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Disneyland Paris - which accomodation?

(20 Posts)
nomorelostweekends Thu 28-Jul-11 22:41:02

Hi

MIL has very very kindly offered to take us (me, DH, 2DD's) to DLP next year. So we are looking for acomodation for 5. MIL wants to stay for up to a week, although i think four or five nights will be enough. She also wants us to stay somewhere with 3 rooms, though i reckon 2 bedrooms plus sofa bed will be as good as we get. We would be happy with the 4 of us in a family room, with her in a 2nd, but think this may be a no no for her.

To make it a bit more tricky, MIL has some mobility problems. She can't walk very far without being in a lot of pain, and cannot climb up and down any steep steps. She needs to rest quite frequently. She would also struggle with very crowded transfer buses and needs to have a seat for anything more than a few minutes. She has a blue badge for using when in a car, so her disability is 'recognised' but doesn't use a stick or chair etc. DD's are still young - not old enough for bunks. I would love to stay in a Disney hotel but not sure we are going to be able to do it with all of the above. We will probably fly there, although Eurostar is a possibility.

Does anyone have any thoughts about where we might stay? Budget is approx 2000, which is reasonable for the shorter timescale, though not for a week.

Any other tips very welcome. Thanks smile

Figgygirl Sun 31-Jul-11 05:33:12

Hi,
This question needs a lot of thought and planning to make sure that you all have a great time and a successful trip. What time during next year are you thinking of? With your MIL's disability problem, busy crowded parks will not help, so I advise you to pick a time outside French and Spanish school holidays and National Holidays, when prices should also be cheaper.
If you go off peak, two days in each park will be enough time to see and do everything without rushing too much. I would recommend Monday - Friday, or Monday - Thursday if better pricewise. You may be able to book when a decent offer is on, and get some extra days and nights free, or with a good discount offer like 40% off.

You don't say how old DDs are, only that they are very young. Kids under 7 usually stay and play free, which means hotel, breakfast and park tickets are included. The Eurostar can be more expensive than flying, depending on if you are booking a hotel/ tickets/ transport package with Disney, Travel Agent, or another online booking agent, or booking your own flights or Eurostar separately. If you do travel by Eurostar, the direct Disney train will be much easier and quicker than changing at Lille. It arrives in resort at 1.30pm.

Disabled guests can buy discounted park tickets at the entrance ticket booths, with one carer/ assistant having free entry, but not when they are included in a resort hotel package as tickets are already discounted. The downside is that you have to queue every day to buy them, or be there very early to avoid this.

A Blue Badge is acceptable proof of disability, and will enable your MIL to get an Easy Access Pass so she will not have to queue for rides. This pass also gives access to special areas for watching outdoor shows and parades, and reserved seating areas in theatres for watching indoor shows.

As you are just 2 adults and 2 kids, they will probably allow you all to bypass queues with MIL rather than split you up. I recommend that you bring or hire a wheelchair for MIL though, as there is a lot of walking to be done. This is handy for seating to watch outdoor shows and parades, as the benches in the parks could be occupied, and you don't get a good view from most of them anyway. Better to be sure of having somewhere to sit down when needed, and have a good view of parades.
MIL can walk pushing the wheelchair as support when she is not tired. That's what my mother used to do when we took her on holidays.

Do both DDs need a pushchair or buggy? If so, a double one will enable one of you to push MIL in the wheelchair. You will get more done if you don't have to stop frequently for MIL to have a rest or catch her breath.
If MIL wants to walk without the wheelchair sometimes, you can secure the wheels with a bicycle padlock ( sadly wheelchairs and pushchairs have been stolen in the parks ) and leave it in a ride buggy park, or restaurant buggy park until you need it.
There are no lockers in the parks, so a large zip bag that hangs on wheelchair handles is very useful.
You can hire wheelchairs in both parks, and pay a deposit to take them to the hotels and Village. They just take your card details - they only debit your account if you never return the chair!

