My Disneyland Paris Planning Essentials

Disneyland Hotel with pink flowers in the front and a Fantasia wand statue

So, you are planning a trip to Disneyland® Paris? Same here! It’s so exciting, isn’t it? But planning a Disney trip can be super overwhelming too. Planning your trip ahead is the best way to make the most of your magical adventure to the Disney Parks, so I’ve put together my top tips and planning essentials to help you plan your next Disneyland Paris trip like a pro.

Let’s dive in shall we?

Step 1 – Peak/Off-Peak Times

Disneyland Paris Castle
First things first, you need to decide when you want to go. Disneyland Paris is a popular destination all year round, but crowd levels and weather differ depending on the time of year.

The best times to visit Disneyland Paris are during the quieter periods of January to March and September to November. Crowd levels are lower, and the weather is generally mild. However, it can be a little more rainy and some attractions and facilities may be closed for refurbishment.

On the other hand, visiting during the busier summer holidays and Christmas period means larger crowds, higher prices, special entertainment and events.

Pssttt… April and May are also really good times to visit as the weather is pleasant, and the park is not as crowded.

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Step 2 – Tickets/Hotels

Hotel Santa Fe in the dark, with gold/yellow lights
Okay, so now you’ve picked the right time to visit, you have to look at tickets and hotels. Choosing to stay at an onsite Disney Hotel or stay off-site can be difficult. There are benefits to both but ultimately I think it comes down to what kind of experience you are hoping to have at Disneyland Paris.

If you’re planning to spend most of your time at the parks and only need a place to sleep, then I’d say it’s probably better to book one of the cheaper hotels (this includes on-site and off-site hotels). However, if you’re looking to indulge in hotel amenities and spend leisure time there, it might be worth investing in a pricier option.

The slightly cheaper onsite Disneyland Hotels include Santa Fe, Cheyenne, Sequoia Lodge and Disney Davy Crockett Ranch. While the pricier hotels include the newly renovated Disneyland Hotel, Newport Bay Club and Disney Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel.

I’ve chosen to stay at Disneyland Paris’ Santa Fe Hotel. It’s a Cars-themed hotel!! 

Once you have narrowed down the hotel, you can start looking at tickets. (The Disney Hotel prices often include park tickets.)

I used AttractionTickets.com when booking my tickets. I got a really good deal for a 3 day/2 night stay (including park tickets) and even got 10 free photo prints and €50 spending money!

I would definitely recommend checking them out! They have some amazing deals and their customer service is really good! They were super helpful with my booking.

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Step 3 – Travelling

Buzz Lightyear ride at Disneyland Paris
Getting to Disneyland Paris can seem a little confusing, so here are the best ways to travel to Disneyland Paris from the UK.

Flying:

Book a flight to Charles De Gaulle Airport (it’s the closest airport to Disneyland Park.) You can take a direct 10-minute train journey straight to Disneyland Paris from the airport. It cost me around £19.75 per ticket.

I personally think it’s worth it. The direct journey is super easy and way less stressful! Plus you’ll get to the Disney Parks in no time! 

Eurostar

Alternatively, you can take the Eurostar from London St. Pancras to Lille Europe. Once you get to Lille Europe, check the departures board for your connecting TGV train to Marne-la Vallée – Chessy.

Driving

If you are planning to drive to Disneyland Paris then you will need to take the Euro Tunnel (Le Shuttle) or the Ferry. You actually pay per car so it can work out a bit cheaper if you are travelling in a big group. Make sure to arrive at the Euro Tunnel or Ferry early (passport checks can take a while).

The Euro Tunnel Journey takes around 35 minutes and then it’s about a 200-mile drive to Disneyland Paris, which can take around 3 hours.

Please be aware that there are toll charges.

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Step 4 – Food

outside of the Bistro Chez Remi restaurant
There are plenty of dining plan options to add to your booking. You can choose between Breakfast, Half Board and Full Board at a range of selected restaurants.

I didn’t opt for a meal plan as (to be honest), I’ll just be snacking on popcorn and beignets throughout the day. I much prefer to eat smaller meals and snacks on my Disney trips – that way I get to try way more mickey-shaped food!

That being said, one of my biggest tips for food at Disneyland Paris is to prebook any restaurants you really want to go to. Restaurants like Auberge de Cendrillon in Fantasyland, Bistrot Chez Rémy in Walt Disney Studios Park and Plaza Inn in Disneyland Park tend to fill up pretty quickly.

If you have the Disneyland Paris app, you can easily make a reservation up to 2 months before your visit. 

So, I know I said I prefer snacking, but I’m going for my birthday and decided to book the Character Dining Experience at the Plaza Inn for the day. This sells out SUPER FAST, so I’m so glad I reserved my table in advance. 

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Disneyland Paris Planning Top Tips

Ratatouille Ride outside building

Check Ride Availability

Once you’ve booked your tickets, I’d recommend to start checking if there are any planned ride closures during your stay. There are so many videos on TikTok about different ride closures, plus I also had a look at the Disneyland Paris Website and the app.

For my recent trip, there was only 1 ride which would be closed on the second day, so I have planned to go on the ride on my first day at the parks.  

Take Advantage of Mastercard Partnership

Did you know that Mastercard partners with Disneyland Paris?! You can get a bunch of super fun perks just by having a Mastercard! Currently, you can enjoy preferred seating at shows by showing your Mastercard at guest services. They’ll give you a voucher for preferred seating which you can take to a show of your choice!

How awesome is that? I’ll definitely be using my Mastercard during my trip!

Download the Disneyland Paris App

Okay, so this one is actually my biggest tip. Not only does the app have real-time information on ride wait times, show schedules, restaurant reservations and interactive maps of the park. You can even store your hotel booking and park tickets there too!!

Oh, and here’s a fun tip! You can buy a Disney Premier Access ticket right from the app too! I got one for the Ratatouille ride (which, trust me, is one of the BEST rides at the Walk Disney Studios Park) on the day I visited. It was super easy to do and well worth it!

I even got a notification to start the mobile check-in for my stay and save time on arrival.

It isn’t the most high-tech app but it’s super useful to have on your trip and I would definitely recommend having it. Just make sure to have your Disney Account details to hand!

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Planning a Disneyland Paris trip doesn’t have to be super stressful. Follow my tried-and-true tips to make the process as smooth as possible so you can focus on soaking up every bit of Disney magic and wonder. Pack your bags, don your Mickey ears, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in the happiest place on earth!

Need more information about Disneyland Paris Holidays? Wondering what the best rides and restaurants at the park are? Check out our other Disneyland Paris Blogs.

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10 Must-Eat Snacks And Food At Disneyland® Paris

10 Best Disneyland® Paris Restaurants For Families

20 Best Disneyland® Paris Rides For Kids

I hope you have the most magical time at Disneyland Paris!