Wednesday, 25 February 2015

How To: Do A Disney Trip on A Budget!

Holiday's are expensive, and Disneyland is no exception.
On both of my trips as an adult I've had plenty people tell me that, 'You could of afforded to go to America for the same price as a Paris trip!' and so I'm here to prove that wrong.

I'm not made of money, and you all know that haha, but with a little saving up and these following tips, anyone can have a trip of a lifetime to the magical Disneyland Paris!



Go Off Peak.
First up, the time of year you decide to have your holiday makes all the difference. The cheapest times to visit are called the 'off peak season', simply meaning the times when it is less busy - usually when there are no big holidays like Easter, Christmas or when the schools are on break. (And not just the UK school holidays, remember Disneyland is in France so you have to take into account their schools too!)
When staying for less than 7 days I'd recommend avoiding the weekends where possible as well as obviously for the locals it's a popular location for a day out. For a full list of French public and school holidays, have a peek at this website!

A lot of people don't like to go off peak as at quieter times the park sometimes has shorter opening hours and closed attractions, but to be honest you will find closed attractions throughout the year as they are being maintained etc. You can actually check on the Disneyland website what the park hours will be and which attractions will be unavailable, though only for 3 months ahead.



Book at the Right Time.
I won't go too far into this point, but as you can imagine just like everywhere else, Disneyland has offers on through different parts of the year in which you can save between 15-30% off the usual price you would pay. For example, right now the '40 Yes Days' offers are on, on trips between the 1st of April and the 31st of October if you book by the 31st of March!
Some of these are even available during school holidays for those who can't take their children out of school and have to go during peak season which is handy.



Stay Longer.
You'd think that staying more days just means paying more money but it actually pays off to stay a little longer. Extra days are cheaper to add to your trip (or sometimes if you book 3 nights you'll get a 4th free etc) as well as meaning making the most of your park tickets, having the chance to see and do more.
This applies especially during peak season as queues are undoubtedly longer, taking up more of your precious exploring time by waiting! It's worth it though eh?



Make the Most of the Meal Plans.
When we went for my 6th birthday (1996) I'm pretty sure that 'half board' at Disney wasn't an option? Though I'm sure there are some experts out there who will prove me wrong. Anyways, both my trips in 2010 and 2014 were drastically improved by paying a tiny bit extra when booking to get meal vouchers.
Food, everything from meals to snacks, is super expensive - probably one of the biggest expenses at Disneyland Paris so I 100% push the meal plan option at anyone who asks for my suggestions.
With different options you can customize your meal plan experience to suit your families budget and eating habits, for more information click here!
It's no exaggeration that we saved upwards of 400 euro!!



Don't Go Shopping Straight Away.
It might be hard to compose yourself and not run directly into the hotel boutique right after check in, or even blow all your money in the park shops on the first day - but do try and refrain, it's worth it.
Perhaps buy your ears and an autograph book if you are doing so, but by leaving souvenir and gift shopping until your last couple of days you won't waste money on spur of the moment purchases and will have had time to have a good look around all of the different things on offer.



Take a Limited Amount of Cash Per Day.
Similarly, one of the biggest tips I have regarding shopping is to leave the majority of your money locked away in the suitcase or safe in your room. Budgeting is key and by only allowing yourself a certain percentage of your money per day, you'll be sure not to run out and leave sad on the last day because you can't afford that one must have item. (Another point to add is I really do not recommend using your bank card while away. Obviously take it incase of emergencies, but just be careful with the every changing exchange rate and card charges!)



Make a Wish List.
I had a good idea of things I wanted to bring back, that you can't get over here, before I went and so put together a wish list - which you can see here! I know not everyone has a blog or wants to make such a thing but it's just like going to the supermarket with a shopping list.
Buy the things you 'need' from your list first. Then at the end of the holiday if you have any left over spending money you can treat yourself to the extras you may have spotted.



Buy a Photo Pass+.
If you are the type who only has a mobile phone camera to take photos of the family with the characters, or would like your screaming face from Space Mountain in a frame at home, I highly suggest investing in a photo pass and buying the photos from the rides and that the professional photographers take for you.
Buying the photos individually can be pricey, so the PhotoPass+ is an excellent option which saves high quality digital files to the website where you can access them to share and download whenever suits you! (Well, within 1 year of its purchase..!) See more here.



