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DLP, General/specific/good/bad tips/advice desired

Discussion in 'Disneyland Paris' started by George, Feb 12, 2017.

  1. George

    George Liker of Things Premium Member

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    So, we're planning a Euro vacation summer of 2018 complete with a couple of days at DLP. Any general tips or advice would be appreciated. After 10-15 minutes of research...I learned that the main advantage to staying at one of the official Disney hotels was that you got early park admission and breakfast. Sounds OK. Looks like other, nice, more inexpensive joints are also walking distance. So, I was wondering if it was generally considered advantageous to stay at a Disney resort or it the consensus was that saving money was the way to go. Also, regardless of Disney or non-Disney, specific hotel recommendations and reasons for recommendations (on the off chance our tastes differ) are appreciated. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Animaniac93-98

    Animaniac93-98 Well-Known Member

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    After March 28 DLP hotels will no longer include the continental breakfast. That's only included if you purchase a meal plan (half or full board). Breakfast included is a fairly common amenity at European hotels, so it's not a Disney-only thing.

    Early entry is 8:00-10:00am. Mostly at Disneyland Park, but sometimes at the Studios. The other benefit of staying on site is the ease of access to and from the parks. All of them offer bus service, but even the furthest from the park is only a 20 min walk away. That's nice when it's late at night and you're done watching the fireworks. The partner hotels also offer shuttle service and they drop you off at the same place the Disney buses, the RER and TGV do.

    There's a promo going on now for 30% off + free half board meal plan on the UK site (disneylandparis.co.uk) if you stay 2 or more nights. There's no "room only" booking option for DLP so all packages include length of stay hopper tickets, room and in this case breakfast + a second meal voucher for lunch or dinner at a TSR, CSR or buffet. The best value for money would be at Sequoia Lodge, a 3-star version of WDW's Wilderness. Avoid the grossly overpriced Disneyland Hotel and New York since neither have rennovated rooms.

    Whether it's better to stay in or out of Disney is really a matter of what you're looking for and willing to pay. Are you staying in Paris at any point on your trip? If so, it may be best to just book extra nights there and take the train in.
     
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  3. George

    George Liker of Things Original Poster Premium Member

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    Yeah, we'll be in Paris. We're thinking of hitting two or three cities and the surrounding environs. Paris is the one must do. Not because of Disney. I speak a bit of French and have spent 8 weeks of my adult life in Paris so I know the layout, I can use the Metro, etc. Also, I'm an American outlier in that I get along OK with the French. The other places we're considering are London (I've never been in an English speaking European country, so that would be different), Munich (intimidating to me, I don't know any German, but it looks like it is a lot of fun), Barcelona, Amsterdam, and Edinburgh (daughter has a fixation on Scotland).

    Since we are staying in Paris for sure, we decided to check out the resort. I kind of want to stay on property since it is an expensive trip for us already (just by virtue of buying the plane tickets). However, I could be talked out of it. Summer looks like it is a busy season. How much of an advantage is the early entry?
     
  4. Swissmiss

    Swissmiss Well-Known Member

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    To be honest, I find the DLP hotels way overpriced for what you get, particularly when comparing to WDW, and there aren't enough rides open for me to find value in it; I suppose if you get there right at 8 am, but when I've arrived closer to 9 am Peter Pan was already at a 45+ minute wait and Dumbo at 30 minutes. The other fantasyland attractions are the Carrousel and Teacups (which even on a very busy day this last one is still a walk-on or a one turn wait). Then in Tomorrowland there is Buzz and Space Mountain (which I won't do at DLP because of the loop). I find it more useful to get inside the Studios early in order to get in line for Crush or Rataouille for when they first start running.

    I totally agree with the other poster than the Disneyland Hotel and the New York Hotel are so not worth the price, and that the Sequoia is fairly good value for money. Personally, I don't find the DLP hotels to be any better themed than the neighboring ones (which if you were to stay at one of them, if you want better rates book them directly on the hotel's own website or a booking service and not thru DLP's website). As you mentioned you know your way around Paris and are comfort with the metro etc, it really is quite easy to take the RER A out to DLP, and you won't be crammed on a shuttle bus to boot (the same shuttle bus now services 5 offsite hotels).

