Hi all! So this will be where I post my Disneyland Paris trip report. I’m first going to repost the long message I had about my plans beforehand and then we can see how I did! Some information I didn’t include in the long message: our trip included Paris for 5 days, then Sarajevo (Bosnia) for a few days where I had a conference, then we drove to Croatia for a few days before heading home (a harrowing drive for us, especially with our DD4). As someone who doesn’t leave the USA that often, this was definitely my biggest trip to date. I’m not sure if DLP was the highlight of the entire trip (Sarajevo and Croatia were so unlike anything I’ve experienced), but for me, DLP was the highlight of our Paris portion, and I wish I could have gotten more time there.
Posted March 17 on another thread: So I know that I’m reviving this old thread (I did not know that the forum would inform me of this fact and try to get me to reconsider). The main reason for reviving the thread is because I’m planning a quick trip to Disneyland Paris!
Before I get to the currently known details of my trip though, let me very sincerely thank @schirm for her excellent posts detailing her trip. I’ve read over the trip report multiple times and am sure I will again as I firm up plans. I have really enjoyed the few trip reports there are from Americans going to Disney parks overseas, and this thread has definitely been a highlight. I never thought I would be able to go to a Disney Park overseas, but enjoyed seeing the different locations and attractions.
But now it DOES look like I’m going to Disneyland Paris! For a very quick trip, anyway. Let me get into the details and planning thus far.
The Trip: This summer I have a conference in Europe, and my DW and DD are coming along and making the conference the “center” of the trip where they will relax and recover a bit while I attend my conference. The first part of the trip will be 5 days in Paris, of which we’ll be complete tourists. The main attractions will be the very usual ones: Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Versailles, Disneyland Paris, and hopefully some time to just spend in the city walking and at cafés. We’ll be staying at a hotel in Paris within walking distance of the Louvre.
The Day: My DW is in charge of basically the whole trip (that’s her forte), but put me in charge of planning the Disney portion (that’s my forte). So the plans may change, but right now here’s what I can piece together:
June 15: arrive in Paris and rest and adjust to the time change.
June 16: Louvre and Eiffel Tower (again, we’re within walking distance to the Louvre, and we’ll have our DD4 with us, so I only see us spending a morning at a few key spots in the Louvre, and then going to the Eiffel Tower.
June 17 (Friday): Disneyland Paris day! I’m the one who is the most Disney obsessed, so so far I have only been able to convince the group on a 3/4 day or so at Disneyland Paris to hit the highlights. I would like longer of course, but anytime there at all is a compromise. Friday will make the cost the lowest (from my beginning research it seems that Disneyland Paris has already implemented some tiered pricing, where normal weekdays are cheapest, and much of Europe I’ve heard is still in the school year at this date).
June 18: Versailles
June 19: general Paris and Cafés
June 20: Fly out for my conference and the next portion of the trip.
The people: Myself (a mid-30’s male with only slight health concerns like mild UC and allergies to peanuts and other nuts), and again I am pretty Disney obsessed. My DW who has some minor back issues and is pretty ambivalent about Disney. Our DD4.8 in June with no health concerns and loves Disney when she’s there, but definitely needs a heads-up. Pretty normal kid. I’ve already started some light videos and information for her, but my DW wanted to make sure that Disney didn’t overshadow the rest of the trip, so I haven’t done too much. Right now she’s ambivalent. When we get closer and plans are more firm we’ll get her a bit more excited and prepared. We all live in Ft. Lauderdale, so we’ve made multiple trips to WDW but not to any other Disney Parks. Also joining us is DW’s good friend from Texas, who will help us with DD but does not like Disney. One reason is that she has some knee issues and therefore mobility issues. She can get around fine walking some, but tries to limit her walking if possible as it will cause her some pain by the end of the day. She did say that she will probably prefer walking in Disney to waiting and walking a lot in the Louvre, which is how I got all the adults on board with this excursion.
Disneyland Paris Day: The hope is to leave our hotel and travel in some way (more on this below) to arrive at Rope Drop (10am for offsite guests, from my research), bring lunch in with us, and leave in the afternoon to get back to Paris in time for dinner.
