Planning a trip to Disneyland Paris
Last update: July, 2016
Disneyland Paris is the place that magic comes true. It is the only place in Europe where you can live that special Disney magic. The best thing is that you can visit Disney whenever you want , there’s no proper time, you can visit it in winter, spring, summer or autumn , in cold or in warm weather, every time is right for Disneyland. Disneyland Resort Paris is open all year round and it promises 365 days of magic and joy.
In Disney you will enjoy yourself playing with your kids and allowing the adrenaline to get to the top. It’s the place that no one visits only for only one time because there are always new things to see and new heroes to meet. The magic places, the laughs, the smiles, the tasty jelly’s and cakes are some of the things you will always remember. The key is to leave everything behind, wear comfortable clothes, get ready to play and have fun.
How Many Days?
How long you’ll want to stay in Disneyland Paris is entirely up to you. If you are not a Disney addicted and are just going for your children or because it’s among your main spots near Paris, our advice would in all probability be to just go for a couple days, spending it at Parc Disneyland, trying some of the greatest attractions, and enjoying the charming atmosphere. On the other hand if you are a Disney fan, we would suggest at least 3 days at Disneyland Resort. It is the right amount of time for a true Disney fan.
The most accessible ways to reach Disneyland Paris are by air. Paris' main airport is Charles De Gaulle, and plenty of airlines offer flights to Paris from airports across the UK. Online travel specialists also cover the resort, and allow you to tailor-make your own package.
From Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris there are three main alternatives: TGV, RER, or VEA shuttle. The TGV is the best of these alternatives, and it leaves you right outside Disneyland Paris’ gates. This train only takes 10 minutes to get from CDG to Disneyland Paris (it’s the first stop). Check out the schedule and if it looks like the TGV is going to be a good option timing-wise and cost isn’t an issue, take it.
If you’re arriving from somewhere other than CDG airport, consider the Eurostar train, which also drops you off in front of Disneyland Paris’ gates. Eurostar is a very pleasant high-speed train between the UK and France that goes through the “Chunnel” (Channel Tunnel). The Eurostar train leaves London in the late morning and comes back from Disneyland Paris to London in the evening daily. The trip takes less than 3 hours each way.
If you choose to get to Disneyland by car, we suggest you a fascinating and unexpected travel. What about the ferry? In fact, many companies offer ferries from Dover to Calais. Once you arrive in Dover, spend a night in this beautiful town: the harbor is lovely and the cliffs are a unique spectacle. Disneyland Paris is just a three hour drive from Calais: perfectly placed within reach of major international motorways, you're never far from the Park and the cultural surrounding area.
If you plan to stay on site there are 7 hotels to choose from, ranging in price, as well as partner hotels located just a short distance away, all of which are connected to the parks via a free shuttle bus service. Prices of Disneyland Paris on-site hotels widely vary and usually priced as a package that includes breakfast and park tickets.
Santa Fe hotel is a good choice for those on a budget as it often works out as the cheapest on-site option: "It's basic, clean and has everything we need. It is the furthest hotel from the park but it's only a 15-minute walk along the river to get there.
Tickets - what's the difference?
There are three types of Disneyland Paris tickets:
Mini Tickets (low season) runs from: 1st March 2016 - 29th February 2017 (Weekdays)
Magic Tickets (high season) runs from: 5th March 2016 - 26th June 2016 (Weekend only), 2nd July - 28th August, 3rd September 2016 - 21st October 2016 (Weekend only), January 2017 weekend, 4th February - 28th February 2017.
Super Magic Tickets (peak season) runs from: 22nd - 31st October 2016, 11th November - 11th December 2016, 17th December - 2nd January 2017.
For a few days you can also take advantage of the Magical Summer Offer: Book a 2, 3 or 4 night package by 17th August 2016 and you can get get up to 15% discount off your hotel and park tickets package, Free Half Board Meal Plan for the whole family and Kids Under 7 Stay and Play Free! The offer is valid for arrivals from 22nd July to 31st October 2016.
Planning to watch a parade? Make sure you secure your place early, usually at least an hour before it’s due to start, so you get a good view. Once you have your place you can take it in turns to go to the loo, get refreshments and so on. Conversely, while the parades are taking place, queues for rides tend to be shorter, so this is also a good time to go on the popular ones.
Like many aspects of travel, the rates often drop if you book long in advance. Early reservations also get ‘meals included’ or ‘kids for free’ inducements.
Get an overall grasp of the layout before you arrive. The resort includes two parks side by side: Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios. The 2 parks have separate entrance gates but the majority of tickets and package deals include both parks. The former is mainly rides, the latter has stage sets and cinemas as well as rides. Both have cafes and restaurants, plus tons of shops selling Disney items.
Demand tops supply at Disneyland, meaning big queues of ardent fans at the most popular rides. Displays show how long you’ll have to wait. A free ‘fast-pass’ system lets you shortcut the queues by reserving a time slot a few hours ahead.
Disneyland is not all about rides and fun. There are lots of things to browse: the pirate ship, the lake shore, the spoof gravestones at Boot Hill, the history tableaux in the arcades. As you stroll from ride to ride, it’s worth taking the time to appreciate it.
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