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Pre-Trip First Time to Disneyland Paris

meggo819

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
My in-laws have rented a house in the Loire Valley for the month of July and invited my husband & me to join them for a week. So we've decided to spend our first 2 nights in France at Disneyland Paris! We've booked at Disney's Hotel Santa Fe, as it was the cheapest option within walking distance of the parks. The package includes 3-day park hoppers.

We land at CDG Sunday morning around 9:30 am. We plan to take the TGV from the airport to Disney, but I have no concept of how long it will take us to deplane, get through customs, and get train tickets. Hopefully we'll be there in time to grab some lunch in Disney Village (I'm thinking Earl of Sandwich!), drop our bags at the hotel, and make it back over to the parks by 1pm?

My first goal is to see if we can still snag a FP for BTM. If not, we may bypass that at first and continue around the park clockwise. May or may not try to get FP for Indiana Jones, PPF, and/or Star Tours throughout the day. My other must-do's are Phantom Manor, PotC, Les Mystères du Nautilus, and the Sleeping Beauty gallery & dragon at the castle. I'm thinking dinner at Toad Hall, mostly because I want to check out the theming inside.

I'm not sure how long we'll last this night, having just traveled overseas, so we'll head back to the hotel whenever we get tired. Does anyone know how often hotel shuttles run? We might have to play it by ear on whether we walk or shuttle.
 

LisaBelle

Well-Known Member
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How exciting! I’ve never been there so I can’t answer any questions for you, but I will definitely be following your report!
 

Swissmiss

Premium Member
I would suggest you take the hotel shuttle from the train station to the Santa Fe first to drop your bags and then go to Earl of Sandwich, otherwise you are walking all the way from the station to your hotel lugging your bags. After that, don’t ever bother with the hotel shuttle - it’s easier to walk from the Santa Fe to the parks and the security line will be much quicker at that end of the Village (at DLP you go through security at the entrance to the Village, not at the entrance to the parks. We stayed at the Santa Fe just after Christmas for the first time and the walk didn’t feel much further than the walk from the Newport Bay.

For info, if you are a coffee drinker, there is a Starbucks at the Santa Fe. Or stop into Earls on the way to the parks if you don’t need it to be “fancy”

It is possible that BTMRR fast passes will still be available but they might be for into the evening. You might want to go to the parks for a couple of hours, do some of the walk thrus like the castle, dragon, etc, and then go to your hotel for a short nap (but don’t let yourself sleep for more than an hour or so).

Just a heads up - many of the food places at DLP are “seasonal” so Toad Hall might not be open. And I feel obligated to tell you that food is merely so-so at DLP 😕.

Don’t hesitate to ask if you have more questions 😀
 

Laurenciaa

Well-Known Member
I would suggest you take the hotel shuttle from the train station to the Santa Fe first to drop your bags and then go to Earl of Sandwich, otherwise you are walking all the way from the station to your hotel lugging your bags. After that, don’t ever bother with the hotel shuttle - it’s easier to walk from the Santa Fe to the parks and the security line will be much quicker at that end of the Village (at DLP you go through security at the entrance to the Village, not at the entrance to the parks. We stayed at the Santa Fe just after Christmas for the first time and the walk didn’t feel much further than the walk from the Newport Bay.

For info, if you are a coffee drinker, there is a Starbucks at the Santa Fe. Or stop into Earls on the way to the parks if you don’t need it to be “fancy”

It is possible that BTMRR fast passes will still be available but they might be for into the evening. You might want to go to the parks for a couple of hours, do some of the walk thrus like the castle, dragon, etc, and then go to your hotel for a short nap (but don’t let yourself sleep for more than an hour or so).

Just a heads up - many of the food places at DLP are “seasonal” so Toad Hall might not be open. And I feel obligated to tell you that food is merely so-so at DLP 😕.

Don’t hesitate to ask if you have more questions 😀
Second that!
 

Lily5170

New Member
Agreed. Santa Fe to the parks is not that long a walk and I 100% agree that the food at DLP is not very good and in my opinion very expensive so Earl of Sandwich is a good idea.

Keep Les Mystères du Nautilus, and the Sleeping Beauty gallery & dragon at the castle for when it's busiest as you can just walk in/through without waiting.

Have fun
 

meggo819

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Thank you all for the info/advice about the shuttles, food, and security! I had already been reading about the mediocre food, so I was wondering about the security situation. I’m glad to hear it’s before Disney Village, since that opens more options for food without having to go thru security multiple times.

One more question (for now!) - it looks like the hotel shuttles are right next to the train station - is that right?
 

ajrwdwgirl

Well-Known Member
This will be fun to follow. We went a few years ago and stayed at the Sequoia Lodge. It was a fun time and we enjoyed the park. The food is pretty terrible at DLP but we had a couple good meals like at Walt's, Bistro Chez Remy, and the Wild West show.
 

