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3 dcs, one hotel room at disneyland paris - tips please!

(18 Posts)
Chumpster Tue 19-Aug-14 10:28:21

Hello. My inlaws have kindly organised a trip for the whole family to eurodisney next week. We (DH, me, 3 dcs: 6, just 3, nearly 6mnths) are staying in a family room at the santa fe hotel. Normally we go on self catering holidays as we find it easier in terms of eating, sleeping and having some quiet grown up time in the eve. None of the children are particularly brilliant at settling down to sleep, so I wondered if anyone had tips for staying in hotels. What has worked really well for you? Putting them down to sleep one by one? Putting them all down at the same time and sitting with them to make sure they're quiet? Do you then go and sit in the bathroom????
Also, I've heard food at eurodisney is expensive and not that great. A tip I heard was to go to the nearest supermarket and get some food in for a picnic dinner in hotel room for one night. Does anyone have any suggestions for this (obviously cold meat, cheese, bread...)? Thanks so much!

amyhamster Tue 19-Aug-14 10:31:11

Tbh I'd just go to bed all at the same time
Let them stay up a bit later as they're on holiday & all crash out at 10pm maybe

amyhamster Tue 19-Aug-14 10:32:21

Are the inlaws going as well ? If not I'd be tempted to leave the six month old at home with them !

Chumpster Tue 19-Aug-14 10:40:28

So would I! But they're coming too and I'm still feeding her... crashing out together might work well I think... It's all quite complicated because there's a 'magic hour' from 8am till 10am when apparently you don't have to queue. So I do want to take advantage of that. But my children don't do well when they're tired - lots of whining, tantrums, etc etc. So I might do all going to bed for 8.30pm so they don't get too tired. I'm knackered anyway for all the nightwakings with baby, so quite nice excuse for me to get to bed early...

BerylStreep Tue 19-Aug-14 10:50:53

I would leave the 6 month old at home too. Far far too young to bring.

Hotels at Disney Paris include breakfast, so what most people do is make up rolls with ham and cheese for lunch. Everyone does it. There is a Centra type store just outside the entrance (beside the train station) which does good reasonably priced food, crisps, bottled water etc. There are also water fountains around the park so you can fill up water bottles, although don't rely on them as they don't always work.

You can buy meal deals at the hotels - where you buy meal vouchers for one or 2 meals per day of your stay - you can either use them at the hotel, or in any of the restaurants at the park (I would recommend eating at the park, then bringing DC back and putting straight to bed).

You can also hire prams for use in the park - I think for €5 a day, but the one thing I would recommend is bringing a bicycle chain for the pram, as people pinch them.

When our DC were that age, we would generally have just stayed in the room once they had got to sleep, reading. In small hotels we would have gone downstairs and left the baby monitor, and checked every 30 minutes or so, but these Disney hotels are massive.

IIRC if you want to use the fridge for milk etc, you need to ask the hotel to unlock the mini bar.

Finally, if you are staying at the hotel, you get entrance to the park at 8.30 (although only some rides are open). Make the most of this, and be at the gate for 8.30. We went on the Peter Pan ride loads, with no queue at all, yet once the park opened at 10.00, the queues were enormous. Similarly, make the most of the fast pass machines - get your passes and come back 2 hours later.

I'm sure I will remember loads more tips, but enjoy!

nerfgunsftw Tue 19-Aug-14 10:51:30

Pink castle fireworks are at 11pm. We decided to do that instead of magic hour so by the time we got back to hotel we all went straight to sleep.

Chumpster Tue 19-Aug-14 11:01:31

Thanks all, that's really helpful. I wouldn't have chosen to go to DLP with a six month old, but it was arranged as a surprise for us. I'm sure the older two will enjoy it, and great to have some tips to make it an easier trip. It's good that they have water fountains, I'll make sure I fill up bottles when I find one that works... Also good tip re brekkies/lunch, and also the minibar.
We're there for a few nights, so I might do magic hour one morning and then the fireworks another night followed by lay-in (hopefully although they always wake up about 7 whatever time they go to bed).
6mnth old has a bottle at bedtime - I thought sterilising tablets best way to go as I won't have microwave??
Will get meal vouchers - do you have to book meals? I've heard the queues for meals can be long?
Thanks all...

BerylStreep Tue 19-Aug-14 16:28:49

You buy the meal vouchers at the hotel.

We went in July 2 years ago, and there weren't long queues for restaurants (about the only bloody thing there weren't queues for!).

There was one restaurant in the park, called something like the garden restaurant, which was good, there was another in the Wild West part which was good for kids. We ate at another in the Arabian Nights part, which was lovely, but quite spicy food and not much that our DC liked. There is a little play part at the far end of the Wild West bit, which was quite good for the DC to play on without having to queue, and ours enjoyed the pirate ship too.

BerylStreep Tue 19-Aug-14 16:29:35

I think we booked the restaurants at the hotel when we arrived.

Chumpster Tue 19-Aug-14 20:48:23


itiswhatitiswhatitis Tue 19-Aug-14 21:00:11

Bedtime wise we all went to bed at the same time, usually about 9pm.

Food wise it is expensive and choice is limited. We took bottles of squash with us and sports bottles and made up drinks for the dc (there are water fountains dotted around everywhere so you can make them up as and when around the park)

Ds was 5 at the time and we took a cheap buggy for him too. It's so much walking and he did actually fall asleep in it a couple of times. I would encourage your dc's to travel in buggies to help combat over tiredness. Also take advantage of the shuttle bus from hotel to park everyday to cut down on the walking around.

