Oh we have had a VERY exciting few days.. the kids TOP Bucket List item has now officially been TICKED OFF THE LIST: we went to Disneyland Paris and boy oh boy did the kids love it. We thought we would share some our favourite Disneyland Paris rides information, as well as our Disneyland Paris Top Tips, to make the most of your visit. Because, boy oh boy is it great, but it is also very busy.
We were lucky enough to go during the Disneyland Paris 25 Year Celebrations, making it extra magical.
First up, I just want to mention, that it is ASTOUNDING that Disneyland Paris has been going 25 years. Well, it is astounding to me, because I remember when it was first opened and how I *really* wanted to go. And *cough* I am not that old. Really.. I am not. But it is also astounding, because it Disneyland Paris, though 25yrs old , is incredibly well kept, up to date, super clean and incorporates all the old time favourites (like Dumbo, Goofy, Mickey and friends), but is also totally up to date, with elements of Moana, Frozen and of course Star Wars.
My kids are 9yrs old and 7yrs old – and to us, this was the PERFECT age to go. Old enough to enjoy almost all of the rides (there was only 1 they were not allowed on height wise) and young enough to adore the magicalness of it, as well as some of the younger rides (we do still love a Merry Go Round, I have to say).
Our favourite Disneyland Paris Top Tips:
Disneyland Pairs TIP 1 – FAST PASS
Get FastPass tickets – seriously, this is the single most useful thing at Disney. Though the park is VERY WELL organised, it DOES get busy and you will expect queues (like at ALL theme parks). The FastPass system is a great way to “get to the front of the queue”. You are allowed to FastPass every 2hrs – you book time slots (book these early, if you can) and you come back for your allocated time. Be sure to come back in EXACTLY the time allocated, because you will otherwise be turned away. Use your FastPass tickets wisely though, as you only get a limited number of goes per day. Information on FastPass is available here.
Disneyland Pairs TIP 2 – MEALS
Now, all of Disneyland Paris is very busy, especially in the school holidays. It IS worth booking your meals ahead of time. There are PLENTY of choices.. and I would suggest alternating between the buffet style type meals available within the Disneyland Park and some decent meals like you can get at Planet Hollywoodand the Earl of Sandwich situated in the Disneyland Village.
Eating in the Village is a good opportunity to take a break from the “hubbub” of Disney itself. Especially if you are heading to the lake side of the Earl of Sandwhich – technically a “fast food sandwich” place, the food is all prepared on site and is MUCH more affordable than many of the the other Disney Park options (my eyes smarted, when we saw menus priced at 75 Euros for grown ups and 50 Euros for kids. Ouch). Planet Hollywood on the other hand is an experience in itself, with great milk shakes and good ol’ American fare. Hubby and I particularly enjoyed the memorabilia spotting. SO much to see and take in!
Disneyland Pairs TIP 3 – RAIN or SHINE
As with all of Europe, the weather really is unpredictable. Be sure to pack for both rain or shine. We were lucky and gloriously sunny weather. For that you will need sunscreen and hats (I may have got a mild sun stroke.. eeep), but be prepared for showers too. Small rucksacks fit on all rides, so don’t worry about that!
Disneyland Pairs TIP 4 – POCKET MONEY
Give the kids some pocket money.. this will stop them wanting EVERYTHING every 5 minutes. We let them window shop lots (which they loved), and on the second day they chose what they wanted to buy as a keepsake!
Disneyland Pairs TIP 5 – WATER & SNACKS
There are plenty of water fountains around and places for popcorn, mickey toffee apples and ice creams. However, you will spend a lot of time in queues, so do bring your own water (which you can fill up at the fountains) and alternative snacks to the treats available. Of course you should indulge too, after all you only go to Disney once!!
Disneyland Pairs TIP 6 – MEET THE CHARACTERS
Remember, Disneyland Paris is NOT JUST about the rides. Well it isn’t when you are still little. You can meet ALL the Disney characters – from Captain Jack Sparrow, to Peter Pan and the Chipmunks. Bring along a notebook for signatures and photos.
Disneyland Pairs TIP 7 – PARADES vs RIDES
Similarly, remember there are lots of parades and of course the evening light show and fireworks. Check the parades time tables and plan them into your day. They are a great time to sit down and rest your weary feet.
ALTERNATIVELY – parade times is a great time to get ahead in some queues.. use them to go on your favourite rides.
Disneyland Pairs TIP 8 – PLAN IN BREAKS
Finally.. plan plenty of breaks. YES, you do need the time to queue, but you also need the time to rest. Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney Studios cover LARGE AREAS and you will end up walking a lot. Especially if you try and get there early (8am!) and stay late (light show starts at 10pm and finishes around 10:20pm/10:30pm). We ended up walking 25,000 steps every day! Most of the Disneyland Paris hotels have great facilities including swimming pools. Take a break and enjoy those too.
Our favourite ride in the whole of Disneyland Paris. This is your “classic” Roller Coaster experience, but age appropriate for our 9yrs and 7yrs olds. The whole family loved it. It is probably one of the busiest rides at Disneyland Paris though, so use your Fast Pass or queue early.
FAST PASS: you join the Fast Pass queue. They have dedicated trains for the Fast PASS queue, you are likely to wait 10min or so – BUT IT IS TOTALLY WORTH it.
My daughter particularly loved this ride – you get to drive cars around a pre determined track.
NO FAST PASS: which means, you should go on this ride, first thing in the morning (it opens at 10. Start queuing at 9:40am or so) or in the evening. Either way, you are likely to have at least a 30-40min wait on this one.
This ride was a “step up” from Big Thunder Mountain, dark, loud music and disco lights. My son, husband and I LOVED it.. but my 7yrs old chose not to go on it. Just a little too much for her. Great for older kids!
FAST PASS: you can use your fast passes here, but still expect at least 20 minutes of queuing.
I hope you enjoyed our whistle stop tour to Disneyland Paris. We had an amazing time. Though the resort IS busy and hectic, it is incredibly well run, very clean and of course lots of fun and magical!! ENJOY!!!!