The trip to Disneyland Paris is one of the most recommendable experiences you can do with your family. The Disney universe is very present in our lives and has made us live unrepeatable moments with the adventures of Mickey Mouse and a whole cast of characters that are part of universal popular culture. We have no doubt that your children are going to have a great time enjoying the attractions and shows of this place full of magic and dreams.
However, the visit to this theme park implies a great effort for the family economy. Traveling to Disneyland Paris as a family is not exactly cheap so we’re going to give you 10 tips to save time and money on your visit to Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park in the capital of France.
Index of contents
Tips for your family visit to Disneyland Paris
The aim of this practical guide with tips for traveling to Disneyland Paris for the first time is to save money, but also waiting time. Sincerely the most difficult thing is to make the decision to go, but once you feel up to it be clear that you are going to spend some unforgettable days in family and that the economic effort is going to be worth it.
Let’s not fool ourselves, a visit of several days to Disneyland Paris is very expensive compared to other trips with children that we have done. It can also be exhausting if you don’t organize yourself well, so take note of these tips to make the experience very satisfying for the whole family:
Take advantage of the Vueling Family Fare
When we travel outside of Spain, we always say that there is no trip until you have purchased the flights. We have been travelling with our two children for ten years now and we know that one of the biggest budget items of a family getaway is taken by air tickets. However, there are always a few tricks to save in this section.
For example, it is important to look at flights well in advance, be aware of offers or take advantage of the Vueling Family Fare. In addition to having very competitive prices throughout the year, it has a lot of advantages for those of us who travel with small children:
You can carry in the cabin hand luggage consisting of a 10 kg suitcase + small bag per passenger.free choice of seat during the booking, to avoid separate family travel.you can get your boarding card at the moment.you have a checked suitcase included per passenger (except babies).families traveling with children under two years are insured priority boarding.at the main airports you have an exclusive check-in counter for families.you can choose your seat during the booking, to avoid separate family travel.you can get your boarding card at the moment.you have a checked suitcase included per passenger (except babies).families traveling with children under two years are insured priority boarding.at the main airports you have an exclusive check-in counter for families.
When you travel with small children all these details that Vueling has with the families are very much appreciated … and if you also save a peak you’ll thank much more.
Is Disney Hotels Worth Paying For?
The answer to this question is very relative, because it will depend on your total budget for the trip and whether or not you are a Disney fan. What is obvious is that Disney hotels are indecently expensive and some of them are not up to the price… in other words, for the price they are worth you could stay in the best hotels in the main capitals of the world.
Only the Disneyland Hotel is located 5 minutes walk from the parks, so if you stay in the rest you will have to take a bus or walk between 15 and 20 minutes between roundabouts. It’s true that if you want a complete Disney experience these hotels are themed and allow you to enter the parks an hour and a half before opening to the general public. However, I think that due to its high prices you could study staying in one of the partner hotels that are 10 minutes by bus from the parks, which was the option we chose. We stayed at the Radisson Blu Hotel which is a very good accommodation and on top of that we saved a peak if we compare it with Disney Hotels.
Here is the complete list of hotels near the parks:
Disneyland Hotel 5* – 5 minutes walkDisney’s Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel 4* – 10 minutes walk, 8 minutes paid public transportDisney’s Newport Bay Club 4* – 15 minutes walk, 8 minutes free busDisney’s Sequoia Lodge 3* – 15 minutes walk, 8 minutes free busDisney’s Hotel Cheyenne 2* – 20 minutes walk, 8 minutes free busDisney’s Hotel Santa Fe 2* – 20 minutes walk, 8 minutes free bus
Disney Nature Resorts
Disney’s Davy Crockett Ranch – 15 minutes by car (no transfers)Villages Nature Paris 4* – 15 minutes by car, 25 minutes by paid public transport
Radisson Blu Hotel 4* – 10 minutes by free busVienna House Dream Castle Hotel 4* – 10 minutes by free busVienna House Magic Circus Hotel 4* – 10 minutes by free busAdagio Marne-la-La-Vallée Val d’Europe 3* – 10 minutes by free busAlgonquin’s Explorers Hotel 3* – 10 minutes by free busCampanile Val de France 3* – 10 minutes by free busHôtel l’Elysée Val d’Europe 4* – 10 minutes by free busB&B Hotel 2* – 10 minutes by free bus
Disneyland Paris tickets
Seeing what we have told you so far about flights and hotels, we make a reflection. Based on our experience at Disney Parks in Paris and Tokyo: it’s cheaper to book flights, hotels and tickets separately, as long as you don’t pick up a super deal a long time in advance and for the low season.
What did we do with the Disneyland Paris tickets? As we traveled several days to Paris and didn’t know which exact days we were going to go to Disney Parks we booked tickets for Disneyland Paris for several days of Musement. We were comparing prices and they are equally competitive as they have no surcharge but have several advantages that made us decide:
They are flexible, i.e. tickets are valid for 2, 3 or 4 days, which do not necessarily have to be consecutive. tickets are valid for one year from the day after purchase. you will receive the tickets by email within 24 hours after purchase. You will be able to use your tickets from the day after you receive them (tickets are not valid for the day of purchase), you will have to print your electronic ticket and present it in the access to Disney parks. Once you pass the security controls you change the sheets that you have printed for the entrances in a machine that there is just before the entrance to the park. The process is super simple, fast and you save the ticket queues. it is logical, but you will have to keep your tickets to be able to access the parks again.