Attractions: I’ve done some research on this, about half concerning the stuff on TouringPlans forum posts and blogs. I know many attractions will be closed for construction for our visit. Certainly I’m bummed about some of these (I would have liked to ride BTMRR, PoTC and PP and DW is a huge Star Wars fan but Star Tours will be closed), but I’m choosing to see all the closures as somewhat of a positive. It means we’ll be able to see a greater percentage of open attractions overall hopefully. Also, for the attractions we do, I expect DD and myself will do all of them (so no attractions where she’s too short or that might be too scary), my DW will do most to all of them, and DW’s friend will do many of them, but may take a rest during some of them. Looking through posts, I only have a few definites on the list, and hope to make it a fairly lightweight Disney day for everyone. But a couple of attractions I would love to see are the following (to do in no particular order):
The Main Street, U.S.A. Arcades: specifically the parts about the Statue of Liberty. My parents recently relocated to Manhattan, and we just got back from visiting them and saw the Statue of Liberty from afar, so I thought seeing this walk through exhibit would connect the two trips nicely for DD.
The Dragon: a lot of sites and people say it is a must-do. While we’re there, I’d like to see the Sleeping Beauty Castle and Stained Glass if possible.
Le Pays des Contes de Fées: I’ll need to figure out what this translates to. I know many people say it’s not the best, that it needs some upkeep, that Disneyland in CA has a better version. I would like to do it for one crazy reason: I love the movie Return to Oz! Of course I saw it at the right age where I was fascinated/horrified with the movie, but it left such a lasting impression and you hardly hear anyone talk about it. And I know on the ride you’ll just get a glimpse of a model that looks like it comes from the movie, but I don’t think you can convince me not to put this ride on the to do list. I think DD will like the ride as a whole as well, and it doesn’t seem like it ever has too much of a wait. The Casey Jr. Train ride right by it seems like it has more of a wait, but if it’s reasonable that would be a ride I’d like to do with DD as well.
Alice’s Curious Labyrinth: again, many people say it’s a must-do. Looking at pictures and descriptions, I’m excited about seeing it. I’m thinking this could be a good one, among others, for DW’s friend to take a break.
And…that’s it for my definites! Certainly I would love to do more as long as we have time and are still pretty relaxed. Some I can think of are (this is a longer list, but again, these are the maybes, so we might only get to one or two of these)
A. A Dark ride. Either Pinocchio or Snow White. Whichever one DD would prefer and/or has a reasonable wait.
B. Other walkthroughs, like the Aladdin one is one that comes to mind. Maybe the 20,000 Leagues one if time permits.
C. Buzz Lightyear ride. I know this is just like the one in CA, but for one we’ve never done it, and for two, nothing that I’ve mentioned so far has involved a FastPass, which seems wrong (especially being a WDW person where FP+ is so important) so it feels like I should get a FastPass for this ride somewhat early in the day. If DD likes it, we can maybe get FPs for it at different times, since there is no other ride that we would FP, since they’re either closed or DD isn’t big enough for them.
D. Autopia. Almost a definite as I think DD will really enjoy it. I could see going on it with DD while DW’s friend and maybe DW herself bow out as I could see them not caring about it.
E. Short time for souvenirs.
F. A parade or show if we come across one and have time and it looks interesting. I asked about DD doing the Jedi show but she said definitely not, but she wouldn’t be opposed to watching it. I showed her the TouringPlans blog video.
E. Others, but way low on the priority list: Dumbo, Carrousel, meeting characters, etc. These are low on the list as they’re in general low priority rides or activities we could do in WDW.
Again, some definite no’s, like the Indiana Jones ride, Space Mountain, Phantom Manor, etc. if DD isn’t big enough or if it might be too scary.
Whew…I think that about covers the attractions, although I may be forgetting something. But that probably means it doesn’t matter to me too much. Now let me get into the last category for this post (if you’re still reading this very long post), my concerns and what I haven’t figured out, which is pretty much everything else.
Transportation: this is my biggest concern by far, and for trips in general, which is a big reason why DW is in charge of this part for most trips. But since I’m in charge of this portion, I’d like to take care of this as well. From my research, I know for ultimate convenience and the least amount of walking, that I could book a vehicle that would pick us at our hotel, take us to the park entrance, and then take us back. But the cost would be heavy, and the vehicle wouldn’t get us back to Paris until later than people would like. If I were choosing, this is what I would choose, for convenience alone. But I don’t think the other people will want to do this option which is understandable.
