I’m a Disneyland Paris fanatic. We have been to Disneyland Paris three times in the past three years, I’m a real kid at heart. I’ve also been to Disneyland in California, a whole other world but that’s another days tale. We’re not long back, just a few weeks and it was the best little holiday I ever had, just the two of us. I’m already daydreaming of our next visit. Here I’ve compiled a list of some Disneyland tips and tricks to help you save some pennies, beat the queues and make your stay a little more enjoyable!
Single riders – Selected attractions now offer a ‘riding alone’ option. It allows you to ride sooner by filling up empty seats and anyone can do it.
Bring a lunch-box – Save yourself a fortune! Stock up on bread rolls, pastries and fruit for lunch in the parks during your hotel breakfast. Meals are ridiculously expensive. Save your money for your evening meals.
Always queue to the left – Call me crazy or whatever but if a queue line is split in two ALWAYS choose the left lane. Most people are right-handed and naturally, gravitate towards the right.
Bring loads of treats – Sweets are way over priced. A small pack could set you back a fiver. Pick up some treats in Dealz or the Pound Shop before you go. It will save you a fortune. For brownie points try to get some with Disney characters on them too.
Stroller – You can rent strollers at Disney daily but it will add up during the course of your stay. Bring a stroller for young kids, there is a lot of walking in Disney and they will tire really quick.
Shop smart – Disney shops are mayhem in the evenings. Rather than fighting your way through the crowds shop before 4pm and have them delivered to your Disney Hotel free of charge.
Coffee – Looking for a decent cuppa? Then head to Starbucks or McDonald’s in Disney Village. I’m sorry but coffee in both of the parks is muck and extremely overpriced!
Download the Disneyland Paris app – Keep up to date, an invaluable app before and during your stay!
Pre-book character meals – Character meals book out days in advance, during busier periods it can be weeks. I highly recommend pre-booking character meals so you can guarantee a table. Cafe Mickey in Disney Village is brilliant, pricey but worth it.
Baby switch – A brilliant facility if you have young children with you. Parents can ride in turn without having to queue up twice.
Plan ahead – Pick up park the programme and guide and study them. They will be your bible. It’s the only way to keep up to date on character appearances and the likes.
Bring a water bottle – For obvious reasons. There is plenty of fountains to refill it throughout the parks. Also if you choose to get fizzy drinks in the park get a refill cup, it will save you a fortune in the long run.
Exclusive park hours – If you’re staying in a Disney Hotel you can avail of ‘extra park hours’. You can enter the park earlier than everyone else (8-10am). The days and parks vary throughout the year so always check with your hotel reception.
Fast pass – Scan your park ticket at fast pass machines available at some of the most popular attractions. Save loads of time by retrieving a return time slot.
Rain Coat – Correct me if I’m wrong but poncho’s in the parks cost almost a tenner. They’re very flimsy and you will be lucky to get a day out of one. Bring proper raincoats for everyone especially if your travelling in Autumn/Winter.
Bring spare’s – Bring plenty of batteries and a spare SD card for your camera. You don’t even want to know how much they cost in Disney.
Selfie sticks – Selfie sticks are banned in both parks. Security is tighter than ever now at Disney and everyone is wanded with a metal detector before entry to the parks so it’s best to just leave it at home.
Character Costumes – Does your kid like to play dress up? Bring their favourite Disney character costumes with you. A Disney outfit will set you back at least fifty quid at Disneyland. Also, I have noticed kids in costumes get more attention from cast members.
Artificial ice-skating – Looking to fill up one of the evenings? You should definitely try artificial ice skating outside Disney New York Hotel. It’s an experience and a half. My five-year-old spent two hours on the ‘ice’ and still talks about it to this day.
Download the app ‘Wait Times Disneyland Paris’ – Available on both iPhone and Android, it displays attraction wait times, it’s another invaluable app for checking what rides to get on next.
Eat at unusual times – Try to avoid usual lunch and dinner times. For example, you could be queuing up for lunch at 1pm for a good half hour. Time in Disney is precious, eat earlier or bring a snack to keep you going until after the rush.
Try to avoid school holidays – When booking your trip to Disney try to avoid booking your trip when French schools are off. The parks do be mayhem when schools are closed in my experience.
Disney Dreams – Do not miss it! A spectacular show complete with hundreds of fireworks at park closing. Stake out at least thirty minutes before it begins and try to get as close to Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant as possible. It’s the best spot in my opinion. No big heads in your way and the kids will be able to see everything high and low.
Daily Parades – Another not to me missed! There are several parades throughout the day in Disneyland. Grab a map for times and try to watch it from the start. This way you don’t have too long to wait and can head off to the park rides while most people are still watching/waiting on the parade.
Meet & Greet a Disney Princess – Disney Princesses take shifts so it’s pot luck who you will get to meet on the day. Arrive early, if anything run at 10am when the gates open to the Princess Pavilion and book a time to see a Princess. The queue in the morning can be up to an hour-long and it’s the only way you will get to meet a princess.
Disney Hotel Character Meet & Greet – Each Disney Hotel hosts meet and greets with Disney characters in the morning so always ask at your hotel reception. It will be your quickest meet and greet queue during your stay at Disney.
Height restrictions – There are height restrictions on all thrill rides. If your child is taller than 102cms (40 inches) they will be good to go on all rides except Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Space Mountain, Autopia (to drive), Indiana Jones and The Temple of Peril which you need to be taller. The maximum height restrictions are 140cms.
Crush Coaster – Without a doubt my daughters favourite ride, it’s awesome! Anyways, there’s a game available through free wi-fi in the queue for this attraction. It will help speed up the waiting times by keeping small ones occupied.
Autograph books and pens – Unless you fancy paying a tenner for an autograph book and €4 for a character pen, pick up a Disney diary and pen before you travel.
Make time for Disney Village – Disney Village can be just as fun as the parks. We spent three hours during bad weather strolling through the stores. Kids can play in the Lego Store, they can make light sabers and Toy Story Potato heads in another and not forgetting ‘Croc’ outside our favourite restaurant Rainforest Cafe. My kid could stand there and watch him for days.
Miserable weather – Every morning before we venture out to the parks I Google the local weather. If it’s forecast to rain head to Walt Disney Studios and catch all the shows. We have seen them all on our last visit (it rained and rained and rained!). Lilo and Stitch is a firm favourite here followed by Animagique (which I’ve been informed has shut down since our visit in January).
Have a blast – Disney is what dreams are made of, have the time of your life!!
We have always travelled to Disneyland Paris in January some attractions are seasonal ie. artificial ice-skating and the meet and greets in Disney Hotels. Have you been to Disney? Have you any tips to add?
So now you just have to get to Disney. Check out this awesome blog post by Stone Travel on CherrySue Doin’ The Do on how to bag the best deal to get to Disneyland Paris. I still can’t believe she got five kids to Disney for 3 nights for only €1,338.