The Complete Guide to Preparing Your 2024 visit at Disneyland Paris
Children and adults alike can’t resist the magic of Disneyland Paris. The famous theme park, located just a few kilometers east of Paris, attracts millions of visitors every year in search of enchantment, adrenalin and emotion. A visit to Disneyland Paris is a wonderful opportunity to immerse yourself in the Disney universe, a world that has been transporting us into the world of imagination and wonder since our earliest childhood!
From attractions to practical information, timetables and prices, find out everything you need to know to visit Disneyland Paris in the best possible conditions!
When to come to Disneyland Paris in 2023?
Choosing the right season or period to come to Disneyland Paris is a very important subject. Is it better to come in summer for longer days, or in winter for Christmas? Is it better to come in the off-peak season to save money? Weekdays or weekends? These are just some of the questions I’d like to answer below.
Choosing a date to visit Disney Paris
Choosing the right date to visit the Disney parks will greatly influence the quality of your day or stay. The difference between waiting times of 15 to 30 minutes and over an hour on busy days is enormous when added up.
During several periods of the year, the park welcomes very few visitors. So by coming to the park during the periods from early September to mid-October, from mid-January to the Easter holidays and on back-to-school days, as well as on December 26, visitors can avoid the crowds and enjoy the attractions without queuing! However, it’s also during this period that many attractions are closed for renovation. What’s more, there may be few shows and events scheduled during these periods. We also advise visitors to find out in advance which attractions will be open at the time of their day at Disneyland Parks and Disney Studios, so as not to be disappointed by their visit!
Certain days should be avoided: school holidays, weekends (especially Saturdays), but also certain holiday periods. To help you make this crucial choice, we’ve put together :
Halloween, Christmas, Spring or Summer?
In my experience, the peak season runs from October to the end of December, with Halloween and Christmas, Disneyland Paris’ flagship seasons, packed with themed shows and decorations! This is the busiest time of the year, but it’s also when Disneyland Paris pulls out all the stops in terms of shows, magic and atmosphere!
Visiting the parks during one of these seasons at Disneyland Paris gives you every chance of a magical, enchanting experience! As for the crowds expected at Disneyland Paris during these periods, they vary. Sometimes high – especially during school holidays and certain weekends – sometimes very reasonable.
A reminder of Disneyland Paris’ regular seasons:
Halloween Festival: early October to early November
Enchanted Christmas: mid-November to early January
Off-peak periods at Disneyland Paris in 2023
Off-peak periods can be interesting for visitors looking for an economical stay. Disney hotels are less expensive at this time of year, but it’s important to know that Disneyland Paris takes advantage of this low-traffic period to carry out some work in the parks and bring certain attractions to a standstill.
In the off-peak period, visitors can expect to find the park in slow motion, with more attractive prices and no extra decorations. But that doesn’t mean your stay at Disneyland Paris will be any less magical.
Off-peak periods at Disneyland Paris
January – February – June – September
Staying at Disneyland Paris: week or weekend?
Here’s a frequently asked question. Should you come during the week and make your children miss school, or wait for the weekend? Dilemma …
Coming to Disneyland Paris on weekdays
The crowds are much smaller during the week, especially on Tuesdays and Thursdays. But this adage is somewhat skewed during school holidays, especially in certain seasons. Ideally, of course, if you can come on a weekday outside school holidays, you’re sure to find parks with low crowds and relatively short waiting times at attractions and restaurants. Ideal for couples, for example, or without children.
Disneyland Paris during school holidays
In my opinion, weekday school holidays are the best time to come with children (except for Halloween and Christmas), because they’re less crowded than weekends, and your little ones won’t have to miss school.
Disneyland Paris at weekends
Good to know
There are specific rules for bringing other pets such as birds, ornamental aquatic animals, reptiles, rodents and rabbits into France. Find out more in advance.
Finally, weekends are very popular with French families, from Friday evening to Sunday evening. There are more people, but the days are longer because the parks close later. Some shows also offer more performances on weekends, and all the restaurants are open. Although weekends are the busiest days of the year, with a little organization, you can make the most of your stay and keep excellent memories!
Plan your visit to Disneyland Paris in advance
If families and children have chosen to visit one or more of the Disneyland and Disney Studios parks, it’s essential to consult the park map in advance and to know which attractions and shows everyone wants to do, so as to avoid unnecessary trips back and forth between the two parks or between the different Disneyland park universes. This saves time, so you can make the most of it!
