DISNEYLAND PARIS ON A BUDGET
If you read my “2018 Travel Plans” post, you will know that we are off to Disneyland in October (HALLOWEEN YAY) and we were lucky enough to get an amazing deal. We were browsing various websites for a week or two, trying to find the best price and value for money and eventually we booked through Expedia. We booked our flights & hotel in one package, then added our park tickets on via Attractiontix. My best piece of advice is to definitely shop around, don’t go with the first website you come across, or the first price you get. Take your time & work out what is within your budget. For our flights & hotel, we paid £400, that is Sunday-Wednesday, with flights from Manchester to CDG airport, staying at a hotel 15 minute walk away from the Disneyland parks (which is closer than most of the official Disney hotels FYI) and the hotel also offers a free shuttle to & from the parks. I thought I would share with you my top tips for planning Disneyland Paris on a budget.
If you are still quite flexible with dates e.g you haven’t booked your hotel, park tickets or booked time off work yet ect, but you know roughly what month you would like to travel in, have a look at the monthly overview of flights and see when it cheaper. We saved almost £50 by flying on a Sunday rather than a Monday! The flight to CDG is only 1hr 25 minutes from Manchester so we weren’t too fussed about paying extra to fly at a certain time of day, I think we fly out at 2pm, & fly home at 12pm, so we won’t be too rushed with early flights.
To save even more money we decided to just take hand luggage as we are only going to be there for two full days, we wouldn’t need much in the way of luggage! We qualify for three lots of hand luggage, a small additional bag (Teddy’s rucksack) and also Teddy’s buggy, so we have decided to leave one of the hand luggage cases empty & use that to bring things back e.g. merchandise & gifts. I can’t resist the Disney shops – it is a real issue!
Don’t get me wrong, if money was no object, or we had slightly longer to pay it off then we MIGHT have stayed in a Disney hotel, but we figured with Teddy’s age, he wouldn’t have a CLUE and it would be slightly wasted. We are actually staying in a Disney Companion hotel – hence the free shuttle transfers to & from the park and it literally takes five minutes. We saved a ridiculous amount of money by staying offsite & we agreed that we would rather save our money for whilst we are there, than spend a stupid amount of money on a hotel room that we are literally going to be in to sleep.
Everyone knows that prices of holidays absolutely SKY-ROCKET during school holidays & the parks will also be horrendously busy during those weeks as well, so we decided to avoid certain dates. As well as thinking about the holidays in England, you also want to take into account the school holidays in France! All I did was a quick google search and it gives you a list of all the dates, so you can plan around them. We actually visited Disneyland on the exact same dates, five years ago, and the parks were much quieter! The beginning of October is the perfect time to go as the parks are decorated for Halloween, have Christmas merchandise in the shops but it isn’t overly busy. The back end of October is MUCH busier due to Halloween.
As we have booked our trip via Expedia, that doesn’t include transfers from the airport to your hotel & back again, so we googled various options and priced them all up and there are so many to choose from, within a whole range of budgets! We have booked ours via Prestige, which is a private company, who drop you off directly at your hotel & pick you back up when it is time to leave. I just think this will be much easier with Teddy, plus three cases & a pram in tow.
JOIN FACEBOOK GROUPS
I joined a Facebook group before we booked our trip and I can’t recommend enough! They are fab for any tips & advise on booking and also amazing for recommendations and tips whilst you are there. Whether you are looking for money saving tips or the best places to eat, you’ll find it all. You can ask any sort of questions, no matter how ridiculous you may think it is & people are more than happy to answer & help where they can. The group is “Disneyland Paris Tips For Brits”. There are a few more but I found this one the most helpful!
BUYING IN ADVANCE
We have saved our asses off for spending money but there are a couple of things we have bought in advance, including a lanyard, for park tickets & fast passes – these are around €10, where as I ordered a Mickey Mouse one off Ebay for less than £3! I think it is just about buying little things that will save easy money. It is also recommended that if you want your little ones to dress up whilst visiting the parks, take them with you! Fancy dress inside Disneyland are CRAYYYYY, so I would definitely suggest buying them in advance, you can pick them up at most supermarkets or online.
Compare Park Tickets
As I mentioned previously, don’t just book with the first website you come across & also don’t feel like you have to book via the official Disneyland website. We booked our tickets through AttractionTix as they worked out the best value for money and they also included money off coupons & discounts for restaurants within Disney Village. Under 3’s are free so we just had to pay for me & Aaron which was £200 for two parks, two days. This means you can hop between the parks as many times as you like within 7 days of the dates you inputted. Last time we went we spent the majority of our time in the Disneyland Park, rather than the studios, so if that is the case again this time, we can just jump across whenever we are ready. Rather than being tied to one park each day.
Those are my top tips for planning Disneyland Paris on a budget! I hope you find them useful. I’d love to know if you have any trips to Disney book? What is your favourite money saving tip when it comes to travel?