Thoughts about DLP

Clyde Birdbrain

Unknown Member
Original Poster
We recently returned from 3 days at Disneyland Paris where we rang in the New Year with my family. I grew up in Europe and went to DLP regularly in the 1990s and 2000s, then moved to the Orlando area where I have been an annual pass holder at Walt Disney World. I am very familiar with the Florida parks, so going back to DLP for the first time in 12 years was interesting.

Parc Disneyland is a beautiful park and the rides looked well maintained. However, I found that many areas were poorly managed and could be greatly improved. This is going to be a long post with things I didn’t like about DLP, but first here are some things that I did like a lot:
  • Beautiful Christmas decorations and the tree lighting ceremony with Mickey and Santa was very nice.
  • It’s A Small World is so good and the Christmas overlay is amazing. Loved this ride.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean is so much better than the one at Magic Kingdom.
  • I still love the arcades on either side of Main Street and I wish we had those in Florida.
  • The parade during the New Year’s Eve party was incredible. It went on forever; I think they used every character and every float from every parade they have.
  • The Big Hero 6 show during the New Year’s Eve party was super cool. Never seen anything like it.
  • The Christmas Big Band show at the Studios park with Mickey at the drums was awesome.
  • Finally got to ride Ratatouille and loved it. Looking forward to seeing it at Epcot.
  • Mickey’s PhilharMagic is so sharp compared to the version at Magic Kingdom. Makes this my favorite, even though the screen is so much smaller.
  • The official app was not very useful but we used the third party MagiPark app for wait times, which was great. It has some nice features like wait time notifications.
  • It was very busy but lines at attractions weren’t so bad. We were able to do everything we wanted. Small rides were under 30 minutes, popular rides between 30 and 60. Only Crush’s Coaster was over 60 minutes most of the time, but single rider took us only 20. Even Ratatouille wasn’t that bad and took us 5 minutes in the single rider line. Nothing like the 3 to 5 hour waits that several Disney World rides were getting during the same days.
Things I didn’t like:
  • There are by far not enough cast members. Before the turnstiles there were no CMs to help anyone out (which was needed as several guests in front of us hadn’t exchanged their voucher for a ticket and were sent back to the ticket windows, causing delays and frustration). After we went through the turnstiles at the Studios park there were no CMs to be seen either! I needed to ask something and I was looking around in disbelief that there was not a single CM to be seen and I ended up going to Guest Services. At a Florida park there are CMs everywhere to answer questions. We encountered severely understaffed quick service restaurants and food stands with just one CM (taking orders, handling payments, making coffee, making food, etc.), causing huge lines. This is unacceptable at any time during the year, but especially during the Holidays and during a €99 ($113) upcharge event. There weren’t the usual CMs with signs telling you where the end of the line is and things like that.
  • Cast members don’t enforce the rules. Guests were literally smoking everywhere in the parks, even in front of CMs who would not say anything about it. There were many people holding selfie sticks (which are not allowed at DLP either) during the parades and shows and cast members wouldn’t say anything. Guests climbed over fences to stand in places they shouldn’t stand. There was no crowd control at all during the parades or fireworks.
  • Many cast members are rude or don’t seem to care. Some CMs at the turnstiles would not even make eye contact. Many CMs would just say “no English” without any further effort to help us or just shrug. After the fireworks my elderly parents found two chairs that were part of a terrace from a food place and a guy behind the counter yelled “FERMÉ” at us and waved his hand to shoo us away. There was no reason why my parents shouldn’t be able to rest there for a minute as the park was still open for another hour. Completely ridiculous. We had many encounters like this. Hardly any smiles, no waving hands, not a single happy birthday from a cast member to my brother who was wearing a birthday button and birthday hat on one of the days. Waiters who just sneer at you and don’t say anything. Frowning faces and no eye contact when leaving the park. I don’t know if this is any different from when we used to visit DLP in the 2000s or whether we are now spoiled by the US parks. We had much friendlier encounters with store and restaurant employees in Paris than at DLP.
  • Quick service restaurants are poorly organized. Food seemed even more expensive than at Magic Kingdom: €4 ($4.50) for a coke, €16 ($18) for burger and fries, €70 ($80) for character dinner. I remember the quick service food being bad, but I didn’t remember the poor management and incompetence. Here are some examples:
    • We wanted to get a sandwich at the deli on Main Street and stood in a line that went by the food and finished at a register. The lines had metal barriers and were so narrow that you couldn’t move back to get something or even get close without getting in line. So you had to get in line just to see what they had, but none of the food was marked! Every person passing the wrapped sandwiches would pick each one up to figure out what was on it. There was a baguette with smoked salmon and a veggie baguette with very thin slices of carrot that looked extremely similar, causing a lot of confusion. Trying to get the attention of a CM behind the counter was almost impossible and they were not very helpful. When I eventually got someone’s attention and asked what each sandwich was, she also had to pick each one up to look! They were out of many things. The line moved very slowly and of course the hot pizza slices were the first thing in line and the cold stuff was at the end. There was so much wrong with this place and so many guests looked visibly irritated.
    • The Ratatouille area in the Studios park had some special food stands for the holidays similar to those at Epcot festivals. My wife got in line for soup. When she got to the front the person said that she had to first get in the other line to pay and then get back in this line to get the food. Many people made this mistake as there was no signage or anyone telling you what to do. When she finally ordered and paid she received no ticket or proof of her purchase! After another wait of 20 minutes in the pick-up line the CM had to remember what she ordered. The poor CMs looked frustrated by this process as well.
