Paris: Disneyland & Walt Disney Studios Guide, my itinerary for 2 parks in 1 day

Ever since my first visit to DisneySea Tokyo, I have grown a great fondness for Disney theme parks. It is not so much about the rides (they are not the most thrilling as they are more family friendly), but it just evokes nostalgia. Also, I’m always impressed by their attention to details, especially along the queue lines !

Check out my previous post on my ultimate guide to beating the queue at DisneySea Tokyo !

Last month, I went to Disneyland Paris, and managed to cover both parks, i.e. Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios, 2 parks in 1 day, with plenty of time to walk around and explore both parks.

jermpins Disneyland Paris france
Jerm & Wallou in Disneyland Paris

I must say this first, as disclaimer, I believe covering both parks in a day is ONLY possible for adults, AND without children. The reason is because I didn’t do any of the kids attractions, e.g. Meet Mickey Mouse, Princess Pavilion etc. The queue for all these are crazy more than an hour !

1. Disneyland Vs Walt Disney Studios

Disneyland is the classic Disney theme park, with shows, (Disney characters) Meet ‘n’ Greet, playground etc., more targeted to younger children. Disneyland is where you’ll find the trademark “It’s a small world” puppetry attraction, Phantom of Manor (family friendly haunted house with amazing visual effects), Sleeping beauty’s castle, and their most recent addition, Star Wars attractions !

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Walt Disney Studios, on the other hand, has less Mickey Mouse magic. The setting is more like production sets. The attractions showcase more on the technologies used in production effects, animations, theatrics etc. Walt Disney Studios is where you’ll find Ratatouille, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith, as well as the infamous Tower of Terror.

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Note that although both parks open at the same time, Disney Studios closes much earlier (1900 hrs in summer) than Disneyland (2300 hrs in summer).

Walking between the two parks is at least 15 minutes, and I’m quite a fast pacer. So, you want to plan your program to optimise the logistics between the two parks.

Considering you will be staying until the closing of Disneyland (Yes, 2300 hrs in summer) for the MUST SEE Disney Illuminations show (you CANNOT MISS THIS !), I recommend to,

  • Start your day at Disneyland – Cover at least 2 to 3 of the popular rides (with moderate to long queues)
  • Walk over to Disney Studios – Finish everything you want to do there (before closing time 1900 hrs), so you don’t have to return again
  • Return to Disneyland – Finish the remaining attractions you want to do and standby before 2230 hrs for the Disney Illuminations show at 2300 hrs

Sharing you this Youtube link of the complete Disney Illuminations show in 4K resolution, if you need some convincing to stay, otherwise don’t watch it and spoil the surprise.

2. Buy your tickets

You want to buy your tickets in advance, to save at least 20 EUR per ticket ! Buying your tickets on the spot will cost you 87 EUR (1 park 1 day), 107 EUR (2 parks 1 day). Prices may change depending on season, click here to official website.

To buy your tickets in advance, you can get them from,

  • FNAC for 88 EUR (2 parks 1 day)
  • Klook for a limited time promo of RM 317 (~68 EUR) (2 parks 1 day)

3. Visit the Official Disneyland Paris website, and select the attractions you want to cover

I strongly recommend to go through the attractions list on the Official website, to select and prioritise the rides you want to cover. Take note also which rides are closed for maintenance.

I will shortlist the attractions I want to do, and categorise them by Must-do(s), and Optional(s).

My Must-do(s) list has: In Disneyland, Big Thunder Mountain, Phantom Manor, Star Tours, Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain, and Disneyland Illuminations show. In Disney Studio, Tower of terror, Ratatouille, and Aerosmith.

jermpins Big Thunder Mountain disneyland paris france
Big Thunder Mountain

You REALLY MUST WATCH the Disneyland Illuminations show ! The moment the first song played (A dream is a wish your heart makes), I had goosebumps all over me ! It was really emotional ! I don’t want to give it away, but you CANNOT MISS IT !

My Optional(s) list has: In Disneyland, Indiana Jones, Peter Pan. In Disney Studio, RC racer, Toy soldier.

Having gone through this mental model exercise, it will definitely help save a lot of time, especially if you are not travelling alone – minimise time discussing and arguing on what to do next, where to go etc.

4. Develop your Fast Pass game plan

Unlike Universal Studios theme parks, there is no option to pay for an Express pass in Disneyland theme parks. Instead, you queue for a FASTPASS (only on popular attractions).

