There’s one sentence I heard about Disneyland it’s one I’ve adopted in my life too. “Disneyland is always a good idea” and it’s so true. As a real fairytale dreamer and a big kid at heart, I can’t think of a time that I won’t enjoy resorting back to my childhood and enjoying all things, Disney. I’ve been so lucky to visit both Disneyland Paris and Disneyland Orlando, TWICE. I’ve visited as an infant, teenager and adult and I can safely say that I can’t wait for my next visit, whenever that may be! I must admit my last trip to Disneyland Paris was my favourite yet. My best friend and I booked a last-minute deal and went off for a girly weekend which I cannot recommend more – We had so much fun! It’s off the back of that trip I decided to go ahead and create this guide to planning a trip to Disneyland.
This Disneyland Paris guide will help you plan every aspect of your trip from flights, package deals, food, accommodation and more!
Planning a Trip to Disneyland Paris: Your Ultimate Guide!
Good to Know: I wrote this guide after visiting Disneyland Paris as an adult so if you do have kids you might want to check out some guides tailored specifically for families.
You’ll still 100%, no 110%, be able to use all of the information in this guide for your family trip but I won’t be giving any specific information about Disneyland Paris for children. Think of this as more of a guide that’s going to set you up for all the practical aspects – All the things you need to know before you arrive and have the time of your life!
Facts about Disneyland Paris
Before heading on any of my trips I always start with research especially if I’ve never been to that destination before. It’s no different for a trip to Disneyland Paris so in this section I’m giving you all the basic information you’ll need to know about visiting:
- Disneyland Paris is located just a 45-minute drive from central Paris making it very accessible. You can include Disneyland Paris in your Paris itinerary or as a single trip.
- There are just 2 Parks in Disneyland Paris: Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studio Park.
- Disneyland Park: The Paris version of the Magic Kingdom in Florida, it’s the magical fairytale park in Disneyland Paris.
- Walt Disney Studio Park: The Paris of MGM Studios in Florida
- Even though French, funnily enough, is the first language in Paris everyone in Disneyland will speak English. In fact, even if you attempt to speak French they will probably just reply in English!!
- Because of the weather in Paris, the park is often quieter from January – March meaning we can take advantage of smaller queues and cheaper prices!
- The winter in Paris can be dismal. If you plan to visit Disneyland Paris in winter be prepared for rain, frost, ice, snow and subzero temperatures!
- Some rides will close due to bad weather – it can be hard to predict for this in your planning but just keep it in mind as a possibility if you choose a winter trip! That said, Disneyland Paris at Christmas is nothing short of enchanting.
- Disneyland Paris is very different from Disneyland Orlando in the United States – Let’s talk about that below!
Disneyland Paris is so very different from Disneyland in Orlando. I can’t speak for the rest of the parks in other parts of the world because I’ve only visited these two. But I do know that after visiting Orlando people have a very high expectation of the Paris parks. I’ve also noticed some real rivalry between these two Disneyland parks so I thought it would be helpful if I evened out some of the big differences!
Differences between Disney Paris and Disneyland Florida
- It’s safe to say that when planning a trip to Disneyland Paris you won’t need anywhere near as much time as you do in Florida. We could happily spend 3 or even 4 weeks, probably more if I was a millionaire, in Florida but in Paris, you can do it in a weekend!
- Disney Paris has just two main parks opposed to Florida which has over parks 10 if you include the Universal Studios. That doesn’t include the amazing waterparks either! So if you have visited Florida it may seem a little anticlimactic but it’s just as magical I promise!
- Tickets to Disneyland Paris = cheaper!
- Service: If you’re European then you’ll be expecting this but for Americans visiting Disneyland Paris the service can come as a little surprise. In the USA the enthusiasm and service of the people working at Disneyland are incredible. It’s definitely not up to the same standard in Paris but don’t let that put you off! It’s not really a big deal but I have read some pretty tragic reviews on Trip Advisor from some very disappointed visitors!
- Location – Obviously, for those living in Europe it’s probably easier and cheaper to get to Disneyland Paris opposed to Florida. BUT if you’re visiting Disneyland from say, Australia then I would choose Florida over Paris in terms of value for distance!
