We had the pleasure of spending the weekend at one of the most magical places on earth, all for a very short train ride from St Pancras. If you’re heading to Disneyland Paris any time soon, here are our top 7 things to make sure you do!
1. Pack light.
Don’t take big bags into the park. Firstly, security is tight so you will need to go through security each time you enter the park, but perhaps more importantly, (unless you’re lucky enough to go with a mum to look after your belongings whilst you go on Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain) you’ll want to make sure you can keep stuff with you without it falling off/out/upside down on rides.
2. Download the app.
Ok, so it was a little glitchy, and you can’t do some of the things you would expect to be able to do with it, but the up to date waiting times, a map for where everything is and opening times of rides and attractions was so handy. It also shows you toilets and restaurants and useful things you forget you need to know until you’re there.
3. Use FastPasses wisely
They’re free and they are wonderful. You can use FastPasses for lots of the big rides and the most popular ones. You simply take your entrance ticket and validate it on a machine that gives you a ticket to return to the ride at a later time. It is great for using your time wisely and making sure you don’t have to wait in long queues. You can only have one FastPass ticket at a time. However, you can validate your entrance ticket for a second FastPass ticket from the start of your half hour slot. So, if you’re close to another ride, go and get another FastPass before you get on the first ride. It makes sense if you read through a few times!
4. Look after yourself
It sounds simple right, but in more ways than one we mean it. Don’t go ham on all the big rides so that you feel groggy and end up missing out on others you’ve already sorted FastPasses for. Don’t go on the rides you don’t want to, or conversely, do go on all the rides you want to.
5. Book lunch or dinner.
I guess it comes under looking after yourself, but make sure especially if you are there at a weekend, that you think ahead about where and when you want to eat. If you are eating in a Disney restaurant, they book up very quickly. You can’t quite book them on the app yet, but the app will help you call to book or, if you are lucky enough to be staying in a Disney hotel, the concierge there will book it for you. Don’t panic though, if all the restaurants are booked up you can try some of the chain restaurants out in the Disney Village.
6. Take a bottle of water.
Again, it does fit under looking after yourself, but do stay hydrated. Soft drinks in the park can be expensive and there are water fountains at every restroom. They’re also dotted around other points in the park, so save plastic and money and refill a water bottle of your own.
7. Watch the parades and shows.
This is possibly the most obvious point which is why it didn’t go in at number one. However, just in case you were unaware there is at least one parade and a firework and light show every day. Without a doubt this is something that you need to watch. If you don’t see them, did you even Disney? The theme whilst we were there was princesses & pirates and our parade show was Stars on Parade, for the 25th anniversary of the Park. The show we experienced started with a bonus for Earth Month before Illuminations, the main event. Not only were they both great, but we shed a few tears at quite how amazing the smaller kids around us found it. The joy was amazing. So pure.
It just wouldn’t be a Fourthousandweeks list if we didn’t include at least one bonus point for you, so here it is:
8. Make the most of Extra Magic Hours.
If you are lucky enough to be staying in one of the Disney Hotels for your stay, you get an additional couple of hours for your park experience. You can get in the park from 8.30am instead of 10am and lots of the rides are open at this time. It is far less busy and you can get all your perfect Instagram shots, with no people in too! Even if you aren’t in a Disney hotel, do make sure you’re down in time to be let in at 9.30am, don’t treat yourself to a lie in as the queues start immediately!