Disneyland Paris Guide – How to Plan Your Trip From Scratch
Planning a trip to Disneyland Paris but not sure where to start? Whether you’re taking a day trip or spending a long weekend enjoying the parks, our ultimate Disneyland Paris Guide will help you plan your trip from start to finish – so you make the absolute most out of it!
1. Getting There
Disneyland Paris is just 20 miles outside Paris, and about 1 hour from the Paris airports by shuttle bus transfer. It’s just 2 minutes’ walk from Marne-la-Vallée/Chessy train station and has direct access from the A4 autoroute.
These are the best transport options if you’re travelling to Disneyland Paris from the UK or if you’ll be heading there from Paris:
If you’re travelling from the UK…
Travelling to Paris by Plane
Flying to Paris couldn’t be easier with a choice of 2 destination airports and a number of airlines flying from various cities across the UK.
Recommended airlines for getting to Paris are AirFrance, EasyJet, British Airways and flybe.com
Travelling to Disneyland Paris by Train
If you’re travelling from the south of England, you might find the Eurostar your best bet, as it goes direct to Disneyland Paris from London St Pancras, Ebbsfleet or Ashford international train stations.
You’ll arrive at the gates at Disneyland Paris Marne-la-Vallée/Chessy station, just 2 minutes’ walk to the Disney Parks.
Taking the train is a short journey of around:
- 2 hours 45 minutes from London St Pancras International
- 2 hours 25 minutes from Ebbsfleet International
- 2 hours from Ashford International
Tip: Eurostar direct services do not run on Tuesdays and Saturdays except during school holidays.
Another option is to take an indirect route with the EurostarTM to Marne-la-Vallée/Chessy via Lille. This route runs from London St Pancras International or Ashford International.
Travelling to Disneyland Paris by Car
Disneyland Paris is perfectly located within easy reach of major international motorway networks, with the A4 motorway taking you straight to the Parks.
Plus if you choose to drive to Disneyland Paris you’ll also have the freedom to discover the surrounding region at your leisure!
If you’re planning to take your car to Paris, you can get there via the Euro Tunnel or by Ferry.
Benefits of using the Euro Tunnel:
- You can relax in the comfort of your own car for the journey
- The crossing from Folkestone to Calais is just 35 minutes.
- With its own motorway junction (11a on the M20), access to the Passenger Terminal couldn’t be simpler.
- Once you exit the terminal at Calais, Disneyland Paris is just a 3-hour drive with direct access to the motorway.
- Want to travel in style? You can upgrade to FlexiPlus for a dedicated check-in, exclusive lounge with complimentary non-alcoholic drinks and snacks, and priority boarding on the next available shuttle.
Benefits of travelling by P&O Cruises Ferry:
- The crossing is just 90 minutes from Dover to Calais
- During the crossing, you can enjoy the great on-board restaurants – and look out for the family meal deals!
- Once you exit the terminal at Calais, DisneylandParis is just a 3-hour drive with direct access to the motorway.
If you’re travelling from Paris…
Travelling by Car
- Disneyland® Paris is just 32km (20 miles) away from Paris. Here are the driving directions:
- To join Disneyland® Paris, follow “Metz / Nancy” on the A4 motorway or by the A104 ( “la Francilienne”)
- Follow the signs for “Disneyland® Paris.”
- Exit 14 “Parcs Disney® and Bailly-Romainvilliers” : Parcs Disneyland® Paris, Hôtels Disney.
- Exit 12.1 “Val d’Europe” : Hôtel Elysée Val d’Europe and Adagio City Aparthotel Val d’Europe.
- Exit 13 “Provins/Serris” : Disney’s Davy Crockett Ranch®.
- Exit 14 direction “Hôtels du Val de France”. For the selected and associated hotels : The Algonquin’s Explorers Hotel, the Vienna International Dream Castle Hotel, the Vienna International Magic Circus Hotel or the Kyriad Hotel.
- Exit 14 follow “Golf/Hôtels du Golf” : Radisson Blu Hotel
Travelling by Train
The RER A city trains travel from central Paris to Disneyland throughout the day at roughly 15 minute intervals.
