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Difference between revisions of "Disneyland Paris"

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[[Image:Disney-castle-03.jpg|thumb|right|250px|''Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant'' - "Sleeping Beauty's Castle"]]
 
[[Image:Disney-castle-03.jpg|thumb|right|250px|''Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant'' - "Sleeping Beauty's Castle"]]
'''Disneyland Resort Paris''' (formerly '''Euro Disneyland''') [http://www.disneylandparis.com], located in the [[Paris]] suburb of Marne-la-Vallee, is the Disney Empire's European variant of their archetypal "Magic Kingdom" theme park.  
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'''Disneyland Resort Paris''' (formerly '''Euro Disneyland''') [http://www.disneylandparis.com], located in the [[Paris]] suburb of [[Marne-la-Vallée]], is the Disney Empire's [[Europe | European]] variant of their archetypal "Magic Kingdom" theme park.  
  
 
==Understand==
 
==Understand==
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All the theme parks follow basically the same setup, but of course there are many regional differences.
 
All the theme parks follow basically the same setup, but of course there are many regional differences.
  
Disneyland Paris consists of three parks; the Disney village; Disneyland Paris itself, and the Disney Studio park. The Village is comprised of stores and restaurants; the Disneyland is the park everybody has heard of and expects; and Disney Studio Park has a more general moviemaking theme - but it's still very Disney.
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Disneyland Paris consists of three parks; the Disney village; Disneyland Paris itself, and the Disney Studio park. The Village is comprised of stores and restaurants; the Disneyland is the park everybody has heard of and expects; and Disney Studio Park has a more general movie making theme - but it's still very Disney.
  
 
The total commercialism is something you have to either accept, ignore or enjoy. Besides the merchandise stores at every corner, many rides are "sponsored" by various large corporations.
 
The total commercialism is something you have to either accept, ignore or enjoy. Besides the merchandise stores at every corner, many rides are "sponsored" by various large corporations.
  
To make the experience even more enjoyable, the City of Light is just a half-hour train ride away.
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To make the experience even more enjoyable, the [[Paris|City of Light]] is just a half-hour train ride away.
  
 
==When to visit==
 
==When to visit==
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'''Paris RER Line A''' runs from central [[Paris]] to the Disneyland Paris station, with frequent trains taking 35 minutes for the journey.
 
'''Paris RER Line A''' runs from central [[Paris]] to the Disneyland Paris station, with frequent trains taking 35 minutes for the journey.
  
'''Eurostar''' [http://www.eurostar.com] operates a daily service from [[London]]'s St. Pancras station and [[Ashford (England)|Ashford]] direct to the Disneyland Paris station taking some three hours. You can then leave your luggage at the station and it will be moved to your hotel whilst you enjoy the parks. There are also fast trains which run directly to the Disneyland Paris station from destinations to the east and west such as [[Nantes]] and [[Lille]]. Note that when booking tickets the official name of the station is Marne-la-Vallee Chessy (this is useful for automatic ticket machines - the human ticket sellers will all know the station for Disneyland).
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'''Eurostar''' [http://www.eurostar.com] operates a daily service from [[London]]'s St. Pancras station and [[Ashford (England)|Ashford]] direct to the Disneyland Paris station taking some three hours. You can then leave your luggage at the station and it will be moved to your hotel whilst you enjoy the parks. There are also '''fast trains''' which run directly to the Disneyland Paris station from destinations to the east and west such as [[Nantes]] and [[Lille]]. Note that when booking tickets the official name of the station is Marne-la-Vallee Chessy (this is useful for automatic ticket machines - the human ticket sellers will all know the station for Disneyland).
  
 
==Get around==
 
==Get around==
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[[Accessibility]]
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===Accessibility===
I pushed by disabled son around most of the site. There are very few things that they cannot access, usual thing like confined stairs. There is also a very good system of disabled access for most rides, some rides they cannot use unless they can walk or climb a ladder, for safety reasons if the ride fails. When you arrive go to the City (Town?) Hall and get a pass. My son's has Down's and mobility problems so its easy to recognise, another family I met, one had a prosthetic leg, again easy to prove. If you disability is less easy for the untrained to see try to take some proof for instance your blue badge for car parking etc. They will give you a card that you need to show the staff (sorry Cast Member) running the ride, the accessible entrance is usually the exit, you need to catch the eye of the staff and they will come over. The response is always positive and helpful.
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Wheelchair accessibility is very good, there are very few areas that have the usual obstacles, such as confined stairs, that make access impossible. A very good system of disabled access for most rides is in place, but for safety and evacuation reasons, some rides do require that the rider be able to  walk or climb a ladder. It is a good idea to get a disability pass from the City (Town?) Hall on arrival at the park; this makes it easier for staff to identify and assist disabled visitors. The pass will not grant a disabled person the right to jump the queue, but it does allow assisted access to rides via the exit gates rather then the more restrictive entrance gates.
What normally happens is they will let you in at the exit and you can sit and wait for your turn. The  pass clearly states that it does not give you the right to jump the queue, but as the park was quiet (we went in February) this wasn't a problem.
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It must be said that I can lift my son and carry him for about 15 minutes, if you cannot lift yourself into and out of a chair or  your carer you cannot lift you, then you will struggle to access most of the rides. This is because many have restricted access.
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==See==
 
==See==
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* The '''Castle''' ''(Fantasyland)'' is the dominating feature of the Park. While the cynic will notice the stark plastic construction, the castle's fascination cannot be denied by anybody who grew up with Disney style comics. Don't forget to visit the '''Dragon Cave''' through a side entrance; the sleeping dragon is one of the best Audio-Animatronics in Disneyland.
 
