Why you shouldn’t go to Disneyland Paris

Some articles on EmmaDrew.Info may contain affiliate links. Click here to read my disclosure policy.

13 reasons why you shouldn't go to Disneyland Paris versus Disney World

I absolutely love visiting Disney World (that's the one in Florida!), and having been proposed to outside of Cinderella's Castle, not to mention honeymooning there, we decided to branch out and visit Disneyland Paris for our second wedding anniversary. We aren't sadists, so we decided to actually go the week before our anniversary so that we didn't conflict with half term. We went for 5 nights and I can honestly say that it would take a lot to get me to go back again.

Here are 13 reasons why you shouldn't go to Disneyland Paris, and none of them are to do with the weather.

Here are 13 reasons why you shouldn't go to Disneyland Paris by Emma at EmmaDrew.info. #DisneylandParis #DisneylandForAdults #DisneylandParisSecrets #DisneylandPlanning

Let's start with a disclaimer. I am, extremely grateful to be able to take any holiday, and I am glad that we experienced Disneyland Paris. Whilst this blog post focuses on the negative, and why you should visit Disney World instead, we still had a nice time!

Having just been in Disney World in December, it was time for a change.

Check out our vlog below:

The hotel – Disney's Hotel New York

Being our anniversary trip, we decided to book Disney's Hotel New York for our trip. A 4-star hotel, we were really looking forward to a bit of luxury during our trip. We went to check in around 2.30 (your room usually isn't ready until 3 pm) and were really happy to hear that our room was ready.

However, checking in took ages because you have to be issued with bits of paper for everything. Breakfast vouchers, meal vouchers, a piece of paper that lets the park's cast members know that you are staying on site (for extra magic hours), maps and who knows what else.

As we were checking in, we were asked if the king size bed (instead of two doubles) was okay. We nodded – we had put notes in our booking that it was our anniversary trip; the holiday was for two adults and we share the same surname, so it can be assumed that we'd like to share a bed. It got really awkward when the cast member didn't shut up about it. We really need to let them know at the time of booking whether we wanted a king size bed.

Again, we nodded, because we thought we had requested a king size bed. The cast member kept going on and on about how it would be really difficult to change the room and once again, we really needed to let them know what sleeping arrangements we wanted. Awkward.

That wasn't the worst part though. We were then told that the hotel pool was closed for refurbishment for our entire stay.

Having a swimming pool is a non-negotiable for us on holiday (or business) whether it is one night or 23 nights. I absolutely would not have booked this hotel if we had been made aware at the time of booking. We hadn't booked via Disney, and our travel agent got in touch with this message.

Pool closure Disneyland Paris

Once again, I will reiterate that if the closure had been announced at the time of our booking, we would not have booked this hotel. However, this was an issue with our travel agent, not Disney.

We walked into our 4-star bedroom to find that the air con was broken – the weather dipped into the 30Cs, so we needed air con. A call down to the reception and we were frostily met with “what, is your room hot?” and a promise that someone would be up immediately. They weren't.

We waited an hour, not wanting to unpack in case we were moving rooms before we gave up and went to a park. The room had a fan, no air con as promised.

The room was also tatty with paint peeling off in the bathroom.

Disney Hotel New York minibar - Why you shouldn't go to Disneyland Paris

Another thing to mention is that there is no kettle in the room, and although there is a fridge, it is an automatic minibar, so you can't fit much in there. You can ask for a kettle and a fridge…at an extra cost. If you need to store medication in a fridge then it is recommended that you speak to the concierge who can store it for you.

On our final day, we were planning to check out a 11 am – the latest you can check out. At 10 am we were both naked – my towel had fallen whilst I was putting my make up on and Tony was literally stepping into his boxers when the door to our room opened.

Despite the “do not disturb” sign on the door, and despite the fact that we still had an hour before checking out, housekeeping had entered our room without knocking. I don't know what they saw, but we were both within the line of sight from the door opening. It will haunt me forever.

Overall, our 4-star hotel was a complete letdown.

Do you need to speak French in Disneyland Paris?

I never learned French in school, so I was really apprehensive about not knowing the language before we went. I tried to learn some key phrases such as “hello”, “thank you” and “how much?” before we headed off to Disneyland Paris.

This is a hard one to answer, and the best tip I can give you is that if you can't speak French, don't reply in French! I would reply to “Bonjour” in French, which meant that cast members would speak to me in French and at times we were even given a French menu instead of an English menu.

Yep – they do have English menus! It definitely felt rude and unnatural to not reply back in French, but it saved a lot of confusion.

A few of the rides and attractions within Disneyland Paris have videos as part of the attraction, and these were often in French, however, there was no continuity.

Some of them had English subtitles, some of them had headphones you could wear and listen in English and others just had the French.

You can definitely get by in Disneyland Paris without speaking French, although there may be times when you are given instructions in French that you might not understand.

