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  1. #1

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    Tons of Questions

    Okay, I made the leap and have planned myself a four-day solo trip to DLRP. I'm coming in about three weeks, flying from London to Paris, and staying at Hotel Santa Fe starting 28 November. I've got tons of experience with WDW and DL, but this is a whole new thing for me.

    Firstly, (and probably the one most important to my mom), I'm a nineteen-year-old girl, I've got airport transfers to and from the hotel, so I think I'll be okay, but would you say there are any things I have to worry about with safety? I'm not going to get pickpocketed, am I? That sort of thing doesn't happen inside the park, does it?

    Secondly, this is probably only answerable by you UK residents. I've got a T-Mobile pay-as-you-go phone, will this work at all in France? I imagine I'll be charged exorbitantly if it does, but it'd be nice to know I can use it.

    Thirdly, what's the cheapest way to get my hands on some euros? Is it better to get a small quantity in cash and use the Natwest debit card otherwise?

    Fourthly, I don't speak any French at all. Will I be able to get along all right? I imagine I can get English maps/schedules, but for attractions, is there some sort of translation system? Also I was thinking of purchasing a short phrasebook, any recommendations?

    Fifthly, the days I'll be there, don't have appear to have very long operating hours, but it looks like they all have extra magic hours, am I correct in thinking that that means both parks open two hours early every day?

    Sixthly (just keep thinking of more things), I'm that person who likes to grab a spot for the parades/shows at the last minute. I don't think it'll be too crowded when I go, so will this tactic fly, or to people start to queue up early for these things.

    One more, seventhly, weather. I know it'll be cold, but what to wear? And, on somewhat related note, is there any chance it'll snow?

    If you can give any other advice to a virgin solo-tripper, go for it.
    Last edited by nicoleloveswalt; 11-10-2010 at 04:34 PM.
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  2. #2

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    Re: Tons of Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by nicoleloveswalt View Post
    Okay, I made the leap and have planned myself a four-day solo trip to DLRP. I'm coming in about three weeks, flying from London to Paris, and staying at Hotel Santa Fe starting 28 November. I've got tons of experience with WDW and DL, but this is a whole new thing for me.

    Firstly, (and probably the one most important to my mom), I'm a nineteen-year-old girl, I've got airport transfers to and from the hotel, so I think I'll be okay, but would you say there are any things I have to worry about with safety? I'm not going to get pickpocketed, am I? That sort of thing doesn't happen inside the park, does it?

    You'll be fine for the most part, since everyone in DLP is a paying customer, pick pocketing is unlikely. However if you wander into Paris, don't put anything on show and try not to act like a tourist, to play it safe, don't really have anything on show at all.

    Secondly, this is probably only answerable by you UK residents. I've got a T-Mobile pay-as-you-go phone, will this work at all in France? I imagine I'll be charged exorbitantly if it does, but it'd be nice to know I can use it.

    I'll eave this one to someone who uses mobilephones. Though Videopolis (Cafe Hyperion) has pay phones as does the Discovery Arcade so contact is still quite attainable.

    Thirdly, what's the cheapest way to get my hands on some euros? Is it better to get a small quantity in cash and use the Natwest debit card otherwise?

    Set yourself a budget then go to a Thomas Cook or somehwere similar and use their Beaureu de Change. As they'll calculate the current rate and give you Euros.

    Fourthly, I don't speak any French at all. Will I be able to get along all right? I imagine I can get English maps/schedules, but for attractions, is there some sort of translation system? Also I was thinking of purchasing a short phrasebook, any recommendations?

    Nope no translation system for attractions, but they're fairly similar. Pirates, Phantom Manor and Star Tours are in French throughout as are the Fantasyland Dark Rides, but if you're a WDW/DL veteran you'll be fine. Most if not all of the staff members are good at English.

    Fifthly, the days I'll be there, don't have appear to have very long operating hours, but it looks like they all have extra magic hours, am I correct in thinking that that means both parks open two hours early every day?

    Yes, thats correct.

    Sixthly (just keep thinking of more things), I'm that person who likes to grab a spot for the parades/shows at the last minute. I don't think it'll be too crowded when I go, so will this tactic fly, or to people start to queue up early for these things.

    You'll be the best judge of that when you're there as I don't know how busy it'll be. You should be alright though, I normally don't do repeat parade/show viewings on a trip either so you only need to "get it right" once. People do queue early though.

    One more, seventhly, weather. I know it'll be cold, but what to wear? And, on somewhat related note, is there any chance it'll snow?

    Wrap up warm and yes there's every chance.

    If you can give any other advice to a virgin solo-tripper, go for it.
    Answers are all bolded. Not the best answers in the world but some considerations.

