As my family and I have just returned from an amazing trip to Disneyland Paris back in November, I felt it was only right to share my amazing experience with others, including all the advice and tips I can offer to those who are visiting here soon, or thinking about visiting in the near future. Hopefully we will be visiting WDW soon but if you have any questions about visiting there, head over to Freddie’s Mummy UK page to read all about her debate on whether to visit WDW or Universal – its a tricky one!
A Disney holiday is like no other and even if you are visiting for a couple of days, good organisation and forward planning is key to get the most out of your break. So here are my top 10 tips when visiting Disneyland Paris!
1. Travel and how to get there. We have visited Disneyland Paris twice and have used flights first time round and the Euro Tunnel the second time. There really is a massive price difference so if you can face a road trip, then definitely consider this mode of transport as it saved us hundreds! We made it fun for the children with activities during our trip and the euro tunnel felt safe, was super quick and the children thought it was cool!
2. Consider your arrival date. I have found that it is really important when booking your Disney break to consider the best ARRIVAL date for your budget. Visiting in peak season can be expensive but if you have flexibility, then definitely consider arriving on a super value date. So even if you arrive on a lower cost date but your holiday then turns into a moderate or high season dates, your holiday will still remain super value price as you arrived on a lower rate date.
3. Consider staying on site. Disney has 6 on site Disney hotels and 1 lodge park located 5 minute drive away to choose from all ranging from luxury to budget. There are many perks to staying on site such as gaining access to Early Magic Hours, being a short walk away from the parks and still feeling like you are part of the magic when you return home to your hotel on the evening. When booking a Disney hotel you will also have exclusive offers available such as free half board dining! Even better!
4. Download the Disneyland Paris App! This gave us access to the maps of the two parks and Disney Village as well as access to ride queue times, where shows were located, where the nearest rest rooms were and loads more. It was amazing to use and really helped us plan our next activity whether it be a ride with a short queue, or accessing the next show times! A real must and I would recommend anyone visiting to download it now!
5. Children can get hungry during long days out and purchasing snack and drinks can be costly! So I found taking snack bags for the children really helped keep their tummies full during queue times and costs down. I used freezer sealable bags and packed each child a bag of snacks such as raisins, small bag of biscuits, fruit winders and cereal bars. There are also water fountains scattered around the parks so remember your water bottles!
6. Take a pushchair and/or baby carrier. Even if you child no longer uses it at home! We found that having a pushchair for the two little ones was so helpful and allowed then to nap during the day ad gave my 3 and a half-year old a chance to rest her legs. We also took a baby carrier for our 8 month old baby which was amazing as he was able to come on a lot of rides with us and made it so much easier carrying him in the queues and around the park! Not sure on what baby carrier to choose? Hop on over to Travelling with our kids to check out their review of the Boba 4G baby carrier.
7. Make use of Fast Pass! This was a godsend when the queues were long for the bigger thrill rides. Using your fast pass allows you to get access to a ride in a certain time frame so the queue will be quicker and shorter. We did this on several rides and allowed us to save loads of time, giving us more time to do other things. Big Thunder Mountain can have queues up to two hours long in peak season so this ride is a must for Fast Pass!
8. Make use of Parent/Baby swap. If there are rides that you cannot take a baby/smaller child on (such as Big Thunder Mountain, Hyberspace Mountain, Star Tours), then you can make use of the Parent swap. This means that one parent gets to ride (alone or with an older child) then at the exit, a cast member will offer you a ticket to pass on to your partner, who can then access the ride via the exit and ride again! Perfect! We used this several times as we had two smaller children and one thrill seeker child.
9. Meet and Greet the Characters! Wow what an experience this is! Disneyland Paris is not just about the rides, it’s also about the amazing interaction from the characters. Whether your children (or you!) are a fan of Mickey, Donald Duck or Stitch, there is an array of characters scattered across both parks for you to meet and greet. On occasions there can be queues and because of this, we found it ideal to book character dining. We did this twice during our last break – Character breakfast where we got to meet 6 characters and then the Princess Lunch where we also met 4 princesses and the two mice from Cinderella. Amazing experiences that will be treasured forever.
10. Where to watch the parade – this is an amazing show and experience in itself! Characters and floats travel through the park, putting on a magical and interactive show! I would recommend arriving 30 minutes prior to the parade starting, heading towards where the parade begins. This is near the ride ‘Its a Small World’. I found it was a lot quieter here in comparison to Main Street where it was super busy and my children could not see as well. Also by watching the parade at the beginning will then allow you to hot foot it to the rides first where their will be shorter queue times!
And there we have it! I hope this has been informative and interesting to those who will be visiting this magical place soon and I hope these little snippets of advice help others have a fab time!
Check out my things to do BEFORE you book your Disneyland Paris trip here.