But be careful! Some attractions may be closed on the day of your visit. This may be due to a one-off incident, but it won’t last long. On the other hand, some attractions may have to be closed for several days, or even weeks, to allow them to be renovated or brought up to standard. Check the list of currently closed Disney Studios attractions here. No need to go there and waste time…
Buy tickets in advance online
It’s now compulsory to buy Disney tickets in advance online. As well as avoiding long queues at the park entrances, since Covid, Disney no longer sells tickets on site.
Disneylandparis.com offers discounts on admission prices from time to time.
Bring a backpack
A backpack is more practical than a handbag, as it allows you to distribute the weight of your water bottle, umbrella sweater, picnic if you want to eat your own sandwich in the park, and souvenir goodies so you never forget that magical moment at Disney Park.
8 tips for saving time at Disneyland and Disney Studios attractions
During peak periods, waiting times at the park’s most popular attractions can be very long. Here are some tips on how to avoid waiting too long at Disney attractions:
1. Visit Attractions during Parades and Disney Illumination
During parades and the Disney Illuminations night show, attractions are open and remain so until the park closes. Most visitors go to see these shows, so these are the perfect times to enjoy the attractions, as most visitors will be busy with the shows and there will be virtually no queues at the attractions at these times.
2. Attractions Between 12PM and 2PM
By this time, most visitors have stopped off at the parks’ various restaurants and snack bars for refreshments. As a result, waiting times at the park’s various attractions are much shorter.
3. Staying after 6 PM at Disneyland
Closing time at Disneyland Paris varies with the season, from 8pm to midnight, but in general, whatever the closing time, visitors tend to leave in droves at 6pm. So by leaving later, or even staying until closing time, visitors can enjoy the attractions with far fewer queues, and avoid the crowds on the shuttles back to Disney Hotels and Disney Partners.
4. Extra Magic Hours
The “Extra Magic Hours” are from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. (i.e. two hours before opening time), when Disneyland Park is accessible only to visitors staying at Disney hotels or with certain Annual Passes. This means they can enter the park before most visitors, and enjoy many attractions without having to queue long. However, these “Extra Magic Hours” are only available at Disneyland and not at Walt Disney Studios.
5. The Baby Switch Pass
The Baby Switch is a free pass that lets you ride an attraction without your child (too small for the attraction), leaving him/her with your partner so that he/she can ride the attraction in turn, without having to queue up again. To use this service, the first person in the pair must queue alone while the second waits outside with baby/children. The first person does the attraction and at the exit collects the Baby Switch pass, which he gives to the second person, who in turn looks after the children. The second person goes to the attraction exit and boards directly without having to queue. This system is only used on thrill rides with size restrictions at Disneyland and thrill rides with size restrictions at Disney Studios.
6. Single Rider
This service is a specific entrance for single visitors or members of a group who agree to be separated and board alone. However, this service is not available at all Disneyland and Disney Studios attractions. Only Star Wars: Hyperspace Mountain at Disneyland and RC Racer, Toy Soldiers Parachute Drop, Crush ‘s Coaster and Ratatouille: Rémy’s Totally Wacky Adventure at Disney Studios offer single rider queuing.
7. Fastpass & Disney Premier Access
Fastpass has been replaced by a fee-based system to be discovered here: Disney Premier Access. This is available either :
- attraction by attraction, called Disney Premier Access One (you pay in the app)
- Disney Premier Access Ultimate, valid for one day, once per attraction.
8. How to Select the Best Toilets in Disneyland to Avoid Long Queues?
This question may seem surprising, but going to the toilet at Disneyland can waste a lot of time during the day, because of the time spent queuing to get there. In fact, it’s best to avoid the toilets on the main thoroughfares and look for the hidden, less-frequented toilets, particularly towards the East exit, near the arboretum and at the Front Lot of Walt Disney Studios Park.
How many days at Disneyland Paris?
The number of days you spend at Disneyland Paris should be decided at the outset of your project, as it will affect your entire stay in every way: which attractions to visit first, what your budget will be, how much access you’ll have and how much time you’ll have to rest and/or eat.
Ideal for Parisians or visitors living near the Ile de France who don’t have a long commute that would take up a good part of the day. Spending just one day at Disneyland Paris is also accessible to train travelers who, depending on their journey time, can make the round trip during the day (e.g. from Lyon or Lille, taking the first and last trains of the day).
2 days at Disneyland Paris
This is the most popular choice of stay. With this option, visitors generally spend a day in each park and part of the evening in Disney Village. 2 days is the guarantee of a visit to the must-see attractions of Disneyland Paris, at a pace fast enough for the visitor who wants to do as many things as possible, all at a reasonable price since it only includes one night’s stay.
