A Comprehensive Guide to Disneyland Paris

Henry Mystic

Author of "A Manor of Fact"
Original Poster
You're planning a trip to Disneyland Paris? That's so exciting! Let me help you have an amazing time.
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Disneyland Parc Paris is a stunning, romanticized take on traditional Disney Parks, making it among the most beautiful theme parks anywhere. With many iterations of classic Disney rides being the "best" in the world, it makes for an excellent time. I've grown to love the resort having stayed multiple times over the years and have seen it grow into the identity it has today. There's this almost harkening back to an old style of Disney here. I'm not quite sure what it is; perhaps it's the larger emphasis on quality entertainment offerings or maybe its whimsy. Whatever it is, I haven't met anyone that regretted stopping by. I absolutely adore DLP and I'm sure you will too!

A few years ago, Disneyland Paris began a major effort costing over a billion dollars purely to bring up maintenance standards and add quality updates to older attractions. This has led to the resort being in the best shape it's ever been in.

Let's begin!

For Restaurants
Be warned that this is the resort's weak spot (for quick-service at least).
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Quick-Service
While many park quick-service restaurants have stunning decor (like seriously, many are beautiful), the only quick-service food that I'm fond of in Disneyland Parc food-wise is
Walt Disney Studios' Avenger's Campus has good food overall, and
  • Stark Factory is easily the best quick-service restaurant in the park and a solid choice overall.
I found myself grabbing a bite to eat at Disney Village for lunch.
If the goal is to maximize time, park quick-services besides the ones mentioned range from average to unedible. Quick-service restaurants are both parks' weak spots, and I'm personally against going to table-service restaurants frequently as that adds up quickly and takes time away from the parks, so just a word of warning.
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Table-Service

The Resorts have you covered, and consistently have higher quality food than the parks themselves with the newly refreshed Hotel New York's
  • Manhattan Restaurant fine dining living up to that moniker with savory food. The buffet there,
  • Downtown Restaurant, is also a great choice. When the Disneyland Hotel reopens in 2024,
  • Inventions breakfast buffet will be my personal favorite choice again on property. Newport Bay Club's
  • Cape Cod is also an excellent buffet.
Disneyland Parc's
  • Captain Jack's is aesthetically stunning (like Blue Bayou in California) but mediocre food-wise for the price, but I'd still recommend it.
  • Walt's at DLP is easily the best at Disneyland Parc for food. If a buffet is what you're after,
  • Plaza Gardens Buffet is easily the best buffet in the park. Also,
  • Silver Spur Steakhouse has good food, but I'm not a fan that its a prix fixe menu.
Walt Disney Studios'
Disney Village's
  • Annette's Diner is a solid choice for American food just a short walk from both park entrances.
As a bonus tip, I recommend table service only during peak afternoon hours when lines are the longest as a reprieve from the longest queues of the day, but that's true for any theme park.

Rides & Shows
Treat Disneyland Parc as a fine wine. It's beautiful. There are many walkthroughs, in the castle, in the Nautilus, etc. I just love the vibe of the park. For a two-day trip, treat Walt Disney Studios as a half-day park at most. The rides are great in both of them, but you'll want to emphasize the main park (WDS is widely considered the least-themed Disney park in the world) and walk around soaking everything in at DL. WDS is currently undergoing a massive overhaul that will exponentially increase how good the park is, with phase 1 having opened Avenger's Campus, but it still has quite a bit to go.
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Disneyland Parc:
Ride highlights (emphasizing exclusives to Paris):

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Walt Disney Studios:
Ride highlights (emphasizing exclusives to Paris):
  • Crush's Coaster and
  • Tower of Terror (different story) are both Paris exclusives, but
  • Ratatouille,
  • Spider-Man: Web Slingers, and to a lesser extent
  • Avenger's Flight Force (Rock n' Rollercoaster rethemed) are all worth doing as well if you have time, though they're all basically clones of American equivalents. There's a good show called
  • Mickey and the Magician which is worth doing if you have time. It's not as amazing as people say but it is good. Very reminiscent of Disney Cruise Line's variety shows.

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Skip-The-Line Service: Premier Pass
Fastpass is now a paid service. There are two variants: a per-ride à la carte service called Disney Premier Access One which operates like WDW's Individual Lightning Lane except for all major rides, and an all-encompassing, ride as many times as you want Disney Premier Access Ultimate, which operates like Universal's Express Pass Unlimited.

Unless you're going in the absolute busiest of times or you're only there for a day, you probably won't need to buy it for specific rides (though you can play that by ear), and the Ultimate Pass is very expensive. The only attractions that tend to generate huge queues are Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Peter Pan's Flight, and Crush's Coaster.

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Hotels
I recommend staying at a Disneyland Paris hotel if at all possible. Disneyland Paris can offer very enticing hotel+ticket packages. Off-property hotels are totally fine and a better deal, but if you can afford it, I do recommend staying on property. An off-site hotel near DLP can be a great option too. I do NOT recommend staying in Paris when visiting DLP.

Buying directly through Disney, you can often get very good package deals at the DLP hotels. These deals have allowed me to stay at the Disneyland Hotel (0-minute walk) for about as much as a moderate at WDW before (which was amazing) though it's been a while, so your mileage may vary. That resort is ongoing renovations and will not reopen until 2024, but is the crown jewel of the resort. I haven't personally stayed there, but Hotel New York (5-minute walk) has had great reviews since it was overhauled with The Art of Marvel, and is presently the nicest resort open.

Newly refurbished, I recommend either Sequoia Lodge (8-minute walk) or Newport Bay Club (10-15-minute walk depending on the room) for most people as it’s just a much better value than the other two deluxe resorts and still within walking distance. Though if they're still too expensive even with package deals (if offered), Hotel Cheyenne (15-20 minute walk depending on room) or Hotel Sante Fe (20-minute + walk), are less expensive choices, and while a longer walk than the more expensive options, it is still possible. While all hotels offer complimentary buses (though they do get crowded in the peak season), I recommend just walking.

I wouldn't discount off-site resorts though, as it’s a “second best” choice to staying on-property, but they're not going to be within walking distance like they are to Disneyland in California, so make sure the off-site hotel provides a free shuttle, has public bus, or on the RER A train line. I don’t recommend rental cars for Paris or DLP.

It's also worth noting that Hotel Cheyenne and Hotel Sante Fe do not have A/C, which is something to keep in mind if you plan on going in the summer. The other resorts do have them.

If making Disneyland Paris a day trip from Paris, while a hassle, you can also take a relatively fast train that stops just outside the park entrances, but I definitely don’t recommend that as a first choice. You need way more time at the resort, and over 1 day ‘commuting’ into DLP just isn’t worth it unless it’s the only way you’ll ever make it to DLP.

Stay on-property or near DLP if at all possible.

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Night Shows
There is a very cool drone show at Walt Disney Studios:
  • Avenger's: Power the Night which is worth watching. Avenger’s Campus itself is also much improved at night, so be sure to check it out then!
Disneyland Parc has a nightly firework show called
There is no night parade, but these two shows together make the resort have a pretty great nightly line-up.

Construction at the Resort
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Keep in mind that, as has already been mentioned, Walt Disney Studios is undergoing a multi-billion dollar transformation. Additionally, Disney Village is being completely reimagined, so there may be temporary closures related to it.

Refurbishment Calendar:
  • Maintenance and refurbishments are an important part of keeping the park in tip-top shape, but having a major ride closed when visiting isn't ideal.
  • Refurbishment Calendar
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How many days?

Well, that depends! The longer the merrier. 2 Days is just enough to do the highlights at both parks. 3+ will allow more breathing room, and 4 full days is ideal, with 4.5-5 days being the maximum I’d recommend, allowing you to really soak up everything. If one day is all you have then spend it exclusively at Disneyland Parc.
  • For two days I recommend 1 & 1/2 days at Disneyland Parc and 1/2 a day at Walt Disney Studios.
  • For three days I recommend two full days at Disneyland Parc and a full day at Walt Disney Studios.
  • If you have partial days like two half days and 1 full day, split it the same way, so 1 1/2 days at Disneyland Parc and a 1/2 day at Walt Disney Studios, for instance. Longer stays could have you rope drop WDS each morning and head to DL for the rest of the day. It isn't an exact science.
  • Given their proximity and Walt Disney Studios being such a small park, a park hopper makes a lot more sense than at WDW, but. It isn’t as necessary on longer stays, however.
Anything else:
The usual combination of "bring good walking shoes" (preferably comfortable closed-toe sneakers), "check the weather before your trip," and have fun. It also shouldn't go without stating the obvious but the Disneyland Paris App is an indispensable tool for wait times, making reservations, and more.

I heard Disneyland Paris has bad weather?
  • Paris gets snow in the winter and can get very hot in the summer. I personally prefer cold weather to blistering heat, but that's me, so your mileage may vary. There aren't any water rides at the resort where you get wet so you don't have to worry about that, but rain is always a possibility and it sucks to have drenched feet as any WDW vacationer when summer showers go on can testify. What's nice about Disneyland Parc is that there's a covered indoor/outdoor walkway that runs from the park entrance, through Main Street, Frontierland, and Adventureland, ending at Fantasyland at the back of the park, so I've never had an issue with rain.
  • If it does rain, the park clears out which I take as a massive win!
How are the Crowds?
  • Crowds tend to be the worst in July/August/December. Weekdays also tend to be less busy.
  • This is a great Crowd Calendar.
How do I get there?
  • If flying into Paris (Charles de Gaulle), it takes the same amount of time by train (though they don't drop you off directly at the hotels), shuttle, or Uber, so the easiest is to just Uber since you have added flexibility.
  • The Magical Shuttle is an alternative to Uber, but your mileage may vary by pricing, so compare directly.
  • Magical Shuttles would set you back 23€ for adults and 10€ for children one way, but becomes a great deal if you have up to a party of 8, as it's a flat rate of 90€. A standard uber one-way (4 people) costs around 55€+tip, so factor what you value accordingly.
  • Trains don't take longer and are the most cost-effective method of travel though obviously become less of a deal the more people you add.
    • Avoid the train passes catered for tourists (it's a rip-off). Get the Eurail Pass (I think it’s called??) instead if you're traveling on a lot of trains across Europe, and buy it ahead of time online as it's cheaper than in-person.
Are the Halloween/Christmas parties worth it?
  • Disneyland Paris goes all out for holidays, and I highly recommend their Halloween party if you are there for them. They are much better done than their American counterparts.
Is there a Language Barrier?
  • No, the language barrier is a non-issue at pretty much any international park, and that's especially true at Disneyland Paris.
  • Many people speak English with both Cast Members and tourists alike frequently able to. A sizable portion of DLP's attendance comes from the United Kingdom so they have done a pretty good job catering to them.
  • Some rides even have English dialogue, and overall, it's not difficult to navigate the parks or appreciate the rides even without knowing French as everything from signs to menus are bilingual. The key is to be kind, use mannerisms (point to a menu item if a Cast Member doesn't know English), etc. Please keep in mind not to over-enunciate or talk down to people that have English as a second language, it comes across as condescending.
I'll also add that if you haven't been to Paris before definitely visit there too. It's one of the greatest cities in the world both visiting touristy and local areas. DLP can be a great add-on or a wonderful stay if you've already been to Paris, but just keep that in mind.

Feel free to ask any questions! Have a magical vacation!
 
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marni1971

Park History nut
Premium Member
Great write up, except one thing

Rainforest Cafe and Annettes are also decent enough, if expensive for what they are table service options.
Inventions is also closed.

Seems a bit like someone’s opinion copy and pasted. Personally I’d disagree about some of the food comments, and never say 2 days would be enough.
 
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Henry Mystic

Author of "A Manor of Fact"
Original Poster
Inventions is also closed.

Seems a bit like someone’s opinion copy and pasted. Personally I’d disagree about some of the food comments, and never say 2 days would be enough.
I mentioned that the Disneyland Hotel is closed but added clarification, thanks for pointing that out!

For food, perhaps things have changed, but in my visits in 2013, 2016, and 2019 I found the restaurants to be quite poor across both parks. Any solid ones you’d recommend?

And I definitely agree that 2 days isn’t enough, I was more so saying that 2 days is what you need as a minimum to do the main attractions (clarified that as highlights) by Acknowledging that people don’t always have a ton of time. 3-4 days is enough time to actually do it right, but most people I know that have gone to DLP from the States are usually tacking on DLP to a Paris trip, so it’s not always realistic to go for that long or more. For instance, most people I know that go to WDW spend 4-5 days. A solid trip there would really take 7-8 days, but it’s not always realistic. 4 days can let you do the highlights at WDW so that would be my lowest recommendation by comparison. 2 days being the minimum to do the same for DLP, was my point.

What exactly do you mean by someone’s opinion copy and pasted? I started writing it in response to another forum member’s questions on another thread, but then I decided to make it its own thing since it got huge, so if there’s any remnant of me answering someone’s question I meant to edit it further. I assume that’s what you’re talking about.😂
 
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Absimilliard

Well-Known Member
I mentioned that the Disneyland Hotel is closed but added clarification, thanks for pointing that out!

For food, perhaps things have changed, but in my visits in 2013, 2016, and 2019 I found the restaurants to be quite poor across both parks. Any solid ones you’d recommend?

And I definitely agree that 2 days isn’t enough, I was more so saying that 2 days is what you need as a minimum to do the main attractions (clarified that as highlights) by Acknowledging that people don’t always have a ton of time. 3-4 days is enough time to actually do it right, but most people I know that have gone to DLP from the States are usually tacking on DLP to a Paris trip, so it’s not always realistic to go for that long or more. For instance, most people I know that go to WDW spend 4-5 days. A solid trip there would really take 7-8 days, but it’s not always realistic. 4 days can let you do the highlights at WDW so that would be my lowest recommendation by comparison. 2 days being the minimum to do the same for DLP, was my point.

What exactly do you mean by someone’s opinion copy and pasted? I started writing it in response to another forum member’s questions on another thread, but then I decided to make it its own thing since it got huge, so if there’s any remnant of me answering someone’s question I meant to edit it further. I assume that’s what you’re talking about.😂

At Disneyland Paris, Walt's, if you can deal with the very deconstructed food (the chili is a blast) is quite good. For quick service, Chalet de la Marionette was fine for what you got. Remember: Dole Whip at Cafe de la Brousse in Adventureland! At the Studios, Avengers Campus is a winner for food with Stark Factory (quick service) and Pym's (buffet) both amazing choices.

Hotel wise, Downtown Restaurant (Hotel New York) and the Chuckwagon Cafe (Cheyenne) are great buffets.

Disney Village used to be decent for food, but I refuse to eat another meal at the worst McDonald's in Europe and Earl of Sandwich is overpriced and bland. I don't get the hype at all. Thankfully, the Disney Village transformation will see the end of that horrific McDonalds.
 

marni1971

Park History nut
Premium Member
For food, perhaps things have changed, but in my visits in 2013, 2016, and 2019 I found the restaurants to be quite poor across both parks. Any solid ones you’d recommend?
We haven’t really had a bad meal; last visits were June 2019, September 2020, September 2021, November 2021 and June 2022. Hotel breakfast buffets are exceptional in both quantity and choice (and taste!) - we’ve done all except Santa Fe in those visits. We will try the latter later this year. Downtown dinner buffet at NY lives up to its reputation!

Annettes is a favourite for us in the village, wouldn’t touch McDonald’s and Earl of Sandwich is nothing to be excited about. Park wise Plaza Gardens buffet is again good for quality, quantity and taste. Silver Spur has some wonderful steaks. Better than Remy IMHO. Walts is wonderful. Personally I wouldn’t revisit Agrabagh but that’s more my taste. But again, that’s because we’re comparing personal taste. And again, quick serve wise I wouldn’t call any of it bad. We’ve had burgers, hot dogs, pizza, ice cream - none of which we wouldn’t eat again. Toad Hall was also a pleasant surprise. We’re also trying PYM very very soon and the Cape Cod dinner buffet later this year.

We’ve had a lot of good meals in DLP, some great, but nothing better or worse than we’ve had in WDW or Disneyland.

I’d also suggest Magical Shuttle over an Uber - we’ve used both. Depending on size of party the bus can be cheaper or comparable and less hassle. Travel time is comparable. Everyone’s mileage may vary of course but I’d recommend looking at both before deciding. I’d also recommend staying on site if at all affordable. Booking as far in advance as possible offers some great prices, and the length of stay tickets are almost thrown into the deal for free.

Im not against helping others - don’t get me wrong! It’s great we and you try. But I think it has to be a collaborative effort to offer opinion and options to help others decide rather than definite dos and don’ts. I’m currently working on a stupidly huge multi part video series of the whole resort, but will aim to show people what attractions, hotels and restaurants are like to let them form an opinion.
 
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Henry Mystic

Author of "A Manor of Fact"
Original Poster
At Disneyland Paris, Walt's, if you can deal with the very deconstructed food (the chili is a blast) is quite good. For quick service, Chalet de la Marionette was fine for what you got. Remember: Dole Whip at Cafe de la Brousse in Adventureland! At the Studios, Avengers Campus is a winner for food with Stark Factory (quick service) and Pym's (buffet) both amazing choices.

Hotel wise, Downtown Restaurant (Hotel New York) and the Chuckwagon Cafe (Cheyenne) are great buffets.

Disney Village used to be decent for food, but I refuse to eat another meal at the worst McDonald's in Europe and Earl of Sandwich is overpriced and bland. I don't get the hype at all. Thankfully, the Disney Village transformation will see the end of that horrific McDonalds.
I mentioned Walt’s :). Agree with the others though, I’ll update my list. When writing this I knew I'd forget things, so I appreciate the feedback from everyone!
We haven’t really had a bad meal; last visits were June 2019, September 2020, September 2021, November 2021 and June 2022. Hotel breakfast buffets are exceptional in both quantity and choice (and taste!) - we’ve done all except Santa Fe in those visits. We will try the latter later this year. Downtown dinner buffet at NY lives up to its reputation!

