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The Many Problems with Disneyland Paris

I would love to say that Disneyland Paris is the best Disney park in the world. The rides are fantastic. Some of my FAVORITE rides are even at Disneyland Paris!

Disneyland in Paris Map

When Disney built this park, you can tell that they looked at what worked and didn’t at Walt Disney World and Disneyland California.

They made rides longer (like Pirates of the Caribbean and Thunder Mountain) and even spent time creating new experiences like Ratatouille and Crush Coaster.

Unfortunately, the problems with Disneyland Paris show that one thing is clear, it lacks the MAGIC of the United States Disney parks Disney World & Disneyland.

Disneyland Paris Park

I have been to Disneyland Paris three times in the past 4 years.

On my first trip, I chalked their apparent failures up to bad weather (it was a rainy day) and gave them the benefit of the doubt

I allowed the newness of the experience to trump their quite obvious problems.

My second trip, this time on a beautiful, sunny 85-degree day, made it all too clear that this park is not being run by Disney. It can’t.

There is no way that Bob Iger would approve of this park brandishing the Disney name.

I was hopeful on my most recent trip since they had just celebrated Disneyland Paris’ 25 anniversary.

While there were a few new experiences that I really enjoyed, I noticed the same problems that I experienced on my trip in 2014 & 2016.

The Many Problems with Disneyland Paris

The Problems with Disneyland Paris

Problem #1

We stayed at two different Disneyland Paris resorts (Sequoia Lodge and Hotel Cheyenne) and were allowed to enter the park 2 hours earlier than non-resort guests.

You would think that this would be a wonderful benefit, but what Disneyland Paris failed to disclose was that only a few areas of the park are operational before 10 am.

The areas that were open, we so spread out that you spend too much time walking from one end of the park to the other to really be able to enjoy taking advantage of the extra time.

There was no clear signage as to what parts of the park were open, so you couldn’t plan which rides to get on in advance. You only realize they are open or closed when you get to them.

Problem #2

I know those of us in the United States Genie+ & Lighting Lane at our Disney parks.

I was excited to find that Disneyland Paris has something similar called Disney Premier Access, which allows you to book a time for certain rides & attractions.

Disney Premier Access works for their more popular rides: Big Thunder Mountain, Phantom Manor, Peter Pan’s Flight, Ratatouille: The Adventure, Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast, Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain, Star Tours: The Adventures Continue, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terrorᵀ, Autopia, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril, Orbitron​, Crush’s Coaster.

The problem is that you have to book them per ride. There is not one pay for all day. So essentially, you are paying €5 each time you use it.

This can really add up.

The max you can do is 12 rides (which seems impossible in one day) and would cost an additional €60.

Problem #3

Those that have been to Disney World, or any theme park for that matter, understand that there are lines. Disney has an elaborate queue system in which you maze through rows to get to each ride.

Disneyland Paris does this as well, just not AS WELL.

The problem is that Disneyland Paris queues can lead to dead ends at any moment.

You have to pray that you pick the right path through its labyrinth or else you will have to inadvertently merge into the line you were previously in only 20 people are now ahead of where you were.

Problem #4

When Disney World or Disneyland California shuts down a ride, it is because it is either experiencing problems or going through refurbishment.

Disneyland Paris will shut a ride down or never open a ride because (and this is my guess) they are understaffed.

Under-staffing is the crux of Disneyland Paris problems. See Problem #5.

Problem #5

Things will shut down while you are in line because the worker’s shift has ended and they have no one to replace them.

Yes, I know, crazy.

We were third in line to get gelato at Disneyland Paris when suddenly without warning, the manager came out and said “We’re closed.”

When we questioned this, we were told that they didn’t have a cashier. They had plenty of gelato, just no one to take our money.

Could you imagine this happening at Disney World? Disney doesn’t want your money? Seriously?

Problem #6

While the rides are newer than those in Walt Disney World or Disneyland California, they are not being kept up. Rides are not being cleaned.

Spiders must be a big deal in Paris because on every ride, we found TONS of cobwebs.

Imagine going down It’s a Small World and all the characters have cobwebs hanging from them.

I mean, darn, It’s a Small World in Walt Disney World has been running since 1971. Have you EVER seen a cobweb?

Please, it only takes a small bit of effort to dust!

Problem #7

Disney is known for having the best customer service. Cast members at other Disney Parks want to make your experience amazing and will go out of their way to do so.

