All Articles Guide to Disneyland Paris: Tips and tricks to know before you go

Guide to Disneyland Paris: Tips and tricks to know before you go

A girl looking at the Disneyland Paris Disneyland Park
Image: Thomas Evraert / Unsplash
Nur Sofia
By Nur Sofia06 Jan 2022

Paris has something for everyone—from history buffs and culture vultures to families and couples seeking out the magic of the City of Lights. And it doesn’t get more magical than Disneyland Paris, Europe’s only Disney theme park.

With two full theme parks (Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park), seven themed hotels, a Disney Village and a treasure trove of hidden secrets, where do you even begin? Here’s all you need to know about visiting Disneyland Paris, from where to stay and ticket bundles, to the best rides and restaurants to visit. It doesn’t matter how old you are, magic awaits in the wondrous world of Disneyland Paris.

Where to stay when visiting Disneyland Paris?

While Disneyland Paris can be explored within a day, you need at least two days to fully experience everything that Disneyland Paris has to offer. Not sure whether to stay within or outside the Disney compounds? Here’s what you need to know.

Hotels in Disneyland Paris

Crowds walking into Disneyland Hotel at Disneyland Paris
Minnie mouse mascot waving at Disneyland Paris
Image: Michele C (left) and Vanessa G (Right) / Tripadvisor

You’ll find seven themed Disney hotels within the park: The Disneyland Hotel, Disney’s Hotel New York, Disney’s Newport Bay Club, Disney’s Sequoia Lodge, Hotel Cheyenne, Disney’s Hotel Santa Fe and Disney’s Davy Crockett Ranch. A majority of them are situated around Lake Disney near the shopping and entertainment district—Disney Village—and most offer free shuttle services between the park and hotels. While staying within Disneyland Paris can be more pricey (with nightly rates ranging from $100 to $500 and up), staying within the themed hotels in the Disney “bubble” adds to the magical Disney experience.

Apart from the convenience of staying 5 minutes away from the park, a big perk of staying within Disneyland is Extra Magic Time, where you can enter the park up to 90 mins before public guests. Zip to the front of the lines for attractions, meet your favorite characters—they even pop by the hotels—and maximize photo ops all around.

Hotels around Disneyland Paris

If you’re looking for more budget-friendly accommodation options, suss out hotels and vacation rentals off-site. That’s great savings that you can use to snag some limited edition Disney merch. Here are our recommendations:

1) Adagio Marne la Vallée Val d'Europe

The urban apartments of Adagio Marne la Vallée Val d'Europe are comfortable and spacious, great for those traveling with family and larger groups. It’s also located next to one of Europe's largest shopping centers, Val d'Europe.

2) Holiday Inn Marne la Vallée

Holiday Inn Marne la Vallée is a great family-friendly hotel near Disneyland Paris. With plush and contemporary rooms, rest comfortably before you embark on a whirlwind of fun with the kiddos.

3) Radisson Blu Hotel Paris, Marne-La-Vallee

Tucked within an oasis of lush nature, the four-star Radisson Blu Hotel Paris is just a 7-minute ride away from Disneyland Paris. It’s located on the grounds of Golf Disneyland® so the adults can tee off while the kids explore.

Best rides in Disneyland Paris

Big Thunder Mountain ride at Disneyland Paris
Image: Eleanor Brooke / Unsplash

Best rides in Disneyland Park

At Disneyland Park, there are five "lands": Main Street USA, Fantasyland, Adventureland, Frontierland and Discoveryland. It’s the larger park of the two, so you might not be able to cover all of its 50 over different attractions.

Make the most of your time there and sign up for Disneyland Premier Access, the new program that has replaced the Disneyland Paris FastPass. This magic ticket (from USD5.60) allows you to skip lines at some of the most popular rides.

Here are some of the not-to-be-missed rides in Disneyland Park:

  • Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain* (Discoveryland)
  • Star Tours* (Discoveryland)
  • Big Thunder Mountain* (Frontierland)
  • Phantom Manor* (Frontierland)
  • Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril* (Adventureland)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean (Adventureland)
  • It’s A Small World (Fantasyland, family-friendly)
  • Mad Hatter’s Teacups (Fantasyland, family-friendly)
  • The Carousel (Fantasyland, family-friendly)

*Eligible for Disney Premier Access.

Best rides in Walt Disney Studios Park

Walt Disney Studios Park has 15 immersive attractions, centered around the world of cinema, animation and television.

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disneyland Paris
Image: Lotte de Jong / Unsplash

Don’t know where to begin? Here are the best rides to try in Walt Disney Studios Park:

  • Ratatouille: The Adventure*
  • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror*
  • Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith
  • Crush’s Coaster
  • Studio Tram Tour: Behind the Magic

*Eligible for Disney Premier Access.

Best restaurants in Disneyland Paris

There are over 70 restaurants and bars within Disneyland Paris, serving up different Disney themes and international cuisines. Here are some of the best restaurants in each zone at Disneyland Paris:

Mickey Mouse ice cream dessert at Disneyland Paris
The Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlour in Disneyland Paris
Image: Francis O / Tripadvisor (left), Bastien Nvs / Unsplash (right)

Restaurants in Adventureland

The ambiance at Captain Jack's - Restaurant des Pirates is one-of-a-kind. Built inside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, this cozy restaurant in its tropical lagoon setting offers great seafood dishes and French Creole-style favorites.

