20 Reasons Why Disneyland Paris Is The Perfect Park For Disney Adults

20 Reasons Why Disneyland Paris Is The Perfect Park For Disney Adults

Marcel Stevens

Marcel Stevens

Marcel has over 12 years in journalism who enjoys writing, jogging, reading and tennis.

Now in its 30th year of operation, Disneyland Paris is the premier destination for “Disney Adults.”

Two weeks ago, I made the trip across the Atlantic Ocean with my now-fiancé for a potentially once-in-a-lifetime trip to Disneyland Paris.

Ken W. Hanley

Having experienced Walt Disney World for its 50th Anniversary Celebration earlier this year, I was excited to see how Disneyland Paris’ 30th Anniversary would match. 

However, I was personally shocked by how much of Disneyland Paris seemed to cater to older audiences, so much so that I’ve become convinced that DLP is the #1 must-experience destination for so-called “Disney Adults.”


Rollercoasters Galore

Ken W. Hanley

One advantage that Disney Parks have over their competitors is that they pride themselves on universally accommodating rides, often times regardless of height and weight issues that can become restrictive at other amusement parks. They often focus on indoor “e-ticket” attractions and dark rides that don’t require much physical exertion and are often more kid-friendly. So imagine my surprise that between Disneyland Paris and its sister park, Walt Disney Studios, there are no less than five fully-operational rollercoasters of varying intensity, with a sixth, the upcoming “Avengers Assemble: Flight Force,” opening in only a month’s time. Make no mistake: if you’re an adult who seeks thrills and a more rough-and-tumble time at your theme parks, Disneyland Paris has you covered, as both “Hyperspace Mountain” and “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril,” feature full inversions and will take you on the ride of your life.


Disneyland Paris Caters to a More Adult Food Palate

Ken W. Hanley

Any “Disney Adult” will tell you that a major reason to visit Walt Disney World is the incredible cuisine and sensational snacks you can enjoy between the four parks, especially within the World Showcase in Epcot. While WDW has “something for everyone,” especially the little ones, Disneyland Paris is much more restrictive, catering to the regional and cultural norms of France. Even though kids will have their options through the children’s menu and meal plans, DLP’s menus are much more refined, bold, and unique, so eaters with more adventurous tastes should feel right at home.


DLP’s Extended Hours are a Godsend

Ken W. Hanley

Disney die-hards will be the first to tell you that time management is a huge part of having the best park experience possible. From scheduling breaks and naps to fitting wait times between your meal times, it can sometimes be a nightmare if you’re in a park that closes early, but Disneyland Paris’ extended hours for their 30th Anniversary are nothing short of a boon for guests, with select rides open until 11 p.m. Not only does this give “Disney Adults” more time to fit in everything they want without worrying about exhausted or fed-up children, but it allows more driven guests to have an opportunity to beat the crowds by hitting the parks at off-peak times like early mornings and late afternoons.


It’s the Happiest Place on Earth in the Most Romantic Place on Earth

Ken W. Hanley

Let’s face it: there are few places that are more reputable as a hub for romantics than Paris, which gives Disneyland Paris the unwitting status of being “the Happiest Place on Earth” right on its fringes. Make no mistake: from the gorgeous and immersive Sleeping Beauty’s Castle to Cinderella’s Crystal Ball, there are plenty of romantic spots throughout DLP. But be warned: if you’re not willing to shell out 11,500 Euro for Disneyland Paris’ cheapest engagement package, you may run the risk of having your big proposal moment ruined.


DLP is Way More DIY than WDW

Ken W. Hanley

A not-so-small part of the appeal of attending a Disney Park is the memorable moments, from the “Magic Shots” throughout Walt Disney World to the various dazzling cavalcades and light shows. However, for those expecting professional-grade photo opportunities throughout Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney Studios, we hate to be the bearer of bad news but DLP has instead opted for “Selfie Spots,” which are areas in which guests can snap their own photos of their most iconic scenery. While this can be cumbersome for larger families, it’s a more fair deal for “Disney Adults,” who can capture their moments for social media and move on with ease. Speaking of DIY, Disneyland Paris also caters to “Disney Adults” by being more maneuverable for heavy planners, as there are fewer mobile order options than other Disney properties, and their Lightning Lane-esque “Premiere Access” fast passes can easily rack up a pretty penny for large families.


