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Anyone been to Disneyland Paris - booking tips needed!

(27 Posts)
sillybillymummy Tue 23-Nov-10 19:53:43

Hi, started looking up Disneyland Paris for January (few things to celebrate and we have 2 toddlers with us)

If you have been can you help answer?
1) is it worth staying in the best hotel..
2) how did you get there? I'm not sure which would be best
3) Most importantly, how long do we need to stay for, to get the most out of it? 3 nights? or more - we have a 2 and a 3 year old.

If you can help, and give any other tips, that would be great

bluesky Tue 23-Nov-10 20:46:48

we liked train, as it takes you straight there, they take your bags direct to disney hotel (if you've booked one of them!) and you can go straight to the park, which is great.

We've stayed at Newport Bay at Cheyenne. Preferred Newport Bay, more expensive, but more floor space and room in the bedrooms, calmer breakfast times. Closer walk to the park.

3 nights is fine.

We enjoyed character breakfast, you pay extra at booking, or thru the desk at the disney hotel. But you get to see the characters up close, they have about 4-5 per breakfast, they come to the table, autograph, shake hands etc, so you can take photos. It stops the needs for chasing characters around the park or being in long queues!

bluesky Tue 23-Nov-10 20:47:22

meant to say Newport Bay AND Cheyenne Hotel.

sillybillymummy Tue 23-Nov-10 21:44:31

Thanks for that Bluesky that all sounds really useful, i will write it down! I looked at the website but didn't have a clue where to start! Did you book the train seperately? And how old were your children?
Thanks so much

bluesky Wed 24-Nov-10 07:23:08

I booked it as a package, all together through Disney.

The children were 3 and 7 I think. So we had the buggy with us which was great for saving energy of little legs! There are buggy parks at all the rides. So it's no problem having the buggy.

Granard Wed 24-Nov-10 15:19:21

Hi sillybillymummy, if you're going in January, be prepared for it to be very cold. We went in Jan 09 and it was minus 7. Going again this Jan but will be prepared with thermal everything and a ski suit for my DD!

We have only stayed in the Disneyland hotel which is the closest to the park (at the entrance). Location is fantastic and especially with small kids because you can pop back easily during the day for naps etc. or to warm up if it's cold.

Lots of opportunity for character interaction in the hotel also and the atmosphere is lovely. It's quite girly and old world. Rooms are very big and comfortable and the hotel has that overall feeling of a bit of luxury. Fantastic buffet breakfasts and you don't need to book a slot which I think you may have to at the other hotels. Only downside is the swimming pool is very cold.

On our 2 trips so far, we've flown to CdeG and we got a private transfer last time. Well worth the extra.

Have a great time.

sillybillymummy Wed 24-Nov-10 20:25:09

Thankyou Ladies! Hope we can book soon and start getting excited!

GoldenGreen Wed 24-Nov-10 20:32:33

We've been twice - first time with two 2.5 year olds and secondly with two 3.5 and an 18 monther. All have always had a great time. We stayed in the Disneyland hotel next to the park and would recommend it as it will be COLD in jan, and that makes it easy to pop back to warm up, or for naps.

Food in the park is awful (and i like junk food) and expensive, so take lots of snacks with you and raid the breakfast buffet. Last time we went they were having a special with meal vouchers included - might be worth seeing if they're doing that again.

Book Cafe Mickey one night as lots of characters come in and the food is pretty good (but pricey)

I'd recommend taking the train, as the little ones can wriggle around more and it takes you straight to the park. also, a lot less hanging about that international flights.

otherwise, just have a great time!