* The '''Castle''' ''(Fantasyland)'' is the dominating feature of the Park. While the cynic will notice the stark plastic construction, the castle's fascination cannot be denied by anybody who grew up with Disney style comics. Don't forget to visit the '''Dragon Cave''' through a side entrance; the sleeping dragon is one of the best Audio-Animatronics in Disneyland.
  
* '''Disney Characters''' are spread liberally throughout the park. Many are available around the clock - usually the more famous characters like Mickey, Donald etc - and some are only available at certain times. Some characters move around. Care is being taken by the Disneyland administration that no character can be met twice at the same time. Inquire at any store or information outlet about the schedule of the characters. They will give autographs to children, and their main purpose is of course to pose for photos. If you have a favorite "must see", inquire as soon as you can on your arrival; some minor characters - like Stich - are hard to track down. *** If you have a certain character that you absolutely must meet, then check in with CITY HALL at the entrance of the Park on TOWN SQUARE. They can help you with this information, and even organise a "Meet N Greet" with your favourite character.
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* '''Disney Characters''' are spread liberally throughout the park. Many are available around the clock - usually the more famous characters like Mickey, Donald etc - and some are only available at certain times. Some characters move around. Care is being taken by the Disneyland administration that no character can be met twice at the same time. Inquire at any store or information outlet about the schedule of the characters. They will give autographs to children, and their main purpose is of course to pose for photos. If you have a favorite "must see", inquire as soon as you can on your arrival; some minor characters - like Stich - are hard to track down. *** If you have a certain character that you absolutely must meet, then check in with CITY HALL at the entrance of the Park on TOWN SQUARE. They can help you with this information, and even organize a "Meet N Greet" with your favorite character.
  
 
* Throughout the day there are various '''Parades''' - some of them are quite famous. They include various Disney and non-Disney characters, are held in different parts of the Park at different times. The park map will have a listing of the schedules.
 
* Throughout the day there are various '''Parades''' - some of them are quite famous. They include various Disney and non-Disney characters, are held in different parts of the Park at different times. The park map will have a listing of the schedules.
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* '''Space Mountain''' ''(Discoveryland)'' is probably one of the best-known Disney rides. The version in Disneyland Paris is certainly taxing; however in comparison to other rides this is probably more because the system is old and worn. Recently Space Mountain 2 was opened, an updated version of the old ride. The ride is tough and harsh and evokes strong reactions - some love it, some hate it. Fastpass available. Height restriction (1m40).
 
* '''Space Mountain''' ''(Discoveryland)'' is probably one of the best-known Disney rides. The version in Disneyland Paris is certainly taxing; however in comparison to other rides this is probably more because the system is old and worn. Recently Space Mountain 2 was opened, an updated version of the old ride. The ride is tough and harsh and evokes strong reactions - some love it, some hate it. Fastpass available. Height restriction (1m40).
  
* '''Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril'''  ''(Adventureland)'' is a nice ride but does have a loop and there is a height requirement. Recommended.
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* '''Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril'''  ''(Adventureland)'' is a nice ride but does have a loop and there is a height requirement.  
  
* '''Big Thunder Mountain''' ''(Frontierland)'' Also one of the better rides in Disneyland. Recommended but this ride is incredibly busy so fastpass is a must. Post-ride photo available.
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* '''Big Thunder Mountain''' ''(Frontierland)'' Also one of the better rides in Disneyland. Enjoyable but incredibly busy so fastpass is a must. Post-ride photo available.
  
 
* '''Rock n' Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith''' ''(Walt Disney Studio park)'' is probably the coolest ride in Disneyland Paris. The design (sound studio) is excellent, the acceleration awesome, the mixed Aerosmith music and "concert ambiente" of this in-doors rollercoaster contribute to the experience. Highly recommended. Wait until during the stunt show as this empties the park, then go on for little or even no queue! Or, if the stunt show is not on for another couple of hours, pick up a fastpass ticket — but generally the queue is not too bad and does not require a fastpass. Another tip, ask to ride in the front, you may have to queue a little longer but generally get on the next time. If you have waited 45 minutes, why not wait another minute for the VIP ride!
 
* '''Rock n' Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith''' ''(Walt Disney Studio park)'' is probably the coolest ride in Disneyland Paris. The design (sound studio) is excellent, the acceleration awesome, the mixed Aerosmith music and "concert ambiente" of this in-doors rollercoaster contribute to the experience. Highly recommended. Wait until during the stunt show as this empties the park, then go on for little or even no queue! Or, if the stunt show is not on for another couple of hours, pick up a fastpass ticket — but generally the queue is not too bad and does not require a fastpass. Another tip, ask to ride in the front, you may have to queue a little longer but generally get on the next time. If you have waited 45 minutes, why not wait another minute for the VIP ride!
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* '''Pirates of the Caribbean''' ''(Adventureland)'', probably the best known Disney ride, is a water ride with a piracy theme. It's pretty harmless, features a lot of Audio-Animatronic pirates and is suitable for all ages. Expect your clothes and gear to possibly get a few drops, though it's hardly a deluge. Features "The Blue Lagoon", an expensive "jungle ambiance" restaurant. Although it is usually busy, its quick loading technique shortens queuing time. Don't bother with a camera or camcorder - it's very dark. Post-ride photo of yourself on the ride (taken automatically) available.
 
