Top 10 attractions at Disneyland Paris


 

So, you booked a day or two at Disneyland Paris? As a fan of Mickey’s wonderful world I can tell you that you are in for a magic moment.
But with two theme parks and an entertainment center to enjoy, you might want to choose your Disney attractions wisely, for you might not have the time to do them all !
First, I advise you read this great article on how to best visit Disneyland, and make the most out of your time there.

Then, you will find below my top ten things to do at Disneyland Paris. Please note that my list includes attractions in both parks – Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios.

The entrance of the Walt Disney Studios – Picture : Pixabay CC0

Also, as we don’t all like our rides with the same intensity, I ranked them from the softest attraction to the most thrilling one, according to me. Of course, keep in mind that Disneyland Paris is a family-friendly park. Its thrilling rides are usually quite soft compared to the ones of Europa Park (Germany), Port Aventura (Spain) or even Parc Asterix (North of Paris).

1. Build your day around the shows

  • In which park? Both Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios
  • Thrill level : 💚
  • Type of audience: All audiences

The very first thing you should plan upon getting to Disneyland Paris is your shows schedule. Indeed, most of your day will be organized around the main shows. There are several types of shows not to miss at Disneyland Paris.

The parades are the iconic moment in which most of your favorite Disney characters walk, dance and sing, along Main Street, in an uplifting moment. The monumental floats and the costume often make it a highlight of the day. Most of the year there is only one parade each day so make sure you plan and don’t miss it! If you are lucky enough to visit Disneyland during one of the key seasons such as Halloween or Christmas, another theme parade may double the pleasure! Seasonal parades are often agremented with small shows on Main Street or Central Plaza (in front of the Sleeping Beauty Castle !)

The Disneyland Park parade – Picture by William Crochot – Source : Wikimedia Commons

The daytime shows usually take place in specific theaters across the parks. Showtimes are clearly indicated on the day program. Not all shows are good and not all will fit all audiences, but there is usually always one to please you, so stay alert on the schedule!

At last, you do NOT want to miss the closing show. Currently, this show, named Disney Illuminations, takes place at the closing time of the Park, on Sleeping Beauty Castle. The majestic fireworks and light display is definitely one last marvel to enjoy after a long and pleasant day. One piece of advice though, you should arrive early (nearly one hour prior to the show) so you can pick the best spots on Central Plaza. You will only enjoy the show all the more !

The spectacular closing show Disney Illuminations – Photo by Julian Hochgesang – Source: Unsplash

2. Catch the tune at “It’s a small world”

  • In which park? Disneyland Park (Fantasyland)
  • Thrill level :💚
  • Type of audience : All audiences

When you read “It’s a small world after all. It’s a small world after all. It’s a small world after all. It’s a small small world !” you are either one of two kinds. You have either already been to the iconic Disneyland attraction, or you have not. But if you have, you probably could not read it without hearing the tune.

Call it annoying or wonderful, the Shermann brothers’ catchy tune perfectly elevates the beautiful boat trip around this world of puppets and dolls. In a reproduction of the five continents customs, the boat takes you on a journey across the world’s most diverse cultures with stunning costumed automated dolls. The whole scene seems to remind us that, no matter where we are from, we are all part of this “small world”.

3. Get a handful of Pixie-dust at “Peter pan’s flight”

  • In which park? Disneyland Park (Fantasyland)
  • Thrill level : 💚
  • Type of audience : All audiences

Peter Pan’s flight is one of the three “Classics”, along with the Pinocchio and Snow White rides. These three attractions are among the oldest, and use the technologies of the original Disney parks. Yet, since they use some of the most famous franchises of the brand, these rides often come with long waiting times.

If you have to choose one, pick Peter Pan’s Flight for a short flight above London and the magical Neverland. Although quite basic, the ride will be an enchantment for the youngest and their parents.

Flying over London at Peter Pan’s Flight – Picture by Jeremy Thompson – Source: Wikimedia Commons

4. Sail with Jack Sparrow at “Pirates of the Caribbean”

  • In which park? Disneyland Park (Adventureland)
  • Thrill level : 💛
  • Type of audience : Kids – Adults

Before the Johnny Depp movies, there was a ride.

Pirates of the Caribbean is one of the most beautiful family rides ever created. The realistic West Indies environment, the impressive fake night and the uplifting music will surely transport you on a journey you probably did not prepare for. If some of the effects have aged a bit, the fire scene is still amazing and the young adventurers in each of us cannot be transcended.

This ride may not be suitable for very young kids and the piracy atmosphere can be a bit impressive.

Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland Paris – Source: Pixabay CC0

5.  Communicate with the afterlife at “The Haunted Mansion”

  • In which park? Disneyland Park (Frontierland)
  • Thrill level : 💛
  • Type of audience : Kids – Adults

Once you walk past the victorian entrance of this horror-movie-style mansion, you step into a world of ghosts and macabre atmosphere.

Although this ride is not the most exciting one, the special effects and the setting are well worth the wait. Most especially, the stunning “elongated walls” effect at the beginning and the deathly waltz of the grand ball scene are these incredible moments that will call your curiosity.

The Haunted Mansion is not a very scary haunted house attraction, but the ghost-filled atmosphere may not be suitable for impressionable children…

The Haunted Mansion at Disneyland Paris – Source : Pixabay CC0

6. Ride the uncontrollable train of “Big Thunder Mountain”

  • In which park? Disneyland Park (Frontierland)
  • Thrill level : 😱
  • Type of audience : All audiences

Also known as the Mine Train, “BTM” is probably one of my favorite rides of all! The grandiose Western-US settings copying the columns of Bryce Canyon or the Grand Canyon, the loud cremailleres, the dark mine crossings and, of course, the speed make it one of these few family-friendly thrilling rides.

