Being able to take your family to Disneyland Paris can feel to some family’s like a very distant dream, I visited in 2016 with my 4 children, partner, little sister and my Grandma which cost us just short of £4500. I wont lie for 2 nights away and flights from Manchester I found the whole experience incredibly stressful and to be honest an amount of money that I felt id never be able to afford again. I decided to do some more research as to how other people go about their Disneyland Paris trips on a tight budget…since researching I have been to Disneyland Paris 3 more times in the last 2 years.
Ok so I totally understand a lot of you would much rather just walk into a travel agent, tell them your dates and let them sort the whole trip, which is fine but NOT cost effective when it comes to Disneyland. I make a list of the dates which I want to travel and source all the prices for myself individually. The Eurostar website is easy to use as are hotel; booking sites. Just remember the sooner you book in advance the cheaper the travel usually.
Travel outside term time
When choosing dates I always travel in term time, I understand some schools are not as lenient about this and I guess this is completely up to you. I also use this website ……. To check when the UK and Europe are on school holidays as this will also keep your cost down. Also, if you are traveling with younger children the que times are no were near as long.
As I write this we are still in the Brexit drama so as it stands the Eurostar is a really convenient way to travel but this may all change…When booking the Eurostar if booked well in advance there are tickets which go as cheap as £36 from St Pancras, London and £46 from Disneyland Paris. The cheapest way to travel is via Lille, it sounds complicated but is really easy. Lille station is very accessible and has fantastic help desks who are easy to locate and help you find the connecting platform. I have changed in Lille 6 times now and will continue to do so on future visits. Plus, there is a huge shopping centre just over the road so on the odd occasion your train is delayed there is plenty to keep you occupied.
Take your own food
I always make snack packs for my kids before we go, the only negative is the space4 they take up in your suitcase but in regards of saving money an absolute god send. I try put non-perishable items and a good mixture of sweet and savoury items along with sandwiches for the train ride. I also make sure each person has their own water bottle which you can refill from almost all quick service restaurants inside the park.
I discovered the B&B hotel which is located just outside Disneyland but still has a free shuttle bus to and from the park and it is literally quarter of the price. The rooms are basic but at the end of the day you go to the room to sleep. There are even cheaper hotels which are further away but make sure you check that their shuttle buses from your hotel to make it easier for you if not there is a fantastic taxi service.
Think about Disneyland Paris annual passes
I chose to buy an Infinity pass for myself and it was 100% worth it. With my pass I can attend both parks any time I want, any day of the year at no extra cost. My pass can be paid monthly, and it works out around £27. a month, using my Infinity pass I am able to buy individual park tickets for the children for just $39 a day, I get 20% off all restaurant’s including character dining which is incredible, a free photo pass for the year and 15% off in all the shops. I will do another blog just about Annual pass as it is a little confusing but for me saves me so much money.
I have very strict rules when in Disneyland on buying things, I only bring items home that I can 100% not buy in the UK and I make sure the children are very aware of this. We always bring a few new pins home with us and any limited-edition mugs. There is an incredible Primark in Val de Europe which is a shopping centre within walking distance of the park and inside the Primark is a huge Disney section with items not usually found in the UK and a great way to bring cheaper Disney merch home.
When planning for an upcoming trip me and my kids go crazy making everything you could think of for the parks. Ears, tees, Lanyards, autograph books you make it we make it. Inside the parks an Autograph book can easily set you back 10 euros which is daylight robbery. I also make little activity packs for the kids for on the train as well to stop them nagging for items at the station like magazines and all that jazz.
Hope these tips help and please do ask me any questions I am more than happy to help with any planning advice you may want.