Most British parents dream of whisking their children off to Disneyland at some stage of their childhood. Mingling with Mickey, dining with Dumbo and gasping in awe at the choreographed parades and spectacular fireworks, is high on a child’s bucket list. The downside is that frankly, this doesn’t come cheap, especially if you plan to visit Florida. The opening of Eurodisney, 25 years ago, brought the Disney dream a little closer to home, but prices are still eye watering. You won’t be getting much change from £2,000 for a family of four. So, I’ve done the research to bring you some top tips for saving money on a Eurodisney booking.
Save money with travel hacking
These tips assume a certain awareness of travel hacking (the ability to use hotels and airline rewards to travel in style for less) but don’t worry if you are a newbie. This guide tells you everything you need to know. Rest assured, you do not need to be a frequent flyer to benefit – you just need to be willing to change your spending habits and maximise credit card opportunities.
Lets start with the obvious. How do you get there?
The obvious choice is by plane. In fact, if you are going for the weekend and do not live in London, it is unlikely to be realistic to travel any other way. You want to spend as little of your weekend travelling so you can spend more time with Mickey and Minnie!
We booked flights with Flybe from Manchester to Paris. I paid just under £400 for four flights which rewards me with 800 Avios. Get more and Just Fly tickets earn 2 AVIOS per £1 spent, whilst All In tickets earn 4 AVIOS per £1.
If you are unfamiliar with AVIOS, this is the currency for the OneWorld airline alliance, and you can use these to book flights and other exciting travel rewards. It’s free and simple to join, and you can use your Avios to save money on flights when you use them as part payment.
Return flights with Flybe start from 9,000 Avios, but you will need to pay the usual taxes, fees and charges. Unlike redemptions with British Airways, which cost a flat £35 for short haul European flights, Flybe charge £55 in taxes for flights to Paris. You could use your AVIOS to save money but remember, I only paid £100 each for my flights. Ask yourself if it is worth redeeming AVIOS to save only £45 each?
This video explains everything.
I have got hundreds of thousands of AVIOS at the moment (find out how I earned them here), and if you already have a bunch of AVIOS, you can use these for flights with British Airways and any of the other alliance partners. British Airways only flies from London to Paris, and off-peak redemptions cost 8,000 AVIOS plus £35 in taxes, and for this reason it was not a sensible option for us.
You can also take the Eurostar direct from London, but with train fares from Sheffield to London costing upwards of £100, this becomes expensive and time consuming. You can no longer redeem AVIOS for train tickets so you will also have to pay full fare.
Potential saving: £260 assuming a family of four travel on British Airways or £180 on Flybe from Manchester
Sadly, you can not use AVIOS to pay for your ferry, but you can earn AVIOS on bookings with P & O (6 AVIOS per £1 spent) and DFDS Seaways (4 AVIOS per £1).
Getting to the resort from the airport
The easiest way to get from the airport to the hotel is by private transfer if four people are travelling. We booked with Airport Disney Shuttle and paid €60 each way.
I found the other options extremely expensive. The TGV is a direct link from the airport to resort but prices start at €17.50 and when I priced it up for Easter, it cost over €200 for four people.
The normal train may cost a little less but takes much longer, as it involves you taking the train into central Paris and then another train to Eurodisney. That is not much fun if you have bags to carry! Plus time is of the essence on a weekend break!
Lastly, the Magic Bus is €23 per adult (anyone over 12) and €10 for a child. At €79 each way, it is cheaper and more convenient for us to take a private transfer.
Saving: by booking our private transfer, we saved €38.
We are staying at the Hotel Cheyenne ranch in Disneyland Paris. This hotel features on hotels.com which rewards loyal travellers with one free hotel night for every ten booked. Admittedly, you need to pay for thirty nights to earn enough reward nights to fund a three night stay, but if you stay away from home regularly, this is a great way to reduce your Eurodisney costs.
How cute is this hotel though? These are just some of the buildings housing the main facilities and hotel rooms. They definitely make you feel like you are in cowboy country!
Redeeming free nights with hotels.com could potentially save you £580. Please note prices vary by dates of travel and the free hotels.com nights are credited with a value equivalent to the average of the price paid for the ten paid nights. Rest assured, that if your average works out much lower than required to cover the full price, you can use it to part pay for rooms.
Potential saving: £580
The Radisson Blu is the only hotel on site that is part of a chain that operates a loyalty programme. Club Carlson members can use points to redeem for this hotel, and prices start from €92.70 per person per night. For our stay at Easter, the rate for four is €252 per night or €183 if you are a Club Carlson member.
If you have enough points however, you can use 44,000 points a night to book a free room.
Potential saving: €549
There are a bunch of sites that sell discounted tickets at 45% off, and if you are not booking a package, you definitely need to check these out. Full price tickets are ridiculously expensive. For instance, for just one day of our stay, tickets for four would have cost £307, although multiple days cost less per day. Our tickets include entry for three adults and one child.
How spectacular is this? #disneyland is not just for kids! It’s for big kids too! It’s truly incredible how they project the stories on the castle and choreograph that with the water display and fireworks. We are even more excited to go again tonight now we’ve seen it already! #travel #travelblogger #paris #france #disney #mickeymouse #frozen #lionking
Potential saving: £31
Assuming a minimal saving on park tickets, using these travel hacking options can save you a ton of money.
It’s fair to sa that you are never going to bag a bargain for Eurodisney, however there are definitely ways that you can save money on your trip. If you have not already, sign up for our weekly newsletter to receive a ton of tips for earning more Airmiles without having to fly. You can then put these to great use and save money on flights and hotels.
Perhaps you have some great tips for saving money on a trip to Disneyland Paris. If so, please feel free to share them as we would love to hear from you.