14/06/2017

Tips For Booking A Trip To Disneyland Paris

I may have only been a few times, but it is safe to say that Disneyland Paris is one of my all time favourite happy places.  I went for the first time 25 years ago with my Nan and Grandad when the park first opened, my most recent visit was for my 30th birthday last year, and the magic is still as strong for me now at 30 years old as it was at five years old.

Obviously going to DLP as an adult opposed to a child generally means you have to book your trip yourself, and as this is something I have now planned and executed myself (And no doubt will be doing again in the future!), I thought I would share my tips with you on how to book your perfect DLP trip.

As I have only booked myself a trip that involved staying on Disney property I'm only able to comment on this.  It will definitely be tips more directed at a more luxurious trip to Disney (Although with budget options.) opposed to a budget trip.  If a budget trip is what you're looking for do make sure you Google this as I know their are tonnes of amazing blog posts on this already that cover this, however, if a Disney trip with a little bit of luxe is what you're looking for, then keep on reading...

When to go and who to book with



One of the most important questions you first need to ask yourself is "When do I want to visit Disney?"  For me this was a no brainer.  I'd known I wanted to celebrate my 30th birthday at DLP for quite a while.  It would be during their Christmas celebrations, it would be off peak season, and of course, it would be my birthday!

However, I know there are plenty of other factors to take into consideration for some people.  Due to my area of work at the time and the lack of children, I had free reign to book whenever I wanted.  Some of you may have career commitments at certain times of the year, or children you can only take during the holidays.  Make sure you take into consideration all of your responsibilities and commitments, then decide on when you would like to take your trip from there.

Prices differ depending on what time of year you visit the parks, and obviously the price is bumped up during the holidays, however, there are still ways you can save yourself some money even if you do have to visit during the holidays.

Myself and everybody I know who books a holiday to any of the Disney Parks books them directly through the Walt Disney Travel Company.  They always have amazing offers on, whether it be to save yourself a bit of cash, add extra nights for free to your trip, or throwing in some added extras for free, you can always get a great deal through this site.

During my trip last year, because of the time I booked at I got two free nights added onto our trip, and a friend of mine who has booked a trip for August has managed to get all of her dining plans thrown in to her booking for free, saving her over £600.00 on her trip!

Your choice of DLP hotel can drastically change the cost of your holiday as well.  Disney have a number of themed hotels, ranging from budget to luxury, so make sure you pick an option that suits your budget.  On my last trip we stayed in Hotel Cheyenne, which was one of the budget options, and I absolutely loved it!  I mean, it's Disney so you really don't have to worry about them being any less fabulous just because it's a budget hotel!  The theming was incredible and the staff were amazing!

Your transport to and from Disney


Ok, so you've found who you're going to book with; now it's time to sort your travel out.

If you do decide to book through the Walt Disney Travel Company, you can by all means add flights/Eurostar onto your booking at the time and sort it all there and then, but more often than not you'll find that it's cheaper to book your travel separate to the hotel, park tickets, etc.

My advice would be to check the costs of flights and the Eurostar before finalising your booking online.  For flights I personally prefer to use Travel Supermarket for comparisons, as I find their site easy to navigate, and I always seem to get the best deals through this site opposed to the others, and for Eurostar I use their direct website.  If you find that in fact booking all travel through your chosen holiday site along with your holiday is the cheaper option then just add the flights to your booking, however, if you find they're cheaper independently save yourself some pennies and book separately.

Some points to consider when deciding on what would be a cheaper option for your travel all round.  When flying to one of the Paris airports you will then need to book your transfers to your chosen DLP hotel.  When I flew to Paris last year we then used the Magical Shuttle to take us to and from the airport.  This cost around €60.00 return for the both of us, and we were dropped of and picked up right outside our hotel.  In the end this worked out much cheaper along with the flights I managed to get for us than it was to go by Eurostar.  However, my friend who is going this time has managed to get incredibly cheap Eurostar tickets, and the great thing about travelling with Eurostar is you don't have to book any transfers when you get there, because the train station drops you right outside the Disney Village, where you can just use the free shuttle buses to your chosen hotel!

Again, the cost of your travel will be down to the time of year you're travelling, so just do your research, shop around, and bag yourself the best deal you can find.

The Disney Dining Plans



When booking your trip to DLP through the Walt Disney Travel Company, or an approved travel agent you will be offered the option to include a Disney Dining Plan to your booking.  If you're hoping to dine in the amazing themed Disney restaurants on property, then you need one of these dining plans!  You will not get food anywhere near as cheap if you pay independently at each restaurant.

There is a whole page about the Disney Dining plans on the DLP Guide here, which will explain it far better than I ever will be able to, but basically if you choose one of the half board or full board meal plans, you have four options to choose from, from hotel, standard, plus and premium.  Each one is priced differently and will give you different dining options. So hotel is obviously for hotel restaurants only, going all the way up to premium, which gives you free reign on any of the restaurants throughout the parks.

When I went I opted for the Plus half board meal plan, which left me with around 20 restaurant options, and entitled me to one three course table service meal or buffet meal per day, and also some afternoon snacks.  Along with my buffet breakfast every morning at the hotel this was more than enough food to fuel me throughout the day.

If there is a restaurant you would like to try that isn't covered on the meal plan you've selected then do not fear!  You can still exchange your voucher, and then just pay the difference.

The Disney Park restaurants are extremely popular, so I would highly recommend taking full advantage of being able to book your restaurants two months prior to your trip on +33 01 60 30 40 50.  You can book on arrival at a number of locations in your hotel and throughout the parks, however, you're less likely to get booked in to where you would like to dine.  I made this mistake when I visited last year, and I was there in off peak season too!  Although I got to dine in some of the restaurants I wanted to, I was unable to in some others, which left me feeling a little disappointed.  If you're going during holiday season then you absolutely need to take advantage of booking in advance.

Two notable restaurants that you must try if you visit is The Blue Lagoon and Bistrot Chez Remy.  Both incredible restaurants, with incredible food, and their theming is on point!

Also, if you're an adult make sure you treat yourself to some of the cocktails.  Disney know how to do cocktails!  Glowtini anybody?

What to do when you get there



This part is all down to personal preference really, but make sure you do your research beforehand.  I couldn't recommend utilising DLP Guide enough.  This site is updated on the regular and is completely dedicated to all things Disneyland Paris.

You'll be able to see what celebrations will be taking place whilst you're there, what parades will be happening, what shows you can go and see, and it's also great to use to find out about any hotel refurbishments or attraction closures as well.

I would highly recommend checking out the parades whilst you're there.  Especially if you're visiting this year during the 25th anniversary celebrations.  They're an absolute spectacle and you can have some great character interactions as the characters go by too (Prince Charming wished me a happy birthday when I was there, which basically means we're going to get married!).

Also, you have to go and see the illuminations against the castle at night.  O.M.G.  It's one of the most stunning light shows I have ever seen!  I waited for 90 minutes so I could be right at the front and although my little legs hated me at the end, it was totally worth it!

Just walk around and take in your environment!  You're going to be in Disney, and it really is a magical place!  Sometimes the crowds can be a little overwhelming, so in those moments take some time away from them.  Walk around the lake, enjoy a cocktail in one of the many restaurants or hotels, go exploring in Skull Rock, which seemed to be a pretty unpopular area when I was there, or get yourself a Mickey shaped snack, find a seat and just take it all in.

It truly is the most magical place on earth!

Have you been to Disneyland Paris, or do you have a trip on the horizon?  Do you have any extra tips to add to the above?  Let me know!

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