I am absolutely petrified of going on rides at theme parks so when I booked my recent trip to Disneyland Paris, I was a little bit worried about whether or not there would be enough for me to do if I wasn’t going to be going on them.
As the thrill rides are one of the main attractions and most of the time my boyfriend went on them single rider, we actually managed to save a lot of times to experience the other parts of Disneyland Paris.
So, as I know I’m not alone in being scared of rides, I thought I’d share my guide to things to do at Disneyland for non-ride-goers.
The parade is a vital part of any Disneyland Paris trip and I would 100% recommend you see it if you get the chance! It happens once a day around 4.30-5.30pm (ish) depending on the season, however I’d suggest finding out what time it is and getting yourself a good spot around 30 minutes before it’s due to start. My favourite is along Main Street USA as if you get there early enough the view from the front is perfect.
The parade includes STUNNING floats and music from some of the best Disney films and the amount of work that has gone into the whole production is incredible, I can’t fault the cast members at all!
I know I said this would be a guide for non-ride-goers, however, there are some rides I think are suitable for people that are scared of them, depending on what it is you’re scared of. To help, I thought I’d include whether or not there are any surprises below:
It’s a Small World
This is one of the cutest, if not mildly annoying, rides at Disneyland Paris. You travel the world (very slowly) in a little boat while the MOST CATCHY tune ever is playing *It’s a world of laughter, a world of tears….* and although I can never get the song out of my head, I do love seeing if I can name all the different countries that are represented.
Autopia is 100% designed for kids but it was really fun! Basically, you drive around a track in your own car so it is very hard to go fast or do anything that is remotely scary. The only thing I would say is that if you’re going slow the people behind you can catch you up and bump into you, which had me on edge a little.
Ratatouille (Walt Disney Studios)
Before I went on Ratatouille I had to get my boyfriend to go on single rider to test it as I was unsure what to expect from a simulation style ride. I was worried it would go quite fast as it simulates Remy running through the kitchen, however a lot of the time the carts didn’t move which was great. There were a few sharp turns, but the only thing that made me feel a little scared was at the start where you feel as though you’re falling through the ceiling, even though you’re not moving!
Pirates of the Caribbean
Pirates of the Caribbean isn’t a thrill ride as such, but there are a couple of moments where I would say I felt scared. Most of the ride is you moving along slowly on a little boat, however, towards the start you go up quite a steep track – which to me said ‘great, we’re going to have to come back down again’.
So yeah, there were two reasonably small drops in the ride however if you’re not expecting them it can come as quite a surprise as you go pretty fast (and the second one is in complete darkness with flashing lights for the camera).
Alice’s Curious Labrynth
This is pretty much what it says on the tin – a maze! Nothing scary, no surprises and definitely no thrills!
If you’re looking to pass some time, or if you want to see a different side to the park, I would definitely recommend going on the Disneyland Railroad. There are stations in Main Street USA, Fantasyland, Frontierland and Discoveryland, however, I would recommend not getting on at Main Street USA as the queues are MASSIVE. It takes about 20 minutes to go around the whole thing and you get to see a different side to some of the attractions, including Indiana Jones and Pirates of the Caribbean.
Thunder Mesa Riverboat Landing
I LOVE FRONTIERLAND. I don’t know what it is but it’s probably my favourite part of the Disneyland Park, so I usually spend quite a bit of time here! One thing I’d definitely suggest in Frontierland for non-ride-goers is going on the Thunder Mountain Riverboat, as it takes you the whole around Thunder Mountain on a stunning, paddle steamer boat (either Mark Twain or Molly Brown).
Buzz Lightyear’s Laser Quest
This was HANDS DOWN my favourite ride as it was so much fun! We only went on it once but I could have gone around again and again if it wasn’t for the huge waiting times. We managed to get on pretty quick as we went during Extra Magic Hours, however I did see the queue go as high as 90 minutes. The aim of the ride/game is to beat your opponent by hitting more targets with your laser gun and defeat Emperor Zurg (of course).
The carts move very slow which is great for someone who is scared of fast rides and although you have the ability to control whether or not your cart spins, it’s more fun than scary. I kept control of it the whole time and mainly used it to stop my boyfriend from hitting targets, it was great ;-).
One thing I loved about visiting Disneyland Paris is that there was so much different food to try! I know it’s not as good as the Disney World parks, however I still felt like I was spoiled for choice! We had crepes, ice cream, candy floss, chocolate covered marshmallows and SO MUCH MORE.
