Going to Disneyland from Paris for just one day to enjoy a few hours of fun with friends and family has become a new tradition in itself. It is also one of the reasons why thousands of tourists flock to the City of Light every season.
If you've selected Disneyland as your next destination, congratulations! There is so much to see and do there that buying a multi-day ticket is synonymous with big fun. If you want to get the most out of your adventure, check out this compilation of tips designed to save you time, money and effort on your next visit to Disneyland.
1. Buy your Disneyland tickets in advance
Buying your tickets in advance has numerous advantages, not only does it give you the opportunity to find Disneyland tickets at off-peak times, but it also saves you from wasting valuable time at the park's ticket office.
There are several ways in which you can purchase your tickets in the online environment. For example, you can purchase multi-day tickets for two to four days. This option also includes admission to Walt Disney Studios Park.
2. Download the Disneyland app
There is so much to see and do at Disneyland that if you are only in the park for one day, downloading the Disneyland App is a must. This important resource, developed as a help system by the Disney company, will be your most valuable tool during the whole excursion as it will provide you with reliable information to help you decide how to move around the park.
The application shows you the waiting time for all the attractions in the park, and also gives you information about those that are closed for repairs. A trick to avoid constantly browsing through the long list of Disneyland Paris attractions is to add the ones you are most interested in to the favourites section.
Our favourite Disney characters walk around the park to interact with the public and take pictures. The application gives you information about which characters will be walking around during the day, where they will be and in which time slot you will be able to meet them.
Disney's show schedule is constantly changing from season to season and the Disneyland app will let you know which shows are on the day of your visit, where and at what times.
The app gives you a list of all the restaurants in the Disney Park with easy access to all the menus.
3. Discover the alternative to the Free Fast Pass
Disney Premier Access
The service that replaces FastPass is called Disney Premier Access and, to use it, you need to download the Disneyland app and register. It works very simply: when you arrive at Disneyland, you link your ticket to the app, select the attraction you want to visit and the number of participants. The app then generates a QR code and gives you information on the exact time you can enter without queuing.
However, not all attractions are available for Disney Premier Access. This service can be requested only at:
- Big Thunder Mountain
- Phantom Manor
- Peter Pan's flight
- Buzz Lightyear
- Star Wars Hyperspace
- Star Tours
- The Twilight Zone
- Indiana Jones
Moreover, it is not exactly a cheap service, as it has a minimum cost of 5 € per attraction, it is valid for a single use and the price can increase depending on demand.
4. Take advantage of the Single Rider
The Single Rider is a free service offered by Disneyland and you can take advantage of it to save time. It is a special queue for those who can or want to go on rides alone. The way it works is very simple: if an attraction is designed for a 4-person carriage or trolley and a family of only 3 members approaches, the operator will place the family in the carriage and include the extra participant (single rider) from the alternative queue.
However, this benefit is not available for all attractions either. You will be able to use it on
And although you can join the Single Rider line with your friends, remember that you will not be able to get on the ride together, as the operator will call you one at a time.
5. Organise your schedule and prioritise attractions
A little planning before you go to Disneyland from Paris will help you a lot. Besides downloading the Disneyland app, I recommend you to have a small list of Disney attractions you want to go on and observe the app days before your trip, the behaviour of the queues with the minimum and maximum waiting times.
If you are going to be at Disney for two or more days, I recommend you to arrive at least one of those days at the opening time of the Disney park and go first to the Crush 's Rider attraction located in the Walt Disney Studios park. It is one of the most popular rides and the queues get impossibly long.
6. Pick the right time to travel to Disneyland
Knowing the best time to travel to Disneyland is extremely important. However, there is no simple way to answer this question and it will depend a lot on your priorities and the kind of experiences you want to have.
A formula that is repeated almost all year round, except for mass tourism weeks, is that during the first days of the week, the influx to the parks decreases considerably. The reason is simple: people living in Paris take advantage of the weekend break to spend a fun afternoon at Disneyland; however, during the week these same families are at work or at school.
7. Don't wear sandals
Even if you visit Disneyland in the summer, sandals are not suitable footwear as you may lose some of them on busy rides. In general, avoid wearing any footwear that comes off your feet easily or that may cause discomfort after a few hours of walking. In these scenarios, practical and comfortable slippers are usually the best footwear to wear.
