How Disneyland Paris Compares To Disney World

This is a question I’ve seen come up a lot recently as more people think about visiting Disneyland Paris for the first time and are more accustomed to visiting Disney World in Orlando. This is often a question raised by those in the U.K. intrigued by the tantalising fact that Disney magic is only a short hop away or for those in the USA thinking about visiting as part of a trip to Europe.

In the U.K. I believe the impression has always been that Disneyland Paris offers less value for a few days than visiting Disney World for 2 weeks due to the difference in number of attractions and of course the warmer weather. This impression is however starting to change due to a number of factors. We have seen significant movement in the value of the pound against the dollar in the last few years. With price rise after price rise at Disney World, families are rethinking how to get a Disney fix.

A quick comparison

For a quick comparison, for a 5 night stay offsite at Disneyland Paris, including two annual passes will cost around £900. To travel to Orlando for 5 nights offsite and purchase park tickets would be more like £2500. Of course the flights are longer and Disney World offers a lot of value but these are the kinds of differences in cost which cause UK families to make decisions on where to visit.

For those of you currently wrangling with this decision or are simply interested in a comparison of the two destinations, I’m now going to break down the main differences that stood out for us. If you noticed any other differences, please tell us about them in the comments.

The Disneyland Paris and Disney World Resorts

Disney World is a very large resort area that includes 4 separate Theme Parks, The Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood studios, water parks, a range of onsite hotel resorts and a large selection of bars, shops and eateries. Disney World is in fact so large that the area has its own network of dual carriageways allowing guests to travel at speed around its 30,000 acres. Disneyland Paris Resort area is much smaller at around 4800 acres but this is still a substantial area and to put this into context, the original Disneyland Resort in Anaheim California only sits on around 500 acres. At both Disney World and Disneyland Paris, only a small percentage of the land has been developed which leaves plenty of room for expansion.

The Disneyland Paris resort area includes 2 theme parks, Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios, a selection of hotels, the Disney Village and the Val D’ Europe area which is a new town built in conjunction with Disney. Past the Disney Village, which would be a much smaller relation to Disney Springs you will find most of the official Disney hotels and then slightly further away you will find the Disney partner hotels.

The Disney Village at Disneyland Paris

Val D’Europe

Val D’ Europe features more hotels, bars, restaurants and a large shopping centre. The Val D’ Europe area features some hotels that are perhaps a little more affordable. These hotels are also only a 20 minute walk away from the parks. The three main hotels in this area, Adagio, Hi Park and Elysee do also offer a free shuttle service.

Staying in the Val D’ Europe area is the Paris equivalent of staying on international drive in Orlando. This has the bonus of being within a short walk to the parks and still within a Disney bubble. The area is quaint with limited car traffic compared to the masses of traffic that traverses International Drive. I think that while smaller than International Drive, Paris has the edge for staying offsite. Val D’ Europe is very convenient for access into Paris as a train to Paris only takes 30 minutes.

Theme Parks

The two theme parks at Disneyland Paris are Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios. The Disneyland Park is the biggest park and similar in design to the Magic Kingdom at Disney World. Walt Disney Studios is similar to Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando.

Walt Disney Studios

Both Disneyland Paris parks are close to each other and you can walk between them in 5 to 10 minutes. This can be quite handy as those who enjoy more thrilling rides can park hop and experience the thrill rides at both parks in the same day. This means you can spend the day in Walt Disney Studios but quickly hop over for the Disneyland Park fireworks. Park hopping can be a bit trickier at Disney World dependent on where you want to go. You can easily move between EPCOT and Hollywood Studios. EPCOT is a monorail ride away from the Magic Kingdom. Going to Animal Kingdom will require a bus ride.

The rides at Disneyland Paris and Disney World

A lot of people assume that Paris simply has the same rides that can be found at Disney World. Disneyland Paris does have some of the classics such as Peter Pan’s flight and Pirates of the Caribbean. You can also find rides unique to Paris or rides that are the same theme but quite different. A good example is Space Mountain which is a mainstay of the US parks. The Paris version has a much more modern ride system which features an uphill launch and a number of inversions. Other rides you will find at Disneyland Paris are the trackless Ratatouille Ride, Crush’s Coaster and an Indiana Jones Rollercoaster.

Space Mountain at Disneyland Paris

We hope you found this article useful and please feel free to ask us any questions from our experience.

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Until next time…