Disneyland Paris Tips and Secrets

by Dr. Jessie Voigts / Oct 23, 2013 /
Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture

Disneyland Paris is a must-see if you’re a Disney fan (and who isn’t?). There are two parks at Disneyland ParisDisneyland Park, and Walt Disney Studios Park. You will want at least one day for each park. If you have more than two days, spend the extra day(s) at Disneyland Park.  You can get tickets to Disneyland Paris, which can include transportation from Paris, shuttles, and free-roaming between the two parks. If you're teaching or studying abroad in Europe, it's easy to get to for a weekend adventure!

What can you find at Disneyland Park? 5 lands filled with laughter! Main Street USA, Frontierland, Adventureland, Fantasyland, and Discoveryland are ready for you to explore. The park is filled with attractions (the famous Once Upon a Dream Parade, meet n’ greets with Disney characters, Star Tours, Space Mountain, Mad Hatter’s Tea Cups, La Taniere du Dragon, etc.).

Walt Disney Studios Park is a look at what goes on behind the scenes to create all your favorite Disney moments. It is comprised of Disney Studios, Toon Studio, Backlot, Frontlot, Production Courtyard, and Toy Story Playland. Here, you can see High School Musical, Stitch Live!, Crush’s Coaster, Rock ‘n Roller Coaster, Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Cinemagique, RC Racer, Parachute Drop, and more. You can learn more (and grab a map) at the Official Website for Disneyland Paris: http://idf.disneylandparis.fr/

Here are our tips and secrets for getting the most out of Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Paris Tips and Secrets

Where to Stay in Disneyland Paris

There are many accommodation options for you at Disneyland Paris (and in Paris). We always love staying at Disney, though. Stay on-site at the Disneyland Hotel (click for rates and availability), a Tripadvisor Traveler's Choice 2016 Winner, or at the 5 (!) Disney other hotels on property (click to view rates and availability) - Disney's Newport Bay Club, Sequoia Lodge, Hotel New York, Hotel Santa Fe, or Hotel Cheyenne. 

Where to Stay in Disneyland Paris. From Disneyland Paris Tips and Secrets

Saving Money

Save your receipts from counter service restaurants or quick service food stands – you will find a voucher for a free drink later that day.

Bring an empty small water bottle to fill up at drinking fountains in the park – that will save you plenty of money.

Happy Hour! Check out the restaurants in Disney Village for happy hour – some even offer free kids meals.

The most expensive meal options are at full service restaurants (Top Tier Dining). Takeaway (Affordable Takeaway) is your cheapest eating option, sandwiching counter service (Mid-Priced Table Service/Bar Food). However, if you’ve got a hungry crew, find a buffet restaurant for the biggest bang for your euro. Don’t plan to eat between 12-2pm – ALL restaurants are crowded then and you’ll spend time waiting. Also look for the phrase Open Drinks on the menu for places that offer unlimited free refills on cold beverages.

Fantasyland Canal Boat, Disneyland Paris. From Disneyland Paris Tips and Secrets

Fantasyland Canal Boat. Photo: Wikimedia Commons: Andrei Dan Suciu

Opening Times/Ride Tips

The gates to the Studios open at 9:30am. Start lining up at 9, if you’re intent on getting into Crush.

Autopia sometimes opens earlier than 10am, so if that is on your must-see list, line up at around 9:30.

Frontierland opens at 10am. If you want to ride it twice, pick up a fastpass for the second ride – when you get off the first, your second ride should be timed just right.

Love Thunder Mountain? Take the line on the left – it moves faster. In fact, try this on all the rides with long lines. You’ll find success (and have more time to ride more rides!)

If you don’t care about the parade, plan on riding bigger rides then – the lines will be much shorter.

When you enter the park, head to the back of the park and work your way toward the front – there will be far less people in lines with you.

Staying at a Disney Hotel? You can take advantage of Extra Magic Hours – which allows you to enter the parks 2 hours earlier (!!) than the official opening hours.

Plan to use the Fast Pass system to streamline your rides and wait times. It’s free!

Entrance, Disney Studios Paris. From Disneyland Paris Tips and Secrets

Walt Disney Studios Park Entrance. Photo: Wikimedia Commons: Bramheylen

The View

Watching the parade? Find a spot on a curve, so you can see the parade coming and going.

Want to ride the Disneyland Railroad for a grand tour of the park? Don’t hop on at the entrance – choose another stop and start your ride there – no lines, less crowds.

Disneyland Paris Railroad. From Disneyland Paris Tips and Secrets

Disneyland Paris Railroad. Photo: Wikimedia Commons: Chuck

Meet and Greet

This would be a great time to use your Extra Magic Hours, if you’re staying at a Disney Hotel. During this time, there are actually more costumed performers out and about.

Of course, you can also go to the advertised locations for Meet and Greets.

The lines for Mickey are shortest at the Toon Studio.

Also, there are many Meet and Greets at the Disney Hotels! Worth staying at one, just for this, if it’s your thing. Ask the concierge for assistance and ideas.

Cinderella, Disneyland Paris. From Disneyland Paris Tips and Secrets

Cinderella, Parade, Main Street. Photo Wikimedia commons: Victor R. Ruiz

Miscellaneous Tips

Need a bit of quiet time, or a space to nurse your child? Head into the Disneyland Hotel. Lovely lobby, and nicer and less crowded restrooms.

Looking for Hidden Mickeys?  Find them on the floor of the Studio 1 Building, at the Main Gates of the Studios, and, for more exhaustive lists, there are several Hidden Mickey Websites – and even an app for your smartphone!

If you like to find more details than Hidden Mickeys, there’s a fabulous website, called Hidden DLRP, which showcases all kinds of details for you to find – such as golden snails on some of the towers of Sleeping Beauty Castle, or the ax of the woodsman near the entrance to the Snow White attraction.

Wear comfortable but stylish clothes (this is Paris, after all!). Bring a small backpack or large purse for your water bottle, sunscreen, small snacks, etc. Don’t bring a bag that weighs a ton – your shoulders will thank you for this.

Brush up on your French – almost everything is IN French. Cast members that are multi-lingual have golden tags on their name tags, denoting which other languages they speak.

Make sure you have enough batteries and memory cards with you – you’ll be glad you did!

Shopping? You can choose to have your purchases delivered to either the Disney Store in Disney Village, or to your Disney Hotel (collect after 6pm). No more lugging around all your purchases. FREE!

Note: Frontierland becomes Halloweenland in October, and stays open until 1:30am on Halloween!

No wifi in the parks, but you can find it in the hotels.

Bateau de pirate de Disneyland Paris (Pirates of the Caribbean). From Disneyland Paris Tips and Secrets

Bateau de pirate de Disneyland Paris (Pirates of the Caribbean). Photo: Wikimedia Commons: Mith

 

Want more Disneyland Paris tips? Head here: http://www.wikihow.com/Make-the-Most-of-Your-Day-at-Disneyland-Resort-Paris

 

Word photo adapted from Wikimedia Commons: EyOne