hotnspicyonions Wed 24-Nov-10 20:35:39

We went in January this year. We managed to get a great deal which included all our meals for free. Have been looking out for it this year, but they don't appear to be doing it yet. If you can get this deal I would recommend it as the food prices in the park can get to you a bit. We stayed in the Sequioa Lodge which was ideal for our party of 10. We had adjoining rooms which came in handy. We had 4 nights there and that was plenty. We went on the Eurostar, which indeed takes you straight there. We found the prices in the hotel ridiculously expensive. A round of drinks at the bar (5 adults, 5 children) came to just under 70 euros. If you are there for a few days, it may be worth getting the train to the next station (only goes one way) and shopping at the big supermarket. We bought a box of wine for the same price as a glass in the hotel. And if you're travelling with little ones, they'll be tucked in bed early as they will be knackered and you may want to have a drink or 2 at the end of the day to wind down. You'll need it! But it is great fun, the kids faces when they meet the characters are priceless. All Disney hotels get visits from different characters, keep an eye out on the boards for who'll be there. Could go on for hours... message me if you'd like anymore info

uggmum Wed 24-Nov-10 20:43:19

Hi, We have been 3 times, stayed in 3 different hotels. The best was the Disneyland Hotel, but it is the most expensive so you would expect it to be. All the main characters were there all the time and you get to go into the park a good hour before anyone else.

We booked with Fleetway travel, they are a Disneyland preferred agent.

We went on the train from St Pancras twice and we also drove there once which was fine. It took two hours from Calais. There is a big shopping centre a mile from Disney which was very useful for food and drinks. Also better and cheaper restaurants.

hotnspicyonions Wed 24-Nov-10 21:36:53

Thanks uggmum could't remember the name of the travel company we booked with, but it was the same as you, Fleetway. They were very helpful, found them cheaper than Disney when we booked!

Dolanette Wed 24-Nov-10 21:40:13

We stayed in hotel Cheyenne! Cowboy theme. Kids loved it! We booked on DLP website, hotel and park tickets. Would love to stay in hotel right next to pk but it's v expensive. We were there with 3yo and 18month old in December. It was cold but not unbearable. It snowed!

2madboys Wed 24-Nov-10 21:48:01

We stayed at Newport Bay hotel. Booked through our local Co-op travel to make life easier and travelled on Eurostar. Particularly good as our local main line goes into St Pancras so no faffing about with the tube. Realised our hotel did not have tea making facilities in the rooms so worth taking a travel kettle. Stayed for 3 nights which was plenty of time but you might not need as long with younger kids who won't be going on so many of the big rides. Have a fantastic time!

MmeLindt Wed 24-Nov-10 21:55:19

We were there in February.

Stayed in Cheyenne. Hotel was good. Not luxurious but good value for money.

If you can afford to splash out on one of the other hotels, then go for it. We decided to go for a cheaper hotel and have more money to spend in park. We were only in the hotel from 9pm in the evening to 8am.

We stayed 3 nights and it was perfect.

If you stay in cheaper hotel, you can have breakfast in park - better than in Cheyenne and you get onto the rides earlier than day visitors.

dixiechick1975 Wed 24-Nov-10 22:04:03

Yes i've been twice.

Recommend eurostar - drops you right there. Disney express service means your bags are taken to and from your disney hotel. You can walk to the hotel or get a shuttle bus.

I preferred newport bay to cheyenne.

I booked accomodation through disney then eurostar separately as it was cheaper. Under 4s are free on eurostar.

Breakfast is included but get there early by 8 am it is madness.

Perk of a disney hotel is you can go in 8-10 am before day guests and do alot with no lines.

Take food snacks drinks in with you. Food is horribly expensive.

We did enjoy the cafe mickey lunch - DD met all the characters. Went at 12 and it was quiet, lots of time with characters. You can prepay a set meal for about £25 when you book accomodation or just order on the day.

Disboards.com has a paris section with a forum to chat about trips and get tips.

lazydays2 Wed 24-Nov-10 22:43:47

We were there ealier this year, with a just turned four year old. He loved it especially the parades. We stayed at the New York which was great. It was just a short walk through the disney village to the park. I think the brochure says ten minutes, but with a small child in toe it was a good twenty minutes. Though a better option than having to wait for a bus transfer, as you do with some of the cheaper hotels. There's lots of walking around/between the parks, little legs get tired quickly, bring buggies. I'd also recommend Cafe Mickey for tea. Book earlyish (^/6:30) and you get to keep the table as long as you want. Characters turn up every twenty minutes or so and visit every table. We did the meal then went back into the park for the light parade and fireworks.

