1 Day in Disneyland Paris

7 October 2017




Spending a day at Disneyland Paris is both a blessing and a curse. There is no doubt that visiting for the day is a great way to get a sprinkle of pixie dust when both time and money are limited; however like many I felt the frustration of wanting to do everything, yet knowing it was impossible.

That being said, I shall attempt to share how Louis and I made the most of our Disney day, as well as a few other tips.

We visited on the 13th of June which was classed as 'super off peak', although the park was still very busy!

In my previous post I spoke about how to pick the best day of the week to visit Disney by using the MagiParc App, following on from the same method I'm also going to show you how to pick the best times to go on the more popular rides.

Arriving at the park:


We travelled by train from central Paris which was relatively cheap and stress free, DLP has its own train station called Marne-la-VallĂ©e which brings you out in Disney Village about a 2 min walk from the park gates. Before you can enter the parks you need to go through security, for me this was one of the most confusing parts of the day as we had only just arrived out of the train station to find three separate security entrances with no signage to tell us which one we needed to use. 

We erred on the side of caution and joined the longest queue however after some research I have since found out that there are 3 security gates you can enter through 1. by the train station, 2. by hotel New York, 3. by McDonald's.
Shown below are the various security entrances in relation to the train station and Disney Village, make sure to allow plenty of time to get through security so you can make the most of the time in the park.



Itinerary for the Day:

11am

Louis and I headed for Walt Disney Studios Park first as it was due to close at 6pm. As soon as we were inside we made a beeline for Ratatoullie to try and get a fastpass. At 11am Ratatouille was giving out fast passes for 3:30pm! At this point I wasn't quite sure what to do, my plans had gone out the window, I was hoping to get multiple fast passes throughout the day, but I knew that if I took the fastpass for Ratatouille I wouldn't be able to use one on any of the other rides until 3:30pm.

Louis and I took a few minutes figuring out what to do before swiftly joining the fastpass queue, when we got to the front we had another issue and were unable to get our paper tickets to scan, we called a cast member over to help us but she struggled as well saying it was a common problem. Minutes went by and the fastpass return time was going up and up, after 15 minutes of problems, and many other families having the same issue the CM rang for support only to be quickly be told there were no more fast passes for today. You can imagine my disappointment, by 11:20 fastpasses had completely run out; needless to say it was a frustrating start to the day.

After this we were keen to just get on something, we saw that the Studio Tram Tour had a queue of just 15 minutes so we decided to give it a go. At 11:30, just before joining the STT queue I checked at Tower of Terror and managed to get us fastpasses for 2:30 which cheered me up.

I wasn't really sure what to expect from the Studio Tram Tour but both Louis and I thoroughly enjoyed not only seeing the various props from classic Disney films but also the special effects scene which completely blew us away! The tram tour was a great way to 'get the ball rolling' on our Disney day and I imagine would be a great relief for tired feet later on in the day.

12pm

Next we made our way to the Art of Animation Studio, this was a 5 minute wait to go in and lasted 30 minutes. However,  I feel this is the one attraction we would have skipped if we could change something about the day. The whole thing was rather dated and geared towards much younger children, I feel the 35 mins could have been better spent queuing for another ride. One saving grace of the attraction was the chance to learn how to doodle signature disney characters and take your drawing away as a keepsake, I didn't attempt this though as the queue to take part was almost exclusively under 10s.


1pm

By now it was 1pm, I had been continually checking the Magiparc app for updated waiting times. Crush's Coaster was showing a 65 min wait time, which although lengthy was the shortest wait time I had seen in the past two hours so we joined the queue. I wasn't too sure what to expect from Crush as the Finding Nemo theming may lead you to believe it was a kids ride, however it turned out to be one of fastest rides at the park and one of our favourite rides. I'm so glad we managed to ride Crush's coaster, it was well worth the wait especially as its an exclusive ride to DLP.

Adrenaline at a high after Crush's Coaster we came out to see the single rider time for Ratatouille was showing just 10 min! We knew this meant we would be separated, however weighed against the possibility of not managing to get on Ratatouille at all it seemed like a no brainer. The wait was really more like 5 min as we practically walked straight on.  Honestly the ride was amazing, I felt completely immersed in the 4D ride and can now see why the ride is so immensely popular. I'm so glad we got to experience Ratatouille, Louis was just in the carriage just in front of me so he didn't feel too far away. Single rider worked so well for us here, I'm really glad we gave it a chance.

2:30pm

By this time Louis and I had decided that ToT was a little too far out of our comfort zone for one day, so we headed to the back of the ToT queue and gave away our fastpasses to two young girls. They looked super pleased so I wasn't too bothered about missing the ride, we were both happy to spread a little pixie dust.

We headed over to Toy Story Play land and I was blown away by the impressive theming. Between the toy soldiers ride, RC racer and all the giant figurines I really felt like I has been shrunk down to toy size. I really feel like this is the heart and soul of Disney, and a fantastic addition to the park. Slinky Dog Spin, was just a 10 min wait at this time, I loved this ride and the theming in particular, we would've liked to try out the other two Toy Story rides but the queues were too long at this point. 

3:30pm

At this point we took a slow walk over to the main Disneyland Park, stopping for plenty of wonderful photos along the way. Main Street truly captured the magic of Disney and we could have spent hours wandering along the little street looking in the quaint boutiques and amazing attention to detail on the buildings, I'm sure when we do make it back to DLP we will be there for longer. We stopped for a quick lunch, I had a croq monsieur and coke which was filling, tasty and not too expensive.