Since the height limit is shorter than on other rides, BTM is quite popular with kids as, for some, it is the only sensational ride they can take.

But the feeling is great no matter your age. Be prepared for sharp turns, sudden drops and unforgettable laughter!

The stunning setting of Big Thunder Mountain – Source : Pixabay CC0

7. Surf the E.A.C on “Crush’s Coaster”

  • In which park? Walt Disney Studios
  • Thrill level : 😱
  • Type of audience: Kids – Adults

Crush’s Coaster takes you on a ride along the East Australian Current (EAC), in the shell of turtle Crush from Nemo.

Beware of the seemingly calm aspect of the whole staging upon hopping into the vehicle, for Crush’s Coaster is quite a strong ride.

Some drops are impressive and the flawless moves of the shell perfectly mimic a ride alongside a sea current.

Although it is perfectly suitable for all audience above the height-limitation, keep in mind that the ride is not soft. But if you like fun thrilling rides, Crush’s Coaster is the perfect ride to open your day.

8. Face your fear of heights at the “RC Racer”

  • In which park? Walt Disney Studios
  • Thrill level : 😱😱
  • Type of audience: Teenagers – Adults

In Toy Story, RC is a remote-controlled car which drives along flashy orange tracks. The RC Racer attraction is a U-shape track, of the same orange shade as in the film. Visitors hop into the RC car and only ride back and forth on the U-shaped road.

The summary does not seem so intense. But the reality is quite different.

With a height of 25 meters (82 feet), the U shape quickly feels like a mountain to the visitor, and the climbs and falls are rather impressive. If you like the feeling of your typical fairs pirate boats, then you will love the RC Racer which combines this feeling with the sense of speed, and the fear of heights.

The ride is very short (you climb and fall four times only) and lasts only a few seconds. Therefore, I recommend you line up for the RC Racer when the queue is less than 30 minutes so that the experience is worth the wait.

Be aware that this ride is intense. In my opinion, despite the fact that it is located in the “toys” section of the Walt Disney Studios Park, it is not suitable to young children.

The RC Racer at Walt Disney Studios – Picture by DarthFener94 – Source : Wikimedia Commons

9. May the Force be With You at “Hyperspace Mountain”

  • In which park? Disneyland Park (Discoveryland)
  • Thrill level :😱😱😱
  • Type of audience : Teenagers – Adults

In 1995, when Jules Verne’s themed “Space Mountain: From the Earth to the Moon” opened, it was nicknamed “the greatest ride in the Galaxy”. If you know Space Mountain in other Disney parks, be aware that the Paris version is nothing like that. In Paris, the ride is one of the most intense in the resort. At its opening, the ride featured a journey to the moon, in a ship propelled by a huge cannon (which is clearly visible from the outside of the building).

In 2005, the ride was totally transformed to welcome Space Mountain: Mission 2, a ride with much more light effects and speed-enhancing music. The whole new experience was overall praised.

Yet, two years ago, wishing to capitalize on the massive Star Wars franchise, Disney opened a third version of the ride. The tracks are the same as in Mission 2, but the new “Hyperspace Mountain” drops us in a “Galaxy far, far away” in a spaceship fight against the Empire… The iconic theme music and stunning light effects complete the all experience for a memorable moment.

Although, as I previously said, the “thrilling” ride is nothing compared to Europa Park’s SilverStar or even the big three rollercoasters at Asterix Park (Goudurix, Tonnerre de Zeus and Osiris), it is an intense ride, with high speed, sharp turns, drops and three inversions (including a loop). In my opinion, it is not suitable for children (even if I see young kids riding it every time…).

The futuristic building of Hyperspace Mountain at Disneyland Paris – Source: Pixabay CC0

10. Get to the thirteenth floor of “The Tower of Terror”

  • In which park? Walt Disney Studios
  • Thrill level : 😱😱😱😱
  • Type of audience : Teenagers – Adults

Welcome to the Hollywood Tower Hotel, a mid-thirties LA hotel, left abandoned after strange events occurred. Years later, you are invited to enter a service elevator for a ride you will never forget…

The Tower of Terror, in my opinion, is the most intense ride you can do at Disneyland Paris. Newly revamped with three scenarios (that I personally find way more terrifying than the former unique story) and random falls, these elevators give you some unexpected feelings.

Quite impressive, and the land of the screams, these free-fall elevators are an experience no to be missed if you are there for a good scare. The beautiful rendition of the old abandoned hotel, and the boilers room decor are also worth the detour. This jewel of a ride is the favorite of many people for the overall intense experience is offers.

Clearly, even if kids could ride it, it is literally a way to traumatize them and make sure they take the stairs for the rest of their lives, so you have been warned!

Disney California Adventure’s Tower of Terror is the copy of the Walt Disney Studios version. – Picture by Bray6265 – Source: Wikimedia Commons

These are my top ten attractions not to miss at Disneyland Paris. Of course, the parks are big enough for you to enjoy many more, and what you’ll do will depend on how you organize your time. Don’t forget to use Fastpasses (which give you a time slot to go to a ride, in exchange for a shorter queue), so you can enjoy more attractions.

One tip though, if you are visiting with young kids, the Walt Disney Studios park does not offer many options for them. Since the park is ongoing a wide transformation with three new lands created, many rides are currently closed, and most of the remaining ones are mostly for teenagers and adults. If you have young children, I would recommend buying only a one-park ticket to enter Disneyland Park.

At last, let me specify that I didn’t mention one ride: Rock’and Roller Coaster. The ride closed last year for a complete refurbishment on the theme of Iron Man. Probably one of the most intense in the two parks, the ride should reopen in 2021 with the same track, but a new look. You can be sure that the ride would then be in this top ten, so keep an eye open.

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