Disneyland is one of those attractions that can be enjoyed by everyone. Unlike the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, it’s perfect for families with small (or big) children, for couples looking for a romantic yet fun activity, and even for solo travellers who just adore the iconic Disney characters. Because Disneyland Paris is the only Disney Park in all of Europe, thousands of visitors, from in and out of France, come regularly. This article is meant to give you the most practical and updated information on:
- the best attractions to see
- the best times to visit
- detailed instructions on how to get there from Paris
- the upcoming events
- and of course, our top INSIDR Tips!
1. What to see at Disneyland Paris
Disney Parks are huge and are often divided into different ‘lands’ and Disneyland Paris is no different. When you arrive at the theme park, you’ll find on the map that there are 5 different magical lands:
- Main Street USA – where the afternoon parade and the night show happens!
- Discoveryland – where you’ll find all of the space-related attractions like Space Mountain
- Fantasyland – is where you’ll find the pink castle of Sleeping Beauty and where you’ll queue to take a photo with Mickey
- Adventureland – is where you’ll find attractions related to Aladdin, Indiana Jones, and Pirates of the Caribbean
- Frontierland – is a land with the theme of ‘American Old West’.
In general, it’s impossible to tour all 5 lands and ride all the attractions in one day. Some travellers even go for as many as 5 days to really enjoy all of Disneyland Paris! But if you’re only planning a day-trip, we recommend to set your sights at the best attractions!
(1) “It’s A Small World” is located in Fantasyland! It’s an attraction that is timeless and will definitely make adults and children alike smile! This is an attraction that is fun, colorful, sweet, and meaningful!
(2) Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril is an amazing and exciting rollercoaster ride that you can’t miss! You can find this attraction in Adventureland.
(3) Big Thunder Mountain located in Frontierland is perhaps the most popular attraction across all Disney Parks in the world! It’s a less scary rollercoaster ride which is the perfect kid-friendly attraction.
(4) Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain is a ride that’s a thrilling crossover between Star Wars and the famous SPace Mountain ride! Find this rollercoaster ride in Discoveryland.
(5) Mad Hatter’s Tea Cups is an attraction that many kids will definitely love. Enjoy riding spinning tea cups accompanied by festive music!
Attractions with a Fastpass
First of all, what is a Fastpass?
Basically, a Fastpass is a ticket that lets you reduce waiting times. To get one, you must go to a Fastpass Machine, usually found near the entrance of an attraction, and insert your Disneyland ticket. Afterwards, you’ll receive your Fastpass which will indicate your return time to the attraction.
Your return time will usually be at least an hour after you’ve gotten your Fastpass. This means you have some free time to spend touring other attractions or getting on less crowded rides. Make sure that you return within the indicated time on your Fastpass! Fastpass tickets do not let you through instantly but they’ll reduce the wait time by at least 30 minutes.
Another important thing to know is that you can’t get more than 1 Fastpass at a time. You’ll find on the bottom of your Fastpass after what time you can get another one. See the image above.
Only the most popular rides have the Fastpass machines so that the number of people waiting can be controlled.
Current schedule of parades and shows
2. When to visit Disneyland Paris
Disneyland is the only attraction in Paris that is open 365 days a year! However, opening and closing times vary depending on the month and season. Disneyland Paris posts the day’s schedule on their website.
- summer months — around 10pm or 11pm
- winter months — around 8pm or 9pm
In general, Disneyland Paris opens at 10:00am but if you’re a guest staying at one of the Disney hotels, you get Extra Magic Hours which will be explained below.
Days and Seasons
Before even planning your trip to Disneyland, it’ll be good to acquaint yourself with the French and European calendar of holidays to avoid super large crowds. In Europe, there are generally 5 big school holidays throughout the year:
- Autumn break — mid-October to early November
- Christmas break — mid-December to early January
- Winter Break — mid-February to mid-March
- Spring Break — mid-April to mid-May
- Summer Holidays – July to end of August
Unfortunately, the best seasons for temperate weather coincide with the major school holidays. Make sure you’re being strategic when you choose when to visit. For example, we recommend visiting on a weekday as most kids and adults will be at school and work. However, avoid visiting on a Wednesday as there are no classes on Wednesdays in France.
The low-season months will have less crowds but that’s also when Disneyland Paris often closes some attractions for repairs and when there aren’t any special events happening. Check the website for updated information on closure of attractions or areas!
