Disneyland Paris tips for first-time American visitors. Learn about the must-see attractions and advice for a truly magical experience at this enchanting European Disney park!

Disneyland Paris Ultimate Guide

Disneyland Paris – Ultimate Guide for First-Time Visitors 

Planning a trip to Disneyland Paris? Here’s what to expect if you are an American Disney fan visiting Disneyland Paris for the first time.

Disneyland Paris is so much like Walt Disney World and Disneyland, but in many ways it is so very different. If visiting for the first time from America, be prepared for most everything to be in French and don’t expect the food to be anything similar to what we have in the U.S. Embrace the difference and plan ahead! 

I’m a Disney World Annual Passholder and visit Disney parks a LOT, here is what I discovered and some of my thoughts after visiting Disneyland Paris for the first time:

  • Beautiful Flowers: The flowers and scenery seemed much more grand. It is definitely a beautiful park!
  • Amazing Cast Members: The Disney cast members are just as lovely at Disneyland Paris as they are in the U.S.
  • 2 Disneyland Paris Parks That Combine the Best Disney Attractions: It was fun to find popular attractions from both Disney World, Florida and Disneyland, California combined into Disneyland Paris!
  • Surprised by the Popular Attractions: The attractions that French tourists love best are not what Americans love best. I was able to walk on some rides that would have no less than an hour wait in America.
  • Faster Rides: Thrill rides seemed much faster! I’m talking crazy fast.
  • Few English Speaking Characters: A few characters you meet and those in shows and attractions speak English, but most speak French. It was fun hearing Captain America speaking in French. I was not expecting that.
  • Stick with the Pastries: I’m a foodie and heard the food was not great, but I wasn’t expecting it to be as bad as it was. Disneyland Paris is top notch for pastries and bread though. We had our share of desserts!
  • Fantastic Shows: I think Disneyland Paris puts a lot of extra effort into their shows. The one show I was able to attend was the best Disney show I have ever seen. (Scroll down to read more)
  • Excited Park Guests: I noticed a lot of passionate conversations happening in usually quiet places. You might not be able to hear what’s going on in an attraction with all the talking. This wasn’t a bad thing, just different than what I’ve experienced in American Disney Parks. (Of course, this could have been just my experience and not a normal thing at Disneyland Paris. I’m not sure?)
Disneyland Paris Ultimate Guide Tips Amy Locurto

Speaking of things you can’t miss on your first trip to Disneyland Paris, here is my list!

Definitely Ride These Disneyland Paris Attractions

These are attractions you’ll find in both American and Paris Disney parks:

Tower of Terror – There will most likely not be a super long line here. It didn’t seem as popular in France as it is in America. Since this is our favorite ride at Hollywood Studios, it was exciting to find a short wait!

Spider-Man W.E.B. Adventure – This made popular in Disney California Adventure ride is always a fun ride no matter which country you are in.

Ratatouille: The Adventure – While in Paris, this is a must-ride! Plus, I’ve never had the chance to ride this at Epcot because the wait is always crazy long. This area of the park and attraction is a unique experience, since you are actually in France. 

Disneyland Paris Attractions Not in America That Are Worth Riding

Disneyland Paris Attractions:

Sleeping Beauty Castle – The walk through is so adorable! Don’t miss the dragon under the castle which has a different entrance.

La Tanière du Dragon –  Situated beneath Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, is a hidden walkthrough exhibit featuring a life-size animatronic dragon, offering a unique experience not found in other Disney parks. The entrance to La Tanière du Dragon, can be found on the left side of the castle. 

Phantom Manor – This was very different than The Haunted Mansion. Definitely a must do attraction!

Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain – Its basically their version of Space Mountain, but because of the Star Wars overlay, it’s so much better! I also think it was much faster. Be prepared for a wild ride. We loved it!

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril – This was so fast and scary! It was like being on a local county fair ride. If you want to feel a brush with death, try it! My teenage daughter loved it.  Me not so much. Ha!

