I’ve just spent a weekend in one of my favourite places on earth (other than Pizza Express and my bed) – that’s right, Disneyland Paris!
It wasn’t my first trip and I’m lucky enough that it won’t be my last, but I’m always learning new things about the parks and the best way to navigate my way around them. From this most recent weekend visit, these are my six top Disneyland Paris tips (some of which I realised the hard way!) that I think are essential if you want a successful visit to the parks.
1) Wear comfy clothes
You want to look killer for insta, we get it. But honestly, wearing comfy clothes for a day in the Disneyland Paris parks is so, so important – TRUST ME, I speak from experience! Grab shoes you can rely on and clothes that are easy when climbing in and out of ride vehicles (believe me, on some of those roller coasters the struggle is real!).
Avoid anything that could cause physical discomfort like chafing or blisters because, although it might not bother you at first, after a few hours of walking around it becomes unbearable and you’re pretty much screwed for the rest of the day!
2) Take breaks – little and often
It’s tempting when you first get into the park, full of excitement and adrenaline, to smash out one thing after another. I’ve done it before; I’ll probably forget myself and do it again! But I’ve definitely learnt that a much better way to tackle Disneyland Paris it to take regular, short breaks right from the start of the day to prevent doing yourself damage later on.
I know you want to do it all, but these parks are small and those rides aren’t going anywhere. You’ve got time. Taking little breaks all day stops you burning out and are essential if you want to stick it out from rope drop to fireworks. So go ahead and sit your butt down!
3) Arrive early, stay late
If you want to make the most of your visit to Disneyland Paris, a real tip is to get there from when the parks open and stay until they close. It’s tough, especially in summer months when the parks are open later, but it is doable (if you refer to the previous two tips!).
The first hour of the day is when the queues are often shortest so if you’re ready at rope drop you can beat everyone else to the most popular attractions. If you manage to stick it out for the day you’ll also notice a lot of people, especially young families, will start to drop off in the last couple of hours and the crowds will die down.
4) Use and abuse the Fastpass queues
When it’s busy, your feet ache and the rides are so short you find yourself asking if it was really worth waiting in line for 90 minutes with screaming kids and pouring rain, this tip will come in handy – USE FASTPASSES!
So many visitors don’t use the Fastpass system at Disneyland Paris – or even know it exists! Fastpasses are free and available to everyone with a park ticket and can seriously cut down wait times. For example, we used a Fastpass on Peter Pan’s Flight, one of the most popular rides with a standby wait time of 60 minutes; it took us exactly five minutes, from handing our pass to the cast member to our boat taking off. We were on and off the ride in less than 10 minutes. They are really, truly worth taking advantage of.
I’ve got a full guide coming up on how to use Fastpasses and which rides you should prioritise so if you’re still not sure of the best way to benefit from Fastpasses keep an eye out for that!
5) BYOS (bring your own snacks)
If you’re planning to spend an entire day in the parks, you’ll definitely need to keep up your energy levels. One way to do this is take breaks (I’m just gonna keep saying it!), but another is snacking throughout the day.
Staying hydrated is important and super easy with free water fountains all over Disneyland Paris; however, if you buy any food or drink in the parks you’ll soon realise how it can add up. It’s not cheap, especially if you’re feeding a family, and the food isn’t even that great. But you’re allowed to bring food and drink into the park, so load up a backpack and save yourself plenty of money – we brought loads of food and drink from home with us and barely spent a penny once inside.
6) Find a space and stand your ground
If there are any shows that are really important to you on your Disneyland Paris trip – parades, fireworks, or indoor shows like ‘Mickey and the Magician’ – it’s definitely worth getting there early. Indoor shows only have a limited number of seats and fill up FAST so get in line in plenty of time if you want a good seat (or a seat at all – ‘Marvel: Super Heroes United’ filled up a good half hour before each showtime).
For the fireworks and parades people will start getting in position early so, for the best views, you need to find your spot in really good time and hold onto it. Another great tip for the fireworks show is to stand quite far back near the top of Main Street, just to the left or right – that way you still get a great view and, when the fireworks finish, you can shoot straight down the empty indoor arcades that run down the sides of Main Street and beat the crowds to the exit.