Getting to Disneyland Paris
Depending on where you’re starting your family’s journey, there are a few ways to get to Disneyland. We were staying in Paris before our visit to the park, so we chose to take a train to Disneyland from the Gare de Lyon station. The train ride was very short and very easy. We certainly would do it that way again.
Here are some of the ways to get there:
- From Paris, you will get on the RER A train at the Nation Station. It will take about 35 minutes to the Marne-la-Vallée/Chessy train station right across from the park entrances. Note: There are lockers at the station to rent and place any bags that you do not want to take into the park with you that day. Disney also offers an Express Luggage Service.
- From CDG airport, you can take a shuttle bus to Disneyland that takes about an hour. The prices are around 23€ for adults, 10€ for children 2-12yrs, and free for 0-2yrs. Disney offers the Magic Shuttle Bus service on their UK website as well.
- From CDG airport, you can also take the high speed TGV train from the CDG Airport Terminal 2. Tickets cost around 35€ and will only take about 12 minutes, that’s fast!
- From Paris or CDG airport, you can easily rent a car and drive the A4 to Disneyland. The parks are only 32km from Paris and parking is available at nearby resorts and at the parks. There are several hotels that include parking with their stay and offer free shuttle service to the park entrance. Disney offers a new Disney Plus Parking for 45€ in a close reserved area.
Getting into the parks
We found it super easy to enter the park but here are a few things you should know before heading into Disneyland Paris.
- Both park entrances are only a few hundred feet from the train station and the area where the shuttles drop-off and pickup. Once you enter the train station you will see the Disneyland Park Entrance right in front of you.
- Security lines are not as long or extensive as Walt Disney World so you can enter pretty quickly.
- The Disney Village is also very close to the parks, this is similar to Disney Springs and it’s where you will find a lot of the food and shopping options.
Here is some useful info about tickets:
- Park Ticket sales at the Disney Park entrances are not always available so make sure you buy your tickets in advance.
- You can purchase tickets to Disneyland Park or Walt Disney Studios Park separately, or you can purchase consecutive day tickets to explore both parks together.
- You can purchase a dated ticket for a specific day you want to visit or buy an undated ticket.
- Dated Tickets 1-4 Days start at $74.40, where 1 Day undated tickets start at $126.
- Purchasing a dated ticket can save you $51/ day as an adult.
- Dated tickets can be canceled up to 3 days before arrival, whereas undated tickets are valid for 1 year and are non refundable.
- Tickets are available for children ages 3 to 11 years, those under 3 are free.
- We purchased a 2-Day Dated ticket for all 5 of us and we feel that this was the best value. This allowed us to go back and forth between parks anytime we pleased for the 2 days we were there.
How to spend your time
Extra Magic Hours
I’m sure you know, staying at one of the Disney hotels allows you to use Extra Magic hours and enter 2 hours before the park opens to the public. This is a great perk, especially if you are only visiting for a day!
Rope Drop your Favs
Be sure to “rope drop” your favorite ride or head straight to the most popular one’s, usually Big Thunder Mountain or Pirate’s of the Caribbean at Disneyland and Crush’s Coaster at Walt Disney Studios.
Pick Rides Close Together
Spending the early hours at Fantasyland at Disneyland is a great place to get pictures and ride a lot of rides that are positioned closely together.
Notice the Small Details
Have lunch at one of the many themed restaurants in the parks and explore the details along the way. Disneyland Paris especially, is full of intricate details which made the park feel so special.
Allow Time for Parades and Shops
Enjoy an afternoon parade or seasonal stage show and browse through some of the shops.
Mainstreet has some really spectacular ones, so be sure to allot extra time.
Disneyland Paris is full of the wonder and enchantment. The park is broken up into 4 discernable lands and then Mainstreet U.S.A. that is very much like Disney World in Orlando. We were overall very impressed with the decor and all of the magical elements throughout the park. In many ways, we felt that the attention to detail and the overall charm of Disneyland Park outshined our home park in Orlando. the park had so much charm and we loved noticing the little elements that were similar to Walt Disney World and those that were different.
