Disneyland Paris is a magical place and with the right type of planning your trip to the theme park could be an even more enjoyable one. Planning is the key to make the trip run smoothly.
Disneyland Paris is an amazing place, not as big as WaltDisney World but a much more . affordable and easily accessible park to visit. With the journey time from London St Pancras being just under a few hours (quicker if using a direct train) it just makes it even more of spot to place onto your bucket list of places to visit. Disneyland Paris consists of two parks, many themed hotels and the Disney Village where there are many places to dine and enjoy yourself.
We have just arrived back from a 5 day trip to DLP, where we stayed at NewportBay Club Hotel and managed to have a day trip into Paris too. I didn’t do too much planning before going with the children and there are plenty of things that I have learned since coming back from our little break and would like to share with you all. I definitely know for next time where to head to at what time, the best places to stand during the illuminations and parade and where to eat.
1 Take along some Mickey or Minnie ears with you, these are the headbands that have the mouse ears attached to them. I checked on ebay and you can buy them for a fraction of the cost they are selling at Disneyland.
2 Ponchos come in handy for when the weather takes a little wet turn. They are light to carry and fold away when not in use. They are especially ideal for Autumn, Spring time when you don’t want to be carry around your coat
3 If you are staying in one of the many Disney Hotels then make the most of the parks magic hours, where you can enter the park before it opens. That’s 2 whole hours prior to everyone else. Not all ares are open early but you can do the meet and greets with the characters and rides in Fantasyland and Discoveryland are open.
4. Avoid the Disney parks about midday as this is the busiest time. We took this time to go back to the hotel for a swim in the pool, take a rest in the hotel room or just walk about the Disney village and have lunch
5. Download the EuroDisneyLand App prior to going. This app will tell you where to eat, how long the queues for the attractions are and what is closed. It’s a handy little map too. I found that my 4G wasn’t particularly great in some areas, so I used the app as a map to help guide us around the parks.
6. Take comfy shoes to wear. DLP is not about fashion. Your feet will ache from all of the walking around and waiting in queues.
7. Use your fastpass as soon as you can as the time slots soon fill up pretty quickly on busy days. We used ours for the most popular rides, like Hollywood Terror Towers, Ratatouille, Buzz light year and Thunder Mountain. When you use your fastpass for a ride check the bottom of the ticket as it will give you a time when you can use it again
8. Head on over to the studios and take a seat at one of the many shows to watch. The Moteurs show is one not to be missed. A spectacular action stunt show set amongst a full scale mediterranean village. Watch the hero red car speed away from the bad guys using some nail biting stunts, there is even a fiery finale
9. Be prepared to queue for up to an hour on most rides. We saw queues with a waiting time of up to 130 minutes.
10. Although DLP does not allow picnics to be had inside the parks you can take in snacks. They come in handy when waiting in the long queues especially with the little ones
11. Book your meals before you arrive as the restaurants quickly become full especially Chez Remy, which is situated in The Studios. You can book over the phone up to a month before your trip starts or book with the concierge in your hotel on the day of your arrival
We ate in Agrabah, Cafe Mickey, Sequoia Lodge, Cape Cod and Earl of Sandwich
12. Meet and Greets are available in the mornings from 8am in the Disney Hotel foyers
13. Pushchairs are available to hire out in the parks
14. If your child is not tall enough for a ride but you want to give it a go the most rides do a Rider switch where you all queue up at the same time and take it in turns to ride the attraction without queueing again. Just tell the member of staff when you begin to queue that is what you want to do.
15. Certain attractions offer a Single Rider option where you can join a special queue if you don’t mind filling up a spare space on the attraction and not ride along with friends or family. This queue is normally not as busy as the main queue
16. Turn up for the parade and illuminations about half hour before they begin. You will find that most people begin to find a spot about an hour before. We watched the parade at the bottom of the main street. I would advice to look out for where the sun is especially if you want to take some snaps as you dont’ want the sunshine to ruin your photos in the back drop. The illuminations start when the park closes, everyone tries to get just in front of the castle but we found that we had a great view from the entrance to fantasyland
17. Take along a spare charge lead and a portable charger. If you are only using your phone as a camera then the battery will quickly go and you dont want to miss out on any photo opportunity
18. For quieter rides head on over to the back of Fantasyland where you will find Les Pays des Contes De Fees a gentle boat ride amongst Disney Storybook land and Casey Jr – Le Petit Train Du Cirque, a train ride above miniature land. We only queued for about 10 minutes for these rides.
19. For the magic to really come alive you must visit the dragon that lives in the caves under the castle
Explore the many winding caves and see the waterfall or walk over the rickety walk way in Adventure isle in Frontier Land. From the eerie gloom of Skull Rock to the stunning landscape of Spyglass Hill, there are secrets and stories to uncover at every turn. At Adventure Isle keep a watchful eye on what’s ahead as danger lurks beneath crisscrossing suspension bridges, beside narrow pathways and within spooky caves.
20. If you’re arriving at the le marnee de valley train station there will be shuttle busses taking you to your hotel just outside of the station. each stop is sign posted with the hotel that the shuttle stops at and they run about every 20 minutes
21. Don’t miss out on the many photo opportunities you get not only with the meet and greets but also with the many statues that are around both parks. Playland in The Studios is a fabulous place for the young ones
My boys also enjoyed attempting to pull the sword from the stone, it obviously was never going to budge as they are not King Arthur
22. Disneyland doesn’t have to be all princess and Mickey mouse. My boys particularly enjoyed spending time in the Studio Park as they got to meet Storm troopers as they paraded around the park looking for any rebels to pick out from the crowds. At certain times of the day you get to watch the First Order March and the A Galaxy Far, Far Away show
23. Take along some fancy dress for your children to wear whilst they explore the parks, you never know you just might be picked out from the queue and taken to the front on a ride
24. There are many water fountains around the park so take along a water bottle for you to fill up. Drinks can be very expensive, about £3.50 per drink and £2.80 for a coffee.
25. The quieter times to attend the attraction and rides are between 8-10 in the morning, while the parade is on and after 7 at night. The park closes at 10 just as the fireworks and illuminations start.
26. And last of all relax and enjoy the experience. Enjoy your evenings in one of the many restaurants in Disney Village or have a drink and watch the buffallo Bill show.
My youngest is about 107cm tall and he managed to go on most of the rides apart from a few, unlike a few of the theme parks that we have visited in England where he got very frustrated and upset as he wasn’t tall enough to go on them. This just made our family experience a while lot better as we all went on the rides together. It was just India Jones, Rc Racer and Rock n Roller coaster. Space mountain and Pirates of the Caribbean wasn’t open.
Rides I would reccomend are: Crush Coaster, ratatouille, Buzz light year, Autopia, Star tours, Thunder mountain, Terror towers and Rock n Roller coaster
Thank you for reading, I hope this post has been helpful