/ Thursday, July 28th, 2016

Editor’s Note:  Lou’s email inbox is often full to overflowing with questions from listeners.  As such, he has enlisted the WDW Radio Blog writers to assist him in answering some of your questions.


 

Hey fellow WED-Heads (mind if I call you that?) I’m Zack Kaplan, WDW Radio Blog  contributor and generally a nice guy. Today, I’ll be tackling a Disneyland Paris inquiry, believe it or not, that’s somewhere Lou has not been.

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Disneyland Paris Trip Planning Question

Hi Lou! Before my question I need to tell you how much our family loves this site and your live broadcasts! I listen to them (not live) in order to get through laundry days! Your last show was so so good and I thought of all of my friends and family who say, “Disney again?”! UGH! I also sent the link to my sister-in-law who would like to get my brother down there. It’s the perfect show for him to listen too. Thanks for helping us get our Disney “fix” between trips to the World! Now my question; We (parents & 3 kids) are lucky enough to be visiting Disneyland Paris this summer and are so excited. I am trying to gather as much information as possible and have been searching my trusted websites, including yours. I haven’t found too much, and I am specifically wondering how it is to use Disneyland Paris as your home base for touring Paris? We plan on staying 5 nights and visiting the parks at least 2 of those days. Do you or any of your followers have any info to help us plan? The Disneyland Paris website seems to have been designed by a “non-Disney” company. It can be a bit confusing, especially when talking dining plans or organizing transport. Just not the top notch I’m used to when booking our WDW vacations. Thank you for any help and also for following your dream! -Melanie

By proxy, Lou thanks you for the compliments! When it comes to your DLP (Disneyland Paris) questions these are definitely the ones to be asking before making your journey, regardless of how far away it is from your home. I have quite an expansive answer to your questions.

 

Rail Travel to Paris

Using DLP as a base for city of  Paris trip is possible, but I would advise otherwise. The Disneyland Paris Resort is located in Marne-la-Vallée, about a 40 minute train ride into Paris. A train station is located right outside the resort. There is also a station at Val’D Europe, which may be more convenient for some off-property hotels. Using the DLP station requires you to go through bag check, even if you aren’t planning on going into either park. When I was there last August, a one day roundtrip ticket for one adult was €16.

Additional notes: Paris like any other city has trains with doors the close quickly. So please be mindful, I actually witnessed a little boy being left on the train because of the doors closing quickly. While everything was OK, he got back to his mom, you don’t want to be in that situation. Also, common sense is a must anywhere you go, and the RER train had it’s share of strangers asking for money, or at the very least your attention and eye contact.

 

Time at the Resort

While this was not a part of your question, I thought I would comment on the time needed for a DLP vacation. Believe it or not, my  trip had me spending most of my time in the resort, about 5 full days. However, I was going as someone who doesn’t rush from attraction to attraction and liked exploring the parks many detailed areas. If possible, I suggest you alot 2 days for touring Disneyland Park. You will only need one day at most for Walt Disney Studios, though you could even do a half day just to ride Ratatouille: The Adventure, which is not to be missed.

 

Dining

Disneyland Paris Dining

To book dining in advance you would have to call the reservations number; +33 (0) 1 60 30 40 50. This number is based in France, so it may cost you to call. Also just like Walt Disney World, food at Disneyland Paris is on the very expensive side. The super-expensive burger pictured on the right had foie gras on it.

I would recommend checking out DLP Guide, for detailed information on dining choices.  Dedicated to DLP Podcast is also great if you want to listen to spirited discussions and general banter on the resort.

Hope this was a satisfactory answer Melanie!  To everyone else please remember it’s a federal crime to open someone else’s mail, but this was an email, and I had permission!

 

(Article photos from the author’s personal collection. Profile photo ©Disney)

Sark

Likeness may vary

Based in the Massachusetts Branch of the expansive WDW Radio HQ, Zack Kaplan is a fan of the Disney Parks. If you want to read his thoughts on Disney, video games, society, and maybe Star Wars you can find him on Twitter @SteelDiver

 

 

 

 

Comments

comments

7 thoughts on “Lou’s Inbox: Planning a Disneyland Paris Trip”

  1. David Tarnoff says:

    Kudos to you Zack for an excellent answer. I agree with all that you said. When we go, we make a 3-day reservation to stay in DLP followed by a 3-day stay in Paris. Train travel in Europe is wonderful, but I would prefer strolling the streets of Paris to spending almost two hours of the day commuting from Marne-la-Vallée. If you want to spend more time on a train, I suggest that while in Paris you grab the train to Versailles and enjoy that palace.

    As for the parks, Ratatouille: The Adventure is fantastic and quickly became our favorite attraction. We also enjoyed the sitdown restaurant that follows the ride, Bistrot Chez Rémy. (I can’t imagine why Lou hasn’t been to DLP for this fact alone – a ride ending at a restaurant instead of a gift shop!) Be sure to make reservations if you plan to go to the restaurant. They’re not hard to get, but probably necessary. If you got a hotel package that includes dining, the dinning tickets are accepted here.