* '''Pirates of the Caribbean''' ''(Adventureland)'', probably the best known Disney ride, is a water ride with a piracy theme. It's pretty harmless, features a lot of Audio-Animatronic pirates and is suitable for all ages. Expect your clothes and gear to possibly get a few drops, though it's hardly a deluge. Features "The Blue Lagoon", an expensive "jungle ambiance" restaurant. Although it is usually busy, its quick loading technique shortens queuing time. Don't bother with a camera or camcorder - it's very dark. Post-ride photo of yourself on the ride (taken automatically) available.
  
* '''It's A Small World''' is a stereotypical "cute" Disney ride. Designed mostly for small children, this is a perfect ride for those who can enjoy the most impressive kitsch ever designed. It's colorful, it has a catchy tune that will remain on your mind for days, and it's a lot of fun if you do not take it too seriously. Recommended for families with young children or silly adults. Sensible adults will enjoy if they've watched the first Shrek and recall the lyrics of 'Welcome to Dulac': "Please keep off the grass, shine your shoes, wipe your.. face".
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* '''It's A Small World''' is a stereotypical "cute" Disney ride. Designed mostly for small children, this is a perfect ride for those who can enjoy the most impressive kitsch ever designed. It's colorful, it has a catchy tune that will remain on your mind for days, and it's a lot of fun if you do not take it too seriously. Good for families with young children or silly adults. Sensible adults will enjoy if they've watched the first Shrek and recall the lyrics of 'Welcome to Dulac': "Please keep off the grass, shine your shoes, wipe your.. face".
  
* '''Star Tours''' ''(Discoveryland)'' is a "Flight Sim" with a Star Wars theme. A must for every fan, but it's well done and should be enjoyable for most people. Pay attention for a few small jokes in the very well done set design. It can get quite busy so fastpass is recommended.
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* '''Star Tours''' ''(Discoveryland)'' is a "Flight Sim" with a Star Wars theme. A must for every fan, but it's well done and should be enjoyable for most people. Pay attention for a few small jokes in the very well done set design. It can get quite busy so get a fastpass.
  
 
* '''Crush's Coaster''' ''(Walt Disney Studio Park)'' is a very enjoyable roller coaster, mostly in the dark, themed on "Finding Nemo" in which you ride the East Australian Current on (in) a turtle. Height restriction (1m02). No Fastpass (Jan 08) and very long queues; get there early or be patient. In a 60-minute queue, only half will be under shelter.
 
* '''Crush's Coaster''' ''(Walt Disney Studio Park)'' is a very enjoyable roller coaster, mostly in the dark, themed on "Finding Nemo" in which you ride the East Australian Current on (in) a turtle. Height restriction (1m02). No Fastpass (Jan 08) and very long queues; get there early or be patient. In a 60-minute queue, only half will be under shelter.
  
* '''Phantom Manor''' ''(Frontierland)'' A "haunted house" ride. Very well done and highly recommended. Pay attention to the fake cemetery on your way out for a few chuckles. However, it is in French so the plot may be hard to understand. The queue is ok but is more popular during Halloween. It may be unsuitable for very small children; it might not be a good idea to take along your baby, so leave him/her with some older member of the family.
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* '''Phantom Manor''' ''(Frontierland)'' A "haunted house" ride tha is very well done. Pay attention to the fake cemetery on your way out for a few chuckles. However, it is in French so the plot may be hard to understand. The queue is ok but is more popular during Halloween. It may be unsuitable for very small children; it might not be a good idea to take along your baby, so leave him/her with some older member of the family.
  
 
===FastPass===
 
===FastPass===
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The main shopping areas are located at Main Street USA and in Disney Village.
 
The main shopping areas are located at Main Street USA and in Disney Village.
  
==Eat and drink==
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==Eat==
  
Disneyland Paris sports many restaurants and bars that have mostly one thing in common: They're expensive. Some are simple fast-food joints, others are quite fancy.  
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Disneyland Paris sports many restaurants and bars that have mostly one thing in common: They're expensive. Some are simple fast-food joints, others are quite fancy. The food is expensive and poor quality, plus you can't get a decent cup of coffee in the entire place, its all franchised out to Nescafe. For France this is a national disgrace. I suggest you get a coffee in the train station, it's the best within walking distance. Cafe Mickey is expensive (E130 for four people) but the characters came around and you may save some time not queuing up in the park to have the kid's pictures taken with the characters.  
The food is expensive and poor quality, plus you can't get a decent cup of coffee in the entire place, its all franchised out to Nescafe. For France this is a national disgrace. I suggest you get a coffee in the train station, its the best within walking distance. We ate in Cafe Mickey the first night, expensive (E130 for four people) but the characters came round and we saved a lot of time not queuing up in the park to have the kid's pictures taken with the characters.  
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* The cheapest food on the premises can be bought at McDonalds. Perhaps surprisingly, they are not much more expensive than any average McDonalds. The McDonalds in Disney Village is the largest in France.
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* The cheapest food on the premises can be bought at McDonald's. Perhaps surprisingly, they are not much more expensive than any average McDonald's. The McDonald's in Disney Village is the largest in France.
  
