Which Disneyland Paris park is better? Walt Disney Studios vs Disneyland Park

At Disneyland Paris there are two parks a short walk from each other – Walt Disney Studios Park and the Disneyland Park. In this post we’ll review which Disneyland Paris park is better while giving an overview of each park and discussing if a two-park ticket is worth it.

There are many reasons why you may want to focus all of your attention and money on visiting just one of the Disneyland Paris parks. It may be your budget just can’t stretch to a two day park visit, you have limited time to visit or already know that you have a preference for rides in one of the parks.

No matter the reason, choosing between the parks can be difficult if you don’t have all the information. This is where we can help – we’re been to Disneyland Paris several times with kids of various ages so feel well equipped to help you make the decision.

Quick answer- which Disneyland Paris park is better?

The short answer is that most would consider the Disneyland Park to be the best park as it has the castle, the parades and most of the well known rides like It’s a Small World and Big Thunder Mountain.

The long answer is that there isn’t an exact answer for this as both parks offer something different. The Disneyland Park is the more traditional park with everything you would associate with Disney including most of the character meets and greets and the opportunity to meet a princess. The Walt Disney Studios Park is the smaller of the two parks and is themed with the newer parts of the Disney brand like Avengers, Pixar, Toy Story and Cars.

What is in this post?

If there is a section of this post that you’re particularly interested in you can skip straight there by clicking on that section in the contents below. If not, then continue reading to learn all about which Disneyland Paris park is better.

Are you planning a trip to Disneyland Paris?

Planning a trip to Disneyland Paris can be overwhelming, especially for a first timer. If you’re at the start of your planning and soaking in as much Disney knowledge as possible you may be asking yourself “is Disneyland Paris worth it?”.

That’s why we’ve pulled together some of our most popular Disneyland Paris posts to help you plan your Disney trip. Whether you’re trying to visit two parks in one day or planning a longer stay at an onsite Disney hotel we can help you.

If you’re travelling with kids for the first time you’ll want to soak up all of the Disneyland Paris hints, tips and tricks. With all of the souvenirs, food and toys to buy it can be an expensive trip so you’ll find an entire post dedicated to visiting Disneyland Paris on a budget.

What is the difference between the two Disneyland Paris parks?

Even though both parks have some great rides, the Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park have many differences in size, theming, facilities and characters

Disneyland Park

When people dream of visiting Disney they imagine the Disneyland Park with the stunning sleeping beauty castle towering above main street. The Disneyland Park is the biggest park with more rides, the parade and the fireworks, you’ll find most of the character meets, in this park.

Opening times 

The Disneyland Park is open from 9.30am to 8pm or 9pm depending on the season.

Disneyland Park layout

The Disneyland Paris Park is split into 5 themed areas,

Main Street, USA: this is where you’ll enter the park and also acts as a central hub with all of the different areas feeding back into the central plaza. Grab a bite to eat, do some shopping, or climb the Sleeping Beauty Castle and visit the dragon underneath.

Discoveryland: here you can meet Darth Vader, there are a few food outlets to enjoy a snack, and several rides including the famous Disney ride – Hyper Space Mountain.

Fantasyland: experience the magic with a visit to Mickey Mouse, there are plenty of rides in this area and some delicious food spots like March Hare Refreshments. 

Adventureland: here you can join in with Jack sparrow on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, explore the waterfalls, caves and pirate ship. Afterwards grab some pineapple whip from Café de la Brousse and continue on to the Aladdin walkthrough.

Frontierland: experience the wild west by braving the haunted mansion, taking a ride on a steamboat or jumping on the BigThunder Mountain ride. There’s a play area here too and several great lunch spots, our favourite is the Cowboy Cookout Barbeque restaurant. 

What characters are at the Disneyland Park?

The Disneyland Paris park is where you’ll find some of the most well known Disney characters including the princesses, Mickey Mouse, Stitch, several Peter Pan characters, Captain Jack Sparrow, and Darth Vadar – plus many more. You can find a full list of the characters, their locations and appearance timings on the Disneyland Paris app

Best rides at the Disneyland Park in Paris

This is just my opinion so take it with a pinch of salt but these are the rides that our family would never miss on a trip to Disneyland Paris. 

  • Big Thunder Mountain
  • Phantom Manor
  • Stars Tours
  • HyperSpace Mountain
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • It’s a Small World

Where is there to eat at the Disneyland Park?

There are tons of snack bars dotted around the Disneyland Park, plus several cafes and restaurants on main street. Our best places to eat in the Disneyland Park are listed below,

Toad Hall Restaurant: based in fantasyland this restaurant is themed in an English stately home style with inspiration from wind in the willows. For a reasonable price you get a generous and tasty portion of fish and chips. They even do a vegan option that tastes good too!

