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disney paris - oct or feb half term?

(19 Posts)
Liz79 Wed 20-Jul-11 10:06:07

Hi we are planning a trip to Disney Paris & can't decide when would be best. It has to be half term as dh is a teacher & dd will be at school by then. If we go Oct dd would be 4.10 & ds 2.6. If we went Feb she would be 5.2 & he would be 2.10. Do you think they would benefit from being that wee bit older? Is one time quieter than the other? I know all school hols will be busy! What about the weather? Also fly or drive from north west England? Is there any benefit to having a car if we stay in a Disney hotel? What about transfers from the airport & child car seats, what happens there? Thanks in advance.

LIZS Wed 20-Jul-11 10:12:32

February will be colder than October. Not much odds at their ages. You don't need a car there if you stay onsite or along the RER line . Could you take the train to London then Eurostar ?

shouldbeironing Wed 20-Jul-11 10:18:35

I dont know except that we once went during October half term (was in 2007!) and my reason for choosing it was that it was NOT school holidays in France/Paris in particular or most of Europe that week. I looked it up on the internet as to when school holidays were. I dont know what the French holiday times are this year or in February but it is worth trying to find out.

It really does make a huge difference to not coincide with the French/local holidays (different parts of france can have different weeks but worth checking the most popular week especially for Paris). We did 4 days and one was a Sunday and it was heaving and long long queues by the time we arrived in the afternoon. The Monday thru Wednesday were so much better - yes there were English people but not nearly so busy.

Weather as you know can be unpredictable - for us in October it was cold but fine and dry so was ideal but of course you just never know. I cant imagine february being any better though. And in October they had a good Halloween theme going.

Cant see any benefit in a car if you are staying in a Disney hotel and just doing Eurodisney.

HTH

UsingMainlySpoons Wed 20-Jul-11 10:39:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

magentastardust Wed 20-Jul-11 13:53:21

February is pretty wet cold and grim for walking around all day. Park quiet but no extra theming ,parades etc at that time of year.
October Halloween theming really good and weather can be pleasant but can be busy in English school hols .

UsingMainlySpoons Wed 20-Jul-11 14:01:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

munstersmum Wed 20-Jul-11 19:30:10

Just had an email - Morrisons supermarket got a Disney hols promo 3 nights for 2 (& kids under7 free?) on at the moment. Didn't look closely but covers dates you are looking at.

Figgygirl Wed 20-Jul-11 22:51:57

Feb half term will be colder, and could possibly snow. They don't usually have much snow there, but had quite a lot this year which caused some problems with the Disney buses and the park had to close to clear the walkways.
More ride refurbs are done in Jan and Feb, and the parks lack some atmosphere I think.

October half term is very busy, as this time of year is extremely popular with Halloween festival, but some say this is their favourite time, as the parks are very atmospheric, and Frontierland becomes Halloweenland.
Kids are allowed to wear Halloween costumes in the parks, and it is the only time of year that adults are also allowed to dress in costume ( not as Disney Characters though - just Halloween type ).

If you are looking for a less busy time with better weather, then go for May half term, as the French and Spanish do not have holidays at this time, as we do, so the parks are not usually crowded on weekdays. They can be busier on Weds as some French schools have half day or no school on Weds.

You can read Trip Reports on the Trip Advisor written by posters after their visit, which often mention ride queue times and crowd levels. Scroll through to find ones from Feb, Oct or May as they are all dated. There is also a TQ about when to visit Disneyland in the Top Questions list on the forums.

www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g226865-i2224-k3535130-Trip_Reports_find_them_here-Marne_la_Vallee_Seine_et_Marne_Ile_de_France.html

Figgygirl Wed 20-Jul-11 22:53:40

Next year is the 20th Anniversary of the DL Park, and the 10th Anniversary of the Studios, so some new shows and parades are planned.

Figgygirl Wed 20-Jul-11 22:58:58

French school holidays for October are 22nd Oct - 3rd Nov. Feb half term is 18th Feb to 5th March. Easter holiday is 14th - 30th April. Their next holiday is from 5th July for summer.
It is also worth checking French and Spanish National holidays before booking, as they are usually busy times as well.

LIZS Thu 21-Jul-11 08:17:26

We went over Ascension Day weekend one year and it was very busy, so I'd suggest avoiding then and Whitsun (both public holidays in much of Europe).

Liz79 Thu 21-Jul-11 11:14:54

Thanks very much, some very helpful advice. Will check out trip advisor.

Figgygirl Fri 22-Jul-11 04:01:07

The current offer is 25% off. They recently had a one week flash offer of 50% off. Offers can vary on the different hotels and arrival dates, so worth checking a few before booking, and to do so when a good offer is on. Kids under 3 eat free in Disney restaurants ( not fast food ones ). They are offered baby foods in table service ones, or can share parents' meals, or you can order something for them from the kids menu, but have to pay.
Best value for money are the all you can eat buffets, as kids under 3 can eat anything free here, and you can fill your boots, so don't need lunch and dinner.

