home > Disneyland Paris > Trip Reports > Fall 2019 Day 1
November 11-12, 2019 - Day 1 - Arrival in Paris

Started my long travel day leaving the house around 1:25pm for my 6:30pm Flight thanks to living 50 miles from LAX and LA Traffic plus airport traffic and security lines. Of course neither were bad and a little after 3:00pm I was in the airport lounge with tons of time to spare. The flight boarded on time and we were wheels up around 6:45pm. The flight had a fair amount of turbulence but I still managed to sleep over half of it. We arrived in Paris just after 1:30, which was early. So of course had to wait for a gate, then wait for luggage, then wait for the shuttle service.. so arriving early did not translate into any bonus time. The check in process was smooth and we were in our room by 3:45pm. Stopped by the Compass Club to check out the afternoon tea then set off walking to the Disney Village and park. Stopped at McDonalds for a quick burger on the way to the parks. We arrived at the ticket counter at 5:15pm and learned that they stopped selling annual passes for the day at 5:00pm. Since I was not going to pay full price for 2 hours that meant no park today. So instead visited the Disneyland Hotel, Disney Village Christmas Marketplaces and the Sequoia Lodge to check out their Christmas decorations before heading back to the hotel to unpack and catch up on some news.

Thoughts & Observations
  • My long travel day to France began with a shuttle pick up at home just before 1:30pm. Trips to the airport are always an adventure and today did not break that mold. the driver decided not to use the brakes till the very last second, quite frequently accelerating as others were braking. We made it to LAX in one piece in just over an hour. Traffic was mild thanks to the Veterans Day holiday. At LAX traffic was moving OK until we neared Bradley, then it stopped. Eventually made it to the drop off location and headed inside. No lines to check in and no delays at security.
  • Arrived at the Air France Lounge (which is really the Qantas lounge) a little after 3:00pm so we had nearly 3 hours until our flight. This was my first time in this lounge and overall I was not impressed. It is an interior lounge so no outside windows and it felt a little dark. It was not overly crowded but there was a steady stream of people to the food areas. The food selection was average for a lounge.
  • The flight boarded on time and left on time. The gate featured facial recognition. No boarding passes or passports were supposed to be needed. The system is supposed to match you up to your photo on file. Of course mine failed and I had to go through a line with a person. Even though they say no passport or ticket is needed.. it would have been a good idea for me to just keep mine out.
  • The flight to Paris went well. No hiccups. I was in business class so had a comfortable lay flat seat. I am a picky eater and the meal was not that good. By airline standards it was good but I did not care for it. I tried to change to something else ahead of time but Air France never got back to me and the app kept saying I could not change anything. Thanks to the seat I was able to sleep over half the flight, about 6 hours. I was awaken a couple times due to turbulence. The flight had free messaging wi-fi available for all. I do not understand why a business class ticket does not include wi-fi. Spending that much on a seat seems like wi-fi should be included in the cost. First Class includes it.
  • The flight arrived into Paris CDG airport early and of course we had to wait for a gate. We arrived at a good time and there was no wait at all at customs. Made it down to baggage claim and our flight was not on any board yet. So we had to wait. Bags started coming down a couple carousels so checked them and found our flight and our bags (so better than last trip to France where they lost my bag). Seems like luggage delivery is a challenge at CDG. At least this time they did not loose any of our luggage and all pieces arrived in the first groupings off the flight and were not damaged.
  • Went out to arrivals and no sign of our shuttle driver. Waited about 20 minutes then emailed asking where he was. He showed up about 10 minutes later. The drive to Disney was a bit slow with traffic. He took the road less traveled through some small towns vs the highways. The two lane roads with parking on one side so traffic shares the other lane at times is very interesting to see in action.
  • Arrived at Disney's Newport Bay Club. All Disney hotels have had security screening for years (was that way in 2015 even) and now it seemed a step up from that with checks of the cars and wanding everyone that entered in addition to the x-ray bag checks. Sent our bags through the security x-ray machine and then headed inside to check in. I am staying on the Compass Club Level so went to the check in for the club which is three desks to the left vs the main check in area queue.
  • The Compass Club checkin process was very smooth. A cast member greeted us and then walked through our documents with us. All was in order. Also she was able to confirm that the request I had to keep the same room for the second reservation we had was in place (I had to split my reservation due to the booking site not allowing more than 7 nights).
