Category Archives: Paris, Île-de-France

Insider Tips for Visiting Disneyland Paris, Episode 157

Insider Tips for Visiting Disneyland Paris


Disneyland Paris, Debbie's family in front of the Disneyland Castle

This episode is a trip report with Debbie Raises who shares her insider tips for visiting Disneyland Paris. Debbie and her family live “close to the magic” and hour away from the Walt Disney World in Florida. They have a long history with Disney, she and her husband went on a Disney honeymoon, her husband works for Disney, and they know the parks inside and out. For today’s show she has prepared a list of tips you won’t want to miss to make your next trip to Disneyland Paris as successful as hers. Debbie and her family were at the resort for 3 and a half days in June 2017.

Hotels recommended in this episode: the Sequoia Lodge and the Vienna House Dream Castle at Disneyland Paris (one of the few places in France where you can get a basic room with 2 queen beds).

You should also listen to Tips for Using Uber in Paris

Would you like to tour France with Annie and Elyse? Visit Addicted to France to choose an upcoming tour.

 What You Will Learn About in this Episode

  • 2’45 Introduction
  • 4′ Why come to France? For Disneyland Paris!
  • 4’45 Should we stay at Disneyland Paris (DLP) the whole time or spend a few nights in the city of Paris? It’s a 45 minutes RER ride between DLP and Paris center, we recommend you choose a more central hotel in Paris.
  • 6:15 Is it easy to take the RER to Disneyland Paris? Yes, extremely!
  • 7′ Shall we take an Uber to go to Disneyland Paris? It’s a great choice if there are 3 or 4 of you.
  • 8′ Do you mostly travel to Disney? What other types of trips do you do?
  • 10′ The 4 days you spent in Paris, what did you visit?  They went to the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Sainte-Chapelle, Notre Dame, and took a day trip to Versailles
  • 10’45 Sunset is late in France in the summer.
  • 11’30 What are similarities and differences between Disneyland Paris and other parks you’ve visited.
    • For the most part, it is the same.
    • The Disneyland Paris Fast-Pass system is different: the time window is shorter than in other parks.
    • Main Street USA is cobblestone, which is cool!
    • The Liberty Arcade is an area that runs along Main Street USA and it’s a good place to get out of the sun or rain or shop on your way out of the park.
  • 16′ Did most cast members speak good English? Yes, they knew how to talk about their area of expertise for sure, some knew a lot more. The maps are also in all sorts of languages, including English.
  • 18’20 Disneyland Paris feels really safe because everyone has to go through a metal detector and a bag check. Unlike the center of Paris, there are no pick-pockets, the premises are watched closely.
  • 20’16 Tell us about Disneyland village.
  • 20’33 The rides at Disneyland Paris are more thrill rides: Hyperspace Mountain goes upside down. The Indiana Jones ride also goes upside down. The Big Thunder ride is also more thrilling. That’s because Europeans like more of a thrill park. At Disney World there are thrill rides, but they are spread around four parks.
  • 22’40 Disneyland Paris is missing a couple of old attractions: no Tikkie Bird, no Jungle Cruise. There aren’t enough indoors attractions where it’s air-conditioned.
  • 24′ There is also a Studios park, it was a little bit disappointing to Debbie and her family. They have to Rock-and-Roller coaster, the Tower of Terror. The Crush coaster was great there, and the new Ratatouille ride. Ratatouille is a high tech ride that they don’t have yet in other parks.
  • 25’22 Description of the Ratatouille Ride. The whole area is themed like Paris. This ride is unique to France, so is Crush coaster.
  • 27′ Attendance in June was moderate, Debbie thought it would be quieter because French kids weren’t out of school yet, but it was busy.
  • 28′ How many days are enough at Disneyland Paris?
  • 28’50 Are there some things you wish you knew before you came?
    • Make sure you know what attractions are open and closed. There’s an App now that shows what’s under refurbishment. They were thinking of coming in March, but a lot of rides were closed in anticipation of the 25th Anniversary celebration.
    • Make sure you know if your hotel has AC, they often don’t in France, don’t assume!
    • There are a lot of quick serve restaurants with interesting themes. Some of them close at unexpected times. Toad Hall wasn’t open as much as they thought it should be, that will show on the App too.
  • 34’15 Are the restaurants different at Disneyland Paris? The themes are really well done in Paris.
  • 35’15 How did you like the food?
  • 34′ What’s a good daily budget for food? More or less 16€-20€ per person per meal.
  • 37’30 There were no problems paying with credit cards anywhere, no need to carry cash.
  • 38′ What sit-down restaurants did you try? They tried Bistro Chez Rémi. The Silver Spur smelled really good, but they didn’t get to try it. In the village they tried Buffalo Bill Wild West Show (a must-do for French people!), it’s a dinner show, very fun.   King Ludwig’s had German food and it was very good.
  • 41’20 They stayed at the Sequoia Lodge which has a pool and is 15 minutes walk to the park. It’s a mid-range price hotel. This is a Disneyland hotel.
  • 42’39 Annie stayed at an out-lying hotel called the Vienna House Dream Castle at Disneyland Paris which had 2 queen-sized beds in one room. The wait-time for the bus was sometimes a bit long.
  • 47′ What was your favorite thing that you did on this trip?
  • 48’30 What didn’t you like? They didn’t like the train because it takes forever as there is only one on the track, and there isn’t much to see along the route. The back lot tour was also a disappointment because it was boring.
  • 51’30 What are some tips you want to share with the listeners?
    • Don’t buy the photo pass because there are too few photographers out.
  • 55′ The night-time show projected on the castle was lovely!
  • 57′ If you need transportation to or from the airport, the Magical Shuttle is a really good option. You can schedule it in advance.

