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Disneyland Paris

24 replies

ChanelNo5 · 22/03/2002 08:09

Have just got back from Disneyland Paris so was interested to read the comments here (glad I didn't read them before we went LOL!!) Thought you might like an update (a year on) of my experience.

Caught the ferry over, good crossing and not busy so car wasn't hemmed in. Crossing back again was hideous, very choppy and 4 out of the 5 kids were sea-sick, so don't know if it's a good idea to get the ferry this time of year, might re-think that one if we go again. Travelling down the motorway was ok, took about 3 hrs, cost 17.40 euros in peage. Stayed at the Sequoia Lodge in the park, which was nice, but the pool was smaller than it looked in the brochure and the changing rooms were ridiculously small. The weather, for the most part was s*e (rained nearly all the time) but on the brightside, did mean that there were no queues for the rides, as it was still quite busy even though not school holidays (must add, definitely go out of school holidays!!) The ride my kiddies liked the best was 'It's a small world' which I actually thought was the naffest thing ever, but I endured it 3 times for their sakes. Eating out all the time is expensive, but as we were only going for 4 days, we went for it big time. All in all, we had a great time and would definitely go again. Disney Studios has just opened too now to add a whole new dimension to your experience. Not quite the same as Disney in Americky, but seems to be lots of Americans on staff, and all the French we met were quite friendly and helpful. Dh did read in the alternative Disneyland Paris guide that Disney had had real problems getting the French staff to come round to the Disney way of thinking (ie, getting rid of facial hair and using deodorant, Mickey Mouse with BO would rather put you off your food!!) Didn't really notice any pushing in either! If anyone would like my views on restaurants etc, I'd be happy to oblige. Must add though, very nearby to the Disney park is a big shopping village which is well worth a look. Has got a massive hypermarket selling v. cheap booze (6x bottles of Champagne for about £33!!!!!!!!!!! wahey) Feeling tempted to visit now?

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helenmc · 22/03/2002 19:14

We went a couple of years back and found the French very arrogant and incredibly slow at doing anything. I was told in the shop to go to another till as 'they were talking'...aaargh. My moans are on another thread. But I did write and suggest a few to relieve the boresdom of the queues and got a standard letter back saying of course there are queues its becuase we're so popular, which made me wonder whether they had bothered to ready my letter at all!!!

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THERESA · 09/04/2002 20:02

ChannelNo5 - We're going in July (after start of late opening hours but before start of UK hols).We're staying at the Sequoia and I'd love any tips you can pass on (my daughter is 3 1/2). I'm also interested to hear more about the shopping village you mentioned!
Thanks

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Coxy · 09/04/2002 21:19

Hi ChanelNo5 - having just forked out £1400 for our stay in June this year I was relieved to get to your post! We too are staying at the Sequoia (sp?) but would be interested to have any details of the best/not so best bits, places to eat, etc. etc. We have two ds's (5 and 3) so not sure if they are a bit young for some of the rides but like you said, it's our hols so we are just going to go for it. We also got a free boat trip on the Seine thrown in so maybe that will break it up for us.

Thanks in advance.

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ChanelNo5 · 09/04/2002 22:29

Hi Theresa and Coxy - You'll like it at the Sequoia Lodge it's very nice. Here are my tips:-

  1. Go for the earlier breakfast sitting. I think it's about 7.15am, which nearly kills you, but you don't have to queue and get out to the Park/Studios earlier. For the later breakfast the queues are horrendous.

  2. It's worth taking a buggy for the little ones as although the Sequoia is a disney hotel, it's still quite a trek to get to the actual park.

  3. Eating out is expensive, but food is nice and kiddies are well-catered for. We liked Rainforest Cafe and Planet Hollywood in Disney Village and they gave the kids crayons and paper to keep them amused (there's also a McDonalds there with a good kids play area) Really liked The Lucky Nugget in Frontierland as they do a little show while you eat (help yourself buffet style, nice food for kids) also loads of dressed Disney characters going round so good photo opportunities. In the hotel, didn't try Hunter's Lodge as quite expensive, but Beaver's Creek was nice and also has a kiddy play area if you hunt around for it. In Adventureland, The Blue Lagoon Restaurant looked nice (though not sure what it would be like for kids) but there was a big queue and some people had booked tables in advance.

  4. We went with my 3 (aged 5, 4 and 22mths) and my sister's (aged 7 and 5) Mine were scared of quite a few rides, but my sister's were ok, so I think it depends on the child rather than the ride. Me and mine had to be taken off the Haunted House ride because my eldest 2 were crying, whereas my niece (5) was crying because she wanted to stay on! The other rides mine were scared of were:- Pirates of the Carribbean (which I loved) Peter Pan, Pinocchio and Snow White (all quite dark inside) They loved The Flying Carpets (Studios) It's a Small World, A rocket one (can't remember the name but in the studios) and other sorts of rides like those (Flying Dumbos etc) Also they liked the stage/cinema shows, although Honey I shrunk the Audience was a bit scarey as it's in 3D so things jump out at you (fab effects though) Mine also didn't like the fake gunshot at Wild Bill's, and the fake fire in Catastrophe Canyon and the Car Stunt show (both in the studios and both brill IMO)

    I'm sure there are other things I could tell you about Disney, but my mind has gone blank (old age setting in!) As other things come back to me, I will post and let you know.


