Disneyland Paris has been treasured by guests for 30 years, but the park still holds many surprises waiting to be discovered. Disney superfan or not, there’s a long list of secrets that will add a little extra magic to your trip.
To celebrate Disneyland Paris’ 30th-anniversary AttractionTickets.com has compiled a list of the 30 best-kept secrets for you to explore on your next visit to the magical theme park. Discover there’s more to Disneyland Paris than you first thought…
- Can you find the hidden Mickeys?
Hidden Mickeys are one of Disney’s best-known secrets. Scattered throughout the two parks, keep an eye out for three connected circles which make up the classic Mickey Mouse shape. These are hidden amongst rides, buildings, architecture, and gates – but no one knows exactly how many there are as Disney has never revealed this information.
When visiting Walt Disney Studios, try and look out for the hidden Remy too!
- Get a new look at Dapper Dan’s Hair Cuts
Tucked away in a corner of the Emporium shop, you’ll find the entrance to Dapper Dan’s Hair Cuts, which to many’s surprise is an actual barber shop. Located on Main Street U.S.A. and decorated with authentic pieces from an actual Chicago barber, this American-style barber shop offers traditional cut throat razors, hot towel shaves and neatly trimmed haircuts.
- Listen to the piano lessons
In Main Street U.S.A, near The Coffee Grinder is a window that reads “Piano Lessons” and if you listen closely, you will hear the sound of a student practicing their scales during a piano lesson.
If you look up to the second floor of all the buildings on Main Street U.S.A, you’ll spot some added details with more sounds to listen out for, such as a man brushing his teeth, the taps in his bathroom above Victoria’s Home-Style Restaurant and a dentist’s drill.
All the names throughout Main Street U.S.A. represent the Imagineers and people involved in Disney throughout the years.
- The coffee cup sign lets out real steam
There are all sorts of signs and posters around the park, but if you spot the billboard advertising The Coffee Grinder, take a closer look – can you see steam coming out of the cup?
- Pick up the old phone
In some of the stores on Main Street U.S.A, such as Market House Deli and New Century Notions Flora’s Unique Boutique you can pick up the old phone and listen to a conversation – it represents what it was like when telephones were new technology and numerous households/ businesses would share the same line.
- The colours of the castle
There is a special reason behind the pink and blue colour scheme of Sleeping Beauty Castle. Did you know that they were purposely chosen to contrast with the often grey skies of the Paris region? However, many argue that the chosen colours are to reflect Princess Aurora’s dress.
- It’s impossible to take a bad picture at Disneyland Paris
All the castles at Disney parks are designed to face south so the sun can never ruin your photo. Whether you go at the golden hour or early hours of the morning, you don’t have to be a professional to get the perfect photo.
- Spot the golden snails
The golden snails are a subtle nod to French culture, with escargots (cooked snails) being a much beloved French delicacy. On the golden towers of the Sleeping Beauty Castle, you may notice lots of small bumps, but if you look closely you’ll see that these are actually snails gliding up.
- Listen out for the musical trees
The square-shaped trees next to Sleeping Beauty’s Castle allegedly represent the notes within Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty Waltz – the tune behind the film’s signature song, Once Upon a Dream.
- Colourful armour in the castle
Inside Sleeping Beauty’s Castle on the top floor, you can visit La Galerie de la Belle au Bois Dormant (Sleeping Beauty Gallery) where you’ll see two sets of armour alongside a statue of a crow. Take a photo with the flash on and they’ll reflect back the colours of the Sleeping Beauty fairies – pink, blue, and green.
- See the animated tapestry
Also in the Sleeping Beauty Gallery, one of the stained glass windows has a magic detail of an animated tapestry of Sleeping Beauty herself. If you wait a few seconds in front of this tapestry, you can catch the magic of the twinkles that occasionally appear.
- Find the dragon’s lair
The castle isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Underneath the beautiful building, you’ll find La Tanière du Dragon, a huge audio-animatronic dragon, which measures 27 metres (89 ft) from head to tail. The dragon mostly sleeps silently, but occasionally it wakes up and you’ll see smoke and hear growling sounds.
- See the changing faces of Mr. Toad
In Fantasyland, see if you can spot this next secret behind the walls of Toad Hall Restaurant. The portraits of Mr. Toad inside are ever-changing and comical with some depicting him as Vincent Van Gogh and even the Mona Lisa.
- The Legends of the Old West
Head up the stairs as soon as you come through the Frontierland gates and you’ll find a walk-through tour of some of the legends of the Old West. You can also get a great view of Big Thunder Mountain which makes for a perfect photo spot!
