Disneyland Paris with Kids (Fun Tips for Families!)

The only thing that could make a family vacation in Paris even more dreamy is adding a theme park trip to Disneyland Paris with kids! Children may tire of too many museums and monuments. After a few days of exploring French history, culture, and art — there’s something so exciting yet comforting about Disneyland Paris. Here are fun tips for families to make your Disneyland Paris trip even more magical!

View of Disneyland Paris from Alice's Curious Labyrinth ~ Disneyland Paris with Kids
View of Disneyland Park from Alice’s Curious Labyrinth (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

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Two Disneyland Paris Theme Parks

Disneyland Paris consists of two theme parks — Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park. They are situated right next door to each other, making it easy to hop from one park to the other. The great news? Entrance tickets are about 25 percent less expensive than in the U.S.

Disneyland Park in France is similar to the Magic Kingdom in Florida or the original Disneyland in California. Visitors will enjoy familiar attractions like Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Buzz Lightyear Laser Blasters, Big Thunder Mountain, and Blanche-Neige et Les Sept Nains (Snow White and the Seven Dwarves).

Meanwhile, Walt Disney Studios Park compares to Disney California Adventure Park in Anaheim or Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando. Expect such attractions as the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Cars movie rides and Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith.

Walt Disney Studios Park with Kids
Ratatouille: The Adventure is a must-do at Walt Disney Studios Park (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Attractions Unique to Disneyland Paris

Experiencing a new version of Disney magic is part of the lure of visiting Disneyland Paris with kids. As my 10-year-old son put it, “We pretty much have Disneyland in California memorized. It was fun to be surprised by Disney again.” While you can find plenty of Disney attractions similar to those in the U.S., there are unique finds in the Disneyland Park in Paris.

Alice’s Curious Labyrinth

For instance, Alice’s Curious Labyrinth is a playful hedge maze filled with statues and animatronics perfect for snapping selfies to post to your Instagram account. (Worry not, parents, it’s pretty easy to keep an eye on young children here since it’s not a true hedge maze.) Also, below the park’s particularly stunning castle lies la Tanière du Dragon (the Dragon’s Lair), a walk-through exhibit with an impressive animatronic dragon resident.

Ratatouille: The Adventure

The star attraction at Walt Disney Studios Park is the unique Ratatouille: The Adventure. It’s part 4-D movie, part ride. Passengers experience life as a rat in Gusteau’s famous Parisian restaurant on this attraction. Motion sickness sufferers (like me!) may need to close their eyes for portions of the ride.

Other Special Disneyland Paris Rides

Other unique attractions at this park include Crush’s Coaster (a spinning Finding Nemo-themed coaster ride), Cars Quatre Roues Rallye (a ho-hum version of the more exciting Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree in Anaheim), and Studio Tram Tour: Behind the Magic (a faux Hollywood backlot tour similar to the ride that once resided in Orlando).

Cars Quatre Roues Rallye, or Cars Race Rally at Walt Disney Studios Park at Disneyland Paris with kids
Cars Quatre Roues Rallye, or Cars Race Rally at Walt Disney Studios Park (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Similar Rides in Paris and the U.S. Disney Parks

After each ride, my kids and I enjoyed comparing and contrasting the American and French versions of the same attraction. We all agreed that the newer ‘it’s a small world’ in Paris outshines the old-school California attraction with its updated animatronics and seamless displays. While Paris’s Pirates of the Caribbean is pretty dang similar to the American versions, the outdoor Skull Rock makes for impressive photo ops, mateys.

Pirate Galleon and Skull Rock at Disneyland Paris with Kids
Pirate Galleon and Skull Rock at Disneyland Paris (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril

Some attractions were significantly different from what we’re used to seeing at home. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril in Paris, for example, is an outdoor roller coaster, whereas the California attraction is a rollicking indoor journey focused more on theming than speed.

Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain

Meanwhile, Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain has way cooler special effects than the Space Mountain rides in the U.S. with riders feeling like true (French-speaking) rebel alliance spaceship captains.

