If there’s one destination that’s on every child’s wish list, it has to be Disneyland. Of course, it’s not just for little kids – those who have never truly grown up can indulge their inner lost boy or girl with a stay in a wonderful world of make believe, where you can get your picture with any of the world’s best-loved characters and eat, sleep and breathe Disney for the duration of your trip.
Fortunately, those in the UK and on the continent have no need to travel to Florida to get their fix of fairytale magic. Disneyland Paris boasts a winning location just a stone’s throw away from beautiful Paris as well as excellent transport links to destinations all over Europe. Treating the family and living out your own childhood fantasies just got a whole lot easier.
In the spirit of making life easier, we’ve trawled the web to put together some essential tips and tricks to ensure you get the best out of Disneyland, Paris.
Say hi to Mickey for us!
1. Go in with a plan at peak times of year
Minimise stress by planning your trip with military precision. If that sounds like it might suck all the fun out of the experience, bear in mind that if you’re travelling with children of school age, you will most likely be holidaying during peak season when the world and his wife are bringing the kids out to play. That means long queues for rides, busy restaurants and accommodation which books up fast. If you have the opportunity to travel outside of school holidays and weekends, take it by all means; if not, plan as far in advance as possible: purchasing park tickets, making restaurant reservations and creating a general itinerary will save you money, time and hassle on the day.
2. Use the FastPass system
Forward planning means working out how you can squeeze as many rides as possible into your visit, and the first step is figuring out which rides and attractions take priority. Armed with a list, you can take a tour of the park, picking up a FastPass ticket at each stop. FastPass ticket machines are located at various locations around the park and provide an allocated time for you to return and enjoy your ride. This means that instead of wasting time in long queues, you can explore the park while waiting for your time slot to roll around.
3. Prepare for all seasons
As much as it we’d like to believe that the sun always shines in the world of Disney, the truth of the matter is that the weather in Paris can be much like our own here in the UK. Even during the summer months, it’s worth packing a poncho to keep dry if showers strike. Plus, there are a few water rides you might want to cover up for, too.
4. Book a character dining slot to meet your favourites
You can’t come home from a trip to Disneyland Paris without a few selfies with your favourite characters. Character dining may cost a little more than the average Disneyland meal, but it means the characters come to you at your table, dishing out enough autographs and photo opportunities to keep even the most ardent fan happy. Breakfast is a great time of day to book this experience, just before you head off into the park for the day. Reservations are highly recommended and can be made up to 60 days in advance.
5. Arrive early for the parades or hit the rides instead
The Disneyland Paris parades are a famous part of the park’s entertainment. Choose from daytime experiences where your favourites will dance through the streets, waving to the crowds or pitch up for the night-time show where vibrant lights and fireworks create an atmosphere you and your family won’t soon forget. As the parades are popular, we suggest arriving an hour early to ensure you have a good view. However, if you are staying for a few days, why not utilise this time to hit the popular rides instead?
Before you head off to Disneyland Paris and put all reality on hold, ensure you first take care of the practicalities such as booking your travel insurance. That way, you and your family can enjoy the magic of Disney, safe in the knowledge you’re covered.