The cheapest option I’ve read is to take the train, which I’ve read is easy to do and should be very convenient as we’re staying near the Louvre. It just scares me as I’m not used to trains, subways, etc. in general, and don’t speak French. Getting tickets, getting to a station, getting on the right train, possibly having to switch trains or modes of transportation, getting off, walking from the station to the park entrance, getting there before or close to rope drop, etc. all scare me, even though From what I’ve read many people say it will be easy. If anyone can calm me down about this option, using either knowledge or general emotion, I’d greatly appreciate it, as I suspect this will be the option we choose regardless.
We could choose a middle-ground, like Disney transportation from a spot that’s not our hotel, but I’m not sure why we’d do this but not spend the extra to go with the biggest convenience at that point.
What to Bring: for a full day at WDW, we take a stroller for DD (even though she has lots of energy and stamina, it seems like more than most kids her age, but I think the general wisdom is to bring a stroller at this age), a backpack with some stuff like a change of clothes, and a cooler for food. For Disneyland Paris I would like to pack lighter, but again we would like to bring food for lunch into the park, and we might be bringing a cooler for the trip in general, so we’d probably bring it if we had it. Probably still bring a stroller? Again, DD never uses one at home, but I think we’re bringing an umbrella stroller for this trip as a whole. She used one occasionally in NY. So maybe just no clothes? If something major happens we’ll just have to buy something? I’m not anti buying stuff, we just want to keep costs reasonable overall.
Tickets: not a big concern, but certainly when it comes time to buy them I’ll have to take some time. I already looked up the pricing and it’s reasonable compared to WDW, which we were pleased about. The expensive transportation includes tickets, but more expensive ones, so I’m holding off buying tickets until I discuss transportation with my DW. But I am concerned about not having them now and my nervousness will increase bit by bit until I have them. This is tied to a concern that suddenly we’ll decide we just can’t justify going for one reason or another, which isn’t very likely at this point, but is a very small possibility.
Enjoyment: not a huge concern. I’ll love it, I’m sure my DD will love it and we’re pretty good with dealing with her moods and keeping her happy (although of course all the travel may take its toll on her, but we’re pretty good at adjusting as needed), my DW usually enjoys Disney well enough, and her friend will endure. We’ve told her that she has the option of staying behind by herself if she wants, but the impression I get is that she’ll come along and she is good company and doesn’t sulk or complain even if she’s doing something that she’d rather not. Again, I could see her coming along, finding a good shaded/indoor spot, and sitting for a good amount of time while we experience the park. I think she’ll enjoy some of the park at least. I’m going to try to minimize line waiting as much of possible for everyone for multiple reasons, but one of which being that waiting in line could aggravate DWs back a bit and her friends knee a bit, but not too severely. I hope to walk not too fast as well. Sometimes in WDW my DW becomes much more type A and tries to do too much too fast, but with her friend there I’m hoping we can take things a bit slower even if that means not doing as much, as I usually enjoy a more relaxed pace.
Crowds, weather, and not experiencing everything we (I) want to: again, not too much of a concern, as I feel this is largely out of my control and I generally deal with this rather well. I think the day we chose is good as it’s a weekday, most of Europe is still in school, and it works with the price of the tickets and with the rest of the trip in general in order to make everyone happy. The day could change, maybe to Thursday, but I don’t think it will. It wouldn’t change to a weekend, as the prices go up, and we know that crowds will be greater. I’ll be happy just being there and doing a few key things. Even if one or more of my definites doesn’t get done, if there’s any conceivable reason for it and we can experience something in the park I think it will be quite a memory.
I would definitely like to take a lot of pictures while there and write a detailed account on here (in a separate post, I feel a bit bad about taking over this post for this long-winded account of my planning. This was at first just supposed to be a thank you, but it seemed weird without letting people know the reason, and now the post has just erupted and I’ve been sitting here for 2 hours or so writing this while my DD plays in her room and I haven’t been able to convince her to come out and watch Mary Poppins with me because I haven’t seen it and want to watch Saving Mr. Banks soon. I probably should have made this a separate post, but I’m not quite sure how to do that at this point and I’m not willing to take a chance that I could mess up this mess of a post. I just clicked on a clipboard icon on my iPad to see if that would copy all of this text but it just pasted something I must have copied earlier and it took some time to delete it off). Taking pictures isn’t my forte (it’s my DWs) but I’m going to make a concerted effort to take a bunch to include in the forum for at least this one day of our Europe trip.
Thanks for reading if you’ve gotten this far. I’ll let you know how things progress if anyone’s interested. And thanks again @schirm for this thread and for everyone else who has supplied trip reports from around the world or who has in general contributed to this great forum. Okay, I think I’m ready to hit send. But oh no I forgot to sa
I do not plan on going to Paris but is sounds great! How did it go ?
