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The complete guide to the happiest place on earth, or in other words – Disneyland Paris! Part 2

n the first part of this guide I shared with you all the initial information you need to know to plan your visit to Disneyland Paris.
In this part I want to share with you 16 additional tips that’ll help with the preparations beforehand and virtually upgrade your visit to the park:
<img src="entrance gate.png" alt="girlin front of the Disneyland Paris entance gate">1. The rides in the park are going through regular maintenance. Hence, some of them might be closed during your visit. To avoid any disappointment, I recommend checking with the official website whether the ride you’re interested in will be open on the date of your arrival.

2. Speaking of the website, I strongly recommend that you check out the park’s map and the list of rides on it. Knowing which kinds of rides exist at the park and where they’re located helps a lot with the planning and managing of the expectations before the visit.
For instance, if you’re a large group, each person can pick a few rides that are a “must do” and that way no one will finish the day disappointed. The rides on the map are divided according to the adrenaline level you’ll receive riding them: “Fun for the little ones”, “Family adventures” and “Big thrill” rides for those who have a bit of a stronger stomach 😉. Next to Some of the rides you’ll also be able to find special markings: the Fastpass (mentioned in the first part of this guide) and the Single Rider.<img src="lounge.png" alt="Tower of Terror lounge"><img src="reception.png" alt="Tower of Terror reception"> <img src="ceiling.png" alt="Tower of Terror ceiling"> < img src="armchair.png" alt=" armchair in the Tower of Terror lounge "><img src="dusty coffee table.png" alt="dusty coffee table in the Tower of Terror lounge">3. The Single Rider is an option that’s available for people who visit the park by themselves or alternatively for couples that aren’t joined at the hip. It’s a separate line that can be found in some of the rides and the people standing in it are used to fill in “holes” in carts that’re not fully occupied. Since not a lot of people take advantage of this option, the queue is moving significantly faster than the regular one.

4. Another point regarding planning ahead is dressing comfortably and appropriately. Check out the weather forecast and use the layered clothing method as the weather may be fickle. If the weather is cold, bring a water-resistant poncho because an umbrella might be of a less convenient option: take out-open-close-put back inside-take out again, you get where I’m going with this one…
Make sure to wear comfortable shoes to walk in because this is a fairly large park and you’re going to do a lot of walking.
Also, it’s not the time to try new shoes on. I really don’t think there’s anything that sucks more than a sprained and bleeding ankle on a day like this. Leave the fancy shoe obsession to Cinderella!
As to the bag that’ll accompany you throughout the day, you should opt for a standard backpack or a small bag that you can drape over your shoulder, bigger than that and you risk making your experience quite a drag, literally! (there’s luggage storage at the entrance to each park but the service isn’t free of charge).
<img src="girl leaning on a fence.png" alt="girl leaning on a fence in front of the Disneyland Paris castle"><img src="girl leaning on a fence.png" alt="girl leaning on a fence in front of the Disneyland Paris castle"> <img src="girl sitting on a fence.png" alt="girl sitting on a fence in front of the Disneyland Paris castle">
5. The restaurants at the park are divided into roughly three price ranges:
* Stalls and cheap canteens (15€ per person on average)
* All you can eat buffets at mid-price range (35€ per person on average)
*Table service restaurants (to which you should make reservations and are ranging between 45€ to 80€ per person on average)
You can find a list of the restaurants along with their location, price range and dining style on the back of the park’s map.
Personally, to save some cash, I prefer to prepack some food in my bag beforehand and just eat it when hunger strikes. By the way, eating a sandwich while you’re standing in line for the ride is a totally legit way to save time as far as I’m concerned.