Extra Magic Hours
Disneyland Paris makes it more lucrative for people to book a stay at one of Disney resort hotels because of the Extra Magic Hours. Basically, if the regular opening time is at 10:00am, hotel guests can enter the park 2 hours earlier and enjoy the attractions that are already open. Read more about it here.
3. How to Get to Disneyland Paris
By train from Paris
Getting to Disneyland Paris by train from Paris center is really simple! Wherever you may be staying in the city, make sure to head to a station that’s on the RER A line. Here are some RER A line stations within Paris:
- Charles-de-Gaulle Étoile
- Gare de Lyon
Because Disneyland Paris is outside of Paris city limits, regular T+ tickets are NOT valid for the train. You must go to a ticket machine or ticket booth and buy 1-way or return RER tickets. The price of a 1-way RER ticket is 7,60€. If you’re not staying at a Disney hotel, we highly recommend that you buy a roundtrip ticket.
By train from CDG airport
If you’re going to Disneyland Paris directly after arriving at CDG, you may take the TGV express train. This high-speed train directly connects CDG Terminal 2 to Marne-la-Vallée Chessy. The train ride only takes about 12 minutes and costs 17,50€ one-way. You can buy your tickets in advance on the Oui.sncf website.
By other means
You can also opt for the Disneyland Paris Express which is a shuttle service between Paris and the park.
- Shuttle 1 — from Gare du Nord, Opéra, and Châtelet
- Shuttle 2 — from Eiffel Tower
You can buy the shuttle ticket along with the park ticket as a package on the website.
**If you’re traveling as a group of 4, you may want to look into booking an Uber which may come out cheaper than the shuttle service.
4. Important upcoming events at Disneyland Paris
Halloween at Disneyland Paris will run from September 28 until November 3, 2019. More info here.
You can enjoy the festive Christmas decorations and atmosphere at the park from November 9 until January 6, 2019. More details can be found here.
Walt Disney Studios Expansion
The expansion of the Walt Disney Studios (just next to Disneyland Paris Park) has been announced and will be rolled out in phases from 2021. The Studios will have 3 new areas dedicated to Frozen, Star Wars, and Marvel Universe. The project aims completion by 2024 ahead of the Paris Summer Olympics.
**You can visit the Walt Disney Studios on the same day as your visit to Disneyland Park but you’ll have to buy a separate ticket.
5. INSIDR Tips
Buying tickets to Disneyland Paris
Buy tickets online in advance and not at Disneyland Paris itself! This will save you a few euros which you can add to your food budget instead! Some travellers have also shared that booking Disneyland Paris packages on the French website are a few euros cheaper. Make sure to compare prices.
What to eat at Disneyland Paris
There are a lot of restaurants inside and outside of Disneyland Paris park. Our top 3 recommended ones are: (1) Walt’s — American restaurants, (2) Auberge de Cendrillon — Cinderella’s restaurant, and (3) Captain Jack’s — Caribbean cuisine.
Money-saving tip: Buy some refreshments and snacks at the supermarket! In case you didn’t know, food in Disneyland is very expensive. The cheapest snack costs 3€ and a full set meal is no less than 15€.
What to wear to Disneyland Paris
Adults are not allowed to dress up as Disney characters. This may be a strange rule but according to Disneyland, this is because they don’t want to risk confusion between guests and actual staff. Only children under 14 years old may be allowed to put on Disney costumes. Apart from that, you can pretty much wear anything you want but we do advise to wear comfortable shoes as you’ll be doing a lot of walking and standing in line throughout the entire visit!
What to bring: bring a jacket and a small umbrella especially if you’re visiting in the months from September through May as it can get cold at night and sometimes rainy. There are a few things not allowed to be brought inside the Disneyland Paris park: selfie sticks, large tripods, suitcases, and bags larger than 61 cm x 38 cm x 46 cm.
Visiting Walt Disney Studios
As mentioned earlier, the Studios are still in the process of expansion for the future Marvel Universe but for now, you can visit attractions like Ratatouille: The Adventure and Tower of Terror.
If you only have 1 day for Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney Studios, we recommend visiting the Studios first as it closes around 6:00pm. The lines for the attractions there would be shorter, too! And you can go back and forth between the two parks.