Okay, so to set the scene, we came into Paris Wednesday morning, June 15, with minimal sleep, so we napped for a few hours and then checked out the gardens near our hotel and had dinner. On Thursday we walked to Museé d’Orsay near our hotel, spent some time there, did the Ferris wheel in the nearby park, and then used the Metro to go to the Eiffel Tower, where we had tickets to go to the second floor. A great day overall, and fairly relaxed.
So then on Friday, we woke up pretty early (6:30am or so), had breakfast in the hotel, and got directions to a Metro station that would take us directly to DLP. It wasn’t the closest Metro station, but meant that we wouldn’t have to switch lines. I wish we had planned out transportation earlier, and ended up getting a late start, but that’s alright. We also had some trouble getting Metro tickets, and I’m extremely embarrassed to say we were taken advantage of in the station, but let’s not dwell on that for my pride, if we could. Let’s just say emotions were mixed getting to DLP. But my DD4 was happily immune to our sour moods, and was ready to go.
I checked online, and saw one of my must-dos, the dragon, was listed as closed up until the 17th, the day we were there. I didn’t know if that meant it was still closed, or just opening up, but to manage my expectations I just assumed it was closed and didn’t give it another thought.
We arrived at the Disneyland station at about 10:15am, definitely later than I would have liked, as we missed RD by a pretty wide margin. We still went with my plan, which was to first go to Walt Disney Studios, where I would get FPs for Ratatouille, while the others went to Crush’s Coaster to check on the wait.
At Walt Disney Studios you enter the park to then get tunneled into one main building that has shops and restaurants.
Then you exit to see the main park with the different paths.
We went right, where Ratatouille and Crush’s Coaster is. I walked briskly ahead, waited about 10 minutes in line and got FPs for our party for 3:30-4:00 in the afternoon. I had a bit of trouble with our printed out tickets and the FPs and had to get some help from a CM, but it worked out okay. This was just after 10:30am, so FPs must go fast for this ride! I heard this ride was great, as is Crush’s Coaster (which doesn’t have FP as it loads too slow for it to be effective), and everything else in this park is meh. But when I went to Crush’s Coaster, I met up with DW’s friend Lisa, who said the wait for Crush’s Coaster was over an hour, too long, so even though everyone says this ride is great, I let it go. Lisa informed me that my DD asked to wait the 10 minutes to ride Alladin’s Magic Carpets, so they were in line there. The wait ended up being more like 20 minutes, which I thought was a bit of a waste of time, and the wait was mostly inside, so my DW didn’t know how close they were to the end, which was frustrating. But on the bright side, the ride has a nice high up viewing area for those not on the ride, which was a good place to get pictures.
After that, we headed out, but not before stopping in one of the shops in that first building, where my DD looked at some light up toys, and we got Marie and Lady plushes inside small hand bags that are exclusive to DLP, that we’ve decided to give to our nieces who are going on a Disney cruise in October.
So then we walked out of Walt Disney Studios (we got our hands stamped, since the CMs don’t use fingerprint scanners like at WDW so they’re worried about people passing off tickets to others, but no one really checked our stamps) and to Disneyland Parc (about a 5 minute walk). We saw signs about how you can’t picnic inside the parks, and we worried about eating the food we brought for lunch, and debated about eating lunch now, but it was only about 11am, no one was hungry, and we decided that the sign was more about laying out a full picnic lunch as opposed to eating on the go, which seemed to be correct. So we entered the parks.
We decided to work my plan forward to back, which meant that once we entered, we immediately went to the left to cover one of my must-dos, the Liberty Arcade. This is basically just a hallway off Main Street that opens to shops on both sides, but has information inside on the Statue of Liberty going from France to New York, and a small dark room that shows the Statue of Liberty in America. I wanted my DD to see this, since my parents now live in Manhattan and we’ve visited Battery Park where you can see the Statue. My DD was initially scared of the dark room, but once I took a flash picture and showed her the fake people in the room, she wanted to go in again and again. However, my DW and Lisa were not impressed with this arcade at all and wanted to go, so I cut us off at 3 times. I think at this point they were starting to question my plan.
To be continued…
What great pictures! Thank you for this report!
