Can Disneyland Paris be a cheap memorable day out
Built in 1992 and situated slightly to the east of Paris is Euro Disney, a truly magical place for children and adults of all ages. Euro Disney consists of two separate parks:
– Disneyland Paris
– Walt Disney Studios Park
Both parks are based on a similar design to the Walt Disney Parks based in the United States however unlike in the United States where you will have to catch a Monorail or drive between each theme park, the two theme parks in Paris are situated adjacent to each other.
Therefore if you have a ticket for both Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney Studios Park then you will be able to freely pop in and out each theme park as often as you like. However, the big question is can you have a truly memorable time at Disneyland Paris on a budget?!
I believe you most definitely can but first let’s have a closer look at the two magical theme parks on offer.
Parks to Visit at Disneyland Paris
Disneyland Paris is jammed packed with all your favourite characters, rides, shows and exhibits which could keep the whole family entertained for days. As you enter the park you are immediately greeted by the sight of the beautiful the Sleeping Beauty Castle which is situated in the centre of the park and towers over the whole theme park.
Having had a stroll up Main Street which stretches from the main entrance to the castle you will note that you will pass many eateries and souvenir shops displaying every Disney product you can dream of.
From here the park breaks out into 4 areas:
Within each area of the park you can easily lose your self with the wide range of rides and shows on offer including Big Thunder Mountain, Dumbo the Flying Elephant and the infamous “It’s a Small World” ride which will have you humming the tune in your head for the remainder of your holiday.
As you travel around the park will have ample opportunity to meet and greet your favourite character. There are also a couple of other must see shows during your day trip to Disneyland Paris and that is the day time and night time parades. Here all your favourite characters line the streets in one big carnival atmosphere and night time carnival usually precedes a firework display which brings an end to a truly magical day at Disneyland Paris.
Walt Disney Studios Park
Although much smaller than it’s American counterpart, Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris is filled with shows and attractions which will keep you entertained. For the older kids you can dare to ride the “Tower of Terror” whereas the younger members of the family can enjoy rides such as the “Flying Carpets of Agrabah”.
Within the Studio Park there is also an opportunity to enjoy shows such as Armageddon or go on a Studio Tram Tour where you can look at the back lot of a movie set and real artifacts used in movies plus a few additional surprises.
If you are looking for a full on Disney experience and not too worried about sticking to a budget then there are many themed hotels to stay in on the Disney resort. These include Disney’s Sequoia Lodge, Disney’s New York Hotel and the actual Disneyland hotel.
The Disney themed hotels are obviously at the high end of the budget however there are deals to be had and it is often worth looking for combined hotel and park ticket deals on the Disneyland website especially at off-peak season.
If you wish to stay closer to Disneyland, Paris but do not wish to have or pay for a full on Disney experience then there are other themed hotels within the area. One of which is the Explorers Hotel which with it’s nautically themed rooms and indoor swimming pool is definitely aimed at families with small children. The buffet breakfast and various onsite eating facilities can also definitely assist in keeping the cost down during your visit.
If travelling by car then there are other low budget hotels in the nearby area such as Ibis Budget, Best Western and Hotel Balladins Esbly which will definitely assist in keeping the cost down during your stay.
Camping – Le Croix de Vieux Point
If you are on a driving holiday then it may be worth looking at the cheaper option of camping or staying in static caravan or lodge. Le Croix de Vieux Point is a Eurocamp site which is around an hours drive from Disneyland Paris and situated between the towns of Compiegne and Soissons.
Boasting several swimming pools, a lake, a bowling alley, several outdoor family adventure activities plus bars and restaurants there is something here to keep everyone entertained within your family when away from the theme park. The accommodation also varies from pre fixed tents to luxury caravans and tree houses. This is definitely a great option if you are travelling a few days or more with small children and also wishing to explore Paris.
When eating out in Disneyland Paris the cost can be extortionate and can soon leave you out-of-pocket. If you haven’t pre-paid for your breakfast and are not able to eat at a reasonable cost within your accommodation or are unable to smuggle a picnic along with you then you are going to need to find somewhere reasonable.
Disney Village is the place to visit if you choosing to dine out and you should be able to leave the park and re-enter with your ticket. Within Disney Village you will find many themed restaurants such as Planet Hollywood, Billy Bob’s Western Country Saloon, Sports Bar and Parkside Diner. Although these restaurants can still be fairly pricey though they are generally cheaper than the ones in the parks though it is advisable to reserve a table in advance as these eateries can get quite busy.
If you are looking for a cheap option which will keep most children entertained then there is a McDonald’s hidden away behind Planet Hollywood. On a personal note Mcdonald’s has often saved the day with young children who can occasionally be fussy with food. As at McDonalds, I tend to find you know what you are getting and you are likely to save a few pennies which could potentially be used towards purchasing those sought after gifts from the souvenir shop.
If you are travelling from the UK there are many ways in which you can arrive at Disneyland Paris:
– Flying – nearly all domestic airlines situated within the UK operate routes to Paris. Relatively cheap flights can be obtained by looking at flight comparison sites such as Skyscanner or Opodo. Once you have arrived in Paris it is possible to get a train to Marne La Vallee which is the home of Disneyland
– Car – if travelling for a longer period rather than a short break then taking the car may be your preferred option. There are many ways to cross the English Channel by taking ferries from Dover, Folkestone or Portsmouth which will take you to either Calais, Dunkirk or Le Havre. From here you are a little over a couple of hours drive from Paris.
As a footnote if you are driving make sure that you are covered on your car insurance to drive on the continent.
– Train and Channel Tunnel – If you do not wish to fly or a vehicle then travelling by train may be the perfect option for you. You can pick the Eurostar up at St Pancras Station and it will have you in Paris in a little over 2 hours.
If your still not sure which is the best route for you to get to Disneyland, Paris, check out article on how to find the cheapest route by clicking here.
How to plan the perfect family trip to Disneyland Paris
If you are planning your dream family break to Disneyland Paris the first thing you will need to decide on is when you will want to go. Trips to Disneyland Paris are obviously going to be cheaper outside of school holidays however it is also worth bearing in mind that the theme for Disneyland often changes for the season for example when it is Halloween and Christmas which may influence when you want to visit.
The first port of call when researching a potential to Disneyland Paris would be to look directly on the Disney website to see if there are any package deals available. If there are not I would consider the following in order to make my decision:
– How long I wish to go for and what my budget is.
– Whether I intend to solely visit Disneyland Paris or take in Paris and other areas as well.
– From there I would consider my mode of transport and compare prices along with what is most suitable for the trip ahead.
– Then I would consider what accommodation I wish to stay in. Again this will be depicted by the length of time you wish to spend on vacation, your budget, whether you are visiting for a special occasion and of course your personal preference. There are many hotel comparison sites to look at when making your booking but it is also always worth looking at your potential accommodations website to see if a cheaper deal can be found.
– Finally you will require tickets for Disneyland Paris. It is worth considering how many days you intend to visit Disneyland Paris during your stay and whether you also wish to visit Walt Disney Studios Park during your stay before making a purchase. When making a purchase it is always worth shopping around by looking directly on the Disney site and ticketing sites such as Attractiontix.com.
Once you have considered all the above you’ll just need to make sure you have your Travel Insurance and spending money then away you go on a family trip to Disneyland Paris to suit every budget.