Tips and tricks for a successful trip to Disneyland Paris !

You know it by now, I’ve been a Disneyland Paris enthusiast since I was a kid… as a result, I often receive emails asking me for tips to enjoy it to the fullest… To answer them, here is my post on the topic, with my tips and tricks gathered throughout my 23 years of experience visiting the park !

Before asking me something, please go and search on the Disneyland Paris website beforehand, you will find answers to the most frequently asked questions.

Besides, you can clic here to have access to current promotions for your Disneyland Paris stay ! PS : This post is regularly updated to ensure that the informations are correct. On the other hand, following the numerous questions I receive, I have to clarify that I do not work for Disneyland Paris, therefore I cannot be their after-sales service, I can only bring you my tips as a fan of Disneyland Paris, thank you for your understanding 🙂

Park's events

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Park’s events

Updated on February 26 2016

– Celebrate the release of “Star Wars™, the Force awakens” at Disneyland Paris ! It will be the last moments of the Star Tours attraction since it will close on March 16 2016 for a big makeover  that was long due !

Kids between 7 to 12 will be able to join in the Jedi Training Academy to train to master the force and light sabers use at Vidéopolis in Discoveryland.

– From February 10 to May 8 2016, a brand new show will be released in Frontierland at the Chaparral Theater : La Forêt de l’Enchantement (the Enchanted Forest), a musical adventure that will pay a vibrant tribute to nature and the forest through various scenes with Disney heroes and heroines from Pocahontas, Tarzan, Rapunzel, Brave or The Jungle Book singing the most famous songs from their movies.

– From March 5 to May 29 2016, Disneyland Paris will be sporting the colours of Spring !

– The show “Chantons la Reine des Neiges” (Frozen sing-along) is back from June 4 to September 18 at the Frontierland Chaparral Theater, with Elsa, Anna, Olaf and all the best moments from the movies in a musical show.

– Another show, “Mickey et le Magicien” (Mickey and the Wizard) will replace Animagique  in the Walt Disney Studios starting from July 2 ! The story ? “As a great wizard asked Mickey to maintain it’s Magic workshop, his dream to become himself a great wizard takes over Mickey ! Imagine a unique adventure where magic will happen”. It’s a family show you shouldn’t miss !

– And finally, get ready for a week-end of running in Disneyland Paris ! From September 23 to 25 2016, there will be several activities for everyone in the park. Small runs for kids, 5k or half marathon for the adults… but also several animations for the family, including an exhibition “Health and Fitness”, a private party Friday night in the Walt Disney Studios and a big “Rice Party” the night before the half-marathon. You can register on http://run.disneylandparis.fr/ and http://run.disneylandparis.com/.

Latest goodies

Here are my favourites latest goodies available at Disneyland Paris !

The “Lumière” lamp (Beauty and the Beast) for 59,99€ and a set of 12 posters of Disneyland Paris’ attractions in a A3 format for 29,99€

tsumtsumTsum Tsums releases – Current collection: Zootopia and Star Wars Tsum Tsums. Rayponce and Easter collection now available.

Buying tickets at the best price

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I hear a lot of people saying “Tickets for Disney are so expensive, 85€, have you gone mad ?”

That said, there is only one case when you have to pay this full price : if you buy your ticket on the same day, or for Christmas day and days like that, but there are a lot of ways to buy tickets for cheaper !

“Magic” / “Super magic” tickets

They unfortunately stopped offering “early” tickets to the sale in 2015… The advantage was that you could book your tickets online to get a special deal (51€ for both parks). Now however, you can book “Magic” and “Super magic” tickets that will allow you to get cheaper tickets depending on the day you’re planning on coming. Basically, you can get a ticket for 62€ if you come during the week, except during school vacations, but it will be 84€ for any day of the year !

You can book your tickets here on the Disneyland Paris website !

Annual passes

Here again, a lot of people think annual passes are expensive, but if you plan to go to Disneyland at least twice during the year, or two days in a row, it is a solution you should consider, especially as passes will allow you to give special deal to your friends all year round ( -20% reduction all year round on park’s tickets, and regularly, Dream and Fantasy’s passes owners can have 5 tickets per week for 30€ for friends and family during two weeks) !

Be careful, all passes except the Dream one, have restrictied days, you will have to check your pass depending on the days you want to go. If you want to go during the Holidays, you should directly get the Dream pass ! But if you just want to go during the week, the other passes could be a good option, just check the restrictied days (I put a link for informations on every pass).

