Top tips for taking grandchildren to Disneyland Paris

Top tips for taking grandchildren to Disneyland Paris
  1. The best age for young visitors depends on your energy levels. There’s a lot of walking involved, especially if you don’t stay on site, so it’s an ideal break for 7 – 12 year-olds. That said, there’s also lots aimed at younger guests, so if you don’t mind a bit of forward planning (plenty of food stops for example) it’s fine to take little ones.
  2. It makes sense really, but visiting off-season and mid-week is the best way to avoid queues. Obviously that can be tricky in terms of school, but a February half term visit is less likely to be busy than a mid-August one, although of course the weather may be temperamental, so bring a brolly.
  3. There are pros and cons to staying in a Disney hotel as opposed to an apartment or hotel off-site, but one of the main reasons to do so is that you can get into the park a whole two hours earlier than everyone else (although not all rides are open early, so it’s worth checking at reception before you head out). This means you can visit many of the most popular rides before there’s a big queue. Also staying in a Disney hotel means your park entrance will be included in the price.
  4. Plan ahead. As mentioned before, it’s worth planning ahead which parts of the park you want to focus on each day to avoid tiring out little ones (and you!). Pick an area and work out where you’re going to stop for lunch nearby – you might even want to pre-book if you know you’ll want to eat at a popular time. Besides which, planning ahead is all part of the fun – let them make some decisions too, and you’ll all feel really excited before you head out.
  5. If there’s one ride they are desperate to go on each day, make sure to get a free Fast Pass. These are very clever timed tickets that will save you hours of standing in line (especially welcome on a rainy or very hot day). Stop by the ride and pick one up – it will give you a time to return, when you can join a faster queue. You can only have one Fast Pass at a time, eg you can have one for the Peter Pan ride but you can’t then get one for Space Mountain until after Peter Pan, but you can pick them up throughout the day to save lots of queuing.
  6. Be careful about which rides you take grandchildren on as some of them are genuinely scary, and even thrill-seekers might find them a bit much. If in doubt, talk to a member of staff about which rides they’d recommend.
  7. Dress comfortably – and make sure your grandchildren do the same. Wandering the park involves around four – six miles of walking, plus any walk to and from your hotel. It’s important to wear comfy shoes, and layers including waterproofs. It might be a good idea to attach labels to smaller children with a phone number for the hotel, and your mobile if you have one, in case you get separated.
  8. Don’t forget to take rests if it all gets too much – the park has free water fountains, so take along an empty bottle to top up as you go.
  9. One inexpensive way to record your trip is to give each of the children a disposable camera so they can snap away. Obviously these won’t be the highest quality pictures, but they will show the exact viewpoint of the little ones, and provide priceless memories. Plus they’ll be much cheaper than any official photos on offer.
  10. Character breakfasts are fun but pricey. Instead try to work out where and when your best chance of spotting them in the park will be. Again, speaking to hotel staff is a good way to get the inside scoop. It’s worth bearing in mind that once your grandchildren spot one, there will be no budging them until they’ve lined up for a hug and an autograph.
  11. Embrace your inner child! It might be a more tiring trip than some of your other breaks, but it’s one that none of you will forget. Buy those Mickey Mouse ears, eat ice cream until you feel sick and generally behave like you’re a child too – you only live once.
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