Planning a trip to Paris, France and want to include a stop at Disneyland Paris? Keep scrolling to find out 6 Disneyland Paris mistakes you don’t want to make!
Guest post by Erica of Travels with Erica
There are a few Disneyland Paris mistakes you want to avoid in order to have a magical day in the parks. Making the mistakes on this list will lead to frustration, waiting in long lines, and an all-around less than perfect day.
On the other hand, if you avoid making these Disneyland Paris mistakes, you’re day at the parks will go smoothly, and you’ll see and do more than you ever thought possible!
Disneyland Paris is made up of two parks. Disneyland Paris is the park that has the castle and the classic rides, and Walt Disney Studios is home to a lot of Pixar-themed attractions and the more thrilling rides like Tower of Terror.
There is also a shopping and dining area called Disney Village and a number of Disney-owned hotels.
Now that you know the Disneyland Paris basics, it is time to help you make the most out of your day in the park!
1. Not Getting to the Park Early
Disneyland Paris is one of the few Disney parks that lets guests into the park about half an hour before it officially opens.
You can meet characters, do some shopping, and queue at the entrance of the land you want to visit first.
Getting to the parks early and taking advantage of being inside the park before it opens is one of the best ways to maximize your time.
You don’t have to worry about getting through the gates and rushing to the ride you want to go in first. It is a much more leisurely way to start your Disney day.
And you can get a surprising amount of things done in that half hour before the park officially opens.
That is enough time to meet two characters on Main Street U.S.A., browse through the Emporium without shoulder-to-shoulder crowds, and get a few photographs in front of the castle without a bunch of people in the background.
One of the worst Disneyland Paris mistakes you can make is having a slow morning and not getting to the parks until a few hours after they open.
The crowds will be heavy, and you will have to wait in longer lines.
If you’re at the parks when they first open, you can walk onto your first rides of the day with no more than a 5-minute wait!
The crowds don’t pick up until 90 (or so) minutes after the park opens, so you can knock out some of the most popular attractions with little to no wait time.
If you only have one day at Disneyland Paris and want to go on a lot of rides, being at the park when it opens is essential!
2. Missing Your Fastpass Window
The Disneyland Paris fastpass system is a bit different from other Disney parks.
Your return window is only 30 minutes rather than the standard 60 minutes at other Disney parks.
Disneyland Paris is also a lot more stringent on not letting guests who are early or late to use their fastpass into the fastpass line.
Missing your fastpass return window is probably the worst rookie Disneyland Paris mistake you can make!
You miss out on your chance to go on a top attraction with little to no wait and you wasted your fastpass.
Fastpasses are invaluable because they virtually hold you place in line.
You get a fastpass for a certain attraction, go about the park doing other things, and return to the attraction within the time period shown on your fastpass.
Once you return to the attraction, you get in the fastpass line and get priority boarding on the attraction.
They are the best way to maximize your time and not spend a lot of time standing in lines.
You are only allowed one fastpass at a time, so not using your fastpass is a major Disneyland Paris mistake.
The only exception to the only having one fastpass at a time rule is if your return time is more than two hours in the future.
You are allowed to get a second fastpass after two hours if your first fastpass return time is still in the future.
Your fastpass will tell you when you’re allowed to get a new fastpass at the bottom of the ticket.
Fastpasses are a huge part of any Disneyland Paris strategy, and you don’t want to let one go to waste by missing your return window!
3. Only Eating in the Parks
This is the most common Disneyland Paris mistake.
The food in both Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney Studios leaves a lot to be desired.
The table service restaurants are expensive, hard to get a reservation for, and, frankly, not that good. The quick service restaurants are average at best and have extremely long lines.
Overall, it is difficult to find a good meal in the parks. The parks have great snacks and sweet treats but are not the place to go for a meal.
The solution to the lack lustre food in the parks is Disney Village.
There are a number of table service and quick service restaurants for you to choose from. They have have better food than the restaurants in the parks, and you don’t have to make a reservation in advance for most places.
You need to make a reservation for the character dining at Café Mickey and the Wild West dinner theatre. Other than those two restaurants, you can walk up to any restaurant and be seated right away.