Related posts:

Cast members in Disneyland Paris

I cannot believe the difference in cast members between Disneyland Paris and Disney World. In Disney World, most of the cast members are happy and cheerful, for example, they will wave to you as your rollercoaster pulls away.

We found that the few cast members we encountered at Disneyland Paris (and there were only a few – normally where Disney World would have at least 2-3 cast members, there would only be one) weren't super friendly and cheerful.

I am used to cast members commenting on our Disney clothing or calling me “princess” when I wear a tiara. This didn't happen in Disneyland Paris.

Maybe I'm asking too much with this one, but part of visiting Disney is to have that magical experience.

Food and drink

You would think that the food and drink in Paris would be amazing, but let me tell you – it was not. We chose to have the half board option, which meant we had a buffet breakfast in our hotel every morning, and one meal voucher to be used across a selection of restaurants inside the parks and the Disney Village.

The service you receive in the Disney restaurants is adequate. You will get your food delivered to you, but it was very abrupt, almost to the point of being rude.

Most restaurants weren't busy at all, yet the servers were pretty much dumping the food in front of us and leaving before we could ask for anything else.

We decided to pay for a meal at Planet Hollywood because we had a 15% off voucher, and I really wish we hadn't. I ordered ribs (which I love in the Disney Springs Planet Hollywood) and when I started to cut into them, I thought I was cutting into the bone.

Nope, they were that tough. Overall, the food was mediocre at best. It did what it had to do – give us energy for the parks and all the walking.

It was also hideously expensive. 330ml of a soft drink, which is a can, cost the equivalent of £4.57 in most places around Disneyland Paris.

At meals, you would only get 330ml, and they are not refillable. I don't know if we are just big drinkers, but it wasn't enough. We were often finishing our meals absolutely gasping for another drink – but I was not going to be paying over £4 for a can!

Soft drinks are refillable in Disney World – another reason why you shouldn't go to Disneyland Paris.

Disneyland Paris Half Board Plus Meal Voucher - Why you shouldn't go to Disneyland Paris

With our half board plus meal vouchers, there were also some restrictions and set menus. We would be handed a nice looking menu, but the voucher would only apply to a selection of about 3 starters, 3 mains and 2 or 3 desserts and not the full menu.

The Disney Dining Plan in Disney World applies to all of the menu.

Fast Passes

Fast Passes at Disneyland Paris are completely different to the Fast Passes at Disney World.

A Fast Pass is a magical way to skip the ride queues, and they are completely free at Disney. You are given a time slot (30 minutes in Disneyland Paris, 1 hour in Disney World) where you get to skip the queue and get on your ride.

Disneyland Paris Big Thunder Mountain Fast Pass - Why you shouldn't go to Disneyland Paris

At Disney World, you can book your Fast Passes up to 60 days in advance if you are staying at a Disney hotel, and 30 days in advance if not. This means that you can make the most of your holiday, you know exactly when you can ride certain rides and you aren't backtracking.

You also have flexibility with the ride times, and you can choose from a number of Fast Pass slots to suit your plans. You can easily amend your Fast Passes whilst on the go using the Disney app too.

Disneyland Paris still has the paper Fast Pass system. You have to physically go to the attraction, see what time the Fast Passes are for, then put your tickets into the machine to get your Fast Passes. Then return back during the times stated on your Fast Passes – and that's it. No more flexibility than that. Another reason why you shouldn't go to Disneyland Paris.

Extra Magic Hours

One of the perks of staying in a Disney hotel, in both Paris and Orlando, is that you get extra time in the parks. At Disneyland Paris, you can enter the parks from 8 am, instead of the 10 am opening time.

This meant setting an alarm for 5.30am (yep, whilst on holiday) in order to get ready and have breakfast before hitting the park.

The first thing we noticed is that it didn't apply to both parks, just the Disneyland Park. Having woken up at 5.30am, I admit that I wasn't in the best mood ever – getting to the park to find half of it cordoned off until 10 am really pissed me off.

What is the point in Extra Magic Hours when half the park is still closed?

What's worse is that because only half the park is open, there are still massive crowds during these Extra Magic Hours.

Fireworks at 11 pm

I can't believe that we didn't get to see the fireworks at Disneyland Paris, but this is because they were on at 11 pm every night.

Considering that Extra Magic Hours started at 8 am, we just couldn't manage the 11 pm fireworks.

I have absolutely no idea how families with young children managed this

Being fat in Disneyland Paris

Both my husband and I aren't exactly skinny, and this has never been a problem in Disney World. We have always managed to go on every ride and do whatever we wanted.

Disneyland Paris is a little different.

There are turnstiles everywhere, making it awkward for anyone with a larger body shape. There was one particularly narrow turnstile that I had great difficulty with and had to ask to use the pram/wheelchair entrance.

In Disney World, I've found the cast members to be very sensitive about this, and I would automatically be directed to a suitable alternative if needed. In Disneyland Paris, this wasn't the case, and I had to get a cast member's attention and embarrassingly explain the situation.

