Top Tips for Visiting Disneyland Paris in Winter

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Have you ever thought about visiting Disneyland Paris in winter? The weather can be cold, but the park is still magical! These top 5 tips for visiting Disneyland in winter will help you plan ahead and fully enjoy your holiday. 

Our first visit to Disneyland Paris was in February, during the cold winter season. We had to wrap up in winter coats, hats, gloves and scarfs. But despite the cold winter weather, we had a fantastic time.

Does Disneyland Paris Close in Winter?

No. Disneyland Paris is open all year round. However, opening hours do vary from season to season and some of the shops, rides and attractions can close during very cold weather. 

Winter may not be considered the best time to visit Disneyland Paris, but it can still be wonderful. One benefit of visiting Disneyland in winter is that it gets dark early. This gives younger children who may not be able to stay up late the chance to see the park all lit up with fabulous lights and the magical atmosphere.

The castle at Disneyland Paris in winter.

Here are my top tips for planning a trip to Disneyland Paris in winter. 

1. Dress Warm

If you’re wondering what to wear to Disneyland Paris in winter, it’s simple: Dress warm and wear layers. 

You’ll be spending hours outdoors at a time, so be sure to wrap up warm. Prepare for cold weather but take a backpack in case the weather warms up. That way you can take a layer off and keep it in your backpack. 

I wore warm trousers, a jumper and a coat. My daughter wanted to wear her Disney dresses, so she wore warm clothing such as a jumper and leggings underneath her Disney outfits. She also had her coat on top when needed. 

Top Tip: If you’re planning to take your child in winter, get Disney costumes that are larger than your child so they can fit over the warm clothing without being too tight. 

Girl and mother posing with Mary Poppins at Disneyland.

See Our Disneyland Cinderella Photo Shoot Here!

2. Find a Hotel Close to the Park

I recommend staying as close to Disneyland as possible. Sylvia and I stayed in the warm and cosy Santa Fe Hotel, which was a 5 minute shuttle journey to and from the park.

Winter in Disneyland Paris can be very cold and you may want to return to your room for a small break during the day or return in the evening to have a warm, hearty meal before heading outdoors for the laser show.

The Santa Fe Hotel is warm and toasty and we made great use of the warm bath and shower facilities at the end of each day.

Girl dressed in Disney costume standing by a hotel bed.

3. Book Family Meals in Advance

Whether you have a dining plan or not, book family meals in advance. 

In the winter, you need to book at least a day or two before your meals if you plan to eat in the parks. The weather will be cold and people will be taking their time in the restaurants for warm, filling meals. Booking in advance is essential.

Food and drinks can be very expensive at Disneyland. You can either go half board, full board or choose to eat meals whilst in the Disney Park. Prepaying for food can really help on the budget. 

Make sure you plan and book your evening meals early each day when visiting the Disneyland parks. If you’re full board, then that’s sorted for you, however if you’re going to choose from a selection of restaurants, book early.

People want a break from the cold air and often spend a good amount of time in the warm, toasty restaurants.

If you leave it too late (as I did on our first day) you may find yourself struggling to find somewhere warm to eat.

Going half board meant we had breakfast vouchers which entitled me and my daughter to a hot or cold drink within the park in the morning. We took advantage of this and it really helped in the cold weather. 

Girl sitting at a table with trays of croissants and other food in front of her.

On one occasion we chose to dine at the hotel Santa Fe. We ate warm croissants, porridge, cheese and hot chocolate before heading out to the Parks.

We also really enjoyed eating in La Cantina in the Santa Fe Hotel and visiting the Davy Crockett Ranch.

4. Check Disneyland Paris Opening Times and Get an Early Start

It gets dark early in the winter, and darker means colder. Getting an early start means more time in the daylight and (hopefully) the sun. 

During the winter, Disneyland Paris is typically open from 10am until 10pm. You can visit either the Disneyland Park or the Walt Disney Studios Park during these times. 

Mother and daughter posing with Disney character.

However, if you’re staying in a Disneyland hotel, you can visit the parks two hours earlier than others. This is a fantastic opportunity in winter as this can reduce the time standing outside in the cold waiting to go on rides.

Later on in the day, take advantage of the Fast Pass rides, where you can get a ticket in advance and return at a certain time.

5. Schedule Indoor Attractions and Take Indoor Breaks

Take advantage of some indoor shows and attractions throughout the day to warm up. There are plenty in both Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios.

There are two indoor arcades on Main Street, plus shops and restaurants where you can sit and warm up with a hot drink. There are also several indoor rides and character meet and greets. 

Girl posing with Donald Duck.

We loved the Animagique show and also enjoyed visiting several other indoor options such as Buzz Lightyear’s Laser Quest.

Visiting the Disney Princesses can take time but is a great way to keep warm during the day when you need a break from the winter weather. 

I would plan indoor activities part way through the day to break up the time you are indoors and outdoors. 

Disneyland is simply an amazing adventure one that can be enjoyed in all seasons. It’s such a magical place during the winter season and I’d love to return again during the colder winter months.

