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Going to Disneyland Paris can be a fun trip for the whole family, but planning for it, especially on a tight budget, can be time consuming and frustrating. It can be hard to tell what is right for your family and budget. It is also hard to know what is worth spending some extra money on and what is not. It’s a complicated process and it all depends on who you’re going with and what is important to you. In this article, we’ll talk about how to plan and keep you, your family, and your wallet happy.
The Cheapest Way To Get To Disneyland Paris
How to get to Disneyland from Paris
There are 5 main ways to get to Disneyland Paris: a rental car, a taxi, an uber, a bus, or a train. It is about a 40-minute drive from Paris depending on the day and 35 minute train ride, so keep that in mind when scheduling getting to the park.
Renting a Car
You can rent a car from the airport at a reasonable price, but if you need to get a large car to accommodate your party, the price starts racking up quickly. Something else to keep in mind when looking at a rental car is that Hertz has rental pick-up areas both at these airports and at the train station near Disneyland Paris, meaning you could rent the car for just the drive up or use it while you’re there then drop it off to catch the train and miss the Paris traffic. Don’t forget to plan to pay a lot for gas, as it may be around €1.6 per litre.
As well, if you know you’re staying at one of the Nature Resorts (Davy Crockett Ranch or Les Villages de Nature Paris) or any hotel offsite, having a rental car can be helpful to get between there and the park. If you’re planning on staying only at the park the whole time and especially if you will be within walking distance of the park your whole trip, a rental car may not be worth it for you.
Taxi and Uber
Ubers tend to be slightly cheaper than taxis, with taxis being €76 in the day and €90 at night, and Uber’s price varying around and beneath these prices. If you want to catch some sleep after your flight or if you have little ones that may be antsy on the train or the bus, you may want to see if a taxi ride or uber fits into your budget.
“Magical Shuttle” Bus
Disney has a bus that runs between the airport and Disneyland Paris between 6:30am and 11:00 pm. This bus is expensive at over €100 but can be convenient if you catch it just right. There are discounts available for larger parties and round trips, but it is all up to you and your party whether it is worth it or not. To find out more about the bus or to get tickets, go to it’s website by clicking here.
The train from the airport is the cheapest and fastest way to get to the park, at only €17.60 and free for kids under 3. It is about 35 minutes, but keep in mind if you have antsy kids, it might be easier to control them in a taxi, uber, or rental car. The train is a RER A regional train and goes to the Marne-la-Vallée/ Chessy station which is only a 2-minute walk from Disneyland Paris. For more information on the train, click here.
How to Choose
The train is the cheapest choice to get to Disneyland Paris, but there are a lot of factors to consider before choosing how you are getting to the park. When it comes to transport, the most important thing is that you and your party talk about how much of your budget your willing to spend on transport, what makes the most sense for your party, basing the decision off of factors like your budget, the length of you stay, and the size and age of your group.
How Long You Should Stay
Is Disneyland Paris a day park or should you stay for longer?
The answer is: it’s depends. If Disneyland Paris is just one part of a bigger trip to France, then if you plan right, you can definitely do the park in one day. If you’re only planning on going to the park, there is more than enough stuff at the park for you to do to make a trip of a few days worth it. So, if you’re worried either way, don’t be. Plan for how long you want to stay at the park and how long your budget will allow. You don’t have to feel like you need to super long and stretch your budget thin. If you plan and budget well, you can get a lot out of your trip in a short amount of time.
Make the Most of One Day at Disneyland Paris
The key to making a day trip work at Disneyland Paris is to plan you trip well. Knowing what fastpasses you want and when extra magic hours are can help you fit everything you want into one day. Fastpasses at Disneyland Paris are not done through the my disney experience app like at other resorts, but is still done manually, meaning you have to walk up to the ride and get a physical fastpass for that ride later in the day. So, before you go make sure that you and you family figure out what rides you want to go on that day so you can get any popular fast passes before everyone else. If you’re not sure what all the rides are, you can find a list of them here.
