Have you been considering a family trip to Disneyland in Paris but were you worried it would cost too much? Disneyland Paris on a budget is possible with a bit of forward planning!
Disneyland in Paris on a budget is possible, it does not need to cost thousands and you can do it on a budget without taking from the magic. It is a truly magical experience with a bit of planning and research before you go.
#1. Decide when you are going
School holidays are generally speaking a more expensive time to travel and the parks are generally busier.
- Check the school holiday calendar for the UK and France too as their school holidays are not the exact same as the Irish ones.
- Mid-week flights are cheaper than weekends and mid-week is also a much preferable time to visit Disneyland, as queues at the weekend can be very, very long.
#2. Getting There
So while Ryanair might be €30 cheaper than Aer Lingus, it will cost more to get to Disneyland from Beauvais airport where Ryanair fly to than Charles de Gaulle airport, where most other airlines fly into.
It is possible to get the train from Paris to Disneyland. The station is Marne La Vallee and is well serviced with trains from Paris, although changes on the metro are required and depending on the number of children with you and the number of bags and time of arrival, a direct transfer from the airport to Disneyland may be better at least on one leg of the journey
There are a number of private transfer companies that operate from both airports to Disneyland and if you are a party of four or less, it is often possible to arrange a shared transfer and cut the costs. We recommend Ezyshuttle.com. This company is run by an Irish man and his French wife. If he is unavailable at your required times, John is extremely helpful and will recommend other transfer companies and all pricing is on his site so you know what to expect to pay.
#2. Accommodation and Park Tickets
- If booking through Disney you automatically visit their Irish.ie site. However they often have different deals at different times in different countries so it’s worth also checking out the other european sites, particulary the German and Danish Disneyland Paris sites! Google translate will translate the pages for you and you don’t need to be a resident in the country site you are booking through!
- It is worth considering booking directly with one of the four sister Disney Hotels – The Kyriad, Explorers, Dream Castle or Magic Circus. All four hotels are close to the parks and are extremely family friendly and offer great value. All four hotels operate regular free bus transfer, all day and evening, from the hotel doors to the park gates.
If going with this last option, you will need tickets to the parks – Do not buy from the hotels or at the gates of the parks. There are much cheaper tickets available. There is different pricing for French people and tourists to Disney, a little known fact is you do not need to be French to avail of these tickets!
You can purchase online and print an e-ticket either on www.billetfrancilien.com, use your Hotel address for the address requirement or via www.fnac.com. With FNAC you can print online or order online and collect in any of the FNAC stores.
There are several in Paris and the closest one to Disney is one train stop away at Val De Europe. It is worth checking the prices on both sites as they are significantly cheaper ticket prices.
I have used both with no problems and got tickets at a third of the price. Don’t forget under 3’s go free with a paying adult!
#4. Disneyland Park
Let the magic begin! There is no denying Disney is expensive but there are always ways to save. Your park tickets cover all the rides in the park but there is still lots of ways to spend money! Food in the parks is expensive but obviously you have to eat!
I would recommend researching the restaurants beforehand and decide which ones you want to visit. Pre booking is generally advised and I would recommend Cafe Mickey (great for getting up close with the characters) and if you have little princesses dining with the princesses at the Auberge de Cendrillion is expensive but worth it a truly magical experience. One restaurant a day makes for a more affordable experience.
Breakfasts in the hotels are included in the price and are a huge and grand affair. People tend to take rolls, fruit, yogurts etc with them from breakfast to the parks. I was a bit unsure of this until I saw everybody doing it!
Drinks and snacks are also expensive in the parks but there is nothing stopping you bringing them in with you. There are a couple of shops in the train station outside the parks where water, rolls, snacks are a lot cheaper. The large shopping center Val De Europe is one train stop away if you wanted to stock up on cheaper snacks.
The Disney shops are magical but again on the pricey side. When there, we told the children they could buy one thing on the last day and that seemed to work for us. An autograph book is a must have for meeting the characters but this can be bought at home and brought with you and bring your child’s costumes with you from home!
The costumes are double to three times the price you would pay at home so if you don’t have any, hit the shops here before travelling. A lot of children dress up in their favourite costumes in the park and unless you want to spend €90 on your little Cinderella or Buzz Lightyear, bring them with you!
Have you got any tips for helping to keep the cost of a family trip to Disneyland Paris down? Share them in the comment box below!