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Can you do Disneyland Paris in one day? Yes, it is definitely possible!
Disneyland Paris consists of two parks just a few minutes’ walk apart. Disneyland Park is where you’ll want to spend most of your time. It has the fairytale castle, classic characters, and plenty of rides and attractions.
Walt Disney Studios Park is much smaller and is one of Disney’s weaker parks, especially while the current refurbishments are taking place. But it has a couple of excellent rides, so it’s worth visiting both parks on a day visit.
While two days at Disney Paris would make for a more relaxed trip, we managed to experience the highlights of both parks in one day. It’s easier in the summer when opening hours are long.
We had a wonderful day leaving the worries of the real world behind for a day of stress-free fun and magic.
In this post, we share our itinerary for Disneyland Paris for adults visiting two parks in one day. You’ll also find tips on avoiding queues, where to stay, and our costs for a two night/one day trip from London.
- 2021 Update
- How to Get to Disneyland Paris
- Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney Studios One Day Itinerary
- Disneyland Paris Tips
- Where to Stay at Disneyland Paris
- Food in the Disneyland Paris Parks
- How Much Does a Trip to Disneyland Paris Cost?
This post was originally published in 2016 and last updated in 2021.
Disney Paris reopened on 17 June 2021. Much has changed since our visit and not all the advice in this post will be valid under the current restrictions, although most rides are open.
Check the Disneyland Paris website for the latest details.
The main restrictions currently are:
- Since 21 July a Health Pass is required for guests aged 18 and over. This will verify that guests have been fully vaccinated, had a recent negative COVID-19 test, or have recovered from COVID in the last 6 months.
- Masks must be worn by all visitors aged 6 years or over at all times except when eating.
- Tickets must be bought for a specific date on the Disneyland Paris website. If you have a non-dated ticket or pass, you must register it online to ensure admission on the date of your choice.
- At busy times of day, you will need to reserve a free Standby Pass via the Disneyland Paris app for certain rides.
- FastPasses have been retired, but from 5 August you can pay for Disney Premier Access, which gives you speedy access to some of the most popular rides. You must pay per ride—from €8-15.
- Parades, fireworks, character meet and greets, and some shows are currently suspended.
How to Get to Disneyland Paris
Disney Paris is very accessible—it’s just a few hours on the train direct from London or under an hour from the centre of Paris. You could easily combine a trip here with one day in Paris to see the sights.
Both Disneyland Paris parks, the train station, and Disney Village (a collection of shops and restaurants) are a few minutes’ walk from each other.
Disneyland Paris can be reached direct on the Eurostar train from London in just under three hours. We changed trains at Lille as it was a little cheaper.
From Paris take the RER A train to Marne-la-Vallée/Chessy, which takes about 35 minutes from Nation.
You’ll find recommendations for accommodation near the Disney Paris parks and other tips at the end of this post.
Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney Studios One Day Itinerary
When we visited in late August, Disneyland was open from 10am to 11pm and Walt Disney Studios until 9pm.
Our Disneyland Paris itinerary is for adults and older children, so we skipped popular kids rides like Peter Pan and didn’t spend any time queuing for photos with characters.
Even in August, we didn’t queue for more than 15 minutes on most rides—I’ve noted when we waited longer.
Walt Disney Studios Park 10am-1pm
For our Disneyland Paris two parks itinerary we started in Walt Disney Studios as we wanted to ride Crush’s Coaster, which is very popular.
We arrived an hour before opening at 9am and there were only a few people ahead of us in the queue. They actually let people into the park from 9.30am, so it’s worth arriving early.
We’d heard that rides sometimes start before the official 10am opening time, but sadly this wasn’t the case for us.
New in 2021 is Cars Road Trip, a family-friendly ride you might want to add to your Disneyland Paris itinerary.
During our morning in Walt Disney Studios we also went on two other rides that are now closed, so you should have time to fit in Cars Road Trip.