The actual rides weren't a problem. But those turnstiles are everywhere.

Photopass Plus/Memory Maker at Disneyland Paris

We love the Disney Photopass photographers – we even managed to get Tony's proposal captured by one. We have so many professional images and ride photos from around Disney World, however, the Photopass system is different in Disneyland Paris.

Disney World Photopass magic shot - Why you shouldn't go to Disneyland Paris

At Disneyland Paris, your Photopass+ card is only valid for 10 days after first use, and only for character meets and on-ride photos. This is a service you need to pay for on top.

Disney World Photopass magic shot 2 - Why you shouldn't go to Disneyland Paris

At Disney World, there are Photopass photographers all over the park, also giving you magic shots where a Disney character will magically appear. You also get all your on-ride photos and character meet photos too. Plus you will get videos included, from certain rides. And it is free with a 14 day (or more) Disney ticket, called Memory Maker.

Rude people at Disneyland Paris & why you shouldn't go to Disneyland Paris

Any Disney holiday should be magical, and we have encountered the odd rude person in Disney World, but Disneyland Paris was something else! I don't even know where to begin with this one. Queues don't exist, and if they do, it is okay to just wander into any section of the queue, not just joining the end. During our stay, no one said “excuse me” and instead we were constantly barged or stepped on.

Smoking at Disneyland Paris

Although there are some designated smoking areas within the parks, we encountered people smoking anywhere and everywhere in Disneyland Paris. It was worst around the Disney Village and made me appreciate the laws we have in England regarding smoking.

If you are sensitive to cigarette smoke then it is worth me telling you that it will be a problem at Disneyland Paris.

Magic Bands

Disneyland Paris doesn't have the Magic Band system yet, which has been around in Disney World for a few years now. Magic Bands are a bracelet that you wear that contains everything you need for your holiday – your park tickets, your room key, your Fast Passes, your Memory Maker, your Disney dining (if you have any) and you can even hook it up to a credit or debit card to make purchases.

Instead, in Disneyland Paris, you have to rely on having bits of paper for everything. If you arrive at your dinner reservation and you don't have your meal voucher, you will have to pay up or send someone back to pick up the meal voucher. Another reason why you shouldn't go to Disneyland Paris.

The price difference between Disney World and Disneyland Paris

You would think that because Disneyland Paris is so easy to get to, and so much closer than Disney World in Orlando, it would be cheaper.

Nope. It was hideously expensive. There are, of course, ways to save money when visiting Disneyland Paris, but don't assume that it is a cheaper holiday.

Our 5-night stay set us back £1,500, and there was a deal a few weeks ago to visit Orlando for two weeks, with car, hotel, flights and luggage for £400 per person! Of course, that isn't the best comparison, as you can normally get a deal by booking a last minute holiday, and that deal didn't include staying at a Disney hotel.

I decided to compare the prices between Disneyland Paris and Disney World, using similar dates for 2018. I picked a Sunday in May 2018, before half term, staying for two weeks.

Disneyland Paris prices - Why you shouldn't go to Disneyland Paris

The price for Disneyland Paris came in at £4,378.48 once you add local taxes and a £15 handling fee. This includes hotel and park entry for your stay. It does not include meals, drinks or transport.

Disney World prices - Why you shouldn't go to Disneyland Paris

For the Disney World quote, I chose a comparable hotel to Disney Hotel New York, and I chose Saratoga Springs. We stayed here last year and it was lovely! The studio villa came with a little kitchen area with a fridge, sink and even a microwave. The price came in at £4,375. £3.48 cheaper than Disneyland Paris, but here's what else you get:

  • A $200 gift card that can be spent on anything around Disney World! Cocktails with your meals, tips for your meals, ice cream, souvenirs, etc.
  • FREE DISNEY DINING. This means you get a counter service meal a day, a snack a day and a sit-down meal per day, per person.
  • A resort mug – you can refill this mug as many times as you want, within the Disney resorts. Choose soft drinks and hot drinks.
  • 12-month subscription to Disney Life
  • FREE Magic Bands
  • Free Memory Maker
  • 15% off the Disney Store
  • Free Magical Express

Hands down, Disney World in Florida is the cheaper choice for a comparable hotel room. There are plenty of cheaper places to stay, both on Disney and elsewhere, and plenty of Disney World money-saving hacks.

Disney World also has 4 parks and two water parks to choose from, instead of Disneyland Paris' two parks.

Here is the kicker though. I would have to pay for the Disneyland Paris option today, right now. With the Disney World option, I could book it now with a £100 deposit, and the rest won't be due until March 2018. Edit: Fiona has commented to let me know that if you ring the Disneyland Paris booking line, you can pay a deposit and not pay the entire amount up front.

With both options, you still need to account for travel and your spending money.