Be forewarned, though, that it’s a much more thrilling ride with loop-the-loops and those over-the-shoulder harnesses. Space Mountain is my all-time favorite amusement park ride but the Parisian version gave me a headache. Both my kids, however, deemed it the best Disney ride ever!

 Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril is an outdoor roller coaster at Disneyland Paris
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril is an outdoor roller coaster at Disneyland Paris (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Dining at Disneyland Paris with Kids

The biggest disappointment for me at Disneyland Paris was the food. This is ironic since the amusement park is located in the gastronomic capital of the world.

My family has enjoyed better culinary experiences at Disneyland and Disney World. In fact, when I asked my 13-year-old daughter what readers should know about Disneyland Paris with kids, she said, “Just that everything is better there besides the food.”

Off-Season Closures

We visited off-season in March, which meant that we enjoyed shorter lines than summer or holiday visitors. Unfortunately, it also meant that many of the sit-down restaurants were closed, and quick service options were in short supply.

Hard to Find Healthy Snacks

Additionally, while the American Disney parks offer a bounty of healthy snacks to eat like veggies with dip or fresh fruits, the only snacks we could find at this park were sugary pastries and ice creams. Also, as a gluten-sensitive eater, I found it somewhat difficult to find foods to eat here. Food pricing was much higher in Paris than in the U.S., too.

Disneyland Paris Sit-Down Restaurants

If you are willing to splurge, the high-end restaurants at Disneyland Paris get rave reviews. Inventions, which overlooks Main Street USA from the Disneyland Hotel, gets the highest marks on TripAdvisor of any restaurant at Disneyland Paris. When you’re craving the flavors of home, book a table at Walt’s – An American Restaurant. Your best bet is to book in advance.

Make Dining Reservations

To make dining reservations while at Disneyland Paris, you can stop by the restaurants. You can also pop into City Hall at Disneyland Park or Studio Services at Walt Disney Studios Park. A cast member will let you know which restaurants have availability in the parks, hotels and Disney Village entertainment district.

For an upscale taste of home, book a meal at Walt's - An American Restaurant at Disneyland Paris with kids
For an upscale taste of home, book a meal at Walt’s – An American Restaurant (Photo credit: Disneyland Paris)

A Blend of Familiar and Foreign

When I came to Disneyland Paris for the first time in 1994, just a couple of years after it first opened, I was an American foreign exchange student living in France. I loved finding a little slice of Americana in my newly adopted country.

Your kids might also feel comforted by the familiar, friendly feel of Disney after a few days of all things new and exotic in France. Of course, Disneyland Paris still feels distinctly European with French-named attractions, foreign cast members, and that French je ne sais quoi.

Disneyland Paris is a popular spot for a mini-break for many Europeans. As a result, the park has a cosmopolitan feel where one hears many languages spoken throughout the park.

I speak French as a second language and attempted to speak the native language while at Disneyland Paris. Non-French speakers, though, may feel a sense of relief knowing that all Disney cast members speak fluent English.

If you’d like to learn some French before your trip to France, I highly recommend Rosetta Stone for the whole family!

The Disneyland Hotel at Disneyland Paris wows fans with its proximity to, and views of the theme park
The Disneyland Hotel wows fans with its proximity to, and views of Disneyland Park (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Disneyland Paris Hotels

To fully experience both theme parks, I recommend spending at least two full days at Disneyland Paris with kids. There are seven Disney hotels on site, ranging from the luxurious Disneyland Hotel to Davy Crockett Ranch, where guests stay in woodland cabins.

Each hotel is themed to represent a particular region of the United States. Resort guests enjoy perks such as Extra Magic Hours (to enter the parks before non-hotel guests) and shuttle bus service.

Marriott’s Village d’Ile-de-France

Although I did not stay overnight at Disneyland Paris, The Animal Loving Travel Mama Debbie Ferm did. She recommends Marriott’s Village d’lle-de-France.