Have to close - will suggest hotels later. Or find me on the Trip Advisor Disneyland Paris forum.

nomorelostweekends Sun 31-Jul-11 20:38:45

Hi Figgygirl

Thanks, lots of great info there. Will definitely take the badge with us - one of my concerns is how MIL will manage whilst we are waiting to watch a parade.
She won't use a wheel chair under any circumstances, but she will be ok to take the badge i think.

DD's are 5 and 2 now - oldest will be 6 when we go, the youngest may be 3 depending on the date. We have two potential weeks in mind - either 1st week of Easter or half term in June. We have 2 weeks half term so it would be the second week we went, when most UK schools are back. Thanks for the tip about checking French and Spanish holidays, will add that to the things to look at list. Also great about the days you said as that was my plan anyway.

Would be really interested in your opinion on hotels if you have chance - I think for accessibility we will need to stay in one of the disney ones (much to my glee!). I do drive but have never done abroad. We are planning to fly i think - live close to Manchester airport.

Thanks again grin

Figgygirl Mon 01-Aug-11 14:05:41

Hi,
Just to say I have seen your post and have not forgotten you. Have been busy on the TA DLP and Marne La Vallee forums which have my priority as I am the Destination Expert there. I check Mumsnet for any DLP questions when I can.
It is worth your reading the Top Questions and previous threads on the TA forums, for more tips and info about DLP, as it is ahuge subject, and the more planning you do, the better your trip will be.

My mother was also very reluctant to use a wheelchair as it made her feel like an invalid, but sometimes common sense must prevail. You can hire one in both parks if she is very tired after a few days.
She may be underestimating the amount of walking involved in theme parks all day.

May half term is the quietest time for UK people to go, as the French and Spanish do not have this holiday.
Easter holidays are absolutely heaving....very long ride queues and maximum crowd levels. This will also coincide with 20th Anniversary celebrations which are going to be a big attraction next year.
Even using Easy Access card, you will still have to cope with crowds getting from A to B, and very busy restaurants.
Also prices for Easter are higher.
If you read some Trip Reports from May on the TA MLV forum, you will find that the parks were not very busy.
I am not saying don't go at Easter time, just be prepared for a crowded resort and parks.
Will get some more time to reply tonight.

Figgygirl Mon 01-Aug-11 14:19:08

Just a thought - maybe she would agree to taking a rollator instead, which is like a walking frame on wheels, with a seat. These fold easily for transporting, and it is a lot easier to walk if you have something to lean on when you are tired. My mother had one, and thought it was great. You can buy them cheaply online or on ebay. At least you then have somewhere to sit wherever you are, if benches are all occupied.
My youngest son still wanted a buggy after a few days when he was 7, even though he had not used one at home for years. You may be able to persuade MIL to have a wheelchair if your eldest can use it when she is tired.
I have seen plenty of grandparents going round in wheelchairs, with a child sitting on their lap.
It is not like using one at home - none of her friends will know!

Some people who are taking kids who no longer use buggies at home buy a cheap second hand one or folding umbrella type one, just for Disney.
Some have even bought a cheap buggy in the shopping mall in Val D'Europe close to Disneyland, if they are there for a few days, and not bothered to bring it home. A pushchair costs about € 8.95 per day in the parks.

MmeLindor. Mon 01-Aug-11 14:28:56

Just wanted to add to Figgy's excellent advice.

Do try and persuade your MIL to go for a wheelchair or some kind of mobility aid. The parks are well spread out and would be very tiring for her. It would be a shame if she were to spend so much money, and then miss out on the fun time with her DGDs because she just could not keep up. From your posts, I think that she really wants to enjoy the trip, then being able to have a rest would make such a difference.

My Dad has COPD and recently visited a castle in Scotland. He was offered the use of a buggy and it made such a difference. He was able to keep up with the DC and really enjoyed the trip.

A rollator would be fab. There are lots of benches but if it is very busy, she might not get a place on one. Having a mobile seat with her would be good.

