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Visiting DLP for the first time! Any recommendations?

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  • Visiting DLP for the first time! Any recommendations?

    I'm planning a trip to London for sometime in the spring, and I figured I'd go to Paris as well, since it's not really that expensive to go from one place to the next, and flights TO Europe are pricey enough to make this worth "doubling up" on famous cities. I want to do some of the cultural stuff in Paris, but since I'm a Disneyphile, I'll also visit their parks.

    By May, it seems like they'll be finished all of the refurbs except for Pirates, which is fine. I love that one, but I've been to so many Disney Parks lately that I can do without that one.

    Some questions I have:
    1) Would you recommend staying on property? Apparently Paris is 30 min. away, so I could save some time. Are the hotels there terribly expensive? I'm not a stickler for "big, nice hotel rooms".
    2) What amount of time would you recommend? I usually go for all day long, but I've heard the parks are a bit less... involved than most of the other ones. I can do Magic Kingdom in 2 days easily, Epcot in 1.5 days, and the Japanese ones in 2 each- would 2 days be good enough for both Parisian parks (I understand the secondary park here is kind of lame)?
    3) What's the best way to get from London to Paris cheaply?
    4) Which park attractions are better/worse/different from the American ones?
    5) Would April or May be better?

  • #2
    1) Staying "on Disney property" would be very expensive, unless you get some off-season deal with the lesser-value hotels (avoid the Davey Crocket Ranch by all means, it is quite far from the parks and the only one that is not to some extent on walking distance). If not, you can get hotels at Val d'Europe for much cheaper, its a town located one train station before Disneyland, no longer than a 6 minute ride to the parks. If you plan to stay in Paris to experience the city, you could always stay IN Paris and take the Regional train to the parks - its about 50 minutes and I believe it was like 14 euros both ways. The last train from the Parks to Paris runs at around 12.30 AM. You can find Hotels of all price ranges in Paris. The line that takes you there is RER A Direction Marne la Vallee. It stops in several places across Paris, including Charles de Gaulle-√Čtoile, Auber, Chatelet-Les Halles, Gare de Lyon and Nation.

    2) I recommend a day long. I dont think that in either April or May the parks open until 11 PM as they do in the summer - better check the schedule. In a whole day you can easily do both parks and check the Disney Village as well as the Hotels (each hotel is very pretty, I highly recommend going to the Fantasia Lounge at the Disneyland Hotel to take a break with a nice beer, you can always enter the park right afterwards). One day would be enough, I find 2 to be too long.

    3) If you book in advance, you can get a great deal on the Eurostar, that will take you both to Disneyland and to central Paris. You could always take a low-cost airline, but it is not worth it since they fly from and to distant airports and you'll waste at least a couple of hours getting to and from the airport into the city. I believe the service is from London Saint Pancras station to Paris Est passing by Marne la Valle (Disneyland's location).

    4) Disneyland Park is stunning, although you will notice how sorely it lacks attractions compared to the US parks. Pirates is better, Phantom Manor is unique, and Space Mountain and Big Thunder are vastly superior if you like thrills. What the park doesnt have in attractions, makes for in nook and crannies. It has some intricate walkthroughs and two gorgeous arcades on Main Street USA, and also the Dragon's Lair underneath the castle.WDS is quite sad, but has some unique attractions too. Do not miss Cinemagique, Mickey and the Magician, Crush's Coaster and Ratatouille (these last two have notoriously long queues, I recommend taking a 1 day 2 parks ticket and doing this park in the morning so you can benefit from Fastpass and-or single rider lines). Also do not miss the new 25th anniversary night show, it is bound to be fantastic.

    5) The 25th Anniversary starts on 26th March 2017, so either month would be good. I think April would have slightly lighter crowds, but May should not be terrible either. Make sure to visit on a weekday (Tuesdays are the least crowded days!). Weather-wise, both months might be rainy.

    Comment


    • #3
      I'd second the advice above.

      Travel - take the Eurostar there is one direct train from London st Pancras to the resort each day or you can change - I'd recommend changing at Lille Europe if you can and are staying near the resort it's easier than dealing with the metro / rer.

