As you read this post, we are on our way to Disneyland Paris, finally! It has been six months in the planning. Everything from where we should stay to where to eat, it’s been read, reread and read again. As you’ll know by now, I have had help from the blogging community during the last few months. They’ve helped with the initial stages of planning our first family visit to Disneyland Paris. They’ve told us the best places for food at Disneyland Paris, and they’ve also told me which are the best rides for under 5’s, essential when you are travelling with a nearly 4-year-old. But in the last few weeks I’ve been asking them what are their last-minute tips for visiting Disneyland Paris as a family.
BattleDad and I have visited Disneyland Paris twice before, 5 and 10 years ago. You see, if you aren’t aware by now, BattleDad was part of the opening crew in 1992 when Euro Disney (as it was called then) opened. He spent a year living in Paris, working as a Cast Member at Disneyland Paris. The last two visits we made coincided with his 15 and 20-year anniversary of being part of the opening crew. And this year he (and Disney) celebrate 25 years!
However, our last two visits were as a couple and we spent our day trips to Disneyland very much fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants. We went on about three rides, ate at the worst places we could have picked because we didn’t book anywhere ahead of our visits, and apart from getting some lovely bits in the shops, they weren’t visits you’d write home about. This time we have BattleKid in tow and this holiday is all about him. BattleDad will be interested in seeing the Star Wars rides and seeing if there are any memorabilia we should get, apart from the mugs we always buy. But other than that, we want to get the most out of Disneyland for BattleKid as we can.
I have a rough itinerary planned out and I am fully prepared to change that, but I wanted to know if anyone had any last-minute tips for visiting Disneyland Paris. So, as always, I turned to the blogging community and here’s what I learned.
Last-minute tips for visiting Disneyland Paris as a family
Jemma from Have Kids Will Travel gave me an awesome tip.
Make sure you use the baby swap facility where one parent goes on the ride (whilst the other waits by the exit with a non-riding child), and then the other parent gets to go pretty much straight on the ride. Was fab when used with the Fast Pass.
Now, this is brilliant. Although we expect BattleKid to want to go on most rides, there may be one or two he won’t, so this will allow BattleDad and I to go on those rides one after the other without having to queue again. I checked with Jemma if it can be used with a nearly 4-year old, and she said yes, for any ride they can’t go on themselves, or one they don’t want to. Genius!
Beth from Twinderelmo said not to forget our autograph books as they are expensive in the park.
Also take your own pens as the characters don’t carry their own!
I bought a packet of cheap pens in my last shopping trip and popped them in my bag in readiness for our trip. Although the autograph book I bought BattleKid has one, it’s no harm to keep that and use ones I don’t mind losing or sharing with other families.
Coral from Way Too Much Luggage says to wear comfy shoes as there is a lot of walking to do. She also said don’t worry about a stroller if your little one doesn’t use one at home as it will make life for your stay easier. The walking shoes and trainers are packed, and we have actually elected to bring BattleKid’s stroller, just in case. We will probably use it on our first day and see how he gets on. If he doesn’t need it, then we’ll leave it in our hotel room for subsequent days.
I was going to bring a bike lock, and lock our buggy to the railing at the ride entrance as suggested by Coral, but Laura from Mama Eden and Me said this is against park rules and your buggy can be removed. She advises to lock the wheels together instead.
Laura also advised to buy the Photo Pass as they got over 100 pictures in 5 days and each picture in the park would have cost €15 each in the park. Well, I’m glad I added it to our booking as I was unsure about it. Plus, I’ve since read that it’s cheaper to buy before you go. We paid £45 at the time of making our booking, but to buy it in the park will cost you €69.99 (£62.40, at the time of writing). That said, if you were to want to buy just 4-5 pictures, you’d cover the cost of the Photo Pass. Worth thinking about!
Jade from Mummies Waiting, who is also at Disneyland Paris at the same time as us, is a seasoned visitor to Disneyland with her little ones and had these tips for me.
- Prepare your kids ahead of time by watching Disney vlogs so they get a feel for how busy it’s going to be.
- Don’t pack too much stuff. Be aware there has been pick-pocketing going on and stealing from rooms (even safes). Lock valuables in your case, and bicycle lock that to your bed.
- If you like to prepare, bring snacks and squeezy juice to refill your drinks bottles.
- You can write down what parades and shows are on and when. Then print that as a pocket size card.
Jade even has a rough timetable prepared for their visit and I took inspiration from her and did the same. I also listed out rides in areas we definitely want to do and Meets and Greets in each area too.