We went in February and it was great that the parks were not so busy. Also going later in the year means that the chance of warmer weather is higher (although obviously never guaranteed) which would make waiting for your MIL less unpleasant.

Figgygirl Mon 01-Aug-11 23:05:50

They have special roped off areas for disabled guests with the Easy Access Card for watching parades but not with much seating. There may just be a couple of benches, so you would have to be there early to get a seat. If MIL has a wheelchair or rollator at least she can sit to watch parades and outdoor shows in these areas. You will be allowed in with her.

That is another reason why people hire buggies for kids, so they can sit in them at the kerb along the parade route. At busy times you need to get a good position about an hour before, so with watching the parade as well, you are standing there for about 90 mins. Having a buggy for kids to sit in also stops people from pushing in and squashing them, which sadly happens when people leave it til the last minute then try to shove others out of the way to get a good view. Really annoys me!

The Disney buggies only have a small hood for sun or rain, so not full protection. See my photo.

www.flickr.com/photos/figgygirl/4970733178/in/set-72157624782828839/

Along with the Blue Badge, it is worth asking her doctor to write a letter confirming her difficulty, and that she cannot stand for a length of time in a queue, to help in getting the Easy Access Pass. You get this from City Hall which is on the left hand side of Town Square when you enter the Disneyland Park. Buggy and wheelchair hire, and toilets are on the right.

Figgygirl Mon 01-Aug-11 23:11:28

Forgot to say, it is worth taking a bicycle padlock to put through buggy wheels, whether you own or a hired one, as some people have had their own one stolen from the Disney Village, or from buggy parks by rides.
Some people just take the wrong one by mistake, even though it has your name hanging from the handle in a clear wallet.
Also take some bright ribbon or something similar to tie onto the handle, so you can identify it easily among all the other Disney buggies in the ride parks.

memphis83 Mon 01-Aug-11 23:21:20

If your MIL wont use a wheelchair what about a folding camping chair? they come in a bag with a shoulder handle normally? just for when she is waiting for you on rides if there isnt anything close by?
Accomodation wise, what about the hotels at the park? we stayed at the Newprt Hotel (I thik that is what its called) maybe they do larger family rooms with inter room joining doors, or the Davy Crockett ranch I think they are more like lodges that you can stay in.

Figgygirl Tue 02-Aug-11 00:29:10

If your hired Disney buggy/ stroller does go missing, don't worry. Just take the receipt to the stroller rental in either park, and they will give you another one. I assume it would be the same with wheelchairs, but they are not so likely to be taken.

So - hotels....

Obviously the best location is the Disneyland Hotel built over the main park entrance, and just a short walk to the Studios park, but this is the most expensive. You would also have to use a lift as the restaurants are on the first floor, along with the bar,cafe, lounge, shop. I am not sure if they have any rooms on the ground floor.

My suggestion would be the Hotel New York if you can afford it, for a number of reasons -

This is the next closest hotel to the parks, and the next down in price. About 7 mins walk to both parks through the Village, and passing the railway station where you can buy drinks, sandwiches and snacks more cheaply to take into the parks with you. No glass bottles or alcohol allowed. You can refill drinks bottles at the drinking water fountains in both parks, which are usually near the loos. Some people take some neat squash with them, so they can dilute this for kids during the day.

The New York is the most adult hotel, not so full of families with young kids as the budget hotels, so nicer for MIL. Hot and cold buffet breakfast, and the restaurants, bar, lounge, shop, reception, lobby, pools, are all on the ground floor with no steps to worry about. Manhattan restaurant is usually less busy in the mornings than the Parkside Diner, and more comfortable.

Rooms are slightly larger than the Moderate and budget hotels, with two Queen sized or one King size bed. No kettle or teamaking, so take your own, or you can request one at reception and pay a deposit. I take a small travel one, with plastic mugs, teaspoon and hot drinks sachets which don't need milk. You casn get milk pots and sugar sachets from the fast food restaurants, or from the breakfast buffet though.
If you requested rooms on the ground floor, you would not have to use a lift at all. ( say that MIL or one of you has a fear of lifts and cannot use them! ).
I know that room 144 in Gramercy Park wing has patio doors leading out to a garden and lake. Some rooms face the rear of the hotel, where you walk to the parks, with lake view, although on the ground floor this may be obscured by trees and the artificial skating rink outside the HNY. ( open all year round ).

