From transport to tickets, dining tips to Disney’s Premier Access, these Disneyland Paris tips will help you make the most of your visit.
I have visited Disneyland Paris on a few occasions, but I thought it best to consult the experts for their top Disneyland Paris tips. The Disneyland Paris Tips for Irish team are regular visitors to the parks, and offer advice and tips to their large following on Facebook and Instagram.
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They have rounded up their top Disneyland Paris tips below, including tips to help you plan your visit, which airport is best to use, and when is the best time to visit. They also have great information on accessibility & Priority Cards as well as dining tips, what to bring, and where best to shop!
For information on where best to stay, check out this post:
1. Best Airports and Transport for Disneyland Paris
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Many prospective Disneyland Paris holiday-goers are unaware that there are actually three airports close to the resort. The most well-known is Charles De Gaulle Airport, with airlines such as Aer Lingus and Air France offering daily services. For smaller groups, the airport has a direct TGV (fast train) connection to Disneyland Paris, with a travel time of nine minutes, and a cost of approximately €35 per person each way.
The train station at Disneyland Paris is right in front of the parks, but you’ll need to walk or get a free shuttle to your hotel. For larger groups, we recommend a private airport transfer costing approximately €70 each way per van (recommended companies include Western Tours and Ezyshuttle).
You’ll find a driver waiting for you in arrivals who will drive your group directly to your hotel. Some companies even have Disney movies playing in their six-seater vans, helping the 40 minutes drive fly by. The Magical Shuttle is another option but involves stopping at the hotel of each passenger, so it’s often best to go for Private Transfer.
The second airport of choice is Orly Airport. Lesser known airlines like Vueling and Transavia have daily flights, and one of our top Disneyland Paris tips is that they can offer much cheaper prices than flying to Charles De Gaulle.
Orly is located just South of Paris, and you actually get great views of the Eiffel Tower and Paris City just before landing! It’s about 45 minutes from Disneyland Paris via Private Transfer. Recommended companies include Western Tours and RS Transports. Unfortunately there is no direct train line connection, but the airport is serviced by the Magical Shuttle.
Finally, it is possible to get to Disneyland Paris from the infamous Beauvais Airport. This is where Ryanair fly to, but unfortunately there is no train connection.
Private transfers offer a 90 minutes drive time and prices for these can be up to double that of Charles De Gaulle and Orly. Beauvais can make sense if your Ryanair flight is ultra-cheap, or if you have six or more in a group to cut the per person cost of the transfer, otherwise I would opt for one of the other airports.
2. How many days do I need in Disneyland Paris
Is this your once in a lifetime trip? Will you return soon, or maybe one day? It is important you ask yourself these questions before booking. We recommend at least three days in the parks per visit. This would usually be split by spending one day in Walt Disney Studios and two days in the main Disneyland Park.
This is even more important if you are buying tickets separately and not part of a package (you don’t need park hopper tickets for every day of your trip and you can save money with this in mind!)
If you have less time you could do most of one day in Walt Disney Studios and finish that day in the main park, followed by a full day in the main park the next day. On the other hand, with a more relaxed attitude you could happily spend 5-7 days in the Disneyland vicinity.
3. The best tickets to buy for Disneyland Paris
Most Disney hotel packages include park tickets by default. You can re-enter the parks as many times are you want, but bear in mind if you don’t have a park hopper ticket, you can only re-enter the park you originally entered.
Many visitors choose to book accommodation and park tickets separately, as it can be cost effective. However, it is important to check whether the tickets are dated. If they are not dated, you will need to register your tickets (see below).
Attraction Tickets.com offer dated park hopper tickets and no additional reservation is required. They include access to both parks and tickets are gate-ready – simply print your tickets or present your tickets on your smart phone, for instant access.
4. Disneyland Paris Tips – Check if your tickets need to be registered
During the COVID-19 pandemic Disneyland Paris began running a system of requiring registration for entry into the parks. ‘In order to keep a high quality guest experience’ this system will be in place for the foreseeable future.
