A couple years ago we were lucky enough to find ourselves in Europe with all the kiddos. After a whirlwind journey through England, Rome & Paris, it was time to give the kids something for them, so we headed to Disney Paris. Disneyland Paris was such a unique experience that we absolutely loved. Sure, you have the traditional Disney Castle, Main St. but Disney Paris has so much more.
The Ultimate Guide to Disney Paris! Top Tips & Tricks You Need to Know!
Things to Know about Disney Paris
There are Two Parks
Well, this seems obvious enough, but when we headed to Disney Paris we thought it was just one park, Disneyland. It turns out there are two parks right across from each other. Disneyland Park & Walt Disney Studios Park.
Some Rides are in English, Some are in French, & Some are in Both Languages
We expected that pretty much everything would be in French when we went to Disney Paris, because, well we are in Paris, but we were surprised by the amount of English that was in the rides. Although we could not figure out which ride would be in English and which would be in French and some were a mixture of both languages.
There are a lot of options for places to stay
Disneyland Paris hotels are a pleanty as Disney Paris has 7 hotels on the property for those who want to have the full Disney Experience. These include the Disneyland Hotel (located just 5 minutes from the parks), Disney’s Hotel New York, Disney’s Newport Bay Club (a very similar look to Disney World’s Yacht & Beach Club), Disney’s Sequoia Lodge (also very similar to Disney’s Grand Californian at Disneyland) Disney’s Hotel Cheyenne (Most Affordable), Disney’s Hotel Santa Fe, & Disney’s Davy Crockett Ranch where you have your own bungalow and adventure trails as soon as you step outdoors. Check Prices for all hotels here!
In addition, there are several partners hotels and a ton of Airbnb’s, which is what we used for our vacation. Check Prices for all hotels here!
Transportation to the park is a breeze.
– From Disney Hotels – If you are staying at a Disney hotel, you are looking at a walk from 5-15 minutes.
– From Offsite Hotels & Airbnb’s – Around Disney Paris is such a cute town with Free Buses that take you to Disney. Each Hotel will have the times listed for when the buses arrive and they usually come every 15-30 minutes during the day.
– From Paris – If you are traveling from Paris the Disney Parks are just a 40 minute train ride. Simply hop on the RER train and it costs about 7 euros per passenger. The train is very clean and the last stop is Disney Paris so there is no worrying about missing your stop.
How long should you stay?
If you have the time, three days seems like the optimal amount of time to enjoy the parks and get to experience everything you wanted to do. We spent two days and we had an incredible time but did not get to everything on our list.
Fast Passes & Child Switch –
Fast Pass is a system to allow you to maximize your time at the parks. The way fast pass works is you can get a ticket for one ride at a time that will give you a time to come back on the ride at a significantly reduced wait time (15 minutes or less). Simply enter your park admission tickets into the FASTPASS machines and receive a return time (you need a fastpass for each person). Then go have fun until your return time and enter the specially marked Fastpass line.
FASTPASS is available for the following rides
Indiana Jones™ and the Temple of Peril, Adventureland
Star Wars: Hyperspace Mountain, Discoveryland
Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast*, Discoveryland
Big Thunder Mountain, Frontierland
Peter Pan’s Flight, Fantasyland
Star Tours, Discoveryland
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS PARK
Rock’n’Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith, Backlot
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™**, Production Courtyard
Flying Carpets over Agrabah, Toon Studio
Ratatouille: The Adventure, Toon Studio
Child Switch Pass
If you have kids who are too little to ride some rides you should take advantage of the child witch pass. The way it works is while one person waits off with the child, the other family members grab a child switch pass as they go through the normal queue and ride the ride. When they exit, they give the pass to the person who was waiting and he or she can go on the ride with one other person without waiting in line.
This is definitely one of the colder Disney Parks since it is located in Paris, so make sure to pack some warm clothes. We were there in June and needed jackets, especially for the evening.
*Pro Tip – Pack a Small but Strong Umbrella – We ended up needing to pay for one at the park that was destroyed in just a few days.
Top Things to do in the Parks
1. Pirate of the Caribbean –
This Pirates of the Caribbean is the best of any of the Disney Parks I have been to. From the incredible outside decor with battleship and adventure isle, to the ride itself, this is one attraction you must see.
2. Adventure Isle –
Explore this mysterious land and uncover the secrets that lie behind Skull Rock! This attraction is perfect for your little treasure hunters! Be ready to keep an eye out for the danger that lurks in the crisscrossing suspension bridges, narrow pathways, and the spooky caves! Discover secrets and stories at every turn that will give you and your little adventurers a trip they won’t forget!
