An American in Disneyland Paris – 5 Things to Know Before You Go

Before planning your vacation to Disneyland Paris there are 5 tips that will help prepare you for what you are about to experience. Every park is different and certainly between cultures these differences will manifest themselves in different ways. Knowing about them before you go can make your trip much more enjoyable.

Bistrot Chez Remy menu - one of the few table service restaurants in both parks - and definitely advance reservations are important
Bistrot Chez Remy menu – one of the few table service restaurants in both parks – and definitely advance reservations are important

Make dining reservations far in advance – One thing we were surprised at was how limited dining reservations were for every restaurant. Unlike Tokyo Disneyland and Hong Kong Disneyland, Disneyland Paris was out of reservations at every restaurant we tried to grab a seat at for at least a week! Fortunately, we were able to nab a couple of open 2-person seatings for Bistrot Chez Remy and they seated us together anyway. What we were surprised to find was how empty the restaurant actually was. Despite people being turned away, there were open tables all around us, and the restaurant was only at about 50% capacity at best. If you want to make sure to grab a seat at any place other than quick service, be sure to call before you go.

Buy tickets on line – Buying tickets online turned out to be a great cost savings for us. Not only were they running a special on Internet purchased tickets (free park hopper upgrade), but the price for the ticket was about 20 Euros lower than a one-day, one park ticket. Also, be sure to note when you plan to go as ticket costs vary by date. They have a handy guide online, but be aware that Disneyland Paris does utilize strategic pricing for the parks meaning they charge different prices depending on peak availability.

Getting ready to enter Disneyland Park in Paris!
Getting ready to enter Disneyland Park in Paris!

Disneyland Park should be a priority – Disneyland Park has 43 listed attractions. Walt Disney Studios Park has 18. That alone should tell you that if you can only visit one park, make it Disneyland instead of Walt Disney Studios. There is so much more to do and see. Also, at least when we went, park hours for Disneyland were 10am to 11pm where Walt Disney Studios Park was only 10am to 6pm. If you buy the 2 park pass it might be worth it as we were able to cover 2 parks in 1 day pretty easily. Of course, when we went there were a ton of attractions closed. Make it part of your list to also check ride availability.

No tipping required – Had no idea about this at the time, but there is no tipping required at the parks or nearly anywhere. Service is included as part of your meal and even at the hotels. It felt weird not giving tips so sometimes I did anyway, but it is not expected at all.

Fun photo ops like this are located all around the park, but character photo ops generally have very long lines
Fun photo ops like this are located all around the park, but character photo ops generally have very long lines

Characters are just as popular at Disneyland Paris – Be sure that if you plan to visit with park characters like Mickey, Minnie, etc. you leave plenty of time for such activities. When we went for Extra Magic Hours which were two hours before park opening there was already a line forming for the Princess Pavilion which didn’t open until 10am. The characters that were already out greeting guests all had long lines, too.

Hopefully, these tips will help to make your stay at Disneyland Paris even more enjoyable!

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