Disneyland Paris on a Budget: 6 tips for a cheaper trip
There’s no getting away from it; a trip to Disneyland Paris isn’t the cheapest. I have been many times (my family are big Disney fans), and some expenses are unavoidable.
However, I do think that for the amount of entertainment, rides, shows and parades included in the ticket price, you can get good value for your money. Also, there are ways to cut costs while still enjoying a fun-filled trip!
I’ve put together a list of ways you can avoid spending additional £££ on your trip. You’ll still have a fantastic time!
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Disneyland Paris on a Budget: 6 tips for a cheaper trip
1. Pack a picnic
Breakfast, in particular, is a meal that I recommend preparing in advance. Options such as individually wrapped brioche, pain au chocolates, filled pancakes, cereal bars or breakfast biscuits are super easy for a quick handheld breakfast on the go. Throw in a few cartons of juice or Capri sun, and you have breakfast for the whole family, easily saving around ten euro per person, per morning.
Not only will packing breakfast save you money, but I find that everyone is eager to get to the parks and get their day started! A sit down service breakfast is likely to add another hour to your morning.
Alternatively, you can always eat your breakfast snacks on the road or in your first queue. Disney nerds, you will know that every hour is precious in the parks!
The last time I visited Disneyland Paris I stayed at the Sequioa Lodge resort and we were given credits for the hot drink machine for every day of our stay. For those staying on site, pop down to a vending machine to pick up your free coffee to enjoy along with your breakfast!
The park catering can be pricey, and taking time to eat 3 large sit down meals isn’t really necessary, so packing a few snacks and drinks per person will save money, as well as time spent queuing.
2. Buy your souvenirs ahead of your trip
If you have kids, be prepared that the shops and stalls can be very tempting, with endless interesting merchandise to lure you in.
The toys in particular can be expensive, so if you have younger children you could pick up some cheaper souvenirs from home to give to your children at the end of each day if you want to avoid spending lots of money (and time) in the shops.
Mickey mouse ears or character caps can also be bought ahead of your trip. This is particularly important if you have a lot to buy!
For Disney branded clothing or bags, try searching on Vinted ahead of your trip. Items are likely to have been worn once or twice in the parks, and if you know you won’t get too much wear out of them back home, this is a great way to save, and you could possibly even sell your items on afterwards.
Lastly, if your family are keen to meet characters, avoid the overpriced signature books and take photos with the characters instead. Print your photos and make a scrapbook filled with memories (keep your tickets and a park map too). Use an app like Photobox to print 50 photos for free every month (just pay delivery). It’s a better souvenir than signatures!
3. Compare your options to get the best prices
If you are not bothered about staying onsite, there are plenty of off site hotels to be found at bargain prices. Check to see which hotels offer free shuttles, as this can be really useful and will avoid the need for Ubers.
Attraction Tickets Direct run regular promotions, and currently customers can get access to Disney Plus with all ticket bookings, as well as 10 free prints! Make the most of any offers or freebies to get the best deal for your money.
On a previous trip I stayed at Les Villages Nature Paris, which has a Center Parks feel. There is plenty of outdoor activities for families including a petting zoo, huge swimming pool, horse riding, bikes to rent and more. This package worked out to be quite reasonable, particularly if you want to spend some time away from the parks.
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4. Book via cashback sites
Cashback sites are easy ways to save money on your purchases. Particularly when you are spending a significant amount of money, make sure you are getting cashback!
Quidco and Airtime Rewards are my favourite two cashback sites, but I also use Topcashback and Honey. Take a few minutes to sign up to these sites and start earning cashback on your holiday, as well as any other purchases.
5. Wait for the Eurostar sales
The Eurostar sales usually happen several times a year, usually during January for periods January to March, and again during the summer. During this sale, you can grab tickets from £35 each way.
Unfortunately the sales don’t often include trains directly to Disneyland, however they do include Paris. If you were planning to do a day trip from Paris instead (it takes around 40 minutes to travel from Paris by Train), then you could wait for a sale and bag tickets from as little as £35 each way. Very reasonable!
If you would prefer to drive instead, the prices for the Eurotunnel start from £88, plus petrol costs. Travelling as a family, this could work out cheaper than getting individual train tickets.
Tesco clubcard members can exchange clubcard points for Eurotunnel vouchers to cut costs even further.
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6. Visit out of season to avoid buying fastpasses
Paid fastpasses are a recent addition to Disneyland Paris. Any long time Disneyland Paris fans will remember the free fast pass ticketing system! It worked really well in my opinion, but sadly, it seems every Disney park seems to be moving towards a paid model.
Disney Premier Access costs between €5 and €15 for one-time access to skip a single queue line, which can quickly add up.
I have been to several theme parks which have paid fast passes on offer (such as Legoland and Tokyo Disneyland), and found I was able to manage without. Don’t be pressured into thinking you need to purchase these passes – oftentimes, the queues will be reasonable, as long as you plan your day a little and prioritise your top attractions.
When booking, try to avoid the kids’ holidays if you can, as the parks will be quieter. January to March tends to be the cheapest and quietest time to visit, and there are often promotions during these months, but it can be bitterly cold!
May is a good time to visit overall, to avoid bad weather, intense crowds and it’s not the most expensive, either.
Final thoughts: Disneyland Paris on a Budget: 6 tips for a cheaper trip
If you are planning a Disneyland Paris trip on a budget, these tips should help cut down costs whilst still making wonderful memories.
I think a big part of travel is to try new things and gain experiences. You don’t want to scrimp so that the trip no longer feels like a treat and an escape from your day to day life! If you want the mickey shaped ice cream, spend the euros and enjoy it! You could try side hustling a little extra cash to enable the odd splurge here and there.
For tips on how to make some extra cash, check out these posts on side hustles:
- How to Make Money on Maternity Leave (13 BEGINNERS SIDE HUSTLES)
- 31 Best Apps to Make Money in the UK
- 5 Best Receipt Scanning Apps in the UK
- Rent your car out for cash (Make £650+ per month)