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Tips from fellow Americans on getting to and enjoying DLP??

Discussion in 'Disneyland Paris Trip Planning & Community Board' started by tweak89, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. tweak89

    tweak89 Mouseketeer

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    Browsed through the big info thread and found plenty of useful general info. I've also looked through the trip reports, but it seems the majority are from Euro travelers. Though the park insight is helpful, I'd like to hear from those that have made the trek from the US to DLP.

    I've got a wild hair to tackle this trip this year. Between the wife and I we have around 8 trips to WDW and several (only one recent) to DLR, always staying onsite.

    What differences in the overall experience can we expect (compared to staying onsite at WDW and DLR)? How is pin trading? Is the FastPass between parks connected? Language barriers?

    Also, any tips/links to how you arranged your travel and booked your DLP resort stay would be appreciated.

    Again, I'd like this from the perspective of other US residents that have made the trip as we'd like to make planning this as painless as possible.

    Thanks!!
     
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  3. MinnieVanMom

    MinnieVanMom DIS Veteran

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    Hello,
    I do remember our first trip to DLP two years ago. I had booked the DLH for the 2 nites with park tickets. I used the french site as it had the best offer. Check all the sites for offers in different countries. I use google chrome.

    Unfortunately this was the last stop after 3 weeks in Europe and it was suppose to be grand. I was hung over from the night before in Brussels. Security stopped us for having a bottle of french wine in our luggage. It started bad and didn't get much better. As an expat American I have to let you know the truth, and it was my perception and expectation.

    Checkin at the DLH went bad, our room wasn't ready, then they gave us room with two beds not one, then they told me to go and fix it. Then I got a room with a water bottle and ring on the table. It wasn't the Disney I know. Again, I was tired and expected the magic.

    Language is not an issue but don't expect the "magic" that are use to at WDW and DL. It isn't Disney but just how things are in Europe, they are painfully honest and very direct. So you don't get the warm fuzzy that you do in WDW. People don't wear custom Disney clothing, ok so our family does. Pin trading is minimal but it does happen by going into the stores and asking very directly to see the pins.

    The parks are just a walk way from each other, think DL to CA but not directly in front of each other, they are more side by side. Fastpasses work just like at all the other parks.

    There is a DTD, smaller than the US one but they do have Starbucks, McD's and Earl of sandwich to mention a few. Several places to hit the free Wifi.

    I use to think the bathrooms were not cleaned but we went in early and first thing in the morning they just didn't seem clean enough so I feel they need to be redone all around. But you don't have to pay to use them. No seat covers for the ladies.

    The park is amazing! The detail and decor goes beyond what we are use to at WDW. Walk upstair in the castle and go below. It is so pretty.

    Some rides are better, some not so much and there is no queue for characters so it is very crazy.

    We now live in Europe and have changed how we think and do things. DLP is our home park for now and we enjoy going back to this park and find something new each time.

    I hope this helps, feel free to PM.

    MVM, expat now in the Netherlands
     
  4. tweak89

    tweak89 Mouseketeer

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    Thanks for the great info! I figured there would be some differences in the overall experience due to the different culture.

    We were originally thinking of making DLP the focus of our trip, but I think we will now split it 50/50 between the usual tourist haunts in Paris and Disney. We just spent 4 days at DLR and were able to cover everything there in 3 days so the similar setup (how close everything is) may help.
     
  5. bibbidibobbidibecky

    bibbidibobbidibecky The Fairy Godblogger

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    I"m curious about this, too. I know over on the Disney Cruise board there are some trip reports with Americans who did Disneyland Paris before their Med cruise, which is what we are planning to do this summer.

    I, too, have been searching on this site and over on DCL. The main thing I have read that Americans complain about is the lack of lines for characters and line etiquette :rotfl2:

    We are only going to go for the day, so I think we will spend our time in Disneyland park itself and we will not be staying on site b/c we have free rooms with points at the Holiday Inn a few stops away on the train.

