girl with baloons
Home exchange stories, Intervac, News, Newsletter Archive

🎉 Joyeux Anniversaire 🎂 et témoignages de membres 65-year anniversary.

Joyeux Anniversaire Intervac !

En 1953, les dirigeants des syndicats d’enseignants suisses et nĂ©erlandais ont dĂ©cidĂ© qu’un système d’Ă©change de maisons pour les vacances devrait ĂŞtre formellement organisĂ©. Ainsi est nĂ© Intervac !

Cette année, nous célébrons notre 65ème anniversaire. Merci de nous soutenir.

Jetez un oeil Ă  notre histoire dans la chronologie.

Les visages d’Intervac

L’ère des catalogues avant Internet

Dans les annĂ©es 1980, Intervac produisait 3 catalogues par an. DistribuĂ© par voie postale uniquement aux membres inscrits, chaque catalogue comptait jusqu’Ă  200 pages, et chaque page prĂ©sentait 30 Ă  35 annonces, selon le nombre de photos incluses. Les pages intĂ©rieures Ă©taient imprimĂ©es en couleur sĂ©pia, seule la couverture Ă©tait en couleur.

Lucien Mazik se souviend

Est-ce aussi votre 65ème anniversaire, ou allez-vous réaliser votre 65ème échange de maisons, ou peut-être avez-vous un autre 65ème anniversaire à célébrer ?

Partagez votre histoire


DĂ©couvrez les nouveaux Ambassadeurs Intervac

En Suède Aux Etats-Unis
Malin Nielsen, SE13922 Edda Caban, US720219
Pour Malin, Intervac est la meilleure façon de voyager si vous êtes intéressé à vraiment entrer en contact avec la culture et les gens de votre destination. Edda et sa famille pratiquent les échanges depuis de nombreuses années. Edda a même ouvert un compte Instagram l’année dernière. Regardez le à @Intervac.USA. Son merveilleux échange en Italie.

Histoires de membres

Maria Rosa Giannalia, IT149

Maria et son mari ont réalisé leur dernier échange à Amsterdam. Ils ont été enchantés par la dynamique de cette belle ville.

Lire la suite de l’histoire

 

Maria and husband

Edda Caban, US720219

Notre nouvelle ambassadrice Edda a vécu un merveilleux échange en Italie en 2016. Son mari, sa soeur et son beau-frère l’ont rejointe pour découvrir le pays. Ils ont été accueillis chaleureusement par leurs hôtes et ont visité Rome, Terni, Assise, Orvieto, Spoleto, Narni, Gubbio et Bevagna. Ils ont fait des randonnées jusqu’aux chutes de Marmore, magnifique site naturel, et ont même participé à une fête médiévale. Ebba a également eu le plaisir de goûter la délicieuse cuisine et le vin de la région.

Lire l’histoire complète

 


Chaque échange de maisons est une unique expérience.

Partagez la vĂ´tre


La Hot List de Mai 2018

Les annonces déclarées Hot sont affichées pendant 4 jours seulement dans la Hot List. Les membres qui y placent leur annonce sont donc en recherche active pour trouver un échange sous moins de huit semaines.

Budapest, Hungary #HUOC0305

My beautiful one bedroom flat is in the full center of Budapest, on the 7th floor (with a lift). The flat is bright with big windows, overlooking a small street, next to a park and the Danube over it. There are also lots of little shops, nice bars, and restaurants in the neighbourghood. The public transportation is great with the metro and trams 2, 4 and 6 that take you all around town.

Wicklow Town, Irland #IE9091

We live in a nice bungalow (one level house) with large private back garden suitable for children with a trampoline and goal post.

The house itself is a 10 minute walk to the local town of Wicklow with a variety of restaurants, pubs and shops. There is also a skate park and playground.

Kissimee #US1016764

Large 5 bedroom – Pool home – close to Disney and other central Florida attractions. Ideal for a family vacation. Pets are welcome.

 

 

OĂą trouver la Hot List ?

Consultez notre blog (Anglais)


 

Maria and husband
Home exchange stories, Travel

Eficacia en Amsterdam

Unas vacaciones fantásticas

El último intercambio que tuvimos fue con una familia en Amsterdam. Fueron unas vacaciones fantásticas; hemos disfrutado de la ciudad como lo hacían los holandeses. Dimos hermosos paseos por el centro histórico de la capital, disfrutando de sus canales, de los cambiantes colores de su noche y paseando  sin preocupaciones por las grandes y pequeñas arterias de esta maravillosa ciudad.

