Possibly going to DLP in summer 2020... overwhelmed

Discussion in 'Disneyland Paris Trip Planning & Community Board' started by phillymummer, Dec 14, 2018.

  1. phillymummer

    phillymummer DIS Veteran

    Jun 30, 2012
    Hello DISers!

    So, my in-laws just sprang the idea of going to France in the summer of 2020 to celebrate our anniversaries (50 years, and 20 years). While talking about things we want to do, DLP came up. Since I have been the planner of all previous WDW trips, I was put in charge of researching this part of the trip. I have been reading these threads and my head is spinning. I have only been to WDW, so that is my only point of reference.

    What I know and I what I need help with:

    • We have to go in the summer bc I am teacher. Which month would be best: end of june, july or August? (I know there is a national holiday on July 14th, so we'll avoid that).
    • We plan on doing all of the standard tourist attractions in Paris, as well as a couple of days in Normandy (my FIL insists on seeing that). Do we really need to stay "onsite"? I don't know if I can convince the family to switch hotels just for the Disney. Give me the pros and cons (or are they the same as staying on-site at WDW?). Feel free to tell me your fav hotels.
    • If we do NOT stay onsite, where should we buy our tickets? On the DLP website? Or is there a site like UT?
    • There is a debate about how many days to spend there- just 1 day at DLP or 2 days for both parks. Is there a list of rides that are unique to DLP and not unique, but different? That would helpful.

    I will keep browsing these threads, and I thank you for your help!


  2. Karin1984

    Karin1984 DIS Veteran

    Feb 5, 2012
    Don't feel overwhelmed, you have 1,5 years and Disneyland Paris is a lot easier as you don't have to pre-plan a lot in comparison to WDW.
    Some of us are working on a new overall thread about the parks, that's a work in progress, but to give you some parts of the work, which might be helpful.

    1. See links below for the school holidays, summer holidays for France start July 7th and end September 1st, so end of June would be your best pick during the summer. You will already benefit from great weather and long opening hours.

    2. It depends on how many days of DLP you want. If you just want one day, it's very easy to stay in the city. Of course, no EMH then, but you can see the highlights in one day. With the longer opening hours you should be fine. I would suggest a hotel in Paris but near public transportation, so that when you get back to the city late at night after the fireworks, it doesn't take multiple transfers and a lot of walking.

    If you go for more than 2 days, or want to have a short commute back to your hotel (if you have young kids or elderly people, people with difficulty walking, for example) than onsite might be preferable.

    3. Yes, the website of Disney is most common. But another site that people use is Picniq

    4. I know what I said under #2, but to be honest I would suggest 2 days as the bare minimum (still, perfectly fine to stay offsite, you can also split your days more easily and not do consecutive days). Just to make sure you can do it at a relaxed pace, see your favorite more than ones. Especially if you are show-people, it's hard to do all unique stuff plus shows in one day. See below for a list of unique/same but different rides.

    Relax, don't be overwhelmed, you will be fine:
    - Decide on how many days DLP
    - Decide to stay in the city / on site
    - Get your tickets online if not staying onsite.
    - Make a rough plan of rides/shows you want to see.

    That's it! No pre-booking FP, and if you only go 1 day, I won't do table service, so no ADRs. :) No stress.

    Have fun planning!


    Best/Worst times to travel

    - Like any theme park the golden rule applies: Avoid public holidays and vacation periods.

    - The French holidays and vacations are the most important. But you have to keep an eye on other countries as well. The other large groups are the Brits and the Spanish. It might not mean an immense increase if the Brits have a public holiday, however it might be a bit busier than normal.

    French national holidays: https://publicholidays.fr/2019-dates/
    French school holidays: https://publicholidays.fr/school-holidays/
    For Spring & Winter breaks, keep an eye on Zone C as this is the Paris region.

    UK national holidays: https://publicholidays.co.uk/2019-dates/
    UK school holidays: https://publicholidays.co.uk/school-holidays/

    Spanish national holidays: https://publicholidays.es/2019-dates/
    Spanish school holidays: https://publicholidays.es/school-holidays/

    - Like Disneyland in California, Disneyland Paris has a lot of local visitors. Going to DLP for a day is very easily done for people living nearby. Therefore the next tip: If possible, go during the week.

