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Late June 2019 Disneyland Paris Trip Report

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  • Late June 2019 Disneyland Paris Trip Report


    Disneyland Paris Trip Report, June 14-23, 2019





    We spent three nights at the Hotel Cheyenne, and the remaining five nights at the Hotel Ibis near the Gare de Lyon in Paris.

    Sorry that four of the photos near the start of this report have vanished. They were up, then they weren't.

    We left L.A. on a Friday afternoon, June 14, and arrived in Paris on Saturday morning.
    This was our 13-year-old's first trip to a place where English isn’t the primary tongue, and her first time across an ocean.

    Our 11-hour flight on Nowregian Air from LAX to Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport was about $200 per round-trip ticket cheaper than the next cheapest airline. The planes were new with nice lighting (including the ability to dim the windows), a smooth ride and the best air/lowest cabin pressure we’ve experienced on a plane. With one reasonably priced upgrade we were fed twice and got to check one bag and take a backpack & a plastic bag on the plane. The food was fine going there. Not as good on the return flight—in fact the sandwiches we were served for our second meal were terrible. We had back up salads and wraps from Trader Joe’s with us on the way there and better sandwiches from Paris for the way home.

    We landed in Pairs at about 10:30am and took the Magical Shuttle (not free like WDW’s Magical Express—it cost 69 Euros one way for all 3 of us—reservations on the internet, ticket printed in advance), from the airport to the entrance to the lobby of the Hotel Cheyenne. Not many people were using this convenient bus service, and we stopped once in another part of the airport so the driver and is assistant could stop & enjoy a cigarette with others in the their company. Two customers also got off & enjoyed a refreshing smoke. (FOOLS!) The ride was a scenic 30 to 40 minutes. The scenery look a lot like parts of Wisconsin.

    We were second in line to check in, and the nice front desk woman from Portugal let us go right into our room at noon. Like almost every person I encountered involved in customer service in Paris, she was polite and helpful because I greeted her with “Bon jour” and then asked, “Parlez vous Anglais?” (“Do you speak English?”) If you can’t handle asking that one sentence in French you are an ugly American and an unfit representative of our democracy. Stick to WDW & D.land. If you can politely ask that one sentence after a "Bon jour," the bilingual/English speaking world of Paris will be yours, and you will have no worries for the rest of your days. Of course, the more French you know the better, but you will easily and comfortably get by with that one sentence. Almost everyone in Paris will instantly start speaking nearly perfect English to you. They want your money.

    The moderately priced Hotel Cheyenne moved to the top my favorite Disney resort list with this visit, though I will give the Animal Kingdom Lodge another chance in a couple of years. My favorite part about Disneyland Paris is being surrounded by young middle-class families from every major European country. It could be my imagination, but I’ve found tourists who stay at the Hotel Cheyenne to be really friendly to Americans.

    The freshly painted western town has aged beautifully.

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    Our room on the second floor of the Sitting Bull building looked out onto a large attractive lawn where two cats (Superfluff & Action Cat) entertained us every day by pouncing on each other. We got to meet & pet another black cat as we walked to the hotel along the water from the park.

    The day we got in we just hung out at the hotel and waked to two fairly nearby shopping malls Val d' Europe and La Valle Village, shown on the map below. At the malls it was interesting to be surrounded by French people without many tourists. We had dinner at a nice Japanese restaurant there. I read that the French consider it rude or uncool to eat while you walk around, and I rarely saw people doing this. I tried to be discrete as I ate my bread.

    We spent our first day (Sunday) in France in Paris even though we were staying at Disneyland's Hotel Cheyenne for 3 nights. We slept in and took the RER-A train into the Gare (station) de Lyon in Paris to hang out there for the afternoon & early evening. The first thing we did was to find our next hotel that we'd be staying at starting Tuesday. It was near the train station. (Note there are two Hotel Ibis hotels near the station.)

    We enjoyed excellent weather all week, including an evening & morning shower.

    My one concern about Paris is the spreading graffiti. It’s colorful, but the late James Q. Wilson’s “broken windows” theory suggests that they should take care of little problems or bigger ones will follow & be more challenging to remove. We didn’t notice any of the air pollution I’ve been reading about. Unlike past visits I didn’t see any swastikas spray painted anywhere, and we also didn’t encounter any yellow vest protesters during the two weekends we were were in Paris.

    There are many green spaces around the Disneyland Paris resort, unlike the less scenic areas surrounding Disneyland and Walt Disney World.

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    Last edited by jcruise86; 07-19-2019, 06:11 PM.