Lily5170

New Member
I agree, Walt's is one of the better restaurants as is Chez Rémy but as a whole DLP food is pretty bad and expensive.
In Disney Village we "like" King Ludwigs Castle , imo best price/quality ratio. Intresting happy hour if you like a beer :)
 

Laurenciaa

Well-Known Member
as @Lily5170 says, indeed right after the trainstation before the entrance of either Disneyland Park or Walt Disney Studios. I also had my bags gone through a metal detector thing when checking in in the Disneyland Hotel and New York Hotel last year. I was however, driving to the hotels. So don't know if they also do that when taking the shuttle.

Enjoy!
 

Swissmiss

Premium Member
as @Lily5170 says, indeed right after the trainstation before the entrance of either Disneyland Park or Walt Disney Studios. I also had my bags gone through a metal detector thing when checking in in the Disneyland Hotel and New York Hotel last year. I was however, driving to the hotels. So don't know if they also do that when taking the shuttle.

Enjoy!
They do (at least at Newport). But I don’t recall having to put the bags thru security when we took the shuttle from the train station to the Santa Fe.
 

Swissmiss

Premium Member
Thank you all for the info/advice about the shuttles, food, and security! I had already been reading about the mediocre food, so I was wondering about the security situation. I’m glad to hear it’s before Disney Village, since that opens more options for food without having to go thru security multiple times.

One more question (for now!) - it looks like the hotel shuttles are right next to the train station - is that right?
There is also a Five Guys, but because of where it is located, you’ll have to exit security and then go back thru security when you finish eating.

The buffet at the Santa Fe was decent enough.

Going thru security at DLP is not like going thru security at WDW - all bags go thru a scanning machine and all people walk thru metal detectors. While it can back up a bit on the train station entrances (because these are also the same entrances you use if you’ve driven there), on the hotel side I’ve only ever seen it back up when both runners and park guests are trying to go thru on the Friday evening before the 5k race in September.
 

meggo819

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Since we'll probably be heading to bed early on Sunday, I'm planning to make it to Extra Magic Time on Monday morning. We will head to Studios Park first to try to ride Crush's Coaster and Ratatouille with minimal waits. Other must-do's here are the Studio Tram Tour (MGM nostalgia for me, but I'm not sure my husband ever rode it there), TOT, RNRC, and Mickey & the Magician. As time allows, we'll also check out RC Racer and maybe the Moteurs… Action! Stunt Show.

This is where I'm not sure what to do about food. We've discussed Bistro Chez Remy, but I'm assuming we would need a reservation? But I'm hesitant to lock ourselves into a set time, when we really don't know how long we'll want to stay in this park. We might just play it by ear and try a walk-in & if that fails, leave the park in search of better options.

We're definitely planning a break/nap back in the room this day, because I want to spend the evening in Disneyland and catch the nighttime show at 11pm. We'll ride anything we planned but missed on the day before and hopefully some of my "tier 2" attractions -- Le Passage Enchanté d'Aladdin, Alice's Labyrinth, IASW, Pinocchio, Snow White, Le Pays des Contes de Fées, Mickey’s PhilharMagic, and Buzz. Again, I'm not sure what we'll do for dinner - maybe we *will* make a reservation for Walt's this night! Need to discuss more with Hubby.
 

meggo819

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
There is also a Five Guys, but because of where it is located, you’ll have to exit security and then go back thru security when you finish eating.
This is good to know, as this is definitely one of our back-up options! But it sounds like security is more efficient than WDW and wouldn't be a big deal to do this.
 

Swissmiss

Premium Member
This is good to know, as this is definitely one of our back-up options! But it sounds like security is more efficient than WDW and wouldn't be a big deal to do this.
Not at all - that particular security doesn’t have a lot of people going thru it so it’s only a problem if you forget you have a glass bottle in your backpack ...
 

PacNWTigger

Well-Known Member
Make sure you do Crush Coaster first because they do not have FP. At least they didn't when we were there a few years ago around the same time as @ajrwdwgirl hey do have FP for Ratatouille, and should be pretty easy to grab right after Crush.

Oh...random heads up about Earl of Sandwich. They have co-ed bathrooms there. Not a big deal, but it can be a little surprising if you're not expecting it.
 

meggo819

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
On Tuesday, we'll be playing it by ear -- catching anything we missed and/or re-riding our favorites. I still need to check train schedules to figure out what time we need to leave to make it to the in-laws rental house.

For someone used to spending a week in WDW, this feels like such a rushed trip, but I'm hopeful that it's plenty of time to accomplish everything that we want to! I appreciate all the advice, and I will post pics after the trip!
 

Swissmiss

Premium Member
It’s not the same - everything is very close so you won’t be wasting time getting to and from parks. Take advantage of the extra hour in the morning and some of the single rider lines (a huge timesaver on Ratatouille- usually even faster than FP lines because of the ride configuration; you might even end up in the same ride vehicle, just one behind the other instead of next to one another). Single rider is not a time saver on Crush’s Coaster, so that should be your first stop in that park and just do the regular line,
 

PopPopBear

Member
My wife and I have plans to visit DLP next May for three nights/four days before our ABD Rhine River Cruise. I will be following your report to pick up any pointers.
 
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