Figgygirl Wed 24-Nov-10 23:43:47

Lots of useful info from people here, but if you need more help and advice in detail, we can help you on the Trip Advisor Marne La Vallee forum, which covers Disneyland Paris.
Your toddlers will be able to enjoy many of the attractions there, but are too small for a few of the rides.
Yes, it can be very cold this time of year, so pack warm clothes, hats, scarves, gloves etc.
They do not have double buggies in DLP, so if you are brining your own, also bring a bicycle lock for it - one of our posters had her new buggy and all her Disney shopping stolen from outside Cafe Mickey recently.
Cafe Mickey is in the Disney Village, so anyone can go there - not just people staying in resort or going into the parks - higher risk of theft.
Try to avoid weekends, as they are busy all year round.
I either book directly with Disney over the phone, or with my travel agent ( who knocks off another 5% for me ).
08448 008 111
Enchanted Christmas celebrations end on January 6th. There has been no Free Dining offer on the UK site since last year, but I think you save just as much with the 40% off kids stay and play free offer, which ends on the 30th November.On some arrival dates, you also get free extra nights, with park tickets included for each day.
All resort hotel packages include park tickets for every day, including arrival and departure days, and breakfast.
There are different options for Character Dining - we can help with this on the TA MLV forum.
The Disneyland Hotel is the most expensive, but as Granard says, built over the park entrance. All the 6 Disney hotels are within walking distance, but not the 5 preferred hotels.They all have a free regular shuttle bus to/ from the parks.
The Santa Fe and Cheyenne budget hotels do not have pools, but do you need this in cold weather? The pools do not open until 3pm now, and are not very warm. ( Blame it on the recession cutbacks ).
The Sequoia Lodge is a shorter walk than the Newport Bay, walking past the New York hotel.
The Santa fe and Cheyenne are set back, behind the New York and Sequoia Lodge.
Most Disney hotel rooms have 2 double beds, but the Cheyenne has a double and set of bunks.
You only get Extra Magic Hours staying in a Disney hotel, from 8am - 10am in the Disneyland Park, where selected rides are open.
Disneyland is not just about rides - there are shows, parades, indoor theatres, and locations to meet Characters.
January, February and March are the less busy months ( apart from feb school holidays, and when Easter is early ).
We have travelled by plane and direct Eurostar - convenience depends on where you live. The direct train takes 2 1/2 hrs from KCSP ( 2 hrs from Ashford Intl ) and arrives in Disneyland around 1.30pm. The return train us usually around 7.45pm.
As others have said, ask for the Express Service - saves you going to your hotel to collect park tickets, and store luggage.
If you decide to fly to CDG, you can use the VEA Disney bus to transfer, but a private one is easier if you have toddlers and puschchair with luggage. They cost € 60 - 70 each way. The journey takes 30- 45 mins depending on traffic.
The VEA bus takes longer, as it stops at the different hotels.
In August, we flew from our local airport with Flybe, arriving at CDG at 09.30, so we were at our hotel by about 10.30am. You have to leave 3 hrs before departure flight time, so we left at 6pm for a 9pm flight home.

Figgygirl Wed 24-Nov-10 23:50:02

By the way, you say you have a few things to celebrate - birthday? Tell Disney - they will put balloons and a card in your room. Age does not matter - my son has them every year, and is now 24!

Figgygirl Thu 25-Nov-10 00:13:00

I meant to give you this link - it shows the map of where the hotels are in relation to the parks.

www.dlrpmagic.com/guidebook/map/

sillybillymummy Sat 04-Dec-10 08:28:37

Wow - thankyou so much everyone for your helpful advice! I am going to make lots of notes - it's alot to get my head around. I will let you know what we did!

Tummum Sat 04-Dec-10 08:48:25

We went last weekend with 3 DCs (6,4&1), went by train and stayed at Newport Bay Club.