Restaurants along Main Street USA

A restaurant steeped in Disney history, Walt’s is a lovely nod to both Disneyland’s past and present. Relish good ol’ American cuisine with their classic three-course meal.

The intimate Cable Car Bake Shop is great for those with a sweet tooth, concocting delicious treats ranging from muffins and donuts, to cookies and buttery croissants.

Restaurants in Fantasyland

Pizzeria Bella Notte serves up hearty Italian fare like pizzas, lasagna, pasta and comforting sides to go along. The meatballs are a definite hit with the kids.

Restaurants in Frontierland

Located in a spacious barn, treat yourself to Tex-Mex specialties at Cowboy Cookout Barbecue. Chow down on their lip-smacking ribs to the tunes of live Country music.

Restaurants in Disney Village

If you need a break from the burgers and fries, fuel up on warm made-to-order subs, salads and wraps at Earl of Sandwich.

Tips for viewing the Disneyland Paris Castle

Disneyland Paris Castle
Image: Bastien Nvs / Unsplash

With its pastel pink façade, gorgeous glasswork and regal blue spires, the Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant or Sleeping Beauty’s Castle is a sight to behold.

Situated at the end of Main Street USA, the Gothic-inspired castle at Disneyland Paris is the glorious gateway to Fantasyworld. Walk around the circumference of the castle and capture unique perspectives from different vantage points. But the best way to experience the castle is at the Disney Illuminations night-time extravaganza, where the castle is lit up with projections of your favorite Disney characters, to the tunes of Disney soundtracks and explosive fireworks.

Pro-tip: Stay on after the show, when most guests are trying to make a beeline for the park’s exit. Once the crowds have dissipated, you can snap the perfect shot with the Disneyland Paris castle to immortalize a magical and memorable trip.

Other Disneyland Paris tips and tricks

  1. Ditch the paper maps and download the Disneyland Paris app—over the park’s free WiFi, of course. Get live waiting times, dining locations and menus, and the schedule of parades and fireworks in the palm of your hand.
  2. Pack a jacket. Even when you’re visiting in summer, it can get chilly in the mornings and evenings. There may be sporadic rain, especially between September to May, so it doesn't hurt to pack a waterproof parka, poncho or umbrella.
  3. Take advantage of the Disneyland Paris single rider lines, especially if you don’t mind sitting alone. Cut to the front of the line, much to the envy of fellow park goers.
  4. The peak dining hours are between 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and 5-7 p.m. While most of the crowds are grabbing lunch or dinner, whizz to the attractions to score a few extra rides.

Getting from Paris to Disneyland

Getting to Disneyland Paris from the airport

If you’re going directly from Charles De Gaulle Airport, it’s a 10-minute journey to Disneyland Paris by high-speed TGV train from Terminal 2. Tickets are about €17.50 (USD19.70) per person, depending on the time and date of your departure.

Staying at one of the hotels in Disneyland Paris? Hop on the Magical Shuttle and arrive in Disneyland Paris in about 50 minutes. The bus will stop at every on-site Disney hotel and other partner hotels.

Getting to Disneyland Paris from central Paris

The train journey from central Paris to Disneyland Paris is about 35 minutes. Buy a ticket and hop on the RER A train from Paris-Gare de Lyon. Alight at the final stop, Marne-la-Vallée–Chessy—it’s a two-minute stroll to the entrance.

Coming from someplace else in Europe? The Eurostar train is your best. If you’re in London, there’s a 3-hour Eurostar train direct to Disneyland Paris from St. Pancras Station.

How much are the tickets to Disneyland Paris?

A girl holding up a Mickey Mouse headband against the Disneyland Castle in Paris
Image: Patrícia Ferreira / Unsplash

Disneyland Paris tickets can be purchased at their official website or other trusted booking platforms.

If you know your dates, the 1-day dated tickets are the cheapest:

  • One park from €56 (USD63)/adult and €52 (USD58)/child*
  • Two parks from €77 (USD87)/adult and €73 (USD82)/child*

The 1-day undated tickets are more expensive but are valid for one year from purchase:

  • One park from €103 (USD116)/adult and €95 (USD107)/child*
  • Two parks from €124 (USD140)/adult and €116 (USD131)/child*

*Children under 3 enjoy free admission.

If you’re staying within the park grounds, there are also hotel and ticket packages that can be bundled with meal plans, shuttles and luggage drops.

Add a Disneyland Paris trip to your Paris travel itinerary with value-for-money packages that include Disneyland Paris admission tickets and round-trip trains from central Paris, or Disneyland Paris Express Shuttle pick-ups from major spots in Paris including the Eiffel Tower.

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Nur Sofia
Nur Sofia majored in International Trade, but found her calling in storytelling. She is passionate about travel and lifestyle, and still dreams of visiting Bora Bora someday. When she's not planning her next trip, you'll likely find her predicting the next blindside on Survivor.