Paris may be the city of love, but it is also worldwide known for its theme park: Disneyland Paris. No matter how young or old you are, I can guarantee you’ll never forget your stay here. During our recent trip to the French capital, my brother and I spent a day in Disneyland. Learn all the tips for your visit to Disney: from what you can do, where you can eat or sleep and how to get there. Enjoy!
5 tips (+bonus) for your next visit to Disneyland
First things first. You’re visiting Disneyland Paris soon and you’re excited. I totally get it, and that’s why I’m sharing with you five tips plus a bonus so you make the most out of this magical experience.
- If possible, try to visit during the low season to avoid standing in line for hours: having visited Disney during both the summer and winter periods, I would highly recommend you to explore the park in the quieter months. Less people around mean more time to have fun in your favorite attractions on repeat. Sounds like a good deal to me! 🙂
- Buy your tickets in advance: prices vary depending on various reasons (how many days you’re visiting, if you’re exploring one or two parks, the exact dates you’re coming in, etc), but the truth is tickets are typically cheaper when you purchase a dated ticket (starting at 67$) than when you buy an undated ticket (available from 126$). It’s totally your call, but better safe than sorry!
- Stay abreast of the latest COVID-19 developments: before your visit, you may want to check which COVID measures are in place in the park (mask, vaccination pass and so on). As the situation evolves in France and around the world, so do the health and safety guidelines at Disneyland Paris. When we last visited, wearing a mask was required and there were many alcohol-based hand sanitizing stations throughout Disney.
- Bring your own food and drinks: although there are certainly plenty of dining options around Disneyland Park ranging from Mexican to Middle Eastern food, these restaurants and cafés tend to be expensive. That’s why I recommend you bring your own food and drinks so you can eat at your own pace and wherever you feel like it without breaking the bank. Your budget will thank you for it.
- Enjoy the magic! No matter whether you’re visiting with family, friends, kids or on your own, Disneyland Paris is a truly magical location that will revive your younger soul. Make the most out of this experience, especially now that the park is at its best celebrating its 30th anniversary. They have prepared many special activities you should take full advantage of, so don’t forget to share your memories on social media with hashtag #DisneylandParis30.
- BONUS tip: download the Disneyland Paris official app to make the most of your visit. This way you’ll be able to see waiting times for attractions, book a table, check show times and much more.
What to do in Disneyland Paris
While Disneyland Park transports you to the enchanting world of the Disney characters we know and love (Mickey, Minnie, Cinderella or Aladdin to name just a few), Walt Disney Studios Park will make you feel as if you were living in a movie.
In this post, I will solely focus on Disneyland Park, which is divided in five lands:
- Adventureland: explore this exotic land full of excitement, adventure and treasure. Some of the coolest attractions here include Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril and Pirates of the Caribbean (closed when we visited).
- Discoveryland: devoted to intergalactic adventures, this corner of the park features the best roller-coaster of the entire park in my humble opinion: Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain.
- Fantasyland: this land brings to life our beloved Disney childhood tales and legends. From the Sleeping Beauty castle to flying with Peter Pan or encountering Snow White and the seven dwarfs, this section of Disneyland is truly magical.
- Frontierland: feel like a cowboy in the Far West and don’t miss the highlights such as Big Thunder Mountain, steamship Thunder Mesa riverboat or Phantom Manor.
- Main Street, USA: wander through the arcades and discover the various shops and restaurants in this typical American street. You can also climb aboard the Disneyland Railroad to enjoy a relaxing ride around the park.
You can check the whole list of attractions at Disneyland Paris, from thrilling rides to more family friendly ones.
Previous visits to Disneyland
This was actually our third visit to Disneyland, as my brother and I had already been here in 1999 and 2003 during our summer holidays with the campervan.
And what has changed in Disneyland Paris since then you may ask? Well, I would argue a lot of things are different now.
First of all, COVID-19 wasn’t among us yet, which means there was no need to wear a mask or wash your hands with hydroalcoholic gel every now and then. On a similar note, I recall you would bump into your favorite Disney characters around the park and you could take pictures with them. However, nowadays these have been replaced by Meet ‘n’ Greet experiences with physical distancing.
Second, I remember we really enjoyed the fireworks show late at night in Disney. Unfortunately, this time around there was just a Disney Stars on Parade with the main Disney characters at 5pm.
Third, in previous visits there were way more people visiting the park, probably because it was the busy summer period. One of the perks of coming to Disney during the low season of February was that we barely had to queue for more than 20 minutes in any attraction (you can of course skip the line if you purchase the Disney Premier Access). However, quite a few rides were closed this time around. I guess this was due to maintenance reasons and/or in preparation for Disneyland Paris’ shiny 30th anniversary.