    • There was a small window in Fantasyland where my dad stood in line behind 8 other people to get coffee. He waited for about 30 minutes and watched the lone guy make waffles in the slowest possible way. To make a Belgian waffle he would put the ball of dough on the iron and then spend several minutes carefully smearing it around with a knife before closing it. This is completely unnecessary; you can just put the dough in and press it flat when you close it. We saw weird stuff like this everywhere and many people would get out of line because things were moving so slowly. They would seriously sell a lot more food and drinks if the CMs were better trained better and stands had more staff.
    • Another day we made the mistake of having lunch at Café Hyperion at Videopolis. After standing in one of the huge disorganized lines for 45 minutes we finally got to the register to order and the guy didn’t listen to anything we said or he was hard of hearing. We wanted to order the BB-8 souvenir mug and he had no idea what we were talking about. We kept pointing at the digital screen behind him when the BB-8 appeared, but by the time he moved around it would be gone. I ended up going to another register where the mug was displayed to take a picture and showed it on my phone. Some things in our order were wrong and I waited an extra 20 minutes for the right burger as my family was either theirs. All fries were cold and the burgers were not very good. We ended up throwing most of it away. Two of the drinks were even wrong.
  • Chaos. On New Year’s Eve the entire hub in front of the castle was packed with people and it seemed that only a handful of cast members were waving directional cones, but they were completely ineffective. There were no ropes or tape or any paths left open as they normally do in the US parks; the entire area in front of the castle including half of Main Street was full of people with no place to go. I found it very chaotic and even a little frightening. I am used to being in huge crowds at Magic Kingdom, but this was insane. Guests were pushing rudely to get through and my dad was almost pushed to the ground at one time. There was chaos and confusion in other areas as well as there is often no clear signage or not enough CMs to tell people where to go or what to do.
  • The Paris parks are technologically very far behind the Florida parks. It really made me appreciate the Magic Bands and FastPass+ system at WDW. There is Wifi in the parks, but it was extremely spotty and slow. The Disneyland app is very simple and pretty useless without restaurant menus, wait times, etc. The PhotoPass app did not work at all while we were there and the PhotoPass website was down the first 2 days. At the Studios park they use this bizarre third party “Lineberty” app to make reservations for Meet & Greets and it was the only way to see the characters. Many wait time signs at attractions are still simple non-digital signs that are changed by hand. CMs were not using mobile devices to scan our event tickets. There is a dining reservation website that is not advertised on the official website. I only found it linked from a third party site, but I had many problems with the website. I made a reservation for 5 people which ended up being for 1. The date on the confirmation page was always wrong (off by 1 day), but then right in the email. Obviously there is no mobile ordering or any of that cool stuff we have at Disney World. It just seemed to me like technologically not much had changed in the 12 years since we last visited.
  • PhotoPass+ was disappointing. We love PhotoPass at Disney World so we decided to get DLP’s PhotoPass+ for €75 ($86). We purchased it at the photo store on Main Street. We got it mainly for the ride photos, but I was hoping there would be some photographers walking around for the holidays. I asked the CM if there were photographers walking around and she said “in front of castle, maybe”. We didn’t see any on our 3 days. A lot of the character meet and greets had PhotoPass photographers and the ones we encountered were friendly and did a good job. After going on a ride that takes a photo there are screens with a number code as well as a QR code that you should be able to scan with the PhotoPass app, but this never worked (because of problems with the app) so we always went to the photo desk to have them add it for us. The photo would then appear in the app several hours later. Unfortunately the ride photos we received are all very weirdly cropped. Each photo has a lot of artwork around it and only a tiny portion shows the people, but the photos are cropped in a way that some people are cut off or the photo is completely misaligned. They look terrible. When you download a photo from the app it is in extremely low quality. There is a PhotoPass website, but it was down during most of our visit. The only way you can download the high resolution photos is via the (not mobile-friendly) website and you can only get all in a ZIP file, which makes it impossible to use them on your phone or tablet. You need a computer to do this, which is not very handy when you want to share the photos on social media when you’re in the park. This PhotoPass system is so far behind Disney World, where you can go on Seven Dwarfs and don’t even have to do anything to get a video of yourself on your phone.
  • The New Year’s Eve party was disappointing. This was an upcharge event of €99 ($113), which we found quite expensive for what you got. Apparently it was €49 last year, so they doubled the price. We didn’t get any freebies like snacks or not even hats or noise makers like you do at Epcot. The parade, Big Hero 6 show and fireworks were great, but everything was very chaotic and there were not nearly enough cast members to manage the people. There were 10 meet and greets, but many didn’t start until after 9pm and five didn’t even start until 10pm, so with lines more than an hour for most there was very little time to do them. All restaurants seemed to close at 6pm and the guide said that they would reopen at 8pm, so we had nothing to eat during this period. Most of the food stands were even closed. We did find the deli and Casey’s open before 8pm even though the guide said they would open at 8pm, so that wasn’t clear. Fantasyland closed at 10pm. There were some tables selling champagne for €10 ($11.50) per glass. Because of the lack of things to do throughout the park everyone started coming to the hub and Main Street around 10pm and just stood around. But without any crowd management this started to get pretty hectic quickly. Overall I didn’t find it worth the $113 per person if you compare it to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, which have a unique parade and offer free treats. I don’t think that the parade had any unique floats and the Big Hero 6 show seems to be reused from Halloween.
Despite all this we still enjoyed being back at DLP during the festive holiday season. Now that Disney owns the DLP Resort it’ll be interesting to see if anything changes in the coming years (other than higher prices). I would definitely like to go back after the planned expansion at Walt Disney Studios. Hopefully they will also invest in their cast members and quick service restaurants.
 