    The shopping village is called Val D'Europe and is v.close to the park. Looked like there was loads of shops, but as we just called in to get essential supplies (wine&beer) on the way back to the ferry port, didn't really have much chance to look anywhere other than the hypermarket. Eating out here (if poss) or getting a few supplies in to eat in your room (has got a mini-bar to keep things in) would keep costs down.

    I really, really enjoyed it there, it was great fun. Hope you both have a brilliant holiday!
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bells2 · 03/09/2002 10:52

I am looking at taking my 3 year old son to Disneyland in a couple of weeks time on a lastminute offer (just the two of us). I am a bit put off though by some of the comments here. Does anyone have any idea of what the queues would be like on a Saturday - Monday visit in mid-September?

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threeangels · 05/09/2002 14:23

I would really recommend Disneyworld in Orlando. Having lived there for several years in the past had gone to the park many times. I have never been to any of the other Disneyland parks. The service at Disneyworld is excellent and they always seem to want to make the tourist happy at their visit. My dh and I were trying to plan last night for a vacation there in March. I could not handle the heat and humidity with 3 kids in the summer. I have never stayed at one of the disney hotels and allthough they are quite expensive Id love to stay a night or two and enjoy some pampering.

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jas · 31/10/2002 10:24

we're hoping to go to Disneyland Paris next year, anyone stayed in any of the other hotels there - good or bad, we have 2 children aged 3 and 6 months, would a hotel cater well for these ages

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philly · 01/11/2002 08:25

We stayed last year at the Sequoia Lodge,fairly basic but had air conditioning which was invaluable because we had a hot spell in May.It also had a pool but actually we didn't find time to use it.The walk to the parkwas short and through the shops and restaurants and you can hire fantastic (if a bit utilitarian)pushchairs in the park,I would advise these as even with a 3 and 5 year old the legs did get tired and tehy haad a buggy board on so both could ride.

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Ems · 01/11/2002 11:54

We stayed at Santa Fe, MASSIVE hotel, teeny rooms! We were going for the terribly cheap option, so were expecting basic. The room had 2 double beds, they squeezed a cot in, but there was no floor space or room around the beds. Not fun with two tiddlers.

I would really recommend the Newport Bay Club, lovely rooms, again 2 double beds, but more room, they have a swimming pool and a nice restaurant.

Short walk through Festival Disney (cinemas, shops, restaurants, bars) to the main gate. I too would recommend their buggies, you get them as soon as you are inside the gate, although obviously last time we had our little ones pram with us.

Really good babychanging facilities inside park, rooms to feed, sit, heat food, toilets etc. Very impressive.

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Deborahf · 02/11/2002 10:29

We went to Disneyland Paris in August this year and it was great fun. We stayed at the Newport Bay Hotel - rooms large enough for two double beds and also a cot - as we took our son, nephew and our daughter this was okay. Breakfast sittings were good, but then we like to eat early and get into the park early. The weather was mixed when we visited, but on days when it rained it meant we got on the rides without queueing. The rides were fun - the boys were absolutely thrilled. Food was mixed - some of the restaurants were excellent - Cafe Mickey, but others were just basic! I wish there were more choice of "healthy" food, baked spuds, salads, etc not just the fast food varieties. My only other gripe was that there is not enough for the babies - our daughter was 11 months when we went - she had to spend most of her time in the buggie!! I think Disney should include one or two large rooms with soft playareas for the small children and babies to play in - then it's be brilliant.

Having said all that - I'm sure that we'll be going again - next year if ds has his way

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THERESA · 04/11/2002 17:45

We stayed at the Sequoia Lodge in July and it was really nice. I would imagine in the winter it would be even nicer as it's theme is log fires, pine trees etc. We picked it as the cheapest hotel with a pool but we only used it once, and that was because we felt we should! We found that any time spent at the hotel was needed for a rest, although in the winter you may not have as many late nights as the fireworks in summer aren't on til 11.00pm. Also found the pool not very good for our 4 year old, no shallow bit. Check out the following websites www.dlp-guidebook and www.disboards.com. Have a great time!

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Empress · 07/12/2002 20:10

We took our daughter to Disneyland Paris for her 4th birthday (long w/end). She LOVED it, but she was unaware of the poor service & how much better it could have been. Some staff at hotel were not v helpful or polite, we felt there was little of the customer-service ethic which is so strong in the US. We arrived at Santa Fe about 3, got into our rooms etc then at 4 were in need of a snack/drink & everything was shut - there was a queue of British people like us, arrived on same flight, wanting food/drink at the same time, but nothing open till 5, & then they opened up late & slowly! That was hell with an excited tired young child & we couldn't understand why they couldn't have things open all day. Also serious lack of Disney characters - all the brochures etc feature pics of Snow White (our daughter's big favourite) so we'd assumed she'd be around but not only did we not see her, everyone else we talked to, some of whom had been there 2 weeks! - said they hadn't seen her either. We had a lovely birthday tea in Cinderella's tavern, the staff were really nice there.Overall really expensive, & not good service & if we ever do Disney again it will DEFINITELY be Florida, with good weather & good service, we wouldn't go back to Paris.

