in the fabulous Efteling hotel. Much much better value for money.

BeaWheesht Wed 04-Sep-13 00:02:32

We've been this summer with ds (6) and dd (2.9) and we all had a fabulous time, hardly any queues. Kids adored meeting characters and just seeing everything. We stayed in Newport bay hotel and had a picnic lunch and then maccy d / sandwich / pasta for dinner so that we didn't spend billions on food.

Parade is magical, rides are great, yes it's cheesy and expensive and noisy and blingy but I think it's fantastic and tbh I was almost dreading going beforehand! It was just lovely seeing the kids being so enthralled by it all, dd just loved it so so much more than I thought she would and ds who spends most of his time trying to be 'cool' at home was my little boy again &#128515;

Cheesy but true!

Ericaequites Wed 04-Sep-13 02:49:29

Why not go to Hell with the little ones instead? It would be more educational, and have real ponies besides. I would rather my daughter took after any of the Mitford sisters than aspired to be like a Disney Princess. Any money spent with Disney encourages unhealthy stereotypes.

hermioneweasley Wed 04-Sep-13 08:15:59

Gosh, Ericae, generalising much?

MadeOfStarDust Wed 04-Sep-13 09:12:23

Mulan, the Incredibles, Princess and the Frog, etc - the more modern films that show kick-ass women as empowered and in charge of their world don't seem to count as Disney - just the dated stuff from another era.... p.s. my girls took up mixed martial arts partly due to Mulan... worked their way up to black belts and are now practising hard for their second dan... so I agree that yes they do influence kids, but as parents it is up to us to point out the stereotyping...

Any money spent with Disney makes money for the government of the country involved through taxation and money for shareholders and money for the local economy (even if you are "trapped" on site, the staff are not) and money for the Disney worldwide charitable foundation..... oh as well as a providing a holiday for the ones that pay for it.....

OP - would always recommend May as a time of year to go - seems to be quieter, sunnier - less rain , but not stiflingly hot. But may go in Oct/Nov/Dec next time ourselves as it would be nice to see the Halloween and Christmas seasonal stuff too....

hermioneweasley Wed 04-Sep-13 09:15:28

My daughter wanted a bow and arrow for her birthday so she coukd be like "brave".

It terrifies me that she's such a pink obsessed simpering little thing. NOT.

LeGavrOrf Wed 04-Sep-13 09:17:19

I wouldn't mind being a Mitford sister. Obviously the non nazi ones.

BoysWillGrow Wed 04-Sep-13 09:34:13

hi, could someone do a break down of the cost of why is it so expensive, I've looked online and it looks fairly cheap considering I've heard from friends you need at least £1500 for DLP. I was thinking of taking the DC3 as their christmas present but when i add it up the prices seem reasonable and no where near £1500, what am i missing out.

MadeOfStarDust Wed 04-Sep-13 09:40:29

If you fly and stay a couple (or more) nights in a Disney hotel it is expensive, if you do as we did - take the ferry, stay in the Kyriad or any other cheapish local hotel it is not.....

MortifiedAdams Wed 04-Sep-13 09:54:50

Gosh I feel like im.going to need a notebook to plan this weekend away grin

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 04-Sep-13 15:09:43


This isn't really an AIBU so we're moving it to Shorthaul.


Ericaequites Wed 04-Sep-13 21:17:28

Hermione- I have two young cousins who watch far too much Disney and have very entitled attitudes.

mynameismskane Thu 05-Sep-13 06:43:34

I doubt it is the Disney film that give your cousins entitled attitudes hmm
More like it is the parenting that goes on...

FairyPenguin Thu 05-Sep-13 07:09:17

We went in May half term, and loved it. DCs are 6 and 3.5. I would say plan ahead, I read lots of advice on the Tripadvisor forum, bought the Brit guidebook, booked our meals before we left (doesn't require a deposit and you can always cancel), knew which rides were good for wet weather and which ones are outdoor. Great help as we had mixed weather and covered everything by working tactically.

Yes, it requires some research,but it was worth it. The majority of it I did in the week before, and the holiday itself was relaxing as a result. It was not at all busy - apparently the May half term is the best uk school holiday to go as the French do not have that as a school holiday.

MortifiedAdams Thu 05-Sep-13 07:57:11

Oph thats good to.know. We are restricted to school.hols due to DHs work and May seems so.much more appealing than winter!

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