  • #2
    We had breakfast twice at Hotel Cheyenne, and it was worth it. They serve a LOT of chocolate croissants to families from all over Europe. They didn't have oatmeal, just sweet cereals, but they also had turkey (or were those chicken) slices, ham, yogurt, and scrambled eggs, large bowls of fruit (I’ve had better fruit at continental breakfasts in America), bread (better than American bread!), and a variety unlimited get-them-yourself beverages.
    If I weren't such a good person I would've made a couple of little sandwiches with the turkey, ham, cheese & rolls, put them in ziplock bags and enjoyed them as snacks in parks rationalizing that the buffet was overpriced,
    but I
    would never
    do this,
    just as I would never do that at Knott's Boo-fet. NOPE. And you shouldn't either--it's WRONG!

    There is a Starbucks at Hotel Cheyenne. One French barista told me the his favorite place in the world is Philadelphia and that he is planning on moving there. He told me the Rocky movies got him interested. Five minutes later a Spanish guy with a Rocky T-shirt entered so they hit it off.

    My wife & daughter reported that the Earl fo Sandwich in the village was bad, and there is also a below average 5 Guys—which is still pretty good. And there is another Starbucks, a McDonald's & many other places to eat--mostly overpriced--thus our long walks to the nearby French malls.

    Monday was our one day at a Disney park! (Only $62 per person through an “Adults at kids’ price" online offer.)

    My daughter & I first rode my favorite version of Big Thunder—I like the totally dark portions to and from the attraction’s island.

    Then we twice experienced my favorite attraction in the park, the newly refurbished Phantom Manor. The only minor disappointments is that Madam Leota’s room seems to be nothing but her stationary ball, and the ballroom scene seems to have less going on that Disneyland’s. No ghosts flying in the window, and the duelers in the pantings are now found in the hallway as you walk from the stretching room to the Doombuggies. If I remember correctly there are now three unmoving paintings of the young bride before the attic. Yawn. Still this is one of my all time favorite attractions.

    Discovery Isle is kind of like Tom Sawyer's island, but inside of caves are curved stairs in near total darkness. Aren't their lawyers in France?


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    Then we walked over to see the still excellent dragon who lives under the castle.

    Pirates was closed for a refurb as was the train. They should try harder to keep E-tickets attractions like Pirates open in the summer.

    Also, the beloved Cowboy Cookout BBQ in Frontierland was closed.

    The restaurant Hakuna Matata has:
    --a nice interior,
    --the slowest cast members in the history of all of Disney outdoor entertainment,
    --and food that rivals the Animal KIngdom’s Yak & Yeti for its inconsistency.

    The Buzz ride is almost as good as Disneyland’s, except that the targets don’t have frames that offer bonuses when lit, and the light from my blaster was so weak I could barely see it and scored under 400K. Every shooter ride should quickly copy Knott’s and give different blasters different colors so riders can differentiate their shots. I enjoyed hearing Buzz speak French before the ride.

    My wife is not a Disney fan, but met us under the Castle in 3pm. We rode their shorter, but ornate Small World, & revisited the dragon & Phantom Manor. Then they left me and went to the mall for dinner, and my daughter met me for the excellent night-time “Illuminations” show at night.

    This was before the show:

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    I was happy to NOT visit the studios park this trip.

    I’ve been to 9 of the 12 Disney parks, and the Paris Studios park is the only Disney park I don’t like. (I’ve visited this studio park on two previous visits.) The Ratatouille ride is supposed to be worthwhile, but I'll catch it at EPCOT in 2 years. The recently revealed Paris Studios expansion plans looks big, but not that original or exciting to me.
    Last edited by jcruise86; 07-09-2019, 08:27 PM.

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    • #3
      Michael Eisner went all out when he made this park and there are many details to take in:

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      Last edited by jcruise86; 07-09-2019, 06:26 PM.

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      • #4
        This bird I photographed in the park didn't make it into my trip report, so I'm sharing it here in this rejected photos post:


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        • #5
          If my report had been longer and more detailed I might have included this extra shot of the view from our room:

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          • #6

            I like the scale of the Disneyland Paris Resort--it reminds me of Universal Orlando, but with better zoning in the surrounding area so if you walk to the mall in the nearby town there are green fields and more attractive buildings along the way. Architecture in France is on average more attractive than architecture in America and it's zoned to fit together more beautifully.