    One last thing, the other poster might know of some pathways that I don't, but having participated in the DLP half marathon last year, I don't think it is only a 20 minute walk from the nearby hotels (I also don't recall there being sidewalks the whole way, but I was pretty tired by that point!)
     
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  5. Animaniac93-98

    Animaniac93-98 Well-Known Member

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    I meant the farthest Disney hotels (Chyenne & Santa Fe), not the partner ones.
     
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  6. Swissmiss

    Swissmiss Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for clarifying - I was remembering another thread in which someone insisted they walked to/from the partner hotels in 15-20 minutes. Yes, the half marathon route took us around those two hotels and while they appear somewhat far because of the route their shuttle bus takes, I was quite surprised at how close they were on foot.
     
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  7. The Empress Lilly

    The Empress Lilly Well-Known Member

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    I always stay in Paris itself and train myself to DLP. However, the train ticket is €15 something (kids half price), so with a party of four that eats away at the price difference between on and off site. Plus you lose two hours a day.
     
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  8. peep

    peep Active Member

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    Doesn't that end up a bit stressful though in the Summer months? With a late closing it can be a rush to get one of the last RER trains back into Paris (had a friend who nearly missed the last one once). Staying on site/in a partner/in the nearby Val d'Europe is less stressful and less of a journey after a long day in the parks.

    I'm in agreement with the others that on-site is over-priced, especially with the lack of breakfast included.

    How many days were you thinking of going to the parks? If you're looking at 3 days it might be worth looking at the annual passes (really cheap compared to the American ones), the two higher tiers include magic hours and all 3 include discounts in the shops and restaurants. Info here - http://www.dlpguide.com/planning/booking/annual-passports/
     
  9. The Empress Lilly

    The Empress Lilly Well-Known Member

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    All of these are excellent destinations.

    The problem with Europe is not to find great destinations, but to decide which ones you will never going to see in your lifetime. You could literally take an outline of the map of Illinois or Indiana, transpose it on an area on Western Europe, (say, England, or the Low Countries, or Northern Italy) and a lifetime wouldn't suffice to see every must-see within in.
    To pick three or four European cities is impossible. I have no idea how non-Europeans go about trying to do Europe. I am nowhere near getting close to seeing the highlights and I've done Europe from the Polar circle to Gibraltar, from the northwest of Scotland to the southeast of Greece,

    As coincidence would have it, I'm familiar with all your options:
    Paris - my second favourite city in the world. Needs no elaboration.
    Munich - My favourite city in Germany might be Hamburg. Actually, my favourite area in Germany would the Moselle Valley. Old German villages that look like blueprints of WS Germany. Same size too. Combined with old castles perched on mountaintops and the city of Trier, which mixes Roman monuments with Romanesque cathedrals and mediaeval German squares.
    I think Europeans tend to go to Berlin. But it suffers from heavy damage, and is modern in many areas. Munich is where the Americans go. And rightly so, I guess. More unspoiled, more stereotypical German, situated in the most charismatic German region of Bavaria, the Alps in the distance. If you are only ever going to see one city in Germany Munich might be the best choice.
    - London. Incredible. A sight to behold. London's claim to be the center of the world is as good as New York's. Maybe better. I was on Primrose Hill last year, with my London-based gf. It overlooks the center of London, and is also where the main characters of 101 Dalmatians took a walk. From there great walks can be had into Regent's Park, or up the canal to Camden Locks. Perfect day. ^_^

    [​IMG]

    - Edinburgh. On my way to Edinburgh two years ago some American on the train was boasting how it was Europe's best city. Which I thought a silly thing to say. But I must say, Edinburgh's claim to be Europe's greatest tourist city is as good as anyone else's. Much as I love neighbouring Glasgow - fabulous and grand, Edinburgh is the more emblematic city. The more Scottish. From the center of town you look out onto the harbour, you can walk straight into the Highlands. There is a castle on the hill, there is an old town and new town (where you feel the famous Scottish Enlightenment). A perfect destination.
    Be sure to watch Trainspotting I for preparation on local culture. :D
    - Barcelona. Fantastic city. Although for my liking, however great Barcelona might be, even just on the Iberian peninsula I prefer Lisbon. This would be the one I'd skip if you have to choose. Yes, I realise half of Europe would have me burn at the stake for saying this about their favourite city.
    - Amsterdam. The finest city in Northern Europe. By far the greatest of the smaller European cities. The center of the world in the 17th century world and it shows. Great to combine with London and Paris, and also with a few side trips to Belgium (Bruges is a mediaeval time-machine, my pick if you are only ever going to see one place in Belgium)

    Prague, Vienna, Rome, Venice and Florence want to have a word with you...
     