      Accomodation - Val de Europe is definitely the most economic choice. You are outside the bubble but very close - 1 metro stop or a short bus ride. The area has a large mall for food etc and was actually planned by Disney so is interesting if you like urban planning. It's also only 45 mins or so from central Paris so easily doable as a day trip.

      time / what to see - one day is doable but two is about right for a good pace. Definitely go on a weekday My highlights would be the unique areas of the park - phantom manor, space mountain and pirates are different from other versions the dragon under the castle and the nautilus are both good walk throughs. Small world is different from the Mary Blair versions and casey jnr is a mini rollercoaster.

      If if you haven't been make sure you visit Paris as well. The city is lovely. If you like art cost the orangery gallery for some amazing monet paintings or of course the louvre, Eiffel Tower, arc de triomphe etc

      in London (my home city) a good tip,is try and get sky garden tickets - it's a free observation deck tickets are usually released a couple of weeks before on their website. Most of the museums in London are also free and really good

      i hope you have a great holiday

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      • #4
        We're taking a very different tactic ourselves. We're staying seven nights at the Vienna Castle hotel in Val de France, right across the street from the Disney Santa Fe. It is so cheap as to be practically free. We're picking up dream APs which give free early morning hours. We plan to do the parks every morning, leave most mid days to do something in Paris and return most evenings for parades and shows. So we plan on being in the parks part of all seven days and seeing Paris sights during most days/

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        • #5
          Cool, thanks for the advice, everyone!

          I'm doing London from May 9-15, and plan on leaving on the 15th for Paris. I'll do Disneyland on the 16th & 17th (weekdays), then go to Paris itself for the rest(I'll have three full days there, then leave on the fourth at some point). I booked my London hotel already (Royal Hotel London), but need to figure out the logistics of going around Paris. For example... I kind of want to spend the 15th in London (I have a pretty full docket of stuff to check out), THEN go to my DL Paris hotel- but most trains seem to leave mid-day at the latest. Plus I want to leave my DL Paris hotel for a Parisian one, to avoid 40+ minute train trips every day.

          It wouldn't be an issue, except I like to get up early on vacation days so that I can be first in line for stuff (Louvre, Disneyland, etc.). Should I just stick to the DL Paris hotel (or... just a Paris one, I guess) and stay in the one? The prices in the hotels you guys are talking about seem quite fair, so that might be for the best, and even cheaper, than staying in Central Paris.

          The only unfortunate thing about my timing is that Pirates of the Caribbean will be down during my stay. How is it better than the other Pirates rides? I've seen the YouTube video- it just looks the same, but with the set-pieces in different order (Battle, then Jail, then Burning Village, then Skeletons). No Johnny Depp I guess, which is a plus. But I hear people talk like it's definitely the best ever.
          Last edited by Jabroniville; 02-03-2017, 02:12 AM.

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          • #6
            ^ What makes(made?) Paris' Pirates arguably the best begins with the exterior... there is a whole sub-area dedicated to it with small village, fiery beacon and numerous paths.


            Then you get to the queue... which is awesome, as you descend into the fortress dungeons emerging in moon-lit Blue Lagoon. The ride itself has some nice plusses from the American versions: In place of Anaheim's Bayou, you begin by sailing through a wrecked ship with an AA octopus, then there is the storming-the-fort battle addition (done via shadow projections, like the Everest yeti shadow). You have a few AA enhancements, including dueling pirates and one swinging overhead.

            Sorry you're going to miss it.
            http://www.idealbuildout.blogspot.com/

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            • #7
              Originally posted by RandySavage View Post
              ^ What makes(made?) Paris' Pirates arguably the best begins with the exterior... there is a whole sub-area dedicated to it with small village, fiery beacon and numerous paths.


              Then you get to the queue... which is awesome, as you descend into the fortress dungeons emerging in moon-lit Blue Lagoon. The ride itself has some nice plusses from the American versions: In place of Anaheim's Bayou, you begin by sailing through a wrecked ship with an AA octopus, then there is the storming-the-fort battle addition (done via shadow projections, like the Everest yeti shadow). You have a few AA enhancements, including dueling pirates and one swinging overhead.

