Tips for Visiting Disneyland Paris with Kids
If you’re planning a family trip to Disneyland Paris, then you’ll be pleased to hear that on the whole, children of all ages are catered for from the moment they arrive until home time. However, there are a few Disneyland Paris tips and tricks that parents can take advantage of to help everything go a little smoother – and ensure everyone has a great time!
Bring/hire a pram or stroller
The Disneyland Paris site is pretty epic. Even if you’re staying at a local Disney hotel, there’s still some commuting involved to get to the parks. And once you’re through the gates, it’s a full on day of exploration.
It’s a good idea to bring a back up stroller even for the most independent walkers, as the fun and excitement of zipping between rides and attractions will soon result in tired legs.
If you don’t want to be lumbered with a stroller for the whole holiday, then you can hire them for a fee from Town Square Terrace, near the Disneyland Park entrance and from Studio Services at the Walt Disney Studios park entrance.
Book a meet-up with their favourite character well ahead
Younger children will certainly be excited about the opportunity to rub shoulders with their favourite Disney characters. But turning up to the park and expecting one-on-one time with a very specific princess or mouse may be tough, especially during busy periods.
One of the best ways for children to meet their heroes is at character breakfasts or lunches within Disney hotels and in the parks themselves. Visit the Disneyland Paris website or speak to your booking agent to add these on (at an extra cost).
Bear in mind that character experiences sell out very quickly, so try to book these as soon as you’ve confirmed your visit dates.
Still looking for Disneyland Paris tickets? Check out our latest advance Disneyland Paris ticket deals to make sure you don’t end up paying full price on the day!
Head to Fantasyland
The Disneyland Paris parks are packed with swashbuckling adventures and adrenaline-pumping roller coasters, but younger children will likely feel a lot more at home in Fantasyland. This area is more child-friendly, with slightly tamer rides and a theme that is more in line with the films enjoyed by younger children.
Favourite rides for small kids include Dumbo the Flying Elephant, the Mad Hatter’s Tea Cups and of course It’s a Small World. Just bring some earphones to drown out the world-famous catchy tune that wears thin after the fourth time around…
Pack a day bag
One thing that Disneyland has plenty of is shopping. Sadly, you’re more likely to find a plush Mini Mouse or Star Wars pencil case than baby wipes or spare dummies. Plan ahead and stick a few essentials in a backpack or day bag. Changing and toilet facilities are great throughout all the parks, but nappies aren’t always readily available so grab a few of those too.
One of our favourite Disneyland Paris travel tips for money-savvy parents is to pack reusable water bottles for everyone. Having fun is thirsty work but bottled drinks can get pricey. However, there are plenty of water refill points throughout the parks that won’t cost a penny – plus, water is healthier!
Other absolute musts, especially during Spring and Summer, are sunblock and hats for everyone. We’d also recommend finding some shade at midday – the caves and playground near Adventure Island are perfect for this.
Eat early and late
One thing you’ll notice within both the Disneyland Paris parks and hotels is a mad rush between 12pm and 2pm for something to eat. Queues are long for the fast food outlets and it’s difficult to get a table in the restaurants dotted around the parks.
If you don’t fancy having to decide what to eat each day when tiredness kicks in, then consider booking your meals ahead with the hotel too. Most Disney hotels offer a buffet option each evening and a light lunch, so there’s plenty of choice for all dietary requirements and tastes.
Consider filling up at breakfast and maybe eating mid-afternoon, or opt for light snacks instead of a big lunch. Pack plenty of fruit and maybe some nuts and seeds to keep energy levels up too!
Pick the right hotel
If you’re visiting Disneyland Paris for a few days, then it’s likely that you’ll book into a Disney hotel. There are six hotels onsite, ranging from the high-end Disneyland Hotel smack bang at the entrance to the Disneyland Park all the way to the Wild-West themed Hotel Cheyenne.
Every Disney hotel offers something different for children of all ages and it’s possible to arrange character experiences at each one. One thing to consider however is your proximity to the parks. Hotel Santa Fe and Hotel Cheyenne are a short bus shuttle away from the action and a slightly longer walk, but the Newport Bay Hotel and Disneyland Hotel are much closer. Budget will play a factor, but if you’d rather spend less time getting them to the fun, then consider staying a little closer.
Don’t forget the shows and parades
It’s easy to get caught up in the whole queue – ride – queue – ride cycle, so don’t forget that a show or parade may be more enticing for little ones who are growing tired of waiting in line. Parades take place pretty regularly throughout the day and there’s always a major parade and fireworks in the late afternoon / early evening. Parades are great opportunities for children to a see a wide variety of characters, so grab a good viewpoint and see if they can spot their favourites.
The Disneyland shows are also superb, even for big kids! Expect the most famous songs and scenes from every Disney movie imaginable, as well as opportunities for kids to interact and get involved with the music.
Additional evening shows and entertainment that include dinner, like the incredible Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, can be booked in advance, so keep an eye out on our website for the best Disneyland Paris offers.
Buy costumes before the trip
We guarantee that kids will want to dress up as their favourite Disney character the moment they see the costumes in the shops on Main Street, so save yourself some cash by picking up a few costumes online before you head there. The merchandise inside Disneyland Paris can be quite pricey too, so play the old ‘I’ve bought it for you and it’s getting delivered to our house’ trick, before snapping a photo of the item and buying something similar online at a lower price.
Have some me-time
Don’t forget that you also need to have some fun on your trip to Disneyland! Disneyland Paris offers qualified babysitter services within Disney hotels, so you can take the night off or head into the parks to make the most of the ‘big kid’ rides. Bear in mind that this comes at a premium, so use your time wisely and again, book in advance as babysitters aren’t always readily available.
Take some time out
The Disneyland parks can get a little hectic, especially during the school and summer holidays. If you’re finding that things are getting a little fractious or the crowds are particularly busy, then remember to go off the beaten track for some quiet time.
Frontierland is busy around ride entrances and the shopping areas, but the waterside close to the Frontierland Theatre tends to be a little quieter. There’s also a playground next door with plenty of shade, perfect for a pit stop and cold drinks.
One of our favourite ‘relaxed’ attractions is Adventure Isle, which doesn’t involve any actual rides – just a gentle walk through a series of islands, including plenty of places to stop and just enjoy the atmosphere!
Take loads of photos – and consider the photo pass
Disneyland Paris is tons of fun, but smaller children may not remember their trip as well as their parents or older siblings. Remember to have your camera or smartphone at the ready to not only capture amazing memories, but also grab that all-important shot of your little one standing with their favourite character. Oh, and the look on their face when they see the Sleeping Beauty Castle for the first time is well worth photographing too.
Another great option to consider is the Disneyland photo pass. At meet and greets, and often around the park, official photographers will snap special moments and then collate them all at the end of your trip. These can then be printed or shared digitally. Photo passes cost extra, but they may be well worth it if you’re planning to meet as many characters as possible and were going to buy on-ride photos anyway.
Go full-Disney before your trip
Even the most ardent young Disney fans may spot a few characters and areas that they don’t recognise. Disneyland Paris is packed with both the most recognisable and most obscure characters and movies, so spend the weeks leading up to the trip watching as many Disney movies with them as possible. This will not only get them excited, but also help them to relive their favourite moments from Peter Pan, Pirates of the Caribbean or Dumbo.
If you’re feeling daunted by the prospect of navigating little ones around Disneyland Paris or are getting stressed about them enjoying it, there really is nothing to worry about. With so much cool stuff to see, amazing rides to experience and Disney characters to meet, they’ll have an amazing time from the moment they arrive. Just remember these Disneyland Paris travel tips and – most importantly – have a great time!