Review: Eating at Disneyland Paris – the Full Board Plus Experience.

When we booked our holiday, we had a free Half Board plan in place, so it was only around an extra £150 to make it full board for the rest of the time we were there. As we were staying in the New York Hotel, it meant we were on the plus plan – there’s a standard plan for the lower class hotels (like the Hotel Santa Fe) or the Premium plan for the Disneyland Hotel (which includes things like the Character Breakfasts etc.).

It says on the meal vouchers you get on arrival, where you can eat. But you should, if you can, call ahead to make meal reservations via the dining reservation line (available on the website/through your booking agent – I won’t put it here in case it changes).

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Breakfast voucher

Breakfast

As we had free half board we had a quick service breakfast (it stated that it was only available in Restaurant En Coulisse in the Studios, but actually the New York Deli in the Disney Village accepted the voucher for much the same breakfast). In En Coulisse, there was the option for sweet or savoury – they had the same skeleton setup, each person had a voucher entitling them to:

A tea, coffee or hot chocolate; a pastry – choice of pain au chocolat or croissant; a cold drink – orange juice, apple juice or water and then their sweet or savoury option.

The New York Deli could only offer the sweet option – which was bascially bread and jam, and the savoury was described as an “omlette burger” but was actually an omlette with some ham and cheese, with what I can only presume was mayonaise, in a roll.

For us, it was preferable to use the New York Deli for breakfast – we weren’t fussed on having a hot breakfast item and as we weren’t necessarily wanting to be in the Studios first thing, it made sense to not have to go there.

Lunch/Dinner

On the half board plus voucher, lunch and dinner had the same menu. For the plus whilst we stayed we were allowed to eat at:

Captain Jacks Restaurant – Adventureland, Disneyland Park
Silver Spur Steakhouse – Frontierland, Disneyland Park
Bistrot Chez Remy – Walt Disney Studios
Annette’s Diner – Disney Village
The Steakhouse – Disney Village
Cafe Mickey – Disney Village
Parkside Diner – Hotel New York
Cape Cod – Hotel Newport Bay

The voucher entitled us to a 3 course set menu at al la carte restaurants, or all you can eat at buffet restaurants, plus a drink such as fizzy pop, bottle of water or a minute maid juice. The children had a decent variety of choice available too, and often the starter would be brought out with the main for them to eat as desired.

For people who don’t eat meat, but can’t eat dairy – this is gonna be a tough thing to comply with – I have heard they have “free from” menus, but we hadn’t done much prep, it was all quite last minute, so I didn’t get to know about these in time.

We ate at The Steakhouse, the Silver Spur Steakhouse, Bistrot Chez Remy, Cafe Mickey, Annette’s Diner and the Parkside Diner. So, as to make this not too long – I will write a few words about each and gallery the food below.

The Steakhouse – Disney Village

We ate here on our first night, it was the only place available at the time we wanted to eat, else it probably wouldn’t have happened, but by a happy turn of events it did. All of the food was lovely. There was a bit of a delay from the kitchen, but in all honesty we were in no rush, so it didn’t matter. Fantastic waiter.

Silver Spur Steakhouse – Frontierland, Disneyland Park

Having eaten at the Steakhouse in the village and having a similar steak available (which was thoroughly enjoyable), we were looking forward to this one. And instead felt let down, it wasn’t as nice. Also, at some point a Caitlin’s toddler carrier had been knocked off my chair, and instead of approaching us nicely a waiter came over and started shouting at me about tripping people up. Wouldn’t go back here if you paid me.

Bistrot Chez Remy – Walt Disney Studios

Fantastic experience. From the decoration, right through to the food. It’s not a meal, it’s an experience and was magical for the children. We had a window seat next to everyone coming off the ratatouille ride too. So really felt like the rats on show eating our food. It was an fantastic meal that will remain an amazing family memory.

 

Annette’s Diner – Disney Village

The children were in awe that our waiter was on skates. They loved it. We went at lunch time. You cannot pre-book at Annettes, and it gets busy in the evening so if you can spare the time to have lunch there, do so. The food was promptly served, the staff were fantastic. It was average, american grill type food, but the portions were huge, we were stuffed, and struggled to finish.

Cafe Mickey – Disney Village

A med/italian feel menu, with a 90’s feel restaurant interior. Quite the combination. Our waiter was attentive – awkward moment when our wonderful daughter told the waiter it was my birthday – candle in my tiramisu and he sang “happy birthday” to me, by himself, whilst everyone around watched me cringe. Couldn’t fault the service or the food though.

