If you can’t a picture in front of the castle, get there early
If you’re wanting an Instagram worthy castle picture, one where there aren’t 100 others in the background, you’re going to need to arrive early. I found if we got there by 8am there were only a few people about, therefore making it a lot easier to get that perfect shot. If you’re arriving from 10am onwards then the area is going to be manic as it’s around then the park opens to the general public, not just to those who are staying on-site.
Make sandwiches up at the breakfast buffet for lunch
If you’re staying at the Disneyland park and you’ve bought a standard meal plan this is the BEST money-saving tip I have. I was making up bacon sandwiches from the breakfast buffet, wrapping them in napkins to snack on throughout the day; we were also taking items like croissants, yogurts, and fruit. This makes a huge difference as snacks in the park are very expensive if you’re wanting to buy a biscuit you’re looking at 5 euros. If you’re wanting a maccies snack you’re looking at least 10 euros per person, which is rather pricey, especially for a family of 4.
Arriving at 9am to meet Mickey Mouse
Lewiss and I arrived at 9:20am-ish to queue for Mickey, we were about the 10th people in the line. By the time the doors opened at 10am the queueing time was reaching 60-70 minuites!
Thunder Mountain FastPass
If you’re staying in the Disneyland resort then you’re able to get free fast passes by scanning your magic pass. You’re only able to get one at a time so you can’t get your next fast pass until you’ve used the previous, however, it can drop your waiting time for 75 minuites to as little at 10 minuites.
Book your restaurants a few months before you go
This is where I slipped up on my planning, I didn’t realise how far in advance you needed to book your dining reservations. If you’re wanting to eat in a certain resturant I would recommend booking a couple of months in advance to make sure you can get the date and time you desire. Lewiss and I still found plenty of nice places to eat, only booking a week before, it just meant we had a smaller variety to choose from.
If you’re eating breakfast at the hotel, get there EARLY
Every day I was setting my alarm for 6am so we could be up, showered and ready to go to breakfast by 7am. At this time there was a queue at the hotel we were staying at, Santa Fe, however, by the time we were leaving which was 7:45, 8am-ish the queue was down the corridor, to the reception and out of the door. That’s about an HOURS wait, that’s an hour later you’re getting into the park and then the queues will be longer when you arrive. Every second counts in Disney!
Getting the Disneyland app to check ride waiting times
The ‘Disneyland’ app was such a massive help, were we able to see the wait times of all the rides. We could see that the pirates of the Carribean only had a 10 min wait so we would pop over there for a quick ride. The app also makes you aware of what rides are down for maintenance and if there has been a temporary closure to a ride, super helpful.
Being aware you need to book online to meet certain characters
A lot of the characters at Disneyland you can just join a queue and wait your turn to meet them however a select few do not work like this. We found that for Daisy Duck, Buzz Lightyear and a few others you had to book online to get a place to meet them, this meant the queues were very VERY short. Lewiss and I arrived to meet Daisy Duck, who is one of my favourite characters and we were made aware that we couldn’t meet her as we had not previously booked. 22 year old me was devastated, you would have thought I was an 8-year-old child who had just had her hopes and dreams crushed, lol.
We were very lucky that a kind lady approached us saying that she had booked for her and her young daughter to meet Disney, however, her child no longer wanted to meet her. This meant Lewiss and I were able to take their places to meet Daisy Duck, who is the actual cutest!
Using the Disney Express luggage service
The Disney luggage service means your suitcases are taken by staff from the Eurostar to your hotel baggage department for you to collect later in the day. This stops you from having to walk all your belongings on what could be a 20 minuite walk to your hotel.
Don’t order English Tea
English tea just isn’t the same in France, there are several flavours of fruity tea but no English breakfast tea. I bought a cuppa for 4 euros to be given hot milk to but in my tea which made it curdle and go lumpy, I gave it a sip to find out it was fruit tea too. It’s really not the one.
TOP TIP: take your own tea bags if you’re a big tea lover!
Those were my top tips for visiting Disneyland, do you have any extras?