We are counting down to our first trip to Europe where we will begin in Disneyland Paris. After the trip we will of course share our tips, tricks, and reports! For now, I want to share how we began to plan, sort, and decide what would work well for us and our family.
Step #1: Visit Disneyland Paris website
This gave us a baseline: what special events are happening? What rides are available? What are the restaurants? Hotels? No decisions are being made at this point – we just tried to get to know this new to us park. Some basics we learned:
- the hotel rooms booked online come with length of stay 2 park tickets
- you get 1 fastpass (can’t use between 1-4pm) per night of your stay + there are regular fastpasses to get as well
- you can call (France) + put a deposit down. Otherwise if booking online must pay 100% of the package
- The 25th anniversary will still be going on when we visit
- They have “half board” which is breakfast + 1 other meal/night of stay and not just the full dining plan like Disney. MUCH better system in my book as it doesn’t limit you nearly as much.
- Dining can be booked (by calling) 60 days in advance at most
photo credit: DisneylandParis.com
Step #2: Visit Google Maps
This will show you the best views of the area – and give you a great idea of “off site” places to stay as well as restaurants, where the hotels really are in relation to parks, etc. It showed us the shopping mall/area just one train stop down from Disney, towns around the area, places to get to from said RER train (more on that another time!), and more. It also helped firm up our hotel choice.
Step 3: Decide how long & how much money to spend
You can do a single day whirlwind tour, or you could spend a week in a suite overlooking main street. What will it be? Whatever you do – don’t ask random internet folks what you should do because it will depend on your family, your love of Disney, your budget, and more! We decided 2 nights in the Disneyland Hotel. While more expensive, it puts us literally at the entrance to the parks and since this is likely a once of a lifetime trip – we decided it was worthwhile.
Ah, curve ball. The offer was “buy 2, get 2 free” meaning 2 free nights + 2 free park ticket days so the price of 2 nights was the exact same as 4. What to do? We will have kids miss last few days of school and are adding on days to come a bit earlier! We will also do some 1/2 day trips with that extra time – more on that in another article!
photo credit: DisneylandParis.com
Step 4: Find some good resources
It is tougher to find info vs Disney World… but it is out there. I follow a facebook group (Daniel Potter) that is absolutely FILLED with kind helpful folks many of which are annual passholders who happily share the most random details. I’ve learned a ton from them – and continue to do so just by checking in a few times a week, seeing what’s being asked, and asking my own questions. I also found some Disneyland Paris official and unofficial accounts to follow on Instsagram, and I do look for blog content including the official Disney Parks Blog as well.
Step 5: Work out your itinerary/details
This is where we are now. Working on what restaurants we “must” go to, sorting out our ride priorities, deciding on the details.
If you have any questions or things you’d especially like to know about or for us to cover – do tell! We are excited to bring you more planning, coverage, and details from our own adventures.