Swissmiss

Premium Member
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Wow. I’ve had poor service at DLP but compared to what you got, mine almost seems like it was good! There has been some minor improvements in technology at the hotels in the past few years as they have been renovating them, so I am hoping that this will eventually spill over to other areas. My big peeve is that, as an AP passholder the ONLY way I can reserve a room is by calling. And although there is a “dedicated” line for the type of AP pass I have, the wait times to call are longer than the regular reservation line and they don’t seem to have any information stored - each time I must give my AP info, mailing address and email info. And oddly, when I hit press whatever number for French, I usually get a CM who is not French mother tongue and if I choose the English option I usually get one who’s first language is French!
 

PixiePunk

New Member
I know that when I was there the problem with the Cast Members was poor communication skills. I'm going to write a big trip report that goes into detail soon (Kinda keeping it in wordpad as I tweek it) but we often got lost because all they did was say "Over there" and not elaborate when giving directions. There was a particular incident when the bus/train station got closed because of some kinda suspicious package and due to a locked gate and non specific directions we wound up walking the entire length of the parking lot in the rain before being told the buses were at the Manhattan resort by a British family who lead us over there. My friend was freaking out and she was in tears because no one told us anything and there were 0 cast members ANYWHERE to be seen, just scary policemen with rifles who barely spoke english and really didn't care about us.
 

