Any help for a Yankee planning to go to DLP??

happydays

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jan 19, 2002
I'm SO glad this board was created!

We've just been waiting for our youngest to reach five before we head to DLP. That is early next year and in order to put a trip together where we can use my frequent flier miles, I have to book out a year in advance.

I LOVE Great Britain and have visited many times, but my husband and children have not yet been. So, I want to take them there first for at least a few days in London and then continue on to DLP and hopefully visit the city of Paris as well.

I am looking for any and all suggestions for the trip - best time to go - best way to get from London to DLP (Eurostar?? - what is it?) - best place to stay, etc. etc.

Our children are small (they will be 8 and 5 early next year), and as I eke out my living as a small business owner, I can't leave Chicago for more than maybe 8 days at the most. Will we be trying to fit too much in? The DLP website leads me to believe that DLP is much smaller than WDW.

Any and all help from the experts is appreciated. :wave: :teeth:
 

rob@rar.org.uk

Skiing is best, Mickey comes next
Joined
Jun 17, 2000
The easiest way by far to get from London to DLP is by the Eurostar train. This is a high speed train which leaves from a central London station, Waterloo International, and takes you literally to the gates of the theme parks at the DLP resort. For much of the year there is a direct service which takes about three hours. At other times you can do the journey with one change of trains in about 3.5 hours. More details of this service at www.eurostar.com

The most convenient hotels at DLP are all on-site. There are currently six Disney hotels all within walking distance of the parks, plus a campsite which is a short drive away. Four more hotels are under construction, and will be open by the time you visit. The official DLP website www.disneylandparis.com will have a brief summary of all these hotels. Another useful website is the unofficial DLP Guidebook at http://www.dlp-guidebook.de/index_e.htm

I think the best time to go is during the summer, particularly when DLP has its extended summer opening hours. This is normally around the 5th of July to 1st of September. Although the crowds will be at their highest during this period you have the most amount of time to beat the queues and the best chance of good weather. You also get the full entertainment programme, including parade and fireworks every night.

There are now two theme parks at DLP: Disneyland and the Walt Disney Studios. Disneyland is slightly larger than the Magic Kingdom at WDW (although I think it has slightly fewer attractions). The Walt Disney Studios opened last year, and is still very small (only about 10 attractions). The main difference netween DLP and WDW is that all the parks and the hotels are much closer together: it is about a 2 minute walk from one theme park to another, and the furthest hotel is only 20 minutes walk (although there are free shuttle buses to all the hotels).

I think the minimum time needed to see both parks is two nights/three days. If you can afford the time/money to stay for three nights/four days I'm sure that you will have a more satisfying stay. If you do travel by Eurostar from London you will arrive at DLP at 1.30pm, giving you the rest of the day to spend in the parks. Departure time for the Eurostar is around 7.30pm, allowing more or less a full day in the parks on the day that you leave.

It is easy to get to Paris from DLP. There is a direct train service from DLP to the city centre which takes about 40 minutes. You could stay at DLP and have a couple of day trips into Paris if you wanted, avoiding the need to change hotels. DLP has also recently started a coach tour of Paris, allowing you to take in all the main locations in a hassle-free way.

Hope this helps you start planning your visit. Please feel free to ask any questions about DLP.

Regards

Rob
 


happydays

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jan 19, 2002
Thank you so much for that very comprehensive reply! It sounds as if I will have to plan much like we do for WDW - around the various seasonal operating hours.

One question for now ... we were seriously thinking of going in early June. As this is not during their extended hour period, will either of the parks have parades and fireworks on at least some of the evenings? I'm trained to keep tabs on the WDW calendar of events. For some reason I didn't even consider that DLP would have varying operational hours as well.

Maggie

:rolleyes:
 
  • rob@rar.org.uk

    Skiing is best, Mickey comes next
    Joined
    Jun 17, 2000
    Opening hours for this year (which will be a good guide for next year) can be found at http://www.dlp-guidebook.de/HintsInfos/Opening.htm

    In June opening hours are normally 9am to 8pm at Disneyland and 9am to 6pm at the Walt Disney Studios. Although I can't be sure I don't think that the nightime parade or fireworks would take place during these opening hours. The nightime parade in Disneyland could possibly run at weekends (it's currently Main Street Electrical Parade, but will have changed to Fantillusion next year), but this is by no means a certainty and I would work on the assumption that it won't run. This will still leave the daytime parades in both parks, plus the full complement of rides and attractions. Attendance will also be lower at this time of year than in the summer, especially during mid-week, so don't hesitate to visit in June if that is the best time for you to travel to Europe.