 
* The primary place to eat, drink, shop and party is in the disney village containing some nicely themed restaurants including King Ludwigs castle, the very atmospheric Jungle cafe plus the nice steak house.
 
* The primary place to eat, drink, shop and party is in the disney village containing some nicely themed restaurants including King Ludwigs castle, the very atmospheric Jungle cafe plus the nice steak house.
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* Perhaps the most interesting ambiance can be had in "The Blue Lagoon", which is built inside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. Prices are steep, but the atmosphere is very nice. You can also look in on the ride itself which can be very entertaining
 
* Perhaps the most interesting ambiance can be had in "The Blue Lagoon", which is built inside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. Prices are steep, but the atmosphere is very nice. You can also look in on the ride itself which can be very entertaining
  
* If you booked yourself into a Disney hotel, this includes breakfast. It's basically an all you can eat buffet of cereal, rolls, yoghurt, and so on. The food is not fancy, but it'll feed you well. You should also get vouchers to eat in the Park at least once (they may offer more than once depending on the booking situation). It is recommended that you take them up on it.  The food is the same, but you are admitted to the park 1 hour before it officially opens, giving you a head start to the rides. Not all the themed "lands" are open for this, you can get a list of the ones that are from your hotel. For instance "its a small world" didn't open until 10am and Autopia (cars that the kids can drive) didn't open to 11am.
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* If you booked yourself into a Disney hotel, this includes breakfast. It's basically an all you can eat buffet of cereal, rolls, yogurt, and so on. The food is not fancy, but it'll feed you well. You should also get vouchers to eat in the Park at least once (they may offer more than once depending on the booking situation).  The food is the same, but you are admitted to the park 1 hour before it officially opens, giving you a head start to the rides. Not all the themed "lands" are open for this, you can get a list of the ones that are from your hotel. For instance "its a small world" didn't open until 10AM and Autopia (cars that the kids can drive) didn't open to 11AM.
  
* There is a large shopping mall a few minutes from the Park by car. If you have access to a vehicle, you can go here for all your shopping needs. This also helps if you are on a budget.
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* There is a large shopping mall a few minutes from the Park by car. If you have access to a vehicle, you can go here for all your shopping needs. This helps if you are on a budget.
  
* Bring something to drink into the park - if you walk around all day, especially when it's hot, you will need a lot of liquid. Don't forget that soda etc at kiosks is very expensive.
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* Bring something to drink into the park - if you walk around all day, especially when it's hot, you will need a lot of liquid. Don't forget that drinks at kiosks are very expensive.
  
 
* There are signs at the entrance stating that there is no picnicking inside the Park.  However, this rule is not strictly enforced.
 
* There are signs at the entrance stating that there is no picnicking inside the Park.  However, this rule is not strictly enforced.
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An asterisk (*) indicates hotels that offer point exchanges to members of the Disney Vacation Club (http://dvcmember.com).
 
An asterisk (*) indicates hotels that offer point exchanges to members of the Disney Vacation Club (http://dvcmember.com).
  
* The '''Cheyenne''' hotel has a Western theme. It's a bit outside  - you have to take the bus to reach the Village  - and it's a little on the budget side. The rooms are nice and it's a good value for the money.  
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* The '''Cheyenne''' hotel has a Western theme. It's a bit outside  - you have to take the bus to reach the Village  - and it's a little on the budget side. The rooms are nice and it's a good value for the money. A walk around takes 10-15 minutes but is not that well signposted, perversely the signposts to the Park are easier to see on the way back from the Park than on the way there, but it's a fairly easy level walk. The hotel is a little on the budget side, basic, clean sort of the average travel lodge type. They offer an "all you can eat buffet" which is actually some of the best food on the Disney site.
We stayed here and I walked it, pushing my son in his buggy. It takes 10-15 minutes it is not that well signposted, perversely the signposts to the Park are easier to see on the way back from the Park than on the way there, but its a fairly easy level walk. The hotel is a little on the budget side, basic, clean sort of the average travel lodge type. They offer an "all you can eat buffet" which I was dreading but it was actually the best food we had on the Disney site.
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* The '''Disneyland*''' hotel is the most lavish and famously expensive. It is situated over the main entrance so walking isn't a problem, however this means that their is a bit of a walk to the village and lake Disney.  
 
* The '''Disneyland*''' hotel is the most lavish and famously expensive. It is situated over the main entrance so walking isn't a problem, however this means that their is a bit of a walk to the village and lake Disney.  
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* The '''Sequoia Lodge*''' hotel is situated on Lake Disney. The hotel consist of a main block where most of the rooms are and a number of smaller blocks scatter through the woods surrounding the hotel, it is quite a nice place to explore.  
 
* The '''Sequoia Lodge*''' hotel is situated on Lake Disney. The hotel consist of a main block where most of the rooms are and a number of smaller blocks scatter through the woods surrounding the hotel, it is quite a nice place to explore.  
  
