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1st time to Disneyland Paris - with a 3 yr old - advice pls?

CA
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1st time to Disneyland Paris - with a 3 yr old - advice pls?

I am thinking of taking my 3 year old daughter to Disneyland Paris at the end of November / early December and would welcome your advice please: where to stay? Where to eat? What rides are suitable? What to do if it rains? Where the best place to view the parade for a 3 yr old? Etc. Thank you so much for your help, Colin

New Forest, United...
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1. Re: 1st time to Disneyland Paris - with a 3 yr old - advice pls?

Hi Colin,

It is impossible to answer all your questions in one thread, as it it would be a huge subject, and far too long!

It is better to concentrate on one thing at a time as well, or you will find yourself feeling overloaded.

Have you seen the Top Questions on both the DLP and the MLV forum pages? That is your starting point for information.

Your first concern is where to stay, and the dates. There are no French, UK or Spanish school holidays at the end of November/ early December, and this is usually a good time to go for the Christmas season with fairly low crowd levels. 6th and 8th December are National Holidays in Spain, so there could be many more Spanish visitors around this time.

There is a Top Question about where to stay in the TQs list on the MLV forum with various links, including this one which should give you a starting point.

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g226865-i2224-k372…

People on a tighter budget often stay offsite in hotels in Val D'Europe, Bussy St Georges or Torcy, which are one, two or three stops along the RER line A towards Paris.

So your first decision has to be if you want to stay in a Disney owned hotel within easy walking distance to the parks with Extra Magic Hours, in an Associated hotel just outside the resort perimeter road with regular free shuttle bus, or further from resort in Val D'Europe, Bussy or Torcy with either a shuttle bus or short train ride to the parks.

The Disney owned hotels are quite expensive unless you can book with a good offer, even for the 2 star Santa Fe and Cheyenne hotels, as you are paying more to be close to the Village and parks, with EMH, and Characters in the hotels with some other Disney benefits depending on the hotel.

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There have been a lot of previous threads about rides for young children, so again, look at the Top Questions on both forum pages. Also scroll through the Trip Reports in our TR sticky for ones where people took a 3 yr old as they usually contain tips, advice, and which rides their child did ot did not like - so much depends on the individual though, as some kids are braver than others.

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Dining is another huge subject depending on whether you want fast food, table service or buffets. Again, your starting points are the TQs about restaurants, half board, and Character Dining in our lists.

This site is extremely useful for park maps, ride information, restaurant menus and prices, and lots more. They usually keep it updated pretty well.

http://www.dlrpmagic.com/guidebook/

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Most of the rides and shows are indoor or undercover in the parks, so bad weather is not a major problem. The main thing is to pack warm clothes, with waterproof warm footwear, warm hats, gloves, scarves, small brolly, and a waterproof mac ( or you can buy plastic ponchos in the parks if needed ). In November/ December it could be mild and dry, mild and wet, or freezing cold, and possibly snow!

Some outdoor rides and shows/ parades may not run in very bad weather for safety reasons.

CA
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2. Re: 1st time to Disneyland Paris - with a 3 yr old - advice pls?

Thank you very much for your help Figgygirl.

New Forest, United...
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3. Re: 1st time to Disneyland Paris - with a 3 yr old - advice pls?

You're welcome. Please feel free to ask individual questions once you have had time to read the Top Questions ( if you can see them ) and had some time to think about your specific requirements.

Other posters are more likely to reply if you ask about one topic at a time as well. I think that posts asking multiple questions can put some people off.

Near London
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4. Re: 1st time to Disneyland Paris - with a 3 yr old - advice pls?

My 3 yo son preferred the shows in the studios (Playhouse Disney Live & Stitch Live ) to a lot of the rides which he could go on. He did like the Cars ride in Studios though!!!

New Forest, United...
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5. Re: 1st time to Disneyland Paris - with a 3 yr old - advice pls?

The shows in the Studios theatres like Disney Playhouse, Animagique, Stitich Live, and Disney Art Of Animation are good for young children, as they don't have to queue in the same way that they do for rides, and they last longer.

Also good for cold or wet weather, as indoor.

Most young children will also enjoy Cinemagique, which is excellent for adults as well ( although I don't think it should have the clip from the Exorcist in it, even though it is very brief ).

Armageddon is not suitable for young children IMO, as dark and noisy, and not worth queueing for. If young kids are interested in stunt cars/ action they will enjoy Moteurs Action show, but if not they might get bored after a while, and it can be noisy at times with gunshots, explosions, revving engines etc.

Going during Christmas Season, Mickeys Winter Wonderland ice skating show in Chaparral Theatre in Frontierland is very good, and you see lots of Characters.

They used to have good shows in Videopolis theatre at one time, but sadly not at present - just Mickey cartoons on large screens.

The other shows in the DL Park are outdoor, so can depend on the weather. They can be cancelled in poor conditions if considered unsafe for Cast Members.

Washington state
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6. Re: 1st time to Disneyland Paris - with a 3 yr old - advice pls?

Is the CA under your TA name Canada or California or something else? If it's one of the first two, I have a question. I cannot fathom (really I can't) why someone from North America, who could make a weekend trip to Disney World or Disneyland, would want to take time from a vacation in France to go to Disneyland Paris? Particularly with a 3-yr. old, who would be just as interested in activities at a small county fair as at Disneyland?

Perhaps, though, you are in France there for work or an extended stay, so then taking a weekend at Disneyland Paris would I guess make sense.

New Forest, United...
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7. Re: 1st time to Disneyland Paris - with a 3 yr old - advice pls?

PJH,

CA is their TA name, not their location. I looked at their profile earlier to see where they live, but they have not given a location.

CA could certainly stand for California, Canada etc, but it could also be their own initials as they signed one of their posts ' Colin '.

Many Americans and other travellers from further countries do include a few days in Disneyland if they are doing a trip of Europe, and sometimes catch the Eurostar from there to London.( or visa versa ).

But this CA could live in the UK.

New Forest, United...
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8. Re: 1st time to Disneyland Paris - with a 3 yr old - advice pls?

You could say it is the same as all the people from the UK and Europe who go to WDW and do theme parks for 2 weeks without seeing anything of Florida!

Washington state
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9. Re: 1st time to Disneyland Paris - with a 3 yr old - advice pls?

I know very well from experience that when traveling abroad with young children its critically important to do kid stuff. I get that. But you don't need something on the scale of Disneyland for a 3 y.o.

Figgy--As for Europeans spend chunks of time at Disney sites in the US, I think it's a little different situation, but Disney is part and parcel of American culture, in an overidealized way. But you bring up an interesting point

New Forest, United...
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10. Re: 1st time to Disneyland Paris - with a 3 yr old - advice pls?

PJH,

Disneyland Paris only has two parks, situated next to each other, so far less overwhelming for young children than something as large as Walt Disney World. With a short flight time, or 2.5 hr journey by Eurostar from London, it is also far easier than a long 9 hr flight to America for young kids from Europe or the UK.

Not all 3 yr old are the same - my nephew dismissed the rides in Fantasyland as too babyish for him, and preferred bigger thrill rides like Phantom Manor and Big Thunder Mountain. He was very upset that he was not tall enough to go on the roller coasters like his brothers and cousins.

A friend of mine has a grandaughter who has just turned 3, and is desperate to go to Disneyland to see Minnie Mouse. She just had a Minnie Mouse themed birthday party, and loves watching a DVD of Disneyland Paris. As they have a 1yr old daughter as well, they are waiting until she is older before taking them.

The important thing is to know your child/ children and do the things that they will enjoy there, without overtiring them.

Edited: 30 September 2011, 02:51