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21 Insider Hacks For Taking Your Kids To Disneyland Paris

Bon voyage!

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1. Brush up on your French.

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Cast members will have tags on their nametags showing which languages they speak, but most will speak English. Signs are in French and English, and there are English maps available. However, the narration on some rides is in French, which might be hard to follow.

2. Remember that you'll be a bit outside of Paris.

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Disneyland Paris is about 60mins from Gare du Nord by train. If you take the Eurostar, there is a direct route straight to the theme park. There are various shuttle services from Paris too. Depending on which airport you fly into, there are only a few buses which go to the park. Check before you book to save waiting time.

As to whether to stay at a Disney hotel, there are pros and cons, but the extra magic hours (when hotel guests can enter the park early) are an obvious draw.

3. Get out the measuring tape.

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Make sure you know exactly how tall your child is and what the height requirements are for a ride before you start queuing.

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4. Bring a buggy.

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You can rent buggies, but it's more cost-efficient to bring your own. Don't forget to add something distinctive so you can easily find it again.

5. Check the weather forecast.

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A lot of the attractions are outdoors, and the weather in winter in northern France is quite similar to that of the UK. Pack cheap ponchos and warm layers if you're going in the colder months.

6. And check the French calendar too.

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French school holidays are not always on the same dates as UK ones, so there might be weeks that are busier than expected. Check the current French school holidays here.

7. Wear comfy shoes.

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Discourage your children from wearing dressing-up shoes, unless you want to carry them. And bring some entertainment for while you wait. Bubbles, glowsticks, or stickers will while away the time in line.

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8. Stock up on merch before you arrive.

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Don't feel the need to buy lots of toys in the park. In fact, a lot of parents advise leaving a selection of items (bought at home) on your child's bed the night before, as a "gift from Mickey".

9. Seek out sneaky short cuts.

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There are several short cuts throughout the park.

10. Head for the most popular rides first.

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These include Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, and, if you have small kids, the attractions in Fantasyland.

Alternatively, visit these rides when the parade is on, as they'll be less busy.

11. Discoveryland is a must-see.

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Based on the future as imagined by Jules Verne and HG Wells, it's less tech Tomorrowland, and more steampunk splendour.

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12. Finding Nemo fanatics need to check out Crush's Coaster.

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It's unique to Disneyland Paris, and is the only Finding Nemo-themed ride in the park. It also has a special game to play in queue, which should help with the wait.

13. And if you're a Dumbo fan, head for Animagique.

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It's the only place in all the Disney parks where you can spot the pink elephants from Dumbo.

14. Be clever with your eating schedule.

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If your child likes to eat at a certain time, it might be a good idea to book in advance. If possible, avoid eating between midday and 2pm, as all the restaurants will be crowded.

15. And splurge on snacks.

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Disneyland Paris has its own Haribo line, which is cheap and fun way to snack in the park. Watch candyfloss being made in front of you (or "barbe à papa" in French, meaning "father's beard"), or have a Disney crepe.

Opinion seems to be divided over whether you can bring a picnic. (Update: A cast member says picnics are not allowed.) But you can certainly bring an empty water bottle to fill up, and bring some small snacks through to the park.

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16. Use all the assets you can.

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As well as a free Fast Pass, parents can also avail themselves of the Baby Swap service. This allows parents to take turns on adult rides without queuing twice.

17. A Character Breakfast is a fuss-free way to meet Mickey.

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While Character Breakfasts are not cheap, you can meet several characters over a meal, saving you a search throughout the park. However, small kids might find large characters overwhelming. If your little one is finding it too much, just stick to parades to view the fun from a safe distance.

18. Pick the best spot for the parade.

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Apparently, the best position is "on the road curve, about 100 yards before the finish".

19. Disneyland Paris has plenty of hidden Mickeys.

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This is a useful website.

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Crush's Coaster is the only Finding Nemo-themed ride in the park. An earlier version of this article said it was the only PIXAR-themed ride in the park.