Disneyland Hotel - Certainly not a fairytale dream!
This is the second time I have stayed in the Disneyland Hotel, the first in 1999 and it was interesting to see how it compared after seven years absence!
Well nothing has changed except the hotel, its decor and standards have all become a bit shabby!
We have three kids so had to book two rooms and let me assure you it was not cheap! The rooms themselves are adequate but are now showing their age. The bathroom tiles were cracked in places and stains on the carpets were prevalent throughout.
The non-French staff were perfectly pleasant but our Gallic friends could do with a refresher course at the Disney University!
The lack of choice on the television was ridiculous, I can understand constant Disney Channel for the kids but no pay movies and only one English speaking channel seems daft. (A news channel to boot!) It would have been nice after a day at the park to come back and watch a blockbuster or two on a pay movie channel whilst the kids dreamt of Mickey.
The restaurants in the hotel are a complete rip off! At night you have a choice of two, an adult restaurant that does not cater for kids or one that does that wants to charge you 40 Euros for adults or 20 Euros for kids. Ok the Disney characters do wander round the restauarant but they also wander round the parks during the day!
The park is fantastic and in three days we didn't venture out of the Magic Kingdom to Walt Disney Studios. It is more compact than the one in Florida and is perfectly adequate for big and small kids alike!
If you do go to Disneyland Paris bare in mind that they have got you hook, line and sinker! There is no fantastic town nearby to go out for a cheap meal or to stock up on snacks or food to make sandwiches with, you are "owned" for the time you are there by Disney. As this is the case you will eat mountains of french fries, little in the way of salads or fresh vegetables, red meat by the ton and gallons of fizzy drinks (sodas) or bad red wine at exorbitant prices!
You will enjoy the park but if you find a way to beat the Disney system let me know! The only other comment is the main problem with Disneyland Paris is that it is in France, I mean can you think of a famous French comedian or comic actor! That's right the staff don't have a sense of humour either!
We have just arrived back from Disneyland Hotel, Paris after a very pleasant 4 night stay.
We arrived at around 6pm and we must have waited 20 minutes to check in, there were only 4 families in front but check in seems to take an awful long time. Staff were extremely pleasant though.
The hotel was very nice, only gripes were that the heating seemed to be on full and the room was unpleasantly warm, even with the window open and heating turned off. Rooms were what I expected from a 4 star hotel, very clean and spacious enough and cleaned everyday.
Breakfast was fine, get there before 8.30 if you don't want to queue for 20 minutes plus. Characters are outside the restaurant between 7am and 11am which is fantastic, kids loved it and it certainly makes breakfast more fun.
Not much to do in the hotel bar the swimming pool if you are fed up with the park. It is not as child friendly as say Sequoia Lodge.
Disneyland Paris itself was a slight disappointment, we expected there to be more of a "wow". It is not as large as you would expect. I have not visited any other of the Disney Parks so had nothing to compare it to but expected more rides. Four days of the Dumbo ride etc are more than enough. I would say if you are traveling with pre-schoolers two days is ample to visit the park.
We ate 2 nights at Planet Hollywood, which was fine and 1 night at Rainforest Cafe which was not as nice but still okay. All of those meals cost around 110 Euros each time for 2 adults and 2 children. The last night we ordered room service to the tune of 130 Euros for 2 adult meals, 2 children's meals and a bottle of wine. It was the best meal we ate the whole stay. We took our own bread, cheese, ham, snacks etc so we could have a half decent packed lunch and the hotel cleared the mini bar for us to store the food in which was good. Each day we popped back to the hotel (as it is 30 second walk from Disneyland gates) and had our lunch which was so much better than having to pay another 50/60 Euros each day in the park.
We did enjoy it however but I doubt we will go back, I will visit Florida if I decide to part with so much cash again to the Disney Corporation.
holiday inn disneyland paris
hotel was clean,queue for reception was always a joke, same goes for the bar. the room was like a dog box, supposed 2 be for 2 adults and 2 children, not on if you have any luggage.
The only way to do Disney?!
I’m not entirely sure that I know where to start when it comes to writing about staying at the Disneyland Hotel! I’ve taken my young family here twice now (Easter last year and August this year) and we’ve had a trip to Disney World in Florida staying in the Polynesian in-between (Christmas/New Year) and I couldn’t honestly say which is better!
The location of the Disneyland Hotel, which is right over the entrance to the Disneyland Park, is superb and it means that you can be in Fantasyland one minute and back in your room 5 minutes later.
Each time we’ve been to the Disneyland Hotel in Paris we’ve been lucky enough to stay in a suite which automatically gives you access to their exclusive Castle Club in the hotel. The Castle Club occupies the upper 2 floors of the hotel and access to which is by an exclusive lift operated by your room card. As well as taking you up to the Castle Club the lift also takes you straight down to the parks main entrance.
