Disneyland Paris – 8 top tips for parents with young children on how to make the most of it!

Disneyland Paris – 8 top tips for parents with young children on how to make the most of it!
(Image credit: Maxppp/PA Images)

Here's how to have an even better time at Disneyland Paris with your kids

Disneyland Paris, currently celebrating its 25th birthday, is great fun! Having just returned with a two-year-old and a six-year-old, here's some useful tips...

1. Measure your child before you go to Disneyland Paris to avoid tears!

Tape measure

If you have a very brave six year old they might want to try some of the bigger rides like Star Wars: Hyperspace Mountain in Discoveryland, but remember some rides have height restrictions (1.2 metres in the case of Star Wars: Hyperspace Mountain) so it’s a good idea to measure your child before you go on holiday to make sure they can get on!

2. Take a pushchair even if your little ones are a bit older!

By the end of a day walking around Disney, your legs will feel like you’ve done the marathon twice so imagine how your children will feel? So it’s absolutely vital to take a pushchair with you. If disaster strikes and you forget yours all is not lost as they can be hired at Disney.

3. A FASTPASS is like a golden ticket – get them early!

Certain rides e.g Peter Pan’s Flight in Fantasyland have FASTPASS access which means if you see a ride has a huge queue you can scan your park ticket and get back a FASTPASS which means you can come back at a later time – indicated on the ticket – and leapfrog most of the queue.

It’s worth remembering that FASTPASSES can quickly run out for popular rides so you're best off heading to the rides you really want to go on early to make sure you’re not disappointed. Also remember you can only have one FASTPASS per person at a time!

4. Lucky enough to have a Disney Hotel FASTPASS? – Use them wisely!

Now if you’re staying in one of the Disney Hotels, certain guests (check the official website for more information), can get a Disney Hotel FASTPASS each day. These are great! But they can’t be used between 1pm and 4pm in the park. Also sometimes in the evening FASTPASS access points can be shut so you’re better off using these up in the morning. Use these very tactically on the most popular rides, e.g when we were there the Ratatouille Ride in the Walt Disney Studios Park was showing an 85 minute queue time, so we used our Disney Hotel FASTPASS on that!

5. Don’t forget the fireworks!

The fireworks are held at closing time and quote from my six-year-old, “Amazing”. People start gathering in front of the Sleeping Beauty Castle really early to get a “good spot” but at the end of the day they’re fireworks and whizz above your head so you don’t really need to get there mega early.

6. Pack lots of snacks – and there are water fountains!

To keep your toddler going and also yourself you will need a mountain of snacks. There are also water fountains dotted around the park so you can easily refill on water.

7. Catch a show to rest your feet!

In the Walt Disney Studios Park there is the Animaque Theater which holds shows – we saw Mickey et le magician (in English and French) and it was one of the highlights of the trip. It was also nice to have a sit down in a big theatre!

8. The evenings are great fun!

It’s well worth taking a breather in the afternoon when it’s manic and going full on again in the evening when the park is quieter and the queues are shorter.

Main pic: Maxppp/PA Images, Tape measure pic: DPA/PA Images

David Hollingsworth

David is the What To Watch Editor and has over 20 years of experience in television journalism. He is currently writing about the latest television and film news for What To Watch.

Before working for What To Watch, David spent many years working for TV Times magazine, interviewing some of television's most famous stars including Hollywood actor Kiefer Sutherland, singer Lionel Richie and wildlife legend Sir David Attenborough. 

David started out as a writer for TV Times before becoming the title's deputy features editor and then features editor. During his time on TV Times, David also helped run the annual TV Times Awards. David is a huge Death in Paradise fan, although he's still failed to solve a case before the show's detective! He also loves James Bond and controversially thinks that Timothy Dalton was an excellent 007.

Other than watching and writing about telly, David loves playing cricket, going to the cinema, trying to improve his tennis and chasing about after his kids!