I’m going through major Disney withdrawals! We’re heading to Walt Disney World for the first time this December, but that feels so far away! Last Spring/Summer, we took the kids to Disneyland Paris and Disneyland California. But that was a whole year ago and I really want some more Disney in my life. So, I asked one of my European-based blogger friends to share her Disneyland Paris hacks and tips for first timers.

Guest post by Christine Leger of Mouse Travel Matters.

May contain affiliate links.

Planning a Disney vacation is not like planning a traditional family vacation. Disney has created an all-immersive experience that could easily take months upon months to fully plan. There is also a good chance that you will not see “Everything” that Disneyland Paris has to offer, the first time around. Here are a few Disneyland Paris hacks and tips for Disneyland Paris first timers.

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Disneyland Paris Hacks and Tips for Disneyland Paris First Timers

Photo of the Disneyland Paris castle at sunset. Click to get the best Disneyland Paris hacks and tips for newbies #disney #disneylandparis #cinderellascastle #disneycastle
Isn’t this sunset behind the Disneyland Paris castle gorgeous? Photo credit: Christine Leger

1. Brush up on your French

While many Cast Members can speak French, their name tags will indicate with other languages they are able to speak. However, nothing shows more respect for a culture and your surroundings than at least attempting to communicate in the local language. This is also true of your fellow guests; being an international destination, there are bound to be a handful of foreigners alongside you but for the most part, there will be a large number of French speakers. If you have a problem with another guest, or want to give a helping hand, knowing a little bit of French can go a long way.

2. You are not exactly in Paris

Disneyland Paris is technically in Marne-la-Vallée, a town roughly 1 hour train ride from downtown Paris.

3. There are height restrictions

Even though this is a family park, there are a number of rides that have height restrictions. This means you need to know EXACTLY how tall your children are before making any promises. The Cast Members will also be measuring the kids themselves, twice; once at the entrance of the queue and again before boarding the ride. This is for their own safety so please do not do anything that will affect the child’s measurements.

4. Bring your own stroller

Even the well-traveled 4 year old is bound to get tired after a long day at Disneyland Paris. This will be the most they have walked in their lives, and couple that with the excitement of everything around them, and the late nights up watching the fireworks, you are bound to have a meltdown at one point or another. You can rent a stroller from Disney themselves, but they are not comfortable and can cost upwards of 20euro per day.

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Photo of the Mark Twain boat at Disneyland Paris #disney #disneylandparis #DLP #paris
Photo credit: Christine Leger

5. Check the weather

The weather in Europe is erratic a best, be prepared for everything. Winters are cold and summers are wet, back a poncho and plenty of water proof layers.

6. Check the EU school schedule

Not only will you be saving yourself the headache of massive crowds, but saving a few Euros too. As per supply and demand, prices tend to be significantly higher during school breaks, holidays and weekends.

7. Always have a pair of properly worn in shoes

Proper shoes are the key to your feet’s survival. Make sure they are worn in before heading off you on adventures in order to break in any rough spots, and return them if need be. Waterproof shoes are also very important in the winter months. Check out our selection of the best shoes for Disney.

8. Buy souvenirs before going to Disney

If it can be bought on Amazon beforehand, then do it. Surprise the kids with a “reveal” package the night before and give them everything they will need for the vacation.  For everything else, have a budget and try to stick to it. Disneyland Paris is expensive, as are most Disney locations.

9. Head to the most popular rides first

While fan favorites vary from guest to guest, there are a handful of the most popular rides at Disneyland Paris and those are the ones you will want to head to first. With the kids, head to Fantasyland first. Without the little ones, or with older kids, head to Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, and Tower of Terror, for rope drop.

10. Reserve your character meals in advance

This is a fuss free, out of the elements, controlled environment way of meeting your favorite Disney characters while also enjoying an amazing meal. We all have to eat at one point.

Thanks Christine for these helpful Disneyland Paris tips!

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Top Disneyland Paris Questions Answered:

Photo of Chez Remy at Walt Disney Studios at Disneyland Paris #chezremy #ratatouille #waltdisneystudios #disney #disneylandparis #paris #pariswithkids
View of Bistrot Chez Remy in Walt Disney Studios at Disneyland Paris. Photo credit: Christina Leger

What types of tickets are available?

DISNEYLAND PARIS ONE-DAY TICKET

If you are hoping to visit Disneyland Paris in one day, this park hopper ticket is perfect! You’ll be able to go between Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios as often as you’d like. This is helpful if you’d like to do classic Disney rides and explore the world of Ratatouille.

DISNEYLAND PARIS MULTI-DAY TICKET

If you will be at Disneyland Paris for several days, this multi-day ticket allows you to hop between both parks for either 2 days, 3 days, or 4 days. It’s the best way to take advantage of all the parades, shows, rides, and character meet and greets.

How can I get there from my hotel in Paris?

The Paris metro has a station right at the entrance of Disneyland Paris. It takes about 40 minutes from Paris Gare de Lyon station. There’s also the Disneyland Paris Express Shuttle. However, if you’d like a more direct mode of transportation, book a private transfer to Disneyland Paris.

Where can I stay at Disneyland Paris?

DISNEYLAND HOTEL

This is the closest hotel to the park entrance. It’s about a 5 minute walk away and is great for families wanting to stop at their hotel throughout the day. But, it’s also the priciest option. The rooms are in the style of the 1880s railroad era and you can rent Walt’s Apartment or the Sleeping Beauty Suite.

DISNEY’S NEWPORT BAY CLUB

This is a 15 minute walk from the entrance or you can ride the free shuttle. It was renovated in 2016 and the rooms have a nautical theme. It’s right next to Lake Disney, which is pretty cool!