    Regards

    Rob
     

    SimonV

    Proud to have called Bob Varley 'friend'
    Joined
    Aug 18, 1999
    Wow, my hat's off to you Rob. A more comprehensive answer is hard to imagine! I think you have all you need to know, Maggie, but feel free to pose more ??s as your visit gets nearer!
     

    rob@rar.org.uk

    Skiing is best, Mickey comes next
    Joined
    Jun 17, 2000
    Blush! Thanks Simon.

    Maggie, SimonV is the author of a well known guidebook to WDW written for British visitors to Orlando. He is also just about to publish a new guidebook to Disneyland Paris, again from the perspective of the British visitor. It is an extremely comprehensive guide, and I think the book will be useful to any DLP visitor, regardless of where they live. If you can get hold of a copy in the USA it would answer just about any question you can think of (and lots you can't). It is currently listed on the UK Amazon site here, so you might want to check to see if you can order a copy in the USA.

    Regards

    Rob
     

    happydays

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 19, 2002
    It is a shame, but Simon's book is not to be found on Amazon.com. Later this afternoon, I am going to attempt to order it from the .uk site and see if they will ship it here. Once I get the air tickets out of the way, I will be able to concentrate on the hotel/park planning. I will get my hands on a guide and read it before asking any more questions.

    Thank you again for such complete responses. I just know that this will be a trip that my children will always remember.

    Maggie
     
  • rob@rar.org.uk

    Skiing is best, Mickey comes next
    Joined
    Jun 17, 2000
    If you can't order a copy of the book send me a PM or an email and I'll get a copy and post it to you.

    Regards

    Rob
     

    SimonV

    Proud to have called Bob Varley 'friend'
    Joined
    Aug 18, 1999
    Maggie, you should be able to order it form the amazon.co.uk site as I know several people have previously ordered the Orlando guide in America. You just need to follow the Amazon shipping guide which they list with all orders.

    Good luck!
     

    lrodk

    <font color=009900>No one is immune to the TF's in
    Joined
    Aug 17, 1999
    Simon. I just ordered your Paris guidebook from amazon.co.uk . I'm looking forward to brushing up and learning all about the resort for our upcoming "first-time" visit to Paris. I'm sure it will be very helpful, despite it being tailored for the average Brit. I'm sure I'll have a few questions to ask in the coming months Simon, if you don't mind.

    Kind regards, Luis
     

    SimonV

    Proud to have called Bob Varley 'friend'
    Joined
    Aug 18, 1999
    You're more than welcome, Luis! It will be great to see you on our side of the pond :teeth: Many thanks for your custom, too! Will you be stopping by London at all?

    PS: I still owe you 25c !
     
  • lrodk

    <font color=009900>No one is immune to the TF's in
    Joined
    Aug 17, 1999
    Simon, I would definitely love to pay a visit to London for the day. I'd have to look into a seperate guidebook I suppose :). Seriously though, this trip has been a long time coming. I've envisioned walking down main street since the park opened. It really does seem to have more charm and whimsy than her sister parks on this side of the pond. I suppose I'll find out soon enough my friend.

    PS: I'll wipe the 25 cents clean if you promise to autograph my guidebook at the next mod-meet, or toll-plaza.... whichever comes first.(lol)
     

    happydays

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 19, 2002
    Simon;

    Got it! Of course, since I didn't order anything else at the time, the postage was almost as much as the book! I look forward to pouring over it soon .....

    Thanks.

    Maggie
     

    SimonV

    Proud to have called Bob Varley 'friend'
    Joined
    Aug 18, 1999
    You're welcome, Maggie. Hope you enjoy it!