Those who have booked a package staying in a Disney hotel do not need to make a reservation, your attendance is assumed. Dated tickets also need no further action. Registration is required for those with undated tickets and annual passes.
One of our top Disneyland Paris tips is to check if your tickets require registration, if in doubt, double check with whoever you are buying your tickets from.
5. The best time of the year to visit Disneyland Paris
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For those looking to visit the parks during quieter months, we recommend January – after Christmas season ends, February – not including mid-term, March, September, October – not mid term break, and mid-November. Bear in mind that some rides may be closed during these quieter times for repair and shows might give their performers a break too.
Anyone looking to avoid big crowds needs to avoid weekends, full stop. You’ll find Monday to Thursday quietest and cheapest (although most schools around Paris have a short day on Wednesday).
It’s much cheaper to go during term time, but of course we wouldn’t recommend sacrificing your children’s education in return for life-long family memories and unparalleled happiness…
It’s also important to research French school holidays while also keeping an eye on UK, French and German holidays.
6. The many seasons at Disneyland Paris
Disneyland Paris really loves its ‘seasons’. Pre-covid you had a Frozen season at the start of the year, then a Star Wars season, a Marvel Season of Superheroes, with summer showcasing the Lion King and the Jungle Book themes. In 2022 the 30th Anniversary is front and centre for most of the year.
Parts of the anniversary will remain beyond September 30th, such as the nightly drone show right before the main fireworks. We do know that Halloween season starts on the 1st of October and continues until early November, with Christmas season from 12th of November right up until the 8th of January 2023.
These festive seasons are absolute fan-favourites, with Halloween being spooky but not scary, and Christmas featuring a special parade alongside a meet’n’greet with the main man himself – Santa or Mickey, you decide!
7. Disneyland Paris Tips – Accessibility & Priority Cards
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In December 2021, Disneyland Paris overhauled its accessibility and disability system to take account of customer and advocacy group feedback. There are two types of cards that will help the cardholder avoid long queues and have a more comfortable holiday to suit their needs.
For Ireland, the Priority Access Card is given to those with one of the following documents: Disability Parking Permit, Primary Medical Certificate, Disability Allowance, Domiciliary Care Allowance or an Autism ASIAM card. The actual condition of the applicant is never asked.
You pre-register via the website, upload a photo, then collect the card on-site. The priority card allows the holder plus four others in their group to enter attractions via the MagicAll entrance, and in effect means that nearly all queues can be skipped.
The card also allows the holder plus two others to special viewing areas for parades and fireworks. Cardholders also get 25% off day tickets and annual passes, although we recommend buying full price tickets if you are going at a busy time to guarantee entry.
If you do not have one of the six listed documents, you may still be entitled to an Easy Access card. The Disneyland website has a list of 30 very specific long term illnesses which must be confirmed by a Doctor’s letter. The easy access card normally involves the holder getting a paper card with a time to come back a little while later and then skip the queue.
Both of these accessibility cards can entirely change the experience for those who need it – make sure you apply if you or a member of your group are eligible.
For Autism/ASIAM card holders, do not accept an Easy Access Card, we have heard of many Irish families being told they are not entitled to a Priority Card – this is not correct, point the cast member to the accessibility section of the Disneyland Paris website.
8. Download the Disneyland Paris app
The Disneyland Paris app not only shows you the park opening times and show schedules, but it will help you plan your day and make the most of your time in Disneyland Paris.
You can see approximate walking times between attractions, view the waiting times for all rides instantly, and book a table in any of the 21 themed restaurants up to two months in advance.
9. Consider purchasing Disney Premier Access
If you are short on time, and visiting during peak season, you may want to consider purchasing Disney Premier Access – this allows you to join the fast lane on available attractions – except Orbitron. There are two different types of access that you can purchase.
Disney Premier Access One provides single use access to ONE attraction. You are allocated the next available time slot to join the fast lane on your favourite attraction. This can only be purchased on the day in the Disney Parks, or via the Disneyland Paris app. Note: You can buy a maximum of three Disney Premier Access One per guest per day.