    Thanks for posting! I look forward to hearing what others have to say. I think what happens on these boards often is people come before their trips then never come back to help answer questions or relay their experiences. I try to do that. I did/do that after our first trip to Disneyland California (we are WDW vets) as that was nearly as hard to wrap my head around as this park seems to be ;)
     
  6. ldo

    ldo DIS Veteran

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    I think Anal Annie did DLP with DCL 2 years ago. She posted a great review/blog. We are doing DLP/Paris this summer after our cruise--got the idea from her. We are taking EasyJet to PAris ORY. It is very easy to combine London and Paris via the chunnel, but a number other cities are just an EasyJet flight away.
    Tweak89, if this is your 1st trip abroad, I suggest you look at RickSteves.com, esp. the graffiti wall--travelers helpline. I also like his books for Europe.
     
  7. MinnieVanMom

    MinnieVanMom DIS Veteran

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    We feel that we can do each park in a day and the studios very easy to do. It is more compact, less walking and rides are closer together. I would not make DLP the highlight of the trip. There is so much more to do but use it as an extra bonus to your highlight.

    The characters with out a line is just pure crazy and I really don't understand at all.

    Remember that there are cultural issues that are different, not wrong, just not what we are use to. Europe is a very small area with a lot of people. Because of that people stand in my "bubble" all the time. It is not rude, just the way it is. Also, please remember to lower your voice. It is easy to hear the American on the metro because they are always talking so loud.

    People jump the queue in line more at DLP then I have ever seen in my 10 years of going to WDW. I don't know why, they just do. I don't let it ruin our vacation experience. Also, smoking is an issue. It is better now but DLP does little to enforce any rules across the board.

    It is a beautiful park, the detail is amazing, and if you slow down and take the time you will many wonderful things that make it so lovely.

    Remember to slow down, enjoy life, have a glass of wine everyday.
     
  8. bibbidibobbidibecky

    bibbidibobbidibecky The Fairy Godblogger

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    Yes Anal Annie's is one that I have read! We are actually going to be in Germany first, so taking the train from Munich and then are going to do the overnight train from Paris to get on the boat! I am so excited. We are not telling our kids about DLRP, but I plan to tell them we are going to go see another castle that day, but not tell them it's Sleeping Beauty's :lmao:

    Does anyone else think Disney should have given the castle to Belle since she is French and Aurora already has a castle in California? I think they missed that chance...just my opinion.

    I'll tell you what I"m having trouble with is finding vegetarian options other than pizza. My kids eat fish but I don't. I have been reading a few other threads with interest on that subject.

    And I absolutely agree we are loud. After several trips to Europe I always have to remind my family to shush. Even my kids are louder than the other kids. It was fun in Mdina, Malta (the silent city) :rolleyes1
     
  9. ExpatDisneyLover

    ExpatDisneyLover DIS Veteran

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    Hello fellow Texan (my family lives north of Houston)!:wave: I am also a former expat - spent 7 years in Turkey and DLP was my home Disney park for a season. I loved it and still miss it -:lovestruc even though now I am living in Orlando - of course I love WDW too. Can there be too many Disney parks?

    Anywhoo - DLP is very beautiful, unique and special in my mind. It is different than WDW certainly so I think when you go it may be best to try not to compare the two but to enjoy the differences if that makes any sense. Go to enjoy Europe, enjoy France and enjoy DLP. I find the European and French flair at DLP very enjoyable and if it were "American" well that would be a disappointment to me. Just be prepared for cross cultural differences period - and also different ways the parks are organized and run. A lot is the same - but a lot is different and DLP does what works for DLP.

    Some details that may or may not be helpful :confused:- ok so yes this is a little lengthy - LOL!
    When I have flown directly from Houston to Paris I book the TGV train - a 10 minute ride to DLP. Parisbytrain.com is a VERY helpful website for train travel in Paris and France in general.

    I have also taken the direct Eurostar Paris/London train - very convenient service and decent price. I booked on the US eurostar website.