- Climate – The climate is completely different Florida gets a lot of sunny weather and numerous heatwaves a year! Whilst Paris does get a great summer it gets so cold in winter!
Other than those few things, which are all actually quite significant, both parks are built with the same intention to provide a magical experience for everyone who visits and they both certainly succeed!
So now you know a few of the basic facts about Disneyland Paris then lets dive into planning this trip!
Planning a Trip to Disneyland Paris: When to Visit?
The most important thing to consider when you’re booking a trip as we all know if when the best of year is to visit! I always think it kind of person you are and what you like. That said, there are definitely certain times of year I would avoid in Disneyland Paris.
January to March
If you’re planning a budget trip then the best time of year to visit Disneyland Paris is the end of January to mid-March. Christmas is long gone and you’ve got plenty of time before the Easter rush. My last visit to Disneyland Paris was in February and we got such a good deal on our park tickets but more on that later! Visiting in these months will be significantly cheaper!
The only thing you’ll be giving up during these months is the weather. Winter can be rough in Paris with cold temperatures, rain and wind. BUT try not let that put you off too much. During our February visit, we did get some rain but it honestly didn’t make a difference to the amount of fun we had! Visiting in January to March is worth considering especially for the $$ savings you’ll make!
It’s also wise to remember that these months are the quietest in the park so the opening hours are shorter and some of the rides can be shut for maintenance in the quieter periods.
March – June
These months are also a good option. The weather is getting warmer but not quite into the European summer holidays just yet! Be aware that Easter will be around March-April time so prices often rise briefly.
July – September
I personally wouldn’t visit Disneyland Paris during these months, unless you have kids. The European summer will be kicking in and Disneyland Paris will be busy! The kids are also off school in Europe from the end of July – September making it even busier.
Quick side note, if you don’t like kids then Disneyland Paris is not the trip for you!
September – December
Again it’s getting back into the shoulder season so prices to visit Disneyland Paris parks may start to fall again. September is actually a beautiful month to visit. It’s a little quieter than the summer because the kids will be back at school but the weather should still be pretty good! Winter is freezing in Paris so if you’re planning a Christmas visit expect it to be cold! That said we visited Disneyland Paris at Christmas years ago and it was truly magical, it may be more expensive but I think it’d be worth it!
As a quick round-up, I recommend visiting Disneyland Paris in the shoulder months. Either January to March or September – November time.
Getting to Disneyland Paris
Fly into Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport
Once you’ve decided what time of year you’ll visit Disneyland Paris it’s best to start planning how you’re getting to get there!
Paris is so well connected to the rest of the world there are so many options. If you’re coming from outside of Europe then flying into Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport is your best option. I’ll go into getting to the Disneyland resorts below. The airport is only about 45 minutes from Disneyland Paris so I recommend this airport no matter where you fly from!
The flights from the UK are really fast at about 45 minutes and you can often get them so so cheap last minute or in advance – keep your eyes peeled for any sales! If you’re savvy and plan ahead then you get grab flights for as little as GBP 30 from London or Manchester!
If you’re coming from Europe then you can get into Paris on so many trains. The UK is also very well connected to Paris and the train from London runs all day every day. You could even take a day trip from London to Disneyland Paris if you wanted as I’ve mentioned below!
Catching the Eurostar from London
You can catch the Eurostar from St Pancreas station in London which is a super popular way of getting to France, especially Paris. The Eurostar itself only takes around one hour to get into Paris costing anything from GBP 50 up to 200 depending on what class and how late you book tickets. If you’re planning a trip to Disneyland Paris in advance then you’ll be able to snag cheaper tickets.
There are direct Eurostar trains from London to Disneyland Paris, station Chessy/Marne-La-Vallée, but it is more expensive. The total time for rear train is just under 3 hours.
The other option, and most popular, is to change at station Lille Flandres and then get another train to Chessy/Marne-La-Vallée. This way is usually a little cheaper if you’re on a budget.