Dining at Disney Village is also a nice way to get out of the parks and relax a bit. Disney Village is normally fairly quiet, so you can get away from the crowds.
It is disappointing that the in-park food is subpar, but it is nice to have the option to dine at Disney Village and get a good meal.
4. Not Getting a Park Hopper Ticket
Most tourists only visit Disneyland Paris as a day trip, and they only get a one-park ticket for Disneyland Paris.
They totally skip Walt Disney Studios because they don’t think there is enough time to see both parks in a single day.
This is a major Disneyland Paris mistake, and you’re missing out on some of the most magical parts of the experience.
Walt Disney Studios has some of the best rides in all of Disney history, and it would be a shame to miss out on them.
A park hopper ticket only costs less than €25 more than a single park ticket. Even if you don’t spend much time at Walt Disney Studios, it is worth the extra money.
You’ll want to ride Ratatouille: The Adventure and Crush’s Coaster. They are both spectacular and worth getting the park hopper ticket for alone.
You’re day will be very busy if you’re visiting both parks in a single day, but it is doable. The parks are only a few hundred meters from one another.
It only takes 5 minutes to walk from one to the other, so it is easy to hop between parks.
The best strategy to get the most out of your day is to start at Disneyland Paris.
Be there when it opens, spend a few hours there doing the most popular rides, and then hop over to Walt Disney Studios.
And jump between the parks for the rest of the day however it fits your schedule.
This will cut down on how long you have to wait in lines and let you see the best of both parks in one day.
5. Not Using Single Rider Lines
Single rider lines are the ultimate time-saving hack! Not taking advantage of them is one of the Disneyland Paris mistakes you can make.
The single rider line is used to fill empty seats in an attraction. If a ride vehicle seats three people, and there is a party of two, a person from the single rider line fills the third seat.
It makes sure the ride is filled to capacity and helps the line move quicker.
Taking advantage of the single rider lines helps you do more and see more in a short period of time. The wait times in the single rider lines are often significantly shorter than the traditional queue.
You will be separated from your group in the single rider line. It is easy to meet with them at the exit, and the time you save is worth not sitting next to your companion.
If you have a small child or want a ride photo of your entire group, you may want to skip the single rider lines.
There are only a handful of rides that offer single rider lines, so you need to be strategic about it.
Jump in any single rider line you can and get a fastpass for rides that don’t have a single ride option.
6. Skipping the Parade
This may seem like an odd one, but it is truly one of the Disneyland Paris mistakes you want to avoid making.
Disneyland Paris has one of the best daytime parades in the Disney universe. The floats are spectacular, and you don’t want to miss it!
It is quite popular, so you want to stake out your spot early if you want a front row view. If you’re okay with a less than perfect sight line, you can show up 10 minutes before the parade.
There are always spots available at the beginning and end of the parade route. They don’t have the best views or backdrop, but you still get to enjoy the parade.
The parade lasts about 20 minutes, and you get to see all of your favourite characters. Most of the float designs and costumes are unlike at any other Disney park.
It is a unique experience you won’t have at any other Disney parade.
If you choose not to watch the parade, then that is the best time to ride the most popular attractions with a shorter wait time.
A lot of people will be watching the parade and not in line for the attractions!
As you can see, there are a lot of rookie Disneyland Paris mistakes you can easily make.
It is easy to make a simple mistake that costs you precious time or missing out on an experience. Or you could end up overpaying for a subpar meal.
The best part of about all the Disneyland Paris mistakes on this list is they are all super easy to fix!
Now that you know about these mistakes, you can avoid them and make better decisions.
You know how to beat the crowds and can navigate the parks like a pro.
Have a strategy, stick to it, and use the tips and tricks you learned in this article, and you’ll have a magical day at Disneyland Paris.
It is a very special Disney park, and you’re guaranteed to love it!
Erica is an avid solo traveler who has been to over 40 countries. She loves spending long periods of time in each country to get a sense of the country and culture.
Erica’s favorite travel activities include attending local theater and dance performances, wandering through museums, eating way too much food, and riding every roller coaster she comes across.