September 30, 2016

Logistics for running the Disneyland Paris races

When runDisney announced the Disneyland Paris race weekend during the Princess Half Marathon race weekend in 2015, we knew we would want to attend this inaugural event.  With little information available online, including the option for race bibs without a hotel stay we decided to go with the tour operator in France to book our trip.  The list of official tour operators for the race included one in many different countries. Someone we met in the Expo line on Thursday from the US told us they used the UK travel partner since it was easy to book online.  I called the number provided for the Paris tour company and finalized the details last October.




Cost:  This race weekend exceeded the cost of our other runDisney race trips due to obvious things such as airline tickets, and the less obvious things like airport transportation (no free Magical Express).  You will also need a passport which is an additional cost if you don't have one. 

Park Tickets:  After seeing that an annual pass was 135 Euros, it may be cheaper to buy an annual pass if you will be going to the parks multiple days.  We did not research this in detail since we had gotten park tickets included in our package, but you might want to check this out before booking them through your tour operator. 

Meals:  Food is expensive in Europe but it is easy to plan ahead by researching menus and prices through the DL Paris website  Some of the table service restaurants have a discount for runners and one that we visited, King Ludwig's Castle in the Disney Village had not only good food, but a 15% discount off our bill.  Other places we tried included the Plaza Garden just off Main Street in Disneyland and Auberge de Cendrillon.  Plaza Garden was a great choice the night before the half marathon since they offered a full buffet including a wonderful spread of French desserts.  We may have tried more than one! Another thing to note, on our first night which was Thursday, many of the table service restaurants were closed and we had not booked a reservation for that night.  The Disneyland Park seemed really quiet that day, and perhaps the bulk of the table service restaurants are only open on the weekends.  It would be advisable to make dining reservations ahead of time to avoid being disappointed.  We ended up at California Grill at the hotel that night and while we loved our meals, it was quite pricy.

Auberge de Cendrillon for a final night celebration
Another thing to note, soft drinks are usually the same cost as wine and sometimes more.  Be prepared for beverages to not be included in the fixed price meals.
Yummy dessert at Auberge de Cendrillon

Transportation: We used the Paris Disney Shuttle service that I booked online prior to arrival.  The driver met us at the exit from customs and baggage claim and the cost was 60 Euros.  If we had taken the train into Paris and then a train to the hotel at Disneyland, it would have been cheaper, but with baggage and a connection, this seemed a fair price to pay for convenience  A way to cut this cost would be to share with several other runners and perhaps get a van. 

View of Disneyland Paris Hotel, Disneyland park is right behind it.
Hotels:  With 6 Disney properties to choose from, it is easy to make the choice to stay with Disney.  The options include the Disneyland Hotel, a 5 minute walk to parks and village, the Hotel New York, a 10 minute walk, Newport Bay and sequoia Lodge, 15 minute walk and Hotel Cheyenne and Hotel Santa Fe, both 20 minute walks to the parks. Disneyland Hotel being closet to the parks is the most expensive.  Because we planned to do this race only once, we opted for the splurge of this property.  Many things about this hotel reminded us of the Grand Floridian Hotel in Florida, with the Victorian feel.  We never saw the other properties other than from the outside, but they all looked nice from the exterior.

Visiting Paris: Thursday we purchased train tickets and rode into Paris getting off at the Chatalet stop.  The tickets are around 20 Euros per person return for the journey.  It is a simple way to get into Paris and cost effective.  Because we were familiar with the city, our plan was to walk around some of our favorite areas, take photos and have a nice lunch and perhaps a little shopping.  Our lunch stop was a small place frequented by locals. In fact, we may have been the only tourists in the place.  Plan on 15-20 Euros per person for a basic lunch.  If the day is really pretty, you can purchase baguette sandwiches and sit outside in the Jardin de Tuilleries or another park like setting.  The museums are wonderful, but some are costly, so make your plans according to your budget.



Please feel free to ask specific questions.  We did some things as splurges due to this being a one and done race at Disneyland Paris.  There are definitely ways to cut costs and still have a fabulous vacation.
(Pam)


44 comments:

  1. I definitely have this race weekend on my list for the future! The planning does intimidate me slightly, though, so this really helps! So fun.

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    1. If you decide to do this race, feel free to get in touch with us via email. We would be happy to share any thoughts on plans etc.

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  2. Sounds like you ladies had a fabulous racecation! I'm sure it was a lot of fun to compare Disney there to Disney here in the U.S.

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    1. It surprised us so much that the half marathon course was so much better in Europe than in Florida.

