Disneyland Paris Tips and Advice?

After 2.5 weeks of solid sight seeing in Europe, it’s working out that I can reward my two boys (13 and 7) with a night/day in Disneyland Paris on our last day of our vacation. I’m looking to see if anyone here has been and thus might have some touring tips and strategies. There’s not much online…

We will be coming from two long Paris side trip days (one in Normandy and one in Versailles). We will drive straight from Versailles, and check in to one of the Disney hotels around 4pm on a Friday. I’ll send the kiddos straight to the pool while I return our rental car (I’ll pick up some ‘to go’ dinner in town before I drop off car and bring it back to pool and we will just eat dinner by the pool to save time).

We will definitely take a nap in our room and then head to DLP for a few late night hours of rides + fireworks (ie. 8-11pm).

The next day We will do Early entry (8.30 am-9.30), stay as long as we want, but imagine we will likely leave after their 5pm parade…we’ll take a taxi to an airport hotel at Charles de Gaulle for a super early flight back to the US the next day.

Here’s my question. There’s little to no advice online on touring strategies, except to hit the Studios first in thd AM (as they have fewer rides and thus lines build quickly)

For anyone who has been, any thoughts on the below?

First night: 8pm - 11.15pm

Try to hit as many headliners as possible, in order of which rides start getting shorter lines as evening progresses (ie. Pirates, Hyperspace Mtn, Phantom Manor).

Try to end evening riding Big Thunder during fireworks (is that a thing in Paris DLP?). Not sure I want to spend precious park time standing around jostling for a fireworks viewing slot! Walk back to hotel after park closes.

Next Day: (leave bags with concierge)

8 am, arrive at turnstiles for Studios

Crushes Coaster (rope drop)
2x Rockin Roller Coaster (apparently re-opening in early summer, rebranded for Marvel). This is a must for my kids, so we lucked out that it will be back up and running.
ToT
Ratatouille (apparently does not build lines like in US, true?)
RC Racer

Jump to DLP: timing tbd, but hopefully by 11am.

I have no idea what order to do things at DLP!!! Might be driven by what we were able to ride the night before.

I will likely use their version of Genie, assuming it’s still the same where you pay by the ride. I am not spending a full $300 more for their announced program, so if that is the new norm, we will sadly be stand by. Already this Disney side trip is a European vacation budget buster…

Here are the DLP rides / walk through attractions we’d like to hit across the prior evening / one day.

Pirates (knock out prior evening)
Big Thunder (knock out prior evening)
Hyperspace Mtn (maybe knock out prior evening?)
Phantom Manor
Indiana Jones Temple of Peril
Sleeping Beauty Castle (walk through)
La Teniere Dragon (walk through)
Adventure Isle (play time?)
Parade at 5

If we can squeeze in Star Tours, bonus. We won’t have time, sadly, to see the Lion King I don’t think, but that’s on my list. If their pay by the ride express program works, then we may have more options.

Anything ‘must see’ that is missing from the above?

My 7 year old might insist on Dumbo. We will only do Peter Pan’s flight if not a long line as we aren’t big fans of the ride.

Note: FWIW, I looked into staying both nights at a Disney hotel but it’s just so darn expensive for what you get I just can’t justify the $$.

Sorry for the long post…and my apologies as I know this is a WDW forum… but I’ve noticed that many folks have been to other Disney parks across the world.

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Excited for you! I’ve never been and can’t offer any advice, but I did read this trip report recently that may interest you. You might also want to tag the author of that post.

Oh. This is great. Thank you so much. Looks like i definitely need to make sure we hit Lion King!

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I think this is a good approach. The parks are definitely much less busy in the evenings, and I returned one evening after a nap, skipped the fireworks and was able to get a lot done. The sun is also up so long that it doesn’t feel super late either! There are fireworks, and the 30th anniversary drone show portion is worth seeing, IMO. I think it was like 12 min long right before the full show. Depending on the crowds, you could probably show up right before fireworks and be fine if you don’t need a perfect view. I remember being surprised by how much space there was around the hub on the night I staked out a spot. But if the fireworks aren’t important, you could use that time for rides instead.

Check out my report for timing, but if you can be at the turnstiles at 8am, you should have less than a 30 min wait for Crush for sure. People around you will be running once the tapstiles open, but its not necessary at all.
RnRC wasnt open for me, so no advice here on what crowds will look like. AC wasnt open, so the only line at WDS in the morning was Crush and everything was a walk on. Imagine that will be different once AC opens.
I did find that Ratatouille lines were pretty manageable all day. I would imagine between the rush for AC and Crush, the demand will be even lower for your trip. Same with ToT. That was always a walk on to the preshow for me.