    Like other Disney parks, Disneyland Paris uses different kinds of festivals and seasons to keep locals interested and to fill up low seasons.
    See the Events calendar here: https://www.disneylandparis.com/en-gb/events/

    Unique to Disneyland Paris & Studios

    - Ratatouille- Speedy 3D ride - Fastpass available, Single Riders entrance available
    - Crush Coaster – Coaster – Single Riders entrance available (not always open)
    - Slinky Dog Zigzag Spin – Carnival type ride, not to be confused with Slinky Dog coaster in WDW
    - Armageddon – Special Effects Show (Will be closed 31MAR19)
    - Cars Quatre Roues Rallye - kiddie bumper car type ride without bumping.

    - Alice’s labyrinth – Walkthrough Alice in Wonderland (1956)
    - Casey Jr. – Le petit Train du Cirque – Kiddie Coaster
    - Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril – Coaster with inversion, not to be confused with Indiana Jones in Disneyland Anaheim
    - La Galerie de la Belle au Bois Dormant – Castle walkthrough (Balcony at the back sometimes closed)
    - La Taniere du Dragon – Walkthrough with an amazing huge animatronic of a dragon.
    - Le Passage Enchanté d’Aladdin – Walkthrough about the story of Aladdin
    - Les Mystères du Nautilus – Walkthrough around Jules Verne’s Nautilus
    - Les Voyages de Pinocchio – Kiddie dark ride, story of Pinocchio

    Similar but different

    - RC Racer
    - Rock ’n Roller Coaster – With inversion – Fastpass available – Photopass available
    - Toy Soldiers Parachute Drop – Not available in the US parks, but copies can be found in Disneyland Hong Kong and Shanghai

    - Big Thunder Mountain: The best Big Thunder Mountain of all Big Thunder Mountains. No competition. Photopass available
    - Tower of Terror, identical to Disneyland Anaheim before the Guardians of the Galaxy layover. Photopass available.
    - Autopia, similar to Tomorrowland Speedway
    - Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast – Slightly different rooms and decor, blasters are not fixed to your starcruiser. Fastpass Available – Photopass Available
    - Dumbo, Aladdin, Orbitron - it’s identical, but your view will be different
    - It’s a Small World
    - La Cabane des Robinson – Similar to Tarzan’s Treehouse, but then themed around the Swiss Family Robinson.
    - Le Carrousel de Lancelot – Carrousel, but different theming
    - Le Pays des Contes Fées – Similar to Storybook Land Canal Boats, but without a CM making jokes.
    - Mad Hatter’s Tea Cups
    - Peter Pan’s Flight
    - Mickey’s Philharmagic – Some songs in English, most in French.
    - Phantom Manor – Similar to Haunted Mansion but with a slightly different plotline and order of scenes
    - Pirates of the Caribbean – Similar to the other Pirates rides (with Jack Sparrow addition) – 2 drops, Photopass available
    - Blanche-Neige et les Sept Nains – Snow White’s Scary Adventures
    - Star Tours – Fastpass available
    - Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain – Fastpass available – Single Riders available (not always open) – Photopass available
    - Thunder Mesa Riverboat Landing – Similar to Liberty Square Riverboat, but different scenery.

    Fastpass is available at the following rides:
    - Big Thunder Mountain
    - Peter Pan
    - Hyperspace Mountain
    - Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast
    - Indiana Jones
    - Star Tours
    - Ratatouille
    - Tower of Terror
    Phantom Manor should have a Fastpass entrance available after the refurbishment

    Single Riders:
    The following rides have a single riders access, however these are not always open. The entrances are clearly marked at the regular entrance.
    - Hyperspace Mountain
    - Ratatouille
    - Crush Coaster

    Rides with minimum lengths:
    - Autopia – 81cm (31 inch, 2.6 foot)
    - Toy Soldiers Parachute Drop - 81cm (31 inch, 2.6 foot)
    - Star Tours – 1.02m (40 inch, 3.3 foot)
    - Big Thunder Mountain – 1.02m (40 inch, 3.3 foot)
    - Tower of Terror – 1.02m (40 inch, 3.3 foot)
    - Crush Coaster – 1.07m (42 inch, 3.5 foot)
    - RC Racer – 1.20m (47 inch, 3.9 foot)
    - Rock ’n Roller Coaster – 1.20m (47 inch, 3.9 foot)
    - Indiana Jones – 1.40m (55 inch, 4.5 foot)
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2018
    pkrieger2287 likes this.
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  4. phillymummer

    phillymummer DIS Veteran

    Jun 30, 2012
    Thank you! That is helpful! As we plan further, I will probably be back with more questions.
    My MIL is on board with Disney. My hubby would be fine with just one day. He is fine just being there and seeing a few things. He doesn't really ride thrill rides and he doesn't care about "seeing it all". My daughter, who does not know about this trip, will flip her lid about being there. My FIL loves Disney, but I'm not sure how he feels about DLP. I think he feels like a trip to France should be spent doing other things. So, there are many things to work out. I'd love to stay "onsite" just to be close so we can split up if needed, without too much worry- I can see my hubby and FIL not wanting to be in the parks as along as the girls.

