You’ve already upgraded from a standard lodge room to a Montana room, perhaps even a Lake View. But from April, Disney’s Sequoia Lodge begins offering an altogether more “exclusive” category of room with the launch of its own Golden Forest Club.
Modelled on the successful Castle Club of Disneyland Hotel and Empire State Club at Disney’s Hotel New York, these rooms will be located in the top floors of the main building and come complete with their own Golden Forest Club Lounge. Besides the privileged room location, benefits include breakfast with Disney characters and private reception, plus free soft drinks and afternoon snacks in the adjoining lounge, which is said to have a “beautiful tree” as its centrepiece.
Special Disney’s Fastpass tickets are also a benefit, although not as generous as the other “Clubs” which provide unlimited VIP Fastpass tickets: For Golden Forest Club, you’ll only receive one “Disney Hotel Fastpass” per person per day, which is a single-use, any-time, any-attraction ticket.
A higher tier means a higher price, and that’s especially true here. For one night including park tickets for two adults sharing a Golden Forest Club room, prices start at €634 according to Disneyland Paris’ standard pricing grids. That compares to €498 for a standard room at Sequoia Lodge and is notably more than the €596 for the same stay at the Admiral’s Floor of Disney’s Newport Bay Club, which doesn’t offer the private lounge nor any special Fastpass.
We’ve no doubt become acclimatised to the biannual Disneyland Paris ticket price rises in April and November each year — a pound here, a Euro there — but this season holds a pleasant surprise for visitors from the United Kingdom, at least. Rather than ticket prices jumping up again, as they did with a big increase for the price of longer stays in April, almost all of the Adult ticket prices and even a few Child prices have actually been reduced by a pound or more.
This means that a 1 Day/1 Park Ticket will now cost you a rounded £50 bought in advance from the UK, rather than the £51 before 8th November. Likewise, a 1 Day/2 Park Ticket has been rounded down to a neat £60. And, perhaps realising they stepped too far up earlier this year, the top 5 Day/2 Park Ticket has been reduced by a whole £8 to £169 (although with the Extra Day Free offer, the real price is £152 — and even then you’d be mad not to just buy an Annual Passport).
Here’s the full round-up of price changes for both Pound Sterling and Euros:
Ticket Type — Adult/Child (3-11yrs)
1 Day 1 Park
£51/£45 to £50/£45 (-£1/+-£0) — €57/€51 to €59/€53 (+€2/+€2)
1 Day 2 Parks
£61/£55 to £60/£54 (-£1/-£1) — €69/€62 to €71/€64 (+€2/+€2)
2 Days 2 Parks £108/£97 to £104/£94 (-£4/-£3) — €122/€109 to €123/€111 (+€1/+€2)
3 Days 2 Parks £134/£115 to £129/£117 (-£5/+£2) — €151/€130 to €153/€138 (+€2/+€8)
4 Days 2 Parks £159/£134 to £152/£137 (-£7/+£3) — €179/€151 to €180/€162 (+€1/+€11)
5 Days 2 Parks £177/£141 to £169/£152 (-£8/+£11) — €200/€180
1, 2, 3… 250,000,000! A huge milestone was celebrated at Disneyland Paris yesterday, 15th November 2011, as the resort welcomed its 250 millionth guest into the parks. That’s a quarter of a billion visitors in just 19 years, 7 months and 15 days. Yes, ok, so they’re still not able to turn a consistent net profit, but let the urban myth that Disney’s European resort has been under-attended since 1992 officially be put to rest. In the 2011 financial year, the parks set a new record of 15.6 million visitors, making the outlook for the 20th Anniversary year rosy indeed. With the usual birthday year boom, longer opening hours through the year and the premiere of Dreams, the resort may well hit the magical 16 million.
The guests in question yesterday received the honour of a celebratory ride up Main Street, U.S.A. on the Fire Truck with Disneyland Paris Ambassador Régis Alart and a photocall with Mickey, Minnie and Duffy in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle. Just like the 100 millionth visitors in 2001 and the 200 millionth visitors in 2008, they were a family of mum and dad with two photogenic young kids, but in a groundbreaking move they were Spanish, not French, and visiting for the fourth time. Euro Disney SCA’s own press release (PDF) notes that families with young children make up 66% of visitors. So, by those odds, maybe we’ll see someone from the other 34% awarded the 300 million honour in a few years?
Now in its third year, the event has become popular enough that 2011 will see not one but TWO nights of frights in the second gate, multiplying to cover both the 29th and 30th October 2011. This is in addition to the returning Not-So-Scary Halloween Party nights at Disneyland Park on 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th October and the main event itself, Disney’s Halloween Party on 31st October, giving a grand total of seven Halloween party nights. Scary!
So Disneyland Paris did sell enough tickets to justify these four after-hours parties? That’s what their official statement sent to ticketholders suggests, with the official reason actually being that the “prolonged refurbishments” throughout the park wouldn’t have allowed the parties to go ahead to the standard of quality Disney originally wanted. With Sleeping Beauty Castle half-covered in scrims, areas closed for repaving and of course the icon of the park’s pirating land, Captain Hook’s Pirate Ship, also soon set to undergo a complete rebuild, that’s probably true — they couldn’t have picked a worse time in the history of Fantasyland and Adventureland to promote a Princesses and Pirates event. Whilst some refurbishment dates have slipped, the final schedules were surely known some time ago now.