3. Alice’s Curious Labyrinth –
Wander through your very own adventure in Wonderland, and follow in the footsteps of Alice! Embark on a voyage into the white rabbit’s hole, where you’ll come across many of the famous magical creatures, have to decipher signage, and meet the notorious Cheshire Cat himself! A fun challenge for the family to see if they can reach the Queen of Hearts castle!
4. Phantom Manor –
This is Disneyland Paris’ version of the Haunted Mansion attraction. This one is actually reimagineered with a darker theme than the ones that are seen at the other Disneyland parks. It definitely is creepier than the other haunted mansion. It even features live actors!! You’ll get to experience the curse of Thunder Mesa! Who haunts the halls? Who is this mysterious phantom? What happened to the family that once lived there? You’ll have to find out yourself at the Phantom Manor! A must do if you’re a fan of the other Haunted Mansion attractions.
5. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril –
Personally, this wasn’t my favorite ride in Disneyland Paris (I thought it was too short) but my kids loved it. This is a roller coaster in Adventureland based on the Indiana Jones movies! Take a high-speed train ride through the jungle! Riders are sent to find out what happened to an earlier expedition, but come to find a cursed ruin and need the courage of Indiana Jones to make it out alive!
6. Space Mountain: Mission 2 –
A must do while you’re here at the Paris Disneyland! This ride launches you into your outer space adventure!! They even have the special Star Wars edition now up and running that takes riders through the Rebel Alliance’s mission into a hyperspace battle! Perfect for those adrenaline seekers and Star Wars lovers alike!
7. The Dragon’s Layer –
A walk-through adventure for the family to see the once ruler of the skies dragon that lives underneath the sleeping beauty castle! Fret not it is chained against jagged rocks in this dark dungeon, but carefully not to get too close one wrong move could lead to a hot surprise! It is a must see for the whole family while you’re at Disneyland Paris.
8. Peter Pan’s Flight –
One of the most popular rides in the magic kingdom, you will set sail in a flying ship to battle Captain Hook. *Pro Tip – If you want to ride this ride, get to the park early and go first thing in the morning, the line never goes down
Walt Disney Studios Park
1. Crush’s Coaster –
This was our families favorite ride in both parks! It is a rollercoaster ride that invites you to climb on the back of crush, the giant sea turtle, and dip and dive and spin through many of the memorable scenes featured in the film! You’ll find yourself exploring the Great Barrier Reef, the East Australian Current, and more!!
2. Ratatouille: The Adventure –
This ride shrinks you down magically into the size of everyone’s favorite chef rat. The line itself is entertaining and the ride is a blast, you definitely need to check this one out.
3. Rock n Roll Roller Coaster –
Popular at Disney’s Hollywood studios this ride is an intense looping roller coaster set to music from Aerosmith. The only reason this ride probably wasn’t our favorite is that we have already experienced it at Disney World.
4. Tower of Terror –
Take a tour of the infamous Hollywood Tower Hotel, and face your fears and enter the haunted elevator and take the 13-floor plunge into the twilight zone! Perfect for those adrenaline junkies out there! Find out if you can make it out of the twilight zone or if you’ll be a permanent resident of doom!
5. RC Racer –
Take a Giant version of the RC Car from Toy Story up and down a giant hot wheels track. This is great fun for the entire family.
6. Toy Story Parachute Drop –
Another ride from the movie Toy Story, this adorable ride takes you up to the top of the parachute and drops you below. My daughter loved it.
Other Great Things to Do in the Parks!
Climb up the Castle for a Magical View –
Disney Illuminations Show at Disneyland Park – An incredible nighttime show. I would say this is a must-see.
Disney Junior Live on Stage – This is a great show for kids ages 7 & under
Disney Stars on Parade – Mickey and friends pass by on fabulous new floats, including a fire-breathing dragon (which is awesome)
- Wear comfortable shoes – As with all Disney Parks there is a ton of walking
- Tour the Hotels – Even, if you are not staying in the hotels, you can visit their lobby, restaurant and bars…the glowtinis are quite popular
- Make your restaurant reservations well in advance. Nothing worse than having to wait over an hour for a table to become available.
- Make a list of each family members must dos. This will make sure you don’t rush to try to do everything but do accomplish the main rides you want to see.
- Don’t wait for small world if the line is long during the day just go back in the evening its normally walk on, pirates also gets quieter at night.
- Single Rider Line – is available for some rides including Ratatouille. This is a great option if you don’t mind riding separately and want to skip past the line
- Money Saving Pro Tips
- It is allowed to bring food in the parks, this can help offset the costly snacks at Disney Paris
- The costumes are expensive and not great quality at the parks, you can save a ton by buying them online before you go and giving them to the kids when you are there. You can check out some great costumes on amazon here.
- Get into pin trading its a fun way to get unique souvenirs that don’t break the bank
Right Now Disney Paris is Celebrating their 25th Anniversary!
They have some great offers so that you can celebrate the Magic.
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