    Hummmm..... maybe we can spend a few days in Paris at Hotel A. Spend 1-2 nights in Normandy. Then spend 1-2 nights at DLP. :scratchin

    So.... just to confirm... if we stay onsite, we also have to buy a package, right (room + tickets)? We can't choose how many days of tickets we want?
  5. A Small World

    A Small World <img src=http://photopost.wdwinfo.com/data/500/509

    Feb 22, 2007
    When you buy a package through DLP it includes tickets for the number of days you are there including arrival and departure day - so if you got 1 night you would get 2 days tickets.
    The main park will be open til 10-11 pm when you are talking about going so it will be a long day if you are then travelling back to Paris afterwards. You will also get access to EMH if you stay onsite (currently each park is open for an hour before it opens to everyone but this may change). Crush's coaster which is in the studios and unique to Paris gets a very long line and has no FP so being able to do it in EMH would help.

    Could you book a 1 night stay and head across to DLP in 2 groups - those that want to spend more time there head across in the morning from Paris, book into the hotel and get the tickets etc then the others join you later in the day after doing something extra in Paris - they will then have the evening with you in the park when you can all watch the light show/fireworks and all the following day
  6. BadPinkTink

    BadPinkTink DIS Veteran

    Mar 13, 2015
    yes that is correct. You will get park hopper tickets for your arrival day and departure day and all days in between.

    There are 6 onsite hotels, all of which have access to early opening for all guests. The hotels are hotels, not resorts like in WDW. There are far less amenities and things to do. In Disneyland Paris, the hotels are mainly for sleeping and then for evening meal or night time relaxing in the bars. Disney Village is walkable from all the onsite hotels. It is alot smaller than Downtown Disney and Disney Springs. On arrival day people check into the hotels and then go to the parks for the rest of the day until closing. On departure day, people check out, leave their luggage in the hotel luggage store, go to the parks for EMH and stay until their transport departure time.

    Disneyland Hotel
    This is the premium priced deluxe hotel. It is located at the entrance to the main park. It is Victoriana themed and has a swimming pool in the building.

    Hotel New York
    This would be the premium price moderate hotel. It is located after Disney Village and is the nearest to Disney Village. It is themed as a Manhattan / New York building and has a swimming pool in the building. It would be a 10 minute walk to the main park entrance OR you can take the free shuttle bus. This hotel is closing soon for refurb so check the dates.

    Hotel Sequoia Lodge
    This would be the moderate hotel. It is located after Disney Village, past Hotel New York and half way along Lake Disney. It is themed like a Californian Red Wood Forest, similar to the Grand Californian in Disneyland California. It would be a 15 minute walk to the park entrance OR you can take the free shuttle bus. The standard rooms are located in separate buildings called Lodges. The main building has the more expensive standard rooms and the Club Level. The swimming pool is located in a separate building.

    Hotel NewPort Bay

    This would be the moderate hotel. It is located after Disney Village, past Hotel New York and Sequoia Lodge, at the end of Lake Disney. It is themed like a Newport Bay Yacht Club. It would be a 20 minute walk to the park main entrance OR you can take the free shuttle bus. This is the largest hotel building. Some rooms can be a 15 minute walk from the main reception area where the restaurants and shop are located. It has a swimming pool in the building.

    Hotel Cheyenne
    This would be the budget hotel. It is located after Disney Village and past Hotel New York. It is themed like Toy Story / Sheriff Woody, The Wild West. It would be a 20 minute walk to the main park entrance OR you can take the free shuttle bus, There is no swimming pool and the rooms are located in separate buildings

    Hotel Santa Fe

    This would be the budget hotel. It is located after Disney Village and past Hotel New York and then past Hotel Sequoia Lodge. It would be a 20 minute walk to the main park entrance OR you can take the free shuttle bus. There is no swimming pool and the rooms are located in separate buildings.

    Partner Hotels
    There are also 5 Partner Hotels. These are located on the far edge of Disney property. They are not walkable to to the parks, they have a free shuttle bus to the parks. As they are independent hotels, they dont have the Disney onsite perks of access to early opening or the shopping service.