You may be able to get connecting rooms with one King size bed on one, and two Queens in the other.
I stayed here last summer with my eldest son, and am booked in again for a few days in October with my hubby.
The shuttle bus to the railway station for the village and parks leaves from the front of the hotel, but it is just as easy to walk, especially with kids and buggies. It is also quite nice walking through the Village in the morning when it is empty for Extra Magic Hours in the Disneyland Park from 8am.

See my detailed review with some photos from last August.
www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowUserReviews-g226865-d262678-r76193518-Disney_s_Hotel_New_York-Marne_la_Vallee_Seine_et_Marne_Ile_de_France.html

If the New York is too expensive, my next suggestion would be the Sequoia Lodge, which is not far from the New York, so only a few more mins walk. This hotel has a nice cosy National Park theme, with decor in wood and stone. Room are either in the main building, or in 5 separate lodge buildings. Guests in the lodges have to walk outside to the main building for breakfast and services.

The downside is that the restaurants are on lower level from reception, bar, shop, and rooms, so you have to use the stairs or lift. You also exit to walk to the parks from this floor. Shuttle buses leave from outside the front of the hotel, on the higher level.

Sequoia rooms have been recently refurbished with a subtle Bambi theme. They began with the lodges, and are now doing rooms in the main building as far as I know. Again, take your own kettle, or ask at reception.
Breakfast is only cold buffet, although last time I stayed there you could order a hot dish from a menu for about € 6. The cold buffets in the 3 Moderate hotels are better than in the Santa Fe and Cheyenne budget ones, with more choices.
You are shown to your table, as you are in the New York and Newport Bay hotels. In the Cheyenne and SF you find your own, and they can be very crowded, and more cafeteria like.

These are photos of the new rooms in the SL.
www.dlrptoday.com/2011/02/03/bambi-adds-a-fresh-disney-touch-to-refurbished-rooms-at-sequoia-lodge/

Again, most rooms have two double beds, but some also have one King size. Rooms are slightly smaller than the HNY, and do not have a wardobe - just drawers and a hanging rail. The sink unit is also outside the bathroom, ( like in the Newport Bay ) whereas in the HNY the bath/ shower, loo, sink are all in the bathroom.
All rooms have a safe ( no charge ) which is under the sink unit.
With MIL I would request rooms in the main building, near reception and facilities, as some rooms can be a long walk away. You can pay extra for a lakeview room.
The indoor pool has a slide which is fun for kids. The outdoor pool will be open in summer months, as in the other hotels. Santa Fe and Cheyenne hotels do not have a pool. Guests cannot use other hotel pools, only their own.

I did write a review after our stay there in December 2009, but it would be better to read more recent ones.

www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowUserReviews-g226865-d262682-r51370552-Disney_s_Sequoia_Lodge-Marne_la_Vallee_Seine_et_Marne_Ile_de_France.html

The Newport Bay is very nice as well, but a longer walk for MIL as at the opposite end of the lake to the HNY. You would need to use the shuttle buses which go about every 10 mins.

The 5 associated hotels are further away, and do not have EMH in the mornings. The Kyriad is the cheapest one. Some have indoor pools. The Explorers and Magic Circus are popular with families with young kids. Dream Castle is a bit like the Disneyland Hotel, with Castle theming. Family rooms have one kingsize bed and bunks, so may not be suitable for you.
Shuttle buses for the village and parks go less frequently to/ from these hotels, about every 15-20 mins, and stop at each one, so can take some time.
Being able to walk to your hotel easily saves queueing for busy buses when parks close, or in the mornings, when there can be pushing and shoving from some bad mannered people!

Hope this helps as a starting point.

