If you’ve got kiddos, you’ll know that Disneyland Paris is a must-visit destination. In fact, depending on their ages, we bet you’ve already been fielding requests to Santa for a while!
If you thinking of booking a Disneyland Paris break, you can read a selection of Magic Breaks reviews online to see what others think and what deals are available. Once you’ve decided when to go, take a look at these tips and start writing your acceptance speech for Parents of the Year!
Know What You’re Dealing with
If you hit Disneyland Paris without doing any research first, you’ll get overwhelmed by all the fun (credit card-busting) merch and food, while missing some of the best attractions and giving yourself blisters from all the aimless walking, so know your enemy!
Look at the main attractions and plan which ones to go on, taking in to account the ages of the children, any phobias or favourite Disney characters. The site is huge, so you’ll want to make a plan for hitting each of your chosen rides with a loose timeframe in mind, so you can relax and enjoy the rest of the park. Try to remember that the attractions are the main event.
Be Ready To Queue
The most popular rides can have wait times that last up to two hours. That’s not easy with small people in tow, but some healthy snacks, games, and preparation will get you all through it. This is a good moment to remind you that comfortable clothing and shoes are not just recommended, they are essential! Nobody wants blisters, and if you can, choose clothing that dries quickly in case you hop on a water ride.
Avoid Weekends If Possible
Obviously the weekends are the busiest times, making queues longer, shops busier and nerves more fraught. Want to boss this break out? Minimise the opportunity for tantrums and arguments by going midweek! Wednesday is best for young children, as it’s ‘kids day’ at the park and gives you faster access to the less adrenaline-fuelled rides.
Try A Little Technology
You don’t have to be a technophobe just because you’re a parent, so whip out the smartphones and make the most of the Parc de Disneyland app. It gives real-time updates on queue times and is a go-to resource for navigating the site.
Don’t Forget The Photos
No matter how bah humbug you feel about going to Disneyland Paris, the second you get there you’ll get caught up in the moment and you’ll start snapping away like a photographer possessed. Not a problem, as long as you remember spare batteries for your digital camera and a charging pack for your phones. Would you ever forgive yourself for missing the chance to get a picture of your kids hanging out with Goofy? Brings a tear to your eye just thinking about it!
Budget For Headgear
Parents, this is not a drill. Repeat, this is not a drill! You might think you’ll only be in for a couple of pairs of Minnie and Mickey ears, but you’ll be holding on to your hat, literally, when you see the number of choices on offer. From embroidered options to sequinned ears, limited-release styles, and everything in between, you’ll need to budget for a few new additions to the costume box at home. And remember that truly boss parents wear the ears, too.
Take Your Own Food
The themed restaurants are amazing, so you’ll want to have at least one meal somewhere special, but for the rest of the day, pack a picnic – unless you fancy spending €10 or more on a soft drink and a sandwich?
Baby On Board
If you’ve got a baby in the gang, be sure to get a baby Switch card when you pay for entry. This lets one of you queue to go on a ride, while the other looks after the baby and then, when the ride has finished, the other can have a turn without having to re-queue. It’ll cut your waiting times and jealous arguments!
Work Your Way Forward
Small legs get achy quickly and you know what happens then…the whining! Save everybody a miserable end to the day by starting at the back of the park and working your way forward throughout the day. By doing this, when you’re finished, you’ll be close to the car park and ready to go.
Pick Up A FASTPASS
Your golden ticket for avoiding queues, the FASTPASS scheme lets you skip the line and get straight on a ride. Be aware that not every attraction is part of the scheme and you have a small window to jump on the ride, so this will take some planning and coordination.
Make The Most Of The Last Hour
Disneyland Paris quietens down a lot in the hour before closing, so you might be able to jump on a few favourite rides for a final hurrah. It’s also a nice time to appreciate the setting. You’ll be so busy rushing around during the day that you might overlook the details in the streets and the Magic Castle itself. It’s a little less fraught in the shops as well, so if you were deliberating about that Donald Duck jumper, now’s the time to pop back and try it on.
Just Give In
The last bit of advice is, possibly, the most important. Just give in, guys. You were cool in your youth, but now’s the time to be rad parents and leap into the Disneyland experience with both feet. Wear the ears, eat the cookies, jump on the rides and sing all the songs (you know you have all the lyrics memorised…).
Use these tips and your kids will remember you being the most fun, all day plus you’ll have a great time and leave feeling like an absolute boss. Maybe even more so than Mickey.