The Disney Dilemma…Paris or Orlando?
Walt Disney Resort Florida Vs Disneyland Paris
Going to any theme park that has Mickey Mouse, sparkly princesses and super-fun rides would be good enough for most people, right? Do we really care about the location? Well, it seems our tripsologists are divided on whether the euro version of the magic is tres bien? Or is it better to go for the full on American experience and a no expense spared blow out in the Sunshine State?
Like every holiday, a bit of thought needs to go into where you’re going and why, and will it suit everyone in the party. This is especially true of dream holidays that involve children, where you are making memories you’ll never forget. A trip such as this is likely to be a once in a lifetime experience for many families so it’s worth chewing over the pros and cons before making your final decision.
There are obvious facts to consider such as size, which is one of the major differences between the two resorts. WDW (Walt Disney World) Orlando takes in around 40 square miles, whereas DLP (Disneyland Paris) is only about 8 square miles. There are four theme parks in Orlando plus two water parks as well as the Downtown Disney shopping and entertainment complex. DLP only has two parks so you might want to consider just how much you want to cram in and what’s important to the group.
Let’s look at what the community has been saying…
Disneyland Paris – Oui or Non?
A common verdict among some of the members seems to be that Disneyland Paris is a lesser substitute for the big one in Florida. This is purely down to their personal opinions and preference of course. However, some disagree and have said the overall experience is still magical and the kids don’t really know any difference if they’ve not been to WDW Orlando. Another point which was raised was the language barrier. Some families said that a lot of staff spoke English, some didn’t and they found communications were slightly harder – especially if you’re trying to get by on high school French that you studied many years ago. Another downside to DLP, in the community’s opinion was the weather. As some of them opted to go here in the autumn and winter months, mainly due to being able to go on shorter, quicker breaks due to the proximity to the UK, they found that the overall vibe wasn’t as special under dull, grey skies. Plus…if it snows, some of the DLP rides won’t run at all. Whereas in Orlando, you’re virtually guaranteed sunshine no matter when you go – it’s not called the Sunshine State for nothing! That said, in the summer months in Orlando, it can be absolutely sweltering and that’s no fun either.
Another point that was made by one member is that they found the queues and waiting times in DLP to be shorter than WDW Orlando – most people seem to buy fast passes these days but it’s probably worth considering if you have small children who don’t have much patience for waiting in line. Some said it really depends on what rides you’re going on and the time of day you are visiting.
Another thing to consider is the cost. Obviously flying a family of four out to Orlando is going to be pricier than flights to Paris from the UK, which you can pick up fairly cheaply if you book in advance with budget airlines such as EasyJet. However, tripsologists have said that where the overall holiday package cost for Orlando was more, it worked out cheaper over there for park tickets, dining and souvenirs. In Orlando, you have lots of budget options outside the park for eating out, whereas in DLP, you are pretty much at the mercy of the on-site dining outlets, although some members have recommended taking the bus or train out to the Val d’Europe shopping centre which is nearby and offers a great choice of food outlets which are apparently cheaper than the restaurants in the parks.
Location Location Location! tripsologists have been saying how wonderful it is to be able to combine a glitzy city break with family fun at Disneyland Paris. Sounds ideal and would certainly tick all the boxes for many groups who want to do and see different things. The perfect combination of culture, sightseeing and Disney magic!
However, other members have said that combining a week in Orlando at the parks with a week down on the coast in the beach resorts of Clearwater or St Pete’s is their perfect combo. It will boil down to personal preference: Sun, sea and sand or Sancerre by the Seine?
So, if you’re still mulling over your options and still trying to decide whether to do Disneyland Paris or Walt Disney World in Florida, here’s a quick glance guide at the pros and cons which have some from community members’ opinions and reviews on this subject…
Disneyland Paris – Pros:
- The resort is close to central Paris and its world-famous sights and attractions. Ideal for combining a cultural city break with family fun at Disneyland.
- Paris is close to the UK; therefore, you can squeeze in a shorter trip here with the help of frequent budget airline flights for the brits.
- Disneyland Paris is a much smaller area which means you can cover pretty much all of it in a day or two if you can only manage a small break. tripsologists have said you need at least one week, preferably two to be able to get around WDW Orlando.
- tripsologists have said that Disneyland Paris is a good compromise if you need your Disney ‘fix’ but can’t stretch to the long haul pricier US version.
- tripsologists have recommended DLP if you have really young kids and don’t fancy the long flight to Orlando. Besides, they also said that they won’t know the difference between the two resorts – all they will care about is seeing Mickey Mouse and Cinderella up close and personal.
- According to tripsologists, DLP is easier to get to and the public transport and shuttles drop you off very close to the park. Whereas in WDW Orlando, unless you are staying in a Disney official hotel where you have transportation between parks included, you have no choice but to drive everywhere. The distance between the parks in Orlando is considerable. A car is essential.
Disneyland Paris – Cons:
- According to tripsologists, DLP has fewer rides and as there are only two parks there will certainly be far less to see and do compared to WDW Florida which has four theme parks and two water parks, essentially offering more value for money overall.
- Cost – apparently dining, snacks and merchandise/souvenirs can be pricier in DLP than in its American counterpart.
- Accommodation – tripsologists have been saying that WDW Orlando wins hands down when it comes to accommodation choices both on-site and off. There is a greater choice and a better variety of hotels and apartments. They have also said that the accommodation in Orlando is considerably bigger and of a generally higher standard.
- Some members have also said they found the language barrier a bit of a problem in DLP which marred their enjoyment overall.
- Finally, the general consensus among the community reviews and discussion have said they felt the atmosphere at WDW Orlando was better and the whole feeling everywhere on site was just magical and overall, Orlando offered a real out of this world/once in a lifetime experience.
We hope these community tips have helped you choose which Disney experience to go for. Remember that it’s all subjective and what suits one family, might not suit another so it’s important to make up your own mind – albeit with the added help of these useful bits of info – especially if you’re a Disney newbie. If you feel like living life to the full, why not go to both and see for yourself?
All we ask is that if you do decide to splash out on that big Disney holiday this year, remember to come back and tell us about your experience and you could be helping someone else plan their trip a little better with proper advice, from a real person rather than just what the brochures tell us. We hope you have a great time catching up with all your favourite Disney characters – this really is the stuff that dreams are made of.
Also, before you book, be sure to check out some of our travel partners’ current deals for some of the best prices around.
You could be heading off on a fairy-tale adventure you’ll never forget and you won’t need a wand either…it’s all just a click away!
**This discussion is based on the views of the tripsology community members and not those of tripsology.**