Figgygirl Tue 02-Aug-11 01:17:12

It is better to contact the hotels directly to ask about or request particular room locations, and explain that MIL has a disability and you would like connecting rooms if possible.

New York - +33 ( or 0033 ) 160 45 73 00

Sequoia Lodge - +33 ( or 0033 ) 160 45 51 00

switchboard/ reception staff usually speak English well.

You can book hotel packages with Disney or other travel companies, so worth checking for best prices, when a good offer is on. Disney is not always the cheapest, nor have as much availability as other booking agents.
I usually phone Disney for prices, as I find it easier than online, and can ask for a few quotes for different hotels and dates. The price goes by arrival date, and even one day earlier or later can make a difference.
My October trip was cheaper to fly on Sunday evening for 3 nts, than to fly on Monday morning for 2 nts. I got 30% off hotel, tickets and transport.
Some people book flights themselves, then wait for a good offer to book hotel/ tickets package. I have also cancelled and rebooked a more expensive hotel when a better offer came out.
The best offers are usually 40% off hotel, tickets, and transport, with kids under 7 or 12 stay, play and sometimes travel free as well. Free Dining has only been offered once on the UK site, in 2009 when bookings were low.

nomorelostweekends Wed 03-Aug-11 21:49:14

Wow

Figgygirl - Thanks so much for the info - I know it can take a long time to compose a post, even if its all familiar. I really appreciate all the help. Sorry i didn't respond sooner, i ended up in hospital this week- nothing serious but was a bit unexpected. i will have a look at the forum and reviews at the weekend.

You have given me so much info, I don't know where to start!! I am going to ring and ask about interconnecting rooms, and it does look like the New York or Sequoia lodge would be best for us. I have to persuade my MIL that interconnecting rooms are ok!!

Memphis83 - I think you are right about the camping chair and am going to do a bit of research about the lightest/most comfy and then take it along 'in case any of us need it'.

Thanks again to all of you - lots to think about.
smile

Figgygirl Thu 04-Aug-11 14:16:49

Just be aware that whatever you take into the parks you have to carry as there are no lockers.

My mother was not old, but suffered from an illness which gave her chronic fatigue from about the age of 60, which meant she could not walk far without support or resting.
It makes a huge difference being able to walk leaning on something like a trolley or rollator. A camping chair is fine for somewhere to sit, but you would have to carry it. Bags can be taken on rides, but not some more oddly shaped things if you cannot put them by your feet.
If you are staying in the Sequoia or New York, MIL can walk back to the room if she wishes, for a rest during the day. My mother used to hold my arm, but to be honest it was so much easier when we bought the rollator with seat, and it also had a zip holdall bag with handles under the seat which could be detached when needed. It made her feel so much more independent, and she could walk far more quickly with it.

I am sure she would find it easier walking back to the hotel on her own if she had something like this. It depends if she just gets tired, or if it affects her balance a bit as well, as it did my mother.
We used a wheelchair when we were going out for full days and there would be more walking. Sometimes mum pushed the wheelchair and put her shopping on it, and just sat for a while when she needed to.
Before that, shopping used to take us ages, as she needed to sit every so often for about 10 mins.

If she needs to rest away from the parks but not walk back to the hotel, she can go into the Disneyland Hotel and use the lounge/ cafe / bar there. There are more Characters in this hotel - they often come down the main staircase into the lobby area for meet & greet, and some dancing with kids, around 4pm.

Hope all goes well.

Figgygirl Thu 04-Aug-11 14:21:02

As memphis says, there are family rooms in resort, but they do not qualify for special offer prices, so work out more expensive.
You would be better having two adjoining standard rooms, or ones with a connecting door that you can leave open or closed.
We had connecting room when we took my mother to Italy, as she had her own privacy, and bathroom etc, but did not feel alone.

Sandgroper Wed 10-Aug-11 19:03:43

Hi

Just wanted to say we stayed at the Disney Hotel (early Dec two years ago) as my mum (paid for the trip for DD's 4th birthday), is visually impared and wanted to be able to come back to hotel when she got tired. Also she bought back DD2 who was 2 at the time so he could have a sleep.