After lunch we continued down to check out The Dragon in the Castle which was a great photo op, and another fantastic addition to the park.

4:15pm

Checking back on the Magiparc app Buzz Lightyear listed 15min queue so we quickly headed over there. When we joined the queue the wait was more like 30 or 35 mins. The wait overall wasn't too bad but the queue goes through long winding corridors which might causes problems for some people who don't like enclosed spaces. The ride was nicely themed however the first time went on one of the guns was broken which did spoil the fun a bit, they did let us ride again without waiting which was nice. This extended wait and re-ride did cut into the time we wanted to spend at other places but I'm glad we did get to experience the ride properly as it really is a classic.

When we came out we hoped to head to the Alice in Wonderland Maze or on the Steam Boat, however we didn't realise that both of these shut at 5pm.




5:30pm

Next we took a walk through Adventureland stopping at The Robinson Crusoe Treehouse (the view from the top is amazing!) and Aladdins Walk Through. Again these are wonderful examples of the attention to detail that Disney is famous for, the whole experience of the different lands can really leave you feeling like you've been transported somewhere exotic. We gave our feet a rest and sat with an ice cream while taking in the atmosphere, i must say that Adventureland really reminds me of Epcot in the WDW park.

Whilst the day was winding down we decided to pack in as many rides as we could so we walked into Fantasyland and queued up for some of the classic rides like the Spinning Tea cups (10min wait) and the Carousel (showed a 10min wait but was more like 20).

7pm

At 7pm we made our way to Phantom manor, another classic ride which I was adamant for Louis to experience. We only waited about 20 mins here which was one of the lowest wait times I'd seen all day. This was another fantastic ride which completely immersed us in the story, I can only imagine how cool the park must look during Halloween.

8pm

At 8pm the wait times were really dropping dramatically, Big Thunder Mountain one of our 'must do' rides had only a 30 min queue. This was by far my favourite ride of the day, it struck the perfect balance between scary and fun, I honestly think we could've gone on this ride five times in a row.

Other rides such as Indiana Jones were showing super short waits of just 5 mins, so we definitely could have squeezed in a few more rides. It was great to see almost every ride in the park with a short wait, this just goes to show that even if you miss out on fastpasses you can still fit in the rides you want if you stick it out til the park gets quieter and a lot of people have headed off home or for dinner.

Our last ride of the day was Dumbo which was just another short 10min wait. We actually rode Dumbo twice in a row as we couldn't figure out how to get him to the top the first time...oops. Although many might this this a kids ride it had a lot of sentimental value to Louis and I and also provided amazing views of the park and castle just as sun was beginning to set. 

10:30pm

By now we were getting towards the park closing, we debated going on a few more rides and would've loved to stay and watch the fireworks as they're supposed to be magical but alas we had to make sure we didn't miss the last train back to Paris! We hopped on the train thoroughly exhausted with a Maccies in hand, thoroughly dazzled by the magic of Disney. 

How to spend less time queuing:
One of the biggest dilemmas we faced was decided whether to join an long queue for a ride we really wanted to go on or whether to risk it wait, hoping that the wait time would go down. The best way I've found to tackle this is by using the graph feature on the Magiparc app. This shows you a graph of the waiting times on any particular day for each ride. So for example, I would click on the day before our visit and try to compare that with the wait times for that day. So if the ride is showing a wait time of 90 mins but the graph shows an average wait time of 60 mins then I think it would be safe to sit it out, as its pretty likely that the wait time will decrease sometime soon.

Here are some examples of the rides we looked at then deciding whether to join the queue or not.


  

TIPS:

- aim to arrive by 9:30, this way you'll be in the park and on rides by 10am.
- use one of the other entrances besides the main gate for speedier entry to the park.
- take your own snack packs from home to save money and keep yourself from staving in the queues
- bring a portable phone charger. I was gutted when my phone died and I couldn't take any more photos!
- comfy shoes are a must, you'll be surprised just how much walking you do
- list your top 5 'must do' rides and aim to do these first, count anything else as a bonus, and you wont go wrong!
- try to pick up a second fastpass before heading onto your first fastness ride, this gets you on more rides quicker
- make the most of the end of the day and the parades when rides are usually quieter
- try not to get the Disney blues, the park can be overwhelming at times and trying to stick to an exact plan is impossible, its better to try and go with the flow and enjoy the day. After all, you are at the most magical place on earth!

Summary

Overall this was a fantastic day trip to Disney, in a short time we managed to pack in nearly every thing we wanted to do, whilst leaving plenty of things to ensure another trip in the near future. From my writing the day may seem a little negative but it wasn't at all, everything else was practically faultless and made for a fantastic and memorable day; I simply wanted to give some advice on things we wished we had known or small details which I thought were worth mentioning. I hope some of you might find this article useful, please let me know if you have any questions.

This may have been our first visit to Disneyland Paris but it certainly wont be our last.


Special thanks:

This post was inspired by the lovely authors of Never Ending Voyage, whose blog post was of great help to Louis and I when attempting to sketch out a rough plan of the day. 

1 comment

  1. that was such a lovely post! so detailed but it kept me going because i was so interested in how the day went and what you did! loved it! i want to go disneyland one day too; and these tips definitely help! so glad that you ended up going on loads of rides and had a great time! x

    rabia x

    amourvitaa.blogspot.co.uk

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