Looks like I'm going to Disneyland Paris!

Edited: September 2, 2015, 3:08 PM

OK, so it looks like I'll be able to go to Disneyland Paris between Christmas and New Years Day. However, I will only be staying there for half a day and I'll only be at Disneyland Park =(. I know this was kinda answered in the last thread, but I really don't know anything about the park.

-What should our strategy be?
-What rides get the longest/shortest waits?
-What are the must-dos?
-What are the major differences between Disneyland Paris and Disneyland California?
-Anything else that would help us plan for the trip

Replies (15)

September 2, 2015, 9:24 AM

I haven't been for about 7 years but when I did it was in December and very cold- below freezing and a typical damp Northern Europe cold making it feel worse. So my first advice is make sure you have plenty of warm clothes. Despite the cold DLP is very pretty for Christmas better than WDW , not sure about DL at Christmas. I suspect it will be very very busy so you won't get a lot done in half a day. I can't think of any worthwhile rides unique to DLP that are not in California other than ratatouille, animagique, cinemagique and crush coaster but they are all in the studios park so you might want to look at that and then pick a few to do at the main park. Pirates and space mountain are good at DLP

Edited: September 2, 2015, 4:38 PM

You only have a half day? 100% honest advice here...save your money and skip it. Based on my visit to the resort a few years ago (a weekday in July, which was on a 4/5 crowd day...your dates are 5/5), you will likely only be able to do 4 or 5 rides. If you do not have a full day (or at least 7 hours) you are absolutely going to miss stuff. We had about 11 hours for Disneyland Park (spent the first couple at Walt Disney Studios Park) and I would have liked a few more. If you have less time you could do Walt Disney Studios Park instead, but I wouldn't recommend it because that park just isn't all that great.

If only doing a few attractions is okay with you and you still would like to go, here is what I would suggest...

What should our strategy be?

Get to the park early (45 minutes MINIMUM). Since Big Thunder Mountain will be closed, proceed immediately to Space Mountain: Mission 2 and secure a Fastpass. If you are quick, you will hopefully have a return time within 2 hours. Ride Star Tours (the park still has the original...though in French) and do anything else you want to do in Discoveryland while you wait for your return time. If you run out of stuff, head to Frontierland and ride Phantom Manor, but this can easily be done later in the day as well.

After riding Space Mountain, go to Adventureland and get a Fastpass for Indiana Jones et le Temple du Peril. Explore Adventure Island and ride Pirates of the Caribbean while waiting for your return time. Again, go do Phantom Manor if you run out of stuff to do in Adventureland. After riding Indy, get a Fastpass for Peter Pan's Flight (if available and desired) and work through the remaining attractions on the list below.

What rides get the longest/shortest waits?

These are estimated wait times based on what I saw on my visit (closed rides omitted):

90+ Minutes:

-Dumbo the Flying Elephant
-Peter Pan's Flight

45-90 Minutes:

-Autopia
-Blanche-Neige et les Sept Nains (aka Snow White's Scary Adventures)
-Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast
-Les Voyages de Pinocchio
-Indiana Jones et le Temple du Peril
-Orbitron

20-45 Minutes:

-Casey Jr.
-Le Carrousel de Lancelot
-Phantom Manor
-Space Mountain: Mission 2
-Star Tours

5-20 Minutes:

-Le Pays des Contes de Fees (aka Storybook Land Canal Boats)
-Pirates of the Caribbean

What are the must-dos?

For a Disneyland local, there's actually only a few...

-Adventure Island
-Alice's Curious Labyrinth
-Le Chateau de la Belle au Bois Dormant (much, much better than the California version...and don't forget to see the dragon in the dungeon)
-Phantom Manor
-Pirates of the Caribbean (same concept, but very different ride than California version)
-Space Mountain: Mission 2 (very different from California version)

Time permitting, I would also try to do as many of the following as possible...

-Blanche-Neige et les Sept Nains (there's a couple extra scenes, but otherwise pretty much the same in California)
-Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast (identical in California)
-Indiana Jones et le Temple du Peril
-La Cabane des Robinson
-Le Pays des Contes de Fees (same idea as California's version, but a very different ride)
-Les Mysteres du Nautilus
-Les Voyages de Pinocchio (identical in California)
-Peter Pan's Flight (similar in California but not identical)
-Star Tours (the old version of the ride)

What are the major differences between Disneyland Paris and Disneyland California?