Okay, ready to continue for a bit. So anyway, after the Libery Arcade we checked the shop nearby and Lisa got suckered into buying DD some Star Wars stuff, since they’re both Star Wars fans. She bought a Mickey resistance fighter plush (which DD calls Mickey Poe) and a sand person’s vehicle. My DW looked at a set of the three Aristocats plushes and a set of Lady and the Tramp plushes, and would pick those up later in the trip. We exited the arcade and talked out if we wanted to get FPs for the Buzz Lightyear ride, since it’s the only thing in Disneyland Parc that was open that we’d want a FP for. DD talked about this ride a lot while we were there, but unfortunately we weren’t able to fit it in, which is another one of my regrets about this day. But anyway, we saw a board of wait times soon after we exited the arcade.
With the board and wait times we saw and realized the park was not very crowded at all. We were here on a Friday before many of the schools overseas are out, at a park where about half of the rides and areas are closed for refurbishments, so I’m sure that all played a part. But FP for Buzz was not available for the simple reason that standby was listed as 5 minutes. All of the rides were listed as 5 or 10 minutes, and taking into account where we were, my DW suggested PoTC. I thought it was under refurbishment, but apparently not. It wouldn’t have been my choice, but with such a short wait and everyone saying okay it was hard to say no. So we headed into Adventureland, wandered a bit since we didn’t quite know where to go, passed by a M&G with Wendy and Smee, and were on our way.
Lisa mentioned that this was her father’s favorite ride at WDW until they added Jack Sparrow. This version didn’t have that problem, but it’s pretty similar to the other versions of course. DD was hesitant to go as she thought she’d be scared or splashed with water (a weird fear from a pretty swimming proficient kid), but she and the rest of us enjoyed it.
When we excited, Lisa and DW became excited about the Indiana Jones ride. Again, not on my list since DD can’t go on it, but we wandered over there. We had to walk a fair amount since some cut throughs were closed for refurbishment.
It was decided that Lisa and I would ride while DW and DD would hang out at one of the nearby shops and pull out some food to eat. Then DW and I would switch and DW and Lisa would ride. The wait was a bit more than the 5 minutes posted, but not too bad. The ride itself is fun, with an inversion near the beginning and some good fast parts.
When we got back my DW said that she had trouble getting DD to eat anything, so I tried my hand at it while DW and Lisa went to the ride. I was able to get her to eat some pieces of croissant that we had used to make a couple of small sandwiches, and I ate the meat and cheese in the middle, and the parts with mustard. Come to find out, though, that I accidentally served not only my sandwich but Lisa’s as well. Oops! So we’d need to find some food for her along the way.
At this point, it was after 1pm, and I was a bit concerned about getting some of the things on my list done and getting back for our FPs for Ratatouille. So I took over a bit and steered us towards Alice’s Labryinth. It wasn’t too far away, but again, some cut throughs were closed, and we were new to the park, so it took longer than it should. The Labryinth was a lot of fun, but I felt a little rushed because again about the time. We did make it to the Queen of Hearts’ castle, with its nice view of the park from above. Everyone had a good time.
After that we were close to another item on my list, the storybook boats. That had no wait at all and we got right on board. Everyone enjoyed this ride, and DD called out the scenes as they came up. I cheered for the Return to Oz scene, while DW and Lisa looked away in bewilderment.
My DW wondered why the Casey Jr. Train wasn’t on my list, and I explained that it goes over much of the same area but has longer waits, and you don’t see the Return to Oz scene as well. But with only a 5 minute wait, we decided to go.
However, before we could get on the ride, they closed it due to an oncoming storm. Actually, they closed that whole back part of the park, which we learned when DW was told she couldn’t buy popcorn in that area. For a short bit, we thought they were closing the whole park, but it just turned out to be that back part. So we made our way towards the castle, with the intention to be to find some food for Lisa, look through the castle (another one of my must-dos) and soon make our way back to Walt Disney Studios for our Ratatouille FP.
To be continued…
Such beautiful pictures! Funny, everything looks vaguely familiar but slightly off. I look and think I should recognize everything around but I do not- but at the same time I do…I had the same feeling at DLR.
Thank you for sharing your trip! You may have gotten there a little bit late, but it looks like everyone is having a wonderful time!!
Sorry for the delay…I think I can get another post or two on here.
