Monday, October 10, 2011

Disneyland Paris Planning with Nine: Part 3 Where to Stay?

Where to stay?

Although we haven't yet decided exactly when we are going to Disneyland Paris (DLP), as a ballpark figure it'll be (I'm 99% sure) in July.

So the next question on the list is, where will we stay?

This question is not unlike the Walt Disney World decision of on-site verses off-site, except that usually when we go to Florida with the in-laws, we do an off-site villa rather than a hotel. As we will only be staying at DLP for a couple of days, and the French cities are not renowned for their spacious villas, the question remains basically a Disney hotel or not a Disney hotel?

Of course, I would love to stay in one of the park accommodations. I have yet to stay in a WDW resort, so this could be the first step to my husband agreeing that we must be engulfed with the Disney spirit 24/7 on our next trip to the US.

As with all popular destinations, there are varying seasons, and varying prices that go with them. You know you will pay far more for a room in the high season or holiday season than the low or value. Even just one day can make a difference in the price, and as rooms tend to be smaller than we're used to in FL (more NYC size than Orlando) we would definitely need 2 with the 5 of us.

There are six on-site hotels at DLP.
  • The Disneyland Hotel, which is 4 star and situated right at the entrance to the Disneyland Park.
  • The Hotel New York, also 4 star and about a 10 minute walk to either park.
  • Both the Newport Bay Club and the Sequoia Lodge are 3 stars, and about a 15 minute walk to the parks.
  • The 2 star accommodation is the Hotel Santa Fe and Hotel Cheyenne, they are about 20 minutes on foot.
  • There is also the Davey Crockett Ranch campsite too, which is about a 10 minute drive, but we are not that adventurous!
The Unofficial Guide to DLP rates all of the above and the Sequoia Lodge comes out best for children, value, theming and being the most romantic. The first three are high on our list of must-haves, and the latter being an added bonus, with the grandparents coming along as built in babysitters, who knows, we might even get a date night! It is also meant to be a very relaxing complex, which will feature very high on my mother-in-law's wish list.  The restaurant in the Sequoia Lodge, The Hunters Grill, is meant to be one of the best in the resort, and is very well placed, with the parks being a nice stroll away and the Disney Village around a 10 minute walk too.  The Sequoia Lodge is described as being full of wood trim, quilting and huge open hearths, so in my mind it is not dissimilar to The Wilderness Lodge in WDW. However, having seen neither in the flesh I could of course be completely wrong. I hope to visit both so I can see if my guess was right.  There is also a bus service, which is great if it is pouring with rain, as this is Europe of course.

All of the hotels have at least one eatery and offer kids menus, a shop, a pool and daily character meet and greets.

So what about off-site?

We have stayed in hotels in Paris itself before, they tend to be very small and very expensive. They are also of course a good drive away. But my in-laws may prefer this option as it means they will be able to dine in Paris itself after a day at the parks.

Another option may be one of the Disney associated hotels, not within the resort itself, but not too far away. Both the Adagio Val D'Europe and Hotel L'Elysee Val D'Europe are around a 25 minute walk with free shuttles, and are considerably cheaper than their Disney themed counterparts.

So what will we do?

As in the US, one huge advantage of staying on-site will be the Extra Magic Hours, although we may not need the late hours, if Tink is still up at dawn then this would be a great way of ensuring we get into the parks early and take full advantage. Proximity is also a big plus, being such a short distance means that we can come back for naps or rests easily if needed. And of course the guaranteed admission into the parks in peak season is always a huge bonus.

But, and it is a huge but, they are way, way more expensive than other hotels. And although being totally exposed to Disney 100% of the time is my idea of heaven, and I'm sure Tink would love it too, I'm not too sure about the rest of the party.

Lots to think about as usual.

Make sure you stick around to find out what we decide.

Contributed by Janine P. of Swindon, England. She is a proud wife, mommy to Felicity and one of our Minnie Moms.  Follow along throughout this monthly series as she plans her first trip to Disneyland Paris.

Other posts in this series:

  • New Series from Nine

  • Part 1: Questions

  • Part 2: When to Go?

  • 1 comment:

    1. I hope you make the right choice!!! (Be forewarned- DLP Resort Hotels don't come close to their WDW counterparts!!)


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