Acogedor y disponible

Disfrutamos de la eficiencia del Norte.  Nosotros vivimos en Cerdeña, donde tenemos una bella naturaleza, el paisaje del mar y mucho sol, pero, siendo sinceros, carecemos de eficiencia.

En Amsterdam, nos gustaba coger autobuses (tienen un sistema de transporte muy eficiente), sin que tuviéramos que perder mucho tiempo,  incluso para llegar a lugares alejados de la casa en la que éramos huéspedes.

Apreciamos el estilo de vida holandés, sin estereotipos; acogedor y disponible.

Visitamos Haarlem, Delf, Rotterdam con su puerto futurista y conocimos la geografía del país y la habilidad de los holandeses, que han sido capaces de transformar las tierras bajas en una oportunidad real de riqueza y bienestar. Estamos satisfechos con este viaje y como broche final, nuestros compañeros de intercambio nos han contado de su entusiasmo por Cerdeña y su mar encantador.

Maria Rosa Giannalia, IT149

Maria and husband

Maria and husband
Home exchange stories, Travel

Efficiency in Amsterdam

Fantastic holiday

The last exchange we have had with a family in Amsterdam. It was a fantastic holiday, where we have enjoyed the city. We did as the Dutch do: Beautiful walks through the history centre, enjoying the canals, mingle at the multicolors of the night, walking lightheadedly through the big and small streets of this wonderful city.

Welcoming and available

We enjoyed the efficiency of the Nord. Since we live in Sardegna, where we have a beautiful nature, the scenery at the sea and a lot of sun – but to say the truth, we lack in efficiency.

It was so easy to take buses everywhere (which were very efficient), without taking much time even to reach places far from the house in which we were guests. Dutch lifestyle suited us, not at all like the stereotypes; welcoming and available. We visited Haarlem, Delf, Rotterdam with its futuristic port, got to know the geography of Holland and the skill of the Dutch, who have been able to transform lowlands into a real opportunity for richness & wellbeing. We were satisfied with this journey. However, our partners have told us of their enthusiasm for Sardinia and its enchanting sea.

Maria Rosa Giannalia, IT149

Maria and husband

Home exchange stories, Travel

Mehr als nur ein Haustausch…

Das “echte” Italien

Wo wir zu unserem jährlichen Haustausch hinreisen sollten, war keine schwere Entscheidung mehr, als wir uns für Italien entschieden hatten.

Wir wollten das “echte” Italien kennenlernen, von dem wir so oft geträumt hatten. Wir wollten die Landschaften, lebhaften kleinen Dörfer, Märkte, vorzĂĽgliche KĂĽche, fazinierende Kultur und die grossartigen Leute kennenlernen.

Genau diese Erfahrungen fanden wir bei unserem Haustausch in Terni, Umbrien (IT008500).

Freundliche Gastgeber

Nach ein paar grossartigen Tagen in Rom stiegen Bill, ich, meine Schwester und mein Schwager in den Zug in das 1 Stunde entfernte Terni. Wir waren aufgeregt und gespannt. Als wir am Bahnhof ankamen wurden wir bereits von unseren Super-Gastgebern empfangen. Emanuela, Paolo und ihr Sohn Leonardo hatten alles sorgfälltig für die Gruppe organisiert.

Unsere Gastgeberin übernahm sofort die Rolle der Reiseführerin und wies uns auf Pärke, Geschäfte und Sehenswürdigkeiten in ihrer wunderschönen Stadt hin. Als wir in ihrer komfortable Wohnung ankamen, wurden wir vom Duft des köstlichen Willkommensessen begrüsst, welches ihre mamma für uns vorbereitet hatte. Ihr Ehemann, Paolo, gesellte sich für das Festmahl zu uns und unser Familienabenteuer begann.

Unsere Gastgeber nahmen sich Zeit und stellten eine lange Liste mit Sehenswürdigkeiten zusammen-Restaurants, Geschäfte, Wanderrouten und Wasserfälle. Sie gingen über sich hinaus, um unseren Besuch unvergesslich zu machen. Sie organisierten eine fantastische Weintour in einer der lokalen Cantinas, FAttoria Le Poggette, mit ihrem Freund und Weinbauer, Franco. Wir kaufen unseren Vorrat von köstlichem Wein für die Woche (wir ware sehr glücklich!).

Ein anderes Mal nahmen sie uns mit zu einem mittelalterlichen Bankett in Bevagna, wo wir ihre Freunde trafen und ein einzigartiges und leckeres mittelalterliches Mahl erlebten! Es war ein unvergesslicher Abend mit Musik, Essen, Tanzen in der Gesellschaft von Freunden.

Abenteuer

Jeder Tag barg ein neues Abenteuer, wir wanderten zu den Marmore Wasserfällen und der wunderschönen Umgebung, genossen die Aussicht auf den Piediluco Lake, besuchten die Städte Assisi, Orvieto, Spoleto, Narni, Gubbio, Trevi und unsere Gastgeber stellten während der ganzen Zeit sicher, das sie immer erreichbar waren.

Bevor wir die Reise durch das restliche Land fortsetzten, organisierten Emanuela und Paolo ein Abschiedsessen für uns und ihre engsten Freunde. Ein unvergesslicher Abend mit unglaublichem Essen, hervorragenden Weinen mit unseren neugewonnenen Freunden. Wir fühlten uns gesegnet diese wundervollen Erinnerungen zu teilen, welche ein Leben lang währen werden.

Intervac hat es uns ermöglicht faszinierende Personen in der ganzen Welt kennenzulernen. Wir haben kostbare Freundschaften geschlossen…unsere erweiterte Intervac Familie.

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Home exchange stories, Travel

More than just a house exchange….

“Real” Italy

Deciding where to go on our annual home exchange was an easy task when choosing Italy as our destination two years ago.

We wanted to visit the “real” Italy we all had daydreamed about so many times.  We wanted to experience the country’s lush landscapes, vibrant small towns, markets filled with colourful vegetables, delicious food, endless cantinas with wine, fascinating culture and heritage, and best of all—Italy’s amazing people.

This is exactly what we found in our home exchange in Terni, in the Umbria region. (IT008500)

Welcoming hosts

After spending a few amazing days in Rome, Bill, myself, my sister and brother-in-law hopped on the train to Terni, about an hour away.  Filled with excitement and expectation, we arrived at the station were our super host was eagerly waiting for us.  Emanuela, Paolo and their son Leonardo had everything meticulously organized for the group.

Our hostess immediately took on the role of a tour guide pointing out parks, stores and points of interest in her beautiful quaint city.  When we arrived at her comfortable apartment the smell of a welcoming lunch, deliciously prepared by her mamma, took us by surprise. Her husband, Paolo, joined us for the feast, and our family adventure began!

Our hosts took the time to put together an extensive list of places to go around the city, restaurants, shops, and places of interest in nearby villages, beautiful hiking trails and waterfalls.  They went above and beyond to make sure our stay with them was memorable. They organized a fantastic wine tour at one of the local cantinas, Fattoria Le Poggette, with their friend and viticulturist, Franco.  We purchased our supply of delicious wines for the week (we were very happy!).

On another occasion, they took us to a medieval banquet in the nearby town of Bevagna, where we met up with their friends to enjoy what was the most unique and delicious medieval feast we had ever experienced!  It was really an unforgettable evening, filled with music, food, dancing and the company of our new friends.

Adventures

Every day called for adventure, we hiked the Marmore falls and its beautiful natural environment, enjoyed the vistas of the Piediluco Lake, visited the towns of Assisi, Orvieto, Spoleto, Narni, Gubbio, Trevi, and during this time, our hosts made sure we were enjoying ourselves with a text or a phone call.

Before continuing on our journey through the rest of the country, Emanuela and Paolo organized a going away dinner for us with their close friends.  What an unforgettable evening it was filled with incredible food, outstanding wines, and the company of our newfound friends. We felt special, blessed to share wonderful memories that will last us for a lifetime.

Intervac has allowed us to meet fascinating people around the world. We have created friendships that are priceless to us, each one of them a special part of our family…our extended Intervac family.

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Home exchange stories, Intervac, Travel

Más que un simple intercambio de casas …

La Italia “real”

Decidir dónde ir en nuestro intercambio anual de casas, hace dos años,  fue una tarea fácil al elegir Italia como nuestro país de destino.

QuerĂ­amos visitar la Italia “real” que todos habĂ­amos soñado tantas veces. QuerĂ­amos experimentar los paisajes del paĂ­s, las vibrantes ciudades pequeñas, los mercados llenos de coloridas verduras, deliciosa comida, las numerosas cantinas con vino, fascinante cultura y patrimonio, y lo mejor de todo: la gente increĂ­ble de Italia.

Esto es exactamente lo que encontramos en nuestro intercambio de casas en Terni, en la regiĂłn de UmbrĂ­a. (IT # 008500).

SĂşper anfitriĂłn

Después de pasar unos días increíbles en Roma, Bill, yo, mi hermana y mi cuñado saltamos en tren a Terni, a una hora de distancia. Llenos de emoción y expectativa, llegamos a la estación donde nuestro súper anfitrión nos estaba esperando con impaciencia. Emanuela, Paolo y su hijo Leonardo tenían todo meticulosamente organizado para el grupo.

Nuestra anfitriona inmediatamente asumió el rol de guía turístico señalando parques, tiendas y puntos de interés en su bella y pintoresca ciudad. Cuando llegamos a su cómodo apartamento, el olor de un almuerzo de bienvenida, deliciosamente preparado por su madre, nos cogió por sorpresa. Su esposo, Paolo, se unió a nosotros para la fiesta, ¡y nuestra aventura familiar comenzó!

Nuestros anfitriones dedicaron parte de su tiempo en preparar una extensa lista de lugares que recorrer en la ciudad.  Restaurantes, tiendas y lugares de interés en pueblos cercanos, hermosos senderos para caminatas y cascadas. Hicieron todo lo posible para asegurarse de que nuestra estancia fuera memorable. Organizaron un fantástico tour del vino en uno de los bares de la localidad, Fattoria Le Poggette, con su amigo y viticultor, Franco. Allí compramos nuestro suministro de buenos vinos para toda la semana (¡estábamos contentísimos!).

En otra ocasión, nos llevaron a un banquete medieval en la cercana ciudad de Bevagna, donde nos encontramos con sus amigos para disfrutar de lo que fue la fiesta medieval más deliciosa y única que jamás hayamos experimentado. Fue realmente una velada inolvidable, llena de música, comida, baile y la compañía de nuestros nuevos amigos.

Aventura

Todos los días eran una nueva aventura: caminamos por las cascadas de Marmore y su hermoso entorno natural, disfrutamos de las vistas del lago Piediluco, visitamos las ciudades de Asís, Orvieto, Spoleto, Narni, Gubbio, Trevi, y durante todo ese tiempo, nuestros anfitriones se aseguraban de que estábamos disfrutando con un mensaje de texto o una llamada telefónica.

Antes de continuar nuestro viaje por el resto del país, Emanuela y Paolo organizaron una cena de despedida para nosotros con sus amigos cercanos. Qué noche inolvidable,  con una comida increíble, excelentes vinos y la compañía de nuestros nuevos amigos. Nos sentimos especiales, bendecidos por compartir estos maravillosos recuerdos que nos durarán toda la vida.

Intervac nos ha permitido conocer a personas fascinantes de todo el mundo. Hemos creado amistades que no tienen precio para nosotros, cada una de ellas es una parte especial de nuestra familia … nuestra extensa familia de Intervac.

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Home exchange stories, Travel

Efficacité à Amsterdam

Des vacances fantastiques

Notre dernier échange était avec une famille d’Amsterdam. Ce furent des vacances fantastiques. Nous avons profité de la ville comme de véritables Dutch. De belles promenades à travers le centre historique, le long des canaux où se reflètent de multiples couleurs et où la lumière se promène jusque dans les petites rues de cette ville merveilleuse.

Accueillants et disponibles

Nous vivons en Sardaigne oĂą nous avons une belle nature, beaucoup de soleil et le paysage magnifique de la mer, mais Ă  Amsterdam nous avons apprĂ©ciĂ© l’efficacitĂ© nordique, ce qui nous manque un peu au pays.

Par exemple, nous avons vraiment aimé pouvoir prendre le bus partout (ce qui était très efficace), sans perdre beaucoup de temps même pour se rendre dans des endroits éloignés de notre maison d’échange. Nous avons goûté au style de vie des néerlandais, accueillants et disponibles, pas comme les stéréotypes. Nous avons visité Haarlem, Delf, Rotterdam et son port futuriste. Nous avons découvert la géographie de la Hollande et l’ingéniosité des Dutch qui ont su transformer les basses terres en véritables sources de richesse et de bien-être. Nous avons été très satisfaits de ce voyage comme nos partenaires qui nous ont fait part de leur enthousiasme pour la Sardaigne et sa mer enchanteresse.

Maria Rosa Giannalia, IT149

Maria and husband

Home exchange stories, Intervac, Travel

Plus qu’un simple échange de maisons….

La “vraie” Italie

Décider du lieu de notre échange annuel n’était pas une tâche difficile en choisissant l’Italie comme destination il y a deux ans.

Nous voulions visiter la “vraie” Italie dont nous avions tous rêvé de si nombreuses fois. Nous voulions découvrir les paysages luxuriants du pays, les petites villes animées, les marchés remplis de légumes colorés, la délicieuse cuisine, le vin et les interminables cantinas, le fascinant patrimoine culturel et le meilleur d’entre tous : les gens extraordinaires de l’Italie.

C’est exactement ce que nous avons trouvé avec notre échange de maisons à Terni, dans la région de l’Ombrie (IT#008500)

Super hĂ´tes

Après avoir passé quelques jours extraordinaires à Rome, nous avons avec mon mari Bill, ma soeur et mon beau-frère sauté dans le train pour Terni, à environ une heure de voyage. Remplis d’excitation et d’impatience, nous avons été accueillis en gare par nos super hôtes Emanuela, Paola et leur fils Leonardo qui avaient méticuleusement tout bien organisé pour notre groupe.

Notre hôte Emanuela s’est transformée en guide touristique nous informant des parcs à visiter, des commerces où aller et des sites à découvrir dans sa belle ville pittoresque. A notre arrivée dans leur confortable appartement, une agréable surprise nous attendait : un déjeuner cuisiné par la mamma qui sentait délicieusement bon. Toute la famille d’Emanuela s’est jointe à nous pour le festin et c’est ainsi que notre aventure d’échange a commencé !

Nos hôtes ont pris le temps de dresser une longue liste d’endroits pour faire le tour de la ville, des restaurants, des magasins et aussi des lieux d’intérêt à visiter aux alentours, les villages, les sentiers de randonnées et les cascades. Ils ont tout fait pour rendre notre séjour vraiment remarquable. Ils ont organisé une fantastique visite vinicole dans l’une des cantinas locales, la Fattoria Le Poggette, tenue par leur ami viticulteur, Franco. Nous y avons acheté de délicieux vins pour notre semaine d’échange (et nous étions très heureux !).

A une autre occasion, nos hôtes nous ont emmenés à un banquet médiéval dans une ville voisine, Bevagna. Nous nous sommes retrouvés avec leurs amis et nous avons profité de la plus unique et délicieuse fête médiévale jamais connue auparavant ! Ce fut une soirée inoubliable, remplie de musique, de nourriture, de danse et de la compagnie de nos nouveaux amis.

Chaque jour Ă©tait une aventure nouvelle. Nous avons fait des randonnĂ©es près des chutes Marmore dans un magnifique environnement naturel; nous avons profitĂ© des vues sur le lac Piediluco, visitĂ© les villes d’Assise, Orvieto, Spoleto, Narni, Gubbio, Trevi et pendant ce temps, nos hĂ´tes se sont assurĂ©s que nous nous amusions avec un petit texto un appel tĂ©lĂ©phonique.

Avant notre départ pour continuer notre voyage dans le reste du pays, Emanuela et Paulo nous ont invité à dîner avec leurs amis. Nous avons été honorés de partager cette belle soirée mémorable, avec de merveilleux souvenirs que nous garderons pour la vie.

Intervac nous a permis de rencontrer des gens fascinants dans le monde entier. Nous avons crée des amitiés inestimables, chacune ayant une place spéciale dans notre famille … notre famille Intervac étendue.

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Home exchange stories, Intervac

82ND – Wintertime in Greece!

As we have just retired, exchanging houses is on top of our bucket list! So we have had the opportunity to exchange houses with a Greek family.

Evdokia and Minas from Kavala near Thessaloniki had contacted us just before our New Year’s exchange in Leeuwarden, European cultural capital of 2018.

We booked our flights and were lucky to exchange cars also. And so we arrived in the middle of winter at Thessaloniki Airport. 

After searching car keys and texting each other where to find the cars, we were ready to explore Thessaloniki.

An amazing city full of culture, Roman and Byzantine and a lot of hidden spots we hadn’t expected. We admired the beautiful churches and “The Rotunda”! In ancient times its mosaics must have been as splendid and impressing as the ones we had been able to admire in Ravenna during a former exchange.

Soon it was time for our first Greek coffee and surprisingly, even in wintertime, we could enjoy a frappe! Love it!

In the evening my wife and I reached the lovely seaside village Palaio near Kavala. Thanks to the neighbours we had a very warm welcome and the great meal Evdokia had prepared made us feel most welcome!

During our exchange, we visited Filippi, the old town with the forum and its splendid theatre, all without the overpopulation of summertime visitors!

We loved the beautiful walks into the Nestos Valley, enjoyed wandering around unspoiled small towns like Drama, Amphelio and Kavala.

We took a boat trip to the island of Thasos, visited its beaches and white marble quarries. In Skala Panagias we witnessed inhabitants dancing in the streets.

Just Greece as we like Greece to be.

Happy people, enjoying life.

And so did we, being Greeks for ten amazing days!

Frans and Sonja / BE022

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This is part of the Intervac Home exchange stories series. Do you have a story yourself? We would love to hear about it! Tell us your story.

Home exchange stories, Intervac, Travel

Disneyland Paris

As parents of two little princesses, we had been dreaming of going to Disneyland for some time.

As we live in Europe, Disneyland Paris, formerly known as Eurodisney, was our choice.Sleeping beauty castle in Disneyland Paris

The problem was the budget for it: Disney tickets alone are not cheap, looking for a Disneyland hotel or even a Paris hotel booking is a nightmare and then there were also the plane tickets.

We live on an island (Madeira Island, Portugal), so avoiding airfare costs was not an option. Fortunately, we found reasonable prices with the low-cost airline Transavia that flies directly to Paris from Madeira, but also from around 40 other locations in Europe.

Disneyland Accommodation

The accommodation problem was the easiest for us to solve. I think most people start planning their Disneyland trip by analyzing Disneyland Paris packages. But not us 🙂 Were we going to look for Disneyland hotel deals? No! We had been Intervac members for many years and knew home exchange was the way to go. We just had to decide exactly where we wanted to exchange to and start sending out offers.

The decision was eventually for the area around Place de la Nation. This was the best for us because using the RER-A train we could get to Disneyland Resort Paris in about 30 minutes.

We could use the same train line or the subway to get to the tourist attractions of Paris, such as the Eiffel Tower, or the Arc de Triomphe in 15 to 30 minutes.

RER-A train map - how to get to Disneyland Paris

So that was the area we did a home exchange too. And that came with the added benefit of being in a residential area. We had several small supermarkets, bakeries and restaurants around our exchange apartment and even a very nice playground right out our door.

Doing a home exchange was a brilliant solution: it allowed us to stay in Paris for 2 full weeks and to go to Disneyland for 6 days. On the other days we explored Paris at the leisurely pace you take when you are on holidays with kids.

Disneyland Tickets and Passes

But let me get back to the Disneyland Paris tickets. If you are considering going to Disneyland Paris for 3 days or more, I highly recommend that you buy their Annual Pass (Passeport Annuel). It might seem an overkill to buy an annual pass to visit for 3, 4, 5 or 6 days, but it actually pays up if you do the math. Check out all the information on the official site Disneyland Paris http://www.disneylandparis.co.uk/annual-passports/ and please note that the names and conditions for the passes changed on March 29, 2017.

Our Annual Passports were our Disneyland Paris cheap ticketsThese passes all need to be bought inside Disneyland itself. You can get a 10% discount if you have a sponsor (an Annual Passport holder). You can get all the information on this on the DLP Guide website http://www.dlpguide.com/planning/booking/annual-passports/ We also used their forum MagicForum to find a sponsor http://www.magicforum.eu/

After getting to Disneyland here is how we got our passes: we bought 1-day tickets at the gate, went to the Bureau Passeport Annuel, met our sponsors there and got our Annual Passes with the discount. The price for the 1-day tickets was fully refunded. The full process took us about 1 hour, but it was totally worth it: we went back in the Summer 2017 and used the same passes again 🙂

After getting in, we got our Disney Paris map (which includes the two parks: Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios) and the programme for the shows and parades. They are both essential but the programme is the only one you can check online in PDF format (it changes weekly) http://download.disneylandparis.com/Disneyland-Paris_Shows-and-Parades.pdf.

The map can only be checked online in an interactive version (you won’t be able to print the Disneyland map if that is what you had in mind…).

A great addition to the map is the mobile app. Of course, you will need to have a tablet or smartphone with you (and Internet connection). Disneyland Paris mapWe used the app a lot to check the wait time for attractions and decide where to go next http://www.disneylandparis.co.uk/mobile-app/

The wait time shown at the entrance of the attractions and on the app seemed to be accurate and that was quite useful.

I have some more tips if you are visiting Disneyland Paris with kids.

Disneyland Shows and Parades Tips

  • Do all the shows in the Walt Disney Studio parkMickey and the Magician in the  Animagique Theater was our favourite, but the Moteurs… Action! car stunt show was also great. Disney Junior Live on Stage is geared towards young kids but it was a bit more challenging because our kids don’t speak English or French. Art of Disney Animation, in turn, was geared towards the adults and we loved it!
  • Disney Stars on Parade in the main park is the new parade that started in March 2017. It is a must see and happens only once throughout the day, so ensure you take note of the time. Great views are available anywhere along the parade route, and additionally from the Main Street USA railroad station. In both cases, you should steak out your spot about 15 minutes prior to the start of the parade for unobstructed views, but any more than this is usually unnecessary.
  • Disney Illuminations is a multimedia nighttime show, featuring fireworks, water effects music and video. Great for both the kids and the adults! It uses Sleeping Beauty’s castle as its projection screen, so is best viewed as straight on as possible. To claim a perfect spot for this, you will need to try at least one hour in advance of the show during high-season. Please note that anywhere on Main Street will provide a good view. Simply check if you can see the whole castle.   

General Disneyland Tips

  • Meeting Snow White at the Princess Pavillion in Disneyland ParisKids dressing up seem to get lots more attention from Disney characters. Also if your girl is dressed up as Snow White your party won’t have to queue for the Snow White ride, the group can get in through the exit (or sometimes through the Fast Pass entry). Just speak to the Cast members at the exit and they will promptly let you know how to get in. The same goes for Peter Pan, Tinkerbell and other characters. Another advantage of having your kids dressed up is that they have a good excuse not to buy them the overpriced (but beautiful!) costumes at the Disney stores throughout the park.
  • Queues for the Disneyland Railroad are significantly longer at the entry gates (Main Street USA) than at other stations. If you just want to ride it for the grand tour of the park get on at the Frontierland or Fantasyland stations which even include seating areas (although limited).
  • Use the FastPass for the attractions that allow it and have longer queues like Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast and Ratatouille: The Adventure. You can only have one FASTPASS® ticket at a time per person. Another ticket can only be obtained once the previous one has been used or 2 hours after the previous one.
  • When visiting with small children, always take advantage of the Baby Swap service on rides for which children are too small. This will allow one of the adults to queue, while the other adult waits with the child, and can then enter through the exit or Fastpass queue as soon as the first rider leaves.
  • It is often quicker to meet Mickey Mouse at the Toon Studio (in the Studio Park Backlot) than at his home in the main park. Queues for other characters near Mickey at the Toon Studio are often even shorter. Also, if you are not up to queuing you always take a picture from a distance in no time!
  • Contrary to popular belief, you are welcome to take outside food or drink into the park, and eat there.
    Gazebo at the entrance of Disneyland ParisThe security check will not confiscate outside food and drink. Simply make sure you don’t take alcohol, or drinks in glass bottles. Sandwiches, snacks, drinks can be brought into the park and eaten. Restrictions would only apply to anyone taking up a lot of space in the park for an extended period of time. Our favourites were the pre-prepared salads from the supermarket: there is quite a variety and having the salads at hand meant no queuing for lunch.
    Our favourite area for eating was right at the entrance, both to the left and right you have a green area with several seats with shade and some even with a beautiful gazebo.

What to do while waiting in line in Disneyland?

And trust me, there will be waiting in line… Here are some ideas:

–          Decide where to go next using the app or the map

–          Talk: discuss how things were made or planned, ask the kids trivia questions about the Disney movies or shows they have watched

–           Look: notice things around you together; the details, colours, look for hidden Mickeys

–           Take pictures

–           Games

  1.        I Spy, with my little eye
  2.        Simon says – clap your hands, touch your nose, count to 10, stick out your tongue, stand on your tippy toes
  3.        Animal Charades
  4.        The Alphabet Game – find objects around you (eg clothing and signs) from A-Z.
  5.        Character Alphabet  – list characters from A-Z (villains, princesses, cartoons, etc.)
  6.        Botticelli – take on the persona of a well-known person, give other players the initials. Players ask yes/no questions.
  7.        Sweet and sour – wave at a stranger and see who waves back
  8.        Peruse the Shoes – Count all the shoes they see while waiting in line. How many people have on black shoes, open-toed shoes, gym shoes? Without socks? How many have laces? How many have velcro ties?
  9.        Walk the Line – You need a floor with either lines or stripes. Players have to keep both feet either on or off the lines.  3 chances to misstep before eliminating contestants. Winner gets to be line leader the next time.

Disneyland Attractions Tips

Finally here are some specific attraction tips:

Armageddon: Les Effets Speciaux

Our girls found it a bit frightening due to the loud noise and effects.

Autopia- Disneyland ParisAutopia

The official minimum height to drive is 1.32 m, but smaller kids can control the wheel, as long as an adult controls the speed pedal. Long queues, but our girls loved it!

Big Thunder Mountain

Our girls loved this roller coaster and wanted to ride again! The adults also enjoyed it.

Crush’s Coaster

The vehicles spin during the main roller coaster section and it is lots of fun for kids and adults. Even our 4-year old loved it. The wait was quite big, but there is a specific app you can use on the waiting line(wi-fi and instructions available on-site).

Orbitron – Machines Volantes

Not that much fun… a basic ride and quite a long wait.

Plage des Pirates

There is a maximum height to play of 1.40 m, but that is not strictly enforced. Our girls both had fun here while the parents had a bit of a rest (the oldest one was a bit over 1,40m).         

Pirates of the CaribbeanPlage des Pirates at Disneyland Paris

Visitors may get slightly splashed from two small flumes… loads of fun in spite of the “scary” theme with lots of skeletons. We all loved this one!

Princess Pavillion

This always had the longest waits (usually 90 to 120 minutes). We eventually got in when the line was “only” 45 minutes long. The queue is all inside the pavilion, so no rain or too much sun issues. The thing is that in the end, you basically take a picture with one of 2 princesses (you have information on which ones at the entrance). The princess does talk to you a bit, but when you don’t speak English or French that is not of much use. Still, our girls loved meeting Snow White and finding out she has a very high pitched voice! However, we had a much smaller queue to take pictures outside with Jasmine & Aladdin and with Aurora (from Sleeping Beauty).Meeting Princess Aurora at Disneyland Paris

Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith

This features an intense launch and three inversions. Even so, our 8-year old girl liked it because of the music and decorations.

Space Mountain: Mission 2 / Hyperspace Mountain

This features a very intense launch and many inversions. Our 8-year old girl hated it, she found it really scary. This one is definitely geared at those looking for a thrill.

Star Tours at Disneyland ParisStar Tours

Very good motion-simulated flight guided by C3PO. A must if you are a Star Wars fan… but very worthwhile even if you are not. And you get to wear 3D glasses while waiting at your boarding gate 🙂

Toy Soldiers Parachute Drop

Our girls loved this drop attraction. A bit of wait, but having a Toy Story related theme helped.

Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

Our girls hated this drop attraction. It was definitely too scary for them. The toy soldiers one is more kid-friendly.

 

 

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