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How long for Disney Paris?

(23 Posts)
Geordieminx Mon 18-Jul-11 12:45:44

Ds is 4.5 and desperate to go. when if we do go it will be a mid week thing, September maybe to avoid crowds bit still have nice weather.

How long will we need? We'll fly and probably stay in resort at one of the Disney hotels do that we can take advantage of early opening.

Also is sept a good time or should we wait til Halloween/bonfire/Xmas stuff?


pointydog Mon 18-Jul-11 12:54:58

We stayed for three nights and the dds were a lot older than your ds. Three nights was perfect for us as it is exhausting, walking around theme parks from 9am till 9pm.

So. No more than three nights.

Geordieminx Mon 18-Jul-11 12:58:53

So if you had 3 nights was that 2 full days on the park?

pointydog Mon 18-Jul-11 13:02:55

Well, we flew in the middle of the night so stepped into the wonders of Disneyland at 11am the first day. Then we had the next full day in Disney, the next full day in Warner studios (is it warner or universal?). Then we had a couple of hours in Disney again as our flight wasn't until the afternoon.

I think between two and three full days is more than adequate, especially with a youngster.

Geordieminx Mon 18-Jul-11 15:32:39

Will try and work out 3 nights 2 full days

nothingoldcanstay Mon 18-Jul-11 17:28:50

Worth checking out the Disney Paris forum on tripadvisor for best times to visit. We did a German theme park in October half term and in turned out that we had just missed the German holiday and therefore everyone was back at school and we had the park to ourselves. Disney gets packed and with only one little one you can miss a lot even with a fast pass. He won't be able to get near the characters that wander round at it gets dull pushing through the crowds.

Figgygirl Tue 19-Jul-11 03:26:35

Hi Geordieminx,
How many days people like to spend in DLP varies - some like to have a monday - friday trip so they have time to see and do everything without rushing, and maybe go back to their hotel for a while for a swim during the day, or for kids to have a rest or nap away from the noise and crowds. Some people also like to spend a day in Paris, or some time at Val D'Europe shopping mall and sealife centre. Some parents are not very keen on theme parks themselves, and are only going to take their children, so do not want any more than 2 or 3 days there.
For me, it is never long enough!

A 4 yr old child can go on most rides and attractions, as only a few have a minimum height requirement. Adults can go on everything except the two kids play areas in the Disneyland Park.
Rides have to be fitted in around show and parade times, and meeting Characters for photos and autographs etc, which can involve queues ( or sadly some pushing and shoving from some visitors ). Booking a Character Meal is a better way to meet some Characters, or meeting Princes/ princesses, rather than wasting time queueing or being crushed in the parks by some obnoxious badly behaved parents pushing their kids forward with no regard for anyone else.
Two days in the DL Park, and one day in the Studios at a less busy time of the year would allow you to do and see a fair amount, but you may miss some things. You can read about the rides and attractions in both parks online, and make a list of your priorities.

The Disneyland Park is larger than the Studios Park, but has less theatre type shows. It is a good idea to avoid the French and Spanish school holidays if possible, but be aware that you will only see the electrical parade after dark and fireworks at certain times of the year - they are not on every day.
Local French schools have half day or full day holiday on Wednesays, so that day of the week can be busier during term time, and weekends are busy all year round.

Staying in a Disney owned hotel gives Extra Magic Hours from 8am - 10am, when 7 rides are usually open in Fantasyland and Discoveryland. The only one not suitable for young kids in that time is Space Mountain, which is an extreme indoor rollercoaster.
The Studios Park does not have EMH, and closes earlier than the main park. It is open from 10 - 6, or 10-7 at busier times. It is surprising how quickly the time can pass, with stops for drinks, snacks, lunch, loo etc. Moteurs Action Show alone takes around one hour with seating time. Other shows last from 20 mins to around 45 mins.

Ride queue times off peak can vary from 5 mins to 30 mins depending on popularity. At weekends and school holiday time, popular rides can be anything up to 120 mins, although Fastpass tickets can be used to ride in a given timeslot using a separate entrance with shorter queue.
Park operating hours are longer, so you have more time to get things done, and there are usually some extra shows in school holiday time ( like the Winnie the Pooh show in July/ August ) that you don't see at off peak times.

It is worth booking when there is a good offer on - recently Disney had a 50% off flash sale for one week. It is worth checking prices of different hotels on different dates as well, as it goes by arrival date.
My October trip was £ 100 cheaper to go Sunday - Wednesday than on Monday - Weds, flying from Southampton to Orly, even though we have an extra night and park entry.
You can also book with a travel agent, or another company like Eurostar, Expedia, or someone like, or
Ledger and Newmarket do Disneyland trips by coach, which are good for people on a tight budget, but does involve a long time travelling.

