Post by mrsslocombe on Sept 30, 2022 12:27:30 GMT -5
My sister and I just spent 4 days in Disneyland Paris (booked thanks to TamiTaylor!). Here’s a quick rundown of everything:
Arrival: We flew from Berlin to Paris Orly on Easy Jet. To get to DLP your options are taxi, train (about 90 minutes with 1-2 transfers), or the Magic Shuttle for 23 euro. We just did the Berlin Marathon the day before so we opted for the Magic Shuttle. It’s a little expensive but worth the door to door service. It’s about 40 minutes without traffic.
Hotel: Disney’s Hotel Cheyenne. It’s the cheapest of their hotels but suited our needs perfectly. We basically only sleep in the room so we don’t need anything fancy. We chose the basic room with 1 double bed + trundle. The trundle actually lifts up so it becomes a double bed. We both slept like a rock every night, the beds are firm (like nearly all European beds) but I like it that way. The rooms are Woody/Toy Story themed which is cute. The hotel itself has an American West theme which has some problematic elements (Pictures of Mickey in a Native American headdress, teepees and other Native American stereotypes, etc). They have a Starbucks on site and then a buffet restaurant, no quick service. It’s about a 15 minute walk to the parks, very easy, though they also run shuttles. Check in was quick and painless. The rooms are spread out in two story buildings-we were on the top floor, there are no elevators.
Parks: There are two parks at DLP-Disneyland and Disney Studios. Disneyland is a similar layout to Disneyland CA & Magic Kingdom. Studios has some overlapping elements as Hollywood Studios.
Disneyland Park: Overall the park is beautiful. Great landscaping, the castle is gorgeous. There’s a lot more room to walk, they haven’t crammed it full like Magic Kingdom. They also have a lot of areas to just explore and for kids to wander around, like Alice’s Curious Labyrinth, Adventure isle (which has caverns and rope bridges and stuff like that), a walkthrough Aladdin area, etc. Another nice feature is that most of the buildings are free standing, they aren’t a facade with a plain rectangular box behind them, so the attractions are in these gorgeous buildings you can look around 360 degrees. They definitely have the best layout for Fantasyland.
Studios: This park is downright terrible to be honest. It’s very small, you can walk from one end to the other in about 5 minutes. The “lands” are all right on top of each other, there’s no space so it’s very crowded. They only have 5 bathrooms in the entire park and they are mostly small so the lines are bad. Over all it’s just poorly thought out. They have some good rides but really I wonder WTF they were thinking when they designed this park.
Attractions/rides: Mostly similar to ones that are in WDW, but there are a lot fewer than in WDW or CA. Overall we thought the designs were scarier for little kids. Pirates, for instance, is much longer and much more heavy on the skeletons/lightening/thunder vs jolly pirates. Their Tower of Terror has two different versions-one of which is absolutely terrifying (I mean, we loved it, but I imagine some kids would be messed up for life by it).
Lines: Not awful, most things were 30 minutes or less and wait times vary a lot throughout the day. You can easily ride everything at both parks in two days.
Fast Pass: they use something called Premiere Pass. You either pay for an individual attraction (5-15 euro depending on attraction) or a flat rate to ride each of the included rides once. We did not pay for this. If you only have a day I can see it being worth it but generally there aren’t that many rides included.
Food: It’s like what WDW was like prior to about 2010/the rise of Instagram. Very few places to each, almost no snacks/carts/etc. And things close really early. The food we got was fine but nothing special. They have mobile ordering at a couple places but it takes forever to pick up your order. In general things just take a lot longer.
Characters: this is an area where they need a LOT of improvement. They don’t have very many out, and most are only out from 11:30-1:30 every day. You can Meet Mickey from 10-5pm and the Princesses from 10-5 but those lines are 2+ hours. For the Princesses you only get to meet ONE princess and you can’t choose. The performers were all very good that we meet, on par with Florida but it’s just a frustrating experience because they don’t have the system down to move people through the line efficiently.
Parades/shows: 4x per day they do their 30th Anniversary Dream…Shine Brighter parade/show at the castle and it is AMAZING. We seriously watched it at least 4 times, the songs are so catchy. Their evening parade is good but not as memorable. At Studios we went to Mickey & the Magician which everyone raves about. It was…fine? It has a very large cast and nice touches. I guess I was expecting more but I don’t love the shows at WDW so maybe it’s just not my thing?
Fireworks: Can’t compare with the WDW show, but it’s a combo of castle projections, lasers, fountains, fire, fireworks, etc. It’s good but you definitely need a VERY good spot to really enjoy it.
Photopass: We opted to get it, they don’t have very many photographers out. Just ones at the castle/Studios entrance area, about 50% of the time the characters had a photographer with them. And then the ride photos. We did it because this was a once in a lifetime trip, but it’s definitely not as good a value as it is in FL or CA.
Language: all cast members speak French and enough English to do basic things. Also most spoke Italian and Spanish. We didn’t have any language issues. Rides are mostly mixed with both english and French so you miss some things but get the general idea. I loved the mix, it made even rides that are the “same” as in the US feel different (Buzz Lightyear in French is fun.
Best rides: Hyperspace Mountain (sooooooo much better than Space Mountain), Tower of Terror (if you like being creeped the fuck out), Crush’s Coaster, Remy
Worst rides: the Teacups don’t spin. It’s my sister & I’s favorite ride normally. We were crushed. The train is pretty boring, even compared to other parks.
Walking: even with the 15 minute walk to/from our hotel, the most we ever did was 25k steps which is LOW for my sister and I. We often do 30k easily in WDW because we criss cross the park constantly. If you are not maniacs like us you probably only do about 15k steps or less a day.
Departure: We used Magic Shuttle again to go back to Orly. Our flight was at 6:45pm and we took a 3:10 shuttle. Traffic was pretty bad so we didn't make it to the airport until about 4:30 which made me really nervous. Thankfully there was zero line at Orly Terminal 4 so we made it to the gate in plenty of time, but if I had to do it over I would have taken the 2:10 shuttle.
TL;DR: I’ve been to WDW, CA, and Dl Tokyo and it’s definitely not as good as any of those, but we still had a really good time and are glad we went. I’d recommend two full days-you can do Studios in about half a day and then really enjoy Disneyland for the rest of the time.
Happy to do a full day by day, ride by ride breakdown if anyone is actually interested in reading a novel
Post by dcrunnergirl52 on Oct 1, 2022 7:24:48 GMT -5
Thanks so much for this! I love reading about it. What a great sister trip!
We did DLP in 2019, and felt the same as you, especially about the dining options. I'd definitely go back though only b/c when we were there, they were doing massive construction at Disneyland and the park felt very constricted b/c much of it was closed off or fenced.