6. Selfie sticks are not allowed in the park. A tripod, on the other hand, is permitted as long as it can be folded into your bag while it’s not in use.
<img src="girl standing.png" alt="girl standing in front of a dinosaur statue at Disneylnd Paris"><img src="girl standing.png" alt="girl standing in front of a statue of Buzz Lightyear at Disneyland Paris"> <img src="girl standing.png" alt="girl standing in front of a statue of Buzz Lightyear at Disneyland Paris"><img src="slinky dog ride.png" alt="slinky dog ride at Disneyland Paris">
7. Every square meter of the park has a shop on it that sells something whether it’s sweets, Christmas decorations or stuffed animals. My suggestion, since the variety is somewhat overwhelming and quite tempting, is to decide on a budget that you’re willing to spend on shopping in advance. That way you’ll avoid (or at least try to) spending more than you planned on.

A small tip for those of you who are parents: If you’re visiting with the little ones and they want to dress up as their favorite characters, buy the costumes online and arrive to the park dressed up, this option is a lot cheaper than buying the costumes on site.

8. If you don’t have enough space in your bag or if you just simply don’t feel like dragging with you the giant plushie you just bought for your niece (or yourself, I don’t judge!) throughout the whole day, there’s an option to leave the purchase at the store (as long as it’s done before 3 pm) and pick it up later at the exit from the park at the Disney Village (the hotel area that is adjacent to the train station you got off of this morning).
The pick-up station is located inside the Disney store, near Annette’s diner (clearly marked with a shopping bag logo and open from around 6 pm). Alternatively, if you’re staying at one of the Disney hotels, you can pick up your purchase from the hotel’s boutique from around 8 pm. Please remember to keep the receipt as you’ll need to present it to pick up your purchase.<img src="Disney plushies.png" alt="Disney plushies at Disneyland Paris store">
9. Use the information provided to you by the park and take a program and a map at the entrance to keep abreast of what’s going on during the day. For example, the program shows the hours during which there are parades throughout the day, and the map shows the route in which they pass. I recommend arriving about half an hour early to catch a good spot along the route and perhaps even earlier for the “Disney Illuminations” show at the end of the day.

A small tip: You can try and catch a view of the “Disney Illuminations” show from the side, next to the flower beds at the exit from the Aladdin Passage (nr. 15 on the map) and that way maybe avoid (fingers crossed) the crowds and get an unobstructed view on the show.

10. Additional information can be found on the park’s app “Disneyland Paris”. Aside from general information such as park opening hours, information about closed rides and the hours of various events, it also contains a map with live reports of the waiting times to all of the rides. The map can be filtered according to your interests (attractions, restaurants, etc).

An alternative app is the “MagiPark”, which also contains live reports of the waiting times to the rides, although here they’re conveniently presented in a list form. The app comes with an additional useful feature: there is an option to set up notifications to notify you as soon as the waiting time to your favorite rides drops to one that you set as reasonable. Also, it’s possible to receive notifications regarding interruptions or re-starts of rides. The waiting times can also be found in a map with location services, so you can navigate your way to the ride with the shortest waiting time with little to no effort.
<img src="Donald Duck.png" alt="Donald Duck at the Disneyland Paris Christmas parade"> <img src="Donald Duck and Santa.png" alt="Donald Duck and Santa at the Disneyland Paris Christmas parade"><img src="reindeer boat.png" alt="reindeer boat at the Disneyland Paris Christmas parade">
11. Since the park is located in France it’s managed bilingually. In other words, the background stories in the rides are read alternately in French and English. Personally, it didn’t bother me, but it’s something to take into account.