    When booking a package for DLP I would check a few countries offers and choose the best one - you can book on any site - just leave your country as the one on whatever website you are booking. Everything is electronic so no "Mickey mail" is sent to you. IMO the offers on the UK site are generally much better than what is on the US website - which makes total sense.

    The hotels I would look into booking would be Disneyland Hotel, Hotel New York, or Sequoia Lodge - just my opinion. Breakfast is included - HNY and DLH have hot breakfast - SL is continental but you may be able to purchase extra hot items.

    There are extra magic hours but I never found that I needed them like at WDW. The parks get more crowded later in the day rather than a mad early morning rush.

    The fastpass time is a half hour not an hour.

    The parks are close together - it is very easy to hop back and forth between the two.

    The Paris versions of POC, BTMRR, PM, SM, ISW are very, very well done! The imagineering at DLP is very very well done. ::yes:::):goodvibes

    Foodwise - I found the buffet meals to be better food for the money (than quick service) - I would pass on counter service - but that was my experience. Table service and buffets are what I would recommend. DLRPmagic is a good website to check out menus and such. Meals are expensive compared to the US - just be prepared for it.

    DLP does not lend itself to "commando" park going - depending on when you go it may be more of a "leisurely" way of seeing the parks. In general I found I didn't need to rush around as much as I do at WDW. Of course that might depend on the time of year.

    Language- you will have no problems as English is there but if you have a little French it will go a long way - so I would learn a few phrases if you can - just common courtesy.

    Oh one more thing - no tipping - or less tipping - check the etiquette on tipping - I really offended the bartender at the Santa Fe when I tried to tip - oops - so a little research will go a long way - wish I had read the info on tipping before I left. Carrie Cat has posted some great info. on tipping here on the boards.

    Have a great time planning and a magical trip!!:surfweb: :wizard:
     
  10. janiebubble

    janiebubble DIS Veteran

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    you're right on that one ... veggie choices are limited inside the parks. The counter service restaurants tend to offer one of cheese pizza, tomato pasta, cheese salad, or a vegetable sandwich. My partner is vegetarian and the fact that they star fish dishes as vegetarian is a pet hate of ours. There are some variations to the basic offer - Billy Bob's Western Saloon does a baked potato with veggie chilli, we got nachos and a salad in the Sports Bar, New York Sandwiches does a panini - they're all in the Disney Village. There is Earl of Sandwich has the same menu as in the USA. Cowboy Cookout BBQ in Disneyland Park would allow you to substitute a veggie burger on the cheeseburger.

    We've found Agrabah buffet had lots of veggie choices, DP really enjoyed it there and she really enjoyed her meal at the Blue Lagoon - but it is pricey.

    All the menus are here http://www.dlrpmagic.com/planning/dining/restaurant-menus/ we found them useful

    Hope that helps ... I don't think DP had pizza once if that makes you feel any better!
     
  11. tweak89

    tweak89 Mouseketeer

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    Thanks for all the helpful information! :thumbsup2

    We are wavering between staying onsite and staying somewhere between (all the Paris hot spots and DLP).

    Using our recent stay at DLR and Universal Orlando as a guide (as they have a similar two park structure) we now think making DLP the focus may not be the best. We are pretty efficient in getting through a park (we are theme park junkies). We tend to knock out all the rides early and spend the rest of the time meandering about taking it all in.

    We are thinking 2 days for DLP and the remainder of our trip for the everything else. We are looking are looking at flying into CDG and staying somewhere along the line that takes you to DLP.
     
  12. bibbidibobbidibecky

    bibbidibobbidibecky The Fairy Godblogger

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    Thank you! I think the Agrabah sounds great. It's just one day, so I'll survive. I wish I could find a veggie cassoulet while in France, but I'm guessing that's blasphemy!
     
