Back in June we took a three week road trip to Copenhagen, which took us through Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, Denmark and France. We ended our trip in Paris and of course no trip to Paris with toddlers would be complete without a stop at Disneyland Paris! Disneyland is a place of magic and dreams, but I was worried that the boys would be a little too young to enjoy it. I couldn’t have been more wrong and we ended up having the most amazing time during our stay. If you’re thinking of taking your little ones, here are some tips for visiting Disneyland Paris with Toddlers!
We stayed at the 4* partnered hotel ‘Vienna House Dream Castle Hotel’. After three weeks of staying in run down hotels, hostels and at one point a caravan without wheels (Mr. C booked that one), it was like a dream. We only stayed in the ‘Vienna House Dream Castle Hotel’ for one night, which included dinner and breakfast. There was such an amazing variety of food, including fresh salads, fruit and of course croissants. I really struggle and feel incredibly sluggish if I don’t eat healthily, so it was amazing to have such a great range of healthy food available. The room was very clean, spacey and the boys felt like their had their own special den as their bunk beds were behind a curtain. The hotel is a little way from the Disney parks, but there is a regular free shuttle which stops right outside the hotel. The price of the rooms can be a little pricey, but we found a great last minute deal online and we personally felt it was good value for money.
Top tips for a day at Disneyland Paris:
Get your Fast Pass Early:
Some of the more popular rides have very long queues and a good way to get around this is to nab yourself a Fast Pass ticket. Fast Pass tickets are available on certain rides, which include Peter Pan’s Flight, Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast and Thunder Mountain to name a few. These Fast Pass tickets give an allocated time slot for you to go on the ride. To acquire a Fast Pass ticket, you will need to scan your park ticket at the individual Fast Pass booths at each ride that has a Fast Pass option available. Once you have scanned your park ticket, the machine will then issue you’re your Fast Pass ticket with your printed time for that ride. My advice is to get your Fast Pass for the rides early because they are heavily sought after. We got our Fast Pass for Peter Pan’s Flight at 11:00am and our allocated slot was after 4:30pm.
In line entertainment:
It goes without saying that when visiting Disneyland, you will spend a lot of the day queuing. We found that certain people clearly didn’t have manners and ignored the idea of queuing. We would be waiting in line and as we got to the front, 10 – 20 people would appear and join their friend at the front of the queue. When this happens 5 times in the same queue, the 30 minute wait stated at the front of the line actually becomes more like 60 – 90 minutes… not ideal for young children. Thankfully we had been warned of this in advance and took some matchbox cars, trains and books with us to entertain the boys in the queue.
Avoid ‘lost’ adults:
We had a few instances of a young girls (late teens to early 20’s) coming over ‘flustered’ and asking to borrow our phones. In my opinion it was a bit staged and over dramatic, especially as there are various staff members and information points all over the parks. They usually came over when one of us was waiting with our baby while the other took our elder child on a ride. I find it difficult to believe so many people at this age who can speak both English and French had lost their entire family and couldn’t navigate their way around the park or find help from members of staff and we also found it very odd they only asked people standing alone with a child. I highly recommend telling these people that your phone doesn’t work in mainland Europe and to point them in the direction of an information desk.
The Disney Stars on Parade takes place along main street and starts at 5:30pm, but I would recommend starting to line the street at around 5pm to position yourself at the front. My two aren’t fans of sitting still for long periods of time, so we loaded up on popcorn and let them munch away while waiting for the parade to start. The only issue we had with this was that Bear dropped some, leading Rafiki (from the Lion King) to come and ‘eat some’. Bear completely freaked out, which attracted King Louie (from the Jungle Book) to come over in aid to cheer him up… it didn’t help. Once they left a fire breathing dragon came around the corner, followed by princesses and all was alright again and the boys had a great time.
We didn’t get to go on too many rides due to the large queues, but there were a few I would recommend stopping by if you have little ones aged 3 and under.
The Carousel: Bear was so excited to go on the carousel and really wanted to sit in one of the carriages. As most people rush (and I mean run like their lives depend on it) to the horses, we found it quite easy to find a carriage free for Bear. The queue was about 20 – 30 minutes, so in comparison to some of the other rides it wasn’t too bad in terms of queuing.
The Mad Hatters Teacups: Aside from being one of the most iconic rides at Disneyland Paris, the queue also moves very quickly meaning it isn’t that stressful while waiting. Both of the boys loved going on this ride, so we actually ended up going on the teacups a few times.
Thunder Mesa Riverboat Landing: We didn’t have to wait long at all for this ride, the queue wasn’t stressful and it was quite a relaxed experience for us all. We got to stand at the edge of the boat and pointed out different things, like the smuggler cave and the dinosaur bones hidden in the rock.
Peter Pans Flight: As mentioned previously the queues for this are insane, but with a Fast Pass the queue was only 15 minutes so I would definitely recommend getting a Fast Pass early for this one. I actually remember going on this ride when I visited Disneyland as a child, so it was quite nostalgic going on it with my own children.
Cars Quatre Roues Rallye: Bear absolutely loves the cars franchise and is a huge fan of lightening McQueen, so this one was a must visit for us. This one is located in the Walt Disney Studios park, which we retreated to after getting to the end of our limit with people barging in the main park. This was such a fun ride and the queue was between 10 – 15 minutes, so Bear went on a few times.
Slinky Dog: This was one of the worst rides for people pushing in, but the boys both loved going on it. This ride is part of Toy Story Playland area in the Walt Disney Studios park, which is good to walk around with little ones because everything is so bright and colourful. The ride itself was quite fast and bumpy, but really good fun!
We had such a great day in Disneyland Paris and would really recommend a visit even if your little ones are still quite small. We would really love to go back for longer and perhaps see everything lit up during the Christmas season.
Here is the video of our road trip across Northern Europe, including our trip to Disneyland Paris if you wanted to take a peek!
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