            On Tuesday we took the train to Paris after waiting an hour because the train station was temporarily closed. There were police walking around the station with guns that looked like ones that might be owned by Tony Montana in Scarface. We saw men with guns like this several times on our trip. Someone said there was a suspicious package found at the train station, and that was causing his delay.

            I was going to include photos of the Paris portion of our trip, but they would have been pretty typical photos of the usual beautiful places people visit in Paris. It was often in the low 70s during our trip. It rained one evening and the following morning. A heat weave hit Paris the week after we left.

            My one disappointment was that
            Le Manoir de Paris was closed. This a popular, touristy, year-round haunted house in Paris featuring real and fictional characters from Paris' history, unless they are temporarily in all terrifying clown or all zombie mode as they are at different times during the year. I so wanted to meet Robespeirre! It would normally have been open just three evenings a week, but it was closed for an upgrade while we were there. It's a VERY well reviewed attraction and I've heard nothing bu excellent things about it. Please, one of you Micechatters go here and report back to Micechat. If you speak English they give you a glow stick and the monsters terrify you in English.

            BTW, Notre Dame is closed after the fire, but they appear to have done an excellent job of cleaning it up, despite the parts that came down.

            I have one suggestion for Paris. We took three tours with a "Fat Tire Tours" and I highly recommend them. They are in nine other cities too and we'll seek them out. They are known for their bike tours, but our favorite part of our trip was their French Revolution walking tour of Paris. Our French guide who spoke excellent English was smart, funny & excellent company.

            Left Sunday at noon for 3pm fight, arrived in L.A. just about two hours later the same day! (After a 10 to 11 hour flight.)

            My daughter loved Paris and wants to move there. I didn’t intend the trip to be THAT good.


            In conclusion, I suggest
            that if you go to Walt Disney World every summer and if your kids are 8 or older

            consider instead saving $ one summer and visiting national parks,

            then with the $ you saved by not going to Disney World one summer, splurge the following summer and

            go to Paris & Disneyland Paris with no more than one or two days at the parks, and again be warned that the Paris studios park really is an ugly, depressing place and that you'd be better off spending more time in Paris. The Paris studios park only attracts about half the visitors as the Disneyland Paris park (5 million vs 10 million.) No other Disney resorts currently have such stark differences in attendance, since DCA has gained on Disneyland.


            or

            if you want to see another Disney Resort but would prefer to experience Asia, go to Tokyo with a two-day visit to the two Tokyo Disneyland parks (or just one day with the Tokyo Disney Sea park), and the rest of the time in Tokyo and Kyoto if you can fit it in. I love WDW, but there is more out there. (I am not the bravest explorer and have never been to South America, India, Africa, Australia, or any any Asian country besides Japan.)

            And if you go to Disneyland Paris, be warned that at least one snob will respond, "Why would you go to Disneyland when you could be in Paris?!" So I usually don't mention Disneyland when describe trips to Paris. That's why I need this Micechat community!

            At Disneyland Paris you will see & hear young families on holiday from every major & medium country in Europe. It's kind of amazing.

            --Tom Sinsky
            Last edited by jcruise86; 07-09-2019, 08:28 PM.

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            • #7
              More photos below.
              Last edited by jcruise86; 07-09-2019, 10:04 PM.

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              • #8
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                • #9
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                  • #10
                    In the morning, cowboys and cowgirls offer pony rides to kids. Wouldn't that have been a great photo?!

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                    • #11
                      Do you know where the next four photos were taken?

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                      • #12
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                        • #13
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                          • #14
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                            • #15
                              Re-posting my best photo:
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                              • #16
                                Friendlier & braver than the cats at Disneyland: Click image for larger version

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                                • #17


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                                  This map above on my phone showed me the way to the two malls outside of but not to far from the Disneyland Paris Resort.

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                                  • #18
                                    The lobby of the Hotel Cheyenne:
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                                    • #19
                                      Deleted.
                                      Last edited by jcruise86; 07-19-2019, 06:01 PM.

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                                      • #20
                                        Nice trip report. We were almost there at the same time. My one day trip was July 1. (Trip report in the works, coming soon)
                                        we started off the same way with Big Thunder and then Phantom Manor, also my Paris favorite.
                                        DP also featured my favorite of all the Disney castles. Absolutely breathtaking!

                                        i have to say that the only people in Paris who were rather rude were the tourists. A highlight for us in the city was touring the Parisian Catacombs.
                                        http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...oto-heavy.html
                                        http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...ip-report.html
                                        http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...oto-heavy.html
                                        http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...oto-heavy.html
                                        http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...something.html

                                        No matter where you go, there you are.

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