I’m a Disney Mom. It happened almost two years ago. I found myself introducing my oldest son to Mickey Mouse and Pixar movies and being giddy when I could tell he enjoyed them. We did our first trip to Disneyland in California last year and it was a blast! So, when we decided to take our small children to Europe this Spring, we knew we had to check out Disneyland Paris.

Parisian Minnie Mouse headband
Of course, I HAD to get Parisian Minnie Mouse ears! Photo Credit: Darren Cheung

Disneyland Paris is comprised of two parks: Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney Studios Park. Disneyland Paris is very similar to Disneyland in California except they don’t have Toon Town. But, they do have other attractions such as Alice’s Curious Labyrinth, an Aladdin ride and the Casey Jr. Train is like a baby roller coaster. We tried to see the dragon that lives under the castle, but it was closed off due to 25th Anniversary festivities. Walt Disney Studios Park closes earlier than Disneyland Paris (it closed at 7pm the day we went.) This is the home of Ratatouille and Chez Remy and lots of shows.

Castle at Disneyland Paris
We got excited for our day of fun as soon as we saw the castle at Disneyland Paris! Photo credit: Darren Cheung

We ended up doing Disneyland Paris after arriving in Paris the night before. This was a bit stressful because everyone was exhausted and it was hard to pack up and get everyone ready for a day at Disneyland Paris. We ended up leaving later than we expected. I also left my phone behind, which meant I had to rely on my husband for all the photos. And sometime during the day, we lost our park hopper tickets so we were unable to check out Walt Disney Studios Park. It ended up being okay because we really wouldn’t have had enough time to explore it before it closed.

Disneyland Paris 25th Anniversary
Disneyland Paris was decked out with 25th Anniversary elements! Photo Credit: Darren Cheung

We arrived just a couple of weeks after the start of the 25th Anniversary celebration of Disneyland Paris. It looked very similar to the 60th Anniversary celebration of Disneyland we experienced last year in California. But, they have some new shows and meet and greets with characters in 25th Anniversary clothing. It’s a fun excuse to check out Disneyland Paris this year!

Disneyland Paris
Disneyland Paris is full of magic for guests of all ages! Photo Credit: Darren Cheung

I created a meticulous itinerary after doing hours and hours of research about Disneyland Paris via their website and other blogs. My plan was to arrive at 9:30am (a full 30 minutes before Disneyland Paris opened) so I’d have plenty of time to pick up my tickets and we could grab food/coffee at Disney Village. First, we would head straight to Fantasyland to do Casey Jr., Le Pays de Contes de Fées and Meet Mickey. Then, we’d go to Adventureland and do Pirates of the Caribbean, Le Passage Enchanté d’Aladdin, Adventure Island and do a few character meet and greets. I figured we’d do all that before lunch and then go back to Fantasyland to see the new show Mickey Presents: Happy Anniversary Disneyland Paris and do It’s a Small World.

Then, we’d head to Walt Disney Studios Park to check out Stitch Live! at Production Courtyard, Cars Quatre Roues Rallye and Slinky Dog Zigzag Spin at Toon Studio. We’d also check out the Ratatouille ride and peak inside Chez Remy before heading back to Disneyland Paris to watch the Parade and do the Thunder Mesa Riverboats. Finally, we’d end with the Disney Illuminations show before taking the train back to Paris. This was too aggressive. Here’s what we actually did:

Dumbo at Disneyland Paris
Our first ride at Disneyland Paris was Dumbo. As you can see, our baby wasn’t as amused as the rest of us! Photo credit: Darren Cheung

