Quelle surprise! A Disneyland Paris Trip Report continues…

Greetings liners!
I’m a longtime lurker and first-time poster. Wonderful to be here :slight_smile:

We surprised our DS & DD with a long weekend at DLP in June. Weather was spectacular and we had a great time. I hope this report is helpful (or at least interesting) for anyone who is planning to visit, or already loves, Europe’s #1 tourist destination. Let’s get into it!

The people: DW, DS9, DD6 and myself. This is our second time to DLP as a family, with the first in 2021 when there were a lot of COVID restrictions. Previously we’ve visited both WDW and Disneyland between 2017-2020 when we lived in NYC. Longer ago DW & I have been to DLR, DLP and Tokyo Disneyland. I grew up in Oregon visiting DLR every 1-2 years since age 3. I’ve also visited DLP a few times solo when traveling on business. So I guess we (me) are big Disney parks fans :grimacing:

The plan: three nights at Disney Hotel Cheyenne from June 23-26, 2023. We booked a hotel + tickets package directly from the Disneyland Paris website.

Day 1:Drive 6hrs from Amsterdam (where we now live) to DLP.
Day 2: RD Walt Disney Studios Park. ADR lunch at PYM Kitchen. Hop to Disneyland Park, stay till close.
Day 3: Disneyland Park RD to close. ADR lunch at Plaza Gardens. ADR Dinner at Restaurant Agrabah Café.
Day 4: RD Disneyland park. Depart for Amsterdam at 2pm.

The priorities: We wanted to focus on the attractions & shows that are unique at DLP (best BTM, Hyperspace mountain, D-light drone show, Mickey & Magician), or new since our 2021 trip (Avengers campus). This was also DD6’ first Disney trip where she would be tall enough for almost everything. Plus she’s a princess fanatic.

Unfortunately Pirates, Captain Jack’s and La Tanière du Dragon (the dragon under sleeping beauty castle) were all closed for refurbishment. Guess we’ll have to plan to go back :wink:

The preparation: in the weeks leading up I would frequently check the posted waits on the DLP app at different times of day, trying to get a sense of which queues fill up the fastest. I also found a couple of helpful unofficial podcasts. I highly recommend both Dedicated to DLP and Air Magique for news, tips and getting excited before headed to DLP. These were really helpful to follow the ongoing cast member labor protests.

I’m going to break apart the trip into separate posts. And then try to summarize final thoughts at the end. Stay tuned…


Welcome longtime lurker! I’m looking forward to reading the rest of your report!!


Welcome, and respect to a former New Yorker. How’s your French?


Welcome to the forum! Looking forward to reading more!


Great start to your TR!


So glad you are moving out of lurker status to bring us this TR!


Thanks for taking the leap to introduce yourselves and let us follow along!
There is a non-zero chance that DLP would become our nearest Disney property in the next year or two so I am especially eager to read about it from your current expat perspective!


Welcome to the Forum!

Looking forward to seeing DLP through your eyes as we are going in November.


Welcome! Looking forward to following along on your trip report.


Day one part one - the setup & the surprise

We booked our dates back in January when we saw the kids had a Monday off at the end of June. This was perfect. It’s too crowded in late summer and we already have other plans. And visiting a Disney park in the colder months (which is most of the year in Paris and all parts north) just doesn’t feel very magical to me. Insulated boots and puffer coats while queuing for Pirates? No thanks. (My first trip to DLP in April 2005 it snowed. Growing up going to DLR, I was so confused to be freezing at Disney.)

The plan was to surprise the kids after school on Friday with a packed car and mouse ears, then be home Monday night in time for school to resume on Tuesday.

I not-so-secretly was thinking of pulling them out ‘sick’ Friday morning to try to hit the parks on arrival day. But the Netherlands takes truancy very seriously (rightfully so). We would run the risk of a school investigation, especially after the kids surely blab about the trip to their teachers the following week. Not worth it for us.

