Is Disneyland Paris Worth Visiting with a Toddler?

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Did you recognize there are a dozen Disney theme parks on the planet?

That’s not together with two water parks too.

So far, our children have been to 5 and I’m on a mission to go to all 14.

Heath and I love Disney. During our honeymoon, we made positive to take pleasure in every week hopping round Disney World in Florida.

We love a very good theme park normally, however Disney simply does it higher. Every element is magical. During that first journey to Disney collectively, Heath and I talked about returning with our children at some point. Then, in December with our one-month-old son, we hopped on a flight to take pleasure in a spontaneous Disney journey as our Christmas current to the children.

Well, actually to Ellie. Eli simply slept quite a bit.

We spent three days exploring Magic Kindom, Epcot, and Animal Kingdom. Our daughter, two-and-a-half on the time, was mesmerized. For months afterward, each evening at dinner she informed us about going to Disney World and seeing “Mickey Mouse’s house.”

It was her reminiscence of the parks—”Remember the opposite day after I met Snow White?”—that impressed the purpose. We are going to go to each Disney Park collectively.

Here are the parks:

  • Disney World Resort in Florida (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kindom, Hollywood Studios, Typhoon Lagoon, Blizzard Beach)
  • Disneyland Resort in California (Disneyland, Disney California Adventure)
  • Disneyland Paris (Disneyland Paris, Walt Disney Studios Park)
  • Hong Kong Disneyland
  • Shanghai Disneyland
  • Tokyo DisneySea

As a household, we’ve visited 3/6 of the Florida parks and the 2 parks in Paris. I really feel like most individuals I do know have visited Disney World or Disneyland in some unspecified time in the future of their lives, so on this weblog, I need to share what to find out about Disneyland Paris earlier than you go to.

What’s Different About Disneyland Paris

The very first thing you’ll want to find out about Disneyland Paris is that it’s truly two parks: Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney Studios Park.

Entrance to Disneyland Paris

Unlike Florida, the parks are straight subsequent to one another and related to Disney Village, which is like Downtown Disney or Disney Springs with eating places and purchasing. In addition to the parks being related, a lot of the Disney lodges are additionally related to the parks by strolling paths. You undergo safety whenever you enter the Disney Village space so that you don’t find yourself in lengthy strains on the gates.

We stayed on the Hotel Santa Fe and walked to Disney Village to seize meals and walked to the parks. We rented a stroller for our day within the parks and will take all of it the best way again to our lodge room! Everything was so shut and handy.

This is likely one of the largest variations between Disneyworld and one in all my favourite issues!

Trams and buses make park hopping doable within the US, however it’s possibly a two-minute stroll from gate to gate between the 2 parks in Paris. The accessibility made every little thing in regards to the day simpler. We loved Walt Disney Studios Park from 8-12, caught the 12:15 parade at Disneyland, walked again to our lodge room for the children to nap, and spent the afternoon and night at Disneyland. We had been a little bit fearful that we wouldn’t be capable to slot in each parks in at some point, however we simply did. Especially with Magic Hour.

Magic Hour (Is 100% Worth It with Little Kids)

Between 8-9 AM, Disney Parks are open for Magic Hour. You can solely get magic hour entry if you happen to keep at a Disney lodge, which could be expensive. During our Christmas go to, we waffled backwards and forwards on if the added expense of a Disney lodge can be value it. We opted for an area lodge which was 10-minutes away…plus insane site visitors, parking prices, shuttling from the parking zone and/or getting in your 10,000 steps earlier than you even enter the parks…

We regretted it.

Plus with little youngsters who require a number of naps a day, it will’ve been very nice to take a siesta in a lodge room.

With Disneyland Paris, we weren’t going to make that mistake once more. We booked Hotel Santa Fe final minute on Expedia after we reserved our tickets for each parks in a single day.

We determined to begin with Walt Disney Studios because it had extra rides that the children might journey. (Note: determine your youngsters’ heights in centimeters earlier than you go!)

We rode 4 rides earlier than the park even formally opened!

Riding the Slinky Dog journey at Walt Disney Studios

I’m undecided what number of rides we rode throughout the remainder of the day, however we walked straight onto a number of rides and it made the day begin on such a magical notice. We additionally visited in mid-June and the park was by no means too loopy with crowds.

