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Trip Report First Time to Disneyland Paris *Completed*


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Alright, figured out the train we need to take on Tuesday -- we don't have to leave until 4:30 pm! I had been thinking about putting our bags in lockers at the train station before we go into the park(s) that morning, but since we've got plenty of time it probably makes more sense to let the hotel hold them for us.


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Not at all - that particular security doesn’t have a lot of people going thru it so it’s only a problem if you forget you have a glass bottle in your backpack ...
Or a swiss army knife. (My dad had passed away a few months before that, and I was carrying his knife that he always had with him because it made me feel connected to him somehow, and forgot I had it in my backpack and had to go back to the resort to put it away.)


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On Tuesday, we'll be playing it by ear -- catching anything we missed and/or re-riding our favorites. I still need to check train schedules to figure out what time we need to leave to make it to the in-laws rental house.

For someone used to spending a week in WDW, this feels like such a rushed trip, but I'm hopeful that it's plenty of time to accomplish everything that we want to! I appreciate all the advice, and I will post pics after the trip!
You should be fine. DLP is sooooo much smaller than WDW. We had 3.5 days and were repeating things over and over. We saw everything we wanted to see that was open, my DH got a morning alone at the studios to do the thrill rides I can't do and the kids didn't want to.

The food is pretty bad, though we ate dinner 2 nights at Hunters Grill, I think it's called? At the Sequoia, where we stayed, and it was decent. There was at least some variety. We found most of the counter service all sells exactly the same thing, at least for breakfast, and it is very limited. They also were not good with speaking English, which surprised me from a Disney park....I thought English would be a requirement to work there, considering the number of international guests. But very few spoke English, or they all just pretended not to.
Also, make sure you carry cash as not all places can take credit cards or debit cards. We wanted to get some snacks at a cart and didn't have cash on us because we figured we'd just use debit cards, but a lot of the places are cash only.

We drove there, and stayed at the Sequoia, but to be honest, I never even realized there were shuttles. We walked everywhere. (a shuttle would have been nice the first night as my daughter was in tears because her pants had chaffed her so badly and walking hurt. But there just wasn't a whole lot of information available and I completely missed that there are shuttles!)
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Since we'll probably be heading to bed early on Sunday, I'm planning to make it to Extra Magic Time on Monday morning. We will head to Studios Park first to try to ride Crush's Coaster and Ratatouille with minimal waits. Other must-do's here are the Studio Tram Tour (MGM nostalgia for me, but I'm not sure my husband ever rode it there), TOT, RNRC, and Mickey & the Magician. As time allows, we'll also check out RC Racer and maybe the Moteurs… Action! Stunt Show.

This is where I'm not sure what to do about food. We've discussed Bistro Chez Remy, but I'm assuming we would need a reservation? But I'm hesitant to lock ourselves into a set time, when we really don't know how long we'll want to stay in this park. We might just play it by ear and try a walk-in & if that fails, leave the park in search of better options.

We're definitely planning a break/nap back in the room this day, because I want to spend the evening in Disneyland and catch the nighttime show at 11pm. We'll ride anything we planned but missed on the day before and hopefully some of my "tier 2" attractions -- Le Passage Enchanté d'Aladdin, Alice's Labyrinth, IASW, Pinocchio, Snow White, Le Pays des Contes de Fées, Mickey’s PhilharMagic, and Buzz. Again, I'm not sure what we'll do for dinner - maybe we *will* make a reservation for Walt's this night! Need to discuss more with Hubby.
PhillharMagic is wayyy beter in WDW. If you can, give priority to the other Tier 2 attractions or Mickey and the Magicien. Another Tip for Mickey and The Magicien, be there on time to get in the queue :).


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Thanks @Songbird76 for the advice about cash and lack of English! I’ve been trying to brush up on my French (took 4 years of it in HS), but I was always much better at reading it than speaking it. I guess I’ll have some good opportunities to practice!

PhillharMagic is wayyy beter in WDW. If you can, give priority to the other Tier 2 attractions or Mickey and the Magicien. Another Tip for Mickey and The Magicien, be there on time to get in the queue :).
Thanks, good to know! Honestly the only reason it’s on that list is because we missed it on our last WDW trip. I wouldn’t bother otherwise.


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We are now home, so let’s get this started! We landed in Paris around 9:30am on Sunday, June 30. The lines for customs weren’t terrible and we headed toward terminal 2 to find the train station.

We tried to use the kiosks to buy train tickets to Marne la Vallée Chessy. We did have some confusion at first, as it seemed like you could only receive the tickets electronically and we didn’t have the necessary app. So we ended up cancelling the transaction and planned to go to the ticket office instead. While in line, we saw some Americans printing their tickets at a kiosk and after chatting with them, we gave it another try. It turns out if you ignore the prompts for receiving the tix electronically, they will eventually print for you.

I will say that I was surprised at the cost of the tickets. I knew it was only a 10 min train ride from the airport to Disney, so 35 euros per person seemed pretty steep to me! In hindsight, I should have looked into arranging transportation through Disney instead.

We had a few minutes to kill, so we stopped at Starbucks in the station to get some cold drinks. Then we used Google translate to figure out that we were going to be in car 5 of the train, on the top level (Voiture=Car, Haut=top). It was kind of chaotic with the number of people trying to get in the same train car as us, but once on, we had no trouble finding our assigned seats.

Next: arriving at Disneyland!


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As I mentioned, the train was pretty crowded and my husband’s assigned seat was a few rows away from me. The man next to me started speaking to me in French. My French really isn’t good, so I just said “English?” He spoke some English so we chatted for a bit about our vacation plans. It turns out that Marne la Vallée Chessy is the first stop and when they announced it, my seat mate advised me that the train only stops briefly, so we should head downstairs to be ready. I appreciated the helpful hint!

Once off the train, the signs for the hotel shuttles weren’t great, but we did find the correct stand after a few minutes. This area around the train station and shuttles is definitely the least magical part of Disneyland Paris. It feels very run down, there was a man sitting and begging for money, people set up selling miniature Eiffel towers and other random souvenirs from blankets on the ground, security (military?) guards with rifles. Just really didn’t feel like we were in Disney yet.

We waited probably 10 minutes for the shuttle. I always wear long sleeves and pants when flying, but I was starting to feel very warm while waiting. Thankfully once the shuttle came, it was a quick ride to the hotel.

Next: checking in. I promise, there will be lots of pictures coming soon!


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Disney’s Santa Fe hotel:

The hotel’s theme is a combination of Cars and Route 66. The entrance is designed like a drive-in movie. I think we arrived around noon and apparently noon on a Sunday is THE time to check in to this hotel. The line was completely full (one line that looped back and forth a couple times). Any other time we walked by in the next few days it was never that crazy.

We had packed in an E-Bag and another back pack, so I sat down with our bags while my husband waited in line. Thankfully they had CMs working down the line and getting people started on paperwork that needed to be filled out. So we were on our way after about 20 minutes.

Our room wouldn’t be ready until after 3, so we changed clothes in the bathroom and dropped our bags at the luggage storage area right across from the lobby.

We decided to check out the walking path to the parks. It was a very pleasant, shaded walk along the waterway. But the sidewalk is narrow! It made it tricky sometimes to pass people walking slower or coming from the other direction. It seems like the path on the other side of the water is much wider, but it was blocked due to the construction on Hotel New York.

Soon we turned the corner and saw this:

We’re getting closer! You can see our lunch destination in that photo too - Earl of Sandwich. We were both feeling too warm still and decided on cold wraps instead of hot sandwiches. Another advantage of that was that they were pre-made in a cooler, so we just had to pick them up & pay and we were soon sitting down to enjoy.

Next: park time!


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I just realized that balloon picture was time-stamped 1:30pm. So it did take us over an hour to check in, get changed, and drop our bags off (there was a line there too).

I also forgot to mention that security was located before you entered Disney Village, probably just to the right of that last picture. There was no line there at all! I do feel like the x-ray and metal detectors are probably more effective (both time-wise and at preventing weapons getting in) than physically checking bags at WDW.

Anyway, we finished up lunch and right around 2:00 we were walking up to Disneyland.

It seemed like the area before actually entering Main Street was a lot bigger than WDW. We headed straight to the castle.

I’d have to agree with those who say this is the prettiest Disney castle! We decided to check out the dragon lair first.
This is such a fun, unique walk-through experience. We stuck around long enough to hear the dragon roar at us and notice all the details - even the tail twitches!

Up next, our first ride.


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As planned, we headed to Big Thunder Mountain first to see if any FP were available and there were! The return time was 7 to 7:30. We weren’t sure how long we’d last that night, considering we’d been traveling all night and day, but we pulled the FP anyway and figured we’d play it by ear.

We headed around the water toward Phantom Manor, since the app was listing a wait time of 15 min.

I think we ended up waiting twice as long. That seemed to be a trend - the app would list a shorter time than was shown at the ride entrance. But the time at the entrance seemed to be fairly accurate, so I’m not sure why the app couldn’t match up better.

Anyway, similar to WDW, the queue is mostly outside. I hadn’t slept much on our flight, and I think the lack of sleep, combined with the warm weather, was really getting to me and making me nauseated. As a result, I can’t say I enjoyed the ride all that much. We went to get some cold drinks afterward and I just sat for awhile. I forced myself to eat some airplane pretzels I still had in my purse and my husband got an ice cream. Eventually, I felt well enough to start walking around again, but not well enough to ride anything else. It was now after 3, so we decided to head back to get our room assignment. I hated leaving after only riding one thing, but it ended up being the right decision.

When we arrived back at Santa Fe, I went back to the desk to get our room number while my husband went to get our bags. Our room was in the building as far from the path to the parks as possible, but that also meant that we were relatively close to the gift shop and Starbucks.

We rested & napped for several hours, and it was just what we needed. We headed back to Disneyland in time to use our BTM FP.
I think this ended up being my favorite ride in this park. I love the uniqueness of it being on an island, but I think that also made it more fun. Those first and last big drops in the dark to get under the water were my favorite parts!

Next we headed to the Indiana Jones coaster. It was basically a walk on. This one was a little rough for my taste, but my husband enjoyed it, especially for such a short wait!


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We wanted to ride PotC next, but the app said it was temporarily down, so we headed up in to the Swiss Family Robinson tree house instead. Not much to note here, but this view did catch my eye:
Let me zoom in for you:
It’s kind of random, but I thought it was a fun little “Easter egg”. We also saw Wall-E and Eve in Discoveryland the next day (not as hidden as these 2). Makes me wonder if there were others we missed!

When we finished there, we were excited to see that PotC had just reopened. Perfect timing for a walk-on! I apparently didn’t take any pictures this time, but we really enjoyed this one. Some of the AAs are much more impressive and I thought it was kind of neat that at one point, you got a little preview of the pirate ship scene down below.

At this point it was around 8:30, but it didn’t seem that late to us. We live in Houston, so with Paris being so much farther north, it stays light outside much later than we’re used to. We were getting hungry for dinner, but this is when we started to see what y’all meant about things closing early! We checked the app for hours of operation and it seemed like our only options were in Discoveryland or on Main Street. We didn’t really want to walk halfway across the park just for some mediocre food, so we decided to just look for a snack and then eat in Disney Village instead. We found a hot dog cart in Fantasyland and shared one - no complaints, except that it was SO hot we had to wait several minutes to eat it. But I guess that’s better than the opposite problem!

So now we were in Fantasyland, but like the restaurants, many of the rides were already closed. The exception was IASW, which we happened to be right next to so we headed in. The line was probably about 5 min at the most.

With that, we decided to head out of the park. We wanted to be up early the next day for Extra Magic Time. I snapped one more pic on the way out:

We walked back through Disney Village and checked out dinner options. Since we had shared the hot dog, we weren’t terribly hungry and decided to share a meal again. I was also hoping for something quick, so we went with Earl of Sandwich again. We had a Full Montagu and a brownie, which went back to the room with us.

All in all, I was happy with how the day went, especially after the rough afternoon. We still didn’t ride a ton of rides in the evening, but I was just glad I was able to handle the roller coasters without feeling sick again!

We slept okay but not great that night - the bed was not terribly comfortable. And we were surprised at the lack of AC, but we had a corner room and after opening both windows, the temperature ended up being fairly comfortable in the room. Of course that also meant we had some bugs in the room since there were no screens on the windows either!

Up next: a morning at Walt Disney Studios Park.


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Day 2, Monday July 1st

We didn’t get out the door as early as I’d hoped but we decided to try to catch the shuttle to make up some time. Unfortunately, one was loading as we walked up and there wasn’t quite enough room for us too. So we scrapped that plan and stopped by Starbucks for some drinks to enjoy while we walked instead.

We were walking in the entrance shortly before 9 AM, so we’d already missed some of the Extra Magic Time.
We headed straight to Crush’s Coaster and the wait was already 50 min. But we knew it wouldn’t get better so we hopped in line. Within about 5 minutes, they announced that the ride was down and would be for an undetermined amount of time. Since we hadn’t committed much time yet, I didn’t want to waste EMT not knowing when the ride would come back up, so we bailed.

We headed to Ratatouille and grabbed a FP that would be good in about a half hour. In the meantime, we made the quick walk into Toy Story Land.
I didn’t realize until we left that we’d just walked through the monkey barrel lol

The only ride in this area that we were interested in was RC Racer, so we were pleased to see it was a walk-on.
We actually really enjoyed this ride and talked about coming back to ride again later, but never ended up making it.

I snapped a few more pictures before we headed back to Ratatouille.

We thought this one was great too! We loved the attention to detail with the combination of the videos and the physical sets. I think this will be a fun addition to World Showcase.


