This September I came back from a long awaited holiday with my boyfriend to Disneyland Paris and at the time we were poor students, so we needed to find the best way to enjoy Disney on a tight budget.
We managed to catch the 2 nights 2 days free deal, which helped our budget out a LOT and for a 4 night 5-day stay, we paid £600. The price included tickets for both parks, breakfast every morning and the actual room, so fairly reasonable for everything included! Now we only had our flights left, which we booked through EasyJet. For flights, luggage and insurance from Manchester to Charles De Gaulle it cost us £198, again fairly reasonable for two people!
We made a huge mistake that cost us when we arrived at CDG – Disney has a bus called the Magic Shuttle, which is a massive saving compared to the other options available. We didn’t research this or know that this was available to us and since we hadn’t been to Paris via CDG before and this was a maaaajor overlook. We struggled understanding trains and thought a taxi was our best bet after around 2 hours of strolling around CDG trying to find a way to our hotel, we were advised the rates changed if there was traffic… Surprise surprise, there was traffic! When we FINALLY got on Disney property, I was relieved, tired and excited… Until we saw the price of the taxi! €90! If you are staying on a budget, I would advise to pre-book the shuttle and save yourself the heartbreak of parting with your holiday money that is supposed to be spent on piles of Disney food and merchandise!
Speaking of food, it’s so easy to buy EVERYTHING in sight because it all looks so delicious, but as we were on a budget we, unfortunately, couldn’t do that (I also didn’t want to come home 2 stone heavier!). When we arrived at our hotel it was around 8:30pm so not really enough time to go wander around the park without getting caught in the Disney Dreams crowds, so we looked to the restaurant in our hotel. As we were staying in the Santa Fe, the restaurant offered an all you can eat Mexican buffet that cost €25. The food was alright for a hotel restaurant but we didn’t visit again, we had too many options elsewhere! The best idea we had during the week was to take a detour to the shop inside the train station located right next to the entrance of Disney and buy the meal deal, we got a sandwich, snack and drink for around €6 which generally kept us going for the day (with the exception of the occasional Nutella crepe!). We tended to wander over to Disney Village for our meal on the night, we visited Rainforest Cafe, Planet Hollywood and Annette’s, planet Hollywood was by FAR my favourite and our meals averaged out €25-35 per person, so we budgeted to be very careful through the day so we could go all out on the night!
The whole trip can be really affordable, I don’t think we broke the bank on our visit and it helped that I had a little bit of willpower and didn’t buy every piece of merch in every store we visited. Visiting Disney is such a magical experience and they have so many ways to make it accessible to everyone, no matter what their budget is.