Clyde Birdbrain

Unknown Member
Original Poster
I know that when I was there the problem with the Cast Members was poor communication skills. I'm going to write a big trip report that goes into detail soon (Kinda keeping it in wordpad as I tweek it) but we often got lost because all they did was say "Over there" and not elaborate when giving directions. There was a particular incident when the bus/train station got closed because of some kinda suspicious package and due to a locked gate and non specific directions we wound up walking the entire length of the parking lot in the rain before being told the buses were at the Manhattan resort by a British family who lead us over there. My friend was freaking out and she was in tears because no one told us anything and there were 0 cast members ANYWHERE to be seen, just scary policemen with rifles who barely spoke english and really didn't care about us.

I'm sorry you had to experience that. That sounds awful. Not seeing any cast members and lack of communication sounds very familiar. We were lucky that nothing happened during the insane crowds on New Year's Eve with no crowd management whatsoever, but when something bad does happen or in case of a potential emergency, as in your case, it is important that they have a plan in place and that cast members know what to do and communicate clearly to guests. This is just dangerous and irresponsible.
 

Swissmiss

Premium Member
I know that when I was there the problem with the Cast Members was poor communication skills. I'm going to write a big trip report that goes into detail soon (Kinda keeping it in wordpad as I tweek it) but we often got lost because all they did was say "Over there" and not elaborate when giving directions. There was a particular incident when the bus/train station got closed because of some kinda suspicious package and due to a locked gate and non specific directions we wound up walking the entire length of the parking lot in the rain before being told the buses were at the Manhattan resort by a British family who lead us over there. My friend was freaking out and she was in tears because no one told us anything and there were 0 cast members ANYWHERE to be seen, just scary policemen with rifles who barely spoke english and really didn't care about us.

Unfortunately the train station is not Disney’s but part of the French rail system. Nevertheless I agree with you that the train station needs to up its communication skills as it gets shut down and evacuated frequently. The French don’t mess around with any possible explosive device so any time someone forgets a bag on a bench or walks away from their luggage for a period, the station gets evacuated until the bag/luggage can get evaluated for a possible threat.
 

cjkeating

Well-Known Member
I know that when I was there the problem with the Cast Members was poor communication skills. I'm going to write a big trip report that goes into detail soon (Kinda keeping it in wordpad as I tweek it) but we often got lost because all they did was say "Over there" and not elaborate when giving directions. There was a particular incident when the bus/train station got closed because of some kinda suspicious package and due to a locked gate and non specific directions we wound up walking the entire length of the parking lot in the rain before being told the buses were at the Manhattan resort by a British family who lead us over there. My friend was freaking out and she was in tears because no one told us anything and there were 0 cast members ANYWHERE to be seen, just scary policemen with rifles who barely spoke english and really didn't care about us.

Just so I understand whereabouts were you trying to get from the train/bus station?

Also from working with armed police in the UK they may seem scary as they are carrying a weapon however in my experience in order to be trusted with a weapon armed police are even more professional and pleasant than an unarmed police officer. The intention is they should make you feel more secure not intimated although I understand in France they may not speak English which wouldn't help you in your situation.
 

IMDREW

Well-Known Member
We recently returned from 3 days at Disneyland Paris where we rang in the New Year with my family. I grew up in Europe and went to DLP regularly in the 1990s and 2000s, then moved to the Orlando area where I have been an annual pass holder at Walt Disney World. I am very familiar with the Florida parks, so going back to DLP for the first time in 12 years was interesting.

