Up until last month I had stayed at Hotel Santa Fe, Hotel Cheyenne, Sequoia Lodge Hotel, Newport Bay Club and Hotel New York. So aside from the 15 minute drive away Davy Crockett Ranch, I had stayed at every on site Disneyland Paris Hotel, except one. For 15 years and 20+ visits, I was finally going to stay in the Disneyland Hotel – you know, that big pink one that you walk underneath to go through the main turnstiles of Disneyland Park. In true Steve fashion, I’ve gone all these years as a fan of Disneyland Paris without even looking at photos of a Disneyland Hotel bedroom, just in case. Got to keep a lid on those spoilers.
I was lucky enough to be invited to attend the Disney FanDaze announcement event on September 30th, and that included a night in the Disneyland Hotel. Check in was at 3pm and on entering the lobby I got that familiar feeling I’ve had every single I’ve been in Disneyland Hotel, that it’s just a matter of time until someone comes over and asks me to leave. I’m sure you were expecting me to comment on the smell, or the wallpaper, or some other observation regarding the opulent surroundings, but overwhelmingly, I always feel like I don’t belong there. Now that’s on me, and I get that, but staying in the top hotels or eating in the most exclusive restaurants hasn’t been a part of my life, so it’s almost unsettling when I find myself in that situation. One of the people I was with asked why I was carrying my heavy suitcase up the flights of stairs to my room when there are bellboys to do that. That may be the case (no pun intended), but I’d feel awful asking someone to carry my luggage – that’s just not me, and never will be. While I am still able to, I’ll carry my own suitcase, thanks.
Check in was very smooth, and the receptionist even gave me the pen I’d used. I know it’s just a pen, but it says Disneyland Hotel on it, and you can’t buy it in the shops! I was only 2 flights up, I think, and down the corridor, around the corner, down another corridor and I was there, about to open the door to a room many have waxed lyrical about for years. Excitedly I plunged my key card into the slot and in I went. Underwhelmed is what I said I at the time and it’s the way I still feel now. The room was nice, and clean, but quite sterile and dare I say it dull. Dated pastel pinks and green floral carpets just don’t do it for me, and while I’m sure back in 1992 it felt magnificent, it felt its age in 2017. It was like walking into a Grandmother’s bedroom without the smell of lavender. Of course it’s all down to taste, and this really wasn’t mine.
It’s not all bad though, the Peter Pan painting on the front of the TV cabinet was beautiful, and the highlight of the room for me. Though I of course couldn’t look at it for too long as I had to open the doors and put on the fantastic Sophie, and hear her talking about the 10 Things Too Know Before You Go, repeatedly. Speaking of which, the sound from the television is piped through into the bathroom, with a volume control next to the toilet! This meant I could luxuriate in the deep bath whilst listening to Sophie’s boundless enthusiasm for Disneyland Paris – SORTED! In the bathroom the carved detail on the mirror frame was quite stunning, depicting Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The bathroom better than the bedroom in fact.
The bed was very comfy, and at 4pm I got a knock on the door to ask if said bed was okay – my first experience of a turndown service. My reply was that it was fine, to which the Cast Member handed me a Pinocchio story card and 4 Disneyland Hotel chocolates. Maybe I could get used to this after all. The view out of my window was of another wing of the Disneyland Hotel with some trees and a garden area below. It was certainly quiet and the coffee facilities were better than other hotels in Disneyland Paris, much to the delight of those with me, as not being a coffee drinker they had mine before dipping into their room supplies. Having your own kettle, hairdryer, iron and other bits that usually require a trip to reception is certainly a bonus, and it’s that convenience, along with being so close to Disneyland Park that really make the Disneyland Hotel stand out.
Breakfast was included in our stay, and the morning food offering in Inventions was incredible. A plate of sausages, eggs, beans, followed by smoked salmon and a selection of cheeses, finished off with Nutella dipped mini donuts (my own creation) is the perfect way to start the day in Disneyland Paris. It was quite strange being in Inventions with no characters, but Tigger was just outside the entrance to the restaurant, so as we left we got some fantastic photos with him, and what a playful mood he was in too!
I’m so very glad I got this opportunity and realise how fortunate I have been, but for me and my tastes, Disneyland Hotel just isn’t my preferred choice. I felt the Newport Bay Club managed the perfect combination of feeling like luxury and fun at the same time, whilst Hotel Cheyenne is leagues ahead of all the others for being the best themed hotel in Disneyland Paris, and is still, and probably even more so, my absolute favourite. With Hotel New York set to receive a Marvel retheme the refurbishment of Disneyland Hotel is going to be more important than ever. Looking at the record of success with Hotel refurbishments so far in Disneyland Paris, I’m excited to see what they have planned for Disneyland Hotel. Less pink please, there’s enough of that on the outside!