Disneyland Paris 1 Day Itinerary with a Baby and Preschooler

12:30pm: Arrived at Disneyland Paris via RER A Train (took about 35 minutes from Paris)
Headed straight for Fantasyland and waited 45 minutes in line to ride Dumbo for the first time because our 3-year-old really, really wanted to do that. I nursed our baby on the bench while my husband and oldest son waited in line and then we joined them.
1:15pm: Rode Dumbo (which everyone loved!)
Waited 15 minutes in line for Le Pays des Contes de Fées (storybook village boat ride)
1:40pm: Rode Le Pays des Contes de Fées
Waited 5 minutes for Casey Jr.-le Petit Train du Cirque
1:50pm: Rode Casey Jr.
We all were a bit grouchy and hungry so we hit up Toad Hall for lunch and I took my 3-year-old to the bathroom.
2:00pm: Fish and Chips at Toad Hall
2:45pm: Headed to Meet Mickey Mouse
Spent 40 minutes in line inside to meet Mickey and watched the cartoons (my 3-year-old clapped after each clip.)
3:25pm: Met Mickey Mouse and it was a magical experience! They took a lot of time with us and Mickey even pretended to be a train to entertain our 3-year-old while we got our baby ready for photos.
Put back on all our layers of clothing and funneled to the cashier area to look at our Mickey photos.
3:45pm: Got to Mickey photo counter and chose 2 photos to purchase.
Bought popcorn at a stand (they had both sweet and salty options)
4:00pm: Went down Main Street at went shopping for warmer clothes because we were freezing.
4:50pm: Found the Baby Lounge and nursed our baby while our 3-year-old napped in the stroller. My husband found a spot with tables and chairs and we drank Coke and chatted with other guests as we waited for the parade to start.
5:30pm: Disney Stars on Parade (which was FABULOUS!)
6:15pm: Realized we lost our Park Hopper tickets and that Walt Disney Studios Park closed at 7pm. Made executive decision to stay put.
Headed to Star Wars area to go shopping.
6:30pm: Tried to go on Disneyland Railroad but found out it was a 50 minute wait so we turned back.
6:40pm: Headed to It’s a Small World and waited 15 minutes.
6:55pm: Rode It’s a Small World and it was so beautiful my oldest and I got right back in line to ride it again.
7:20pm: Headed to the Carousel and I rode with our 3-year-old while my husband waited with our baby.
7:30pm: Waited 15 minutes for Disneyland Railroad to take us back to entrance.
8:00pm: Arrived in entrance and looked for food in Disney Village. We settled on hot dogs.
8:30pm: Caught the RER A train back to Paris.

It's a Small World in Disneyland Paris
Slightly different than the one in California, It’s a Small World is still one of our favorite rides! Photo Credit: Darren Cheung

15 Tips for Disneyland Paris with a Baby and Preschooler

  1. Take the train. I had read that the train was a 5 minute walk across the street to the gate and I was worried about getting there with the kids. In reality, the train stop is AT Disneyland and there’s no crossing of streets. It took us about 35 minutes from Paris and we were able to find seats and bring a full backpack and umbrella stroller with no problem.
  2. Dress in layers. We went in April and we were FREEZING. I ended up wearing 6 layers at one point to keep from shivering. They only sold one jacket for women at the Park, so I wish I would have brought a much heavier coat with me. We also bought blankets there to keep the kids warmer.
  3. Bring a stroller. I feel like this is my advice for any of the Disney Parks, but it was extra helpful going to and from the train. Our 3-year-old used it the most and it was primarily to move a bit quicker so we could do more rides.
  4. Head to City Hall first. If you aren’t staying on-property, head to City Hall and pick up a button that says “I’m Celebrating” in French! We love to add the buttons to our bags or clothing for some Disney flair and it’s fun souvenir.
  5. Lines are not followed. This was especially difficult with kids because we had people mow over us to get on rides. This meant our family couldn’t sit together for some rides, even when we were at the front of the line. This frustrated my 3-year-old a lot because we either had to pick him up and race to get on a ride or we got the last seats available.
  6. Cast members are on French time. We found that it took a very long time to do anything whenever a cast member was involved. We spent about 20 minutes waiting in a non-line to order our Mickey photo and then once we did order it, we spent more time waiting for the cast member to get the order right. It’s not the level of speedy service that you’ll find in California, so it’s good to prepare yourself.
  7. Bring snacks. The food at Disneyland Paris is pretty blah and very expensive. Neither the snacks nor food items seemed special to Disneyland Paris except for a crepe stand. We ate lunch at Toad Hall and their fish and chips were okay, but there was too much batter. We relied a lot on the snacks we brought.
  8. Visit Mickey. There is something so magical about visiting Mickey Mouse. I feel like they choose the nicest cast members for Mickey’s handlers and the photographers are also so happy and friendly. This was the first time my youngest got to meet Mickey and it was such a special, memorable moment. I’d recommend every guest visit Mickey at least once during their trip.
  9. Spend 2 days at the Parks. For the most enjoyable experience, I’d spend at least 2 days so I wouldn’t feel rushed. While it feels smaller than Disneyland in California, it’s still big enough to warrant the time. We didn’t have time to see any of the shows or check out Walt Disney Studios Park. I wish we would have stayed a couple of days and made it a relaxing break during our European adventure.
  10. Watch Disney movies ahead of time. Disneyland Paris has different character meet-and-greets than in California. We saw Gepetto, the Queen of Hearts, and the White Rabbit, in addition to 25th Anniversary Minnie Mouse, Goofy and Pluto. Our 3-year-old hasn’t seen Pinocchio or Alice in Wonderland so he wasn’t super interested in them.
  11. Shop the Paris Collection. I was surprised that there weren’t more places to buy Disney stuff, but I was happy to shop the Paris Collection. Besides cute clothing items, there were also Disneyland Paris postcards, and a train set my son desperately wanted.
  12. Bring Pull-Ups. If you are bringing a preschooler, you might want to bring pull-ups. We had our son wear pull-ups the whole day and it saved us a lot of stress when locating a bathroom. It also helped us not have to bring several extra changes of clothes for him.
  13. Take advantage of the Baby Care Center. I used the one near Main Street and while it was very bare bones (2 wooden chairs for nursing and a bunch of wooden high chairs) it was a warm and quiet area away from the crowd. They also had a long changing table area with large paper towels to put on top. In hindsight, I wish I would have taken my 3-year-old here to use the restroom every time we passed it since it wasn’t crowded at all.
  14. Download the Disneyland Paris App. We found this app to be very helpful when checking ride times and locating restrooms. It also helped us navigate the park quickly.
  15. Check their website. We found a lot of helpful information about going to Disneyland Paris with Children on their website. We also found PDFs of the program, which helped us plan our trip.
Olaf and Sven at Disneyland Paris
The Disney Stars On Parade was fantastic and our 3-year-old was ecstatic to see Olaf and Sven ride past him! Photo Credit: Darren Cheung