So it looked like it might storm, they were closing off the back of the park, it was around 2:30 or so, we had FPs for Ratatouille for around 3:30, and Lisa wanted some food since DD and I accidentally ate her sandwich. So we walked to the front of the park, but not before DD, DW and I walked the stairs and through Aurora’s castle. Lisa stayed downstairs since stairs makes her bad knee act up. The castle and dragon were the only things on my must-do list that we hadn’t done, but as I stated above, I was unsure if the dragon was still under refurbishment, so I didn’t even think about going. The castle walkthrough was great, and everyone had a good time. And we got some good views of the park.
We finally settled on Casey’s hot dogs for the food. Not the best option, but one of the easiest and least crowded. We ate inside one of the arcades, my DW picked up the Aristocats plushes and Lady and the Tramp plushes from the store she saw earlier, and it rained lightly outside, so it was good timing.
By the time we had finished our food, it had stopped raining outside, and we left the park to go to Walt Disney Studios. I was a bit sad we didn’t check out Tomorrowland (or whatever they call that part) since my DD kept insisting on the Buzz Lightyear ride, and I had wanted to walk through the Nautilus submarine. But I was able to convince DD that Ratatouille would be better than the Buzz ride that’s somewhat similar to one she’s already ridden in WDW.
So we left the Park, reentered Walt Disney Studios (which was no trouble, they just looked at our tickets again and didn’t even check for our stamps from earlier), and got to Ratatouille right at 3:30, the start of our FPs. But with FPs here only lasting a half-hour, I wanted to be sure we got in on time.
We entered the FP line, and it winded us around inside and we picked up our 3D glasses.
Just like the Alladin ride, it was hard to tell how close we were to riding. The line weaved around, and was surrounded by full height walls, so you couldn’t see much in front of you. But we heard the announcements about keeping your hands and feet inside the vehicle (which are said in both French and English, which was usual for the park), and in about 10 minutes or so we were boarding our vehicle.
Spoilers about the ride, so skip this paragraph if you don’t want to know. I had seen videos of the ride, and it didn’t seem to take away my enjoyment of riding it. I know everyone raves about this ride, but I was a little skeptical about how good it could actually be. But after riding it I’ll say that I thought it was amazing! I think probably the best ride I’ve ever been on. People talk about the ride being trackless, and I wasn’t quite sure what that meant or why it mattered. And it doesn’t matter so much, but gives the ride more freedom of motion it seems. I’m not sure how it’s done. There’s patches on the ground that must be magnets or electronics or something that lead the vehicles in different ways. The ride vehicles go differently depending on which on you’re on. Ours seemed to go in an alley that I thought was a dead end, but then it went through to a large screen that simulated being on the roof of the restaurant with Remy and the ghost of Gasteau, like in the movie. Then you fall through the roof into the restaurant which was a great effect. I’m not sure how they did it, but I felt like we were softly falling. Then you run around the kitchen and restaurant, looking at the 3D screen and your vehicle bouncing around. At one point I looked around the room and saw other vehicles watching with us, but if you’re looking at the screen you would miss them and be completely immersed in the experience. In this way it reminded me of riding Back to the Future in Universal (what is now the Simpson’s Ride, although I haven’t ridden it). Maybe I would also describe it as a mix of a dark ride and Star Tours. After the big screen you share with other vehicles, your vehicle goes in different places, with some practical effects for scene changes, and sometimes where I think you get your own small screen, showing you running through the sewers, going to Remy’s restaurant run by rats, being sprayed with water when a champagne cork blows off, and getting to sit down to eat with Remy’s family before the ride ends. Just a great mix of elements for this ride, and great 3D immersive effects. Everyone loved it, even my DD who found the movie somewhat boring and hates being sprayed with water usually.
Okay, so after that long description about the ride, we exited, saw the restaurant as we left, and went into the nearby store. We found plush Remy and plush Emile (coming out of a gift bag!) that we thought were good and cute for her, and exclusive to DLP which is what we were looking for. We got a bit of candy as well for the trip home.
We discussed going to the nearby Toy Story Play area, but it looked like possible rain and storms again, and I decided to make the decision that we would go ahead and head out. It was only about 4pm, and I wish we could have stayed longer, but I wanted to end on a high note, thought that our DD could easily have gotten more manic and less well behaved if we pushed it further, and my DW and especially Lisa aren’t huge Disney fans and were mainly doing this for DD and me. I think I made the right decision, as nothing we would have tacked on would have gone great, in my opinion. Lisa said it was her best experience at Disney, as usually she goes with family who rushes too much and makes her stay until the very last moment. And her knee held up really well, much better than it would the next day when we visited Versailles with all of the stairs. It didn’t rain so much, but it did a little, and we were ready for it.
