I a weeks time we are booking our Christmas trip to either Orlando or Paris but can't decide which one to go to. My fiance only gets 11 days off work at Christmas and 14 in the summer so we get very little vacation time and really want this Christmas to be special. Both Disneyland and Walt Disney World have their pros and cons from us but they're about tied. If anyone has been to either Disney park for Christmas, which does it better? Our available travel dates are 23rd Dec-2nd Jan.
Pro's for Paris:
* Shorter flight. - it only takes 2 hours approx to get to Paris where as Orlando it would take up 2-3 flights to get there, 12 hours of flight time and 18 hours travel time in total (we fly from Newcastle, UK).
* Cheaper flight - A flight to Paris costs £195pp where as the ones to Orlando come to a total of £1130pp.
* Cheaper overall cost - Since the flights are significantly cheaper that impacts on the holiday's total cost. If we go to Paris, our stay will be spent with the first 3 nights at the Disneyland Hotel, and the rest of our stay (until 1st Jan) as the Sequoia Lodge. If we go to Orlando we'd spend our first 5 nights at Disney's Wilderness Lodge and the rest of our stay (1st or 2nd Jan) at Pop Century.
* The hotel - every visit I've had to Disneyland Paris I've wished to stay in the Hotel overlooking the main park, now I have the chance to for 3 nights at Christmas.
* We can use our EHIC cards if one of us should be ill (I'm epileptic and emetophobic), also cheaper insurance.
* We won't be rushed for time at Paris as there are only two parks. Orlando has 4 parks + water parks + universal.
* I've also been told that the crowds are smaller in Paris. Magic Kingdom at Orlando usually reaches full capacity multiple times during the christmas/newyears season forcing the park to close to guests until the crowds die down. Disneyland Paris I'd be able to leave and reenter the park without worrying I'd not get back in.
* We are more familiar with Paris as we've had more visits there.
* You have to add VAT to merchandise and food you purchase in Orlando.
* Not enough time for Orlando - Our last visit consisted of 14 and I'd say that wasn't enough time to do everything we wanted and that wasn't without the Christmas Season Crowds, I'd fear we wouldn't get much done in 10 days, and there's no use park hopping as there is the risk of not getting in the park with high crowd levels.
* The weather is a lot nicer, Paris is freezing in December.
* There are 4 parks + water parks + universal, in Paris we may get bored of only two parks.
* The cast members are friendlier and all speak English. We've had a few rude encounters at both Paris and Orlando but more in Paris. The americans go out of their way to make sure that your stay is as magical as it can be, the french have no enthusiasm and have been quite rude. We visited Paris in July and we sat on the curb infront of the castle for an hour before the parade started to ensure we got a good view, but as soon as it started a French woman pushed her children to the front and stuck her iPad in front of my face to take photos, I was furious be kept my mouth shut. Then I got patted on the shoulder but a woman shouting at me in French, I told her I only speak English, and she shouted "You sit now, we can't see" and repeated this over and over until I sat down, then I got wrong off the cast members for having my feet on the road, but there was no room for me to put them anywhere else, everyone kept pushing forward. So I stood back up and received the same treatment again, so I turned around and said "I'm sorry but there's no room for me to sit down, I've waited here 1 hour for this parade and you just got here. If you can't see find somewhere else to stand." My fiance then sat in the most uncomfortable position the entire parade so that she could see. Hopefully the Christmas cheer would make them a little less rude in December.
* Rides always break down in Paris. - In July we were there for only 2 days and in those two days the following rides broke down while we were queuing or had a fastpass: Crushes coaster this was our first ride of the visit (broke down for 1 hour while we were in the queue about to ride after 45 minutes of already queuing), Rock 'n' Rollercoaster, our second ride of the day with a fast pass (broke down for 30 minutes), Big Thunder Mountain (we left the queue before finding out how long), Indiana Jones broke down twice but we weren't queuing at the time, and Buzz's Laser Blast. There may have been more.
* Orlando has nicer food and drinks, Butterbeer from Universal, LeFou's Brew from Magic Kingdom, Corndogs, Dole Whip. Paris has nothing like that.
* Towel animals in Disney hotels, the cast members go to extreme lengths to ensure a magical stay even with just simple touches.
* Better rides, Orlando has Universal and Disney and we would intend to visit both.
* Animal Kingdom - When we get bored of the rides there's always animals to visit.
* Pools - Even though the hotels in Paris have indoor pools, the outdoor pools in Orlando are more exciting.
These are just pros/cons from our own experiences. We've never been to either at Christmas and need a little help deciding where to go. Any advice will be much appreciated!