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9 Ways Disneyland Paris is Different from Walt Disney World

Let me start off by saying that we do not claim to be Disney parks experts by any means. We also know this is pretty much comparing apples to oranges but here are our surface observations of the differences between Disneyland Paris (DLP) & Walt Disney World (WDW).

1. The Size

Disneyland Paris is significantly smaller than Walt Disney World. With 2 parks (Disneyland Parc and Walt Disney Studios) as compared to WDW's 4 parks (Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom and EPCOT) DLP covers far less terrain than it's predecessor. However, even with it's size, there is still a ton to explore. David and I spent 1 day in each park of DLP and both were filled to the brim with sights to see rides to explore and food to eat—so make sure you give yourself enough time to fully immerse yourself in these parks because, we promise, they have so much to offer!

2. The Inspiration

Disneyland Paris carries with it the traditional name of Disney, but that doesn't mean it isn't inspired in many ways by it's location near the City of Love. Throughout the experience, you will notice Parisian culture bursting through the traditional Disney foundations—and believe us, it makes for a wonderful mixture! As mentioned, at DLP there are two locales—Disneyland Parc (basically WDW's Magic Kingdom) and Walt Disney Studios (basically WDW's Hollywood Studios). Like Magic Kingdom, Disneyland Parc has a Fantasyland—but as with everything the parks offer, you will find even similar places have their own set of unique qualities (most notably the Castle! See #2) The same goes for Walt Disney Studios in Paris—there is a ton in common with Hollywood Studios (i.e. Rock 'n' Roller Coaster) but it still has it's own unique feel.

3. Sleeping Beauty Castle!

It's tough to say, but this castle almost took home the gold as my favorite of Disney castles (WDW beats it just because it's my 2nd home). But from the cubed trees and amazing design, this is the sight that truly transports you across the sea and makes you feel at home all at once. A quick side note though, we were shocked that they didn't have more merchandise that showcased this beautiful castle! I guess they think all of the tourists want things with the Eiffel Tower on it (They probably do). P.s. Make sure you explore the dungeon and check out the dragon! (Hopefully it's sleeping!)

4. There Are Distinct Rides

Every Disney park has their own specific rides, and Disneyland Paris is no different. There are more than a few unique to the parks but the two that took the spot as our favorite were the Ratatouille Ride and Crush's Coaster. They both had the longest wait times, but for good reason—they are SO AMAZING! Both of these rides are located in the Walt Disney Studios Park, so if you get the chance to ride them, definitely do! Also, Space Mountain is on a whole other level here—if you like rollercoasters and thrilling rides, be sure to check out "Space Mountain Mission 2" in the Disneyland Parc.

5. The Wait Times Were Significantly Lower

With the 25th Anniversary having just occurred, the attendance may have risen, but when we visited DLP this past summer, the wait times were almost nonexistent. During the summer at Walt Disney World, you will easily wait an hour for Tower of Terror or Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, but not at Disneyland Paris.... to our excitement both of these rides had only 5 minute waits. Woo!! (Now we can't vouch for every day of the year, but this was our experience while we were there).

6. The Food is Different...and That's a Good Thing!

While you're picking up delicious Mickey Ice Creams Bars at a cart in Walt Disney World, Disneyland Paris offers a refreshing and amazing alternative—popsicles called Twister's. This popsicle is sold at many places across Europe (we found them in Rome and Nice too) but nowhere else are they sold as cold and fresh as the Disneyland Parc. Twister's were our favorite quick treat while we were visiting, especially in the afternoon when it got so hot outside. And besides snacks, there are many themed restaurants that are different here too—we ate at the Ratatouille inspired restaurant "Chez Remy's Bistro" in the Walt Disney Studios Park ( a restaurant that is totally unique to Disney Paris!) Click here to read about our experience and for a delicious Ratatouille Recipe!

7. The Characters Wander

Unlike Walt Disney World where you typically have to stand in a long line, go inside a building, stand in another line, and then meet a character—most characters just pop up in and around the park at Disneyland Paris. We got to meet Princess Aurora outside by her castle! (We also stood in line to meet some of the other princesses at an indoor location—unfortunately, this wait was still EXTREMELY long). However, all things considered, the chance at meeting a character strolling around the park is a cool bonus compared to the still guaranteed and traditional line-based location character meet and greet.

8. Most Shows are in French!

You are in France! Embrace the culture and the beauty of the French language. We attended one of my favorite shows I have ever seen at the Walt Disney Studios Park called "Mickey & The Magician". This show features Cinderella, Beauty & The Beast, The Lion King, Aladdin & Frozen( and our favorite Mouse speaks French the whole time!!!) Although I only understood bits and pieces of what the dialogue was, it was one of the most magical shows I have ever seen!

Featured photo is from Frozen Sing-Along

9. The Nighttime Show Has Everything

From music, to fireworks, to castle projections to water works, this nighttime spectacular, "Disney Dreams!" has everything your Disney loving heart desires. Make sure to see this one in the Disneyland Parc before you leave!

There are many more differences but these are the main ones we wanted to touch on! If you have ever been comment your experiences on the post below! If not, comment what you hope to do when you visit one day!

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