The good things about Disneyland Paris

This post has been mostly doom and gloom, but we did enjoy our time together. There are still plenty of things we enjoyed about Disneyland Paris.

Getting to Disneyland Paris is so, so simple. We hopped on a train from Cambridge to London, crossed the road and hopped on another train to Marne La Vallee which is right there in Disneyland Paris. It was also lovely to be able to walk everywhere – there were free shuttle buses from the hotel, but it was quicker and easier to walk.

The rides that we went on were so much better than the Disney World equivalent. Namely Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Tower of Terror and The Haunted Mansion. I absolutely loved the Disneyland Paris versions.

However, we will definitely be picking Disney World over Disneyland Paris!

Earn £50 towards your Disney Fund

Want to earn £50 towards your Disney fund? Or anything for that matter! Simply complete this short questionnaire and if you are eligible for a banking mystery shop, they'll give you a call. Mine took an hour to complete before receiving my £50 cheque.

Here are 13 reasons why you shouldn't go to Disneyland Paris by Emma at EmmaDrew.info. #DisneylandParis #DisneylandForAdults #DisneylandParisSecrets #DisneylandPlanning

46 Comments on “Why you shouldn’t go to Disneyland Paris”

  1. Saw this on the Disney Paris Facebook group. Fab blog. Can’t believe the price of the Paris trip. I just love Orlando so feel I would be disappointed going to Paris. Went once and couldn’t believe the rudeness.

  2. Everyone has their own opinion and I do agree with some of the points you’ve made. However, they’re not comparable. Yes they are both Disney parks but they are in 2 different countries with extremely different values and cultures.
    Also, that last statement just isn’t true. If you book online then yes you pay it at once, if you phone them (can receive free call back) then you can pay deposit and then by instalments.

    1. Hi Fiona, thanks for letting me know about the deposit if you ring them, I’ve edited the post.

  3. Sorry to hear you had a bad experience 🙁 we went to Paris a couple of years ago with our little one and loved it (well, she did anyway 🙂 ). The last time I went to Florida though I was about 8! Ours was really cheap – we booked direct with Disney. We went in September so maybe it’s quieter/cheaper then?
    The only thing that we didn’t like was the food, but we didn’t mind because we went for the cheapest option, lol! You’ve definitely made me want to take her to Florida!

  4. We’ve been to Orlando and as the song says “had the times of our lives”, and often wondered what Disney Land Paris would be like after reading this I don’t think I’l bother xx

  5. Sounds like a bit of a culture clash, only us British and a few other countries religiously queue for anything elsewhere in the world queuing is not the done thing! I queued for 2 hours to get the lift off santorini island in nearly 30 degree sun with a heart condition that means I’m liable to collapse if I stand still for too long, it took all my effort to keep upright I’d got to the front of the queue and a man came from no where and pushed straight by me I swore at him and burst into tears. It is completely normal in some parts of the world to barge to the front. You have to embrace it, learn to laugh at the people who are so desperate to get their own way they’ll push the disabled and small children over to get where they are going and revel in the fact your not as cruel hearted OR you have to join in elbows out like the masses.

    I totally understand how when you are used to the American way of how the customer is always right and service is number 1 then the continental European way of doing things can be a massive shock to the system.

    Everything branded is much more expensive in Europe, I paid £5.50 for a small glass of Coke Zero today. Last week I paid £5 for a tiny packet of paracetamol at home I’d never pay more than 35p for them. The latter was gut wrenching it almost broke my heart!

    Whilst some of your issues where culture clashes I can totally see how it goes against what Disney stands for and as a true fan I can see how disappointing that is for you! I truely hope you still had some fun and made some good memories too!!

  6. Hi there,

    I am Jetsen, a Belgian resident and visit Disneyland Paris quite often.

    I completely understand that you didn’t have the best Disney experience. I also have found myself in the same position. And asked myself the same questions e.g.: “where are the free refills?”.

    I have read your thirteen reasons why and just wanted to clarify some reason ‘why’. Because comparing a huge Resort in a different continent with a smaller resort in EU is quite difficult. They both have a completely different culture and different standards.
    Also until a couple of weeks ago both resorts where owned by 2 different companies. It is only form a week ago that the Disney company bought most of the shares from Eurodisney sca.

    The wit time in the hotels can be frustrating. You just arrived and had a long journey, to than just wait in line when you’re so close to the parks. Believe me I have slept in all of the hotels there. The paperwork at check-in is a mess, sometimes you have to fill in the whole form, sometimes they already have you on file and then you only have to fill in half.
    Well, this is EU law, you have to fill it in and sign it because the EU is strict on registering every hotel guest. It is annoying, i know.
    Also Disneyland Paris is renovating al the hotels one by one (since they are 25 years of age). And hotel new york still has to be refurbished.
    The rest of your hotel experience is not ok, it simply is not ok for housekeeping to barge in like that. I would definitely mail DLP GUEST SERVICES with your story.