Disney Premier Access Ultimate provides single use access to each available attraction. You can join the fast lane whenever you want – no time slots are required. This can be purchased in advance or on the day via the Disneyland Paris app or website, or through the company that booked your Disneyland Paris package.
10. Disneyland Paris Dining tips
‘Nobody goes hungry at Disneyland Paris’ is my advice to worried parents, but there are certainly some things to know before arriving with a fussy eater. For picky eaters, meal plans might be considered a waste of money, along with buffets and table service restaurants. These range from around €40 for adults and €30 for kids, which is quite expensive for something like nuggets and chips.
Instead of putting yourself under pressure, plan for Rainforest Cafe, Planet Hollywood (closing Jan 2023) and other quick-service restaurants around the parks. Some of our favourites include Cowboy Cookout (BBQ), Bella Notte (Pizza and Pasta) and Cafe Hyperion (Burgers – but has a massive seating area in a cool and calm theatre).
With a bit of planning you can have fantastic meals for all without breaking the bank. Vegetarian and Vegan options are constantly on the rise, while those with intolerances to certain foods can order a Natama meal in most Disney restaurants (Planet Hollywood do a full Gluten Free menu).
However, it is also possible to avoid fast food dining at Disneyland Paris. If you fancy something a little more stylish try Walts – it is one of the best restaurants in Disneyland Paris. Bistrot Chez Remy is one of the most popular restaurants in the park, as it continues on from the Ratatouille ride.
Captain Jack’s Restaurant des Pirates is another good choice that serves up Caribbean favourites, and Restaurant Hakuna Matata is an African themed restaurant in Adventureland. When it comes to Disneyland Paris dining tips – there is one that stands out: if you want a dine in a popular restaurant, make sure you book well in advance!
Character meals in Plaza Gardens (Disney cartoon characters) and Auberge de Cendrillon (Princesses) are also very popular, but bear in mind you are paying top prices for simply meeting characters. See more on character meals below.
11. Snack tips at Disneyland Paris
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While it may seem a bit ‘Irish’ to bring Barry’s tea bags and half the kitchen, it’s well worth picking a few important snacks to get you through queues, shows and parades – even more so if you have small kids or fussy eaters.
The water fountains are slowly coming back online after the pandemic, which presents a major money-saving opportunity when compared to buying bottles of water which are over €3 each in the parks.
Bringing little Miwadi squirts can turn tap water into something more palatable. Belvita biscuits can get you through Extra Magic Time (the parks open one hour early for Disney Hotel guests and some annual pass holders), so that you can grab a late breakfast or early lunch while the other guests cram into the most popular rides.
Chupa chups not only keep ears from popping on the airplane, but can last the majority of a 45 mins queue (along with some downloaded Disney+ content). Even though under 3s eat free to some degree (they usually just eat off your plate), we found the little microwave meals from ‘Ella’s kitchen’ or similar can prevent mealtime meltdowns.
Most buffet restaurants have microwaves, just ask a Cast Member (employee) for help!
12. Character meals at Disneyland Paris
There is currently two locations offering Character meals (and lifelong memories) at Disneyland Paris. The first is the Plaza Gardens restaurant in the main Disneyland Park. Located at the bottom of Mainstreet USA next to Discoveryland – Plaza Gardens is superbly placed to have a great meal right next to the Castle.
Currently Characters are available either at Breakfast or at Dinner time. Lunch does not have Characters present and is therefore priced cheaper. Breakfast Characters are normally some of Mickey’s friends, as well as some of Winnie The Pooh’s friends.
Dinner takes things up a notch, with Characters including Mickey, Goofy, Pluto and other VIPs. It’s worth noting that Dinner is €20 more expensive than breakfast.
The second restaurant for Character dining is Auberge de Cendrillon (Cinderella’s Inn). This is located behind the Castle to the right hand side. Here you can currently choose between Lunch and Dinner. Normally four Disney Princesses will casually enter the restaurant, floating between tables and generally making dreams come true.
