Oui, Oui Disneyland Paris! If you’ve ever thought of making a trip to Disneyland Paris here are a few things you should know before you start packing:
1. You Can Basically Stay In The Park
If you’ve ever stayed at a Disneyland Resort or Walt Disney World Resort Hotel you know the luxury and convenience of staying so close to the parks. But have you ever stayed in the parks? With the exception of the Dream Suite at Disneyland and the Cinderella Castle Suite at the Magic Kingdom, you won’t get any closer to the parks than by spending a night in the Disneyland Paris’ Disneyland Hotel. The beautiful Victorian-inspired hotel rests atop the gates to enter Disneyland Park, Paris. You actually walk underneath the hotel to enter the park! The Disneyland Hotel IS the entrance to Disneyland! There are rooms that overlook Main Street USA with breathtaking views of Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant, or as it’s more commonly known, Sleeping Beauty Castle.
2. Extra Magic Hours Aren’t Just For Hotel Guests
Tell me more…At the American Disney parks, Extra Magic Hours are only for guest who stay at an on-site, Disney Resort Hotel. (You can read more about Disneyland, California’s Extra Magic Hour program here). At Disneyland Paris, hotel guests are also privy to Extra Magic Hours. But, guess who else gets exclusive access to the parks one hour before the general public? Annual Passholders! Disneyland Paris has got it right with this AP benefit. Although Disnelyand Paris has 8 on-site hotels, Extra Magic Hours really aren’t very busy. It must have something to do with being in Europe. Europeans tend to not get up and get going quite as early, even on Disney days. If you want crowd-free pictures on Main Street USA or in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle, Extra Magic Hours are the way to go. And now you have one more way to take advantage of them.
3. Disneyland Paris Is Celebrating
This year marks Disneyland Paris’ 25th Anniversary. This is the park’s first milestone celebration under the leadership of the Walt Disney Company. The Walt Disney Company has used the 25th Anniversary Celebrations to rejuvenate Disneyland Paris, and they’re doing a fantastic job. They’ve re-themed several attractions to incorporate Star Wars and Marvel into the theme park. The park has completely re-themed Space Mountain to be Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain and it is top-notch! They’re also doing special anniversary celebrations and shows, such as Marvel Summer of Super Heroes and the Starlit Princess Waltz that will add a little extra sparkle to your visit.
4. You’ll See Some Weird Things At Disneyland Paris
You know how at the Disney Parks in the US there are designated smoking areas? And you hardly ever actually see anyone smoking because those areas are a bit off the beaten path? Not quite so at DLP. There are a lot of smokers in the parks and they definitely don’t stick to the designated smoking areas. The cast members don’t do a great job at enforcing not smoking except in the designated areas either. Stay away from the trashcans, because that’s where the smokers seem to gravitate to the most.
After the smokers break the rules and smoke anywhere their heart desires, they are going to throw that cigarette butt on the ground right where they are standing. And it’s going to stay there for a while. At Disneyland, California and Walt Disney World, trash on the ground is virtually non-existent. However, at Disneyland Paris, there is more trash than one would hope to see at a Disney park. The bathrooms aren’t as clean either, although Walt Disney World may have created unrealistic expectations for how clean a theme park bathroom should be. There are even cobwebs on a fair amount of the attractions. The cast members seem to have a much more laissez-faire approach to park maintenance.
Cast Members Out of Character or Area
They’re also more laissez-faire about staying in their areas. At Walt Disney World they built underground passages so a cast member from Frontierland wouldn’t be seen in Tomorrowland and spoil the magic. Disneyland Paris doesn’t exactly follow suit. A cast member from Fantasyland making their way through Discoveryland looks really odd!
“Secret” Passages Down Mainstreet
Although Disneyland Paris doesn’t have secret passages for their cast members, there are two not-so-secret passages that run down either side of Main Street USA. Instead of fighting the incoming crowds while you are trying to exit the park, simply walk down one of the passages for a nice, shaded retreat from the chaos.
Almost Everyone Speaks English
If you are thinking about taking a trip to Disneyland Paris and are worried that you’ll have to learn French in the next 6 weeks, don’t be! Almost everyone at the parks speaks impeccable English and most also speak a third language. Although you don’t have to become fluent, you will definitely receive better service if you can pick up a couple of French greetings and phrases such as, “Bonjour!” and, “Merci!”.
Lines…Are Those Not a Thing Here?
People at Disneyland Paris might not believe in the concept of forming a proper line. Be prepared to be pushed past, stepped in front of, and to have your place in line generally disregarded. People will cut you in line. It’s frustrating and it’s annoying. Stand up for yourself and don’t let them get away with it. And if they don’t speak English, that’s no excuse. Have someone from your party find a cast member to help rectify the situation.
5. Disneyland Paris Is Amazing
Despite the quirks and few downsides that Disneyland Paris has to offer, it’s an amazing experience! The parks are absolutely beautiful. The theming is so well done, you really feel immersed in whatever land you are in. (With the exception of the occasional out-of-place cast member). There are so many new rides and experiences to try. You might even find a new all-time favorite. The cast members are warm and friendly if you take the time to acknowledge that you are, in fact, in Paris. If you don’t let some of the little things bother you, Disneyland Paris should definitely be your next Disney adventure!