Although the castle is significantly smaller than what we are used to, Disneyland Paris still impressed us in so many ways!
Adventureland is a great name for this part of the park, because no matter what age you just feel like you are on the cusp of an adventure. There are so many areas to run and explore and play pirate and adventurers. There are a couple of really great rides, like Pirates of the Caribbean and Indiana Jones that may be a little much for the smaller kids. Aside from the rides, there is plenty for them to see and do. There are beaches, waterfalls, winding caverns, and lots of interactive play areas to walk through as a family. Really fun park!
Discoveryland is Disneyland’s version of Tomorrowland, but with more focus on Star Wars and Toy Story. There are 2 main attractions in this area as well, and both are a little too intense for small riders. Star Tours is a simulator that can still be startling and requires riders to be over 40 inches. There are still a few things for younger guests to enjoy in Discoveryland. Mickey’s PhilharMagic and Autopia, where they can drive futuristic cars. The other good news is that Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast is reopening, which is a fun interactive game ride for all ages.
Fantasyland is the part of Disneyland Park that really resonates with the smallest guests. With rides like It’s a Small World, Peter Pan’s Flight, Lancelot’s Carousel, and Dumbo the Flying Elephant it really is the most kid friendly. These classic attractions have so much whimsy and are so playful that it’s hard not to be happy here. Something worth mentioning is that under Sleeping Beauty’s Castle in the center of the park, there’s a dragon. While our children thought it was fun and exciting, some children could be afraid of lifelike animatronics.
Frontierland is probably my favorite of the lands at Disneyland Park. Big Thunder Mountain is so much better at Disneyland Paris, it’s faster, it’s smoother, and it has its very own island. Also, Phantom Manor is my favorite haunted house, as it just has something about it that makes it seem so realistic and creepy. While the rides here are some of my favorite, the kids might first mention the fun they had at the Frontierland Playground. This is definitely a fun park for all ages and we really enjoyed our time there.
Walt Disney Studios Park was much different than Hollywood Studios in Orlando. To be honest, we were not very impressed with the park as a whole. The park is small and you can often see the other attractions from standing in line for another. This does not happen much at Disney World and we felt it took away from the magic. Now with that being said, we wouldn’t skip the park altogether. The park still had some really fun attractions, and some unique things we haven’t had the chance to experience before. A highlight of those being the animation class. Also, the Avengers Campus was not open when we were there, so I’m sure that really adds some added excitement and more dimension.
Front Lot: Studio 1
The entrance to the Front Lot and Studio 1 was unassuming from the outside, but quite fun inside. It’s made up to seem like you are strolling down Hollywood Boulevard at night amidst the bright lights of Tinsel Town. There’s lots to do with the kids here on the strip to make them feel like they are part of the show. One of our girls got her face painted in front of the dazzling lights and it really made her day!
Right outside of Studio 1 is the Production Courtyard where you will find lots of photo opportunities. You will often see characters from Marvel, Frozen and Disney there interacting with the guests. This is a great place to get family shots together. Also in the Prodcution Courtyard is The Disney Junior Dream Factory and the Stitch Live shows, which are both great for younger children. This artea is also the home of the Tower of Terror, but my kids avoid this one at all cost.
Toon Studio is full of tribute to the animated classics, like Aladdin. They even have the Flying Carpets Ride there, which is always one of our favorite relaxing rides. There are quite a few photo spots in this area as well and several Meet n’ Greets with characters like Woody, Jessie, and Olaf. You do not need much time here, but it’s really great for younger kids.