September is quite a popular time, and can still be hot. French schools go back on 5th Sept, and Spanish schools are similar usually. Mondays and Tuesdays are usually the less crowded days in term time, but they are often the busiest days in the summer holidays.
A very Magical time to go with low crowd levels is in early December for the Christmas Celebrations, although it can be very cold of course, and possibly snow!

People on the Trip Advisor DLP forum that nothinggold mentions will be glad to help.

Figgygirl Tue 19-Jul-11 03:36:22

My next trip is 2nd October for 3 nts, ( sunday - weds ) for Halloween Festival, and as French schools are not on holiday until 22nd Oct, and the Spanish National Holidays are 12th Oct, I am expecting our days to be less busy apart from Sunday, but we don't arrive until the evening so won't be going into the parks that day.
1st November is All Saints Day, and a National Holiday for France and Spain. 11th November is also a French National Holiday.

Geordieminx Tue 19-Jul-11 08:37:06

wow that's so helpful! Thanks!

Geordieminx Tue 19-Jul-11 10:34:40

Any chance on some info on the Disney hotels? Are the better ones worth paying the extra for?

Geordieminx Tue 19-Jul-11 12:42:26

Is £2k for 2 adults and a 4 year old half board about right??

((((thinks about break in NYC we had for less )))))) shock

tallulah Tue 19-Jul-11 12:55:57

We've just been to Disney Paris. We went by Le Shuttle and had 4 nights/ 5 days which was too long.

We got there at 5pm on the Sunday and went into the main park until 10pm. Monday we went to the Movie park then back to the main one for the rest of the time.

We stayed at Val d'Europ. We got the EMH but couldn't use them because the first shuttle bus wasn't until 9.45. The shuttle buses got us there Ok every day but most days didn't turn up or were very late on the way back. We ended up with a taxi first night and the metro after that.

We took a 4 yo and there was lots she couldn't go on. She was just big enough to do the runaway mine train and terror tower. We spent many hours (or it felt like it) on it's a small world grin

Queues were dreadful- some rides had permanent queues of 45 minutes and we never did get on them. Everyone pushes in- either by walking to the front of the queue or joining the one person who has queued once they get to the front. The staff do nothing to stop it.

Eating is horrifically expensive. Dinner (nothing special just veggie main and pud and soft drink each) for 2 adults plus one 4 yo was €79!!!! We had a look at the character dinner and it was €60 per person so we didn't bother.

We booked when it was a special offer and it cost £661 to stay (B&B) and another £92 for Le Shuttle. (& then of course another £500 to eat....)

We have previously been to Florida and DP is not a patch on Disneyworld. We will wait until DD is old enough to appreciate it and go back to Florida.

pointydog Tue 19-Jul-11 19:12:42

£2k for 2 adults and a 4 yr old is a lot. Depends how much you are set on your dates and if you are willing to wait for offers.

Geordieminx Tue 19-Jul-11 19:14:03

We can go anytime really, bit use, I thik we need to wait for an offer. We need to fly from Edinburgh, I think this is bumping price up

pointydog Tue 19-Jul-11 19:16:07

I paid about £1200 for two adults, a 12 yr old (who counted as an adult in terms of the flight and the accommodation/entry ticket) and a 10 year old who went for free (under 11s go free was the offer but obv we paid for her flight). That price included all flights from scotland and half board at a good hotel.

pointydog Tue 19-Jul-11 19:16:47

aha! We flew from Edinburgh. It was mid February.

SchrodingersMew Tue 19-Jul-11 19:42:58

We went a couple of years ago and it was 4 adults and no children, we left on August 27th and stayed for 4 nights at the Kyriad hotel (Not a Disney hotel but is still in Disney and a bit closer than a couple of the Disney hotels) I think it cost about £1500 for the 4 of us in 2 family rooms, so in theory we could have taken 4 kids between us on the stay and play free option for no extra price.
That was including flights from Glasgow. smile

bigTillyMint Tue 19-Jul-11 19:45:15

I am in awe of all you people who have stayed for 3 or 4 days shock!

We hit the Disney Park as it opened and left as it shut. We went on every ride, infact 2 or more times on some of them, and saw the 2 main parades, had photos with some characters and went in just about every shop. Job done grin

pointydog Wed 20-Jul-11 09:59:43

We just wanted to stay 2/3 days, tilly, to get round the two parks with no rushing. Not sure why it's awe-inspiring.

Figgygirl Thu 21-Jul-11 00:17:07

When our boys were young we stayed in Disneyland for a week every summer, from 1992 when it opened. There was only the one park, but we split our day between park time and swimming/ sunbathing at the indoor/ outdoor pools at the Newport Bay Club. Our boys always had a great time, and even DH had to admit he enjoyed it. There was no Eurostar then, so we flew from Heathrow or Gatwick.