* The '''Santa Fe''' hotel is situated on the other side of the river beside the Cheyenne hotel. You can reach the parks by walking but may prefer to take the bus as it is quite a long way from the park but its probably the cheapest of them all.  
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* The '''Santa Fe''' hotel is situated on the other side of the river beside the Cheyenne hotel. You can reach the parks by walking but may prefer to take the bus as it is a ten to fifteen minute walk to the park but its probably the cheapest of them all.  
''I do not know who wrote this but clearly a long walk for them is going to the WC. It an easy walk to the park from here, 10 minutes maybe 15 if you walk slowly.''
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* The '''Davy Crockett Ranch''' is situated 5 minutes drive away (you have to have a car as there is no shuttle). It is quite different from the other hotels and consists of separate motel style accommodation with cooking facilities. There is also a shop (open late) and a swimming pool, horse rides and a petting zoo.
 
* The '''Davy Crockett Ranch''' is situated 5 minutes drive away (you have to have a car as there is no shuttle). It is quite different from the other hotels and consists of separate motel style accommodation with cooking facilities. There is also a shop (open late) and a swimming pool, horse rides and a petting zoo.
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The park doesn't offer Internet access to its visitors. Some of the more expensive hotels may offer an Internet Cafe though; inquire before booking. No computers are in any of the rooms but it is possible to bring a laptop as there are spare electric sockets and a desk space.
 
The park doesn't offer Internet access to its visitors. Some of the more expensive hotels may offer an Internet Cafe though; inquire before booking. No computers are in any of the rooms but it is possible to bring a laptop as there are spare electric sockets and a desk space.
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==Get Out==
  
 
==See also==
 
==See also==

Revision as of 14:06, 14 March 2008

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Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant - "Sleeping Beauty's Castle"

Disneyland Resort Paris (formerly Euro Disneyland) [1], located in the Paris suburb of Marne-la-Vallée, is the Disney Empire's European variant of their archetypal "Magic Kingdom" theme park.

Contents

Understand

Dedication
"To all who come to this happy place, welcome. Once upon a time, a master storyteller, Walt Disney, inspired by Europe's best loved tales, used his own special gifts to share them with the world. He envisioned a Magic Kingdom where these stories would come to life, and called it Disneyland.
Now his dream returns to the land that inspired it. Euro Disneyland is dedicated to the young and the young at heart, with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration for all the world."
-Michael Eisner, 1 April 1992


Disney's theme parks are famous for their "Audio-Animatronics," attention to detail, service mentality, crowds,and high prices. The intention is to completely recreate the "magic" of the Disney franchise; employees are not "staff" but "cast members"; the park is kept insanely clean; and everywhere you will find a perfectly running machine. For example, you won't find the same Disney character twice within sight - there are no duplicates. Children are clearly the focus of Disneyland, but older visitors are not neglected either.

All the theme parks follow basically the same setup, but of course there are many regional differences.

Disneyland Paris consists of three parks; the Disney village; Disneyland Paris itself, and the Disney Studio park. The Village is comprised of stores and restaurants; the Disneyland is the park everybody has heard of and expects; and Disney Studio Park has a more general movie making theme - but it's still very Disney.

The total commercialism is something you have to either accept, ignore or enjoy. Besides the merchandise stores at every corner, many rides are "sponsored" by various large corporations.

To make the experience even more enjoyable, the City of Light is just a half-hour train ride away.

When to visit

Disneyland Paris is infamous for its crowds. At all attractions all over the park you will see "barricades" and signs along the lines of "Waiting time at this point - 45 minutes".

It is essential for an enjoyable visit to Disneyland to plan for a good time. Ideally, you want good weather and as few people as possible.

The best times to visit Disneyland Paris is on weekdays outside public holidays and school vacations. The least-visited times seem to be September-October and May-June. Considering the French weather, June is likely the safest bet. You'll probably be able to get some very good deals during these times. (Example in June 2003: 3 days for the price of 2 days, including hotel, about €200/person.) If you are lucky, you won't have to wait at all except at very popular rides, and even then the waiting time can be as low as a few minutes.

Note that even when the park is not very crowded you will have trouble to "see it all". For a more or less complete tour, you will need at least two days.

It should be said quite clearly that Disneyland Paris is a lot of fun when you don't have to wait a lot - but almost no ride is worth waiting 45 minutes or more. However, see below for "FastPass" tickets.

Get in

After you arrive, first get to your hotel if you have booked one. You will get your tickets here, as well as information material (maps) and breakfast vouchers.

By plane

  • From Charles de Gaulle: TGV [2] operates a 10 minute train service to the resort from CDG Airport's Terminal 2.
  • From Orly: Take the Orlyval to Antony, then RER B (blue) to Chatelet-Les Halles, and finally RER A (red) to Marne-la-Vallee Chessy.
  • From either airport: VEA [3] operates bus service to Disneyland Paris from both Charles de Gaulle and Orly. However, the trains are considered the most practical option.

By car

One choice if you live in France or in a nearby region (Central Germany, Southern United Kingdom, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg) is to take a car. The highway system of France is decent enough and Disneyland Paris is easy to find. You should keep a supply of cash and/or credit cards ready, however, as the French charge hefty fees for the use of the highways. A trip from Frankfurt, Germany to Disneyland Paris can cost approximately €30 in fees.

