Disneyland Paris – Beginners Guide to Staying off-site – Part Two; Park Tickets

03/06/2010

Ok so you’ve made the decision to try Disneyland Paris staying off-site…you’ve arranged your travel and now we need a way of getting access to the parks.
 
Normally with your package you’d have park hopper tickets for the length of your stay, these can be bought at the gates, in-advance online or even in Disney Stores in the UK and in Paris.
 
1 day, 1 park ticket – Adult €53 Child €45
1 day, park hopper – Adult €67 Child €57
2 day park hopper – Adult €118 Child €99
3 day park hopper – Adult €129 Child €110
4 day park hopper – Adult €156 Child €132
 
As you can tell by the above prices, Disneyland Paris (as with all other Disney Resorts) wants you to buy a ticket for multiple days. An awful lot of people look at the one day park ticket and times that by the number of days and take that as their ticket price for their trip, this is common but incorrect mistake. Looking at the prices of these tickets is enough to send shivers down your spine and make sure that the wallet is as far away from the PC as possible. There is, however, another way…in-fact for an off-site trip, there is a better way.
 
Annual Passes…there are three different types of annual pass, depending on your budget and your needs, you need to select the best one for you. There are no child prices for annual passes, they are the same cost no matter what age you are (obviously as with park tickets, under 3’s are free)
 

Dream Annual Pass
 
€189 per person. The top annual pass, the most prestigious, the one with the most benefits…can you tell this is the one I have J This ticket allows you access to the park for 365 days. The other benefits are: 50% reduction on Halloween and other special party night tickets, 10% off in restaurants, 20% off shopping, 35% off Disney Hotel bookings, free parking at the main car-park, 20% off of one day tickets for friends and family, 15% off of Buffalo Bills Wild West Show, entrance to the park for Extra Magic Hours, free aparetif at table service restaurants, Free use once each day of Stroller & Wheelchair Rental, Pet Care Kennels and park Luggage Storage, 10% at Golf Disneyland Paris on green fees, restaurant and boutique and 10% off of Disney Stores in France.
 
Fantasy Annual Pass
 
€139 per person. This is the middle of the road annual pass, it allows 335 days access to the park, unfortunately you can’t pick those 335 days there are set in stone blackout days for each year and these will be listed later. The other benefits of this pass are: 25% reduction on Halloween and other special party night tickets, 10% off in restaurants, 10% off shopping, 25% off Disney Hotel bookings, free parking at the main car-park, 10% off of one day tickets for friends and family and 15% off of Buffalo Bills Wild West Show.
 
Francillian Annual Pass
 
€99 per person. This is the basic pass, it is also, despite the name, available to everyone. This pass allows you access to the park for 300 days a year meaning that for 65 days you won’t be allowed in. The other two major disadvantages of this pass are that you have to pay for car-parking (either €12 per day or €24 for the year) and that you are not allowed access to the park for the two days following purchase of your pass, for example you arrive on Monday and buy your Francillian Annual Pass, you would be allowed into the park on the Monday but Tuesday and Wednesday you will be denied access. This means that it still is really a pass for local people. The other benefits of this pass are: 25% reduction on Halloween and other special party night tickets, 10% off in restaurants and you can add parking to this annual pass for €24 per year.

 
Annual Pass Blackout dates
 
As discussed above there are certain dates during the year that both Francillian and/or Fantasy pass holders are not allowed access to the parks. The dates for 2010 are listed below:

Francillian Annual Pass

  • January

    1st only

  • April

    3rd and 4th

  • May

    1st and 2nd; 8th; 13th to 16th; 22nd to 24th

  • June

    12th, 13th, 19th, 20th, 26th and 27th

  • July

    3rd and 4th; 10th to 14th

  • August

    9th to 13th; 28th and 29th

  • September

    4th, 5th, 11th, 12th, 18th, 19th, 25th and 26th

  • October

    25th to 31st

  • November

    1st to 3rd

  • December

    4th, 5th, 18th and 29th; 25th to 31st

Fantasy Annual Pass

  • January

    1st only

  • April

    4th only

  • May

    15th and 23rd

  • July

    3rd, 4th, 10th and 11th

  • September

    18th, 19th, 25th and 26th

  • October

    27th to 31st

  • November

    1st to 3rd

  • December

    18th to 22nd

 
So…now you have chosen your pass…it’s on to where you are going to stay.


Discovery Mountain – The Mountain that never was

17/08/2009

In this post I’m going to try and explore the long lost Discovery Mountain project that was initially planned for Disneyland Paris when the park was being built, this project was scrapped when the cost of the project became so expensive and cuts became inevitable. We finally got the current version of space mountain still with the huge cannon as originally planned which opened in 1995 and has been credited with rescuing the park from certain closure.

When the imagineers came to designing Disneyland Paris’ Tomorrowland they wanted a whole new concept and settled on a land tribute to visoinaries such as Jules Verne or Leonardo da Vinci. Here is a an early concept for the entrance to Disoveryland.

DM1It’s difficult to imagine the sheer scale of this project, it was originally planned to be 100 meters in diameter (the current Space Mountain is only 61 meters!) and once inside the mountain guests would have found a much larger version of the Nautilus, an underwater restuarant, an attractions (believed to be named Horizon’s however limited details exist on this) a cafe, the Discoveryland Railroad station and the actual Space Mountain rollercoater too.

The main reason behind this attraction being based in such a huge show building was the inclement weather in Paris, especially in Winter. The rainy season in Paris can last for large portions of the year and the imagineers wanted guests to be able to stay in the dry for large sections of Discoveryland. One of the best idea’s was that Discovery Mountain’s entire interior was supposed to be lit from lights that were under water, which would have given an incredible atmosphere.

DMrestIn this next picture you can make out a tube going down from the roof of the mountain next to the roller coaster track. This was designed to be the first ‘free fall’ ride that WDI had worked on. Guests were supposed to been blown up to the top of the building, just like in Verne’s story where they escape the center of the earth through a volcano chimney, and had a brief view of the park before they fall back down again. Budget cost cut this ride out of the planning and, as we all know, Tower of Terror went on to become the first ‘free fall’ ride created by WDI.

DM3Now we move on to the final part and my personal favorate part of the whole concept.

dmtubesIf you look very carefully at this picture you can clearly see tubes connceting the area around the Star Tours Shop and Videopolis with Discovery Mountain. This really would have been a cool idea and would have enabled you to travel over half of Discoveryland without leaving the warm in the winter and the cool in the summer. Infact this idea was so close to becoming a reality that if you look closely at the outside of the Videopolis building next time you are in Disneyland Paris you will see where the tubes would have conected.

Discovery Mountain also still has metions around Discoverland…if you look closely at Space Mountain next time you will see that some of the fixtures have the initials DM. This is because when Space Mountain finally became a reality in 1995 it was literally days away from being called Discovery Mountain as per the original plans, however at the last possible moment the name was changed to Space Mountain to breed familarality with the Space Mountains already in operation at Disneyland and at Walt Disney World.

Art-work: copyright Disney