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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!
Thanks for the trip report!
My fiancee and I visited Disneyland Paris for one day at the end of our vacation to London and Paris last spring. We were pretty tired by that time, and it rained all day, but it still was enjoyable. A few observations:
* If you only have one day, you can basically skip most of the Studios. Definitely go there and see the rougher, less themed Rock 'n' Roller Coaster and Cinemagique, but the rest are either the same as WDW or not that great.
* The Phantom Mansion and Pirates rides are great and include much better technologies than the earlier versions. Pirates includes three drops and some amazing Audio-Animatronics.
* Space Mountain 2 is one of the best rollercoasters I've ever ridden. It only goes about 40 miles per hour, but feels like 60! The Indiana Jones Rollercoaster is not very good and feels like a ride at Six Flags. Big Thunder Mountain takes you into an underwater tunnel and is also much-improved over the American versions.
* We quickly grabbed some fast food at the Studios, and it was awful! The Downtown Disney restaurants are also very expensive.
We had a great time at Disneyland Paris. I would recommend at least two days to see everything. Even with short lines, we were unable to find time to see everything. I regret not being able to ride all the Fantasyland attractions.
So cool. One day I hope to go to Disneyland Paris.
I am glad your family got to see more of Europe, I didn't until I was an exchange student in highschool. Did everyone pretty much speak English at DLP?
Nothing to countdown to, so just smile and be happy everyday!
Yes. DLP draws a lot of British tourists, so nearly all the cast members spoke English. The park draws crowds from all over Europe, which gives it a very different feeling than WDW. We didn't notice one American there during the entire day, which was interesting and actually very cool.
Great to read your trip report! What did you visit in Holland? It is actually possible to take the RER A train to Marne La Vallee from the airport to Disneyland. It is cheaper!
Actually, my boyfriend thinks that Space Mountain in Paris is not so well maintained as it used to be. I, used to the Paris version of Space mountain (not loving all the loops and corks) was very happy to learn that the WDW version is nothing like the Paris version at all! I love Big Thunder Mountain. What can I say, they've refurbished the entire ride and it looks great now! Shame that you missed the fantasyland rides. They are always extremely crowded but very nice indeed.
I never smelt pee in the queues?
But hey, if anyone has questions about Disneyland Paris, don't hesitate to ask, maybe I can help you out.
We visited DLP a year ago October. Never ran into the "smell' that you discribed, but it rained all three days we were there so any offensive smells could have been washed away.
I enjoyed how close both parks were to each other. It was nice to be able to walk from Magic Kingdom to Studios.
We liked the POTC too. We ate at the restaurant inside one evening.
We stayed at the Sequoia as well. I didn't think that it was as "Disney" as I had hoped. I thought it was more European in amenities, but it was comfortable.
I would love to go back, but there is so much of France that I have yet to see that it seems a waste of time and money when there are so many more exotic things to see and do.
There was a major Spanish invasion when we were there. Crowd-wise it was a good time to go. Weather-wise it was not.
Originally Posted by Chantal
I did visit the Netherlands. We rented a car in Paris and drove up as far as Haarlem. Along the way we saw Amsterdam, (actually stayed in Haarlem through for 2 nights), and in Belgium we stayed in Antwerpen, Brugges, and Brussels. I was actually in the Netherlands 20 years ago and this was my first time back since then. I travelled all over the world but never had the opportunity to return. I love the Netherlands! I had forgotten how much everything is built to serve the bicycle there in Holland. It was there that I grew my love for the bicycle. I have been biking ever since. I can't wait to return one day and do a biking tour. Yes, I speak Dutch as well. I don't speak it as well as I did 20 years ago but I get by well enough. I even knew someone with your name(strange eh?). I knew a Chantal who grew up in Eindhoven. I'm sure it's not you ( that would make you 4 years old when I was there last) I often wonder what has become of her.
Also - Chantal - you seem to have been to DP quite a bit ( and WDW as well). If you haven't already been on a Disney Cruise you really must! When I went it was the funnest vacation I have ever been on. This is a must for every Disney nut (myself included and proud of it)
About the pee. I only smelled it once in a que at the Indiana Jones ride. It certainly could have been something else. I only mention it so those who visit won't be shocked. DP is very clean. No worries. GO TO DP!!!
After reading the above posts I feel I must return as I missed so much I definitely hope to get back to Paris one day. Then perhaps I shall see what I missed.
Thanks for sharing everybody!
Just got back from our 2nd trip to WDW including the New Year's Eve celebration (with a marriage proposal!). I think that I have been to DP about 13 times now and since August 2006 we have been having an Annual Passport, so more visits yet to come! Especially after the opening of some new rides in Disney Studios, we are going to check these out.
There are indeed more people in Holland named Chantal, so it's definitely not me, I am from Delft. Have you heard of it? It is the place were the prince of Orange was murdered, the royal family's funerals are and the place for Delft blue china. Actually the main thing that foreign people like about Holland is the bicycle paths. That's what we think is funny in America, the distances are so different and we hardly see bikes when we are in Orlando.