Here is a small recap of the different annual passes and their advantages…

The Dream annual pass

223€ for 365 days acces to both parks, that is to say 16€ per month.

– No restrictied days

– Free parking

– Access to the park two hours before opening

– One free drink in some of the park restaurants

– -10% reduction on restaurants

– -20% reduction on shops

– -35% reduction on overnight stays at Disney hotels

– -30% reduction on special nights

– -20% reduction on Buffalo Bill show

– -20% reduction on tickets bought at the ticket offices ( limited to 5 tickets per day)

– -30% reduction on theaters’ tickets at the Gaumont Disney Village

This is the one I choose every year because I’m sure to go at least 5 or 6 times in the year, and often during the weekend or holidays, and because there is no restrictions on this pass, I don’t have to worry about the dates. We often take advantage of the reductions for the restaurants and the shops, so I think it is worth it compared to the savings accumulated after a few times.

The Fantasy annual pass

179€ for 320 days access to both parks, that is to say 12€ per month.

Check the restrictied days

– Free parking

– Access to the park two hours before opening

– -10% reduction on restaurants

– -10% reduction on shops

– -25% reduction on overnight stays at Disney hotels

– -20% reduction on special nights

– -20% reduction on Buffalo Bill show

– -10% reduction on tickets bought at the ticket offices (limited to 5 tickets per day)

– -30% reduction on theaters’ tickets at the Gaumont Disney Village

The Francillien annual pass and the classic pass

135€ for 300 days acces to both parks, that is to say 8€ per month

Check the restricted days

– -10% reduction on restaurants

– -10% reduction on shops

– -10% reduction on special nights

Which pass to choose from ? It all depends on what you want, the Dream one is ideal, but the Fantasy is already really good ! And if you live around Paris, with the francillien one you can go to Disneyland after work or bring your kids after school !

Private sales and special offers

You might have noticed it already, but Vente-Privée website often offers tickets and stays with advantageous prices, so don’t hesitate over putting Disneyland Paris in your preferred alerts to know about the offers, there’s always one sale per year, and it’s the perfect occasion to get yourself a stay for a reduced price !

Also, there are frequently special offers on Disneyland Paris website, keep an eye on it and register for the newsletter to be informed !

Works council from your company

We don’t always think about it, but the works council from your company might have deals to get passes for cheaper, they often negociate with the park !

Be careful !

Refrain from buying tickets from third parties on eBay or other websites, sometimes the tickets are sold for really cheap, but are actually kids tickets, or tickets that have already been used (sometimes you cannot see on the ticket that it has been used, you have to scan it when at the park).

Furthermore, in the waiting lines, some people will try to sell you tickets (here again at a very low price), do not buy them, if you get caught, you will get thrown out of the park pronto (it almost happened to us once when someone tried to sell us tickets).

There’s always a way to get a ticket for cheaper by planning ahead, so try to not to give in to illegal means.

Staying overnight

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This chapter will probably be the less detailed because I never had to sleep in a Disney hotel, my family lives 10 minutes away from the park by car. But here are some tips !

Disney hotels

Disney built a bunch of hotels around the park, ranging from affordable to extremely expensive…

The Disneyland Paris hotel is kind of the dream hotel, I had my 5th birthday party there and I still remember it, that’s saying how beautiful it is ! You get a beautiful view on the park, and the big plus is that you don’t have to walk long to get to your hotel at night, contrary to the other ones (and that is a big advantage when you have tired kids after a full day).

If you’re looking for a cheaper hotel, the Newport Bay Club one is also really good ! All the others hotels are pretty much the same, only the style will change (Cheyenne, New York, Santa Fe, etc).

However, if you’re looking for cheap nights in Disneyland Paris, the Davy Crockett ranch is perfect because they offer small bungalows for affordable prices, especially if you’re going with friends.

You can book hotels (with tickets for the park included) here ! And if you have an annual pass, you have to book the hotel by phone or directly at the park to get the reduction.

You can book your stay here on Disneyland Paris website !

Partner hotels and hotels close to the park

Disney also has partner hotels, you can check the list and book your stay here. The advantage is that the ticket price is included in the room price, which is not the case with closer hotels that are not partner. You can check them here.

Apartment rental

Because Paris isn’t that far from Disneyland Paris with the RER A, you can find a bunch of apartment rentals on Airbnb and other websites like that. Most of the time it will be less expensive, and you will be in downtown Paris, which is a bonus if you’re not coming to Paris just to go to Disneyland Paris.

