If you’ve never been to Disneyland Paris, you may wonder what you can do to save time and money while you’re there. Here are a few things that I or people in my group did that may be helpful for you. Although I found out after the fact that a couple things were against park rules the way they were done (and I’ll let you know what those were) I also found ways for people to do the same or similar while respecting park rules.
1. Take a water bottle, or at least reuse the first one you buy.
Technically, Disneyland Paris prohibits people bringing their own drinks into the park, but they didn’t stop the people I was with who had water bottles. A 6-pack of 1.5L water is under €3, while a .5L bottle will cost about €3 in either of the parks. So, it may be worth the risk to take a full bottle, even if they make you dump it out at the gate. You could also bring an empty water bottle. If you don’t bring a bottle with you, at least keep the first bottle you buy. There are water fountains throughout the park where you can fill up your water bottles for free. Though I had to pay €3 for my first bottle, I saved over €10 filling up at water fountains throughout the day.
2. Consider bringing your own food.
Although Disneyland Paris also prohibits bringing outside food into the park, I was with people who brought their food in for dietary reasons. They even ate it at the table in one of the restaurants with outdoor seating while a couple of us ate food we had ordered from the restaurant, and nothing was said. On a bus trip during which the bus is inaccessible during the day, it may be worth the risk to bring in food that you don’t mind having thrown away if caught. For those who are willing and able to follow the rules due to being able to access their bus or having a car to store their food in, there is a picnic area between the parking lot and park entrances where you can eat your own food.
3. Carry some toilet paper, tissue, and/or wipes in your bag.
Some of the bathrooms were out of toilet paper super early in the day, before 10am. I always carry a Ziplock bag of wipes with me on bus trips so I can clean up before getting back on the bus or if I eat anything messy while out but am not near a bathroom, so I happened to have those on me and was glad for it. Particularly if you’re prone to allergies, having tissues or toilet paper would also be a good idea for that and for a situation like this.
4. Make use of the FastPass option to ride more rides.
Both Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park have a free FastPass option. You insert your park ticket in the machine and get it back with a FastPass ticket that will tell you what time to show back up at that ride and how long you have until you can make use of the FastPass on a different ride. You show back up at that time and get to get in a shorter line. The only drawback to this option is that in some of the rides, usually ones that are indoors, you get to see things while you’re waiting in line that the FastPass line bypasses, so you may want to save it for the ones that would have you waiting outside.
5. Carry a backpack, and put it between your legs on rides.
Unlike many theme parks in the States, you won’t find lockers near the rides. There are also none of those bins where you put your stuff and collect it after the ride. So, to protect your camera and any other valuables you have with you, you’ll want a backpack.When you get on the ride, put it on the floor between your legs, and put your legs through the straps. That way, it won’t go anywhere. Though I recommend a backpack rather than a purse, if you have to take a purse, I would take one with a zipper and a strap long enough that you can wrap it around at least one of your legs on the ride. If you buy things in the parks, I found out that they also have a hands-free shopping service where you can pick up your purchases after 6pm.
6. Get the Disneyland app if you have an international data plan on your phone or other device to track wait times on rides and showtimes for performances.
Personally, my phone service is limited to Germany unless I want to pay for roaming. However, someone in my group had an international plan, so he was able to use an app that had a map and updated with the current wait times for the rides. You can get it on iPhone/iPad/iPod touch and Android devices. It does require the internet to provide your location and wait times, so it is essential that you have data service to use it, and I wouldn’t think it would be worth doing so if you’re in roaming. The app also takes up quite a bit of battery, so you may not be able to use it during the whole day.
7. If you want a good spot for the fireworks show, show up early.
We were almost an hour early, and it was more or less empty. The closer it got to showtime the more full it was. We were able to get spots on benches but they went fast. They didn’t mind people sitting in the grass that was along the side of the street, but people had to move from the grass on the island in front of the castle. (I’m guessing that was because some people messed with the flowers). On that island, the middle bench area got roped off for handicap seating close to showtime and the people who were already there were asked to relocate, so avoid that area.
What tips have you discovered to improve a trip to Disneyland Paris? Share in the comments below.