I know what you’re thinking…the title must be click bait, there’s no way that you can do Disneyland Paris on a budget. Well, we’re here to tell you that you can! Seriously! From when we went back in April, we’ve been thinking a lot about how people manage to go and not spend loads, and we’ve come up with 10 tips. Our tips range from buying tickets in advance through to taking things with you, as always it’s about being prepared. For literally anything.
- Book everything yourself. A:though places offering you packages and deals may say they’re saving you money, don’t forget they have to make money somehow, so chances are you will manage to do it better yourself. Make sure you’re buying from reputable sellers though, you don’t want to get caught out. Skip peak times like school holidays if you can as even the park tickets are more expensive. The best advice we have found from looking around is to use French and German websites for deals, as they seem to have a lot more going.
- Book everything in advance. Park tickets, train tickets, bus tickets, meal tickets, OK book book. I know it’s good to be flexible but don’t worry about that when you’re going to Disneyland, it will make it much cheaper. Word on the street is places like AttractionTix do good deals on Disneyland tickets, but as we haven’t done it, don’t take our word for it – do your research to check them out first.
- Think carefully about your travel. As we said about the park tickets, avoiding peak times like school holidays is essential for travel, and if you can travel midweek that makes it even cheaper. If you can do, book the Eurostar 180 days in advance for the best deals – there’s no bag limit and the trains go direct to the park. Shops around, for flights try things like Skyscaner and Kayak, and for Eurostar if your dates are flexible you could end up with tickets for around £36. If you want to fly, you can get to Paris for cheap if you book early, and book your train or bus down to Disneyland in advance too. If you’re on a super tight budget and don’t mind coach travel, you can get the Megabus or National Express from places like London to Paris for as little as £12.
- Plan where to stay.This is a complex one. There are pros and cons to both. The Disney hotels can be very expensive, without breakfast included. However, some come with pools and other spa-like access that you could have should you need. There are some budget Disney hotels that are cheaper but it still wouldn’t be as cheap as staying outside the resort, and getting buses in. Don’t drive, you now have to pay for parking. The only advantage of the Disney hotels is that you do get early entry to the parks, where you get to go in an hour before the public without this added extra. Again if you can avoid peak times, do.
- Think about booking meals. Firstly look online for any food or drink vouchers you can find Although you may not be able to find any for the actual Disney themed restaurants, you can often find them for the chains there like the Earl of Sandwich, Vapianos etc. Keep your eyes peeled if you know a trip is on the cards! If you want to eat in the restaurants, have a look online before hand and check the menu falls into your price range, and do book ahead. One thing we found was that anywhere we wanted to splash the cash because of the amazing sounding themes and food all booked up quickly, You have to call to book (you can get all the information on the app) and if you’re staying in a Disney hotel they can book for you – but that might be too late if it’s a busy day!
- Bring your on food and drink. It would seem that although they try not to get you to take your own food in, you can do it. We saw plenty of people tucking in to picnics when we were wandering around, so if you really want to save on quite a large part of a budget – do bring your own food. If you aren’t comfortable with that then make sure you follow our advice in the point above. Whatever you do though, DO bring a re-fill able water bottle. Obviously we know it is important to stay hydrated, but there are water fountains around the park – that are shown on the map and on the app – so that you can refill and not have to spend all of your Euros on drinks. A definite advantage and good for the environment.
- Bring all your essentials. I know we often talk about how great it is to pack light and not worry about anything, but if you want to do Disney on a budget you need to be organised and plan for all eventualities. Remember things like plug adopters, charger blocks and batteries, tissues, painkillers and a poncho for the rain, the more you think about needing and remember to pack, the less you need to spend money on buying when you’re there! Simple!
- Take advantage of FASTPASS. They’re free and they are fabulous. You can use FastPasses for lots of the big rides and the most popular ones. You simply take your entrance ticket and validate it on a machine that gives you a ticket to return to the ride at a later time. It is great for using your time wisely and making sure you don’t have to wait in long queues. You can only have one FastPass ticket at a time. However, you can validate your entrance ticket for a second FastPass ticket from the start of your half hour slot. So, if you’re close to another ride, go and get another FastPass before you get on the first ride. It makes sense if you read through a few times!
- Avoid the souvenir shops. It’s a given, whether you’re with kids or just a big kid yourself, avoid the souvenir shops, there is so much you could want and don’t need, and it is not cheap, so do yourself a favour and don’t even look!
- Take advantage of free data roaming. OK, so it’s a bit of a cheat, but having data in Europe with UK contracts is such a huge bonus, it means you can do things like download the Disneyland Paris app and keep an eye on queue times, and all sorts, but it still fits in our budget list!
So, there you have it, Disney on a budget. Feel free to drop us a message or leave a comment if there’s any clarification you need on anything, or if you want us to explore other places on a budget!