Sophie from Sophobsessed said to download the App as it’s so useful. Thanks Sophie, done!
Nat from Awaybies had a few good tips. Firstly, following on from Coral’s advise (Way Too Much Luggage), wear comfortable shoes. She also said to bring your own costumes as they are eye wateringly expensive in the park. We have that covered as it was mentioned in my planning post. We have a Buzz Lightyear costume, a Lightning McQueen outfit and a Kylo Ren one for BattleKid. Jemma (Have Kids Will Travel) also said costumes can get your kids onto the ride of that costume without queuing so that could come in useful!
Nat also suggested bringing some souvenirs in advance and I have one or two items for BattleKid for his “Disney” pack. And we have our autograph book too.
Emily from Twin Mummy and Daddy said her biggest tip is to plan your days. Decide what Meet and Greets you want to do, what rides and what shows. Decide what areas of the park you really want to visit too. She also suggested downloading the app for live wait times, meet and greet times and show times.
Last-minute tips for visiting Disneyland Paris – The Eateries
While I did a post dedicated to the best places for a meal at Disneyland Paris, a few bloggers told me their must-do places for meals. Anna from Squats Make Mama Sassy said Café Mickey is a must while Kate from Five Little Stars said to remember that Café Mickey is no longer a character dining restaurant and she prefers eating at the Rainforest Café or Planet Hollywood in the Village instead.
Caroline from Mum’s Misbehaving said to go for meals early. When it gets busy
You cannot get served and can queue for an hour and a half. It was soul destroying with my 3-year-old who was starving.
She also said Café Mickey is a must and also recommended Buffalo Bill’s Show. We have all our meals bar two already booked so hopefully we won’t have to experience long waits. But we may try Café Mickey for one of those meals if it isn’t too busy!
Jade from Mummies Waiting also advised booking ahead and I’m happy to say we’ve all but two meals booked. We don’t have lunch or dinner planned for our first day in the park as we have the Characters Breakfast booked for the 9.45am seating. We figured we’d get a late lunch or early dinner, depending on when everyone is getting hungry and just go to one of the walk-in places, most likely in the village around parade time. Hopefully they won’t be too busy then. After that, all meals are booked for specific times!
Victoria from Starlight and Stories said to check your order at any quick service restaurants BEFORE leaving the counter, especially during the lead up to the parades.
Lines get really long, and it’s really frustrating to get outside and realise you only have half your order.
This is a great tip. Victoria has, unfortunately, been caught out many times.
Last-minute tips for visiting Disneyland Paris – Other Blog Posts to Read
As well as all these great tips, many bloggers have written full posts with hints and tips to enjoying Disneyland Paris with kids.
One of the first Disneyland Paris posts I read back in the summer was the 30 Awesome Disneyland Paris Tips and Tricks by Kellie of My Little Babog. She had so many good tips for us when we were starting our planning and I was still referring to it recently.
Emma from Our Fairytale Adventure had a great post with Tips for Visiting Disneyland Pairs with Toddlers (her blog is no longer live). She covers everything from getting your Fast Pass ticket early, to watching out for the scam artists looking to “use” your phone to find lost loved ones, to getting your spot for the parade EARLY.
Kate from Five Little Stars is a regular Disneyland Paris visitor and has a whole Disney series on her blog.
Joanna from The Knights Tribe has a blog post Top Tips for Disneyland Paris. The tips I gleamed from her were to bring a small first aid pack with Calpol, plasters, wet wipes and antihistamines in it. She also said to make sure you find time to just soak up the atmosphere as Disney is a magical place.
Nat from Awaybies has a comprehensive Disneyland Paris Review and Top Tips post on her blog which is definitely worth reading.
And Emily from Twin Mummy and Daddy has some great posts about Disneyland Paris including one about booking your trip to Disneyland, a review of the Disneyland Hotel if you’re considering it, a great packing list guide and also a quick tips post.
Other posts you might find useful if you are thinking of booking a trip to Disneyland Paris include one by Kara of Are We Nearly There Yet, who has a great post for saving money when you are booking a holiday to Disneyland Paris. And not forgetting Joy of Pinkoddy who has a great post about visiting Disneyland Paris on a small budget.
So there you have it, last-minute tips for visiting Disneyland Paris. As mentioned I’ve read tons of posts about visiting Disneyland Paris but there is nothing like getting tips from those who have been. All that’s left to say is keep your eyes peeled on the blog for our Disneyland Holiday Diaries and all the Disney related posts I will no doubt be writing following our trip.
Have you been to Disneyland Paris as a family? Have you got any tips you’d like to share?