Eerie Exhibit A: “Snow White’s Scary Adventure”

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Attractions 360 / Via YouTube

One of the more exciting discoveries about Disneyland Paris was that a number of their attractions particularly appeal to horror/kindertrauma enthusiasts, including the classic Disney attraction “Snow White’s Scary Adventures.” While this ride still exists in Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland, this dark ride-turned-nightmare-fuel was replaced several years ago in Walt Disney World by the “Seven Dwarves’ Mine Train,” but the creepy ride is still scaring guests both big and small in Disneyland Paris.


Vintage Rides for Nostalgic Disney Fans

Ken W. Hanley

As time goes by, more and more original rides from throughout the Disney Parks have gone the way of the dinosaur, with replacements, overlays, and refurbishments helping each park become more adept to modern audiences. However, Disneyland Paris has plenty of old-school options for “Disney Adults” with that itch of nostalgia to scratch, including a “Pirates of the Caribbean” ride that blends the best elements of the original version, the present Disneyland version, and the present WDW version as well as vital Disney originals like “Peter Pan’s Flight” and “It’s a Small World.”


There are More Intense Rides for Kids

Ken W. Hanley

Disneyland Paris is certainly a park perfect for families, with lots of rides that kids of all ages will love. But much like how DLP isn’t afraid to include creepier dark rides for children, even their family-friendly fare can be a little more intense than your run-of-the-mill Disney rides. From the explosive mid-way sequence on “Cars: Road Trip” to the more exciting coasters like “Big Thunder Mountain Railroad” and “Crush’s Coaster” to even the edge-of-your-seat trackless wonder of “Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure,” Disneyland Paris isn’t afraid to lean closer to “PG” rides for the enjoyment of children and “Disney Adults” alike.


Eerie Exhibit B: “Pinocchio’s Daring Journey”

Ken W. Hanley

Standing right next to “Snow White’s Scary Adventure” is a similarly scary dark ride based on one of Disney’s more unnerving properties, “Pinocchio’s Daring Journey.” Now, I’m sure you’re wondering, “What’s so scary about Pinocchio?” Well, between being face-to-face with a giant cage, watching children turn into donkeys (and subsequently imprisoned), and racing toward the gaping maw of a whale, “Pinocchio’s Daring Journey” has enough macabre moments to keep any kid up at night.


High-End Spectacle to Savor in “Mickey & The Magician”

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DLP Welcome / Via YouTube

Often cited by Disney fans and theme park enthusiasts as the best show out of all of the Disney Parks, “Disney Adults” may not appreciate “Mickey & The Magician” quite as much as the wide-eyed children in the audience. But with songs from Disney classics such as Cinderella, Beauty & The Beast, and The Lion King as well as legitimately incredible real-time illusions will give every “Disney Adult” a greater appreciation of the spectacle and inimitable production value on display.


Smoking, Line-Cutting and Inconsiderations, Oh My!

Ken W. Hanley

For anyone who may have frequented the Disneyland Paris subreddit, one of the more common warnings to first-time visitors from the US is the cultural differences between the stateside parks and DLP. However, how these differences affect you entirely lies on your personal preferences: smoking is more prevalent, so don’t be surprised if you catch a whiff in Disney Village or nearby the many designated smoking areas, while you are likely to experience line-cutting in some fashion or more inconsiderate guests who have no problem pushing through you or your party to get to their next destination. While these are all inconveniences we experience at one point or another, the threshold for this behavior might be better for childless “Disney Adults” more willing to forgive and forget than families who may take the offenses a bit more personal.


The Disney Village Experience

Ken W. Hanley

The French equivalent of Disneyland’s Downtown Disney and Walt Disney World’s Disney Springs, Disney Village feels a little more geared toward adults, from the specificity of the shops to the theming of the restaurants, including their posh and lauded The Steakhouse to their oft-frequented Sports Bar, and even the Gaumont 15 Cinemas, which includes the latest studio films, original French productions, and even controversial independent films. I have to admit that it’s fairly bizarre to see a showtime listing for David Cronenberg’s Crimes of the Future mere feet from a bronze statue of Mickey Mouse outside of the Disney Store, but I can’t say the novelty of the situation is lost on me either.


