baby and child friendly holidays - Disneyland Paris

Here's a parent's eye review of

Disneyland Paris from Clare, October 2010

Holiday Type: Adventures and Thrills
From: Clare

Was Disneyland Paris good for the kids?:

Of course Disney is fantastic for children and I need say no more about the entertainment value, instead, I'll write this review in terms of how it was for our two children aged almost 3 and 6.  I would say, the whole wonderful experience was added to by the Disney staff.  We didn't have a single bad experience, all the staff we encountered were extremely friendly and helpful.

What was your accommodation at Disneyland Paris?

Type: Self Catering
Name: Davy Crocket Ranch

How was the accommodation at Disneyland Paris for the children?:

Accommodation suitability for children rating: 4 stars

We booked the Davy Crocket Ranch, and then after we'd booked read reviews about how bad it was.  However, our experience was a good one.  The 'bungalows' are more like mobile homes, but they do have some nice details including Mickey themed bed sheets.  We booked a premium bungalow as we'd read they were the newest of the bungalows and nearest the village.  The shop in the Davey Crocket village was expensive, but big bottles of water there were cheaper than small ones in the park and we had frozen lasagne meals which actually weren't too bad.  The shop sold nappies and baby food, but I didn't see any baby milk.  And we picked up a very lovely bottle of red for 7 euros.

The reason we chose the ranch over the hotel is so that our girls would have a seperate bedroom and we could relax of an evening while they slept.  It also gave us a retreat from the park.  Breakfast is included and was excellent - you go and collect your breakfast which consists of milk, juice, croissants, brioche rolls, a baguette, jam, nutella and tea/coffee or chocolate.  There was enough for breakfast and to be able to take cheese baguettes to the park for lunch.

There is a swimming pool at the the Davey Crockett Ranch which has a slide, jacuzzi and small rapids.  We had a fab time in there after a busy morning in the park.  We did have it to ourselves most of the time as we were there off peak.

Note you do need a car if you stay at the Davey Crockett Ranch as there isn't a shuttle to Disney.  Parking at the park is free.

Did you eat out with your children at Disneyland Paris and how was it?

Eating out for children rating: 3 stars

All the food and drink you can buy at Disney feels the wrong side of reasonable - for example a 500ml bottle of water from one of the stands is 2.50 euros and a half litre lager in one of the restaurants is 4.40 euros, and a hot dog 6 euros.  There really aren't many healthy options in the restaurants.  We took fruit to the park with us to try and ease the guilt of feeding the children 3 days of fast food!

We ate at the Mexican Fuente del Oro restaurant in Frontierland, which was OK.  We shared a mix of set meals, which are all served as fast food.  Fajitas, salad and a chilli con carne.  The food was OK, the children ate plenty, though the fajitas were a little too spicy.  The salad bizarrely was served in a large fried taco.

One evening we ate in the Disney Village at Billy Bob's.  The bar menu is limited in choice, but we had the chicken chips and ribs and chips.  Both were good (compared to other options).  Our children shared an adults meal, which on seeing the childrens's nuggets was definitely at good thing.  The ribs were surpisingly spicy, too much for our 6 year old, but our 2 year old loved them.

On our last day we went to the Princess dinner at the Auberge de Cendrillon.  It is an expensive meal, but the food is very good.  The meal for children was a little grown up, but they did eat well and loved the sugar and chocolate fueled dessert.  And best of all, the girls were greeted by Cinderella in the reception and spent time chatting to her and having photos taken, then Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and the two mice from Cinderella all visited our table to chat with the girls.  They both had a fabulous time.  My only gripe was that the princesses had to leave early to prepare for the parade, and I wish we had been told that when we booked the table.  The time we did get with Princesses and mice was excellent though.

How were the things to do for the children at Disneyland Paris?

Activities for children rating: 5 stars

There are clearly tonnes of things for the children to do at Disneyland.  And our girls had a non stop fantastic few days.  What I found brilliant is you can really mix the day up between the rides, shows, character meets and the parade.  I would say you should watch some of the rides before going on them.  A couple, my youngest was big enough to go on, but they were too high or fast for her.

We were very lucky that the sun was shining.  I imagine you would need to be very well wrapped up if you had a chance of cold or wet weather.

Overall I felt at 6 and 3 our children were at a perfect age to enjoy their first Disney experience and there was certainly plenty to keep them both happy at all times.  A fabulous time was had by all. 

Anything else parents should know about Disneyland Paris?

We flew with Easyjet from Madrid to Paris and hired a car from Paris Airport.  As with previous experiences with easyjet, we had absolutely no problems with the flight except for a short delay on the way back.  The flight attendants were helpful and friendly and I think all of them spoke 3 languages.  I am also still very happy that Easyjet let families with children under 5 get on the aeroplane before the main queue.

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