Disneyland Paris is such a beautifully designed park that it would be a crime not to visit Disneyland after coming to France. I fell in love with the park the moment I entered. I have been a Disney fan since my childhood so I started relating everything to what I saw in the Disney cartoons. Now I regret that I just planned a day trip to Disneyland. If you are a serious Disney fan then I would recommend you to stay at least for 2 days to explore places to your heart’s content.
Before you try to figure out what to do in Disneyland, there are few things that you must know about it. Disneyland is further divided in 4 lands
- Main Street U.S.A.: It is a street that connects the Disneyland entrance to the four lands. There are many boutiques and restaurants on this street.
- Land 1 – Discoveryland: Discoveryland is all about space travel. Some of the designs and rides are designed based on Star wars.
- Land 2 – Fantasyland: The famous Sleeping Beauty Castle is the entrance to Fantasyland. This land and its rides are designed based on various Disney princess movies and cartoons. I can say that this land is specially designed for kids.
- Land 3 – AdventureLand: As the name suggests this land is designed on the adventure movies and cartoons. The entrance reminds you of Agrabah (Aladdin). Some of the popular rides are based on movies like Pirates of the Caribbean and Indiana Jones.
- Land 4 – Frontierland: Frontierland is designed to look like a home to cowboys. It has saloons, red rock buttes, gold rushes and haunted mansion.
Click on the link for a detail map – Disneyland Map
It is not possible to cover more than 5 rides in one day as there is a queue for every ride hence it is important for you to choose the best rides. If you want to get the best out of your one day tour to Disneyland then go through my list of 5 must do things in Disneyland Paris.
Here is my list of 5 must do things in Disneyland Paris
1. Enjoy the must experience rides in Disneyland Paris
- Space Mountain (Discoveryland): The Space Mountain is one of the fastest rides in the park and the only one that goes upside-down. To propel the cars, the ride uses technology similar to that of aircraft carriers. The ride gives you an experience of how it feels like when the rocket sets off to hit the outer space. The ride is set in dark with some lights and sound effects so we had no clue where the ride was talking us. It goes upside down and stops for 1-2 seconds in between and makes you feel that you are going to fall down at any point of time. What makes it scarier is the fact that you cannot see anything in the dark and hence you have no idea where you will fall. For me, this was a thrilling experience!
- Pirates of the Caribbean (Adventureland): As the name suggests this is based on Pirates of the Caribbean movie. It is a boat ride set in a dark dungeon full of skeletons, gold and pirates. This ride is fun.
- Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril (Adventureland): This ride is based on the popular movie Indiana Jones. It takes you past the jungles and temples on a high speed train ride.
- It’s a small world (Fantasyland): This is a must visit ride for all children. It is a boat ride. Check this ride video for more details.
- Thunder Mesa Riverboat Landing (Frontierland): Take a ride on Molly Brown to cruise around Thunder Mountain and Phantom Manor.
- Phantom Manor (Frontierland): It is a Haunted Mansion. It is a decrepit old wreck of a house for a lonely bride eternally waiting for her groom. It is a fun ride and not very scary but at times it does give you Goosebumps.
2. Watch the Disneyland Parade
Disneyland Parade is very beautiful. You can see all Disney princesses along with their prince. Check you the video of Disney Parade May 2016. I was able to capture just the start of the Parade.
At Disneyland Paris, you can shop for apparels, toys, plush, accessories, chocolates, Costumes, Housewares, Vinylmation (vinyl collectibles), jewellery and the list is endless. We bought paperweight, fridge magnets and a cute Mickey Mouse table clock. Before buying, we checked most of the shops. There were some nice shops in fantasyland and the sleeping beauty castle. I would recommend these 3 shops based on the collection across price range.
- Temple Traders Boutique (Adventureland) – Souvenirs
- Disney & Co. (Main Street U.S.A.)- toys, plush and costumes
- Lilly’s Boutique (Main Street U.S.A.)- gifts and houseware
4. Satisfy your food cravings
There are restaurants everywhere in Disneyland. You get almost everything – Hot dogs, American cuisine, ice cream, candies, chocolates, sandwiches. Some of the things that we liked
- Casey’s Corner – Hot Dogs. They have very few vegetarian and chicken options
- The Ice Cream Company – Chocolate Waffles
- Market House Deli – Bruschetta
5. Explore the park
Roam around the park, observe the restaurant designs, enjoy the rides and bring back childhood memories. I enjoyed Adventureland the most as I am a big fan of Aladdin, Pirates of the Caribbean and Indiana Jones. I could relate to the streets, the facades of the buildings and every ride I took in Adventureland.
To be able to do all the above activities in one day, you need to manage your time and keep you energy levels high. Below are the tips to make the most of your one day trip to Disney
5 tips to make the most of your Disneyland Paris Trip
- Research about the rides on Disneyland Website to know what will interest you.
- Dress comfortably – It is a 15-20 minutes’ walk from parking to Disneyland entrance and you have to keep walking the entire day. So wear comfortable footwear.
- Come on weekdays rather than weekends and start your day early to finish the popular rides first and avoid crowd
- Use fastpass only if the queue timing is more than 1 hour. Even after using fastpass, many times you have to wait in the queue for more than 30 minutes.
- The Disneyland Parade starts at 5:30 pm but the Main Street U.S.A. gets very crowded by 5:15 as people gather near the street to watch the parade. If you need a good view of the parade then choose your spot at 5:00 pm and wait there. We grabbed a coffee and sandwich, chose our spot and sat near the Main Street U.S.A. and waited for the parade to start.
Share your Disneyland Paris trip experience in the comments. If you have not been there then let me know if I can help you plan the trip.
Some photos from my one day trip to Disneyland Paris