  3. #3

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    Re: Tons of Questions

    I'm not sure if both parks are open for EMH. At least in February only the Disneyland Park was open for EMHs.
    Don't be disappointed with the EMHs, because in Paris they open just Fantasyland and Discoveryland and Disney doesn't even open all attractions in both lands.

  4. #4

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    Re: Tons of Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by nicoleloveswalt View Post
    Okay, I made the leap and have planned myself a four-day solo trip to DLRP. I'm coming in about three weeks, flying from London to Paris, and staying at Hotel Santa Fe starting 28 November. I've got tons of experience with WDW and DL, but this is a whole new thing for me.
    How exciting! I hope you have a great time! DLP is in some ways VERY different than the US parks so it will be a different experience. If you go with an open mind you should enjoy it greatly!

    Firstly, (and probably the one most important to my mom), I'm a nineteen-year-old girl, I've got airport transfers to and from the hotel, so I think I'll be okay, but would you say there are any things I have to worry about with safety? I'm not going to get pickpocketed, am I? That sort of thing doesn't happen inside the park, does it?
    I think you should be fine... I have never felt any security issues while there... walking from the Santa Fe to the parks you will be almost entirely in Disney controlled property. The one exception being right in front of the train station and while there are some sketchy people selling cheep Paris souvenirs I haven't seen anything that would make you feel unsafe.

    Secondly, this is probably only answerable by you UK residents. I've got a T-Mobile pay-as-you-go phone, will this work at all in France? I imagine I'll be charged exorbitantly if it does, but it'd be nice to know I can use it.
    Not a UK resident; however, I am pretty sure your phone will work in France. The rates aren't insane either. Obviously they are higher than the UK; however, there is some agreement amongst EU countries that keep the roaming rates much lower than say they are for an American.

    Thirdly, what's the cheapest way to get my hands on some euros? Is it better to get a small quantity in cash and use the Natwest debit card otherwise?
    Honestly I use the ATM/Cash Machines to withdraw euros. I know the exchange rates/fees aren't as bad in the UK as they are in the US; however, still probably cheaper to get a small bit of cash and then use your card or use your card to get cash. As a note, you may need to call your bank beforehand to tell them you will be traveling to France so they don't lock it.

    Fourthly, I don't speak any French at all. Will I be able to get along all right? I imagine I can get English maps/schedules, but for attractions, is there some sort of translation system? Also I was thinking of purchasing a short phrasebook, any recommendations?
    You should be ok... they have English maps/schedules and while the attractions may be mostly in French it is normally pretty easy to tell what is going on... most signs/announcements are made in both English and French (as well as other languages) and most shows either offer separate English/French versions or use a mixture of the two so you can normally tell what is going on. Most cast members speak some (but not a lot) of English and you can normally get by without too many issues (for example when ordering food you may need to just point at what you want... but normally not). If you want to get a phrasebook I would suggest the one by Lonely Planet. Speaking a little French seems to go a long way (Good Day, Thank you, etc, etc)

    Fifthly, the days I'll be there, don't have appear to have very long operating hours, but it looks like they all have extra magic hours, am I correct in thinking that that means both parks open two hours early every day?
    Only Disneyland Parc opens for EMH and as was said before it is only parts of Fantasyland and Discoveryland; however, there are a good number of normally busy attractions you can go on with little to no wait (especially at the very beginning)... we normally use this time to go on Peter Pan's Flight, Space Mountain, and Buzz (as well as others) as their lines can get quite long later in the day and then you can use fast passes for things like BTMRR.

    Sixthly (just keep thinking of more things), I'm that person who likes to grab a spot for the parades/shows at the last minute. I don't think it'll be too crowded when I go, so will this tactic fly, or to people start to queue up early for these things.
    I would say that people do start to queue up early; however, it is nothing like WDW where sometimes people queue up an hour or more in advance. We have gotten very good parade spots 10-15 mins before the parade even on some very busy days. If there is a particular prime spot you want to watch from then you may have to get there early (30-45mins before); however, just to see the parade you normally don't need to get there way early.


    One more, seventhly, weather. I know it'll be cold, but what to wear? And, on somewhat related note, is there any chance it'll snow?
    I would dress warmly and dress in layers. I would highly recommend at least having with you thick socks, gloves, and a warm hat (if you like Stitch they have a Stitch Santa Claus hat that works great :P). You may not need them; however, better to have them with you if it does get cold. DLP was designed with the weather in mind so there are a large number of indoor/covered areas; however, it can get very cold. Not sure what the chance of snow is in late Nov but based on the current weather I would say there is at least a small chance.


