Disneyland Paris is just a few hours driving from my parents’ place, so it has not been my first visit. I have tested it all the way; with small friends, little nieces and now with my own toddlers. And I have learned a lot on the way…
1. Choose the easy option
Call it laziness if you want to, but both my husband and I are convinced there’s only one hotel when traveling to Disneyland Paris – the Disneyland Hotel at the entrance of Disneyland Paris. Not only because you have a direct and early access to the park, but because you can have easy returns to the hotel for a one hour nap at noon or changing wet clothes. On top of that, you will meet Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and many others in the lunch and dinner rooms. Without waiting lines.
Disneyland Hotel offers a swimming pool which is open until 10PM. Even though you might think you won’t have time to swim, take bathing suits. You will see it is the perfect place for toddlers to withdraw from the overload in Disneyland – and it makes them sleep well ;)
2. Make reservations in restaurants
We prefer winter times, when the park is not overloaded. Even then, Disneyland Paris became so popular and just popping by in a restaurant without reservation is not possible anymore. At least, not in the good ones. The restaurant of the Disneyland Hotel is a must for us, because of the characters passing at the table – but you need to make reservations in advance.
Next to that, the Auberge de Cendrillon is the insider tip when you have little girls in the house. Instead of waiting for 1,5 hours at the Princess Pavillion, the princesses will pass your table and come to greet the little ones. Don’t mind the arrogance of the personnel in this restaurant; just focus on your girls and their faces. Make sure to reserve at least 2 weeks in advance.
3. Get dressed
Disneyland is a place full of magic and that’s how your little one should feel too. I have always made sure we got princess dresses and cowboy hats in the suitcases, so that they have the opportunity to get fully dresses up from day one on. If you did not bring any, don’t worry – there are enough shops at the side of the roads with Frozen dresses and Star Wars outfits. Nice to know; kids who are dresses up get VIP places in some of the shows.
4. Go and see a show
When there’s one thing you have to see when in Disneyland, it’s a show. In every one we have seen over the last years, the actors, dancers and singers put down such an energy that even the smallest toddlers sit still for half an hour. Make sure to be in line half an hour before the event starts and you’ll have the best seats
There is no way you will get out of it; Disneyland is so packed with souvenir shops that your little one will want to have this or that. We solve it by promising them that they can pick one item one hour before leaving. They still ask quite oft if we can remind them when they can pick a present, but it works to keep them out of the shops during the first days.