  10. George

    George Liker of Things Original Poster Premium Member

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    I've spent a fair bit of time in Vienna, Venice, and Rome. I've not hit Prague nor Florence. I'm not a big fan of the one city/area every other day type thing. Actually, in my perfect world, we'd spend the whole two weeks in one area. And upping my time spent in Paris log would be more than A-OK with me. However, the wife is a tour group, get a move on type person. Thus, we compromise. I really want to limit this to 2 or 3 stops maximum. It is funny that you mentioned Vienna. I was talking to my 11 year old, very musically inclined daughter about how much she'd love it. I'm assuming the kids will be back and maybe we will even be back as a family. After this trip, our next big non-Disney family vacation will be hitting some of the big parks out in the western U.S. The kids have seen Sedona and the Grand Canyon, but Yellowstone and Yosemite are must dos before they graduate high school.

    Anyway, thanks for the advice. It is most appreciated.:D
     
  11. mandstaft

    mandstaft Well-Known Member

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    The Empress Lilly and I share many of the same thoughts here. If you're focusing on Paris (my favorite city of all), two words of advice. If you're going to the top of Notre Dame, go first thing in the morning. Looks us three trips as we waited till later in the day, and missed getting on that by this much. Secondly, Musee de Orsay is a must if you love the Impressionists. The cafe by the clock face is very very good and reasonably priced. DLP? No castle park will ever seem as magical as this one. You'll be spoiled for life.
     
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  12. Den Carter

    Den Carter Active Member

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    Unless I can get a really great annual pass discount at one of the on-site hotels, I swear by Airbnb. There are dozens of great value apartments in nearby Serris, which is 20 mins walk to the parks, or there's a shuttle bus that picks up in the village. It saves me an absolute fortune as I visit every month or two. Expect to pay around €100 a night for an apartment that sleeps 4-5. The drawback is you lose extra magic hours, but depending on the duration of your stay an annual pass may be good value in which case you can still get EMH.
     
  13. mickeyfan5534

    mickeyfan5534 Well-Known Member

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    So I'll be visiting Paris in June for the whole month. When's the best time to go, where are the best places to eat in the park, and what are the top things I need to see while there. I'll probably only have a couple days to go at most and the top of my list is the 25th stuff.
     
  14. Den Carter

    Den Carter Active Member

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    June should be fine crowd-wise as long as you go on a weekday. Avoid weekends.

    The best dining in the parks, in my view, is are Walt's. It's a superb fine dining restaurant. If all-you-can buffets are your thing, both Café Agrabah and Plaza Gardens are very good value.

    DLP has the world's best BTM so you should definitely ride that. Space Mountain is also way better than the US parks' version, although it'll be Hyperspace Mountain by then. Pirates is also better than WDW, but it'll be closed in June. The other rides that you've probably done before like Star Tours, Tower, RnR, etc are pretty much the same, so don't rush to do it.

    Show-wise you must watch Mickey and the Magician and Forest of Enchantment (if it's back on by then). Both superb.

    The new 25th parade and nighttime spectacular are sure to be excellent.
     
  15. JillC LI

    JillC LI Well-Known Member

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    It sounds like you travel similar to our family. We did a family trip to Europe with both teenage kids in July 2015. Flew to Munich (which was the 4th time there for DH and me - don't be intimidated - it's a beautiful city and the people are so friendly), and rented a car and drove through Austria, Switzerland, Leichtenstein, and Paris. We spent one full day at DLP which was very easy to get to by RER from the city, and while we didn't do everything in both parks, we did A LOT! You can look at my trip report from July 2015 for tips.

    Two years earlier we also did a family trip to the western US, rented a car and visited Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, and Grand Canyon National Parks. Wonderful memories. We try to alternate a Disney trip with a non-Disney trip every other year so the kids get to see the world.
     
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