Meals at Disneyland Paris
The variety of gastronomic proposals within the park and in the Disney Village area is overwhelming. There are many bars and restaurants at your disposal, but we tell you already that they are not cheap at all. We, for example, have tried Captain Jack’s – Restaurant des Pirates and Bistrot Chez Rémy (also known as Ratatouille’s restaurant) and the prices of a meal with starter, main course and dessert were around 140 euros for four people. We also tried The Steakhouse at Disney Village and the prices are also around those amounts for four people.
The days at Disneyland Paris are fun but also hard, as you walk a lot throughout the day. In our opinion it is necessary to have at least one sitting and quiet meal. If you choose Disney’s most famous restaurants, we recommend that you book your table online before your trip in the official Disneyland Paris app. You’ll save yourself time and trouble. The fast food stalls and bars also have high prices so many people choose to bring their own picnic from the hotel in the backpack and you get it cheaper.
Pre-arranged visit to Disneyland Paris
As we do with all other trips, the visit to Disneyland Paris with the children also requires a prior organization to optimize the time you will spend in the park. With the official app (which is available in Spanish) you can see on a map the location of the most interesting attractions.
You can also see if the activities are suitable for all ages, if they have height restrictions, in which areas of the parks they are located, if they can be used with the FastPass, if they have or not PhotoPass option or if they are very canyons. It is important that you do a prior work to choose the most suitable attractions for your children and make a list of priorities to optimize the time in the parks.
It’s almost impossible to visit the two parks in one day.
It has to do with the previous point and the need to save time on your trip to Disneyland Paris as a family. We already told you that the minimum stay has to be two days because in one day it is almost impossible to see Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park.
If you organize your time well (and you’re lucky with queues), Walt Disney Studios Park can be seen in a morning and a couple of hours in the afternoon. Disneyland Park, however, requires a little more than a full day so get used to the idea that if you go 48 hours you’ll have to optimize your time very well and be clear about what you want to visit before the trip.
FastPass, save the queues on the most popular attractions
With your Disneyland Paris ticket you will also be able to use the FastPass in the most popular attractions of both parks. This is an additional ticket to avoid queues, as you can access the attractions through a special ticket. Our advice is that as soon as you arrive at the park go to the FastPass machines that are right next to the entrance of the attraction that you want to climb and get a FastPass. On that ticket you will be given the time at which you can enter that attraction through the FastPass entrance and in the meantime you can go to other attractions and activities.
It’s cool to save the queues, but the FastPass has a trick, since you can only get one FastPass per person and attraction at the same time. In order to get a new ticket you must have used the previous one or 2 hours have passed since you took out the last one. That means that if you get it first thing in the morning, you can use it 2 or 3 times a day at most. In addition, FastPass tickets are limited and subject to availability, we find ourselves in certain attractions and hours that we could no longer obtain this type of tickets and we had to queue like everyone else.
You can use the FastPass at the following attractions:
Indiana Jones and the Temple of PerilStar Wars: Hyperspace MountainBuzz Lightyear Laser BlastBig Thunder MountainPeter Pan’s FlightStar Tours
Walt Disney Studios Park:
Rock’n’Roller CoasterThe Twilight Zone Tower of TerrorRatatouille: The Adventure
Look at the queuing times at the Disneyland Paris app.
If you take a look right now at your mobile you will notice how many applications you have downloaded once and how little use you have given to most of them. In the case of the Disneyland Paris app it’s just the opposite. This is an essential tool, so don’t forget to download it just before your trip. It’s as easy as searching the App Store of your “Disneyland Paris” device and you can download it for free in Spanish.
For me the best thing about this app is that it tells you at all times the estimated queue time at each attraction, plus the times of all the shows and the location of everything on a map very simple to use. Hit the blue button with Mickey’s head at the bottom and you can see everything on a map or in a list.
What to bring to Disneyland Paris: watch out for the rain!
If you want to disguise yourself as a Disney character or go dressed with something related to one of his movies do not cut. Wear your Mickey ears, your Minnie’s headband or Mostruos SA jacket. You’ll see a lot of people perfectly mimicking the environment, especially when it comes to headgear. Now, if there’s one thing that’s fundamental to your visit to Disneyland Paris, it’s footwear. You’re going to walk a lot so put on the most comfortable shoes you’ve got.
It is also important that you adapt your clothes to the time of year when you visit Disneyland Paris, but keep in mind that even in summer it can rain. In addition to comfortable shoes and your Disney accessories, take a rain poncho or raincoat with you. Our advice is to prepare it at home to carry in your backpack, as the ones sold in the park are not of good quality and are very expensive.
Parades, shows and fireworks as a colophon
Disney parades and shows are the perfect complement to the attractions. Some change depending on the season, so even if you’ve already travelled to Disneyland Paris it’s possible that you might come across something new. In this case, it is very important that you use the app mentioned above to see the schedules of shows and parades. You see with some time to catch a good spot because they’re usually at the top.
The same goes for the fireworks show that closes the park. It jumps right over Disneyland Park’s castle but its spectacularity makes it visible from afar. Don’t be super attached to the castle because it’s best appreciated with a little perspective. Try to catch a site with good visibility, without lampposts or obstacles that prevent you from seeing an unforgettable show.
Did you like our practical guide with tips for travelling to Disneyland Paris for the first time? Do you have any more tricks to save time and money on your visit to Disneyland Paris as a family? We’d love to hear you in the comments.