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-   -   Help please! First time visiting very confused! (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3045126)

samantham06 01-10-2013 12:51 PM

Help please! First time visiting very confused!
 
Hello everyone,
Really glad I have found this thread!
Basically... I am looking for the cheapest and easiest way to visit disneyland paris for just me and my 5 year old son... and would really appreciate some advice!
Here goes....
I had first planned on booking 4 nights/5days at a disney hotel for 460, and booking a eurostar for around 100?? But I have been told that things are very expensive on the resort, so Im not sure I can really afford to eat there and everything else. Plus 560 is really at the top end of my budget and means I cant see anything else in Paris!

So I considered staying at a local hotel/ or the KeyCamp in Paris, I just dont know which ones work out best value??
And i dont know whether im best to drive into paris (if thats even possible?) Ive never driven abroad before so dont really want to be driving miles and miles to get from ferry to paris (i am clueless about this!)
So I thought maybe a train from London directly into paris may be better? But I dont speak a word of french and have no idea how to get to anywhere from the train station... like the hotel/disneyland..

I am thinking that perhaps 5 days at the resort may be too much? So was thinking possibly 2/3 days there and then 2 days sightseeing in Paris? (See my issue of transportation without a car!)

AS you can see I have no idea... so any advice greatly appreciated.
THANKS

princess369 01-10-2013 02:24 PM

A few years ago we took trip of a lifetime. Flew to London found an inexpensive hotel a block or so from Hyde park. It was charming and convenient. Took the chunnel from London to Paris the next morning. Got off at the stop nearest Disneyland Paris. No language problem there and Chip and Dale directed us up out of the building and where to catch to bus to our hotel. We took the least expensive one near Disneyland. It was 3 or 4 star quality. There was a free shuttle to and from the hotel to the park.

Disneyland is not that close to Paris. It's more like Orlando is to Disney World. (At Disneyland Calif. everything was in walking distance.) We took the train from from the Disneyland stop back into Paris for a day. I did a lot of research (Cost, days when certain tourist attractions are closed or have limited hours) to schedual the best day to go to the city. The train ride was an attraction in itself. Street musicians boarded and played iconic music for different countries.

We walked on the top of the Arc de Triomphe (great view of the city), walked from there down the Chanps-Elysees (had lunch at a sidewalk cafe and a great time "talking with a lady with a great sense of humor but no English) at the next table via a little French/English dictonary. Visited Notre Dame cathedral, The Louve and finally after dark took a cab to the Eiffle tower to see the city all lit up. All in one day. Just did a lot of internet research to know what we wanted to see at each stop as well as the history for each attracton to save time and enjoy it more. For example you could spend days in the Louvre. I picked out the specific art works we wanted to see (time period, artist etc.) and got a map from online to see exactly where they were.

Disneyland Paris is not too big to see in 2 maybe 2 1/2 days. Again go online decide what you want to do and map it out. Lines for some attractions can get long so be sure to hit them first. You don't want to be wandering around with a 5 yr old trying to figure out what to do next.

I found the people in France very friendly and helpful. A smile translates easily in any language. A travel book on Paris from the book store helps also. You can go on line and get some tickets for the train and other things on line to save time an money.

Have a great time. May your travels be safe and magical. :wizard:

PrettyP 01-10-2013 02:34 PM

Hi Samantha,

Unfortunately I can't comment on Eurostar as I live in Ireland so flying is the only practical mode of transport for me, however, I do know that the Eurostar goes all the way into Disneyland Paris. The station is literally at the entrance to the park. If you don't speak French you might be better off getting the train directly to DLP rather than into Paris city. Visiting Paris city is VERY easy from DLP. You can get the RER train into Paris and then hop on and off the metro to do your sightseeing. If you buy a Mobilis card (I think you can look up the prices on ratp.fr) that will cover your fare to and from DLP to Paris and also all of your metro journeys. Once you have a map it is very easy to navigate around. Once you have your ticket and your map you shouldn't have much need to speak to anyone about where you're going and when you get to the main tourist sites they are well used to dealing with people who can't speak French. I can speak French so it's not an issue for me but I do feel sorry for people sometimes as some French people (not all) can get very impatient if you can't speak the language.

Staying at a DLP hotel is a much better option, in my opinion, if you are travelling alone with a 5 year old. It is a tiring holiday for kids (my daughter is 8 and was exhausted most evenings) so to know your hotel (and bed!) is only a few minutes away is a great advantage at the end of a long day. If money is an issue your best option is to fill yourselves up at breakfast time with as much as you can eat, buy a few snacks at the shop in the train station that you can have for lunch and then you just have to pay for one meal in the evening and you can always eat in McDonald's every evening to keep costs down (which I'm sure your 5 year old won't object to!!). Also if you have a buggy that your 5 year old will fit in bring it with you. Even if they haven't used it for years you will be amazed how glad of it they are after a few hours wandering round the park and queuing.

If you really want to stay in Paris city for a couple of nights I can highly recommend the Holiday Inn Paris Opera Grands Boulevards. It was an old hotel called Hotel Brebant I think and was bought over by the Holiday Inn group a few years ago. They have spent the past 2 years renovating it and by Paris standards it is fantastic. We stayed there for 2 nights in December and were very impressed. If you've never been in a Paris hotel you may think the rooms are small but trust me most Paris hotel rooms are tiny and at least these ones are new and modern and you get tea and coffee making facilities which is a rarity in Paris. If I'm honest though it's probably as cheap to stay at DLP and get the train in to Paris each day but it is great to experience the atmosphere of Paris itself too.