Staying at a Disney Hotel

We undoubtedly ended up within the finances motel and didn’t understand it. Because we booked every little thing final minute, we had two choices: keep on the Disney Hotel New York (often known as the Art of Marvel) for $1,500/evening or keep on the Disney Hotel Santa Fe for $250/evening.

Easy alternative!

The lodge was simply okay. It was your common lodge room, however it did have two beds, room for a crib, and a bath which we hadn’t seen in lots of different lodges in European cities. There was a buffet-style restaurant with Tex-Mex meals in addition to a Starbucks, however with a straightforward stroll to Disney Village. (We normally walked to the village for meals.)

We toured a few the opposite lodges which supplied character greetings and a number of eating places. If we return to Disneyland Paris, I’d (for starters, plan issues greater than 24 hours upfront) undoubtedly guide a unique lodge. The Sequoia and New York lodges had been each beautiful. The present store in Sequoia even had a desk with coloring pages and markers for youths to paint whereas dad and mom shopped which was a small, however much-appreciated contact. The New York lodge (which was not too long ago renovated) provides a number of eating places and is closest to the Disney Village entrance.

And, if you happen to’re a Marvel fan, the New York lodge will simply blow your thoughts.

Getting to the Parks & Park Hopping

I booked our one evening in Paris close to the prepare station so we might simply stroll to the station and journey out to Chessy, the place Disneyland is. Disney has its personal prepare station that stops proper outdoors Disney Village. It’s truly nearer than the parking tons!

When we checked out of our lodge within the metropolis, the entrance desk clerk requested the place we had been heading and if we would have liked assist with our travels. We informed him we had been heading to Disneyland and taking the prepare. He instantly stated, “Oh no. Don’t do that.”

The prepare would take about the identical time as a automobile and be a little bit cheaper. But, he defined, there are numerous stairs within the prepare station. With two suitcases and two youngsters, he informed us to seize an Uber as an alternative. We didn’t journey with a automobile seat, so I didn’t significantly like this as an choice for security, however we had already tried to navigate a Parisian prepare station with our suitcases and it was a nightmare.

We took an Uber straight to the entrance desk of our lodge and it was quick and simple. So whilst you can simply take the prepare after which take a Disney shuttle (or stroll) to your lodge, a automobile could also be simpler if you happen to’ve acquired loads of baggage.

The shuttle buses to every lodge are proper subsequent to the prepare station. Busses got here by each 10-ish minutes which meant it was truly quicker to stroll straight to our lodge ourselves, however typically we simply wanted to save lots of our ft and shuttle again!

When we first arrived and walked round Disney Village, we needed to take a shuttle again to the lodge. We began strolling within the course somebody suggested us to catch the shuttle bus, however missed the signal, acquired misplaced, and ended up strolling allllllllll the best way to the parking tons. The parking tons had been so. far. away. If you’ll be able to, arriving by prepare or staying at Disney will prevent a couple of thousand steps!

Disneylands are all Carbon-Copies

There are six “castle parks” around the globe and these parks are all comfortingly comparable. Since we simply go to the Magic Kingdom in December, the rides and map of the park had been recent in our minds. I used to be stunned at simply how a lot of the Paris park was precisely like Magic Kingdom! You’ve acquired Main Street full of retailers main you to the fortress, Fantasyland straight by the fortress, Frontierland and Adventureland on the left. And off to the suitable is Discoveryland which has Buzz Lightyear and different rides identical to Tomorrowland in Orlando.

I’ve gone backwards and forwards, however I feel I actually like this. There are sufficient totally different rides to make it fascinating (like Alice’s Curious Labyrinth and Snow White’s mine automobile) and sufficient acquainted rides just like the Haunted Mansion and carousel that you just really feel like you recognize your method round.

One particular distinction that I cherished in Paris was the element inside the fortress. You can go beneath the fortress and see a dragon (which terrified Ellie!) and stroll upstairs contained in the fortress and discover. Plus there’s a retailer inside that sells Christmas ornaments, so we purchased a pair for our Christmas tree this 12 months.

Disneyland Paris is…Smaller?

