This week we were able to book our dining for our upcoming Disneyland Paris trip, and I want to share with you all that we learned as well as how our booking experience went. First off, here are the basics:
- Restaurants that accept reservations in Disneyland Paris can be booked 60 days in advance by telephone (+33 1 60 30 40 50 )
- Except breakfast. That you can book once you are on site – unless you pre-pay for a breakfast with characters when booking a room
- Many restaurants are only open for lunch, or are open hours that are quite different than park operating hours
- Many restaurants have a menu where it is a set price for the meal, or for appetizer + main course(some also with dessert)
- Disneyland Paris DOES offer a meal plan (1/2 board or full, at a number of “levels”)
- There aren’t penalties for cancelling reservations last minute unlike Disneyland CA or WDW
This is a lot of information to take in – if you’re planning a trip as we are I would recommend first getting a look at the menus which are on the Disneyland Paris site, as well as reading a few Trip Advisor reviews, and Disney blog reviews to get a feel for what restaurants offer, what they cost, and what interests your party. I would also recommend writing down the names of the places that you like and want to consider eating at.
note: on the website you’ll see some photos, find a full menu, and be able to see where the restaurant is but you can not book online, nor will you see future operating hours.
After our trip we will of course add full reviews for everything!
Once you’ve got a list, it’s time to get specific!
- Prioritize the “MUST” places, and see if any of those require reservations
- Determine your “maybe” places, and again see if any of those accept reservations
- Last but not least, make note of your “if all else fails — looks tasty” places.
For us, the list of “reservations accepted” MUST try places looked like this:
- Bistrot Chez Remy
- Auberge Du Cendrillon
Those were our “must try” experiences as the food at Auberge, and the environment of Remy blew us away. Fairly equal on our “looks good” list that accept reservations is: King Ludwig, Walt’s, Agrabah Cafe, Inventions, and Captain Jack’s. There are two places of interest in Disney Village (no reservation) Earl of Sandwich and Vapiano’s that I made note of.
What will I feel like eating?
This is a tough one, and I understand one reason people struggle with pre-planning their food. Here is how I worked this out for us:
- Never more than one set price/menu place per day, so that we never feel forced into eating too much
- Mix up the cuisine types (ex: not two pizza places or fancy long dinners in a row)
- Space the meals out slightly farther than when at home. We aimed for 12 and 7pm for our trip
All of the restaurants have options, so if you just make sure the food appeals to your whole party, everyone will find something tasty once there. Don’t like or worried about the options at a place? Book something else instead.
How to book dining at Disneyland Paris
So I had all of my ideas for what I wanted, which day, etc… I just had to wait until 60 days prior! You will have to call France and here is my biggest tip: Set up a skype account and buy some calling credit. Including calling to book a room package and calling 4x and counting for dining (more on that in a second) I am at $1.60 total cost. Skype is incredibly reasonable and my calls have so far totaled nearly an hour!
USA tip: When I called and it was around 8pm in France, my wait was a little over 15 minutes. When I called back around midnight France time? 10 seconds.
Here is where it gets a little tricky if you’ve got a lot of things in mind: your restaurants may or may not be open when you want to eat there! For example Chez Remy and Walt’s often are only open for lunch. When I called I had a piece of paper with a LOT of notes that I utilized and referenced. Once (for example) I was unable to book the princess lunch day 1 as hoped – so I booked it as day 4 dinner. I was able to book Remy day 1 lunch (choice of times), and Captain Jack’s day 2 at my choice of times. Once I had these three I thanked the cast member and hung up, so that I could see how these changes affected my plans and preferences.
Personally, I decided I would rather have time to sort my plans and thoughts and call back vs getting flustered on the phone when things weren’t available or open as I had hoped. On the paper I had as I confirmed bookings, I would use a highlighter so I could not mistake which day/time/etc was booked for what.