Overall, our impression was that it seemed like Disneyland-light. We didn’t see balloon sellers on Main Street, guests weren’t decked out in Disney clothing, and the Park looked like it could use a good scrubbing. But, it still felt like Disneyland; we had a fantastic time! If we had the opportunity to do it over again, we would have gone straight to Disneyland Paris and stayed at least two nights at one of the hotels on-site so we could have spent one full day at each park. We also heard good things about the character meals and dining at Chez Remy. We moved a lot slower with a baby and a preschooler than I had anticipated. We will be incorporating a mini vacation to Disneyland Paris the next time we bring our kids to France.

15 Tips for Disneyland Paris with a Baby + Preschooler

Disneyland Paris was kind enough to offer me (2) complimentary one day park hopper tickets and a VIP Fastpass for 4 so we could explore the parks.

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77 Comments

  1. Hi!!! what a magic post! wonderful! I would love to go to Disneyland as soon as possible. I am not father but I have a niece and a nephew so your advices will help me a lot if I go there!! Good job!!!!

    • marciecheung Reply

      I’m sure it would be fun as an adult without kids. You’d move a lot faster!

  2. Some great tips. I especially like how you point out that travelers shouldn’t expect things they are familiar with at home should not expect the same customs when they travel, especially orderly lines.

    • marciecheung Reply

      Yes! Adjusting expectations is key to a lovely trip!

  3. Always love reading about disneyland 🙂 It’s such a happy and fun place to go to, at any age.

  4. it sounds amazing!
    My daughter just returned from a 10 day trip to France and Italy and they missed their chance to go o Disney Paris because they scheduled the trip incorrectly, but we will definitely be scheduling a Family trip for next summer 😉

    • marciecheung Reply

      Sounds like a great trip, though! Hopefully you can hit it next summer!

  5. This is a great post and has really made me want to take my three-year-old to Disney now! (Even though I’m trying to hold out on that expense for now!!)

    I particularly loved seeing your itinerary and it’s amazing you managed to pack in so much with two little ones. Loved your tips too!

    • marciecheung Reply

      Three is a really awesome age to do Disney because it’s still so magical for them!

  6. These are great tips! I haven’t gone on a trip with my LO yet but these will be great to think of when we do!

  7. When I lived in England (my dad was Air Force) we went to Disneyland Paris in January 2001. I had a blast! I went with my Girl Scout troop. We raised enough funds for a fund raiser. My mom was my troop leader. ‘My dad paid for himself and my brothers so they could come to. It was amazing! I can’t wait to take my kids to Disney here in the states.

