Disneyland Paris offers a classic Disney experience with a stylish French touch. Even if you aren’t interested in going on the Disneyland Paris rides, it’s worth coming here to admire the elegant landscaping as Disneyland Paris is as beautiful as many of the French capital’s parks and gardens.
Like the park’s Californian counterpart, Disneyland Paris is comprised of two parks. Walt Disney Studios Park is home to the Backlot, Production Courtyard, and Toon Studio.
Next door, Disneyland Park has well-known favourites such as Adventureland, Frontierland, Main Street, U.S.A., Fantasyland and Discoveryland. Here are 5 tips for making the most of your visit to Disneyland Paris.
1. Best Disneyland Paris hotels
Disneyland Paris is just 40 minutes from central Paris by train and easy to get to. Look for the station marked with Mickey Mouse ears on the city’s train route maps.
Accommodation near Disneyland Paris tends to be expensive and offers limited (affordable) choices when it comes to dining. It’s much better to stay in central Paris and visit Disneyland as a day trip.
2. Disneyland Paris in a day
Disneyland Paris is more compact than the USA parks such as Disney World which makes it easy to get around without too much walking. For this reason, is a particularly good choice for less mobile travellers and parents with young children.
It’s an easy stroll between Walt Disney Studios Park, Disneyland Park and the dining and entertainment precinct known as Disney Village. It is entirely feasible for adults and families with older children to cover Disneyland Paris in a day.
3. Favourite rides are different
Think you’ve already ‘done’ Space Mountain? You had better think again. Disneyland Paris is home to the fastest Space Mountain ride in the world and the only one which flips riders upside down. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril offers another surprise.
The ride in Paris was the first roller coaster in any Disney park to feature an inversion. Indiana Jones at Disneyland Paris has little in common with its much tamer namesake in California except for the theming. Don’t miss it.
4. Disneyland Paris calendar
Disneyland Paris home to many special events and celebrations throughout the year. Disney Village comes alive with Brazilian rhythms during a two day Latin American festival.
There is also a Blues Weekend and a Country & Western Jamboree with rollicking line dancing and a parade of famous Frontier figures, including the cavalry on horseback.
Later in the year Disney Village is filled with hotrods and street cars and guys and gals shake their tail feathers at a Rock’n’Roll festival. The park is also themed for events such as Halloween, Christmas and St Patricks Day with decorations on show for up to a month.
5. Disneyland Paris character dining tips
Character dining is the easiest way to get your photo taken with your favourite Disney characters without having to line up. During each character dining experience, Mickey, Minnie and the gang will come and visit your table and pose for photos.
If you want to skip the standard fun park fare, book the character dining experience at the grand banquet hall at Auberge de Cendrillon where table service and classic French cuisine make for a very elegant character dining experience.
6. Best lunch at Disneyland Paris
France is famous for its cuisine and Disneyland Paris is no exception. With choices ranging from traditional French fare at Bistrot Chez Rémy to classic baguettes at Earl of Sandwich, there is something to satisfy every taste and budget.
During summer, a long, leisurely lunch at one of the park’s many table service restaurants is an ideal way to beat the heat.
7. Disneyland Paris when it rains
With the majority of rides and attractions located either undercover or indoors, Disneyland Paris is a surprisingly good option for a rainy day. Visiting on a less than perfect day also means the park is likely to be less crowded. This tip is definitely worth keeping in mind during peak season.
8. Choose your show time
Shows at Disneyland Paris alternate between French and English. Look for the word ‘English’ next to the performance time or you and the kids could get an impromptu French lesson.
Disclosure: The writer visited the park as a guest of Disneyland Paris.
Are you visiting Paris during June, July or August? If so, you need to read our tips for visiting Europe in peak season. They will help you save money and your sanity, especially if you’re travelling with kids.