Worlds of Pixar
The Worlds of Pixar is where all the action is, so be sure to allow for lots of time in this one if you like rides as much as we do. This would be a great place to use your Standby Passes, as the wait times can get pretty long on some of the popular rides like Crushs’ Coaster. One of our all time favorite restaurants is also nearby, but I will share more on that later. Worlds of Pixar also has a couple of the cutest shops in all of Disneyland: Chez Marianne and Toy Story Playland. Both of them offer some really unique souvenir selections and Mariann’s has some delicious French sweets that you have to try.
While there are not quite as many attractions at either park when compared to Walt Disney World in Orlando, they do a great job of making up for that in quality. The rides at Disneyland Paris are much more edgy, much faster, and in a subtle way much more scary. We thoroughly enjoyed the Disneyland Paris renditions of some of our favorite rides at Disney World, like Hyperspace Mountain. This ride and several others were much better in our opinion. Yes, they were more thrilling, but they also seemed to have more detail and heightened interaction.
Family friendly accommodations near Disneyland Paris
There are plenty of very good accommodations near Disneyland Paris, but nothing that you can currently stay right at the gates. They are currently renovating the Disneyland Paris Hotel, and when completed, you will be able to stay right at the entrance to Disneyland Park. Most of the hotels near Disney are still pretty close by with an average walk time of 15 minutes. There are also shuttles at every hotel, with the exception of Davy Crockett’s Ranch.
We actually booked a cabin at Davy Crockett Ranch initially when making our plans for our trip. We really liked the idea of staying in the woods and experiencing camping in France. In the end, we decided against it for a few reasons. The cost for a cabin large enough for our family of 5 was a bit out of our budget, around $1,000 per night. They did not have a shuttle at Davy Crockett Ranch, and without our own transportation, we decided that would be an inconvenience. Lastly, we decided that we would like to eat at the parks this trip, so the idea of cooking at our cabin or eating at a buffet wasn’t appealing for us.
Davy Crockett Ranch is about 7km from Disneyland Paris and 9 km from Marne-la-Vallée-Chessy RER A station.
The property is themed as an “American Frontier village” similar to the Disney campground in Orlando. The property is very much like being out in the woods, with cute little cottages, self-serving BBQ areas, and natural areas to relax.
There’s a heated indoor pool with waterfalls, rivers and a water slide. There are lots of outdoor play areas, a video arcade, mini golf, and an indoor tennis court. There is an onsite trading post where you can get groceries for your cabin and buy souvenirs.
Davy Crockett Tavern is an all-you-can-eat buffet and a saloon right onsite. There is also a takeaway breakfast point that you can get to take to your cabin.
There are fully equipped cabins available for up to 6 people, which are settled in the forest. There are also premium cabins with some added benefits that are located closer to the village and facilities.
We were also highly considering staying at the Hotel Santa Fe, as we really like the Cars theme. The problem there was the availability of rooms large enough to accommodate our family of five. While it wasn’t the right fit for us this time, it really seems like a great hotel and very kid-friendly.
Hotel Santa Fe is a little over 1km from Marne-la-Vallée train station and almost 2km from Disneyland Paris. Only about a 20 minute walk to the park or take the free shuttle.
This hotel is inspired by the Disney movie ‘Cars’ and the America Southwest.
There is an indoor play area for children, an arcade, and a very cute boutique trading post.
There’s a nice buffet restaurant, La Cantina, that serves Tex-Mex and international fare and a Rio Grande Bar. There is a Starbucks on property for breakfast, snacks, and drinks.
All rooms are ‘Cars’ themed and very basic. The family rooms sleep up to 6 people. They do offer Riverside rooms with added benefits and other rooms that are closer to the facilities.
The Marriott Village was also a consideration for us, as we really enjoy all of our stays at Marriott Vacation Club properties. This particular property is very beautiful and has some really nice amenities, like a great pool and very spacious villas. Though we did not choose to stay at the village, we would most likely stay there when we visit Disneyland Paris again.