IME, you should be able to knock out Pirates and Hyperspace Mountain no problem the night before. Pirates was a walk on by 8pm or so. And generally, the lines for HM were so much shorter all the time than expected. I basically never saw it above 30 minutes, even when meeting the princesses was 2 hours. Phantom Manor also was a super reasonable wait, most of the time under 20 minutes. I would expect you could knock that out the evening before as well.
The walk throughs are all definitely worth doing, as is running around Adventure Isle and exploring for a bit. I would try and squeeze in Buzz if you can and the boys are fans! Same as the DLR version but a fun change from WDW.
Peter Pan always had a long line, and is not notably different, so agree that this is worth skipping.

If you can see the Lion King show, or Mickey and the Magician, they are both excellent. It does take a chunk of time though, so may be worth just having on backup if things go faster than expected. I purchased the “reserved seats” for each, which was an annoying $18 to spend on each, but people line up well in advance of an hour before the show, so that purchase does at least save you some time. Still need to arrive 30 min before the show though.

Also the parade is decent, but if you have to choose, I would do the Dream Big, Shine Brighter show at some point during the day instead. Grab a spot in the center of the hub 10 minutes before a show and you get a small parade and an awesome show. It was much better than the parade, IMO!

If you do have a successful evening at the parks the night before and knock out a lot at DLP, you may want to spend a bit more time at WDS exploring the AC. Not sure if you’ve done it at DLR yet but theres a lot to see!

I am not sure when the new program goes into effect. I am glad I got there before it. I like the idea of being able to pay for just the few rides you want access to instead of the crazy high price for a package. Especially when the package isnt $15 like Genie+ (DLP makes Genie+ seem like a no brainer). I ended up using it 1 or 2 times for quick access to a ride on the fly, but would never have paid for the whole package.

All that being said, I dont think you need a firm strategy for anything besides Crush timing for early entry. You can be very successful at DLP by just pulling up the app and looking at wait times. Everything is an easy walk, so I just rode something and then looked at what else had a short line to do next! It is a abnormal approach for me as a TP user, but it worked.
Now to take this all with a big grain of salt, I have only been once and I have no idea what AC opening will do to any of it! Maybe it will bring more crowds to both parks, or maybe it will move more people from DLP to WDS and you’ll have even better wait times than usual. I can’t wait to hear what its like for you! Sorry for this crazy novel. Let me know if you have any other questions!

Awww. Thank you so much for all the advice …and so thorough. I very much appreciate it. I am scared for sure of lines. I got up at 12.30AM MST the other day to purchase my elevator tickets to the top of the Eiffel (they went on sale at 8.30AM Paris time 60 days out), and the exact timeslot I wanted was already sold out at exactly ticket release time (I wanted 8.30pm). I suspect that is a tour group grabbed them given most of the other slots were (and are) still available except the first two AM slots of the day. I grabbed 9pm instead (trying to catch sunset), but that may be an arbiter of things to come for July I think.

Sunset is at 9.50pm that time of year, so yes, the parks will feel nice even late at night.

We have been to DLR in CA very recently - we spent 3 days there over New Year’s timeframe this year, so we have fairly recently spent time enjoying Avenger’s Campus. We rope dropped web slinger one morning there, and that was one and done for us (fun but not worth the 80+ minute wait it would have been had we not rope dropped it). We watched a few of those fun Marvel shows (i.e. spidey on the wall, etc), so exploring Avenger’s campus may not be important to my kids.

However, going on the Flight Force roller coaster (new name for Rock’n Roller Coaster) is a MUST for my kiddos, so we will head there right after Crush for sure. My guess is that unless Web Slinger’s line is short, we will skip, and that they will want repeat rides on Flight Force (if DLR was any indication).

Good to know to do the Dream Shine Brighter show over the parade. There’s a lot of times for that, so easier to fit in is my guess. I have to think about Mickey and Magical hat. I saw it at DLR years and years ago (maybe 5 years?), and didn’t love it (and that was in English). However, it may have been marred by the fact that we were in an October heat wave where temps were 107 degrees, and it was an outdoor theatre.

I’ll wait and see how the premier access thing shapes up. Right now, booking for Lion King would be $54 for the three of us, and if we used premier access for a few headliners, we likely wouldn’t get above $100 in extra’s. So, the $100/each for an all access pass would be a waste I think, given extra magic hours and those late night hours at the park. the night before.

I imagine a few day trippers that aren’t staying at the hotel and want to arrive late/leave at a reasonable time back to Paris may be the primary audience of the $100/ticket. However, that makes tickets for one day for a family of four go from $400 to $800.That is one expensive day trip for sure.

Say it isn’t so! Apparently, ‘early summer’ for Avenger Campus opening for DLP means July 20, 2 days before we arrive. Ugh…

Only silver lining is we have no interest in web slinger (one and done for us at DLR), but flight force (aka: Rock’n roller coaster) is a must.

How is lat July ‘early summer’?

Sigh.

Because in Europe our summer holidays generally start in late July.

Ah. Good to know.

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I confirm. For France, school holidays usually start during the first week of July. Now I live in Germany and the dates are not the same in every Länder but in Hesse, summer school holidays start on July 25th.

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