Parc Disneyland is a beautiful park and the rides looked well maintained. However, I found that many areas were poorly managed and could be greatly improved. This is going to be a long post with things I didn’t like about DLP, but first here are some things that I did like a lot:
  • Beautiful Christmas decorations and the tree lighting ceremony with Mickey and Santa was very nice.
  • It’s A Small World is so good and the Christmas overlay is amazing. Loved this ride.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean is so much better than the one at Magic Kingdom.
  • I still love the arcades on either side of Main Street and I wish we had those in Florida.
  • The parade during the New Year’s Eve party was incredible. It went on forever; I think they used every character and every float from every parade they have.
  • The Big Hero 6 show during the New Year’s Eve party was super cool. Never seen anything like it.
  • The Christmas Big Band show at the Studios park with Mickey at the drums was awesome.
  • Finally got to ride Ratatouille and loved it. Looking forward to seeing it at Epcot.
  • Mickey’s PhilharMagic is so sharp compared to the version at Magic Kingdom. Makes this my favorite, even though the screen is so much smaller.
  • The official app was not very useful but we used the third party MagiPark app for wait times, which was great. It has some nice features like wait time notifications.
  • It was very busy but lines at attractions weren’t so bad. We were able to do everything we wanted. Small rides were under 30 minutes, popular rides between 30 and 60. Only Crush’s Coaster was over 60 minutes most of the time, but single rider took us only 20. Even Ratatouille wasn’t that bad and took us 5 minutes in the single rider line. Nothing like the 3 to 5 hour waits that several Disney World rides were getting during the same days.
Things I didn’t like:
  • There are by far not enough cast members. Before the turnstiles there were no CMs to help anyone out (which was needed as several guests in front of us hadn’t exchanged their voucher for a ticket and were sent back to the ticket windows, causing delays and frustration). After we went through the turnstiles at the Studios park there were no CMs to be seen either! I needed to ask something and I was looking around in disbelief that there was not a single CM to be seen and I ended up going to Guest Services. At a Florida park there are CMs everywhere to answer questions. We encountered severely understaffed quick service restaurants and food stands with just one CM (taking orders, handling payments, making coffee, making food, etc.), causing huge lines. This is unacceptable at any time during the year, but especially during the Holidays and during a €99 ($113) upcharge event. There weren’t the usual CMs with signs telling you where the end of the line is and things like that.
  • Cast members don’t enforce the rules. Guests were literally smoking everywhere in the parks, even in front of CMs who would not say anything about it. There were many people holding selfie sticks (which are not allowed at DLP either) during the parades and shows and cast members wouldn’t say anything. Guests climbed over fences to stand in places they shouldn’t stand. There was no crowd control at all during the parades or fireworks.
  • Many cast members are rude or don’t seem to care. Some CMs at the turnstiles would not even make eye contact. Many CMs would just say “no English” without any further effort to help us or just shrug. After the fireworks my elderly parents found two chairs that were part of a terrace from a food place and a guy behind the counter yelled “FERMÉ” at us and waved his hand to shoo us away. There was no reason why my parents shouldn’t be able to rest there for a minute as the park was still open for another hour. Completely ridiculous. We had many encounters like this. Hardly any smiles, no waving hands, not a single happy birthday from a cast member to my brother who was wearing a birthday button and birthday hat on one of the days. Waiters who just sneer at you and don’t say anything. Frowning faces and no eye contact when leaving the park. I don’t know if this is any different from when we used to visit DLP in the 2000s or whether we are now spoiled by the US parks. We had much friendlier encounters with store and restaurant employees in Paris than at DLP.
  • Quick service restaurants are poorly organized. Food seemed even more expensive than at Magic Kingdom: €4 ($4.50) for a coke, €16 ($18) for burger and fries, €70 ($80) for character dinner. I remember the quick service food being bad, but I didn’t remember the poor management and incompetence. Here are some examples:
    • We wanted to get a sandwich at the deli on Main Street and stood in a line that went by the food and finished at a register. The lines had metal barriers and were so narrow that you couldn’t move back to get something or even get close without getting in line. So you had to get in line just to see what they had, but none of the food was marked! Every person passing the wrapped sandwiches would pick each one up to figure out what was on it. There was a baguette with smoked salmon and a veggie baguette with very thin slices of carrot that looked extremely similar, causing a lot of confusion. Trying to get the attention of a CM behind the counter was almost impossible and they were not very helpful. When I eventually got someone’s attention and asked what each sandwich was, she also had to pick each one up to look! They were out of many things. The line moved very slowly and of course the hot pizza slices were the first thing in line and the cold stuff was at the end. There was so much wrong with this place and so many guests looked visibly irritated.
    • The Ratatouille area in the Studios park had some special food stands for the holidays similar to those at Epcot festivals. My wife got in line for soup. When she got to the front the person said that she had to first get in the other line to pay and then get back in this line to get the food. Many people made this mistake as there was no signage or anyone telling you what to do. When she finally ordered and paid she received no ticket or proof of her purchase! After another wait of 20 minutes in the pick-up line the CM had to remember what she ordered. The poor CMs looked frustrated by this process as well.
    • There was a small window in Fantasyland where my dad stood in line behind 8 other people to get coffee. He waited for about 30 minutes and watched the lone guy make waffles in the slowest possible way. To make a Belgian waffle he would put the ball of dough on the iron and then spend several minutes carefully smearing it around with a knife before closing it. This is completely unnecessary; you can just put the dough in and press it flat when you close it. We saw weird stuff like this everywhere and many people would get out of line because things were moving so slowly. They would seriously sell a lot more food and drinks if the CMs were better trained better and stands had more staff.
