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  1. #1
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    Talking Disneyland paris trip!!!

    We have booked our very first Disneyland Paris Trip this fall! I am so excited to check out somewhere familiar, yet different at the same time! It'll be like the first time we went to Disneyland in California a few years ago.

    So, I have never been to France before either (heck, we really haven't been to Europe with the exception of the Azores) so I am looking for any advice all around. We are blowing the budget and staying at Disneyland Paris Hotel for three nights before getting an Airbnb (I think that's the plan) right in Paris to do sightseeing there before heading back home. Any advice on the best way to get from the airport (CDG) to Disneyland? We were looking at the TGV high speed train or a taxi. Dining recommendations? Must do's?

    Feel free to share your wisdom with me! You guys are a wealth of knowledge and I welcome it!


    Disneyland Paris Hotel - Fall '19!!

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  3. #2
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    Jenn, I've been to DLP (and Paris centre) twice, so feel free post or message me with any questions. I think you are smart to stay at the Disneyland Hotel there--it is literally on the doorstep of the Magic Kingdom and a short walk from Downtown Disney and the Studios. Last time I stayed at the Sequoia Lodge, which was nice but a bit of a walk to the parks and the time before that we stayed a mile offsite at a very nice aparthotel, but even with bus service it wasn't nearly as convenient as the onsite hotels. As far as Paris itself, both times I stayed in an AirBnB rental; one was in the Marais neighorhood (very chic area) and the other time one block over from the Louvre. We could see the Eiffel Tower "twinkle" every night looking out one of the windows! I would just make sure your AirBnB rental is a registered one, as the city officials/mayor have been going back and forth over the legality of short-term rentals. I think they've worked out an arrangement with AirBnB now but there are restrictions and from what I understand if a rental is not registered there is a chance (albeit rare) that the rental may be pulled from the market if the owner/management gets caught. It would probably be good to have backup lodging (hotel) in place that you can cancel at the last minute if need be.

    Transportation is very fast and convenient on the high-speed train to/from CDG and DLP. My son used it once to go to the airport from DLP (my husband and I were traveling on to other areas of France) and had no issues. Last time I was there my travel buddy and I took a private shuttle we reserved from the Sequoia Lodge to CDG, which was okay. These days, though, I'm sure you can just use Uber and it would be competitively priced and easier to manage once you get there. Just an added note--it is extremely easy to get around Paris centre using the Metro (BTW, the nicest Metro station anywhere is the one by the Louvre--there is artwork on the platforms!) Just buy a couple carnet of tickets (10/carnet) when you arrive at the airport. If you choose to take a taxi, take note of the taxi stands because you cannot hail a taxi in the street as is done in some American cities. And even then, the taxi drivers are sometimes very picky about who they'll pick up, especially if the passengers have a lot of luggage. It's a cultural thing.

    Favorite restaurants at DLP--Walt's and Bistrot Chez Remy, which is right next to one of my favorite rides, Ratatouille. So glad that attraction is coming to Epcot! I think we rode it four times on our trip. Another favorite ride is Crush's Coaster, but you can't get a Fastpass for that, so get there as early as possible after opening to ride it once and maybe two times. On that note DLP still uses the old-fashioned Fastpass system with the machines. They also sell some Speedy Access passes which are good for multiple attractions, but I can't imagine you would need that in the Fall.

    One of the things I loved about DLP is that it has its own unique rides but even the ones patterned after the ones in the states have twists in the queue, theme and in some cases, changes in the actual ride itself. The castle there is also my favorite Disney Parks castle (of course, I've only been to three); very fairytale-ish and elegant and there is also a beautiful stained glass exhibit on the upper floors that tells the story of Sleeping Beauty--"La Galerie de la Belle au Bois Dormant".

    I've blabbed on long enough I suppose! Like I said, let me know if you have any questions!
    Beth
    INTERCOT Staff--
    Theme Parks and Accommodations



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  5. #3
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    Oh my gosh! Thank you so much for your detailed answers!

    I keep flip-flopping back and forth between getting an Airbnb or just getting a hotel in Val d'Europe and taking the RER into Paris on our days sightseeing there. We live in the burbs outside of Toronto so commuting into the city is normal for us, so the 45 minute train ride into Paris doesn't seem like a big deal. Of course, it would be much more convenient staying right in Paris and not having to bother taking the train after a long day of sightseeing. Ahhh! I don't know what to do! How do I know if an Airbnb is an official registered one or not? Will the listing say if it is? I've never done an Airbnb either so that's why I'm more apt to stay in a legit hotel. So many decisions to make!

    Where do I buy the carnet of metro tickets as well? From a vending machine at the airport or I suppose I can get them at any metro station. I also read that you can buy your high-speed train tickets from a machine if you have a European chipped credit card...but mine will be a North American chipped credit card, so probably I'll have to line up to get ours from the counter. I always get nervous about silly things like that but if I've got a good head on my shoulders, I'll be able to figure it out right? Plus I can speak some franglais (lol!) so I should be able to fumble my way through.