If you’re staying in a suite then you’ll get whisked straight up to the Castle Club on arrival where you’ll get a more relaxed check-in experience. As well as an exclusive club reception desk (where nothing is too much trouble for the staff) the Castle Club also has a private lounge that serves breakfast (complete with visits from the characters) in very calm surroundings as opposed to the main dining room that starts to get chaotic after 8am! You also never have to queue for a table in the small club lounge at breakfast. The lounge also serves complimentary soft and hot drinks throughout the day (you have to pay for spirits), complimentary afternoon tea and all with fabulous views of the Disneyland Park.
For dining in the evening you can either dine in the parks, in the Disney Village or in one of the two hotel restaurants. One serves a buffet and the other an à la carte menu. If you’re dining in the hotel then you must book (it’s compulsory) and my recommendation would be to go between opening time (6pm) and 7pm because, yet again, it becomes chaotic later on and turns into a massive bun-fight! Fortunately our two small kids (aged 2 and 7) are used to eating at 6pm so that’s when we ate each evening in the Inventions buffet restaurant. Even at that time there are plenty of characters visiting your table (Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Goofy, Chip & Dale and Eeyore). At one stage we had Mickey, Pluto AND Goofy all at the same time at our table … the kids were in seventh Heaven and I nearly fainted! Dining at this time is also a much calmer and sedate affair with the staff and characters having much more time to make a fuss over you. The characters will muck about, pretend to eat your food, hug the kids (and you), play peek-a-boo with the younger ones, get the kids to sit on their knee while you take a photo, sign autographs (buy a Disney autograph book and a chunky pen from any of the Disney shops), etc, etc.
As well as the characters coming into the restaurants for breakfast and in the evening they can also be found in the lounge area just outside the restaurants but this can get very crowded and you have to queue for your time with the character (like you do in the parks) but you do get to have a proper portrait taken that can be bought from inside the hotels shop.
The food on offer in the hotel is superb and there’s always a good choice. They also have a good selection of food for kids and they'll willingly get you a plate of fries even if there's none on offer at the buffet. They'll also warm baby food up for you and there's never a shortage of high chairs complete with Mickey Mouse ears. The service can vary depending on your waiter but I’ve generally found all the staff throughout the hotel to be helpful, attentive and most speak excellent English. The only exception to the “speak excellent English” comment tends to be the room maids and maintenance staff!
One night we asked for a babysitter so my wife and I could go into the park by ourselves. The sitter was organised for us by the Castle Club reception and was a painless experience, not like some we’ve had! The sitter spoke excellent English and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend getting a sitter although she did arrive after we’d put the kids to bed.
The rooms at the Disneyland hotel are something else whether you’re staying in a suite or not. They’re all very clean, spacious and extremely comfortable. There’s plenty of wardrobe space and a safe. The attention to detail is marvellous with Tinkerbelle bed spreads, the Seven Dwarfs carved on the mirrors in the bathroom, etc. Every night there’s a complimentary turn down service during which they’ll turn down your beds, tidy your room, freshen the towels and leave chocolates on your pillows along with tomorrow’s weather forecast.
However, if you are staying in a suite then you do get a much bigger (and I do mean bigger!) bathroom complete with bath, walk in shower, twin sinks, dressing area, separate area with toilet, bidet and sink. You also get a DVD player in your living room, mini bar, complimentary champagne (Taittinger), chocolates and long stemmed roses. You do also get much bigger bed room with a king sized bed and a separate living room complete with 4 piece suite. The sofa folds out and can be made up to become a double bed and this is done for you, if required, during the turn down service.
Also in the hotel is a heated pool and spa which are fabulous and a games room which is really a mini arcade! There’s also a shop selling all manner of Disney paraphernalia along with some essentials but here is a word of caution… don’t go to Disney and run out of anything like nappies or baby wipes! There aren’t any general stores around for miles. I speak from experience. You can get certain essential items from some of the Disney shops or baby care items from the Baby Centre off Main Street USA in the Disneyland Park but what’s on offer is very limited.
All in all I can whole heartedly recommend the Disneyland Hotel especially the Castle Club which makes the whole visit a much calmer and more relaxed experience. I know it costs extra pennies but for us it’s the only way to “do Disney” and is well worth it.
BTW Did I mention that you also get “VIP Fastpass” tickets when you stay in the Castle Club?! These exclusive Fastpass tickets let you go on any Fastpass ride you want, as many times as you want and without having to prebook a slot first. You just walk up to the ride any time you want, present your VIP Fastpass and they’ll let you on.
An Excellent Magical Time
My daughter and I have just arrived back home after 4 nights 3 days at the Disneyland Hotel and Disney Parks what an excellent magical time we had the hotel was first class the room was lovely and the maid service first class even down to each evening turning down your beds and putting chocolate coins on the bed for you what a lovely touch. The character breakfast was very good especially for the little ones but my daughter loved them still even though she's now 10 you are captured by the magic when you see Mickey waiting for you before you go into breakfast and each morning we were there we saw a different character from Mickey, Minnie, Eeorre, Mary Poppins, Rabbit, Chip and Dale, Donald Duck, Tweddle Dee and Tweedle Dum, Goofy and even Pluto it was great. I would recommend though that you go down to breakfast early as the breakfast is from 7.30-11am each morning, the earlier you go down the more chance you have of not queing to see the characters and getting a picture and authograph then you can go straight in for your fantastic breakfast what a choice and the orange and apple juice are wonderful so please do try them.