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We grabbed a FP for TOT, then headed to ride RNRC standby. Always a good coaster! But I missed the theming from the Florida version.
We still had time to kill before our FP was good so we rode the Tram Tour. If we hadn’t already been killing time, this would’ve been a huge waste of it.


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Then it was time for TOT - another of my favorites! The first drop actually caught me off guard since the setup is a bit different.

We were starting to get hungry, but we decided to catch Mickey and the Magician first. We shared a Clif bar while waiting and made plans to leave the park for Five Guys after. I enjoyed the show and thought it worked pretty well with the combination of French and English. But my husband was a little more lost since he doesn’t understand any French beyond a few basic phrases.


This picture was taken coming back from Five Guys, as we approached security to get back into the rest of Disney Village.

Dave Ber

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I just realized that balloon picture was time-stamped 1:30pm. So it did take us over an hour to check in, get changed, and drop our bags off (there was a line there too).

I also forgot to mention that security was located before you entered Disney Village, probably just to the right of that last picture. There was no line there at all! I do feel like the x-ray and metal detectors are probably more effective (both time-wise and at preventing weapons getting in) than physically checking bags at WDW.

Anyway, we finished up lunch and right around 2:00 we were walking up to Disneyland.
View attachment 387721
View attachment 387722

It seemed like the area before actually entering Main Street was a lot bigger than WDW. We headed straight to the castle.
I that a hotel? and is it inside park? WOW


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I that a hotel? and is it inside park? WOW
Yes! It's the Disneyland Hotel, basically located over the entrance to Disneyland Paris. Every time we walked out of the park, my husband and I talked about how amazing it would be to be staying there instead. But I don't even want to know how much more we would've paid!


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After our Five Guys lunch, we stopped in World of Disney for a few small souvenirs for ourselves and family. Then it was time for an afternoon nap!

Once we were rested and ready to get going again, we began to discuss plans for both that evening and for the next day. We still wanted to ride Crush’s Coaster at some point, but we didn’t necessarily want to get up early again for EMT. So we decided to head back there tonight and just hope the line wasn’t too bad, since we’d be getting close to that park’s closing time.

I think we waited close to an hour, which wasn’t terrible since the weather was cool enough. But I’d have to say it wasn’t quite worth that amount of time. We enjoyed it, but it didn’t really live up to the hype of such a long line.

We got a kick out of the little sample ride vehicle spinning away on this post:

From here, we headed back to the store near Ratatouille to pick up a few more souvenirs we’d seen earlier and then headed toward the park exit. Just as we were about to exit through the studio building it started to downpour. Thankfully this was the only rain we saw during our trip, but we definitely weren’t prepared for it either. We waited just inside the doors for a few minutes until it lightened up and then made for our dinner destination.

We went to King Ludwig’s and were pleasantly surprised. My schnitzel was tasty enough, but my husband was very pleased with his steak and thrilled that they had his favorite beer from when he went to Oktoberfest in Germany a few years ago.

Up next: back to Disneyland for the evening


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Upon re-entering the park, we walked through the Discoveryland Arcade - I thought these covered walkways behind the Main Street stores were a brilliant idea for crowd control at park closing.

We headed into Discoveryland for the first time.

The app was showing Star Tours with a relatively short wait, so we grabbed a FP for Buzz instead. This ended up being a mistake because it wasn’t good until around 10, so we were basically stuck with not getting any more FP all night. So the rest of the evening was spent doing walk-through exhibits and looking for rides with short lines.

The actual Star Tours line was a lot longer than the app said, so we held off for now and walked through the Nautilus exhibit instead.

We were really disappointed that Hyperspace Mountain was down for refurbishment. I hadn’t realized before we started researching for this trip how different it is from other versions, so we’re pretty bummed we missed it.


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We took a back pathway over to Fantasyland, which I just noticed isn’t on the map. At the time, I did point out to my husband the gates on both ends of the path and was surprised it was open. The crowds certainly weren’t bad enough to make it necessary, but it saved us from walking the long way around!

Our next walk-through experience:

I thought this area was really clever at recreating the scene from the movie - you walked in a downward spiral and then back up:
Unfortunately, the second part of the labyrinth was closed, so while we heard the queen shouting “off with their heads”, we did not get to go up into her castle.


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We saw that the Tea Cups line was only about 5 min, so we made that our first ride of the night!

Beautiful glass ceiling and lanterns!
0CD89B6D-B7AB-4045-A642-315FF5EFCFEC.jpegThe control board was in the sugar bowl 😂

Yet another walk-through attraction:
This is located on the second story of the castle and gives you an elevated view of Fantasyland:
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