Should I go to Disneyland Paris?

August 3, 2015, 6:51 PM

So I will be going to Paris anytime from December 25 and January 1. Although I'm going for the museums and food, I also want to stop by Disneyland Paris. I have several questions.

-Is it worth the money if I will only be there for one day?
-Should I still go if Big Thunder Mountain is supposed to be closed?
-Should I go to both parks or just Disneyland?
-How crowded will it be?
-Will rides be closed if it is too cold or it snows?
-How does it compare to Disneyland Resort in California?

Replies (8)

August 3, 2015, 7:16 PM

For one day, go ahead and go, but stick to Disneyland and skip the Studios. Don't mind Thunder, it's the same ride as in Florida with the addition of a ride through a dark tunnel at the beginning and end to get under the river. Phantom Manor, Pirates and the recently refurbished Space Mountain are the bigger draws in the park.

That is a big week in the park, though, so expect big crowds and arrive early to get a Fastpass then hit as many other popular rides as you can before queues build.

August 3, 2015, 11:15 PM

I'm a Disneyland local and I included Disneyland Paris on my trip to Europe a few years ago. Overall, I would recommend it (at least Disneyland Park). In more specifics...

Is it worth the money if I will only be there for one day?

I only had one day for my visit and I thought it was worth it. Admission to Disneyland Paris is cheaper than its American counterparts and although there is less to do there are a number of unique attractions.

Should I still go if Big Thunder Mountain is supposed to be closed?

If that is the only E-ticket that will be closed, I would still go. If other E-tickets will be closed as well (especially Phantom Manor or Pirates of the Caribbean), I would consider saving your money.

Should I go to both parks or just Disneyland?

I tried to do both parks in one day and it wasn't worth it. In addition to having poor theming by Disney standards (even worse than the original DCA IMO), Walt Disney Studios Park just doesn't have very many must-do attractions. Crush's Coaster is good but not a must-ride, Rock 'n' Roller Coaster and Twilight Zone Tower of Terror can be experienced elsewhere, and very little else is noteworthy. I did visit before Ratatouille, but I can't see paying the upgrade fee for one ride. Unless you get a special deal on one-day park hoppers, I would stick with just Disneyland Park.

How crowded will it be?

Considering it is a holiday period, expect major crowds. I experienced wait times as long as 90 minutes for top attractions on an ordinary July weekday, so I would expect at least that. Grab a Fastpass for Space Mountain immediately upon opening, then tackle the rest of the headliners as quickly as possible. Keep in mind that Disneyland Paris mainly uses Fastpass on C- and D-tickets so you'll generally be waiting for E-ticket attractions.

Will rides be closed if it is too cold or it snows?

Possibly. I can't comment based on experience but I know that temperatures do have an impact on theme park attractions. Expect big outdoor attractions (especially roller coasters) to be the most affected.

How does it compare to Disneyland Resort in California?

Disneyland Paris is similar in that there are two parks next to each other. However, Disneyland Paris is much bigger than Disneyland California and contains fewer rides and more walkthrough attractions. The whole resort has many unique attractions, and even those with the same name and theme are often significantly different. I personally don't think Disneyland Paris is as good of a park as Disneyland California, but it is still a great park that will provide an enjoyable visit.

For someone familiar with Disneyland, I would say the following are must-do attractions at Disneyland Paris:

Adventure Isle
Alice's Curious Labyrinth
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (if operating)
Le Chateau de la Belle au Bois Dormant
Phantom Manor
Pirates of the Caribbean
Space Mountain: Mission 2

August 5, 2015, 11:26 AM

Go and visit both parks. The two best rides are Crush and Ratatouille, at the Studio park. With the exception of Space Mountain Mission 2 everything at Disneyland Paris is the same or lower quality than rides in FLA, Japan and CA. I went in March and had a great time. Went back last week to ride the two major rides closed in March. Space Mountain 2 (really good) and Phantom Manor. Was really disappointed with Phantom Manor.

We toured Paris in March and it was really cold up on the Eiffel tower hope you have good weather.

August 5, 2015, 5:19 PM

Completely concur with comments from rcdude. We took a Parisian friend who had never been on a one-day outing May 2012. The train from/to Paris is seamless and reasonable. One day, one park is advisable. Attractions may vary substantially from those at DLR (Indiana Jones is a not particularly good outdoor roller coaster) and the grounds are much larger than Anaheim. Eating seems to be on a bit of a French schedule as well. The price was comparable. I'm really glad we went!

August 7, 2015, 2:36 PM

I'm going to be controversial... If you've visited a Disneyland park elsewhere, I'd actually recommend sampling both parks in one day. (A hopper these days is only about €15 more.) Although crowds will definitely be immense at that time of year, the parks do stay open late.

Once you get past the staple attractions you'll know from elsewhere, there's not a huge must-do list at the Disneyland Park. By my take, Paris offers the best renditions of Pirates, Haunted Mansion (Phantom Manor), Big Thunder and Small World - and many would add Space Mountain, though it's not to my tastes. But the park's real value lies in the beauty of its design so, beyond those, you'll want to spend your time there soaking it up rather than standing in queues.

You'll spend less time wanting to generally hang about in the Studios park, but it would be a real shame to miss out on its two unique, standout attractions Ratatouille and CineMagique. For my money, those two alone are worth the hopper top-up. And as noted above, Crush's Coaster is also a lot of fun. (But do it first thing or simply don't bother - queues are astronomical).

As a plan, I'd suggest to arrive at least an hour ahead of opening and get straight into the queue for Crush's Coaster. Grab a Fastpass for Ratatouille and check out whatever else in the park takes your fancy, then head over to the first park for the rest of your time. So long as you manage your Fastpass grabs, you should be able to do a handful of rides at each park and feel you've seen the best of the resort.

The only headline ride that will shut for extreme weather is Indiana Jones, a mediocre outdoor coaster that bears no resemblance to the ride in California. And it's definitely worth the trade in any case - the park in snow is quite beautiful indeed.

One final thought about that time of year... If you're worried about crowds at Disney, wait until you see the museums, galleries and attractions in Paris itself! Just like a theme park, make sure you're up and at the ticket booth an hour before opening of the Eiffel Tower, Louvre, or any other main ticketed destination you want to visit.

And if you can time it to catch the Parisian NYE fireworks - they're pretty sensational.

August 11, 2015, 8:06 PM

I would say yes! Go!

I would give at least 1.5 days to DL and a half day to Disney Studios.

Thunder Mountain, while the best in my opinion, is not the only thing that makes this place magical.

The park is very much like the MK.....except if MK was built in 1992

August 18, 2015, 12:49 PM

I'd agree with Ben. Go to the Studios for CineMagique and Ratatouille (and Tower of Terror, if there's time) then the rest of the day in Disneyland. It looks like Small World and Thunder Mountain will be closed but there's plenty of other stuff, and it's nice to soak up the atmosphere.

My only tip would be to take pre-prepared food and eat in the lines, as you may end up wasting a lot of time wandering around the park for food which is served somewhat randomly.

August 18, 2015, 6:31 PM

I haven't been, but I would say yes! Then again, this is a theme park website, so you will imagine most replies will be urging you to go. :P

Bummer that Thunder Mountain will be closed, as I know from reviews that it is pretty darn amazing, at least its location near the water. Then again, nobody can stop you from taking amazing pictures.

Also from reviews, yes, bring your own food since most restaurants close really early, and are expensive.

But I'd go so I can see my favorite castle (by far), and for Ratatouille and Tower of Terror. Plus, if you're already in Paris, how can you not go? Cross it off your theme park bucket list at the very least. :)

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