For a couple of years now, we have talked about taking our children to Disneyland Paris. I gave up work when Luca was born so money is tight but it was a place we knew we wanted the kids to visit whilst it still was magical. So in January of this year we finally booked up! I was so excited, I have been to DLP twice before, but as an adult and obviously without my children, was so looking forward to seeing it through their eyes.
We booked the early morning flight out of Newcastle direct to Charles de Gaulle with Air France, I did it as part of a package booked through Thomas Cook as I wanted the safety of a package holiday incase of flight delays etc. After much too-ing and fro-ing, we decided on the Hotel Cheyenne, a hotel styled in the form of a wild west town. It is only a 2 star but I read extensive reviews and asked many people's opinion, originally I had wanted to go for Hotel New York but on this occasion we decided to save a few more pounds and book the cheaper accommodation.
I bought the kids a countdown plaque off Designs by Nikki so they could start counting down the days. I did delay giving them this until August otherwise we would have driven ourselves mad!
So it was booked, we were booked to leave on 1st December for 4 nights and spend Eva's birthday in Disneyland Paris, perfect. We also got quite a good deal by going out of season, we got 2 nights free and the kids under 7 were free. That is my first tip, if at all possible, avoid school holidays and also avoid weekends if you can. Saturdays in particular are crazy as a lot of local people have annual passes and use them at the weekend.
I agonised over the meal plan situation. Everyone I know that has been has commented on the price of the food there, it is expensive to eat out in Disneyland Paris and they offer a variety of meal plan options. We eventually decided to get the Standard Premium Half Board because we could use that in Cafe Mickey which is a character dining restaurant. In hindsight, I should not have bothered getting the plan as to be quite honest, with our kids it was a bit of a waste of money as they eat like birds and would have been happy eating in the McDonalds in the Disney Village everyday! If you enjoy eating out and your kids are good eaters, then I would say the plans are a good buy, you have a wide choice of restaurants in both parks to choose from as well as the various Disney hotels. There are options to suit everyone, it really is a case of personal taste. You are looking at an average of about 12 euros for an adult meal consisting of cheeseburger, fries, drink and an ice-cream, if you go for that type of food. An all-you-can-eat buffet is approximately 25 euros per adult, that is a rough guide for you.
Finally, airport transfers, you can book the VEA Disney airport shuttle bus, at todays price it is 20 euros per adult and 16 euros per child (aged 3 - 11) per trip and roughly takes around an hour or so to get round all the hotel drop offs. I read on tripadvisor about a company called Ezy Shuttle who provide private taxi transfers and there was only brilliant reviews about them. I enquired and the price was 70 euros for a direct pick up from the arrival hall in CDG and to take us straight to our hotel, a complete no brainer, quick email to John who owns the company and we were booked. He asked if we need car seats and advised we just pay the driver on the day. Our driver would be waiting for us in arrivals and that he was. An absolutely exceptional service both ways and I would not hesistate to wholeheartedly recommend Ezy Shuttle.
Stay tuned for the next instalment ......