Annettes is a favourite for us in the village, wouldn’t touch McDonald’s and Earl of Sandwich is nothing to be excited about. Park wise Plaza Gardens buffet is again good for quality, quantity and taste. Silver Spur has some wonderful steaks. Better than Remy IMHO. Walts is wonderful. Personally I wouldn’t revisit Agrabagh but that’s more my taste. But again, that’s because we’re comparing personal taste. And again, quick serve wise I wouldn’t call any of it bad. We’ve had burgers, hot dogs, pizza, ice cream - none of which we wouldn’t eat again. Toad Hall was also a pleasant surprise. We’re also trying PYM very very soon and the Cape Cod dinner buffet later this year.

We’ve had a lot of good meals in DLP, some great, but nothing better or worse than we’ve had in WDW or Disneyland.

I’d also suggest Magical Shuttle over an Uber - we’ve used both. Depending on size of party the bus can be cheaper or comparable and less hassle. Travel time is comparable. Everyone’s mileage may vary of course but I’d recommend looking at both before deciding. I’d also recommend staying on site if at all affordable. Booking as far in advance as possible offers some great prices, and the length of stay tickets are almost thrown into the deal for free.

Im not against helping others - don’t get me wrong! It’s great we and you try. But I think it has to be a collaborative effort to offer opinion and options to help others decide rather than definite dos and don’ts. I’m currently working on a stupidly huge multi part video series of the whole resort, but will aim to show people what attractions, hotels and restaurants are like to let them form an opinion.
I agree with the hotels, the resorts themselves do a pretty good job overall with food. My main problem is with the park quick-services themselves more than anything, and I disagree with you there, I would argue most options I’ve had at the parks were not just mediocre, they were outright bad with only a couple that were solid. Everyone I know personally that’s gone to DLP has food as their #1 criticism.

Never used Magical shuttle, so thank you for pointing that out. For just a little bit more Ubers still offer great flexibility, but there are scenarios where it makes sense to take a shuttle, so I added it. Personally I’ve had nothing but good experiences taking the train, but that is a hassle if staying at Santa Fe or Hotel Cheyenne, and pricier the larger your group gets.

Ah, forgot about Toad Hall’s Fish & Chips! Thanks for the reminder, but Annette’s isn’t quick-service, which is my gripe about the resort. I’m sure the Disney Village renovation will help its issues in that front in a large way.

Excited for your guide!
 

Frenchi

New Member
Thank you for the great guide, I found it very helpful. We are planning on visiting DLP this summer, and have been to WDW several times. A quick question on meals, at WDW a reservation is a must (for non quick serve), is it the same at DLP?
Are the prices that far off that meal plan in worth it (like WDW)?

We
 

marni1971

Park History nut
Premium Member
Thank you for the great guide, I found it very helpful. We are planning on visiting DLP this summer, and have been to WDW several times. A quick question on meals, at WDW a reservation is a must (for non quick serve), is it the same at DLP?
Are the prices that far off that meal plan in worth it (like WDW)?

We
Reservations are highly recommended for DLP TSR. It’s not uncommon for walk ups to be unavailable especially when busier. Reserve as soon as you can !

Depending where you eat, meal plans can save a little money.
 

Swissmiss

Premium Member
FYI about some of the hotel comments in the first post:

You can absolutely walk from Hotel Cheyenne or Hotel Santa Fe to the parks. Yes, it is a further walk than the walk from the other hotels but not necessarily significantly so depending on room placement and I‘d rather walk than wait for a bus (which are often crowded).

It is not at all necessary to rent a car for off-site hotels, unless the hotel has no shuttle to the park (many do) or is not near a public bus or RER A train line. As the park entrance is right next to the train station there will be local bus lines local which stop at the station as well as the RER A train.

I go a few times per year to DLP and I rarely stay onsite as I have often found the hotel prices higher than I am willing to pay for the amenities offered. YMMV.
 

marni1971

Park History nut
Premium Member
You can absolutely walk from Hotel Cheyenne or Hotel Santa Fe to the parks. Yes, it is a further walk than the walk from the other hotels but not necessarily significantly so depending on room placement
Oh indeed. Absolutely you can! And it can be a lovely walk - strangely at night it also seems shorter!

Also, if you get a room in the back end of Newport, it can be a 50% further walk than the closest Cheyenne block is.
 

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