Marriott Village is located in Bailly Romainvilliers, about 6km from the parks and train station. They offer complimentary parking for all guests and there are buses, taxis, and shuttles to the park. See Marriott website for details.
The village is going for a more polished French countryside family accommodation.
It has a nice indoor pool and a seasonal outdoor pool. There is also a fitness center, a sauna, and a hot tub.
There is a main restaurant and bar called Le Bistro that serves locally sourced French fare. There is also a marketplace for groceries and other snacks and takeaway breakfast.
The property offers studios, 2 bedroom, and 3 bedroom townhomes. Plenty of room to spread out and eat, sleep, and visit with your family.
Campanile is actually the hotel that we ended up choosing to stay at for our 2 night stay at Disneyland Paris. There was plenty of onsite parking and reliable shuttle transportation to the parks, but the rooms were very small and the facilities were quite old. The breakfast buffet had a good selection and was convenient to have before our days at the parks, but it was a little crowded for our liking. While there were some things that kids really enjoyed about the hotel, like the arcade and the petting zoo, we would not stay there again.
Campanile is only about 6km from Disneyland Paris and is an easy shuttle to the park. The shuttle comes about every 20 minutes and Campanile is typically the last pickup to the park.
Campanile is a very simple French countryside themed hotel with very basic decor.
The amenities are pretty limited at this property, but they do offer some. There is a small petting zoo, a pretty nice arcade, a small playground, and sometimes a bounce house outside.
Campanile offers a great breakfast buffet for additional cost per guest. They also have a restaurant beyond the lobby that has pizza, sandwiches, and other snacks and drinks available until about midnight. There is also a burger cart on occasion out in the courtyard.
The rooms are very typical hotel rooms. Besides having bunk beds (which is great when you are a big family) we were unimpressed with the rooms. They were clean and basic.
The Explorers Hotel was right in the same loop as the Campanile where we stayed. Guests were often on the same shuttle to and from the parks and they all said good things about their stay. We considered the hotel while making our plans, as they seemed to have a lot of activities onsite for the kids. When making our final decision, we decided to keep it more simple at the hotel since we were looking to spend most of our time at the parks. Knowing what we know now about these two hotels, we would choose Explorers instead.
Explorers is only about 6km from Disneyland Paris and is also an easy shuttle to the park. The shuttle comes about every 20 minutes and Explorer is typically the first dropoff from the parks.
The Explorers Hotel is a pirate, mermaid, and mystical creatures themed hotel great for kids.
There is a water playground inside the hotel that is a highlight of the property. The park includes 3 water slides and an abandoned pirate ship to splash and play in. There’s also the wreck of the seven seas criminal ship to play on, the children’s fitness suite, and an outdoor pirate ship playground. Lastly, there is a 6D Cinema, an arcade, and a full sized dragon.
La Plantation is a continental breakfast buffet open everyday. There is also a more traditional restaurant called the Captain’s Library that is very fun. There’s also Marco’s Pizza, Snack Bar Point, Trader’s Bar, and the Candy’s Tavern for the kids.
Explorers offer a variety of rooms and room sizes. They have double rooms, executive rooms, and adapted rooms. The family rooms accommodate up to 4 people and others up to 6 people. They can also be made into adjoining rooms to accommodate up to 10 people. They also offer Knight and Princess Suites and 3 other themed Suites with more space.
The Disneyland Paris hotel was under renovation during our visit (and still is as of September 2022). We are adding a stay here to our bucket list because its situated right at the park entrance!
Where to eat at Disneyland Paris
Overall, the food at Disneyland Paris was very good. Of course, the park snacks were very similar to other Disney Parks, but the few specialty shops and restaurants we tried were great. The service was excellent, the choices were really good, and the overall quality of the food was better than expected. Aside from the restaurants within the 2 parks, there are also a ton of choices in the Disney Village right around the corner from Walt Disney Studios. Everything from Diners to German at King Ludwig’s Castle in the village, and also fast food chains.
