Acommodation at Disneyland

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.

Official hotels

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:

  1. Disneyland Hotel (5*)
  2. Hotel New York (4*)
  3. Newport Bay Hotel (4*)
  4. Sequoia Lodge (3*)
  5. Hotel Cheyenne (2*)
  6. Santa Fé (2*)
  7. Davy Crockett range (no stars available)

Partnering hotels

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.

Tips

  • 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.

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Tickets to Disneyland Paris pt. 2

With the Annual Passes discussed already it’s now time to discuss how you can save on tickets to Disneyland Paris, and how and where to get your tickets at the best price possible. Bad planning and not doing your research properly is going to lead to paying too much and be lured into buying tickets that on the surface appears to be priceworthy, but after doing the actual math comes out at a way higher cost and that you could have gotten them far cheaper someplace else.

1 day: 88€/80€ (Adult//child)

2 days: 139€/126€

3 days: 169€/156€

4 days: 209€/189€

Just look at those prices! And there are plenty of people who line up each and every day to purchase their tickets at these prices, people who, with a little bit of planning, could have saved a small fortune on tickets that could be spent on food, souvenirs or making memories inside the parks. Imagine that you’re a family of five people – 2 adults and 3 children – who are going to spend 4 days at the park, and are buying tickets at the gates. That’s going to amount to a staggering 985€! That’s almost 1000€, for an average sized family. Luckily, there’re a couple of ways to get this number down just a bit, leaving you with a bit of money in your bank account instead of theirs. I’m going to stick to a family of 5, with two adults and three kids, when I count out the examples, just to give you an idea of how things work and then you can calculate your own ticket expenses from your own, personal circumstances.

Are there cheaper alternatives than the gates? We’re going to find out right now, starting with Disneyland’s latest form of tickets.

Special Tickets

A few years ago Disneyland Paris introduced 3 new types of tickets named Mini, Magic and Super Magic tickets – a really great deal and the greatest way of saving on tickets, in my opinion. Naturally, you’re only going to save money with careful planning and booking your tickets in advance. With these tickets you’re given the option of purchasing either tickets for 1 park or both parks, and it’s worth noting that the Mini, Magic and Super Magic tickets only come as day tickets – but that’s of no concern, since you can still save a fair bit on the cost of entrance.

The cheapest option is the Mini ticket which will only be valid on weekdays and on certain dates. At the moment the going rate are;

1 day/1 park: 53€/48€ (Adult/Child)

1 day/2 parks: 73€/68€

Sure, these tickets are a fantastic way of saving, but only if you’re staying 3 days and purchase the 1 day/1 park tickets. On the fourth day, it becomes cheaper to purchase the four day ticket from the gates. For a family of 5, again with 2 adults and 3 children, the prices for Mini tickets are as follows:

DAYS GATES 1 DAY/2 PARKS 1 DAY/1 PARK

 

1 416€ 350€ 250€
2 656€ 700€ 500€
3 806€ 1050€ 750€
4 985€ 1400€ 1000€

 

Per adult it’s going to be:

DAYS GATES 1 DAY/2 PARKS 1 DAY/1 PARK
1 88€ 73€ 53€
2 139€ 146€ 106€
3 169€ 219€ 159€
4 209€ 292€ 212€

 

Per child it’s going to be:

DAYS

 

GATES 1 DAY/2 PARKS 1 DAY/1 PARK
1 80€ 68€ 48€
2 126€ 136€ 96€
3 156€ 204€ 144€
4 189€ 272€ 192€

 

As you’ve noted, and me too, it only pays to get the 1 day/1 park ticket for 3 days until it becomes cheaper to just get 4 days at the gate. When I first saw the mini tickets I really thought that it would pay in the long run, but apparently it only goes so far, proving that you should always do the math before actually making a purchase. Asking yourself the question: “will this actually save me any money?” is a very valid one, especially when something claims to be cheaper than at the gate. In this case, it only goes so far, but is perfect for a three day stay at the park, with two days at one park and one day at the other or three days in one park.