You can take the train from these central Paris RER A Stations:
- Charles de Gaulle Etoile
- Chatelet Les Halles
- Gare de Lyon
The stop for Disneyland Paris is Marne-la-Vallée/Chessy, and the Parks are just 2 minutes’ walk away.
Parking at Disneyland Paris
GPS: Latitude: 48.876077 – Longitude: 2.79646
If you’re not staying in the Disney Hotels, visitor parking is available a few minutes’ walk from the Disneyland Parks entrance and at the entrance to Disney Village.
Please note that there are charges for parking per day.
If you’re staying in a Disney Hotel, free parking will be available at your hotel and at the Disneyland Parks – just remember to keep your hotel check-in card as you’ll need to show it to park for free!
2. Where to Stay?
You could be taking a holiday in Paris, or maybe you’re planning to book your accommodation at one of the Disneyland Paris hotels to have the parks on your doorstep! Either way, here are the top recommendations for finding the perfect place to stay:
Staying at the Disneyland Paris Resort
There are 8 Disney hotels on-site at Disneyland Paris, all with different price ranges and facilities.
If you’re booking your park tickets through a ticketing website, you can still book a Disneyland hotel too. Look out for room-only deals on sites such as Expedia.
If you want the ultimate Disney experience, the Disneyland Hotel is right at the park gates and offers maximum Disney magic, including character breakfasts and gorgeous 1880s architecture.
There’s also Disney’s Hotel New York which is themed around the Big Apple, and Disney’s Hotel Cheyenne which brings the Wild West to Paris.
A cheaper option is the self-catering lodges at Davy Crockett’s Ranch, where you can stay in private cabins for up to 6 people and cook your own meals.
Other official Disney hotels include the Newport Bay Club, Sequoia Lodge, Les Villages Nature Paris, and the “Cars”-themed Hotel Santa Fe.
Staying in the local area
Close to the Park – Disney Partner Hotels
There are 8 official “Disney Partner” hotels in the immediate area, all located a short distance from Disneyland Paris.
A major bonus of choosing one of these hotels is that they all supply a regular free shuttle service to the parks. If you only have a short time at Disneyland Paris, these are a good choice as you’ll spend less time travelling and more time having fun!
Tip: Save a packet at these hotels by searching for room-only offers, then booking your Disneyland Paris park tickets separately through the cheapest ticket-only supplier.
The Disneyland Paris Partner Hotels are:
- Vienna House Dream Castle Hotel
- Vienna House Magic Circus Hotel
- Radisson Blu Hotel
- Algonquin’s Explorers Hotel
- Kyriad Hotel
- Hôtel l’Elysée Val d’Europe
- Adagio Marne-la-Vallée Val d’Europe
- B&B Hotel
A bit further afield
Some people choose to stay a little further out in areas such as Bussy-saint-Georges or Torcy. These are only 10-15 minutes’ train ride from the parks and offer budget hotels such as the Campanile Torcy, or conveniently-located ones such as the Golden Tulip Marne La Vallee, right opposite the train station.
Staying in Paris City Centre
Disneyland Paris is about 35 minutes by train from central Paris, so if you don’t mind the extra travel and want to experience the city during the evening, this option is for you.
For minimal travel hassle, choose a hotel along the “RER Line A” train route, which is the line that runs directly to Disneyland (See “If you’re travelling from Paris” section on the previous page).
There are literally hundreds of hotels to choose from in Paris, but for convenience you may want to stick close to Paris De Lyon station, which is surrounded by international hotel chains like Novotel, ibis and Mercure.
Check out our guide to finding cheap accommodation near Disneyland Paris
3. Advance Planning for your Trip
Exploring Disneyland Paris can be hungry work, but fortunately the parks have tons of restaurants and cafés to cater for even the fussiest of eaters!
There are some fabulous places to rest your feet and enjoy a meal, but the fun doesn’t have to be put on hold while you eat – you’re very likely to see some of your favourite Disney characters while dining!
