Is Disneyland Paris Worth it?
During my semester abroad in Paris, my mom visited me for a week in February, and one day, we decided to take a spontaneous trip to Disneyland Paris! We both love Disney World in Florida, so we thought this would be a fun way to get out of the city for a day and hang with Mickey! A lot of people visiting Paris wonder “Is Disneyland Paris worth it?” and I think there are several things to consider if you’re thinking about visiting Disney World’s European park.
Disneyland Paris vs Florida
If you’re an American visiting France, you probably wonder how the European park compares to the parks at home. Before visiting Disneyland Paris, I had visited the Disney World Florida parks a few times, so I thought I had an idea of what to expect before visiting Disneyland Paris. When comparing Disneyland Paris vs Florida Disney parks, there are a few things to be aware of before you go. The Paris park is much smaller, with two theme parks and three resorts. While I’d never recommend trying to fit all four Disney World Florida parks into one day trip, I think the size of the Paris parks makes it a more manageable day trip. I also thought the food left something to be desired at the Paris parks, and a lot of the rides broke down while we were in line or riding. Overall, the Paris park is beautiful and extremely well-designed, but I felt like it had a lot less “Disney magic” than the Florida parks. Maybe it was because most rides were only in French or because the employees were less cheerful, but I just didn’t feel like my experience at Disneyland Paris was as “Disney-esque” as it was in Florida. The Disney World parks will always win for me when comparing Disneyland Paris vs Florida, but I still enjoyed my visit to the French Disneyland. My mom, who has been to the California parks as well, said that the Disneyland Paris experience was similar to the Disney California experience.
Taking Time Out of Your Trip to Visit Disneyland Paris
On our recent trip to Paris, my mom and I had a week free to enjoy the city, and we didn’t feel the pressure to do a lot of the typical Parisian tourist activities because we had done most of them in previous trips. I think Disneyland Paris can be a good addition to your Paris itinerary if you have ample time and love Disney. However, I wouldn’t recommend choosing Disneyland Paris over a day trip to Versailles or another quintessential cultural experience in Paris unless you’re a huge Disney fan. Tickets are pricey, and it takes an hour of transportation each way (or more, depending on where you depart from in Paris). Consider this guide to a chateau near Paris for another day trip option!
If you decide the trip to Disneyland Paris is worth it, check out these do’s and don’t’s to make sure you have a positive experience!
Disneyland Paris Do’s and Don’t’s
Do: Take the RER to Disneyland from Paris! Public transportation makes getting to Disneyland so easy from the center of Paris. The RER red line stops in Disneyland, so just make sure you’re on the right train, going in the right direction, and settle in for about an hour before you arrive at Disney! Caution: the RER leaving Disney can be very crowded at the end of the night, so prepare yourself for the stampede.
Do: Dress for the weather! It was February when we went, and it was COLD. Come prepared!
Do: Bring your own food! There aren’t as many food options in Disneyland Paris or around the park as my mom and I were expecting, and we ended up eating at a McDonald’s across from the entrance for dinner! Lots of locals brought their own food, which seems like a smart fix to this problem!
Do: Go on a weekday in the off season! We rode just about every ride in both parks (including the awesome Ratatouille ride!) without too many waits during our weekday visit in February. Tickets are also cheaper outside of peak times! Our tickets cost around 45 euros each.
Don’t: Expect this Disneyland to be just like its American predecessors. A lot of the quintessential Disney charm is there: the characters are all there, and the “lands” are perfectly themed, but there are some noticeable differences. The first, and most obvious, thing to note is that this is an extremely international park that attracts people from all over the world, so everything might not be available in your native language. My mom and I also thought the level of service was different, and that there was much less of that trademark “American Disney cheer.” About 9 rides broke down while we were on them or while we were in line. The parks are really fun, but they didn’t quite live up to our expectations after visiting Disney World in Florida. Thankfully, the tickets were much cheaper, so we didn’t mind much, and we still had a really fun time.
Purchasing Disneyland Paris Tickets
I had a lot of trouble buying last minute tickets on line from both the official website and other sellers. I’d recommend buying tickets in person if you come during the off season, or, if you’re visiting, asking your hotel concierge for help! Some ticket deals are only available online.
So, is Disneyland Paris worth it?
Overall, I enjoyed my Disneyland Paris experience and am glad I went. Because the tickets were relatively inexpensive (with standard Disneyland Florida tickets priced at about $100 a day compared to 45 euros at Disneyland Paris), I think it was worth the money to explore this beautifully themed park, despite the near-constant technical difficulties and very cold weather. When comparing Disneyland Paris vs Florida, I would say Florida’s amazing customer service and diverse food options make it a far superior park, but I would still consider visiting Disneyland Paris again.
Heading to the Disney California parks? Check out this guide from The Daily Adventures of Me!
Have you been to any of the international Disney Parks? What are your thoughts?