Next we’ve got the Magic ticket, a ticket that’s valid every day of the week except for holidays and special events. Magic tickets aren’t really that much cheaper in the long run, just like thee Mini ticket. In fact, magic tickets are only cheaper for a two day stay and that’s if you choose the 1 day/1 park option.

Per adult it’s going to be:

DAYS

 

1 DAY/1 PARK 1 PARK/2 PARKS
1 69€ 89€
2 138€ 178€
3 207€ 267€
4 276€ 356€

 

Per child it’s going to be;

DAYS

 

1 DAY/1 PARK 1 DAY/2 PARKS
1 63€ 83€
2 126€ 166€
3 189€ 249€
4 252€ 332€

 

As you see, the savings are smaller on this ticket and will only be useful for a 2 day stay on the 1 day/1 park option. Unlike the multiday tickets you purchase online, the Magic ticket isn’t valid every day either, which makes them a bad choice should you want to go to the parks for Christmas or the New Year.

The last “special ticket” is the Super Magic Ticket, which is valid on 365 days of the year – just like the regular tickets. Super magic tickets aren’t worth the money, since you can get cheaper tickets at the gates or simply buy the regular single or multiday tickets from Disneyland Paris own website.

Adult prices

DAYS 1 DAY/1 PARK 1 DAY/2 PARKS
1 79€ 99€
2 158€ 198€
3 237€ 297€
4 316€ 396€

 

Children are:

DAYS 1 DAY/1 PARK 1 DAY/2 PARKS
1 72€ 92€
2 144€ 184€
3 216€ 276€
4 288€ 368€

 

You can see for yourself that the prices are much higher than even purchasing the tickets at the gates and not really in your favour at all. This only shows that it’s not always cheaper to purchase your tickets online and that it can be cheaper at the entrance.

Next time I’ll be dealing with whatever remains of the ticketing world that you’ll need to know about your Disneyland Paris tickets.

Travelling to Disneyland Paris

The website itself has a lot of tips for travelers coming from outside of the country, and from within France too, in regards to travelling to their park. Travels to Disneyland Paris can be bought as part of your holiday package through the official Disneyland Paris website, but you can easily find cheap transportation on your own with a few searches on Google.

Disney Express Luggage Service

Disneyland Paris has this amazing service for all of their guests who are staying at one of their official Disney hotels, except for Davy Crockett Range. What this means is that when you’ll be travelling to Disneyland Paris with the Eurostar trains from the U.K. there’s the option of having your bags transferred directly from the train station, Marne-la-Valée Chessy, to your hotel. Onboard the train, a cast member will be coming around and take all of your information, confirm the booking and explain how this service will work once you arrive at the park. When you arrive at the train station, simply walk up to the Disney Express counter on the first floor, drop off your luggage and receive all your park tickets. They’ll then transfer all your bags to your hotel, freeing you up to go straight to the parks to start enjoying yourself. After you’re done at the park and head to check-in at the hotel, your luggage will be brought out for you at the reception. Check out the video below for a simple video explanation of how it works.

http://tips.disneylandparisandyou.com/index.php?market=uk#tips-disney-express

This service isn’t available for those of you who are staying at partnering hotels and for those staying at Davy Crockett Range, since the Range is only accessible by car and the partnering hotels aren’t official, Disney themed Disney hotels by the park. You do need to book this service in advance in order to make use of it.

Boat, bus & car

You can get to France by boat if you live in the U.K. If you live in Kent, or close to Dover, you can easily take the ferry from Dover to Calais and then take the train. You should expect at least one change when you go from Calais, usually in Lille. Going by boat without a car isn’t my recommendation, it’s much easier to grab your family and chuck them into the car and get on the ferry with the car. Disneyland Paris also sometimes offer free ferry travels as part of your booking, so keep an eye out for those offers on their websites or google it. Portsmouth is also one of your options as far as ferries goes, you can go to Cherbourg and Le Havre with Brittany Ferries.