  • Our room was on the eighth (top) floor and was about dead center of the hotel overlooking the main entrance. We had a nice view of the park in front of the hotel and off to the right Val d'Europe.
  • The room itself was a standard hotel room with two beds, a chair that folded out to a bed, a small desk, a chair, and then the bathroom area. The rooms were renovated a couple of years ago and looked in ok shape. There were some signs of wear. Also I thought the TV was on the small side, maybe 20 inches for a room of that size. The beds had storage space underneath them but were not high enough for our suitcases unless we left them open. There were no USB charging ports, nor clock in the room. There were a half dozen electrical outlets if you had an adapter for them.
  • After dropping our suitcases and digging out warmer clothes we set off for the afternoon. First stop the 4pm Afternoon Tea in the Compass Club Lounge to see what was available. Just like the Sequoia Lodge the lounge is on the first floor (rooms are on the top two floors of the main building). The lounge is on the interior of the building so there are no windows or view. They had a selection of desserts and beverages. It was an average spread. Nothing I particularly cared for though. The spread was on par with what I remembered from he Sequoia Lodge in 2015, but less than we had at the Magic Kingdom Club in Shanghai. So I opted to grab a coke for the road and set off for the parks.
  • As I was walking to the parks I felt that I should eat something along the way and we happened to stroll past the large McDonald's in the Disney Village on the way so stopped for a quick burger before setting off. Learned that the automated kiosks did not like our credit cards and even their registers did not like the American Express, but did the VISA.
  • Arrived at Disneyland park around 5:00pm and started looking for an open ticket window. All were closed that we saw. Finally found one in the far corner open and approached the cast member and said we would like to buy annual passes. She looked at us and said we could not. They stopped sales at 5:00pm and there was no option to enter the park except to buy a full day ticket. Which I was not about to do with a 7:00pm closing. I wish I had known about the 5pm cut off and I would have skipped the tea or McDs to make it. Looking back I thought the Compass Club person should have told me at checkin when they asked about tickets and I said my plan was to go purchase annual passes. The cast member we encountered was fairly abrupt and did not really want to talk to us or look for any solutions. So I left the counter a bit frustrated. Not the best way to start but then again it was my fault for not knowing the cut off time. Still I spoke to others and some were offered passes for the park or other accommodations to hold over to the purchase the next day.
  • Since I now had free time I opted to pay a visit to the Disneyland Hotel to check out the Christmas decorations. There was a nice tree and gingerbread house in the main lobby area and some garlands around the resort. Overall it was a nice set of decorations and felt appropriate for the hotel.
  • Walked through the Disney Village and took a look at some shops and their Christmas decorations. They had kiosks up selling holiday treats and drinks too. There was a stage but no performance listed and all was quiet.
  • Next stop was the Sequoia Lodge. The decorations here were also subdue but they worked. There was no big display at this hotel but a couple smaller trees and lights.
  • Returned to the Newport Bay Club and walked around the lobby and common area checking out the decorations. They seemed similar to the Sequoia Lodge in terms of scale.
  • When we returned to the room the nightly turn down service had occurred and there were dark chocolate medallions on both beds and a character card for us. It was a nice touch. I would have preferred milk chocolate or an assortment though since I am not a dark chocolate fan.
  • The shower was a bit on the odd side for me. The glass wall/door was only about one third the distance and did no go to the ceiling. The shower wand holder would not stay up so your choice was to hold it or come up with an another solution. I jammed a wash cloth in it to hold it up. Another issue I ran into with the shower was keeping a constant temperature. I seemed to vary from what I wanted to ice cold to scolding hot about every minute. So it was not the most pleasant shower experience. On the positive side you could make the height tall enough and there was good water pressure.

Pedometer Stats
Miles 4.3
Steps 9,215
Moderate Steps 6,146
Moderate Steps/Time 56

Part I: Eiffel Tower Travel Days / Disney Hotel / Disney Village

My long travel day to reach Disneyland Paris then a look around the Disneyland Hotel, Sequoia Lodge and Newport Bay Club plus Disney Village.


Related Links From This Trip

2019 Disneyland Paris Trip Summary

Related Blog Posts From Today: