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Old 17 May 19, 02:40 PM  
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theCMG
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Talking DLP, EuropaPark & Efteling Father Daughter Roadtrip (the pre-trip)

Iíve been planning a European theme park roadtrip with DD for October this year. I wonít be writing my usual dining report this time but thought Iíd blog a bit about the process of DIY booking this and share some photos etc. later on.

The Cast

2 of us. DD who will be 14, sheís a theme park enthusiast with special love for fast rollercoasters and good theming. Iím a 40íish theme park and dining and travel enthusiast. My DW btw is not joining us this time, sheís not a roadtrip fan and would get bored by the parks-shopping/eating ratio of this trip (not to mention lack of sunshine).

Iíve done a huge amount of both work related and DIY travel over the years, donít know a lot about packages and probably better at finding unique things than at scouring for the best price but Iíll share what I know here! Also Iíve driven in Europe a fair bit, getting as far as Salzburg and the Italian Adriatic coast in trips from England so this doesnít really bother me.


The Holiday

Weíre going to visit first Disneyland Paris, then over to Europa-Park which is on the French/German border not far from Strasbourg before heading up through Belgium to the Netherlands for the 3rd park at Efteling.

Journey will be by car heading from South-East England via the Eurotunnel. The trip is taking place over 9 nights in the October half term so side from possibly iffy weather. It also brings Halloween into play.

Looking at those parks, DD and I have both been to DLP twice for short visits. We didnít stay onsite either time, finding the hotel prices too expensive. Last time we went was a soggy long weekend for my birthday 3 years ago when we stayed at the B&B hotel in Magny-le-Hongre not long after it opened. DD has also spent a day at Efteling with her mumís side of the family and loved it while neither of us has been to Europa-Park before.


Budget

I wanted to keep the costs down on this one as far as I could. Not easy with theme parks especially as we wanted to stay on property as much as we could. Iíve tried to work within the following budget:

Accommodation and Park tickets £500x3 for 3x3 night stays, one at each park
Transport £300 (including main expenses the Eurotunnel ticket, petrol and toll roads)

That comes to £1800 which felt like a lot but having done some initial research lower figures were quickly given up on. Weíll be spending less on food than normal though

I guess from here £2500 would be a realistic figure for the whole trip. More than I wanted so spend as usual
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Dining/Trip Reports:
DLP, EuropaPark, Efteling Halloween Roadtrip (2019)3 parks rated, which is best?
The Prisoner of Vineland Mall (2019) 6 days of passion, romance and fine dining...ok so it's mainly eating
Scream if you want to go Fatter! (2018) This report contains images some dieters may find distressing
The 12 Days of Easter (2015) Rumoured to contain up to one good joke. Let me know if you find it

Edited at 10:56 PM.
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Old 17 May 19, 02:41 PM  
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Itinerary

Iíll go later into exactly whatís booked but hereís the main plan. I decided that while we could have done this same trip in a couple of days less, because the drive legs are fairly chunky weíd take a couple of days longer so it wasnít too gruelling and we could keep the park and travel days separate in the main and try to do nice things on the way during the drives.

If Iíd tightened the schedule by 2 days I now realise I probably could have saved @£250 a bit of a trade-off that I might do differently next time but I also didnít want DD moaning all the way

Day 1 AM - drive to Folkestone, train to Calais, drive to Paris
Day 1 PM - visit mall near DLP and eat there, drive to Beautheil (East of Paris) for hotel check-in
Total drive time for day should be @5hrs and 270 miles split into 2-3 chunks

Day 2 - DLP park day with dinner at the Buffalo Bill wild west show
Day 3 - DLP park day

Day 4 AM - check out of Paris hotel, drive East and stop for lunch
Day 4 PM - visit to a spa (TBC) on route to Rust in Germany, check into Europa-Park campsite
Drive time for day should be @6 hrs and 330 miles in 2 sections

Day 5 Europa-park day
Day 6 Europa-park day

Day 7 AM - check out of campsite, drive back into France up towards Belgium, stop for lunch
Day 7 PM - visit to a spa (TBC) on route to Efteling, check into Efteling hotel
Drive time for day should be @6 hrs and 370 miles in 2 sections

Day 8 Efteling park day
Day 9 Efteling park day

Day 10 AM - check out of Efteling hotel, drive to Calais, Eurotunnel and drive home
Drive time for day should be @4:45 hrs and 250 miles in 2 sections
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Dining/Trip Reports:
DLP, EuropaPark, Efteling Halloween Roadtrip (2019)3 parks rated, which is best?
The Prisoner of Vineland Mall (2019) 6 days of passion, romance and fine dining...ok so it's mainly eating
Scream if you want to go Fatter! (2018) This report contains images some dieters may find distressing
The 12 Days of Easter (2015) Rumoured to contain up to one good joke. Let me know if you find it
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Old 17 May 19, 03:34 PM  
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SuziQz
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Glad to see the new plan is well underway. 2 full days at each park sounds fab and gives you time to recover from each long driving day. Love the Buffalo Bill show. Will you be venturing into Five Guys?

DS is off to Paris with the school next month the highlight of which is a day at Parc Asterix. Itíll be interesting to see what he thinks of that compared to Thorpe Park/Chessington
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Old 17 May 19, 05:16 PM  
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Originally Posted by SuziQz View Post
Glad to see the new plan is well underway. 2 full days at each park sounds fab and gives you time to recover from each long driving day. Love the Buffalo Bill show. Will you be venturing into Five Guys?

DS is off to Paris with the school next month the highlight of which is a day at Parc Asterix. Itíll be interesting to see what he thinks of that compared to Thorpe Park/Chessington
Yes we're looking forward to it with fingers crossed for the weather. It'll be dark nights in October as well which was another consideration with the driving, didn't fancy hundreds of miles in the dark.

Food experiences at Disney Village have been mostly awful (King Earwig's Castle to name one ) we've done Five Guys a few times and will probably rather go to something more Disney like Earl of Sandwich. We can't wait to do the Buffalo Bill show, DD is obsessed with horses and has never seen them in a show

Hope DS likes Parc Asterix. I tried to sneak a visit into this agenda as it's 'on the way' but the teenager wants to go to the mall instead that first afternoon! DW's influence no doubt
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space above
Dining/Trip Reports:
DLP, EuropaPark, Efteling Halloween Roadtrip (2019)3 parks rated, which is best?
The Prisoner of Vineland Mall (2019) 6 days of passion, romance and fine dining...ok so it's mainly eating
Scream if you want to go Fatter! (2018) This report contains images some dieters may find distressing
The 12 Days of Easter (2015) Rumoured to contain up to one good joke. Let me know if you find it
theCMG is offline Boy Mouse Click to view Members Trip Plans Add Member to Ignore List
Old 17 May 19, 05:29 PM  
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Sounds amazing!
We did a Europa park/DLP trip one year
And efteling/DLP another!

Both are fab parks! I was pregnant at Europa so missed the big rides but still had a great day, and I love efteling and can't wait to go back!
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Old 17 May 19, 05:37 PM  
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Sounds like fun! I've never been to Europa Park or Efteling, so I am counting on you to tempt me for a future trip. And... the FOOD will hopefully be hilariously good 😆 👍👍👍
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Old 17 May 19, 07:01 PM  
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Originally Posted by piglet100 View Post
Sounds amazing!
We did a Europa park/DLP trip one year
And efteling/DLP another!

Both are fab parks! I was pregnant at Europa so missed the big rides but still had a great day, and I love efteling and can't wait to go back!
Oo you sound like the expert I need to talk to Please feel free to share tips as I update the planning, I need the help with those 2 parks especially! Thanks for reading

Originally Posted by YLL View Post
Sounds like fun! I've never been to Europa Park or Efteling, so I am counting on you to tempt me for a future trip. And... the FOOD will hopefully be hilariously good 😆 👍👍👍
Will try to give a good overivew of both parks. And I hope you're not expecting some sort of comedy food report Not sure too many people are interested in a review of the sausage at the Balthasar Castle
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space above
Dining/Trip Reports:
DLP, EuropaPark, Efteling Halloween Roadtrip (2019)3 parks rated, which is best?
The Prisoner of Vineland Mall (2019) 6 days of passion, romance and fine dining...ok so it's mainly eating
Scream if you want to go Fatter! (2018) This report contains images some dieters may find distressing
The 12 Days of Easter (2015) Rumoured to contain up to one good joke. Let me know if you find it
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Old 17 May 19, 08:41 PM  
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This looks really fab
Would be really interested to hear how the budget splits out
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Old 17 May 19, 10:13 PM  
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Originally Posted by buryboy View Post
This looks really fab
Would be really interested to hear how the budget splits out
Thanks, I have most of the parts booked now and will share the costs over the weekend
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space above
Dining/Trip Reports:
DLP, EuropaPark, Efteling Halloween Roadtrip (2019)3 parks rated, which is best?
The Prisoner of Vineland Mall (2019) 6 days of passion, romance and fine dining...ok so it's mainly eating
Scream if you want to go Fatter! (2018) This report contains images some dieters may find distressing
The 12 Days of Easter (2015) Rumoured to contain up to one good joke. Let me know if you find it
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Old 18 May 19, 11:35 AM  
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A bit more on where we're staying:

1 DLP

On premise was going to destroy the budget so this was the main area I decided to save on the accomodation. It's the umpteenth time I've priced up DLP on site hoping for something I'm happy to pay and it's never happened yet! So here's the Gites de Clos Sebastien
Looks nice, hopefully won't be weird

We're staying about 15-20 miles east of DLP with the idea that it's really not far to drive, saves a lot of money and should with luck be nice and relaxing in the evening. It's a standard room with twin beds and includes breakfast. I also have free cancellation on this one until early October just in case an amazing deal does come along.



Excuse the childish writing, using a mouse and the less said about the attempted Mickey ears the better

On check-out morning we are heading East towards Germany so the location is chosen accordingly to hopefully save us from most of the Greater Paris traffic for a quick getaway.


2 Europa-Park

This place has am amazing array of hotels, really it's a smaller, European version of WDW. Noticeable similarities of some to Disney counterparts e.g. Bell Rock = Yacht and Beach but others are unique with themes more around European countries. They're still building hotels and will have @10 soon I believe europapark.de/en/all-hotels-camp-prices One of the hotels even has a michelin starred restaurant so this is some serious shizz

Anyway, we're camping I suppose it's on the way to glamping, we only have to bring towels and sleeping bags in the main:


El cheapo here having booked a teepee on the campgrounds. But it looks ace doesn't it Not sure how cold it will be in October we won't be forgetting the sleeping bags that's for sure.

The camping resort area looks great too, if the photos are accurate it may be better than the campgrounds at DLP (TBC as I haven't seen those either!). Full review will follow in the trippie.


Our teepee comes with breakfast in the resort and was bundled with the park tickets, early entry etc. being (I think/hope!) a short walk into the park. My one slight worry is that we're there during their version of Halloween Horror Nights, DD not into that sort of thing in terms of the event but we'll be packing earplugs in case of noisy late-night teens (albeit German teens hopefully better behaved/more sober than British ones!). I'm sure it will be well managed.


3 Efteling

Having tried to save on accomodation for the first 2 legs the 3rd part is a proper on site stay in the Efteling hotel.


This hopefully provides a steady increase in theming and magical factor through the trip. We're in a fairly boring normal room but they have some incredible themed options if you want to pay more.



This stay also includes breakfast and is bundled with park tickets and early admission etc. A bit like WDW, with both the Europa-Park and Efteling options the rooms were per room prices so a part of 3-4 would have been a much lower per head cost if you're thinking of taking the family. With the two on site bookings including tickets I only now still need to sort out the DLP entry (waiting on deals). The non Disney parks I booked up to 18 months out from the trip I think, certainly it was super-early.

Costs later on.
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space above
Dining/Trip Reports:
DLP, EuropaPark, Efteling Halloween Roadtrip (2019)3 parks rated, which is best?
The Prisoner of Vineland Mall (2019) 6 days of passion, romance and fine dining...ok so it's mainly eating
Scream if you want to go Fatter! (2018) This report contains images some dieters may find distressing
The 12 Days of Easter (2015) Rumoured to contain up to one good joke. Let me know if you find it
theCMG is offline Boy Mouse Click to view Members Trip Plans Add Member to Ignore List
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