When the doors opened at 9.30am we headed straight to Crush’s Coaster, as did many others. We had to queue for 40 minutes as the ride didn’t open until 10am. By the time we got off the ride the queue was up to an hour.
Crush’s is a roller coaster in the dark through a Finding Nemo themed world. It’s fun and we’re glad we did it, but it’s not worth a long wait.
You could try the single rider queue to reduce the wait time but it wasn’t moving very fast when we saw it.
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Our original plan was to ride Ratatouille next, but it was temporarily closed so we headed to Tower of Terror instead.
This haunted elevator ride in the Hollywood Tower Hotel is one of our favourite Disney rides, and it’s just as good in Paris.
We love the attention to detail in the spooky abandoned hotel and the anticipation as you rise up in the elevator before a sudden stomach-lurching plummet.
Ratatouille: The Adventure
Ratatouille finally opened and said it was a 5-minute wait, but I don’t think they’d updated it as we actually waited 35 minutes.
The queue was over 60 minutes by the time we got out, so it’s best to do this popular ride early (straight after Crush’s).
Ratatouille was worth the wait, though. It’s a 4D experience in the dark where you shrink down to the size of Remy the rat and whizz around the gigantic kitchen and restaurant amongst characters from the film.
We love the theming of La Place de Rémy outside too.
Disneyland Park 1pm-4.30pm
We’d done all the Walt Disney Studios rides we’d planned by lunchtime, so we headed to Disneyland Park next.
Star Tours and Big Thunder Mountain were closed when we visited. As these are two of the best Disneyland Paris rides for adults, I recommend adding them to this itinerary.
La Tanière du Dragon
We began with a stroll down Main Street USA, which is just as cute as in Orlando, towards the castle where you can find an impressive dragon lurking underneath. It’s a quick walk through without queues, so don’t miss it.
We shared a set meal at Colonel Hathi’s Pizza Outpost, which included a pizza, salad, fruit and drink for €15.
Phantom Manor is Paris’s version of the Haunted Mansion. We love all the details on this slow tour in the dark through an eerie mansion inhabited by 999 ghosts.
The queue said five minutes but we actually waited for 20 minutes. I don’t think the queue times are as accurate in Paris as they are elsewhere.
Le Passage Enchanté d’Aladdin
This cute Aladdin walk through shows miniature scenes from the film.
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril
The Indiana Jones ride in Paris is very different from the one in the US—we weren’t expecting an outside rollercoaster with inversions!
Unfortunately, my ears got banged against my headrest multiple times and I came off feeling disorientated.
Walt Disney Studios 4.30pm-8pm
We headed back to Walt Disney Studios for the CinéMagique and Mickey and the Magician shows and to ride Tower of Terror again.
These shows have now been cancelled. There is currently a lack of rides at Walt Disney Studios while the new Avengers campus is being constructed (hopefully due to open in 2022).
I recommend spending this extra time in Disneyland Park instead.
Disneyland Park 8pm-11.30pm
Back in Disneyland we were disturbed to find that all the restaurants in Frontierland were closed, so we had veggie burgers (€10 with salad or fries) at Au Chalet de la Marionnette in Fantasyland.
Pirates of the Caribbean
The queues had been fairly long (well, 25 minutes) at Pirates all afternoon, so we waited until the queue was down to five minutes.
Pirates of the Caribbean is a gentle boat trip in the dark through the world of pirates. The Paris version is even better than in other parks.
Next we planned to walk through Fantasyland to Alice’s Curious Labyrinth, but sadly it was closed. Make sure you do this one earlier in the day. We were a bit annoyed that the Disneyland Paris app or leaflet didn’t give times for the rides and restaurants that closed early.
Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain (previously called Space Mountain)
We headed to Discoveryland instead where Space Mountain only had a 5-minute wait (although it felt a bit longer).
This dark rollercoaster is one of the best things to do in Disneyland Paris for adults.
