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Guide to Visiting Disneyland Paris



Since 1992, Disneyland Paris (then called Euro Disney) has welcomed more than 250 million guests to its magical theme parks and hotels. Made up of two parks (Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park), seven hotels, and a dining and shopping district called Disney Village, the theme park resort has grown into a full-blown vacation destination, and it’s only getting better. Fresh off its 30th-anniversary celebration, the opening of Avengers Campus, and the reimagining of Disneyland Hotel, Disneyland Paris recently announced big plans to completely transform Walt Disney Studios Park into Disney Adventure World.

I’ve visited 10 of the 12 Disney theme parks around the world, and Disneyland Park in Paris is the most beautiful iteration of the classic castle park I’ve visited, with gorgeously crafted immersive worlds surrounding a stunning pink castle inspired by French chateaux. I went back to Disneyland Paris last month to see everything new and exciting (and re-ride everything I loved the first time) to curate a new guide featuring the best of the resort. With unique interpretations of classic Disney attractions and a few memorable rides you can’t find anywhere else, the resort is a worthwhile day trip from Paris or a multi-day getaway. From can’t-miss rides to the best restaurants and places to stay, here’s everything you need to know about visiting Disneyland Paris. 

Elizabeth Rhodes/Travel + Leisure


Best Time to Visit

When it comes to high and low seasons, Disneyland Paris is similar to its U.S. counterparts: Crowds are largest during school breaks and public holidays. The summer months, long weekends, and the winter holiday season are all among the busiest times to visit Disneyland Paris, and mid-January through mid-March and mid-April through mid-May are typically less busy times to visit. This summer will undoubtedly be extra busy for Disneyland Paris as tourists worldwide flock to the French capital for the Olympics. To avoid the heaviest crowds throughout the year, plan to visit Tuesday through Thursday (and avoid weekends). 

Thanks to the lineup of festive annual events, a fall trip to Disneyland Paris is always a good idea. Each year, Disneyland Paris hosts Halloween and Christmas events with seasonal decorations and eats; this year, Disney Halloween Festival will take place from Oct. 1 to Nov. 3, and Disney Enchanted Christmas will last from Nov. 9 to Jan. 6. 

It’s worth noting that American tourists are likely used to the warm weather found year-round at the domestic parks in California and Florida, but Paris experiences all four seasons. Be sure to check the forecast and pack appropriately — it was very chilly when I visited in February one year, and we had to buy Mickey beanies to stay warm. 

Elizabeth Rhodes/Travel + Leisure


Tickets 

Disneyland Paris sells dated and undated tickets, with several variations depending on how many days you visit and which parks you want to visit. You can buy dated tickets for one to four days for both parks (or a single-day, single-park dated ticket). You can also purchase a single-day undated ticket to one or both parks, but these are typically more expensive. Disney uses dynamic ticket pricing, so you can check out the ticket calendar to see when you could visit to save a few bucks on admission. (Hint: cheaper days mean lower crowd levels.) For 2024, the cheapest one-park, one-day ticket currently ranges from $73 to $148. 

Annual Passes

Disneyland Paris also offers three tiers of annual passes: Bronze, Silver, and Gold. Bronze is 289 euros and allows holders to visit 170 days a year. The Silver Pass is 499 euros and allows guests to access the parks 300 out of 365 days each year. Silver pass holders can also enjoy 10 percent discounts at shops and restaurants. The Gold Pass is 699 euros, allows entry every day of the year, offers a 15 percent discount at shops and restaurants, and includes Extra Magic Time and an annual PhotoPass.

Disney Premier Access

Want to skip the line for the most popular attractions? Disney Premier Access works similarly to the old FastPass or newer Genie+ at the U.S. parks in that it allows you to skip the main standby line, but there are some nuances you’ll want to know before you purchase. Yes, purchase — this is an additional cost, just like Genie+ Lightning Lanes in the U.S. You can buy Disney Premier Access One for individual attractions to gain a time slot for the Premier Access queue on the day you visit via the Disneyland Paris app. Or you can splurge on the Disney Premier Access Ultimate, an all-day pass that allows you to skip the line once for every participating attraction. You can buy the Ultimate pass the day of or in advance.

