Let’s face it – we all need to have a roof over our head when we’re visiting Disneyland and someplace to dump all of our souvenirs and merchandise after a long day at the parks. Which hotel you should pick depends on the size of your budget, how many that are travelling and on how much you’d like to immense yourself in the Disney experience. On Disneyland Paris own website you’re going to be given two different options for hotel experiences – either official hotels or partnering ones. There are no real difference in price between them if you book well in advance, the only difference is the quality in the hotel and whether or not it’s a Disney hotel.
The official Disneyland Paris hotels are directly connected to the theme parks and are all Disney themed. All the staff at these hotels are cast members and you’re going to find characters here! Disney hotels offer VIP treatments to the parks, like VIP fastpasses and exclusive meet and greets with the Disney characters. The prices are not more expensive than the partner hotels, unless you go full out with the most expensive hotel at the 5 star Disneyland Hotel. It’s only these hotels that’ll give you Extra Magic Hours and that’ll be part of Disney Holiday Packages. In my opinion you should be staying at one of the official hotels, since you’re in for an experience and in order to enjoy it fully, it’s my recommendation that you book an official hotel. The perks of getting all the ups of Disney will outweigh all your attempts of saving. You’re going to save more money on getting a package deal at an official hotel than you will at a partnering hotel, trust me. All the official hotels, except for Davy Crocket Range, is within 5-20 minute walk from the parks and they offer free shuttles all day long. At the moment the official are, in order of how many stars they’ve got:
- Disneyland Hotel (5*)
- Hotel New York (4*)
- Newport Bay Hotel (4*)
- Sequoia Lodge (3*)
- Hotel Cheyenne (2*)
- Santa Fé (2*)
- Davy Crockett range (no stars available)
They’re just like the official hotels, except for the fact that they’re not associated with Disney and are owned by different chains or private persons. Partnering hotels don’t offer any of the perks you get from the official hotels, but most of them do provide free shuttle bus to and from the parks. The hotels aren’t Disney themed whatsoever and there are not Disney character meet and greets or character dining. A good thing to remember is that these hotels are often in the middle of nowhere and, unlike with the official hotels which are onsite, you’re not able to walk to the parks from the hotels – you’re bound by bus or car. Like I’ve said, the prices aren’t necessarily lower at the partnering hotels and might not have the amenities that the official hotels will provide. Should you decide to book a room at one of the hotels that Disneyland Paris recommends, it’s worth to compare prices that are on the Disneyland website to the ones that are on the hotel’s own, official website, since you might be able to get a better deal through them. One thing to remember is the Package Holiday deals on the Disneyland website often requires you to book a room at an official hotel, and not at a partnering hotel, in order to get the deal. So, in fact, staying at a partnering hotel could actually end up costing you more money than it saves.
- When you book the official hotels, always book them through the Disneyland official website in order to get the best prices.
- Evaluate what the needs of you and your family or group of friends have and what size your group is, before you book. One hotel might be wrong for you if you’ve got a large group travel and the hotel don’t offer the room type you need, or connecting rooms. Booking two rooms might be necessary, but could be avoided with some research.
- Phone up the hotel in question when you run into a problem and see how they can solve, for example with connecting rooms, or if your family is big. Disneyland is famous for being very accommodating on their official hotels and will work hard to try to find a suitable solution for you.
- Breakfast is generally not included in price of a standard room, so getting a meal plan might be to your advantage – it’s possible to get a breakfast meal plan.
- Don’t book Davy Crockett Range unless you’ve got a car, since they don’t offer shuttle bus to and from the park.
- The earlier you book the hotel, the better the price is going to be.
- Book your hotel as part of a package holiday, it’s going to save you a bit more than if you just book the hotel by itself.
There is more to come on the accommodation front, I’m working on a couple of posts about the hotels themselves too, just to give a presentation and what sort of amenities they offer at the moment.