If you are driving from the UK, note that France drives on the right.

By train

The best way to reach Disneyland Paris, which has its own train station, is by train: they are reliable and run frequently.

Paris RER Line A runs from central Paris to the Disneyland Paris station, with frequent trains taking 35 minutes for the journey.

Eurostar [4] operates a daily service from London's St. Pancras station and Ashford direct to the Disneyland Paris station taking some three hours. You can then leave your luggage at the station and it will be moved to your hotel whilst you enjoy the parks. There are also fast trains which run directly to the Disneyland Paris station from destinations to the east and west such as Nantes and Lille. Note that when booking tickets the official name of the station is Marne-la-Vallee Chessy (this is useful for automatic ticket machines - the human ticket sellers will all know the station for Disneyland).

Get around

Once you are in the park, your main mode of transportation will be walking. Disneyland is divided into four themed sections (Discoveryland, Frontierland, Adventureland and Fantasyland) and the central shopping and information area Main Street USA.

If you need to get from one side of the park to another, you can take the train which circles the Park and has a stop in each of the major sections.

If you find yourself at the back of the park during heavy rain, there is an undercover walkway that will take you all the way from the Pirates of the Caribbean ride to the front of the park.

Bus services exist which can take you from Disney Village and the central entrance to the hotels. These buses are free of charge.


Accessibility

Wheelchair accessibility is very good, there are very few areas that have the usual obstacles, such as confined stairs, that make access impossible. A very good system of disabled access for most rides is in place, but for safety and evacuation reasons, some rides do require that the rider be able to walk or climb a ladder. It is a good idea to get a disability pass from the City (Town?) Hall on arrival at the park; this makes it easier for staff to identify and assist disabled visitors. The pass will not grant a disabled person the right to jump the queue, but it does allow assisted access to rides via the exit gates rather then the more restrictive entrance gates.

See

Disneyland Paris is mainly a place for doing, not for seeing. But this doesn't mean there are no places with a good view.

  • The Castle (Fantasyland) is the dominating feature of the Park. While the cynic will notice the stark plastic construction, the castle's fascination cannot be denied by anybody who grew up with Disney style comics. Don't forget to visit the Dragon Cave through a side entrance; the sleeping dragon is one of the best Audio-Animatronics in Disneyland.
  • Disney Characters are spread liberally throughout the park. Many are available around the clock - usually the more famous characters like Mickey, Donald etc - and some are only available at certain times. Some characters move around. Care is being taken by the Disneyland administration that no character can be met twice at the same time. Inquire at any store or information outlet about the schedule of the characters. They will give autographs to children, and their main purpose is of course to pose for photos. If you have a favorite "must see", inquire as soon as you can on your arrival; some minor characters - like Stich - are hard to track down. *** If you have a certain character that you absolutely must meet, then check in with CITY HALL at the entrance of the Park on TOWN SQUARE. They can help you with this information, and even organize a "Meet N Greet" with your favorite character.
  • Throughout the day there are various Parades - some of them are quite famous. They include various Disney and non-Disney characters, are held in different parts of the Park at different times. The park map will have a listing of the schedules.

Shows

There are many shows available throughout Disneyland Paris.

  • Tarzan (Frontierland) features acrobatics mixed in with music from the movie. It's well done and well worth the time.
  • Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show (Disney Village) combines horses-and-pistols action with food served to the audience. You have to pay €50 admittance per person. The show may be interesting to some children, but it's overall rather tedious. The food isn't very good either. The service can be alright, but it really depends on where you're sitting. Spend the money in some other way (merchandise, or a dinner at the Blue Lagoon)... but avoid Buffalo Bill.
  • Honey I Shrunk the Audience (Discoveryland) is basically a 3D movie with "interactive" elements - and starring Eric Idle and Rick Moranis.
  • Animagique (Walt Disney Studio park) is basically a small musical number with dancing Disney characters and pink elephants. Well done if you can appreciate this type of entertainment.
  • CineMagique (Walt Disney Studio park) - another "interactive" show; the theme is a trip through 100 years of movie history. Very well done, and highly recommended.
  • Armageddon Special Effects (Walt Disney Studio park) lets you experience the destruction of the space station by incoming asteroids. Probably best suited for teenagers. Avoid if very crowded.
  • Moteurs! Action (Walt Disney Studio park) A stunt car show. Rather entertaining and definitely good for some photo moments. It's next to Rockin' Rollercoaster With Aerosmith. A little bit long but worth the time.
  • The Lion King (Discoveryland) Based on the musical and animated movie of the same name. Quite interactive and a good one for the kids. Get tickets early.

Do

Most "activities" in Disneyland Paris consist of various rides. However, there are discos and bars in the village where people meet and dance.

Rides

Travel Warning WARNING: Riders are strongly advised to adhere to posted warning signs advising persons with serious health problems (motion sickness, back or neck problems, etc.) against riding as the turbulent motion of the ride can easily aggravate these conditions.

Easily the primary attraction of Disneyland, rides can be quite crowded depending on popularity - even on otherwise empty days at the park.