    1. Hotel Kyraid
    2. Magic Circus
    3. Dream Castle
    4. Explorers
    5. B & B Hotel

    some things you need to know about Disneyland Paris which are different to the American Parks

    1. You dont have to book using the website for your country. Disneyland Paris has different deals and offers on the different country websites. Most of us regulars would advise AGAINST booking with the American site as it is by far the most expensive
    2. The other country websites to check are
    3. http://www.disneylandparis.ie/
    4. Disneyland Paris does not mail anything in the post. You get a confirmation email which you bring with you to checkin
    5. You can book direct with Disney through any of the websites. When you book through the website you will pay the full amount at the time of booking
    6. You can also book direct with Disney by phone. To call Disneyland Paris and not have to pay the international phone charges, just call the regular phone number for Walt Disney World in Florida and ask to be transferred to Disneyland Paris.
    7. When you book direct with Disney by phone you pay a 15% deposit and the balance is payable 30 or 60 days before arrivial, I cant remember which
    8. When you have booked you will get a confirmation email with your itinerary, you will need this email to check in
    9. Once you have your confirmation number you need to go to the website / country you booked with, not the country you live in. You will need to create a new MY DISNEY ACCOUNT on that website
    10. When you log in to your new My Disney Account you will see your itinerary. If you have a balance to pay you will see an online payment form.
    11. To pay your balance you can either phone again or pay online
    12. Restaurant ADR can only be booked over the phone. Just repeat step 8 and ask for Disneyland Paris Dining Reservations.
    13. Disneyland Paris Restaurant ADR open 60 days from arrival date
    14. Disneyland Paris does not have Magic Bands or Fatspass ++. The Fastpass are the paper ones which you get on the day at the machines beside the rides.
    The Parks
    1. There are 2 parks - the main park and Disney Studios
    2. Just like Disneyland California, the parks are side by side and park hopping is very easy
    3. Disney Studios is a movie themed park and is mainly a half day park
    4. All the ride and attraction audios are in French
    5. Disneyland Paris is Frenchified Disney, an American style theme park with the cultural and social behaviours of France / central Europe
    6. American visitors need to adjust their expectations, there is not the same level of Disney happy smiliey customer service from the CM's
    7. American visitors need to adjust their expectations, Disneyland Paris does not have the same level of upkeep and maintenance as the American parks
    8. American visitors need to adjust their expectations, Disneyland Paris, guest behaviour is very different, for example guests smoke all over the park, not in the designated smoking areas
    9. American visitors need to adjust their expectations, clothes sizes are smaller, there is less variety of merchandise, guests are not into the wearing of Disney clothes or Mouse Ears or pin lanyards in the parks
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2018
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  7. Karin1984

    Karin1984 DIS Veteran

    Feb 5, 2012
    Just throwing in an idea, how about 1 day at DLP with the whole family and a separate day for the girls, the Disney-diehards? And send your husband and his father to do something else in Paris for some father-son quality time? I just googled this ;-) https://www.wide-trip.com/manly-things
  8. zavandor

    zavandor DIS Veteran

    Jul 22, 2011
    When planning DLP, try to go during the week. The surge in crowds during the week end is huge.
    phillymummer likes this.
  9. phillymummer

    phillymummer DIS Veteran

    Jun 30, 2012
    Thank you for all of the advice! There are many things to consider! One more question..... I think I read somewhere that an expansion is coming to the Studios? True or false? If true, when is it slated to be finished? That might influence how many days we go to the park.
  10. phillymummer

    phillymummer DIS Veteran

    Jun 30, 2012
    One more question... about how long does it take to travel from DLP to paris? I guess that would all depend upon where we are stating in PAris..... let's say we are staying close to a Metro station.
  11. Karin1984

    Karin1984 DIS Veteran

    Feb 5, 2012
    True, but not relevant for you. Roll out starts in phases as of 2021.

    If you are on the right subway track 45-60 minutes in the city center, but if you are on the other side of the city... It takes longer ;)

    Go to Googlemaps, fill in the address of your desired hotel and Disneyland Paris and you will get a good indication about how long it will take.
  12. rndmr2

    rndmr2 DIS Veteran

    May 3, 2009
    Thank you for this thread, I have some of the same questions as I plan a trip for November next year.