This is not true for Disneyland Paris.

Very few smiled, and were pleasant or accommodating.

They are obviously not being adequately trained in the Disney Way.

Disneyland paris brochure

The Good News: Problems with Disneyland Paris are Fixable

In fact, they are easy fixes. I really feel most of it comes down to management and staffing.

What I would love to see is Bob Iger send a team from the States over to Disneyland Paris for a week to actually experience what its like for the customer.

I’m sure that this would give them all the information they need to do a total staffing re-haul.

I’m sure if all you know is Disneyland Paris, you probably don’t see the big deal. But if you have experienced any of the other Disney parks you definitely probably have noticed a difference.

Have you noticed these same problems with Disneyland Paris? What are your thoughts?

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Thursday 1st of June 2023

The problem from my point of view is the location. I don't want to Insult any french, but you cannot build such a themepark in France ans expect that it works the same way than in the states. The culture is too different. French people are not open and tolerant enough to be good staff or entertainers. They take it too seriously and try to regulate the visitors all time. On the other hand they are quite lazy and undermotivated. Maybe UK would have been a better location or Germany. You cannot have Disneyland everywhere, because of culture.

Lars S

Monday 18th of July 2022

Thanks for your input. I have only been to euro Disney once - last week, meaning 3 days in july 11th to 13th. Seems I am a newcomer compared to the other readers/commentators :) My main points and also something which will hinder a return visit is the overcrowding and the queuing for everything both attractions, food and coffee. I am therefore puzzled why these two issues are not mentioned? I have been to other theme parks before but never experienced such amounts of people even with the “golden hour” in the morning. I also find the amount of attractions a bit underwhelming considering the price.

My main comparison theme park is Legoland in Denmark which also has some of the same issues but not with the amount of attractions or waiting time for something so simple as a cup of coffee.


Thursday 30th of June 2022

Second visit to DLP the first twenty odd years ago and I couldn't agree more with this article. There is just no magic here. I've been to the Florida parks four times.. it just can't compete. It just feels like a business decision to churn out sales without due care to quality. We had 2 members of staff speak extremely rudely to us with no provocation. Staff are miserable. We were shocked and it put a dark turn on the day. We left by 5pm feeling we'd done much of both parks. Food quality was shocking inside the parks, and there wasn't enough seating areas. Also lacks things to do other than rides. Live shows are lacking, and prices in the stores are often three times that of the UK Disney store prices. Yes we have mobiles and can live check prices to compare. Poor all round. Avoid.


Thursday 30th of June 2022

And lots of cobwebs still!


Saturday 20th of February 2021

We had pretty much the same experience as you, we thought Disneyland Paris lacked the magic of the parks in the U.S. We were there in October 2019 and some things we noticed were: 1. We were the only people there who were in our 60's, felt strange! 2. There were almost no snacks being served, no popcorn carts, no churro stands, no soda stands, and no one was eating. Usually at the Disney Parks, everyone is eating something as they walk along, not in Paris. We usually snack from one end of the park to the other, but not there. We did decide to get some ice cream, and were surprised when they gave us little tiny cartons of Bryer's ice cream, was not that good. 3. We didn't see any other tourists wearing Disney merchandise, no one in Mickey tee shirts, no mouse ears, no families all wearing the same shirts, nothing. 4. The entire Fantasyland closed down at 6:00 so they could have fireworks at 8:00. We had planned on eating at a restaurant there, and it closed, along with everything else, we actually had a hard time finding someplace to eat dinner. 5. A lot of the rides were closed when we were there, that made us a little sad, but we still had a good time, and although the themeing was wonderful, it really does need some work. I did absolutely love the dragon under the castle though, That was amazing!!


Sunday 14th of July 2019

I have just come back from Disneyland paris. I was saddened by so many miserable and in a few cases rude staff. The railway that takes you round the park is still closed .it was closed on our trip last year as well. I have to say tho that the lion king show was absolutely amazing. There are lots on improvements going on so hopefully everything will be back on top form soon x


Friday 21st of January 2022

@Sam, had the same experience. Paris Disney sucks, is dirty, boring, mismanaged and the employees do not care.. Save your Money - go to Orlando - and experience what the real Disney is all about.


Sunday 21st of July 2019

Yes, the staff certainly lacks the magic! I didn't get to see the Lion King show but am looking forward to it!

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