Some notable rides are:

  • Space Mountain (Discoveryland) is probably one of the best-known Disney rides. The version in Disneyland Paris is certainly taxing; however in comparison to other rides this is probably more because the system is old and worn. Recently Space Mountain 2 was opened, an updated version of the old ride. The ride is tough and harsh and evokes strong reactions - some love it, some hate it. Fastpass available. Height restriction (1m40).
  • Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril (Adventureland) is a nice ride but does have a loop and there is a height requirement.
  • Big Thunder Mountain (Frontierland) Also one of the better rides in Disneyland. Enjoyable but incredibly busy so fastpass is a must. Post-ride photo available.
  • Rock n' Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith (Walt Disney Studio park) is probably the coolest ride in Disneyland Paris. The design (sound studio) is excellent, the acceleration awesome, the mixed Aerosmith music and "concert ambiente" of this in-doors rollercoaster contribute to the experience. Highly recommended. Wait until during the stunt show as this empties the park, then go on for little or even no queue! Or, if the stunt show is not on for another couple of hours, pick up a fastpass ticket — but generally the queue is not too bad and does not require a fastpass. Another tip, ask to ride in the front, you may have to queue a little longer but generally get on the next time. If you have waited 45 minutes, why not wait another minute for the VIP ride!
  • Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast (Discoveryland) is an interactive ride — the only one in the whole complex? — which gives you a "laser pistol" with which to fire at targets, earning points that are totted up as you go along. (If you buy a post-ride photo, your point total appears on it.) Very good fun for all ages, with all the queueing under shelter. Busy: either get there early or take a fastpass.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean (Adventureland), probably the best known Disney ride, is a water ride with a piracy theme. It's pretty harmless, features a lot of Audio-Animatronic pirates and is suitable for all ages. Expect your clothes and gear to possibly get a few drops, though it's hardly a deluge. Features "The Blue Lagoon", an expensive "jungle ambiance" restaurant. Although it is usually busy, its quick loading technique shortens queuing time. Don't bother with a camera or camcorder - it's very dark. Post-ride photo of yourself on the ride (taken automatically) available.
  • It's A Small World is a stereotypical "cute" Disney ride. Designed mostly for small children, this is a perfect ride for those who can enjoy the most impressive kitsch ever designed. It's colorful, it has a catchy tune that will remain on your mind for days, and it's a lot of fun if you do not take it too seriously. Good for families with young children or silly adults. Sensible adults will enjoy if they've watched the first Shrek and recall the lyrics of 'Welcome to Dulac': "Please keep off the grass, shine your shoes, wipe your.. face".
  • Star Tours (Discoveryland) is a "Flight Sim" with a Star Wars theme. A must for every fan, but it's well done and should be enjoyable for most people. Pay attention for a few small jokes in the very well done set design. It can get quite busy so get a fastpass.
  • Crush's Coaster (Walt Disney Studio Park) is a very enjoyable roller coaster, mostly in the dark, themed on "Finding Nemo" in which you ride the East Australian Current on (in) a turtle. Height restriction (1m02). No Fastpass (Jan 08) and very long queues; get there early or be patient. In a 60-minute queue, only half will be under shelter.
  • Phantom Manor (Frontierland) A "haunted house" ride tha is very well done. Pay attention to the fake cemetery on your way out for a few chuckles. However, it is in French so the plot may be hard to understand. The queue is ok but is more popular during Halloween. It may be unsuitable for very small children; it might not be a good idea to take along your baby, so leave him/her with some older member of the family.

FastPass

If you can plan your timing somewhat, you may wish to take advantage of the FastPass system. When you get to a ride, you can get a so-called fast pass that allows you to bypass the queue at a set, later time. Even when the park is only moderately crowded, it's a good idea to get fast passes for popular rides early (Big Thunder Mountain and Indiana Jones for example). FastPass exist only for a few rides.

You first go in front of the ride to get a coupon with a time frame. You then have to come back in that given time frame to take the ride. If you don't like the proposed time frame, you need to come back later. You cannot take another FastPass ticket before the start of the time frame of your first fastpass. There is a limited number of fastpass so you should take them before they are all gone.

If you wish to do several big rides without having to wait a lot you should get FastPass for all the rides first thing when you arrived on the site.

Baby Switch

This is a great system for people with very young children. Essentially only one has to queue while the other waits with the baby and then is taken straight to the front of the line.

Buy

If there is one thing you will never have a problem finding in Disneyland Paris, it's stores. Various themed and general stores are spread liberally throughout the park, selling Disney merchandise and general memorabilia. They carry everything from pencils to books, from Indiana Jones fedora hats to Cinderella costumes. The sky is basically the limit on the money you can spend at Disneyland Paris - you can buy glass/crystal trinkets and sword replicas in the central castle. If you come to Disneyland Paris with children, be prepared to reach deep into your pockets; cowboy hats and pistols or knights' swords seem to be essentials for boys; Cinderella costumes for girls. Either way, a set of goodies for a child will probably set you back approximately €50. Add to this plush dolls, t-shirts and action figures ... it's easy to spend €50-100 a head on "souvenirs" - or more.

The main shopping areas are located at Main Street USA and in Disney Village.

