Disney is what dreams are made off and getting there doesn’t have to cost you thousands. We’ve been to Disneyland four times in the past five years and there’s many more trips to come. Here are my top tips for going to Disneyland Paris on a budget, I hope you have as magical a time as we did!
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In December, myself, my partner and four children aged seven, three, two and one spent three nights and three days in the Explorers Hotel in Disneyland Paris for €1,400. That included our flights, accommodation, park tickets, transfers, parking in Dublin airport and a passport renewal for myself and two kids. I had a strict budget I had to abide to and with lots of research and patience we did it.
Here are my top tips for visiting Disneyland Paris on a budget, and advice for during your stay.
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#1. Book Everything Yourself
To get the cheapest possible price to Disneyland Paris you must book everything yourself. That includes your flights, accommodation, park tickets and transfers.
#2. Shop Around for Flights
You will be flying into Charles De Gaulle or Orly in Paris. Compare flights using a website or app like Skyscanner and book the cheapest direct flights you can find. Try to book an early flight out and a late flight going home to get the most out of your time at Disneyland.
#3. Use French and German Websites
When booking your accommodation compare both French and German Disneyland websites for accommodation. Use Google Translate to translate everything into English for you. Keep an eye on both sites for different deals. The deal we normally choose is “kids stay and play free” meaning with one paying adult one child will be free.
NB: You cannot book online. When you find the right price ring the number prompted at the end and request the French or German deal.
Top tip: Ask for your park tickets & transfers to be included.
You will be asked to pay a 20% deposit and then organise a direct debit for the remaining balance of your Disneyland trip to be paid six weeks before you travel. Everything will be emailed to you.
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#4. Pre-book Airport Transfers
Book your airport transfers directly through Magic Shuttle by Transdev. Tickets are €23 per adult, €10 per child and under 2’s go free. Make sure you print your tickets off to present to the bus driver during your trip.
#5. Avoid UK and French Holidays
When you are planning your trip to Disneyland Paris try to avoid public and school holidays when booking. The parks can be mayhem when schools are closed across the United Kingdom and France so always cross check the dates. The last thing you want to be doing is spending your valuable Disney time in mile-long queues.
#6. Avail of Exclusive Park Hours
If you choose to stay in a Disney Hotel you can avail of extra park hours during your stay. That means you can enter the parks earlier than everyone else. The days and parks vary throughout the year so always check with your hotel reception.
#7. Pre-book Your Meeting with Spider-Man
If you want a meet and greet with Spider-Man you must download the Lineberty app in advance. It’s available from Apple Store and Google Play. Once you’ve downloaded the app select Disneyland Paris then Meet Spider-Man to book your ticket.
You will receive a time to present yourself at the entrance of the Spider-Man Meet and Greet in Walt Disney Studios near the Disney Blockbuster Cafe Backlot. It’s one of the most in-demand meet and greets in Disneyland Paris so don’t leave it too late.
#8. Use Your Park Ticket for FASTPASS
Not many people know this but your park ticket is also a FASTPASS ticket. If you scan your park ticket at FASTPASS machines available at some of the most popular attractions you can save loads of time by retrieving a return time slot. You can only use it one ride at a time so use it wisely.
You can use Disneyland FASTPASS on the following attractions:
- Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril
- Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain
- Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast
- Big Thunder Mountain
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- Star Tours
Walt Disney Studios Park
- Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster
- The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
- Flying Carpets over Agrabah
#9. Bring Speedos for Dad
Baggy swimwear are illegal in France! If your hotel has a pool be aware that it is illegal to enter a public pool in baggy swimwear in France. Man, woman or child must wear spandex. Be prepared and pick up Speedos for himself in Penneys or Dunnes before your travels to Disneyland Paris otherwise they will set you back around about twenty quid in your hotel.
#10. Bring Key Essentials to Save Money
There are some essentials that you can take with you to help save money:
- If you are travelling to Disneyland in winter make sure you bring raincoats or ponchos otherwise they will set you back a tenner each for disposable ponchos in both parks.
- Make sure you bring plenty of batteries and a spare SD card for your camera too.
- Calpol and Paracetamol are not sold on the grounds of Disneyland. If one of your kids get poorly during your visit you will have to take a train out of Disneyland to the nearest chemist or it will cost you €50 for a return trip in a taxi. So make sure you stock up before you go.
#11. Try To Eat At Unusual Times
If at all possible try to avoid usual lunch and dinner times when at Disney Parks. For example, you could be queuing up for lunch at 1pm for a good half hour and possibly the same trying to find a seat, not beside a bin.
Time in Disney is precious, so eat earlier or bring a snack to keep you going until after the rush. There’s an added bonus to eating this way too, some rides are quieter during peak lunch and dinner times so there’s less queuing for you and your family.
#12. Bring Your Child’s Favourite Costume
And finally, make sure to bring your children’s favourite Disney character costumes and themed clothing with you. A Disney outfit will set you back at least fifty quid if you buy it in the parks!
Also, it is known that kids in costumes get more attention from cast members throughout both Parks.
Read more of my tips on going to Disneyland in my bumper article Disneyland Paris Tips and Tricks where I share 40 tips to make your visit wonderful and help keep costs down!