Extra Magic hours are when the parks are open either earlier or later than normal for guests staying in the resorts onsite. This means that you could hit a lot of the park in just one day with less crowds. However, if it is only one day of your trip, than it might not be worth the price of staying at one of the disney hotels for the price just to get into the park early/late. For more on extra magic hours, click here.
Where should you stay?
Is a hotel worth splurging on at Disneyland Paris?
Disney has 6 on sight hotels and 2 nature resorts (Davy Crockett and Les Villages) further away from the park that you can’t walk to the park through:
- Disneyland Hotel
- Sequoia Lodge
- Hotel New York
- Newport Bay Hotel
- Hotel Santa Fe
- Hotel Cheyenne
- Davy Crockett Ranch
- Les Villages de Nature Paris
When you pay more you get more amenities, but if you are planning on spending most of your trip in the park, then spending a fortune on a hotel room that you won’t be in much anyways doesn’t make sense. Even if you have the money, sometimes it is better to stay in a cheaper hotel because then you can use that extra money for a special meal or something else in the park. If you plan to be at the resort a lot during your trip, then it may be worth it to spend a little more on a nicer hotel room.
Partner hotels here, like at other Disney resorts, are cheaper than their Disney counterparts. They have the same if not better rooms than Disney for cheaper. However, they do not have the “disney” factor that the disney resorts do. As well, they don’t offer the same access to the park that a Disney hotel does. At all of these hotels, you’d probably have to rent a car or get a taxi/uber to get to the park. It is up to your family whether driving there and back everyday is worth it. As well, if you want to take advantage of extra magic hours, you have to stay in a Disney hotel.
For a list of hotels that are associated with the park, click here.
Food in Disneyland Paris
Should you get a meal plan?
There are 5 meal plans offered in Disneyland Paris.
- Counter Service Breakfast
- Hotel Meal Plan
- Standard Meal Plan
- Plus Meal Plan
- Premium Meal Plan
Each plan includes different restaurants, with the hotel plan only including a few at certain times of day while the premium include pretty much every restaurant on property. If you’re only in the park for one day, chances are, a meal plan is not going to be worth it for you but if you’re there for longer, it may help you save money. Don’t worry about getting the most inclusive one, worry about if it is going to be worth it for you and your family.
If you want to compare meal plans and what/where is included, click here.
Should You Buy Merchandise?
Are the Mickey Ears worth it?
When it comes to money for merchandise, it is all about priorities. If you are the kind of person who goes into the park and immediately begins hunting for mickey ears and a t-shirt, it’s a good idea to budget for that. It all depends on how important those mickey ears are for you. If you have a young child with you who wants to buy everything they see, often times you can find similar items on amazon for way cheaper and they will probably not be able to tell the difference.
If you know you’re not going to want merchandise in the park, put that money towards things like transport, food, or something else in Disneyland Paris you want to do. This applies to anything on this list: if it’s not important to you, don’t worry about spending too much money on it.
When To Start Booking Your Trip to Disneyland Paris
When is the best time to book?
The time you begin booking depends on how much you care about having a room in a specific hotel or if you want dining reservations at a specific busy restaurant. You can start making dinner reservations 60 days ahead of the meal, so if there is a restaurant you and your family really want to eat at or you have a child who would love a character breakfast, it’s best to start booking around then and if not, plan as you can and don’t stress too much. If you’re going to Disney World it would be a different story, but at Disneyland Paris, the only things you need to worry about booking ahead of time are meals and lodging.
If you want to know when to go, look at crowds calculators that are available online and see when there are less crowded times. As well, keep things like Extra Magic Hours in mind so that you can the most out your park ticket. It is also important to keep looking at the Disneyland Paris website for new discounts and offers so you can get a discount.
In the end, the most important part of planning a Disneyland Paris trip is to budget using what’s most important to you and your family. You can have a great trip on a budget, you just need to focus in on what you and your party want to focus on while you’re in the park.
If you want more ideas for summer holiday, read our article about Instagrammable places to visit in the UK this summer here.
Are you planning a trip to Disneyland Paris? What tips did we leave out that people need to know? Let us know in the comments.
- Author The Bamboo Team
- Posted 4 July 2019