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How To Plan Your Trip To Disneyland Paris

This post is also available in: French, German

Disneyland Paris appeals to all age’s groups – from tiny tots to older folks still in touch with their inner child! There are two adjoining parks to enjoy – Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios – and tickets also include entry to the Disney Village entertainment complex.

 

What’s on

From 1st October to 6th November 2015, Disneyland Paris celebrates Harvest Time and Halloween, with pumpkins galore, a parade of Disney villains, and Mickey’s Magical Bonfire firework extravaganza on the 2nd, 4th, and 6th November at Lake Disney.

From 9th November until 7th January, Disney’s Enchanted Christmas and New Year festivities take place, and this year the iconic Sleeping Beauty Castle will be transformed into an ice palace, Main Street will sparkle with snowflakes and magical decorations, the gigantic Christmas tree will have even more lights, and Santa Claus will be in his workshop until Christmas Eve!

 

Best time to go

There is always something going on at Disneyland Paris, whenever you choose to visit, and music events are held throughout the year in the Disney Village.

If you have school age children, and are restricted to school holidays and weekends, ticket prices may be higher, but there will be more events, shows and parades, opening hours are usually extended and more rides and attractions will be open, although waiting times will be longer.

Visitor numbers are lower mid-week (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday) and also between mid-January and mid-March, mid-April and mid-May, therefore queues will be shorter during these periods, there will be fewer events in off-peak periods, and some rides may be closed for refurbishment.

 

Before you go/ what to bring

 To make sure that you are ready for your trip to Disneyland, we recommend you prepare by doing the following:

• Print out a park map and note where your “must do” rides and the facilities are situated.
• It’s worth checking out French school holiday times before you book, which are slightly different to the UK, and the dates of the 11 French public holidays
• Find out which rides have age or height restrictions – measure your child (in metres!) and bring some photo ID.
• You are allowed to bring your own snacks into the park, which will save you money and queuing time.
• Refill your water bottles from the parks fountains, and if you’re staying at the resort, fill a thermos with coffee and save yourself paying 3.50 euros per cup!
• If your child has a Disney costume, bring it with you (or buy one online before you go) to avoid them pestering for the more expensive park versions, and don’t forget your camera/selfie stick and an autograph book for Mickey & Co to sign!
• The weather is similar to the UK, so dress for the season. July can be surprisingly rainy, so bring umbrellas and ponchos as well as your sunscreen. Closed toed flat shoes are best, and bring layers for cooler days and evenings. You might see real snow in winter as well as fairy snowflakes, so don’t forget your festive fleece and hat!

Getting there

From the UK

• By Eurostar: Travel to Marne La Vallee Chessy train station, this will take you right to the gates of the Disney Parks, and 2 minutes away from the resort hotels. The Disney Express service counter can arrange to deliver your luggage to your hotel.
• By Car: Take the 11a exit on the M20 for terminal Eurotunnel Le Shuttle. Folkestone to Calais – 35 minutes. Before boarding you will pass through English and French customs, so when you arrive you can go straight off the train and begin the 3 hour drive from Calais to Disneyland Paris.
• By Car Ferry: 90 minutes from Dover to Calais, there are 20 crossing per day during peak periods.

From Paris

  • By Plane: Both Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports offer a Magic Shuttle, which takes around 45 minutes.
  • By Train: The RER A express train from the Paris metro Nation station takes 35 minutes. Check out our RER express train and park entry package.

 

When you’re there

  • Exchange your e-ticket (printed) for an actual Disneyland Paris ticket. All Disneyland Paris tickets come with a free FastPass, which allows you to skip the queues on some of the most popular rides.
  • To maximise the number of rides you can fit in one day combine the FastPass with actually queuing for rides with shorter waiting times.
  • Go on rides when others are eating or watching shows or parades – they are repeated throughout the day, and you can have a meal later when you’re tired and hungry. Eat your own snacks whilst queuing.
  • Request a Baby Switch if you have a child too small for a ride. One adult minds the little one, then can ride as soon as the other gets off.

Rides offering a FastPass option

Here is a definitive list of rides where you can utilise your free FastPass:

Disneyland Park

  • Indiana Jones – Adventureland
  • Star Tours – Discoveryland
  • Buzz Lightyear – Discoveryland
  • Space Mountain, Mission 2 – Discoveryland
  • Big Thunder Mountain – Frontierland
  • Peter Pan’s Flight – Fantasyland

Walt Disney Studios Park

  • Rock’n’Roller Coaster
  • Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
  • Flying Carpets
  • Ratatouille

Currently the three most popular FastPass rides are Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear and Big Thunder Mountain.

Tips for using your FastPass

  • Use the information board at each park, which indicates the standard ticket and FastPass waiting times.
  • The Disneyland Park board is near the Central Plaza, and the Studios board is close to the Mickey and Walt statues.
  • Anyone can use the FastPass tickets of those who do not wish to ride.
  • Often, on busy days, the FastPass tickets run out, so pick up as many as you can, as early as you can.
  • FastPass machines are located next to the ride entrances for those offering the option.
  • Insert your Disneyland Paris entrance ticket, annual passport or re-admission ticket and slowly swipe or scan your ticket through the machine. You will then be issued with a ticket from the dispenser below.
  • You will be given a half hour time slot when you can return to join the FastPass queue for your selected ride. Staff can refuse entry after your time slot has expired, at their discretion, and you can’t enter a queue before your allotted time.
  • One person can collect tickets for a group, but if there are more than four of you, it’s best to split them between two people to avoid annoying those waiting behind you!
  • Choose carefully – you probably don’t want to get a FastPass at 10 am that you can’t use until 2pm, especially since you can’t get another ticket until the previous ticket has been used, or during its designated time slot. You can, however, hold a FastPass for both parks at the same time if you want to park hop.

Why book online?

Booking online in advance with 365Tickets not only gives you great discounts, but also allows you to take advantage of combi offers and transport packages. If you pay at the gate you will be issued with a more expensive ticket.

 

Until the end of October 2015, we are offering 4 for 3 and 5 for 4 day tickets, which are valid for 6 months – book now to avoid disappointment! You can also save 34% on our 1 day/2 park tickets. Disneyland Paris has introduced a tiered pricing system for 2015/2016, so check our website calendar for availability.

 

The type of ticket you are allocated will be shown when you select your date. There is also a new Parc and ride offer which includes return RER express train tickets with park entry.

 

New pricing system for the 1 day/2 park tickets

 

Mini Ticket

 The cheapest option, and ideal for those not restricted by school holiday times.

 

Magic Ticket

Covers all off peak times and some more popular dates, like weekends. You can visit on all mini and magic dates during the same season.

 

Super Magic Ticket

Valid for any dates, including peak periods, and are 100% flexible within your selected season.

 

Remember – anytime is a good time to visit Disneyland Paris, but the best time to bag a bargain is now!

Kate Quigley

Kate Quigley Travel Writer