Many restaurants even let you book your table up to 2 months ahead through the Disneyland Paris Restaurant Reservations hotline (+33 (0) 1 60 30 40 50) – perfect if you’re a super-organised trip planner or are booking for a special occasion.
The cafés and restaurants are very popular and can get booked up quickly so it’s recommended to secure your restaurant bookings in advance.
Some of Disneyland Paris’ most popular eateries are:
- Café Mickey
- Walt’s – An American Restaurant
- Restaurant Agrabah Café
- Cowboy Cookout Barbecue
Another restaurant that’s definitely worth visiting is the world-famous Planet Hollywood, which is an experience in itself! You can enjoy all kinds of American-style food while surrounded by fascinating movie memorabilia.
If your little one is princess-mad, make sure you eat at the Auberge de Cendrillon, which serves fine French cuisine in enchanted fairytale surroundings fit for any little prince or princess! Plus, if they want to join in you can take along their favourite princess outfit!
For a full guide of all the best eateries, check out our blog on Where to Eat in Disneyland Paris.
Packing for a day at the parks
Planning what to take with you can differ quite a lot depending on the time of year you’re visiting Disneyland Paris, so these tips should help with your packing essentials:
In Winter: stay warm & dry
The weather in northern France is very similar to the UK. As much of the park is outdoors you’ll need a jacket, coat or poncho to keep you warm and dry if you’re visiting in the colder months.
In Summer – stay cool!
If you’re visiting during the summer months, we definitely recommend taking sun cream and a hat along with protective clothing to keep from getting sunburn or even heatstroke should the temperatures soar.
Comfy and casual
It goes without saying that you’ll cover a lot of ground during your visit, so comfortable shoes are a must!
Taking small children?
If you’re travelling with little ones, you can bring along your own pushchair. Even if they are just out of their buggies, we recommend taking it along just in case – this could save a few arms and backs if they get tired and want to be carried!
Depending on where you’re staying, you may want to check the facilities that are available at the parks or at your hotel. But even if you do run out or forget any essentials, there is a local shopping centre, Val d’Europe, which is just one train stop away from Marne-la-Vallée Chessy. It’s a great place to stock up on cheap snacks to take into the park.
Food & drinks
Remember to bring a few water bottles with you – there are water fountains all over the park so you can refill them throughout the day for free. You’ll need to stay hydrated to keep those energy levels up!
As for food, it’s advisable to bring your own snacks to keep you going throughout the day. If there are any particular restaurants that take your fancy, it’s best to make reservations in advance – see the Pre-booking restaurants section for more info.
4. At the Disneyland Paris Parks
Disneyland Paris has two parks; Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios, so it’s often hard to know what to do first!
Here are some of the key things you should know about when deciding how to schedule your days at the parks:
FASTPASS is included with all of our Disneyland Paris tickets. This brilliant system allows you to reserve a specific time slot for a ride or attraction rather than standing in the queue, so you can go off to have fun elsewhere in the park and then jump straight on at your designated time!
Your FASTPASS can be used on these rides and attractions:
- Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril, Adventureland
- Star Wars: Hyperspace Mountain, Discoveryland
- Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast, Discoveryland
- Big Thunder Mountain, Frontierland
- Peter Pan’s Flight, Fantasyland
- Star Tours, Discoveryland
- Rock’n’Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith, Backlot
- The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Production Courtyard
- Ratatouille: The Adventure, Toon Studio
Meeting the Disney Characters
Meeting the Disney characters is the most magical part of going to Disneyland – for children especially, but also for the big kids among us!
Here are some tips on how to give yourself the best possible chance of meeting some characters for a hug, an autograph and a photo.
Look in the Programme / Park Guide
Grab a programme on your first day at the parks, which will show you who’s going to be around. The programmes change on a weekly basis, so this is the best way to stay up-to-date on the character appearances.
Staying in a Disney Hotel?
If you’re staying at the resort, look out for character meet and greet points, which will usually have signs telling you when the characters will be available.