On FASTPASS attractions, you will see two queues, i.e. Standby queue (which is the normal queue until you get your turn), and the FASTPASS queue (where you will get a FASTPASS with a designated time period printed on it).

Read more about FASTPASS in my DisneySea Tokyo guide

Tip : You want to also take note of Single Rider lines and make use of it if you don’t mind doing those rides alone. 

5. Final tips

Some final tips before I share my 2 parks in 1 day itinerary,

  • (Mentioned earlier) Buy your tickets in advance to save money
  • Plan in your schedule the commute from Paris to Marne la Vallee (40 mins on RER-A departing Nation station)
  • Download the Disneyland Paris mobile app to get live info on queue times
  • It doesn’t hurt to arrive earlier before opening time – Although I have to admit my time in Disneyland Paris wasn’t as stressful as DisneySea Tokyo (where people actually ran in between attractions !)
  • Bring a water bottle with you, so you don’t need to buy water – There’s drinking water fountains all over the park

If you are staying to watch the Disney Illuminations show (which YOU MUST), you want to standby in position at least 30 minutes before show starts, to get the best view – As advised by one Disneyland fanatic friend, the best spots are to the sides (either in front of the sound control booth to the left, or next to the popcorn stand on the right). Yes, you may not get centre-centre view of the castle, but you won’t be missing anything. In fact, being in the centre-centre, you may end up struggling with camera phones or kids on daddy’s shoulder blocking your view. There are some slightly higher terrains at the sides which helps a lot with the view !

Lastly, if you had stayed on for the Disney Illuminations show, you’ll be exiting the park with EVERYONE ELSE, along with hundreds of baby strollers ! Which is why want to be standing at the sides, so that you can exit from the side alleys (you want to avoid the Main Street, instead exit via either Liberty or Discovery Arcade).

6. My 2 parks 1 day itinerary

TL:DR – It is possible to cover 2 parks, i.e. Disneyland & Disney Studios in 1 day, provided you skip all the long queueing younger children attractions.

0945 Enter Disneyland
1000Take FP #1 for Big Thunder Mountain 
1005 Phantom Manor (queue time 15 mins)
1030 Indiana Jones (queue time 10 mins)
1045Use FP#1Big Thunder Mountain (queue time 15 mins)
1110Take FP #2 for Buzz Lightyear 
1140 Disney Philharmagic (show done at 12pm)
1205 Star Tours (queue time 55 mins)
1310Take FP #3 for Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain 
1345Use FP #2Buzz Lightyear (queue time 20 mins)
1405Use FP #3Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain (queue time 25 mins)
1430 Lunch and move to Disney Studio
1605 Ratatouille (Single rider, queue time 15 mins)
1630 RC Racer (queue time 35 mins)
1715 Tower of Terror (queue time 35 mins)
1800 Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith (queue time 15 mins)
1900 Return to Disneyland
1950 It’s a small world (queue time 20 mins)
2010 Explore Alice Labyrinth, and other parts of the park
2300 Disney Illuminations show
Jermpins’ Disneyland Paris 2 parks 1 day itinerary

As you can see, I didn’t queue more than 35 minutes for most rides, except for Star Tours (55 minutes). And I did it as a filler before my FP #2 Buzz Lightyear allocated time, as I didn’t want to be wandering elsewhere and having to rush back to Discoveryland.

So, there you go ! I hope this post answers all your questions and doubts on whether it is possible to cover both parks in one day. I did it, so you can do it too ! =)

45 thoughts on “Paris: Disneyland & Walt Disney Studios Guide, my itinerary for 2 parks in 1 day

  1. Thanks for the tips! A very full itinerary. I don’t know if I’d have the energy to do both in one day. Would you do it again if you had the opportunity?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, such great insider info. I’m not huge into the rides myself, but I reckon it’d be great just to wander around and check everything out – as you said, for the childhood nostalgia. I reckon with kids you’d definitely need a day for each one and it would be fun, but exhausting.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love that you love to visit Disney Parks when you travel. I have been to Disneyland Hong Kong (outside of the US..I’ve been to Disney World and the original Disneyland several times) and I loved it. I like that you can visit both these parks in Paris in the same day (but I also like that you disclose that is for adults and NOT with children and that you are a fast-pacer)! This describes me-adult (most days LOL!) without children and a fast-pacer! I didn’t know they had fast passes over there but that is super helpful!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Fantastic post but one question, did you stay in the hotel there? I heard a lot of rumours that the hotels are being run downed and the park has only been open for 30 years. :/ Thoughts?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I didnt stay in the Disney hotels. The park is very old, one of the oldest I think, but the park itself it maintained really well. Can’t say much for the hotels cause I haven’t been in it. =)


