This year, Guillaume and I took on Disneyland Paris on the worst possible day of the year – December 27! We found ourselves amidst thousands of other tourists and families taking advantage of the Christmas holiday break. Despite the chaos, we seriously had a blast and quickly became privy to some tips to help you make the best of your magical trip to Disneyland!
Plan your visit wisely
From my experience, I would definitely NOT attempt a visit to Disneyland Paris during the December break. Not only is it super busy, but its bone-chilling cold and grey. Inversely, I imagine the summer break would be pretty similar, but with a sunburn instead of frost bite! I would recommend making your trip on a weekday during the spring or fall when the weather is favourable. Use the tools at your disposal! This Disneyland Crown Forecast Calendar gives you an idea of the estimated traffic flow throughout the year.
Download these two free apps
This tip is a MUST!!
The MagiPark for Disneyland Paris app gives you real-time updates on the wait time for each ride. But wait, there’s more! This app also give you real-time wait times for meet and greets with Disney characters. This app really helped Guillaume and I maximize our time at the park.
The Disneyland Paris app is basically an electronic version of the paper information pamphlet you receive upon entry. It has the map of the whole park and the daily event schedule – including the character meet and greets! Another great app that helped Guillaume and I figure out where and when we would be running from activity to activity.
Get there early
During the morning on the 27th, Guillaume and I debated for hours whether or not we were going to get in the car and go (we were really hesitant to go during the winter break because of the crowds). Instead of arriving on time, we arrived 1 1/2 hours late. What was so frustrating, was that on the MagiPark app we could see the wait times growing!!! At 9 am when the park opened even the most popular attractions had a wait time of 5 minutes. By the time we got there around 10:30 the wait times had escalated to an hour each.
What was also really discouraging was the parking situation. We had to wait in line for about 20 minutes to pay for parking (be prepared for that 30€ blow) and another 25 minutes to park and to enter the actual grounds.
Use the fast track system
This is a hack we unfortunately didn’t discover until half way through our day! Each Disneyland guest is designated 2 fast track tickets. These tickets work by giving guests a designated time to come back to an attraction and jump ahead to the front of the line. You will find various machines set up outside of the rides, you pass the barcode of your ticket underneath and just like that you get your fast track ticket.
Pro tip: the fast track tickets are NOT unlimited… There are only a certain amount given out each day. The most popular ride “sell out” of their fast track tickets early in the morning. I would recommend starting your day by collecting the #1 fast track ticket you want before visiting the attractions.
Guillaume and I immediate selected the Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast fast track ticket upon arrival because this ride is a MUST and wait times can be as long as 2 hours!!
Plan to stay late (bring snacks, water)
Between the tickets, accommodation, transportation and parking, a day at Disney can get pretty expensive. If you want to get your full money’s worth I would definitely suggest staying until the very end – not only do the lineups for the rides start to get faster onces the kiddies leave the park, but the firework show at the very end was absolutely breathtaking! To avoiding buying breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks at the park, come prepared! Despite a bag check at the entry, you’re allowed to bring food and drinks into the park. Guillaume and I brought refillable water bottles (there are fountains throughout the park), bread, cheese, candies, veggies and fruits. Not only does this save you money but also time! Just like the attractions, the park restaurants also have limited seating and long wait times around peak meal hours. That being said, we did treat ourselves to one meal at the Cowboy Cookout Barbecue which was amazing and I would definitely recommend.
Don’t be afraid of the rides!
Heres a confession for you! I, a 23 year old adult, bawled in the line for the Space Mountain ride for an entire hour. I had a handful of people approach me and ask me if I needed help or if I wanted to leave the line… it was mortifying! I am extremely afraid of rollercoasters and had never been on a ride that did loop d’loops or twists and turns before. After I watched a youtube video of the Space Mountain ride I was petrified. But I knew we had travelled all the way to Paris to stand in this darn line and I felt like a coward backing down at the last minute. In the end, I did every ride at the park; all of the loop d’loops and twisty turns you could imagine! Not only did I survive but I actually really loved the rides. At the end of the day Disneyland is a Park for both kids and adults so no matter now terrifying the rides seem from the outside, they really are a total blast.
I hope this helps you plan your next trip to Disneyland Paris! If you’ve already been, leave a comment down below with your own tips for doing Disney like a pro!