spreadsheets and suitcases

organization + travel = family fun

Hey, I’m learnin’ here: Disneyland Paris

on June 13, 2017

In a unique position here: planning my first trip to a Disney Park!  One specific Disney Park, to be exact: Disneyland Paris.  My sister went once, but that was in the Dark Ages when it was called Euro Disney Resort.  Of course I will take any info she can provide, but I’m essentially starting from scratch.  Here’s what I know about Disneyland Paris:

  • the original Disneyland Park opened in the early 1990s in the suburbs outside Paris
  • it was not completely “owned” by the Walt Disney Company for some time, leading to reports of less-than-magical Cast Members and Park experiences
  • the Park has needed steady infusions of money over the years due to underperformance
  • I will need to take my inhaler, because park patrons pay no regard to the No Smoking signs whatsoever
  • there has now been a second park added, themed much like Hollywood Studios at WDW in Florida
  • their Haunted Mansion is called Phantom Manor (thanks for the ride music, Reedy Creek Radio)
  • the castle (Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant) has an audio-animatronic fire-breathing dragon in the dungeon
  • there is a Ratatouille dark ride, and something called Crush’s Coaster

That’s…pretty much all I had.  Until today, when this news item serendipitously popped up on DisBoards: The Walt Disney Company has taken full ownership back.  I took this as a sign to start my research and learn more.  I need to consider the following factors.

dlp

We’ll be visiting DLP in December.  France has actual winter, so I’m betting it will be cold, and some of the attractions will close early.  I guess the Parks will be all decked out for the Christmas season- OK, I’m not really into Christmas decorations but I’m sure they will be lovely.  We’re doing DLP as an add-on to our Paris/Sevilla/Barcelona trip, not as the main reason, so we are planning a day trip from Paris proper, not staying on-site.  The train ride from the city is quite straightforward and takes less than 40 minutes.

My first visit will be to the official website, to gather info on Park hours during the winter.  Oh, boo.  They only have hours for today +/- 90 days.  But the excellent DLPguide website had historical hours, so it looks like Disneyland will be open until 10p, and the Studios until 9p.  They have Extra Magic Hours for onsite guests just like in the US, but since we’ll be offsite I’ll just have to work around that.  I will want to see both Parks, so it requires some careful timing.

Tickets have seasonal pricing, and Christmas is Peak Time, so essentially, we need the most expensive tickets available: 1-day, 2-Park MAGIC FLEX.  If we were staying for more days, or just wanted to experience 1 Park, our per-person-per-day cost would decrease significantly.  But as of right now, I’m looking at €352, or $395 for our entry.  Steep, sure, but comparable to what we would have paid for Universal if the Barclay Arrival+ hadn’t covered it.  This information does compel me to maximize every minute in our schedule, throwing out the midday break I recommend for warm-weather multi-day US Disney visits.  I will still build in sit-down shows and snacky breaks.

n018015_2050jan01_space-mountain_16-9

Wow!  I just got totally distracted by this image of the Les Mysteres du Nautilus sub in front of Hyperspace Mountain – holy moly, you are launched through that tube into the ride building!

I’ll spend some time familiarizing myself with each “Land,” and the attractions therein, like Hyperspace Mountain, OMG.  I won’t spend too much time drooling over restaurants, as the general consensus is that the food is simply OK, while the theming is wonderful.  So with our 2-Park open-to-close itinerary, I’ll plan for one sit-down meal at a spectacular-looking place, and counter-service the rest to save time and Euros.  My main resources here will be the aforementioned DLP Guide and official website, plus the Disneyland Paris forum on DisBoards, the Passporter Guide (which is an e-book), Mousesavers, and whatever Trip Reports I can find.

planning

Me, constantly.

I hope to craft a detailed itinerary for our one day at these Parks, and endlessly tweak it as the date gets closer.  I’m sure some things will be closed seasonally or for refurbishment, and those announcements will come closer to our trip dates 18 months from now.  These items will be recorded in the trip spreadsheet, which I started last week!!!  I’ve named it Europalooza 2018.  I know- how can it be a “palooza” if we’re only visiting 2 countries?  Well, I’m attempting to shoehorn in a 9-hour layover in Vienna to visit Schönbrunn Palace and eat some Sachertorte, plus possibly spend a few hours in Dublin as we make our way back.  More importantly, I need the teen to get on board with this thing, so it needed a jazzy title, dammit.

giphy

More soon!

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3 responses to “Hey, I’m learnin’ here: Disneyland Paris

  1. Hector Valle says:

    i am pretty sure you will conquer this adventure also.!!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. VivaLaDiva405 says:

    Here’s what I remember from ye olden time of the year of our Mouse 2000 AD:
    – The train was super-easy & convenient (ah, Europe)
    – Phantom Manor was extra-thrilling/frightening; even though I was pretty proficient in French at the time, still the audio being all in French and not knowing exactly where to stand made it seem like a “first” again
    – Hyperspace Mountain was super fun, and yes, you get shot through that tube!
    – Storybook Land (?) themed topiary gardens were beautiful, and it was by It’s A Small World which I enjoy even more in French
    – EXCELLENT shopping; I still have a tall glass with a delicate “Disneyland PARIS” logo, blank journal with the same logo on a blue background, and with a gorgeous scarf/pashmina (deep blue with white stars) that I never wear because I never want to lose it

    I have several pictures which I’ve been meaning to scan – and maybe I’ll finally wear the scarf!

    Like

    • “…the year of our Mouse…” Hahaha, I let out a mighty laugh at that. And I vividly remember you showing me that scarf- it was indeed very lovely. Mon Dieu, I won’t have much time for shopping! I added a reminder to my itinerary: buy magnet!

      Like

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