This will, probably, be the last blog post about eating at Disneyland Paris and will contain miscellaneous information and general tips and tricks for your journey, such as advice about food allergies, how food works at Davy Crockett Range and character dining.
General tips and tricks
- Disneyland Paris does allow their guests to bring their own food and non-alcoholic beverages with them to the park, but what they don’t allow is those large cooler bags where you store food in. You may bring food in your backpack and have a picnic for lunch inside the park, as long as it’s not in a large group, so my advice would be to have a picnic just outside the main entrance or by the lake in the Disney Village. Find yourself a spot on a bench and eat away, and remember to throw away the rubbish in the bins once you’re done.
- If money is tight on food, there’s a McDonald’s in the Disney Village, along with a Vapiano and a Five Guys, where you’ll able to spend less money for more food than you would inside the park. Generally, the restaurants, even the Disney ones, outside of the park, are a bit better priced than the ones inside. The portions are also a bit larger and filling too.
- There are no supermarkets within walking distance of Disneyland Paris, it’s a train station away, and the ones that are close are accessible by car. This is rather unfortunate, since a supermarket could really help you keep your food costs down. But then again, it would be a shame not to try some of the food at the parks, since it’s pretty tasty – but really pricy.
- France has a law against refillable drinks, so you can’t get unlimited cups at restaurants, the only exception, for some reason, being Five Guys at Disneyland Paris. The price is slightly higher for sodas at their restaurants to compensate for that and their menu board clearly states that refills are included in the price.
- Breakfast isn’t included in the price as a standard on regular rooms, but they are include when you book superior rooms or suites.
Saving at the restaurants
- When you’re at a table service restaurant – ask for a set menu to save money. The general rule is that a set menu will be a bit cheaper than buying each dish separately. Restaurants will usually have a set children’s menu too, as well as adult menus.
- At fast food restaurants it’s best to get a menu too, for the same reason as above – it’s on the whole cheaper to get a menu consisting of a main, side and a drink, like a hamburger, side salad or French fries, and a soft drink.
- Go out from the park and eat lunch or dinner at McDonald’s – which is your cheapest option and they do have a couple of vegetarian alternatives too.
- At counter service restaurants, or even at table service places, sharing a plate or two of French fries amongst yourselves is a great way to save money, especially if you’re a family with young children who might not eat a full portion of French fries by themselves. Sharing two sides instead of purchasing 5, one for each member of your group/family, will save you about 10€. Even if you get three sides, you’ll still save a bit of money.
Davy Crockett Range
Davy Crockett Range is a bit special as a hotel, it’s not even a hotel – it’s a series of cabins. The way they offer food is also a bit different. Davy Crockett don’t have a breakfast restaurant, instead you’ll receive your breakfast in a basket and you’re expected to cook it yourself at the cabin you’ve booked. Naturally the cabins are equipped with a kitchens and cooking it depends on your skills. Dinner can’t be eaten at their tavern either at the moment, since they’re renovating it. From 8.1 2018 to 31.7 2018 their tavern will be refurbished and not available to the guests, but they do offer alternatives for dinner.
Character dining at all the Disneylands and Disney Worlds is one of the most popular forms of dining and the restaurants that offer it books up faster than lightning. Character dining is a meal, either breakfast, lunch or dinner, where you’ll eat your meal and is visited by various Disney characters during the meal, who cruises from table to table to interact with the diners and allow them to have their picture taken with them, or get an autograph.
A few of the hotels serves breakfast where Disney characters and princesses will attend, all of them are official hotels: Disneyland Hotel (5*) and Hotel New York (4*) are two examples. Drop your hotel a phone call, or check the Disneyland Paris website, to see what hotels offers character breakfasts. The breakfasts can be booked up to three (3) days before your arrival, so put in a reminder in your calendar or on your phone to get in on this meal, if you’re interested. For lunch meet and greets with princesses, Auberge de Cendrillon is the place you want to book a table at. They serve fine French cuisine and is well worth a visit! For a random mix of Disney characters at lunch time it’s the Disneyland Hotel, which overlays the main entrance, that’s the place for you. When you want to meet Disney characters for dinner, instead of lunch, you’re going to find them at Mickey’s Café. Mickey’s Café has a nice Italian menu and is a table service restaurant, unlike the lunch at the Disneyland Hotel which is a buffet with dishes from all over the world.
Character dining is primarily aimed at children, but adults attending without children are most welcome too. I’ve been to the character dining at Mickey’s Café and I thought it was nice, plus the cast members appeared to be used to adult Disney fans. They’ve seen it, so don’t feel ashamed or too old to choose this as an option for one off your meals, it’s perfectly okay! See it as a fun meal that’s part of your overall Disney experience and go with the flow. Remember that this option costs a bit more than a regular meal, unless you’re on the Premium meal plan – then it’s included in the price. You do need to be early to book this, again to avoid disappointment at the park. Call the Restaurant Reservations on +33 1 60 30 40 50 to make your booking. Should you forget it and not remember it until you’re actually already at the park, head over to your concierge or receptionist as soon as possible to assure a chance of snagging a table for yourself and your family and/or friends.
Now you, hopefully, know a bit more about how dining at Disneyland Paris works and what your alternatives are. Sometime in the future I’m going to write a post where I introduce all the restaurants and fast food places and tell a bit more about what they serve and what their prices are.