Depending on what time of year you're going 2 nights at DLP may not be enough. Especially with a 5 year old who may need regular sit downs or rests. But if you're willing to make a list of the most important things for you to see and just do those and anything extra is a bonus then go for it.

Anyway I think this answer is a bit all over the place so if you've any specific questions just let me know. In December I did the 2 nights in Paris then 4 nights in Disney but I've done many different combinations including 4 nights at DLP with day trips to Paris.

Hope I've helped you somewhat!! :)

Paula

HFJohnson 01-10-2013 03:41 PM

I would also definitely recommend staying onsite when visiting DLP and I think 3 nights is a good length of time to stay there. When are you thinking of going? I know the 2 nights free offer on at the moment is good for longer stays but there may well be a better offer out soon for two or three night stays. You can also get different offers if you look on the French, Dutch or Irish sites.

The Eurostar is a brilliant way to travel and I'd recommend getting the direct train to DLP if you can. However, travelling via Paris is also quite straightforward. Maybe you could add a day on to the beginning or end of your trip for sightseeing? To be honest, though, I don't think I'd be in a hurry to take my 5 year old son to see Paris - he rather spend the time at Disney!

The direct Eurostar costs 69 for adults and 59 for children IF you can get the cheapest tickets, but you need to book well in advance for these.

sky13 01-10-2013 04:00 PM

Hello and welcome!

As PrettyP has said, Eurostar goes all the way to Disneyland Paris (to Marne La Vallee Chessy - the station right outside Disneyland Paris). The options are:
- Direct train from London St Pancras to MLV. This can be booked several months in advance. There is one train a day, and it doesn't run on Saturdays except during some holidays. In my experience this is a great option, but have found this to be more expensive than the indirect train...
- Indirect - London St Pancras to Lille, then Lille to MLV. This can be booked via the Eurostar website 3 months in advance, and there are many more trains each day. It's very straightforward to transit in Lille. I usually find it easier to get a cheaper fare with this (just booked a trip for March for 69 return, transiting at Lille both ways).

You can also get the Eurostar from London-Paris, then navigate via the metro/RER system to MLV. I only know a few words/phrases in French but found it fairly straightforward the first time I was in Paris (I think as a first-timer I found it easier to navigate than then Tube, as they use numbers to show destinations, and don't require you to know if you're heading north/south/east/west).

Hotels - have a look at Booking.com/Expedia/etc. There are some hotels that are quite easy to get to from Disneyland/MLV - the partner hotels (e.g. Kyriad, Dream Castle) have a free shuttle bus, while the hotels near RER stations (e.g. Ibis at Val d'Europe) are easily accessible via RER (less than 2 Euros for a single trip between MLV and Val d'Europe). Though check if the Disney hotel rate includes park tickets and factor this in!

zanzibar138 01-10-2013 04:49 PM

I'm no help with the Eurostar I'm afraid, coming from Australia! But it sounds pretty straight forward, especially if you can get the one that goes direct to DLP!

We are staying at Hotel L'Elysee in Val d'Europe. It's costing us less to stay there for 5 nights than it would cost us to spend one night in some of the Disney hotels. I would highly recommend looking into it if budget is a big factor for you. Hotel L'Elysee is an official partner hotel (and you can book it through the Disney website, but I would suggest looking for better rates through Expedia etc), and is a 2 minute walk from the Val d'Europe train station. The Disney station is the next stop, so it seems like it will be very convenient. It will also save us money on food. Although breakfast is not included in the rate, we plan to just grab a quick breakfast in Val d'Europe on the way. We can also have dinner there if we want to, which I imagine will be a huge saving on eating in the Disney area.

As far as park tickets go, if you're planning to go into the parks for more than 3 days, an AP works out to be better value. Promoparcs had a pretty good price on Fantasy APs (which is the middle tier, just watch for black-out dates), and it came with a free pass for children 7 years or under (so you wouldn't have to pay for DS). It also gives you a 10% discount on dining and merchandise.

Although we're staying in Paris for 2 nights, hotels there are not cheap, and it would work out better financially to stay at Val d'Europe and take the train to the city. I've heard that the train is easy and convenient. With a 5 year old, I'd definitely be concentrating my energy on Disney, and just go into Paris for 1 or 2 days to see some of the major sights.

sky13 01-10-2013 05:33 PM

Zanzibar makes a good point about park tickets and APs. There are some nice discounts/perks with APs (DLRPmagic has a good summary page on the Disneyland Paris APs). And one of the best things with the Dream or Fantasy 20th anniversary APs is you get Extra Magic Hours!

(EMH is basically when you get to enter one of the parks (usually Disneyland) at 8am instead of the normal opening time (usually 9/10am), and is restricted to guests of Disney hotels and people with Dream/Fantasy20th APs. Added together with it being early in the morning, it means you get 1-2 hours of very low crowds and walk-ons (or 5 minute waits) for some of the most popular rides like Peter Pan...)

Bexx 01-10-2013 06:29 PM

Welcome to the Disneyland Paris Trip Planning & Community Board samantham06 :wave2:

If you have not had a look yet, the DIS posting guidelines can be found here and our DLP board posting rule is here

Food can be expensive at DLP, but there are some places that are quite good value. You can have a look here at the menus listed on DLRPmagic to get a better idea of prices.


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