My advice is:
1. Be prepared for it to be freezing cold - take thermals!
2. The weekends are absolutely packed. If you can go during the week it makes a massive difference to the amount of queuing to do & you will have a much better time IMHO
3. I found the train a PITA - but that was the messing about getting to London, walking across to St P and the train times were not great. Next time I would drive because the DC are clipped in (!) and you can stop whenever you like grin
4. We paid a bit extra for the Admirals floor at the Newport Bay Club. This meant we got breakfast delivered to the room for an extra 10 euros which is absolutely worth it for missing the breakfast scrum. If you can afford it I would book the Disneyland hotel because it makes everything much easier and you can just pop back whenever you need to
5. I ditto the comment about getting picnic food from the station. The lunch food in the park is rubbish and it took us 45+ minutes to queue up for food hmm. But the dinners in the restaurants in the hotels were good.

Have fun !

ChippyMinton Sat 04-Dec-10 09:02:42

I'd second the advice about the Admirals floor and getting breakfast delivered. You can order loads of food and pack it up for lunch. Also found it handy as a way of getting fresh milk for the DC.

grumpypants Sat 04-Dec-10 09:06:45

TBH, unless you really like rides (and are prepared to go on your own while someone else has the dcs) I would wait until they were older. We went in October with 4 dcs, and the youngest two (3 and 5) got very little out of it. They loved the shows in the studios (lots of idiot grown ups wedged at the front tho, so they couldn't see) and the parades (same again re: grownups - as Cruella was waving at the littlest one I was literally knocked off my feet by some French bloke 'that was my place'). Most of the rides they were too small for, and the food was either hideously expensive ot crap burgers/pizzas Fast Food box style. We stayed at Newport Bay (miles to walk for the small ones) and tbh I could have spent £3k on a much better holiday somewhere sunny for the small ones. They were terrified of most of the characters, and if they did try to approach them, they were instantly shoved out the way by bigger adults kids.
Sorry!

Figgygirl Sun 05-Dec-10 02:09:22

Young children can be scared of some of the Characters, so that is something to bear in mind. One way to test their reactions is to show them videos on Youtube, and see if they seem keen or not.

grumpypants - you went in October, so whilst Halloween celebrations were on. I would not recommend this time for young children. Apart from being popular and busy, it can be quite scary for little ones as well. There are better times of the year to go with pre school children.
Late November/ Early December can be cold, but the parks are not busy, and very Magical with the Christmas decorations, lights and extra parades. Santa is in his log cabin in Frontierland.
Our eldest son was 5 when 'EuroDisney' opened, and he absolutely loved it, even though there was only one park then. We left our 1 yr old at home with grandma, as he was quite happy with her, and it meant we could concentrate on what DS1 wanted to do.
We did this until DS2 was 4, then we took him as well, but he was more nervous than DS1 with some rides, and very scared of Captain Hook.( he totally freaked out one morning in the Newport Bay hotel, when Captain Hook was in reception with Mr Smee.)

My sister and I took our 5 boys together one summer, and her 3 ( nearly 4) yr old absolutely loved Big Thunder Mountain, and wore a Captain Hook outfit all week ( in 80 deg heat ) so it does depend on the individual child.

I'm sorry to dispute, but 3yr olds are not too small for most rides in DLP - only a few have any height restriction, and these are mainly the thrill rides like the coasters. It just depends on how brave the child is. There are lots of things for young children to do which are not scary.There are more restrictions for babies under 1 year old though.If you want to go on a ride and a child is too small, you can ask to do child swop at the ride entrance, and the Cast Member will direct you and explain what to do.

When we have stayed in the NBC Admirals Floor, we had breakfast in the Yacht Club, with no time tickets - just walked in with no queue. We like to go in for EMH, so we have breakfast around 7.15am.
I have heard that AF guests also have time tickets now though (also the New York hotel now ) so room service is a good idea if the hotel is very busy.

Figgygirl Sun 05-Dec-10 02:25:33

It is not easy to predict the weather though - they have had early snow, the same as we have. Very pretty, but causes havoc with transport of course, and very cold.
We have had very different weathers at the beginning of December - some very cold but dry, some milder but wet, and some sunny and quite warm if you sat in a sheltered spot. One early December we went in for EMH at 8am, and it was quite foggy - the park lights were all on, and the Castle looked very atmospheric. There was no one else around yet, so we walked around an empty Town Square and down Main Street to the open rides in Fantasyland.
Very ethereal and almost spooky!

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