Stress-free Disneyland Paris
If you're looking ahead to Autumn half term or later and considering Disneyland Paris, check out our tips for queue-busting and more
The school summer holidays are only just over but if you’re looking ahead to Autumn half term, or an even Easter jaunt, you could well be considering Disneyland Paris. It’s not just for kids either, with enough scary rides (believe me, I know, I dodged a few when I was there!) for a grown-up mini break.
Worried it sounds like a whole load of travelling, queueing, stress? Think again.
I asked our friendly local travel experts Baldwins Travel Group for a steer on the best way to see Disneyland Paris and they told me about their tie-up with coach operator Leger who will actually take you from Kent/Sussex right to the park itself. Leger have been doing Disneyland Paris trips for 20 years so I picked their brains on some top tips to get you off to a flying start.
Go by coach
No travelling up to London for the Eurostar or tackling the drive yourself – Leger will pick you up at your choice of nearby pick up points (it has 500 across the country) and drive you right to your hotel. No stopping for kids to wee beside the motorway – there are loos on board (plus comfort breaks en route). No “I’m bored…” Leger plays Disney DVDs on the coach to get everyone in the mood. Coach trips are grandparent-friendly too, in fact Leger often finds grandparents treat kids to a break while parents work. They also offer deals for solo parents.
Stay on site
Not only are the one-site hotels handier, you also get early entry into the park – an hour before the general public. Leger offers four of Disney’s on-site hotels all of which have a theme. It particularly recommends the Sequoia Lodge which has a log cabin feel and a big fireplace in the lobby – perfect for an autumnal break.
Get an early start
You want to make the most of that extra hour before the hordes arrive so get down to breakfast and out into the park first. Face it, the excited kids will probably get you up anyway.
Get your fast passes first
You can pick up free fast passes at the major Disneyland Paris rides with a time to come back and queue jump later. Go round grabbing these first and you’re set up for the day.
This is a clever bit of reverse psychology. Most people naturally veer clockwise when they enter a park, go anti-clockwise at the start of the day and you should find find far fewer people queueing at the first rides.
Get the Disney app
Download the app and you’ll get all the handy advance info like what rides are suitable for what heights (also available on the website). You’ll also be able to see the live queue times for certain rides.
Move your lunchtime
The restaurants in the park are busiest noon to 2.30pm. If you can eat outside of these times you’ll not only miss the food queues, you’ll be able to hit the most popular rides when the queues are shorter.
Book your dinner
There could be a bit of an after-park rush hour at your hotel that’ll mean you’ll have a wait to get in to eat. Avoid this by booking your table for dinner in advance. You can also eat in the Disney Village dining and entertainment district that stays open later than the park. Leger customers get discounts here in Planet Hollywood and the Earl of Sandwich.
Catch the celebrations
Disneyland Paris is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year so there are special events still going on. Disney goes all out for Halloween too so you’ll see decorations around the park throughout Oct and the famous Disney parade will be adapted with extra (kid-friendly) spookiness.
Look out for off-peak weekend deals
Leger’s Disneyland Paris breaks are usually three-night stays but throughout the year, especially at off peak times, it will offer weekend deals so you can get there and back outside the school holidays without the kids missing classes.
It’s not just for kids
Plenty of couples head to the white knuckle rides of Disneyland Paris for a mini break, perhaps as a side-trip to Paris itself, and naturally it suits friends too.
To find out more about Disneyland Paris breaks with Leger visit one of the branches of award-winning Kent/Sussex travel agency Baldwins Travel Group, or give them a call. They also have an open day coming up on Sun Sept 24 at Salomons Estate