An official statement (translated from French) reads:
Mickey’s Princesses & Pirates Party due to take place on 1st, 10th, 17th and 24th June in Fantasyland and Adventureland have been cancelled due to prolonged refurbishments underway in some parts of Disneyland. We are aware of your disappointment regarding the cancellation of these events, however this decision was taken because the current conditions would not permit the event to meet the Disney standard of quality. Disneyland Paris apologise for the inconvenience and thank visitors for their loyalty.
Visitors who have reserved tickets for the evenings can get a refund by contacting our reservation center at 01 60 30 30 30 or their tour operator.
For those who are still visiting the resort on the scheduled dates, in addition to a full refund of the ticket price, we invite you to join us in the space of Hurricane’s Disney Village between 5pm and 8pm on the day of the event originally planned, to spend a moment with our Disney Princesses and Pirates with a refreshing drink.* (*Details to be confirmed upon refunding of ticket)
It was confirmed today that all four Mickey’s Princesses & Pirates Party events, due to take place in June, have been officially cancelled. Originally scheduled for the 1st, 10th, 17th and 24th June, the new after-hours parties promised exclusive events and character encounters, with attractions open in Adventureland and Fantasyland, for €25 or £22. Anyone who has already bought tickets will be contacted directly by Disneyland Paris with an official statement.
We announced the details just last month and you can see the full list of events-that-weren’t-to-be on a guide page here. No reason for the cancellation has yet been given, although the obvious assumption would be poor ticket sales. The combination of Pirates, Princesses and exclusive after-hours rides might have seemed a winning formula, but for events costing €25 and beginning at 8pm, when most children are already tired or worn out from a day in the parks, they were perhaps pinpointed at a much too young demographic. Beyond the rides, the promised entertainment offered little for all but the most obsessive character fans, and even the attraction count was a meagre eight with Pirates of the Caribbean the biggest thrill. Similar events in the US have given access to the whole park and often a fireworks show, enticing adult visitors. Hopefully this won’t put off any future attempts for new nighttime parties at Disneyland Paris — but next time, perhaps some better audience research could be involved.
If you’re looking to visit Disneyland Paris this summer on a regular park ticket and on a limited budget, you might be forced to keep those Magical Moments briefer than you’d like. The start of the new season on 6th April saw the prices of Park Tickets updated and another inevitable rise, although this year seems to have hit longer stay tickets particularly hard. So much so that it’s official: a regular 5 Days 2 Parks ticket now costs more than a Dream annual pass! That’s the top tier Passeport Annuel, offering 365 days access and big discounts on dining and shopping.
With many of us taking price of those fairly reasonably-priced annual passports, we should probably keep quiet — but it’s still worthwhile to note the prices Disneyland Paris is charging for the vast majority of visitors. The biggest rise comes on the 4 Days 2 Parks ticket, which has increased by £13 for Brits or a huge €16 at the gate compared to the previous prices. For British visitors, the increase comes on top of a continually poor exchange rate, pushing the longest 5 Day ticket to a whopping £177, equivalent to €200.87 or €1 more than that €199 Dream pass.
Of course, there are several official special offers for tickets which run practically year-round — a cheaper 1 Day 2 Parks ticket and “one day free” offers for 3 and 4 day tickets — but the resort seems to be pushing its prices across the board in the hope of increased revenues as it pushes to break even. Already this year we’ve seen far less generous offers for hotel bookings, with last year’s almost frivolous 40% Off matched with only a 20% package discount this year — upped to 25% only as the deadline neared. The resort almost seemed to be selling itself cheap — having high prices but cutting them almost in half, which can look tacky to the consumer — but is it now selling itself too high? Read More…
Your Disneyland Paris park ticket will be celebrating the Disney Magical Moments Festival very soon. Like the past three celebrations, a number of different coloured ticket designs will be available, each featuring one of the key characters of the year. Whilst last year was all about the New Generation, this year sees some old favourites such as Timon and Pumba, Captain Hook and the Queen of Hearts given their own design. The golden tickets also now clearly state “2 Parcs” and the logo used this year is the main Disneyland Paris logo, rather than the festival logo. Although the tickets still have some way to go to beat the boldness of the 1990s designs, they might become even more collectible. As more and more visitors now print out their own rather drab “E-Tickets” at home, these “proper” tickets must surely be beginning to drop in circulation.
The resort’s four Annual Passports will also be updated, with Rapunzel’s huge box office success in Tangled scoring her the prized “Dream” spot already, from Woody and Buzz last year.
More gates for the second gate! This new pair of turnstiles at the entrance to Walt Disney Studios Park which began construction way back at the end of October finally came into service at the weekend, to help ease queues at the entrance. No, really — if you’re not a frequent Disneyland Paris visitor, it’s actually more common to have to queue to enter the Studios than Disneyland Park next door. Though admittedly, yes, mostly because the Studios was originally only built with a modest 12 turnstiles, compared to more than double that number next door. Guest flow in the area also suffers because the park doesn’t have the two wider periphery exit gates on either side as at Disneyland Park, meaning its regular entrance gates have to gradually switch over to exit gates through the day.
Anyway, it may have taken over four months but the results are rather pleasing to the eye. Two new columns, exactly matching those of the Studios’ original entrance arches, have been built to support a new turquoise/green-painted wooden canopy, which gives the new turnstile cover without detracting from the main archway.
These two new turnstiles actually bring the total to 16 (perhaps a lucky number for the park..?), since back in 2007 an additional two were added on the other side of the plaza, next to Walt Disney Studios Store. Only given a cheap fabric canopy at the time, that gate has now been swiftly surrounded by the same construction walls used for the new turnstile, surely hinting that it’s about to be given a more substantial, matching canopy to give some symmetry to the whole entrance plaza.
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