  8. Oh my heavens! I want to go. First off, those ears are so cute! Loved your tips and totally agree with them. Man, we just went to Disney World (and the six hours flying was long enough for my toddler and preschooler) and we got off schedule from day one. They just can’t keep up a fast pace. I think slowing down is best because it keeps it magical for everyone!

    • marciecheung Reply

      I think you nailed it when you said slowing down keeps it magical for everyone. I mean, that’s the whole point of Disney, right?

  9. I’m a Disney mom too 😊 Great tips!! I would love to go to Disneyland Paris one day,!

  10. It’s definitely not easy to travel with young children, especially to a major theme park abroad. These are great tips for new parents to navigate the park and still have a great time.

    • marciecheung Reply

      Thanks! I feel like the more tips/tricks the easier it is to actually take them abroad!

  11. I get nervous about going to Disneyland, CA with my 6 year old son. I can’t even imagine how nerve wracking it would be to go to Paris with 2 young kids. But it looks like you had an amazing time and everything under control! I envy you.

    • marciecheung Reply

      My husband is a huge help when we travel! Disneyland Paris was less chaotic in many ways that Disneyland CA.

  12. I never knew how beautiful Disney Paris was. And those mini ears. I’ll be dreaming of those ALL night. <3 We would love to our small family back to europe, and this will be added to the future itinerary.

    • marciecheung Reply

      The ears are my favorite! Looking forward to wearing them in Disneyland this summer!

  13. I want to take my kids to Disney so bad! You’re brave taking them so young! I have an 8 year old, 4 year old and 2 year old. Maybe because it’s we’re outnumbered, but we’re just not ready yet. Maybe when my youngest is 3-4…..

    • marciecheung Reply

      I would be hesitant too, if I was outnumbered 🙂

  14. My family and I went to California adventure for the first time last year but didn’t have enough time to go into actual Disneyland so we may be going this fall ! I had no idea there was even a Disneyland in Paris . It sounds like a blast ! Seriously great advice and such thorough itinerary. Thanks for sharing !

    • marciecheung Reply

      It was originally called Euro Disney and I didn’t realize it was in Paris until we started planning our trip. California Adventure is super fun!

  15. I would love to visit Disneyland Paris one day! I am sad to hear that it doesn’t seem to live up to the standards we have for it here in the states, but it looks very pretty!

    • marciecheung Reply

      It’s still a great time! We just had to adjust our expectations and then we embraced it!

  16. I love how detailed this post was! I love everything you shared. So full of tips for someone headed there! We’re headed to disney world next year 😊 so Disney posts are always a read it make sure to gather tips from. Thaaaanks

  17. Ive only been to the Disneyland in America but if I ever did go to Paris, I would totally go here if my kids are coming! I’ve always wanted to visit! It looks like you all had a blast and managed any issues with your adventure with kids in tow!

    • marciecheung Reply

      It was super fun! I’m hoping to add side trips to Disney when we travel abroad now!

  18. Great idea! We have not been to Disneyland yet with our whole family, but I can see where it would be a lot of planning with a baby and preschooler in tow.

  19. Okay I didn’t even realize Disneyland existed outside of the US. I am too sheltered. Ha!! This is amazing though! I hope to take my kids to Disney in the next few years. Thanks for the tips!

    • marciecheung Reply

      Oh it’s global! I really want to do Disneyland Hong Kong next time we visit family there!

  20. What a dream!! I love all things Disney and would love to take my kids there one day!
    If I could just get past the 20 hour plane ride to get there 😉
    Thanks for the detailed tips!

    • marciecheung Reply

      Yes, a 20 hour plane ride would be a deterrent 🙂

  21. Absolutely love your pictures and it looks like you’ve had a wonderful time!! Although I’m not a mum I have to say that this post is such a brilliant idea and will definitely help many mums out there! You’ve put so much time and effort into it x

  22. This is a magic place, not only for the kids, but also for the grown up. I know I would be over the moon if I were there. I might even surpass the excitement of the little ones 🙂

    • marciecheung Reply

      I think I’m more excited to meet Mickey than my kids 🙂

  23. ah it’s been 2 years since I went to Disneyland Paris with my family including 2 young kids and a baby. You’re right, we adjusted our trip and went at a pace that would make the kids cranky and took a few breaks. Even if the weather was wet we had a good time. Glad to see what works for you.

    • marciecheung Reply

      Every family travels differently. It’s so hard for me to slow down our pace, but that’s what works well for our kiddos!