We went to the train station, bought tickets at the window to get back to the station near our hotel (which went well this time), were back around 6pm or so, and we had time to shower and for me and my DW to go out for a nice dinner while Lisa and DD got room service and went to bed early.
So that’s it! Thanks for reading. In a bit I’ll post one or two more times to give some random general thoughts that didn’t fit in the trip report, and maybe post one or two pictures from Bosnia and Croatia if anyone wants to see? Not too many of course, since certainly DLP is the purpose of the thread.
Great report!! Thank you @eriinfo! Sounds like a fantastic time and your pictures are wonderful (your DD is so adorable! ). I’d love to see pictures from Bosnia and Croatia - as many as you’d like to share! Thanks again!
Such beautiful pictures!
Hey! I just hopped over to the forum because I thought to myself that you should be back from the trip by now! Thanks SO MUCH for sharing all the details and the pictures! They are great! And DD is so cute ;). I still am not sure how to plan the days… In WDW I would stick to a plan, but it seems to me that w FP you need to go more with the flow. We have 2.5 days- I think the first half day will be walking around and figuring out what we want to do the following 2! Banks again for the great info!
Hi @caramerson! Glad you found the thread. Sorry that I forgot to tag you, hope it wasn’t too much trouble to find. You’re right that with FPs you may have to go with the flow a bit more than at WDW, but with 2.5 days (even if the first half day is just getting your bearings), I think you should have more than enough time to experience almost everything the parks have to offer.
I’m still planning at least one more post about overall general reflections, regrets and happy surprises, and a picture or two of Sarajevo and Croatia, I just haven’t yet found the time. I’m hoping in the next day or so with DD in morning gymnastics camp I’ll have a bit of time to sit down and write.
Okay, sorry for the delay on this, I haven’t had as much time as I’d like over the last few days to get in a medium-length post, but think I do right now. So here are some general thoughts for people.
Atmosphere: since DLP was a new park for us, visiting certainly seemed more magical than WDW. We were seeing everything for the first time, and it was new and exciting. The parks seem very colorful, fairly easy to navigate although we didn’t quite know the best ways to go at many parts, and very friendly. We did hear several people during our stay in Paris tell us that WDW is the preferred park to DLP, which I’m sure is true, as it’s bigger, has more parks and more rides. My feeling after our half-day there was that even as big as a Disney fan that I am, after 3 days we’d see just about everything in the parks, and definitely everything that anyone would consider worth doing.
Also, I really enjoyed enjoyed being somewhere so comfortable while we were in another country and culture. I loved being new places during our trip, but it was also nice to have times when we were somewhere that felt familiar. We don’t often go or eat at McDonalds in the states, but I took my daughter to McDonalds in Paris for dinner one night, and we stopped at one multiple times in Bosnia, as it was a nice familiar place. Disney was that way as well, but on a bigger scale.
In terms of people, we did see a couple of CMs at times be a little more rude to guests than in WDW, including shouting at some in PoTC about where they could sit. Overall though, the CMs and guests were very nice. I think at DLP you get more guests who don’t speak French or English, and I imagine that could be tough in terms of communication. As someone who doesn’t speak any Frence, it’s still easy to get around and most people speak English as a second language, which was very true in Bosnia and Croatia as well, and I’ve heard basically all of Europe as well, so the language barrier shouldn’t be much of an issue. I didn’t notice too much smoking, as I had read that that was something that takes place all over the park. It wasn’t to a point that it bothered any of us.
Regrets: I think the trip overall went great. As expected for lots of reasons, there were a lot of things that could have gone better, such as getting there earlier, being more efficient, getting more in, etc. I don’t regret what we couldn’t go on because of the refurbs, or even those that we missed because of timing, I guess because it’s hard to regret what you don’t really know about. One of the stand-outs, though, is Crush’s Coaster, as so many talk about how great it is, and after riding Ratatouille I’m more inclined to believe it.