The food here might be filed under the ‘classy’ section of Disneyland Paris dining, so it’s worth taking a look at the menu on the Disneyland Paris app to make sure you aren’t wasting €80 per person for the pleasure, – although you are obviously paying a Princess premium here.
13. Prioritise your top rides and characters
The best way not to be disappointed on a trip to Disneyland Paris is not to set expectations too high! Specifically this refers to the amount of rides you want to go on, or number of characters you want to meet, in the small amount of days you will be there. I suggest making a list, and then cutting it in half.
Measure your children’s height before you go and check online beforehand to see which rides your children are able to go on. This will save you time and allow you to prepare your kids for unsuitable rides.
Try to react to the queue times using the Disneyland Paris app. If you find yourself without a plan during Extra Magic Time, go for the big rides that usually have long queues. If you are passing a ride with a short queue, jump in!
If you see a Character Meet without too much of a wait, go for it. Identify the ‘must ride’ or the ‘must meet’ and let everything else be a bonus.
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Go early to secure a good viewing point for parades and the illuminations show, and make sure you have a buggy with you for little ones. During the summer months the illuminations show with fireworks can take place as late as 11pm, so it is best to factor this into your day, and try to get small children to have day time nap if you can.
This advice applies to all year round, but even more so during school holidays and weekends. Try to take in the vibe, nobody can spoil this for you.
14. Don’t forget your tech
Unfortunately in the days we live in, technology can make or break your holiday! Being prepared is key. Even the most modern phones will struggle to last to dinner time if you are taking photos, videos and/or posting to social media – make sure to clean your camera lens too!
We recommend picking up a power bank of at least 10,000mAh – this will cost about €20 and will charge three standard iPhones. From there, it’s important to have the right cables. Be sure to test out power banks and cables well before you travel. A waterproof casing for your phone can also be a handy for water rides.
It’s also a handy tip to bring only one EU/2-pin travel adapter along with a 4-way extension lead. Most hotels will list on their website what type of power connections are available in the standard room, but we’ve heard of many holiday-makers arriving in rooms that haven’t been modernised as advertised.
Remember to print out all important documents. The ticket scanners at Disney are not too fond of phones, so it is best to have each person ready with a paper ticket ready to scan.
15. Shop at Val D’Europe
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Located within the ‘circle’ (a perfectly round ring road that surrounds Disneyland Paris), Val D’Europe is a huge shopping complex with plenty to either keep you busy on a non-park day, or to get you stocked up with snacks and supplies for the parks.
It is one train stop on the RER, a 10 minute taxi or a 25 minute walk from the parks. Primarily you have Auchan supermarket, which is the closest thing I’ve seen to Walmart on this side of the Atlantic. Here you can shop for snacks, drinks, technology and even strollers – why rent one when you can buy and pass on to someone else for less?
There’s an outlet shopping complex similar to Kildare village, and a Sea-Life aquarium if you are looking for something a bit different to do. Did someone say Penneys? Val D’Europe has a huge Primark that arguably sells more Disney merchandise than the House of Mouse itself!
All-in there are nearly 200 stores and dozens of food choices in and surrounding Val D’Europe. It is ideal if you fancy a break from the parks or a change from Disney dining.
16 . What clothes to wear in Disneyland Paris
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Layers, layers and more layers! The weather can be just as changeable as Ireland or the UK, and any time of the year can vary wildly in terms of sun, rain and temperature.
November to Mid-February are classed as the colder months, with anything from freezing winds to snowfall. We’d only trust weather forecasts up to about three days in advance. That means from March to October you’ll need to pack a light raincoat or poncho, extra socks (in case they get soaked), sunglasses and factor 50 suncream.
Do not bring a new pair of shoes to Disneyland Paris! You will likely be doing over 20,000 steps or 20km per day. Bicycle shorts are also a good idea all year round for pure comfort.
There is no dress code at Disneyland Paris theme parks, restaurants or even the hotels. Anything that is suitable for Big Thunder Mountain is permitted in the Manhattan restaurant. You don’t have to wear Disney-themed clothes, but it generally looks good in photos, and the characters will point to characters on your clothes during meet and greets.