Disney Hotel do have rooms on the ground floor so no stairs. We had a family room for the 4 of us and my mum had an adjoining room. Think from memory we had four days and the cost came to just under £2.000. Also another good thing was we could get into the park early if we wanted to and there were always Disney characters wandering around the hotel so we had loads of photo opps and my kids loved it. Didn't bother at all inside the park!

Figgygirl Thu 11-Aug-11 05:15:51

Good to hear that DLH does have rooms on the ground floor. Rooms are divided into the West and East Wings. It is a long walk to the west wing, where the indoor pool and spa are located. The hotel entrance is in the East wing.
Inbetween the two wings are the restaurants, bar, shop, built over the park entrance. A long walkway inside the hotel connects the east and west wings.

It is best to phone Disney for prices, which can vary according to what offers are on. If you book over the phone you can pay a deposit, then the balance later. If you book online you have to pay the full amount immediately.
Some DLP forum posters in Ireland have just booked over the phone getting 40% off. which was a better deal than being offered online.

If you can afford the DLH. then the location is excellent for disabled people and young children, but it is very expensive. The price will depend on the time of year that you go, and also on arrival dates. Check a few dates as sometimes arriving a day or two earlier or later can make a big difference.
Phone Disney on 08448 008 111 or
08448 008 898 or
08448 003 003

Also worth checking prices and offers with these companies.

www.disneylandresort-paris.co.uk/

www.disneylandparisdirect.com/

You can also book a train/ hotel/ tickets package with Eurostar.

Geordieminx Thu 11-Aug-11 18:31:30

Just tried over the phone with ireland. More expensive for park and hotel than uk call centre was wanting including flights shock

Figgygirl Sun 14-Aug-11 05:20:58

That's interesting. Maybe their 40% off offer had finished. Thanks for telling me.
Have you tried these? Summer Sale finishes in 2 days.

www.disneylandparisdirect.com/

www.disneyland-paris.net/

What dates are you looking for?

Being Geordieminx, I assume you are not using the Eurostar? Some people do travel down the previous day from further North. Eurostar may have a good train/ hotel/ tickets deal going.

Geordieminx Sun 14-Aug-11 07:45:47

I was looking for 6-9th Nov, so maybe the sale didn't apply to those dates?

Got 3 nights in NYC, half board plus, flights from Edinburgh for £1100. The Irish call centre wanted 1100 € just for accommodation and tickets! Also worth noting was that she couldn't do flights from Scottish airport so would have to book those separately.

Tis cool though, all booked with good flight times (8am out 8 pm back) so we can make the most of our time. And with the dates we have picked we'll see bonfire celebrations and the start of the christmas stuff so hopefully it will be extra special.

Figgy do you know when the opening hours and parade times will be released for this period?

Figgygirl Mon 15-Aug-11 11:57:27

Glad to hear you have got booked. I paid £ 1059.50 for 2 adults 3 nts in the New York 2nd-5th October, including flights with Flybe from Southampton. That was with the 30% off hotel/ tickets/ transport offer.
If you have HB Plus included as well, that seems a very good price. A poster going end of November for 3 nts in the Cheyenne booked hotel and flights from Edinburgh separately ( 2 adults 1 kid under 7 ), and paid a similar price to me.
It does very much depend on the date you go and what they are offering for each hotel at the time you phone. You could phone back later the same day and get a different price.

These are the park hours for November 2010 to give you some idea. Bonfire nights last year were 3rd, 5th and 8th Nov. Enchanted Christmas began on the 7th, so they crossed over.
You can also click on 2009 hours to see those.

www.dlrpmagic.com/calendar/monthly-park-hours/2010-11/

Current hours only show up to the end of September, so they only show about a month to 45 days ahead at a time.
Just keep checking the park hours page on the Disney website from September. The parks programmes show about a week ahead.

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