Top tips for Disneyland Paris
18th December 2018
Visiting a Disney park is surprisingly overwhelming. It’s honestly like another world!
If I hadn’t of watched hours and hours of Disney vlogs on Youtube before I went to Disneyland Paris I would have been clueless and so unprepared for my trip! I learned so much from watching videos and reading blog posts before I went and I feel like it helped us to make the most out of our time there.
So, I thought I would compile all of my top tips for a trip to Disneyland Paris in one post for you.
Download the official Disneyland Paris app
Before you head off to Disneyland Paris I recommend downloading the official app. It is full of useful information and resources including park maps, live waiting times for rides, times for shows and parades and park opening hours
Sometimes the waiting times on the app were accurate, but sometimes they were a little bit off, but it still was good to get a general idea of which rides were busy and when.
Another app we used was MagiPark: Disneyland Paris. This is an unofficial app that tells you the live wait times for each ride. The cool thing about this app is that you can show the rides in wait time order, from busiest to quietest. Again, it’s not 100% accurate but it’s still helpful.
Consider staying at a Disney hotel
Disney hotels are not the cheapest option when it comes to accommodation, but staying at one does come with lots of perks.
For example, you can utilise Extra Magic Hours which is where the park is open to hotel guests (and annual pass holders, I believe) 1 hour before it is open to the general public. This means it’s a lot quieter and the wait time for the rides is ridiculously short. Only certain rides are open during Extra Magic Hours.
Another bonus is that you are within walking distance of the parks. We stayed at Sequoia Lodge which is about a 10 minute walk away from the parks. Shuttle buses also run from the hotels to the park in case you don’t fancy the walk, or it’s pouring with rain!
Research the dining plan options
If you are staying in a Disney hotel then you might want to consider adding on a dining plan as it could save you a lot of money.
Eating in the parks can be very expensive so a dining plan might work out better value for money than paying for each meal individually.
We opted for the half board plus dining plan which meant we got breakfast (quick service in Cafe Hyperion) and then lunch or dinner in a selection of restaurant.
Although breakfast was a little basic, we were really impressed with all of the meals we ate in the restaurants inside the parks and hotels. We definitely got our money’s worth out of the plan.
Make restaurant reservations in advance
I was advised to book restaurants in advance and I’m glad we did because they do get super busy.
You can call the restaurants to make reservations before you go or you can ask the concierge at your hotel to make your reservations for you. If you aren’t staying in a Disney hotel but want to make reservations you can do so at City Hall on Main Street in the Disneyland Park.
They are currently trialling online restaurant reservations (so this might stop at any time!) but if you are interesting you can find links to the booking pages of each restaurant here.
FastPasses allow you to jump the queues for certain rides so you don’t have to waste all day waiting around.
All you have to do is go up to the FastPass machines for a ride that has a FastPass queue, check out the return time (the time that you are allowed to use your FastPass), and if you are happy with the return time, scan your park ticket to get your FastPass ticket.
Then, return to the ride within your return time period and join the FastPass queue. It will be much shorter than the normal queue.
You are allowed one FastPass at a time, and you can only get another one after the start time of your current FastPass. So for example, if you had a FastPass for 14:00 to 14:30, you could get another FastPass at 14:00.
You don’t have to use your FastPass. It will just automatically expire if you don’t use. But you can give your FastPass to someone else if you know you aren’t going to use it.
Best of all, the FastPass service is available to anyone, not just those staying in the Disney hotels.
Ride Crush’s Coaster first thing in the morning
Yes, this is a very specific tip!
One of the most popular rides in the Studios park is Crush’s Coaster, but it doesn’t have a FastPass queue. This means it constantly has ridiculous waiting times. In fact, one day we saw the wait time reach an hour and a half!
If you want to ride Crush’s Coaster, ride it first thing in the morning. If you are staying in one of the Disney hotels then make the most of your Extra Magic Hours and ride the ride during this time.
The best place to watch the parades
We ended up watching the parades a few times but we found the best place to watch it is by Pizzeria Bella Notte in Fantasyland, just by the two pink towers. You can get a great view of the parade from there but it’s nowhere near as busy as it is on Main Street.
Main Street is complete chaos when the parades are on! If you need to get from one end of Main Street to other while the parade is on, use the arcades that run parallel to Main Street.
There are lots and lots of shops in the parks, but if you don’t fancy carrying around your shopping all day then don’t worry! Disney offer a free shopping service.
When you purchase something from one of the shops in the park, you have the option to have your items sent to the Disney Village ready for you to pick up later. Or, if you are staying at one of the Disney hotels, you can have your shopping sent back to the hotel you are staying at.
We didn’t actually utilise this service as we didn’t do that much shopping, so I can’t really tell you how well it works!
Make use of the accessibility support
I wish I’d known about this before I went on holiday but the Disney parks have a lot of support in place for those with disabilities.
As you may or may not know, I have hip dysplasia, so standing around waiting to go on rides can be really painful. Therefore I could apply for a priority card so that I could skip the queues.
Have you been to Disneyland Paris before? Or any other Disney parks? Share your top tips in the comments.