3 days at Disneyland Paris
In my opinion, this is the most comfortable formula for Disney-loving visitors who want to take the time to enjoy their stay, sometimes visiting attractions several times, treating themselves to one or more sit-down restaurants or making the most of the hotel facilities (spa, swimming pool, gym, etc.) to relax between 2 visits to the Disney parks.
4 days at Disneyland Paris
For those with a sweet tooth! 4 days at Disneyland Paris gives you the best chance of seeing and doing everything, maybe even several times! Shows, parades, photolocations, restaurants with characters, shopping, and why not an excursion to Val d’Europe and its Vallée Village are all things you’ll have time to fully appreciate over 4 days. It’s also an opportunity to enjoy a stress-free stay, getting up at the time you want, without the rush of attractions.
What to do at Disneyland Paris?
There are so many things to see and do at Disneyland Paris, it would take too long to list them all. So, instead, I’m proposing a top for each park and Disney Village to prioritize certain activities. I’d add a seasonal top, for the best activities to do during the seasons of Christmas, Halloween or Spring at Disneyland Paris.
Top 10 things to do at Disneyland Park
- attend Disney Illuminations, the superb night-time show
- stop off at the Boardwalk Candy Palace for a sweet treat on Main Street USA
- take a photo in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle
- ride the crazy train at Big Thunder Mountain, a must-see attraction at Disneyland Paris
- wave to Mickey, all his friends and the Disney Princesses in the Parade
- visit La Boutique du Château, where it’s Christmas all year round!
- become a pirate for a Pirates of the Caribbean attraction
- rediscover the retro-futuristic ambience of Autopia and Mysteries of the Nautilus
- do “it’s a small world” and never forget the music again
- take a relaxing Disneyland Railroad tour of the park
Top 10 things to do at Walt Disney Studios Park in 2023
- stroll around Place de Rémy, make Ratatouille and dine at Bistrot Chez Rémy
- tumble down a few flights of stairs and experience the sensation of weightlessness at the Tower of Terror
- meet Olaf at Animation Building
- pretend you’re a toy and take a photo at Buzz l’Eclair’s feet at the entrance to Toy Story Playland
- get a glimpse of the atmosphere of the old film studios as you walk through Studio 1
- be patient as you ride the East Australian Current at Crush’s Coaster
- get the little ones dreaming with Studio D’s Dream Factory (opening soon)
- discover Avengers Campus and meet the Marvel Super Heroes!
- be enchanted by the Mickey and the Magician show at Animagique Theater
- strike a pose with Martin and Flash, and spin, spin, spin at Cars Four Wheels Rally with the youngest guests
10 things to do at Disney Village in 2023
- shopping at World of Disney
- dine in a retro diner at Annette’s Diner …
- … or enjoy a coffee in the cosy atmosphere of Starbucks Coffee!
- splurge on a pack or keyring at the Lego Store, it’s so cool!
- take a look at the model of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle at The Disney Gallery
- grab a sandwich at Earl of Sandwich, the only one of its kind in France …
- … or eat in the heart of the jungle at the Rainforest Café, but watch out for thunderstorms!
- splurge on a Spirit Jersey at Disney Fashion
- take advantage of the IMAX theatre, with one of the biggest screens in France, to see a film and be amazed …
- – … or end the day with a Country concert at Billy Bob’s!
Which hotel to choose at Disneyland Paris?
Hotels are an integral part of your stay at Disneyland Paris, and you’re bound to find what you’re looking for among the 7 Disney hotels, the 7 partner hotels in Val de France or the many hotels in Val d’Europe / Marne la Vallée. Please note that the Disneyland Hotel is under construction until 2024.
Looking for magic?
If you’re a visitor in search of magic, a change of scenery and Disney throughout your stay, Disney hotels are for you! With their original themes, immersive decor that will transport you to another world, gourmet restaurants and Disneyland Paris boutique, Disney hotels are the most magical in Marne la Vallée! When you stay here, you’ll forget all about your everyday life, and be in your own little Disney bubble, from your room to the parks!
Choose your Disney hotel below:
- Cheyenne Hotel
- Hotel Newport Bay Club
- Hotel New York Marvel
In terms of value for money, I prefer the Newport Bay Club (upmarket), the Sequoia Lodge (mid-range) and the Santa Fe (entry-level)
Good to know
- Disney hotels offer free shuttle service to the Disney parks (except Disney’s Davy Crockett Ranch).
- Disney’s New York Hotel is currently under renovation.
- Continental breakfast is no longer included in overnight stays at Disney hotels.
- Disney characters are present in Disney hotels in the morning (except Davy Crockett Ranch).
- Free parking.
- Free luggage storage