Conclusion

Disneyland Paris was really magical, Debbie, her husband and children all enjoyed it very much. By some measures, the Disneyland Paris park is the most visited attraction in France. It is especially perfect for families with children between ages 5 and 12 or 13.

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Running the Paris Marathon, Episode 155

Running the Paris Marathon


Paris marathon, Calee Spinney and a friend in front of Notre Dame in Paris

Every big sports event has to start somewhere. The Paris Marathon got its start in 1896 and it was tiny then! It had 191 participants, none of them women. Things have changed so much since then. Today’s Paris Marathon takes as many as 50,000 runners, many of them women, including today’s guest, Calee Spinney who ran the 2017 edition comes on the show to tell us some of the things she wishes she knew before she ran it. If you’re thinking about running the Paris marathon in 2018, you’ve come to the right place! Advice about the event, and all of the other things you can do while in Paris!

Would you like to tour France with Annie and Elyse? Visit Addicted to France to choose an upcoming tour.

What You Will Learn About in this Episode

Full transcript below the fold.

  • 1’38 Congratulations on running the Paris marathon!
  • 2’30 When did you sign up? What did it involve?
  • 4’31 Why do you need a medical form?
  • 6′ Do you run through gorgeous parts of Paris?
  • 7’52 Was it well organized?
  • 8’30 How do it work on the ground?
  • 9′ Various extras you can buy at the Expo
  • 11′ Is the commercial activity surrounding the Paris marathon good value or rip off?
  • 12’30 Running on cobblestone is hard on the body
  • 12’50 What do you wish you knew before you went?
  • 15′ Food/water you can get along the route
  • 17′ The finishing shirt
  • 18′ What did you do besides running the Paris marathon?
  • 19′ Is Paris food good for marathon runners?
  • 21′ Was it your first time in Paris? Where did you stay?
  • 23′ How about safety surrounding the Paris marathon?
  • 24’30 Any recommendations you can share?
  • 26′ Meeting a super-friendly Parisien
  • 30′ Thanks and personal update

Conclusion

If Calee has inspired you to put on your sneakers and come to Paris to run the Paris marathon make sure to prepare your visit with one of the other episodes, such as the one on how to protect yourself from pickpockets in Paris or how to enjoy Paris on a budget. There is also a half-marathon in Paris, if that’s more your distance.

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How to Protect Yourself from Pickpockets in Paris, Episode 154

How to Protect Yourself from Pickpockets in Paris, Episode 154


how to protect yourself from pickpockets in paris

Introduction

On today’s episode Annie and Elyse discuss how to protect yourself from pickpockets in Paris. We give specific steps anybody can take that will make it less likely that you will be the victim of a pick pocket, but also also steps to mitigate the repercussions if you do get robbed. Let’s not fool ourselves, pickpockets and magicians and they use the same misdirection techniques as magicians. A lot of them are really good at what they do! So if it’s happened to you, don’t feel bad, just do everything you can so it doesn’t happen again.

The only way to make sure nothing bad ever happens is to stay home and do nothing, but we’re not going to do that are we?  So, listen to this episode and get some inspiration on how to protect yourself from pickpockets in Paris and go on your next trip full of confidence!

Would you like to tour France with Annie and Elyse? Visit Addicted to France to choose an upcoming tour.

What You Will Learn about in this Episode

Look below the fold for transcript and time stamps.

  • Remove as much as you can from your wallet or purse.
  • Don’t put anything in your back pocket.
  • Don’t put anything in pockets unless they zip or button.
  • Only take one credit card and a little bit of cash with you, the rest should stay at the hotel.
  • Don’t have your driver’s license on you.
  • Don’t carry your passport, only a photocopy.
  • Photocopy the front and back of your credit cards and keep them in a safe place just in case you need to call to cancel them.
  • Do not bring any checks to France, you can’t use them.
  • Notify your bank that you’ll be travelling abroad.
  • Don’t bring your work ID.
  • Bring a list of all the medications you take and bring enough drugs for your whole stay.
  • Only carry one day’s worth of medications on your person.
  • Women should carry a purse that they can have across their torso.
  • Cargo pants with buttoned pockets are good for men.
  • Loose clothing puts you at great risk to be pickpocketed.
  • Protect your phone, women should consider keeping it in their bra or in a zipped pocket.
  • Put different things in different purse pockets.
  • If you don’t live in a large city in the US you are not used to being on alert for theft.
  • Photographers need to consider using a holster system like the Peak Design Capture Pro  with its accompanying Clutch that Annie now owns and loves.

Conclusion

The only way to never have anything unpleasant happen to you is to stay home. But, if you’re listening to this podcast, you probably don’t want to do that. We agree with you! Paris isn’t any worse than any other big city when it comes to pickpockets, and as a matter of fact, the police that this stuff very seriously, but there are no guarantees.

In this episode we’ve shared some specific suggestions of things you can do to lessen the impact of a adverse pickpocket encounter. If it’s going to happen, at least let’s do things that will lessen the blow.

We’d love to hear your feedback! Comment below or leave a voicemail on 1-801-806-1015

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