A Guide to Disneyland ParisBy Emily Bryan -
Disneyland Paris is a theme park resort located 32 kilometres east from central Paris. The resort offers 2 fun-filled parks full of entertainment and attractions ideal for every visitor.
Due to its popularity, Disneyland Paris welcomes a high volume and diverse set of visitors each year and offers a wide range of exceptional services to guests who must consider accessibility when visiting the parks. To enjoy the parks to their full extent, it is recommended that guests visit during off-peak times – be sure to avoid school holidays!
Air France are a great airline to consider when travelling to the resort; the company offer well-tailored planes with an array of services for travellers with disabilities. For guests with reduced mobility, Air France offer seats with extra room at no extra cost and all bathrooms on board are accessible. For travellers with visual impairments, safety instructions and seat numbers are written in Braille. For travellers with hearing impairment, there will be at least one member of staff on board with a British Sign Language certificate who will be happy to assist.
When booking to go to Disney, it is recommended to book well in advance and to book directly through their official website (www.disneylandparis.co.uk). The resort often runs an early booking promotion for guests booking around 4 months in advance, offering packages at lower prices. It is also convenient to stay in one of the resort hotels as they are much closer to the parks – this is particularly ideal for guests with reduced mobility as reaching the parks is much easier and the paths from the hotels are completely flat.
Disney's services for guests with disabilities are exceptional and are well worth considering when visiting. Guests with reduced mobility, hearing impairment, visual impairment or mental/cognitive disabilities are eligible to take advantage of a Priority Card. This service allows its holder and up to 4 companions to board rides via their exit and provides guests with a queue jump service. All guests who take advantage of this card must have at least 1 companion with them. As Disneyland Paris staff (or "cast members") are not allowed to physically help guests onto and off rides companions must be able to do this, as well as pass on safety/boarding instructions and provide reassurance. To obtain a Priority card, guests should visit the Town Hall in the Disney Park or Studio Services in the Studios and present a medical certificate to a member of staff.
The staff at the Town Hall and Studio Services are multilingual and can offer assistance booking restaurants to reduce wait time. They can also provide an accessible map of the parks making your visit stress free.
If you're looking for a budget stay, Hotel Santa Fe and Hotel Cheyenne are both themed 2 star hotels with bed and breakfast and park tickets included. They are around a 10 minute walk from the Parks and all rooms on the ground floors are accessible. However, if you're looking for something a little more upmarket and plan to do some relaxing at the resort, the Disneyland Hotel is a must-do! This hotel stands at the front of the parks and offers 24 hour room service, fine-dining and themed suites! All staff members in Disney hotels are multilingual and can offer all kinds of information and advice for visitors.
1. Make sure you book in advance and take advantage of Disney offers and services
2. Visit at Christmas if possible – This is actually one of the cheaper times to go and the park is very festive. It even snows on Main Street!
3. Make sure you visit the Disney Dreams projection show on the castle at dusk
4. Visit the Disney Village, home to many restaurants, bars and shops which are all accessible and open well after the parks close!
1. Don't visit during school holidays when the park is at its busiest
2. Don't rush - each Disney Park can be explored completely within just 2 days
3. Don't dress up! Unfortunately Disney does not allow guests over the age of 12 years old to dress up as Disney characters, as this can confuse some guests
4. Don't take a 'selfie-stick' – these are not permitted in the parks. Take advantage of the PhotoPass Plus+ service where guests can have photos taken free of charge by a park photographer in select popular locations