    About the foods and drinks, the planet Hollywood is my least favorite. The food there is indeed different then all of the other franchises.
    And the service, well your in France. The service is indeed “french style” specially if you compare it to the us. In the us the waiters work on minimum wage and then get the most of there earnings via tips. So they have to be friendly to earn money. Here the waiters just get minimum wage,…

    I also miss the soda fountains and unlimited sodas. But again the unlimited sodas are against the law in France. In France there is a law named “the sugar law” which includes that it is forbidden to give free refills. This law is used to reduce sugar and obese patients. This is the same reason why everything with sugar (specially sodas and deserts) are more expensive. Because the taxes are higher on them.

    The fastpasses magic band etc, those are also a continental problem.
    It always takes at least five years before new technology reaches Europe. They always bring out the fun stuff in the is and the uk first and than five to ten years later in the rest of Europe.
    They now still use the old fastpass system but i estimate in for to five years Disneyland Paris will follow. The same with the magic bands. Now they are renovating the hotels, they are also adjusting the door locks with rfid locks.

    The photo-pass is expensive for what you get, there are a lot of characters without photographers. I also find that annoying. But what I am seeing is that the past months the amount of photographers are increasing. So there is improvement on the way.

    Price wise i cant believe paris is more expensive than Disney world. I also saw that the date you have chosen on the Disneyland Paris website is high season and i think (but am not shure) that the same date in the us is medium season. So if you want a good comparison look up the same category of how busy it is in both parks. And compare them both without extra offers.

    There is a language barrier in Disneyland Paris. Aldo it’s pretty small.
    99% of the cast members in Paris speak English. The one better than the other, that’s true. But you can’t blame them for sometimes speaking french to you. The cast members speak to hundreds of visitors each day. Most of the cast members speak more than 2 languages. And it is confusing to change all the time. I myself speak Dutch (native language) English and French. But I always speak English to the cast members because that is for me the most fluent foreign language to speak. If they try to reply in French I do correct them to speak English, but they don’t mind that at all.
    The native language of France is French, so I am absolutely delighted that Disney puts as much effort as they can to train their cast members to speak English. They even do special courses and internships. Until ten years ago most pf the staff only spoke French. That was more annoying.

    Last but not least, the fireworks. I know it’s late, but you can only see the show when it’s dark. That is why it is so late. Because the projection on the castles, light effects and fireworks can only be displayed when dark. I know it’s late for family’s with smaller children, but there are lots pf other shows you can watch in daytime!

    I hope you don’t give up on going to Disneyland Paris. I completely agree that Disney World is bigger better unhealthyer then Paris. But in general that’s also the motto of the entire United States. 🙂

    Kind regards,
    Jetsen,

    1. Hi Jetsen, thank you so much for your comment. Love the bit about bigger is better. Isn’t it always? 🙂

  7. We have been a couple of times and found the dinning at the lodge to be very good. I agree with prices are high and when compared to Orlando, well it makes sense to go there. My major problem was the amount of smoking going on all over the parks and in the queues and yes the rudeness. But, one kind of expects this when you go to France, I am sad to say. I rather like the Parc Asterix actually. 🙂

    1. No excuse for rudeness is there? Emma agrees about the smoking, it does seem to be an issue they need to address.

    1. Ah u won’t it is still magical , and the bit about cast members I went September and they were so nice I Disneybounded every day and from
      Breakfast staff, to park gate , ride staff most had lovely comments and smiles when they seen me and my children . My children have had birthdays there and it’s been so special.

  8. Like you we love Disney – but I don’t share your sentiment about Disneyland Paris. I have visited both the Orlando and Paris parks in the same year on a number of occasions – we even booked our Orlando park passes through Florida Escapes after reading your blog a number of years ago. I completely agree with you regarding the customer service in the US compared to Paris, but I have always found that if I attempt to speak a little French followed swiftly with a ‘parlez vous Anglais?’ Then the staff are most helpful and courteous. Paris is so easily accessible for us here in the UK an hours flight and you are in Paris and whilst I see your comparison for price, you can make it so much cheaper if you shop around. I don’t know anyone who has spent two weeks in Disneyland Paris, but it’s great for a 3 or 4 night stay. The reason why we like the Paris park is that although the park layouts are fairly similar to Orlando, it is smaller and much easier to get around with young children, because there is less walking involved. Also because the climate is cooler, we have noticed that the characters stay out for longer. I have also found that the Paris park tends to be less crowded no matter what time of year we go. My most cherished memory is at Halloween one year we found Donald Duck dressed as a devil in Woodys round up – there were hardly any children there and he spent a good 5 minutes dancing with my Daughter – she still talks about it to this day. In my experience Disney is expensive – there is absolutely no getting away from that whether you are in Paris or Orlando. Like you I love Orlando but I also love Paris and I wouldn’t want people to be put off going to the Paris park because for those on a tighter budget it can be a more affordable way for children to experience the magic of Disney without having to spend thousands of pounds travelling to the USA.