Eating in the park

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I say no to sandwiches made before going to the park, personally when I go to Disneyland Paris, it’s to enjoy it to its fullest, and stuff myself with American culture, mostly marshmallows and burgers. Here are some of my favourite places in Disneyland Paris.

Lunch

– The best one is l’Auberge de Cendrillon (Cinderella’s Inn), it is THE restaurant where you can eat with Disney princesses, let’s just say that your little girl is going to be over the moon there ! The adult menu is around 70€ (I think) and the kids one about 30€, which is quite a sum, but for that price, you’re not having burgers because there’s a real chef cooking, and princesses to spoil your kids during lunch !

– With the same type of cooking, there’s the Walt’s that immerges you into Walt Disney’s work. It is a really pretty restaurant with good dishes but without any charaters, so it’s a restaurant for adults without kids !

– If you’re looking for a self-serve buffet, there is the Restaurant des stars directed by Ratatouille. The buffet is rather good, and there’s a huge variety to choose from, for something like 20€ if I remember correctly !

– If you want some BBQ ribs and a saloon feel to your restaurant, the Lucky Nugget is really cool, there are also burgers, and often there is a show going on with a band playing cow-boy music and even some cancan dancing !

– If you want to eat burgers while watching cartoons, there is Vidéopolis ! I have spent a few hours there as a child, watching lazily Disney cartoons while eating burgers and Mickey-shaped donuts. However it’s a shame that they don’t offer shows anymore 🙁

– If you’re looking for something exotic, there is the Blue Lagoon restaurant, with a view directly inside the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction.

– If you want to eat a hot-dog, there’s the Casey’s Corner with its baseball vibe ! We mostly go there because it’s one of the last restaurants to close at night.

– If you want to eat fast, something rather good and for a cheap price, the best place is the Cowboy Cookout Barbecue ! it is behind the Train de la Mine attraction, and you can eat burgers and chicken tenders for less than 10€ !

The next three restaurants are in Disney Village, but sometimes it is worth going outside the park to eat, especially when the park closes early (during winter), Disney Village stays open up until midnight in general, so you can stay and eat calmly there after a day at the park.

– If you want a 50’s atmosphere, go to Annette’s Diner, it’s my favourite restaurant there. The burgers are really good, and it will not be that much more expensive than inside the park ! And if you’re lucky, you might see the waiters and waitresses dancing on the table on some rock music !

– If you like celebrities, go to Planet Hollywood. The food is not out of this world, but you can just go there to have a look at the costumes and decors from several movie sets (The Terminator, The Matrix, les Parrains, etc).

– Fancy some MacDonald’s ? There is one at the far end of Disney Village. The good thing with MacDonald’s is that it’s practically the same price as in other cities ! If you want to eat for cheap, there is always this solution !

Mid-afternoon snacks

Aaaah, mid-afternoon snacks in Dinseyland Paris. I finally found my spot, but there are a lot of stuff everywhere in the park !

– Main Street’s candyshop, the Boardwalk Candy Palace ! The small outside booth only sells muffins, cookies, etc, but inside, there are soooo many good things, Mickey-shaped marshmallows dipped in chocolate, fudges, meringues, and some more marshmallows and chocolate ! From now on I have to go there every time I go to Disneyland Paris !

– The Cable Car Bake Shop, where you can find pastries and cakes, like cheesecakes, carrot cakes, omnomnom !

– The Gibson Girl, where you can get Ben & Jerry’s ice creams !

All these little shops are on Main Street Avenue, but in the park, there is always popcorn being sold, and it’s really hard to resist, especially when mid-afternoon munchies strike, and the popcorn smells so good 🙂

How to not wait in line

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If you don’t want to wait in lines for the attractions, the best solution is still to come during the week (and not during school vacations). During the week, I sometimes don’t have to wait at all, which is awesome ! But if you can only come during a weekend, here are some tips !

Arrive as early as possible

– If you have passes with an early access to the park, take full advantage of them, you will almost have the park for yourself !

– If you don’t have passes, try to arrive before opening, so you don’t have to wait in lines to buy your tickets or to access the park. You will be able to be the first in the attractions !

So don’t come at 11am if the park opens at 10am, it would be the worse thing ever, there is even more people than at opening… You should arrive either at 9:30am, or straight out at 12am, when everyone has gone through the entrance.