The tunnel is also an option if you live relatively close to it and have your car with you, and then drive all the way to Disneyland. You’ve also got the option of going to France by bus for as little as 15£ per person from the U.K. (OuiBus, London – Paris), if you’re willing to spend the day on a bus. It’ll take you at least 8 hours to get from London to Paris and there aren’t any stops on the way.

Train

The train station you should aim to get to is Marne-la-Vallée-Chessy, just outside of Paris. If you’re coming from the U.K. and are travelling to Disneyland Paris – there are a couple of options when you’re going by train. I’ve travelled to Disneyland Paris by train and it was extremely easy in my opinion. Eurostar goes to Disneyland Paris from London St Pancras, sometimes with a stop at Ashford or Ebbsfleet. Ashford is also an option, there are a couple of trains every day there, all year around. Same is true for St Pancras – one or two trains per day are bound for Disneyland Paris.

Paris is also another alternative train wise. No matter where you go from – Paris is also an easy way to transfer towards Disneyland. The station that the trains leaves from is Gare de Lyon and the journey lasts about 45 minutes. There are a few different train companies, so use the internet to search for whatever company it is that stops at Marne-la-Vallée-Chessy.

Flights

A lot of you people will probably go to Disneyland Paris by plane and in these modern times there are lots of cheap flights to France from all over the world. I’m not going to give you any specific tips of websites that offer cheap flights, since all of you will come from different parts of the world and have any number of airlines available to you. Google cheap flights and do your research, or make your booking as part of a holiday package directly via Disneyland Paris website (www.disneylandparis.co.uk). The link will be at the bottom of the page, under Travel Information.

Important notice!

Always search for plane tickets in incognito mode, since all airline websites track the habits of the people who are looking for tickets. When you come back a second, third or fourth time – they’re going to change and, very often, mark up the prices on the tickets you’re looking for! But you’ll avoid this by surfing in incognito mode when you’re booking tickets.

Your closest airport, in relation to Disneyland Paris is Charles De Gaulle (CDG) airport outside of Paris and there’s even a shuttle bus from the airport to the park.

Magic Shuttle Airport Transfer

Going from CDG Airport to Disneyland Paris is extremely easy and can be booked up to 2 days in advance, earlier if you’re disabled or have reduced mobility. Bus tickets aren’t included in any package and has to be booked separately from the Magic Shuttle website, which I’ll link below. The bus journey lasts about 1 hour, depending on traffic.

https://magicalshuttle.co.uk/shuttle/charles-de-gaulle-shuttle

 

Tickets for Disneyland Paris pt. 1

Tickets to Disneyland Paris are going to be pricy, but there are, naturally, ways to get them cheaper – or even free! Disneyland offer a few different options for tickets and annual passes and I’ll try to list as many options as possible for you, but always check their website for the latest offers and the most updated prices (www.disneylandparis.co.uk). Just like with the posts about eating at Disneyland, this will be a series of blog posts – about 2 I think – since there’s a lot to cover in regards to tickets. In this first part I’ll be covering Annual Passes. I personally wish I had the time and money to burn on an annual pass, but alas, I don’t.

Annual passes

The purpose of selling annual passes is for the park to reward regulars and help them save money, and to get more people to the park. Annual passes will give you a number of days to visit, along with a number of perks depending of what level you buy. I highly recommend purchasing annual passes, should you know that you’re going to come back within the year, even if it’s just once or twice. Tickets are expensive and you can save a great deal of money, by getting the cheapest, or the next cheapest one. Each annual pass is valid for both parks, which is great and is instantly a money saver.

A note!

It’s very worth checking what dates you’re going to the park, since it might actually be cheaper to buy an annual pass rather than actually buying tickets for specific dates. Let’s say that you’re going during weekdays at a time that’s not high season, it might actually be in your favour to purchase the Discovery annual pass for yourself and your family, or friends, rather than purchasing multiday tickets in advance, or at the gates. Otherwise, you’re not going to benefit from spending money on one, unless you plan on coming back within the next 365 days.