Here are a couple of our favorites from our trip…
Bistro Chez Remy – Walt Disney Studios: Worlds of Pixar
At the top of our list was Chez Remy’s, as it checked all of the boxes. The decor, the ambiance, and the food quality was something else. It was such a special dining experience that we hadn’t had at a Disney restaurant in a while. The kids had healthy options and the prices were fair for the quality we received. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed their meal and the desert was very nice as well. We highly recommend booking a reservation in advance and experiencing the magic of Chez Remy’s on your trip.
Cafe Hyperion – Disneyland Park: Discoveryland
Cafe Hyperion was in Discoveryland near Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain in a very cool futuristic hangar for the airship Hyperion. This was a fast food concept, but the sandwiches and burgers were definitely better than your average fast food restaurant. With choices of fish, chicken or beef, the burgers were on traditional buns and could be ordered with fries or salad. The kids meal was an amazing deal, they came with a burger, 2 sides, dessert, and a drink.
Cable Car Bake Shop – Disneyland Park: Main Street U.S.A.
Though in Paris, France this bake shop is meant to be a traditional American bake shop from San Francisco. Whatever the theme, rest assured there are still freshly baked pastries, great coffee, and sweet hot chocolate. Everything we had here was delicious, especially the Pain au Chocolat. We all had to have our own so we didn’t fight while watching the fireworks.
There are some really good shows at both parks of Disneyland Paris. Majority of them seemed to be at Disneyland Park and most of them outdoors, which is nice. We all really enjoyed the Disney D-Light, which was an illuminated drone show before the Disney Illuminations, they were both spectacular. We also really liked the Disney Stars on Parade at Disneyland Park, a bit short but fun for the kids. While we did not attend very many of the stage shows at either park on our trip, we did hear great things about many of them.
Here is a list of the shows that we heard were great for children of all ages.
- Lion King: Rhythm of the Pridelands Show – Disneyland Park: Frontierland
- Mickey and the Magician – Walt Disney Studios Park: Toon Studio
- Stitch Live! – Walt Disney Studios Park: Production Courtyard
- The Disney Junior Dream Factory – Walt Disney Studios Park: Production Courtyard
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you need to speak French to enjoy the park?
Since Disneyland Paris is visited from people all over Europe we found that there wasn’t as much French being spoken as we expected. Now this doesn’t mean that every single cast member is fluent in English but you will definitely be able to communicate while visiting the park. In regards to the rides we even heard English. Most of the time we would hear a phrase in English and then the next in French.
Can you visit both parks in one day?
Yes definitely and the set up makes it very easy. Being from Walt Disney World I was shocked to see that you could walk from the entrance of one park to the other in less than 10 minutes! So cool!
Can you see everything in one day?
See everything? No. But you could definitely get a lot in. Walt Disney Studios is a much smaller park than you would expect so you really don’t need a full day there. Disneyland park has so much to do and see and is filled with so much charm, I would spend most of my day here if I only had one day.
If you want to see our perfect 2 day itinerary click here to read more.
Do I need to do a lot of planning?
Disneyland Paris isn’t like Walt Disney World and so you don’t really need to plan a whole lot. If you have a limited amount of time I would definitely make a list of your “musts” and definitely secure a dining reservation.
Are the rides the same?
Yes and no. Does Disneyland Paris have similar rides to Walt Disney World? It does, but during our visit we found that there was not one ride that was identical to one we have been on before. This was really fun for us. We spent the day riding rides and picking out the differences (and sometimes things we liked more than our park back home)
What’s one thing you can’t miss at Disneyland Paris?
I would say there were two things that really stood out to us. First our visit the to dragon who lives under the castle. It was a little bit scary but so fun! Second would be lunch at Chez Remi, what a cool experience.
Visiting Disneyland Paris was such an amazing experience. If you are planning on visiting with your family we hope this post was helpful. Want more tips? Check out our Instagram page.