DISNEY’S SEQUOIA LODGE

Want to feel like you’re in a cozy cabin up in the mountains? This hotel is a 15 minute walk from the park entrance, but also has a free shuttle. Their rooms features Bambi and friends, which is cute!

DISNEY’S HOTEL NEW YORK

If you’d like to be next to Disney Village, this is the hotel for you! It’s a 10 minute walk from the park entrance, but also has the free shuttle. The rooms have a New York/Art Deco theme.

DISNEY’S HOTEL SANTA FE

This is a more budget-friendly hotel and features a Route 66 theme straight out of the Cars movies. It’s also the furthest away at a 20 minute walk. Shuttles are available.

DISNEY’S HOTEL CHEYENNE

Also a budget-friendly hotel, this may be the CUTEST wild west themed hotel I’ve ever seen! Rooms feature Woody from Toy Story. It’s currently undergoing some renovations (as of June 2018.)

How can I do a weekend at Disneyland Paris from London?

If you are visiting London, it’s really easy to add a weekend getaway to Paris! You can join this Paris and Disneyland Paris tour from London. The tour includes stops at Notre Dame, the Louvre Museum, Champs Elysees, Eiffel Tower, Sacre Coeur, and more. Plus, spend an entire day at Disneyland Paris

What else can I do in Paris with kids?

MUSEE D’ORSAY

Want to explore an art museum filled with famous impressionist paintings? This “skip-the-line” tour is exclusively tailored for families with children. Enjoy a fun, yet educational, private tour.

LOUVRE MUSEUM

Want to show your kids the Mona Lisa, but don’t want to deal with the crazy long line to get into the Louvre? This “skip-the-line” tour is tailored specifically for your family. It’s the easiest way to show your kids an art museum and guarantee that they have fun!

PARIS MUSEUM OF CHOCOLATE

Not only can your family learn all about the history of chocolate, but you’ll also get to TASTE a lot! There’s even a treasure hunt to keep kids entertained!

FAMILY-FRIENDLY FOOD TOUR

The best way to experience a culture is through it’s food. However not all food tours are kid-friendly. This is a private food tour geared toward families with children that includes sweet treats and salty snacks. Plus, there are games and activities for kids.

VERSAILLES PALACE

After spending time at Disneyland Paris, your kids might want to see a REAL palace. This tour is geared for families with young children. You’ll learn a bit of French history, play some games, hear crazy stories, and skip the entry line!

Blog Posts about Paris with Kids

What to Do in Paris in 3 Days with a Baby and Toddler: Tips + Itinerary
Tuk Tuk Paris Tours with Kids
Get an Insider’s View of Paris with a Paris Greeters Walking Tour
Paris-Themed Holiday Gift Guide for Children
Take a Toddler’s Tour of San Francisco, Paris, New York and London with My Little Cities!
Dress like a Parisian with The Original Breton Shirt Company

Heading to Disneyland Paris with your family? Check out these Disneyland Paris hacks and tips for first timers. Click to read more or pin to save for later. www.marcieinmommyland.com #disney #disneylandparis #DLP #disneytips #paris #pariswithkids Want to know some insider Disneyland Paris hacks? Get the top tips from a local who frequents Disneyland Paris with her family. Click to read more or pin to save for later. www.marcieinmommyland.com #disney #disneylandparis #disneyhacks #disneytips #paris #familytravel #pariswithkidsAre you heading to Disneyland Paris for the first time? Get insider DLP hacks and tips for first timers. Click to read more or pin to save for later. www.marcieinmommyland.com #disneylandparis #disney #disneysmmc #disneymom #disneytips #pariswithkids #europe

Author

Marcie writes the family travel blog Marcie in Mommyland. When she's not traveling the world, she's home in Seattle with her husband and two little boys.

20 Comments

  1. This is such a fantastic rundown of tips. I think most of these could easily be applied to all of the parks. I especially appreciate the tip about the character lunches because that is a great way to let the little meet the characters in a controlled way. I was actually unaware that there was a Disneyland Paris until I saw your post and it looks pretty magical!

    • It used to be called Euro Disney, but they rebranded it several years ago. Yes, it’s so important to have a plan for any of the Disney Parks. DLP just feels so different than Disneyland California!

  2. We love Disneyland Paris! But it’s been a few years since we’ve been. With how quickly things change, it’s great to see an updated list of tips. Merci!

    • We were there last year, so I appreciated these updated tips, too! Can’t wait to see what they do next!

  3. Wow! Even more reason for me to finally visit Paris! That castle is AMAZING! Great post with so many usable tips. 🙂

  4. I would love to visit DL Paris but need to go through this list so that we are prepared. The height restriction causes a lot of grief for our family.

    • I was surprised that my son could go on just about everything at 3.5yo. But, we don’t do the super scary rides:)

    • Well, there are so many cool things to see and do in Europe! This just means you’ll have to come back!

  5. These are great tips. I have not been to Disney Paris is over a decade. Need to plan another trip.

  6. So many great tips! We did Disney in Hong Kong and it’s amazing how similar they are even in different locations, so I know these tips will be good no matter which Disney people are visiting!

    • We’ve had Disneyland HK on our list for years! My husband has family there so we’re definitely going at some point!

  7. These are great tips–I didn’t every realize there was a Disneyland near Paris!

  8. This is such a great comprehensive post! Makes me want to take a trip to Paris right now. My three-year-old keeps wanting to see each of your photos because they’re so pretty!

  9. Courtney byers Reply

    This is such great advice. I want to visit Disney Land Paris so bad. I love Paris so much.

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