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emsiewill · 01/06/2003 20:21

We've just got back from a 5 day-4 night stay at Disneyland Paris and we had an absolutely FAB time. We were staying at the Davy Crockett Ranch - self catering "log cabins" which are basic, but fine for the amount of time we spent in it. The ranch is about 10 minutes drive from the park, but we didn't find that a problem at all - but we were prepared to leave at 8:30 every morning, don't know how bad the queues would have been if we'd gone any later.There was entertainment every night in the Davy Crocekett "village" - Disney characters included - and although it wasn't very sophisticated, it was just so nice to be somewhere that we could just let the girls run free without having to say "don't run around, be quiet etc...." There was also a brilliant swimming pool which we would have liked to have more time to use.
We were very lucky with the weather - although I actually would have preferred it if it had been a little cooler, as it just added to our exhaustion. There was sooo much to do that we only just fitted everything in and could have filled another 2 days, although we probably would all have died of exhaustion by then! I thought the park itself was magical, and very clean, all the staff were happy and helpful and dd1 attracted a lot of attention as she was dressed in her Cinderella costume (this is a handy hint, actually, as it really helped when it came to getting autographs from the characters - they all made a really big fuss of her). It was a little annoying that some children were very pushy, as were their parents, and dd2 did spend quite a lot of time on the outside of the group surrounding the characters as she wasn't quite pushy enough. Dd1 was, though, and helped her through it!
Didn't find the queues a problem - although they were many and long, it all seemed well organised, and I saw no pushing in that I can remember.
The princesses parade was a big highlight - despite having to sit in the blazing sun for 1/2 hour waiting for it to start - we wouldn't have seen anything if we hadn't bagged our places early. I almost died of happiness when Cinderella blew a kiss at dd1!
The studios were not as good for younger ones (ours are 4 and 6), but dh and I enjoyed it - not so many rides, mainly show type things.
So, as you may be able to tell from this, I would thoroughly recommend a visit - but you do need to bite the bullet over the price of everything - it really was outrageously expensive (4 bottles of water and 4 ice-creams cost around £15). But if you're a child at heart, you should enjoy every minute.

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jac34 · 01/06/2003 20:29

Emsiewill,
Glad to hear you all had a great time, I know you were looking forward to the trip !!!

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judetheobscure · 01/06/2003 22:04

A question because we are thinking about a Disney trip. I've heard that they don't have a baby listening service. So what do you do with babies / younger children in the evening if you want to have dinner/drink a deux?

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emsiewill · 01/06/2003 22:13

I think I remember seeing something about a babysitting service at the place we were staying - but as it wasn't a hotel as such, I don't know exactly how it works there.
To be honest, there was so much to do that we all went to bed at the same time - not really the kind of holiday where we wanted/had time for dinner alone. But then ours are of an age where they can stay up without it being too much of a problem.

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tamum · 01/06/2003 22:21

We were there in April at the Hotel New York, and there was definitely no baby listening, but then it was pretty huge. They do say that they can arrange babysitting, as emsiewill said, but we also decided it was easiest to let the children stay up a bit later and all keep to the same timetable. I can see it would be more of a problem with tinies though. It was all great, I have to say, much better than I expected.

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PopsP · 05/06/2003 11:09

We were at the Hotel New York last September. They have quite a nice bar that is next to the small childrens play area (bricks, colouring, video etc). We let our 6 year old play while we had cocktails. We could keep an eye on him through the window and he could come into the bar for his drink and to show off his art work.

For anyone planning a visit I would reccomend late Sep / early Oct. We did not queue for more than 5 minutes for any ride, the weather was plesantly warm and we got 4 nights for the price of 3.

I was suprised at how nice all the staff were, we had to queue for breakfast one day and the waitress was really apologetic as I was nearly 6 months pregnant. She told me that if there were queues for any of the rides I should talk to a member of staff so I would not need to queue. I never tried it though as it wasn't that busy.

The only people who really seemed to push and shove, were some middle aged Aisian ladies (without children) who pushed in front of little children so they could have their picture taken with the characters !

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judetheobscure · 08/06/2003 21:22

Thanks for the replies - babysitters are fine. Dh and I just like a bit of time to ourselves to unwind at the end of the day - which isn't really possible with the children (4 of them) around.

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Bron · 08/06/2003 22:18

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CAM · 04/09/2003 12:30

We got back last night, and having been the biggest cynic ever, I didn't want to leave. Disneyland is much nicer than the real cruel, unfriendly, unsmiling world where no-one dresses up as big cartoon animals. Dd cried when we had to go and get the train home. It was totally brilliant. A great big play park for the kids of Europe - oh no, I've been completely sucked in....help...

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Batters · 04/09/2003 20:51

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Claireandrich · 04/09/2003 21:25

Good to here that you had a great time. We are going for a couple of days in October half term with 17mo DD. Looking forward to it.

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Bron · 05/09/2003 11:17

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