At the moment Disneyland Paris offers 4 different levels of annual passes and they’re perfect for those of you who’re Disney fans and want to go there often. When you buy annual passes, each pass is only valid for one person and each family member has to have his or her own pass to enter. Disneyland Paris does give a 20% discount if you purchase 5 or more like annual passes in one transaction, but they have to be the same and not, for example: 3 Infinity and 4 Discovery. When you purchase your annual pass, you’re going to be informed on when it’s valid and what perks are included in it.

Discovery

This is their cheapest option and the one with the fewest days of being valid – only 150 days. Prices might change, but a Discovery annual pass, at the time of publication, costs 139€. You’re only allowed to visit the park 150 days out of the year, only at weekdays and no major holidays like Christmas and the New Year. During peak times in the summer you might be extra restricted too. This is perfect for those of you who don’t have children or have young children, in kindergarten and therefore aren’t bound to school holidays or long weekends to get to the parks. Discovery doesn’t include any perks, other than entry on the 150 available days and cheaper parking if you’re visiting for the day. The Disney hotels all include free valet parking.

Magic Flex

Next we have the Magic Flex, with 300 days that are valid. On this level you’re getting most weekends, but not holidays like Halloween, Christmas and the New Year holiday. This one comes in at 189€ and comes with perks like free parking at the park – a great saving, since parking will set you back at least 20€/day if you take the car to and from the park. If you’re travelling with kids and will do so on multiple occasions during the year, this will most likely be the best option for you and your family.

Magic Plus

Priced at 249€, at least for the moment. This is when the savings start to really roll in. Magic Plus is the second highest level of pass there is right now and you’re going to get, for example:

  • Free strollers
  • Rebate on day tickets
  • Extra magic hours
  • Free parking

With this pass you’re also getting 350 days at the park, so almost the whole year, and I don’t even recommend visiting the park during the holidays anyway due to the sheer amount of people who’ll go there. Should you be a dedicated fan of Walt Disney and live a reasonable travel distance from the parks – then this will probably be a good pass for you.

Infinity

The annual passes that surpasses all the others – the ultimate card for Disney fans out there! For 399€ you’re sure to get all the perks that there is:

  • Free parking
  • Rebate on Character Dining
  • VIP seats for the parade

And a lot more! From a savings point of view it’s not really worth it to get it for your entire family, unless you’re planning to come to the park several times per year. It does, however, offer a great, lower price on day tickets for both parks that you can purchase for your family and friends. Getting one can be a fantastic treat for a loved one, or yourself, if you’re a big Disney Fan – but not really a way to save money on one single trip.

My recommendation is to at least have a look at the prices and complete list of perks which they offer before you book your holiday package to Disneyland. Depending on what sort of offers you find, you might want to supplement it with Discovery or Magic Flex annual passes for you and your travel company. However, you do usually get great deals on entrance and park tickets anyway, so it may not be to your advantage to get one.

Eating at Disneyland Paris pt. 2

Welcome to the second part of eating at Disneyland, if you haven’t read the first part – be sure to check it out. I’m talking about meal plans in that part and how they’re a great way of saving money. This part will be dedicated to saving on snacks and my tips on them, to save you a few euros. Let’s face it, eating at Disneyland Paris is expensive and most of us are on a budget. Half plans are easy to get for free when you purchase a holiday package directly through the Disneyland Paris website, but you’re going to need drinks, snacks and a third meal too.

