19 Disneyland Paris Tips You Should Know for Your First Trip

Planning a first visit to Disneyland Paris? Today I am sharing my best tips for your first time at Disneyland Paris that will help you have a great time at this unique Disney park.

We are big Disney fans and couldn’t wait to visit another Disney park. After our visit I knew I wanted to put together all the tips from Disneyland Paris I learned from our experience.

We have visited the Walt Disney World resort in Orlando Florida as well as the Disneyland resort in California. I was really excited to add Disneyland Paris to our Disney Parks list.

Both locations offer a unique theme park vacation and we were so excited to experience the Disneyland Paris theme park.

disneyland paris tips pixar land

Guide to Disneyland Paris

2 Theme Parks at Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Paris has 2 theme parks: Disneyland and Walt Disney Studios. Disneyland is much like Magic Kingdom and has the classic Disney characters and rides.

Disneyland would be considered the main park with Sleeping Beauty Castle and Main Street.

Walt Disney Studios is like Disney’s Hollywood Studios and has a movie set theme. Walt Disney Studios has Avengers Campus, Pixar Land, and soon Frozen Land (2025).

There is also Disney Village, a shopping and dining area. This is comparable to Downtown Disney at the California park.

Guests staying at most of the Disneyland Paris resorts can walk between the two parks and Disney Village. The park entrance for both parks is less than a 5 minute walk.

disneyland paris tips walt disney studios

Disneyland Paris in Not Located in the City of Paris

Disneyland Paris is located in Chessey, France. This is about a 1 hour train ride from the city of Paris. You can take a day trip to Disneyland Paris if you do not want to spend a lot of time at the parks.

Purchase Disneyland Paris Tickets Before You Arrive at the Parks

You should purchase park tickets before you arrive at the parks. This is a huge time and money saver when visiting theme parks.

You don’t want to waste time on your first day standing in long line for tickets.

Most tickets are park hopper tickets. This means you have access to Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios.

We purchased our tickets and hotel as a package through the Disneyland Paris website. Our package was 4 day tickets (both parks) and 3 nights at Newport Bay Club.

Compare prices to see where you can find the best deal for what you need.

Download the Disneyland Paris App Before You Arrive

The best way to stay informed on park hours, opening times, show times, character meet and greets, attraction wait times, and restaurant information is to download the Disneyland Paris App.

I suggest doing this a few weeks before your trip to become familiar with the app and watch wait times for your favorite attractions.

This will help you prepare for your next visit and ensure you are ready for the day.

disneyland paris tips disneyland park

Best Disneyland Paris Tips for Your First Time Visiting

Stay On-Site if it is in Your Budget

I always prefer staying on-site when visiting Walt Disney World in Orlando. When we visit Disneyland in California we have always stayed at an off-site hotel, like the Courtyard Marriott.

The reason for this is accessibility to the parks. In California the off-site hotels are just as close as the on-site so there is no need to pay more to be on-site.

Plus the cost difference is larger than we can justify. Everyone’s budget is different and I always suggest researching prices and comparing costs.

At Disneyland Paris most of the hotels are within walking distance but a few are not, and do not offer buses to the parks.

These are the Disneyland Paris hotels:

  • Disney Hotel New York- The Art of Marvel (10 min walk to park/8 min shuttle)
  • Disneyland Hotel (Located at the entrance of Disneyland Park)
  • Disney Newport Bay Club (15 min walk to park/8 min shuttle)
  • Disney Sequia Lodge (15 min walk to park/8 min shuttle)
  • Disney Hotel Cheyenne (20 min walk to park/8 min shuttle)
  • Disney Hotel Santa Fe (20 min walk to park/8 min shuttle)
  • Disney Davy Crockett Ranch (15 min drive by car- no shuttle)

The perks of staying on-site are early entry and guests can make dining reservations before off-site guests. Some restaurants allow up to 12 months in advance. Off-site is 60 days.

If you stay off-site you will want to look for accommodations in Marne-la-Valle. We initially booked a spacious room at B & B hotel and the price was great, but we ultimately decided to stay on-site.

If staying on-site isn’t important to you consider an off-site hotel. Lots of people also do a day trip from Paris to Disneyland Paris. It is a little under an hour train ride.

For us we love the Disney parks and wanted to splurge on being close to the parks.

I also like to take full advantage of the early entry that allows hotel guests to enter the parks an hour before general admission.

We decided to stay at Disney Newport Bay Club. This was a mid-range cost hotel but offered space for the five of us. Read this post for what I thought: Disneyland Paris Newport Bay Hotel Review

disneyland paris tips newport bay club

Prioritize the Unique and Original Attractions

There are a few attractions that you will only find at Disneyland Paris. These are the attractions you should prioritize when planning your visit.

There are also attractions that are at other parks but a little bit different and are worth checking out.

