10 Disneyland Paris Tips For First-Timers

Originally known as Euro Disney, Disneyland Paris opened in 1992. It is still the only Disney Park in Europe and was also the first Disney Park to have an official Pride Month event, which began in 2022. There are two parks here: Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park, which can be walked between like California Adventure and Disneyland in Anaheim, California. Though not quite as small as Hong Kong Disney, Disneyland Paris is still a petite resort.

Disneyland Paris, in addition to its two theme parks, also contains seven hotels, a 27-hole golf course, and the largest corporate events venue in all of Europe at the Disney Village. Just as every Disney Park has its own vibe and aesthetic, Disneyland Paris is the prettiest of the resorts. It is vibrant and beautiful, fitting for the City of Love. In many ways, this is a French-inspired place with a Disney bent. Even if you are a frequent Disney Park goer, you're going to want to know some of these things before venturing to Disneyland Paris.

Stay on property

This advice is old regarding any Disney Parks tips piece; however, this is sound advice for this resort in particular. Despite being called Disneyland Paris, the resort isn't in Paris. It's in Chessy, which is about an hour outside of the city by car or public transportation. If you stay on the property even just for a night, you can avoid the hassle of the two-hour commute back and forth from Paris.

The Disneyland Paris Hotel, for example, which just underwent a huge refurbishment, is the gem of the resort. The deluxe-style hotel is located right at the entrance of the Disneyland Park. Inspired by the Disney princesses, this gorgeous hotel is a royal experience from the jump. Staying on property at Disneyland Paris means waking up to Disney magic every day.

If regal style isn't your style, several other hotels have different price points to consider like the Disney Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel, which is perfect for every superfan of the superheroes. While you'll be transported to the streets of Manhattan staying here, you're still only a 10-minute walk or free shuttle ride away from a day of Disney fun.

Don't rush through the parks

One of the things that makes Disneyland Paris unique among the other international Disney Parks is its sheer beauty. The gorgeous Parisian aesthetic of this resort easily makes it the most beautiful of the Disney Parks. You especially don't want to miss going in the tunnel beneath the castle. 

One of the best things about visiting Disney Parks all around the world is experiencing how different they are from one another. Even if the castles look similar, there's still so much detail put into each of them that's easy to miss. The same can be said for the artwork around the parks or the little things you'll discover around every corner. If you're lucky, you may even spot a character or two you haven't seen before.

And, if you're interested in Disney-inspired artwork, be sure to head over to The Disney Gallery in Disney Village. Here is where you'll find all kinds of collector's items and the Art on Demand service, which allows you to bring home your own unique souvenir featuring images like attraction posters and concept art.

It's the most expensive international Disney park

Unsurprisingly, Disney Parks dominate the most expensive theme parks on Earth list. While on paper, the tickets for Disneyland Paris parks are less than Disneyland, California Adventure, and Magic Kingdom at Disney World, it still ranks as the world's fourth-most expensive theme park. And that isn't counting the food or merchandise.

One way to reduce your expenses is to make a few adjustments to your vacation plan. Bring along some snacks to avoid buying more food than you need to, or pack breakfasts to avoid buying every meal. Even though countries outside of the United States tend to have smaller meal sizes, another way to save money is to eat off of the kids' menu when you can. Disney food is still typically pretty big, with kids' versions still being substantial with a smaller price tag.

Also, spend your food budget on things you might not be able to get at other Disney Parks. For example, the Mickey-shaped meringue cookie is unique to Disneyland Paris. So, instead of your millionth Mickey Ice Cream Bar or other foods you try when visiting Disneyland, sample the snacks you can only get at this resort. We promise the Mickey Pretzels will still be at the U.S. parks when you get back.

Be mindful of what you wear

While culturally, the United States and France aren't that different, the clothing aesthetic can be miles apart. While you might not care too much about what you wear on a Disneyland Paris day out, avoiding overly casual or revealing clothing might be prudent. Why? Well, wearing athleisure when you're not working out or wearing skimpy clothes isn't really commonplace in France as a general rule.

When you consider stepping up your fashion game for Disneyland Paris, you will look a little less like a tourist. Making that effort will serve you in a few ways. For one, when you look less like a tourist, you become less of a target for petty thieves or pickpockets. At the same time, the cast members may also be friendlier to you. We're not saying that the quintessential Parisian spirit of tourist aversion leaks into the magic of Disneyland Paris, but it still may be beneficial to blend in a bit. 

Three days is optimal

It is possible and reasonable to do both Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park in one day. While it is possible, you are going to miss out on things by splitting your day between the two. Your best option is to spend at least a day at each park with a third day in there to catch anything you may have missed.