Snacks & drinks

Snacking at Disneyland is expensive and generic. The fun things are the doughnuts and the Ben & Jerry’s, other than that you’re only going to find generic, overpriced stuff that you can do well without. Get a meal plan instead and have a dessert after your meal. My tip is to bring your own snacks into the park and save the trouble of spending 2.50€ on a small bag of crisps. If you’re eating a breakfast buffet at your hotel – sneak a few pieces of fruit down your bag, some apples, bananas, oranges or whatever whole fruits are available to you. Purchase a few bags of crisps, biscuits and salty crackers before you’ve even arrived at Disneyland and bring those into the park with you and snack on them. Disneyland Paris clearly states that you’re allowed to bring snacks with you, so you’re not doing anything wrong by doing so. I’ve even asked a cast member specifically if this is allowed and she/he told me that it was. Eating fruits during the day will help keep your blood sugar at an even level and salty snacks will help you retain water. Salty snacks are important to eat during the summer to prevent you from losing fluids by sweating and peeing, they’ll keep you a bit hydrated and forces you to drink more water – which is very good.

I can’t stress enough the importance of drinking lots and lots of water throughout the day, especially during the summer season when it’s usually quite hot. You’re bound to spend a lot of time outside, exposed to the weather, walking around and your body therefore requires more liquids than it normally does. Disneyland Paris allows their guests to bring bottles of water and soft drinks into the park, as long as they’re in plastic bottles and are nonalcoholic. Glass bottles are forbidden according to the rules, most likely since they might break and can cause injuries to you, other guests and cast members. Bring a few bottles of water, at least one per person, and a soda or two to the park and be sure that they’re filled to the top. There are several water stations throughout the parks, which allows you to refill your water bottles whenever you need to and this is a perfect way to save lots and lots of money on drinks. Drink whatever drinks that comes with your meals too.

During the wintertime, however, it’s equally important to stay warm too, as well as hydrated. A fantastic way of keeping warm is to bring a Thermos of tea, hot chocolate or coffee with you and sip on it as you go by. A lot of hotel rooms these days features a kettle, with tea bags and instant coffee for your use. This provides you with a thermos of free coffee or tea each and every day of your stay. Small bags of hot chocolate are sometimes included too, but should there be none, they’re easy enough to buy in advance. Coffee and tea is expensive inside the park, just like everything else, so a bit of planning will take you a long way and save you quite a bit of money, while still complying with the rules and regulations of the parks. ­­

At the publication of this blog post, quite a few snack selling places at Disneyland are closed for refurbishment so be sure to check the official website of Disneyland Paris to see what’s open and what’s not (www.disneylandparis.co.uk).

Alcohol

Disneyland Paris has slightly less restrictive rules about alcohol inside the park, but it’s still not easy to find inside the parks. At selected counter service restaurants inside the parks you’ll be able to exchange your soft drink for a beer – for a fee – and you must purchase a meal to be allowed to drink alcohol. You can purchase wine or beer at, for example, Restaurant Agrabah. Outside, in the Disney village, there are a lot more options for getting a bottle of wine or a beer, simply get yourself to a table service restaurant like Café Mickey. All the hotels have bars too, but in my opinion a holiday at Disneyland Paris shouldn’t be about drinking alcohol – it’s supposed to be a good time in two parks. Plus, should you become drunk, then you’re not getting into the parks and risk becoming banned from the parks altogether if you do something that’s against the rules whilst under the influence. Skip the alcohol or remember to drink very responsible since there are lots and lots of children around you.

This marks the end of Eating at Disneyland Paris pt. 2. I’ll be making at least one more part with tips and tricks for saving at Disneyland, so stay tuned.

Eating at Disneyland pt. 1

Like most other things at Disneyland Paris, eating is expensive in relation to what you get for your money. I was surprised at how costly it actually was to purchase food at the restaurants when I went there and others I’ve spoken to has expressed the same opinion. Food at the food places at the parks are over the top and the guests are forced to pay up, since you’ve got to eat. As an example, I had to pay at least 10€ for a meal consisting of a hot dog, chips (French fries for you who are unfamiliar with British terms) and a soft drink, which is ridiculous. Food will, inevitably, be a costly story, especially if you’re part of a family. There are, as always, ways to save and be smart with your money without skimping on quality and your overall experience. After all, you’re at Disneyland Paris for the experience and to have a magical time – food should not be the reason you feel disappointed when leaving. In this post I’ll discuss the advantages of getting a meal plan for your stay at Disneyland Paris, a choice that is well worth the money if you can’t get it for free as part of a holiday package.

