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Anyone on here been to Disneyland Paris? I have questions...

(14 Posts)
WhoWhoWhoWho Sat 30-Jul-11 09:22:46

Plus feedback from other parents with dcs with SN would be helpful. smile

I am going with DS (6, on the autistic spectrum) end of August, we're both very excited!

I am wondering whether it is worth trying to book a ground floor room as will be taking his maclaren major. We are staying in the Santa Fe.

Have any of you had the wheelchair passes when you've been? What did you need to take to get one?

How did your dcs (and you) find the crowds and the queues? I'm aware I'm going at a peak time but it couldn't really be helped.

Like DS I like to be well prepared so tell me all about your stay when you went please! grin

loobywhitwell Sat 30-Jul-11 09:40:15

Hi

We went in march with my son 4, who has asd.

We took a copy of the dla letter to guest services & we were issued with an exit pass for all the rides. We ere allowed to stand in the disabled section for the parades. We were treated like royalty & had a fab time. We covered both parks in 2 days with the passes. No queuing what so ever. if the rides were busy we were given a time to come back at. We then had another 2 days to do our favourite rides.

what we did was avoid the buses from the hotel to the park. This was so stressful. We walked along the river from santa fe to the park & it was so relaxing & quiet.

Breakfast is a free for all, but i sat the kids at the table, sharpened my elbows & got stuff for them. There can be big queues to get in, but it might be worth showing ur pass again to skip the queue.

Hope this helps xxx

WhoWhoWhoWho Sat 30-Jul-11 09:49:28

Wow thanks that's great to have a reply all ready.

DS gets dla hr care so that's fine I can take that letter with me.
I had thought that about the bus, think we would both rather walk (i'm a fast walker even when pushing DS so probably quicker and less stressful all round).

I'm glad to hear you were treated well. With me going on my own I was worried about having to fend for myself with no one giving a toss.

Thanks for the breakfast tip! For the breakfasts, can you just go anytime during the breakfast slot? Or dothey give you a time slot? I'm hoping to get in there first thing and then straight on to the parks. We have 3 nights in hotel, two days of passes - glad to hear you got around everything. smile

Eloise73 Sat 30-Jul-11 09:50:29

Hi, we've been to DLP twice, DD is almost 4 now and a Disney pro smile

If you email customer service in advance of going and tell them you need a special pass you will be able to get one which will allow you to wait in special areas (many times at the exit of rides) to avoid the big queues. Or you can just go on the day to the customer services building which is on the left hand side once you get into the main Disney park just before you get to Main Street. If you do this perhaps bring a copy of your DLA statement or a letter from your son's doctor but to be honest no one asked us for this but best to be covered just in case.

You should also email and let them know you will need a ground floor because of your childs needs, that shouldn't be a problem at all but best to let them know in advance.

We stayed at the Santa Fe the first time we went, the rooms are very comfortable but breakfast was manic. It's a huge restaurant and to be honest it felt a bit like a scrum. But its free so fill up! I'd go either as early as possible and get to the park just as it opens or have a quick snack in your room, go do the parks for a couple of hours and then come back for a late breakfast and a rest before hitting the parks again.

The buffet restaurant at the Santa Fe is outrageously expensive and not very good, I wouldnt' recommend it at all. You'd be better off eating in the Village where the best restaurants are. Cafe Mickey has the character meals and you don't have to order anything outrageously expensive either. You and your son could share a pizza (they are quite big) and a dessert and spend under 20 euros and get to see 5 or 6 characters too.

Breakfast at Cafe Mickey is wonderful and relaxed and the characters spend lots of time with you as its less busy than other meal times but its a set price buffet and since you're getting free breakfast at the hotel would mean its a bit of an expense but we did it the second time and we glad we did.