Visiting Disneyland with kids vs without kids
I have no kids at the moment, so I can’t really judge, but I’ve visited Disneyland Paris both as a kid / teenager (when I was 11 and 15 years old) and as an adult (being 34). However, I’d say the experience was pretty similar in terms of how much I enjoyed the three times I’ve come. I understand this may be different if you explore the park as a toddler or small kid, since you wouldn’t be allowed in the more adventurous rides for security reasons.
The thing is Disneyland truly has something for everyone. While kids will be impressed by the joyful shows, the family attractions and the shiny costumes of their beloved Disney characters, adults will prefer to spend time at thrilling rides (in my view, the coolest ones were Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril, and Big Thunder Mountain).
In any case, make sure to visit the themed shops and boutiques throughout the park (with caution if you want to stay on budget) to bring home an unforgettable souvenir from your stay at Disneyland Paris.
Where you can eat in Disneyland Paris
When it comes to food, there are plenty of dining options throughout Disneyland Paris be it at the park, the hotels or the Disney Village. With a variety of themed restaurants to choose from in terms of cuisine and budget, visitors are able to taste snacks, quick bites or buffets from around the world including vegan, vegetarian, organic and even children-friendly meals. Kids will certainly enjoy dining in the presence of their favorite Disney characters too, so make sure to book well in advance.
However, in my view, most cafés and restaurants in the park are quite expensive. So if you’re traveling on the cheap, I would strongly suggest you bring your own food (which is allowed): your budget will thank you for it, trust me! Of course you can always buy some treats if you feel like it. 🙂
Where you can sleep in Disneyland Paris
n case you feel like going for a full immersive experience, Disneyland features plenty of Disney hotels to stay in. Its themed hotels give you the possibility to sleep at fairytale-like rooms, a ranch or even a cabin lodge. There’s truly something for all ages, tastes and budgets!
When staying at one of Disney’s hotels, you get the chance to enjoy food at Disney-themed restaurants and bars, take selfies with your favorite Disney characters in the designated spots and relax at their leisure facilities including spa centers and pools.
When booking a night at these hotels, you also unlock unique perks such as free parking, entering the parks before everyone else or shuttle to the parks.
How to get to Disneyland Paris
Disneyland Paris parks are located around 35 km east of Paris, in Marne-la-Vallée/Chessy. There are various ways to get there, including by plane, train, car or shuttle. You can check all the options to get to Disneyland Paris here.
This time around we took the RER A train (red line) to Marne la Vallée / Chessy. I recommend you to buy a special ticket in the metro station including both the metro and the RER train. Depending on where you’re staying, it might take a while to get to Disneyland, so plan accordingly and make sure to check the park hours in advance. For example, during our stay in Paris, we slept at the Aparthotel Adagio Vanves Porte de Versailles, which lied seven minutes away from the metro station in Vanves Malakoff, and each leg of the trip to Disneyland took us around one hour and a half!
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If a visit to Disneyland Paris wasn’t enough, you may want to check out these other fun options:
- Parc Astérix: inspired by the famous Astérix and Obélix characters created by Uderzo, this park will transport you back to the Gallic period. Located 35 km north of Paris, Parc Astérix features attractions for kids and adults alike such as roller-coasters, carousels and even water activities. If you want to take full advantage of the park experience, you can stay at one of the three hotels on site.
- Jardin d’ acclimatation: located in the Parisian Bois de Boulogne, this park was inaugurated by Napoleon III, making it the oldest in the city. Featuring over 40 attractions, this amusement park includes adventures on board of little trains, boats and even a hot-air balloon.
- France Miniature: this leisure park features monuments at a tiny scale from all over France. Kids and adults will also enjoy with the various attractions.
- Aquaboulevard: if you’re looking for water adventures in Paris, this is the place to go. With sledges, geysers, jacuzzis and much more, this park has you covered.
And if you feel like exploring amusement parks even further away, take a look at these:
- Port Aventura World (Tarragona, Spain): just 1h30 from Barcelona, this complex includes various parks such as the famous Port Aventura, Ferrari Land or Caribe Aquatik Park.
- Parque Warner (Madrid, Spain): a few kms away from the Spanish capital lies this leisure park inspired in your favorite cartoon characters.
- Terra Mítica (Alicante, Spain): located on the sunny eastern Spanish coast, this park will transport you to the ancient lands of Egypt, Greece, Rome, the Islands and Iberia.
- Islands of Adventure + Universal Studios (Florida, USA): during my 2015 spring road trip with my Dad and my brother, we had a blast at these two theme parks in Orlando.
- Six Flags Great Adventure (New Jersey, USA): to finish a Memorial weekend on a high note, my friends and I visited this cool park back in 2013.
Were these tips useful for your next visit to Disneyland Paris? Have you already visited the park? How did you like this post? Please share in the comments below.