    Disneyland Paris Hotel - Fall '19!!

    *Grand Floridian
    *Disneyland Hotel
    *Boardwalk Inn *Bay Lake Tower
    *Contemporary *Old Key West
    *Polynesian Resort *Animal Kingdom Lodge
    * Port Orleans French Quarter
    * Fort Wilderness
    *Art of Animation * Pop Century
    * All Star Movies, Music & Sports

  6. #4
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    Our first time visit is in June. There will be a day and a half at DLP as part of a 2 week London and Paris trip. We are so excited!

  7. #5
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    Replying to your post with a sad heart, given the fire at Notre Dame today.

    The most important piece of advice I could give is--stay in Paris for your city days! You know I am a Disney fan, but there is nothing like staying in a Paris arrondissement and coming "home" at the end of the evening to your apartment. You wake up in the morning and go to the local patisserie and stroll around the city centre and don't have to worry about catching a train. As far as the Val D'Europe hotels, there are some nice ones, but again, if you can swing staying on property at DLP, you will not regret it.

    Related to the registered AirBnB properties, look for a 13-digit registration number in the listings. If all else fails, ask the host if they have a registered property and trust your instincts (and the number of positive reviews) as far as whether it's legit. I have never had a negative experience with AirBnB; not saying that it can't happen, but if you do your research and have a backup plan, you can minimize your risk!
    Beth
    INTERCOT Staff--
    Theme Parks and Accommodations



    Take a look at what INTERCOT's wonderful sponsors have to offer!

  8. #6
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    Ah, Paris! I spent my honeymoon there a couple years ago. I highly recommend checking out the resources at Join Us in France. It started as a podcast a few years ago about everything French. It's hosted by Annie, a native Frenchwoman who spent a lot of time living in the US and then moved back to southern France a few years ago and was rediscovering her home country. She often has her friend, Elise, as a co-host, who is an American living in France and runs her own tour company. The podcast morphed into a website and Facebook groups. So much helpful information shared there. The podcast episodes are so well done and the website makes it easy to search for what you're interested in. There are a couple episodes about Disneyland Paris, traveling around Paris with children, navigating transportation, how to order food in restaurants.... it goes on!

    I definitely recommend staying in the city for your Paris days. It's a large city but very accessible by bus, foot, Uber, Taxi and metro. Be careful about Air B&B - there are a lot of issues people are having. Locals do not want tourists in their buildings (although I know you won't behave badly!) and the French government wants to regulate it. It's lead to a lot of last-minute cancellations and many people I read about are left stranded without places to stay. Even if you do find a place that looks good and the host is communicative, the other residents of the building may make things difficult like changing access codes to the foyer or something like that. I think there are alternatives that are similar to Air B&B but I can't remember what they are right now. There are nice hotels for every budget in every part of the city, including brands familiar to us in North America. When we went we used Marriott points to stay almost free.

    Eiffel Tower - buy your tickets online 90 days in advance if you can! Treat it with FastPass-like urgency. There are limited numbers of advance tickets that go on sale online and days quickly sell out. There is no "low crowd" time for the Tower. We were there in off-peak season in late fall/early winter and the line was still hours long. Buying tickets in advance won't allow you to skip the security checkpoints (there are two) but it will still save you a lot of time in ticket queues. I personally think the view from the second floor is better than from the tippy top, but there's a champagne bar up there and that's worth it, lol!

    Stroll around and take in the different neighborhoods in Paris. I love finding a food tour to take when exploring a new city and Paris has lots of them! You get a guide in English (or French, if you prefer) and for a couple of hours you take a lovely walking tour with stops at bakeries, restaurants, bars, etc. learning about local culture, history, and foods.

    If you'll have 3 or more days in Paris and plan to hit the major museums and landmarks that require admission, consider the Paris Museum Pass. We bought these and they were clutch! It covers admission for just about everything except the Tower. Again, it allows you to skip the ticket lines, which chew up sooo much time in your day. Security is similar to Disney and moves pretty quickly, but ticket lines do not. I can't remember how old your kiddos are, but many of these places have FREE admission for kids UNDER 18! What! We are trying to plan a trip to take ours before they start costing money, hahah!

    Your credit cards will work fine. We took some Euros out from an ATM when we got there and used our cards the rest of the time. Let the credit card companies take care of the exchange rates for you. We were pleasantly surprised at how affordable we found most of Paris to be. It can be as expensive as you make it, but it's very easy to go to the little markets or Monoprix, get some beautiful cheese, a baguette, a bottle of wine and have a picnic! Crepe stands are everywhere, in spring/summer the ice cream stands are open.

    Anything else you're wondering about?
    ~Nikki~
    Last Trip: July 2015 Birthday trip - Disneyland! April 2016 - Disneyland!! INTERCOT 20th Anniversary Meet October 2017!
    Next Trips: October 2018!

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