Friday, August 18, 2017

How To Plan One Perfect Day In Disneyland Paris

Our honeymoon was filled with so much history and culture, but a lifetime of loving Disney was enough to pull me away from the sights in France and Paris for one day of soaking up the Disney atmosphere at Disneyland Paris! Disneyland Parc is a smaller and more manageable park, but if you only have one day there it's important to arm yourself with some knowledge and planning beforehand to make the most of your time! I've compiled a list of Do's and Don'ts to help you get everything you hoped for out of one day in Disneyland Paris!

DO take a break and treat yourself to one of the wonderfully themed restaurants at some point during your day. We took a mid-afternoon stop at Bistro Chez Remy (the Ratatouille themed restaurant where the furniture makes it appear as though you are the size of a mouse) and it turned out to be a highlight of our day! Dining at a place with fabulous themed touches gives you the opportunity to soak in the Disney magic. As a bonus, the food was pretty darn great too. Just make sure you make reservations at least a few days in advance to ensure your spot!

DO arrive early, before the park opens in order to ride the most popular rides without a wait. If you have just one day in Disneyland Paris, you have to be sure you make the most of it! You can arrive early by either staying at a hotel with extra magic hours which will allow you to enter a few hours before the park opens. Alternatively, if you do not have extra magic hours, I advise arriving before the park opens to buy your tickets. They actually allow you to enter the park a little ahead of park opening time. During this time you can walk down main street (we grabbed a beignet at the window at the Cable Car Bakery) to the front of the castle, but don’t let you enter the individual “lands.” At park opening time, they “rope drop” the individual lands. We were in line just outside adventure land when the rope dropped so we were able to high tail it to Pirates of the Caribbean then on to Haunted Mansion with absolutely no lines. Arriving early is the perfect way to ensure you get on whichever rides are most important to you. Plus, starting your day by riding your favorites is sure to set you off on a good foot!

DO score fastpasses at the beginning of the day. Unlike Disney World, where you can find a fastpass kiosk anywhere in the park at any time of day to score your fastpasses, at Disneyland Paris you have to go to the fastpass kiosk at the entrance to the ride you want to go on, and they DO run out. You also don't get to pick what time you want to come back and instead take whatever time the machines are currently offering. Going at the beginning of the day will help you make sure you don't miss the opportunity to get a fastpass, and will help you get a fastpass return time for earlier in the day that doesn't interfere with watching the parade or other evening festivities.

DO download the Disneyland Paris Parks app. This app is so valuable to allow you to check the wait times at all the attractions across the park no matter where you are. We opened this app periodically throughout the day to check the wait times on various rides we wanted to go on before traipsing across the park to waste time in longer lines than necessary. If you have a particular ride in mind that you want to ride, keep your eye on it's wait time with this app throughout the day. Chances are you will open the app at some point in the day and the wait will be a bit shorter than usual. Harness the opportunity to ride it then!

DO plan in advance what shows / entertainment you want to see and make yourself a time table. To make sure you don't miss out on entertainment that is important to you (for me, it's the parade!) check the times for this entertainment in advance and make yourself a little schedule of things you want to see. You can use the Disneyland Paris Parks app for this, all show times are displayed there. Be careful to check times for other attractions too, such as character meet and greets and some walk through attractions, we almost missed meeting Darth Vader and did miss walking through Alice's Curious Labyrinth because they closed much earlier than the rest of the park!

DON’T ignore the walk-through attractions. Disneyland Paris has so many walk-through attractions, many of theme unique to this one Disney park. We found the walk-through attractions to be excellently themed, and a nice way to give yourself a dose of the magic in between rides. The truly excellent ones were the dragon sleeping under the castle, the mysteries du nautilus, and my childhood favorite swiss-family robinson tree house.

DON’T waste your time in long lines. If you only have one day in Disneyland Paris, assess how much you want to do any one thing against how much of your day you are investing in its line. For us, one way to avoid a long line at Ratatoille while still getting to ride it was doing the single rider line. Consider that approach, and also use the parks app to try to catch lines at their shortest. But don't waste too much of your chance to soak  up the beauty of Disneyland Paris in excessively long lines!

DON'T forget to make dining reservations ahead of time. One day at Disneyland Paris, if you come in the morning and stay until closing, is actually a very long time. At some point, you will need to rest your feet. If you want to make the most of resting your feet, you should do it at one of Disney's wonderful themed restaurants. The catch is, though, that you will likely miss out on those restaurants if you don't make reservations beforehand! Consult your schedule of rides and entertainment you don't want to miss, then decide where a nice break for a meal might fit in and call a few days before to secure your spot. For us, our midday meal at Bistro Chez Remy was a highlight of the day, but even at 3pm, we wouldn't have gotten in without a reservation!

I hope you found this post helpful to planning your day at Disneyland Paris! Let me know about your trip (or just you wanderlust) in the comments below, and don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin' for more travel posts from my trip abroad!


  1. Dreaming of the day I could go to Disneyland Paris!! We go to WDW all the time, being that it's 2 hours away...but I'd LOVE to go to another park!
    Love your pictures! Drooling at the shot of the bakery window...

    1. I loved Disneyland, but WDW is impossible to beat I think!! Thank you so much for the complement about the window pic! At first the reflection in the windows bothered me, then I realized I loved seeing the reflections of Main Street in the windows!