I tested Disney Premier Access Ultimate during my recent trip, and I could ride everything I wanted during my two-day trip, even while fighting jet lag. Of course, if you’re a single rider, you can also take advantage of the dedicated single-rider queues, but even those had long waits for some of the top rides, like Crush’s Coaster. 

Disneyland Park 

Is this the most beautiful Disney theme park in the world? It just might be, with its dazzling pink castle inspired by Mont St. Michel and intricately themed lands that feature fantastic versions of classic Disney rides. Disneyland Park is France’s “castle park,” a term used in the theme park community to describe the Disney parks centered around the main princess castle with a hub-and-spoke layout featuring lands like Adventureland and Fantasyland (think Disneyland Park in California and Magic Kingdom in Florida). Disneyland Paris has five main lands — Discoveryland (similar to Tomorrowland), Fantasyland, Adventureland, Frontierland, and Main Street, U.S.A. Don’t miss the nightly Disney Electrical Sky Parade featuring drones, projections, and fountains for a fun new take on the beloved parade. 

Elizabeth Rhodes/Travel + Leisure


Best Rides

You can find classic attractions like It’s a Small World, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Peter Pan’s Flight, and Autopia at Disneyland Park. Still, I recommend prioritizing the one-of-a-kind rides you can’t find in the U.S. parks and the unique versions of attractions you’re already familiar with if you’re short on time. I loved Phantom Manor, a spookier version of the Haunted Mansions in Florida and California. I also enjoyed the European park’s take on Pirates of the Caribbean and Big Thunder Mountain. Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain is a thrilling, Star Wars-themed take on the classic indoor coaster. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril is an intense outdoor roller coaster unique to this park (though Tokyo DisneySea has a similar ride). 

Take the time to tour Sleeping Beauty Castle (the views from the terrace are beautiful, as is the stained-glass depiction of the fairy tale) and the Dragon’s Lair (home to an impressive audio-animatronic dragon). 

Best Restaurants

Many table and quick-service restaurants are located around the park, from French meals with princesses at Auberge de Cendrillon to Tex Mex at Casa de Coco. I enjoyed my meal at Walt’s, an American restaurant themed to Walt Disney’s life, with dishes inspired by his favorite foods, like his famous chili. Get a table by the window to enjoy great people-watching on Main Street, U.S.A. Find Mickey-shaped pizza at Pizzeria Bella Notte, or try the French version of a Dole Whip at Cafe de la Brousse. If you plan to eat at a table-service restaurant that accepts reservations, make reservations as soon as possible to ensure you can dine when you want. 

Walt Disney Studios Park 

Walt Disney Studios Park will be transformed entirely into Disney Adventure World — construction kicked off in April. This new version of the park will see significant changes, including the addition of World of Frozen, but Walt Disney Studios Park is still open amid the transformation. That said, because so much is changing at this park, we’re just going to hit the highlights for visitors who plan to visit soon before the park is complete. 

Elizabeth Rhodes/Travel + Leisure


Best Rides

Walt Disney Studios Park is home to some of Disneyland Paris’s top attractions, including rides you won’t find anywhere else. At Avengers Campus, you can sling webs at Spider-Man W.E.B. Adventure (which also exists at Disney California Adventure Park) or go on a high-speed mission on the unique Avengers Assemble: Flight Force featuring Iron Man and Captain Marvel. (Fun fact: this ride used to be Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, so expect a thrilling launch start and multiple inversions.) Finding Nemo-themed Crush’s Coaster is a super-popular spinning coaster mostly indoors; it’s worth purchasing Premier Access if you visit during a busy time. The original Ratatouille: The Adventure can be found in this park, along with Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and some smaller attractions perfect for kids in the Pixar area of the park. This park also features several shows, including The Disney Junior Dream Factory, Stitch Live!, Mickey and the Magician, and Frozen: A Musical Invitation. 