    Luis, I'm sure we'll be able to help you out with a bit of London advice!! Especially when it comes to the bars ( :rolleyes: )
     

    jilljill

    <font color=blue>Collects Disney men!<br><font col
    Joined
    Jan 21, 2003
    Maggie,
    We just got back on Tues. from DLP and London. We had a great time even though it was VERY cold. I have never been to a Disney park and seen the birds walk on ice.
    We booked our airfare on British Air and flew to Heathrow and changed planes and then flew to Charles deGaulle stayed at DLP for 2 nights then flew back to London for 5 nights. Our airfare was very reasonable with the extra flight to Paris. I looked into the train and found it expensive compared to the extra cost over the extra flight out of London.
    If you fly directly to DLP I would recommend 3 nights since your children (and yourself) may be too exhausted to go to a park the first day. Our daughter is used to travelling to Europe and will stay awake the day we arrive, but we had friends with us this trip and they could not stay awake and missed 1 day at the parks.
    We stayed at the Newport Bay Club and really liked it. I liked the conveniece of being able to walk to the Parks and the shopping village. I have also stayed at the Hotel Santa Fe, but found it a bit out of the way since we relied on bus service.
    Have a wonderful time planning your trip.
    Barb
    :earsgirl:
     

    happydays

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 19, 2002
    Barb;
    Thanks for the info. For some reason, I had not thought of going to France first. I guess I was thinking about "easing" my family into foreign travel by going to an English speaking country first. But, of course, that is not a necessity and you have me thinking outside the box now ...

    I am so glad you brought up flying from LON to CDG. If my memory serves me well, I think that my frequent flier program will allow us to make one stop over on the trip for the same number of miles. So actually, if I plan it right, I can completely cut out the cost of the travel between London to Paris!

    So ... tell us more! At this wintry time of year, were many attractions closed? In your opinion, is there a "not to be missed" restaurant or show? Was there anything your daughter wanted to do a second time (kids' favorites)?

    I also appreciate your hotel comments. I have been leaning heavily toward staying at the Disneyland Hotel - strictly for the sake of convenience, but I love to hear others' opinions.

    I can't wait to receive Simon's book so I can dig into it :teeth:

    Maggie
     

    Tinkerbel129

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 21, 1999
    Hi Maggie,

    I was there all by myself and stayed at the Disneyland Hotel 3 years ago and thought it was very nice. I do have one warning for you, keep a close eye on your wet bar. It was quite cold when I was there and about every 2 or 3 hours I would come back to the room to warm up, well the one time I came up, the wet bar maid was getting to replace what I had had (a bottle of Vittel & a KitKat) she was also replacing a bottle of wine and a soda, which were missing from my fridge, but not by me, they were there that morning before I headed out.
    Also I am not sure on this one, but I did the character dinner at the hotel and I think the gratuity was already included. No sense tipping them twice.
    Out in the downtown area there was a nice place to get a hot roast beef au jus sandwich.

    Have a nice trip!!
     

    bubblefactory

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 29, 2003
    I can definately recommend staying at the Disneyland Hotel.

    The location, the in-hotel character breakfast, and the superb character dinner all make this a very special hotel.

    I have stayed twice in the last coulple of years and am going back in May to try the Castle Club.

    Yes - it has to be said you pay a premium for this hotel but in my opinion it is well worth the experience.

    Any questions about the hotel not answered elsewhere I will try and answer - I last visited may 2002 with DW and DD's ( 6 & 2 )
     

    richard3330

    Cirque Fan
    Joined
    Jul 30, 2002
    I also reccomend The Disneyland Hotel.

    If you can afford The Castle Club upgrade then go for it, but if not then a standard room is fine IMO. The convenience for the main park is exceptional, and it is only a 5 minute walk to the studios. IMO, one of the biggest perks of Castle Club is the private entrance direct in to The Disneyland Park.

    Please visit The Disneyland Hotel Information thread if you have any questions or need information.

    We also like Newport Bay Club. Themed along the lines of The Yacht / Beach Club at WDW it is a nautical hotel backing Lake Disney with a wonderful indoor and outdoor swimming pool complex. The rooms are spacious and nicely decorated and it is only a 10/15 minute walk from the parks. Plus, for the small upgrade price (compared with Sequioa Lodge) this is a very good value hotel, as IMHO it is MUCH better than Sequioa Lodge.

    Richard. :)
     

    edith76

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 29, 2001
    Have any Americans been to DLP recently. We were going mid May but looks like we will have to cancel. I'm very disappointed as we have planned this trip for a year - a week at the Disneyland Hotel and a week in England.
     





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