« Disneyland Paris: It Begins | Main | Disneyland Update - 4/29/12 »

Disneyland Paris: Ticketing and Transportation

jeaninebanner.jpg

Part 1.

Depending on the hotel you stay at, you have different options for getting to the parks. If you pony up the dough to stay at the Disneyland Hotel, your life is easy, given that the hotel is directly opposite the Main Street Railway Station. Sequoia Lodge, Hotel New York, and Disney's Newport Bay Club are all located within walking distance, around Lake Disney.

Panorama of Lake Disney

Because it was dark, cold, and rainy the first night I went to the park, I took the bus. Although the pickup for the bus is pretty convenient--right in front of the hotel--the drop-off is less so. The buses all drop off along the side of the railway station/garage, with the stop for Sequoia being pretty far back.

P1040912.JPG

From that point, there is literally nothing within eyeshot of the parks, and if there were any signs indicating which way to go, I didn't see them. After watching me standing around for awhile wondering if I had gotten off at the wrong stop, the bus driver finally broke down and high-beamed me, to give me directions.

There is also, again, absolutely no one around the bus area to answer questions, so you need to get all the information from the bus driver that you want before leaving. Subsequently, I realized I didn't know when the buses stopped running and asked a number of security personnel (the only ones still around after the parks closed,) all of which gave me different times, none of which ended up being correct.

DLPMap.jpg

Here's the map I wish I had had--I ended up taking the bus every day because it was pretty freezing and wet most mornings, and as a result never realized until my last night there, how close the hotel was to the Disney Village. Some nights, after the parks had closed, I actually walked the length of the Village to pick up food (at that point probably less than a 10 minute walk from the hotel,) then walked all the way back out of the Village, down the length of the train station, and waited around for the bus. The More You Know.

IMG_0794.JPG

Anyway, assuming you finally meander your way around the train station, you then get to go through the usual security check. In an interesting twist, there are several lines, one of which has an x-ray machine for your bags instead of a person doing a manual check. The line may be shorter for the machine, and it may seem compelling to just be able to throw your bag down without having to open it up and expose all the contents to a stranger, but don't do it--it inevitably takes longer for some reason. The security is also a little more cavalier than at home, as a couple of times I just walked through with my bag uninvestigated, when none of the security guys seemed interested in looking at it.

On passing through security, you then find yourself contemplating the beautiful Disneyland Hotel.

P1040913.JPG

Tony Baxter later spoke to us about how on creating the park, the Imagineers felt that European towns usually had an inn by the train station, and wanted to emulate that by designing the hotel to be directly abutting the park. At the time, they were beset by a lot of naysayers who said that no one would want to stay there from the noise of the parades or fireworks, etc...and subsequently the design was so successful, it was replicated with the Miracosta at Tokyo DisneySea, and the Grand Californian at California Adventure.

Travel Tip #2: Consider the Annual Pass.

Here are the prices for day tickets to Disneyland Paris:
P1040914.JPG

...And here are the prices for Annual Passes.
P1040915.JPG

As you can see, assuming your visit isn't going to coincide with the AP's blackout dates, if you are even going for three days, you're better off with the Fantasy pass (the one I got.) The one under that is worth it if you're even going for more than one day, however that might be limited to purchase by locals. The other advantage to the Fantasy AP is that it gave around a 10% discount at pretty much all the stores and restaurants on property which is less than the 20% that the Dream pass got, but better than a poke in the eye.

Activating the AP can be a bit of a challenge--I entered in the evening of my first day there, and found that the AP center (on the Discoveryland side of the hub,) was already closed. The next day I had to go around to guest services because my AP voucher no longer let me in, since I had already used it for an entry the day before. After a number of phone calls, the CM had to walk over and manually let me in, admonishing me that I had to activate the AP as soon as possible. I went over to the AP center...and of course, it wasn't open yet.

Anyway, you enter by passing under the hotel, at which time you get your first glimpses of the park.

P1050027.JPG

...and it's gorgeous. I mean it--everything I've said up to this point has probably made it seem like a big ol' hassle to get over here and get in, but at the point where you walk in and see all the detailing and the beautiful castle...it's all worth it.

P1050225.JPG

Next time: Disney Dreams.

The previous post in this blog was Disneyland Paris: It Begins.

The next post in this blog is Disneyland Update - 4/29/12.

Comments (4)

Sue McDonald:

Thanks for the great DLP blog! We were able to visit last year. Your pictures bring back the memories!

You're right - at the bus stop, there is no indication of where to go. We asked the bus driver, who gave us very brief directions. As it turned out, we just followed the crowd and were fine.

I was also struck by how regimented (organized?) the breakfast buffets were at the hotel. Definitely different from what we were used to!

You're right, the Disney Village is just a short walk from the resorts. Glad you found your way there by the lake.

Can't wait to read more!

Jeanine: Yes, the next morning, when everyone was pretty much going the same way to enter the parks, it was much clearer which way to go. It was just the first night I went over that was confusing because everyone was leaving and heading for the train station by that time. Also I was jetlagged and comatose. Thanks for reading!

