Disneyland Paris is a very special place and we had a truly magical trip but it took a LOT of planning. In this guide we round up our ultimate Disneyland Paris Tips and Tricks to help you with booking Disneyland Paris, know what you need to do before you get there and how best to plan your days from creating a perfect Disneyland Paris itinerary, insider tips and best places to eat in the park.
Before you go – Tips and Tricks for Booking Disneyland Paris
Booking Disneyland Paris can seem quite a daunting thing as there is so much choice in way to stay, whether to buy meal plans and more. In this section of the guide we round up everything you should be doing before you go including the Best Tips and Tricks for Booking Disneyland Paris.
Check different country websites for booking Disneyland Paris
This surprised me when I was booking our trip to Disneyland Paris but when I accidentally went to a different countries websites I noticed that there was a discrepancy in pricing. It is worth checking the German, US, UK etc websites before booking to make sure you get the best price for your trip.
Should I book a separately or book a package trip to Disneyland Paris?
I’ll be honest, we never book package deals. I always find that we can find better deals when we book our accommodation, travel etc separately. There are companies that specialise in booking Disney breaks but be sure that any companies you use have all appropriate levels of cover should anything happen to the company etc.
What is the Best Time to Visit Disneyland Paris
I always say there is never a bad time to visit Disney whether you are travelling to Disney in Hong Kong, Disneyland in Tokyo or Paris. However there are probably better times the others. Before you are travelling to Disneyland Paris I would check the crowd calendar online and choosing your dates based on predicted crowd levels if you can.
A good rule of thumb is to try and avoid the school holidays but remember Disneyland Paris services a large portion of Europe so holiday dates in different countries will be different. If you can try and travel out of peak seasons and school holidays that would make for a more pleasant experience. Having said that we travelled to the park in August during the school holidays and achieved a lot during our trip.
Disneyland Paris also goes all out for Winter and Halloween. We are returning again in December to see the Christmas decorations and will update this section with tips for Christmas when we have been.
On Site VS Off Site Hotels at Disneyland Paris – which should you stay at?
There are a huge range of hotels that you can stay at both on site and off site at Disneyland Paris. When considering whether you should stay On Site or Off Site at Disneyland Paris I would say the main factors to consider are:
- How much is in your budget for accommodation as staying off site is a much cheaper option
- How much time you plan on spending in your room
- Whether you will be using your room during the day time
- Whether having Early Magic Hours will be required.
Staying an On site hotel at Disneyland Paris is definitely more expensive than staying off site however by staying on site you have the benefits of Early Magic Hours (EMH) which basically means you can get into the park an hour before the off site crowds arrive. This is great as you can get on some of the rides known for having longer queues or get into the Princess Pavilion without waiting over an hour. This can make a huge difference especially if you are travelling in peak season but you will need to decide whether or not the additional cost is worth it.
If you do decide to stay on site there are 6 hotels on site at Disneyland Paris. These range in price, stars (2-5*) and distance from the park.
The Disneyland Paris on-site hotels are:
- Disneyland Paris Hotel
This is literally at the park entrance which makes it very easy to access your room during the day. I have often wondered how noisy this gets being at the park entrance but have yet to stay in this hotel. If you have stayed here I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!This is classed as a five star hotel and has many amenities including Inventions Cafe, Cafe Fantastic, Minnie Mouse Playroom, Mad Hatters Arcade, a spa and an indoor pool. To check reviews and compare prices CLICK HERE! It is worth noting that even if you are not staying at the Disneyland Paris Hotel you can still visit either to do the character meal at Inventions Cafe or to have a drink at Cafe Fantasia. I’ve heard their Glowtinis are good and I have definitely put this on my Disneyland Paris bucket list.
- Hotel New York
This hotel is currently closed as it is undergoing a complete reimagining. When it reopens it will be renamed Disney’s Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel and should be open again in Summer 2020. The hotel will keeps its art deco features that made it such a popular 4* option but will have themed superhero suites. If you like Marvel then this is going to be the Hotel for you!The hotel has indoor and outdoor pools, a spa and tennis courts. The hotel is a ten minute walk from the park or alternatively you can take the shuttle. To check reviews and compare prices CLICK HERE!
- Disney’s Newport Bay Club
This 4* American themed hotel located on Lake Disney celebrates all that is nautical. This property boasts two pools, restaurants and bars and chances for character meetings. This property is a 15 minute walk to Disneyland or an 8 minute shuttle. Tocheck reviews and compare prices CLICK HERE!
- Sequoia Lodge
Another hotel set on Lake Disney but this is only a 3*. This park is also an eight minute shuttle to the park or a 15 minute walk. The hotel also has an indoor swimming pool, two restaurants and a play area for kids. To check reviews and compare prices CLICK HERE!