This writer can attest that a day at both parks is doable, though you are going to miss things. When you're trying to rush through everything to see all you can, you miss out on so many opportunities. It's hard to take a break to enjoy parades or stay for the nighttime shows when you run yourself ragged during the day. Not to mention that you'll have a lot less time to enjoy the incredible food at Disneyland Paris, as well as the range of special shows and events that don't take place at other Disney Parks.

Jump on those dining reservations

At Disneyland Paris, the dining reservation window opens 60 days prior to your visit. If you want to dine in a pint-sized world at Bistrot Chez Rémy, you'll need to be quicker than Chef Skinner. Sometimes, walk-ups are available if you show up early in the lunch or dinner hours; however, the only real guarantee is to make a reservation as soon as possible. Otherwise, as you exit the Remy's Ratatouille Adventure ride, you'll be stuck looking in on the adorable bottle cap stools at Bistrot Chez Rémy.

Some of the other restaurants unique to Disneyland Paris are the "Pirates of the Caribbean" ride-adjacent Captain Jack's – Restaurant des Pirates, as well as the "Cinderella"-themed Auberge de Cendrillon. France is known for its cuisine, so it should come as no surprise that food is also one of the pivotal pleasures of Disneyland Paris. These dining opportunities are also a huge reason why more than one day at the resort is essential. Sitting down for a proper meal is so hard when you've only got hours to enjoy the park.

Get the park hoppers

With Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park so close together, it only makes sense to get park hopper passes. Having these makes it much easier to jump between parks, even if it's just to grab a bite to eat or see a show you missed at one before going back to the other. Park hopper tickets aren't always the best option at places like Walt Disney World, where you can easily spend an entire day at each park. So it's only natural for frequent WDW guests to cringe at the price increase to park hop.

Although the park hopper options at WDW, for instance, include things like entry to the waterparks or mini golf, it's not the same at Disneyland Paris. If you buy park hopper passes for this resort, you'll only be receiving the option to park hop between Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park. Still, it's handy to be able to change parks during the day if you decide you want to do something different.

Enjoy the seasons

Disney Parks love a theme, and Disneyland Paris is no exception. We know that Disney Parks do Christmas and Halloween to the nines, but Disneyland Paris loves to celebrate seasons all year round. What that entails changes year by year; whether it's celebrating "Frozen" in the winter months (post-Christmas) or "The Lion King" in the summer, there's always something to celebrate at Disneyland Paris.

Just like annual festivals at EPCOT, these seasonal celebrations also make the Disneyland Paris Resort something to look forward to, even for return visitors. Often these seasons change just like the Halloween or Christmas seasons at the U.S.-based Disney Parks. So even if you've celebrated a big holiday at Disneyland Paris before, your return visit is going to be different.

You'll also get the chance to try delicious new food or beverage options for the seasons. Disney absolutely loves to come up with new snacks and drinks to commemorate any celebration. Even if it's weird, like pickle milkshakes at EPCOT's Food and Wine Festival 2023, you can at least say you tried one.

Don't expect overly sugary-sweet cast members

Whether you're a fan of the traditional Cast Member behaviors of the U.S. Disney Parks or not, you probably won't encounter saccharine-sweet characters at Disneyland Paris. That doesn't mean they aren't nice or friendly; they just aren't overly friendly in the way that American parkgoers may be used to. So don't be put off if they're not as chipper as their American counterparts; they're still magical through and through. 

Just like Cast Members at any Disney Park, the folks at Disneyland Paris want you to have the best visit imaginable. So, even if they aren't standing around with outreached arms, don't be afraid to approach them if you need help. They wouldn't work at a Disney Park if they didn't want to make the magic happen for visitors. Encountering different cultures is part of experiencing Disney Parks around the world. Take the time to embrace even the small differences between the parks you're familiar with and Disneyland Paris.

Don't skip the parades

We get it; Disney parades aren't for everyone. You usually have to wait around for a good spot, deal with a crowd, and lose precious time getting out of the crowd once the parade ends. But one of the things Disneyland Paris is known for (other than its amazing drone show at night) is its parades. You don't want to miss these.

To help avoid some of the mindless waiting around, try to position yourself at the start or end of the parade route. Tons of people line up Main Street, but that's far from the only view available. What's ideal about being at the start of the parade route is that you can see the floats first and then go do something else. If you're in the middle or the end, you have to wait a while for the parade to reach you and then you may get stuck in the parade crowd trying to exit.