“All magic comes with a price” so Rumpelstiltskin will tell you in the popular TV show Once Upon a Time and when it comes to Disney Parks you know it’s true! Having now visited every Disney Park in the world I have discovered the keys to being able to visit the parks without it costing the earth. I recently just spent 3 full days and 4 nights in Disneyland Paris for under £400, here’s how I planned a cheap trip to Disneyland Paris.
The first thing worth mentioning is that I didn’t go for an organised trip. While there are some of these trips that are really worth it, too many of them offer too short an amount of time at the actual destination and more often than not come with hidden fees. I like to be in total control and get the best deals in my own way.
The first thing to look at was transport. Booking a trip in the week makes transport, hotels and Disney tickets cheaper at Disneyland Paris, so this was a no-brainer. You used to be able to get some great deals on flights but now with every airline adding crazy fees for bringing even just a backpack on board, Eurostar is often your best bet. There is one important note here if booking a trip on the Eurostar and that is to book to go to the Charles Du Gaul in Paris and not to the direct to the Disney resort. If you book directly to Disneyland this short journey will end up costing you an extra £100 on average. Instead, getting off in Paris and jumping on the metro instead will only cost you around €5 for a return journey instead, a huge saving! You can also make the most of it and explore some of Paris as we did, there’s a baggage hold in the station that only costs a few euros for the day so you can leave you suitcases here and go explore the Eiffel Tower.
The Eurostar website is behind the National Rail site in that there is no easy way to see the cheapest trains for a range of different dates. Instead, put a date in and keep skipping through till you find some that work for you for both dates and price. You can get a return to Paris for as little as £60, we paid £78 each so that we could get there early enough on the first day to spend a day exploring Paris before heading to Disneyland, and a late train back so we wouldn’t miss out on any of the Disney fun!
Accommodation on Disney property is extortionate and frankly not usually worth the high prices. You pay a premium to be part of the magic but most of the hotels here are a lot more basic than what you get at say, Disneyworld, and with so many hotels so close by at a fraction of the cost it’s something I struggle to justify. We ended up staying in a beautiful and modern Airbnb (use my affiliate code for £34 off your first stay) which was just a 15-minute walk away (some of the budget Disney resort hotels are an even longer walk away then this) for just £30.29 each per night. Here is the link to our exact one we stayed in as I really recommend it, picking up and dropping off the keys was super easy and it was in a completely secure facility. As this was outside of Disney property it was also close to lots of restaurants and supermarkets so you can eat without paying the premium.
Speaking off food, we all know that the cost of food in Disney Parks is heavily inflated, however unlike all the other Disney Parks in the world, the food in Disneyland Paris just isn’t worth it. It’s amazing that a Disney Park in Paris, a city known worldwide for its food, can have some of the most boring and bland food options available. Most of it isn’t even Insta-worthy! The best Disney Parks food, in my opinion, is in the Asian parks, but even the American parks wipe the floor with the offers in Disneyland Paris. It’s all just so basic and uninspiring and there’s a surprising lack of options. If you are in an Airbnb like we were you can take in packed lunches (Disneyland does allow you to bring food but not huge, full-on picnics that the French culture is known for, so feel free to begin lunch and snacks). Even if you aren’t willing to do that, you can at least stock up on snacks at the supermarket to keep you full while you are on your feet all day, it does make a difference.
Then it comes down to the Disney tickets themselves. Truth be known, there is little that can be done in terms of cost, there is never a big sale to look out for and if you do find them super cheap somewhere then it is likely a scam, but there are a few things you can do to try and offset the cost. For one some of the official ticketing sites like AttractionTixs or 365Tickets do sometimes have sales to a maximum of 5% off. It’s only a small saving but every little helps right? Moreover make sure you are using a cashback site like Top Cashback, Honey or Quidco. Personally, I use Honey (Affiliate link) as it just sits in the background of my browser and works its magic finding discounts but it’s worth checking a few if you want to see if there is greater cashback offered somewhere. The official Disneyland site doesn’t ever really offer cheaper tickets, just children go free or 4 nights for the price of 3 deals and the likes (which are also usually offered on the other official selling sites too). I bought ours through Attraction Tickets Direct and it came with discounts for a couple of on-site restaurants too, so that can also be a small way of saving a bit of cash. We got 3-day hopper tickets for £177 each
All together even with buying merch, a day in Paris and eating in the parks, I spent around £400 in total, so not really bad for a 3 day Disney Park stay and a day in Paris. Do you have any hints and tips on getting a cheap trip to Disneyland Paris? Let me know in the comments below:
Key tips for planning a cheap trip to Disneyland Paris
Go mid-week and outside of holidays, check a crowd calendar to find when the lightest crowds and lowest costs are
Don’t book trains direct to Disney, get off at Paris and get the Metro instead
Stay off-site but close for the best accommodation deals
Stock up on food from supermarkets to snack on inside the Parks
Use cashback sites when buying Disney tickets