    1. Hi Joanne, very jealous you’ve visited both parks in one year. Customer service is very important i think, and Emma agrees that while some people may find Paris more convenient, it isn’t necessarily cost effective.

  9. I’ve never been to Disneyland Paris, and I’m not sure I would go. France was great, but there is definitely a culture clash between what I’m used to. I didn’t feel welcomed and the people I stayed with in France made me feel uncomfortable. I was often asked how I could possibly only know one language. Out of all the countries, I visited in Europe, France was definitely my least favorite. Obviously, that is just my opinion, and it could just be because I had several negative experiences while in France.

  10. Hi Emma,
    Sorry to hear you had a bad experience but I don’t think it’s fair to right off Disneyland Paris because of it.

    I’m a massive fan of both Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney World. They are different holidays but both equally as enjoyable to me. You can’t go to one (or the other) expecting them to be the same as they aren’t!

    Things like magic bands wouldn’t work in DLP as it is a different type of holiday (for the same reason they don’t have them in California etc).

    I hope this blog won’t put people off going. I’ve made so many happy memories there and so have many of my friends.

    I hope you give Disneyland Paris another chance in the future.

  11. Just a note on the refillable drinks. A law has just been passed in France… these are no longer allowed anywhere in France. It’s not a Disney thing, it’s a French thing to avoid too much sugar…

  12. I always enjoy reading reviews about my favourite Disney park. Especially when they are making complaints about it.

    DLP is not perfect, as a Shareholder and Annual Pass holder my wife and I visit very often, several times a year so know all the faults DLP has, and you have hit the nail on the head of most of them. The smoking, poor food and rude guests are the ones we have come to ignore over the years.

    Like you we also get the train from Cambridge then jump on the Eurostar to DLP which Zo guess why we visit so often, it’s just two train rides away.

    Hotel New York is tired and is the next hotel to be refurbished. It’s going to be closed for two years for a Marvel themed refurbishment.

    Great same you never booked the Newport Bay Club, it’s just finished a four year refurbishment and is absolutely fantastic hotel.

    With regards to the price comparisons, the DLP booking system is not se up for 14 day holidays. They advertise and promote share breaks – due to the size of the parks 5 days is really all you need. So for longer stays book two short trips to get the maximum discounts like two nights nights, two days free or free half / full board.

    You might also find buying an Annual Pass much cheaper than park tickets if staying off site as you get some good discounts on merchandise, table service and counter service meals with them.

    I hope your one bad experience has not put you off from visiting DLP again, it’s really magical for a short 3 or 4 night mid week trip.. Which can be had very cheaply if you book well in advance and keep an eye on their offers.

  13. Just a few thoughts based on what I’ve read..

    1. The coke refill thing, it’s French law to try and tackle obesity. The cups in Five Guys for example will only allow one fill and there are signs in The Earl of Sandwich saying this too.

    2. Florida is very much ahead of the curve in terms of Fastpass. Paris is far more in line with California, Hong Kong, Japan and Shanghai..

    3. The French are renounced for their rudeness and I wouldn’t let their more abrupt way of doing things put me off from visiting,

    4. The only reason the fireworks are on at 11pm at night is because the sun doesn’t set until around 10pm. So unless you want the firework show with sun beaming away, the park has little option but to have its firework display on at that time..

    5. The park gives you two hours of extra ride time and the only thing you can say is a negative. In Japan you get 15 minutes and whilst Florida gives you extra magic hours, the queues can be 30% to 100% longer then days without magic hours. Paris may be only half the park open, but lets face it, only Thunder Mountain and Phantom Manor are the key rides unavailable.

    6. I agree about the unnecessary amount of paper at the Hotels. New York Hotel is due for a major refurbishment in 2018. All the other hotels (aside from Disneyland hotel) have been updated and are more what you would find in Florida.

    I’ve always enjoyed my trips to Disneyland Paris. Sure, it’s a massively different place to Florida, far more like European parks like Liseberg, Efteling or Tivoli Gardens. But I feel like it’s got a charm and a different style to its American brothers. and whilst I get some of your points, I do feel like you’ve gone solely with the viewpoint of comparing to Disney World, when its a completely different beast for a completely different type of audience.

  14. Hi Emma

    We went to Paris & Orlando – Paris cost us £800 for 5 days and Orlando cost £5000 for 4 weeks, so price was fairly comparable for us, I guess it depends on offers and when you go.

    Have you considered going to Disneyland California? It cost us £2000 for 2 weeks (we stayed at Disney, but visited Universal studios, San Diego, Hollywood etc. as well, so weren’t in the parks every day), so more affordable than Orlando, but with the smaller scale (and excitement of going somewhere new) of Paris, with the usual American hospitality of Orlando.