Attractions that You Will Only Find at Disneyland Paris

  • Alice’s Curious Labyrinth: This is a walk through maze attraction that is unique to the park. Try to visit when crowds are low to have more time for pictures and to explore.
  • Phantom Manor: This is Disneyland Paris version of Haunted Mansion. It is different enough to be a unique attraction to the park.
  • Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril: This is nothing like the Disneyland California attraction. It is a roller coaster attraction, mostly outside.
  • Les Mysteres du Nautilus: This is a walk through attraction down to a submarine themed to 20,000 Leagues under the sea. It is unique to the Disneyland park and worth including in your visit.
  • Blanche-Neige et les Sept Nains: This is the original Snow White’s Scary Adventure that no longer exists at the US parks. Walt Disney World’s ride was removed and Disneyland’s ride was refurbished and changed. Definitely ride this one!
  • La Taniere du Dragon: Disneyland Paris has a dragon under the castle. This is original to the park. Unfortunately for us it was closed during our visit. I would make sure to see this if you can.
  • Le Passage Enchante d’Aladdin: This is another walk through attraction that is cute and original. If you miss it, its not a big deal, but if you have time to walk through it is a nice retelling of Aladdin.
  • Avengers Assemble: Flight Force: This is a Avengers themed roller coaster. The track is like Rock n’ Roller Coaster but with an entirely different theme. I suggest checking it out!
  • Cars Road Trip: This was another original attraction that was down during our visit. From reviews I have read it is not the most exciting attraction but I would have liked to experience it.
  • Crush’s Coaster: Crush’s Coaster is one of the most popular rides at Walt Disney Studios park. It is indoors with Nemo scenes throughout the ride. You want to check this one out!

Attractions that Are at Other Parks but are Unique at Disneyland Paris

  • Big Thunder Mountain: Big Thunder Mountain is located on a small island. Guests board at the train station and travel through a tunnel to get to the island. This ride is so much fun and a unique spin on the classic train ride.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Pirates is different than the Pirates ride at other parks. This is one of my favorite rides and I always suggest riding at any park.
  • Star Tours: The Adventures Continue: This is the same as Disney’s Hollywood Studios attraction but it was fun to ride it with all the dialogue in French.)
  • “it’s a small world”: This follows the same basic ride as the other parks but it is in French and it is fun to see how America is represented on the ride.
  • Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain: This is different than Space Mountain at the US parks and is worth riding.
  • Mickey’s PhilharMagic: This is in French making it a different experience than the US parks
  • Peter Pan’s Flight: A little different than the attraction at the United States Disney Parks but worth a ride. This gets busy so ride early.
  • Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast: This attraction was down for refurbishment during our visit but it is quite similar to the attraction at Magic Kingdom. I think it would have been fun to ride it with French dialogue.
  • Le Pays des Contes de Fees: This is the Storybook Canal Ride at Disneyland but it has continuous boats. It is a fun and relaxing experience. They do have a few different fairy tales than the California park.
  • Casey Jr.-le Petit Train du Cirque: Casey Jr. train is a kiddie coaster at the Disneyland Park. This was a fun ride and I would check it out.
  • Tower of Terror: I was so surprised that this is different than the Hollywood Studios attraction. The ride system is more like Guardians at California Adventure with a Twilight Zone story. It is so much fun!

Ratatouille and Spider-Man W.E.B. Adventure are really close to the same but we still went on them because they are fun rides.

There are also a few unique flat rides that are at Disneyland Paris in the Pixar area of the park. They are not that great to be honest but they are original to the park.

Walt Disney Studios is also getting a Frozen land that will open in 2025. This will include shops, dining, and 2 Frozen attractions.

You Don’t Need to Purchase Premier Access

Disney Premier Access is a line skipping add-on to your general admission ticket. This is an extra cost in addition to your general admission ticket.

It allows guests to get in the fast lane and have shorter wait times.

There are two types of passes. Ultimate Access which gives you fast lane one time on multiple attractions. One Access allows guests to pick one attraction to skip the line for.

The Ultimate Access starts at $115.00 (USD) in low season up to $240.00 (USD) in high season. This is in addition to your ticket and per person.

One Access start around $15.00 (USD) per attraction. Each person in your group needs to purchase this if you all want to use it. Learn more here.

Guests purchase Disney Premier Access Ultimate before you arrive at the park. Disney One Access is purchased the day of your visit.

We didn’t think it was worth the cost. As resort guests we had early entry and we took advantage of it.

We went on every attraction that we wanted to ride with minimal wait times because we did the most popular attractions first thing in the morning or later at night.

If you are traveling with older children or adults consider the single rider line. The single rider line cost nothing and is a much faster way to experience an attraction.

Guests riding in the single rider line will not be seated together so plan accordingly when traveling with kids.

If Premier Access is in your budget you will skip a lot of the wait times but do not feel like you have to have it during your trip.

Know the Popular Attractions at Disneyland Paris

The most popular attractions at Disneyland Paris are: Peter Pan’s Flight, Big Thunder Mountain, Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain, and Phantom Manor.

That doesn’t mean other rides won’t have long wait times. Dumbo and Autopia are slow loading and can see 30-60 minute waits.

The most popular attractions at Walt Disney Studios are: Crush’s Coaster (this was always a 60 minute or more wait.), Ratatouille: The Adventure, and Spider-Man W.E.B. Adventure.