The one thing that bothered our daughter at the parks was Main Street, the piped music was a bit loud and it seemed to confuse her a bit but once we got past main street she was fine and loved it! She even loved rides like Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted House (which she thought was funny) and of course its a small world smile

I would say just in case, as you're taking an expensive pushchair, that make sure your travel insurance covers the chair as I have known someone have their chair stolen/mistakenly taken and they weren't covered by their insurance so when we went we made sure the travel insurance covered our pushchair.

I'm a bit of a Disney nut so feel free to PM me if you have any more questions smile Hope you have a great time!!!

Eloise73 Sat 30-Jul-11 09:53:39

BTW, if you miss your breakfast slot at the Santa Fe they won't turn you away so I wouldnt' worry about that.

tallulah Sat 30-Jul-11 10:01:06

You might be OK queue/crowd wise at the end of August because the French will have gone back to school.

We went to DLP in June with our 4 yo who has SPD. She loves Mickey Mouse so we thought she'd enjoy it but it turns out she wasn't impressed. She liked Small World, the Carousel and the Teacups but that was it sad What we didn't factor in tho is that she is very sensitive to noise, and even having to queue in a confined space with lots of people upset her. If you can get a disabled pass you will avoid that issue anyway, so you'll probably be OK.

They reserve the front seats of the shows for people with disabled passes, and they were very hot on it- instantly moving people who weren't entitled to sit there - that was the only thing I felt they did very well. The Tarzan show in particular was fabulous, and we went to see it twice.

We didn't like the way that everyone pushes in over there. People brazenly walk to the head of a huge queue and just slide in, or they leave one person in the queue then get joined by the other 8 members of their family when they reach the front. We felt that most of the time there was a huge battle. The staff ignore it. You wait 30 mins for the parade in the hot sun, then as it starts people shove in front of you and/or tell you to move up (I did tell one woman who "asked" us to move up that I wasn't going to. She looked shock )

Oh and be prepared for the fact that most of the staff do not speak English. I was quite surprised by that. Those that do tend to be Dutch/ German rather than French.

(as you will gather we really didn't think much of DLP and won't be going again)

WhoWhoWhoWho Sat 30-Jul-11 10:06:13

Hmm didn't think of insurance for the maclaren. At home I have a curly flexible cycle lock with it at all times in case I have to leave it anywhere - would it be possible to lock it onto something at most rides? e.g. a bar/railing do you think?? I will definetely check with my insurance.

DS is not keen on loud music (unless he's making it) so thanks for the tip about main street.

I am going to book our evening meals, they won't be in the hotel restaurant as I've not heard anything good about it, plus DS is a picky eater AND we want to see characters so will definitely be having at least one meal at Cafe Mickey. smile

Is there an ideal time to email about things like passes and ground floor rooms? Should I do it now do you think? We go on the 30th Aug [excited].

Eloise73 Sat 30-Jul-11 10:42:09

Email them now and follow up with a phone call a week later if they haven't gotten back to you.

Main Street isn't too bad but DD did put her hands up on her hands a few times when we were going up and down. But she didn't dislike it. You always have hte option of getting straight on the train and going to whichever land you are interested in starting off on.

Not sure you'd be able to lock the pushchair as the cast members need to be able to move them for any reason. I would defintely just make sure its covered by insurance but i'm sure it will be fine.

I have to say I experienced the opposite as far as employees who speak English, didn't meet a single one who didn't know some english. I wont' lie and say they are all amazing because compared to Disneyworld they aren't anywhere near as friendly or helpful or switched on when it comes to special needs and especially autism. But they were helpful and our daughter had a great time.

Annette's Diner is a fun place to eat although they do break into song and dance around on their rollerskates so if this is something that might bother your son i'd maybe not eat there. Plaza Gardens in the main park has amazing food, its a buffet and we've eaten there twice now and loved it.

And i'd definitely plan to spend a bit of time in the studios as our DD LOVED the Playhouse Disney show with all the characters, had to see that twice!

I just remembered the place to pick up your special pass is 'City Hall', on the left hand side when you go in.