We love the ride in other Disney parks and were surprised that the Paris version has even more thrills including inversions. Unfortunately, it banged my head a lot and I felt sick afterwards.
Space Mountain has since been updated with a Star Wars theme.
Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast was next on our list, but we didn’t want to queue for 35 minutes and FastPasses had run out (now replaced with paid Premier Access). Do this earlier in the day if it’s important to you—the queue doesn’t seem to go down, even an hour before closing.
Les Mystères du Nautilus
A walk through Captain Nemo’s historic submarine. Quiet and fantastic details.
Simon rode it again.
After an ice-cream, I sat near Main Street while Simon ran across the park for a last ride on Indiana Jones (no queue at all).
Disney Illuminations Show
The grand finale to a magical day takes place at the castle at closing time and features lasers, colourful fountains, songs from Disney films, projections onto the castle, and fireworks. It’s definitely worth sticking around for.
We watched from Main Street and as soon as the show ended made a quick exit down one of the arcades that run parallel to Main Street. We got to the hotel shuttle bus just as it was leaving, so we didn’t have to queue.
Disneyland Paris Tips
- Buy your tickets in advance on the Disneyland Paris website. Their deals are much cheaper than buying at the gate and will save you time.
- Download the Disneyland Paris app so you can check queue times and decide which ride to do next. You can also pay for Premier Access to rides (which has replaced FastPass) on the app.
- Avoid visiting on weekends and French/UK national holidays. Usually I recommend visiting Disney in off-season, but I don’t think it’d be much fun in the cold/rain.
- Arrive at least 30 minutes before opening time as they often let people in early.
- Get each person in your group to pick a few must-do rides and focus on those first.
- Consider the single rider line for rides like Crush’s Coaster, Ratatouille, and Space Mountain.
Where to Stay at Disneyland Paris
If you are visiting Disneyland Paris in one day, you could visit from central Paris but staying closer to the parks is less tiring and makes it easier to start early and stay late.
I would have loved to stay in an official Disney on-site hotel, which gives you early access to the parks with extra magic hours (8am to 10am when we visited) and makes going back to the hotel for a rest easy.
Unfortunately, they are all very expensive. You might find some good package deals in off-season.
Instead, we spent two nights at the Magic Circus Hotel which cost €108. It was modern and comfortable with a pool and good breakfast buffet.
It offers a free shuttle from the train station/parks that only takes 15 minutes and we never waited for long.
You can also walk to the parks in about 30 minutes (which we did the night before to visit the Disney Village for dinner).
Hotel Explorers is nearby on the same shuttle route and could be slightly cheaper.
Food in the Disneyland Paris Parks
- Take a water bottle with you so you can fill up from the water fountains.
- If you are on a tight budget, take lunch and snacks into the park to save money. There are no grocery stores near the parks and hotels. The nearest supermarket is Auchan, one train stop away in Val d’Europe.
- The cheapest decent food option is Earl of Sandwich in Disney Village, where a freshly-made hot sandwich costs €7.
- The table service and buffet restaurants in the parks are very expensive (€30+ per person), so we stuck with the quick counter service places. Expect to spend about €10 for a main meal. All restaurants have at least one vegetarian option marked on the menu.
- You can find restaurant menus on the Disneyland Paris website and app.
How Much Does a Trip to Disneyland Paris Cost?
As always, we used our Trail Wallet app to track our expenses.
- Eurostar tickets from London to Disney via Lille cost £65 (€76) each one-way booked three weeks before. Prices are lower the further you book in advance.
- Two nights at the Magic Circus Hotel cost £185 (€217) plus €9.92 (£8.46) city tax.
- One day/two park Disneyland Paris tickets cost £45 (€53) each in August booked in advance.
- We spent £67 (€80.85) on food for two people over the two days including two dinners, lunch, three ice-creams, two coffees, and a cupcake.
The total cost per person for two nights/one day at Disneyland Paris was £240.
If you are in Europe and want a taste of Disney magic, we definitely recommend it.