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Disneyland Paris: One Day Itinerary

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Is it worth visiting Disneyland Paris for just 1 day?

Many families come to Paris for only one week, or even several days. Naturally, the question arises: should they take a day trip to Disneyland Paris, or better do something else?

The good news is that Disneyland Paris is not nearly as large as Disney World in Orlando, for example. So, you don’t need a week to explore it. Nevertheless, it’s quite sizeable and consists of two parks. Ideally, you should come for several days. In fact, Disney website recommends spending 3 full days (2 days at Parc Disneyland and 1 day at Walt Disney Studios). I think it’s about right if you want to try all the best rides and experience the park to the fullest.

Can you go for just 1 day? Is it still worth it?

Of course! A short trip to Disneyland is always better than no trip at all.

From personal experience, 1 day is not nearly enough to do everything Disneyland Paris has to offer, but it’s sufficient to see the main highlights, get on a few rides, see a show or two, have a ton of fun, and buy lots of nice gifts for the whole family🙂 The park will appeal to both kids and adults, and there are plenty of things to do.

Keep in mind that there are many rides and lines are quite long. You might have to rush through. But you can still get it to work, especially if you only explore one park.

If this is your first visit, I recommend selecting Parc Disneyland. You will always have an excuse to go back to Paris and explore Walt Disney Studios (and Disneyland Paris some more) during your next trip(s) to France.

How to Get Tickets

To get into Disneyland Paris, you need to buy your tickets online ahead of time. They are not available at the gate anymore. I suggest getting tickets in advance as the park gets very crowded on some days, especially weekends and in summer. There might be no tickets left.

You can get dated tickets with an option to cancel them for free up to 3 days in advance. If you are not quite sure which date(s) you want to spend at Disneyland, I recommend buying an undated ticket. It’s a little more expensive but it still might be worth it.

Tips for Maximizing Your Time (and Fun) at Disneyland Paris

Before heading to Disneyland, I suggest thoroughly investigating the Disneyland Paris website and downloading the Disneyland app on your smartphone. It includes the map and gives you all the information about rides, restaurants, hotels, upcoming shows etc. Without the app, you won’t know what’s happening.

Make sure to study to map to get an idea where various rides are located. You will also need to browse through Attractions and Shows (select “List” option on the Map tab). While Attractions are available all day and the only constraint you’ll have is the waiting time, Shows take place only several times a day (or even just once a day). The selection is very good, and you have plenty of choices available for your family.

In order to maximize your time in the park, my advice is to get to the park early in the morning. It opens at 9:30 am.

Once you get there, pick several rides which you really want to do and one or two shows you’re most interested in. You might want to opt for a quick snack at one of the snack shops along the Main Street rather than a sit down lunch. There are plenty of stores selling cookies, sandwiches, soft drinks and various pastries. Make sure to also allot enough time to stop at one of the gift shops. There are so many great gifts there that you will need at least 30-40 minutes shopping.

Example of an itinerary for Disneyland Paris

Here is a possible plan for your day. You’ll need to adjust based on the interests of your family.

  1. Departure from Central Paris: 8:00-8:30 am (depending where you are staying)

2. Arrival at Disneyland Paris: 9:30 am

3. Photos: with a view of the Sleeping Beauty Caste, on the Main Street and in front of key attractions

4. Rides/attractions (select depending on your interest/waiting time)

4. Lunch/snack

5. Show(s) – pick depending on time/preference

6. Shopping

7. Snack

8. More rides/shows

9. Dinner/snack

10. Departure (Disneyland Paris closes at 11 pm)

Main Attractions

Parc Disneyland is divided into several sections, including Fantasyland, Discoveryland, Frontierland, Main Street and Adventureland. The attractions are grouped according to the theme.

Some of the main attractions which everyone enjoys are the Sleeping Beauty Castle, the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, the Peter Pan Flight, Meet Mickey Mouse, Big Thunder Mountain, Madhatter’s Tea Cups, and Dumbo the Flying Elephant.

The shows include such options as the Disney Stars on Parade (great for little kids and first time visitors), The Lion King, A Million Splashes of Color, Disney Electrical Sky Parade (late at night), and others.

You can check show times and waiting times for various attractions on the app. Waiting times for attractions are usually from 30 minutes to more than an hour. It you think the wait is too long, try another ride. If you want to go to a show, keep in mind that seats fill up quickly and it’s advisable to come at least 30 minutes in advance.

Hence, careful planning ahead is paramount if you are going to 1 day and want to see as much as possible.

How do you get to Disneyland from Central Paris?

If you are only planning to come to Disneyland Paris for one day, I don’t recommend staying at a hotel close to the park. It’s situated on the outskirts of the city, and it would take you a long time to get to the main attractions. It’s much better to stay centrally so that you are close to the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower and whatever other landmarks you want to see.

If you leave central Paris early in the morning, you can still get to Disneyland Paris in good time and see a lot.

The most flexible and cost-effective way to get to Disneyland Paris is by metro (RER A Train). It only costs 5.5 euros each way (kids under 10 pay half-price and kids under 4 come for free). The trip takes about 45 minutes.

Some other options are available, but more expensive ones. You can take an Uber (~65 euros one way) or Disney shuttle (65 euros roundtrip for each adult/kid in the family). Keep in mind that Disney shuttle only leaves in the morning and comes back in the evening, so there is no flexibility. If your family needs a little more time to prepare, you might miss your bus.

All in all, the RER A train is the most convenient option and there is no need to overpay.

The Final Word

Whether you visit Disneyland Paris for just one day or three days, you are guaranteed to have a great time. It’s a wonderful park with a lot of great things to do for both adults and kids. The only downside is that it gets very crowded. So make sure to arrive early!

If you are interested in learning more about activities to do in Paris with kids, check out my blog post: Top Ten Things to Do in Paris with Kids. Some other places you can visit include Parc Zoologique de Paris, the Eiffel Tower, Luxembourgh Gardens, L’Orangerie and more.

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4 thoughts on “Disneyland Paris: One Day Itinerary”

  1. We loved Disneyland in Paris. We visited many years ago with our teen age daughters. We have fond memories of visiting just for one day landing up quite early as they opened and running through our favorite rides before the crowds caught up. Small shows like Pocahontas or a challenging car drive show are totally worth watching. Enjoyed reading your blog post. 🙂

  2. Such a good overview. I went to Disneyland in Paris many many moons ago as a child and have fond memories of it. without a plan, it can get overwhelming, so this article is pure gold!

  3. Seems you had a great day at Disneyland Paris. I was not aware that the are open until 11 pm. That means with an early start you get the max out of your ticket. A agree, that planning is the key, if you have only one day at Disneyland Paris.

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