More Disney tips you may find useful:

Disneyland Paris Cinderella's castle in winter.

Angela Milnes is a Qualified Early Years Teacher who has specialised in Preschool and Kindergarten teaching. She has a wealth of experience teaching young children and is passionate about kids crafts and having fun as a family. Angela has also taught cooking skills and loves to share both family recipes and easy crafts here on The Inspiration Edit. Follow her on Pinterest!

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  1. I miss Disneyland and I went there during summer time. It was hot as hell. Looks like you guys had a really good time despite the weather being too cold. Thank you for sharing this, I might consider going to Disneyland in winter time.

    1. Oh Disneyland is amazing. I would love to take Sylvia back there one day…she was so young last time and would remember more. She could also get autographs and do some of the older experiences a second time around.

  2. Sounds like you guys had a fab time, Angela! There are always advantages to Winter holidays, usually cheaper prices and smaller crowds too

  3. I LOVE DISNEYLAND! I cannot wait for my daughter to be old enough to bring her there. Funny, I’d have always avoided going in the winter but you can clearly still enjoy it and find ways of keeping warm and dry 🙂 Looks like you guys had a blast!

    1. Yes seeing the beauty of the lights and the whole atmosphere was just wonderful and I’d never seen something so amazing. I just wanted to share it with everyone!

  4. Great tips! We are thinking of going at some point in the next few years – probably at October or February half term so your tips will come in useful!

    1. Yes… meals are very expensive. The cheapest place for me was going to mcdonalds and giving my child a happy meal but the restaurants can be very very dear…we didnt have the budget to eat fancy everyday but if you can afford it…it is nice.

  5. Great advice! I’d LOVE to go to Disneyland again, especially in the winter time – your pictures look fantastic and I love wrapping up warm!

    1. Thanks. It’s one of those things I never imagined id do in this lifetime but just incase I ever returned to new zealand I decided to take my child. It turned out we ended up staying in uk permanently.

  6. We went to Disneyland Paris a few years ago too but in Summer. I bet Winter there is even more magical. I would love to go at Christmas. It’s such a lovely place to go isn’t it. I was more excited than my little sister who I took. Now I have Evie I can’t wait to get to go again in the future. x

    1. It;s not cheap and I never expected to go but i managed to save and go and it was the dream holiday..well worth the sacrifices and budgeting we did!

  7. This is a great post thank you – I have been to Florida three times but never Paris. I was concerned about the weather but you have made it sound magical! Kaz x

  8. My niece is being a lucky duck this year and is going to Disneyland Paris at the end of the month, I will forward this to my brother for a read, loads of useful tips!xx

    1. I do think the colder months may be a little more afforadable. It did take a whole year just to save up and then i had four months to save spending money, however we did not have much at all so we did a very frugal/cheap holiday and i’ll be writing about that shortly!

  9. You did this as a single mum, I find that interesting being in that situation myself. So many feel it provides restrictions but it really doesn’t have to does it! I think if I was to ever do this trip it would be in the winter too, I couldn’t cope with so many people in the summer. Looks like you had fun! x

    1. Oh yeah! We travelled everywhere when I was a single mum. I simply budgeted hard core. We also went to amsterdam and belgium and Paris amongst many other places… I have so many stories! I cant wait to blog about it all! – Angela

  10. I love Disneyland! I love it more than my children! Great tips. I learnt the hard way when I found out how much the food/drinks and even popcorn was on our first day there. I had a mini heart attack at the bill and the queue was horrendous as well. So for our next trip to a theme park in Australia, I knew it would be much easier to have a picnic with the food we brought ourselves The first day, I took a quick survey of what snacks they sold and then later that evening I stocked up with the same snacks – doughnuts, popcorn at the supermarket and drinks and brought them with us. So that the kids didn’t feel like they were missing out.

    1. Yes, I could not afford everything and did a lot to make sure we could go on the holiday on a tiny spending budget. I hope to write a few more disneyland posts on these things. It’s a fab place but for those on a tighter budget, the tips will come in handy!

    1. They can be very busy but lots of fun! Disney is a lot of money and for us was a once in a life time thing…yet id love to take my daughter a second time before she is too old.

  11. These are some wonderful tips, Angela! I was looking into going with the family & I’d definitely take your advice & stay at the park. It’s handy to be so close so you can get in early or go back to the hotel to rest. It sounds like you made the most of your visit! And Sylvia looks so happy there 🙂 x

    1. Oh thanks Becky. it was certainly a once in a life time dream and I learnt well what works and does not. I hope to go back again before Sylvia is 10. Fingers crossed. It’s a goal for 2018.

  12. hi Angela. We are planning a December 2018 trip to Disneyland Paris. We have children who will be 8, 4 and by then a just over a 1 year old. Are we being crazy in terms of the cold and crowds?

    1. Our trip was super cold and I remember seeing the cold air when we breathed. I think so long as you wrap up warm it will be okay. My daughter was 4 when we went on our trip and she was fine. I have not been with a baby so would not really know about that but there were plenty of families there when we went and they loved it. The crowds are busy but i think it must be even more so in summer.

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