Disneyland Paris is a magical destination any time of year, but visiting at Christmas is an extra special experience you won’t forget. From enchanting parades to dazzling fireworks displays, there is no shortage of magic and excitement during Christmas at Disneyland Paris. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned Disneyland Paris pro, this guide will provide you with everything you need to know to make the most of your Christmas visit, including highlights of the park’s holiday-themed shows and attractions, tips for avoiding crowds, advice on accommodation and transportation, and much more.
From Festive Decorations to Special Events: A Complete Guide to Making the Most of Christmas at Disneyland Paris
The decorations at Disneyland Paris during Christmas are truly spectacular and create a magical holiday atmosphere throughout the park. Some of the highlights include:
- Main Street, U.S.A.: The centrepiece of the holiday decorations is a massive Christmas tree located at the end of Main Street, U.S.A. The tree is adorned with thousands of twinkling lights, ornaments, and decorations. The buildings along Main Street are also decorated with wreaths, garlands, and lights, creating a cozy holiday ambiance.
- Sleeping Beauty’s Castle: The castle is decorated with shimmering lights and festive decorations, creating a magical backdrop for holiday photos. In the evening, the castle is illuminated with special projection mapping shows that bring the holiday spirit to life.
- Fantasyland: The Fantasyland area of the park is transformed into a winter wonderland, with decorations inspired by classic fairy tales. Visitors can see special holiday decor in attractions like “it’s a small world” holiday and the Mad Hatter’s Tea Cups.
- Walt Disney Studios Park: The Walt Disney Studios Park is also decked out in festive holiday decorations, including a giant Christmas tree, light displays, and holiday-themed attractions.
- Disney Village: The Disney Village shopping and dining district adjacent to the park is also decorated for the holidays, with festive lighting, wreaths, and decorations throughout.
Many of the park’s popular attractions have holiday overlays that add to the festive atmosphere. Popular attractions at Disneyland Paris at Christmas include:
- “it’s a small world” holiday: This classic attraction receives a special holiday overlay during the Christmas season, featuring festive decorations and holiday music.
- Big Thunder Mountain’s Jingle Cruise: This attraction also receives a special holiday overlay featuring festive decorations, holiday-themed puns, and jokes from the attraction’s skippers.
- Phantom Manor: This spooky attraction is transformed into a “Nightmare Before Christmas” themed experience during the Christmas season, featuring characters and scenes from the popular movie.
- Disney Stars on Parade: This daytime parade features a variety of Disney characters, including Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Disney princesses, and more, all in festive holiday attire.
- Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain: This popular rollercoaster receives a special Star Wars-themed overlay during Christmas, taking visitors on a thrilling ride through space.
In addition to the regular park offerings, Disneyland Paris hosts special events during the Christmas season, such as a Christmas market, memorable dining experiences, and meet-and-greets with Santa Claus. Noteworthy special events include:
- Disney’s Enchanted Christmas: This overarching event encompasses all the special holiday-themed shows, parades, and attractions throughout the park. It typically runs from mid-November through early January and includes all of the festive holiday decor and experiences that make Disneyland Paris so magical during the Christmas season.
- New Year’s Eve: Disneyland Paris celebrates New Year’s Eve with a special fireworks show that takes place over Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. The park stays open late on New Year’s Eve, allowing visitors to enjoy the attractions and festivities until the early morning hours.
- Christmas Market: Located in the Disney Village shopping and dining district adjacent to the park, the Christmas Market offers a variety of unique holiday gifts and treats, including traditional French cuisine and handmade crafts.
- Disney’s Christmas Parade VIP Experience: This special ticketed experience allows visitors to watch the Christmas Parade from a VIP viewing area and enjoy hot drinks and pastries while they watch.
- Mickey’s Christmas Big Band: This live show takes place in the Walt Disney Studios Park and features Mickey Mouse and his friends performing classic holiday tunes with a live jazz band.
- Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show…with Mickey and Friends!: This popular dinner show receives a special holiday overlay during the Christmas season, featuring festive decorations and holiday-themed entertainment.
Shows and parades
Disneyland Paris offers several notable shows and parades during the Christmas season, providing an extra special experience for visitors. Popular shows and parades at Disneyland Paris at Christmas include:
- Mickey’s Magical Christmas Lights: This is a nightly show on Main Street, U.S.A. It features Mickey Mouse and his friends, who light up the giant Christmas tree with a magical ceremony, fireworks, and special effects.
- Disney’s Christmas Parade: This daytime parade occurs daily during Christmas. The parade features a variety of Disney characters in festive holiday attire, including Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Disney princesses, and more.
- Disney Illuminations: This is a nighttime spectacular in front of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. It features projections, fireworks, and special effects set to classic Disney songs and stories, including special holiday segments during the Christmas season.