Choose Travel Wisely.
There are many ways of getting to Paris. Plane, train or automobile (via ferry of course) so price up your different options and choose the best for you. This will vary from which part of the country you are in! For example, the cheapest option from where I am in the North East of England would probably be coach. You can get a 2 night stay for 2 for only a few hundred pound, with everything included, though it takes maaannnnyy hours of travel. Plane is the next best thing, you can get cheap flights from Newcastle with not much other travel than perhaps the shuttle from Charles De Gaul to Disneyland itself.
Next time however, despite it's extra expensive, I will definitely be going by eurostar again as my fear of flying is so bad and only worsened with our experience at Charles De Gaul airport! It's a relaxing journey, cheap in itself and you step out of the station right at the gates to Disneyland. The only thing that makes this the most expensive option for us are the trains in the UK, which at a minimum will cost around £100 each to get to London!!



Take Your Own.
This has been something we've had to do no matter where we've been on holiday because I am just that fussy. Last year we took the little Robinsons juice concentrate squeezy things with us so that we could buy bottles of water and add it to it, for something to drink both in the hotel room and in while walking around in the park. It wasn't just handy for fussy old me who struggles to find food and drinks that I like while out and about, but it also was a money saver!
For those who can drink just water, maybe you could take one of those water bottles that have the filter inside to fill up and take around the park with you.




And there we have it, my not so quick advice and tips for doing a Disneyland Paris trip on a budget. I hope this is of help to at least one person, even if with only one of the points.

Let me know if you enjoyed this, if you've used any of the options above or if you will in the future.
Thanks for reading and please do feel free to share this with anyone you know that has been looking into a Disney holiday.





27 comments:

  1. Great tips :) We went for only 2 days in the park which wasn't really long enough & stayed in the Radisson Blu hotel which is 5 mins transfer for 3 nights and it cost us 200. Flights were about 100 but the worst thing was transfer from CDG airport. The bus had stopped for the night so we got a cab that cost us 90euro, I nearly cried. Will know for future though.
    Thanks for your tips xx
    Gill: EyelinerFlicks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Oh no, I could never just go for 2 days. We were lucky that we booked everything altogether and was on super early flights to have a full 1st day in the park, but the transfer still wasn't fun! ha
      Hope your next visit is better.

      xo

      Delete
  2. We're thinking of planning a trip in October so this is handy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. WooHoo! October is the best time to visit!

      xo

      Delete
  3. These are great bits of advice and I'm sure can be adapted to other trips as well, thank you xx

    www.justanorwichgirl.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  4. I LOVE THIS POST!!!!! It annoys me when people say to you that you shouldn't go to such and such place cos it's expensive ... holidays are only as expensive as people make them. When Simon and I went to Center Parcs last year as a cheap holiday as we couldn't afford to go abroad everyone was saying to me that we were crazy cos Center Parcs is so expensive. We were determined to prove them wrong and we did - we had a fantastic time and barely spent anything. We didn't waste money on the overly priced organised activities, the only thing we splashed cash on was hiring bikes and then we spent days just cycling about enjoying the sunshine, we spent hours and hours in the bird hides watching wildlife, cooked a lot of meals in our chalet and made sure we stuck to a daily budget.

    I've done a few Disneyland Paris holidays on a budget and I have another tip to add to your list. We always take sandwich bags down to the hotel breakfast with us - they have the little rolls and loads of cheese out at breakfast so we make ourselves up sandwiches to eat for lunch in the Park. Buying a baguette in the park costs an absolute fortune! That leaves us with more money to shop or eat out in the evening :)

    Chloe x
    newgirlintoon.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yey!! haha Thank you.
      Well exactly, it's all what you make it and how cost effective you can be. Some people have money to throw away and other have to be clever.

      That trip sounds amazing - right up Jake and I's street and we're actually going to Kielder again this year, with Baker!!