TOP TIP: Teenagers and adults are not allowed to dress in full costume other than at special ticketed parties – so that kids don’t get confused between them and the cast members. However, little ones can wear whatever they want. A little Princess, Pirate or Avenger will be sure to get a lot of attention from cast members all around the parks.
There is also extremely high quality face painting in both parks that will last for days.
17. Bring Medicines and Supplies
Getting the basic medications that we all rely on now and again is a different story in France, and even more so in the bubble of Disneyland Paris. There are no pharmacies at Disneyland or Disney Village!
For adults, bring paracetamol, nurofen, hay fever tablets, indigestion tablets, tablets to get things moving and tablets to stop things moving!
For kids you’ll need similar, but ideally in liquid forms. Remember most airports in Ireland still adhere to the 100ml carry-on rule. If your carry on is being checked-in, then this rule doesn’t apply. Don’t forget your sun-cream and a good hat for during the summer!
However, if you do forget to bring medical supplies, there are pharmacies are located in Magny (close to most partner hotels) and Val D’Europe. There are also first aid centres in both parks and Disney village, who can provide plasters or basic medications, but it’s best to travel prepared.
18 . Strollers / Buggies at Disneyland Paris
We recommend parents of all children six and under to bring a stroller/buggy to Disneyland Paris. It’s not uncommon for adults to walk 25,000 steps per day. Having a buggy means you can get around between parks quickly, your kids have a seat for parades and fireworks, and you have somewhere to store bits and bobs during the day.
Boogie boards might work if you have one young child and one slightly older. We don’t recommend double buggies due to their width getting through crowds and shops. Although wagons aren’t banned like in the US, they are heavily frowned upon.
Buggies are left outside all rides and attractions. If you are worried about it being robbed, you can bring a small lock to jam the wheels. Locking a buggy to a railing will have the lock cut very quickly!
You can also rent very basic strollers in either park for €25 per day plus a deposit, but these can be easily mistaken for one another, and don’t look that comfortable. You can bring these buggies outside the parks but make sure you keep your receipt.
TOP TIP: When you come off an attraction finding your buggy amongst 100’s of similar buggies isn’t easy. Bring a ribbon or bright sticker to make your buggy stand out.
19. Use the Single Rider lanes and Baby Switch system
Quite often there is one person in your party who likes scary attractions and others who prefer to avoid them! Whether it’s the Tower of Terror or the Rock N’ Roller Coaster, you will be glad to know you can ride these using the Single Rider lanes. These usually have little or no queues as single riders fill in the empty seats on top attractions. Single rider lanes are also handy if someone wants to ride a popular attraction for a second time.
A similar system applies if you have little ones who don’t want to, or are too young to ride a particular attraction. The Baby Switch system allows one parent to ride while the other watches the children, and then the parents swap places without having to re-join the queue.
20. Covid rules for Disneyland Paris
Although travel rules have been an emotional rollercoaster recently, thankfully things have settled down. There are now no COVID19 related rules for Disneyland Paris. You’ll still find a lot of hand gel and the recommendation to wear a mask during busy gatherings, but this is not mandatory.
That leaves us with the international travel rules for entry into France. At the time of writing ( July 2022), EU members need to have your 2nd vaccine within the last nine months, or have had your booster at any time (it doesn’t expire).
If you aren’t vaccinated you can show a recovery cert from the last six months, or a negative test carried out by a professional testing service. This can be a negative PCR test within 72 hours of arrival, or a negative antigen test within 48 hours.
Antigen tests are quicker, cheaper, and you can get them done in many chemists or at the airport on your way. Under 12s don’t need proof of vaccination or any pre-departure testing.
We hope you’ve found these Disneyland Paris tips helpful. Read my top five reasons to visit Disneyland Paris in 2022 and get planning your next magical trip away!
Disneyland Paris Tips for Irish
While every effort is made to ensure that the information above is correct, it is subject to change. Some of the links in this post contain affiliate links, where I receive a small commission if a booking is made, but at no additional cost to you.