March Hare Refreshments: also based in fantasyland this small food stall is worth a visit for the beautifully topped ice creams, complete with an edible spoon.

Cable Car Bake Shop: you can find this bakery on main street and can either eat in or take out. As well as a delicious range of cakes and sweet treats, this is where you can pick up the Mickey shaped pretzel sandwich.

Cowboy Cookout Barbecue: the food matches the decor and they’re both great! Themed in the style of a Wild West ranch this restaurant provides tasty fast food to take away or eat in. 

Captain Jack’s – Restaurant des Pirates: this is a sit down restaurant that has the best setting inside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. The excellent view does come with a high price tag though so if you don’t have a meal plan it can easily add up to around €150 for a family of four.

Walt Disney Studios Park

The Walt Disney Studios park is geared more towards new Disney with it’s theming and further expansions planned. It’s the smaller of the two parks with fewer rides, attractions and character meets.

Opening times 

The Walt Disney Studios Park is open from 9.30am to 7pm or 8pm depending on the season.

Walt Disney Studios Park layout

The Walt Disney Studios Park is split into 5 areas,

Front Lot: enter into the world of Hollywood to learn all about how movies are made and grab a bite to eat.

Production Courtyard: this is where the shows take place with several studios and musical performances. This is also where you can find the Tower of Terror ride – if you’re brave enough! 

Toon Studio: immerse yourself in the land of movies with the animation academy where you can learn to draw like an animator.

Marvel Avengers Campus: experience what it’s like to be a superhero with marvel themed rides, shows, restaurants, characters and shops

Worlds of Pixar: this is where you can find everything Pixar related including Ratatouille, Finding Nemo, and Toy Story 

What characters are at the Walt Disney Studios Park?

The main characters you can see in the Walt Disney Studios Park include a selection of superheroes including Spiderman, Thor, Black Panther and Captain Marvel. Additionally you can see Lightning McQueen, and characters from the toy story franchise – even the toy soldiers. You can find a full list of the characters, their locations and appearance timings on the Disneyland app

Best rides at the Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris?

Again, this is just the opinion of our family and the rides we love when we visit Disneyland Paris.

  • Ratatouille
  • Cars ROAD TRIP
  • Flight Force
  • Slinky Dog (for the young ones)
  • Tower of Terror

Where is there to eat at the Walt Disney Studios Park?

Ice cream creations: from this ice cream stall you can get a magnum style ice cream covered in edible decorations in the theme of a Disney character.

PYM Kitchen: this is where you can step into the world of Ant Man with test tube drinks, giant burgers, and huge pretzels.

Bistrot Chez Remy: this restaurant is situated at the end of the Ratatouille ride and has been themed to make it seem like you’ve been shrunk to the size of a rat, including sitting on bottle cap chairs with jam jar table tops.

Is it worth getting a two park ticket at Disneyland Paris?

Yes it is, both parks offer completely different things in terms of attractions, rides and food so it’s worth getting a ticket to experience both. However, if you’re only able to choose one park then pick the Disneyland Park over Walt Disney Studios as it’s bigger, and has a parade and fireworks.

Can you do both Disneyland Paris parks in one day?

It is possible to do both Disneyland parks in one day – the two parks are just a couple of minutes walk from each other so you can easily travel between them both. We’ve created a simple one day itinerary for Disneyland Paris to give you some inspiration for your trip.

Who is the Disneyland Paris Park best for?

At the Disneyland Park there are tons of rides that are suitable for younger children, teens and adults alike. Even rides like Pirates of the Caribbean aren’t overly scary for a toddler to enjoy. Depending on how much of a thrill seeker everyone in your party is there’s also plenty of rides for older kids and adults to enjoy. This is including HyperSpace Mountain, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril, Big Thunder Mountain and Star Tours. 

Who is the Walt Disney Studios Park best for?

World of Pixar is definitely more geared to the younger visitors and has some great rides for toddlers like Slinky Dog and the Flying Carpets over Agrabah. There are rides for the whole family to enjoy too with Cars ROAD TRIP and Ratatouille. In terms of teens and adults, there are a few thrill rides, especially if you’re looking for a thrill. If I was visiting as an adult I would probably skip most of Walt Disney Studios Park and focus more on the Disneyland Park instead. 

Summary: which Disneyland Paris park is better?

The question of which Disneyland Paris park is better really depends on your perspective. If you have young children who love all of the Pixar movies then Walt Disney Studios is best with the Toy Story and Cars theme. However, if you just want to get more out of Disneyland Paris then the main Disneyland Park is best, there’s more rides, attractions and characters – plus the daily parades and fireworks are unmissable. 

Personally, our favourite is the Disneyland Park as we love dancing along to the parades. The mix of thrill rides and rides for all of us to enjoy means we get more out of the Disneyland Park, and I think the food is better awith a wider range of snacks.

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