Disney are not always the cheapest place to book - check other sites online as well, or ask Travel Agent for extra discount! Mine knocks off another 5% for me. Eurostar can book hotel/ tickets/ train packages, hotel and park tickets packages can be booked through expedia, or Booking.com. Also worth looking at disneylandparisdirect.com or World Travellers.com, or www.short-breaks.com/disney to compare prices.
If Disney do not have availability for hotel that you want, try one of the other companies. I booked direct Eurostar, Cheyenne and park tickets with Eurostar 4 days before I went in January, when Disney had nothing apart from the Disneyland Hotel, and no transport.

The French do not have any National Holidays in october, but the Spanish have one on the 12th. Both have All Saints Day 1st November as National Holidays.
All French National Holidays are busy times in the parks.

Figgygirl Fri 22-Jul-11 04:45:49

Regarding transfers from French airports.....
VEA bus is the official Disney transport, with services from CDG, Orly and Beauvais. They are more frequent from CDG, and stop at the 6 Disney owned hotels, but not always the non Disney ones. Guests staying in one of these may have to get off at the bus stops by the Village and Chessy station, then catch the free shuttle bus to their hotel. It depends on arrival/ departure times.

VEA bus charges per person for adults and kids aged 3-11, so a private transfer can work out cheaper and easier with kids and luggage. Private companies charge € 65 - € 70 each way from CDG or Orly to Disney. Beauvais is more expensive as a longer distance. The advantage of private transfer is that they will meet you at arrivals, and you can be straight on your way directly to your hotel. The VEA bus stops at hotels in order, so takes longer if you are the last one! You could also be waiting for some time at the airport, after having got to the VEA bus departure point, for the next bus.

Three companies are used regularly and recommended on the TA DLP / MLV forums - links are given in this thread about transfers from Orly to Disney.

www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g187147-i14-k4555953-Paris_Orly_Airport_to_Disneyland-Paris_Ile_de_France.html

Also see this thread, and others regarding transport in the Top Questions list.

www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g226865-i2224-k4499841-l33518923-Anyone_used_tge_private_transfers_for_eurodisney-Marne_la_Vallee_Seine_et_Marne_Ile_de_France.html

You will find info about the fast TGV train which takes 10 mins from CDG airport to Disneyland, but this depends on your flight arrival time, and is quite difficult to estimate how long it will take to collect your luggage, then get to Terminal 2D where the TGV station is situated. The cheapest tickets are called Prem, but these cannot be used on another train if you miss yours for any reason. You need to purchase tickets for a particular train in advance, especially if travelling around school holiday time.
Then once you have arrived at Chessy station, you have to get to your hotel either by walking, or using the hotel shuttle buses as long as you arrive during operating hours.

For me, private transfer is the best option for arrival, and you can consider others for return, when you can be sure of catching a particular TGV train from Chessy, or VEA bus as an alternative to private transfer both ways.

Figgygirl Fri 22-Jul-11 04:58:30

Forgot to add....if you book a private transfer, tell them the ages of children, and they should have the correct child seats in the car for you.
isprestige have DVD players in their vehicles usually, playing Disney movies, which helps keep kids amused on the journey. This can take from 30 mins to maybe 50 mins depending on traffic.

Figgygirl Fri 22-Jul-11 05:01:23

Val D'Europe shopping mall with sealife centre is only one short stop from Disney on the RER line A train.
This same train continues to Paris, which takes 40 mins to Chatelet Les Halles ( Notre Dame area ) and a bit longer to CDG Etoile ( for Arc De Triomphe and metro line 6 to Eiffel Tower. ) We have never needed a car.

Lizcat Fri 22-Jul-11 13:31:04

We have done both and February is significantly colder even without snow. We are a pretty hard family spending much of our lives outdoors and we actually wished we had worn ski suits in Feb it was so cold.
We have driven to Disney then parked up the car and not used it for the entire time we were there so I wouldn't bother with a hire car. We have used the trains into Paris several times we always Change of the the RER at CDG Etoile as for us there is a better choice of lines there.

UsingMainlySpoons Fri 22-Jul-11 13:46:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Figgygirl Sun 24-Jul-11 07:21:26

On December trips, we have had freezing bitterly cold weather, foggy weather, wet, damp, rainy weather, and mild sunny weather. We just missed the snow one year, as it began the day after we left - although our car was covered in snow at Fleet railway station! When I was there this January it was quite mild, although we had some rain.
Agree that ski clothes are good idea, and warm layers. You can buy various themed small soft fleece blankets in the Disney shops in the parks which are good for kids in buggies. The babycare centres have microwaves, and also the hotels breakfast restaurants, so you can warm microwavable heat pads or bottles as well.
Most rides are indoor or under cover, so the weather does not affect things too much, but some outdoor shows and parades may be cancelled in extreme weather conditions or heavy rain, for Cast Members/ performers' safety.

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