Disneyland Paris: 12 Must-Read Tips For First Timers

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If you are planning a trip to Disneyland Paris with your family, you are probably soaking up many tips and itinerary options for your vacation. That’s why I’m here to narrow it down a bit and offer 12 things to know for your first Disneyland Paris visit. These Disneyland Paris Tips will help you have an amazing visit.

From hotels to attractions and entertainment to which Disneyland Paris tickets to purchase, there is a lot to decide on. These simple tips will help you make the most of your Disneyland Paris vacation!

Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Paris
Photo Credit: Jessica Sanders

Disneyland Paris: What To Know For Your First Visit

Disneyland Paris is made up of two theme parks: Disneyland Paris and WALT DISNEY Studios Park. They have a handful of on-site Disney hotels and includes Disney Village, the shopping and entertainment district of Disneyland Paris.

  1. Disneyland Paris is located outside of the city center. You can arrive by private car, taxi or public transportation. In fact, the Paris RER train (Réseau Express Régional) can take you from Paris right to Disneyland’s front gates. The train station is even closer than most of the Disney-owned hotels. 
  2. If you’re visiting on your departure or arrival day, Disneyland Paris will store your luggage at the park entrance. The security screening is airport-style so your luggage will fit just fine without the need for an interior search in most cases. 
  3. Park tickets and theme park reservations are best secured in advance. Our partners at Get Away Today can secure those for you at the best price available. (Be sure you mention that Becca from This Crazy Adventure Called Life sent you!)
Luggage check at Disneyland Paris, similar style as a TSA luggage check
Luggage Check at Disneyland Paris Photo credit: Jessica Sanders

Bonus Disneyland Paris Tip: Disneyland Paris (current at the time of publishing in 2022) still allows flexible park hopping. You can use early entry at one park and immediately hop to the other if you’d like. 

Disneyland Paris Hotels

Photo credit: Jessica Sanders
  1. Onsite hotels save time and money. Compared to onsite hotel offerings at Disneyland California and Walt Disney World Florida, you might find the price point of Disneyland Paris Hotels are very affordable. A quick email or call with our partners at Get Away Today can help navigate cost comparisons. Plus, they also offer free price monitoring after you book with refunds directly to you should the prices drop.
  2. We loved the family suite at Newport Bay Club. The walk to and from the parks each day was minimal. The functionality of the room was superb. We had 2 double beds and 2 twin beds for our family of 5. It’s not at all unusual to find double beds rather than queen or kings in Paris. The layout and space worked better than I anticipated and we loved being inside the Disney magic 24/7.
  3. Club Level was an easy and cost-effective upgrade. I am used to prices at Disneyland California and upgrading to Club Level was still less expensive than a regular night’s stay at the Grand Californian. We stayed for multiple nights and made good use out of our exclusive check-in area, private breakfast buffet dining, snacks, drinks, and tea time hours. We easily saved a good amount of money just by utilizing these perks.
hotel room at Disneyland Paris' Newport Bay Club
Photo credit: Jessica Sanders

Bonus Disneyland Paris Tip: Staying onsite gives you access to early entry each day of your ticketed stay. We found it so beneficial for riding popular attractions like Crush’s Coaster. 

Disneyland Paris App

Photo credit: Jessica Sanders
  1. Download the Disneyland Paris app and use the directions feature to navigate the park. This resort has many winding pathways, playgrounds, and alternate routes that make Disneyland Paris so much fun to explore. Think Tom Sawyer Island, but almost everywhere.
    Instead of taking the main path, you can wander through caves or tunnels and end up at the same destination. This makes the app’s direction feature especially helpful in a new-to-you Disney park. 
  2. Wait times, including single rider wait times and skip-the-line features, are all available via the Disneyland Paris app. You can often use single rider on Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril several times over before the stand-by queue cycles. 
  3. Skip mobile order for now. In 2022 the mobile order system is in dire need of a tech overhaul. Besides only offering mobile orders for a handful of quick service locations, the process is difficult and faulty. It relies on unreliable wifi and cell signals and directs you through several steps via the app, a website, your email, and more. It’s clunky at best and takes more time than ordering in a regular line at times. 

Bonus Disneyland Paris Tip: Each attraction also lists operating hours in the Disneyland Paris app. Some attractions close permanently earlier in the day than others. Don’t miss your favorites, keep an eye on those times. 

The Magic Of A Disneyland Paris Vacation

Photo credit: Jessica Sanders
  1. Explore Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Paris on your first trip! There is so much more to this castle than meets the eye. For one, picture-perfect spots surround this beauty. Don’t settle for the crowds and people in the background of your photos. Keep exploring and you will certainly find a place just for you! Don’t forget to go inside and beneath the castle to Dragon’s Lair.
  2. Hate the busy crowds of Main Street? The Arcades of Disneyland Paris are the best! We’re not talking video game arcades here. These are the covered pathways on both sides of Main Street. They’re often uncrowded and still give you access to Main Street shopping. These areas give you quicker walking access to other lands in Disneyland Paris.
  3. Break up your busy ride schedule with The Lion King: Rhythms of the Pride Lands at the Frontierland Theater. This show was a highlight of our family trip. It was unlike any other shows I’ve seen at Disneyland California. It completely entertained with 30 minutes of singing, dancing acrobatics, and stunts. I was blown away and so grateful we made time for this show in our itinerary. Don’t miss it!
Photo credit: Jessica Sanders

Bonus Disneyland Paris Tip: Use the Liberty Arcade on the left side of Main Street. Then take a slight left through another tunnel at the end of the arcade. This will lead you directly to the queue for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. It’s one of the most popular rides at Disneyland Paris, and this direct route gets you there fast!

Last thoughts on our first trip to Disneyland Paris . . . 

Our family of five spent 4 nights at Newport Bay Club Hotel. While my top choice was the Disneyland Hotel, it was undergoing extensive renovations while we visited during the 30th anniversary celebration.

Photo credit: Jessica Sanders

Our park tickets included 4 days of parkhopping at Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney Studios Park. We upgraded to Club Level and had a half meal plan. The half meal plan allowed us to enjoy one sit-down meal each night of our stay.

We especially loved Bistrot Chez Rémy and Captain Jack’s. We also used our meal plan for character dining at Plaza Gardens which was phenomenal in both cuisine and character interaction. 

Photo credit: Jessica Sanders Family

Disneyland Paris is an adorable, beautiful, and magical resort. We really enjoyed having that familiarity at the end of our 2 weeks in Paris. I highly recommend a visit to Disneyland Paris for any Disney fan coming to Europe. 

Guest Author: Jessica Sanders, The Happiest Blog On Earth

Jessica Sanders (@DisneylandPlan) writes at The Happiest Blog on Earth and is co-founder of “Disneyland with Kids” Facebook group. She loves being with family, sipping a Coke Zero, watching Dodger baseball and lounging on the beach.

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