    • Another day we made the mistake of having lunch at Café Hyperion at Videopolis. After standing in one of the huge disorganized lines for 45 minutes we finally got to the register to order and the guy didn’t listen to anything we said or he was hard of hearing. We wanted to order the BB-8 souvenir mug and he had no idea what we were talking about. We kept pointing at the digital screen behind him when the BB-8 appeared, but by the time he moved around it would be gone. I ended up going to another register where the mug was displayed to take a picture and showed it on my phone. Some things in our order were wrong and I waited an extra 20 minutes for the right burger as my family was either theirs. All fries were cold and the burgers were not very good. We ended up throwing most of it away. Two of the drinks were even wrong.
  • Chaos. On New Year’s Eve the entire hub in front of the castle was packed with people and it seemed that only a handful of cast members were waving directional cones, but they were completely ineffective. There were no ropes or tape or any paths left open as they normally do in the US parks; the entire area in front of the castle including half of Main Street was full of people with no place to go. I found it very chaotic and even a little frightening. I am used to being in huge crowds at Magic Kingdom, but this was insane. Guests were pushing rudely to get through and my dad was almost pushed to the ground at one time. There was chaos and confusion in other areas as well as there is often no clear signage or not enough CMs to tell people where to go or what to do.
  • The Paris parks are technologically very far behind the Florida parks. It really made me appreciate the Magic Bands and FastPass+ system at WDW. There is Wifi in the parks, but it was extremely spotty and slow. The Disneyland app is very simple and pretty useless without restaurant menus, wait times, etc. The PhotoPass app did not work at all while we were there and the PhotoPass website was down the first 2 days. At the Studios park they use this bizarre third party “Lineberty” app to make reservations for Meet & Greets and it was the only way to see the characters. Many wait time signs at attractions are still simple non-digital signs that are changed by hand. CMs were not using mobile devices to scan our event tickets. There is a dining reservation website that is not advertised on the official website. I only found it linked from a third party site, but I had many problems with the website. I made a reservation for 5 people which ended up being for 1. The date on the confirmation page was always wrong (off by 1 day), but then right in the email. Obviously there is no mobile ordering or any of that cool stuff we have at Disney World. It just seemed to me like technologically not much had changed in the 12 years since we last visited.
  • PhotoPass+ was disappointing. We love PhotoPass at Disney World so we decided to get DLP’s PhotoPass+ for €75 ($86). We purchased it at the photo store on Main Street. We got it mainly for the ride photos, but I was hoping there would be some photographers walking around for the holidays. I asked the CM if there were photographers walking around and she said “in front of castle, maybe”. We didn’t see any on our 3 days. A lot of the character meet and greets had PhotoPass photographers and the ones we encountered were friendly and did a good job. After going on a ride that takes a photo there are screens with a number code as well as a QR code that you should be able to scan with the PhotoPass app, but this never worked (because of problems with the app) so we always went to the photo desk to have them add it for us. The photo would then appear in the app several hours later. Unfortunately the ride photos we received are all very weirdly cropped. Each photo has a lot of artwork around it and only a tiny portion shows the people, but the photos are cropped in a way that some people are cut off or the photo is completely misaligned. They look terrible. When you download a photo from the app it is in extremely low quality. There is a PhotoPass website, but it was down during most of our visit. The only way you can download the high resolution photos is via the (not mobile-friendly) website and you can only get all in a ZIP file, which makes it impossible to use them on your phone or tablet. You need a computer to do this, which is not very handy when you want to share the photos on social media when you’re in the park. This PhotoPass system is so far behind Disney World, where you can go on Seven Dwarfs and don’t even have to do anything to get a video of yourself on your phone.
  • The New Year’s Eve party was disappointing. This was an upcharge event of €99 ($113), which we found quite expensive for what you got. Apparently it was €49 last year, so they doubled the price. We didn’t get any freebies like snacks or not even hats or noise makers like you do at Epcot. The parade, Big Hero 6 show and fireworks were great, but everything was very chaotic and there were not nearly enough cast members to manage the people. There were 10 meet and greets, but many didn’t start until after 9pm and five didn’t even start until 10pm, so with lines more than an hour for most there was very little time to do them. All restaurants seemed to close at 6pm and the guide said that they would reopen at 8pm, so we had nothing to eat during this period. Most of the food stands were even closed. We did find the deli and Casey’s open before 8pm even though the guide said they would open at 8pm, so that wasn’t clear. Fantasyland closed at 10pm. There were some tables selling champagne for €10 ($11.50) per glass. Because of the lack of things to do throughout the park everyone started coming to the hub and Main Street around 10pm and just stood around. But without any crowd management this started to get pretty hectic quickly. Overall I didn’t find it worth the $113 per person if you compare it to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, which have a unique parade and offer free treats. I don’t think that the parade had any unique floats and the Big Hero 6 show seems to be reused from Halloween.
Despite all this we still enjoyed being back at DLP during the festive holiday season. Now that Disney owns the DLP Resort it’ll be interesting to see if anything changes in the coming years (other than higher prices). I would definitely like to go back after the planned expansion at Walt Disney Studios. Hopefully they will also invest in their cast members and quick service restaurants.
Unfortunately I know what you’re talking about. I’ve had all the same experiences at DLP. I’m an annual passholder for both WDW and DLP and the difference between the two resorts is massive. I do have to say however that the DLP castmembers seem to be much more friendly and helpful in warmer/nicer weather. Seems weird but I’ve had wonderful castmember experiences during the summers. There are also much more photopass photographers during the busy summer months. There never are any during the rest of the year. Literally everyone hopes Disney fixes their castmember/service problems now that they own the resort. It can only go up from here I guess..
 