I think you'll have a great time smile I've been on www.disboards.com for many years, its a great forum for Disney lovers and they have a section on Disneyland Paris where you can see photos and get lots of helpful advice from people who have gone and are going and a few of the parents have kids with ASD and other needs and have a great time going.

Chundle Sat 30-Jul-11 13:31:19

Santa fe we stayed at they have lifts. The crowds for parades is manic be warned! But they have a SN raised platform area that you should be able to get access to if you get in touch with them. Rather than queue to see all the characters we booked a buffet meal to meet the characters which was great and a fab way to get autographs and photos without the rush of the crowds . Enjoy x

hannahsmummsy Sat 30-Jul-11 23:33:32

my dd was able to que jump with her little friend and sit at the front to watch parades , so lovely with all the education battles etc to get treated like royalty for a FEW DAYS ENJOY XX

unpa1dcar3r Sun 31-Jul-11 07:58:56

HIya who
Might be worth getting a photo copy of his DLA award as you might lose it.
But we went a few yrs back, with a charity who paid for everything and it was lovely of them. We didn't have the best of times as my boys got incredibly anxious and wouldn't really do much, didn't even watch the parades as they were too scared but the staff were great, exits for entrance etfc to save queueing and so on...

One funny episode was when we went to the themed breakfast where the characters come round...elder son was fine, hugging them etc, but younger son was (still is) terrified of 6 foot dressed up rats (mickey mouse) etc. and this Pluto character came lolloping over to our table, I was up at the buffet getting their food and hubby was with them at the table. I could see hubby waving his arms about 'no no, go away' to this character who was obviously French but even so, NO in most languages is understandable...anyway this Pluto didn't get the hint and kept plodding over with hubby frantically getting more worked up and youngest about to jump up and swing from the beams 20 feet up, screaming in fear, all while I watched from a distance thinking 'Oh shit this is gonna be baaaad'!
In the end hubby shouted at the top of his voice "Fuuuuuuck ooooooffffff"!

Funnily enough 'Pluto' Understood that sentiment!!!

rosie39forever Sun 31-Jul-11 11:27:21

Hi
we have been to disney with our dd who has non verbal ASD many times (in fact we were there last week and had a great time!). We always take a letter from our GP stating that she has autism and would have a problem with queues as this seems to be a bit clearer than DLA award letter, some french staff members aren't familiar with this and it might save you from having to explain what DLA is for. Every time we have been the staff in both parks have been really good and helpful, although some of the easy access pass rules have changed and you have to go and get a time slot for the more popular rides and return later, also only one family member is allowed in the disabled parade area with the disabled person.
Its worth making use of the extra magic hours between 8 and 10 to go on the rides in fantasy land before the crowds arrive, we went on everthing twice!
Have a great time

Calally Sun 31-Jul-11 12:17:27

weve been to dlp twice ( ds has sld, poss autism ) went at easter. got doctors letter and guest services gave us the easy access pass. if your queuing up to meet characters, you can also use the pass. we also stayed at the santa fe, the bus back is manic. we got the bus to the hotel next door, ( cheyenne i think ) you just have to walk over the bridge and your at sante fe. we booked the disney breakfast at cafe mickey through the travel agent before we left, 3 adults 1 child 48 euro. ds loved it. you can also hire prams in dlp ( there quite big, ds fits in them no prob, hes 6 and very tall ) think its 8 euro a day.

im jealous, would love to be going back. have a great time

Calally Sun 31-Jul-11 12:34:24

you might already have this sorted. getting from the airport to dlp. there is a disney bus that goes from charles de gaulle ( and the other airports aswell ) its very long and boring, and santa fe is nearly the last stop. when we went in april, i checked out other options as we arrived to late for the bus. came across recommendations for prestige-transfer. there was 4 of us, and is was 135 euro return, which is very good. they were waiting for us in the arrivals hall, carried all the bags to the car ( 8 seater taxi bus, air conditioned ) they put dvd on for ds, and the journey didnt seem half as long. on way back, they told us what time they'd pick us up, and where there on time.

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