Disneyland Paris trip report
Having just got back from Europe and having several saved up podcasts to listen to during the long flight over and back I thought Iíd drop a small trip report. Again, thanks to Mousetunes for providing a great service to us podpeople and Disney devotees!
Our family vacation this year was a 16 day Europe tour of France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Since we are DVC members we made DLP our base camp for the first week of our stay. This proved to be quite a smart move as my wife and two children have never been to Europe and DLP was a good place to recover from jet lag as well as ease one into a different culture/language etc. DLP provides a shuttle from the airport to DP so we took this route as it seemed easy and convenient. It was easy but it was not cheap. For the 4 of us it cost me ~$100 based on the exchange rate from the airport. We stayed at the Sequoia lodge. Each nights stay includes a pass to both parks so as soon as we got there we went over to the parks and got a ride in before it closed and jet lag set in. I had heard much about Space Mountain Mission 2 so I went straight for it and gave it a go. Having ridden Space Mountain at WDW and DL, I can say this ride puts those two to shame. It was fabulous! Dare I say even better than Rock and Rollercoaster? Yes, I will say even better since both coasters are inside and considered ďlaunchĒ coasters and several inversions. Great, great ride!
Well, rather than give you a travel log pages and pages long I am going to give you some observations about DP. (Note: when checking in the, cast member asked if I was here to see if DP does it better here (this was small talk it was not a serious question). I had to laugh as I wasnít there to make any comparison whatsoever (and I wasnít even here to see DP Ė it was just really convenient, I didnít share this with them though)
- Breakfast is included for each stay at the resorts. This is common practice throughout all hotels/hostels etc throughout Europe. It included your typical European fare. Croissants, meats, cheeses, yogurts. I noticed several families making sandwiches to take into the park for the day. Smart thinking and the cast members didnít seem to mind
- This was the only room we had during out stay in Europe that included A/C and an ice machine. A rarity and a luxury. Bedding was nice too.
- Indiana Jones ride is an outdoor roller coater that includes a loop and a cork*****
- Phantom Manor (haunted mansion) is one of the best themed rides I have ever seen Disney do. Much like Tower of Terror (which they are building at the studios) I have the book on the haunted mansion and was very excited about riding this. They did it right with this one! Not entirely sure about the old west that replaces the grave yard in DL Ė have to go read the book again but very much better themed.
- Most of the time Fast passes where closed down. Sad. More people at park than expected made for some long waits.
- Cinemagique was a pleasant surprise. A journey into the movies with Martin Short. Quite clever.
- My 9 year old loved the Art of Disney Animation. Consumed 2 hours here. The things we sacrifice for our kids!
- I encountered some of the smelliest people in the park. Not the metro in Paris where I thought I would.
- I did not see this happen but I had heard people would let their children pee wherever they needed to, even in queues. Like I said I did not see it but I did smell it.
- Not many Americans in the parks that I could tell (way more at major tour sites in Paris) Why do Americans get a bad rap? Europeans are just as pushy and rude. However, those at the top of the heap for being loud are Germans, Brits, and Americans.
After two days of Disney though I was really getting in a funk and starting to think how much this trip was a loss. I didnít fly 5000 miles to see an American theme park. Donít get me wrong, I love Disney but I came to Europe to see Europe. The rest of the time was doing just that. We got our rail passes and spent 10am Ė midnight for the next three days touring Paris. This was the Europe I came to see and wanted my family to experience. I barely scratched the surface on DP as there was a lot to do there. I sort of regret not seeing more of DP but Paris beckoned us and we heeded its call. It turned out to be the right thing to do.
BTW Ė if you ever go be sure and ride one train stop down to Val de Europe and go to the mall right next to the station. Itís the only thing there anyway. Go find the Belgium Waffle place next to the super market. They had the best waffles I was able to find during the whole trip. These are not your IHOP waffles, the batter is different. Itís made with a dough. Soooo good!