    1. Hi Jodie, thank you for your great comment. Emma hasn’t looked into Disneyland California but says she will have a look. 🙂

  15. I’ve never had the pleasure of going to Disneyland – neither Paris or Orlando – though I would certainly like to go one day. I had always assumed the Paris one would be far easier and cheaper, as we could quite easily stay there for a long weekend then get the train back home to London! However, after reading this I think it may actually be better for me to save a little longer and get over to Orlando instead!

    1. Thank you so much for commenting Toni. Emma also assumed it would be cheaper, then looked into it, and was shocked!

  16. Pingback: A weekend at Ferrari Land and PortAventure park (with prices) - lottyearns

  17. The one thing I don’t agree with what you did was compare prices… Disney in Orlando is huge… 5 parks I think and 5 huge parks at that. It would take 15 days to see them all

    Disneyland Paris is tiny in comparison, 2 parks and 2 small parks at that. You can visit both these parks in three days. So booking Paris for 15 days just wouldn’t happen… That’s why they do the three days two nights deals

  18. Hello,

    First I apologize for possible spelling mistakes in the English language. I’m from Germany.

    I’m a little sad about what I’m reading here.

    I’ve visited Disney World in Florida very often over the past few years, I’ve been to Disneyland in Anaheim, and I visit Disneyland in Paris every two years.

    I know the variety of restaurateurs in Florida. However, there are really good restaurants in Disneyland Paris, but you have to discover them first.

    The FastPass in Paris is limited to 30 minutes, ok. That makes sense in Paris, the parks are smaller with shorter distances. I am an opponent of the FastPass system. I see it as a legal predisposition. Before the introduction of the FastPass in Paris, the waiting times at the attractions were fair and short for everyone.

    I do not speak the French language, but in all the hotels and also in the parks there are staff who speak English.

    In December 2016, I was in Florida for the last time. The employees in DisneyWorld have been much less friendly than in recent years in Paris. In particular, I refer this to the security staff in Orlando. The way I was approached and humiliated at the entrance of Animal Kingdom by overbearing security can spoil a vacation day. But that’s just one example, I have experienced many more incredible things in this regard.

    I love Disneyland Paris, I love Disneyland in Anaheim and I love Disney World in Florida. American people think differently than European people – there are other characteristics in the cultures.

    If I compare the prices of Disneyland Paris with Disneyland in Anaheim, Paris is cheaper.

    What I find very unfair is that there are special offers for people from the US to vacation in Disney World very cheaply. When I come from Europe, I pay a lot of money for the flight and more money for the stay.

    I find absolutely unacceptable the behavior of people from the USA, who wait with their wheelchair at the bus stop of the hotels and parks, the bus driver must first extend the disability ramp, suddenly the people get out of their wheelchair and obviously can walk themselves. In Europe, such behavior is a shame. But this is an example of different characteristics in the US and in Europe. On the other hand, I find the discipline of visitors in Florida particularly commendable. In Europe it can happen when getting on a bus that all people want to get in at the same time. In the US, it is neatly in order.

    Definitely, I can only say good things about the Disneyland in Anaheim. Everything worked, the staff was consistently friendly and I had the true feeling of being the happiest place in the world.
    I can tell good and bad experiences from Florida and Paris. I’m proud to have Disney Parks in Europe and I enjoy the differences in attractions. Disneyland Paris offers a great Small World, a unique Space Mountain, the best Rock’n’Rollercoaster, a unique Big Thunder Mountain, Crush’s Coaster, and we’re lucky enough to have another Tower of Terror in Paris that Anaheim has lost …..

    The term “13 Reasons why you should not go to Disneyland Paris” I find unfair and wrong. Because that does not apply to Disneyland Paris. I certainly find many more reasons why you should not visit Disney World in Florida. But what do I achieve with it?

    Greetings from near Frankfurt and all a happy 2018.

    Michael

  19. The one thing that i hated was the smoking. Im a smoker! However, I do not smoke indoors or around kids. I try to move away from buildings and others etc. In Disneyland people were pushing prams with cigarettes in their fingers, some walking along with lit cigarettes at the same level as my 3 year olds eyes! i was so upset that I did say something to one person as she nearly burnt my child.
    Another strang thing was adults pushing infront of tiny kids ti meet princesses or to watch the parade. they didn’t give any care for the little children behind them at all.
    Paris wasn’t very magical for me, i’ve been going to florida since i was 5 years old and it will never compare and i think if you have been to Orlando you are really spoilt for Paris.

  20. I thought it was just me until I found your write up . Absolutely agree, Paris just isn’t cost effective. Back to Orlando for us in August. Stay in Disney vacation resorts as members and just love it !

  21. Hi Emma,

    Great write up.

    I only came across your blog after typing “Rude French people at Disneyland Paris” in Google. I was interested to see if anybody else had experienced terrible manners from people there and it looks like they have!

    My wife and I have just got back and whilst we had a great time overall, we can totally resonate with the majority of your comments…especially the point about rudeness.