-Disneyland Paris is quite a bit bigger. Be prepared to do a lot of walking here. The Disneyland Railroad is actually a viable form of transportation if the line is reasonable, but it tend to be 20+ minutes to board a train (especially on Main Street and Discoveryland)

-Disneyland Paris only has four lands other than Main Street. Adventureland and Frontierland have their locations flipped and both are significantly larger than their California counterparts. Discoveryland replaces Tomorrowland. Fantasyland is more or less the same, but also occupies the area that Toontown would cover.

-The park felt like it was stuck in the 90s. You won't see any of the high-tech upgrades seen in California and none of the attractions are modern.

-Disneyland Paris has roughly the same number of attractions, but fewer of them are rides. Instead, the park has a large number of walkthough attractions that don't typically get much of a wait (perhaps 5 minutes).

-Attractions are in a mixture of both French and English (primarily French). Signs are printed in English, French, and sometimes German. Park maps are available in every European language...make sure you grab the right one. Every cast member we encountered spoke excellent English, but there is a possibility you may encounter someone who doesn't. Learn the basics just in case.

-Food service is not as good at Disneyland Paris and many restaurants open late and/or close early. Don't expect that you'll be able to have an early lunch or late dinner.

-Shows are pretty limited at the park. In fact, other than their nighttime spectaculars I don't think they have much (note: this may have changed since I visited).

-Fastpasses only have a 30 minute return window instead of an hour and this window is enforced strictly. If in doubt, arrive early and wait outside for a few minutes.

Anything else that would help us plan for the trip

In addition to the park's website, I recommend you read through everything posted on dlpguide.com. This was the primary resource I used when planning my visit and is the best I've found for Disneyland Paris.

September 2, 2015, 5:47 PM

How do you travel to every park on the planet and stay at the most expensive hotels?

September 2, 2015, 8:12 PM

Money?

September 2, 2015, 8:17 PM

-What should our strategy be? Go
-What rides get the longest/shortest waits? No difference, you have no time.
-What are the must-dos? What you like.
-What are the major differences between Disneyland Paris and Disneyland California? Cold and colder especially the French.
-Anything else that would help us plan for the trip. Half a day trip is not a plan.

Edited: September 2, 2015, 8:53 PM

Yeah about the half a day thing...

In case you don't already know, I'm only 14 years old and I'm the only one in my family who really loves theme parks. The rest of my family knows that there are a lot of cool things in Paris, so they don't really want to waste much of their time going to a Disney park. So it was half a day or not go at all, so we're going half a day.

In reply to Blake Han's comment, I've actually only been to one theme park outside of Southern California, which is Walt Disney World, and I have only been there three times. On the matter of getting the most expensive hotels, well if I'm going to WDW we want to have the best Disney experience possible and we never went to the water parks so we only paid for four nights, not six nights like some people do.

September 2, 2015, 9:55 PM

Anon, have you ever been to Disneyland Paris? If not, why are you giving unhelpful advice? Bad advice is a personal pet peeve of mine and it certainly won't earn a good reputation.

Juan, that is a little disappointing but it makes sense. How many days are you planning for Paris? We had 5 days there and discovered it only takes about 3 to see the main sights of the city, so if you have more than that I would suggest you try everything to persuade your parents to give Disney a full day. If that doesn't work, and you and your family were okay with this, you could try to stay longer by yourself and take the RER back when you were done. Paris has great public transportation (don't get a car there...traffic makes LA look tame) and there is a station right in Disney Village just outside the gate. If neither of these options are viable, then just enjoy the time you have as much as you can and plan to go back some day. Fortunately the must-do attractions don't see the longest lines as they have high capacity, so if you get there early and don't have any unexpected issues you should at least be able to complete everything on the must-do list (and perhaps 2-3 things from the time permitting list). Also definitely check out dlpguide.com...you may be able to get some good advice on the forum there.

Edited: September 3, 2015, 6:22 AM

AJ: I wasn't sure if this post was a joke. Most of the questions could be easily researched at any website including here. Why ask if the answers are available? Half a day trip still means you can't plan. Just arrive and do what you can. Then leave with the hope that you seen what you wanted. I still don't get why it must be half a day even if other family members don't want to go. So they insist at half a day? Ridiculous. A joke.

Juan: more questions for you. How many hours is half a day for you in the park? What's your expected arrival time and departure? Any other family members arriving with you? What's your mode of transportation? Some basic information will make a difference. What would happen if you make it a whole day at the park especially if you're there by yourself?

