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Disneyland Paris at May half term

(18 Posts)
leccybill Sun 15-May-16 11:29:52

Has anyone been at this time? Realistically, how busy is it? We're going Tuesday to Friday. I know French and Spanish schools are not on school holiday that week.

I'm about to book the Magic Circus hotel, anyone stayed here? The only Disney one available was the Santa Fe, I didn't like the look of it and I don't think the extra early morning hours are worth the extra £££££ to us, We've got 3 days there so should be able to do everything we want?
Have one DD who is 6 - she's easily pleased so I think will just be in awe and wonder at being there, and not too fussed about character breakfasts and things like that.
Arghhh, can you tell I usually just book a package to Greece and forget about it? All this planning and choice has left me feeling very indecisive!

Indantherene Sun 15-May-16 14:08:16

We went May half term a few years ago. We actually preferred that it was mainly Brits there grin.

IIRC it was busy but not too bad. 3 days should be plenty.

CarrieLouise25 Sun 15-May-16 14:14:10

We went may. Best time to go IMO.

french and Spanish not on hols, not too hot but not too cold. Magic circus hotel is great. You will have a fab time!! smile

CarrieLouise25 Sun 15-May-16 14:18:23

OP - - are you on a budget?

I can recommend a much better hotel than any disney one or partner hotel. Do you want me to get you some info?

We've been 3 times, and I have tonnes of tips smile

DuchessofAnkh Sun 15-May-16 14:24:15

Personally I think the extra magic hours are brilliant - you get your breakfast in the park and can go on loads of rides with no queue (like buzz lightyear, dumbo, etc etc)

You get a breakfast voucher from the hotel to eat in the park (you have to be quick to snap up the 9:45 ones!)

You are also "in" the park when the rest of it opens so can be first on Pirates of the Caribbean with no queue.

Fueledwithfairydustandgin Sun 15-May-16 14:24:46

I'm thinking about going and would love any tips flowers sorry for the gate crash 😳

DuchessofAnkh Sun 15-May-16 14:25:19

Oh an I would definitely book a character meal! I hate them but the kids love it!

CarrieLouise25 Sun 15-May-16 14:44:08

Here's our top tips for anyone who wants to know!

The best hotel we've stayed in is an apartment, called the Hipark Val d Europe. We all stayed here for about £600 for 7 nights. It's a new hotel, gorgeous, breakfast brilliant and has cooking facilities. You are in the main Val d Europe town, and on the door step of a massive shopping centre, with the biggest supermarket you will have ever seen (Auchan). We were able to eat really cheaply this way, cooking in the apartment.

The best thing about this hotel is there is a bus service to Disney OR as we preferred, walking! We found a route that takes 15 minutes to walk. If you go to Magic Circus or Dream Castle you are quite out the way, it's not walkable and you will HAVE to rely on the bus to take you there and back. We loved the freedom of walking, and you will be grateful come midnight when the buses are packed, and everyone is scrambling to get a place, and you saunter past and get back to you apartment before they get to their hotel grin

Other top tip is get an annual pass. Even if you are just there for a few days. It's cheaper, and you get discounts and also magic hours. There are 3 levels of passes. Classic, Fantasy and Dream. As far as I remember, don't go classic, as this will restrict your days in the park, and you can't use it for the first 2 days (I think). I think the best pass to get is the fantasy, as the dream, is too expensive, and the middle one is perfect for anyone's needs. It's 179 euros per person, which is around £140. If you compare that to ticket prices for just 3 days entrance, it's the same. And also it means you can go again next year, and make it last for 2 years holidays!

It includes parking, magic hours, and 10% discount in the shops.

How are you thinking of travelling, plane or Eurostar?

leccybill Sun 15-May-16 17:29:39

Thanks everyone so far.
Carrie I will certainly look at that hotel, it sounds lovely, although no need for catering facilities as we will just eat out, there's only 3 of us and it's only 3 days. I think we can walk to Auchan from Magic Circus if I'm correct.
Budget is £1500 inc food. Have £1000 Christmas gift off my parents (specifically for this trip) and the rest is saved up.
We live in the north west so flying from Liverpool with Easyjet.

I'm torn over the Magic Hours. They are a big advantage but the other reasons seem to outweigh this, namely a much better hotel, with swimming pool and space to relax. And of course it's much cheaper. The difference is £350, with which we'll have to buy lunch/dinner each day.

