Wednesday 6 November 2019

Can you do Disneyland Paris on a budget?

If you have read my latest post all about our trip to Disneyland Paris at Halloween you will know that this was very much a last minute trip. It was approximately two weeks before we had a crazy idea to just "have a look" at prices. Back in February as it was our first trip so we decided to book it through Disney directly to make it a little bit easier. This time when we looked at booking it through Disney the prices to stay at any Disney hotel were extortionate. I'm sure it was due to it being last minute, so we have definitely learnt to book it in advance. When we go at Christmas we are staying in the Hotel Cheyenne and have booked it as a package through magicbreaks. It is definitely about looking around at the best prices and deals which are out there.

My sister and I have read lots of blog posts and watched vlogs about staying outside of Disney and how you can save so much money. We started to look around at booking everything individual and we soon discovered it was working out much cheaper. Lots of people had recommended staying at the Ibis hotel at Marne de Valle. We decided to stay there and for two nights it was £180, which for £90 each we thought was a decent price. Honestly, this hotel was in the best location and we were super lucky that we had fallen upon this. We got on the RER at Chessy (the stop for Disney), and it is just one stop which is a 3 minute journey to get to Val d'Europe which is where the hotel is located. You go up the train station stairs and the hotel is literally directly in front of you. The RERs are every 9 minutes in the morning and about every 15 minutes at night. My sister and I were convinced that we were able to get on the train and to the Ibis hotel, quicker than the 20 minutes walk it takes to get through the Disney village and to the Disney hotel which we stayed in last time which was Hotel Santa Fe. The tickets for the short train journey cost 1.90 Euros each way. We actually bought a book of ten tickets for 15.80 Euros which saved a little bit more money. We have both said that for future trips we would definitely stay here again. It was also easy to get from Charles de Gaulle airport to Val d'Europe. The tickets were 19 Euros each and the journey was about 15 minutes. This saved a lot of time compared to getting on the DisneyExpress bus which goes around the houses and takes well over an hour to get to the Disney hotels. 

Once the hotel was sorted it was time to sort the flights and this was the biggest test of all. They were all so expensive. As we were only going for two nights we wanted to ensure that we had booked good flights so we could make the most of the time we actually had there. We for sure could have saved £100 or so on flights if we wanted to fly out at 1pm and come back at 11am. However, we would have lost so much actual time in the parks. We decided to fly with EasyJet there and back, the flight out was at 7am and on the way home at 8pm. The flights were expensive at around £200 each, but like I have said it ensured we had time to do everything we wanted to do with only having such a short time span. We thought it was 100% worth paying the extra money. 

We researched the best and cheapest way to buy the tickets for the Disneyland parks. On the Disneyland Paris website for two three day/ two park tickets it costs £371. We looked on Attraction Tickets Direct which is who we have booked some of tickets for Florida next year through and made a small saving as it totalled £354. This was very easy to book. 

In total we paid £490 each. I know some of you will be reading this and saying to yourselves that this on not on a budget, and in some respect I completely agree. On this trip it was the flights which made the total cost increase. However, we did only book it two weeks before and as already stated the flights are always expensive if you want an early morning flight out and a late one home. Both flights there and back were completely full to the brim, there wasn't one free seat. For future though I would recommend booking the flights as far in advance as possible to save as much money as you can. I think it is difficult to actually do Disneyland Paris on a very tight budget as the ticket prices are always going to be the same amount. I think our hotel was a very reasonable price and as a whole Paris is not a cheap place to stay. In the end we were both happy with the amount we paid. The deal offered by Disney including hotel, flights and park tickets was coming out at a minimum of £800 each.

An important aspect to think about is the price of food. Back in February when we went we booked a full board meal plan. I would recommend looking at the price comparisons between staying in Disney with a food package and the difference compared with staying outside of the Disney complex. The quick service diners are the cheapest food option that they offer, but I would definitely not describe it as 'cheap'. If you opt to buy a dining plans I would definitely recommend using the restaurants over counter service as you can pre book all your reservations meaning you can utilise your time so much better.  As we experienced the quick service counters can have huge queues, we queued for one and a half hours in Videotropolis. You may be thinking why did we queue for so long, and the answer is it was one of those things where we were in the queue and we had dedicated ourselves to it and we thought if we left we would only end up in another huge queue some where else. It was frustrating however in the end the food was nice and we managed to get on with our day. A burger meal in there with a drink was 20 Euros. I would say over the three days on dinner and tea in the parks we spent at least 50 Euros a day each. Therefore, like I have said already you have to think about the different in price between getting a dining plan and paying yourself.

When we go at Christmas we have booked a package just like the first time we went. It is about going and doing it in different ways and working out what is the best way to make it work for yourselves. I know for myself that going for your first time it can be very overwhelming, and I have a post with some other tips I wish I have known about before our first trip. My one top piece of advice is to definitely shop around look around the internet for different deals, and like we did this time the different options which are available.


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