A meal plan is simply put a plan where you prepay for a set amount of meal, either half board (breakfast and either lunch or dinner) or full board (breakfast, lunch and dinner) with a different number of restaurants available, depending on what plan you choose (standard, plus or premium).

Meal plans

At the moment Disneyland Paris offers 3 types of meal plans:

  1. Standard meal plan
  • Either as half board or full board
  1. Plus meal plan
  • Half or full board
  1. Premium
  • Half or full board

The basic difference between the three are the amount of restaurants that you’ve got to choose from when you eat your lunch and/or dinner. If you book the half board of either plan you will get breakfast and either lunch or dinner for each of the days you’ve purchased, and full board includes three square meals per day – breakfast, lunch and dinner. Meal plans are a fantastic way of saving money on food, I highly recommend having one when you visit the parks. The costs add up really quickly and when you’re on a plan, you know what you’ll be spending on the meals that are included in your plan. When I went to Disneyland I had a free half board plan included in the price that included breakfast and either dinner or lunch and it was fantastic. I had breakfast before entering the park in the morning, ate lunch in the park and used my other voucher for dinner after a full day at the park, before taking the bus back to the hotel. It worked like a charm and was well worth it. During your check-in at the Disneyland hotel you’ll be given all of the vouchers in an envelope along with a letter telling you how they work and where you can redeem your vouchers. The receptionist will also explain them to you very clearly and answer any questions you may have about how the plan works.

It’s worth noting that breakfast isn’t included in the price of a standard room as a standard, which has spawn a fourth option in regards to dining plans – the breakfast meal plan. Like its name suggests it only contains breakfast at your hotel’s breakfast room and is not a character meet and greet breakfast, those have to be booked in advance and cost extra. When I stayed at Disneyland I only had the option of going to counter services for my breakfast and didn’t even have hotel breakfast. Counter service equals restaurants that have over the counter services, like fast food place (e.g. McDonald’s and the likes of it). I found it limiting, but it worked out – breakfast isn’t my thing anyway. Breakfast is included in the price when you book a suite or a premium room at any of the official Disneyland Paris hotels. Disneyland doesn’t offer any plans for snacks and none of their meal plans have any included, so you’ll need to bring your own, or purchase them in the different snack shops inside the parks. Most of the snack shacks and ice cream parlours are closed at the moment for refurbishment, so if you’re heading over there in the near future – check the Disneyland website (www.disneylandparis.co.uk) for what’s open and what’s not.

The Standard meal plan is the cheapest option that’s on offer and is available in either half or full board. This is also where your alternatives for dining are the most limited – only a small list of buffets. No matter if you choose the half or the full board, you’re only going to be able to alternate between a series of buffets. So, if you don’t mind eating buffets for every meal then this is definitely for you. Each meal (lunch and dinner) includes a soft drink too. There’s no reason to feel bored when eating buffets at Disneyland, they have a few different kitchens represented at the parks and hotels – for example, at the Agrabah Café you’ll find a middle-eastern buffet. The cost, per person and night booked is 27£ for adults (half board), 19£ for children (half board), 42£ for adults (full board) and 28£ for children (full board).

For those who’re looking for a few more options, and don’t want to limit themselves to buffets during their stay, there’s the Plus meal plan. The list of available restaurants goes up to over 15 here and includes table service restaurants. Cast members working at the restaurant will tell you what dishes are yours to choose from, since the meal plan operates on a set menu premise. À la carte is not included in the price. I had the half board Plus Meal Plan when I visited and I enjoyed it, it was a perfect mix of restaurants and I even managed to reserve a place at Mickey’s Café, where Mickey and his friends does meet and greets during dinner service. In my opinion, this meal plan is perfect, especially the half board, for the reason I explained earlier in this blog post. It was very enjoyable to have plans for the morning and evening meal and then just go where I fancied for lunch, without being bound to a particular restaurant reservation. As with the standard meal plan one soft drink is included in the price (one per person and meal plan), any additional drinks must be paid for directly to your server (cast member). Prices are a bit higher for this plan: 38£ for adults (half board), 25£ for children (half board), 53£ for adults (full board) and 34£ for children on full board.

