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The Magic Awaits! First-Time Traveler’s Guide to Disneyland Paris

Dreams do come true, especially if you’re planning a trip to the dazzling world of Disneyland Paris! Whether you’re a lifelong Disney fan or a curious first-timer, this comprehensive Disneyland Paris travel guide will arm you with everything you need to know to have an unforgettable Parisian adventure at the Happiest Place on Earth.

Everything You Need to Plan Your Disneyland Paris Vacation

When’s the best time to travel to Disneyland Paris?

Disneyland Paris is enchanting any time of year, but it’s best to consider crowds and special events. Shoulder seasons (spring and fall) offer pleasant weather and moderate crowds. Summer is peak season with long park hours, but expect larger crowds. If you crave festivity, time your trip for Halloween or Christmas. 

For an even deeper dive into choosing the perfect time to visit, download our exclusive Disneyland Paris E-Book! We break down the pros and cons of each season, special events, and how to navigate crowd levels for the ultimate experience.

What are the opening & closing times?
Hours vary by season, but the Parks are generally open from 9:30 AM to 8:00 PM or later. Check the official Disneyland Paris website for your specific dates.

  • Hours vary by season: Disneyland Paris adjusts park hours depending on the time of year and expected crowds.

  • Official Disneyland Paris website is key: Always check the website (https://www.disneylandparis.com/en-usd/calendars/park-hours/) for the most accurate, up-to-date hours during your travel dates.

  • Park hopping considerations: If you have Park Hopper tickets, be aware that each park (Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park) may have slightly different operating hours.

  • Extra Magic Time: Guests staying at Disney Hotels often get Extra Magic Time, allowing access to specific park areas an hour before regular opening. This is a fantastic perk, so be sure to check the schedule if you’re staying on property!

Is it safe & clean for the children?
Absolutely! Disneyland Paris prioritizes safety and cleanliness. You’ll find impeccably maintained facilities and plenty of friendly cast members available to assist.

What is the ideal duration of the stay?
A minimum of 3 days lets you experience both Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park without rushing. If you have more time, 4-5 days allow for a relaxed pace and enjoying the Disney Village, as suggested in the Mouse Hacking guide (link to the first source).

Ways of transport from the airport to the hotel?
Paris is well-connected! You have options:

  • Magical Shuttle: A convenient bus service directly to Disney Hotels.

  • Train (RER A): Fast and affordable, taking you to the station just outside the parks.

  • Taxi/Ride-share: More expensive, but good for direct door-to-door service.

Places to eat with reasonable prices?
Disneyland Paris offers dining for every budget:

  • Counter-service restaurants: Find favorites like burgers, pizza, and salads throughout the parks.

  • Buffets: All-you-can-eat dining at spots like Plaza Gardens Restaurant.

  • Grab-and-go snacks: Fuel up on the move with pretzels, pastries, and more.

Where can I see Disney Characters at Disneyland Paris?
Be on the lookout! You might spot them:

    • Parades: Wave at your favorites during the daily Disney Stars on Parade.

    • Designated Meet & Greet spots: Check the Disneyland Paris app for scheduled times.

    • Dining experiences: Book a character meal (more on that later!)

Disney parade in Disneyland Paris park in Marne-la-Vallee

Where can I find a map of Disneyland Paris?

    • Disneyland Paris website: Download a PDF map before you go.

    • Disneyland Paris app: The interactive map is a lifesaver.

    • Pick one up in the Park: Find them at guest services locations.

Which attractions are suitable for differently-abled people?

Disneyland Paris is inclusive! Many attractions are accessible, and detailed information is available on their website and app, just like the Disney Tourist Blog recommends (link to the second source).

Where To Stay In Disneyland Paris

Choosing where to stay is a big part of your Disneyland Paris vacation! Let’s break it down:
Want a comprehensive look at Disneyland Paris hotels and their unique benefits? Download our exclusive E-Book! We cover the luxurious Disneyland Hotel, the superhero-themed Marvel hotel, the cozy cabins of Sequoia Lodge, and every option in between. We help you decide which hotel offers the perfect blend of magic, convenience, and value for your dream vacation.

Disneyland Hotel

  • Ultimate luxury: Iconic Victorian hotel sits right at the park entrance.

  • Unbeatable location: You’re steps from the magic!

  • Special perks: Extra Magic Time (access the Parks early) included.


Disney Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel

  • Superhero fans rejoice: Immerse yourself in the world of Marvel.

  • Sleek modern style: Swanky and sophisticated.

  • Walk to the parks: Super convenient location.


