In the fall of 2018, I had the fortune to go on a European Vacation. At the end of 2 weeks and 6 cities later, we started our final three days in Paris. I had no exact plan to go to Disneyland Paris. I was traveling with friends who weren’t interested and was apprehensive to go alone. But on the second day in Paris, I made up my mind and decided that with or without them – I was not going to miss my opportunity. Normally, I would’ve planned months in advance in order to make sure not to miss anything. To help out anyone else in this predicament, I have listed 5 tips that I learned on the fly going to Disneyland Paris.
1. Take the Train if Possible
When possible, I like to do the cheapest option if possible – without going through too much hassle. Our Airbnb was located right near the Arc de Triomphe. I awoke at 6 am on November the 3rd and headed to the train station. The train to Disney is clearly marked on their digital kiosks (that have an English option). I paid $8.71 each way, which is a steal if you look up the cost of car rentals and taxis. When you exit the train station, the signs for Disneyland Paris are almost immediately outside. Easy Peasy!
*My exact route was “Charles de Gaulle – Étoile to Gare de Marne la Vallée-Chessy”. Gare de Marne la Vallée-Chessy is the Disneyland Paris train stop.
2. Buy Tickets in Advance (If You Can) – and do Both Parks!
I was unable to due to my short notice and my lack of access to a printer. Tickets are cheaper in advance and no need to wait in two lines. If you can’t – no worries! Make sure you have the amount for a ticket in Euros available to cover your ticket. There were issues with the credit card the day of. This may have been a fluke, but always be prepared! I did the park hopper and whilst most people might be nervous about this, it is definitely do-able going to both Disneyland Paris Park and Walt Disney Studios Park. They are within a 5-minute walk from each other and you can go back and forth as many times as you want. If you’re only there for a day, this option is a must.
3. Plan Your Must-See Rides / Single Rider is Your Friend
We all have our favorite rides and my main goal was to see the Paris version of the classics and the Paris Originals.
The Disneyland Paris app has wait times, use this to navigate the park in order to get to your rides as fast as possible when the wait is low. I headed to one of the most popular and most classic first – Pirates of the Caribbean. Rock N’ Roller Coaster and The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror are the same as the versions in Hollywood Studios and had some of the longest wait times. Crush’s Coaster, RC Racer, Ratatouille: The Adventure, Star Wars: Hyperspace Mountain, and Toy Soldiers Parachute Drop all have single rider options. These are crucial to get through the park speedily and to enjoy some of the top rides.
4. If You’re Alone: Treat Yourself
I love a good theme and Disneyland Paris has done a fantastic job of making sure their restaurants cater to everyone!
My favorite Pixar movie is Ratatouille and where better to treat yourself (if you’re a fan) – than at Bistrot Chez Rémy. As soon as I ran to Walt Disney Studios Park, I made sure I could make a reservation there. I had a great meal and ate some – of course, Ratatouille. It is themed to perfection and the staff had fun with me since I was dining alone. If I had not been able to get my Pixar dining experience – my second option and most popular for the fancy foodie is Walt’s – an American restaurant. This restaurant is best described on the Disneyland Paris website as, “Serving sophisticated and contemporary American cuisine with European influences, this is a Victorian-style tribute to the life and work of Walt Disney.” And for a Disney Fan, what could be better than that?
5. Sit, Walk – Enjoy. You’re in Disneyland Paris
Not every ride I wanted to go on was open or had great wait times. I took an hour or two just to walk around. Since I did the trip solo, I got to sit on Main Street and enjoy the sights, sounds, and different cultures I would hear passing me by. I walked into Cookie Kitchen and Boardwalk Candy Palace to see all the sweets they had to offer. Sleeping Beauty Castle might have dragon some people miss out on in all the hurry. The magic of Disney put people in a different mood – no matter what park you decide to go to.
Whether or not you go on your own, Disneyland Paris has more than enough to offer you a trip you will never forget. But hopefully, these helpful tips will help you navigate this park a little better. Good luck and Happy Travels!