Friday, 15 September 2017

How To Visit Disneyland Paris Without Breaking The Bank

Katy and I have wanted to visit Disneyland for a pretty long time and, as you'll know if you follow either of us on any of our social media - this week, our dreams came true and we made it into the happiest place on earth. As you also might know; Katy and I pretty much live off of one low paying wage, and so we've had to keep the trip on the cheap - so, I thought that I'd share the tips and tricks that we took to allow us to spend three amazing days in Paris (and one beautiful day within the Disneyland Park!).

1: Find the cheapest transport
This sounds obvious, but was only obvious to me in hindsight. We personally flew into Beauvais, which is around an hour away from the city centre. Though the flights were cheaper flying slightly further out (and it is really only about half an hour further out than Charles De Gaulle) we then had to pay around £50 in return coach fares to get the shuttle into Paris, and so this didn't really work out any cheaper than paying for the 'better' (read; closer) airport. Definitely make sure that you've looked at the options fully, and book anything that you can ahead of time, because this usually also works out a little cheaper and, after all - every little helps!

2: Stay in a partner hotel
I would recommend, for any Disney trip, to stay somewhere with transport links; you have to get up early enough to make it in the park for the 9:30/10 opening time in the morning, and there's no point prolonging your transport links. Having said that, look into partner hotels - they'll usually still have these transport links, be Disney endorsed (providing an assured amount of quality for the most part), they'll be fairly close, and they'll often be much cheaper than a typical Disney hotel. It's true that you don't get the extra magic hours, but getting in there for ten does allow for plenty of time, and the money that you save can be well worth it.

3: Consider a packed lunch
Leading on from the above; most of the partner hotels also offer breakfast included in your package (bonus!) and they also often offer ready made packed lunches to take into the park which can save around £30 per couple, per counter service meal. It also means that you have to take considerably less time out of your day to get your meal, which is good if you're only in the park for a short while. Similarly; if you can't get a packed lunch, or you're determined to grab some food on Disney soil - definitely opt for the counter service restaurants, that can save a small fortune per head compared to sit down meals, or cart food like hot dogs etc. can also be a great option, and you don't have to sit down at all to eat them.

4: Buy at the end of the day
It can be so tempting to step into the shop right by the gate entrance and grab the first cuddly toy that you see because you're 'SO IN LOVE WITH IT'. However, reign it in - some shops hold things that no other shops do and so you want to check them all out first, allowing you to buy only the things that you really want; it's also pretty twofold as you probably don't want to take those huge blue bags on the rides with you and try to cram them between your feet alongside your backpack and everything else. Hold off on buying - you'll thank yourself for it when you come home with money in your pocket (Katy and I actually did, believe it or not!)

5: Consider just going for a day
It's a lot cheaper and you really don't have to scrimp on most things. Admittedly, we didn't get to meet minnie and mickey or the princesses as these queues were too long for just one day; but we did get to do all of the rides that we wanted to - and in fact some we even did twice. You'll nearly always save money when it comes to going for just one day, and it's definitely enough to get a big chunk of both parks out of the way. Conversely, if you're going for more than three days, definitely consider an annual pass, and that means that in the future, any extra trips will be a bonus that almost work out free, depending on the option that you pick.

All in all - Disneyland really doesn't have to break the bank; and including spending money for Paris, the parks and transport, as well as our flights, transfers and hotels, I spent around £800 for two people for three days. It's never going to be the cheapest holiday out there, but it also can be done within a budget. Need it to be lower? Just take spends and buy less merchandise; taking almost £450 off the price above; simple.

If you have tips for keeping Disneyland Paris costs down, do let me know!

Sammy xo.


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