              Sorry you're going to miss it.
              Sadly, the dueling pirates and the swinging pirates have been missing in action for some years now, I am sure they will be gone for good after the rehab

              And about missing the ride, it depends. Are you used to the California version, or to the Florida version? If you have only experienced the Florida version, it is a relative pity - if not, its not that different from California, just backwards and as stated, with a few enhancements here and there.

              Comment


              • #8
                I've ridden the California, Florida & Japan versions before. It looks pretty similar to those, but in reverse order with the scenes. Does it have the pirate skeleton steering the ship in the rain? That's always my favorite individual scene in the attraction.

                I didn't notice the Octopus in the ride-through video I saw, but I did notice some swordfighting pirates, and I think some dude swinging around a ship's sail. Do they skip the "Fort Assault" scene?

                At least I'll be able to see the land around it, I believe. The biggest bummer might be that the attraction is a people-eater, so its absence will make everything else more crowded. Still... can't be more crowded than Tokyo.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Jabroniville View Post
                  I've ridden the California, Florida & Japan versions before. It looks pretty similar to those, but in reverse order with the scenes. Does it have the pirate skeleton steering the ship in the rain? That's always my favorite individual scene in the attraction.

                  I didn't notice the Octopus in the ride-through video I saw, but I did notice some swordfighting pirates, and I think some dude swinging around a ship's sail. Do they skip the "Fort Assault" scene?

                  At least I'll be able to see the land around it, I believe. The biggest bummer might be that the attraction is a people-eater, so its absence will make everything else more crowded. Still... can't be more crowded than Tokyo.
                  Don't worry to much about it - better miss it knowing it is being refurbished, than seeing it in the sad state it was throughout 2016 - lots of broken effects (including completely static AA's) and missing animatronics.

                  And no worries about the crowds, for some reason DLP doesn't get nearly as crowded as the other parks, even with a healthy attendance. Try going on a weekday and you won't wait more than 30 minutes for Big Thunder, 15 minutes for Phantom Manor, and 10 minutes for Space Mountain.

                  Also, try to aim your visit for the debut of the new Disney Dreams anniversary show!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    OK, thanks! I'm going to be there for two days- starting off the day in each park.

                    Is it better to get tickets ahead of time? I'll probably hit my hotel the previous night at least- can I get tickets then, or is it better to get them as early as possible?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Jabroniville View Post
                      OK, thanks! I'm going to be there for two days- starting off the day in each park.

                      Is it better to get tickets ahead of time? I'll probably hit my hotel the previous night at least- can I get tickets then, or is it better to get them as early as possible?
                      There shouldn't be any difference between getting them now or the night before at the hotel - just avoid getting them at the Ticket Booths as, if the day is crowded, you can easily lose half an hour to purchase them.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Alrighty- I'm booked at the Explorer's Hotel for three nights! That should suit my schedule, since I can leave London on the 15th, hang around the Disney hotels that night, do two full days, then leave the next morning. Thanks everyone .

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          So what's a good itinerary for each day? Space Mountain in the early going, or is Phantom Manor the better bet? I'll definitely hit Ratatouille first at the other park.

                          also, do the parks have WiFi? That always makes the lines better (get it together, Tokyo!).

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Jabroniville View Post
                            So what's a good itinerary for each day? Space Mountain in the early going, or is Phantom Manor the better bet? I'll definitely hit Ratatouille first at the other park.

                            also, do the parks have WiFi? That always makes the lines better (get it together, Tokyo!).
                            I think it's a better bet to go to Phantom Manor. Related to the wifi... you can have free wifi from the restaurants at the park

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Restaurant WiFi? Huh- that would have been nice. Oh well. Thanks for the info, even though my vacation was like seven months ago . The line-ups were never really bad enough to require WiFi, though I was desperately trying to figure out if tipping was a thing in France, and had to ask my waiter at the saloon .

                              Comment

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