If you follow me on Instagram you won’t be a stranger to my recent trip to Disneyland Paris. It was the first time I’d been in 4 years and the first time ever for my boyfriend so we really wanted to make the most of our visit. We did lots of preparation and investigating in advance to ensure we had a great time and got to do everything. To top it all off, it was Halloween (my favourite season) during our visit which meant there was lots of special shows/events we couldn’t miss! After everything we learnt I compiled a list to help any first-timers:
- Walt Disney Studios is a half-day park: At the minute there is so much progress happening in the Studios that it really is a half-day park. I recommend getting up early and queuing for Crush’s Coaster and planning all of the shows around it, you will be finished by 1pm at the latest.
- Abuse the fast pass system: Paper fast passes can be amazing if you really know how the system works. For example, if the wait for Hyperspace Mountain is 40 minutes but the fast pass time is for 30 minutes time, grab the fast pass and ride a different ride in the meantime. This way you’ve done two rides in the space of what you would have waited for one!
- Head over to Crushes Coaster first: Crushes Coaster is a must do in the Studios Park and always has a long line so heading over to there at park open is a really smart move.
- Have a snacks day: The snacks vibe is extremely similar to Disneyland Resort (California) where they have lots of little things to choose from such as themed treats (coinciding with the current festival), nugget cones and everything you can imagine Mickey shaped. I’m such a sucker for Disney snacks so of course a snacks day is a must-do.
- Prioritise: It’s important to remember that lots of locals visit Disneyland Paris at the weekend and as it gets closer to the weekend you can definitely feel this in the parks. So on busier days it’s really important to prioritise rides/character meets you definitely want to do.
- Stay onsite: Although this might not always be financially possible there are a lot of benefits of staying onsite. It means you don’t waste any time travelling to the parks as you can literally walk from your hotel. It also means you can go back to the hotel if you need to during the day and most importantly can take advantage of extra magic hours.
- Leave the park at lunchtime: During the time we visited a lot of the restaurants and quick services were closed inside the park so we made the effort to leave the park and have lunch in the Disney Village. This was great for us as we were able to have some time to just chill and sit down re-charging ourselves for the evening ahead in the parks!
- Have full park days: Although the term ‘full park day’ sounds really scary and exhausting it really isn’t at Disneyland Paris because the latest the park closes is 8pm. This means you can attempt to get up super early to make the most out of extra magic hours (if you’re staying onsite).
- Shop EVERYWHERE: This is something I always live by whilst in a Disney park as merchandise ALWAYS varies from store to store. Also if you decide not to purchase, change your mind and go back a few days later more than likely it will be gone (I have had this happen to me numerous times).
- Follow ED92: The Disneyland Paris app isn’t as far forward as Walt Disney World so following ED92 on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram is a great way to stay updated on what’s happening in the parks. They post wait times, character meet and greets and ride closures regularly.
- Don’t buy the fast passes: Purchasing the fast passes aren’t worth the money or investment because most of the rides at the parks don’t take the fast passes at all. The paper fast passes are super easy to utilise if you use them smartly.
- Travel via Eurostar: Travelling by the Eurostar gave us more time in the parks as we didn’t have to worry about airport security/travel etc. It may be more expensive than flying but it’s super easy as it arrives directly into Disneyland Paris.
- Book reservations in advance: We had planned to dine in Walts and Chez Remy. I phoned a month in advance and discovered unfortunately Walts was closed for the entirety of October and there was only 2 reservation slots available for Chez Remy. Although we were disappointed we couldn’t go to Walts we absolutely adored Chez Remy and found it amazing great value for money considering it’s more of a deluxe restaurant. On our last day we attempted to dine in Captain Jack’s but at 12pm they were already fully booked for the day, so I highly recommend booking reservations in advance for all of the restaurants you desperately want to dine in.
- Watch the fireworks on Main Street with champagne: This was the main thing I wanted to do on our trip and we managed to find the stall on the last night! It was just outside the ice cream parlour and was roughly 10 euros each, but it was so worth it!
I had the best time ever at Disneyland Paris and it was great to have a taste of the parks closer to home!
YOUTUBE: Ellie Browne