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Guide to Disneyland Paris and Disney Studios With a 4 1/2 Year Old

We discovered some “best known methods” for enjoying ourselves at Disneyland Paris and thought we’d share. Here is our Top 7 List:

  1. Go in the “Low Season,” but right at the beginning of it.
    Pros: The weather will be brisk and the lines will be short. No waiting at the restaurants. Really good deals on lodging and tickets.
    Cons: Some attractions might be closed. There are no fireworks. It might rain
  2. Stay on campus.
    We got a great low season package at a Disneyland hotel  for 2 nights + breakfast + 3 day passes for Disneyland and Disney Studios.  There was also a bus that ran directly to the parks from our hotel and back with no additional stops every 10 minutes. Since it only took 4 minutes to get to the parks we were never more than 14 minutes away from the parks. This also meant that we could easily return to the hotel for a mid-day nap, then get back to the park later to finish the day. Liam doesn’t usually take a nap, but on Disneyland days we quickly learned he needs one. (He actually asked for it both days.)
  3. Breakfast package = all day snacking
    Slip some of those chocolate croissants and Nutella packages into your backpack and–viola–snacks for the day. My mother would be proud.
  4. 3 days and 2 nights was perfect.
    It was just enough time to hit all of the young child appropriate attractions. We actually didn’t even go back on the 3rd day except to buy souvenirs and grab a coffee at Starbucks before heading into Paris for the rest of the trip.
  5. Disneyland App for iPhone
    We have Android phones, so this didn’t help us, but it looks really cool.
  6. The Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast ride is not to be missed.
  7. Check out what is available in the gift shops as you play then buy on your final day.
    This is a great tool for encouraging good behavior to “earn the toy.” We told Liam he could have one “pet” (as he calls stuffed animals) and one toy if he behaved well for the 2 days we were there. Every time he asked if he could have some small cheap thing we’d say “If you’d rather have that than a pet or a toy then you can get it on the last day if your behavior is good.” It was a great way to reinforce really planning what to get and making the most of it, and not asking for every little small shiny thing that captured his attention.
    Also, pay attention to what your child really likes and see if they have it in the hotel gift shop. We actually didn’t even have to go back to the park to buy his toys because they were both at the hotel shop.
  1. Chris Schardein
    October 26, 2011 at 21:14

    #3 – YES, you made your mother proud! Remember Shoney breakfast bar before going to King’s Island? We had everything but the nap time. That’s why you all sacked out by the time we got out of the parking lot!

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