Many people worry about the expense involved in visiting Disneyland Paris. This post should reassure you that you do not need to take a fortune to spend, it can be done on a budget.
This post is about money saving tips once you are there, if you want help with booking a trip you will find information in the ‘before you go’ section.
FOOD AND DRINK
The main expense when visiting Disneyland Paris is food and drink.
If you have booked a package that includes meal vouchers then this shouldn’t be an issue and your actual spending money can be as low as you want it to be. I went for 5 days on a work trip that included a meal plan and only spent 100
euros on snacks and souvenirs.
What many people don’t realise is that you are allowed to take drinks and snacks into the parks in your bags, although picnic baskets are banned.
Drinks are very expensive and if you have children who like diluted squash, this isn’t available in the parks. There is a choice of hot drinks, fizzy soft drinks, pure orange or apple juice or water.
One great tip is to take water bottles and the small bottles of squeezy juice. There are water fountains all around the park and the water in France is perfectly safe and nice to drink.
There is a shop in the train station that sells drinks and snacks, at a cheaper price, and also a shop at the garage, outside the Santa Fe hotel. The nearest supermarket is at Val D’Europe shopping centre, which is one stop on the train or a short bus ride away.
Making snack packs has become a popular money saving tip amongst regular visitors. This involves using a zip lock sandwich bag and filling it with snacks to eat in queues, and saves a fortune on buying food. Ideas for snack packs include individually wrapped croissants and pain au chocolates, malt loaf bars, crisps, raisins, bags of mini cookies or biscuits, jelly pots, custard pots (don’t forget a plastic spoon) – they can contain anything that doesn’t need to be kept refrigerated.
Buying food at Disneyland does not have to cost a fortune. There are many counter service restaurants around the park that offer big portions and the food is usually of a good quality. I sometimes have a children’s meal, especially if the Mickey Pizza is available as the portion sizes are good.
I always take my own tea bags and hot chocolate sachets, and make drinks in the hotel to take out with me. If your room doesn’t have a kettle you can ask at reception for one, sometimes a small deposit is required. If you are on a very tight budget you could even take porridge pots for breakfast, pot noodles or mug shots for snacks.
There is a MacDonalds in the Disney Village and Earl of Sandwich, both offering cheap options to eat. Many of the restaurants in the Village offer a special set menu which can be good value or you can just order a main to save money. Vapiano’s Italian and 5 Guys are new additions to the Disney Village and both offer a more budget friendly menu.
If your little one likes dressing up I would very strongly advise taking costumes with you. There are costumes for sale in the parks but the prices are very expensive.
Princess dresses start at 69.99 euros and go up to several hundred euros for the deluxe ones. There is a huge choice of costumes available at a fraction of the price in UK supermarkets, high street stores and on ebay.
Princess for a Day is a popular package offered in the Disneyland Hotel which includes having hair and face painting done. This starts at 55 euros without a princess dress included. The same effect can be done at a fraction of the cost by taking your own dress and having face painting done in the parks where prices start at 12 euros.
It is almost impossible to avoid the temptation of the shops at Disneyland, it is for me anyway. If you are on a budget it can be a good option to take some items with you to treat your children at a much cheaper price.
We did this on a previous trip with soft toys from the Disney Store. We bought them when they were on special offer and had my stepdaughter’s name printed on them and then sneaked them into our luggage and placed them on the bed in the hotel. My stepdaughter was so happy and couldn’t work out how they had known her name! We had also taken a new princess dress and new Disney pj’s. It saved a fortune as all we bought in the shops were autograph books and a few keyrings and mugs as gifts to take home.
If you do want to buy gifts in the shops, it is good advice to have a good look in all the shops before you buy. Much of the merchandise is the same in the different shops but they do often have different special offers on. Each shop tends to have a special item on offer if you spend so much. For example the 25th anniversary blankets were on offer if you spent over 20 euros on other products.
I hope this is of help to you and I would love to hear of any more money saving tips that you have.