    What did you do with the Mummers?? Transplanted Philly Native here...
  13. kelmac284

    kelmac284 Lover of all things Disney since 1975

    Jun 25, 2005
    Hi I am from the US and will be going this summer of 19. We are going mid June. Just thought I would throw in my 2 cents. For us we are flying into De Gaulle airport on a Sunday and arrive around noon. We are going to take a shuttle straight to DLP and thus are getting an onsite room for Sunday night Monday and Tuesday. We did this on purpose because we figured after being tired from the long flight we can get on a shuttle and head straight to the hotel. We can stay up and explore downtown disney or even head into the park since we will get a ticket for that day. OR if we are too tired we can just go to bed. Then on Monday I had not planned to go to the parks but since we will get a ticket again we will relax and try to catch up on any jet lag and then we will use the ticket to do SOME of the parks. Then our only full day is Tues. We opted to stay the night one last time so we don't have to mess with the train and getting to our airbnb that same night. Then we check out on Wed morning and are heading to Paris. We plan to stay in the 8th somewhere (haven't booked it yet) but am hoping to stay somewhere close to the metro. While I am sure it is not too hard to go back and forth we did it this way on purpose so we could take advantage of the tickets and early entry and we are also getting a discount and free half board (which is breakfast and either lunch or dinner). This way we are getting DLP out of the way the first few days and then once we get to Paris we are free to spend the remainder of our time there. Just a thought that you can ponder but we feel it will be a lot easier this way.
    BadPinkTink likes this.
  14. pkrieger2287

    pkrieger2287 Disney Dreamer

    May 12, 2017
    Following - My wife and I just booked June 2020 DLP yesterday... looking forward to getting as much information as possible leading up to then to make it a smooth trip.
  15. Jessica Jayasuriya

    Jessica Jayasuriya Earning My Ears

    Oct 23, 2015
    I would recommend 2 days minimum when you go, as it will likely be busy the whole time and you will want to see the shows, parade and illuminations along with the rides.

    June is definitely the best time for crowds -I would suggest checking in on a Sunday (if onsite) as this is usually cheaper and weekdays are less busy. Avoid the weekend at all costs, especially if you only have a day or two!

    If staying offsite then you can get tickets from Attractiontix much cheaper than the Disneyland website - definitely get the hopper ticket though as the Studios is a 1/2 day or 3/4 day park and closes earlier.

    If you want to stay onsite then I wouldn't worry about paying for the "better" hotels if you are only there for a couple of nights. I've stayed at all the hotels and my favourite is the Cheyenne even though it is the "value" hotel. All the hotels onsite are within 15 minutes walk to the parks and there are very regular buses. I personally don't use the pools and really this is all the better hotels have to offer. If you did want a nicer hotel then I would go with the Sequoia which is my second favourite. I wasn't a fan of Newport Bay and the Disneyland Hotel is out of my price range.

    The trains in and out of Paris are really frequent and run late - it costs around 15 euro per person return.

    Once we stayed at a hotel midway between Disney and Paris centre next to a Metro station - 20 mins to Paris and 20 mins to Disney. It worked great so some of us went to Disney for the day and my dad could go explore Paris.
  16. Baduist

    Baduist Earning My Ears

    Nov 5, 2016
    My 2 cents:

    If you’re only gonna be 1-2 days, you don’t wanna waste time, so:
    - go for 2 days
    - stay onsite
    - stay @ Disneyland hotel.

    IMHO the trip from Paris is annoying, depending on where in Paris you’re staying it can be very exhausting, especially if there are kids in your party.

    Onsite means early entrance - crucial in the summer.

    Disneyland hotel is right on the entrance gate. The rest of the hotels are kinda far (relative, but with only two days, imho every minute counts).

    Regarding Paris:

    Imho rethink doing “all the standard tourist stuff”. A lot of them are boring and just too damn crowded in July/aug.

    Example: the best way to enjoy the Eiffel Tower imho is sitting in a coffee house far away and enjoying the view. The worst is to go to the actual tower where you drown in pickpockets and tourists, just so you can take a selfie with some metal beams...

    Hope this helps lol :)
  17. elena_n2o

    elena_n2o Mouseketeer

    Apr 15, 2015
    I may be biased because I can never get enough time in the parks, but for me, and particularly for a first visit, I'd say 2 nights and 3 days in the parks is the minimum. It gives plenty of time to do everything, enjoy all the shows, try a few of the nicer restaurants, and event to make the most of the long opening hours by going back to the hotel in the afternoon (when the parks are busiest) and having a rest or a swim (personally I'd go for a hotel with a pool....) before heading back to the park for the evening.

    Definitely stay onsite for the time you're visiting the parks, really takes a lot of the hassle away, and stay in a hotel in Paris while you're visiting Paris.
    Baduist likes this.

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