  24. Don’t you just love Disneyland in Paris? Madison and I had so much fun when we were there! It’s really important that we try as much as we can to make the trip convenient for them so that when we get to the park, they’re going to have loads of energy.

  25. Elizabeth O. Reply

    It’s been a long time since I last visited Paris. I don’t think I’ve ever been to the Disneyland there! These tips are very helpful especially for families who are planning to go there for the first time.

    • marciecheung Reply

      It was a fun day trip before we started sightseeing!

  26. This is awesome. I cannot wait to head to disney myself with my kiddos but I will admit I have always been terrified to even attempt when my kids are smaller.

  27. Katrina gehman Reply

    we hope to get to DL later this year. these tips will save me so much!

  28. Those were great tips! It’s not easy travelling with kids but as long as you are prepared, it goes a bit smoother. I was glad I brought my double stroller to Disneyland when I brought my 3 year old and 6 month old at the time. It’s also a good idea to bring snacks. Proper foot wear is also a must. I was wearing non water resistant shoes and it was raining at disneyland! It’s good to check the forecast ahead of time!

    • marciecheung Reply

      Yes! I wish we would have checked the forecast! I would have brought a heavy jacket!

  29. CourtneyLynne Reply

    Oooo so many great tips!!!! I have always wanted to go to Disney Land Paris. Glad I know how to prepare ect if I ever make the trip

    • marciecheung Reply

      It’s so much fun and a great way to break up the sightseeing!

  30. Disneyland is a sure winner for kids and adults alike. But traveling with kids takes a lot of patience and needs more preparations than traveling alone or with friends. I don’t have kids of my own but I’ve got nieces and nephews so I can still use your helpful tips. 🙂

    • marciecheung Reply

      Traveling with kids is a whole other game! But, still enjoyable!

  31. I loved this post! As a former Cast Member in California, I love your tips and wished that I saw more people taking advantage of the buttons or the Baby Centers! They truly are wonderful and can make or break your day. I don’t have kids of my own, but I love taking my nieces and nephew to the parks. And your photos are super cute!!

    • marciecheung Reply

      Yay! We’re heading to Disneyland CA in a few weeks. Any other things we should be taking advantage of?

  32. We have a two year old so this is so useful.. Some things I never considered or knew about before! Like the disney app, will look into that for sure

  33. The lines at Disney Paris for food were outrageous. I think I waited almost an hour for a cotton candy. Your kids are troopers! I would be wiped after a long day of excitement (hopefully the kids were too and slept well:)

  34. This is a great post for parents needing some advice on visiting Disneyland Paris. A shame you missed out on the studio side of things and that you didn’t have another day to do it all justice. However it is clear you really enjoyed sharing the magic of Disney with your kids and got some great photos to help cherish the memories.

    • marciecheung Reply

      Thanks! I’m hoping we can go back in a few years and do it right!

  35. It looks like you had a great time at Disney! And to see it through the eays of children is so nice! What’s toon town otherwise?

    • marciecheung Reply

      Toon Town at Disneyland CA has Minnie’s & Mickey’s houses (where you can explore the houses and take photos with Minnie & Mickey), several cars for kids to climb on, lots of fun photo ops, play spaces, etc. It’s just a low-key area for kids to explore and meet their favorite classic Disney characters.

  36. These are fantastic tips! I don’t have young children myself, but having traveled with my younger cousins, I know how hectic that can be. That’s great to see that the train pulls right up to the Disney park. I’m also very glad to hear that the staff was so accommodating when you were trying to get photos with Mickey. Those are memories that last a lifetime, and I’m so glad that they made those memories easy and carefree. Great post!

    • marciecheung Reply

      I feel like the Mickey “handlers” are always the creme de la creme of employees! They really added the magic to our trip!

  37. I really loved reading your post, I have been to Disneyland in Los Angeles when my lil one was just days old and I really had an amazing time then and this post reminded me of those days 🙂

  38. This is such a comprehensive and useful post. I will share it with my friends who travel with small children. And the pictures are so lovely. I want to go back to Disneyland right now!!!

  39. Wow!! You are a Disney pro for sure. I give you so much credit. I am not big into Disney but I know that I ever have kids then I will live and die by the posts of pros like you. Thanks for a great share.

  40. I love your detailed itinerary! I always try to have a planned out itinerary whenever I go somewhere new, so I’ll definitely save yours!

    • marciecheung Reply

      Yes, I think Disney is always a bit better with a plan!

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