Disneyland Paris’ Proximity to Paris Proper

Ken W. Hanley

Located in Chessy, Disneyland Paris is (normally) only an hour away from Paris itself, depending on the severity of traffic. In fact, Disneyland Paris often offers excursions within their own vacation packages for those looking to see the Seine, Versailles, the Eiffel Tower, or other top-tier tourist destinations in the city. So for the “Disney Adults” with the financial and scheduling flexibility, a spirited trip to Paris and a true Parisian meal could help make your magical trip even more unforgettable.


Eerie Exhibit C: “The Twilight Zone: Tower of Terror — A New Dimension of Fright”

Ken W. Hanley

While “Tower of Terror” is a favorite of many Disney fanatics, there is no doubt in this writer’s mind that Disneyland Paris’ “A New Dimension of Fright” is the absolute best version of the ride in the world. Refurbished in 2019, the ride’s queue is far creepier than that of its stateside counterpart while the story of the ride, in which each track follows the elevator’s dealings with a terrifying ghost girl, feels immersive and effectively spine-tingling. Add in the wonderful merchandise on display after the ride, which includes plenty of Twilight Zone references and even features Mickey, Donald, and Goofy in peril while on the attraction, you just find yourself checking in for multiple stays at the Hollywood Tower Hotel.


Disneyland Paris Embraces the Obscure and Villainous

Ken W. Hanley

One of the most fun parts of being a “Disney Adult” is exploring the different references, merchandise, and Easter Eggs for the lesser-known Disney properties wherever they may be in the Disney Parks. Fortunately, Disneyland Paris has a fond heart for the obscure and villainous characters not often highlighted at Walt Disney World or Disneyland, including characters from The Fox and The Hound, Hercules, Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and The Princess & The Frog, to name a few.


Disneyland Paris’ Darker and High-Class Merch Options

Ken W. Hanley

Speaking of DLP’s merchandise options, Disneyland Paris also caters to “Disney Adults” with their variety of darker and more expensive products. Expense is no stranger to any “Disney Adult,” as high merchandise prices come with the Disney territory, but DLP’s multiple glassworks and jeweler locations include some of the most pricey but unmistakably beautiful works of art offered by Disney. Likewise, children may be taken aback by some of the more cynical or darker merchandise, such as the hysterically demented Lion King shirt featured above.


From 1664 Beer to Exclusive Wines, Disneyland Paris is a Drinker’s Paradise

Ken W. Hanley

If you’re coming to Disneyland Paris hoping to enjoy some of the libations in the territory, you’re certainly in luck, as DLP has more than a few options to drink while experiencing all the wonders that Disney has to offer. From the 1664 beer offered at most quick-service restaurants, champagne offered at many of their 30th Anniversary food stations, exclusive wines made only for their restaurants (including the Chez Remy spirit featured above) and even the incredible themed bars at the resorts themselves, such as the downtown bar at the Art of Marvel: Hotel New York and the Red Garter Saloon at Hotel Cheyenne, “Disney Adults” hoping to keep their buzz on throughout their stay will not be left wanting.


Eerie Exhibit D: “Phantom Manor,” the Scariest Ride in All of Disney

Ken W. Hanley

Before we jump into “Phantom Manor,” perhaps some context is required: when Disneyland Paris was originally developed as EuroDisney, they had wanted to develop a unique spin on “The Haunted Mansion,” which is located in the New Orleans-esque quarters in Disneyland and the New England-esque area of Walt Disney World. But with its placement in Frontierland at DLP, an opportunity arose to build “Phantom Manor” into the lore of the area itself, and thus begot Disney’s scariest ride ever. Narrated by horror icon, Vincent Price, and hauntingly scored by John Debney, “Phantom Manor” tells the tale of a gold baron who was seemingly responsible for murdering all of his daughter’s prospective husbands, even going as far as killing the last one from beyond his own grave. “Phantom Manor” picks up from this heinous act, following his wedding gown-adorning daughter as she searches for her “missing” husband as the ghastly visage of her father casts an eerie shadow over the proceedings. Ending with an unsettling twist on the “Ghost Hitchhiker” mirror gag after a brief respite in a true Old West Ghost Town, “Phantom Manor” is not only genuinely scary but also just a great classic ghost story to enjoy and embrace, which pays off much greater for the “Disney Adults” daring enough to appreciate the effort that has gone into bringing it to life.