8. Protect yourself from the weather
No matter what time of the year you visit Disneyland, considering that you will be outdoors for several hours, you should be properly prepared for the season's prevailing weather.
- In warm weather, a pair of sunglasses, SPF factor 30 or higher, and an umbrella in case you have to stand in long lines in the sun.
- In cold weather, a sweatshirt or coat depending on the weather, thermal clothing in the months when the Parisian winter sets in, winter hats and gloves, and a poncho or umbrella for rain.
9. Fill your backpack with everything you need
When visiting Disneyland you should be properly prepared for all the necessities that may arise. A backpack with some accessories or essential items will make your visit much more enjoyable. Here are my recommendations:
- Bring your own bottle of water as it is expensive in the parks. There are two alternatives: plastic or metal thermos flasks. Keep in mind that glass containers are forbidden inside the park.
- Take a portable charger. You will use your mobile phone a lot, not only to take photos, but also to consult the Disneyland app.
- Put all important documents in a separate case or pocket.
- Bring some snacks to nibble on. During the queues you may get hungry and you won't be able to move around to buy food.
- Carry napkins and tissues.
- Even in summer, take a light sweatshirt for the evening.
- Bring a cocoa bar. The strong wind on some rides can be very drying to the lips.
10. Take advantage of the Rider Switch pass
Disney attractions are regulated according to the audience they are aimed at and some have height limitations. If you are travelling with small children and want to go on rides that are not designed for them, a Rider Switch Pass is your best option.
This special pass is designed so that parents travelling with small children can go on rides one at a time without having to repeat the queue. The way it works is very simple: you apply for the Rider Switch pass, when you arrive at an attraction where the child cannot get on, one of the two parents queue up and get on the attraction while the other waits outside. Then the second parent can get on without queuing and swap roles.
11. Plan and book your meals
With the Disneyland app, as well as working for the attractions, you can organise your meals for the day. From the app, you can perform two important tasks.
- Reserve a table, even months before your trip, at the park's most popular restaurants such as Bistrot Chez Rémy or Captain Jack's.
- Order and pay for your food directly on your mobile. When you're in the park, you can order food on the app and avoid queues at the restaurants. When you place your order, the app gives you a waiting time, which is usually 15 to 20 minutes. Some of the Disney restaurants that have this service available are Café and Casey's Corner.
Disney Parks are characterised by a varied number of restaurants and food establishments. When planning your meals for the day, you can consult this information about the best restaurants in Disneyland Paris. Although on average food in the park will be a little more expensive than in the city, you're sure to find something to suit your needs.
12. Stay at the resort
Although hotels at Disneyland are somewhat expensive, it is important to keep in mind that staying at the Disneyland Resort has several advantages. For instance, you can enter the park earlier than the normal public, which means that you can get on the most popular attractions with virtually no queues.
Also, when staying at Disneyland hotels, you can book meal plans that include lunch and breakfast at the park's restaurants.
13. Take advantage of the parades to go on rides and attractions
Another great trick that will allow you to avoid long lines at the attractions is to attend them when the parades are taking place. The reason is simple - park-goers, excited to see their favourite characters parade by, all congregate on Main Street and the rides are virtually empty. Rides last an average of 20 minutes.
14. Arrive early for Disney Illuminations
A show not to be missed is the Disney Illuminations, which takes place every night at Sleeping Beauty Castle. It is a light and fireworks show that projects enchanting stories for about 20 minutes.
However, like the other shows at Disneyland, this one tends to be very crowded, so always keep in mind the time of the show and arrive at the plaza an hour early to ensure a good seat.
Checking your itinerary is extremely important as Disney show times vary from season to season; in summer and spring the parks have extended hours, but during winter the closing time is much earlier.
15. Consider purchasing a Disneyland Annual Pass
Finally, if you are a fan at heart and enjoy the idea of visiting Disney several times in a year, the annual pass is an option you should consider. With this type of service, Disney assures you entrance to both parks whenever you want and other benefits. For the annual pass you will find four categories: Discovery, Magic Flex, Magic Plus and Infinity.
Annual passes are available in two formats:
- Single payment. From 210 € for the cheapest option.
- Payment in instalments. Requires an initial payment of €60 and 11 monthly instalments starting at €14 for the cheapest option.