    The rudeness came mostly from the parents of kids! We saw one instance where a French mother and two of her teenage kids barged past a queue of waiting people (a good 40mins worth of a queue) to be with her other teenagers who were near the front. Thankfully, the dad who was with them refused to do so and joined the back of the queue…only to be shouted at by his wife AND his teenage kids for not barging his way past as well! Unbelievable! My wife and I, however, were very impressed by his stance and wanted to say to him that he was doing the right thing in sticking to good principals. His stance won in the end as his wife and kids held back whilst the dad caught up in line but he was still getting shouted out by his kids and his wife for not doing what they had done and pushing through the queue.

    Anyhow, there was just something odd about how people at Disneyland Paris went about their business with a distinct lack of thought for anybody else. From reading the comments above it appears that this is just a cultural thing but I just can’t justify any of it in my head. How can you be brought up to think that it is ok to be like that?

    In terms of staff service levels, we were treated pretty well by the staff in the park and the staff at the Newport Bay hotel were spot on. Eating out in the Disney village was a nightmare because of the number of people there but that is to be expected.

    Overall I would go back again but with a different mindset and expectation levels of what to expect. It is what it is at the end of the day and you are going to get rude people wherever you go I suppose.

    Again, great blog Emma.

    1. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head – I would need to change my mindset if I went again. Thanks for taking the time to comment about your experience.

  22. Helloooo Dear, it’s sad to read that you had this experience in such a magical place.. I’m addicted to Disneyland Paris I visit it every year it’s my happy place, I never experienced any of the points you mentioned, though I have been there in Halloween, X-mas, Spring time it has been always a magical experience and the staff are always friendly and making jokes with me ,one time I was wearing a Minnie mouse pin and one of the staff made goofy sound that he is jealous lol, the best time to visit Disney land Paris is during Sep-Oct .. Although I’m Arab I never had any rudeness problems in DLP or Paris in general .. I found your blog when I searched (will someone please take me to disneyland Paris again?) cause I really MISS being there. I really hope that you would go again in a lower season and have a magical time there ..
    With Love

  23. Wow – all of your complaints seem to be minor >_> Disney will often bend over backwards for those kinds of mistakes. It seems like you had bad luck with the room and hotel service! but the rest is really not comparable. They are two very different parks in Orlando and Paris.

    The restaurant service is very European and typical of French restaurants, the small drinks also standard. Water is provided free 😉

    The price for you Holiday is crazy, we paid £900 for 2a 2 c, the equivalent for Orlando would have been £2000 – surely your booking dates and hotel reflected this.

    Like wise fireworks – it has to be dark so in summer it will be later. Illuminations in March start at 8pm 🙂 I went to Orlando decades ago but found it overwhelming and crowded, full of obnoxious people and the ques too long. The smaller park in Paris suited my young family perfectly ^_^

    1. Thank you for your comment. This post certainly has split people down the middle, which is a good thing in my view. I’m pleased you had a great time, we didn’t and compared to Orlando, Paris just doesn’t compare for us.

  24. Can’t take this seriously. A full grown woman needing to be complimented on her Disney outfit and called “princess”. I just can’t 😂😂😂

  25. I’ve had nothing but good experiences at Disneyland Paris!
    My boyfriend and I went in November, we stayed at the Hotel Cheyenne and we thought the room was lovely. It was recently refurbished. I’m going alone in October 2018 and staying at the Newport Bay Club, which has been recently refurbished. All the hotels on Disneyland Property are undergoing refurbishment, the next one is the Hotel New York.
    We’ve never had a bad meal there either, and as we’ve been to France a few times before, we roughly knew that waitresses/waiters hold a more restrained attitude when it comes to restaurant dining as they want you to take your time and enjoy the meal and your company. Funny enough, this is the attitude in a lot of restaurants in Europe. We also figured out the soft beverages like Coke, Fanta, ect would be expensive since it is like that in the other parts of France but this was more a burden on my other half since I mainly drink water. And we knew of the sugar tax, so no refills for him haha.

    In regards to the hot topic of the Cast Member Attitude, all apart from one (who was very swiftly taken by her manager round the back and probably given a telling off for being a b**ch to customers) have been amazing. I love Donald Duck, so I had a Donald Duck hat on for the whole time and all of the cast members commented on it and many even struck up conversation with me about it – at the Steak House in Disney Village the lady gave me the Donald stick thing they put in their steaks! (Which I then wrapped in tissue and kept and turned into a fridge magnet) I even had Donald Plush with me which was commented on often by characters and cast members alike.

    Also, smoking. More Europeans smoke cause (unfortunately) it is more acceptable in Europe, which is why it is more accepted in Disneyland Paris and why there are more doing this. But judging by my family in Poland this opinion on smoking is starting to change.

    Unfortunately, I can’t compare it to Disney World as I’ve never been there but it is in planning. Even when I go to Disney World, I wouldn’t be comparing it to Paris just because they are completely different parks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *