Disneyland Paris Sleeping Beauty Castle

How to Take a Magical Day Trip to Disneyland Paris

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If you’re planning a trip to Paris and are even a casual Disney fan, you might be wondering whether it’s worth it to take a day trip to Disneyland Paris.

My answer? Heck yes it’s worth it!

As someone who used to live in Paris and still visits often, I’ve taken a day trip to Disneyland Paris numerous times. It’s a fun and easy day trip to plan, whether you’re traveling with kids or you’re just a kid at heart.

And while you *can* spend multiple days at the park, Disneyland Paris is small enough that you can see a lot in one day, too.

Here’s everything you need to know about visiting Paris Disney for a day!

Disneyland Paris
Disneyland Park on a day trip from Paris

This post was written by an excellent guest author, Dale P. She is a travel writer from New York who has been to more than 60 countries around the world. Her areas of expertise include solo female travel and travel to Europe and Latin America, and she’s been to several Disney parks around the world. You can find more on her site, Stay to Wander.

Where is Disneyland Paris?

Disneyland Paris is located in Marne-la-Vallée, a town about 19 miles east of Paris. You can easily reach the theme park by train from central Paris (more on this below!).

Disneyland Paris is actually two parks

Disneyland Paris is made up of two theme parks: Disneyland Park (the original park) and Walt Disney Studios Park (the newer park that opened in 2002). Both are right next to each other and the entrances to each are less than five minutes apart.

While you can visit both parks in one day, I actually recommend just visiting one. Trying to squeeze both parks into one day means you’ll have to compromise on what you see and do and you’ll miss out on a lot.

It’s also significantly cheaper (around $30 less) to buy a one-park ticket than it is a two-park ticket.

I recommend visiting Disneyland Park because it’s larger and it’s more the classic “Disney” theme park you’re probably imagining, complete with a fairytale-like Sleeping Beauty Castle in the center.

(And if you’d like to visit a real palace, check out our guide to taking a day trip from Paris to Versailles.)

Disneyland Paris Sleeping Beauty Castle | Day trip to Disneyland Paris
Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Paris

Walt Disney Studios Park, on the other hand, is widely considered the worst Disney theme park in the world. If you’re a diehard Disney fan, you might still want to visit, but for the casual visitor on a day trip to Disneyland Paris, I think you can skip it and just do Disneyland Park.

Disneyland Park has more (and better) rides and attractions than Walt Disney Studios Park, which is also much smaller. I also like the overall atmosphere at Disneyland Park better.

FUN FACT: When it originally opened in 1992, Disneyland Paris was called Euro Disney. 

Is taking a Disney day trip from Paris worth it?

Taking a Disneyland Paris day trip is worth it for many people, but not everyone.

If you’re a Disney fan and have visited other Disney theme parks around the world, you’ll definitely enjoy checking out the French version and seeing the similarities and differences.

Disneyland Park in Paris is most comparable to Magic Kingdom in Florida or Disneyland Park in California. There’s some overlap with the rides, but many at the Paris park are totally different or have their own unique flair.

A day trip to Disneyland Paris is also great for families with young children.

However, if you’re not interested in Disney that much or wouldn’t visit a theme park at home, then it’s probably not worth making the day trip to Disneyland Paris.

If you only have a couple of days in Paris, I also wouldn’t recommend Disneyland Paris since there are so many other things to do and see. But if you have the time to spare, then go for it!

Disneyland Paris
Skull Rock in Adventureland at Disneyland Paris

Best days to visit Disneyland Paris

When should you take your day trip to Disneyland Paris? I definitely recommend going on a weekday since it tends to be less crowded and tickets can be less expensive, too.

Disneyland Paris is more crowded around major holidays like Christmas and Easter, and also during the month of August when many Europeans, including the French, take their summer vacations.

If you’re visiting Disneyland Paris in the winter, one thing you should know is that it gets very cold! Coming from the Florida parks where it’s hot and humid pretty much all year, or the California parks where it’s usually warm and sunny, this can be a shock.

But if you’ll be there during the winter (or even late fall or early spring), you can expect cold weather and you will want to dress accordingly. Bring a winter coat, gloves, and warm socks.

No matter what day you choose to take your Disneyland Paris day trip, you should be sure to get to the park at least 15 minutes before it opens.

Arriving early in the morning is worth it because this is the least crowded time of day and you’ll be able to do multiple rides and attractions without much of a queue in the first hour or so.

Disneyland Paris
Disneyland Paris

How to get to Disneyland Paris

Getting to Disneyland Paris from central Paris is really easy. All you have to do is take the RER A train from any station in Paris towards Marne-La-Vallée Chessy.

You can catch the RER A from a number of train stations in Paris including Charles de Gaulle–Étoile, Châtelet–Les Halles, and Gare de Lyon. Trains leave approximately every 15 minutes. Depending on where you are staying in Paris, you will probably need to take the Metro to one of these stations first.

For trains going towards Marne-La-Vallée Chessy, it’s the final stop on the line and is where Disneyland Paris is located.

You don’t have to worry about getting on the right train – the trains going to Marne-La-Vallée Chessy also say “Disneyland Paris” and are marked with little Mickey Mouse ears on the departure board!

Tickets for the RER A are €5 each way. You can buy them from any Metro or RER station machine or service desk in Paris.

Depending on where you start, it will take around 35 to 45 minutes to reach Marne-La-Vallée Chessy from central Paris. When you exit the train station, it’s just a five-minute walk to the entrance of Disneyland Paris.

Disneyland Paris
Disneyland Park entrance at Disneyland Paris

Other ways of getting to Disneyland Paris

If you’re staying in central Paris, the RER A train is the best way to take a day trip to Disneyland Paris, hands down.

However, if you have your own car, it’s also possible to drive to Disneyland Paris. There is a huge parking area at Disneyland Paris close to the park entrance, and the fee for parking is €30 for the day. (Check out the best local rental car deals here.)

If you’re coming from Charles de Gaulle Airport, you can reach Disneyland Paris in just 10 minutes thanks to the super-fast TGV train. Tickets are around €20 each way and should be purchased in advance.

Buying Tickets for Disneyland Paris

You should buy your Disneyland Paris tickets online in advance to save time and money.

The past couple of times I’ve gone, I purchased discount tickets from GetYourGuide. Both times I have done this, it has worked out to be about $10 cheaper than buying tickets from the official Disneyland Paris website, so I would recommend checking prices for yourself.

Like other Disney parks, ticket prices are dynamic and date-based, so you’ll pay a different price depending on when you go. Typically, weekends, holidays, and school breaks are all the more expensive times to go.

If you have some flexibility in when you can visit, I recommend comparing dates to see when is the cheapest time to go. I also like buying tickets through GetYourGuide because you have free cancellation up to 72 hours in advance, which is not the case if you buy your tickets directly through Disneyland Paris.

What to do on a day trip to Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Paris is split into five themed “lands” filled with rides, attractions, restaurants, and entertainment. I highly recommend downloading the official Disneyland Paris app before you go so you can stay organized.

The app provides an overview of everything that’s available: rides and their wait times, restaurant hours and reservations, mobile ordering, parade and show times, map directions, character meet and greet times and locations, and more. 

You can “star” your favorite attractions to create a game plan for the day.

It’s a good idea to knock out multiple rides and attractions in the same land so you aren’t constantly criss-crossing the park. With a full day at Disneyland Park, you should be able to do most of the major rides and attractions.

Disneyland Paris
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland Paris

Top Rides at Disneyland Paris

Below you can find my favorite rides and attractions, along with which land they are located in. If you want to hit the highlights at Disneyland Park, all of this should be doable in just a day trip from Paris.

  • Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain (Discoveryland): A fun and thrilling indoor rollercoaster that is Star Wars-themed.
  • Star Tours: The Adventure Continues (Discoveryland): A simulator ride that is also Star Wars-themed.
  • Peter Pan’s Flight (Fantasyland): A classic dark ride that is appropriate for all ages. The line for this one can get really long, so start here instead if you aren’t interested in rollercoasters like Hyperspace Mountain.
  • It’s a Small World (Fantasyland): Another classic Disney ride you can’t skip!
  • Les Voyages de Pinocchio (Fantasyland): This is another kid-friendly, Pinocchio-themed ride in Fantasyland that usually doesn’t have much of a line.
  • Blanche-Neige et les Sept Nains (Fantasyland): The name translates to “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves” and it’s another dark ride appropriate for all ages.
  • Le Carrousel de Lancelot (Fantasyland): A magical carousel located right behind Sleeping Beauty’s Castle.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean (Adventureland): This is one of my favorite rides! It’s a water ride, but don’t worry, you don’t actually get wet.
  • Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril (Adventureland): It’s a rollercoaster, but not my favorite; Hyperspace Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad are better!
  • Phantom Manor (Frontierland): This is very similar to the Haunted Mansion ride at the U.S. theme parks, but with a few spooky differences.
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (Frontierland): A classic Disney rollercoaster.