voodoo321

Well-Known Member
Just chiming in to support many the comments. I was there last holiday season and these observations were very close to what I experienced. I would've thought with the WDC buyout that some of these issues would get better. We had a great time though and Disneyland Parc is beautiful(Studios needs everything they planning for it and then some). The size of the resort is nice with the hotels within walking distance(long walk to some). It certainly helped that the parks were uncrowded(we went in late November) and our package was nearly half the price of WDW. Otherwise my overall feelings would not be positive.
 

GenerationX

Well-Known Member
We visited DLP a couple of years ago and were very impressed with the park. I spent a couple hundred hours learning French before our trip, so I approached everyone in French first. We received excellent service throughout, and none of the locals seemed to mind when we had to switch over to English so that I could catch more details.

The food at DLP (and all of France, for that matter) was simply phenomenal, and their Crystal Palace was a real stand out. Better than WDW's. Their fireworks show and castle projections topped WDW's, too. I liked hearing the pre-show announcement over the loud speakers in six different languages.
 

Clyde Birdbrain

Unknown Member
Original Poster
There are also much more photopass photographers during the busy summer months. There never are any during the rest of the year.

Really? So there are actual photographers walking around outside of the meet and greets? I don't understand why they wouldn't do this during the busy holiday season. There are so many great locations with all the Christmas decorations and it was extremely busy. At least have a photographer in front of the castle or Christmas tree on Main Street. So disappointing.
 
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Clyde Birdbrain

Unknown Member
Original Poster
The food at DLP (and all of France, for that matter) was simply phenomenal, and their Crystal Palace was a real stand out. Better than WDW's.