Now we go for 3-5 days, and sometimes have a day in Paris as well. We either use the direct Disney Eurostar from St Pancras, or fly from Southampton with Flybe.
How much you can get done in one day will depend on crowd levels, operating hours, and whether you have EMH to get some rides done early. In three days we don't always see/ do everything, but that does not matter as we go often.

People staying in Hotel Elysee can still use EMH from 8am but will have to catch the RER train, taxi or walk to the parks as the free shuttle buses do not operate in Val D'Europe until about 9.30am.

Disneyland Paris should never be compared to Walt Disney World - that is like comparing the Cheddar Gorge to the Grand Canyon.
They both have their good points, and their bad. DLP is good for a short trip, especially for young children who do not want a long flight and very hot and humid weather, but you would not spend two weeks there as you do in Florida.

We have been to WDW/ Orlando 5 times, but still enjoy going to DLP for short breaks, and doing rides that they do not have in the U.S.

Runoutofideas Sun 24-Jul-11 14:15:50

We just went last week with 2 children aged 6 and nearly 4. Had a fab time. We stayed at the Disneyland Hotel right at the park entrance which was fantastic as there was no waiting about for buses and plenty of characters wandering about in the hotel, so less time wasted queuing to interact with them in the park. We stayed for 2 nights but went by Eurostar so arrived at 2pm the first day and didn't leave til 7pm on the last day so it was effectively 2 and a half days in the parks, which seemed about right to me. Using the Magic Hours and fastpasses including the special fast pass from the hotel meant that we didn't have to spend too much time queuing. My girls also enjoyed the parades and shows. Especially the Tarzan one which was spectacular acrobatics. Have a great time.

Figgygirl Mon 25-Jul-11 10:32:33

The Tarzan show in the Chaparral Theatre is a good show as Runout says, but is only on for the summer season ( began on June 11th and will end on Sept 4th ).
Glad to hear you had a fab time there!

The Disneyland Hotel is in a great location at the DL park entrance, but is the most expensive hotel. The 3 moderate hotels around the lake are only 7 - 10 mins walk from the parks, and it is quite nice walking through the Village on the way. The New York is the next expensive, followed by the Newport Bay, then the Sequoia Lodge, but it does depend on what offers each hotel has.

Sometimes a higher grade hotel can be cheaper than a lower one if it has a better offer, so worth getting quotes for each one.
New York hotel has hot and cold breakfast buffet like the DLH has, but the others only have cold. Guests staying in Newport Bay Admirals Floor rooms used to have hot/ cold breakfast buffet, but this may have changed.
You can request a room with balcony at the NBC for no extra charge, although lake view rooms at these 3 hotels cost extra.

Sequoia Lodge rooms are being given Bambi theming, and refurb is due to be completed in September. NBC rooms are then due for refurb - this is the largest hotel, and has the nicest pools IMO, although all the Disney hotels pools are a bit on the chilly side.

The DLH is the only Disney hotel that does not have breakfast time tickets, apart from guests staying in Empire State rooms in the HNY.
If you stay in a suite, Castle Club room or Empire State room you get a VIP Fastpass, so you can ride using the fastpass entrance anytime, on rides that have this facility.

Cheyenne and Santa Fe hotels are a bit further away, about 15-20 mins walk, depending on how quick you are, and have cold breakfast buffet - not as much choice as in the Moderate hotels, but fine. Bit more cafeteria like - find your own table - and can be a bit of a scrum at busy times, as very popular family budget hotels. These hotels do not have pools, and you cannot use ones in other hotels, so something to bear in mind if going in hot summer months. They also do not have air con at present, although they have large ceiling fans.

The Cheyenne has more interesting cowboy town theming IMO, although they have now given the Santa Fe a CARS theme. SF is more like a motel, as cars can park by the room blocks instead of in main car parks.
Guests staying in Cheyenne, Santa Fe or Sequoia Lodge lodge buildings have to go outside to the main building for breakfast, so something to consider in winter months.

Figgygirl Mon 25-Jul-11 10:40:51

The five Associated hotels outside the resort perimeter road have free regular shuttle buses, but do not have Extra Magic Hours from 8am - 10am.
The buses can be very busy, as they stop at each hotel in turn - Dream Castle is the last stop, so sometimes buses are full by the time it gets here, and you may have to wait for the next one.
Radisson Blu is further away, by Disney golf course.
Explorers is a good option for larger families as rooms have a double and two single beds, with connecting cabin rooms with a set of bunks, so can sleep 6. One bathroom. Indoor pool with pirate ship slide for kids.
Santa Fe also has some new family rooms that sleep 6, with two bathrooms. Newport Bay Club has 15 family rooms which are connecting rooms with one king size bed, and two double beds. Two bathrooms.

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