    Hope this helps and hope you have a great trip!
    Have a magical day!
    Jon

    Visit Disney Character Central for tons of Disney Character and park pictures and information: Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disneyland Paris, and Tokyo Disney Resort

  5. #5

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    Re: Tons of Questions

    Hey - I don't think you'll be able to use your Natwest debit card to pay for things in France. If you do, you'll get lots of extortionate charges.

    The best thing to do is to go to the bureau de change at Marks and Spencers anywhere in the UK - they tend to have the best exchange rates out of all the bureau de changes, and get your euros out in cash. Just keep them in a wallet on your person at all times. That's what I do and I've never had any bad luck.
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  6. #6

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    Re: Tons of Questions

    yup im going to DLP tomorrow from the UK....go to a marks and spencer the exchange is great because they do not charge commission and they buy back. have fun!

  7. #7

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    Re: Tons of Questions

    re: the mobile phone

    your mobile will have to be 'tri-band' to work in europe (check the manual) and you may have to contact t-mobile before you go to get them to activate it for use abroad. after that, when you get there, it will automatically pick up a local network.

    i used my orange pay monthly phone as much as i wanted last time i was there and only had a 40 bill when i got home.

  8. #8

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    Re: Tons of Questions

    Thank you for all of the help everyone, it's been amazing!

    I wandered about the t-mobile website, and found out that my phone will in fact work, and won't be too expensive, so that's set.

    When I booked the Hotel Santa Fe it did say there was a bus to the main part of the resort; is it better to walk? How late after the parks close does that bus run? As they close rather early, I thought I might want to do a bit of exploring in the Disney Village (what's it like?) or the hotels.
    someday, when we are wiser,
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  9. #9

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    Re: Tons of Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by nicoleloveswalt View Post
    Thank you for all of the help everyone, it's been amazing!

    I wandered about the t-mobile website, and found out that my phone will in fact work, and won't be too expensive, so that's set.

    When I booked the Hotel Santa Fe it did say there was a bus to the main part of the resort; is it better to walk? How late after the parks close does that bus run? As they close rather early, I thought I might want to do a bit of exploring in the Disney Village (what's it like?) or the hotels.
    Walking is completely possible - and is quite a pleasant walk.
    But bear in mind the Santa Fe is the furthest hotel from the parks - so allow some time for this.

    The buses run for quite a long time after park closing as Disney Village is open til late.
    And I agree - do explore the other hotels, that can be a lot of fun too.

  10. #10

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    Re: Tons of Questions

    Do you folks think it's likely to rain? I don't have any waterproof shoes, and I'm terrified my shoes are going to get wet and I'm going to have freezing feet for the rest of the day.
    someday, when we are wiser,
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  11. #11

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    Re: Tons of Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by nicoleloveswalt View Post
    Do you folks think it's likely to rain? I don't have any waterproof shoes, and I'm terrified my shoes are going to get wet and I'm going to have freezing feet for the rest of the day.
    A good pair of boots would be the best option. Will keep your feet dry and warm...

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  12. #12

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    Re: Tons of Questions

    Hi!
    I am an American girl that went to London for a little bit and then onto Disneyland Paris just this past summer. I had a lot of the same questions that you are asking, so let me try to answer the ones that I can.

    Since it was just my mom and I traveling together, we were also concerned about safety. As someone mentioned there are some shady guys that are selling strange Paris souvenirs right outside of the parks near the train station. We stayed away from them. I felt safe while in the park, but you always have to keep an eye on your purse and money. Just be careful like you are anywhere, and there shouldn't be any problems.

    We took the pounds that we had from England and transferred them over to Euros at a money exchange that was inside the Disney Village. I am not sure about the exchange rate or anything, but that was the easiest way for us to get Euros.

    I took one summer session of basic French about 10 years ago and my mom does not speak any at all. We were VERY worried about the language issue. Let me tell you, it isn't an issue at all! All of the rides that need them have English subtitles. All of the signs are in French and English. They are very clever in how they translate things. I noticed that Mickey Mouse always spoke in French, but Minnie would "translate" for him. So Mickey would talk and then Minnie would say, "That is a great idea, Mickey! We can have the party right here." or whatever. Even ordering food was easy. I can't believe we were so worried about not knowing French, and it wasn't a big deal at all. We even found our way around the airport in Paris without any concern.

    I noticed that people do not que up early in France for the parades. Instead they wait until the last minutue and then push their way forward to where they want to stand. Just be prepared for that.

    Also....there is a time change from London to France (didn't know this and I was thrown off with transportation stuff).

    I also stayed at the Santa Fe. I wouldn't walk it. Sure you can walk, but why when there is a bus that will take you to and from your hotel??? You will be doing enough walking at the parks. Everything is labled as to where you are picked up. Just ride the hotel bus....you have paid for it with your hotel room anyhow.

    Have a great trip! And I look forward to your report when you return.

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