Once I had another reservation I wanted to book, I called back and made it. Since I am in California this process has been fairly quick since I’m trying to call in the middle of the night in Paris! Now as I type this a few hours later, I have 2 more I would like to make, but will wait until tomorrow or when I firm up and finalize other plans.
For now, I want to leave you with some questions I frequently see, and other tips I have to share:
Can’t I just book once there?
Absolutely you can, or you can simply eat at places that do not require reservations. That said the most popular places (Chez Remy, Auberge du Cendrillon aka princess dining, and a few others) are in such demand that this might mean you do not get to eat there, or have to wait a very long time in hopes someone cancels or doesn’t show up. Just like any other Disney park I recommend you book what you know you want, soon as possible. Then cancel if you change your mind. MUCH easier!
Do I have to stay there to book?
No! Daytrippers to onsite hotel guests it is equal. Everyone is welcome to call up to 60 days prior and book!
Can I book my whole trip at once?
The rule is up to 60 days in advance to book a given day. So, March 2 was the “60 day mark” for June 1 and in theory you’d need to call back on March 3 for June 2, March 4th for June 3rd, and so on. Or simply call on the last day of your trip and book it all! *HOWEVER* the cast members can see beyond 60 days and book you a few days early – or your whole trip at once. Not all will, and it is not “the rule”. I am not sure if staying in a Disney hotel helps with the willingness to book.
Wait… so can I call 6o days from arrival and book it all?
It is not officially so, but it is possible. The gentleman I spoke with first told me I would need to call back each day. The gentleman I spoke with third today was delighted to book anything I wanted for the duration of my trip.
Do I need to get up early to book 60 days prior at a set time?
Technically – if you’re in the USA it would be late afternoon/evening the day before if you really want a jump since France is many hours ahead of us and the phones are open at night. I didn’t worry and just booked evening/night (France time) on day 60. Now there were NO princess lunches that day but there were ample dinner times. So this tells me if you have a hot ticket reservation AND a set time, you should call ASAP. Otherwise – whenever you can should be fine.
Can I book breakfast?
Above you can see a photo of what is offered if/when you book a room package on the site. You can book a dining reservation for breakfast at this one restaurant only if you’re pre-paying for it. Otherwise, you’ll book any/all breakfast once at Disneyland. Note: You can pay for and pick a time for character lunch or dinner when you book your room if you’d like! Even if WAY before 60 days prior!
Do the cast members speak English?
Yep! Press 2 for English (there are other language options) and you’ll get a cast member who can communicate with you.
Do you get a confirmation email?
Nope. No confirmation number either – which I know can be really stressful! Hoping on arrival I can confirm with hotel concierge our dining times but trying not to sweat the details.
What is the dining plan?
There is half board which is breakfast + 1 meal voucher, or full board which is breakfast + 2 meal vouchers. The level you purchase determines what restaurants are included in your plan “level” – and yes. You can pay the difference if going to a place that requires a higher level. At first glance it seems complicated – but I actually think it is the best Disney Dining Plan I’ve seen! As we aren’t really breakfast people we did not purchase the half board, but if we were planning on full breakfasts we absolutely would have done that and used the vouchers on the buffets and other set price meals we intend to eat. I recommend reading their website materials on this, as there are charts and it’s a lot easier to make sense of once you’ve got the info in one place.
What are the best places to eat?
This of course is going to be incredibly subjective, and we will share our experiences when we return. I can tell you Chez Remy gets mentioned as a must for atmosphere, Inventions Sunday Brunch is supposed to be amazing due to MANY characters sometimes rare ones and a weekly surprise theme, the Princess lunch/dinner at Auberge du Cendrillon fills up well in advance, and many swear by the Wild West dinner show in Disney Village.
Let us know! While we will share everything we learn on our trip after, I am happy to answer any questions you may have. I’ve spent a lot of time scouring resources and quizzing people who have been there for all the best information and it would be my pleasure to pass it along to you.