- Disney Junior Dream Factory: This live show takes place in the Walt Disney Studios Park. It features popular Disney Junior characters in a holiday-themed adventure.
- Meet Santa Claus: Visitors can also meet Santa Claus himself at Disneyland Paris during the Christmas season. He is available for meet-and-greets and photo opportunities in designated areas throughout the park.
Christmas is one of the busiest times of the year at Disneyland Paris, and visitors should be prepared for large crowds and long lines. The park is typically busiest in the days leading up to Christmas and in the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
The park management does its best to manage the crowds by limiting the number of visitors allowed in the park at any one time and by implementing crowd control measures such as rerouting traffic and opening additional attractions and entertainment options.
However, despite these efforts, visitors should still expect to wait in long lines for popular attractions and shows. Therefore, arriving early in the day is a good idea to beat the crowds and take advantage of shorter wait times.
Visitors may also want to consider purchasing a “FastPass” ticket, which allows them to skip the regular queue for certain attractions. Additionally, visitors can download the Disneyland Paris mobile app to check real-time wait times for attractions and find other helpful information to help plan their visit.
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The weather at Disneyland Paris during Christmas is typically cold and can be quite chilly, with temperatures ranging from 0°C to 10°C (32°F to 50°F). Visitors should be prepared for potentially wet and windy weather, so bringing warm and waterproof clothing, such as coats, hats, gloves, and boots, is a good idea.
While snow is not guaranteed, it’s not uncommon for there to be some snowfall at Disneyland Paris during the Christmas season, adding to the festive atmosphere. However, visitors should also be prepared for icy conditions, especially in the early morning and evening hours.
It’s important to note that while the weather can be cold, many of the attractions and entertainment options at Disneyland Paris are indoors or covered, so visitors can still enjoy themselves even in inclement weather. In addition, the park’s festive holiday decor and special events make it a magical destination regardless of the weather.
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Disneyland Paris offers various accommodations to suit visitors’ needs during the Christmas season. It’s a good idea to book your accommodations early to ensure availability. Regardless of which accommodation option visitors choose, they can expect to find festive holiday decor and special events throughout the park and in their lodgings. Many hotels and partner accommodations also offer special holiday-themed meals and activities. Some of the options available include:
- Disney Hotels: Disneyland Paris has several themed hotels located within the park, ranging from budget-friendly options to luxury resorts. These hotels offer convenient access to the park’s attractions and entertainment options, as well as special holiday-themed events and decor during the Christmas season.
- Partner Hotels: Disneyland Paris also partners with several nearby hotels, offering visitors a range of accommodation options at different price points. These partner hotels typically provide shuttle service to and from the park, making accessing the park’s holiday festivities easy.
- Self-Catering Accommodations: For visitors who prefer a more independent experience, several self-catering accommodation options are available near the park, such as apartments and holiday homes. These accommodations offer more space and flexibility than traditional hotel rooms, allowing visitors to enjoy the holiday season on their own terms.
Disneyland is just a short day trip from Paris. There are several transportation options available for visitors travelling during Christmas:
- Train: Disneyland Paris is easily accessible by train from Paris, with regular services provided by the RER train network. The journey takes approximately 35-40 minutes from central Paris, and visitors can disembark at the Marne-la-Vallée/Chessy station, which is located just a short walk from the park’s entrance.
- Car: Visitors can also drive to Disneyland Paris, with several car rental companies operating in Paris and nearby towns. However, visitors should be aware that traffic can be heavy during the Christmas season, and parking at the park can be limited and expensive.
- Shuttle: Several shuttle services are available from Paris and nearby towns, providing convenient transportation to and from Disneyland Paris. These services typically offer pick-up and drop-off at central locations like train stations and hotels.
- Taxi: Visitors can also take a taxi to Disneyland Paris, with several taxi companies operating in Paris and nearby towns. However, fares can be expensive, especially during peak travel times.
Once visitors arrive at the park, several transportation options are available, including the Disneyland Paris Railroad, shuttle buses, and the Disney Magic Shuttle. These services provide convenient transportation between the park’s attractions and hotels, making it easy for visitors to navigate the park during the busy holiday season.
The Christmas season at Disneyland Paris typically runs from mid-November through early January, with exact dates varying from year to year. Plan ahead and research the park’s offerings, including special events, attractions, and dining options, to make the most of your visit. Be sure to purchase your tickets in advance and consider booking FastPasses for popular attractions to minimize wait times. By following these tips and planning in advance, visitors can enjoy all of the magic and excitement of Disneyland Paris during the festive Christmas season.
Overall, visiting Disneyland Paris during the Christmas season is an unforgettable experience that’s sure to leave you with lasting memories. However, with a little planning and preparation, you can make the most of your visit and enjoy all the park offers.
Have you spent Christmas at Disneyland Paris? If so, we’d love to hear about it in the comments section below.
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