Oh…and school is really important for the kids too :innocent:

The plan was further complicated when we learned their year-end school trips would be on the same Friday - dropping them off at school later, around 5pm. Not ideal if we are to get to the hotel before midnight. I checked to shift our DLP dates to Sat-Tues, but the cost increase was exorbitant. And also, you know, truancy :unamused:

If that weren’t complicated enough, our son’s football team (soccer) was invited to a tournament over the same weekend. And he was really excited about it :scream:

So what does a Disney-dedicated dad do? He hustles and starts jumping through hoops!

A few days before we told our son a half truth - that we planned a secret surprise trip to the “beach” so he would be missing the tournament. Thankfully he was on board with the plan and promised not to tell his sister.

After conspiring with the school and the kids’ teachers, and the football coaches, the departure plan fell into place.

We managed to pick up the kids directly from their separate field trips, rather than wait for them to be dropped off back at school. Once all together in the car, we told them what was up - that we’re leaving for Disneyland Paris immediately. They were ecstatic! (Sorry no pics :frowning: ) I particularly enjoyed the look on my son’s face when he put it all together :grinning:

Then we hit the road. Paris here we come…


Thanks fellow FNYer! And to answer your question, très mal! My wife is much more the linguaphile with pretty good passive French. But neither of us speak it.


Yay for a first trip report - can’t wait to read more!


Great report so far! I’m always interested in reading trip reports for parks I’ve not yet visited but want to in the future!!


It makes me smile to hear Paris described as cold. But then, we grew up in Canada where snow only counts if it’s still there 3 days later :snowflake:

Good for them - I’m not a fan of taking kids out of school for vacations. We sent our kids to private school and since we were paying, I wanted every last day of education :mortar_board:

You are driving, then? Just curious, what is the speed limit and how fast do you typically go? :racing_car:


When I was in college eons ago, classes were full the week of Thanksgiving. Fast forward to my kids’s college days (my youngest of 2 graduated last year), kids didn’t go to class M-W before Thanksgiving! So, the professors started cancelling classes the week of Thanksgiving!

So, kids today think nothing about missing 3 days of classes and going somewhere early because their parents took them out of school all the time for vacations when they were growing up.


Welcome! You are off to a great start!


Yes, for the first time. In 2021 we didn’t have a car yet so we took the Thalys from Amsterdam which was great. Highly recommend it. I checked again for this trip, but 4 tickets were almost as much as a car payment. Tourism is back in Europe and you can see it in the prices.

It’s 120kph (74.6mph) most of the way. When passing through urban areas it’s 100kph (62.1mph), and in the outskirts it occasionally jumps to 130kph (80.8mph) . I always set the cruise control 3-4km over. Most traffic goes about same or right at the limit.

A couple years back I got a ticket in the Netherlands via camera surveillance for going 6km over the limit. When I contested it (you gotta try, right?) they said their limit before a ticket was 4km over. Not sure for Belgium and France, but I don’t push it.


Day one part two - the arrival

Seven hours later, we arrive at Disney at 11pm on the dot. Car trip was mostly uneventful, save some epic traffic around Rotterdam.

Pulling up to Hotel Cheyenne we were immediately charmed. The buildings have an exaggerated colorful 2D Frontierland feel. It’s like stepping into a Woody’s Roundup cartoon. And the lights at night give it a romantic touch.

Check-in was a breeze since I did pre check-in via the app and already received our room assignment text message. We had a ground floor standard room in building 22 Soaring Eagle on the river side, which is almost what I had requested. Ground floor was crucial since there are no elevators in the hotel and I knew DD6 would need to be carried to bed each night.

Was hoping to head straight for the room, but we had to pick up our photo pass card in the general store before it closed. DLP photo pass is run on a separate site, not integrated into the DLP app. I have thoughts on photo pass which I’ll share later on.

The room? Very clean, but very very basic. The mattress was really firm, my lower back did not love it. Luckily the AirCo worked great (which is not a given in Europe, even if the hotel says they have it) and there was plenty of space under the bed to store our bags. I do wish there was a mini fridge though. Even in a Super 8 in the US you get one.

Other than the mattress, my only other criticism is our curtains didn’t close completely. Luckily there trees in front of the window and we were able to sleep soundly, so we never said anything.

