We recently went to Disneyland Paris and had 1 day, 2 park tickets (also known as a Hopper Ticket). We chose to go in the Easter holidays as there seemed to be better prices on tickets and accommodation was slightly cheaper too. You can see the prices, online, each day and you can work out the best time for you and your family to visit. We had a limited budget and only had the one day, so we had to make the most of it. Here is my guide on how to make the most of your trip to Disneyland Paris on a budget:

Where to get your tickets?

Firstly, get your tickets at a discounted rate if you can; find a day that works for you and your family and use the calendar function on attractiontickets.com to see the difference in prices over the days. I paid £95 per ticket, for all 4 of us and these were hopper tickets; this means we can go into both parks freely all day. I got the dated ticket as we knew what day we wanted to visit the park. Last year we looked last minute to visit DLP and there was no availability, so I learned my lesson from then. The total cost for our day tickets during the Easter holidays came to £380. If you can go outside of the school holidays you can half this cost for a day ticket.

Plan your day…

… before you arrive. I spent a lot of time reading the DLP website and downloaded the app. The website has details of the parks including rides and shows. I meticulously went through all the rides to understand what rides appealed more to us and I kind of put them in a priority order. My kiddies are thrill seekers, so I knew we had to do those rides first. We circled all of the rides we wanted to do before we went. Luckily I got a paper map from Villages Nature, so we circled them the night before and I kept the paper map on me all day.

We had no idea how long the queue times would be across the parks, so we made a decision about the ride we wanted to do first and then planned our day around that. The ride we decided on first was Avengers Assemble in Disney Studios. We queued up at the Studio gates from 9am, we were about 10th in the queue, and got straight on the ride. I think we queued for about 10 minutes, which was a good start to the day.

By circling the map we were able to visualise a route around both parks that meant we were not walking in zig zags. So we started in Studios, did all the rides we wanted to do by 2pm and then headed over to the main park where we did all of the other rides. When it got to 5pm we had been on most of the rides we had circled.

Download the app

The app was our beacon throughout the day, we had our paper map with us but the app had realtime queue guides. Please note they are not exact, but guides, for some rides it said 5 minutes and there was no queue at all and for some it said 25 minutes but we probably queued for a little longer than that. I think the most we queued was around 40 minutes for Big Thunder Mountain and Pirates of the Caribbean.

Tip: Crush’s Coaster

If you really want to go on Crush’s Coaster in Disney Studio’s do this first, or if you have magic hour do it then. The queue was always an hour and a half (at least) throughout the day!

We didn’t queue for Crush’s Coaster and so we missed out, had I have known how busy the ride was we would have done that first. I think the reason it is so popular is because it’s a Big Thrill ride but has a lower minimum height, so smaller children are safe on it.

This photo is of Big Thunder Mountain as the sun set, it was taken on my iPhone and has no filter. Doesn’t it look amazing. This ride was one of my favourites.

Watch the rides on YouTube

We spent an hour watching all of the rides we had circled on YouTube the day before. Not only did this add to the hype and excitement, it gave us a good understanding of what we were signing up for with each ride. I found the DLP Welcome channel really useful. We loved watching Avengers Assemble before we went, it gives you a little indication as to what to expect – but NOTHING compares to the feeling of the ride. I have watched Tower of Terror a few times since coming home too, that ride is another level!

Tip: Take a rucksack

You are allowed to take a rucksack with food and drinks in it and you can take them on the rides. Yes, even the ones that go upside down! On 99% of the rides we were asked to put our rucksacks between our legs, the only one that required us to put our bags in a locker type facility was the RC Racer ride. I assume this is because most of the other rides have more than 1 car that operates and/or it stops in a different location to where it starts. RC Racer has one car and stops/starts in the same place. (PS, it is a great ride).

Food menus

The website also breaks down all the eateries too. So you can see what themed food the restaurants serve, whether they cater for vegetarians (important for us obviously) and you can see the menus. This means you can plan your food costs before you travel. We went to Colonel Hathi’s Outpost Restaurant as we love Italian food and the meal deal was very appealing. I knew where it was located, as it’s on the map/app and we planned our evening meal around being near that restaurant. We ate around 7pm and there was no queue at all.

Our evening meal cost €60, this was 3 x Menu 2 and a kids meal for Isla. The Mickey Mouse Pizza was just adorable – we needed the carbs after all of our walking. We took rolls with us for lunch and had drinks and snacks in our rucksack for throughout the day. We had breakfast at Disney Village too, as we had got to the park so early!

Tip: Shows and Parades

If you want to see any shows/parades, make sure to get a spot at least 30 minutes before it starts as Main Street USA gets very busy.

For the parade at 5:30pm, I managed to get (in my opinion) the best spot on Main Street USA as I got to see the parade coming around the corner to my right, and going around the corner to my left. The map below shows our exact spot. This is where the parade ends, you see the same characters and vehicles, so I wasn’t fussed about standing by the start. There is a pavement with a crossing point that had a dropped kerb, we sat on the pavement where the crossing point starts. Staff vigilantly kept people off the dropped kerb area until literally 5:30pm (so people can cross from entrance to pavilion) and this meant I didn’t get any one trying to stand in front of me or push me out of the way. The sun was also behind me which meant I didn’t have to battle with the sun rays and I got a great view of all the parades! I felt very lucky as it was a perfect spot, X marks the spot below:

We stood by the pavilion to watch the Disney Electrical Sky Parade and fireworks from 10:50pm. It was a great post as meant we could leave the park quickly and we didn’t get stuck in a huge queue at 11:30pm.

Drones = Disney Electrical Sky Parade starts at 10:50pm. Fireworks = Disney Dreams! Nighttime extravaganza starts at 11pm.

Evening drones and fireworks display times


We didn’t stay at the park or in a Disney hotel, we had planned to stay off site and incorporate Disneyland Paris into our holiday that way. We stayed at Eurocamp La Croix du Vieux Pont for the weekend, this has shuttles dedicated to taking people to DLP and we also stayed at Villages Nature, which is on the bus route 47, it costs €2.50 per person each way and there are buses every 30 minutes throughout the day. We left Villages Nature at 7:20am and got back at 12:40am. We made sure we understood the bus timetable before we left, so we knew what time to get to the bus stop in the morning and what time it would come back (what the latest time was too). Wherever you stay, there are so many options near DLP, make sure you check out the routes to and from so you don’t have to worry about that on the day.

Final tip: The shops

The World of Disney store, by the entrance, opens at 9am until 1am. This means you will have plenty of time to grab your goodies after the fireworks.

There are so many other tips I have from our trip to Disneyland Paris, but this is my what to do if you are going for 1 day post. There is so much to see and do that it is impossible to do it all. So, you have to make decisions and prioritise the things you want to do most and anything else is a huge bonus.