Best Restaurants

Bistrot Chez Rémy is hands-down the best restaurant in Walt Disney Studios Park. Shrink down to the size of a rat at this “Ratatouille”-themed restaurant serving up dishes like steak and roast cod with sides of ratatouille, of course. There are also several food trucks throughout the park and some superhero-themed eateries at Avengers Campus. 

Disney Village

Disney Village is Disneyland Paris’s version of Downtown Disney with several shopping and dining outlets, including American favorites like Five Guys and Earl of Sandwich and sit-down restaurants. Stop by the Disney Store to grab some souvenirs before heading out. 

Hotels

Disneyland Paris has seven themed hotels (listed here from most luxurious to most affordable): Disneyland Hotel, Disney Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel, Disney Newport Bay Club, Disney Sequoia Lodge, Disney Hotel Cheyenne, Disney Hotel Santa Fe, Disney Davy Crockett Ranch. All except Disney Davy Crockett Ranch offer free shuttles or are within walking distance of the parks. Many hotels have U.S.-inspired themes, like nautical New England at Disney Newport Bay Club and Old West at Disney Hotel Cheyenne. I stayed at the recently reimagined Disneyland Hotel; it’s one of the best Disney hotels in the world, located right at the entrance of Disneyland Park. 

Elizabeth Rhodes/Travel + Leisure


Disneyland Hotel 

The pink Disneyland Hotel feels like a castle in its own right, with a lobby that looks like a royal library and a host of amenities that guarantee a magical vacation. Walking through the lobby, I’d spot Disney princesses waving to guests — and little princes and princesses who just had makeovers at the Royal Collection Boutique waving back.

The hotel also has a free Royal Kids Club, a pool, a fitness center, a spa by Clarins, a bar, and two character dining restaurants, Royal Banquet and La Table de Lumière. I had the chance to visit both restaurants during my stay and loved my experience at both; if I had to choose a favorite, I’d pick La Table de Lumiere for the adorable character interactions. I’m always blown away by how the characters can communicate in many languages at the international Disney parks, and these interactions with the princes and princesses were so fun and memorable.

Overall, I had a wonderful stay at Disneyland Hotel. The recently renovated rooms had upscale decor inspired by iconic Disney fairy tales (mine had a Snow White theme) and thoughtful details that provided a five-star experience. Plus, it took me just a few minutes to walk from my room to the park entrance — an incredible perk you won’t find at many Disney hotels. 

Getting There

Getting to Disneyland Paris from the city is surprisingly easy. Take the RER A (an express train line) to the Marne-la-Vallée/Chessy/Parcs Disneyland stop just a few minutes from the park gates. You can also take the Disneyland Paris Express shuttle bus, but I highly recommend taking the RER. You can also take a TGV train to this stop from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport; I did this on my recent trip, and it took about 10 minutes to take the train from the airport stop to Disneyland Paris (though it was very crowded on the weekend).  

Elizabeth Rhodes/Travel + Leisure


Disneyland Paris Day Trip Itinerary

Although the resort has lovely hotels that are well worth a stay for travelers who want to explore the parks for more than a day, many visitors come to Disneyland Paris for a day trip from the capital. I recommend planning to arrive at the theme parks before opening so you can rope drop any of your top-priority attractions. Get a two-park pass, and consider paying for Premier Access (for one or all attractions) to make the most of one day. I’d recommend starting at Walt Disney Studios Park to ride Crush’s Coaster, Tower of Terror, the Avenger’s Campus attractions, and Ratatouille: The Adventure. Schedule a sit-down meal at Bistrot Chez Remy or Walt’s for lunch, then spend the rest of the day in Disneyland Park and watch the Disney Electrical Sky Parade before you leave.



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