- Vintage original features
If you’re a fan of vintage, head over to Frontierland and check out the ‘movie posters’. Some of the posters hanging are the original ones from years ago – you can tell because those ones say ‘Euro Disneyland’, whilst the updated ones say ‘Disneyland Park’.
- Take a ride on the Molly Brown boat
Not necessarily a secret, but no Frontierland trip is complete without a trip on an old paddle steamer. From the Thunder Mesa Riverboat Landing, you can take a ride on one of the two 19th Century style paddleboats, Molly Brown or Mark Twain. On this, you’ll get more interesting views of Big Thunder Mountain and experience a leisurely tour through the Old West.
- Find the Baby Doe Mine rail track
Near Big Thunder Mountain, you might spot a fixture that appears to be a rail track and carriage heading nowhere, titled ‘Baby Doe Mine’ – this is apparently a homage to a planned ride that never existed, which would have been a children’s train ride inspired by the original ‘Mine Train through Nature’s Wonderland’ in Disneyland, California in the 1960s.
- Whisper across the store
The dome ceiling in Harrington’s Fine China & Porcelains on Main Street U.S.A was built with acoustics in mind, so, if it’s not busy, you and a friend stand at either end of the dome, and you should be able to whisper and the sound should carry through to the other side.
- Can you see the Eiffel Tower?
At La Cabane des Robinson – the Swiss Family Robinson tree house, head to the very top, and if you’re lucky you may be able to spot the Eiffel Tower! It will need to be a very clear day, so it’s much more likely that you’ll spot the tower in summer, but it’s always worth a look.
- Watch the parade from THIS spot
To snag the best spot and enjoy the parade to its fullest, it’s best to watch it from Central Plaza. From here you can see the full show from all four stages as all the characters and floats arrive from Main Street U.S.A and then fan out across the park. It’s the best place to dance and sing with all your favourite characters up close!
- Retro attractions
Again, if you’re a fan of the original attractions and retro Disney features, head around the back of The Old Mill and you can see the fixture from the disused ferris wheel attraction from years ago.
- Go window shopping
Another for the vintage fans, behind Constellations, take a look at the window displays. One of the displays was installed on opening day, April 12th 1992, and has been untouched ever since.
- Take a shortcut
Not so much a secret, more of a handy tip – but tucked away, is the covered walk from near Adventureland Bazaar, all the way through to Peter Pan’s Flight, great when it’s raining and a quick walk if you want to get somewhere fast when the park is very busy.
- Learn about the Statue of Liberty
In Liberty Arcade there is a small room hidden behind big red curtains which shows a recreation of the opening of the Statue of Liberty. It includes wax figures and the recording of U.S. President Grover Cleveland’s original speech.
- Become part of the Toy Story
In Toy Story Playland at Walt Disney Studios Park, you’re supposed to feel like you’re a toy soldier in the garden where Andy has been playing. All the ‘toys’, or rides, are scattered around, and feature huge talking models of Buzz and Woody. The story is that Andy has been called in by his mum, so the ‘toys’ (including the ‘toy soldier’ visitors) are free to roam around.
- Build your own lightsaber
Near Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain, head to Star Traders in Discoveryland where you can build your own lightsaber or souvenir droid. Even if you don’t want to purchase one yourself, they’re definitely unique and are worth the visit – even to take a look at what other guests are building.
- Claim your free birthday badge
Feel like a prince or princess on your birthday. Part of the Disney magic is making you feel special when you deserve it- so let someone know that it’s your birthday.
You can pick up a birthday celebration badge from City Hall in Disneyland Park and this lets everyone know that it’s your special day. Get lots of birthday wishes as you walk through the park and plenty of freebies along the way.
- Feast with the characters
Whether you prefer to eat breakfast in the company of the more traditional characters, or enjoy lunch surrounded by your favourite princesses, there’s a restaurant option waiting for you! A perk of booking to stay onsite at one of Disneyland Paris Hotels is the dining experiences on offer. With the Extra Plus Meal Plan, this includes a character dining experience per stay – one lunch or dinner of your choice can be used to dine with Disney characters at Auberge de Cendrillon or Plaza Gardens.
- The best spot for the drone show
At the end of a fun day in Disneyland Paris, crowds gather around the castle for the spectacular fireworks and drone show. Whilst you do get a good view of the show from many points in the park, the best place to stand is on the right at the end of Main Street U.S.A. If you’re to the right of the castle, you’ll be able to see the Mickey Mouse drone shape appear in full, rather than it being obstructed by the castle itself.
- Take an official tour
If you love hearing all the ins and outs of Disneyland life, and want to hear more from the people who know it best, you can take a guided tour which will uncover so many more secrets and things you might not spot. This will incur an extra cost, and can be booked by visiting City Hall in Disneyland Park..