Edited: September 3, 2015, 6:54 AM

I agree with AJ it really would be better if you can make it a full day. I would also suggest if you are in Paris for a few days you can actually see everything in 3 days(2 days if you have long days) even less if you are not visiting all the museums. I do also agree that the studios park is not very good but it is where there are the unique rides that are not in California. So it depends if you are looking for favourites or something new, ratatouille for example is unique to the studious park and supposed to be amazing

Edited: September 3, 2015, 1:45 PM

I've "only" gone there three times? That and staying at an on site hotel costs a fortune. Not to mention plane rides from California

Edited: September 3, 2015, 3:54 PM

AJ: We are probably going to stay in Paris for 5-7 days, and I'm still trying to get my parents to let me go for a full day. I know for sure that there is no way my parents will let me stay at Disney Paris by myself, as I'm not even allowed to go to Knott's by myself. And yeah, I'll definitely check out the DLP Guide over the weekend.

Anon: Half a day probably means till around 2 or 3, maybe a little less. I will probably not be able to get there 45 minutes early like AJ told me to do, but we will probably get there 15 minutes early at least. My sister, father, and mother are all coming with me. Our mode of transportation will be taxi. I won't be able to stay there by myself, but if I could stay there from opening till closing I'll be ecstatic and ride all of the major attractions (not sure if that was the answer you were looking for...).

Mike: If I can convince my parents to stay there the whole day, then there is a 90% chance that we buy the hopper ticket.

Blake: Yeah I kind of phrased that a little wrong. I don't like talking about money, as it is my parents' money, not mine, so I won't talk about. However, I will say that we do a lot of little things to save money, such as using coupons as much as possible, eating at home a lot instead of going out to eat or getting take out, and not having Netflix. These things add up.

September 3, 2015, 5:03 PM

Yeah, with that much time in Paris you can absolutely afford to spend a full day at the park (I would say go for two, but that may be pushing it). When my family went to Europe, Paris was the last portion of our two week trip and we did Disney our first full day in the city. My dad was a little hesitant to spend a day at Disneyland, but since my brother, sister and I all wanted to go and we found a special deal on park hoppers he agreed. In hindsight, all of us really enjoyed the day because it broke up the sightseeing with a day to just have fun and although it is Disneyland it was quite a bit different from the California version.

Do everything you can to get there as early as possible. I'm not 100% sure about Disneyland Park, but at Walt Disney Studios there was no rope drop. Instead, the gates opened 30 minutes early and you could line up for whatever ride you wanted (the rides started running at opening), so if you weren't there when the gates opened you had no chance at beating the crowds. If you are staying in the city, definitely look into train transportation...it is probably cheaper than a taxi even if it takes a little longer.

Lastly, if you do decide to visit both parks be sure to report back here and I'll give you some advice for Walt Disney Studios based on my experience.

September 3, 2015, 6:38 PM

Sorry about that it was rude of me

September 3, 2015, 7:06 PM

It's fine =)

September 4, 2015, 11:29 AM

-What should our strategy be? I'd suggest going to space mountain straight away, park usually opens to non resort guests at around 10 o'clock so head straight to discoveryland, either get a fast pass or just ride it straight away depending on the queue times. Then pick of some of the other rides in discoveryland like buzz light year astro blasters, star tours and autopia. Then I'd say go to indiana jones and the temple of peril then pirates of the caribean, these rides don't tend to fetch a long queue so can be easily done. When I went in July they pretty much had a 10 minute queue all day compared to the discoveryland having 40 min queues (at midday). Then if you have time do phantom manor and any other rides in fantasyland if that's your thing.

-What rides get the longest/shortest waits? Space mountain mission 2, peter pan's flight and star tours would probably get the longest waits when you are there. Where as pirates of the carribean and phantom manor tend to fetch shorter wait times.

-What are the must-dos? I'd say that space mountain and the pirates of the carribean ride are the absolute must dos.

-What are the major differences between Disneyland Paris and Disneyland California? Disneyland paris and california are quite different mainly being is no splash mountain :(. Also there is no Matterhorn, submarine, indiana jones adventure. But the disneyland paris park is a lot bigger in terms of space and has the original pirates ride and star tours ( possibly a show of not having enough money to update them) a ten times better space mountain and also the castle is a lot more impressive in terms of view and has a dragon underneath it. Disneyland paris is a good park but may be not ad good as california.

-Anything else that would help us plan for the trip. Some tips would be to try and get as much done as possible even though you only have half a day. If you get a chance see the disney dreams! nighttime show as it is impressive and different to the other fireworks shows. Also I think you can still buy something in the parks ( I think it has to be a minimum spend) and get a free hot chocolate voucher on the bottom of your receipt. Finally pack a lot of clothes as it is going to be cold.

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