12. To make the most out of your visit, I highly recommend arriving as soon as the park opens, and to devote a full day to the experience.
When leaving at the end of the day, after the Disney Illuminations show, don’t miss Mickey Mouse’s goodnight kiss at the exit from the park.
<img src="Mickey Mouse.png" alt="Mickey Mouse good night kiss at the Disneyland Paris Christmas parade"> <img src="Mickey Mouse.png" alt="Mickey Mouse good night kiss at the Disneyland Paris Christmas parade"> <img src="Mickey Mouse.png" alt="Mickey Mouse good night kiss at the Disneyland Paris Christmas parade"><img src="Mickey Mouse.png" alt="Mickey Mouse good night kiss at the Disneyland Paris Christmas parade"><img src="Mickey Mouse.png" alt="Mickey Mouse good night kiss at the Disneyland Paris Christmas parade"> <img src="Mickey Mouse.png" alt="Mickey Mouse good night kiss at the Disneyland Paris Christmas parade"> <img src="Mickey Mouse.png" alt="Mickey Mouse good night kiss at the Disneyland Paris Christmas parade">
13. Those of you who are visiting with children will be happy to hear that you can rent a stroller at the entrance. This option might be suitable not only for babies but also for small children, who’ll be happy to use it to rest due to the large amount of walking throughout the day.

14. Additional service offered to parents visiting the park is the Baby Switch. The service allows parents to enjoy rides that aren’t suitable for the little ones by taking turns riding the attraction whilst queuing only once.
The system works in a way that one of the parents stands in line while the other one awaits nearby with the child. When the first parent finishes the ride they switch instead of waiting in line again. Ask the cast member at the entrance to the ride for guidance.
<img src="dragon.png" alt="sleeping dragon exhibit at the Disneyland Paris park castle"> <img src="Maleficent.png" alt="Maleficent stained glass window">
15. PhotoPass + – In case any of you were wondering, one of the most popular activities amongst the visitors at the park is taking photos with Disney characters that can be found in various Meet & Greet locations. Personally, it’s not my cup of tea, but if the idea sounds like fun to you, you might want to consider and invest in the PhotoPass+: accentually it’s a card (plus two mini ones to share with the rest of your group) with a code that links you to a digital portfolio, to which all of your photos from the Meet & Greets and rides you do are uploaded.
This option has its advantages:
* The pictures are of good quality since they’re taken by professional photographers.
* All of your group will be present in the photos without anybody missing because “somebody needs to take them”.
However, it’s worth mentioning that the perk is not cheap (around 70€ last time I checked) and it doesn’t really pay off if you go only to a few Meet & Greets. In addition, there have been reports of “lost” photos that’ve broken children’s hearts all over the world.
Hence, if you’re interested in this option, I suggest taking a mid-step: In each photo station, you can scan your park entrance ticket and receive a paper ticket with a barcode that’ll allow you to decide later if you’re interested in keeping the picture ( also don’t forget to try and take advantage of the photographer and ask him to take a photo with your own camera too). Collect the paper tickets at the various stations and at the end of the day go to a photo development station in one of the stores. There you can review the photos and decide if you want to keep them. If you do, you may choose a few that you like or alternatively, if you find the option suitable, purchase the PhotoPass+ on the spot and connect it to the barcodes you’ve collected. It’s important to note that the PhotoPass+ is useable for 10 days from the moment the first photo is taken. At the end of these 10 days, the photo portfolio will be available for 30 days. It’s important to download the photos to your computer before the end of this period so that you won’t lose them.

16. If you’re scared of doing rides that’re high on the adrenaline meter but still would like to lose your rollercoaster virginity, maybe you’ll consider trying out the “conquering of the highest mountain” method:
at the beginning of your day, go to one of the scariest rides in either of the park compounds and ride it.
That’s what I did and knowing that I’ve already been through the scariest part of the day released me from the tension of waiting in line to the other rides and allowed me to enjoy a wider range of them. Remember, at the end of the day you’re there to have as much fun as you can.
<img src="Tinkerbell.png" alt="Tinkerbell illuminated statue"> <img src="Tinkerbell statue.png" alt="Tinkerbell illuminated statue at the top of pergola at Disneyland Paris"><img src="Tinkerbell.png" alt="Tinkerbell illuminated statue at the entrance gate to Disneylnd Paris ">
I hope you found this post useful. For more information on traveling to Disneyland Paris please go and visit the first part of this guide.
If you have any remarks, tips and/or questions, please feel free to leave a comment  down below 😊

 

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