Transfers to Disneyland Paris
If you book your trip to Disneyland Paris as a package deal then transfers from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport will probably be included. This is something to check when making your booking as transfers are so handy! During our trip to Disneyland Paris, we had a coach transfer making finding our hotel seamless. Although a word of warning, Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport is huge and it isn’t very clear where you get the coach from so just ask at the information desk – it will save you a lot of time!
Booking Tickets to Disneyland Paris
Decide on the Disney Parks you Want to Visit
There are two Disneyland Parks in Disneyland Paris. You can either visit just one or both but I recommend doing both. They won’t take you more than a day each if you’re wanting a quick trip but you can easily spend longer in both if you wish. I honestly don’t see the point in visiting if you only see one park, just one travellers opinion!
There are plenty of ticket options when it comes to booking:
Like everywhere these days you can get tickets for Disneyland Paris through so many different people! Any good travel agents, online or offline, will no doubt have a package deal for Disneyland Paris! It depends what kind of trip you’re looking for. Package deals often include everything which is handy but they can sometimes be more expensive unless you come across a great deal.
If you’re just planning on a trip to Disneyland then a package deal could be the way to go so that you have everything organised! This is how we visited Disneyland Paris in 2018 and it was actually great for someone who doesn’t usually book deals like this.
Always Check Group-on for Good Package Deals!
My biggest tip for those wanting to get a package deal. Is to check Group-On. Group-on is like a deal website where they give out different offers for products, experiences and travel. You can find great bargains like Spa Breaks, amazing black Friday deals and of course some sweet travel deals!
Our Group-On package deal to Disneyland Paris cost just 100 GBP per person for 3 nights and 3 days. We got 2 full days inside the Parks and some time when we arrived on the first afternoon. You can often choose how many parks you want to visit but I recommend visiting both! The only extra expenses we paid for was the flights costing around 60 GBP each return which isn’t bad at all since we book this trip 6 weeks before going!
Book via Disneyland Paris
Of course, you can also book directly through the official Disneyland Paris website where you’ll find the most up to date prices but these aren’t discounted as much as third parties. They do have some great packages on their website, especially around the holiday seasons. There are all sorts of events on at Christmas, Halloween, Easter and you can often buy a package deal to include some festive extras!
Buy on the Doors
You can also buy on the doors when you arrive. If you decide to visit at the last minute during a trip to France then just turn up and buy a ticket. Be aware in the busier months that you might have to wait in for a little longer to purchase a ticket so. It’s always best to try and plan at least a few days ahead. Tickets are most likely to be more expensive on the doors.
Ticket Prices at Disneyland Paris
Park prices vary depending on how you book but I thought I’d give an approximate pricing list for the entrance into the parks. Correct as per the Disneyland Paris Website as of October 2019, subject to change.
2 Day Entry to 2 Parks
Adult Entry: 148 GBP
Child (3-11) Entry : 137 GBP
Children under 3 go free
1 Day Ticket to 1 Park
Adult: 76 GBP
Child: 70 GBP
Children under 3 go free
1 Day Ticket to 2 Parks
Adult: 94 GBP
Child: 70 GBP
Children under 3 go free
You can also get tickets that with a shuttle bus coming from the centre of Paris but as I said there are so many options out there. The best things do is shop around whilst planning a trip to Disneyland Paris to find out about all the options available that will best suit you!
Fast Passes at Disneyland Paris
Fast passes are also something else to think about. A fast pass is essentially a different ticket where you skip the queues/join a much shorter queue. The fast pass does come at an extra cost so it’s up to you to weigh up if you think it’s worth it for your visit.
Fast Prices start at around 30 GBP and you can either buy single fast pass tickets for individual rides and attractions or you can opt for unlimited! We didn’t get a fast pass in Disneyland Paris and we didn’t need one because it was so quiet.
I think fast passes are a must-have in the summer months when it’s busy so you don’t end up spending your whole day just in a line! And if you’re visiting Disneyland Florida then buy a fast pass all year round – totally worth it!
How Many Days Do You Need?
What I love most about Disneyland Paris is that you can spend a long or short amount of time there. There are only two parks and both parks are easy to see in just two days. We spent 2 full days from opening to closing time and saw everything. But there are so many factors to consider when planning how many days you’re going to spend at Disneyland Paris.
