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Trip Report! 12-15/9/17

Author Topic: Trip Report! 12-15/9/17  (Read 2456 times)

AJDisney

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Trip Report! 12-15/9/17
« on: September 17, 2017, 12:27:57 PM »
Trip Report

We arrived at DLP around 12pm on Tuesday – the journey on Eurostar from London to Marne La Vallee with a transfer in Lille was perfect. All very smooth and a chance to go shopping at the shopping centre just outside of the station in Lille (although the security and bag checks at Primark were more thorough than the checks at passport control, haha). The room (at Cheyenne, one of the new Texas rooms) was ready when we arrived, so we checked in quickly and went up to our room. First impressions were great – VERY small, but it will do fine (after all, it’s meant to be a budget hotel, even if it isn’t priced like one!), but after this, it all starts to go downhill…

The bathroom was filthy. There were brown smears all over the toilet and the flusher (I assume this was faeces, as I don’t know what else it could be given its location). There were pubic hairs all around the toilet seat, some in the bath. The sink was full of hairs, with toothpaste stains all over the sink too. I was wearing white socks, which were brown after I took off my shoes because the floor was so dirty. The shower curtain was caked in mould. I didn’t want to kick up a fuss, but felt I had to go down and ask for the bathroom to be cleaned because of the brown marks.  No apology at all from the staff and they acted like it was a complete inconvenience that I was asking for the cleaners to clean the bathroom again.

Anyway, went to the park and jumped on Phantom Manor (we went on it first last time, so thought we could start a mini-tradition, although it will be closed when we next plan on going haha). Completely LOVED Pirates! It was closed when we went in June, and was last on a POTC ride back in 2007ish in WDW. Didn’t think much of it then, but it’s now one of my favourite rides. I’ve also found a HUGE love for Phantom Manor, which I thought was just average last time. 100% better than the Haunted Mansion in WDW!

I was disappointed that both pin trading points in the park were closed (both the trading post and the pin trading stop outside of the ice cream shop on Main Street), but found loads of Cast Members to trade with.

Mickey and the Magician was great, as were the two shows on the castle’s stage (admittedly, as a man I loved the Princess Waltz, haha. Definitely my favourite of the 3 shows!). Speaking of the shows – the stunt show could do with some work! It just seems dated. I think it’s good to keep something like this in the park, however, just it could do with a major redo.

We did Extra Magic Hours on one day only – didn’t think it was worth it. Obviously everyone had the same idea of going in early to meet the characters and the queues were about as long as they usually are when the park is open. Buzz, Star Tours and Space Mountain didn’t really pass a 15 minute wait the whole time we were there either, so on the other days we opted for a lie in. Was happy to get on Peter Pan’s Flight a few times, though as queues for this were nearly always pushing the hour mark.

Wednesday it rained literally all day, which was great as the park was empty! Literally walked onto Big Thunder Mountain and RC racer within minutes. Got completely soaked, but even though it was raining, it was never too cold, so  I didn’t mind being soaked too much.

Studio opened 30 minutes early on Thursday, jumped straight onto TOT and had the most amazing cast member called Cedric. He was actually amazing and made the whole experience sublime. By far the best cast member we came across. We asked for TOT to be played in English, as my other half had never had it in English before, which they did easily (although the cast member at the turnstiles literally grunted at me when I asked for the first room to be English...).

Food was horrendous. You’d think that since both Disney and France are known for amazing food offerings that the food would be out of this world, but it’s actually horrendous. I’m vegan, so don’t eat meat, eggs, dairy or anything else that comes from an animal. The cast members didn’t understand this so I literally lived on carbs the entire time I was there. It was just really bad. I actually feel completely ripped off the with the meal plan. Café Agrabah was fine, although the front of house lady was exceptionally rude and managed to get into shouting matches with 2 different families whilst we were waiting in line. The restaurant booking in system is slow and clearly needs work, as she kept on having to run out into the restaurant to find out table availability, meaning it took about 4-5 minutes to serve each family. We were told at City Hall that the hotels were at 90% capacity, but the restaurants in the park clearly aren’t equipped to deal with this – Chez Remy was booked out 4 days in advance and all of the buffet restaurants were fully booked 48 hours in advance. The staff at the restaurants have no idea what is in the food they are serving, it was just awful. We ate at Annette’s one night and came across a great cast member called Aurelien who was able to advise us on allergens etc, but other than that the rest of the cast members were awful.

Also felt the language barrier was really bad this time, so I think this was more down to bad luck on our part as it was something I never noticed when I went in June. We were greeted with ‘Sorry, I don’t speak English’ 7-8 times during our stay. This was by restaurant staff, store cast members even at the hotel information desk (!!!). 

Smoking also seemed to be a big issue this time (something I didn’t notice when I previously went). People were smoking in the park just walking around. Smoking whilst watching the parade, in front of staff members who did nothing. Smoking when waiting for the lands to open after extra magic hours. Literally nothing was said. Someone even vaped ALL OF THE WAY through Mickey and the Magician! Not a single thing was said. There were cigarettes butts everywhere. The fountain outside of POTC was particularly bad.