As I am writing this RC Racer has a 50 minute wait time because it is low capacity. It is not the most popular but it will see long wait times.

It is still best to prioritize the popular rides you want to ride at the start of your day.

If you have multiple days plan on riding different attractions at the start of each day to minimize waits.

Stay for Disney D-Light Show at Night

Disney D-Light is a 7 minute drone show that happens nightly at the Disneyland Park. It is an impressive show and unique to Disneyland Paris.

Staying for the night show is always tough after a long day at the parks. If you can take a mid-day break and return to the parks in the evening.

You will not regret staying for the show. People will start to find spots for the show hours before it starts.

If you do not need to be close to the castle, 20 minutes prior should be okay. We found a great spot on the walk-way to Discoveryland.

Our views were great for the drone show but not the best to see the castle projections for the fireworks show.

It didn’t really matter much to us because we were there for Disney D-Light. If you decide to prioritize both shows you may want to arrive early to find a spot in front of the castle.

disneyland paris tips dlight show drone

Quick Service Food was Good

I had read so many poor reviews of the food at Disneyland Paris. I was worried it was going to be terrible.

We found it to be up to par with other Disney parks. Usually we dine at quick service options and we did the same at Disneyland Paris.

The biggest difference was they do not utilize mobile ordering like the US parks. I recommend looking through menus on the app before you arrive to help decide where to eat.

A couple quick service spots we liked were: Pizzeria Bella Notte and Au Chalet de la Marionette.

disneyland paris tips quick service

Walt Disney Studios is Not as Bad as It’s Reputation

This one is a funny one because Walt Disney Studios is a nice park but just feels unfinished and not cohesive.

It is very small and only has 13 attractions, some are simple flat rides, but some of our favorite rides were at Walt Disney Studios park.

Crush’s Coaster is themed to Finding Nemo and is a really fun coaster. Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is also super fun and scary!

Walt Disney Studios has Avengers Campus, which is also found at Disney’s California Adventure but Paris has an Avenger’s themed roller coaster.

The roller coaster was one of my kids favorite rides! Frozen Land is coming and I think Walt Disney Studios has a lot to look forward to.

Make Reservations for a Sit-Down Meal

We like to save money by choosing quick service meal options but because we stayed at Disneyland for 3 nights we decided to splurge on a sit-down meal.

Table service dining should be booked in advance. We booked a buffet dinner at PYM’s Kitchen.

It was a nice experience and something we looked forward to. Table service restaurants are pricey but if your budget allows it is worth the splurge.

Bistrot Chez Remy and Captain Jack’s Restaurant are also very popular dining spots. Check the menus ahead of your visit to make sure your kids will eat what is on the menu.

disneyland paris tips pyms kitchen

I really wanted to eat at Bistrot Chez Remy because of the fun theme and ambiance but I couldn’t justify the cost for food I didn’t think my family would enjoy.

Make the best decision for your family and what they like before wasting money on something that isn’t a good fit.

If You Have Been to WDW or DL you may be disappointed

If you have visited the Disney theme parks in the United States you may be a bit disappointed by Disneyland Paris.

We are huge Disney fans but the parks didn’t really blow us away the way we had hoped. I think we had very high expectations and it was different than we expected.

After some time home I can appreciate the good parts of Disneyland Paris, and I would encourage people to visit if they are in Paris, but it is not my favorite Disney park.

Take Time to Enjoy the Ambiance of the Park

I know I just said Disneyland Paris lacks something the US parks have but the one place it really shines is the grounds.

The landscaping is gorgeous. There are flowers everywhere. It is a really pretty and clean park.

When you are walking around Disneyland Paris you have to take it at a slower pace and take it all in.

disneyland paris tips big thunder mountain

The little details is one of the things that makes Disneyland Paris special and worth a visit.

Enjoy Mid-Day Breaks

When visiting a theme park I always suggest arriving early, taking a break after lunch for the afternoon, and returning in the evening.

Taking a break is beneficial for a couple of reasons. You avoid the busiest time of the day. In the summer months the afternoon is hottest.

A mid-day break allows time to rest in your room or enjoy the pool at your resort. It gives everyone in your group time to relax a bit from the parks.

We love taking breaks to allow us to enjoy evenings at the parks too. The evenings are the best times at the park.

Most Things are a Mix of French and English

Most of the attractions are in French with a mix of English. A lot of cast members speak both English and French.

Not being able to communicate was one of my biggest worries for our first time to Disneyland Paris. It ended up being a non-issue.

Cast members are mostly helpful, menus are in French and English, and most attractions were easy to follow along with.

Coffee is Different than the States

This is more a personal preference than anything but in the states you see many guests walking with their morning coffee.

This is not as common in Europe and at the Disneyland Parks. There is a Starbucks at Downtown Disney and guests have nespresso machines in their rooms but you will not really find it like we do at the US parks.

Are you visiting other places during your trip to Disneyland Paris? Check out our Unique 12 Day London Paris Itinerary with Kids to help with your vacation planning.

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