Disneyland Paris Ultimate Guide Walt Disney Studios

Walt Disney Studios Park Attractions:

Avengers Assemble: Flight Force – This roller coaster is so fast, I don’t even remember the ride, because it was so fast. It was crazy! If you love fast rides, this is your best bet.

Cars Road Trip – This was NOT what I expected. It’s a bus ride road trip where you have encounters with Cars characters along the way. It’s worth the trip as there is a wild and fun surprise encounter towards the end!

Crush’s Coaster – I stood in the line, but I hate spinning and got scared after doing the Indiana Jones roller coaster. I opted out of this ride, but my daughter loved it! She said it was really fun.

Toy Soldiers Parachute Drop – If you have younger children, they will want to ride this drop ride. The Worlds of Pixar area is definitely cute, but more similar to an American State Fair with Toy Story themed rides that are best suited for younger guests. 

What About The Disneyland Paris Shows?

Since I only had one day at each park, I didn’t have time for many shows, but I did make time for the newest broadway-style show, TOGETHER: a Pixar Musical Adventure.

Not knowing what to expect, I was kind of disappointed as the show began. But then BAM! About 5-10 minutes into the show, they wowed us with a big surprise! This was probably one of the best shows I have ever seen at any Disney park. Even not understanding the French language, it was incredible! 

Disneyland Paris is very strict about not taking photos during shows, so I have none to share. Just take my advice and go see this show if you ever go to Disneyland Paris! It was worth the wait in line. 

What About the Food and Resorts?

I’ll write more about the food and a full review of our resort soon. We tried several restaurants and all kinds of food. We also really loved our resort. More coming soon!

For now, here is a list of the resorts in order from most expensive to least. I would definitely recommend staying in one of the first 3 listed here if you can.

Disneyland Paris Resorts:

  1. Disneyland Hotel: This newly remodeled resort is the epitome of Disney luxury. Located right at the park’s entrance, it offers elegant accommodations with prices starting around €400 per night.
  2. Disney Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel: **A modern hotel themed around Marvel superheroes, offering a unique experience with prices starting from approximately €300 per night. (**This is where we stayed! Full review coming soon.)
  3. Disney Newport Bay Club: Nautical-themed resort reminiscent of a coastal New England mansion, with prices beginning at about €250 per night.
  4. Disney Sequoia Lodge: A rustic retreat inspired by American national parks, starting at €200 per night.
  5. Disney Hotel Cheyenne: Cowboy-themed hotel bringing the Old West to life, with prices from €150 per night.
  6. Disney Hotel Santa Fe: Route 66-themed hotel with a touch of the American Southwest, starting at €100 per night.

How Do You Get to Disneyland Paris from Paris?

Staying in Paris? There are several way you can get to Disneyland Paris, here are a few ways:

1. Take the Train from Paris

To get to Disneyland Paris from Paris by train, you can take the RER A train. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Locate an RER A Station: The RER A line can be accessed from several major stations in Paris including Châtelet–Les Halles, Gare de Lyon, and Nation.
  2. Board the RER A Train: Make sure to get on the train heading towards Marne-la-Vallée – Chessy, which is the station serving Disneyland Paris.
  3. Travel Time: This typically takes about 35-45 minutes, depending on your starting location in Paris.
  4. Arrival: Once you arrive at Marne-la-Vallée – Chessy station, Disneyland Paris is just a 2 minute short walk from the train station.

Trains run frequently, approximately every 10 minutes, so you won’t have to wait long for a train. Ensure that you have a valid ticket that covers travel to zones 1 to 5, as Disneyland Paris is in zone 5. Tickets can be purchased at the station from vending machines or ticket counters.

2. Disneyland Paris Express Shuttle

The Disneyland Paris Express is a bus that transports you from Paris to Disneyland Paris and back on the same day.

Departure from Paris:

  • OPÉRA: 8:35 AM
  • CHÂTELET: 8:55 AM
  • GARE DU NORD: 8:15 AM

Departure from Disneyland Paris: 9:00 PM

3. Hire a Car Service

I hired Paris Disney Best Transfer and they were great!

Have you been to Disneyland Paris? If so, what did you love best?

Share the fun!

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