  13. boswellnakia

    boswellnakia When I was young....Dings were King

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    Great thread and thanks for the ideas. We'll be trying to do DLP at the end our 2014 eastbound DCL transatlantic cruise. I failed miserable at learning spanish with three years of classes. Does anyone have suggestions on learning French phrases? When I was taking Spanish it was because the school made me, but since I'm motivated for DLP I think I may try harder to learn French.
     
  14. slg

    slg DIS Veteran

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    We're going to Paris before our med cruise this summer too and can't decide whether or not to devote 2 or 3 days to DLP. We have either 6 or 7 days devoted just to Paris then.

    My oldest son 17, is getting really tired of ALL THINGS DISNEY. He thinks that we should just be "authentic" and doesn't want to waste his valuable paris time at DLP. Well, I also have 11 and 14 year olds who don't just want to spend all their time in Museums. PLUS, i love all things Disney, so I would rather spend 3 days at DLP and then 6 days in Paris or maybe 2.5 and 6.5. We are staying 3 nights at the Explorers and then 7 nights in Paris.

    Sigh. The moping my 17 year old and the disdain is really getting me down. I'm starting to feel embarrassed of my fascination and love of disney.

    Anyway, those of you who have been, if you can tell me lots of french differences so that my oldest son doesn't wreck the trip for the rest of us, I'd greatly appreciate it. Plus, we haven't decided how long we should give DLP.
     
  15. markpsych

    markpsych DIS Veteran

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    lol, I'm hearing you! My older two (14 & 16) are going the same way :sad2:

    How's life in Victoria by the way? I grew up there :goodvibes

    Speaking of authenticity, I love your museum! Spent half my childhood in there, and would love to visit again one day :lovestruc
     
  16. jillrobinson

    jillrobinson DIS Veteran

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    They get over it ;)

    My will be 19 year old son asked to come with us on the next trip and in fact was the reason I've had to cancel for March and rebook for July. :)
     
  17. ldo

    ldo DIS Veteran

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    we have a 16 yr old who also says--"not another trip to WDW" and also describes the rest of the family as Disney nuts. So, we are trying to de-emphasize Disney for a while (after we get back from our Disney cruise--lol). Even though we are staying near DLP (b/c we need a condo that can sleep 6 persons), we are only going to DLP for 1 day. For the PP re. her 17 yr old, why not do 2 days DLP and then rent a car/minivan and go see a chateau nearby? We are going to Vaux-de Viscomtes (sp?). The would be a good use of your stay in that area. Also, I see that there is a great Science museum in Paris--that might appeal to both your 17 yr old as well and the younger ones.
     
  18. Carrie_Cat

    Carrie_Cat I'm a Rive Gauche person Moderator

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    Are you talking about Cité des Sciences ? If you don't read French the Science museum is not a great idea as there is very little explanations in English and it's frustrating for visitors :sad2:
     
  19. ExpatDisneyLover

    ExpatDisneyLover DIS Veteran

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    Some DLP differences - on the whole it is a very beautiful a park and I think Fantasyland just "fits" at DLRP whereas at WDW I just don't get that feeling. May be it is because so many stories Walt Disney made into film originate in Europe - or were developed in Europe. George Meleis did the first film of Cinderella in 1899 - produced in France - so it just "fits". (If you son has seen Hugo - may be that will interest him a little bit - or not - LOL I taught high school students awhile)

    Tomorrowland is Discoveryland and is all done in a Jules Verne theme which is a great authentic French touch - (especially is your son is into literature). Space Mountain is a dark coaster with corkscrews and music - a much more intense version than the WDW variety.

    There is a dragon under the castle.

    Alice's Labyrinth unique to DLP.

    Adventureland is larger and more exotic at DLP Indiana Jones is a coaster we don't have at WDW.

    And there is more - haven't even got to the Studios yet - anyway - may be check the dlrpmagic.com website to get a better idea - there are some really good videos of attractions.

    Hope you all have a great trip.

    In my mind DLRP is easily doable in two days.
     
  20. mstaft

    mstaft Earning My Ears

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  21. ExpatDisneyLover

    ExpatDisneyLover DIS Veteran

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