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Disneyland Paris Is halfboard the best value option for food?

(17 Posts)
Chrysanthamum Sat 21-Mar-09 20:09:12

We've organised a houseswap in Normandy for 2 weeks over the Easter hols and are just about to book a 2 night 3 day package to Disneyland Paris. We've a 6 yr old and a 15 month year old and are wondering if getting halfboard meal vouchers is the best idea for food. I think we'll go for the Santa Fee hotel. Tips anyone?

Poppity Sun 22-Mar-09 15:30:20

We've been a couple of times, the first in the Sequoia Lodge hotel. The food was quite nice in the hotel, but very expensive, so I think half board would be a good option. The only problem you might find with that though is that you are given a time slot (unless they've changed that, it was 5 years ago) and you have a way to come back from the park to the hotel. We found we were rushing back before we'd really finished.
My husband (being the rebel he is!) never stuck to our time slot, and always managed to charm us in, so maybe it's not much of a problem!
It was a bit out of season, but I have to say, the food in the park was expensive and pretty awful, especially if you're veggie or want something that isn't deep fried for your children.
We went back last year and stayed in Santa Fe, the menu looked ok, Mexican themed and a bit heavy on the fried stuff again! We went for the two nights 3 days too, and this time took lots of fruit and snacks in with us, and then put up with chips etc for supper as it was only a couple of times. There are other restaurants there, but they do cost alot, and there didn't seem to be much concession for children.
We found nowhere to buy any healthyish snacks, no fruit, nothing but lollies, pop and crisps. They did have the odd jacket potato stand, but they were shut even in high season last year sad.
Also, unless you enjoy cardboard as a taste, stay away from the crepes/waffles in the little wagons dotted about- they go under a grill on a conveyor belt to take them from frozen to tepid.....mmmmmm!
Sorry to ramble on, my best tip is whatever you do, take some healthy drinks and snacks with you, it made a world of difference to us.

Simplysally Sun 22-Mar-09 15:36:49

If you are HB in a Disney hotel you can eat at a number of resturants in the Disney Village which you book through your hotel - I'd recommend the Steakhouse. 3 courses plus a soft drink for 25 euros for adult, 12/13 euros for children.

I stayed at the Newport Bay in February - they offered a all you can eat supper buffet which had fresh fruit/cheese on it as well. personally for lunch, I'd buy baguettes and cut them in half to share. you can also 'borrow' food from the breakfast buffet to eat later if you are discreet wink

Chrysanthamum Sun 22-Mar-09 20:02:50

Thanks for tips I think we will plump for hb and we'll stuff our bags with healthy stuff. Is the Mickey cafe lunch worth forking out for?
What did you think of the Santa Fee Poppity? I looked on Trip Advisor before booking and most people found it ok. Should we bring our own towels?

Poppity Thu 26-Mar-09 13:25:14

The Santa Fe was ok, quite sprawling, not really like a hotel where we were on the edges, more like a motel, you parked just outside your room.
I think there is a central part that's more hotel like, but most of it is on two stories in blocks out the back of the reception and dining areas.
The rooms were nice enough though. We had a double bed and bunks all in one large airy room. Very clean and fresh and a good sized bathroom with a good strong shower over the bath.
I can't remember the towels here particularly, but I'm pretty sure they put fresh ones in each day.
No air conditioning, but a large fan in the centre which was great, and it was very hot when we were there.
We didn't actually eat there except for breakfast (and yes, I agree with the discreet borrowing!), which was exactly the same standard as the more expensive Sequoia Lodge.
We didn't do the Mickey lunch, it seemed a bit pricey, but I think it would be nice if your children are really keen to meet the characters, as we found them a bit thin on the ground otherwise. They have a kind of signing session in the morning and evening for half an hour or so at the hotels, and the character changes. You have to queue for a bit for a signature and photo. Other than that, there isn't much opportunity to meet them. They do wander around a bit, but don't seem all that keen to interact with the children!! Most of the pictures we have are of them running away pursued by a large mob of kids and slightly irate parents!!
I did see a few upset children, from that. I think they must be told to limit it as they would stay only moments really and not be very friendly and it confused the little ones. Mine weren't terribly bothered as they were more into the rides, but little girls especially were a bit confused I think. I realise I sound like I didn't enjoy it here, but we did have a good time, honest!! I just think there is less of that Disney kind of sugaryness than I expected, the French do it with a slightly sardonic air!
The kids had a fantastic time, and there is so much to do that it's a good idea to organise your days a bit(we're usually take it as it comes people, but it just didn't work here!) to get the things you really want to do in, or you can end up missing loads.

Chrysanthamum Sat 28-Mar-09 19:49:56

Thanks Poppity, We're getting really excited now!

Millymm Tue 31-Mar-09 20:03:11

Hi we went to disney last november and booked the Half Board Premium vouchers - these were really good as you can do the Micky Cafe Character meal with them and also Buffalo Bills. We are going to go again this year and would def book these again, Book a table at the Cafe Mickey before you go tho as every night there were big queues once the park had shut.

Chrysanthamum Wed 01-Apr-09 21:22:39

How do you book the Mickey cafe before, is it online then? Are there enough rides to keep a 6yr old happy do you think? I know he won't be able to go on a lot of rides. I'm 20 weeks pg and we have a 15 month old as well. Are there plenty of gentle things to do? I hope 3 days won't be too long.

Gipfeli Thu 02-Apr-09 09:53:14

We've just returned (just last night, can still hear "it's a small small world" in my head grin).

I think the half-board vouchers are a good deal compared to the price charged when you're there. For example we had the premium vouchers which cost about 35 pounds per adult I think and we ate at the buffet at the Disneyland hotel where the advertised price is 50 Euro, which is around 45 pounds. The buffet was a good choice and the chracters came round each table and spent time with the children so everyone got their chance.