Although we didn’t do it as we were only on the standard dining plan, you can also eat with the characters or visit Buffalo Bills, which is something I’d love to do and something I would consider a great alternative for queuing for the thrill rides 😉
Buffalo Bills is a Wild West Dinner Show, complete with Mickey and friends. I’ve heard so many good things about the show that it is definitely a must do for my next trip, and something I’ll make sure I book well in advance!
Sleeping Beauty’s Castle
Although this attraction is hard to miss, I thought it would be ridiculous if I didn’t include it in my guide! As well as taking instagramable pictures outside the castle (that’s why it’s there right?) you can also go inside, climb to the second floor and go down into the dungeons and come face to face with the dragon!
Character meets are great for absolutely anyone, not just non-ride-goers! With so many different characters dotted around the parks each and every day you are never short of someone to meet and with favourites such as Mickey, Minnie, Buzz Lightyear and Captain Hook around, it’s definitely easy to find something for everyone! We went at Halloween so there were some ‘special’ characters about including Maleficent and Jack Skeleton.
There were a lot of different shows and entertainment on while we were visiting, however a couple of them would have only been because it was Halloween – however I believe these are replaced with something else during different seasons. Here were a couple of my favourites:
Happy Anniversary Disneyland Paris!
This is a new show for the 25th Anniversary, however it was really good! There was a lot of singing, dancing and pretty much every single Disney character you could think of (apart from Minnie Mouse?) involved. It was cheesy, but the best stuff is, right?
The show is on a couple of times a day on the stage next to Sleeping Beauty’s Castle and is 100% worth the watch if you’re visiting for the 25th Anniversary.
Mickey and The Magician
This was the highlight of the whole trip for me.
I had heard really good things about Mickey and The Magician before going to Disneyland Paris so I knew I wanted to check it out, however I didn’t realise how good it would be. The whole thing is about 25 minutes long and is a mini stage show about Mickey, who wants to become a magician! It features some of the most popular Disney songs and characters and without giving too much away, it has some INCREDIBLE special effects and cast members.
Action! Stunt Show Spectacular!
This was in the Walt Disney Studios Park and was probably one of my boyfriends parts of the trip! The Stunt Show Spectacular is a 45-minute show that shows you how some of the most common (yet still amazing) stunts are done. There’s lots of car chases and explosions and it was really interesting to see how things are done behind the scenes!
There is not one place in Disneyland that you can go to escape one of my favourite past times – shopping! There are merchandise shops absolutely everywhere and to be quite honest, I didn’t hate it.
I think by the end of our three-day trip we had been in every single gift shop as we didn’t want to have missed anything (quite a lot of the shops stock completely different things) and although they are expensive, you can get some pretty decent stuff! A lot of time when my boyfriend was using his fast pass on the thrill rides I would have a wander around the adjacent shops as it meant I was still nearby, but I had something to do.
Similar to the parade, the Illuminations show at the end of the night is a Disneyland Paris right of passage. I’ve currently only seen Disney Dreams and The Spectacularly Sparkly Disney Illuminations Show (25th Anniversary), but both of them have been incredible.
The show happens when the park closes and includes a incredibly magical light show on the castle, fireworks and lots of your favourite songs! Dreams was a million times better than the new illuminations, but it was definitely awesome to be able to see the one off special for the anniversary celebrations.
Disney Village is just outside of the two parks, so is therefore open to absolutely anyone. It’s only small, however there is so much crammed into such a small space that you could spend hours there! We spent one of our nights here and did a hell of a lot of shopping, eating and we even played Mario Kart in the Arcades.
I’d fully recommend going to Billy Bob’s as there is a delicious buffet service upstairs, with country Western entertainment downstairs. I LOVED watching everybody line dancing while I was waiting for my table upstairs and it made me wish we’d have gotten there a little earlier so I could have joined in – next time!
Disney Village is also home to Cafe Mickey (meet and greet dining with Mickey), Buffalo Bills and PanoraMagique – the hot air balloon that gives you 360 degrees views across the parks!
So, there you have my MASSIVE guide of what to do at Disneyland Paris if you’re not a big fan of rides. There’s so much even without rides that we didn’t manage to fit into three full days at the park, which puts it into perspective!
What’s you’re favourite thing to do at Disneyland Paris?