  5. Thank you for reinforcing the idea that adults can (and should) do Disney even if they don’t have kids! We loved doing Disney as adults- so I highly recommend it to everyone. This is a great itinerary! Thank you for sharing – planning makes the day go a bit smoother and allows you to get more in one day!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Visiting Disneyland is my childhood dream which I am yet to realize. Thanks for sharing Disneyland tips which may help in exploration of park efficiently.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I visited Disneyland a few times as a child but not recently, and now I want to go back! What a full itinerary, you really can do a lot if you plan right 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Interesting post, y daughter is only two but I´ll definitively take her to Dysneyland when she’s a bit older, it would be a great chance for a first visit for myself too!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Disney Studios sounds very similar to Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando, Florida. I’ve only been to Disney in Florida and Japan and have yet to visit the one in Paris. Glad to hear they have the Fastpass here too 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This is a very useful blog with the detailed information of how to visit the two parks that I have always wanted to visit in 1 day. Now I know that Disneyland and Walt Disneys Studio – both can be covered in a day. Your tips are really essential, like booking the shows I want to experience from the original website online, also reaching there earlier, and carrying a bottle to fill with drinking water from the fountains anytime we wish there.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I visited Disneyland in California and always thought.. seen one seen all. Reading this though makes me watch to check out the other disney themeparks. As they say. You can never be too old for disney. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  12. What a great and helpful article! I’m happy to finally read this and I am pinning it. Thanks for sharing! As I said doing it with no children or elders around helps the 1 day plan. Hopefully we can go when the kids are older so we can make it both in one day.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Wooooaw what an epic day! You must have been pretty exhausted by the end of it! If you went back, would you visit both in the same aday again, or would you prefer to spread it out with a day in each park?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was completely exhausted but I enjoyed it ! It didn’t feel rushed, it is just the staying out the whole day that can be mentally draining. But yea I would still do it in a day ! =p

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I travel a lot to Paris (that’s one of the places in France where my fiance has family), but I’ve never been to Disneyland. I said I’ll go if we settle down there for good. But otherwise, I’m not really into very crowded places or waiting in line. However, it sounds interesting to do it like you, you seem to have covered a lot in one day!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t prefer crowded places too. But if you choose the right time (avoid weekends and school holidays), it is very comfortable. We didn’t have to queue long for most rides ! =)


  15. I had always thought that Disneyland was for kids or those with kids until I visited. It was a lot of fun! I’m glad to see there’s a post with a detailed itinerary as I would have found it useful when I visited. Since I haven’t been to the Walt Disney Studios, when you said, “Unlike Universal Studios theme parks, there is no option to pay for an Express pass in Disneyland theme parks. Instead, you queue for a FASTPASS (only on popular attractions).” Do you mean that the FASTPASS comes free with a standard ticket purchase?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The FASTPASS is no extra charge, but you need to queue on a different line to get an allocated time slot to come back later. So you can return within you allocated time slot and skip the normal queue.


  16. Who doesn’t love Disneyland! I’ve been there twice when I was a kid. Now, I’m planning to go there again for several years, but it has not happened yet. I really should, though! Your tips on how to cover as much as possible in 1 day are very helpful.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Disneyland is a big day but it’s worth doing with children. I would love to take my nieces there when I get back to Paris. I love Big Thunder Mountain but I suspect they might still be too young. We’ll go to the easier rides then!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I’m not much of a theme park person but this is a great guide for anyone wanting to visit Disneyland Paris. I’m sure my boyfriend will drag me there next time we visit Paris and I will definitely reference this for tips and tricks.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I am not really a fan of disneylands because they are so crowded. haha
    I like the way they are built and the architecture resembling their movies but I think photos are fine that way.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Great itinerary to cover both the parks in 1 day. Me and my wife are planning for the same in the month of June. However, I see that you have not included the Pirates of the Caribbean in the list. Any idea where I can accommodate it if I follow your itinerary? Before or after which attraction will it be best?

    Liked by 1 person

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