If you are arriving late at any of the disney hotels and the bus has stopped for the evening they tend to stop around 8pm french time so if your flight does not arrive until after 9pm like mine did I was stuck so instead of heading to the train as it was getting late around 10pm and carrying cases and my daughter trudgging along I opted for an airport pickup with Eurominibus and what a great service they provied it was around 85 euros but that was because it was a night time pick up but the service again was excellent the driver held up my name when coming out of the terminal and carrying my cases all the way to the minibus and it was only my daughter and I on the minibus and it was all air conditioned and the journey took around 30 mins and he dropped me right outside the hotel and took my bags so it was very hassle free. On my return journey I had the disney bus take me back to the airport a family of 4 ticket will cost you 51 euros it cost me 25.50 as it was just the two of us but please remember this if you need to book the bus it is a VE bus and it picks you up right outside your hotel and drops you at the terminal you need please remember though that you need to get your own cases off the bus and this can be quite pushy when all of you get off at the same terminal so keep patient.
The Disney parks are wonderful you can do the Disney Studio Park in a day as this is not to large a park but do try and see the Animagique show and the Cinemagique show both excellent
the Disneyland Park was very good a mini version of the one in Florida if you have been but they have tried there best to fit as much in to the disneypark. Be warned that the Thunder Mountain ride is very fast both my daughter and I came off feeling very dizzy and a little sick should I say we both had to sit down in the shade for a while. Both the Lion King show and the Tarzan show are a must you have to go and see both they are truly captivating. The weather was wonderful while my daughter and I were there for 3 days 4 nights but we didn't go prepared for the weather no t-shirts or shorts and you must take sun block with you one of the days we were there it was over 100 degrees so be careful for little ones take as much sun block as you can and hats.
You have the Disney Village to eat out in the evening my daughter and I found this very useful and convienient to the hotel watch the price and shop around while your there for the best restaurant we found Annettes Diners very good and the chips are very tasty we ate there for the 4 nights we were there so we must of liked it but again you have lots of places to choose from Planet Hollywood to Mickey's Restaurant, McDonalds etc but before I went I was reading the reviews and found one review that told me about an excellent book to buy before you go and it is called A Brits Guide to Disney Resort Paris by Simon Venesse priced at £7.99 this is an excellent book to buy as it is full of useful tips you would'nt necessarly find without knowing and if you take the book to Planet Hollywood you get 20% discount so it was worth having although we didn't use it but a family of 4 or more would benefit from the discount.
Anyway have a wonderful time like we did and enjoy the magic
Stayed in this hotel last December, had a fantastic time. The hotel is in an excellent location for a visit to the parks step out of the door and you're in the main park, Disney Studios and Disney Village are a five minute stroll. Had a beautiful room overlooking the park, spacious and clean. Breakfast was included in our package and this was excellent, a good choice of foods and with the added bonus of being able to meet the characters without them being mobbed as in the parks.
Ate in innovations for dinner one evening had a superb meal- buffet style- sitting in the restaurant with the disney charecters floating around and the lights of the park outside the window was a highlight of the trip.
Read other reviews that have said pool area very small and yes it isnt the biggest pool for such a large hotel but we used it every day and it was never very busy. It always felt relaxed and calm.
Service throughout our stay was excellent, from the valet parking, to the restaurant.
The hotel was beautifully decorated for christmas, not over the top but very festive. I would recomend a stay at this hotel to anyone- expensive yes- but worth every penny.
Disneyland Paris, hotels near & getting to central Paris
I'm thinking of booking a 3 night break to Paris.
How easy is it to get from Disneyland Paris into central Paris - is there a standard train I could take - I'll keep this in mind when booking a hotel you see.
Any recommendations for hotels near DLP that are reasonably priced?
RE: Disneyland Paris, hotels near & getting to central Paris
To get to Disneyland Paris (about 30 km outside Paris) take the RER Line A from Paris and get off at station Marne-la-Vallée/Chessy station. It would be convenient to get a hotel anywhere along the Line A route. On the RER map, Line A is red. You can find the map at http://www.ratp.info/orienter/cv/carteparis.php. Have fun. Don't forget to go on Space Mountain. Afia
RE: Disneyland Paris, hotels near & getting to central Paris
One warning: make sure that the train you catch from Paris late at night goes all the way to your hotel. Some friends stayed in DLP and got stuck on the railway coming back from Paris because the last train they took didn't go all the way to DLP.
RE: RE: Disneyland Paris, hotels near & getting to central Paris
Thanks for your help - the RER Line A seems perfect. I'm thinking of staying at the Movenpick Dream Castle hotel which is right near the station (free shuttle bus/taxi ride), then spending 2 days in DLP & 1 day going back into Paris.