I've been there twice but both times accompanied by 60 teenagers on a school trip as leader, so hoping for a different experience this time!

leccybill Sun 15-May-16 17:31:03

And I don't think we'd get value from an annual pass - we only intend to go once, going to save for Florida for in a couple of years. We only have one DD who is now 6.

CarrieLouise25 Sun 15-May-16 18:25:35

It's about 5 kilometres from Magic Circus to Auchan, whereas the Hipark to Auchan is 1km.

You really will be stuck if you're out at the magic circus or dream castle; unless you hire a car, or just rely on the buses.

Food is expensive, and not that great quality. But that's just my opinion smile

leccybill Sun 15-May-16 18:57:30

Yes I know the food isn't exactly haute cuisine but with breakfast at the hotel, a fast foody lunch or sandwich from shop at the metro station, then dinner in Village, I think we'll survive.
There is a free shuttle every 15 mins from those hotels (Magic Circle, Dream Castle, Explorers, Kyriad) just outside the ring road to Disney Village until midnight isn't there? According to my trip advisor research.

CarrieLouise25 Sun 15-May-16 20:01:09

Plus some lovely restaurants in Val d Europe itself, so you'll definitely survive smile - a big breakfast at the hotel is a great way to keep you going.

There is a free bus service, and yes they are about every 15 minutes. Sometimes you will have to wait for the next one if too crowded, but May should be fine.

We just liked the freedom of walking and being so close without the disney expense. Plus we had a buggy which can be hard on buses.

Another place is the the Adagio, very cheap, not as nice as Hipark, but a place to put your head down. Free bus service again, and walkable to disney about 20 mins.

mouldycheesefan Mon 16-May-16 06:34:42

Having been three time I would say stay as close to the park as possible. Don't bother about swimming pools, who cares about swimming when there is Disneyland on the doorstep?! We stayed twice at Disneyland hotel and once at Newport bay both had pools we didn't use them.
I personally wouldn't cook and shop in a short break to Disneyland.
You can book a character breakfast regardless what hotel you stay at and character meals are the best way to meet the characters rather than queue in the park. Have a great time.

CarrieLouise25 Mon 16-May-16 09:47:47

I second the stay as close as possible.

The swimming pools are freezing in France anyways. They look so inviting and then too cold to get in. Plus, there really isn't a lot of time to see and do everything, plus swim IMO. We did the Explorers hotel (pool freezing), Dream castle and went in the pool once. Wasn't too bad. Adagio pool was like ice. People were dipping in toes and then giving up. The Hipark pool is outside, and only good in the hot summer.

We always get persuaded by the pool pics, and then in reality there isn't a lot of time, or they are too cold.

Also, we just remembered, being out at the Magic Circus is a pain on the bus as it has to stop off at every hotel. Takes a while, and it can be annoying and a time waster TBH. The closer you can get, for the cheapest, we've learnt from experience.

We were stuck out at Parks and Suites apartments, and although it was a fab holiday, we didn't have the freedom, or made the most of our time.

Even if you don't want to cook etc, apartment is more spacious than a hotel room, and much nicer. Plus you can have milk in the fridge, and teas and coffees, plus beer and wine for evenings (not that they have to be in the fridge, but it's handy is all I'm saying). Things like toasters are handy, getting some bread, keeping some butter etc in the fridge. When you want a snack in the evening and don't want to go out, or pay hotel prices for some food. It's just a facility that you could use if you wanted to.

The one thing we saved a fortune on was buying drinks at the supermarket and taking them into the parks.

Don't forget the fastpass system, this is excellent, and works really well. Just enter your ticket at the fastpass point near the ride, and it gives you a time to come back. Then you can jump the queue and get in faster, and it's free!

Indantherene Mon 16-May-16 12:55:33

I don't know if we were just unlucky but the year we stayed at Val d'Europ the buses to the parks were regular, but didn't ever turn up to come back. We ended up in a taxi the first night, then the train. An added expence we hadn't budgeted for.

TheSconeOfStone Mon 16-May-16 14:28:22

We're going back for our second visit on the 31st May. we got 4 annual passes for just under £400. Staying in the Adagio £300 for 4 nights. So much cheaper than a Disney hotel package but with extra magic hours and 10% off food and shops. There isn't much difference between an annual pass and tickets for 3 days.

CarrieLouise25 Mon 16-May-16 14:41:59

That's right TheSconeOfStone, that's what we did, and it was fab!

Enjoy!! x

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