There's a high chance of me being in Europe in July, and a friend of mine was also planning to be there separately. I've thought about suggesting to him that we do a day trip to Disneyland Paris because a) we don't have anything like this in Australia the Gold Coast is shit and doesn't count b) we've already been to a large number of places in Europe c) it's a terrible idea but might be fun. So now to my questions:
Is it worthwhile?
We'd both be based in London, but my understanding the Eurostar goes directly to the park daily. Is it true/how hard would it be to do?
Will our lack of french skills be a problem? I'm the only one with any non english language ability, and it's very poor german
What do you recommend us doing there; assuming it's only a day visit from London?
Would it be problematic for us being in the UK on a tourist visa to exit to the mainland for a day and to then re enter the UK?
How's the weather that time of year?
Any other info would be welcome.
1. No, except if you're drunk / up for doing the Space mountain all day. I mean it can be fun spending the day there, but it's fucking bydlo.
2. 50~euros per person, - food costs. You should take your own (don't remember if that's authorized or not)
3. dunno, I guess all the info is available on the Eurostar website or something
5. just wander and avoid queues if possible or you're gonna spend the day in them
7. can be as awesome as shitty
First off, there are two parks in Disneyland Paris: Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park. They are the first and second most visted parks in Europe with 11.2M ppl/yr and 4.8M ppl\yr respectively (Europa-Park, Efteling, and Tivoli Gardens round out the Top 5). Source: http://teaconnect.org/sites/default/files/misc/files/2012_theme_index_combined_1-3_online.pdf.
So, as the French poster above mentioned, queues, especially for the big rides can be awful, especially during Summer months and on weekends (avoid weekends if possible); however, if you arrive right when the park opens and go straight to the biggest rides first, that won't be a problem. Also, if you only have time for one of the two parks, do the Disneyland Park.
The Walt Disney Studios park only has like one awesome ride (Rock 'n' Roller Coaster). It's actually the best thrill ride out of both parks, but the rest of that park doesn't have much else besides the Tower of Terror drop ride and the elaborate car stunt show. There is also going to be a brand-new dark ride based on Ratatouille in that park slated to open on 13 July this year, actually, but since it's a new attraction in a Disney Park, you will spend all day waiting in line just for that ride (not an exaggeration).
The Disneyland Park has a lot more to do and has a lot more classic and recognizable attractions. The biggest ride there is Space Mountain, which is at a similar thrill level to Rock 'n' Roller Coaster. Other big ones are Big Thunder Mountain, Phantom Manor, Pirates of the Caribbean, Indiana Jones, and Star Tours. There are a lot of mellow rides there that are alright as well. The train, for instance, is a legit steam train and a great thing to do if you just need to sit and chill for like 20 minutes (though there are stops in between where you can get off).
In terms of food, it's a theme park, so it's going to be pricey, but it's also a Disney park, so the food itself is acceptable. In the US Disney parks, they do not allow you to bring any food or drink into the park besides a bottle of water, so it's probably the same situation there.
In regards to language, you can easily get by without French skills, as a lot of the anouncements have an English version following the French version (in the US parks, the announcements are English followed by Spanish; and in the Japan parks, the announcements are in Japanese followed by English). The only minor issue is that you will not be able to understand what characters are saying during the rides themselves, but that is not that big of a deal.
T: theme park/roller coaster/cozy train expert
>Would it be problematic for us being in the UK on a tourist visa to exit to the mainland for a day and to then re enter the UK?
I am not sure but I think UK is not a member of the Schengen Area so you will need a seperate visa to get to France and make sure your UK visa permits multiple entry.
>to exit to the mainland for a day and to then re enter the UK?
If your visa says UK, it means not EU! Since great Britain is an island you'll have to show your passport if you don't want to swim from Dover to Calais.