Disneyland Paris for First Timers
Our kids are 5 years and 2 years. I’m not going to lie, it was hard going at times ( looking after young children can be stressful at the best of times) but we had an amazing last couple of days and have come home happy. Instead of a trip report I thought I’d write some tips for first timers I’ve learnt from experience of going;
1. If you haven’t booked yet and can afford it, book at least 3 days as you can’t get much done in a day and it takes time to get your bearings.
2. Plan plan plan your day! You will do so much walking and the wait times for things can be extremely long so know where you’re going and what you’re doing, otherwise you’ll spend ages just walking about doing nothing.
3. Take comfortable shoes or several pairs to alternate as you will walk a lot. We tracked we was doing over 12 miles a day pushing buggies.
4. Take water bottles and concentrated juice and fill up at the fountains around the park. You’ll save a fortune.
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5. Make your reservations for dinner early as otherwise you’ll end up just eating burgers and fries.
6. Book advanced dinner reservations for character dinners if you can, it’s fantastic. We saved this for our last night and our kids met so many characters in such a short space of time included Mickey whom we refused to queue for the day before (just too long and too hot to even try)
7. If you have a non walking baby, or even just a small child, take a baby sling or carrier. You can’t take strollers into the queue and when you’re waiting over an hour for a ride, your arms will start to hurt holding them the entire time.
8. Take some snacks from home. We didn’t need as much as I packed as we were so full from breakfast, but it was handy to have them if needed (especially when trying to keep little ones happy in queues)
9. Make sure you get to see Mickey and the Magician, the parade and the illuminations and get there around an hour before they start as people start waiting early! These definitely helped make our holiday and I’d highly recommend not missing them.
10. Take layers and waterproofs.
11. Download the DLP app, it will know where you are on the map and is handy to see quickly where things are and wait times for rides.
12. Recommend eating at Chez Remy. The restaurant decor is fantastic and the food is lovely. The ride next door is also brilliant!
13. Allow lots of time for meals in restaurants. 1.5 hrs for a 2 course meal minimum.
14. Tie something like a ribbon to your buggy if taking one. Don’t want to walk off with someone else’s after a ride.
15. Plan to spend all day in the park, it’s a good 20 min walk back to the hotel so we didn’t go back until evening. Little ones can sleep in the stroller and parents can use Rider Swap.
16. If getting magic shuttle bus from Charles De Gaul Airport it’s really not obvious at all. Follow the signs for generic buses from Terminal 2E and then look out the window for yellow coaches. There is no Disney sign.
17. Prepare for bag checks and x rays into hotel and parks.
18. Seasoned travelers had pass holders round their necks holding their tickets, fast passes, photo pass etc. Would have saved so much bag shuffling.
19. Prepare for lots of queues. We were out of peak but it was very busy and very hot in queues without shade or covers. Hats and water a must.
20. If staying on site, every morning at breakfast there is a character outside the restaurant (you don’t need to be having breakfast for this) with official photographer for meet and greet, in some of the hotels. Call to see if your hotel has this option. The wait is never long and you are only competing with fellow hotel guests, not the whole park
21. If you aren’t watching the parade, use that time to head to Walt Disney Studios around 4 o’clock. It’s much quieter for rides
22. If renting a stroller, then best to rent on the day you want to watch Illuminations, as it’s not til 11 pm at the moment your kids can sit back and chill out whilst you wait
23. We had Free Half Board Plus, and it is a good thing it was free because paying for it wouldn’t have been worth it. Princess lunch took 2 vouchers and we only had 1 left so we still ended up paying for half the meal. Chez Remy needed to add desert and drinks, and Plaza Gardens was only half off since our breakfast voucher doesn’t cover the whole cost, just a lunch voucher – to be used during actual lunch time. Full Board Premium or nothing for us.
24. During Early magic hours, there are meet and greets for Minnie, Donald and Chip & Dale
25. If you plan on taking any Photopass+ pictures, it is worth buying in advance since it is cheaper and a lot more trouble to buy it after you arrive.
You may also like:
- Too Young for Disney?
- Half Board Plus – how to purchase and use
- Preparing for Disneyland Paris with kids
- Best Travel Strollers
- Disneyland Paris Planning Guide
~ Disney Souvenirs to Purchase Beforehand ~
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