Should you want the full food experience while you’re in the parks, go for the Premium meal plan! Here you can pick and choose from the full range of restaurants and even the ones with Disney character interactions and the Buffalo Bill’s Wild West dinner show. Just like the others you can pick either half board or full board and one soft drink is included in every meal plan, for each meal (lunch and dinner). Prices are 62£ per adult (half board), 42£ per child (half board), 88£ per adult (full board) and 56£ per child on full board.

The best way to enjoy the food on offer at the parks on a meal plan is planning, planning, planning and then plan some more. Breakfast and dinner are the best meals to plan in advance and book any restaurants you most wish to visit during your stay. During lunchtime you’re generally in the park in the middle of having fun and might not want to be tied up to a place which might be at the other side of where you’re at. Whether or not you’re on a full board or half board plan – get yourself to a restaurant that’s close by, and that you’d like to eat at and is part of any meal plan (for those of you who’re on the full plan) and have a meal. Or plan ahead to make sure you’re close to the lunch restaurant you’d like to eat lunch at when you’re hungry. Like I’ve stated before, the popular restaurant who accept advance bookings will fill up quickly – book them if you’re sure that you’d like to eat there!

Tips & recommendations

  • Be on the look for free meal plans on Disneyland Paris website, it’s a very common offer to receive free half board for your stay. It can be worth a good amount of money, I saved close to 200€ on food by opting for a free half board. Be sure to read any terms and conditions to see if you qualify – it’s a great offer, should you be eligible!
  • Always, always, always reserve a table at popular restaurants well in advance, or at the places you really don’t want to miss. Tables at places like Mickey’s Café are extremely attractive, due to the character interactions going on there and forgetting to reserve can lead to a full restaurant and tears from your young ones (or yourself). Reserve as early as you can to, hopefully, guarantee your spot at your first hand options.
  • You can call the dining reservations up to 60 days before your arrival to book a table. Call +33 1 60 30 40 50 to make a reservations, or go straight to your receptionist or concierge at your arrival to book a table.
  • Disneyland Paris official website is disneylandparis.co.uk and they always list what restaurants, snack bars and bars that are undergoing refurbishment at the moment – check it regularly before your trip to avoid disappointment onsite.
  • One soft drink (nonalcoholic beverage such as soda, still or sparkling water and fruit juice) is included at lunch and/or dinner, per meal plan. Any more drinks you wish to drink must be purchased and paid for to your server or cashier. Choose the largest size allowed if you’re thirsty!
  • Always use the plans to the max and eat all your meals. Otherwise you’re going to lose money since you’re paying twice for a meal.

Guide to Disneyland Paris

I’ve genuinely fallen in love with Disneyland Paris after visiting it last year, but I was a beginner and afterwards I wished I had known more than I do now about the parks and how they work. If I had then I would’ve got more out of my holiday than I did. Therefore, I decided to write a few posts with tips, tricks and advice to how you can make your stay as magical as possible for you and your whole family, or group of friends.

In this series I’ll be posting about; how to travel there, hotels, eating, the parade and so much more, so stay tuned. The website can be quite confusing, especially if you’re new to it and don’t know how to work it to your favour. I will only touch on topics, so if you’ve got further questions – contact Disneyland via their website or on Twitter, they’re usually very responsive to future guests’ questions.

Disneyland Paris is truly a magical place and definitely worth a visit, no matter if you’re going there alone, with friends or with your family. In my opinion you never become too old to love Disney and even adults can have loads of fun at the parks.

So, please stay tuned – next week there’ll be a new post!