Journey back was also awful. Our train to Lille was delayed and Eurostar only gave us a 30 minute period to get onto the Eurostar at Lille. Arrived at Lille and they let about 30 people through before telling 15-20 of us that we couldn’t get onto the train. A couple in front of us kicked up a HUGE fuss, threatening to just barge through border security. Eventually they decided to let us board the train (which funnily was 20 minutes late anyway!), so not a great end to the trip. Obviously this has nothing to do with Disney and I know that Eurostar don’t have the best reputation anyway, but it was a frustrating end to the trip nonetheless.

I love Disney. I love Disneyland Paris, but clearly things are lacking here. Customer service just seemed horrendous, and I overheard a couple talking about their bad experiences in Billy Bobs. No one seemed to care too much. I hope now Disney owns the park outright, things will get better in this department.

Either way, can’t wait for our next trip – hoping January-February time! In the meantime, I think my other half has been bitten by the Disney bug, so we’ve decided to start planning a WDW trip too!
June 2017 - Radisson Blu at DLP
September 2017 - Cheyenne
February 2018 - Sequoia Lodge Columbia River Suite
December 2018 - Santa Fe
February 2019 - Disneyland Resort - Castle Inn and Suites
April 2019 - Off-site

jj554

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Re: Trip Report! 12-15/9/17
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2017, 04:57:02 PM »
Good to read the write up of your visit. Sorry that some elements didn't go so well. However, I'm glad that despite lots of negatives, you're still excited for your next trip, and I think that's a testament to the overall level of joy that DLP brings!

Hopefully Disney taking full ownership will improve lots of things; as a fellow vegan I can totally relate to your dining-at-DLP pain. We did Disneyland California this year and the staff there actually knew what a vegan was, and we ate like kings! I'm not expecting that at Paris, but it would be nice to see some steps in the right direction in all areas including dining and general customer service.

I hope you enjoyed the 25th Anniversary stuff and nice to see that you didn't let a bit of rain bring you down!

Trips so far
April 2011 - Sequoia Lodge (First ever DLRP trip)
Nov 2011 - Newport Bay Club (Mickey's Magical Fireworks and Bonfire 2011)
Sep 2012 - Hotel New York (20th Anniversary Celebrations)
Nov 2013 - Hotel Cheyenne (Mickey's Magical Fireworks and Bonfire 2013)
Dec 2015 - Disneyland Hotel (Disneyland at Christmas)

claire2281

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Re: Trip Report! 12-15/9/17
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2017, 09:18:05 PM »
I do wonder if they're ever going to get any better at catering for vegans. Vegetarians can just about get away with it but France as a whole really isn't that great at catering for either. It's simply a cultural thing and many French people (particularly chefs) seem quite vehemently anti vegan.

Eurostar returning from France seems to increasingly be a bit of a shambles. Leaving the UK we've had the occasional 10 minute or so delay but last few times coming back it's left Disney very late due to their complete inability to open enough gates early enough in order to get people through checks and security.
My Trips:
03/2009 DCR -- 07/2009 DLH -- 03/2010 Cheyenne -- 07/2010  DLH -- 12/2010 SL -- 03/2011  Cheyenne -- 08/2011 NBC -- 12/2012 HNY -- 03/2013  Cheyenne - 12/2014 SL -- 03/2016 Cheyenne -- 07/2017  Cheyenne - 12/2017 SL - 08/18 - Cheyenne - 12/2018 NBC - 07/2019 Cheyenne

seraphelle

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Re: Trip Report! 12-15/9/17
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2017, 02:36:42 PM »
I do think the lack of vegetarian / vegan food is ridiculous at the parks - it's so difficult to get a good meal for my eldest. I'm veggie but do dabble with being pescaterian so I manage with the veggie burgers and fish dishes but my eldest daughter is veggie and struggles a lot over there. We try and fill her up with 'good stuff' from the supermarket before we set out for the day and take plenty of snacks or she would live on carbs over there too.
One thing I can suggest is the Steakhouse by Phantom Manor (of all places! Oh the irony!) offer a lovely tomato pasta dish where the cheese is on the side for you to pour over yourself (or leave off entirely if vegan).
Yes it's a basic meal - and carbs again - but the tomato and herb sauce is really tasty and you can always ask for extra vegetables to be added in. Its a nice change from veggie burger and fries!  ;)
Disneyland Hotel ~ 3rd - 6th October 2013
Sequoia Lodge ~ 28th October - 1st November 2014
Adagio Val d'Europe ~ 12th - 20th November 2015
Sequoia Lodge ~ 15th - 18th May 2016
Day trip ~ 1st August 2016
HiPark ~ 4th - 6th November 2016
Rive Gauche ~ 17th - 21st February 2017
Adagio Val d'Europe ~ 29th May - 3rd June 2017
Adagio Val d'Europe ~ 23rd - 27th October 2017
Rive Gauche ~ 27th - 30th October 2017
Adagio Val d’Europe ~ 14th - 19th March 2019

moopmoop93

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Re: Trip Report! 12-15/9/17
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2017, 01:45:00 PM »
We were there that Wednesday. The rain was so, so bad that day! I was soaked through to the skin, but we didn't let it phase us at all.
Sequoia Lodge - Sierra Lodge Aug 2006
Sequoia Lodge - Montanna Room (upgraded to GFC rooms for free) Feb 2014
Sequoia Lodge -Lodges Feb 2015