For myself and my bestie 2 days was perfect, we filtered out what we didn’t want to see and saw the rest! We also went in February so it was so quiet with virtually zero queues!
Exploring Disneyland Paris in the summer will be a different story. It’s the school holidays and the weather is brilliant, both attracting a lot of people! I would recommend 2 days for each park in the summer months and during any festive period. For example, Christmas will be just as busy.
That said if you are just visiting Disneyland Paris for a day as part of your France or Paris Itinerary then it’s totally doable. If you only plan on visiting for a short amount of time then plan ahead and beeline for the things you really want o see first!
Consider How You’ll Spend Your Days
Another aspect to consider when choosing how many days to spend at Disneyland Paris is what you want to do. Do you have small children who want to see all the characters and queue for a photograph? Or even if you’re an adult is that what you want to do? If so think about how long you might have to queue up as it starts to really eat into the day. This is why I love the fast pass option! Where-as if you just want to go on the rides then you might not need as much time etc.
I’d recommend spending 2-4 days in Disneyland Paris and certainly no longer than a week.
Sample Itinerary for Disneyland Pairs
I thought I’d give you a few extra tips on how to spend your days at Disneyland Paris including letting you know about some of my fave attractions! It’s always good really think about what you ‘really want to see’ before a trip so you plan those things into your itinerary first!
I’ve already said this but I’ll say it again. Visit both parks if you can. If you only have one day then visit Disneyland Park, not the Walt Disney Studios. Disneyland Park is where all the magic happens. It’s where you’ll find sleeping beauties castle, where the fireworks and parades happen, where most of the characters hang out I could go on and on! The studio park is worth visiting if you have the time but I recommend prioritising Disneyland Park first!
Shows/Meet & Greet’s You Don’t Want to Miss in Disneyland Park are:
- Sleeping, Beauties Castle
- Exploring Main Street USA
- Character meet with Minnie and Mickey
- Character meet with Disney Princesses
- Disney Stars on Parade
- Disney Illuminations
- Breakfast with the Disney Princesses
Rides You Don’t Want to Miss in Disneyland Park are:
- It’s a Small World
- Big Thunder Mountain
- Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant
- Le Carrousel de Lancelot
- Peter Pans Flight
- Space Mountain
Obviously these are not exhaustive lists of all the rides and attractions but these are some my favourites that you’ll want to enjoy! I recommend carving out some space whilst you plan your itinerary to Disneyland Paris so you don’t miss any!
Rides You Don’t Want to Miss in the Walt Disney Studio Park are:
- Studio Tram Tour
- Hollywood Tower of Terror
- Ratatouille The Adventure
- Disney Studio 1
- Crush’s Coaster – My ultimate favourite ride it’s so much fun!
There’s also some amazing festival shows all year round. They are held in a separate arena separate from both of the parks. We saw Mickey’s Wild Wild West Show and it was magnificent. This show was a dinner performance we got fed a 5-course meal with a drink included! It was really interactive and had everyone up and out of their seats shouting, playing games and having a boatload of fun! These shows are paid for as extra to your park tickets but they are so worth it!
In a nutshell, I recommend allocating certain days to each park, knowing which attractions you want to see and then just going for it! Get to the park for opening times and leave when they shut there’s a lot of food options inside the park so you can grab something whilst you explore!
Getting from the Resort Hotels to the Parks
When visiting Disneyland Paris I really recommend staying in one of the resort hotels. It may only be a train ride away from central Paris but it’s so much easier and you much more time to enjoy the parks this way.
Every hotel also has a free shuttle bus to take you to and from the parks!
We stayed at the Vienna Dream Castle Hotel which was lovely! It was part of our Group-on deal and 4 stars – I was very impressed, to say the least! We got an all you can eat buffet breakfast which as delicious, the hotel has all the amenities you could need from a pool and spa to great rooms with very comfy beds! On our first night, we did pay for the budget dinner but at 40 euros per person, I have to say it was somewhat disappointing!
How Much Spending Money Should You Bring on Your Trip to Disneyland Paris?