    I wanted to elaborate, however, on why Disneyland Park requires two days. You will find many attractions that are familiar to the Walt Disney World traveler, but so different that a visit to each one is necessary. Pirates of the Carribean is a longer, more Disneyland-like adventure. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril is a great attraction that I enjoyed most at night. Phantom Manor too puts such a different spin on the Haunted Mansion that I found multiple rides were necessary. Two of my favorite things, however, were La Tanière du Dragon beneath Sleeping Beauty Castle and the Jules Verne inspired Tomorrowland. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’ll just say that when my family gets tired of being in the parks and wants to shop or swim, I let them go so I can just wander around Tomorrowland.

    I just want to add that between the solo trip podcast and this inbox answer, I’m getting the bug to head to France! Enjoy!

  2. David Tarnoff says:

    Oh, and I forgot to touch on the transportation. If you stay at the Hotel New York, the Sequoia Lodge, or the Newport Bay Club, the parks are a moderate walk from the hotel through Disney Village. We like the rustic feel of the Sequoia Lodge, and it’s the farthest one from the parks. We’re blessed not to have any mobility issues, so the walk was no problem at all. The last time we were there was during December, and it was a little cold and rainy. That made the walk a little miserable once or twice. They do, however, also have a shuttle between the parks and the hotels if you need it. I think it runs every 12 minutes or so, but we found that we could walk it in that amount of time.

  3. Melanie Pickett says:

    Hi!
    We’d have to disagree about using DLP as a base for you trip to Paris. As a family of 5, it was much more economical to stay at DLP and take the train into the city. The DLP resorts have rooms that accommodate 5 as opposed to having to get 2 pricey rooms in a pretty far out and typically European (small, no lift, air?) room. We had planned on being at the parks at least 2 full days and the included, delicious breakfast was also a plus. We met another American family there doing the same thing. We went in summer of ’14 and we didn’t have to go through the bag check to go on the trains. It was very convenient and easy to get where we wanted in Paris. We spent several days in he city and he 45 min ride back to DLP was easy.
    DLP is a great destination and a must for any Disney fan. We are so glad we got to stay there!

  4. Don Trippie says:

    I’m planning the same trip right now but for the Spring. I found the following: Breakfast is included with all Disney Hotels. The meal plan is the way to go. Its a really good deal especially if you book before Oct 2016 and get 2 nights hotel and 2 days tickets for free. If you get a package you can also schedule tours that pick up and drop off right at your resort. It seems to be a little more expensive the freelancing it, but it even out when you figure you save on train tickets.
    It took me awhile to find a travel agent who was able to help me. Apparently all reservations must be done on line so it is different on how agents book for the US parks.

  5. Peter says:

    It is possible to stay at Disneyland Paris resort and visit Paris, just a fairly quick train ride away.

    I would really recommend going to Walt’s restaurant (which is upstairs on Main Street) and not really noticeable unless you know it is there. You will need to book it though, as it is normally fully booked. We also ate at Reme’s Bistro, and unfortunately our steaks were as tough as shoe leather, so would probably not go back there again. Other dishes may be OK.

    The best ride in both Parks is probably Ratatouille, but you have to get in there very early. When we went last year we thought we would get there for rope drop (park opened at 10), but arriving at 9.30 we found that the park was already open for queueing and there was a 40 minute queue just for the fast passes. I’m not sure what time they actually open the gates, but they don’t have a rope drop like in WDW. We were staying on property, and there was no early opening there. However, the ride is definitely worth it.

    Don’t forget to visit the dragon under the castle.
    Hope that helps in some way
    Peter

  6. Claire says:

    I have been to DLP twice and was extremely disappointed in the Newport Bay Club hotel. It was extremely dirty, smelly, outrageously expensive, and outdated. I would caution you not to stay there. Although I would never do this in WDW, I would look into staying off property.I know if I go back I will definitely NOT be staying on property unless I can afford the Disneyland hotel (which seemed 4000% nicer than the Newport Bay Club!)

    The RC Racer car ride in the Studios is the best! I hope they bring it to WDW eventually! Have fun!

  7. Carrie Pena says:

    My husband and I just got back from DLP and used Newport Bay Club as our home base to travel into Paris proper. I would highly advise against spending your time in Paris this way. I am a DVC member, and a lover of all things Disney, but DLP is the worst. Everything was run down and rusty. Half of the rides broke while we were standing in line. The food is terrible and the cast members were extremely unpleasant. The hotel was too crowded and too dirty. However, we had a wonderful time in Paris and taking the RER everyday wasn’t really a big deal. Next time though, I’ll stay in the city.