Disney Newport Bay Club

  • Nautical charm: Relax into the seaside-inspired atmosphere.

  • Spacious rooms:** Great for families.

  • Indoor & outdoor pools: Fun for all ages.


Disney Sequoia Lodge

  • Cozy forest vibes: Think log cabins and woodland magic.

  • Value for money balance: More affordable hotel with Disney theming.

  • Onsite pool: Perfect for a refreshing dip.


Disney Hotel Santa Fe

  • Cars-themed delight: Perfect for fans of the Pixar film.

  • Most affordable Disney Hotel: Budget-friendly without sacrificing fun.

  • Further walk/shuttle to Parks: Something to consider.


Disney Davy Crockett Ranch

  • Get away from it all: Bungalows in a nature setting provide unique accommodation.

  • Self-catering option: Cook for yourself, offering potential budgeting flexibility.

  • Distance: Requires a car or shuttle for the Parks, making it less convenient.


Partner Hotels 
If you want other options, Disneyland Paris has great Partner Hotels nearby. These offer a variety of styles, amenities, and price points, ensuring you find something that fits your needs.

Want to explore all the amazing Partner Hotel options? Our Disneyland Paris E-Book dives into the benefits of each, from family-friendly apartments to budget-conscious stays, all conveniently located with shuttle access to the parks.

  • L’Elysée Val d’Europe

  • Staycity Aparthotels Paris

  • Adagio Marne-la-Vallée Val d’Europe

  • B&B Hotel

  • Campanile Val de France

  • Explorers Fabulous Hotels Group


Unforgettable moments with Characters at Disneyland Paris!

Make memories that will last a lifetime by meeting your favorite Disney Characters:

  • Meet & Greet locations: Check the Disneyland Paris app for scheduled spots and times.

  • Parades: Wave and cheer as Mickey, Minnie, and the whole gang pass by.

Dining with the characters

Upgrade your mealtime with extra magic by booking a character dining experience:

  • Breakfast and dinner at Plaza Gardens Restaurant: Enjoy a buffet and meet beloved Disney friends.

  • Meal at Auberge de Cendrillon: Have a princess-themed dining experience with Cinderella and her friends.

Make Your Visit Extra Special

  • Have a magical birthday celebration at Disneyland Paris: Make it extra special with birthday badges, cakes, and unique experiences like Princess for a Day!

  • Enjoy the Disney Village: It offers shopping, dining, and entertainment even if you don’t have Park tickets. This makes it a fantastic option for your arrival or departure day, giving you a taste of the Disney magic before or after your main Park adventures.

Know before you go. Here are some Do's & Don'ts

  • Do plan ahead. Book your tickets and accommodations in advance, especially during peak seasons.

  • Do download the Disneyland Paris app. It’s your map, guide, and reservation central.

  • Do pack comfortable shoes. You’ll be doing a lot of walking!

  • Don’t overschedule. Allow time for spontaneity and those magical in-between moments.

  • Don’t forget to bring a reusable water bottle and snacks. Stay hydrated and fueled up.

Do's & Don'ts if you are traveling with a toddler/baby

  • Do take advantage of Baby Care Centers. They offer quiet spaces for feeding, changing, and supplies.

  • Do consider renting a stroller. Even if your child normally walks, it’s helpful for those long days.

  • Do pace yourself. Plan for breaks and naps throughout the day.

  • Don’t try to do everything. Prioritize a few must-see attractions and shows.

  • Don’t forget about Rider Switch. This lets parents take turns on rides without waiting in line twice.

Insider Tips

  • Use Extra Magic Time wisely: Make the most of this perk included with Disney Hotel stays, hitting popular rides first thing.

  • Embrace the single rider lines: They can drastically reduce wait times, especially for solo travelers or those who don’t mind splitting up.

  • Consider a meal plan: If planning to eat mostly in the Parks, this can be a great way to save money and simplify your dining experience. Meal plans often offer discounts and the convenience of pre-arranged meals, letting you focus on the fun!

  • See the Parks from above: Take a ride in the Panoramagique balloon for stunning views.

  • Pack rain gear: Parisian weather can change quickly, so a lightweight poncho or jacket is a lifesaver.

  • Take advantage of PhotoPass: Let Disney photographers capture magical moments, then access your photos digitally.

Final Thoughts

There you have it! Now you’re armed with everything you need to plan the ultimate Disneyland Paris vacation. Remember, the magic is in the details and the joy of experiencing this enchanting place with those you love. Get ready to make memories that will last a lifetime!

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