An American in Disneyland Paris – Disneyland Hotel Pros and Cons

I have to admit I was a bit underwhelmed.  Maybe it was the 4 hour drive to the airport, the 10 hour flight to Germany, the 2 hour layover at the airport, the 1 hour flight to Paris, and the 30 minute drive to the hotel, but I guess I expected something a bit more grand.  I have been blessed to have been able to stay at the top-rated hotel at almost every Disney theme park thanks to joining Disney Vacation Club (the Grand Floridian at WDW is the only exception), and of them all this one was the least impressive.  Perhaps it was a bit my own expectations, too.  I had seen the outside before and it looks so spectacular – like a pink Grand Floridian.  But the reception area was somewhat small, not quite as opulent, and a bit confusing. The other reason I expected more was because Disneyland Hotel in Paris is also one of only three “in the park” hotels: The Grand Californian at Disney California Adventure, Hotel Mira Costa at Tokyo DisneySea, and this one. Believe me, you pay a hefty premium for such amenities, but was it worth it?

The lobby as you enter into the hotel. Beautiful chandelier but overall not as impressive as the other top-tier hotels. The Grand Californian and Tokyo Disneyland Hotel come to mind as two of the most impressive
The lobby as you enter into the hotel. Beautiful chandelier but overall not as impressive as the other top-tier hotels. The Grand Californian and Tokyo Disneyland Hotel come to mind as two of the most impressive

Pros: Location, location, location.  Disneyland Paris is literally at your doorstep – or window depending on your view.  You can walk outside and nearly stumble into the park and THAT is a huge plus.  Another big bonus is the Extra Magic Hour which is really TWO extra hours in the park.  When we went, the park opened at 10am but we were inside by 8am.  Before the park opened, we had been able to ride Space Mountain: Mission 2 (twice), Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast, Mad Hatter’s Tea Cups, It’s A Small World, Blanche-Neige et les Sept Nains (Snow White), and Les Voyages de Pinocchio.  Amazing.  Plus, the hotel gives you a complementary FastPass for each member of your party each day that you are there.  On top of that, staying at the hotel we enjoyed complementary breakfast for each of us – and the complementary breakfast is more than just croissants (although they did have plenty of those).  Fluffy scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, charcuterie, cheeses, baked beans (yes, baked beans!), and lots of breads, yogurt, cereal and other munchies.  The wifi is easy to access and has a strong signal despite having so many people here.  They have a very nice gift shop with exclusive Disney souvenirs for this hotel only.  And the pool is indoors so regardless of weather (and when we went it was raining) you can still enjoy it.

The outside of the hotel from inside the park!
The outside of the hotel from inside the park!

Cons: I wish I could say there wasn’t any, but there are.  In our room, the wallpaper had tears and seams that were coming apart.  Not tons but enough to notice.  The furnishings were not five-star quality.  The bed was really hard – just a hard mattress on a brick of wood.  The comforter was only okay (for a 5-star hotel).  The television was tiny.  The bathtub was about a meter up off the floor so be careful getting in and out to even take a shower.  The space for the toilet was cramped (especially for a big guy like me).  And there were way too few outlets in the room.  The maps in the hotel were misprinted so it took me an additional 30 minutes to find my way to the room and who starts a hotel with the reception on the zero floor?  The water in the shower never got truly hot and it took forever for the airflow in the room to get rid of the humidity.

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Overall, the hotel is very nice, the people take good care of you, and you seriously can’t beat the convenience.  It’s great for small kids because you can bring them up to take a nap and head back into the park without missing a beat.  But for the price, perhaps a more comfortable bed?  Better care of the facilities?  And printing maps with the correct numbering?  Those things would help to elevate this beautiful hotel into a truly 5-star level place to stay!

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