The ideal route

– Start with Walt Disney Studio because this park closes earlier than the rest, and if you want to do this attraction, go straight to Crush Coaster because it’s the attraction where there is the longest line, and arriving early is the best way to wait as little as possible.

– Once Walt Disney Studio park is done, you can go to the main one at 3 or 4pm to enjoy the rest of the attractions. Most people will leave this park after the 6pm parade, so it will be much easier to have access to the thrills attractions like Space Mountain.

– If you want to do the Indiana Jones attraction, wait until the evening, there is no one after 9pm there, and you will wait less than 5 minutes.

Fastpasses

Fastpasses can be useful to save time during very busy days, but you have to know how to use them wisely !

There are 3 types of Fastpasses :

– The classic Fastpass, for all visitors. You can only have one fastpass at a time with your ticket. It will grant you access to an attraction for a given time. Until that given time has passed, you cannot take a new one, expect for fastpasses for two hours after the first booked time (a fastpass for 4pm taken at 12am for example), you can have another one two hours after the time on your fastpass (so 2pm in my example).

Besides, there is no hour restriction for Indiana Jones and Star Tours attractions, so you can take a fastpass for these attractions at any time during the day, even if you already have a fastpass for another attraction !

If you want to go to these attractions, I encourage you to get a Fastpass at all cost for the mine’s train and Buzz Lightyear attractions, otherwise you will probably have to wait 2 hours… For the other attractions, it is okay not to have a pass because the lines are rarely more than an hour.

– The Disney’s hotel fastpass : it is only available for people staying at the Disneyland Hotel. It grants you access to the fastpass line of one attraction at any time.

– The VIP fastpass is only available for people staying at the Disney hotel. With it, you can directly access several attractions that you picked during your whole stay without having to get fastpasses during the day ! You are given several fastpass tickets that you can use in fastpass lines during your stay.

– You should also know that for kids attractions like Peter Pan’s Flight or Snow White and the seven dwarves, you can access the fastpass line with your family if one of your kids is dressed up in the theme of the attraction ( Tinker Bell or Peter Pan for Peter Pan’s Flight, or Snow White for the Snow White attraction for example).

– There are more and more “single riders” lines in the park. You can use them when you are alone (and if you don’t mind sitting with a stranger in the attraction), to complete uneven numbers and avoid empty seats in an attraction. With that technique, you wait a whole lot less, and I highly encourage you to use it for the Ratatouille attraction where there is always a long line !

Watching the shows ?

– The parade is kind of nice to watch, but unless you have kids who want to see it up close, you should arrive right when it start and leave just before the end to avoid getting in line at the same time as all the other people who watched the parade.

– On the other hand, do not miss the Disney Dreams show, it is one of the most beautiful shows I have ever seen ! Kids and parents will dance, sing and might even shed one or two tears while watching this show ! It happens every night before the park closes, do not leave the park until you have seen it at least once, and it is really worth it to wait a little to get a nice spot, because there is a lot of details that can only be seen if you’re in front.

Bringing home the best goodies

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Aaaaaah, goodies, I can’t help it, I’ve been to Disneyland Paris billions of times now, but I still can’t leave without buying something ! Here are the shops that are worth the detour!

– Disney Village Lego Store. We have waited for it a long time now, and here it is ! The biggest Lego Store in France opened in Disney Village ! I haven’t been yet but it looks awesome, and there are lots of Disney characters made out of lego. I’m going there to have a look next Saturday !

– World of Disney shop. It is rather convenient because you can find all the park’s goodies there. However, you won’t find more specific ones (collectible pin’s, etc).

– If you want to get Disney clothes, go to Main Street Motors (on Main St) or to Disney fashion in Disney Village. You will also find cute stuff for kids and babies at Disney Clothiers, at the beginning of Main Street, next to the stroller rental (which makes sense) !

– If you love collecting, you will find lots of things and  nice collectible Pin’s at Harrington’s !

And more

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– Download the Disneyland Paris app, you will be able to plan your future stay at the park, but also once in the park, you can use it to see the waiting time of attractions and if fastpasses are available.

– To check things to do before your stay, have a look at the interactive map here !

And most importantly, enjoy your stay, don’t grumble while in the waiting lines, and keep on the lookout, there are always small details everywhere !

I hope this post was useful, and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask them !

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About Marine

J’ai 27 ans et des cheveux qui changent de couleur au gré de mon humeur. J’aime les rouges à lèvres, les chaussures, les voyages, la musique et les tatouages.

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