Eat

Disneyland Paris sports many restaurants and bars that have mostly one thing in common: They're expensive. Some are simple fast-food joints, others are quite fancy. The food is expensive and poor quality, plus you can't get a decent cup of coffee in the entire place, its all franchised out to Nescafe. For France this is a national disgrace. I suggest you get a coffee in the train station, it's the best within walking distance. Cafe Mickey is expensive (E130 for four people) but the characters came around and you may save some time not queuing up in the park to have the kid's pictures taken with the characters.

  • The cheapest food on the premises can be bought at McDonald's. Perhaps surprisingly, they are not much more expensive than any average McDonald's. The McDonald's in Disney Village is the largest in France.
  • The primary place to eat, drink, shop and party is in the disney village containing some nicely themed restaurants including King Ludwigs castle, the very atmospheric Jungle cafe plus the nice steak house.
  • Perhaps the most interesting ambiance can be had in "The Blue Lagoon", which is built inside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. Prices are steep, but the atmosphere is very nice. You can also look in on the ride itself which can be very entertaining
  • If you booked yourself into a Disney hotel, this includes breakfast. It's basically an all you can eat buffet of cereal, rolls, yogurt, and so on. The food is not fancy, but it'll feed you well. You should also get vouchers to eat in the Park at least once (they may offer more than once depending on the booking situation). The food is the same, but you are admitted to the park 1 hour before it officially opens, giving you a head start to the rides. Not all the themed "lands" are open for this, you can get a list of the ones that are from your hotel. For instance "its a small world" didn't open until 10AM and Autopia (cars that the kids can drive) didn't open to 11AM.
  • There is a large shopping mall a few minutes from the Park by car. If you have access to a vehicle, you can go here for all your shopping needs. This helps if you are on a budget.
  • Bring something to drink into the park - if you walk around all day, especially when it's hot, you will need a lot of liquid. Don't forget that drinks at kiosks are very expensive.
  • There are signs at the entrance stating that there is no picnicking inside the Park. However, this rule is not strictly enforced.

Remember that the park closes early in the winter, spring and autumn so it is hard to eat dinner in the park after dark.

Sleep

Disney offers various hotels in and around the park. They vary in quality and style. All should offer a free safe to store your valuables during the day, including notebook computers (Laptops). Inquire at the reception. Most are within easy walking distance from the Park

An asterisk (*) indicates hotels that offer point exchanges to members of the Disney Vacation Club (http://dvcmember.com).

  • The Cheyenne hotel has a Western theme. It's a bit outside - you have to take the bus to reach the Village - and it's a little on the budget side. The rooms are nice and it's a good value for the money. A walk around takes 10-15 minutes but is not that well signposted, perversely the signposts to the Park are easier to see on the way back from the Park than on the way there, but it's a fairly easy level walk. The hotel is a little on the budget side, basic, clean sort of the average travel lodge type. They offer an "all you can eat buffet" which is actually some of the best food on the Disney site.
  • The Disneyland* hotel is the most lavish and famously expensive. It is situated over the main entrance so walking isn't a problem, however this means that their is a bit of a walk to the village and lake Disney.
  • The New York* hotel is situated on Lake Disney. This hotel tends to attract business customers coming for conventions.
  • The Newport Bay* hotel is situated on Lake Disney. The theme is New England. Due to its many balconies and a very large swimming pool, this is a great hotel to stay at in the summer and offers great views out into the lake and beyond.
  • The Sequoia Lodge* hotel is situated on Lake Disney. The hotel consist of a main block where most of the rooms are and a number of smaller blocks scatter through the woods surrounding the hotel, it is quite a nice place to explore.
  • The Santa Fe hotel is situated on the other side of the river beside the Cheyenne hotel. You can reach the parks by walking but may prefer to take the bus as it is a ten to fifteen minute walk to the park but its probably the cheapest of them all.
  • The Davy Crockett Ranch is situated 5 minutes drive away (you have to have a car as there is no shuttle). It is quite different from the other hotels and consists of separate motel style accommodation with cooking facilities. There is also a shop (open late) and a swimming pool, horse rides and a petting zoo.

As well as the above, there are several outer hotels, all of these offer transport to the park but they don't have a Disney theme and may not be included in special offer packages.

One such hotel is the Holiday Inn, which is situated alongside the official Disney hotels. It is also served by the Disney bus from Charles de Gaulle airport, and by the frequent shuttle buses to/from the parks. It has a circus theme throughout, and has good sized family accommodation.

Talk

Communication shouldn't be an issue. Disneyland Paris is mainly French, but all menus and signs are also available in English and some in other languages. All Cast Members speak English; and as they are recruited from all over Europe,several of them speak over 3 languages so you probably won't have a problem finding someone who speaks your language. If all else fails, the visitors are from all over Europe and the world, and a bystander might be able to translate. Many sights are also in English and possibly German as they are the 3 most common languages spoken in Disneyland. Maps are available in French, English, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, and German while passing under the train tracks after you have purchased a ticket and entered the park.

Contact

Mail

You can buy postcards and stamps at most shops in the park. Mailboxes exist in some central locations. Ask the shopkeepers about the postage required to your destination.

Internet

The park doesn't offer Internet access to its visitors. Some of the more expensive hotels may offer an Internet Cafe though; inquire before booking. No computers are in any of the rooms but it is possible to bring a laptop as there are spare electric sockets and a desk space.

Get Out

See also

This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!





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