Last time we visited we stayed off site but when we return at Christmas we will stay on site and Cheyenne is currently our front runner simply because the rooms have a toy story theme and my little one is toy story mad! The theming of this hotel is Toy Story / Old West and is set in a frontierland village. On site is the Chuck Wagon Cafe, Saloon, and indoor and outdoor play areas. The hotel is a twenty minute walk from the park or 8 minute shuttle. To check reviews and compare prices CLICK HERE!
- Santa Fe
The final on site hotel and another 2* hotel like the Cheyenne. The theming in this hotel is all Cars! The hotel boasts a tex-mex restaurant, bar, games room and is also a 20 minute walk or 8 minute shuttle. To check reviews and compare prices CLICK HERE!
Where to Stay Near Disneyland Paris
However if you decide to stay off site there are plenty of places to Stay Near Disneyland Paris. The main areas to stay near Disneyland Paris are
- Disney Self Catering Accomodation
- Val D’Europe
- Central Paris
The two self catering Disney accommodation options are
You can click each link above for reviews and prices. The differences between these and the on site hotels is that you can have self catered options however you don’t get all the added bonuses that you get on a traditional on site hotel.
When we were staying off site at Disneyland Paris we decided to stay at Val D’Europe. The reason for this was largely budgetary. We were travelling in peak season and last minute so staying on site was super expensive.
Val D’Europe is a great option for those on a budget as the hotels are a lot cheaper than on site, there is a supermarket next door to you where you can buy plenty of snacks and foods to keep the costs down and you are are only one stop on the train to the park making it very easy to get into the park.
We stayed at the Ibis Budget which I am not going to lie was very basic but was well under 100 Euros a night during peak season and we only used it to sleep and shower. You can see other people’s reviews of the Ibis Budget here.
For more tips on visiting Disneyland Paris on a budget check out our post.
However there are some higher end options in Val D’Europe and some apart hotels which might appeal to you if you are staying longer in Paris. To see the variety of options for accommodation at Val D’Europe click here.
How Long Do I need at Disneyland Paris
One of the most frequently asked questions about Disneyland Paris has to “How Long Do I Need at Disneyland Paris?” and the truth is that the answer is how long is a piece of string? There are so many factors that go into deciding this – what budget do you have, are you travelling to go to Paris or to Disneyland Paris specifically etc.
If you only have one day I would say one day is enough at Disneyland Paris but don’t expect to get everything done and you might just want to go just one park.
Buying Tickets For Disneyland Paris
Disneyland Paris now has two parks – Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney Studios Paris. Depending on how long you decide to spend in the park depends on how if you want tickets to one or both parks. If you only have one day then I personally would recommend only doing one park however any longer than a day I would definitely recommend buying passes to both parks.
There are several options for tickets which are:
One of my top tips if you are staying for 4 days and maybe even 3 days if you plan to spend money on food and gifts on site is to buy an annual pass. We are going back to the park in December and regret not buying an annual pass when we went in August but we will when we return to the park for Christmas.
Book Your Character Dining Early
Character Dining is a great way to utilise your meal times as it means the magic of Disney continues over meals and you can actually get back time in your itinerary as you can meet popular characters like Disney or the Princesses without waiting in line.
Some of the most popular Disneyland Paris Character Meals are:
- Inventions Cafe
- Auberge de Cendrillon
- Mickey’s Cafe
This is great for meeting multiple characters in one go however the downside to these meals is that they are one pricey and you are not guaranteed to meet any specific character so you could go for a Princess Breakfast and miss out on Belle.
Another option for dining is to head to Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. This isn’t a character meet per se but is a dinner and a show with Mickey, Minnie and friends. For more information on the Wild West Show click here!
Decide if you want a photo pass
Getting photos of your time is undoubtedly a priority for your visit to Disney especially when meeting with characters and you need to decide if the photo pass is worth it for you.
We opted not to get the Photo Pass on our last visit simply because my husband isn’t a fan of being in photos and is happy to capture the meetings with our little girl. However if you all want to as a family be in the photos or aren’t very good at photography you might want to consider getting the photo pass.
Note: At character meetings the assistant with the photographer will take photos of your whole family with your phone or camera however the angles are never going to be as good as the ones the professional photographer takes.
If you do decide to get the photo pass be sure to download the app before you go. Click here to find out more about the photo pass and other apps you should download for your trip to Disneyland Paris.
Before you Go
Download Relevant Disneyland Paris Apps
There are loads of apps that are really useful for when you are at Disneyland Paris and there are a few which are pretty much essential if you are going and want to do some character meetings in the Walt Disney Studios. For information about the essential apps you need to have downloaded for your trip click here!
