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Disneyland Paris Travel Guide

Bonjour, Mickey! What You Need to Know BEFORE You Visit Disneyland Paris

Here's how Eiffel in love with Disneyland Paris.

Disneyland Paris celebrated its 30th anniversary last year. While Disney’s European cousin shares plenty of similarities with U.S. parks, it still offers its own unique experience, with different rides, logistics, and, of course, gastronomy.

First-time visitors should keep in mind a few things that can make their trip a bit less stressful and a little more magical. Here are a few must-do tips for your first trip to Disneyland Paris.

Related: The Best Things to Do at Disneyland Paris

Check out the Facebook Group

Before you even book tickets, check out the Disneyland Paris Advice group on Facebook. It’s chock-full of practical, proven advice and up-to-date tips on the latest happenings in the park. Many members generously share their vast insider expertise, from tips on snagging hard-to-come-by reservations for character dinners to money-saving hacks (like how to get refunds on taxes on souvenirs). The nearly 80,000-member group is private, but admins accept new members quickly. With multiple new posts daily and excellent pinned guides (definitely read those), it can feel overwhelming, but the group is an invaluable resource for DLP newbies.

Time Your Visit

Beyond major holidays such as Christmas, you’ll need to keep a few other key dates in mind if you’re hoping to visit during less crowded times. Most notably are the Easter/spring break holidays, when many schools around Europe are not in session. Most schools also have a fall break with a varying timeframe. And for future trips, don’t forget about the 2024 Summer Games, which Paris will host from July 26-August 11—and will almost certainly cause a bump in DLP visitors.

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No Car Needed

Disneyland Paris isn’t actually located in Paris proper–the park is about 25 miles east of downtown, and it’s quite easy to reach via public transportation. You can take the Paris Metro–the RER A trip from downtown takes about 45 minutes and arrives at the Marne-la-Vallée Chessy station, just steps from the park. If you’re coming straight from Charles de Gaulle, a direct TGV train (which costs about $17 one-way depending on demand), will get you to the park in about 10 minutes. In addition, platforms including Wanderu and Omio are good resources for route planning.

However, while France’s public transportation system is overall excellent, its infamous strikes can easily derail a vacation. Private companies such as Magic Shuttle offer another option with less risk of strikes, with multiple daily trips and group rates.

Print Your Passes

First, update and sync your Disney app so you have your passes ready for inspection. Nothing matters except that QR code; not ticket numbers, not confirmation of purchase, nada. If you purchase tickets from a third-party seller such as Expedia, like I did, make sure the QR code appears in the Disney app when you sync the tickets—and certainly before you’re in the entry line.

But don’t rely solely on technology. My husband’s ticket wouldn’t scan properly, holding up the line. I gazed wistfully at the savvy souls sailing through stress-free with their tickets printed on actual paper. Lesson learned for next time: Bring printed tickets, complete with QR code.

But that’s not my only push for paper. While you’re at Disneyland Paris, do yourself a favor and grab a paper map at City Hall just past the entrance gates. Sure, you can access the park’s digital map on the app, but being able to glance at the paper map for quick orientation is incredibly convenient.

Prepare for Renovations (and Perhaps a Power Outage)

If your kiddo has their eye on a particular attraction, checking its status ahead of time via the park’s calendar can help manage expectations and avoid meltdowns.

In addition, park-wide renovations to keep in mind for 2023 and beyond include a massive upgrade of the dining and entertainment district known as Disney Village, including the opening of a 500-seat French brasserie called Rosalie.

My family personally had to navigate another hiccup that, judging by news reports and fellow guests’ accounts, has happened several times before: power outages. During our afternoon at Walt Disney World Studios, the power went out for about an hour. It came back on, briefly, but went off again; eventually, the entire park was evacuated.

Disneyland Paris media representatives didn’t respond to a request for comment about what happens in terms of vouchers or possible refunds in power outages like the ones we experienced. But the fine folks at the DLP Advice group on FB point out that there’s not much that the park would do in such cases anyway, aside from asking a park employee on-site about options (which I did–and was told there weren’t any). The lesson learned, however, is to knock out the rides you really want to do as early as possible in the day—before any potential power issues pop up.

Learn Some Key Phrases

This goes without saying in any culture, but especially in France, where greeting someone with a “bonjour” is a must-do. “If you can learn more phrases in French, great, but if not, a little bit goes a long way,” says Jennifer McCormack, a travel advisor with Mickey Travels, LLC. However, most cast members and public-facing employees speak English (and often several other languages), and shows and pre-ride shows are in both English and French.

INSIDER TIPSpeaking of those shows: Don’t miss them “Disneyland Paris attracts incredible talent,” McCormack says. “Be sure to include at least one show in your visit.”

Try Unique Food Options

“As France is known for food, and Disney is known for unique, thematic snacks, Disneyland Paris brings these two together in a most wonderful way,” notes Keri Baugh, a frequent DLP guest, and founder of travel blog Bon Voyage With Kids. Among Baugh’s top picks: raclette at La Place du Rémy, Hans Solo Shortbread, and Mickey-shaped donuts filled with Nutella: “I am a fan of anything Mickey shaped, as it always makes it taste better,” Baugh says.

We opted to bring in our lunch, saving on money and time waiting in line, but by the end of Day 1 at Disneyland, we were on the hunt for another adults-only DLP culinary treat: the Champagne cart. It wasn’t cheap (15 euros per glass; cash only!) and with only one poor soul pouring for a gaggle of parched patrons, the line moved glacially. But, well-deserved champers finally in hand, as my husband and I watched our six-year-old gazing in wonder at Mickey and Co. in the Main Street Parade, it was a magical moment, indeed.