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  3. So glad you ladies lived it up and splurged during your time there! I've always been fascinated by all the Disney resorts there. I don't know that this is aa race I will ever do because 1) My sister has already been to DL Paris and really has no desire to visit again, and 2) I'm not a fan of traveling that far this day in age. I have been to Europe once though. I really enjoyed seeing all the photos the DL runners posted on IG though!

    I hope that WDW world introduces some new races in the future!

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    1. I totally understand not being comfortable traveling at the moment. We had talked about the what if's so we could be prepared as best as possible. We both love travel and will not give it up. I agree that it would be nice in WDW added some new races for a change of pace.

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  4. While I doubt I'll ever run it, thanks for the tips!

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    1. It's not for everyone, but lots of our readers love Disney!

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  5. Oh wow how fun!! So I have to know is Cinderella french speaking over there or do they bring in Americans to staff it?

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    1. I don't think the cast members were American, but possibly British. They definitely spoke English!

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  6. What an amazing trip! I've been to Paris and I've run a Disney race... but combining them together!! WOW! Epic!
    I'd love for you to come by and link up your favorite post of the month to my Best of Blogs linkup today!

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    1. It was a really different race experience and we feel so fortunate to have enjoyed it.

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  7. That dessert looks so good! It looks like you had a wonderful vacation and race. I'd love to visit Europe someday and if I do, I will keep some of these tips in mind. Don't blame you to splurge because a vacation and race in Europe is a once in a lifetime thing and the memories are worth it.

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    1. Yes, we have wonderful memories and yes, the dessert was amazing! We love treats after a race, sometimes before too!

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  8. What an amazing trip! I've been to Paris and I've run a Disney race... but combining them together!! WOW! Epic!
    I'd love for you to come by and link up your favorite post of the month to my Best of Blogs linkup today!

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  9. This is great information. When doing these foreign races, planning and logistics are so key. I loved your pics on IG!

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    1. Thanks Marcia. It sure was a fun race weekend, one of our best.

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  10. This is a really great post. I would love to run this some day and thought about it this year, but the complexity of it kept me from diving in. You give some great perspective here, which is much appreciated since I've never even looked into DL Paris before. I mean, with two great parks in the US, it just hasn't seemed necessary. Oh runDisney what you do to us!

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    1. I agree that runDisney seems to come up with new things all the time that cause us to sign up and pay later However, this one was really perfect from start to finish.

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  11. I loved reading this and seeing someone's perspective on Paris. I agree that a once in a lifetime trip justifies several splurges. Taking the bus from the airport to Disney is definitely worth it, else it is a pain to take the train into Paris then OUT to Disney.

    Was the park crowded ? My daughter went the weekend before and it really wasn't that bad.

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    1. The park was virtually empty on Thursday and Friday we were in Paris. For Saturday and Sunday it had crowds, but we never waited a crazy amount of time for rides. It really was a great weekend.

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  12. This looks like a fabulous adventure!!! Our oldest daughter spent two weeks in Europe just after graduating from college in May...and she LOVED everything about Europe except the price for the food (and water!). Thanks for sharing all the details, and congrats!!

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    1. Thanks Kim. It sounds like your daughter had a wonderful graduation trip.

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  13. So fun to hear about! I'm not sure I'll ever do this race, but it is great to hear about what it is like firsthand! So glad you enjoyed it!

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    1. Thanks Maggie. It was definitely a one and done, but so glad we could do it together.

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  14. So fun to hear about! I'm not sure I'll ever do this race, but it is great to hear about what it is like firsthand! So glad you enjoyed it!

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  15. I bet it was so fun! I didn't even realize that Disneyland Paris had a race, so it's great to hear more about it!

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    1. Thanks Wendy. We probably would not go back because there are so many great races, but it was a lot of fun and what's not to like about Paris!

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  16. This is really helpful information! It is amazing to see how quickly things add up.

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    1. It was a pricy trip, but so glad we could do it.

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  17. I'm so glad you guys are sharing this information - I would love to run this event one year but have no clue what I'm doing so this will be very helpful for the future!

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    1. Booking through the Paris travel group made it pretty simple. All we had to do was plan flights, transportation (simple) and meals!

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  18. My daughter and I have run the Disneyland half marathon in Anaheim and have visited Paris, but to do both would be AMAZING. Could you give me a ballpark figure for what you spent for the both of you? I would likely plan a similar trip (one and done) and would be willing to splurge a little for convenience sake.

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    1. This totally depends on where you stay and where you live (flight cost etc). I really don't know the total cost, but you can find most of the information online or by calling the Disney travel company for pricing. I am pretty sure Get Travel had packages so they could be helpful.

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  19. All great information :) Your run outfits matching is the best! The polka dots are too cute :) What a great pic in front the hotel.

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