      Haha, we did take a couple apples for during the day but aren't big eaters anyways and got a 'teatime treat' with our half board meal plan!

      xo

      Delete
  5. This is brilliant Danielle and so handy for someone like me - I am definitely planning to go at some point so all of this advice is really useful, especially in terms of when to book and what to make the most of such as the meal plans and the advice about shopping. Thank you for this! Great post! - Tasha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you get use out of it and go very soon!
      Glad you enjoyed it, thanks Tasha!!

      xo

      Delete
  6. Disneyland is right on top of my bucket list. Maybe someday when I've saved enough I'll visit. Someday. I agree with the off season time though, and not just for Disneyland but actually any vacation spot really. It's always cheap and less crowded then!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it should be top on most people's bucket lists ;)
      Yes! Less crowded is a must for me wherever I go!

      xo

      Delete
  7. These are some great tip. I always try to go off peak when I go to Paris, it's so much more relaxed! We went in January and got a free half board deal - we saved so much money and were able to eat in the park (which is crazy expensive).

    embrace-thedetours.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A free half board plan?! Awesome!! Even with paying for it we saved so much so that is pretty awesome!!

      xo

      Delete
  8. I was going to say that the Eurostar is a good option and can be sometimes cheap, but every time Kris and I take the Eurostar we always end up spending so much money once we get to the UK in getting out of London and back home. And people in Belgium complain their trains are expensive! They don't even understand expensive trains!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, Eurostar is awesome!! I love it its just England and our rubbish prices! I don't even care next time though - would rather pay more than fly ever again.

      xo

      Delete
  9. This is such a helpful post! We were so lucky that Liam's mum treated us to our flights and accommodation back in 2010. We went to Disneyworld Florida and it was incredible. All we had to take was spending money (and that wasn't even a lot as we only had a few months to save!) and I could have spent every single penny of it within the first few days. Being restrained with my money was SO HARD. I wanted to buy EVERYTHING at Disney! Xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. *
      Thank you!!
      Oh how lovely, my last visit was a treat too for my birthday and Xmas gift :) Though I don't think I'll ever make it to see the US parks. 
      I know that when I went to DLP in 2010 money wasn't really a problem as I had no responsibilities and a great job. The £600 spending money was gone in the first 3 days and then my next wage got spent on my card too!! Ooops!! 

      xo

      Delete
  10. Oooo thanks for this post! My sister wants us to go Disneyland Paris for her birthday in May. Already been to Florida one, should be fun! Will definitely need to do on a budget though :P xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad it's of help! If you're going to go this year I'd for sure try to book before the 31st of March! I don't think I'll ever make it to Disneyland or Disney World in the US as I can't fly again but DLP is pretty awesome anyways.

      xo

      Delete
  11. Love these tips! I definitely want to go back to Disney World soon so I'm hoping I can get a good deal like last time!

    hellomissjordan.blogspot.co.uk xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I guess it's a bit different for the US as it isn't as expensive in general in America. I'm sure you'll get a good deal.

      xo

      Delete
  12. I really want to go to Disneyland Paris sometime soon so this was definitely useful. I went with my family when I was younger and had the best time but I'd love to go again.

    Emma x
    Writing Essays With Wine

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! I went for my 6th birthday in 1996 and have only been back twice since. I'm hoping to be able to save and go again next year. Hope you get to go soon :)

      xo

      Delete
  13. I love DLP (actually, I just love Disney full stop, hehe), but it's been a few years since I was there as I tend to go to WDW instead now, but I really hope to get back over there in the next year or two again.

    Hopefully the Euro will stay a little more favourable when I do make over there too as it was darn expensive due to poor exchange rate last time :(

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'm going to have to print this out so I can have it on hand while planning our trip this year!! Thanks for all the tips they are brilliant x

    ReplyDelete
  15. I'm so desperate to go somewhere like Disneyland Paris. I went there back in the 90's but can't remember too much, just that it was such a magical place! ⭐️ I've mentioned this trip to my boyfriend but I struggle so much with finding the best deals and so I always end up not booking anything :( I find it all too overwhelming! Your post has given me a little clarity and confidence though, and I love the squash suggestion - my boyfriend is so fussy too and won't drink plain water.

    Maybe I will get round to planning a little Disneyland trip after all 💕 thank you 😊
    xxxxx

    ReplyDelete

Every comment you leave puts a smile on my face.
Thank you for reading, I highly appreciate it. :)