Most days we came back to the hotel room around 2pm for a bit of a chill out in front of the TV for an hour or two and then went back to the parks.

Agree with the poster who said make the most of the fast pass tickets

Also a couple of the areas have play parks so a good place to stop off for a run around that doesn't involve waiting around.

Can't remember what the area was called but it's where you find the more toddler rides such as it's a small world and dumbo and the carousel? These rides seemed to have much shorter queuing times so a good place to go when other areas are really busy.

CaisleanDraiochta Thu 21-Aug-14 10:43:21

You will probably find you are so knackered you will want to go to bed at same time as DC tbh. Disney hotels have some audio storybooks on the room TV, so I always put one of those on for my DC and they are asleep within minutes. While they are listening I usually just potter about getting myself ready for bed, putting out clothes for the next day etc. then get into bed myself. I either read a book or do planning for the next day in my notebook (obsessive list maker here grin) Lots of the hotels now have free wifi so you could even MN for a bit, but I have never stayed awake for much longer after the DC have gone really.

For food, yes there is an Auchan supermarket 1 train stop away, but remember there isn't really any way to store food in your room. The shop at the station or the garage shop at Santa Fe are also good places to buy cheaper snacks, or you could just take them in your suitcase.

The meal plans can be added to your package up to 3 days before arrival- check you don't already have this included as they were offering them free with bookings up until very recently. The different levels and restaurants you can use them at can be a bit confusing though and they don't actually save you very much, just useful for budgeting purposes IMO. Book a table anywhere you definitely want to eat before you go to avoid long queues or disappointment- especially if you want a character meal or plan to eat at busy times (straight after the 5.30pm parade is popular for most people) check out restaurant menus on DLP guide I think the reservation number is also on there- don't worry you are allowed to change your mind and cancel for free at any time.

Other tips would be to never ever try to do Extra Magic hours and Dreams night time show(11pm) both in the same day, unless you go back to your room and have a good long sleep in the daytime.

Also the pushchair hire is €15 per day plus a €70 deposit if you want to take it out of the park to the Village, your hotel or other park. they don't look that comfy for a 6 month old either so I'd say take your own if you can, but definitely lock it up when leaving it outside rides.

Chumpster Thu 21-Aug-14 21:09:33

Thanks all. That's so helpful. I'm a huge list maker too and want to get the most out of our hols, so lots of lists being made for food/rides/what to pack! We'll be taking our double buggy and also the baby carrier so 6yr old can have a quick rest if she wants - but will make sure not to leave unattended. It's a shame that you have to be so security minded!

magentastardust Fri 22-Aug-14 00:13:15

I think the poster up thread meant that people steal the Disneyland Prams- people see them as a bit of a free for all so just take someone elses instead of walking back round to the entrance of the ride to get their own rented one. You should be okay with your own one but worth taking a bike chain just incase for extra security. (You can't take buggies into queues or into restaurants-sometimes they allow you into restaurants if baby asleep in buggy)
I have taken an 8mth to Disneyland Paris before -there are plenty of adults so shouldn't be a problem taking turns with the baby whilst other go on rides with the dcs. There are baby changing/feeding facilities on Main street in the main park and near the entrance of the Studios-they have quiet feeding rooms away from the crowds and madness.
I would take a decent folding baby change mat though -even though obviously it is a very child friendly place a couple of the restaurant toilets didn't have baby change facilities-I had to change a nappy on a muslin on a tile floor of the toilets in the Pirates of the Carribean restaurant.
Most of the park toilets have the flip down change table things though.

magentastardust Fri 22-Aug-14 00:16:55

Oh and don't leave your 6mth old at home, they are part of the family too-bit of a rude comment! have fun.

pashmina696 Sat 23-Aug-14 18:30:50

I took a 7 month old to orlando - the baby facilities at disney are great - i stuffed a sling in the buggy and used that for the ride queues - he was able to go on most things in fantasyland as there are few height restricted rides which are gentle.

At DLP we stayed at NY hotel - we all went to bed at the same time and we had a meal plan included in our package and i booked the meals 2 months in advance.

there is no microwave facilities - the rooms are basic but i managed to stick a milk carton in the mini bar fridge for my DS.

we never managed the dreams show - something to go back for i guess.

Chumpster Sun 31-Aug-14 17:03:48

Thanks all. We've been and come back and had a good time, although exhausting. Taking the 6 month old was a bonus in some ways, as we used the babyswitch scheme whereby a couple queue once for a ride - one adult goes on it while the other person holds the baby and then when the first adult has finished the second person can go straight to the front of the queue while the first holds the baby. So my husband took the older two on a ride and got a babyswitch ticket which meant when they finished I could take the older children on it on again straight away. So they could have two rides per queue, if you see what I mean.
Also baby could come on the gentle rides in fantasyland and the older two loved pointing things out to her (even if the baby might not have known what was going on!). And you're right - she's part of the family!
No microwave in room - husband took bottle (for ds who still has a bottle and is fussy about temp (especially when exhausted by day at Dlp!) to restaurant/bar.

BerylStreep Sun 31-Aug-14 20:23:06

Glad to hear you had a good time.

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