What to Pack for Disneyland Paris & What to Buy Before you Go
Packing for Disneyland Paris is a bit tricky because the weather in Paris is so temperamental. Therefore my biggest tip for general Paris packing is make sure you have plenty of layers. However on top of the regular packing there are some things we recommends taking whatever time of year you are travelling. They are:
- Snack Bags –
food in DInseyland Paris is expense and I guarantee if you are travelling to Disneyland Paris with young children I guarantee they will get hungry as you are in the longest line you have been in. Be sure to save yourself from a Hangry kid by having plenty of imperishable snacks with you. This is also one of my top tips for travelling to Disneyland Paris on a budget as snacks and food in the park adds up quickly.
- Collapsible refillable water bottle –
Water in the park is expensive. Take a collapsible refillable water bottle with you (there are plenty of Disney themed ones too on Amazon) as this is a cost saver and better for the environment as you won’t be using single use plastic in the park. If you or your kids don’t like water then take up some squeeze concentrate squash to add a bit more flavour.
I found that whenever my daughter was in costume she had better character interactions with that character. BE sure to travel with your child’s favourite character costume as costumes are expensive on site. Please note: Adults are not permitted to wear costume into Disney (in some parks exceptions are made around Halloween). However if you would like you can pay homage to your favourite Disney character through Disneybounding (outfits inspired by the costumes of Disney characters). Click here for some amazing Disneybounding inspiration!
- Disney Ears
Disney Ears are my favourite accessory for photos in the park. They are much pricier in the park and there are loads of great ears available on amazon.
- Themed T-Shirts
For the same reasons as above. Remember adults can’t wear costumes but themed t shirts will get you better interactions and get you in the Disney spirit.
- Disney Autograph Book
If you love character meetings then chances are you want to meet and collect autographs when you do each meeting. To save time and money be sure to buy this online first.
- Phone Battery Pack
I have my phone out constantly at Disney from using the Lineberty app and other essential Disneyland Paris apps to just taking loads of photos. Your battery runs low quick at Disneyland Paris so make sure you have a battery charger with you.
- Disney Lanyards
Lanyards are a great way to keep hold of your tickets. There are some lovely Disney ones out there.
Don’t Forget Your Medical Notes
If you have a disability or are pregnant be sure to take your medication notes with you as Disneyland Paris has special procedures in place that enable fast pass access for those with disabilities.
Disneyland Paris Tips
Plan your day
My number one tip for being at Disneyland Paris is to plan your day. My husband always moans that planning so much takes the magic away however we are really successful at getting on all the rides and getting at least 2-3 character meetings done a day and the sole reason for this is that I plan our day at Disney meticulously. You can check out our Disney itineraries here if you want to copy what we do.
However, that being said be sure to plan plenty of down time especially if you are travelling to Disneyland with toddlers or kids.
Use Your Early Magic Hours Effectively
If you are staying on-site my biggest tip is be sure to use your magic hours effectively. These are one of the best perks about staying on site at Disney and you can achieve a lot in them. I recommend doing things that will undoubtedly have big queues later in the day like Crush’s Coaster or the Princess Pavillon.
Grab Your Fast Passes
As soon as you get in the park be sure to grab your fast passes. Your fast passes will definitely save you time. There aren’t loads of fast passes available in the park but you should use the ones they have effectively and prioritise the ones you want to do most.
Fast pass rides at Disneyland Paris are:
- Buzz Lightyear’s Laser Blast (Discoveryland)
- Peter Pan’s Flight (Fantasyland)
- Star Wars: Hyperspace Mountain (Discoveryland)
- Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril (Adventureland)
- Big Thunder Mountain (Frontierland)
Fast pass rides at Walt Disney Studios are:
- Tower of Terror
Utilise Single Riders or Baby Swap at Popular Rides
If you are travelling to Disneyland Paris with a baby then you can use the baby swap at some of the bigger rides. Basically one of you queues while the other waits at the exit and you swap once the one is finished.
The other option if you don’t mind not being seated next to your group on a ride is to use the single rider option. This queue is often much shorter so you can get on the popular rides quicker by filling any gaps on the ride.
Plan for Shows and the Parade
One of my favourite things at Disneyland Paris is the shows and parades but the truth is they get busy. Be sure to get to shows and parade routes 3o minutes before it starts, maybe even easier during peak season to be sure you get a good position.
FAQS About Disneyland paris
How many days do you need in Disneyland Paris?
How many day you need at Disneyland Paris is a difficult answer. I would say you should allocate one day to each park (don’t try and do them in the same day). Therefore I would say a minimum of two days to do both parks but if you want to do character meetings and most of the rides you will need longer.
However if you only have one day don’t think it isn’t enough but only try and attempt to visit one park.
Do you tip at Disneyland Paris?
No – you don’t need to worry about tipping at Disneyland Paris
Is one day enough for Disneyland Paris?
One day is not enough to do both parks well but one day at Disneyland Paris is certainly enough to see some highlights at one of the parks.
Can you bring food into Eurodisney?
Yes it is a myth you can’t bring food into Eurodisney however you aren’t allowed to bring large coolers into the park but snacks, sandwiches etc is absolutely fine.