Photo below from DLP site. This was exactly what we had. The daybed has a trundle bed underneath, with sheets and blankets to make both beds up. The kids had no complaints about sleeping on these.


For a place to just shower and crash after all day in the parks, Hotel Cheyenne is good enough. I would definitely stay again for a short non-pool trip, especially for the exterior theming and the on site Starbucks.

I was also pleasantly surprised by the number of car charging stations in the parking lot. And it was complimentary! Don’t see that very often, even at hotels & resorts. Is it free at WDW or DLR?

If you need better amenities - like a pool - or a better mattress, choose to stay at Hotel New York Art of Marvel. We stayed there in 2021 when it first opened and they were charging COVID prices. It was the best hotel mattress I’ve ever slept on.

I’m sorry to say that I’m not great at remembering to take photos, and didn’t take a single one at the hotel :man_facepalming:t3:. But there are many great tours and photos on YouTube like this one and also here that are super accurate IMHO.

We were lights out at midnight, with alarms set for 7am to get an early jump on the parks…


Welcome out of lurkerdom! Looks like a really great lineup and like a wonderful family trip.


Day two - fist parks day

After a quick stop at the hotel Starbucks (which has great old west general store theming), we set off on the 20-ish minute walk along the Rio Grande canal past Lac Buena Vista, Hotel New York and Disney Village. The weather was perfect - sunny and 18C/65F - which made the stroll even nicer.

We breezed through the Disney Village security check point. A hotel CM gave us a tip that security would be much faster and less crowded than taking the shuttle bus, which drops you at the main security check with all the guests arriving by train and car. We followed this advice each day and never had to stand in a huge crowd or queue for security.

They should shoot the next season of Stranger Things at DLPs Disney Village because it is trapped in time. The whole place feels old, tired and not up to Disney standards IMHO. A multi year total transformation has just started and it couldn’t come soon enough.

Also, it was jarring to hear pop music blasted at 8am throughout DV when heading to the parks. It was kind of a non-magical mood killer. What do they play in the morning at DLR’s Downtown Disney?

We arrived at the WDS park gates with 10 mins before extra magic time (60 mins before open for hotel guests). At rope drop we moved with the sea of humanity toward Crush’s Coaster. The wait jumped to 30 instantly, which isn’t worth it to me. Shortly it jumped again to over 60 min. But DS couldn’t skip it so he and DW jumped in the 5 min single rider line, which then took turned into a 45 min.

So DD and I took a few rides on Cars Quatre Roues Rallye (a downgraded Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree) and Slinky Dog ZigZag Spin - both of which were walk ons. We then regrouped with DS & DW and headed to Avengers Campus

We were all very surprised how much we enjoyed Spider-Man WEB Adventure. I expected it to be more like TSM at DCA and DHS, but it definitely was a level up. Especially for big MCU fans. This would definitely make it onto our repeat list.

Next we grabbed a Groot cookie, which was cute but tasted terrible. The kids wouldn’t finish it. We then headed for our virtual entry at the Hero Training Center where we met Captain Marvel. DD was really excited :hugs:

We then caught an appearance of the Dora Milaje and Iron Man himself. If you stand still at AC there is a near constant flow of character appearances happening all over the land. We also caught Black Widow, Spider-Man and Black Panther fighting baddies on the rooftops at one point.

DS & I then jumped on Avengers Assemble Flight Force. He loved it. Me not so much. It was really intense and pitch black the whole time. My critique of CC is the same. This seems to be how they like all their rollercoasters at DLR except BTMRR. But FF had an amazing Iron Man animatronic in the queue.

It was then time for our ADR at PYM Kitchen. I was really excited to try this because I’d been hearing great things about its QS version at DLR. But it wasn’t great, at least for a vegetarian family.

I was also really disappointed in the theming. The entrance is great but then the walls in the dining room are mostly bare white with some large Antman themed photos around. It wouldn’t have been out of place in any recently remodeled airport terminal. I can’t imagine we’d revisit this one.