10 Must Do’s at Disneyland Paris for First-Timers

Disneyland Paris, while one of Disney’s smaller parks, still has lots of gems for you to discover. Keep reading for my tips for Disneyland Paris for First-Timers. Don’t forget you can also join our Disney Park planning Facebook group #CLROhana to find out more helpful hints and tips.

Disneyland Paris for First-Timers…

Take a photo with the prettiest castle in the Disney Parks

Many argue that Disneyland Paris has the prettiest castle of all the Disney parks. I can see where they’re coming from – the pink turrets look beautiful against the clear blue skies of a Parisian summer. While Cinderella’s Castle in Disney World will always be my favourite, I love having a photo with Sleeping Beauty’s castle too.

There’s a few good places to stand to get great photos here without people in the background. If you’re at the park for the beginning of extra magic hours (that happen every morning in Paris between the two parks) you can get a lovely photo smack bang in front of the castle. If you choose to wait until later on the day when the sun has risen properly I’d recommend going to the left of the castle to a small patio or taking a seat on the wall in front of the castle and angling the camera upwards. You can also take good shots from the balcony opposite the castle stage.

Stars on Parade

Disneyland Paris’ daily parade is held in the main park and called ‘Stars on Parade’. Unique in its own way and very different to any of the other parks parades, ‘Stars on Parade’ is essential if visiting Disneyland Paris for the first time. Anywhere along the route will give a good enough view if you’re at the front but there are certain areas that I love to watch from. Right at the beginning of the parade route, there are two turrets the parade passes through. In the summer these provide great shade whist waiting for the parade to start. The other place I like to watch from is the very end of the route as the cast members and performers are heading in.

To get a good parade spot, depending on the weather, you need to be there up to an hour before it begins. The parade takes about 20 minutes from start to finish so be sure to plan accordingly.

Castle Stage Shows

Disneyland Paris has a castle stage on the right hand side of the castle (if you were looking at the castle straight on). There are a few benches to sit on and an area dedicated to disabled guests.

Each season comes with it’s own show which is usally not to be missed. Make sure you take a look at the Disneyland Paris app or pick up a leaflet when you enter the parks to check for shows and timings.

Nutella Stuffed Mickey Cookies from Cookie Kitchen or Boardwalk Candy Palace

Looking for the perfect Mickey shaped snack? Look no further than a giant Mickey shaped cookie stuffed with Nutella. Heaven on earth! You can find them on the confectionary counter inside Boardwalk Candy Palace or in Cookie Kitchen. I usually can’t eat a full one in one go so you can save a bit got later or they’re perfect to share.

Nutella cookie at Disneyland Paris for first-timers

Ride Big Thunder Mountain

Paris’ version of Big Thunder Mountain recently reopened after what was pretty much a two-year refurbishment. Now here’s the deal… I’d argue this Big Thunder Mountain is one of the best (I’d say better than the one at WDW!) The refurbishment was certainly worth it as you whip around the wilderness at great speed! Big Thunder Moutain is probably the most popular ride in Disneyland Paris’ main park (except for Peter Pan’s Flight… what is it with that ride?) so make sure you get a fast pass early on in the day. Make sure you also head back to ride it at night as well for a completely different experience. Disneyland Paris for first-timers 101!

Go and see Mickey and the Magician

If you’re lucky enough to be at Disneyland Paris whilst they’re showing Mickey and the Magician, you absolutely must go and see it. This is one of the best shows that a Disney park has ever put on. With lots of characters, magic tricks and incredible music it is always top of my list of things to do when it’s on.

Don’t forget that if you have a Mastercard (credit or debit) you can sometimes get VIP seating for Mickey and the Magician. All you need to do is head to guest services in the studio park first thing in the morning. Places go on a first come first served basis and one Mastercard holder can get five seats for a performance. The view is just incredible.

Crush’s Coaster is a Must Do!

If I can give one tip to Disneyland Paris for First-timers, I’d say Crush’s Coaster is a must! Paris has a few unique rides that you must do if you are a first-timer. Crush’s Coaster is one of them! Located in Studios Park, Crush’s Coaster has no fast pass queue so can get pretty busy. While there is a single rider queue, it’s not the quickest. Get ready for a ride on the E.A.C with Crush and the turtles. This ride is mainly in the dark but even my non-loving rollercoaster friends love this one!

ice cream from fantasia gelati at Disneyland Paris. Disneyland Paris for First-timers

In the summer, have ice cream from Fantasia Gelati

Tucked away behind Pizzeria Bella Notte and opposite ‘It’s a Small World’ I’d argue this is easily the best ice cream in Disneyland Paris. There are so many flavours to choose from and lots of cold treats to sink your teeth in to (well many not if they’re sensitive). My favourite ice cream flaours are the strawberry and the pistacio flavoured ones… the pistacio one especially!

See Illuminations

Disneyland Paris’ nighttime show should certainly be viewed at least once. I’d argue once is enough but once it needs to be at least. Very different to Happily Ever After, Disneyland Paris castle shows tend to lack in fireworks (owing to the location of the park) so be prepared. Some of the footage is lovely and you’ll be a big fan if you love the live action Beauty and the Beast.

Get lost in Alice’s Labyrinth

Finally, a bit of a silly one! Disneyland Paris is home to Alice’s Curious Labyrinth – a maze full of our favourite characters and some surprises. While it’s not one to do in the rain or the snow, if the weather is warm it can be the perfect way to whittle away an hour and gives some fantastic views of Fantasyland. I couldn’t write a guide to Disneyland Paris for first-timers without including this. The Labyrinth is unique to Disneyland Paris so is an absoluet must!

Don’t forget…

If you want to meet characters in the Studios park you’ll need the Lineberty app to book a space in the virtual queue. Slos open at 9:45am Paris time and can only be booked once you’re in the park.

There you have it, my top 10 things to do at Disneyland Paris for first timers. I hope that whether you’re in Disneyland Paris for a day, a week or just a few hours you’re inspired to try some of the above.

If you’re looking for more hints and tips about Disneyland Paris or any of the other Disney Parks, be sure to join our Facebook group – #CLROhana – it’s full of wonderfully, friendly people who are happy to answer any question when it comes to planning a Disney trip!

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