Nice to hear that you had a good experience. We were not impressed by the food. We went to Crystal Palace Plaza Gardens and many of the dishes were empty a lot of the time. Here is what it often looked like when we were there:

crystal-palace-2.jpg


crystal-palace-1.jpg


The buffet was split and both sides were almost identical. At one time I was in a huge line and a cast member told us that there was no one on the other side and that we should go there. So a bunch of us left the line and went to the other side. When we got there we encountered almost all of the pans were empty! So most of us went back and had to get back in the first line. I've never encountered this at a Disney World buffet restaurant.
 
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GenerationX

Well-Known Member
What a difference in experiences. We couldn't find a single thing not to like about DLP's Crystal Palace, but your experience looks and sounds awful. Admittedly, we were only there once and could have come at just the right time.
 

Sir_Cliff

Well-Known Member
Always interesting to hear these different experiences at DLP. I have read quite a lot of reports of rude cast members, but I can't recall ever seeing a cast member be rude or unhelpful during any of my visits. If anything, I have always been impressed at how easily they switch between languages in those frontline retail and fast food positions. Perhaps as a non-American who lives in Europe my expectations are different, though. European service generally is quite indifferent, so in that context DLP service has always seemed pretty great!

Other than breakfast, I've also always had a better experience with the food than in most of the US parks. Never been to Plaza Gardens, but I liked Walt's, Remy's Bistro, and Silver Spur Steakhouse. Never had a great meal at Blue Lagoon, admittedly, and the fast food is generally pretty awful as in all the parks. Both the hotel breakfasts and the options that come with half-board in the park are also pretty bad.
 
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ryguy

Well-Known Member
Other than Big Thunder and Space Mountain the place is not that great. Hotels not as nice, food quality pretty poor. The Studios were a joke. Disney village was weak. Merchandise not good. I did like their version of Pirates but it broke down when we were on it and we had to exit out the back and missed half the fireworks. No compensation offered for that like a fast pass. It was treated as a joke really. Unfortunately many rides and the nicer restaurants were closed when I was there last week. I said in another thread I believe the place would be better served closing down January and February, then they can do their maintenance projects, and the weather can get a little better. No fun walking around and riding outdoor rides in 30 degree temps. Combine that with too many closures with no discount off the price, Overall pretty disappointed with the place. Hopefully with Disney taking over there will be improvements.
 

BrittM

New Member
@Clyde Birdbrain I just read your post about your DLP experience and I couldn't agree more with you about the CM's in Paris. I try to go yearly to DLP and I always notice that there is a huge lack of CM's walking around and they can definitely use some more. Especially during parades or character meets. I would LOVE to work there and it would show. :joyfull: And surely there are some CM's that feel the same way, once in a while you bump into them. But DLP surely does miss the CM experience as a whole. Hopefully this will change in the near future. :D
 

Sir_Cliff

Well-Known Member
Other than Big Thunder and Space Mountain the place is not that great. Hotels not as nice, food quality pretty poor. The Studios were a joke. Disney village was weak. Merchandise not good. I did like their version of Pirates but it broke down when we were on it and we had to exit out the back and missed half the fireworks. No compensation offered for that like a fast pass. It was treated as a joke really. Unfortunately many rides and the nicer restaurants were closed when I was there last week. I said in another thread I believe the place would be better served closing down January and February, then they can do their maintenance projects, and the weather can get a little better. No fun walking around and riding outdoor rides in 30 degree temps. Combine that with too many closures with no discount off the price, Overall pretty disappointed with the place. Hopefully with Disney taking over there will be improvements.
Overall, I have a different view of DLP though I will concede that the Studios and Disney Village are very poor. Thankfully they are pumping money into the studios and we'll see what eventually happens with DV which, honestly, is pretty ugly beyond the newish World of Disney store. As for a ride breakdown being treated as a joke, that might be a cultural thing. I'm an Australian living in Europe, and I think that kind of attitude is something that appeals in France almost as much as it would in Australia but probably seems highly unprofessional in the US!

As for closing the park in January and February, I really don't agree with that. Paris is full of tourists at all times and life goes on even during these cold and grey months here. I do think, though, that DLP has to stop being so quick to close shops and restaurants early if not entirely at all times of the year. They have a very weird habit in DLP of bolting the doors and chasing paying customers away.
 

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