My only regret of stuff we did that maybe we shouldn’t have is going on PoTC, which is a medium-sized regret. Everyone liked it okay, but I wish we had subbed this out for Buzz Lightyear. I know that’s just another ride similar to one we have in the states, but DD kept asking for it, and I feel bad we never did it. I feel like going on PoTC kept us from being in Tomorrowland, and I would have loved to see that area. I also had wanted to do the submarine walkthrough while we were there, and maybe Autopia if we had time. My DW tells people that we focused on rides unique to DLP and I don’t correct her in terms of PoTC or the Magic Carpets, and she’s mostly right anyway. I do think Magic Carpets served a good purpose of keeping DD busy while I got FPs for Ratatouille, and Indiana Jones served a good purpose of doing something that felt like it was for the adults, while giving DD time to eat something. PoTC served less of a purpose. Maybe it was to give my plan over to the others to do something that was meh, so that they’d trust my plan a bit more after no one liked the Liberty Arcade, but I kind of felt like since I was the one who planned things out, my plan should have taken precedence, since I tried to make it for everyone. In retrospect, I knew Liberty arcade was one not many would like, and I shouldn’t have led with it. We should have gone to the back of the park first and done the boats and Labryinth, as everyone enjoyed those very much and that’s when they trusted me a bit more about the things I had picked out. I was trying to do the least impressive thing first because it was close and we could get it out of the way, but that wasn’t the way to go. We ended up there during the storm anyway, but of course I couldn’t have known that would happen. But maybe my biggest regret is not starting my Disneyland Parc plan at the back of the park, as I think the day would have gone a bit more in my favor, although again, I think things ended up going very nicely.
Of course I would have loved to do more rides, see a show or parade, do a M&G, but we had a good enough time and I’m finding it hard to muster up many regretful feelings toward the trip at this time.
Overall, I’m glad we didn’t fit tons of things in and did the trip at a relaxed pace, considering the group that was there. Everyone seemed good with the pace and amount of stuff we saw, and it was probably our most relaxing day at Disney, without too much running around. I’d love to go back some day, or travel to another Disney park. My DW currently keeps bringing up our annual WDW Labor Day trip, but actually, I might prefer to skip this year, save the money, and do something a bit bigger later on. As a Florida resident, I’d like to check last minute on a Disney cruise during my spring break, which is at a bit of a non-standard time, so hopefully the cruise wouldn’t be booked and we could get an okay deal, and it would be during DDs last year of preschool, so we could still take her out of school without too much trouble.
In terms of the rest of our trip, I’ll just quickly mention that the next day we went to Versailles, which was actually a bit of a tougher day than Disney in my opinion, then the day after that we did a bus tour of the city and went to Notre Dame, which worked out well. Then our trip to Bosnia where I attended some talks at my conference while DW and DD relaxed, and we were very close to Old Town Sarajevo, which is great for tourists. Bosnia overall was great for tourists and so friendly. Then we drove (a pretty harrowing drive for us) to Croatia, where we walked around a national park in the center of the country with beautiful waterfalls and lakes, and stayed at a resort off of the Mediterranean, with a kid’s club for DD, some relaxing for DW and me, and we did some sightseeing of a nearby island using a ferry. I can’t seem to download pictures right now, I’ll try to come back later and post a few from Bosnia and Croatia for those interested. Thanks for reading! Hope everything makes sense, as this post was a bit more free-form than I intended. If @caramerson or anyone else has specific questions, just let me know.
Okay, last post for me unless anyone has questions/comments that I feel like I should respond to. Thanks for reading! Here are some of my photos from Bosnia and Croatia.
National park, Croatia
National Park, Croatia
Thank you so much for this report!! Your insight and Addie is totally great. I know for sure to head back to Alice (seeing as carousel is a traditional first for us, it works well). I’m a bit stressed about the FP, but we do have 2.5 days, so I think overall we should be able to,accomplish a lot. Thanks again!!
You should see what has FPs (check DLPs website, not a lot of rides actually have them), and what you want/need FPs for and go from there. With a DD4 and so much under refurb, all I could think of for FP is Ratatouille and Buzz, and didn’t end up doing Buzz anyway. Also, if I remember correctly, you can get your next FP about a half hour or so after obtaining the last FP, regardless of when the FP is for. For the Ratatouille FP that I acquired around 10:30, I believe it said I could get the next FP around 11:00, even though the FP was for 3:30.
Also know that FP return times are a half-hour in length (3:30 to 4:00). I don’t know how much leeway there is, as opposed to WDW. I do know that you hand your FPs to a person, and I couldn’t be certain that the person I handed it to looked at it long enough to even note the time.
We were there in May and the only time we used FP was for Ratatouille. We rode Ratatouille twice, once stand-by and once with FP, so it’s not even strictly necessary for Ratatouille. When we did not use FP, we went to Crush’s Coaster at RD and then to Ratatouille. I can’t remember how long we waited but I’m thinking 20-25 minutes.