She says, “It’s an ideal location for a multigenerational Disney vacation. The resort is just four miles from the gates of Disneyland Paris, and the local bus will transport you from door to door. Spacious town homes invite families to spread out, yet gather for meals or family activities. French classes, crepe making and other activities are available for everyone from toddlers to grandmas to unwind and enjoy precious time together.”

Additional Hotels Near Disneyland Paris

There are many other non-Disney hotels in the area as well. Take a look at the highest ranked Disneyland Paris area hotels on TripAdvisor.


Disney Village

Just outside the theme parks’ gates, Disney Village is a shopping and entertainment complex similar to Downtown Disney at the original Disneyland or Disney Springs at Walt Disney World. Disney Village offers a selection of cafés and restaurants including chains such as Rainforest Café, Planet Hollywood and Starbucks, as well as Disney-owned dining options.

This area also boasts several entertainment options like Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show…with Mickey and Friends, live music, a sports bar, a movie theater, and even a giant hot air balloon.

Some of my favorite memories of my family's trip to France took place at Disneyland Paris
Some of my favorite memories of my family’s trip to France took place at Disneyland Paris (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

How to Get to Disneyland Paris with Kids

Disneyland Paris is located about 40 minutes outside the city in the suburbs of Paris.

Disneyland Paris by Train

Thankfully, this amusement park is easily accessible by RER train. Trains depart from these stations within Paris: Charles de Gaulle-Etoile (near Arc de Triomphe), Auber (at Galeries Lafayette shopping center), Chatelet les Halles, and Gare de Lyon.

You can reach any of these stations from connecting Metro subway lines. A regular Metro ticket will not suffice, however, because Disneyland Paris is located in Zone 5 outside of the city.

Just be sure to purchase a train ticket that takes your family to Marne-la-Valle Chessy (RER Line A). The electronic machines in the train stations make purchasing tickets pretty easy and non-intimidating. Paris’s Metro system is easy to navigate and one of the best in the world.

Disneyland Paris by Bus

If you’d rather not hassle with trains, you can purchase bundled Disneyland Paris tickets and bus transportation from PARISCityVision.

No matter how you get to Disneyland Paris, France, I’m sure this theme park will add some extra magic and memories to your family vacation in France!

France family travel planning

Book Your France Family Vacation

If you’d like some hands-on assistance and expert advice in planning your family’s vacation in France, we recommend booking with our partner travel agency, Ciao Bambino. To get started, click the graphic above to fill out a simple online form.

The carousel and opera house on La Place de la Comedie in Montpellier, France
La Place de la Comédie in Montpellier, France (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Explore More of France

Check out the best family vacations in France recommended by travel experts.

Discover the best things to do in Montpellier, the vibrant city where I studied for a year during college.

For a nature-focused family trip, consider a stay at CenterParcs Trois Fôrets Resort in the remote area of Moselle Lorraine.

Find out why Provence with kids is a dream come true.

Disneyland Paris with Kids ~ A Disney Park with a French Accent

Save These Disneyland Paris with Kids Tips

Dreaming of visiting Disneyland Paris with kids? Keep these theme park tips for future reference. Just pin the image above to Pinterest. Be sure to follow Travel Mamas on Pinterest while you’re at it!

Would you like to visit Disneyland Paris, France with kids? Want to share your favorite Paris Disney attractions? Let us know in the comments below!

A Note from The Travel Mama: I received two complimentary Disneyland Paris Park Hopper tickets for the purposes of this story. Travel Mamas did not receive any monetary compensation related to this blog post. The Animal Loving Travel Mama did not receive any media rates or comps for her hotel stay. All opinions are mine, as always.

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  1. Hello,

    We are looking to go to Disney land Paris in two weeks…. would you recommend spending the extra money for a two day ticket, or buy a single day ticket without the option of hopping from one park to the other… in other words do you need to hop from one park to the other, or could you just spend a separate day in each?
    Many Thanks


    1. Hi Briony – Personally, I recommend just getting a one-day ticket for each park. That way you can focus on each park on its own without wasting time and energy walking between the two parks. Have a wonderful time at Disneyland Paris!