I can appreciate it being hard to realise on a first visit (even more so if the weather's bad) but with the exception of the Davy Crockett Ranch, all the official Disney hotels are within walking distance of the parks. The value resorts, the Cheyenne and Santa Fe, are a 5-10 minute walk past the Sequoia - just follow the river!

Definitely something for people to bear in mind if you're anxious to avoid hanging around for the buses.

Jeanine: It seemed as though it must be the case that you could walk from the other hotels, because looking at the map now, it's evident that they were pretty much across the street from Sequoia. I would have considered walking over there to check them out, but I didn't see any obvious paths...and on the other hand, I don't even remember seeing a river, either, so I might not be the best scout.

Kathy:

Loving your report on DLP! I can't wait for the rest of it.

To clarify on the Francilien AP...it is available for purchase by anyone, not just locals. However, you can't use it on the two days after you buy it. So it would work fine if you wanted to spend a day at DLP, then a few days in Paris, and then return to DLP (assuming they weren't blackout days). But you couldn't buy it and use it for the next few days in a row.

Jeanine: Thanks for the info! I had read something to that effect before, but we bought ours in advance so I wasn't sure if that was a work-around, or if that was an option only for groups, or if the two days counted from the time you activated it. In my case, the Fantasy pass seemed like the more straightforward option.

Kayla:

Thanks so much for this Jeanie! I was just in DIsneyland Paris on the first through the fourth of April and found your blog very accurate. It certainly IS much more different than in Walt Disney World or Disneyland. First off, yes, I realize I did go at an incredibly expensive time to travel (Easter week), but my room at the Newport Bay Hotel was still 620 USD/night without tickets. I still have yet to stay at the Disneyland Hotel... someday... The people may be a little more abrasive and less likely to help than they are in Orlando/Anaheim, but after spending four days in the Paris they seem much more pleasant in comparison! While they did all speak english, some certainly spoke it much much better than others. The park is absolutely gorgeous. It's much different than Disneyland and the complete lack of wait times and lines is fantastic. The longest wait for me was in Walt Disney Studios park at the Crush's Coaster which was only 30 minutes **during the BUSIEST week of their year**... I could get used to that. There wasn't a single thing that I didn't like. The walking distance it sounded like it took to get from the park to our Hotel was exaggerated, I thought it was much less time than walking from Disneyland in Anaheim to the DIsneyland Hotel!! The incredible amount of different merchandise put a hole in my wallet but it was worth it. For a first time visit, I'm hooked. I can't wait to go back. Thanks for the information about APs as I think next time it will be much more beneficial for me to purchase one. I didn't even think about it! The bus was nice if you don't want to walk and it is nice to see more of the property that you would not otherwise see, but honestly, if you can walk, just do it. It isn't very far. Now as far as my incredibly overpriced room goes, it was very small, but it was standard -- I'd relate it to a slightly upgraded Caribbean Beach resort room in WDW or a small Disneyland Hotel in anaheim before the room update. However, the hotel does not offer free wi-fi or printing of any kind -- anywhere and there was a slight stench in the hallways that was just odd. The bed was kind of comfy but the air conditioning was AWFUL. It simply did not work - but I knew that from other reviews going into it. The windows did open (we got a corner room so 2x the windows) but they do not have screens and there were spiders covering all of them on the outside so that wasn't really an option. Did I love it though? YES!!! It was just like the Boardwalk and Yacht club combined but with cheaper-looking, yet more expensive rooms. Even with the price, I'd stay there again in a minute, I enjoyed DLRP way too much to stay off site even though that definitely is an option. On ONE note, we did take the metro from the city at our hotel in Paris to check into disneyland, in the monrings it is very confusing as trains don't start running to that location until after 8 AM AND not all trains go out there (so you may be on a train and suddenly all the lights go out and there is a message in french and you have no idea what they're saying!) but eventually a train will come and a message will play that yes this train does go out to Disneyland.. be careful though. Taking the metro from DLRP to the airport, however, takes much much much much much much longer than you would ever expect. We budgeted an hour and a half even though it only took an 40 minutes to get out from the eiffel tower. It took 2 hours and fifteen minutes. We almost missed our flight back home and boarded it with only 15 minutes till takeoff! That's not Disney's fault, however, that's just me not thinking. Overall, wow.... anyone that loves Disney needs to go there. I will make it a goal to return there within the next year. Next stop, however... Tokyo!

Jeanine: I definitely thought the hotel was one of the weak links. It was freezing while I was there, and while the room had a thermostat, it was apparently decorative in nature, as I set it anywhere from 65-85 with no appreciable difference. I finally had to call down and have them send someone up to fiddle around on a ladder in a vent before I was able to get any heat.

As far as the waits, it sounds like you were pretty lucky--I waited anywhere from 35-60 minutes for Crush, and wait times were often running around 45 minutes for other attractions like Peter Pan and Casey Jr.

Thanks for reading! I think you'll enjoy Tokyo!

Post a comment

(All comments must be approved before they appear on the entry.)


By submitting this comment I agree I am bound by the AllEars.net Terms of Use agreement

Return to Blog Central

About

This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 29, 2012 9:22 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Disneyland Paris: It Begins.

The next post in this blog is Disneyland Update - 4/29/12.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.