March 15, 2020

Disneyland Paris for adults: What to see, do and eat

Disneyland Paris is known for being a place you take families, but what it it like for all us adults who want to go too?

The park, just outside of Paris, is in a perfect location to explore the French capital and get your Disney fix.

I went to Disneyland Paris this month with two other friends my age and thought i’d share what it’s like for us adults along with some tips on what to see and do and how long you really need to go for.

We spent a grand total of 4 days, with one day exploring Paris.

How to get there:

We took the Eurostar which was slightly more expensive than flying but meant that we could actually get the train to Marne La Vallee, where the park is situated.

On the way we had to change in Lille, while on the way back our train was direct to London which was very handy!

Flying would have been fine but we would have had to have taken a bus to Disneyland from there which just seemed like a kerfuffle – or maybe that’s just me being lazy!

What is the accommodation like?

We opted to stay at Disneyland Paris as it just seemed a lot easier. The cheapest deal they had was for Sequoia Lodge which is one of the more budget hotels. It was fine – a bit like an Ibis but Disney themed. Each hotel has its own theme and ours was made out to look like a Californian lodge.

One thing I would say is that there weren’t any plug sockets by the bed which was a bit annoying – they were all in weird places such as by the door and the bathroom which wasn’t very good for charging your phone etc.

We made use of the hotel pool but very annoyingly the jacuzzi was being used by families with splashy children despite there being an age limit.

Other hotels include the Hotel Santa Fe – which I stayed at years ago and has a western / Toy Story theme. This one is slightly further out from the park but a lot of fun.

If you’re looking to splash out a bit more then the Hotel New York is reopening after a renovation this summer and is your best bet to have a hotel room with all the modcons.

I would just say, don’t expect anything flashy as the hotels have been around for a very long time and everything is priced up because it is Disney.

Sophie and Pluto at Sequoia Lodge in Disneyland Paris

Two good things about staying at the park though are – characters in the lobby every morning (hey, adults can enjoy that too okay) and early access to the theme parks – the main Park opens at 8:30 for those who want to skip the queue.

What to see:

Disneyland of course!! Disneyland Paris has two theme parks.

The main Disneyland park is the biggest and then there’s the Walt Disney Studios park which has some rides although there are a lot more on the way. They’re building Star Wars, Frozen and Marvel areas which is going to make it a lot bigger.

Walt Disney Studios in Paris

My favourite of course is the Disneyland park because I personally think it’s got the best rides from Space Mountain (which has been given a Star Wars edit) to Big Thunder Mountain and Pirates of the Caribbean.

Plus it has the castle and a load of cute arcades to explore – which are especially helpful in the rain. And believe me, it rained the entire weekend I was there. We managed to make the most of it though, seeing shows and trying out any indoor ride – yes we did It’s a Small World!

And the main park has the best fireworks of course!

Fireworks at Disneyland Paris

One thing I would say though, is prepare to queue. Because a lot of Disneyland is about queueing.

When we were there, the queue for Big Thunder Mountain reached 90 minutes which seemed crazy! So I really would suggest staying at the park and getting your free time before everyone else comes in. And then once you’ve done the rides you want to do, you can easily go back to bed!

Read more: Spending Christmas in Paris

Where to eat:

There are lots of places inside the park to eat but I can’t massively say they are impressive. Our first attempt at eating in the park was a bit of a downer. We went to the Bella Notte pizza place and ended up queueing for hours. And you weren’t allowed to save tables for your group!

But other attempts at eating were a lot smoother. The other pizza place was amazing and it had performers inside. The staff were very friendly and helped people find seats.

As you’d expect with theme parks, the food is very much a convenience style with pizzas, burgers, hotdogs etc. Although there are meal deals where you get a salad with your meal which I took advantage of. I’m a vegetarian and I found that there weren’t that many options for me.

Sophie at the castle in Disneyland Paris

Outside of the park, we actually went to Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show which came with a meal and free drinks – beer or a soft drink (adults definitely take advantage of that!). I had the vegetarian option which was actually delicious – pasta, potatoes, corn on the cob and a load of green veg. While the meat eaters were given an insane amount of meat.

One thing I would say about Buffalo Bill’s is that at times it did feel a bit uncomfortable seeing the animals performing (the horses were fine, it was mainly the cows). I didn’t really see the need to have cows in the arena doing nothing and they were becoming a bit agitated in there.

We also eat at the buffet inside Billy Bob’s. Yeah don’t. Either that or just prepare yourself for dessert. 32 euros for food that just wasn’t very nice. Aside from the cakes which were in fact delicious.

And we also eat at the Sequoia Lodge hotel bar. I had a cheese board that I was rather pleased with – came with three different types of cheese and bread and grapes and for an extra 5 euros, came with a glass of wine! Very French!

Where to drink:

Now this is something I googled before coming to the park. What I can confirm is that the hotel shops sell beer in their fridges and soft drinks along with big bags of crisps. However there is no wine.

On the first night we grabbed a drink in the hotel lobby which was rather nice – they had a wood burning fire!

The second day was spent in Paris so we bought some wine in the city and then brought it back. There is a rule that you can’t bring it through the village so we had to get one of the hotel buses from the train station to the hotel which wasn’t that bad. There are ice machines in the hotel to help keep it cool.

In the village, there is a medieval themed bar which has a cracking happy hour. it’s a good spot to watch the world go by.

There is also the Disneyland Hotel which was an absolute delight.

We sat there on the last day for hours just having a chat. It’s more expensive but it’s a really nice atmosphere  – and they give you olives. It’s quite fun watching all the characters run past from the kids club.

Also the hotel itself is absolutely stunning.

 

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Disney Tourist Blog has some good advice here.

Would I recommend it for adults?

Yes and no. Basically I think you can see the parks within two days.

I think the easiest way to do it would be to spend two nights in Disneyland and then a further two nights in Paris itself. Then you get more bang for your buck and you get to see more of Paris.

As much as I love Disneyland, it’s a lot smaller as an adult and you can see most of it in a day. You can definitely see a lot more if you stay over in a Disney hotel and get the magic hours pass.

In regards to food, be prepared to spend and do some research as to what you want to eat while you’re there especially if you’re a vegetarian.

And in regards to going out to bars etc, I would 100 percent recommend the hotel bars. They’re a lot more relaxed and a little cheaper than staying out at places such as Planet Hollywood etc.

Watch some of the highlights from my trip below.

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