On arrival we were offered free vouchers for a character breakfast at Mickey's Cafe. I guess we were staying at a quiet time. It might be worth pre-booking just the meal vouchers and then actually booking the restaurants when you arrive to see if there are any additional special deals happening.

Some children are scared of the characters. ds now likes them (aged 5) but was scared when he went first, aged 2.5. (by way of explanation, yes it's something of a waste of time to take a 2.5 yr old and 6m baby to Disneyland but it was an extended family trip with older cousins!). I mean properly terrified, screaming, fast heart-rate. Obviously we kept him away from the characters after his first sighting but it might be something to keep in mind, for your younger one. dd (nearly 3) is completely different and loved them.

There's definitely plenty to keep your six year old happy. We were there with our two for 3 days, 2 nights and had no problem finding things to do, although I had to impose some limits (i.e. no more than once go per day on "It's a small world" for the sake of my sanity). Buzz Lightyear ride was a popular one for the 5 year old. Snow White ride is unexpectedly scary (they pick the darkest scenes), also Pinocchio. Peter Pan is good but quite dark inside which was not good with my two.

We had lovely weather this trip (previous visit was very wet!) and we could spend some time just letting the children play in the play areas, and explore the different parts.

Definitely bring fruit!

Coffee is uniformly revolting (they have done a deal with Nescafe and it's all you can get)

You should probably be aware too that there are ways to spend money everywhere you turn. Endless shops and food stalls. It may be sensible to set expectations re spending with the children before you go? I agreed with ds that he could have some Buzz Lightyear pants(!) and one toy and that was going to be the limit so there was no point in keep asking.

Have fun!

Chrysanthamum Thu 02-Apr-09 14:13:18

Cheers for the tips. I was looking forward to good continental coffee but we'll cope for 3 days.I'm so looking forward to it now. It was just the French family whose house we'll be staying in most of the time, suggested that 3 days might be too long for us. In any case we don't want to rush so we can just take it easy. We're letting our 6 yr old bring a set amount of his savings, about £20 for souvenirs (we'll mind it)Do you pay extra for shows? oh and can you buy baguettes at least?

Gipfeli Thu 02-Apr-09 14:25:16

Baguettes? No I don't think so! We did get quite excited and thought the Mickey Mouse shaped brioche rolls would be quite a good choice, but they also turned out to be filled with some Nutella type filling. Most of the "snack" type stuff involves sugar or frying.

Shows in the parks (Animagique in the Walt Disney Studios park is good for example) are all included in the ticket price. Shows outside (like the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show that they push) are extra.

Ohforfoxsake Thu 02-Apr-09 14:39:39

The food is shameful! Especially Buzz Lightyears Pizza Planet - not what I was expecting at all. Go in the week and you are likely to get children under 7 eat free with each adult. Santa Fe buffet was great for the children as it had pasta and a few different sauces, salads and veg. (And a good dessert trolley for me grin) For £40 a night we fed all six of us (that's just paying for me and DP BTW!) That's as cheap as it gets I think.

I would recommend making up rolls from breakfast. Yes, I know you aren't meant to, but if the food was better or more reasonably priced on-site you wouldn't have to frankly. Discreetly knock up a few ham and cheese rolls, and some fruit from the buffet the night before. The children don't really eat much anyway, it is all about refuelling. In the Studios you can at least buy soup more reasonably (nice with the rolls wink). I took fruit and stuff with me, and shoudn't have bothered. I made banana muffins and took those and they all went. You don't really buy snacks there, as its all so crappy.

Santa Fe was fine. Clean enough, further out, but buses were frequent and only a few minutes ride. You could walk it in about 15/20 mins. I'd happily stay there again. Towels were changed every day.

Rainforest Cafe in Disney Village was OK. About 9 euros for the childrens meal. Ludwigs Castle should be avoided at all costs.

Ohforfoxsake Thu 02-Apr-09 14:44:49

Buffalo Bills was stupidly expensive, something like £50 for an adult with some deep fried 'dinner'. I'd avoid if you have to be careful about money.

The Studios are good and a bit 'calmer'. The tram ride and stunt shows are included. We took ours 7/6/4 and 18 mo, and they loved it all.

Oh, despite waffling on, what I actually meant to say is make the most of the Baby Swap service they offer. When you go in, ask for a baby swap ticket. Then one of you waits at the exit (holding the baby) and you can swap with the other adult (and take your 5 yo on again). Very handy for Buzz Lightyears Laser Quest which we spent the best part of 4 days on grin. Use them in conjunction with Fast Pass tickets and you can avoid huge, massive queues.

Ohforfoxsake Thu 02-Apr-09 14:46:10

and Phantom Mansion is not very nice blush

Theresa Fri 03-Apr-09 18:34:11

check out www.disboards.com and scroll down to the dlp section for loads of tips

ZandMsmum Mon 06-Apr-09 12:02:27

Went last week and got premium half price vouchers which are definitely worth it. £168 for a family of 4 for 2 days (i.e. for 2 meals as breakfast was included where we stayed) We took my daughter to the princess lunch which should have been 55 euros for the adults and 20 euro for the kids - good food but not that good! That was covered by the half board vouchers and made my daughter's year I think!

Also I would suggest you stay in the Castle Club at the Disneyland hotel if you can - character breakfasts, free afternoon tea, lift straight to the park entrance - really made the holiday.

all in all expensive bur we had the best time!

sarabella Tue 08-Sep-09 22:22:07

we r going on friday ans am soooo excited, has ny1 stayed at the hotel new york? grin

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