As we walked across the parks, regardless of the same layouts and rides, I swore Disneyland Paris was smaller than Magic Kingdom. I couldn’t put my finger on it since so many rides are the identical, however as we walked round, it felt a lot smaller!

According to Google, that is true. Disneyland is a little bit smaller than Magic Kingdom, and Walt Disney Studios park is likely one of the smallest theme parks at solely 62 acres in measurement. Even although we rode a bunch of rides at Disney Studios, it’s a comparatively tiny park and simple to navigate.

But as a result of each parks are so small, it was very doable to take pleasure in each parks in a single day.

The greatest Disneyland Paris park for toddlers: Walt Disney Studios

The web informed us to skip Walt Disney Studios as a result of there wasn’t a lot for toddlers…

BAD ADVICE INTERNET.

Ellie rode each journey besides for 2—Crush’s Coaster and Tower of Terror. And since we did have magic hour, we rode the entire rides earlier than midday. Ellie even rode the parachute drop:

I used to be terrified and clutching her so she wouldn’t fall out. She was loving it!

Ellie was 90 centimeters after we visited. Many Disney rides don’t have any top requirement, which implies you’ll be able to carry or put on infants on the journey. We wore Eli on most rides in Florida. However in Paris, most of the rides had no top requirement however had an age requirement of 12 months. So Eli missed out on using a couple of rides…not that he seen.

Renting a Stroller

The strollers at Disney World in Florida are horrible. Clunky, onerous to maneuver, onerous plastic. It was a battle getting our daughter to take a seat in it. I assumed Paris’ wouldn’t be a lot better and didn’t plan on renting one for the day.

But we had been so glad we did!

Our three-year-old rode in all of it day and when she rode rides, our seven-month-old sat in it. Being in a position to match each ages alone was a win! The black strollers had a sturdy cloth seat and a metallic step on the entrance (or presumably a foot relaxation for taller youngsters) making it simple for our three-year-old to climb out and in herself. The strollers had been simple to maneuver and had hooks on the again the place we hung our diaper bag.

The solely con was leaving the parks with the stroller. I discussed earlier that you may take your rented stroller from park to park and even all the best way to your lodge—which was superb. However, you want your receipt to get out of every park. Someone promptly threw away the receipt after being informed to carry onto it, so each time we left a park all day this grew to become an enormous headache. We even acquired a receipt re-printed…which somebody then instantly misplaced once more. Lesson discovered: put the receipt within the pouch on the stroller that has your title on it so you’ll be able to’t lose it!

Lines & Wait Times

Get the park app. Your life turns into superb.

Disney parks now have apps that let you know (pretty) up-to-date wait occasions in addition to when rides are quickly closed. Our longest wait was “55 minutes” on the app and on the signal on the journey, however in actuality, we made it onto Ratatouille’s Adventure in about half-hour. (That’s one factor I’ve seen at each Disney park. Most wait occasions are literally quicker than the listed time!)

With Paris, the app is much more useful as a result of rides open and shut at bizarre occasions. For instance, Magic Hour could begin at 8:00 AM, however the Slinky Dog journey opens at 8:27 AM. Buzz Lightyear at 8:42 AM. The Cars journey at 9:15. And so on. Most rides are open for a lot of the day, however some open later, and plenty of shut at nightfall. Pay shut consideration to this whenever you begin planning your day.

Even extra vital to notice is which eating places are open. When we desperately wanted lunch, it was 2:30 PM and every little thing was closed! We needed to hunt for some time to seek out an open restaurant. Plan forward, if you happen to can, and know which consuming areas can be open all day.

Language Barrier (There isn’t one)

Good information for fearful vacationers, actually each worker spoke English. From the wait workers to stroller leases to ticket takers to journey workers. When it involves touring with little youngsters when your mind is already overloaded with discovering a altering desk for diapers and snacks and ensuring your youngsters aren’t operating away or consuming rocks, it’s good to have the ability to perceive the workers.

Disneyland Paris: Would go to once more.

We’re suckers for Disney and would completely return to Disneyland Paris. The solely factor I’d do in another way is to remain on the Marvel lodge because it’s closest to the park entrance. (Okay effective we’re additionally superhero obsessed!)

Have you been to Disneyland Paris? What did you assume? 

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