Meet Mickey Mouse and Princess Pavilion
These are permanent meet-and-greet locations, both located in Fantasyland, where you can meet Mickey Mouse and the Disney Princesses all day. Try to arrive early though as queues build up throughout the day.
The top rides and attractions
There’s so much to do at Disneyland Paris, there’s no way we could list it all! These are just some of the enduring favourites at each park:
At the Disneyland Park
Star Wars: Hyperspace Mountain (Discoveryland)
In this takeover of the classic Space Mountain, your mission is to pilot a Resistance ship and spy on an Imperial Star Destroyer (Minimum height 1.20m)
“it’s a small world” (Fantasyland)
Perfect for little ones. Take a musical world tour as dolls from all over the globe sing and dance in an experience that’s sure to leave you singing “it’s a small world” too!
Big Thunder Mountain (Frontierland)
Hold tight as this runaway mine train weaves wildly through tunnels, across wind-swept sierras and even through rivers on a ride you’re sure to find a real blast! (Minimum height 1.02m)
At Walt Disney Studios
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™ (Production Courtyard)
Face your fears amid the faded glamour of the Hollywood Tower Hotel, as you discover what happened to guests on the fateful night of October 31st 1939 before plunging 13 floors into The Twilight Zone (Minimum height 1.02m)
Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith (Backlot)
Rock and roll up to 100km/h in under 3 seconds, then ride the music like a riffing, rocking road trip with 120 on-board speakers – all set to the driving beat of Aerosmith (Minimum height 1.20m)
Moteurs… Action! Stunt Show Spectacular (Backlot)
Action just went up a gear! Inspired by the film Cars 2, this jaw-dropping, fire-leaping, wheel-screeching car stunt show will leave its audience in a spin! (Please note this may not be suitable for much younger guests)
Visiting with Small Children?
Planning a trip to Disneyland Paris with your little one(s)? They’re going to have a blast! There are loads of fun rides that have no height restrictions and are perfect for small children (and great fun for grown-ups too!)
Disneyland Paris takes special care to cater for families with infants and children, with park facilities including:
- High chairs and bottle-warmers at all Disney restaurants
- Pushchair rental
- Baby care centres, which provide an oasis of peace to feed, heat up baby food and change nappies.
- Changing tables in all public restrooms
- “Baby Switch”, which allows Mum and Dad to take turns on adult rides while one takes care of the baby, without having to queue for a second time.
The Disney hotels also provide:
- Free cots and bottle warmers
- Babysitting services
- Nappies and baby food available in the Disney Hotel shops
5. Evening & Night-Time Entertainment
Ok, so days at Disneyland Paris are full-on fun and can leave you a little exhausted, but don’t be tempted to turn in early – there’s loads to see in the evenings too!
- Make sure you check out one of the evening parades. The daytime ones are great, but the bright lights give the evenings an extra-special atmosphere.
- The Disney Illuminations show is currently on every day, and features a stunning laser, lights and fountain show around Sleeping Beauty Castle.
- Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show is the biggest Disney dinner-show in Europe, and includes a tasty Texan feast and drinks in the show’s ticket price!
- Head to Sports Bar for live sports, DJs and karaoke nights, or Billy Bob’s Country Western Saloon if live country music is more your scene.
- Tip for Parents: If you fancy an evening out for two, all Disneyland Paris Hotels offer babysitting services.
And a final, invaluable tip:
Remember that queues for rides and attractions are often at their lowest between 9pm-10:30pm, as most people are enjoying a show or back at their hotels. So if you still have some energy left, this could be a good time to have more Disney fun with minimal queuing!
Want to book Disneyland Paris tickets?
It always pays to book before you go – make sure you search for the best prices and select the best tickets to suit you and you family.
See all Disneyland Paris tickets
About the author
Farrah is AttractionTix’s resident Copywriter. A city girl at heart, her best-loved travel moments are exploring new cities across the world like Barcelona or Los Angeles. Farrah’s favourite things are eating, sleeping, shopping and animals (but mostly animals). Her pet hates are bad grammar and other writing-based “offences”.
- Tagged in: Disneyland Paris