Top attractions at Disneyland Paris

And here are the walk-through attractions and shows you shouldn’t miss:

  • Alice’s Curious Labyrinth (Fantasyland): Spend some time navigating your way through this whimsical Alice in Wonderland-themed labyrinth.
  • La Galerie de la Belle au Bois Dormant (Fantasyland): You can actually walk inside Sleeping Beauty’s Castle to see this gallery of beautiful stained glass windows.
  • La Tanière du Dragon (Fantasyland): At the base of the castle, you can walk through the dragon’s lair.
  • Le Passage Enchanté d’Aladdin (Adventureland): A fun little passage to walk through with scenes from Aladdin.
  • La Cabane des Robinson (Adventureland): Don’t miss the Swiss Family Robinson treehouse, a walk-through attraction with lots of areas to explore.
  • The Lion King: Rhythms of the Pride Lands (Frontierland): If you have the time, this performance of singing, dancing, and acrobatics is really great.
  • Disney Dreams Nighttime Extravaganza (Main Street USA): Finish the night with fireworks and music over Sleeping Beauty Castle.
Disneyland Paris Sleeping Beauty windows
Stained glass inside Sleeping Beauty’s Castle at Disneyland Paris

Dining at Disneyland Paris

Are you wondering where to grab a bite to eat at Disneyland Paris? There are tons of options, ranging from sit-down restaurants to quick-service restaurants.

One thing I noticed about Disneyland Paris is that breakfast options are pretty limited, so I recommend eating breakfast beforehand (grab some fresh pastries before you leave Paris!) and then having lunch, dinner, and snacks inside the park. 

You can use the Disneyland Paris app to make reservations for sit-down restaurants (sometimes needed) or mobile order for quick-service restaurants (which saves a lot of time!).

Captain Jack’s is a super cool restaurant inside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. This is a good option for a nice sit-down meal.

If you’re looking for a quick meal, Casa de Coco is a good Tex-Mex restaurant and Restaurant Hakuna Matata is another quick-service restaurant with tasty food.

One thing to note about restaurants at Disneyland Paris (and France in general) is that you typically can’t make menu substitutions or special requests like you might be used to doing at home in the US. What’s on the menu is what you get.

As a vegetarian, I found that Disneyland Paris has lots of good meat-free options, at least one at every restaurant. For other dietary concerns, you can speak with a Cast Member at any restaurant and they will provide you with a list of allergens for all menu items.

Other Tips for a Disneyland Paris day trip

Here are a few more miscellaneous Disneyland Paris day trip tips to help you plan:

  1. You can pay to skip the line for many rides. Disneyland Paris has a system called Premier Access where you can pay a fee to skip the lines for all eligible attractions in a day, or pay to skip the lines for individual attractions. You can find more information in the Disneyland Paris app.
  2. Eat at off-peak times. To avoid long wait times, eat at off-peak times like an early lunch at 11:30 AM or a mid-day meal at 3:30 PM. You can also use mobile ordering at quick-service restaurants to avoid waiting in line.
  3. Use the single rider line. If you’re alone or don’t mind being split up from your travel companions, you can use the single rider line for certain rides at Disneyland Paris like Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril. The wait time for the single rider line is usually under 10 minutes.
  4. Arrive early and stay late. To maximize your day trip to Disneyland Paris, I recommend arriving 15 minutes before the park opens and staying until it closes. Crowds also die down later in the evening.
  5. English is spoken at Disneyland Paris. Most rides, shows, and parades at Disneyland Paris are in a mix of English and French. Some attractions are only in French, but you can still follow along with the “plot” of a ride even if you don’t speak French.
Disneyland Paris Sleeping Beauty Castle at night
Sleeping Beauty’s Castle at night

What to pack for a day trip to Disneyland Paris

These are the essentials you shouldn’t forget on a day trip to Disneyland Paris.

  • An umbrella — It often rains at Disneyland Paris and you don’t want to be unprepared.
  • Portable cellphone charger — A portable charger is a lifesaver for a long day at Disneyland Paris. I never travel without one of these and I always end up using it!
  • A jacket — As I mentioned earlier, it can get very cold at Disneyland Paris during the winter, spring and fall. Bring a jacket, especially for morning and nighttime when it’s cooler.
  • Comfortable walking shoes — You’ll be putting in a lot of miles, so dress for comfort.
  • Gloves and warm socks — If you’re going to Disneyland Paris during the winter, dress very warmly and don’t forget a pair of gloves and thick socks.

Resources for your Disneyland Paris day trip

Like this post? Have more questions about taking a day trip to Disneyland Paris? Let us know in the comments below. Have fun in France!

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