Parkside Diner – Hotel New York

A buffet resaturant in the hotel itself. Food wasn’t top notch, but can it wasn’t pitful either. But thene again you can’t expect mass produced buffet food to be “all that” really. Plenty of variety, attentive and friendly staff… can’t really say much else. Don’t have photos of the buffet, but Caitlin made this for desert so…

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Review: Disney’s New York Hotel, Paris

We had booked the Dinsey’s New York Hotel for our stay in Disneyland, having been a few times I know that it’s located immediately at the end of the village meaning that you can walk everywhere and not have to rely on the (albeit free) shuttle buses.

When we arrived at the hotel, we were a little ahead of our defined check in time, but we wanted to dump our luggage so we went ahead to check in anyhow. They informed us our room wasn’t ready (we were expecting that…) but gave us our park tickets, meal vouchers and info ready for our stay, they took our luggage and off we went.

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Partial view from our room

When we had finished in the park, we came back for our keys and got informed (for whatever reason) they had upgraded us – we didn’t have a plaza room, we had a queen suite! :O

We were on the 5th floor, with a lovely suite (documented in photos), with a superb view of the lake. And in fact, we could see the Tower of Terror from our window in the room.

The room was comfortable, spacious, clean, had everything we needed, or would want. Including a chargeable mini bar (which we would soon learn was actually cheaper than having a round in the hotel bar). If we went back, we would definitely be inclined to stay here again, and potentially even book the upgraded room.

Review: Travelling to Disneyland Paris

We travelled to Disneyland Paris from Ebbsfleet International Train Station in Kent, via Eurostar. And even though we were going on an indirect service I will always say this is the best way to get there (regardless of your starting station); driving is stressful and relies on ferries, or getting the shuttle – why sit in a car, on a train, and then have to drive again afterwards? Air travel means having to deal with airport security and they are just mental and packed and ugh! Not to mention baggage reclaim etc. But Eurostar, the security seems a lot less stressful, I am not sure what it is exactly, but the atmosphere is just so much less tense and pressured – like it actually has an air of customer service about it (if that makes any sense).

Well anyhow, we arrived to Ebbsfleet super early, knowing that we wanted breakfast in departures. We had booked Premier Parking – it’s literally next to the station and for the sake of £10-20 extra, the ease of being able to just get out of the car and into the station and vice versa is more than worth it. We went to the ticket office to collect the tickets (we didn’t have e-tickets, or delivered tickets as we had booked directly through Walt Disney Holidays). Tickets printed very quickly and within minutes we found ourselves, not only through the check in gates, but at security, which although less stressed was still done efficiently.

So there we were, in departures, which is actually in part of the building suspended over the tracks with floor to ceiling windows meaning, for keen train enthusiasts, a view of the standard domestic and high speed services passing through, and by. The lounge itself was clean and airy, and has a good range of seating (although, I know from personal experience that at peak times it can get mighty cramped in there). And there’s a small newsagent stand and cafe to get the little bits you may need whilst waiting, or on the train.

The toilets were ok, but felt there could be more, even whilst we were there (at an off peak time) there was queuing and they could do with updating, though clean they just felt a bit grubby (but I couldn’t explain why).

There was a little section of toys in some boxes, a few books and a bead table which had been rather cutely named “Petite Place” and so that gave the children something to be interested in.

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The arrivals and deartures are clearly signed and there are station announcements, ahead of time, to get you on to the platform ready for your swift embarking (you only have a couple of minutes). There are staff about helping and directing at all times during this transition to make it as smooth as poosible.

Then we were on the Eurostar – dedicated seats – so there’s no rush when getting on board to get a good spot… you are where you are allocated and that’s that. The train itself was clean and comfortable, and the buffet cart postion was announced over the tannoy. Announcements were clear and in advance, and in both English and French.

As previously mentioned, the train we had taken was indirect – our change was at Lille Europe. The station is quite small so the transfer is easy. You literally go up to the main concourse, check which platform your train departs from… then down on your platform is a train map, so you can see which letter you should stand at in order to be at the correct carriage, for your allocated seating. Again this all ran smoothly for us.

Once you get into Marne La Vallee, you are at Disney. So if you have booked the Disney Express Service – drop off your bags, pick up your stuff and away you go. If not, head to your hotel, leave your luggage, check in (which may only be picking up your tickets until the room is ready) and away you go.

The only issue we had was a massive delay on the TGV side coming back from Disney to Lille. This meant we would not only miss our check in time, but actually be late for the departure – it was a busy departure, and the last train back to Ebbsfleet from Lille. Knowing that it was a busy connection, Eurostar did the “correct” thing and delayed our train in order to ensure we could all connect – much to the bemusement of the passengers on board – but hey, having been in their situation I know I am only too happy to sit for a little while longer knowing people aren’t being left stranded.

All in all, thumbs up, definitely the way to travel for me.