Let’s talk about spending money! Like everywhere else in the world even if you get a full package deal for the parks at Disneyland Paris you still need some spending money. But how much you bring depends on what you do with it. We usually travel low budget so we bring enough money for food, drinks and little souvenirs (like my awesome Mickey Mouse ears you see below)! And like any theme park or water park food prices are ridiculously priced!
That said, Disneyland Paris does say that they pride themselves on the ability to fit all budgets when it comes to buying food inside the park. I’ll let you make that decision.
You’ve got a whole range of eating options from character breakfasts and dining which come in at approximately 35 euros per person. But don’t forget you are paying for the experience!
There are mid-range restaurants like Rainforest Cafe and Planet Hollywood with main meals starting at 20 Euros per person.
For more upmarket dining, there are fine dining options like Auberge de Cendrillon. Obviously these prices are steeper adult meals start at 77 Euros!
If you don’t want a sit-down meal then there’s always Starbucks and fast-food burger joints in both parks with meals from as a little 10 Euros. It completely depends on what you want to eat. We spent roughly around 70-80 Euros a day on lunch, coffees, snacks and dinner (breakfast came with our hotel reservation).
The only other thing we spent money on was souvenirs and they don’t come cheap. All the Disney Merchandise varies from 5 Euros up to over 100 if you’re buying something crazy! I bought a pair of Mickey mouse ears for 12 Euros and some lollipops for my cousins – the cheapest souvenir at 6 Euros each! I personally never go crazy on shopping so I never budget much in my itinerary and I suggest that you do the same – the memories you make when you get to Disneyland Paris will last a lifetime!
Things to Check Whilst Planning a Trip to Disneyland Paris (Before You Book!)
A few things to think whilst planning your trip to Disneyland Paris:
- Always check to see which rides/attractions are open!
- During the quieter months, some rides and attractions are closed for routine maintenance work and there is nothing more disappointing than finding out when you arrive your favourite ride isn’t open! Disneyland Paris always keeps its website updated with which rides are open and closed so take a look! I wouldn’t want a very sad 6-year-old when she realises that the Snow White ride is closed – Apparently me when I was younger!
- Check which character breakfasts or dinging experiences are running, are they on the day you’re going?
- Check for special events on your chosen dates. 1, so you don’t miss out and 2, to be prepared for a busier day!
What to Pack for Disneyland Paris
Booked and all ready to go? Well, then let’s think about packing! There’s only one item that you must pack without a doubt in Disneyland Paris and that’s comfortable shoes! Whether it’s pumps or trainers or whatever you find comfy you’ll be walking around a lot during your time in the parks! There’s also a lot of standing around waiting in line so you’re going to be on your feet. There’s nothing worse than a big old blister to ruin the fun!
From there on it will depend on what time of year you’re visiting. Winter gets freezing in Paris so you’ll need plenty of layers! I recommend bringing a few jumpers along with a scarf, hat and gloves in the wintertime. It’s always better to have too many layers than not enough!
Summertime is self-explanatory just remember no strapless tops (don’t want anything popping out where it shouldn’t) and perhaps be mindful of dresses and skirts too – shorts are a perfect item to pack for summer in Disneyland Paris! And don’t forget the suncream because it will cost a small fortune inside the parks!
As long as you’ve got comfortable shoes then I don’t think you need to worry too much!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and can now get stuck into planning a trip to Disneyland Paris! To recap the most important things to consider when planning a trip to Disneyland Paris:
- Research about the parks
- Visit both parks if you can
- Stay at a Disneyland Paris Resort Hotel
- Always fly into Charles de Gaulle airport
- Shop in advance for cheaper tickets
- Consider fast pass tickets in the busier months
- Check which shows are running and the times
- Decide on your ‘must-see’ things and make sure you plan to do these things first
- Check for ride closures and events
If you’ve got any more questions about planning a trip to Disneyland Paris then I would love to hear from you below or send me an email! For my other Europe posts then take a look at this page! If you did enjoy this post I would be so grateful if you could share it with your friends!
Wishing You Happy and Healthy Travels,